Friday, 31 July 2015

So Fetch Friday: Casey Affleck love + TIFF films

Hi guys! Sorry it's been a while since I've done one of these. My last few Fridays have just been kind of busy, But I'm back now! 

I had the ultimately fun privilege of watching 80% of Jupiter Ascending. What a terrible, amazing, awful movie, right? I think I heard someone on Buzzfeed or Tumblr describe it as "the fanfiction/scifi fantasy novel we all wrote when we were 14 come to life". That's pretty much what it is. It reminds me of lame fantasy stuff I would write when I was younger. I mean, so it's kind of awesome in that way, but this movie is just so ridiculous. How do the Wachowski's get money anymore? Basically everything and my thoughts on this movie can be summed by this commentary of it I found on Buzzfeed

Also, I watched Ain't Them Bodies Saints a couple weeks ago. How lovely and pretty is that movie? I actually really enjoyed it and thought it was just so lovely and kind of heartbreaking. Why is Casey Affleck not a bigger star? Seriously, I've watched a few of his movies in the past few weeks and I'm just not sure why he's not as big a deal as his brother, Ben. Rooney Mara was also lovely in this movie, and I'm glad she's as respected and getting as great parts as she is. But seriously, Casey Affleck needs more love. 

And speaking of the Affleck's, I also finally got around to finally seeing Good Will Hunting. Baby Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck are just so cute. They all have these Boston accents and run around causing trouble, but this movie is quite sentimental and uplifting without being too heavy-handed. Robin Williams was also in this, and actually won an Oscar for the part of Matt Damon's therapist. I'm not actually sure why he won? I mean, it was a good performance, and the speech he makes on the bench about love was a great clip for Oscar nominations, but I don't really see what the big deal was? Is this an unpopular opinion? I really don't know, but I thought he was good, just not like Oscar-winner worthy. Also, this was one of Matt Damon's best performances that I've seen so I'm glad to see he was nominated. Also, Ben Affleck in sweatsuits with a Boston accent (being all youthful and with that Italian hair or whatever) is much less attractive than he is now. 40's suit Ben really well, I think. Peaking in Gone Girl. 

If you hadn't heard, TIFF movie listings are starting to trickle out! The first round of films have been released, and I'm pretty excited. I live close enough to Toronto to probably catch a movie or two, but not really close enough to buy a package of tickets. (It's a hassle getting into Toronto if you don't actually live in Toronto, FYI). So much looks really good. I was lucky enough to see The Theory Of Everything there last year, so I'm hoping I can snag seeing something equally as exciting. Legend, Black Mass, Spotlight, Brooklyn, Demolition, The Martian, Trumbo, Sicario, Beasts of No Nation, and Colonia all look really great, so hopefully my husband and I can find time/tickets to see one or two of these. We'll see!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Aware by Kevin over at Speaking Lines in Movies. I just want to thank him for including me as a nominee. He runs a great blog, and I'm excited to have received the nomination! 

So, right now, I'm "uninitiated", so here are the few rules I have to follow per my nomination. 

For the uninitiated, this is an award bestowed upon bloggers by their fellow bloggers. When you are nominated, there are a few simple rules to follow in order to accept your award:

1. Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2. Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the coveted award.
3. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
4. Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

It's a great way to meet new bloggers and expand horizons within the blogosphere. 

Here are my nominees: 
Mettel Ray
Let's Go to the Movies
I Love That Film
Film Guy Reviews

My Questions: 
1. What movie is responsible for making you a film buff?
I always enjoyed movies, but I took a film class in college and the two movies we watched in their entirety were Singin' In The Rain and The Hurt Locker. Both of which I had never seen, and both of which I absolutely loved. But after that, I started to get more into film, because these two movies were just so good. 

2. What's your earliest movie memory?
I remember going to see Tarzan in theatres, when I was 7 years old. 

3. What was your most cherished title you owned on home video as a kid?
I was obsessed with Spy Kids when it came out. 

4. What is your current favorite Blu-ray or DVD that you own?
There are so many, yet I don't feel overly attached any 1 that I own. I own my favourite movies including Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr Fox, Pride & Prejduice and all the Harry Potter films (most of them the 2 disc versions!)

5. Who is your all-time favorite movie character?
This is so hard! I feel like I'm still pretty new to movies. But the few I have are because I also love the books: Ron Weasley (from Harry Potter) and Elizabeth Bennett (from Pride and Prejudice) are the ones that most quickly come to mind.

6. What is your favorite TV drama?
Definitely Breaking Bad. But I'm also currently loving Mad Men and The Newsroom. 

7. What is your favorite TV comedy? 
The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation

8. What is the last movie you watched? 
The Fighter! (my husband had never seen it, and I was convincing him that Christian Bale is more than just a decent actor. Previous to this, he did not really believe me)

9. Favorite food? 
Donuts are forever my weakness. 

10. Any pets?
No pets!

11. How and why did you become a blogger?  
I became a blogger not long after the film class I took a few years ago in college. Initially my goal was to watch every single Best Picture winner and then blog about each winner, but to also follow each years Oscar race and watch all the current years Best Picture nominees. It took me way too long to actually watch all the Best Picture winners (I finished last summer in 2014, but started the project in November of 2011). Now I follow just follow each years Oscar race, participate in blogathons, and review movies I see.  

11 Random Facts

1. I've been married for just over 2 years but we've been together since I was 13 and he was 14!
2. I work in the office of a trucking company
3. I've been to New York, LA, Florida, Portugal and Ireland. 
4. I have 1 sister and we love to quote the Office to each other
5. My husband is currently attending seminary and plans to be a Youth Pastor
6. I live in a big city just outside Toronto, Ontario (yay Canada!)
7. I love to bake! I generally bake once a week (if not more!)
8. My biggest guilty pleasure movies are the Proposal, the Princess Diaries and The Parent Trap
9. I've read Harry Potter more times than I can remember
10. I hopeless crush on Brad Pitt and Tom Hardy

Here are my questions for my nominees!
1. (I'm also stealing this one) What movie is responsible for making you a film buff?
2. What's your favourite current TV show? 
3. What's your favourite TV show that has ended? 
4. The last (new) good movie you saw? 
5. If you could live in any fictional land/country/universe, where would you pick? 
6. Is there any actor/actress/directors that you'll see their movies, no matter what? 
7. What's your favourite animated film? 
8. Where's your favourite place to watch movies/TV? 
9. What's your favourite thing to snack on during a movie? 
10. How many movies do you own? 
11. (stealing this too!) How and why did you become a blogger?  

Friday, 10 July 2015

So Fetch Friday: Books to Movies + Brooklyn Trailer

Happy Friday everyone! I can't be happier it's Friday. Work has been oddly busy and somewhat stressful the past two weeks. Unusual because I'm generally never really that busy, nor has this job never really made me stressed. Thankfully though, I've had time to wind down by watching movies, and some TV, and even reading a book or two.

I got a chance to rewatch Drive. I haven't seen it since I first watched it. I still feel kind of whatever about the movie. But I totally forgot Bryan Cranston was in it! It was fun seeing him play someone so un-Walter White-ish. Ryan Gosling was good, but I don't think he was as good as I remember. As well, I don't really understand what the fuss was about Albert Brooks. He was good, but the part was so small. Also, I realize he voices Marlin in Finding Nemo so it was humorous to picture Marlin saying all the lines Albert Brooks had. The music for this movie is super awesome though, and I wish Christina Hendricks was able to be in more of the movie. She's just so great.

Speaking of Hendricks, I finished off season 5 of Mad Men. This season had me pretty hooked, especially since I'd accidently came upon a major spoiler for this season (I'm sure you know which big spoiler I'm talking about, if you've seen this season). But still, it was nice to finally get to see a lot more about Joan, and seeing Alexis Bledel and Vincent Kartheiser together was fun (they're married in real life!). I'm looking forward to seeing how all of this ends, now that there's only 2 more season left.

I mentioned I read a few books. Both of which have the film rights picked up, so I'm interested to see if they'll get made anytime soon. The first I finished off was The Girl On The Train. There's been rumors that Emily Blunt may be starring in this one. She's be playing the lead role of Rachel, who's an unemployed alcoholic. Blunt is definitely not who I pictured for this role at all (I pictured someone more like Rosemarie DeWitt, but British) but I'm happy to just see Emily Blunt just get parts in movies because she's really fantastic. I just don't understand though, the obsession with people comparing thriller/mystery/crime books like this with Gone Girl. Is it because it's a crime story that has a woman at the centre? Because the next book I'm going to mention also gets Gone Girl comparisons and I really don't understand because neither of these books are that much like it at all. This book did remind me of When I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. But look how that movie turned out..

The other book I finished reading is called Luckiest Girl Alive. For whatever reason, this is also getting Gone Girl comparisons (still not sure why). However, like Gone Girl, Reese Witherspoon helped secure the rights to the book to Lionsgate and will serve as a produced. Unlike Gone Girl, I could actually see Reese play the main character, if she wants to. However, no casting news as of yet, so we'll see when/if this gets made. Honestly, I can't really picture it as a movie, but it could be interesting. It was a moderately good book, but it didn't really hold anything to Gillian Flynn.

Did you guys see the trailer for Brooklyn? Personally, I'm quite excited to see this as it got great reviews out of Sundance, and I've been kind of waiting for Saoirse Ronan to get a second Oscar nomination. Also, I just love Domhnall Gleeson, so seeing him in anything is great.

July Blindspot: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
Directed by Steve Spielberg

I'm not exactly sure how I've gotten this far in life and have never fully seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. But I feel like I've said this about a lot of movies that I should've seen. But Raiders is definitely one that I'm not sure of. It's like hearing someone has never seen Jurassic Park or the original Star Wars. But Raiders is old enough that it wasn't popular anymore when I was a child, and my parents never showed it to me. But anyway, time to finally share how I felt about this classic and popular film!

If you don't know already, Indiana Jones is an archeologist and gets to go on crazy dangerous adventures to retrieve items to be sold to a museum that he works for? Just always donates to? I wasn't exactly sure. But I believe they fund his trips. Anyway, the Nazis are obsessed with recovering ancient artefacts and apparently the latest thing they're after is The Ark of The Covenant, which is what carried around the Ten Commandments in the Bible. So Indy is off to get this before the Nazis can.

I'm not exactly sure how I felt about Raiders of the Lost Ark. Part of me disliked it, but part of me wonders if it just didn't age well. Indiana Jones was very much the cliche of cool, hot explorer guy. And when we first meet Marion (daughter of Abner Ravenwood, a fellow archaeologist), she's drinking poisoned shots with Nepalese men, and being a total boss. She owns the bar they're drinking in, and punches Indy in the face because he broke her heart 10 years ago and now she hates him. This Marion seems to be very different than the Marion we see later, who can't seem to muster up those same punches for guys who are actually attacking her (those she does manage to kill 1 man with a frying pan, though after running away from him), resorts to simply hiding in baskets and then being dressed up in froofy white dresses when she's a hostage (and when she's not). I guess I shouldn't be surprised at this treatment of Marion, but when we first met her, she seemed like a strong, independent woman, but Spielberg later has her shrieking for Indy to save her (even though she proved capable at the opening bar fight in Nepal), and he has her trussed up in fancy dressed for literally no good reason at all. She just turns into a damsel in distress for the rest of the movie. Also, that scene at the beginning where Indy is teaching a college class, which is apparently 99% made up of women, who aren't t here to learn, but to marvel at how hot and sexy Indy is. It seems a ridiculous situation and scene, and I'm not sure what the point was.

Anyway, I'll finish my rant about this movies treatment of the literally only woman in this movie. Raiders of the Lost Ark is an action movie through and through. We get action piece after action piece. Though I wouldn't call this a complaint as all these action scenes were actually quite well done and fun to watch. Other than the sexism (can I blame that on the time this film was made?), this movie was generally well-written, and fun. The movie didn't take itself all too seriously, and was a little more explicit than I was expecting for a PG rated film (those faces melting was gross!).

Honestly, I somewhat understand why this movie was a big deal. It was fun, action-packed, and not unlike the Marvel movies that are getting made today. Indiana Jones is not altogether different from those superheroes we see dominating our screen today. A mix of wit, action, romance, and "saving the day!" is fun. Sure, Harrison Ford is handsome and was on that line of not being too young, but not being too old that he probably he pretty universal appeal with women, and the men knew and loved him as Han Solo in Star Wars. But overall, as fun as the movie was, it's something I probably wouldn't bother to revisit. Fun, but somewhat forgettable.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Inside Out

Inside Out, 2015
Directed by Pete Doctor & Ronnie Del Carmen

Riley is a happy and goofy 11-year old girl. She lives in Minnesota, loves to play hockey, and loves her family and friends. But suddenly Riley's parents move the family to San Francisco. Riley's emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear) lead the way for living Riley's life and try to navigate her through this next step. However, Sadness starts to play a larger role in Riley's life, much to the chagrin of Riley's lead emotion, Joy. However, Joy and Sadness find themselves swept into the far reaches of Riley's mind, and must find a way to return back to the forefront, without having Riley lose too many emotions, memories, or feelings.

When I saw the trailers for Inside Out, all I really felt was "meh". I figured it would probably be better than Brave, Pixar's last original film, but figured we were looking at like a 75% on RottenTomatoes. However, when the film released, landed a 98% on RT and made $91 million on opening weekend, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. The trailers still looked kind of whatever, and, I don't know why, but I really dislike the poster for this movie, but I knew I needed to check this movie out.

Inside Out was much better than I expected. I start to get wary of movies like this that everyone tells me is amazing. My gut reaction is to dislike these movies on the spot. However, Inside Out was really quite good. The story was imaginative and creative, all the recesses of Riley's mind was so well thought out and just so creative! Riley's mind is split into sections. The 5 emotions live in the Headquarters, an elevated command centre, looking down on the rest of Riley's mind. Memories that Riley make enter headquarters as little glass spheres and get archived into her memory storehouse, while a small handful of memories become "Core memories", things that make Riley who she is. But once Joy and Sadness find themselves outside of headquarters, and no longer in control of Riley, they walk through various parts of Riley's mind. We got to see the memory "storehouse", where the memories spheres are kept on shelves, and are maintained (or "faded memories" are thrown out) by memory workers. We get to see Riley's "personality islands", which are various parts of Riley's personality. We also walk through Abstract Thought, Imagination Land, and even get to see the Dreams Production studio, where all Riley's dreams are filmed and projected while she sleeps. There's even a literal train of thought that runs, and a menacing dark pit that is the subconscious. Everything is done with such great detail, but never gets too complicated that it goes completely over children's heads. The mind is a complicated place, and could've had much more to it, but there's a great balance here, filling it with not too much, but just enough.

The movie and story itself got a lot more sentimental and sad than I had expected. Inside Out touched on some deeper things and serious thoughts. It went a lot deeper than I expected, and I'm so very glad it did. Usually when films gets sentimental, it comes off cheesy, but with a movie like this, a movie about being 11 years old and growing up, the sentimentality is handled well and never comes off as too much. I know I wasn't the only one who was tearing up in the theatre.

My only complaint about this movie is that it started to drag near the end. Joy and Sadness are trying to get on the "Train of thought" which will take them back to Headquarters. However, it seems they hit just one or two too many obstacles along the way that it started to feel long and a little annoying. However, this is a small complaint as the obstacles still were all quite funny and poignant. One even resulted in a child literally bursting into tears in the theatre I was in.

As well, the main 5 emotions had such a great voice cast. I mean, casting Amy Poehler as Joy? Has there ever been more perfect voice casting? Okay, maybe there has, but I could listen to Amy as Joy forever. Also, Phyllis Smith as Sadness? Actually, just as perfect casting (if not more perfect) than Amy as Joy. Phyllis Smith can have such a depressing voice, and she was pitch perfect voicing Sadness. As well Mindy Kaling as Disgust? And Lewis Black and Bill Hader as Anger and Fear? Everyone here did such perfect voice work.

Inside Out is actually a well-made, well thought out, and emotional movie, perfect for the whole family. It's a movie about family, and growing up, and figuring out who we are, and it's done beautifully. While it may not be my favourite Pixar movie, it'll definitely be high up on the list.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day!

It's Canada Day! The day Canada officially became a country back 148 years ago. Canada is such a lovely country, if I do say so myself. While sadly, I have seen extremely little of it, Canada has been the backdrop of millions of movies and have produced many huge stars. While Canada doesn't always get fair recognition (can you name many films that were set in Canada?), we're a country that is well-used in the film industry. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite films that actually are set in Canada, and name a few of my favourite Canadian stars!

Movies Set in Canada

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World
Unashamedly Canadian, and such a fun movie! Scott Pilgrim features so much of Canada (from Second Cup to Pizza Pizza to Casa Loma) it's one of the movies that immediatly comes to mind when I think of movies set in Canada. The city I live in even gets a shoutout! (Though it definitely helps that its the same city that Michael Cera originates from!)

The F Word
Another film featuring Toronto as Toronto, The F Word (or otherwise known to the world as What If) is one of my favourite romantic comedies. It even cracked my top 10 movies of 2014!

X2: X-Men United
X-Men has always had Canadian ties with Wolverine being a Canadian, but the latter half of the film was set in Alberta, bringing us a fantastic final part of the film.

Mommy was such an interesting and weird and beautiful experience. Director Xavier Dolan himself also hails from Canada, and the film is set in Quebec. A beautiful and heartbreaking film. Check it out!

The Grand Seduction
Okay, I didn't overly care for this, but it's such a beautiful depiction of the East and Brendan Gleeson is just so much fun.

Favourite Canadian Actors

Ryan Gosling
Born In: London, ON
Notable Films: Lars and the Real Girl, Blue Valentine, The Notebook
This man is way overdue for another Oscar nomination! I'm still unhappy that he was snubbed for both Lars and Blue Valentine

Rachel McAdams
Born In: London, ON
Notable Films: Mean Girls, The Notebook, Midnight In Paris
I love her, even if she really hasn't been given material she deserves. I hope she can one day get her McConaissance.

Jim Carrey
Born In: Newmarket, ON
Notable Films: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Liar Liar, the Truman Show
Jim Carrey is such a guilty pleasure. My family is never endingly quoting Bruce Almighty.

Donald Sutherland
Born In: Saint John, NB
Notable Roles: Ordinary People, MASH, The Hunger Games
I wish I've seen more of his stuff, but he seems like such an amazing guy. Also, how did he get snubbed for Ordinary People?

Christopher Plummer
Born In: Toronto, ON
Notable Roles: the Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind, Beginners
Again, someone I haven't seen a lot of, but he just seems like the cutest old man!