29 July, 2013

Films of the week

So, this post was supposed to be published back on Sunday afternoon, but I had some problems with my internet (been having them often recently... but seem to finally have got it fixed!) and that's why I'm writing this now, in the middle of the night after a long day at work.

For those of you unaware of the fact: I love films. I used to be a really avid reader back in the days but lately I choose watching films more and more often (though I still love books, and have made a promise to myself to read more!). And as this week I've seen quite a few films, I thought I might as well do weekly updates on what I watch and how I like it. You're welcome to discuss these films, recommend me something (though be warned – my watchlist is already way too long!), and tell me about the ones you have recently seen. So, let it begin!

Flipped. It wasn't a bad film and definitely had some touching moments, but I expected slightly more from the director of such films as Stand by Me and When Harry Met Sally.... In some cases, instead of giving the feel of innocent childhood love, it came off somehow unnatural. Though it definitely made me all nostalgic.

via Allocine
Jeux d'enfants (Love Me If You Dare). It's been a while and I still don't know how to feel about this one. I digged the visual style, which reminded me a lot of Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain and La science des rêves, and I loved the scenes from the characters' childhood, as well as Marion Cotillard, who was just amazing as always and is one of the most beautiful actresses ever. But then as the film progressed, it got more and more twisted, even creepy, and finally left me confused – something I believed to be a romantic story ended up as a fairy tale of madness.

Stranger than Fiction. A bit predictable, as I wasn't surprised by the ending, but still very much enjoyable. It's definitely a highlight of Will Ferrel and and not the type of role you'd expect to see this guy in. And it's from the same director (Marc Forster) as World War Z, which I really want to watch – mainly because some of it was filmed here in Glasgow!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A quirky, seductive and glamourous cult musical, going against all kinds of morals. I could go on an on about over-the-top characters, and about it being weird, absurd and what not, but this is something to see for yourself – though I can't really imagine a lot of people liking it. I did though, and I wish I had the opportunity to see this in the cinema, as well as watch the stage version. Oh, and do I have a girl crush on Susan Sarandon now...

X2. And so it started... As a coworker of mine suggested we go see the new X-Men film, I realised I hadn't seen the second part of the main trilogy, even though I had watched both the first and the third films. Hence I checked it out before we went and was left pleasantly surprised – sequels rarely do that, but this has become my favourite among the X-Men films.

The Wolverine
via the official site
The Wolverine. Hugh Jackman on the big screen. Need I say more? Guess I should, in case that didn't convince you: while it had a different feel and mood than the previous X-Men films (at least for me), it wasn't in a bad way. There's quite a lot of character exploration going on, a new romantic story line, and, of course, lots of action scenes, that aren't overdone but instead actually interesting to watch. The intriguing ending left me impatiently waiting for the new film to come out.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This prequel promised a lot, but it didn't quite deliver. I could compare it to Hannibal Rising, as both of them reveal the origins of very interesting and mysterious characters, and while everyone watching the series was wandering and wanted to know how it all started, childhood trauma clichés just ruined it. It wasn't a bad film and I'm still glad I watched it – but it could have been way better.

X-Men: First Class. Having finally seen all the others, I couldn't just leave this one out. I didn't have high expectations and was once again surprised as this has become my second favourite from the series. I really enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence's performance here, which is strange as I'm not as crazy about her as the rest of the internet (genuinely can't see what all the fuss is about, there are so many actresses more worthy of it!).

Side Effects. A and me had been planning to watch this before it even came out, and at last we did it! Both of us were expecting the plot to be quite different, but weren't left disappointed, even though we did manage to guess most of the plot twists before they happened. And if that's not enough for you, I have two words: Jude Law.

via Premiere
Le gamin au vélo (The Kid and a Bike). A very realistic and heartfelt story about a boy abandoned by his father and coping with that in ways he shouldn't. It's beautifully shot and minimalistic yet with emotionally powerful narrative and strong performances. Reminded me why I like European cinema so much.

Amour. Still not so sure about this one. While I do appreciate what the director was trying to achieve (and definitely am not the right person to criticise someone as well acclaimed  as Michael Haneke), overall it was somehow lacking. But then again, maybe that's just me, not a huge fan of extremely long static takes and slow pace, it just makes me sleepy, and when I'm only half-awake, I can't really engage in the story.

Yes, eleven films. I do have something called life though, I promise! And now, I'm off to sleep. My sleeping pattern is definitely a strange one, but it being nearly 4 in the morning is bedtime even for me.

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