Let there be no doubt. I love the Hunger Games series and thus I always get scared before going to watch a new one. With all the other movies of the same genre, The Maze Runner and Divergent, coming out and falling far outside the Wow-zone, why shouldn’t The Hunger Games stumble and fall?

It just never does.

The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 Poster with Katniss Jennifer Lawrence

Hell yes, I would be a warrior if I could look this fierce!

What is this film?

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” is the third installment, in other words the third book that now gets the compulsory treatment of being dragged out into two movies. And somehow this doesn’t make me so sad as overcome with joy. Because I don’t want it to be over.

If you haven’t watched “The Hunger Games” yet then just do me a favour and start, even if you are outside the young adult demografic. It is so much better than its demographic..

We start where the last movie abruptly ended. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence, the one who tripped at the Oscars) has just been rescued from the Games and is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. All she wants is to save Peeta, who didn’t get saved from the Games, although that was the original deal she had made. She doesn’t want to be a symbol of the republic.

But everyone else wants her to be the Mockingjay they all need.

 

Is it any good?

“The Hunger Games” can do no wrong, at least not when it comes to me.

Where other movies are predicable, Hunger Games movies always manage to surprise me, even though the choice in storyline isn’t necessarily groundbreaking. Where other movies have nagging and whining heroines, Katniss manages to cry and whine a bunch with me only thinking that she damn well has good reason to cry and whine. I mean, her whole world has turned to shit and it’s out of her control.

Although she tries her best to control as much as she can.

And where other movies just creates a world, the world of Hunger Games has a lot of interesting political, cultural and social commentary and satire that makes it that much more interesting to delve deep and start thinking about our own world. I mean, would you watch Hunger Games if they started to show it on TV?

And best of all, it always manages at some point to suspense me to the edge of my toes.

There aren’t a lot of movies who can do that these days.

 

The harsh reality of being an icon

An interesting aspect of the Hunger Game movies are how they go under the skin of the “celebrity”-world. How are celebrities created and maintained? How much fun is it really to be one? How much of what we see in the media is true? How much of it is staged? These elements are crucial to be aware of, especially for young adults whose only ambition in life is “to be famous”.

What makes Katniss the ultimate heroine of course is that she can’t act. The media stategist actually have to put her in the middle of all the hardship and war for her to speak as Mockingjay, the revolutionary character that she has to become to inspire a whole world to rise up and take a stand against District One.

This fact is an excellent juxtaposition to her otherwise very selfish thoughts. Because don’t think that Katniss really wants to be a hero for the better of all mankind. She knows being a hero is a shit job. She just wants to save the ones she loves. And they just want to save the cat 😉

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

If you haven’t watched any of the other Hunger Games movies, I would watch those first. I think you probably will understand what is going on just from watching this film on its own, but the truth is that you will ruin the effect of the previous two movies and you really shouldn’t go your life without this experience. Even if it is on your cheap ass 55″, flat screen LED-TV 😉

If you have already watched Hunger Games, you know that these are movies that deserve a great, big-ass screen and Dolby Atmos to proper drag you into this world of districts, vast social differences and advanced technology. It is made for the cinema experience. So get going!

 

What mood should you be in?

You don’t need to be in a specific mood to enjoy Hunger Games. There is action, there is romance, there are jokes both light-hearted and sarcastic and there is the escape into a world so different from our own yet still so similar which in and of itself helps us understand and criticise how we go about our own business.

You just need to be in the mood to watch a movie, really.

 

Further Watching

If you’re not in love with Jennifer Lawrence after watching all the Hunger Games movies, then I declare something is wrong with you. And most likely you don’t like the movies either.

If, like anyone normal, you love Miss Lawrence, you should check out some of her other movies. I would recommend to start with her Oscar-award-winning performance in “Silver Linings Playblook” (2012) where she stretches her acting muscles against Bradley Cooper (the cute guy in the Hangover movies) with some psychological issues and such.

Or, you could start with one of the early movies that put her on the map as an actress to watch, the chilling, and unnerving “Winter’s Bone“.

For another movie on creating a war through media manipulation, check out “Wag the Dog” (1997) where americans create a fictional war in the media to cover up a sex scandal involving the president in the time before reelection. Hilarious!

 

If you like my opinions on movies, then please follow my blog and I will give you a new recommendation on a movie in the cinema each week, from the ImDb top 250, Netflix or just Kult movies or Guilty Pleasures that I think are worth watching.

 

Jennifer Lawrence even has her own TV-Crew with her in her films :D

Jennifer Lawrence even has her own TV-Crew with her in her films 😀

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies.

If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it!

And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie currently in the cinema in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve so much of your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” was released on 21st of November and is still on as of today. It even has a black page on Imdb, whatever that means.

Want to get my next blog post? Follow my blog and get an email next week when I will hopefully get around to watch number 6 on the Imdb top 250 list, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I watched half of it and couldn’t take the slow pace so now have to force myself to watch the rest at some point. In the mean time, check out number 5, “Pulp Fiction”. Does it stil deserve to be on the top 250 list?

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Ever watch a movie that you can’t quite put in a box? The successful ones are few and far between.

One of those is kind-of-horror, kind-of-halloweeny mystery, with some added time-travel, fantasy and psychological thriller, “Donnie Darko”. If you really think hard about it, “Donnie Darko” can even be just another superhero movie where the superhero makes the ultimate sacrifice.

What genre do you think it is?

The poster of Donnie Darko where loads of stills from the film make up the silhouette of a bunny

The bunny will come and get you!

What is this film?

“Donnie Darko” (2001) is an original screenplay written and directed by Richard Kelly who managed to pull this off as his first feature film.

The film is scattered with famous faces, both faces that were famous at the time like Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze, and also faces that has since become a staple on the silver screen, like siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Not-Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain and Dark Knight Batman’s love interest).

The movie follows Donnie Darko, a youth dealing with “mental issues” and a big bunny Frank who tells him to do stuff. Whether the stuff is good or bad is really in the eye of the beholder.

 

Is it any good?

This is a mind-fuck movie.

And I love me a good mind-fuck movie, because there are a lot of great attempts, but only a select few that will actually mess with your brain.

By mind-fuck movie, I mean that by the end of the movie, your brain should be pounding after the excruciating effort it did of trying to makes sense of what just happened.

And even though there are dragged-out sequences in semi- slow motion, that at least now seems like something every graduate from film school coughs up, at least in “Donnie Darko” it’s a thing that permeates the movie on so many degrees that after a while I am kind of fine with it.

Even footage speeded-up or run backwards has some merit here where the topic at hand is time travel.

 

Frank – the bunny

If someone has ever created a bunny that I would not want to meet in a dark alley, it is this one.
And because it has such a comforting outline paired with such a hideous grin, the creepiness doesn’t evaporate when you get a full frontal look. I still find it scary even then.

Bunnies are aparently a recurring theme in the film, if you can bother to look back and find the long list of shots found by die-hard fans. Also the number eight has people counting and over-thinking things.

Funnily enough, all these details that add up in the end and all the background information that links to different scenes are probably the reason why “Donnie Darko” has gone kult. It rewards the adamant viewers who come back and back again with new little nuggets of a-ha moments.

 

The Time Travel Thing

Yes, there is time-travel and yes it feels rather believable. I mean, they did bring in Stephen Hawkins and everything 😉

To really understand the idea of time travel used in this movie, I would recommend checking out the chapter descriptions of the fictional book “The Philosophy of Time Travel” which Donnie Darko is obsessed with in the film.

I would never suggest to anyone to go read this explanation before you watch the movie. Let your mind be rattled and see where you end up. What explanation did you come up with?

Once you have watched the movie and made up your mind though, it can be great to see where Richard Kelly was coming from. It won’t necessarily give you a lot of answers but it might make you a little less of a question mark than you initially were.

 

What mood should you be in?

It fits well in a setting where you kind of want to watch a horror and be a bit freaked out, but you don’t think a good-ol’ slasher is going to do the job.

You also will need some patience. The film is in parts slow-paced, probably due to the inexperience of its first-time director, but fear you not. It is worthwhile to get to the end.

(Although my boyfriend couldn’t handle it and fell asleep).

Be aware that people are prone to lose their thoughts ever so slightly to the vast questions of time and space, fear and love, after watching. But challenge your brain once in a while why don’t yah.

 

Further Watching

Want some more mind-fuckers? Go for the movie told backwards – “Memento” (2000), the movie told in really short cuts – “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), the movie told in disappearing memories – “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), or the one with the dreams within dreams – “Inception” (2010).

If your mind has been sufficiently fucked, take a look at “Harvey” from 1950. Whether a conscious nod to this film or a total coincidence, it is worth looking at another film that has chosen a giant bunny as the imaginary friend. And how completely different it has been interpreted.

 

If you like what I read, follow my blog and get ideas on what movies are worth spending your time on. I mean, some 3 hour movies will just steal from your life. Let it only be my life 😉

Next week I will look at the next movie on the ImDb top 250 list: #6 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. For now you can read #5: Pulp Fiction.

 

Still from Donnie Darko where someone has written "They made me do it" on the ground

The bunny makes him do it!

 

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. I watch Netflix a lot and sometimes there is a long way between the really good movies, whether good means entertaining or profound.

To help you avoid watching all the crap I have had to endure, I will give you some hidden gems or best movies of Netflix right here every month.

Want another good Netflix movie? Check out the chilling community in “Winter’s Bone”!

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies that will make these reviews beneficial to you, whether you follow my advice or not 😉

 

Where can you find the film?

All movies in this Netflix-series can be found in the Norwegian Netflix Catalogue, which is the one I have access to.

If you can’t find it on your local Netflix? File a complaint, they really should have it 😉

 

If you like what I write, please give me your favourite movie in the comments so I can put it on my list of reviews or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

Proclaimed the campest movie in the world, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a true staple of the Halloween-movie collection, without being the tiniest bit frightening.

Unless you’re afraid of transsexuals. Or aliens. Or Susan Sarandon’s high-pitched singing.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Poster

How camp can you get?

What is this film?

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) is an adaptation of the stage show, “The Rocky Horror Show”, and is truly a beacon of kult films.

Upon released it was an epic fail, but fortunately it started showing at midnight screenings in cinemas (growing in popularity in the 70s) and steadily it grew a faithful following.

And I’m talking proper following. For cinema screenings, people will dress up as characters from the movie and bring props to use at specific points to become more a part of the movie than a silent audience.

I have personally only attended the stage production, but I will most definitely be looking out for a screening just to experience all the props and the dancing.

Curiously, it was the debut film of Tim Curry (among his more brilliant renditions is the evil concierge in Home Alone 2) which just tells you that anything can happen in this world. He actually created the role of Frank N. Furter in the original stage production (do you see where this is heading).

So, what is the movie actually about?

Does it really matter?

You get a goody two shoes couple who ignite their sexual needs. There is a humpback butler, a french maid a la Helena Bonham Carter, transvestite dress-up, an actual transvestite, a man of muscle, Meat Loaf and a great monitor that just lets you see anything.

Oh yes, and there are aliens.

And a ridiculous narrator.

Do you really need a story as well?

Do I Love it or Hate it?

After some deliberation, I have decided that I am going to love it.

You often won’t love a kult film the first time you see it. You will love elements of it, but still be too scarred by the elements that were bad. I will have to watch it again and again (preferably with some die hard fans) to proper love it. This way, my brain will gradually delete all the things that are bad and leave me noticing only the delightfully funny and weird.

I love the human brain.

There is kind of a story there, but not really. It is truly a perfect specimen of a film that is so bad that it kind of feels good.

 The singing lips

The movie opens on a traditional, way-to-long-for-modern-audiences, intro. It is basically a pair of red lips on black background singing the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature”. And it’s kind of a mind fuck as the lips are clearly female, but the voice sounds off. And indeed it his the voice of writer and Riff Raff, Richard O’Brien.

The mood is set already at this point.

The intro is apparently inspired by the artist Man Ray and his painting “A l’heure de l’observatoire, les Amoureux” (Observatory Time, the Lovers).

My favourite song

You will be surprised, as was my boyfriend, as to how many songs from this film you have actually heard before. And danced to.

My absolute favourite is “Time Warp“. It has a psychedelic quality to the whole group performace of the piece due to the choice of an angled and trippy filming style. For some reason I am reminded of the “Banana Boat Song (Day Oh)” from “Beetlejuice” (1988), which isn’t in any way similar, but has the same kind of epic, quirky quality.

It is in some way amazing that Tim Burton hasn’t made a version of this musical yet. Maybe that could take it from kult to classic.

Or maybe I should shut up and realize that there is no story there, so it can never be better. Only stay suspended it time as a movie that for some inexplicable reason is great.

What mood should you be in?

You absolutely have to set your mind to total blank before you watch this film. Your taste and your sense of what a movie is supposed to be is going to be violated whether you like it or not.

There is not going to be a great quality running through the entire experience. At times it will be frustrating and often it will be weird, but you will just have to embrace it, because there is no other way to have a good time with this movie than to decide that you are going to enjoy it.

They had me at “Hello” (watch it and you will know what I am talking about).

Further watching

The first thing that came to my mind was “Beetlejuice” (1988) by Tim Burton, which inhabits the same weird and wonderful mood. There are no adequate words to describe this film, just know that there are ghosts, Emo Winona Ryder and a host of famous (and thus brilliant) actors.

Tim Burton is never a waste of time.

If you would like to watch som more transvestites (who doesn’t), I can recommend the australian “The Adventures of Priscilla; Queen of the Desert” (1994) where you get to experience Hugo Weaving (the chief elf Elrond in Lord of the Rings) as a drag queen or the wonderfully camp, british comedy “Kinky Boots” (2995) where Chiwetel Ejiofor (the slave in 12 Years a slave) gets his drag queen on.

In need of more good ideas of what to watch in the vast movie world? Take a look at one of my Guilty Pleasure movies, or follow the blog and get a notification next time. It is usually once every week, but you will also get another Best movies on Netflix on Sunday this week. 😀

Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show

Riff Raff says “Hello”

Who am I?

I am an aspiring screenwriter who loves to watch movies.

I am particularly fascinated by Kult Films and want to watch as many as I can to try and make sense of why they become a source of comfort and nostalgia to such large groups of people.

When I watch a new Kult Film, I will let you know what you are in for in advance, so that you don’t have to waste your time with movies there is no chance you will ever like. But sometimes I will recommend you to just take a leap of faith. You might just like it simply because it is different.

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

For this movie in particular, note that my boyfriend, who normally favours action and war movies, wanted to watch “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” again the next day. Just saying.

Where can you find the film?

I had to buy it in the store (no time to wait for online shipment, Halloween came quickly this year), and thankfully they had it (and pretty cheaply).

This is the kind of movie that it seems to me streaming services avoid because elements can be deemed slightly offensive (by all the goody two shoes who haven’t met Dr. Frank N Furter), so it is not to be found on Netflix.

However, it is a Kult Film, so you might as well buy it as you will watch that sucker to death anyway 😉

If you like what I write, please follow this blog and I will give you a host of good reasons for why you should or shouldn’t watch movies.

On Sunday, we will take a look at another Halloween classic, this one part of the Netflix catalogue and thus unearth another “Best movie on Netflix“.

Why the hell are they in this maze? That is pretty much  the only reason why I wanted to watch this movie. I wanted the answer to that question.

And just so you don’t get disappointed, like some teenage girls in the cinema I was in. This IS based on a book series so there WILL be sequels and the question may or may not be answered.

At least I don’t trust the answer I got!

The Maze Runner Poster of the entrance to a big labyrinth

A giant, ever-moving maze is actually quite cool (or scary)

***no non-obvious spoilers***

What is this film?

“The Mazerunner” (2014) is (another) dystopian, kinda-sci-fi movie based on a popular young adult book series where young adults fight for their lives in weird, dystopian set-ups. Oh, and there is usually some love, a neglected theme in this movie, but I’m sure we will get to that in Phase 2.

The movie starts off with our hero Thomas waking up as he is pulled by a cart to the surface of a glade surrounded by huge walls and a group of ragged-looking Neverland boys staring at him. He doesn’t remember anything before this moment.

This is quite the intriguing set-up, and if you want to watch the film you really shouldn’t know any more beyond this point. I won’t give away any big plot points in the review, but the less information you have, the more intriguing the storyline of the movie will be.

The question is, do you really want to watch another movie that stands in the grand shadow of “The Hunger Games“? Right after the failure of “Divergent”? (what movie? check out this honest trailer to remember!)

 

Is it any good?

Meh.

The twists and turns of the plot are quite intricate and sophisticated, and sometimes, there are no way to predict where it’s actually going to go, which is a good thing. You think you know the status quo on things in this world, but you never really do.

Except that the grand solution to why they are stuck in the maze in the first place is a bit common or unsurprising. If it is actually the solution though. It could be a mind fuck.

It is a shame, however, that the same complexity and care hasn’t been thought out when it comes to the characters. On this note, the film suffers from being an adaptation of a young adults novel where apparently characters don’t change or are simply good or evil.

How boring…

 

The ending that ruined it for me

I’ll have to admit, I was kind of into this movie, bad characters and all. It is fast paced, intriguing and unexplainable things happen and you really want to figure out what the hell is going on.

But the end just kills it.

The end is shit for a couple of reasons.

1. A character goes far out of the scope of his own characterisation.

He is built up as a person who believes in staying in the glade and live there forever. Why try to get out of the maze when they can all survive in the security of the glade? You can’t build this person up as such a stubborn believer of this view and then have him break it for absolutely no apparent reason.

Maybe the reason fell out in the editing… I don’t know.

2. I also could have been without the person who dies at the end.

I am sure Thomas and this guy has a meaningful relationship in the movies, and therefore it makes sense to kill him off to up the stakes. But really, in the movie, it just feels forced. It feels like the only reason this character existed, was so that at this moment I would cry.

I didn’t cry. They killed off the fat kid. Shocker! (whops! spoiler).

Don’t get me wrong they tried a bunch of times to create some bond between Thomas and this character, and on some of the fourteen-year-old girls in the cinema it worked.

Maybe I’m just too old for this shit.

 

The pathetic excuse of a female character

What is this? The 1950s?

Fair enough that in the glade there are only boys. That makes it more fun when suddenly a girl, Teresa, is thrown into the mix, arriving unconscious on the cart.

But did she really need to be:

1. A Kristen Stewart look-alike

2. A useless whiner

3. The one who stands around looking while the guys do all the work

I thought we were past these tropes by now. It is so boring and so passé.

 

What is wrong with being a builder?

When are teen movies going to stop evangelising stupid and rather useless traits?

In this movie, “the Runners” are the best boys. The fast ones, the strong and apparently smart ones. The builders, the guys who build the houses they all sleep in, are the dumb and lazy ones.

In what world is this actually true?

I don’t know many builders, but the ones I do know are smart and sharp. They have to know a lot about physics and engineering to do what they do. Being a builder should be way more respected than it is today. In the situation in the glade, it is way more useful to be a builder than someone who can run and map the Maze while it is open during the day.

Yes, the runner might get you out, but in the mean time, the builder will keep you dry (and don’t even get me started on the farmer who will keep you fed).

I would love to see a movie where the builder or farmer is the hero. Please.

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

If you’re going to watch it, it might as well be in the cinema as the Maze looks truly spectacular.

And you can have some fun listening to the where the laughs and other reactions come from the fairly young crowd.

Note that my boyfriend loved this movie as well did his brother. So generally if you are fine with interesting plot and don’t care that the characters learn something, then you will be fine.

They did however start thinking it was worse after a discussion with me 😉

 

What mood should you be in?

You should be a teenager that hasn’t already seen Hunger Games or Divergent to truly enjoy this movie.

Some of the stereotypes are really worn out and characterisations are flat, but what it lacks on that part it makes up for in plot.

The plot changes the entire world that we are in about three-four times, which makes for interesting and unpredictable watching.

 

Further Watching

Just wait for more Hunger Games movies to come out. It’s only about a month and a half. You can survive the wait!

 

The Meh Cast who look a lot like Twilight knock-offs or Hunger Games casting rejects

The Meh Cast who act a lot like Twilight knock-offs or Hunger Games casting rejects

 

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies.

If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it!

And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie currently in the cinema in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve so much of your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

The Maze Runner” was released in Norway on 19th of September and it is still on as of today.

Want to get my next blog post? Follow my blog and get an email next week when I reveal another Guilty Pleasure movie!

Have you ever had a conversation about the pros and cons of robbing a bank versus a liquor store versus a coffee shop?

It is just one of the many ridiculous conversations you will enjoy while you watch “Pulp Fiction”.

And this is only the first time out of nine where I will use the word ridiculous to describe this movie. Feel free to give me a thesaurus with other words I could use, it is just so ridiculously appropriate.

Pukp Fiction Poster

Good Ol’ Poster looking like a Pulp Fiction book cover.

What is this film?

Pulp Fiction (1994) is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. Not his first movie, and certainly not his last, but the one that ranks highest on the lists and the one that truly defined him as an auteur (at least in my eyes).

I really won’t spoil too much of the plot, mostly because it jumps back and forth in time and is truly difficult to retell, but also because if you haven’t already seen this movie, you should just stop reading right now and either watch it or leave this article all together.

Any amount of reading will only ruin the experience, and if you’re not willing to watch it, then why are you reading this anyway.

As a warning, the word “fuck” is used 256 times. That’s the kind of movie this is. A gangster crime movie. With loads of violence. And look out for the fact that something bad always happens when Vincent (John Travolta) goes to the toilet (and picks up a pulp fiction novel to read).

 

Dividing a people

“Pulp Fiction” is not for everyone. You either love it, or you hate it. And if you’re a hater, you simply don’t get it.

If you don’t like it, then Quentin Tarantino’s sense of humor is not for you. Maybe avoid him all together.

And I can see why. He pokes fun at violence, and he does it by elevating the violence to a ridiculous level of absurd proportions. And then he might put an inappropriate soundtrack on top of it all, just to make the scene even more unbearably awkward and out-of-place . It can be too much for certain people.

But then again, most guys love it, and this movie is the reason why several geeks out there think they can quote scripture. Although you can look for a long time in the Bible to find the passage that Jules likes to quote before he kills.

Still of John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson from Pulp Fiction

The iconic shot from Pulp Fiction

Do I think it’s good?

Let’s get this straight. I love Quentin Tarantino. As a director.

As a person he seems like a bit of a douche, but he makes entertaining movies so why do I care.

Why do I love him? He goes so far over the top with everything that it becomes funny. He is so referential to other films that it is a treasure trove for movie geeks. He makes B-movie plots feel A-movie. AND he knows how to get the dialogue pumping.

So if you like that, you will like his movies. And you will like “Pulp Fiction”. Simple.

 

I Shot Marvin in the Face

Case and point: the “I shot Marvin in the face” scene.

Whilst speaking to Marvin in the back of the car, Vincent (Travolta) accedentally shoots him in the face and kills him instantly, splattering blood all over the car. This is the most ridiculous and most genius scene in crime movie history.

The fact that Vincent and Jules now have to clean the blood out of the car and get rid of an unexpected body, and we get to follow that mundane practical problem from beginning to end, is just hilarity taken to the next level.

And that they go to Jimmy, played by Quentin Tarantino, for help, just makes it even more ridiculous.

Still from Pulp Fiction of Samuel L Jackson driving the car as John Travolta shoots Marvin in the face

“Shit, I just shot Marvin in the face”

Travolta + Jackson = Perfection

It is in fact John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson together having their ridiculous conversations in the most ridiculous of scenarios, that makes this movie one you watch over and over again.

Right next to the fact that you want to watch it over again to see if THIS time will 100% get what is going on. Maybe this time.

And I agree with the voters of Premiere’s 100 Greatest Movie Lines…

You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris? (…) They call it a Royale with cheese

– Vincent Vega (John Travolta) –

…IS one of the greatest movie lines EVER!

In fact, it is one of the greatest conversations.

Interesting, random and ridiculous conversations is actually Quentin Tarantino’s strongest suit. There is no director who can make me look forward to a talk around the table like he can.

 

What is in the briefcase?

Theories out there are abundant on what is casting that shiny, orange glow upon Jules and Vernes faces at the end. It’s apparently “So Beautiful”.

The most likely story out there is the one that says in the script there were diamonds, but since “Reservoir Dogs” had a case of diamonds at the centre of the plot, Quentin decided simply not to show what was in the briefcase. And to great effect.

This simply let’s you decide for yourself what is in the briefcase.

Although I like the theory that it is Marcellus Wallace’s (played by Ving Rhames of Mission Impossible fame) soul that the devil has ripped out from the back of his neck (hence the band-aid).

 

Will it stand the test of time?

There is no reason why this movie shouldn’t stand the test of time.

There are no visual effects that will fade to bullshit, and with so many questions and confusion around what, where and whythefuck, there will always be a new generation who will decipher what happens in their own way.

And let’s not forget the violence. It will never get old.

In other words, “Pulp Fiction” deserves its place high on the list of any kind of “best movies” shoot out. It is special, it defines a generation of movies and it created its own genre; The Tarantino Movie.

 

What mood do you need to be in?

Feeling like something extremely violent but yet hilarious at the same time? Then this is your movie.

And there is no end to the famous people in it, so you can have some fun celebrity watching.

 

Further Watching

The only thing you can move on to after watching a Tarantino movie are more Tarantino Movies.

Go for his early crime movies like “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) and “Jackie Brown” (1997) and you won’t be disappointed. They are about the same thing as “Pulp Fiction”, but still they suck you in and are entertaining as hell.

If you’re not that much of a Tarantino fan, I suggest looking at Guy Ritchie, the Brit who also does crime with a distinct voice. Look at “Snatch” (2000) with a genius Brad Pitt as a tater, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998) and “Layer Cake” (2004) with a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig.

 

Still of John Travolta and Uma Thurman Dancing from Pulp Fiction

John Travolta and Uma Thurman do an unexpected weird dance to “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry.

Who am I?

I do not work for ImDb, I just have a nerdy need to make sure I watch all the movies people claim to be good. In this way I can make up my own mind about whether or not they are a hype.

This is not a per se recommendation from the ImDb Top 250 list, but rather a statement about the movies on the list that hopefully will make you want to watch the movies again, or watch the movie and make up a mind of your own 😉

Or avoid it like the plague.

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as a 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

This movie is one of the few Tarantino movies that cannot be found on Netflix. But like any of the movies (at least the ones I like) on the ImDb top 250 list, they should be in your collection.

 

Once a month I will review the top 250 movies on ImDb and determine whether they still deserve to be on the list or not. Have they stood the test of time, or are they just there out of habit or historical significance (which does not a good movie make). I start from the top because there is less change in the top films than at the bottom of the list.

Look here for my judgements on #3 The Godfather, part II and #4 The Dark Knight.

Other Fridays of the month, I will look at “New Releases – is it worth a cinema ticket”, “Guilty Pleasures” and I will also be “Unearthing the Best Movies on Netflix”.

 

I have used several sources in writing this post among them ImDb trivia and some cinema history books in my possession.

Sign up and get a notification next week so that you don’t miss the next blog post or my next ImDb top 250 review. Next month we will have a look at number 6, the classic western  “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”!

Sometimes you need to watch something that will shake you to your core. Something that doesn’t involve any magic or blatant fiction. Something that is so realistic, you kind of forget that it is indeed fiction you are watching.

“Winter’s Bone” will slowly and gradually hit you hard with an ice cold, bleak and hopeless look that escalates into infinity.

Poster of "Winter's Bone" with Jennifer Lawrence

Chilly and harsh, just like the movie

***NO SPOILERS***

What is this movie?

“Winter’s Bone” (2010) follows the 17 year-old Ree (who else but Jennifer Lawrence) who lives in a hillbilly-gangster reality where her actions keep spiralling her constantly towards an unthinkable reality.

Ree is trying to find her father (he has been gone for some time) to avoid being kicked out of her home where she lives with her depressed and non-functional mother and adorable but helpless siblings. On her quest to find out where her father has gone, she bumps into people and situations that she really shouldn’t bother with her questions.

“Winter’s Bone” is a title borrowed from an Appalachian saying that goes; “like a dog digging after a winter’s bone”, which is someone on a mission who refuses to give up.

It is based on a book by Daniel Woodrell, which apparently has even more horrible things happen than there was room for in the movie, although the undertones are there. At least I wasn’t surprised when I read what was omitted.

Do people say it’s good?

Given that “Winter’s Bone” was a big winner at Sundance (all indie filmmakers will know) AND it snagged a four Oscar nominations, among them for Best Picture, I guess you can say that at least critics and people who work with film loved it.

Notably, it was the lowest grossing film to be nominated for Best Picture since “The Dresser” in 1983, which basically means that people in genereal didn’t care for it (or at least they didn’t care for the poster).

It has a distinctly “independent” film-look about it where all is miserable and the futures are bleak.

This is true somewhat true, and I will tell you right now that you will need to sit through some scenes which are slow, quiet and not at all instantly compelling.

And with the film being set in a cold, bare, almost tundra-ish sort of countryside where everyone does drugs and all is lost, there really isn’t any cheering up to be had, and you might consider caving in and turning on that new romantic comedy that you haven’t lowered your standards to see just yet.

But please don’t. Hang in there. It will get infinitely better.

Do I think it is good?

I pushed trough the initial worry of watching a low-budget, film festival film, and boy was I rewarded for that.

What the movie builds up to is beyond words and description. You have to experience it to believe it. Just know that when Ree starts looking for her dad properly, it will eventually get so dark that you will question human beings as a species.

I truly hope these people don’t exist in the real world in some shape or form, but I am afraid that they probably do.

“Winter’s Bone” delivers such a chill in your spine and paints a realism that will shock to your core. To put it this way, I would not want to live in this horrific white trash dystopia.

I was 100% frightened by this film.

The Epic Jennifer Lawrence

This movie would be nothing if it weren’t for Jennifer Lawrence. As a 19 year-old at the time, she really pulled her acting talent out of the bag and made the character Ree dignified and relatable. This was to be her first Oscar nomination, and I am sure it won’t be her last (since she has been nominated or won every year since).

Funny thing is that Lawrence had to proper make herself dirty and sickly to get the part, as she was originally deemed “too pretty” and not really in the running. Once she got to be Ree, she had to learn random skills like chopping wood, fighting and skinning squirrels (will always come in handy that).

The quote that resonates in my head after watching, is Ree’s adament life rule:

Don’t ask for what ought to be offered

The social realism

I have mentioned it before, but I will state it again, the realism in this movie is tangible. I don’t know anything about country life in the US, but I am now inclined to believe that everyone deals with drugs and otherwise have next to no money or any future to speak of. That is how convincing it is.

It is the first movie that has made me feel safe for living in an urban area rather than a rural one.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of the extras and even some of the bigger parts in the movie, are from Missouri where they shot the film, and have never acted in anything before. With a good director, this kind of casting can be golden, as it is in this movie.

What mood should you be in?

You need to be in the mood for something that is going to be paced slowly, with no off-screen music to speak of (that I can remember although apparently there is some) and no fancy nothing. Just let it get where it wants to go in the time it needs.

It will be worth it. That is a promise.

And if nothing else, you have just seen the movie that made everyone notice Jennifer Lawrence. How mighty hipster of you 😉

Further Watching

If you are in a self-abusive kind of mood, or you just want to see some more of people who are worse off than you, continue with stark social realism and have a look at “Mysterious Skin” (2004) with a young Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, or take a peak at “Precious” (2009) which also is a little slow, but really gets to your heart.

But perhaps you aren’t suicidal and can’t bear the thought of two movies like this in a row…

Then I suggest another way. The JayLaw Way!

By now, if you weren’t already, you will be smitten with Jennifer Lawrence and want some more. I would recommend Silver Linings Playbook (2012), which actually did get her an Oscar (when she ever so gracefully stumbled in her dress on her way to accept the award), but I am also a sucker for “The Hunger Games” (2012,2013 and 2014) and cannot wait for the third instalment this winter.

If you like what I write, share or disagree in my opinions, please comment or just sign-up and get a notification when my next blog post is released.

Next week I will look at number 5 on the ImdB top 250, “Pulp Fiction”. In the mean time, check out number 4, “The Dark Knight”.

Still of Jennifer Lawrence from "Winter's Bone"

Jennifer Lawrence, only 19 in “Winter’s Bone”, carries this heavy movie on her shoulders pretty much by herself

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. I watch Netflix a lot and sometimes there is a long way between the really good movies, whether good means entertaining or profound.

To help you avoid watching all the crap I have had to endure, I will give you some hidden gems or best movies of Netflix right here every month.

Want another good Netflix movie? Check out the great animation “Brave”!

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies that will make these reviews beneficial to you, whether you follow my advice or not 😉

Where can you find the film?

All movies in this Netflix-series can be found in the Norwegian Netflix Catalogue, which is the one I have access to.

If you can’t find it on your local Netflix? File a complaint, they really should have it 😉

If you like what I write, please give me your favourite movie in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

A million girls would kill to be Anne Hathaway in this movie. Would you?

Regardless, there’s nothing like a good-old, evil boss movie for another lazy Sunday, when the next Monday is starting to loom over you.

Watch this quality chick-flick (yes I said quality) and enjoy that fact that no matter what, your boss is not as bad as Miranda Priestly

(or if he/she is, maybe you should quit?) 😉

 

Devil Wears Prada Poster

I’m sure there were puns galore in that creative tagline meeting

 ***SPOILERS*** (but you watch it for the characters so why do you care?)

 

What is this film?

“The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) is based on the smash-hit book of the same name written by Lauren Weisberger, who worked as an assistant at Vogue for a time under Anna Wintour (without there being any confirmation anywhere that the movie is inspired in anyway by that).

I don’t even know if you can call it a guilty pleasure when it was actually nominated for two Oscars. Both Meryl Streep and the costume designer were nominated.

The costume designer, Pat Field, is famous for doing the TV-series Sex and the City and she convinced a lot of fashion designers to lend clothes to the production. After all she only had a measly budget of $100,000, and in the end the wardrobe of this movie is reportedly $1,000,000 and the most expensive one in movie-history (I have not found this to be actual fact, but regardless it is one of the most expensive ones.).

 

Why do I want to watch it over and over again?

For someone who loves slacking around in my cosy pants  and a t-shirt all day, you really wouldn’t believe that I love this movie for the fashion. But partly I do.

The transformation of Anne Hathaway, from the idealistic writer to the fashionista is realistic and not over the top (Unlike Hathaways break through movie “Princess Diaries” where it all happens in one session at the hair dressers.).

I never tire of pernickety Meryl Streep with her penetrating stare pitted against wide-eyed, naive Andy Sachs (Hathaway). Maybe I see myself in Anne’s character, whose relationship to fashion is of a distant relative, and through her, I can imagine what I could look like if I started caring and prioritising clothes and shoes (and weight-loss) in my life.

The wonder never lasts longer than the 1 hour and 49 minutes of the movie, but it’s nice to live in fantasy world for a while 😉

There is also a bunch of famous fashion people in this movie (Heidi Klum and Valentino Garavani as themselves with Gisele Bündchen as a Runway employee) which takes it to another level of believability. There could’ve been more, but rumour says that people were afraid of the wrath of Anna Wintour (which is fitting).

 

Six outfits on Anne Hathaway as Andy in Devil Wears Prada

I want that green dress to the right… Desperately!

 

All the shit you have to do to get a career

I find that this movie holds fairly true to what kind of lengths people have to go through to make it in certain kind of sought after industries. The worst thing is that some people have to do this for free in an internship. If you work regular hours, you don’t get a job afterwards or you get fired.

At least Anne Hathaway has the strength to leave in the end. I don’t know if I would…

…until I hit the wall and became depressed and burned-out.

 

This movie is essentially scary

And I am not saying that because Meryl Streep is a scary boss. I would actually claim that she is a terrific boss for Runway and that her method is probably the only way to get any standing in that industry.

But it’s not Miranda Priestly that makes it shiver down my pine.

When we come to the end of the movie, Andy walks away from the glamorous world of fashion because it stole away her personal life. It seems to me like a leech, a lifestyle profession that demands you 24-7. And I have been there. It is not healthy in the long run.

But that is not what you remember when you walk out of the cinema (or close your laptop).

You remember the shoes, and that olive green dress that looked so good on Anne Hathaway, and the hair, and the glamour. And you want it. Suddenly you consider a career in fashion even though you have never touched a sowing machine before or thought twice about what to wear in the morning.

THAT is what is scary about this movie. Somehow fashion still won the day.

Miranda Priestly says it best herself:

Don’t be ridiculous Andrea. Everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us

 

The genius supporting cast

This movie would be nothing without the snarky, bitchy, but still loveabley British Emily Blunt as Emily, the first assistant to Miranda Priestly. I believe this was the first movie where I noticed Emily Blunt (she mainly did TV prior to this film).

Without her disdain for Andy and everything she represents, without her diet of eating nothing until she’s about to faint then she eats a cube of cheese, without her rolling eyes and sniggers, this movie would be a whole lot less enjoyable.

I also couldn’t be without Stanley Tucci, the truthsaying, creative director Nigel, who gets stomped on by all the high-heeled women in his chosen career.

Nigel is essentially what Andy will become if she stays. A work-a-holic who will never elevate past Miranda because there will always be someone else (Miranda) to save.

 

What mood should you be in?

You should be in the mood for something light and fun.

Or you could watch this for inspiration on how to dress. I know this movie is SOOO 2006, but I am sure there is something in it you can revamp.

For a summary on the fashion tips you can learn from Devil wears Prada check out Stilettosaurus.

 

Further Watching

I really wanted to watch “Princess Diaries” (2001), the movie that Anne Hathaway has worked really hard to get away from her “Known For” section in ImDb. I would love to see the difference between Anne Hathaway then and now.

If you want to see more of fashion, I can recommend the documentary “The September Issue” (2009) where we follow Anna Wintour in the months leading up to the release of the most important issue of the year.

As well as “Coco Avant Chanel” (2009) where you can see how Coco Chanel (in the shape of Audrey Tautou) got her style and became the fashion icon she is today. It is actually an important movie to watch if you like strong women who did what they needed to do despite obstacles from a patriarchal society.

Or, if you don’t take fashion too seriously, grab “Zoolander” (2001) and practice your best Blue Steel pose 😀

 

Need some guidance in the maze of movies? Follow my blog and get reviews on Netflix, Guilty Pleasures, New Releases and the top 250 ImDb list 😀

 

Meryl Streep stripping you down with her look

Meryl Streep stripping you down with her look

 

Ben Stiller with the Blue Steel look from Zoolander

Ben Stiller stripping you with his Blue Steel look

 

Who am I?

I am freelance writer who likes to watch movies. Sometimes I will even like “the bad movies”, the ones the critiques scoff at and the snooty film students will refuse to watch because it’s all so commercial. Those are some of the best movies. They are guilty pleasures, and they will save you on a rainy day when you just don’t want to think.

In these Guilty Pleasure blog posts, I will explore the movies I find myself turning back to again and again for comfort.

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

If anyone knows a way to check different availabilities on different streaming services, let me know.

Norwegian Netflix doesn’t have this one (bad Netflix), but then again, a guilty pleasure should always be on your shelf, so get the devil now! 😉

 

If you like what I write, please give me a shout in the comments (if they work now, there have been issues, my apologies) or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

Next week, we will again take a dip into the vast array of movies on Netflix and unearth another “Best movie on Netflix“.

Call it what you want! The Avengers Revamped. The Avengers Outlaw Edition. Not Another Marvel Superhero Flick.

Regardless, you can’t go your whole life without spending 2 hours of your life flexing your laughter muscles and revisiting good old classic 70s-80s songs.

That is what Guardians of the Galaxy will give you. You won’t regret it.

GuardiansoftheGalaxy_Poster***NO SPOILERS***

What is this film?

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) is the newest superhero franchise that Marvel Studios has seen fit to spew out off its every churning movie machine.

Not that I mind that they do, but at some point you’ve got to wonder how many more franchises are there in the depths of the Marvel cartoon library (I am sure someone could answer me that).

Basically a bunch of thieves and bounty hunters accidentally have to join forces as an evil man is trying to get his hands on a strange ball (I won’t say what it is).

It looks and feels a lot like “The Avengers”, albeit with antiheroes and a trailer that promises a lot more silly fun.

 

What is the buzz?

Nerds and geeks all over the world are a-buzzing. Even 9gag had a poster with a demand that you go see it pretty high on the Hot list when it came out. Now there are loads of other great Guardians of the Galaxy posts 😉

My cousin called me straight after exiting the cinema to tell me that I NEEDED to go to the big house and experience it for myself.

It is THAT funny! It is THAT great!

Naturally, my expectations started to get very high. And often that leads to a crash and fall.

 

Is it any good?

Don’t get me wrong here. I absolutely loved the movie. It’s been a long time since I had THIS much fun during a trip to the cinema. Because there is no doubt that this is a funny movie.

This movie hits the perfect balance between silly and serious. Enough silly so that it feels continuously funny, and enough serious so that it doesn’t become a parody but actually it’s own movieverse (“universe in a movie” for those who don’t read “merge”).

It’s just that I know I would be absolutely raving about this movie IF I hadn’t seen “The Avengers” first.

It has the same saucy and snappy feel to it as “The Avengers”. Good and entertaining dialogue, interesting and unusual character traits (at least unusual for the sci-fi genre) and a dysfunctional group of superheroes who, by force of circumstance, have to work together.

They are not strickly speaking superheros as they don’t have explicit superpowers. They are thieves, bounty hunters and robbers (mostly), so they come off more like antiheroes than superheroes.

But those are minor details and don’t steal from the comparison.

 

Is it better than other Marvel superhero flicks?

To me, the multiple protagonist stories of Marvel function better than the single protagonist stories. For instance, I loved Iron Man as a character in “The Avengers”, but find him annoying and too self-absorbed to be identifiable in his own series of movies.

The fact that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is another take on “The Avengers” formula, makes it instantly superior to 90% of the Marvel Studios productions.

So it has that going for it.

It also has a cast of fairly unknown (the definition is: unknown to those who don’t read cartoons) characters which are actually original and funny.

For instance, Peter Quill (also known as Starlord, at least by himself) has an obsession with a tape of 70s-80s songs left him by his mom which lends itself as soundtrack to the entire movie. A refreshing new sound for a sci-fi.

Interestingly, the soundtrack, “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1”, reached number 1 on the US Billboard, the first soundtrack to do so made up of zero original songs.

 

Which superhero did I love the most?

In these cast movies, one feels obliged to choose a favourite.

Although I have preached strong females before, and the green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana, who plays blue alien in Avatar) certainly is a strong female character whom I admire despite her skanky clothes, this time it was not to be the obvious ones that became my favourite.

The other contender I had was Rocket, the Racoon. Although he is genious (both literally and as a character), he didn’t steal my heart this time around.

I would also like to give a shout-out to Drax the Destroyer (played by Dave Bautista) who plays surprisingly emotional and soft for being a big, tattooed brute.

 

Groot – my surprise favourite character

It is the big, clunky tree. The Chewbacca of Marvel. The superhero Treebeard. It is Groot that was to become my favourite.

And it is not just because the only words he can speak are “I am Groot”.

He surprised me. I mean, after seeing him fight, I kind of want to be a tree. He had so many tricks up his sleeve, I always thought that I’d seen the end of his powers, and then he whips out a new one.

All hail Groot!

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

You should definitely watch this in the cinema.

There is a reason why they keep producing these special effects heavy, superhero-flying, action-on-top-of-action-with-an-extra-dollop of-mayo (for good measure) blockbuster movies (and sequels and prequels). They lend themselves terribly well to the cinema.

A giant screen, superb surround sound and a bucket of popcorn is just what you need to take this movie to the maximum of what it could be.

And, as I have already mentioned it is funny, you get the added bonus of sharing many, many laughs (I had a few proper out loud ones that lasted long) with all the other geeks and freaks who managed to drag some people with them to the cinema.

Make a day out of it!

 

Should you watch it in 2D or 3D?

I watched it in 3D and there were actually a fair few moments when stuff was falling on you.

Space usually lends itself well to 3D, and in this instance I think it enhanced the experience. I say I think because I was at this point deeply drawn into the story and couldn’t care less if I was watching in 2D or 3D. And I was never distracted away from this “suspension of disbelief” (as the scholars call it).

That is ultimately the best thing!

 

What mood should you be in?

You need to be in the mood for something funny. Though be aware, I almost cried twice, so there is more to this movie than funny one-liners.

And you should be aware that after watching this, you will have to go and watch the sequel which is literally promised (in words) at the end of the movie.

 

Further watching

Watch the entire credits and get a few extra seconds. It seems fairly pointless (that is, it doesn’t immediately hint towards what a sequel would be about), but I am sure some people who know the Marvel universe better than me will be able to decipher some meaning.

I mean, who is the duck?

I on my part will watch “The Avengers” (2012) again and try to determine which one is my favourite. Currently it is Avengers, but it might be circumstantial. Time will show!

 

If you like what I write and have a need for reviews now and then, follow my blog and I will give you a new review every week.

Next week will be another Guilty Pleasure movie; “The Devil Wears Prada“.

In the mean time, you can read last months Guilty Pleasure “Mrs Doubtfire” or whether or not you should go see “How to train your Dragon 2” in the cinema!?!

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Groot

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies.

If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it!

And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie currently in the cinema in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve so much of your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great. But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

Guardians of the Galaxy” was released in Norway on 1st of August (a bit late on the New Release this month) and it is still going strong with both 3D and 2D screenings.

Want to get my next blog post? Follow my blog and get an email next week when I reveal another Guilty Pleasure movie!

 

If you’re good at something, never do it for free

– The Joker –

The Dark Knight poster

It’s all very very dark

***minor SPOILERS***

 

What is this film?

The second instalment of the “darker” Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan (the guy who likes mind twisting you with Memento and Inception). It is definitely, by a solid mile, the best of the trilogy.

This is the first superhero movie to win an Oscar for a creative rather than technical award, namely the Best Supporting Actor award given posthumously to Heath Ledger.

It was nominated for a full eight awards, and is thus the superhero movie with the most nominations, although not for Best Picture, which didn’t sit well with fans of superhero movies.

It is also, interestingly enough, the only movie to rank number one on the ImDb top 250 list only two days after it’s release. It has dropped a little since then, as most movies do, but has remained in the top 5, which is impressive.

 

Do I think it is good?

Just like everyone else, I love this movie.

And to be honest, it takes quite a lot to make me go from “OK” to “Brilliant” when it comes to superhero movies. There are so many of them, and my interest is so saturated that there is no in between. There is only “Meh” or “God-damn-effin -genius”.

“The Dark Knight” is never boring, it always keeps moving forwards at a rapid speed with gadgets, and funny one-liners, and a story that twists and turns in directions you could never have fathomed in your wildest dreams.

And there is one character who makes all of this possible, puts pressure on time and creates a lot of horrendous fun.

 

The ultimate villain – The Joker

Heath Ledger makes this superhero movie more than just another superhero movie. And not all of the credit can go to his genius portrayal of the Joker.

The appealing nature of the movie’s villain is basic and goes as far back as choices in the script. Ask yourself, what does the Joker want? A usual villain will want something. He will want money, power, revenge or all of the above. The Joker doesn’t want anything but the chaos he is already creating and revelling in.

Some men just want to watch the world burn

– Alfred –

Thus he become impossible to stop, you have to kill him. And the number one rule of Batman is; he doesn’t kill anyone.

The funny thing is that we get equally mind fucked by the Joker.

The Joker tells the other criminals how his father put a knife to his face and made a permanent smile on his face. We obviously sympathise. He has been through a lot of hard times and is obviously scarred from bad parenting. Later at the fundraiser for Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the Joker tells Rachel (the journalist love interest) the story of how he got his scars…

And now it is totally different!

We realise we put our sympathy in a pathological liar. No one knows what is true. Maybe not even the Joker. This betrayal is paramount in building the Joker as the ultimate villain.

 

Will it stand the test of time?

I think it will.

I hope it will.

After six years, it still feels fast, and it is still funny. Heath Ledger’s The Joker still feels iconic and his death has lent it even more eeriness than originally intended.

Heath Ledger himself might be the very reason why this movie has become iconic and the ultimate superhero movie. It has dug out its place at the top of the ImDb top 250 list and will probably stay there for as long as I am alive.

And I 100% think it deserves the spot.

 

What mood should you be in?

You can be any kind of mood really.

Regardless this is a great movie and it will suck you into its vortex whether you like it or not.

 

Further Watching

The other movies in the trilogy, although not up to the same standard as “The Dark Knight” (I mean, they don’t have The Joker so how can they), are definitely worth a watch and specifically in order.

Batman Begins” (2005), the first one, is a bit longwinded as origins stories go, but it has Liam Neeson in it so no complaining. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) lives in the shadow of its predecessor, but is an entertaining watch.

Batman” (1989) by Tim Burton is worth a watch, if nothing else to look at the a wildly different take on the Batman universe and Jack Nicholson as The Joker.

Other than this I would watch some more of Heath Ledger. I can particularly recommend the movie that made me love him as a teenager, the guilty pleasure movie “10 things I hate about you” (1999).

Or check out “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). A bit overrated, but definitely worth a watch!

 

Further Reading

For an overview on superhero movies that have been nominated and/or won an Academy Award, check out this article “Oscars Celebrate Superheroes“.

 

Enjoy following the top 250 ImdB review? Subscribe and get a notification for my next blog post.

Next week, I will get my ass to the cinema and watch a new release so I can tell you whether or not it is worth the money to go 😉

 

Why so serious? Poster with the Joker of the Dark Knight

The truly genious element of “The Dark Knight”

 

Who am I?

I do not work for ImDb, I just have a nerdy need to make sure I watch all the movies people claim to be good. In this way I can make up my own mind about whether or not they are a hype.

This is not a per se recommendation from the ImDb Top 250 list, but rather a statement about the movies on the list that hopefully will make you want to watch the movies again, or watch the movie and make up a mind of your own 😉

Or avoid it a movie like the plague.

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as a 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

You can watch “Batman Begins” (and “Batman”) on Netflix Norway, but none of the other movies. I see what they did there. It might however stream on your local Netflix.

It’s not like you’re going to get tired of watching it, so flesh out the measly £7-£8 and buy The Dark Knight on crispy Blu-Ray for your collection.

 

Once a month I will review the top 250 movies on ImDb and determine whether they still deserve to be on the list or not. Have they stood the test of time, or are they just there out of habit or historical significance (which does not a good movie make). I start from the top because there is less change in the top films than at the bottom of the list.

Look here for my judgements on #2 on top 250 ImDb “The Godfather” and #3 The Godfather Part II.

Other Fridays of the month, I will look at “New Releases – is it worth a cinema ticket”, “Guilty Pleasures” and I will also be “Unearthing the Best Movies on Netflix”.

 

I have used several sources in writing this post among them ImDb trivia.

Sign up with your email and get a notification next week so that you don’t miss the next blog post or my next ImDb top 250 review. Next month we will have a look at number 5,  “Pulp Fiction”!

One of the many guilty pleasures of my childhood is “Mrs Doubtfire”. I would come home from school and watch this perhaps two or three times before dinner and find it equally enticing each time.

Remember those days? The days when you didn’t have to wait for years to hope that your favourite movie perhaps could feel like the first time again.

Although Mrs Doubtfire is silly and at times implausible, I will still fight for it with all I’ve got, because I do believe it harbours a cut of genius.

Mrs Doubtfire Poster

The Oscar winning make-over Mrs Doubtfire

***MINOR SPOILERS***

What is this film?

“Mrs Dountfire” (1993) is the blockbuster hit from the nineties that made Robin Williams a house-hold name.

The film is based upon the book called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine and was directed by a young Chris Columbus who has also made us such family favourites as “Home Alone 1 and 2” (1990, 1992) and “Harry Potter 1 and 2” (2001, 2002).

The movie tells us the story of Daniel Hillard, an out-of-work voice actor who in the midst of a nasty divorce with his wife (Sally Field, that woman who pops up in everything). He is in danger of loosing custody of his children, and in a desperate attempt to see them more often, he lands a job as their nanny and dresses up as an old, English woman.

Hilarity and drama ensues.

 

Why did I watch this 100 times as a kid?

Mrs. Doubtfire was one of the few movies we owned on VHS. And as any of the handful of VHS’ I owned can tell you, they were watched to death religiously.

But then again what is there not to love about this film? The different voices done by Robin Williams, the montage of the different make-up versions of a nanny, the montage of Mrs Doubtfire rocking the air-guitar with her broom, the passive aggressiveness of Daniel towards his wife’s new chaperone Stu (played by a smirky and too-good-to-be-true Pierce Brosnan).

I could go on and on and on.

Notice that most of what I remember loving comes from Robin Williams, most notably the scenes where he did the most improv.

 

The Award-winning Make-Up

One of the best scenes is when Daniel has a meeting with his councillor and has to both represent himself and Mrs Doubtfire alternately as he tries to hide the fact that he has dressed like a woman (difficult to explain I guess).

We have just seen him magically appear in his Mrs. Doubtfire-do-up at his children’s doorstep. We now get the chance to see him undress piece by piece and it is revealed that it is in fact Daniel under there.

No cinematic trick. It is just priceless.

The added pressure of the presence of the councillor adds to the fun. Damn why does that woman want a cup of tea?

Fun fact: The actual prosthetic face of Mrs Doubtfire that we see in this sequence (which is driven over by a truck as Daniel drops it onto the street) is actually only a prop. To become the proper Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams had to sit for four and a half hours each day and the make-up was done with as many as eight different pieces.

 

The issue of Divorce

One of the reasons this movie got to me is the divorce theme. I don’t think I knew this at the time, but thinking back I believe the movie helped me understand that parents don’t get back together after a divorce. So it is useless to hope for that.

And they really shouldn’t be together. So you shouldn’t want them to.

And, probably more importantly, their divorce wasn’t my fault!

According to the author of the book, Anne Fine, I am not alone. She has often been told by fans that this movie was one they watched over and over again for comfort, especially children of divorce.

 

Is it any good?

Who doesn’t love a bit of quality drag? Especially when the man realises what a fascist invention high-heels are. That comment is golden.

The movie is silly and at times you wonder why no one notices that this is Daniel. Thankfully the movie has enough of little plot points, like the older children figuring out it is their dad, to make it not so implausible that we disregard it.

Then again, would you really suspect an old woman to be your ex-husband?

You can tell that the people in the movie had good fun making it. From articles I have read about the production, a lot of the acting was improvised. Especially from Robin Williams.

I would have given a lot of blood to be a fly on the wall during this production and experience true comedy greatness. And hopefully be calmed by the fact that when you try a line in 1000 different ways, at least one of them must be genius, and loads of them were probably crap, but that doesn’t matter. It’s between the crew and the cutting floor.

 

The not-so-family-movie Ending

Another fun fact about this movie:

The original writer wrote the “unhappy” ending where the parents don’t get back together. The producers didn’t like it, they wanted a happy ending, so they fired her and tried with other writers. None of the rewritten endings where any good though, so they ended up going back to the first writer’s version and re-hired her.

That is a huge win for the screenwriter I might add.

In any case I do not thing it is an unhappy ending. It is the only ending there could ever be.

 

What mood should you be in?

For something childishly funny. You have to be in a mindset where you believe that a person could get away with such a ploy. Or else you will just scoff at the entire film.

The director, Chris Columbus, let Robin Williams have free reign during the takes and there where loads and loads of takes where Robin would try loads of different stuff. He has stated that there was so much footage that they could’ve made an edit for every rating category that exists.

I don’t know about you, but an adult version of Mrs. Doubtfire, in lieu of the sequel that was in the early stages before Robin Williams’ death, is something that I would love to see.

 

Further watching

As we now have to come to terms with the fact that Robin Williams is gone and there is nothing we can do about it, I find myself wanting to watch all of his movies over again. Among my favourites are “The Fisher King” (1991), “Dead Poets Society” (1989), “Hook” (1991) and “Good Will Hunting” (1997).

I will also be checking out some of his work that I haven’t seen yet. Especially “World’s Greatest Dad” (2009) is one that I am looking forward too.

In the mood for some more drag? Check out the Australian “The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert” (1994), the British “Kinky Boots” (2005) or the American “The Birdcage” (1996) which stars Robin Williams as well, although not in women’s clothing.

If nothing else, you can do some set-jetting in San Francisco and go find the Hillards’ family house on the east side of the 2600 block of Steiner Street at the corner of Broadway.

 

You can read an article from the author Anne Fine about Robin Williams in the Guardian here!

Every month I will be revealing another Guilty Pleasure and try to discover why it has become one (at least for me). Follow my blog and don’t miss out on the next post 😉

 

Scott Capurro, Robin Williams and Harvey Fierstein in Mrs Doubtfire

Scott Capurro, Robin Williams and Harvey Fierstein making Mrs Doubtfire

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. Sometimes I will even like “the bad movies”, the ones the critiques scoff at and the snooty film students will refuse to watch because it’s all so commercial. Those are some of the best movies. They are guilty pleasures, and they will save you on a rainy day when you just don’t want to think.

In these Guilty Pleasure blog posts, I will explore the movies I find myself turning back to again and again for comfort.

Want more Guilty Pleasures? Check out last months Guilty Pleasure – “Shakespeare in Love”!

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

You should have this, own it and cherish it! You should force your kids to watch it over and over again until they know the lines by heart.

So just buy it!

 

If you like what I write you can follow my blog and always know what movies to go for and what movies to avoid 😉

Next week, we will again take a look at the ImdB top 250 and review number 4, “The Dark Knight”. Check out number 3 on top 250, “The Godfather, Part II” here!

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