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Saturday, 12 February 2011

If I Rise

OH HAI READERS!
This post was brought to you by free-spirited dancing from Rose Byrne. I could watch her dance all day.

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OMFG ALL THIS WAITING IS KILLING ME!

My university doesn't seem to have updated my timetables at all yet and I have no idea when I'm supposed to be picking my tutorial/workshop times for each subject. Not only that but I don't even know if I'm supposed to return to Uni on the first day cause there's no indication as to whether or not I even have a lecture that day. Frustrating stuff, I tell ya. I should give them a call and voice my concerns some time this week.

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Well other than that, there hasn't really been much going on this week. I went to see a few films, and bought a new DVD too - "The Goddess of 1967". I'd provide a picture but I'm lazy and can't be bothered taking one and uploading it. As always, thoughts of the film can be found below.

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I also ordered a new spiral lip ring on eBay cause my old one was missing a spike (I guess I didn't tightly wound the spike to the stud and lost it somewhere). I've been without a proper lip ring for a while now and lately I just felt like wearing it again (I've been wearing an invisible plastic stud for all this time). The first time I bought my spiral, it was about $40 which was ridiculous and insane but I was gullible enough to buy it. eBay had it priced at around $5 which sounds more right but considering that it came from Hong Kong, I'm not so sure if it'll hold up as well. Oh well. Here's hoping it's not as lousy as I imagine it to be.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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This year's frontrunner at the Academy Awards is "The King's Speech", a film that has 12 Academy Award nominations to it's name. The film stars Colin Firth as a King George VI who suffers from a terrible stammer. His wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), enlists the help of an Australian speech therapist and stage actor, Lionel Logue (Geoffery Rush), to help overcome the stammer in time for a rousing speech needed to boost the morale of Britain who are in the face of a new world war. The film is masterfully directed and never misses a beat. Pacing is absolutely meticulous, enough humour is spread throughout the film to make it throughly entertaining and director Tom Hooper is able to extract terrific performances from his cast. Colin Firth lost his chance at an Academy Award last year for his fantastic performance in "A Single Man" but the Academy should do right by him and award him this year for his brilliant turn as the stammering king. And while I never really comment on set design, the sets that were built for this film look fantastic and add much more visual flare to a film that otherwise could've been quite plain and boring to look at. I wouldn't be surprised if "The King's Speech" sweeped up this year's Academy Awards because everything about the film is almost flawless. Perhaps the strongest asset the film has going for it are its sharply written characters. The friendship that Lionel and King George share in the film is genuinely heartfelt and emotionally resonant as is the love that Queen Elizabeth has for her husband. With a great script and fantastic direction, "The King's Speech" is a masterpiece for all the right reasons.


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Hear me out before you decide I've gone crazy - I was bored, I've had this film in my possession for a long time and decided I had nothing better to do so I decided to get it over and done with. OKAY! Now that we've got that cleared up. "He's Just Not That Into You" is romantic comedy that's apparently based on an actual self-help book (go figure). The film stars a set of Hollywood's most attractive men and women and in a film like this, it's a given that you'd have to have good looking actors and actresses. The film follows a bunch of good looking people living in Baltimore, all of whom struggle to read whatever signs the opposite sex may be sending them. One problem I had with the film were that most of these characters (save for Ginnifer Goodwin's character) weren't all that likable and somewhat one-dimensional. We've seen the archetypes for this type of film before and they're just as bland as their character descriptions. Actors Ben Affleck, Kevin Connolly and Drew Barrymore barely appear in the film and don't add much to the story but the biggest problem is trying to incorporate too many things. While I do like films that interlink different stories with one another ("Pulp Fiction", "Babel" and new favourite, "Dolls"), the film is too tangled up a lot of the time. Often convulted, "He's Just Not That Into You" is film that passes for fluff entertainment but nothing more. It's the type of film you'd see on a rainy night if you had nothing better to do.


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When people look back on Tom Hardy's career (which is sure to be one full of exciting promises), most people will look at his performance in "Bronson" as the one that really ignited his career. The film is about Britain's most notorious prisoner, Michael Peterson, better known by his alter ego of Charles Bronson (yes, named after the actor) and follows him on his exploits as he constantly finds himself fighting the guards and moving from prison to prison. Hardy's performance in this movie is electrifying - he completely gives himself to the character and it is terrifying. His portrayal of Bronson is menacing and I'm sure that Bronson himself would approve of it. Now while Hardy's performance is amazing, the film feels somewhat hollow. The film never really felt like it had any depth and there wasn't much to be gained from the film other than the performance we are witness to. The film wasn't long at all (clocks at about 90 minutes) and pacing was never an issue. Still, there seems to be something in "Bronson" that makes it feel hollow which is disappointing.



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With the critical and commercial success of "Black Swan", I decided to watch "Pi", Darren Aronofsky's debut feature film about a paranoid mathematician who tries desperately to find a set of numbers that will unlock the secrets of the universe. The film has Aronofsky's themes of control and power all over it and has that strong sense of illusion that was ever so present in his latest film. It's a stylish film that is definitely not catered for the masses. Whereas something like "Black Swan" may seem like it could cater to the masses (having been distributed in mainstream chain cinemas) "Pi" has an ultra-stylish "anti-Hollywood" style to it that can make it difficult for one to get accustomed with. The film itself is similar to Christopher Nolan's debut feature in that both are black and white features and feature a very original idea. It's nice to see that black and white features can still be made today and look as good as their colour counterparts because "Pi" does employ some nice looking black and white photography. A striking and original film, "Pi" is important as a film that has gone on to define the work of Aronofsky.



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I seldom watch arthouse films, let alone arthouse films from Australia. And while the comforting presence of Rose Byrne was enough to put me at ease, I still watched this film with some trepidation. There's something about arthouse films that make me feel reluctant to watch them (although the pay off can be good sometimes like me being exposed to the works of Wong Kar-wai)."The Goddess of 1967" is an Australian 2000 feature directed by Clara Law, that follows a Japanese man as travels down to Australia to pickup a car he bought online - the Citroen DS, 1967 model. Upon arriving to his seller's home, he finds out that his seller has killed himself and his wife and instead finds a young blind woman inhabiting the home. The film starts off oddly enough and it's hard to dip your toes into the film as the initial premise is admittedly a bit ludicrous. But sticking with it after a while and you have a pretty decent film that's, really, about two people trying to overcome their sordid pasts. The romance that develops between BJ (Rose Byrne) and JM (Rikiya Kurokawa) feels genuine and Rose Byrne is at her best in this film as she plays the strong willed yet emotionally distraught blind girl. This is her best performance on film to date. The film also is also absolutely gorgeous and has some stunning cinematography - the Australian outback has never looked so beautiful. However, despite Rose's outstanding performance (for which she was awarded Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival back in 2000) and the sumptuous cinematography, the film does tend to fall behind in terms of pacing and the various flashback sequences feel randomly placed and slow the pacing of the film down. While moments in the film will seem outrageous and implausible, "The Goddess of 1967" is otherwise a fairly decent film that's still nice and pretty to look at.



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One of this year's Best Picture contenders is Danny Boyle's ("Trainspotting", "Slumdog Millionaire") latest offering, "127 Hours". Based on the true story of outdoor adventurer Aron Ralston, the film recounts Ralston's struggle as he desperately tries to survive while his arm is stuck between a rock. James Franco, who carried this film mostly on his own, turns in a powerful performance and is able to give us some relief from his stress inducing situation by mixing in some charm to the role. It's essential that he does this as it reminds us that he is human and that, despite his predicament, when can relate to the character on an emotional level. The film looks great as well - often times it even looks like a documentary (which as a biographical movie, would seem more than appropriate). Boyle makes great use of digital film, a medium in which filmmakers are slowly making the move to (of course, there are always those who are purists and shoot exclusively with 35mm film) and gives the film a neat visual touch. The film will move you, it's emotionally harrowing and is a movie that really makes one reassess their life, see the importance of it and see the importance in the connections with people we have. "127 Hours" is a great movie about the human condition, the importance of human contact and our capacity to endure and survive. It's poignant, moving and very human. The ending damn near had me tearing and was very powerful.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

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Glorious trailers all thanks to the Superbowl! Here are three of the big draw Superbowl TV Spots that were aired during the game. The first is from "Captain America: The First Avenger" which actually looks pretty good. I can't wait for the full trailer for this.



And as an added bonus, here's the same trailer that's slightly edited to fit part of the "Team America" theme song. It works so well. SO WELL.



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Second comes from J.J Abrams' new film, "Super 8". The film is about a bunch of youngsters who decide to shoot a zombie movie with a Super 8 camera but things go wrong when a truck and a train collide and emerging from the wreckage of it all is something inhuman. So it's basically a big monster movie, I'm guessing.



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And thirdly is the "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" trailer. The third film looks insanely action-packed (expect that from someone like Michael Bay, of course) and I'm really hoping this to be at least as entertaining as the first one and not garbage like the second one.



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This next trailer, not featured in the Superbowl this year, came out earlier this week and gives us our first look at "X-Men: First Class". The superhero film boasts an impressive cast of actors such as Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne and Nicholas Hoult. The trailer looks to provide what could be a promising film but at the moment I'm feeling a little indifferent about it. It just looks okay to me, is all.


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Cobie Smulders of "How I Met Your Mother" fame will most likely be joining the stacked "Avengers" cast as Maria Hill. In the comics, Hill is an agent that works for S.H.I.E.L.D, the fictional organisation that assembles the Avengers team. Hill has had pretty big part in the comics so it's a rather big deal for someone to take on her role. I'm okay with her being Maria Hill, at least it's giving her something to do outside of HIMYM.

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When news broke out that actor Irrfan Khan was cast in the new "Spider-man" reboot (currently shooting), everyone assumed he'd be playing Proto-Goblin. That was not the case as Khan has stated that he had no intention of ever wearing a mask or costume if he were to do the film. So I guess it's just The Lizard now which is good because two villains would have been pretty infuriating.
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And that's all this week!
I found this below animated GIF to be extremely funny though it might not be as awesome to some of you guys. FOREVER ALONE!



End post.

2 comments:

  1. Wait wait wait… You have a lip piercing?!
    That's awesome!
    I've also been wondering if you shape your eyebrows?

    How's Damages btw? I haven't started yet.

    It was cute how they remanded good friends. Bertie and Lionel :)
    (I'm going to watch He's Just Not That Into You today since in Valentines + it'll be depressing going out. I liked it back then. Is it weird if I asked you for a list of good romcom movies?)

    Have you seen the Empire cover? Chris Evans looks quite old as Captain America. :(

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  2. Hells yeah for lip piercings! And I'm glad you managed to find Goddess of 1967 - I discovered that film while at uni and it's really quite lovely. And AUGH, I adore Cobie Smulders! So excited she's in the new Avengers =]

    127 Hours looks amazing as well, if only for the amazing James 'trolls' Franco. And don't get me started on how excited I am for X-men: First Class! So good seeing more of Michael Fassbender in films.

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    Yeah sorry I've been out of the blogging world dude! Had a lot on my plate this past month or so - I'm trying to get my writing style back while things are in flux right now and hoping to get back to my roots in writing.

    How's things with you + uni? Friends all behaving I hope :)

    ReplyDelete