Showing posts from 2014

"The Sixth Sense" (1999)

Ah, this is a brilliant movie. It’s a shame how everyone seems to know the end though. It was spoiled for me after I watched “50 First Dates”, but even in knowing the big twist, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s definitely without a doubt one of the better horror/thriller movies. Definitely one of my favourites.
Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a successful child psychiatrist, who throughout the film takes on the task of helping a frightened little boy (Haley Joel Osment) who appears to be plagued with the ability to see ghosts. Their relationship grows, and Malcolm begins to realise some home truths about the ghosts’ little visits.
The construction of the plot is something I like very much. You can watch it again and again and still find something you never noticed the first time round. The writers and editors had their little rules for example, if you look closely, if one of the ghosts is mad or getting angry then it’s cold; you see the temperature dropping in Cole’s (the little …

"Nosferatu" (1922)

The first horror films are apparently very surreal and disturbing, and in ways owe their visual appearance to expressionist painters, as well as spirit photography and gothic literature of the 1860s. They relied on the folklore and legends around Europe. Spirit photography was using double exposures (which is the repeated exposure of a photographic plate or film to light, often producing ghost images) or superimpositions (the placement of an image or video on top of an already-existing image or video, usually to add to the overall image effect, as well as sometimes to conceal something) to depict ghosts within a frame of film. Such an idea became popular from the 1860s onwards. During this time, audiences enjoyed seeing ghosts captured in still photography or magic lantern shows. The magic lantern used a curved-in mirror in back of a light source to direct as much of the light as possible through a small rectangular sheet of glass. On this was the painted or photographic image to be …

"Rumour Has It" (2005)

Jennifer Aniston plays Sarah Huttinger, a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for the book and film “The Graduate”, and wonders if she is the offspring of this well talked about event. Engaged to Jeff Daly, played by Mark Ruffalo, they return to Sarah’s home for her sister’s wedding, but Sarah, herself, is quietly uncertain about her engagement. Feeling as if she doesn’t belong amidst her family, she sets out to find the man at the heart of the rumour, Beau Burroughs, played by Kevin Costner. Kathy Bates also makes an appearance as Aunt Mitsy, and Shirley MacLaine is also very good.
I just watched this the other day. I’m not really one for rom-coms, they’re not really my genre, but I think I enjoyed this. The idea is so outrageous it’s funny all by itself. I mean, for yourself, your mother and your grandmother to somehow have a fling with the same man, is just...who comes up with this kind of thing? There are moments when you sort of sit back with an ‘oh my God’ or ‘…

"The Orphanage" (2007)

I think this is my favourite horror film I’ve seen. It ticks all the boxes. The plot is decent, there are some good twists, and the frights and tension are perfect.
Married couple Laura and Carlos move into a new home that was once the orphanage in which Laura grew up, hoping to reopen it for handicapped children. However, their adopted son Simón vanishes without a trace. Months pass during which Laura increasingly hears and feels the presence of other children around the house, and calls in a parapsychologist to investigate...
To be fair, I suppose, it is quite a sad story but the plot is decently constructed, leaving hints and trails to be followed so subtly that by the end the audiences are left feeling very satisfied. I love that details mentioned in the beginning come into play again in a big way later on. The frights are so good that even having seen the film, given the right volume, I still jump for them! The fact that it’s in subtitles doesn’t take from it at all. You still s…

"Hide And Seek" (2005)

In a nutshell: Robert DeNiro plays David Callaway, a widower attempting to get his life together in the wake of his wife’s suicide. At the same time his daughter, Emily Callaway (played by Dakota Fanning), finds solace – at first – in an imaginary friend named Charlie.
I can’t help feeling like this movie, while very good, is in some ways riddled in clichés. Under the risk of being insensitive, it’s almost always the mother who dies or is dead, while the whole father-trying-to-reconnect-with-his-child-who’s-for-all-intents-and-purposes-having-none-of-it comes in. Then there’s the feature of the sentimental music box, the overly friendly neighbours who bring baskets of food upon arrival, the inclusion of fishing as a pastime, the overly enthusiastic “friend” who also loves dolls but who Emily has no desire to be friends with, and finally there’s this friend’s aunt who unconsciously attempts to take the place of her mother and who Emily isn’t impressed with.
I think also it tries too …

"Alice In Wonderland" (1951)

The older Disney Movies were so much better. The animation was so distinct from any other, and I think it’s nearly lost that originality now in the newer ones. New artists, I suppose! I think actually this one was one of my favourites when I was younger. I still enjoy it now, I have to say!
The story of Alice In Wonderland actually originated as an 1865 novel titled “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Three years before the novel was produced, he and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat up a river with the three young daughters of Henry Liddell. During the trip, Dodgson told the girls a story about a bored girl named Alice who went looking for an adventure. The girls loved it and asked that he write it down, and thus after another boat trip and more elaborating on the tale, Alice In Wonderland was born. Since this book was produced, over the years there have been many stories, sequels and…

"Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" (1937)

The most exciting motion picture news of 1937 was when Walt Disney completed and produced his first full length feature production in Technicolour. An entirely new form of storytelling, it was the most daring adventure in screen entertainment since the first motion picture. Its credits titles were the longest in cinema history and audiences realised for the first time the tremendous amount of manpower required for the its production.
It is only in the recent months that I actually watched this original Snow White film. I have always loved Disney movies, having enjoyed many of them when I was younger, but somehow I never got around to seeing this particular one. Of course I knew the story, and had read books of it when I was younger, but had never actually seen this one.

I can’t say I care too much for the actual story. If I’m being honest, I think it’s downright sexist. For one thing, Grumpy quite blatantly passes various sexist remarks towards women, and none of them are later cont…

"Top Gun" (1986)

I like this movie. Navy pilot, Pete Mitchell aka "Maverick", is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training. Once inside a jet, he’s daring and fearless. A competition for the award of “Top Gun” aka to be the best of the best, begins which Maverick is intent on winning, vying against Val Kilmer’s character, "Ice". Maverick pursues a romance with civilian consultant, Charlotte Blackwood, while also attempting to determine the mystery behind the death of his father, who was also a very successful and talented navy pilot.
I don’t think the characters were developed well enough. I felt sort of disconnected from them all the time. For me, it all felt a bit rushed, and some of the situations were a little clichéd. However, there is certainly plenty of action. In fact the opening scenes immediately throw you into the action. There are some impressive stunts and the special effects are brilliant. I imagine it would have been quite an experience to watch on th…

"An Officer And A Gentleman" (1982)

I love this movie. Starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, it tells the story of Zach Mayo who lives with his alcoholic father since his mother’s death when he was a child. Deciding he wants to make something of himself, he decides to sign up for Naval Officer’s Candidate School with the hopes of attaining his childhood dream of becoming a Navy pilot. However, Zach is cocky and has more to learn than just becoming a navy pilot. But perhaps Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley and Paula, (one of the local girls) can be the ones to turn him into an officer and a gentleman!
In ways this film is fairly predictable, really...but you still have to love it. There is quite a bit of focus around the romance between Zach and Paula, pulling the audience along under the pretense of ‘will they-won’t they’...but if you’re not into that kind of thing, it doesn’t dominate the plot line, despite what all the posters suggest. I think it’s supposed to be one of the most realistic portrayals of life in a navy s…

"The Exorcist" (1973)

The scariest film of all time? Hmm...I don’t know about that, but it is by far one of the better ones, and most successful of its genre. Based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, we have the story of 12 year old Regan MacNeil who lives with her mother, Chris MacNeil, an actress adored by many. Strange things begin to happen, including Regan publically urinating at one of her mother’s house parties. As time goes by, Chris decides to take her daughter to see some doctors, but following extensive examinations and tests, no possible or logic diagnosis can be made for Regan’s self-destructive behaviours. Therefore, as a last resort, the option of having an exorcism is floated.
Honestly, the first time I watched it I was bored. Fifty minutes into the movie and all we got was the bed shaking! So by the time we actually got to the “scary” scenes, I wasn’t engaged with the story enough to care about the characters. I was able to understand how it could have gained the titl…

"Revolutionary Road" (2008)

I really love this movie. Based on Richard Yate’s novel of the same name, and set in the mid 1950s suburban neighbourhood of Revolutionary Road, it tells the story of a young couple with a life that on the outside seems so perfect, but is in fact far from it.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Frank Wheeler, a man who’s spent his years at Knox but wonders if there could be more to life. Played fantastically by Kate Winslet, his wife, April Wheeler, is desperate to escape her mundane lifestyle and hatches a plan to move to Paris where she will get a job instead, but as circumstances change, so does this plan. Kathy Bates also stars as neighbourhood busybody Helen Givings. – It was a real Titanic reunion!
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s performances are spectacular. Eleven years after Titanic, it’s a far cry from that romantic tale! There are some dark but powerful scenes. What I like about the film is that we feel for and understand both characters equally so it’s just sad to see them disi…

"The Basketball Diaries" (1995)

“The Basket Ball Diaries” is based on the autobiography of writer, Jim Carroll, telling of his days as a great high school basketball player and of his gradual descent into drug addiction. Rated 18s the content won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, shall we say...But I think for what the story is about, it’s portrayed extremely well. For this reason, I would say it’s quite possibly an underrated film.
We are given a good sense and understanding of the characters before they actually start taking the drugs, so the process is very gradual, which gave so much more impact to the actual descent into the drug usage. We can see clearly where it all went wrong and we feel for the characters because they opened the film with such promise of good lives as they were all very skillful basketball players, but threw it all away. I think it really gets across just how horrible the whole world of drugs actually is in a very realistic and powerful way.

What I like about this film too is the continuous vo…

"Look Who's Talking" (1989)

This is one of my favourite films. What can I say? I absolutely love it. I can watch it again and again and never get tired. It’s just a sweet story. Starring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and the voice of Bruce Willis, Look Who’s Talking offers a hilarious innovative look at motherhood and romance from baby Mikey’s point of view.
There are some very funny moments and humorous lines throughout. In many ways it is, I suppose, a unique kind of fairytale. Mollie (Kirstie Alley) sets out to find the best daddy for Mikey, and...Well, it’s fairly predictable, but you still gotta love it !
I think the music is very well chosen and adds loads to each scene. My favourite scene would have to be the “Walking on Sunshine” scene in which James (John Travolta) is babysitting Mikey and they’re dancing around the apartment and having all kinds of fun. You can’t help but smile.
Two sequels were made, “Look Who’s Talking Too” and “Look Who’s Talking Now”, but while I love them too, the first is by far…