Friday, February 17, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #136: Shakespeare Adaptation



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Shakespeare Adaptation

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I think I've picked all of them before, but since I decided to do a theme within a theme I'm picking them again.

West Side Story (1961)
I could not watch this the first time I saw it. The dancing turned me off. Gave it another try a few years a later, and I like it much better. Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet was about feuding rich powerful families, West Side Story took it to the city and made it about rival New York City gangs. The urban landscape and race relations made an old story feel a lot more relevant. I appreciate the dancing now too, the choreography was really good.
 
Romeo and Juliet (1968)
I love this one. Shot in Italy, it feels the most authentic. The leads were also actual teenagers and as Romeo and Juliet, they were as young, playful, flirty and naive as they were written.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)
One of my favorites. I would never have thought that Shakepeare's style of speech would work in contemporary setting, but here it soo does. I think Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes have always been good actors and they're really good in this as well.

Romeo & Juliet (2013) 
Sorry to end with a bummer, this is probably one of the worst R&J ever. They kept the original setting and even shot in Italy, it's probably trying to be better than the Zeffirelli version but just fails. Not sure how much was changed from the original play but a lot of it feels lacking; like it's not fun and flirty (at least in the beginning it was supposed to be) and totally lack any passion. The delivery too by the actors too was just so meh. Everything was just not working here.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #135: Prodigy/Genius



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Prodigy/Genius

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A very late post...sorry and a quick one too.

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
My favorite Wes Anderson movie. It's about a dysfunctional family consisting of three grown up prodigies.

Proof (2005)
I've talked about this one too before. I really loved it when I saw this, a long time ago. Preferred it to the other movie about mentally ill mathematician, A Beautiful Mind. Anyway Proof follows the daughter of a brilliant but mentally ill mathematician, as she realises that she too may have inherited his illness.  

Ex Machina (2015)
One of the main characters is a young tech ceo / mad scientist who creates intelligent androids and conducts disturbing psychological experiments in his secret secluded home/lab.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #134: Movies About Artists (Painters)



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies About Artists (Painters)

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We've had themes on writers and musicians, so I thought let's do one on painters. Did I realise there aren't a great many movies about them, maybe not. My choices were slim, in fact I think these were the only 3 I've seen.

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
A fictional tale about the unknown girl in Vermeer's famous painting. I've picked this one before so I'll keep this short. Love this one. It's slow moving but so good and such a beautiful looking film . The set design and the lighting makes everything look like they came off the paintings.

Renoir (2012)
Jean Renoir the son of the famous painter returns home during World War I to convalesce after being wounded. Assisting his father, Jean meets his latest young muse who would become his own muse in his eventual filmmaking career. Like the Girl with a Pearl Earring this film was just gorgeous. I came into the film without reading the synopsis thinking it was about the painter; it's actually more about the family and their relationship. I knew nothing of the painter Renoir beyond just having seen his paintings; he was an old man the time the film is set, suffering from arthritis affecting his hands which required him an assistant to prepare his brushes and place them in his hands but continued to paint till the end which was just fascinating.

Summer in February (2013)
A love triangle involving two painters and a land agent at an artist colony in Cornwall. The movie was unfortunately very dull, I just could not care for the story. Unlike the above two films that took total advantage of them being films about artists and using their work as a reference for the visual style of the movie, Summer in February doesn't quite do that; it doesn't have a visual identity. I think it's probably because it features more than one artists it couldn't exactly amalgamate all their artistic style and turn it into the film's visual style which takes out the fun of watching a film about artists.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #133: TMP Television Edition - Science Fiction




Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is TMP Television Edition - Science Fiction

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First TV edition. Yay! I've been wanting to create a TV edition for some time. I think the last year or so I've been watching more TV than movies. Which is not at all surprising since we are in peak TV, there are so much good stuff to watch and streaming service finally landed on our shores last year (Yes it took that long!) which certainly has given me access to TV shows like never before. My picks today are those that I've seen the past year which I really like.

Orphan Black (2013 - )
A young woman witnesses a suicide of a woman who looks exactly like HER. So she assumes the dead woman's identity to find out what is going on and finds herself in this big secret experiment/conspiracy and find others that look like her - they're all clones! We get Orphan Black on cable here so I've been following it since 2013. I think this year's season 5 is going to be the final season, which is good in that they're working at a conclusion, hopefully a good one. I don't think the show has been consistent throughout; the middle seasons lost me a little but I think the fourth season was good again. Despite its sometimes meandering-ness, Tatiana Maslany as all the clones is always excellent making them all fully lived separate characters.

The 100 (2014 - )
Earth has been devastated by a nuclear disaster and a community of humans have escaped it by living on space stations. In this society, all those found guilty of a crime are put to death (because rehabilitation is not something they have the resource for), except for children under 18. So when the stations' resources become scarce a century later, a group of 100 juvenile delinquents (deemed expandable) are sent to earth to see if enough time have passed for it to become habitable again. Based on a YA novel and airing on the CW (in the U.S.), I don't think a lot of people were keen to check it out, plus from what I hear CW doesn't get a lot of viewers like networks like NBC? The first few episodes of season does feel a little YA-ish but it gets better and I think it's actually good. I'd say it's a little like Lord of the Flies meet Sci-Fi, at least in the first season. The turning point for me was episode 4 of season one when one of the kids kill another. A witch hunt occurs, a known bully is accused and the group is ready to execute him, except that it wasn't him. When the group finds out who it really is, they're not quite ready to serve the same punishment. Do they punish a person for the crime committed or for the person that he or she is? These kids are not quite sure what kind of society they trying to make in the midst of also trying to survive in an environment alien to them. So yeah, if you're just checking this series...give it a few episodes.
 
The Expanse (2015 - )
I'm just going to use the IMDB plot summary - "A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt. " This series airs on the SyFy in the U.S. and I think SyFy doesn't really give a good impression, I mean they did make Sharknado. I sort of expect bad ridiculous plots, bad acting and bad effects from anything coming out of SyFy. But since I heard some good reviews of The Expanse I checked it out when it became available on streaming. I'm not that experience in watching Space Sci-Fi TV series (I mean sure I saw Star Trek but I was to young to know what I was watching), anyway what I'm trying to say is I think it's actually really good. The world feels lived in, interesting characters and an intriguing story. Its plot does take its time to unravel and get the characters storyline to converge, but it's all good and I can't wait for season 2.

The OA (2016 - )
A previously blind woman reappears after a seven year disappearance with her sight restored. I'm going to talk in vague terms here because the less you know of the plot, the more you'd enjoy the series I think. Anyway I enjoyed this series. It has an interesting story and has that very experimental way of storytelling that is appealing, but I do wish it was a little more polished and I could do without the "dance". I understand the purpose of it was for the five to have this little thing that was exclusively their own, but the dance was a little too cheesy for me, like I turn away when they start doing it. If you have seen Brit Marling's other work, Another Earth and Sound of My Voice, I think you'd enjoy this. The OA does share some similarities with them, it has some pretty imagery like Another Earth and has a somewhat similar character, a young woman returning home after a long absence trying to reintegrate back into society. Like Sound of My Voice, the OA has a character telling a story, the truth of which is uncertain and then there's the intricate physical movements performed by the members. I don't think a season 2 has been announced for the OA so I hope it does eventually get renewed since things aren't really resolved.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #132: Movies Featuring an Actor/Actress that Passed Away in 2016



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share three movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies Featuring an Actor/Actress that Passed Away in 2016

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This week's theme is a suggestion by Birgit (BB Creations). I'm picking Anton Yelchin because I think I've watch his films the most (Alan Rickman is probably around the same number as well but like 7 of those are Harry Potter films) and I'm picking his earlier films.

Charlie Bartlett (2007)
A high-schooler becomes a "psychiatrist" to his fellow classmates when he begins dispensing advice and prescription drugs to them. I really wanted to like this movie, the trailer looked like it could be good but I just found it just ok. It's sort of feels like a mash of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Harold and Maude that doesn't quite reach the same level of humor and greatness.

Fierce People (2005)
A massage therapist and her son moves into the guest house of her client, an old billionaire. It's been so so long since I've seen this that I've forgotten so much of the plot and I can't believe it has such a terrible Rotten Tomatoes ratings because I remember liking it and thought the young cast, Anton Yelchin and Kristen Stewart, were pretty impressive in it. And oh...Captain America, Chris Evans is in this as well.
 
Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
The oldest film of the lot, but the one I saw most recently. I like it, I thought it was good coming of age story with a touch of supernatural element. Based on a Stephen King book it's about a young boy that befriends an old man with special abilities.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #131: Fashion World



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share three movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Fashion World

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I had read somewhere that there was some Fashion Week happening at some fashionable city this time of the year, hence today's theme.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
This movie turned 10 last year! How did that happen? Anyway I'm so not into into the fashion world but this one is great. It's sharp, funny and has crazy costumes.

Coco Before Chanel (2009)
The movie is about her life before her fame, like her formative years and the men in her life. While there were pretty costumes and some pretty shots, I just remember this movie being very very dull. I just didn't care. 

It Boy (2013)
A French romantic comedy which is sort of silly but I enjoyed it so much more that the Coco movie. A workaholic fashion editor in her late 30s is regarded as boring by her colleagues and boss. That is until they think they see her kissing a college student and she sort of becomes the cool modern woman to them. So she decides to play along to see if being cool again gets her a promotion.

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