Friday, 7 January 2011

Mini Review catch up

So, another month long break from me which sucks I know. So many precursor awards have been announced and again it is a whole pile of organisations desperate to try and guess Oscar. With so many films out in one year, it seems strange that these apparently 'professional' groups only think 8 or 9 films are the best of the year. It is kind of like Oscar is the teet they most like to suck. Sad considering this would be their chance to actually stand up and declare themselves different from the pack.

Ho hum. Well as you will know the films that are doing the best are 'The Social Network', 'Inception', 'Winters Bone', 'The Kings Speech', 'Toy Story 3', '127 Hours', 'True Grit', 'The Fighter' and of course 'Black Swan'. These are apparently the best films of the year. I have only seen 5 of them, and aside from 'Inception' I would kind of agree.

Anyway, here is another slew of reviews.

'Black Swan'

One of the few films of the year that makes you cover your eyes in horror whilst still trying to see, for missing an single screen shot is to miss pure beauty.

Darren Aronofsky has made a film that is a bold and unflinching study of ambition and how it can consume.

Anchored by an astonishing performance by Natalie Portman, some of the finest acting, and most dedicated, seen in some time.

Grade - A-

'Despicable Me'

Wow, I wasn't expecting this to be quite so much fun.

Charming, funny, touching yet deliciously evil, just how a film about a super villain should be.

Sure the minions bordered on cutesy, but they were fun, and the voice acting was superb, especially by Steve Carell as Gru

This has been an incredibly strong year for animation and to see the big studios finally getting things right is a relief. As much as I love Pixar it is nice to see Dreamworks and Universal stepping up the game a little.

Grade - B+

'Easy A'

On the outside it is like any other teen comedy, in that it starts out strong and three quarters of the way through it kind of fall apart, but manages to pic itself right back up. However this is different thanks to three very important things:

Stanley Tucci as the father, Patricia Clarkson as the mother and most importantly, Emma Stone in the lead.

The film would not have worked as well as it did without her. A smart, hysterically funny and brave performance that Oscar will surely miss.

Grade - B+

'Get Him To The Greek'

It is kind of sad when you watch a movie and remember so little of it.
Something about Jonah Hill trying to get Russell Brand to a concert.


And Puff Daddy being unexpectedly funny.

Grade - C

'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work'

Why this woman get no respect I do not know.
This film is a tribute to an exceptionally talented woman who refuses to give up, turns her back on the critics and works works works.

She is the butt of joke made by people who do not have 1/5 of her stamina and resilience, and she knows it.

Sure this film is full of humour, but it is the cracks of doubt, sorrow and regret that make this such an insight to one of the worlds biggest talents.

Grade - B+

'Scott Pilgrim vs The World'

Sure Michael Cera plays the same guy again (but who really cares, he is good at it) and the whole movie kind of plays like a A.D.D. sufferers dream, but man it is something to get caught up in.

So ridiculous and over the top get saved by going to far over by smart performances by Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Aubrey Plaza and of course the fantastic Mae Whitman.

Grade- B

'Shrek Forever After'

It made me chuckle and had some really cute and smart references, but on a whole this series needs to be put to bed.

The longer it goes on, the more it makes me dislike the first film.

Grade - B-

'The Kids Are All Right'

A lovely little movie that is a breath of fresh air.
Any film depicting a gay marriage you expect to played as some sort of political drama. Made to prove a point.
In this the point is clear. Marriage is tough, no matter who it is between.

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening have amazing chemistry (who would have thought Bening would make such an amazing dyke), but it is Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson who make the film wonderful, both giving smart and realistic performances and two teenaged caught up in the middle of a little shit storm.

Grade - B

'The Social Network'

Seriously amazing.
A wordy talky drama that plays like a tight thriller.

The rapid fire dialogue filled with so many gems that you need many viewings to get all the insults and subtleties.

This is also a film that is very very now, yet somehow manages to feel like the type of film that will hold up in years to come - time will tell.

Here is hoping Aaron Sorkin, Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and yes, Justin Timberlake get the kudos they deserve!

Grade - A-

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Top 30 songs of 2010

Well, I know I have been very quiet of late, and that is mainly because work and life have once again taken over, but I have loads to post about. Firstly I wan tto go through what I consider to be the best songs of the year for 2010. Not all of these songs were officially released in 2010, but this was the year they came to my attention.

Let's get started.


Eminem - 'Love the Way You Lie' (Feat. Rihanna)

Sure, this is technically a song about a highly abusive boyfriend, in a highly dysfunctional relationship, but when Rihanna comes in with that sad and equally disturbing chorus, you can't help but get drawn in.


Saadi - 'Bad Seeds'

Facebook decided to recommend me this artist because I like M.I.A. (who is sadly absent from this list). You know what, facebook was correct. The breezy light island feeling makes me year for a colada - any type of colada.


Hurts - 'Better Than Love'

The 80's continued to be remixed for the year 2010 with this Depeche Mode-esque anthem of angst. It doesn't hurt that these guys are easy on the eyes, and can most certainly wear a suit.


Macy Grey - 'The Sellout'

The raspy voiced one came out with a new album this year. Most of you probably never even noticed, which is a shame as this was probably the best she has been in years.


I Blame Coco - 'Self Machine'

Sure, she is Stings daughter so her foot in the door was more a tank smashing through, but this is a corker of a tune, helped by the very androgynous voice and her scary lesbian styling


Marina and the Diamonds - 'Obsessions'

Poppy, boppy and totally addictive. Marina blasted on the scene and released some of the best singles no one really bought. A shame, since this, her first was so repeatable.


Janelle Monáe - 'Oh, Maker'

You begin to settle in to a lovely folksy ditty, then there is a three step transition into a groovy neo soul love song. That is the thing about this girl she is versatile and surprise whilst being her.


VV Brown - 'This Charming Man'

If you are going to cover a classic song, you had better be able to do it justice. Thankfully when VV Brown decided to cover The Smiths, she may have bettered it


Mumford and Sons - 'Little Lion Man

Christ this song was everywhere in 2010, and for good reason. It is a stomper, the type of song that crosses genres and excites. And this was a debut!


Beach House - 'Norway'

Imagine the sound a glacier would make if it was music. It would be both powerful, yet not imposing. You come close to understanding the brilliance that is Beach House


Kate Nash - 'Don't You Wanna Share the Guilt'

You gotta love the random ranting of a mad music. Through the rubbish there is great insight as to the nature of people, all to a building frantic beat


Robyn [Feat. Röyksopp] - 'None of Dem'

The deepest, darkest club anthem we all should have been dancing to all summer. Robyn is simply a genius and this should have been huge


Lissie - 'Stranger'

This is another great example (like Robyn) of an extremely talented woman who should be having much more success than she is. And this opinion is purely based on songs like this. Pure folk tinged sunny pop


Madonna - 'Pala Tute'

After the large disappointment that was Hard Candy, I was skeptical when a slew of unreleased Madonna tracks leaked online. To my surprise most of them were better than the album. This was my standout.


Robyn - 'Hang With Me'

One Grammy nomination. The woman should be showered with those damn trophies. This was the sweetest love song to be sung this year.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Things on my mind lately.

‘For Colored Girls’

In a year lackluster with performances by the non white acting community, I am seriously hoping that this film will be an acting showcase. All of the women in this film are wonderful and gifted actresses and I would be happy to see any one of them up for an Oscar. The most recent ‘buzz’ (studio plant or whatever) has said that Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise and surprisingly Macy Gray are the standouts in the film. As much as I would like to see the names Loretta Devine, Phylicia Rashad and Kerry Washington prefixed by “Oscar nominee” I would be happy for any of thee women to enter the race.
Say what you will about Tyler Perry, he always gives work to wonderful and gifted actresses.

‘Best Actress’

With Annette Bening as the only real lock for a nomination at this point, we are really entering very unknown territory for the Lead Actress category.
There are seriously strong contenders, and if we were to look at reviews alone, each one of these women seem to have an equal shot at a nomination.
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right'
Hilary Swank - Conviction'
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone'
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are Alll Right'
Lesley Manville - Another Year'
Michelle Williams - Meeks Cutoff'
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine'
Naomi Watts - Fair Game'
Natalie Portman - Black Swan'
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole'
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham'
Diane Lane - Secretariat'
In a weaker year you would also have to give these ladies serious consideration
Tilda Swinton - I Am Love'
Chloe Moretz - Let Me In'
Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go'
And do not get me started on these performances that are as of yet unseen.
Anne Hathaway - Love and Other Drugs'
Gwyneth Paltrow - Country Song'
Keira Knightley - London Boulevard'
Kirsten Dunst - All Good Things'
Reese Witherspoon - How Do You Know?

At this point it is anyone’s game. Here is hoping the precursors are all over the place so we have a real nail biter of a finish.

Reality TV

I have been sucked into reality TV. ‘The Amazing Race’, ‘Top Model’ and especially ‘Project Runway’. It is taking place of my movies. I need an intervention.
I mean is there anyone as adorable as Mondo, evil as Ivy, or as self absorbed as Gretchen from PR?
Aren’t you rooting for gawky Anne (pictured) and lesbo Kayla on Top Model?
Do I need help?
I actually blame this recent obsession with reality TV on watching 'The Comeback' finally. Even though I know that neither PR or Top Model give a sh*t about actually finding 'the best' and are more interested in personalities over talent, I am still hooked. I love me fashion and I love me a fierce model - what can I say - I am a gay stereotype in more ways than one.

Being Gay

There is a candle light vigil on Saturday in Trafalgar Square in London, starting at 7pm until 9pm (with a two minute silence for all those affected by hate crime at 8pm).
We will not only be remembering those people who have been the victim of homophobic attacks, but also think about the recent wave of suicides to hit the US as a direct result of anti LGBT bullying.

I was a victim of physical violence in May 2009, but luckily I only had a few cuts and bruises, thanks to being a speedy sprinter. Some people are not so lucky.
Even though I was scared for my life, I have gotten over it.
However whenever I go home and see the boys who made my life in school a living hell, the pain hits me again. It quickly goes away when I realize that not only am I skinnier and younger looking than all of them, but I am a much happier person.
Most of them of over weight alcoholics who look 50. Let’s hear it for shallow victories!

This is my long way of saying, to any questioning young person who happens to stumble upon this blog, things get better. No matter how hard it may seem now, in a few years you can go off and start your own life, exactly how you want it.
Although it may not be any comfort now, Karma does work. From what I have heard through the grapevine, those c*nts in school have paid for their cruelty, and now I am married to who makes me so happy I could burst, and we have all the love and support from our family and friends that we could ask for.

It does get better …..just wait and see.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Mini Review - 'The Wolfman'

I liken this movie to watching a dog in a blackout chewing a plank of wood.

Aside from the set design - which is in itself far too gothic to be real - there is nothing in this film that makes you want to lavish any sort of praise. Anthony Hopkins leaves no scenery unchewed, Benicio del Toro is so brooding he is bore, and Emily Blunt is not believable to a damsel in distress or as a love interest.
Blood and gore does not make up for suspense and general fear.

Sad, because this could have been a really great film with a new cast, director and screenplay.
When you can honestly say that the best thing about the film was the poster designs, then you know you are in trouble. Which is sad as I really wanted to like this. Boo

Grade D-

Friday, 8 October 2010

Mini Review - 'Salt'

Oh dear this was really not worth much of anyones time.
It is basic on the most basic level of basic.

See Angelina Blonde
See Angelina Run
See Angelina Jump
See Angelina Brunette
See Angelina bloody yet still sexy
See Angelina shoot
See Angelina hold back tears
See Angelina speak Russian
See Angelina Run
See Angelina Jump
See Angleina betrayed
See Angelina save the day
See Angelina run some more.

Grade C

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mini Review - 'Monsters'

For a film that only cost director Gareth Edwards $15,000 it is sensational.
He has turned his back on giant special effects and cheap jump-out-of-your-seat thrills for a story with a constant sense of uneasy dread.
The set up is - A NASA sample-collecting probe bringing back extraterrestrial organic matter has crashed upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere scattering its contents over lower North America.
Six years later, a vast area between Southern Mexico and the U.S. has been declared an infected zone as military from both countries wage a fruitless battle against the ginormous, rapidly reproducing creatures.
A photojournalist (Scoot McNairy) covering the ongoing "war" gets closer than anticipated when he escorts his boss' stranded daughter (Whitney Able) through the no-man's-land to the American border.
The effects, or what you see of them, are outstanding, and the art direction is considerably weather worn and go very far in setting up an established way of life.
And although the lead actors ultimately underplay the love story that develops, to the point of not caring, there is enough here to grab ahold of and spark your imagination.

Grade - B+

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Mini Review - 'Inception'

Technically amazing. Stylish, stunning, handsome - every positive descriptive word for great visuals you can think of could describe this movie, even the story is very interesting, however this is where it is left down.
Sure it is masterfully told as to be complex, yet not confusing, however unless you have fully realized characters in your film, they idea, no matter how brilliant, is going to suffer.
Every single actor in this works extremely hard to add depth and fullness to their roles but each one of them fails. No amount of visual pizzaz can hide the fact that 'Inception' has no beating heart.
However, it is technically amazing.

Grade - B

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mini Review - 'Winter's Bone'

Easily one of the best films that I have seen this year, and looking at my roster I have not seen that many.
Expertly written and briliantly performed, the dark and bleak story glows with a unique beauty that not many films are able to capture.

Jennifer Lawrence deserve all the praise that is heaped upon her.
She litterally carries the film on her shoulders and never tries to make the character likable or sympathetic. She is just a young woman living in what are extraordinary circumstances to the viewer, yet they are everyday to her, and she conveys this - which is no easy feat.

Also outstanding are Dale Dickey are the frightening yet sympathetic Merad, and John Hawkes as Teardrop - a man full of contradiction and anger who is also surprisingly sensitive.

Grade - A-

Monday, 4 October 2010

'True Grit' trailer

I think we can safely say that this is going to be a wee bit of an event. I mean I am not the biggest fan of the 'western' genre, but my word does this film look riveting.
If the trailer is anything to go by - we are all in for a treat.
2010 is shaping up to me an amazing movie year!

Mini Review - 'How to Train Your Dragon'

This thinly disguised conservation film is a real family treat. Actually scrap that. It is a real adult treat.
The glorious animation aside, and the wonderful vocal work, this is a story that every animal lover can relate to.
This is also a reminder that all animals need protection, not just the cute fuzzy ones who look good on calendars.

The arial shots in this a mind blowing, they literally take you breath away, and the character animation on Toothless' is something to behold.
They have taken both cat and dog physicality's and expressions to make him fully relatable. And it works a treat.
I bet everyone who saw this film wants a pet dragon.

Grade - A-

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Let's hear it for the girls

Ok – sporadic posting resumes.

I just have to comment on how exciting this Oscar race is shaping up. Especially in terms of the Best Actress race – and I mean the race to a nomination.

We actually have a plethora of serious contenders to choose from for what has been already seen.

Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right' *
Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go'
Hilary Swank - Conviction' *
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone' *
Julia Roberts - Eat Pray Love'
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are Alll Right' *
Lesley Manville - Another Year' *
Michelle Williams - Meeks Cutoff'
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine' *
Naomi Watts - Fair Game' *
Natalie Portman - Black Swan' *
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole' *
Rachel Weisz - The Whistleblower'
Robin Wright - The Conspirator' *
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham' *
Tilda Swinton - I Am Love'
Chloe Moretz - Let Me In'

All of those actresses are contenders (the * depicts the more serious threats at this point – and even so, the ones without the mark have still gotten the types of reviews that would usually land them in the race as serious contenders in other years).

And looking on the horizon there are still films to come out that have buzz, but are not yet seen so these could also be seriously in the mix:

Anne Hathaway - Love and Other Drugs'
Diane Lane - Secretariat'
Gwyneth Paltrow - Country Song'
Keira Knightley - London Boulevard'
Kirsten Dunst - All Good Things'
Reese Witherspoon - How Do You Know?'

What a wonderful year for the ladies!

If anything, 2010 has proved that for film enjoyment of the average Joe who cannot afford to do the festivals, you need to save up and clear your calendar for the end of the year.

What started out as a flimsy year is shaping up to be wonderful. Phew!

Monday, 13 September 2010

'For Coloured Girls' - poster

I cannot wait for this one - mainly for the actresses he is using.
For the rest of the posters go here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Toronto Factor.

There are so many women up for contention for Best Actress this year, in films that have already been seen. I mean take a look at the list so far:

Annette Bening - 'The Kids Are All Right'
Julianne Moore - 'The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence -' Winter's Bone'
Michelle Williams - 'Blue Valentine'
Naomi Watts - 'Fair Game'
Lesley Manville - 'Another Year'
Natalie Portman - 'Black Swan'
Juia Roberts - 'Eat, Pray, Love'
Tilda Swinton - 'I am Love'
Rinko Kikuchi - 'Norwegian Wood'
Noomi Rapace - 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

And for Supporting:

Lesley Manville - 'Another Year' (could change to lead)
Ruth Sheen - 'Another Year'
Barbara Hershey - 'Black Swan'
Mila Kunis - 'Black Swan'
Jackie Weaver - 'Animal Kingdom'
Marion Cotillard - 'Inception'
Kristen Scott Thomas - 'Nowhere Boy'
Anne Marie Duff - 'Nowhere Boy'
Sissy Spacek - 'Get Low'

Now with Toronto on the horizon, there is a giant pool of possible contenders. This is cause for celebration as in most years, around this time there are only 7 or 8 real contenders for consideration in any one year.

Let's take a look at the women who could, with a good enough performance, could find themselves firmly in the mix for this years awards.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The explanation for my lack of posting. Aside from the fact that I have been enjoying a nice summer with my husband as well as dealing with other personal bits and pieces - which leaves very little time to blogging. However another reason is this. It seems that there is a considerable lack of current excitement in the movie blogging world at the moment. How else can you explain the sudden surge in movie bloggers going EMMY crazy? I mean in terms of awards, the EMMY's are by far the worst in terms of lazy awarding.
How else do you explain Archie Panjabi beating out Elizabeth Moss for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama?
See even I have been interested in the EMMY's this year since I find the most engaging work to be on television, I have however tried my best not to blog about them - although the work they "award" ignites passion in me.

With wonderful dramas like 'Tremé' and 'Mad Men' to constantly engage me with wonderful writing and performances (the performances are so good, and so subtle that awards bodies usually fail to notice).
Then we have the comedies - that leave me joyous. '£0 Rock' even on a bad day is still oh so good. "Glee' is pure joy, even if slightly uneven, and 'Cougar Town' is such a wonderful guilty pleasure and a fantastic ensemble. And do not get me started on the amazing and delightful 'Modern Family', the getting better with each episode of 'Parks and Recreation' and the cancelled all too soon 'Party Down'. All brilliant comedies - and not a laugh track to be heard.

Then we have those shows that walk the fine line between the two. 'Nurse Jackie' is a comedy in time only (the half hour slot) but features some of the most moving, humorous and complex women seen on screen. Then we have 'United States of Tara' which manages to show the complexity of childhood trauma in a very real way. Then we have the pure soap opera of the fantastic 'True Blood' which features some of the most delicious campy acting, which never become pantomime.

Then I look at what is on offer in the cinemas, and I just cannot get excited - especially since we get the films so much later here in the UK. I am just going to wait and start getting back in the game once the Toronto Film Festival happens. That is when the electricity starts.

Until then, I will continue to read all the latest movie news with the same sort of apathy I reserve for the EMMY's.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Mini Review Catch Up

Here is a little catch up of what I have been watching lately. It has not been the best cinematic year for me, hardly have the money for a movie ticket, sad but true. However I have managed to blag my way into seeing a few. Here are my very very, short but hopefully to the point reviews of the following:

'Clash of the Titans'

Did anyone responsible for this film both to open up a single book on Greek mythology?
It was over blown, CGI heavy and emotionless.
The acting was phoned in, and the only character that seemed to gain any sympathy from me was Medusa. And she was mainly CGI. I real waste of money.

Grade - D-

'Date Night'

Kind of cute.
Kind of funny.
Kind of pointless.
Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are much funnier on the small screen to be honest, unless they are just the support.

Grade - C

'I Love You Phillip Morris;

Sure Jim Carrey is doing his goofy schtick again in this, but the story is rather heart breaking and sweet.
Being gay is never the butt of any joke, which was always my fear.
For a comedy it actually never made the central relationship anything other than honest.
McGregor was very very good as well.

Grade - B

'Sex and the City 2'

What was up with critics? I really enjoyed this little romp. Sure the women bitched and moaned about trivial things, but that is what they have always done - and most women living that lifestyle would do.
And as for the accusations of being anti muslim, I did not see it. All I saw was a bunch of spoiled 'western' women going to a country with a different culture and not bothering to respect it - pretty accurate so far. Also props again to Kristen Davis - the best in the bunch.

Grade - B

'Shutter Island'

Marty does Hitchcock, and does it very well. Perfectly retro and deliciously suspenseful, with Di Caprio proving once again what a versatile actor he can be.
The whole film is grounded by the end realisation of why he is there.

Grade - B+

'The Runaways'

Kristen Stewart proves again that outside of the 'Twilight' series she is a very good and very interesting actress. However she is not the lead. Dakota Fanning grows up and owns the movie. Her Cherie is naive, sexy and pure jail bait but with a constant sadness lurking. Despite how good she is, she cannot perform miracles with so little to work with. Had the film not been so repetitive and had focused more on character we could have perhaps had a serious awards contender here.

Grade - C+

'Toy Story 3'

Believe the hype.
Pixar does it again - and again they bring on the tears.
I mean I seriously want to go out now and buy every single Toy Story character and forever play with them - those manipulative.
Damn bloody toys breaking your damn heart.

Grade - A-

Thursday, 12 August 2010

'Monsters' trailer