Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I was dreading reviewing this film because I knew I’d make countless notes. I tried not to write down every detail I loved and I’ve tried to focus on how the story was brought to the screen as the story is a book and therefore the praise goes to J. .R. R. Tolkien, rather than Peter Jackson. And, just for the record, the story is amazing. I’m in complete awe of Tolkien for creating such a fantastic story, characters and ways of life. One day I will read the books!
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Donnie Darko

I’ve watched this movie about 7 times now and I’m only just understanding it. People don’t like this movie because its confusing and weird. Others love it because its confusing and weird. You do have to watch it more than once to even get a small grasp on the whole thing but in a good way. You WANT to understand it and figure it all out. Well, I did anyways.

This movie is about poor little Donnie Darko who has ‘emotional problems’ and his BFF Frank, the 6ft tall bunny rabbit. Sounds like Harvey but its no where near as comical and we actually see the bunny though we kind of wish we didn’t!

This review probably won’t make any sense because the film makes little sense so blame the film if you read this and you’re going “er… what?”

  • The first shot is of a boy, laying on the ground in the middle of a road on what looks like the side of a mountain, his bike on one side next to him. We have questions from the word go with this film. Forever asking questions. Why is he on the floor? Why is he in his pajamas? Is he Donnie Darko? How did he get there? Why is he so happy? Has he escaped death? WHAT’S HAPPENING?! That last question is pretty much repeated for the whole movie.
  • It is Donnie Darko. And its Jake Gyllenhaal. Its very yummy Jake Gyllenhaal.
  • The soundtrack is a mixture of 80s classics and scary music, completely perfect for this movie. The scary, instrumental music shows us the underlying tone of a scene that we wouldn’t realise was sinister.
  • This whole movie is about time. Everything is about time. Even the fabulous, amazing editing is about time. Fast motion. Slow motion. Interlacing scenes. Its just fantastic. I actually wrote about the editing for film studies A Level. If you’re interested in what I wrote, continue reading. If not, skip this paragraph and move to the next bullet point:
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    Enchanted

    This movie isn’t in Empire’s Top 500 as I think the movie was released a few months after the list was made. Its just such an amazing movie, its definitely in my top 10 favourite films ever. I almost know all the words, very close! Just a few more watches and I’ll know them! Its such a magical film that leaves me feeling so happy! For those who don’t know, this movie is about Giselle [a soon-to-be (Disney) princess] movie from 2D Disney world to real world New York. It kind of makes fun out of the classic Disney movies with the princesses [which I still love at 19] but at the same time is almost like a tribute to them. It points out the flaws in them but also highlights what’s so awesome about them.

  • It begins with the ultimate happy-film actress, Julie Andrews as our narrator. She tells us the classic plot of a wicked step-mother who wants to keep her crown from her step-son. Its all in fabulous 2D in all its beautiful 2D glory! I don’t mind the 3D that every movie is shown in now-a-days but there’s just something magical about Disney 2D, it makes me feel like a little kid again.
  • Giselle is such a sweetheart! A lovable, ignorant soon-to-be princess. Its all about finding her one true love and true love’s kiss for her. She breaks into instant song about True Love’s Kiss with the help of the classic woodland creatures. There is one line of the lyrics to the song that already take a little stab at the Disney movies; “For lips are the only things that touch.” Aha. Ahahahahahahahahaha.
  • “Oh, it’s you.” “Yes, it’s me. And you are?” “Giselle.” “Oh, Giselle! We shall be married in the morning!” My favourite line of this entire movie. It just sums up the ‘romance’ in Disney movies perfectly.
  • The Evil Queen looks just like Susan Sarandon! The animation of them looking like their actors is spot on.
  • Our non-Disney leading man is a lawyer which is just genius! Disney is all about love, marriage and happily ever after! There’s never divorce! Its just so perfect!
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    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    I watched it and I loved it. The storyline is somthing I’ve never seen before and was so refreshing. The cinematography was fantastic, I love how they shot the memories and their erasion.

    Sorry, I’m just not feeling like writing a proper review right now. Maybe later. I just want you to know that I’ve watched it because now I’ve watced 156 movies. I do urge you to watch this movie, its really, really good and you’ll love it, I know it.

    156/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    PS: I’m watching the MTV Movie Awards tonight, are you? I know its a popularity contest rather than actual quality of the movies but whatever, I’m still a teenager, I can enjoy MTV crap lol

    A Matter of Life and Death

    “This is a story of two worlds, the one we know and another which exists only in the mind of a young airman whose life & imagination has been violently shaped by war.”

  • The opening is a bit like those weird videos you used to have to watch in Science class. However, The voice over guy has such a great voice that it has me totally interested! There’s no point starting a movie like a science lesson unless the voiceover man has a voice that could read the Yellow Pages and you’d still be hooked. It was a very positive opening.
  • I know it’s a technique used to make women more ‘beautiful’ and it was used a lot with Marilyn Monroe because she looks terrible some days, but there’s no need for the camera to go so out of focus that it leaves the audience wondering if they’re eyesight has gotten worse.
  • The movie makers were very clever in only mentioning ‘heaven’ twice considering its all about life after death and that the place the dead went to was ‘heaven’. I am not a religious person and therefore I love this idea of life after death because there’s no God and no Jesus and stuff like that. The dead are given pretty white wings but that’s about as religious as it gets. Its about the theory that you continue your life after you die but its in a more pleasant world. And you get free Coca-Cola up there!
  • Colour is a great tool when it comes to life and death movies. In this one, death is in black and white and life is in Technicolor. That’s appropriate for this movie because its all about life being more wonderful and loving than death. Another example is Corpse Bride where life is miserable and therefore is very dark and grey colours but death is bright colours and full of life and jazz music. It depends on the topic of the movie and it worked very well for this movie which celebrates life and love [but death isn‘t too bad, you just have to wait for your friends and family to join you].
  • Another part of the death theory expressed in this movie is that when you die, you get given a guide to help you on your way to peace. This movie is about when your guide gets lost and can’t find you. The pilot was supposed to die and move on but his guide, a Frenchman [Conductor 71], can’t see him in the English fog; “Your time was up. But I missed you because of your ridiculous English climate.”
  • Hats off to most of the actors because almost all of them had to stay perfectly like they were frozen in time, and I tried to spot them moving and I didn’t.
  • “Ah, these English! What is the good of kissing a girl if she does not feel it?”
  • The women’s tear on a rose is given as evidence in the pilot’s case as proof that the woman loves him. Incredibly romantic and poetic.
  • Now… there is A LOT of America vs. England. Well, mainly America dissing England and pointing our all things wrong with England and all of England’s mistakes. Unfortunately I can’t remember a lot of it as I was interrupted at that point in the movie by a family matter. But I think England won eventually so hurrah! But its still very interesting to me as I’m an English girl in America. I’ve received mainly praise for being English but I wonder how they’ll act come 4th July when they celebrate getting their land back from *cough* us…
  • At first I didn’t like the ending but then it took a twist and it was all happy again! Incredibly romantic and cheesy but it works because of when the film was made.
  • Very good film, I’ll probably watch again some other time and I think you should too.

    147/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 5:45 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    Shrek Forever After

    Wait. Wait till it comes out on DVD. Its not worth the money to see at the cinema. I’m a huge fan of the cinema but I’m not paying $8.50 [matinee] to see a 2.5 out of 5 rating film. The third and forth Shrek films are no where near as good as the first or second. Third was a bit crap and I know that because I saw it in the cinema when it came out and I haven’t seen it since. Anyways, the storyline for the fourth is great, its just a shame that they spent more times on Shrek’s eyelashes than on jokes. I laughed about 3 times and I know two of those laughs were Puss in Boots and his fatness. The first film had a short, angry guy which was funny, in the forth they have another short, angry guy but who isn’t funny. No matter how many wigs he has on. Donkey was poorly used and Shrek was too soppy for my liking.

    I don’t know… I found myself disappointed. I’d recommend you wait and rent it in 5 months.

    143/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    The Princess Bride

    Ergh. The past few films have been letdowns for me. I’ve read about them or heard others talk about them and I watch them and I just feel like “huh… I don’t see what’s so special.” Unfortunately, The Princess Bride is another. Its funny in places but I didn’t think it was hilarious. My only notes were about the scary eels, the scary rats and quotes. It’s a nice little film that I’d probably watch again on an afternoon where I have nothing else to do and it’s the only descent thing on TV.

    Inigo Montoya: [looking down cliff, waiting to kill Man in Black] Hello there. Slow going?
    Man in Black: [climbing up cliff] Look, I don’t mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t distract me.
    Inigo Montoya: [apologetic] Sorry.
    Man in Black: Thank you.

    Vizzini: Finish him. Finish him, your way.
    Fezzik: Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?
    Vizzini: Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend, the minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock.
    Fezzik: My way’s not very sportsman-like.

    As you wish.

    123/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    The Wizard of Oz

    8.20pm – The last time I watched this I was 5 & I hated it because it scared me. And I’m missing out on watching Blades of Glory [for the 3rd time] for this so it had better be good!

    11.41pm – I can see why its such a classic and why so many people like it. I enjoyed it and it felt a bit like panto to me! I wouldn’t say I loved it but I can definitely see why its people’s favourite.

  • I loved the use of colour and I think this is one of the best uses of colour I’ve seen in this challenge [just wait till I watch Schindler’s List, I may write the whole review on colour!] I thought it was incredibly clever to have the real world as a sort of sepia tone and then have the Land of Oz all in bright colours. It makes a great contrast between the two worlds; it made the Land of Oz just that bit more magical.
  • I found Dorothy to be rather annoying at first because of two reasons; 1. She kept going on about the damn dog when the adults were trying to work! I guess the fact that I’ve only ever had fish for pets doesn’t make me sympathize with her and her relationship with her dog. 2. The way Judy Garland portrayed her, just the acting and everything just pissed me off, I don’t know why! However, as the movie went on, I started to get used to her style.
  • Even though I haven’t watched this movie in over 13 years, I know ‘Over the Rainbow’. Who doesn’t!
  • The dog playing Toto [who’s called Toto, I think] is adorable! He’s incredibly cute and looks so well trained!
  • I loved the poke at psychics. I mentioned this before in my review of Before Sunrise that I really despise psychics so seeing this movie show the psychic as a fraud made me smirk.
  • “It’s a twister!” I love tornadoes. I know I shouldn’t but I find that there is something so beautiful about them. Shame ‘Twister’ isn’t on my list, I love that movie!
  • I know I shouldn’t as it was made in 1938 and I that I need to take into consideration about the technology they had available but I hated when Dorothy was in the twister in the house and saw things ‘fly by’ and it was just projected. I know, I know, that’s all they could really do but I can’t help but hate it and think its lazy and crap.
  • There’s a really long shot of the set of the Land of Oz and I guess they wanted to make the most of it as I think it was one of the biggest sets they’d ever made [at the time], which is fair enough. I felt a bit like I was watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it all looked edible! It actually looked quite cartoon-like which I think makes the whole place far more like fantasy and a different world.
  • I loved the Good Witch of the North’s dress!! So pretty and sparkly!! And I loved the red ‘slippers’ even more!
  • “Ding dong, the witch is dead!” Oh how I have seen this line used so many times in other films and movies!
  • Superb casting with Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West! She is exactly what witches look, sound and act like, she got it completely spot on! I don’t think it would of worked if she hadn’t played it as well.
  • Oh dear, you can quite clearly see a trap-door open to let the red smoke out when the Wicked Witch of the West ‘disappears’.
  • I loved that the people who worked on the farm back in Kansas were the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion. It reminds me of Peter Pan in both the animation [1953] and the recent one [2003], where the voice of Mr Darling in the animation does Captain Hook’s voice and in the recent one, Jason Issacs plays Mr Darling and Captain Hook! Its just so clever and it’s a little technique that I just adore, it can say so much!
  • I’m sorry but I found Scarecrow to be incredibly annoying. I know he’s supposed to be adorable but I just wanted him to burn.
  • The make-up on the three main male characters was amazing, absolutely amazing. I think they should of won best make-up at the Academy Awards because I don’t think even now-a-days we could top it.
  • The lion costume is so cool but I’d imagine it was boiling! Totally worth it though. But why does he make pig nosies instead of lion noises? Also, whenever the Tin Man was moving in a scene, I winced thinking that it must be so uncomfortable in that costume! I don’t know whether it was real Tin [I doubt it] but it looked like it would still hurt a bit if you got some skin caught between the ‘joints’. And how he managed to skip in that costume, I don’t know!
  • The most impressive set was the poppy field set because I immediately started thinking about all those flowers and how they all look handmade and hand-placed and how long that must of took, just for it to be on screen for 5 minutes!
  • The changing-colour pony was cool. I wonder if they really dyed the pony… I hope they didn’t, it could not of been good for it! Still, it was very pretty!
  • The Lion can not sing opera. NOT! AT ALL!
  • The Wicked Witch of the West’s death is by far one of the funniest deaths I’ve ever seen.
  • Like I said, I haven’t watched this movie in so long so I’m practically watching it for the first time and I knew there was a wizard but I expected someone like Santa [don’t ask why…] but its this scary-ass green face thing! But then its revealed it is someone like Santa so its all good. I loved that the ‘wizard’ gave them their wishes but not with magic. Very clever.
  • I don’t think I’ll watch this movie again for another year but I definitely liked it, it’s a nice little watch with the family and some cookies. I actually found myself thinking about a remake and which modern actor would play what… I kept thinking of Robert Downey Jr. for the Tin Man for some reason… don’t know the others, I’ll let you decide!

    56/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 8:19 PM  Comments (1)  
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    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    I hate horror movies, which is why you won’t see any in this blog so I was a little skeptic about this movie. I know its animation and clearly not real and stuff but it’s the idea that freaks me out. However, I love Corpse Bride so I thought I should at least give this original a go. I’m glad I did.

  • It has the catchy, groovy music of Danny Elfman! I know some people take the piss out of him but I love his work; his songs are so jazzy! I actually recognized the first song from somewhere, probably in an advert or some TV show.
  • I now know where the skeleton face comes from! I don’t understand why emos and goths have Jack Skellington’s face on their bags and stuff. He’s the happiest skeleton I’ve ever seen, why would the supposed depressed people want a happy skeleton on their bags? So f*****g weird…
  • How on Earth did Tim Burton come up with the idea to make a movie on how Halloween would react to Christmas?! Its so brilliantly weird which is what Burton is, I suppose. Its such an interesting concept and the way the movie portrays it feels oddly realistic even though its beyond impossible. Jack’s reaction to Christmas is so childlike as he accepts Christmas to try and fill the emptiness Halloween is giving him. When Halloween does take over Christmas, its quite funny as the Jack-In-The-Box is replaced by a Scary-Pumpkin-Head-That-Chases-You-In-A-Box and a shrunken head instead of a puppy. Also, I really liked that half-way through Jack’s ‘HO HO HO’ it turns into an evil cackle like it has always been that way! To be honest, I ended up feeling really sorry of Jack as he is so innocent and ignorant to what he’s doing. He thinks he’s bringing joy as these Halloween items are all he knows. Its unusual to feel sympathy towards a creature of Halloween, especially for me as I HATE Halloween. Hate it!!!
  • I love that in the forest, there are doors to the different holidays. I still don’t understand why Americans love St.Patrick’s Day so much and why people are so proud to be a seventh Irish but they are. It would have been nice to see how Halloween reacted to the other holidays but alas, I think that would of made the movie unnecessarily longer.
  • Stop motion animation always looks so amazing, particularly Burton’s style. It feels like the movie consists of effortless puppets which is what I thought it was the first time I saw Corpse Bride. There is nothing like it and nothing can really compare to it. Everything is disproportionate and a totally different world to our own. They may have houses but ours aren’t stick thin and leaning so far to the left that makes it look like one gust of wind would be the end of it. I think by creating a world of their own, the creators have really provided the audience with escapism which is what we go to the movies for; to escape this harsh reality. Oooo, I noticed that they even used a little soft-focus effect on the girl/female Frankenstein like in the classic movies. Though, I may be wrong and my glasses could be just dirty!
  • It’s a Christmas movie like no other. I think that because its so strange and different, that it is a movie you could watch all yeah round, not just at Christmas or Halloween. Most times if you see a Christmas movie on TV and its July, you think they’ve gotten something wrong but I really think you could get away with watching this in summer. At night, of course, don’t think it would quite work to watch it whilst sunbathing.

    Tehehe, what a weird note to finish on. Suppose you can’t help but finish on a weird note with a Burton film.

    31/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    The Red Balloon

    I can see why this short-film won awards. Its short, sweet, simple and enjoyable.

    The balloon stands out so much because it is the only source of colour. This is not done by CGI or any kind of effects. The actual surroundings of 1950s Paris is almost colourless [and unfortunately, it was once like that, post-war]. The contrast between the bright redness of the balloon and the grey surroundings make your eyes drawn to the balloon in every scene; it’s a bigger star than the kid! You understand why the little boy and everyone else in the city is fascinated by it. The balloon itself could mean different things to different people. I look at the balloon and the way the little boy loves it and remember loving balloons myself. Why do balloons make us feel like children again? I blew some up for my mum’s birthday back in December and they’re still here and even though I could just step over them, I find myself kicking them and giggling as I do so. So, to me, the balloon represents childhood. I read on a website that its about Christianity but I think that’s bull and the person just has religious issues!

    It will always amaze me when directors make simple storylines so interesting or just not boring! This storyline is about a boy going to school with a red balloon that doesn’t leave him alone. The movie is 34min long and I didn’t really get bored once. The kid being cute help me not get bored too! And the kid is the director’s son! I’d love to direct my cousins one day, wonder if they’d be as good as this little boy.

    The ending is first sad but then joyous and we get bursts of colour as the balloons of Paris come out into the grey world. It must of taken so long to get those shots of the balloons across Paris but I can just imagine how pleased Albert Lamorisse must have been when he saw it played back to him. Its beautiful and I’m sure it is the inspiration to so many scenes in movies, television and advertisements. And so it should be! Its rather iconic and can mean so many things depending on how you look at it.

    Very surprisingly good, pretty film!

    17/214

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 11:54 PM  Leave a Comment  
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