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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Opposites Attract

HELLO!

So I turned 19 on Monday and had a pretty cool birthday week. On Monday, instead of going to watch "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Ponyo" at The Astor Theatre, I hung out with some of my high school mates at a pub in the city in which they were awesome enough to shout me some beer and a pizza, haha. Adequate evening was more than adequate. And sorry but I don't have pictures from the evening cause I didn't feel like I had to.



As for presents, I didn't get any until until Thursday. Reason being was because "Dead Space 2" released that day and my two best mates pitched in for a copy of that as well as a set of new speakers. And while this doesn't necessarily count as a present, I bought myself an awesome poster for "In the Mood for Love" two weeks ago on eBay and it arrived the same day I recieved my birthday presents. I love walking into my room now.


Don't be questioning my masculinity. :)

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On a different note, I LOVE the Daiso store in Richmond. Everything there is literally $2.80 and I felt so compelled to buy more than I really needed (I was only there to buy a new pencil case and some pens for Uni - stationary shopping FTW). I even bought a whiteboard and whiteboard marker for no real reason other than the fact that it was just available. At least with a whiteboard I won't have to waste paper. =\


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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING


As promised, this week I watched three select films from John Hughes' filmography. Hughes passed away in 2009 and left behind him a body of work that defined the teenage experience with films that are, to this day, still socially relevant. I chose to focus on "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" because these three films share a common theme: growing up a teenager. I would've included "Weird Science" however, I'd seen it in the past but felt it wasn't as consistent and relevant as those three aforementioned films.

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"Sixteen Candles" was John Hughes' feature film debut as a writer/director. The film stars Molly Ringwald - in a breakout role that turned her into a queen of the 80's - and tells the story of a girl whose sixteenth birthday is forgotten by her family and feels that her special day is anything but special. My biggest concern with the film was the script. It's similar to "The Longest Night In Shanghai" in that there was just too much going on with not enough focus and emphasis on the main story. These other subplots don't bring anything to the overall story and are best left out. Another thing that I don't generally like in scripts is when a character needs to talk to him/herself to explain to the audience what they're feeling. I don't mind it sometimes when I'm watching something but with this film, Molly Ringwald's character talks to herself a bit too much, I felt. While I didn't enjoy the film as much as I might have liked, there were a few redeeming qualities about the film. Anthony Michael Hall is absolutely hilarious in this film as a freshman nerd who tries to hook up with Molly Ringwald. The comedy works and is nice to laugh along with and amidst all the heavy drinking and partying is a sweet and sincere portrayal of teenage love. It's a coming-of-age tale that almost anyone can relate to. (Also try to spot a young John Cusack)


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Undoubtedly one of the most popular and socially relevant films to have come out of the 80's, "The Breakfast Club" holds up as one of those great cinematic achievements. Here we have a film that not only breaks down the barriers of teenage stereotypes but also delivers an important message. The film tells the story of five high school students who are sentenced to the longest detention of their lives. It is here that these students bond and reveal their secrets and insecurities and reach a common conclusion that appearances aren't what they appear to be. With "The Breakfast Club", John Hughes was able to craft a film that boldy tells a story that most filmmakers would have neglected. It is with this film that much of the teenage experience can be based upon. The pacing of the film is so meticulous and is wonderfully told. Each student is given enough screen-time to reveal to the audience just who they are and why they're in detention. The cast is absolutely fantastic and I've said this before but I love films that utilise one setting and in this case, it's the school. There's really not much to criticise about the film because I couldn't notice any bad things which is really a step up from "Sixteen Candles". "The Breakfast Club" is a powerful film that not only transcends it's "teen movie" label but is to this day still relevant and acceptable as a film that will define generations of teenagers to come.


The music at the end of the trailer is absolutely ridiculous and does not fit within the context of the film.------------

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There isn't one kid in the world that would love to cut classes and do something fun instead. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" tells the story of teenage kid who just wants to take a day off from school with his best friend and girlfriend. While I didn't enjoy this film as much as "The Breakfast Club", there's a lot to take away from this film. Once again, the teenage experience is shaped magnificently through Hughes' great script and direction. The emotional final moments of the film are quite powerful and while the film may advertise itself to be about a kid wanting to cut loose from school, underneath that is a touching story of a guy who's just trying to show his best friend that there's no need to be depressed and mad with the world - that there's more to life than what he thinks is out there. Matthew Broderick is fun to watch as Bueller; Alan Ruck puts in a somewhat nuanced performance as Bueller's best friend Cameron; Jeffrey Jones is hilarious as the Dean of Students who's out to expose Bueller and Mia Sara is so damn pretty as Bueller's girlfriend, Sloane (she doesn't add much but she's nice to look at). In a way, the film really isn't about Ferris at all and is more about Cameron's struggle to stand up to his parents and the pressures of moving to a new college. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is a nice coming-of-age film that most people should be able to get behind.



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Perfection is the very thing that Natalie Portman's character chases in the film and with "Black Swan" , director Darren Aronofsky, has crafted a film that damn near reaches that state of perfection. Set in the competitive world of ballet, Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is chosen to become the new Swan Queen of her ballet company's new take of "Swan Lake" - a role in which she has to portray both the White Swan and the Black Swan. While Nina's personality and talent make her the essential choice for the White Swan, she doesn't possess the ability needed to effectively portray the evil Black Swan. With pressure constantly beating down on her in the form of her mother (Barbara Hershey) and company director (Vincent Cassel) as well as fear of losing her coveted position to a rival ballerina (Mila Kunis), Nina begins to slowly lose her grip on reality and her sanity in her search to become the Black Swan. Natalie Portman gives the performance of her career in this role and the range of emotions that she has to go through within the film is absolutely exhausting to watch. She's absolutely outstanding in this role, as is her amazing supporting cast who all give terrific performances. The film is gorgeously shot and Aronofsky cleverly uses mirrors as a means of showing that Nina is losing her mind and is constantly being judged for her imperfection while also highlighting the fact that she is always being watched and judged by someone. Clint Mansell's soundtrack is absolutely brilliant and while he does borrow some cues from Tchaikovsky's score for "Swan Lake" he uses it to a terrifyingly amazing effect throughout the film. The final few minutes of the film are breathtaking and, in a lot of ways, mirrors the final few minutes of "The Wrestler". While Aronofsky is able to create a disturbing and dark thriller, some "jump scares" could've been cut from the film as the cheapen the quality of the film and give off easy scares. "Black Swan" is a chilling thriller that almost plays like a loving homage to the Japanese animated feature, "Perfect Blue" (link to my review of that film), and nearly reaches that state of perfection. While I still prefer "The Wrestler", there is no doubt that "Black Swan" is a fantastic film and one that deserves to award Natalie Portman an Oscar for astounding performance.


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"The Fighter" is based on a true story of two brothers from Lowell, Massachusetts, Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. Throughout the course of the film, we see the relationship that these two have and Ward's struggle to reach the top of the boxing world. It's a great film that features some top notch performances from the cast. As "The Irish" Micky Ward, Mark Whalberg pulls in his best performance since Scorsese used him in "The Departed". Amy Adams is terrific as the compassionate yet strong-spirited Charlene and is clearly comfortable being the person in which Ward confides in. Melissa Leo is also wonderful as the controlling mother and manager of Micky but it's Christian Bale's outstanding performance as the crack-addicted brother and former boxer, Dicky Eklund that steals the movie. Bale completely inhabits the character and it's amazing how much of Eklund he really shows off. He gives himself completely to his performance and is most definitely worthy of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Pacing was never a problem and was constantly moving at a fine and brisk pace and the story is told very well. You're always emotionally invested into the story as you do feel for these characters and their struggles. "The Fighter" is an absolutely quality film, one that has deservingly gotten strong praise.


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Next week I'll decide on another set of films to write on so I'll keep it a surprise. I've now seen six of the ten Best Picture nominees this year and am planning to watch "The King's Speech" and "True Grit" some time during next week. You can also expect me to catch "127 Hours" in the subsequent week too which would bring my number up from six to nine. Some really exciting stuff in the coming weeks!
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


OSCAR NOMINATIONS WERE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK! I love awards season because it's such an exciting time where everyone is abuzz about cinema. 2010 brought in some truly fantastic films along with great talent that drove those films into award-worthy success. Below is a full list of the nominees this year.


BEST PICTURE:

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

DIRECTING:

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:


Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawks, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:


Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:


127 Hours (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:


Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:


Biutiful
Dogtooth
In a Better World
Incendies
Outside the Law

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:


How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Matthew Libatique
Inception (Warner Bros.) Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Danny Cohen
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit (Paramount) Roger Deakins

FILM EDITING:

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter Paramount Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

DOCUMENTARY:

Exit through the Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency) Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz A Paranoid Pictures Production
Gasland Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic A Gasland Production
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics) Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs A Representational Pictures Production
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment) Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger An Outpost Films Production
Waste Land Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley (Arthouse Films) An Almega Projects Production

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT


Killing in the Name (dir: Jed Rothstein)
Poster Girl (dir: Sara Nesson)
Strangers No More (dir: Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon)
Sun Come Up (dor: Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger)
The Warriors of Qiugang (dir: Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon)

ORIGINAL SCORE:


How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount) John Powell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

ORIGINAL SONG:

Coming Home from Country Strong (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)) Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light from Tangled (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
If I Rise from 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

VISUAL EFFECTS:

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.) Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter (Warner Bros.) Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount) Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

ART DIRECTION:

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney), Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.), Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
Inception (Warner Bros.), Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)/span>
The King’s Speech (Paramount), Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
True Grit (Paramount), Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)

COSTUME DESIGN:


Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Colleen Atwood
I Am Love (Magnolia Pictures) Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Jenny Beavan
The Tempest (Miramax) Sandy Powell
True Grit (Paramount) Mary Zophres

MAKEUP

Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
The Way Back, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

SHORT FILM, ANIMATED

Day & Night (dir: Teddy Newton)
The Gruffalo (dir: Jakob Schuh and Max Lang)
Let’s Pollute (dir: Geefwee Boedoe)
The Lost Thing (dir: Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann)
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION

The Confession (dir: Tanel Toom)
The Crush (dir: Michael Creagh)
God of Love (dir: Luke Matheny)
Na Wewe (dir: Ivan Goldschmidt)
Wish 143 (dir: Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite)

SOUND EDITING

Inception, Richard King
Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger

SOUND MIXINGInception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Truthfully, I'm quite happy with the list of nominees but the only problems I had were with the Academy not properly recognising Andrew Garfield, Barbara Hershey, Julianne Moore and Christopher Nolan. They might not have one the coveted award but it would've been worth including Nolan especially at least for Best Director as he did handle a really ambitiously huge budgeted original film with absolute care. I'm happy that Jacki Weaver's been nominated for her performance in Aussie crime-drama, "Animal Kingdom". At this point in time, my hope is that David Fincher wins for directing, Aaron Sorkin wins for his brilliant screenplay and that "The Social Network" would take home Best Picture. HOWEVER, I reckon that "The King's Speech" would ultimately take everything as that movie really does seem like the type of film that the Academy would LOVE. We'll see.

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The 2010 Razzies Nominations were also announced this past week. For those of you who don't know what the Razzies are, they recognise the worst cinema had to offer in that year. Here's a list of the unfortunate nominees.


WORST PICTURE

The Bounty Hunter
The Last Airbender
Sex and the City 2
Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Vampires Suck

WORST ACTOR

Jack Black / Gulliver’s Travels
Gerard Butler /The Bounty Hunter
Ashton Kutcher / Killers and Valentine’s Day
Taylor Lautner / Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Valentine’s Day
Robert Pattinson / Remember Me and Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST ACTRESSJennifer Aniston / The Bounty Hunter and The Switch
Mylie Cyrus / The Last Song
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis & Cynthia Nixon / Sex & the City 2
Megan Fox / Jonah Hex
Kristen Stewart / Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jessica Alba / The Killer Inside Me, Little Fockers, Machete and Valentine’s Day
Cher / Burlesque
Liza Minnelli / Sex & the City 2
Nicola Peltz / The Last Airbender
Barbra Streisand / Little Fockers

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR


Billy Ray Cyrus / The Spy Next Door
George Lopez / Marmaduke, The Spy Next Door and Valentine’s Day
Dev Patel / The Last Airbender
Jackson Rathbone / The Last Airbender and Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Rob Schneider / Grown Ups

WORST EYE-GOUGING MIS-USE Of 3-D

Cats & Dogs 2: Revenge of Kitty Galore
Clash of the Titans
The Last Airbender
Nutcracker 3-D
Saw 3-D (aka Saw VII)

WORST SCREEN COUPLE / WORST SCREEN ENSEMBLE

Jennifer Aniston & Gerard Butler / The Bounty Hunter
Josh Brolin’s Face & Megan Fox’s Accent / Jonah Hex
The Entire Cast of The Last Airbender
The Entire Cast of Sex & The City 2
The Entire Cast of Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST DIRECTOR

Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer / Vampires Suck
Michael Patrick King / Sex & The City 2
M. Night Shyamalan / The Last Airbender
David Slade / Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Sylvester Stallone / The Expendables

WORST SCREENPLAY

The Last Airbender, Written by M. Night Shyamalan, based on the TV series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko
Little Fockers, Written by John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey, based on Characters Created by Greg Glenna & Mary Roth Clarke
Sex & the City 2, Written by Michael Patrick King, Based on the TV Series Created by Darren Star
Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, Based on the Novel by Stephenie Meyer
Vampires Suck, Written by Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer

WORST PREQUEL, REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL


Clash Of The Titans
The Last Airbender
Sex & The City 2
Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Vampires Suck

I love how some of the actors/actresses who are nominated aren't just nominated for their performances in one particular film but also in whatever film they starred in that year. These "awards" aren't serious and in past years, actual recipents have personally accepted the awards and make fun of themselves. Last year, Sandra Bullock personally showed up to accept her "award" for Worst Actress in "All About Steve" at the Razzies and then was awarded Best Actress at the Oscars for "The Blind Side" that subsequent evening. So yeah, just a night of fun and laughter before the big event.
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THAT'S ALL THIS WEEK! Now this had me laughing for a good minute or two...



End post.

3 comments:

  1. Happy belated 19th! Seems everyone is celebrating their birthdays.
    Nice posters! But omg, I'm just staring at your stack of Dvds - _ -
    You remind me.. I need to go stationary shopping soon...

    Hmm The Breakfast Club looks interesting. Gonna check it out when I is uncapped (tomorrow) zzzz.
    The Black Swan was indeed a good movie. Made me feel uncomfortable in some parts... but I liked it ahah! I actually thought she was going to turn into a swan > . > It's be cool if she did.
    Yayyy to Eclipse and Vampire Suck being nominated in 2010 Razzies. Sighs vampires. And lol Sandra Bullock is so funzy!

    P.S. blog background is scary red : O

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  2. Is that a Final Fantasy poster + chocobo + moogle I see in the background? AWSDFGHFSDS@#$ER%
    Did you end up getting your (poster?) tees done?
    I love stationary shopping, but I don't even know what I need this year!

    (My friend keeps telling me to watch The Breakfast Club.)
    Oh I heard 127 Hours was good. Can't wait to see that!
    Do you know when the Oscars are going to be on/channel?


    ----------------------------------------------------

    Can we? That would be awesome! Although I feel like your taste in movies is way more sophisticated than mine.

    True Blood gets better.( At first I thought it was vampire porn. )

    PS: I didn't know that Rose Byrne was in "Knowing" I just finished watching it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sighhh as mentioned, I was capped. So the Spider man image didn't load til nao! LOL
    As for your background + banner.. Go green! Like Green Hornet green! Pretty much suggesting this because I just saw the movie...

    Gahh something is wrong with my follow/feed. People don't see mine, and I don't see theirs (some of them). zzZ
    Dw, I see yours :)

    ReplyDelete