Archives for the month of: August, 2014

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!

 

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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!

On a lazy Sunday, discover the child in you and put on an animated feature in your Netflix catalogue.

Even if you don’t have any children, give “Brave”, the Disney-Pixar animation a chance. It is beautiful both in storyline and in visual magic.

And who can’t relate to the complex and sometimes difficult relationship between a daughter and her mother?

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

What is this film?

“Brave” (2012) is the Oscar-winning, Pixar flick that is notable for quite a number of reasons.

Firstly, Merida is the first female protagonist in a Pixar film and is also included in the Disney princess line-up. She is the only one among them who doesn’t have a boy she is chasing (or who is chasing her). Some people thought it an outrage that she could be included as a princess for this very reason.

I tell them to shut up! A prince is not what makes a princess a princess.

This is the first Pixar film set entirely in the historic past, which meant a whole new challenge for the animators and concept designers who usually have just made stuff up.

 

Why is it any good?

The Mother/daughter theme is something that obviously stroke a chord with me (as a girl with a mother), but I am sure that even guys can relate to the misunderstandings and conflicts we have with the ones we love the most.

Actual strong female characters who lead the plot actively forward are still hard to come by. And Merida even makes mistakes and ruins her dress!!

I think it is healthy for little girls to get such a character in the Disney repertoire of passive and sometimes naive princesses, so I applaud the arrival of Merida.

Merida is overall a character who makes really bad decisions and has to deal with the consequences. She is a hotheaded teenager who knows what she wants, and when that want is in conflict with her mother’s wants for her, she does anything to make her change her mind. Like most teenagers.

Both the mother and the daughter learns something on their voyage to release the mother from a spell (one of the consequences), and that I think is important both for mothers and daughters to understand. There are two sides to every conflict.

And we should listen to each other.

 

The animated hair

I want Merida’s hair! Her big, corkscrew-curly, bright ginger, scruffy, beautiful hair. The way it moves in the wind and with every movement of Merida’s body, is nothing short of an animation miracle.

I would watch this movie for the hair alone.

Pixar actually had new software developed especially to make the 1500 hair curls on Merida’s head move with her.

 

What makes it different from other Disney features?

The girl doesn’t end up with a guy, that makes it different. The guys in the film are actually just tools to further the conflict between Merida and her mother and get them to a breaking point.

Merida is also funny and the root of a lot of physical comedy. My point is, she is not just pretty in a corner. She is a proper female protagonist who doesn’t sit around and wait while her parents marries her off. She takes action into her own hands. But at least she adapts and learns from it.

Pixar has with this film given us a proper coming of age tale that makes you realise that you will make mistakes in your strife to become yourself, and you really, really start appreciating your mother (and/or daughter).

 

What mood should you be in?

Something funny, yet at the same time moving and magical. It’s like a hero’s fable. And you need to be in the mood for Scottish accents 😉

You could definitely watch this without children present. It is actually pretty dark for a children’s film and actually has a PG-rating.

The first time I watched it in the cinema and didn’t feel cheated by the story what so ever. If you feel that the story and characters become a bit simple, there are always beautifully animated landscapes and like I already mentioned the mesmerising curly ginger hair of Merida, to wow and entertain you.

 

Word of the movie – Karfuffle

To put into disorder or disarray.

From Scottish Gaelic CAR to twist + FUFFLE to disarrange.

I just love saying that word. Karfuffle. Just say it with me. Karfuffle.

 

Further watching

You should continue to see some strong, female characters in action.

The newest Disney-movie “Frozen” (2013) has two strong female characters, and although there are guys and traditional love in the picture, the movie itself is more about the love between sisters and about being yourself.

If you don’t want more animation, try “Beaches” (1988) which is a wonderful movie about friendship between two very different women over the course of their whole lives. Bette Midler sings in it. Need I say more?

Or maybe you want some more movies that will make you want to call your mom and tell her that you love her. Like “Stepmom” (1998) or “Mamma Mia” (2008).

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don't be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don’t be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

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 meaningful. So that you can 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 “21 Jump Street”!

 

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?

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 😉

Next week, we will do another Guilty Pleasure movie. Do you have a movie that you watch over and over again, and you know it’s not the best quality, but for some inexplicable reason, you still watch it again? You do? Tell me which one! I will tell you another one of mine next week.

Were you also pleasantly surprised by the first “How to train your dragon” film? I was.

A scrawny, non-buff viking training a terrifyingly cute dragon ends up a one-legged hero. What’s not to love?

The question heading into any sequel is this: have they managed to make “How to train your dragon 2” into anything more than a revamp of the elements we loved and awed at the first time around? Have they even tried? Do they even want to go there?

No, they don’t want to go there.

Don't we all wish we had our own dragons to fly?

Don’t we all wish we had our own dragons to fly?

***CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS*** (although I maintain, what I mention shouldn’t come as a surprise)

What is this film?

“How to train your dragon 2” (2014) is the sequel to the very popular movie from 2010 (of the same name) where we got to know the viking Hiccup and his (eventual) pet dragon Toothless.

The movie starts where the other one left us, with dragons and vikings living and playing in harmony on the island of Berk. Hiccup is still the restless soul he was before, out and exploring with his dragon pal and mapping out the land he finds.

Hiccup’s predicament time is that he doesn’t want to be chief, but his dad really really wants him to.

 

Is it any good?

Its too much.

It’s the classic sequel trap where they think if they just give us more dragons, bigger dragons, smaller dragons, any kind of dragons, we will love it that much more. If they just add a villain who is so bad there is no talking to him, then people must side with the vikings. If you throw in a lost mother (at least that is somewhat original), then there will be tears in everybodys eyes.

Meh.

They forget that anything will fall flat without a solid story. And this movie is just that. Flat. (to me, a 28-year old woman. Children will love it!).

But I would watch it again for Toothless. The gorgeousness of that dragon never fails to surprise me, and there has been some brilliant animators at work creating movements that reminds us of domestic cats and dogs. Of course we would love to have a dragon in our home if it acted like that.

 

Is it better than the previous film?

Obviously, I prefer the first one, where the world and the dragons who inhabit it was fresh and new. Now it’s just the same as before, which is nice, but not a game changer.

“How to train your dragon” (2010) surprised me in both premise and ending, and while this second movie is good, it doesn’t bring the same freshness as seeing Toothless for the first time, or realizing that the hero actually lost a limb.

A surprising ending to this film would be if Astrid took over as chief and Hiccup continues exploring and training dragons (basically what he is good at). Children should learn that we are not all cut out to be leaders. And all of us can’t be leaders.

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

If you go with children, yes. You will enjoy yourself.

If you, like me, don’t have any children who would benefit from getting out of the house for a few hours, I would just wait for the DVD. Or streaming availability.

 

Is it worth a 3D ticket?

Don’t bother with the 3D.

I thought that flying would for sure be a great thing to see in 3D, and normally it has been. However, the imagery was decidedly flat in construction (just like the story) so you only get somewhat clearer image than in 2D.

Not worth the extra money (and the extra pair of 3D glasses we have to buy since we always forget them at home.)

 

What mood should you be in?

In the mood for something cute and cuddly and you should want to exclaim loads of oooos and awwwws.

Even though Toothless definitely wins the cuteness awards, the other dragons, and indeed the sheep, have their moments in the limelight and there is definitely enough cutefactor to gush for hours. There are even some small baby dragons.

It will also make you chuckle, especially the raucous twin female Ruffnut (voiced by Kirsten Wiig of the Bridesmaids) proper male-objectifies the new addition to the Viking-Dragon world, Eret son of Eret (voiced by Kit Harringdon, you know, John Snow in Game of Thrones). I for my part think it is healthy that females can objectify men for their muscles in children’s movies now.

To be fair to the movie, it does have some grand action/war scenes. But it is just testament to how little I cared about that that I have almost already forgotten about it.

 

 

Further watching

Watch the first one. It’s worth it.

 

Toothless acting all hurt and hard to please like a cat :D

Toothless acting all hurt and hard to please like a cat 😀

 

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?

“How to train your dragon 2” was released in Norway on 4th of July and is still racking up a number of screenings. In addition to both 3D and 2D screenings, it actually has original release so you don’t have to pain yourself through bad Norwegian translations and voice acting.

If you like what I write, please give me a shout in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post which I promise will be a new Netflix gem!

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