Saving Private Ryan

6.35pm – I really loved this film when I first watched it the whole way through with my dad and brother back in England and that was a year or so ago so I can’t wait to watch this again with my dad tonight after dinner! However, I just know my review is going to be long so I’ll be needing a lot of Mountain Dew to keep myself awake and determined lol.

11.31pm – *yawns* Film was awesome as usual but I chose to watch South Park on TV instead of typing up all the notes I made [over a page] and now I can’t be bothered so I’ll type it up in the morning ^_^

NEXT DAY [11th]

5.05pm – Ok, I’ve been putting off typing this for too long now! I’ll type up my notes but my apologies if they don’t make sense, at least I’m not making you try to read my handwriting again lol.

  • Unfortunately I’ve grown up in an age where I see the DreamWorks logo and I think I’m about to watch Shrek.
  • Trumpet music + flag blowing in the wind = war film.
  • Great casting of the OLD!Matt Damon, looks exactly how he’s going to look in 40 or so years time.
  • It’s a horrible shot of all those white crosses [and Jewish symbols] in rows. It’s a perfect symbolism of all the lives that were lost because Hitler got a bit greedy.
  • I love the colouring of this movie, its got a kind of green tint to it. But what I love most of all is that whatever they’ve done or whatever camera technique it is, it makes the actor’s eyes so clear and their eye colour more vivid, its just beautiful. My favourite example is at the beginning where you look into the OLD!Private Ryan’s eyes which are a gorgeous shade of blue, just like the ocean and we hear the sound of the waves crashing onto a beach.
  • The classic beach scene. What a way to start a movie. You can sense the fear but also the pride. Even though I wasn’t there and have never been in the middle of an actual war [thank heavens], I think this is very accurate. As soon as they leave the boat they’re immediately shot and you can totally see the bullets hit them and body stuff flying everywhere. Must of taken forever to wire the actors up for blood and brain matter to fly out. I loved it when the camera went underwater and for a moment the sound is peaceful and then goes above water and it’s the horrible sounds of the bullets then back underwater for the peacefulness and then up again and so on. Obviously, the images under the water were horrible because the bullets still hit the men underwater but its all about sound, the sound is often worse than the visual. Then there’s people with guts hanging out and blood flying everywhere and its gross but that’s war for you. Unfortunately, South Park has warped my mind and I found this part a bit funny; one of the medics is trying to help a wounded soldiers and shouts “I STOPPED THE BLEEDING!!” then the wounded soldier gets shot in the head. And then another time I laughed when I know I shouldn’t of was when a bullet deflected off a guy’s helmet, he takes the helmet off to see where the bullet it, another soldier says “lucky bastard” then the first guy gets shot in the head. Anyways, at the very end when all the firing has toned down a bit, one guy says “what a view” then Tom Hanks says “yeah, what a view” and to be honest, it is one heck of a view; it’s a beach that’s filled with dead bodies and body parts and fish and the sea is red from human blood.
  • My brother’s reaction to the opening scene: “OOO!” “BAM!!” “NICE!” my reaction to my brother’s reaction; *eye roll*
  • I love how Tom Hank’s shaking hand can symbolize and tell so much, very clever idea.
  • The iconic scene where the sound is like we’re underwater or partially deaf but you see all the horror that’s around Tom Hanks. I keep thinking of Ice Age2 where they do this and I’m sure its been done a million times in other TV shows and movies, it’s a very iconic [powerful] scene now.
  • The whole movie feels like its got hand-held which makes it more personal for the audience, almost like we’re in the action which I think was a very smart move for Spielberg. There were also times when it felt like we were watching a home movie because there were times when there was blood or sand on the lens! There are also all different kinds of wonderful camera angles, there’s ones on the ground, some aerial shots, everything in the filmmaking manual.
  • An emotional scene for the audience when we see all the women typewriting letters to the family back home about their losses. My dad said that every letter was personal, not just the same one sent out but with a different name. I thought it was very powerful to see them type the letters then hear their commanding officers do voiceover of what the letters say. Then one typist notices that one mum will have to receive 3 letters in one day about 3 of her 4 sons. I had to look it up as I thought it was a bit BS that they’d send out soldiers to find another soldier just because his mummy wants him home; turns out there is a thing called Sole Survivor Policy where if one or more of your siblings or mum/dad dies in the war then you don’t have to serve anymore.
  • There’s some short shots of tea, bacon sandwiches and a man shaving which my dad said were signs of comforting hope.
  • There’s a pretty awesome [in a film way, not a content way] scene where Tom Hanks and this other soldier are walking through this camp thing and there are things happening in the background, foreground and… well, pretty much everywhere, there is a soldier in every single part on the screen which really shows just how many people were involved in this war.
  • If you’ve been reading some of my reviews, you’ll know that I love the use of silhouettes on film and this film is no exception. I love that you know exactly what’s going on and how the characters are feeling even though you only see an outline of their body. There is also a shot where they’re walking up a hill into shot and it’s a classic Western-film style shot which made me smile a smug smile because I knew it was Western-film style because I’d watched Western films.
  • Me and dad chuckled a little when it cuts from them in a death scene to them in a field with sheep. Quite a contrast.
  • This movie has perfect moments of humor which you need in war movies but you’ve got to be super careful where you put them because it could easily fall flat on its face. Good thing this film put the humor scenes in in the right moments. Its nice to see them joking and having a bit of banter amongst each other, makes the characters feel more human.
  • 50 minutes went by so fast!! I normally look at the clock in a movie and wonder how must longer there is [which is a bad thought, I know] but with this film, I didn’t look at the clock till about 50min had gone! That’s the sign of a great movie.
  • Spielberg did a good job of showing that these men weren’t trained in the army for years, that they were drafted and once had ‘normal’ jobs.
  • I loved how me, my dad and my mum all laughed and cringed when they found the wrong Private Ryan. It was just perfect comical timing but it also had emotional depth too. Like, you really felt sorry for the wrong Ryan but also totally gutted that it’s the wrong one.
  • It was around this point where they’d found the wrong Private Ryan when Eddie Izzard’s voice came into my head and I remembered his skit on Saving Private Ryan about how you never see any English or French soldiers in this movie. “Maybe we could just look ’round the edge of the frame, “Hello! Hello, I’m a British soldier, this is a Canadian soldier here, three French, some Polish. There’s Australians and New Zealanders, there’s some Indian soldiers, South Africans. All been fighting here. What’s the name for us? Oh, The Allies, that’s it – The Allies.” Its funny because its true! There are no other soldiers in this movie!! It gives arrogant people the impression that only Americans fought this war.
  • The church scene was a very good scene because it was emotional and personal, just what a war film needs because its not just about bullets and killing people. I liked Tom Hank’s character saying that he has to think of it this way; if one soldier dies, that means that he’s saved 2 other soldiers. Then the other soldiers talk about their mum’s and the medic guy talks about his mum and its so sweet and yet so sad; he would try to stay awake when he was younger so he could talk to his mum when she got back from work but the harder he tried, the quicker he went to sleep. And then when she rushed home early to talk to him, he’d pretend he was asleep even though he knew his mum just wanted to know about his day.
  • I thought it was funny but also really good when a Jewish soldier laughed and mocked the German soldier prisoners. It showed that not all Jews were how they’re portrayed in most movies as being silent and stuff, so he just shouts at them and showing off his Jewish necklace.
  • Another ‘sign’ of all the lives that were lost during this war was the bag filled with dog tags of those who died.
  • “James Francis Ryan?” “Yeah! How d’you know?!”
  • I felt that Ryan was an ungrateful sod and they should of forced him to leave but alas, that wouldn’t be the ‘soldier way’ so they stay and fight with them. Ergh, damn American pride lol.
  • Sitcky bombs! That always make my dad laugh. “This is good, now we’ve got to surrender our socks.”
  • I really loved Matt Damon’s acting when he tells the story of the last time him and his brother’s were together. He laughs so much and it really feels like real laughter. And it’s the kind of laughter that happens when you’re telling a story that’s just so damn funny to you and probably you alone. I love those stories, I have them a lot with my old friend Jade. Oh, and Matt Damon has the whitest, brightest teeth I’ve ever seen!!!
  • I thought it was a little funny that the soldiers who were sent to find Private Ryan silently agreed to try and avoid him having to fight.
  • Back to modern times and OLD!Private Ryan salutes to the grave and I almost cried. I think I probably would of if my dad wasn’t next to me because I know he’d of said “man up” lol.
  • I’ve only one bad thing to say about this film and that was that it gives the impression that only the Americans fought in this war and I probably wouldn’t of thought that if I hadn’t been a fan of Eddie Izzard. Anyways, I recommend EVERYONE to watch this, it’s a fantastic movie that never gets dull or crap.

    68/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    more notes on the way…

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    The Departed

    This movie is about how one can be a rat in two very different ways. You have the police’s informant [DiCaprio] who is put in situations that would make you think he was the bad guy if you’d just walked in on the movie. Then you have the bad guy’s informant [Damon] who is in the Special Investigations Unit and would be, at first glance, the good guy. It sounds weird as I can’t really find the right words to put it but trust me, its incredibly clever.

  • Jack Nicholson’s iconic voice is one of the first things we here. This man is like Robert De Niro, as soon as you see or hear him, you know its going to be a great movie.
  • It is very realistic in terms of violence. You see and hear the gun, you see and hear the blood. Be prepared for that if you ever choose to watch this movie. If you faint at the sight of blood, best watch it already laying on the floor.
  • Its got two people whose names I can’t say properly thanks to Team America which is Matt Damon and Alec Baldwin. Both are great in this movie though Damon pisses me off slightly because there are times when I don’t know whether he’s pretending to be happy or is just doing some shit acting. Leonardo DiCaprio is awesome as always.
  • DiCaprio is bashed for having a criminal family record after having done nothing wrong himself, Damon just wanders in and gets a job even though he’s been working for Nicholson since he was something like 11; its not fair.
  • There is one scene that really made me laugh; Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg’s ‘your mum’-esk banter, it was pure comical genius. I can see why Baldwin is praised for comedy [though I’ve never seen 30 Rock or whatever its called.]
  • I’d say that for two thirds of the movie, Damon and DiCaprio are always linked but never actually interact. Its like they’re always together but never in the same room, if you get me. Damon may be on the screen but there is also the presence of DiCaprio. Hope I’m making sense. It was good, that’s what I’m saying ^_-
  • Nicholson’s codename is ‘dad’ or ‘pop’. He is the father figure for both Damon and DiCaprio and this is why they trust him so much. Nicholson uses the fact he is older than these men to his advantage and becomes their fathers. Very clever. Sneaky and mentally horrible, but clever.
  • Oh my God, this film has the most amazing looking desert ever! I’m not entirely sure what it is [and neither are the characters] but it looks kind of like a tower of brownies with chocolate things poking out of it and its at least a foot tall. It looks so delicious and made me want a brownie tower too. It is my birthday soon, actually… mum, you’re reading this, do you remember the desert? I think I watch some of this movie with you? I don’t want a cupcake for my birthday cake anymore, I want a brownie tower!!! OK, I’ve written too much about a desert now. I’m such a girl!
  • Nicholson is a different gangster leader. He actually gets involved and does stuff himself as well as getting others to do his deeds. There is one scene where he tortures DiCaprio even though his tough guy is in the room. By the way, that scene is very painful to watch. You find yourself wincing and holding onto your left hand and wrist. Ooooooo… so painful…
  • There is a lot of cross-cutting editing. We see two things happening at once and we also get comparisons between the lives of the two types of rats. We are constantly reminded that we are seeing two sides and two points of views.
  • Tehehe, there is a scene when Damon calls DiCaprio for the first time and as soon as Damon pressed the ‘call’ button, my phone went off! I jumped out my seat then started laughing; for a moment, Matt Damon was ringing me. [For those who care, it was one of those scam people. Knobheads. Sorry for my language but they are.]
  • At the end, I jumped and said “OOOOOO!!!!” about 3 times! Its so unexpected! I have seen this movie before but I must of changed the channel over before the movie ended because I never saw the end and now I realize I should of! Its so unexpected and I found myself going [highlight if you want to know the ending] “OH MY GOD, THEY KILLED LEONARDO DICAPRIO! THOSE BASTARDS!” I’m sorry, I watch too much South Park. >.< By the way, the blood spurting out of people’s heads looks freakishly real even though I’ve never seen someone’s head blow off.
  • Good film. Scorsese never lets you down!

    27/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 9:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    The Bourne Ultimatum

    If you’ve ever seen the film Team America and loved it [like I], then you can’t help but do the voice/impression that film does of Matt Damon where he can only say his name in that hilarious ‘dumb-like’ voice. As I began to watch this film, The Bourne Ultimatum, I grinned and did the Team America impression. However, I only did this once, at the very beginning, and never did it again. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne doesn’t make you want to do the ‘impression’. I’m impressed by this.

    The beginning of this movie is brilliant. For those who haven’t seen the previous Bourne films, you are wondering ‘why is this man, Bourne, running away?’. The first-time audience does not feel ‘damn, I should of seen the last two films as this is just bollocks to me’. For the final film in the trilogy, this is very tough to do, yet the ‘Ultimatum’ manages to do it perfectly. I think I’ve seen the previous one [number 2, The Bourne Supremacy] and therefore I think I remember why he was running and limping and so on. For those who have seen the previous films, this beginning is ideal as it takes off exactly where ’Supremacy’ left you, with none of the boring ’previously on Bourne’.

    There is a little background information that you need which is given to the new audience in a way that is not patronizing. In fact, unless you really looked into it, you could hardly tell that the audience is being told the previous stories in short. There is a scene where a debriefing meeting is taking place. The CIA staff are going through the background of the Bourne file and story, giving other CIA members [and the audience] a basic idea of what has previously happened.

    The whole film is shot using hand-held cameras, or at least the hand-held camera effect. This effect makes the whole film feel more personal. It makes the audience subconsciously feel like they are in the action, not just sitting in a chair. They are still witnesses to what is happening in the movie but because its all hand-held, it makes the audience feel like they’re watching true events, not some Hollywood blockbuster with fancy camera angles and special effects.

    However, there is some ‘fancy’ camera angles but I like to think of them as more of artistic cinematography. There is one particular shot that is used quite a few times; a person or object is blocking most of the screen, only to view a partial part of the person’s face. I’ve always been a fan of only using part of the screen. This particular technique could fall flat on its face with the audience looking at the person/object blocking the person. Paul Greengrass, however, makes sure that the blocking is either black or a very dark colour and the person in partial view is brightly lit. This makes sure that the audience look at the person rather than the person/object doing the blocking. Am I making any sense at all? Sorry if I’m not, watch the film and you’ll see what I mean!

    This film has something in common with a movie called Phone Booth with Colin Farrell. The whole film is one location which seems boring to the average civilian; a phone booth. Yet the makers of that film managed to make me [and my family] on the edge of our seats with anticipation. The Bourne Ultimatum does this too but only for a partial part of the film; the Waterloo Station scene. Its all set in a train station in London. I’ve been to this station a few times and its not that amazing. Yet, watching this, I’ve never been so interested in a train station [scenery] before. They’ve managed to make this mundane building something so exciting that you forget its just a train station! You may think I’m mad, but I find quite an achievement.

    A lot of spies or ‘heroes’ in these spy films are normally quite cheesy and sometimes a tad bit unbelievable which often works. Bourne, on the other hand, is always one step ahead of the CIA or snipers but in a very believable way. I don’t know quite how to describe it other than you don’t think to yourself “oh come on, that would never happen”. Bourne also never does any of those cheesy spy lines. Those lines can work for people like Bond but Bourne is a fresh approach to spies. He shuts his mouth and gets on with it which is what these people [if they are real] would do.

    One scene that I made a note on was the big fight scene between Bourne and the other assassin. There is a chase before this which has a big instrumental song over the top of it. The fight scene, however, has no music at all. I found this to be very interesting. I suppose it made the scene seem more real as all you hear are the grunts and groans of pain from the two men, the horrid sound of skin punching skin and glass and objects breaking. Its amazing what music [or lack of] can do to a scene. Another scene that I felt was brilliant for making it feel more real was the car chase scene. The camera focused more on what was happening with the cars and the drivers rather than making the cars look good. I loved this because I’m not the world’s biggest car lover and don’t really car about the car looking all pretty, I just want to see how much damage can be done to it before Bourne thinks ‘right, I actually can’t drive this anymore’. It was a scene in a movie, not a car advertisement.

    The whole film is very cleverly written. There are a few films out there that dumb it all down quite a bit and almost borderline patronizing. This film is simple to follow but in a way that still makes you think. The book, of which it is based on, must taken some credit for this. Its clearly been very well thought out and thank God the film didn’t ruin it completely. Also, I really liked the way that the CIA or at least most of its members [particularly Noah Vosen] are portrayed as the dumb, arrogant bad guys. Why do us audiences love seeing people of the government shown in a bad light? We love seeing them being proven wrong or have their asses handed to them by our ‘hero’. I think I shall end this review on my favourite lines from the film which I feel really showed how thick these CIA folk can be;

    Jason Bourne: Where are you now?
    Noah Vosen: I’m sitting in my office.
    Jason Bourne: I doubt that.
    Noah Vosen: Why would you doubt that?
    Jason Bourne: If you were in your office right now we’d be having this conversation face-to-face.

    Kate: BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    3/212

    Kate
    xoxo

    Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 10:45 PM  Leave a Comment  
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