The Theory of Second Viewing

Posted on January 7, 2010. Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sounds clever doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s not.

Basically, I am of the belief that you cannot form a proper opinion about a movie until you’ve seen it twice.  Case in point: if you look back you’ll see that when I watched Iron Man for the first time I said that I liked it but probably wouldn’t put it on the movies to see before you die list, and didn’t rate it too highly amongst the other Marvel films.  However, now I’ve watched it again (a couple of times) I’ve pretty much completely changed my mind! Definitely a firm favourite for me now and making it’s way onto the list.  There’s also been films I wasn’t too sure about first time around but having seen them again I think I misjudged them. Sin City springs to mind. Twelve Monkeys takes most people a couple of goes too, but that’s mainly to get your head round it.

I think part of it is that the first time you see a movie you’re trying to keep up with the plot and the characters and so you can miss little things like throw away one liners or cool set design that you’ll pick up second time around.  Of course some times though, you’ve got to trust your instincts.  You will have to pay me a whole lot of money to make me sit through the  Mamma Mia or Lost In Translation again, while at the same time it didn’t take me more than one viewing to realise that Lord of the Rings was a brilliant film.

More often than not I find that films I thought were only OK to begin with get better the more you watch them, but things can go the other way too.  The sequels to The Matrix and the Pirates follow ups both came out in a wave of PR and special effects that had you going in the cinema, but the plot holes get wider once you get the DVD back to your sofa. Not that I dislike any of those films, just perhaps not as into them as I was the first time.  I’ve already written about how hype can affect your opinion of a movie with The Dark Knight, and from what I hear of Avatar so far, it seems like that will be another one which loses some of the magic once it’s out of the cinema, especially since so much stock is tied up in the effects.

There’s more than a few places on this blog where I’ve written I need to see a movie again before completely making my mind up (The Eternal Sunshine debate rages on).  It’s not so much for the films you either love or hate, it’s the ones where at the end you can’t quite decide how much you like it.  My advice is watch it again.  You’ll probably find it’s better than you think.

…unless it’s Mamma Mia 😛

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Marvel-ous!

Posted on January 25, 2009. Filed under: Ramblings, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

*groan* I know, terrible title, but it’s Sunday.

As part of a weekly ritual with two good friends, I watched Iron Man last night.  The latest offering in the Marvel comic-to-film cascade, its a pretty good film with some funny lines and a good plot, even if the Science behind that electromagnet is fatally flawed.  Robert Downey Jr is great in the role, as sort of anti-hero come vigilante activist and Gwenyth Paltrow is also good.  I’m always disappointed that she comes across as much nicer in films than she is in real life.

The special effects are also great, especially the aerial scenes, making me slightly re-think my Oscar prediction.  It dawned on me last night that Iron Man is basically Marvel’s version of the DC Batman, making it all the more interesting that they’re up against eachother.iron-man-downey-jr2

Although Iron Man is great, you’ll notice I’m not putting it in the films to see before you die category, mainly because I’m not going to force you to watch it as soon as I find out you haven’t.  But I will strongly recommend it.  I’m also really looking forward to The Avengers.  With Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury it’s got to be good, but unfortunately there’s a bit of a long wait.

When compared with the other Marvel films out there, Iron Man doesn’t quite come top but its close.  I’d argue that the X-Men films (if we give some lee-way to the dodgier third installment) are the best, closely followed by Spiderman.  After that, I think I’d put Iron Man on and equal footing with the Fantastic Four, if not slightly above.  Bottom of the pile is Daredevil, a film which had the potential (and the casting) to be brilliant but somehow just didn’t make it.  It’s about half an hour too short for anything to develop properly, which is disappointing since Daredevil is one of Stan Lee’s best creations.

I think the Marvel comic films are some of the best blockbusters out there, and defintiely what you need on a dreary night.  I’m yet to see them all (Blade for example has passed me by) but I reckon they’re holding a pretty good standard so far, which in the sea of different directors, is a testemant to Lee’s characters.
Marvel

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Oscar Nominations 2009 Announced!

Posted on January 22, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

It’s that time of year again. Here’s the nominations for this year’s Oscars (thanks to Oscar.com) and who I think will win. Time to find out how psychic I actually am….

Best picture

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Frost/Nixon

Milk

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

It’s gotta be Slumdog.

Best director

Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

Stephen Daldry – The Reader

David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon

Gus Van Sant – Milk

It’s between Slumdog and Benjamin Button I think. Probably Slumdog. Actually I’ve changed my mind. Button.

Best actor

Richard Jenkins – The Visitor

Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon

Sean Penn – Milk

Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

I’ll come back to this when I’ve had a think…Maybe Brad Pitt but I haven’t seen it.

Best actress

Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married

Angelina Jolie – Changeling

Melissa Leo – Frozen River

Meryl Streep – Doubt

Kate Winslet – The Reader

It’s tipped to be either Winslet or Hathaway. I think its Winslet’s year after the Golden Globes.

Best supporting actress

Amy Adams – Doubt

Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Viola Davis – Doubt

Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

I’m gonna go with Benjamin Button as I’m predicting a sweep.

Best supporting actor

Josh Brolin – Milk

Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt

Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

Ledger, no question.

Best foreign language film

Revanche – Austria

The Class – France

The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany

Departures – Japan

Waltz With Bashir – Israel

I’m not gonna know I’m afraid. Psychic guess says The Class.

Best animated feature film

Bolt

Kung Fu Panda

Wall-E

Wall-E for sure.

Best adapted screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Doubt

Frost/Nixon

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog.

Best original screenplay

Happy-Go-Lucky

Milk

Wall-E

In Bruges

Frozen River

I reckon Wall-E

So there you go folks.  I guess we’ll find out on 22nd Feb.

*Update*

In my hurry to blog this before anyone else, I missed some of the smaller categories, but having got some of them up I reckon I’ve got time to go back…

Cinematography

(A subject of much debate on this blog)

Changeling

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

The Reader

Slumdog Millionairre

Having only seen one of the nominations (sad isn’t it?) I can’t call it. I’m guessing Button.

Music (score)

My favourite

Defiance

Milk

Slumdog Millionairre

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Wall-E

I’ve only seen Wall-E and the music in that wasn’t groundbreaking…Slumdog or Benjamin Button. Incidentally, Slumdog is double nominated for best song (against Wall-E). It’s bound to win that so I don’t think it’ll win this.

Visual Effects

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

Iron Man

I think Dark Knight

It’s probably going to be a sweep by Slumdog Millionairre and Benjamin Button (which has 13 nominations).  Button will get the most overall.


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