Tuesday, 28 June 2011

I'd like to begin by thanking BSB for its outstanding contribution to the cause...

Restoring the balance

In order to cancel out my foolishness of watching a non-List flicker show I am going to crack on with No.10 The Godfather. I realise this is a Top 10 film and I was saving those ones but it's on the Sky+ and I can't be bothered going through the DVDs I've collected to pick a different one. I've basically made myself an offer I can't refuse. BOO YA!

The Shawshank Redemption

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerm, why the eff have I just watched The Shawshank Redemption when it's not even on The List?! To say I'm pretty cheesed off would be an understatement! Argh!

However, despite my mini-gripe I really really enjoyed it. An amazing bit of filmage. If you ask me, and of course you are asking me, it belongs on The List. Funny, poignant and uplifting. Naturally there were some fairly brutal bits, it was all about a man's prison, but the aforementioned descriptors far outweighed any grim parts. I lost count of how many times I welled up let alone shed a tear especially the bit when Brooks gets parole, I could barely bear to watch it because I knew what was coming. But I can be forgiven for being overemotional, I am a girl after all.

I leave you with this... 
Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend. Sob.

Monday, 27 June 2011

43 Terminator II - Judgment Day

Here we are at Nr.43 Terminator II - please note German abbreviation for "number", that one's for you Schwarzles. This is one of those that I saw with the bro's when I was a young whippersnapper (days which are too far gone for my liking) but can't really remember what the flip went on. I knew that Arnie was good in it - good as in not evil, I was too young to form a reasoned opinion as to how good his acting capabilities were - and erm, yeah, that was about it.

I must say, that Austrian beefcake sure does know how to open a film doesn't he?! Phewee. I had to pause right away to have a cold shower. Unfortunately that was soon over and we moved on to Sarah Connor doing pull-ups in her crazy cell. No stirrings to be had.

Not really sure how I felt about this. While it was a cracking action flick I just don't think that there was enough grrrrrrrroomph (spellcheck) behind it. I blame Sarah. She was far too emotional, really brought it down. Or maybe it wasn't even that. Maybe it was quite simply that she was the most irritating character to ever grace the television screen? Even more annoying than Steve Carell in The Office: An American Workplace but perhaps less annoying than Russell Brand in every waking moment of his life. She was banging on about everyone dying on August 29, 1997, while doing everything in her power to eradicate all in her presence with second-hand smoke, trying to kill the friendly Terminator and just being a General Knob.

Enough of the bad point, let's get some positivity flowing. The end was aces. I don't really know much about special effects and all that jazz but T-1000 and his liquid metal transforming was a-mazing! That would without question be my numero one choice of body material after flesh. And the ability to transform into an exact replica of someone else... I know which Spanish senorita I'd be morphing into for improper purposes

Oestrogen overload over. The end of the film. Fab. How selfless was The Terminator? Made for evil but going out in an act of heroism. "I know now why you cry but it's something I could never do". Heavens, I was on the brink. And then Sarah came along and ruined the moment with her knowitall last couple of lines. Knoberation. Verdict - well placed at 43.

Final point - best line of the film. 

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Notebook

Now I know how to add photos (it's really very easy, you just press "add photo") here's The Notebook - front and back. Pretty pretty.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tension - UPDATED

Started watching On the Waterfront on the train yesterday morning, couldn't hear it properly so started playing a new game, Tiny Wings, and now I'm addicted to the game and have got no further with the film. Gonna have to squeeze it in tonight before it expires at around 0817 tomorrow. Booooooo. 

On the brightside, I was listening to a Ricky Gervais audiobook/podcast yesterday and he made reference to Nosferatu!!! I know what this is!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. The List is paying off in SO many ways. Awooga. 

Now I must watch the black and white mob film. So sleepy. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

UPDATE - I made an executive decision at 00.30 to go to sleep and get up at 07.00 to watch the rest before it expired. I did wake up but turned the alarm off. I'm annoyed about this. Bloody iTunes (because it's their fault not mine) should let you rent them for at least seven days. Herumph. Was turning out to be a good film too! Ah well, onwards and upwards. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Happy Birthday!!!

I had planned to tackle No.50 Blade Runner next but as it is my dad's birthday today I thought it might be nice to watch a film from his year of birth, 1953. However, having gone through The List, yes the entire list has been Googled, the only film from 1953 is No.82 Tokyo Story, which is not on iTunes and which I have no other means of obtaining right now. It sounds pretty depressing so quite pleased about that in a way! 

So, instead I shall go for a 1954 film and that film will be... No.63 - On the Waterfront - a black and white film it would appear and my first experience of Marlon Brando. I'll confess right now I thought he was a serial killer. Turns out that's Charles Manson. Live and learn eh. 

17 Annie Hall

Hmmm, what can I say about Annie Hall? Very enjoyable film. Pleasant. Was nice easy watching on the commute and required less concentration that the previous films that have graced my 3.5inch (diagonal) widescreen multi-touch display. I had previously thought that Woody Allen was a doddering old fool, mainly because I hadn't heard him speak or seen him do anything and to look at him I think my misguidance could be forgiven. Funny guy. Or maybe witty would be more apt. I can definitely see the attraction, which is odd considering he is not what you'd call an attractive person. Think maybe his voice helps for I am in LOVE with it, got that stereotypical Brooklyn twang that I thought was only spoken by Sex and the City's Steve "let women the world over down by cheating on Miranda" Brady.
To begin with I thought that Diane Keaton was Julianne Moore but I was soon corrected, after I had a quick squizz at Wikipedia to see who else was in it. I ended up really liking her. Scatter-brained and bouncing off the walls with a fairly natty sense of dress to boot.

I don't know what kind of set up the film was but I liked it. Seemed clean and simple. Annie and Alvie did a few bits to camera and off in their own thoughts. Kept me interested. I don't know where this is in The List. Hang on while I have a look... no.17. Hmmmm. I'd say that was a fair placement. Perhaps a little generous. I'd have maybe popped it up in the late 20s to mid 30s.

PS - young Jeff Goldblum cameo continues the confusingly attractive young actor theme that is present in The List. 

Monday, 20 June 2011

Up to date...

Ah, that feels better. All films watched so far have had something said about them. Maybe too much. Must keep more on top of things and learn to be more concise. Look at me, I'm growing as a person.

84 Festen (The Celebration)

Now, this one I really got into. When it started and I realised it was in what I thought was French I got to Googling. Turned out it was Danish. But this was not just any Danish film, this was the first Dogme film, Dogme #1 to be precise. I learned this was a movement created by the director of Festen, Thomas Vinterberg, and some other guy, that was pretty much championing a back to basics approach to films. No built sets, no special effects, no fancy shit whatsoever. There's one scene where Christian, the protagonist, faints and apparently he held the camera himself when he fell to the floor and to make a dizzy noise another cameraman whoosed a microphone around in the air. Definitely not fancy. Knowing all this I was really able to appreciate it within the film.

I don't think a synopsis type thing would be appropriate here. I've done that with the others, I really should look up the definition of "review" because I am clearly not doing that, more rambling my way through the plot, and I think this one definitely needs to be watched. It's funny, moving, delightfully weird and well worthy of your time. It's definitely the best film from The List so far and, as with Taxi Driver, it should be higher placed fo' sho. 

42 Blue Velvet (v 2.0)

I went in blind on this one. The only thing I knew about it was that Bobby Vinton sang the title song. I love that song. I remember it was on my brother's "This Is Cult Fiction" album that I tried on numerous occasions to steal but have to this day been unsuccessful. Now, whenever it comes on my iPod I have a sway to it whether my location be private or public. Hell, I'm swaying right now. 

Into the plot. Very dark. And another confusingly attractive young actor, Kyle MacLachlan - honestly both he and Robert De Niro have never done anything for me but both have appealed in their earlier films. It's a mystery film which begins with Kyle (can't remember character name, maybe Geoffrey?) finds a severed ear in a field. He bags it and proudly delivers it to the local detective. I think he'd have preferred a nice Sub of the Day but pah, beggars can't be choosers. Young Kyle decides to play detective along with the detectives retro-haired daughter, Sandy. 

All sounds pretty tame but then Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rosellini got involved in things. He's a mental masochist and she's nothing short of a psychologist's wet dream. Even her interpretation of the word "Velvet" in Blue Velvet is crazy. Vel-veeeet. All about the "e" at the end. I'd say it more with a short "i" sound. Like pit but velvit. Geddit? Anyway, that annoyed me. Fortunately her "singing" was intermittent. How many " " have gone into this paragraph? "Pheweeee". 

While we're on music, there's a wonderfully bizarre scene with Roy Orbison's "In Dreams". Beautiful song and I was delighted to find this in my iTunes - god bless my dad's love for Roy making into my collection. This seems to be Dennis Hopper's trigger, sending him into a depressive rage, if there is such a thing. 

Great film. It definitely had a tension about it, I was on edge on many occasions throughout. My first liaison with David Lynch too, I've seen a bit of Mulholland Drive but in typical fashion I haven't seen all of it. Gar! I will now though, at some point in the near future.


I've been somewhat lax in the reviewing so far. I have been making my way through The List though. Last week I did Taxi Driver, Blue Velvet and No.84 Festen or "The Celebration" for the non-Danes out there. I started watching No.17 Annie Hall this morning and have collected together a few DVDs from the rents house as well as Sky+ing The Godfather and Shawshank during some late night TV guide perusing. We're well underway.

62 Taxi Driver

I'll admit I was feeling a smidge apprehensive about watching this. For years I've caught glances of the DVD cover and thought "Jesus, he actually looks insane" and then there's the description about him being a mentally unstable war veteran working as a night-time taxi driver. So sinister, so thought-provoking. I thought it was going to be two hours of gratuitous physical torture and elaborate murder. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bit of torture and murder but I like mine milky with two sugars a la Midsomer Murders.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not like that at all. I found two taglines: "On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody"; "He's a lonely forgotten man desperate to prove that he's alive" - I think the second fits better. I immediately felt pangs of empathy for the young and confusingly attractive Robert De Niro, or "Travis" as he preferred to be called here. All he wanted was to go out with Betsy, lovely sweet Betsy. But he went about it the wrong way. After a brief stint of daylight taxi stalking he approached her and she said she'd go for coffee with him. Understandable. He had a clumsy charm about him. Coffee went well. She said she'd go see a film with him. And that's where it all went wrong. He took her to see a bluie. No, Travis. Just no. Cue his mental demise - writing in his diary surrounded by the long dead flowers, the smell of which make him feel sick, that have failed to win Betsy over. He buys some guns, cobbles together a rather nifty gun-to-hand device that fits in his sleeve and starts holding his arm over a gas ring - the logic of which is lost on me. He takes it upon himself to save Iris, a teenage prostitute, from a ridiculously attired Harvey Keitel after she is wrestled out of his taxi one night. The rest of the film is pretty much him strapping guns to his body, poncing around in the mirror and standing around in crowds unsuccessfully attempting to shoot a politician. 

Argh! Robert where has your hair gone?! So we're at the end of the film. A big shoot-out in the brothel where Iris does her business. Travis has already killed Harvey on his stoop outside. Or has he? Travis goes inside to save the day and rescue Iris. He shoots the first person he sees and then BANG, Harvey's only gone and bloody survived and managed to shoot Travis in the neck. That's it. His number is up. No. Twist alert. There's loads of shooting by loads of men and at the end Travis is sat on a sofa, Iris bawling in a corner, and he looks at the police who have arrived, points a hand gun (gun shape made with his hand, not a gun gun) at his temple and "shoots" it. Then his eyes roll backwards and we are left thinking he's dead. But wait. There's seven more minutes of the film left. What's going on? Well, he isn't dead. He survives and is hailed a hero by the media. Iris has gone back to her rents and they send him a letter thanking him for what he did. 

There's some chat that the end isn't real. That he is in fact dead and it's his dying dream to have been portrayed in that way. Perfectly feasible, except apparently they're making a sequel. Unless it's going to be about him shooting his way through the Pearly Gates, I think there's a good chance he lived. I'm not sure how I feel about a sequel. Especially as I don't think there'll be a demise, he's just going to be highly strung the whole way through. Perhaps it is the sequel that will deliver on the fear I was feeling before watching this. Some things are best left alone, I believe this to be one of those things. It was perfect as it was. Eight on ten rating from this little lady.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Coming soon...

Taxi Driver has been viewed! No "review" of it just yet though, I can't muster the energy right now.

I do have enough time to say that the next film is downloading right now and it is going to be *drumroll 

No.42 - Blue Velvet.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Next up...

I was going to go for Vertigo but that's in the Top 10 and I'm trying to save those because there's only six in there that I haven't seen. Instead I am going to go for...

No.62 - Taxi Driver - I understand this quite a heavy film, perhaps not one for the morning commute.

22 The Breakfast Club

Right then, here we go...

I rented The Breakfast Club from iTunes for £2.95. It's valid for 30 days but once you start watching you have to watch it within 48 hours. I thought this was a good idea because I have a tendency to start a film, pause it while I make a coffee or go to the loo, and then never press play again and put something else on. Now that I'm spending my hard-earned cash it's a whole different kettle of fish.

Do we all know the plot for The Breakfast Club? Five teens (Jock, Stoner, Weird, Princess, Geek) end up in detention on Saturday for reasons that we do not find out until later in the film. In the end they realise that despite being from different social backgrounds and hanging around in different cliques at school they're actually pretty similar. Aahhhhhhh.

My thoughts? It was alright. Felt like a lot of it was just recycling the material throughout the 90 minutes. Fender would get angry, Claire would tell him to shut up, Fender would call her a bitch, Andy would tell him to leave her alone - rinse and repeat as required. By far my favourite character was Brian, he very much brought the humour to the library table. When they got the weed out of Fender's locker and he turned to the weird girl (whose name I forget, gosh, am Claire?!) and said "do you approve of this?" in a manner that was just funny. Made me chuckle. If I'm honest, I don't really have much more to say for it than that. The tunes that played throughout were classic, and I now get the relevance of Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me" in all those coming of age American teen movies such as American Pie and - not a movie but - an episode of Family Guy when Peter goes undercover at Meg's school. I think my final point will be the library. Oh my God, what a library!! I think I'd have been a harder worker if I could have spent my time in one like that, advanced beyond its years. And, had an a/c system that somehow filtered out the smell of weed instantaneously. Not that I smoke weed, or have, but if I did, I would be doing it in that library. 

So, not the best review in the world but hey, I never claimed to be Barry Norman did I?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

So far...

I've just been through The List and struck out the ones that I have watched, or at least the ones that I have watched properly. Pulp Fiction, for example, I've seen bits of it here and there when it's been on the telly but not the whole thing in one sitting. The Matrix, again, have seen bits but not all of it - the blame for this one lies solely with Alex Valentine. We were watching it in English in Year 8 or 9 and he chose that particular class to debut his remote control watch. Cue discussion about the wonders of the advancement of technology and the appeal of watching Keanu Reeves have some worm thing put in his stomach (or taken out, I can't remember which. Was there even a worm?) went right out the window. 

Anyhoo, I digress. In order to do this properly I am going to make sure I watch these all the way through. Not sure how I'm going to watch them, I can get hold of the DVDs for some but what to do for the rest. Do I go on a frenzy on Zavvi and Play to get them? Or do I try iTunes and get them so I can watch them on the train to work on a morning? Ah, decisions decisions. I suspect I will do a mixture of the two, in case you couldn't bear the suspense of not having a definitive answer.

Not sure which to start with. A guy at work lent me The Last of the Mohicans a while ago, which I thought I would watch and cross off The List but alas it hasn't even made it on there!!!!! Something which I shall relay to him tomorrow morning cos he thinks that film is the shit. The shit in a good way, not the bad fecal way. 

First film is going to be...Number 22 - The Breakfast Club. Hopefully have a review (I use this term loosely) or opinion of it in the next couple of days!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The List

100 - Jurassic Park 2.7.11
99 - La Belle et la Bete

98 - My Fair Lady
97 - Point Break
96 - Lost In Translation 12.6.11
95 - Grand Hotel
94 - The Towering Inferno
93 - Cool Hand Luke
92 - A Bout de Souffle
91 - Short Cuts

90 - Trainspotting 12.6.11
89 - Touch of Evil
88 - Wild Strawberries
87 - Silence of the Lambs 2014

86 - Nosferatu
85 - Dog Day Afternoon
84 - Festen 17.6.11
83 - Spartacus
82 - Chungking Express
81 - North By Northwest

80 - Tokyo Story

79 - Deliverance
78 - The Lady Eve
77 - The April Trilogy
76 - Blazing Saddles
75 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
74 - Rosemary's Baby
73 - Great Expectations
72 - Days of Heaven
71 - This Is Spinal Tap

70 - The Conversation

69 - Hidden
68 - The Maltese Falcon
67 - The Piano
66 - Toy Story 12.6.11
65 - The Thin Blue Line
64 - Do The Right Thing
63 - On The Waterfront - 40 mins left 22.6.11
62 - Taxi Driver 14.6.11
61 - Rashomon

60 - The Crying Game

59 - Pulp Fiction 1.2.15

58 - Dr Zhivago
57 - Raging Bull
56 - Whisky Galore
55 - The Matrix
54 - LA Confidential 12.6.11
53 - Mildred Pierce
52 - La Dolce Vita
51 - Cabaret

50 - Blade Runner

49 - High Society
48 - Shoah
47 - Fargo 12.6.11
46 - All About Eve
45 - Life and Death of Colonel Blinip
44 - A Streetcar Named Desire
43 - Terminator II 27.6.11
42 - Blue Velvet 16.5.11
41 - A Star Is Born

40 - The Life of Brian

39 - The Graduate 12.6.11
38 - Rear Window
37 - Beau Travail
36 - Jaws 12.6.11 & 22.7.11
35 - Withnail & I 23.7.11
34 - The Man Who Shot Liberty
33 - One Flew Over A Cuckoo's Nest 12.6.11
32 - The Empire Strikes Back
31 - His Girl Friday

30 - Rebel Without A Cause

29 - Duck Soup
28 - Gone With The Wind
27 - A Clockwork Orange
26 - Goodfellas 12.8.11
25 - Picnic at Hanging Rock
24 - Philadelphia Story
23 - Some Like It Hot
22 - The Breakfast Club 13.6.11
21 - Bonnie & Clyde

20 - Wizard of Oz

19 - The Exorcist
18 - Don't Look Now
17 - Annie Hall 21.6.11
16 - Metropolis
15 - Apocolypse Now
14 - Jungle Book 12.6.11
13 - 2001 A Space Odyssey
12 - Alien
11 - Sound of Music

10 - The Godfather

9 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 12.6.11
8 - Sunset Blvd
7 - Kes 12.6.11
6 - Vertigo
5 - The Shining 28.2.15
4 - Chinatown
3 - ET 12.6.11
2 - There Will Be Blood
1 - Casablanca

The beginning

So...I haven't seen a lot of films. Correction, a lot of "epic" films. The likes of The Shawshank Redemption, Silence of the Lambs and Schindler's List have not played out before me. Yes, these were around in my days of pubescence and my peers saw them but they were far too gruesome (or sci-fi - boooooo) for a delicate flower such as myself, who was balanced ever so precariously on the precipice of life, to be watching. The lack of filmage in my life came to light when my housemate grilled me on the BBC 100 films you simply must see list - cannot find the exact page but it's not dissimilar to that one. After totting up just how few had played out before my baby blues she took great pleasure in immediately branding me an "ignoramus". I'd like to point out that she doesn't think Roger Moore was the best Bond so I take my title with a pinch of proverbial salt.

It was time to take action. Earlier in 2011, January I think it was, I was in the market for a diary, yes it must have been January, but couldn't find one in Paperchase that was pretty enough. And then I espied a lovely notebook adorned with birds and flowers and butterflies. Delightful. I thought "hey, they don't have a diary you like, you make your own damn diary". Later that evening, armed with a ruler and two pens, green and purple, I set about marking up the year. I fell at the first hurdle, smearing green gel ink across the page with the ruler. Then i forgot to alternate the green and purple from week to week. Then I wrote the wrong numbers. Then I realised this was beyond my realms of creativity. I was sad, I'd had big plans for this diary. So I packed away my tools and meekly put the notebook in a drawer. 

There it stayed until BBCFilmgate. I immediately Googled "100 films" and up popped The Guardian's list - I can't find the list to link to now though, typical. I'd only recently discovered The Guardian website having been introduced to their TV reviews by someone at work, the first review being Nigella Kitchen. Based on this I knew it was the list for me. I clicked and read, saw many of the same films as on the BBC list, and a few more, and then the lightbulb moment came...this is what the notebook should be used for. And so, armed with two pens, green and purple, I set about writing down the films. Ten to a page, green on one, purple on the next.

And now here I am, ready to blog it for no one to read. Here goes...