Monday, August 10, 2015

Steve’s Selections #8 – Seven Psychopaths (2012)

We have arrived at my August review of a movie recommended courtesy of Steve at 1001plus.  This one is a film that I was interested in when it came to DVD, but for whatever reason I never happened to get around to watching it.  When I saw it among the twelve films he gave to me I was happy because now it gave me an excuse to go back and watch it.  What I found was a film that is a cross between Charlie Kaufman’s/Spike Jonze’s Adaptation (2002) and Quentin Tarantino’s, well, pick any Tarantino movie.  While this may seem to be a strange combination it works well enough onscreen to make me like the movie.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Crouching Tiger Swinging Lightsabers (or, Can a Lightsaber Produce “Just a Flesh Wound”?)

I happened to run across these recently and I was amused by them.  Apparently there’s a bunch of people who use their own computer software to re-edit swordfights to turn them into lightsaber duels.  There’s a whole subset of ones from Game of Thrones.  Here were my two favorite scenes:

In my opinion this one works the best re-imagined as lightsabers.  Some I saw didn’t come across the best because of the way the original scenes were shot.  The metal swords were bouncing off objects when as lightsabers they should be cutting through them (except another lightsaber.)

And this one falls into the “of course someone had to do this scene” category.  I love the Darth Vader breathing of the Black Knight.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July Movie Status

I’m a day late with this.  I’ve had an eventful last couple of days.

I watched 22 new movies in July, plus re-watched five others.  I didn’t work on any movie lists this last month, except only peripherally.  The one film I did from a list I watched just because I was curious to see it and it was only afterwards that I realized it was on the 101 Sci-Fi Movies You Must See Before You Die list.

Technically, I did complete the just published BBC list of the 100 best American films of all time.  It was posted on Letterboxd by someone I follow and I noticed that I had seen 99 of the 100 films.  The one I had not was The Shanghai Gesture (1941).  I was able to watch it right away so I figured “why not?” and did.

No, in July I mostly caught up on some 2014 and 2015 films I hadn’t had a chance to see yet, as well as re-watching a few more films than usual.

Here are the 22 new movies I saw in July.  Highlighted films are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Movie – Circle of Friends (1995)

At the time I first saw Circle of Friends back when it came to video in the mid 1990s I didn’t realize that I was seeing a cast that would go on to do many more things.  All I knew was that Chris O’Donnell from Scent of a Woman (1992) was playing an Irishman in a movie where a bunch of people in their mid to late 20s were cast as college freshmen.  This was the first film in which I saw Minnie Driver, Saffron Burrows, Alan Cumming, and Aiden Gillen (aka Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on Game of Thrones).  The movie also has early appearances from Colin Firth and Ciaran Hinds (aka “King Beyond the Wall” Mance Rayder on Game of Thrones).  He plays a professor.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Movie – Tonight You’re Mine (aka You Instead) (2011)

This film is known as “Tonight You’re Mine” in the U.S., but its original title in the U.K. was “You Instead”.  I’m not sure why the title was changed; both of them are pretty generic.  It was shot over only five days at the 2010 T in the Park music festival in Scotland.  It’s not a documentary, though, but a film with actors and actresses in it. Because of the guerilla style of filmmaking and the constant need to react to their surroundings, the music being performed onstage, etc., the movie has a real “you are there” feel to it.  I liked it quite a bit.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Steve’s Selections #7 – My Favorite Year (1982)

This is the seventh of twelve films that Steve at 1001plus has picked for me to watch and review.  He ran across it doing his reviews of Oscar nominated films.  In this case, Peter O’Toole received his seventh (of eight) Best Actor nominations, although he would lose once again (this time to Ben Kingsley in Gandhi).  O’Toole’s performance is mostly comedic – something that is usually bypassed by the Academy – so the fact that he even got a nomination at all might say something.  As a whole, the film is a pleasant experience.  The less comedic/more dramatic moments are understated and fit well within the story.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Movie – Casanova (2005)

The film Casanova is not a biography of the real man; it is a fictional story that uses him as the main character, much like Shakespeare in Love did with William Shakespeare.  In fact, the plot of Casanova the film could have come from something Shakespeare wrote himself, what with the mistaken identities, people masquerading as others, a woman pretending to be a man, naughty humor for the groundlings, and higher concepts for those who appreciate it.  It also has a very good performance from Heath Ledger as Casanova.