The 400 Blows

Look to the right! Scroll down a little! Answer my poll, could you? I just want to know if there’s more than a few people reading or viewing this blog! Would mean a lot! [END OF SHAMELESS PLUG!]

It’s a French film about a young teenager and his ‘bad behavior’. It starts in school and ends in a camp for juvenile delinquents due to bad judgment and chain reactions. it’s a good film and all but I did get easily distracted. Basically, its an easy thing to watch but if it were on TV, I’d of been flicking through the channels every so often. You know what I mean?

The storyline is interesting because it shows the other side to juvenile delinquents, not all of them mean to be bad. Our main character, Antoine, is rather unloved by his mother but has a great laughing relationship with his father [later revealed to be his step-dad]. He’s grown up knowing his mother never really wanted him which, I imagine, is a terrible thing to live with. He seems to cope with it via humor, however its not everyone’s type of humor and therefore gets translated as misbehaving.

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Coco Before Chanel

I’ve wanted to watch this film for so long, I‘m a huge fan of Chanel. I got really excited when I saw they had made a movie about Coco Chanel and was super excited to see it, I had even torn out an article about the movie from my local cinema’s magazine and put it on my wall. When it was out in the cinema, it wasn’t shown in my town nor the town next to it. So I’ve had to wait 10 months to watch this film! And it was worth it.

This movie is beautiful. The clothes are fantastic and are characters in their own right. The sets and locations are equally as stunning. The whole film just reeks with inspiration; as I watched, I spotted so much of what inspired Chanel and her unique, elegant style, but this wasn‘t just because I know the collections but because the camera doesn‘t let you miss them.

Any fashionista would love this movie.

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

89/212

Kate
xoxo

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 1:29 PM  Leave a Comment  
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2 Days In Paris

  • I liked the use of photography in this movie because its about a holiday and the photos are like vacation photos. At one point, every word Marion [Delpy] said had a photo that was displayed. I loved that effect.
  • The main guy, Jack [Goldberg] is the biggest hypochondriac EVER and moans about everything and I was just like ‘how the hell can anyone love him?’. He had his moments and he was funny but that was about it! He found something wrong about everything! He was actually worse than my granddad Tony and I can say what I like about him because he doesn’t have the internet!
  • “No sarcasm in Paris.” “Ok, I’ll be quiet for 2 days.”
  • The couple are constantly arguing, I don’t see how they could be together but they somehow are and I believe it!
  • This movie is kind of like Meet the Parents but in French and a tad more realistic. And a photo involving helium balloons and a reproductive organ.
  • There’s a freaky scene with a freaky man who just stares at our couple, mostly Marion and its in a way like he’s about to suddenly make-out with her! Its so freaky but Jack’s reaction [big eyes!] is quite funny.
  • The film is kind of like a rom-com but more realistic and doesn’t really follow the rom-com rules if you know what I mean… like, there’s no slapstick or stuff like that… and no Jennifer Aniston…
  • There’s a little theme about it being a ‘small world’. Jack reads a book on the ‘small world’ theory and therefore spent most of his time in Venice looking for people he knew and never did. In Paris, Marion is constantly bumping into people she knows. Jack finally finds people he knows but its really bad because he’d told them the wrong way to the Louvre the previous morning and they’d been walking ever since. It made me go ‘ooooooooooo gutted!’
  • There was a sweet yet sad moment when Marion and Jack had just argued and Marion sees what she wishes was happening in the crowd which is her and Jack dancing and laughing to the music.
  • Lovely film, really sweet and funny.

    75/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM  Leave a Comment  
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    Betty Blue

    2.52pm – Regret choosing this one to watch, 3hrs 5min long! Ergh. Oh well, must try to ignore the timing. Wow, I must be in a good mood lol [just did my SAT exam so that’s probably why!]

    6.44pm – So. Tired. I don’t really have a reason to be, especially at 6.44pm lol. Anyways, here’s my review of Betty Blue & sorry if it doesn’t make sense, I can barely keep my eyes open!

  • First scene is a sex scene so prepare yourselves to watch this without your parents or grandparents. In one scene, she kisses his penis goodnight. Very sexual movie, but alas, it is French.
  • Béatrice Dalle [Betty] has hairy armpits!!! So gross.
  • The couple painting the shacks would be quite boring to watch but somehow Jean-Jacques Beineix managed to make it watchable, probably with the added jazz music. There was also another scene where three men are talking about olives and for some reason that didn’t bore me.
  • Betty types up Zorg’s novel on a typewriter and thank heavens we have computers now! Every time she got a letter wrong, she’d throw the paper away.
    Even though they’re for men, there are some gorgeous silk dressing gowns that look a bit oriental!
  • For the first half of the movie, I thought the director had got it wrong and that Betty didn’t have a mental problem, she’s just got a short temper and probably bi-polar but towards the end, she gradually gets worse and I realized that they were only the beginning. So, at first I thought it was going to be crap because she didn’t seem crazy but it does work because there’s a realistic increase in her mental instability.
  • Jean-Hugues Anglade looks like a cross between two of my friends, Ollie and Rufus… its very weird to watch!
  • There’s a very powerful scene towards the end where the madness of Betty is revealed and she’s chopped off parts of her hair and put make-up on like a child. Zorg realises that she’s crazy but goes into serious denial and tries to make him seem crazy by putting food all over his face. My description doesn’t really make it sound powerful but it was.
  • Crap review but whatever. it’s a good film but… don’t watch the director’s cut, its too long. Its not so long that its no longer enjoyable [there’s not really a dull moment] but it is too long.

    70/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM  Comments (2)  
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    Le Samouraï

    I liked this film. Probably won’t ever watch it again but I liked it.

  • Nice first shot which is of a bedroom, the colours are dull yet it still looks rather artistic. This shot is held for quite a while so you get to look around the screen and noticed that its raining, there’s hardly anything in the room, the beds don’t have bed sheets and there is a little bird in a cage. I think the fact that his place isn’t very ‘homey’ or a place anyone would want to live in gives me the immediate impression that he’s the ‘Samouraï’ as hit men don’t like to attach themselves to things. Thank you, Léon: The Professional! Then there’s suddenly dodgy camera work which made me think that the director is trying to distract the ‘Samouraï’ but he doesn’t move.
  • The ‘Samouraï’ casually steals a car with a big set of keys. He’s clearly a professional and everyone watching will want those keys. Its interesting that the director is saying that if you’ve got a set of keys in all different ‘dents’ [or whatever makes key’s ‘unique’] then you’ll always find one that works on any lock! Probably not anymore these days but its still a scary thought!
  • There is a women who we see for about 20 seconds who totally gives it away that it’s the ‘60s with the eye make-up. Very white with big eyelashes and ooo, its just very ‘60s! To be honest, the only things that give it away that it’s the ‘60s is some of the women and the transport. If you just showed a clip of the ‘Samouraï’ in his flat, you wouldn’t of thought it was over 40 years old!
  • For something like the first 15 minutes, the ‘Samouraï’ doesn’t say a word and actually, not a word is spoken at all by anyone. There’s really hardly any speech in this compared to most crime thrillers. It keeps it very interesting though at the audience is constantly wondering what the ‘Samouraï’ is thinking and what he’s going to do next.
  • When Jeff [our ‘Samouraï’] does the killing then leaves the bar, he doesn’t do it very conspicuously. He’s practically running out, looking shifty, with a trench coat and hat! And the staff were almost like “what? He seriously thinks we can’t see him?!” It would have been quite comical but somehow it didn’t. It just made you go “oh, come on!”.
  • Do French people ever lock their cars?! Ever?!
  • I smiled at one shot where it overlooks all the people the police arrested who are wearing trench coats and hats. Its loads more than you’d think!
    I’m sorry but the little 8 year old in me chuckled at one of the characters being called ‘Wiener’.
  • I thought that the alibis Jeff set up were very good and very well planned out. To be honest, it was actually a little unbelievable that the police were like ‘it’s a fake alibi’.
  • There’s a sad scene where Jeff is wrapping up his wound by himself. It just shows how alone his job has made him. He doesn’t ask for pity at all, its not shot like that, you just happen to watch and feel the aloneness.
  • I was very impressed by the pianist who is clearly a professional or a incredibly good hand-actress! Her hands have a complete mind of their own as her eyes [and brain, probably] are totally on Jeff. Its actually quite a beautiful scene.
  • The police try to bug his flat and record his talks but there’s no point! He hardly talks!
  • I quite liked the police’s technique of having people everywhere, following Jeff and flicking the switch on their bracelets so that a light goes off in the police station to say where Jeff is. I didn’t quite believe how Jeff got away but whatever. I’m to tired to argue, lol. Also, didn’t like that all the train platforms were empty but the trains themselves had quite a few people on them. Sorry, I think that’s just me being picky now.
  • There’s a few more notes but I’m tired and I’ve got to get up early tomorrow to do volunteering work so I can get a free ticket to Disneyland because I’m still 6 on the inside!

    “There is no greater solitude than that of the Samurai, unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…”

    46/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    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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    M. Hulot’s Holiday

    Well, that was the longest hour and 27minutes of my life. This is going to be a short review because I can only think of one good thing about this film, M. Hulot’s Holiday.

    It’s a film about a man Hulot and a group of other vacationers on holiday at the seaside and staying in the same hotel. A film with such a simple storyline and very familiar scenery has to be done right. Its either got to be incredibly funny, very romantic or filled with suspense. In my honest opinion, this film does nothing. Hulot accidentally hits a few people, angers a horse and sets off fireworks. Its nothing funny and just looks like a very poor attempt at humor. Though, I suppose, at the time it was the hight of comedy. I can imagine my nana liking this film [she likes a good slapstick and knock knock joke]. I guess I’m just too used to the works of Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller to find this even remotely funny.

    It may be a French film but there’s hardly any speaking so that’s ok for those who don’t like subtitles. That’s all I really have to say about that.

    There was one scene that I really liked and even watched a second time. A little boy, no older than, gets two small ice cream cones filled with ice cream and starts to walk up the stone steps up to the hotel. He’s sooo adorable! He keeps his arms wide apart, is very slow and cautious while walking up the steps and is always looking from the steps to the left ice cream to the right ice cream and back to the stairs. Its just so cute to watch! Then, he gets to the door and you think that the only way he can open the door is to use one of the hands with the ice cream. The little boy reaches for the handle, turns it and therefore turning the ice cream cone at a 45°C. You cringe as you think the ice cream is going to fall, after everything the little boy went through to get to the top of the stairs. But alas, it’s the only time that slapstick isn’t used! The little boy manages to keep the ice cream in the cone! He walks to his brother or friend, hands him the other ice cream and they sit and eat. If you think little kids are adorable, you’ll love that scene.

    I wouldn’t advice you to watch this film, not even for the scene with the little boy, unless you’re an absolute lover of slapstick. And I mean a lover, not just “yeah, its alright”, you need to be “I love slapstick, there’s no other comedy like it”. Seriously. If you don’t like slapstick that much and try to watch this, you may go mad. Or fall asleep. Which ever comes first.

    10/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 9:01 PM  Comments (1)  
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    Léon: The Professional

    Here’s a little health tip; when watching movies at home, don’t reach for the popcorn, reach for the grapes! Obviously, reach for the popcorn at the cinema. I don’t expect you to walk through those doors and smell the popcorn and not spend $7 on some! Oh, and get Milk Duds, mmmmmm… Milk Duds… at least I think that’s what they’re called.

    Léon is an incredible film. I could just leave it at that as I believe that sentence alone could do it justice. But I’m not going to do that. I haven’t stayed up to watch this film not to give it a proper review. It’s a very well made, shot and casted film. I think of the 8 films I’ve watched and reviewed, this is the one [so far] that I beg you to watch. Such a great film that I didn’t even quickly check up on Facebook in the middle of it. it’s the shortest film I’ve watched so far and at 1 hour 49 minutes, it’s the right length as well. You wouldn’t want it any longer or shorter. Sometimes, I watch films and think “nah, they didn’t need that scene” but with this film, I didn’t think that at all. Every scene had a purpose and that makes a great film.

    Within the first 10 minutes, you can see why it is called Léon: The Professional. He’s incredibly skilled at what he does. Even though he is a hitman and kills people, you’re impressed by him, not disgusted. Then you see him walk away from the ‘scene of the crime’ and he passes off as just some regular guy in the street. Those are the kind of hitmen that you need to worry about as you can’t spot them from a mile away, unlike some hitmen who in a fancy suit, designer shades and an ear piece. We also see Léon do average man thinks like drink milk, iron his clothes and watches old, classic musicals at the cinema. He clearly lives on his own which makes sense as, as a hitman, you don’t want any personal weaknesses such as loved ones. Though I think Léon would be pretty devastated if you shot his plant. You’ll see why when you watch the film.

    There is one thing about this film that if the character were cast any differently, the film would of fallen on flat on its face. You can’t have some cutesie child or the annoying kid. So you hire NATALIE PORTMAN! Mrs Skywalker! She’s perfect in this and I mean perfect. Like I mentioned before, there appear to be two main child roles and if they were in this, it just wouldn’t work. Portman, as Mathilda, not only has the high voice and looks so damn cute, she’s also incredibly mysterious. Well, at the beginning she is, anyways. She acts so fantastically for a 12 year old, you can’t tell its scripted! At all! Portman is just so realistic! She’s definitely gifted. Anyway, back to the character. We see Mathilda in the background as her father and some drug dealers talk which, in my opinion, signifies that she’s always the innocent witness to her father’s wrong-doings. She’s a victim of domestic abuse and abandonment even though she’s part of a family of 5. Though, she feels not part of the family at all, only to her younger brother. There was one line that shows this; her headteacher/principle phones and she pretends to be her ‘mum’, the principle asks where Mathilda and she replies “she’s dead”. This could mean so many things from whether the old Mathilda is dead, her soul is dead or she may as well be dead. It a horrible thought for a 12 year old to have and we all sympathize with her and want to take her home and look after her properly!

    Now we have CRAZY GARY OLDMAN! He’s crazy in this so I called him Crazy Gary Oldman. Crazy Gary Oldman is the type of bad guy that puts on this nice-guy persona but its that chilling kind. The kind that makes you totally paranoid and want him to just kill you already. Especially as he likes to torture some one a little bit, with words, before he finally shoots them. I bet there’s been a couple of times when the ‘victim’ was just begging for him to end it all.

    I felt that within a few minutes of Léon saving Mathilda, he felt a connection to her. Like he could see a part of himself in her. I think he realized this when she comments that him being a hitman is ‘cool’. Léon doesn’t like this one bit and you can see why as he doesn’t want a vulnerable part to him that his enemies could get to. “I work alone.”

    It was a nice change from having a good-guy hitman after having the bad-guy hitman of the previous film, No Country for Old Men. Its refreshing to see different sides to a ‘job’. There is so much more I could say about this movie but 1. It could ruin it for those who haven’t watched it and 2. I don’t think I can word anything that would give the film justice. Its not a film that would make my personal top 10 but its certainly a movie that I would recommend to everyone, hence be doing it here.

    “What’s your name?” “Léon.” “Léon? Cute name.” Léon chokes on his milk.

    8/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 11:55 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    Delicatessen

    What a great film to start on! Having watched a few films with subtitles, I don’t mind going from the bottom to the rest of the screen. So, if you don’t like doing that just yet, then don’t see this film. However, this French film manages to get the storyline [and the jokes] through both script and film itself. I jotted a few notes down as I watched Delicatessen; either moments that really stood out or moments that made me laugh. Just to warn you; don’t watch this movie whilst eating any form of meat. You’ll waste the meat. So! Lets start at the beginning.

    Within the first 20-seconds of the film, I thought “oh no, this is going to be really scary” and that I’d have to turn if off but no! This film has a particular style that I haven’t experienced before. It has the buildup which is scary and eerie and fills you with anticipation that you’re about to see someone chopped into pieces but no. Your skin crawls with goose bumps only to have you laugh! Its scary then you get the punch line! Its such a fantastic concept! I, for one, hate horror films [which is why I won’t be reviewing any, SORRY!] but to have the person on the edge of their seats and then fall off them with laughter is just brilliant. I’ve never seen it done before and I feel that it really should be used more often in films.

    So. We’re introduced to the butcher [who looks like one of the Sopranos] called Clapet [played by Jean-Claude Dreyfus]. It’s a pretty nerve-racking beginning as its kind of obvious that he doesn’t use those knives in his hands to cut animals. The camera goes through the pipes which play a key role in the whole film. The pipes are the main communication for sending secret messages and for eavesdropping; they can be your best friend but also your enemy. We then see a man wrapping himself in newspaper looking terrified. Newspaper-man gets caught in the dustbins and Clapet throws the knife at the camera which is the point-of-view of newspaper-man. It’s a perfect beginning for this movie as it sets up the ‘style’ of the film perfectly.

    The opening credits I loved because of the way the person in the credits was being shown. For example, you can the director of photography’s name on a camera, the costume designer on a label on a shirt and the set designer’s name on rulers. It was, oddly, beautifully shot.

    Delicatessen is set in a post-apocalyptic France [in the 1950s]. We get this feeling through the scenery which looks like its been bombed a couple of times and the constant fog that surrounds the outdoor streets. Their currency is food such as lentils and corn which, the tenants in the apartments above the delicatessen, exchange for ‘meat’. We are introduced to most of the tenants in the delicatessen and their relationships with Clapet.

    Music plays another role in this movie but it is diegetic music. For those who don’t know, diegetic means that the music is in the scene itself and hasn’t been added on later in production. For example; diegetic sound would be Julie [Clapet’s daughter played by Marie-Laure Dougnac who looks like my friend Ham] playing the cello, non-diegetic would be the instrumental song that’s playing over a conversation in a room that has no source of the song. Get it? If not, Google it! Anyway, it seems that the tenants cooperate through sound. Clapet and the lady tenant in red are having sexy time and the springs are squeaking in perfect time. Julie plays her cello in time with the squeaks, the mother bats the rug in time with the squeaks, and so on. The faster the squeaks go, the faster the tenants play/work. They are all under control of Clapet. it’s a great [and funny] metaphor.

    There is one character that always made me laugh. She was the rich man’s wife. She is believed to be schizophrenic and we even hear the voice that is in her head. The wife comes up with all these contraptions that look like the kid from Home Alone would of made. But these contraptions aren’t to stop the bad guys from coming in; they are to kill herself. It sounds horrible but its actually quite funny. Especially as they would of worked if reality hadn’t kicked in. I shall not say how they are ruined as it might ruin it slightly but this film has made attempted suicide look quite funny.

    There are two characters who are a little weird. Well, maybe not the characters themselves but their jobs. They make those little toy things that when you flip it over, it makes a cow noise. Its weird and a little relevant but it makes you laugh and that’s all that matters!

    The climax is quite funny in a way that, if done wrong, could just look like a poorly made horror film. The latest tenant and maintenance man, Louison [played by Dominique Pinon] is up for being slaughtered and the other tenants and Clapet try and get him but Louison and Julie [they love each other now, by the way] manage to block them. Then they go into the bathroom as they await their fate of being chopped up by the crazy tenants and Clapet who have knives and other sharp instruments. Louison turns to Julie and says “there’s only one thing left to do” and he rips Julie’s dress off and starts to undress himself. You immediately think “oooo sexy time” but you’re slowly proven wrong. The clothes are to block the holes. They’re going to try and drown themselves. Then other stuff happens and they live. I’m not going to tell you how so watch the film!

    Other notes: fat guy gets shot; creepy man in a room that looks like the ship from Pirates of the Caribbean and its filled with frogs and snails; cheeky kids; and playing the musical saw. Oh, and someone called Dr. Livingstone.

    If you like Saw but also love a good comedy and some old-fashioned slapstick, you HAVE to see this film, Delicatessen! Its on Netflix and you can watch it on your computer whenever you like! You will not be disappointed.

     

     

    Time to have lunch with non-human ham!

    1/212 films.

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM  Comments (2)  
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