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Free Candy!

Sorry, no free candy. Just another annoying reminder that I’ve moved sites. Same content and whatnot, just different location.

So go there and check it out and stuffs.

New Site and Angelina Jolie Q&A

So as I’ve mentioned I’ve moved this blog to a new site. Same thing and all of the old content is there, just nicer. So make sure to go there from now on. New Site Link. Basically another reminder about that.

Anyways. Angelina Jolie has a new movie (her directorial debut) coming out/out called In the Land of Blood and Honey. Tomorrow night there is a live Q and A being streamed online that she’s doing. You can ask questions and whatnot and win a free poster of the movie.

Why am I advertising this? Because, if you care about watching it you can see it on my site. That means you have to go to the new site, but it will be streamed live there for you to watch. There are three different posts about the topic, but here is the one that will be showing the event.

So move over to the new site and if you want to watch the Q&A you can do so on the new site.

Movin’ Right Along

So this is pretty simple. I’m not really going anywhere. I’ve simply decided “upgrade” things. So this particular site will no longer be updated or used (I’ll still check and make posts like this probably). I have a new site (supposedly superior).

Go to the new site

It’s still the same blog and everything, just no longer on wordpress (though still using wordpress). Anyone whose subscribed and sort of re-subscribe there and all of that jazz. Basically, just make to go to the new site from now on.

New Film Daze Site

Love Actually

So this is a bit of a long post.

I actually enjoy rom-coms. I know I’m forbidden to say that as a man, but I’ve seen a fair number of them. There are those that are crap and those that I genuinely like. Some are just ok. I’m not being dragged to watch all of these movies either. And the excuse that they’re all generic is kinda bull. All genres are “generic.” Kinda why they’re a genre. That’s not the point though. That’s a whole separate post I may get into some day.

So Love Actually, is a Richard Curtis film. The man behind works like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary and of course the amazing Blackadder. I like all of those (I feel like Blackadder shouldn’t be included though. Too different). They’re rom-coms and they’re good. To me at least. Love Actually is amazingly enough, another one. The title gives it away, and in a sense kind of gives away the whole film.

I both like and dislike Love Actually. It’s complicated. The original cut (one of them at least) was over three hours. The runtime now, is 135 minutes. That’s still a long movie, especially for the genre. Love Actually is one of those movies that involves separate story-lines that all interconnect in the end, though you can see the connections easily enough as the film progresses. The character connections are really anything to worry over. My experience with these kind of films is that they never seem to be that good. To me they always come across as to overly complex for what they are and Love Actually is no exception. It’s long and has a number of pretty complex stories that don’t fully work because they’ve been cut down to fit in the film. They’d work better as a miniseries TV movie where we could see the full stories.

Beyond that though, the movie has another fault with me. It’s kind of… schmaltzy? Some of it just seems horribly gushy to me and cliché. I know that’s excepted from some films in the genre, but it still seems a bit excessive at times. That and I guess I’m expecting more from Curtis. Still, the romance part of the movie still works. That and it is supposed to be somewhat fairy-taleish. Rowan Atkinson’s character was initially/still is supposed to be an angel, but it kinda got cut from explanation.

The comedy aspect is what does it for me. It’s why I enjoy rom-coms because they can amazingly enough be good comedies. That’s where this movie shines because despite how unfunny it can be (moments where it isn’t supposed to be anyways) the movie has some great comedic moments. At least I thought so. It’s not like it’s going to be on anyone’s top comedy lists, but it’s still really good there.

The cast is another one of of those aspects that helps make the film work. Ensemble casts generally seem to be less than what you want, but the ones that work are usually really good. So let’s start with Bill Nighy. He’s a great actor. Love him. Does a great job here. Wish he had more screen time. Shit, they could make a whole movie for his character, which I guess they could do for most of the characters really.

Colin Firth has his own little storyline as well. It’s not really that brilliant. It’s Colin Firth playing the kind of role he’s known for and he does a good job at it. In this case he’s kind of exaggerating it even more.

Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster play stepfather and son. Both are really good. I actually want to go back and see how many scenes have Neeson standing at full height and not bent over. The kid is little to begin with and of course Neeson is huge, so it’s entertaining to watch that interaction just because of that. I also loved how blunt there part was. It was a very open relationship that I’m sure plenty of people would disapprove of (at least in the US), which is kind of bull. Kind of wish some of their deleted scenes stayed in.

Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play husband and wife. Thompson is great. She actually probably appears the most in the film since she seems to be the one most of the characters all know. Rickman unfortunately get’s les screen time, which is a shame. He’s a great comedic actor. Has the timing down wonderfully. He needs more of those roles. There’s also a deleted scene with Thompson and her son (who never appears really) about writing a school essay about their christmas wish. His is to see everyone’s farts, which would be great. This also leads to cutting out the headmistress’ little story, which was good as well. Anyways, both do a good job, though I feel like their story get’s cut up a bit. Both of their characters have more scenes to work with other characters than their own marriage troubles. Maybe not. Kind of feels like it though.

Now is as good as any to mention Rowan Atkinson I guess. He is supposed to be an angel, though lacking the wings and whatnot. One of the deleted scenes with Emma Thompson and her children actually alludes to this even. The whole thing of his holiness was cut out because it complicated things to much. That makes sense. The movies already to complicated. Still, Atkinson still appears and the best one is with Rickman in a shopping center. It’s a great scene to begin with, but if you go and watch the movie, knowing he’s supposed to be an angel, his appearances make more sense.

Martin Freeman has a nice little bit. Plays a stand in doing nude sex scenes. Nice little bits.

Kris Marshall has a couple of nice lines as well and I do like the portrayal of Wisconsin.

Laura Linney has a bit part. I didn’t care for it, mostly because it felt so stripped down.

Keira Knightly and Chiwetel Ejiofor are newlyweds. We get to see their wedding. Andrew Lincoln (Walking Dead) is Ejiofor’s best friend. I think they probably have the least funny story. I really can’t think of much with their plot that was funny. Probably the one I liked least.

And finally (I think) is Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon. Grant is Grant. He does his normal thing. He also has a number of great lines in addition to his nice little dance (which was to short) and his speech about the “special relationship” between Britain and the US.

I’m tired and need to stop. Basically the movie has plenty of problems, mostly because it tries to accomplish way to much. Still, it has some great bits. It’s a good comedy at least.

Die Hard

Well this isn’t really a christmas tradition. I’d like it to be, but it still sort of is. Every year around christmas time I usually end up watching Die Hard again. Not every year and usually not on christmas eve like this year, but generally Die Hard gets a re-watch around the holiday. Personally, I’d like to make it more of a tradition.

Anyways as odd a choice as Die Hard maybe be to watch on Christmas Eve, it is set on that day. It technically takes place during the holiday. It’s sort of hard to tell. McClane’s wife is at a Christmas party in Nakatomi tower and they do allude to it a couple of times.

Anyways Die Hard is a bout this cop from New York who comes out to visit his wife in LA (she also has their two children). He stops by the christmas party and shit hits the fan shortly after. Some Germans led by Hans Gruber hijack the party and get up to some nonsense. McClane hides and basically fuck shit up. Eventually the police get involved and things get worse. In the end good triumphs, but that’s hardly a surprise. Really describing the plot to Die Hard seems kind of pointless. In my mind it’s a well known movie, but there are plenty of people unaware of it.

Anyway, I’ve always liked Die Hard. It’s a nice shoot ’em up, blow shit sky-high extravaganza. That and the movie has some pretty sweet lines and is actually funny. It’s a great action movie or comedy by itself for the most part and the two elements combined really work.

The actors though are the reason why. I like Bruce Willis. He’s great as John McClane. I’m assuming it’s his most notable role. I also recall reading somewhere that like 90 percent of his dialogue was improvised, so if that’s true, even more kudos for the man, because he has some great lines. Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker. Alan Rickman is also great as Hans (I love that Jeremy Irons plays his brother in the third film). He’s a great actor and does a great job at villains (though he he has amazing comedic timing). The supporting cast is great to. Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters is probably why you recognize him), does a great job as does Paul Gleason. They both kind of play character types they are well known for and they do such a good job at it. The terrorists are all pretty good small roles as well. Same for some of the office workers or police/FBI. Not big roles, but they do a good job for the jokes they’re put in there for.

I feel like I should say more, but I can’t think of a lot to add. The dated references are great, especially if you catch them. I wonder how many people know who Roy Rogers or Arafat are. The edited version for cable is interesting to watch, because the film has a fair amount of explicative so editing them for cable is fun to listen to. Especially Willis’s catchphrase.

So yeah. I love Die Hard. Great action-comedy. If you haven’t seen it you should and hell, maybe you’ll make it a holiday tradition as well. It’s a good enough movie for it and even if you ignore the holiday bit, it’s a great movie.

Now that I’ve watched the first one, I’ll probably be watching and reviewing the others soon.

Fever Pitch (1997)

I’ve never read Fever Pitch. I’ve read some of Nicholas Hornby’s other works and enjoyed them. I’ve also enjoyed the film adaptations to varying degrees. This Fever Pitch is the original film version. It was remade in 2005 with Jimmy Fallon and uses Baseball (Red Sox) over football (Arsenal). I saw the 2005 version before ever seeing this.

So if you’ve seen the remake, you have a pretty good grasp on the basic outline of the film. Colin Firth comes from a broken home. His dad attempts to connect to his son and for whatever reason while attending an Arsenal match (his first) he falls in love with the game and team. Throughout the film we see flashbacks of Firth’s character growing up and proving his dedication to the team. Firth is an English teachers, as is Ruth Gemmell, though her character is new to the school. Firth is very laid back and is the “cool” teacher, while Gemmell is a bit more uptight, organized. Naturally they clash, although early on a comment is made about the two of them hooking up because of that. The rest is pretty strait forward, though there are plenty of detail differences between this and the remake.

I don’t remember the remake to really compare to this film so I wont even bother. I did like how they handled Firth’s character. He’s very aloof at first and they do a great job of making him out to be a bit of an ass early on. As the movie progresses, it’s kind of surprising that he grows on you. They also did a great job of portraying how much of a man-child he is and I think the flashbacks sort of help with that. The portrayal of how important that team (or any team) is to the fans is handled really well.

Colin Firth is pretty good. I don’t think it’s as good as some of his other work, but it’s pretty easy to see how he’s already getting typed cast in certain roles this early on. Ruth Gemmell did a really good job as well. I thought she was fantastic. And I love Mark Strong. I don’t think I’ve seen him do a crap job (other than maybe Sunshine, but that was a role). He’s basically playing Firth’s buddy and does a good job at it. Kind of weird seeing him in that capacity, but he’s fine.

Fever Pitch isn’t exactly redefining the rom-com, although I’m also sort of hesitant to call it a rom-com. It has a bit more depth to the characters development and there seems to be a more realistic view of life’s problems. I can also see where people uninterested in football (soccer) would be less than thrilled, although I think the movie does a good job at getting you invested in the sport, sort of like how the remake got a lot of people to pay attention to the Red Sox. It’s also a British film with some references to things some folks might not understand if you aren’t familiar with that culture. I’m a bad judge at this though since I’m a slight anglophile.

Still, it’s a good movie. I wouldn’t necessarily pop it in if I wanted to watch a light, fluffy, rom-com, since I still have a hard time as seeing it as one of those movies. Still, it’s a good movie to watch at some point and I can’t imagine that people would hate this if they liked the remake or if they like rom-com’s or similar such films. I mean Colin Firth’s in it so that’s always another reason to check it out.

Super 8 Commentary

I want to see this four more times, but I may not be able to make it. I’m defiantly going to buy it as soon as I am able.

I said that a couple of months ago in my review of Super 8 after I saw it in theaters. I bought it the day it came out (mostly because of a lovely coupon). I already watched the movie again and then I went on to watch the special features that my DVD came with. The Dream Behind Super 8 was good as was The Visitor Lives. Both were only about 15 minutes long. I also watched the movie again with commentary from J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Larry Fong (it was a couple of hours later after watching it without the commentary).

I’ve listened to the Star Trek commentary with J.J. Abrams and friends and I enjoyed that one as well as the Super 8 commentary. I don’t always listen to DVD commentaries. I only do it if a.) I like the movie, b.) the commentators are a director I like, and/or c.) the movie’s a comedy and a number of funny people are doing the commentary. Abrams has proved to be interesting to listen to during commentaries.

One of the reason I enjoy Abrams on the commentaries is that he actually talks about the film. He explains what’s going on as far as the behind the scens production. In Super 8 (and even Star Trek) it’s wonderful listening to him talk about the film because he is as amazed at the product as I am. He’s genuinely excited about making a film. A number of times he discusses how amazed he is at the editing process as far as filming one scene in two or three different places. He also at times puts in explanations as to choices to the film or anecdotes about the film or even growing up during this time period as this is a very personal film for him.  I also enjoyed listening to him talk about Spielberg on occasion.

I already recommend watching Super 8, but if you’re a fan of the movie I’d defiantly advise getting a hold of the DVD and checking out the special features. In the commentary Abrams mentions some special features not present in the DVD. I’m assuming at this point they are only available in the Blu-Ray, so if you have a Blu-Ray you may enjoy the extras even more.

V for Vendetta

Remember, remember. The fifth of November The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason. Why the gunpowder treason. Should ever be forgot.”

For anyone unaware yesterday was the fifth of November, a day which has gained some popularity since the movie V for Vendetta was released. In honor of that day I decided to watch V for Vendetta. The movie is based off of comic book/graphic novel by Alan Moore. I own V for Vendetta, however I have yet to actually finish it. I always get sidetracked, often by reading Batman instead. Regardless I don’t have any desire to compare it to the graphic novel.

I’ve always enjoyed the movie, but I think it grows on me more and more with every viewing. I think that as I’ve aged I’ve started to grasp more aspects to the film since, if you want it to be, it can be quite deep. That’s one of the best aspects of this movie. It isn’t just an action film. Actually I wouldn’t really classify it as an action film. The movie has a great story that is well written and carried out. Along with that the dialogue is great. V is probably the first character that comes to mind with great dialogue, but really Sutler has some great rants and Prothero’s speeches are actually great as well.

The performances go along side the writing in helping to cement how solid this film is. I have to start with Hugo Weaving as V. I suppose this maybe a spoiler to some, but V never takes his mask off (that you can actually see). His face is never revealed. That means Weaving spends the entire movie with that mask on. A mask that has a very specific set of facial features permanently glued on. Weaving does an amazing job here expressing V even though you don’t see his face. A lot of it has to do with has voice acting, but he also does a great job physically at helping to give the character some life. It really is a performance that probably get’s overlooked because of the genre and that he is wearing a mask. The supporting cast is great though. Again, John Hurt’s head as Sutler is great. He does a wonderful job giving raving rants and Stephen Rea does a good job with Finch. Natalie Portman wasn’t bad and I was actually a bit disappointed in Stephen Fry’s appearance. His character seemed quite a bit like the man himself and I kind of wish more of that would have come through.

The movie does have some action to it, though I don’t feel like it’s that much really. What there is though is great. It’s wonderfully shot, as is the whole movie. I love films like this that are dark, because I feel like its easy to screw them up. There are plenty of movies that just use poor lighting and leave it at that. V however just looks very sleek and as dark as things are, you can actually see the details in the set.

V for Vendetta is a surprisingly excellent movie that is likely to get snubbed by people because of the genre it’s thrown in, which is a shame. I feel like the movie probably would appeal to a pretty wide audience assuming they sit down and watch it. I also feel like a lot of the themes of the movie are actually pretty prevalent in our current day. Defiantly a movie to watch and own.

~As a final side note to the movie’s impact on our culture just look to the quote at the beginning of the post or how popular the Guy Fawkes mask for the movie has become since its release.

Whitecoats

I’ve seen part of Whitecoats on TV before, but hadn’t seen the whole thing till the other day. Knowing very little about the film, I had somewhat high expectations because of part of the cast.

Many might immediately start comparing Whitecoats to Scrubs. I’ve seen Scrubs, but only randomly. I’ve never sat down and watched a full season or really seen the episodes in order. To the point, yes there are similarities, though I’m sure there are similarities also to medical shows like E.R., Grey’s Anatomy, etc. Its not a ripoff, but in some senses it’s done in a similar style.

I was disappointed by the film. It seemed a bit long, because it really doesn’t have much of a plot. Obviously there’s the whole going from interns to doctors, but even that isn’t to prevalent. The movie just kind of plods a long and wanders. That’s not necessarily bad. If you can keep those segments funny and entertaining than it works sometimes. This wasn’t one of those instances. That’s not to say the movie wasn’t funny. I laughed most of the movie in that there were jokes spread throughout that I enjoyed. On the whole, the movie wasn’t funny enough.

What’s even more disappointing is that you have Dave Thomas directing (of Bob and Doug MacKenzie fame for me). Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall – the Canadian SNL by Lorne) appears in the film as does Dan Akyroyd (Not Ready for Primetime/SNL). None of these three great Canadian stars (in my opinion) are in the film that much and they really don’t have that many jokes. I expected their brief stints to always be great, but they really weren’t. These are extraordinarily funny men, but not so much here.

The movie was ok, but it’s 90 minutes, but it felt longer since it just plods along. I don’t have a desire to watch it again and I’m sure there are some who might like it more than I did, but it really wasn’t that good of a comedy. If you watch it, keep your expectations low.

The Silence

So I haven’t posted much this week which I’m sort of bummed about. My one movie a day goal for a year has failed since I missed a day. After that I figured what the hell and missed another one. I’m amazed I’ve made it as far as I have on that aspect. Despite only missing two days, I just haven’t posted about the movies I have seen (I intended to get around to it soonish).

Since my movie a day for a year goal failed I’m not going to try and continue with it. It was nice try and I did what I wanted to do. I started watching movies more and writing on a mostly daily basis. I’m going to keep the site going and continue posting reviews, but not necessarily everyday anymore. Due to it being summer I’m trying to watch some TV shows, like Lost, so I’ll be making some posts about those shows.

I’m going to try and post everyday or at least every other day if I can on either a movie or TV series that I’m watching. Hopefully people keep reading this site and give feedback because it is always nice to hear from people.

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