21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: December, 2014

Top 5 films of 2014

1.) The Lego Movie

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The creators made 22 Jump street. Fair enough. Morgan Freeman, along with Jonah Hill and Will Ferrell, star in the movie about the construction worker Emmett where everything is made out of lego bricks and figures and everything is ‘awesome’. Although it is suited more towards kids of about my brother’s age (10/11), I realized that I laughed a couple of times and I actually liked it, even though I only watched it because Morgan Freeman was in it. Catchy soundtrack and brilliant cast.

2.) Muppets Most Wanted

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Although I have reviewed this in a recent post, Muppets Most Wanted is a feel good family film about the Muppets on their world tour, and Kermit has a Doppelganger. I love the movie although sometimes it was more like ‘Guess the Celebrity’ and often I didn’t realize who they were.

3.) Frozen

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Although this film is heavily, if not overly advertised, when I saw the movie earlier this year it was decent enough to be passable. Frozen is about two sisters Anna and Elsa, and how they don’t get along as they grow up, mostly when Elsa becomes the Snow Queen. Although this is not in my top 5 of 2014, it is clearly one of the ‘best’ movies according to the critics and there was a huge craze at my drama class at the time and is still the interest of some children and adults, currently considered as a ‘Disney Classic’.

4.) The Fault in our Stars

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This is one of the movies that was very hyped. I read the John Green book and saw the movie, daydreaming and crying about how much of a gentleman Gus Waters was despite his cancer. The Fault in Our Stars is about two terminally ill teenagers called Gus (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel Grace (Shaileene Woodley) who meet at a support group and almost instantly fall in love. Like other fangirls and moviegoers, the waterworks were going off towards the end of the movie.

5.) Maleficent

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I had been looking forward to watching this movie for ages, I was obsessed with Sleeping Beauty when I was younger and thought that Maleficent was creepy.

Maleficent, however, was different as it is told from her perspective. I liked the gothic tone of the story that was still there in the original, almost similar to ‘Snow White and the Huntsmen’, very distinguished but it felt like the Angelina Jolie Show, even though she did do a terrific job.

What is your favourite 2014 movie?

Top 5 Christmas films and music

It is truly Christmas when it is everywhere, further than the advertising everywhere which has been going on since October. The TV is flooded with showings of Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street. There is always that Xmas movie where you can hear the jingle of bells and Christmas, mostly in New York, and Christmas songs that have disrupted radio airwaves since October and November.

1.) Love Actually

‘love actually is all around’

Love Actually is about six couples in love during the run up to Christmas, of all ages, from the love sick pre teenage boy to two adult film actors to the Prime Minister. Although this is one of the more awkwarder Christmas movird, it keeps viewers crying, laughing and often cringing.

The movie contains mostly famous faces, such as Kiera Knightly, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.

2.) Home Alone

Merry Christmas you filthy animal’

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We all know the story, and it has been played on TV, brought on DVD and often video since 1990.

A boy called Kevin McCallister (Macualay Culkin) is accidently left behind while his family go on holiday and defends his house against burglars. Culkin was made more widely known for this movie and the famous hands on cheek and scream pose. This is one of the Christmas movies that I have watched countless times since I was younger and found myself watching the successor Lost In  New York with the close family.

The whole concept of the original two movies seem very dated, nowadays she could probably call him and book flights back within a couple of hours, but it is a classic Christmas movie watched by dozens of people over the last 25 years so who cares?

3.) It’s a Wonderful Life!

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You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw an lassle around it and pull it down. Hey, that’s a pretty good idea’

As one of the much older ones, It’s A Wonderful Life is about a man called George  Bailey(James Stewart) who questions himself and ‘wishes he was never born’, until a guardian angel shows him what it would be like if it was that way. This movie is also one of the ones which I curiously watched with my sisters when I was slightly younger but have not watched it much since then.

It’s a Wonderful Life is however one that has stuck in my head for years, not only from the classic old feel of it and James Stewart’s acting but because it is quotable and memorable.

4.) Nativity!

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Nativity! is about a primary school nativity play which is planned by the teacher Mr Maddens (Martin Freeman) in the hope that the lie he told will bring the play to Hollywood and win back his girlfriend of whom he hadn’t seen in ages.

The movie is mostly aimed at children, but has that feel good vibe that makes you and I wish that our primary school nativity plays were that cool and upbeat. As most of the cast is made up of children aged 5-11 (at the most), it is all improvised like Outnumbered.

5.) Elf

Smiling is my favourite thing’

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Although I have reviewed this movie last year, it is a reasonably entertaining Christmas movie about Buddy (Will Ferrell) who wants to trace his roots after being raised as an elf, having childlike mannerisms and brings sparkle and cheer to everyone and doesn’t stop when he realizes that his father (James Caann) is a grumpy old man.

Top 5 Christmas songs: 

1.) The Rogues ft Kirsty Macoll- Fairytale of New York

This is one of my favourites because it is an absolute classic. Although it was released in 1987 rather than 1947 (from its old sound) and has charted a dozen times since then, it is a picture of proper sound and instruments- without forgetting the legendary Kirsty Macoll (who unfourtunetely died in a boating accident in 2000). Instead of being some overplayed, over covered Christmas song, it tells a story; mostly in Macoll’s verse of her dreams being crushed by a man who betrayed her in what would be a Christmas fairytale.

2.) White Christmas- Bing Crosby

This song brings back the old fashioned touch of Christmas to a dream that we would probably never have- a white Christmas. For instance ‘With every Christmas card I write’, the cards that often scatter the mirrors of my loved ones. This is also one of the ones that I have listened to in the run up for Christmas every year since I was little, and watching Bing Crosby in black and white playing the piano with a glamarous female singer and a lit fireplace in the background makes me think of it being played on vinyl records.

3.) Jingle Bell Rock- originally by Bobby Helms

Whenever this song is on, it takes me back to the scene in Mean Girls when they dance and sing suggestively to Jingle Bell Rock at the annual Christmas talent show, and although Jingle Bell Rock is not as classic as White Christmas or Fairytale of New York, it does have that Christmassy feel to it.

4.) Santa Claus is coming to town- Micheal Buble version

This has been covered by so many artists, including Justin Bieber. Micheal Buble Christmas songs are my Mum’s favourite, and he has the type of voice that has its festivity to it. I can also imagine him on an old fashioned stage doing an old fashioned pub performance, which is probably why this song is so good.

5.) Rocking around the Christmas tree

This song gets me thinking of that time on Christmas day when the presents are being unwrapped and everyone is in a happy mood because they got the presents that they wanted. It has also been backing music to mostly all the Christmas movies.

 

What is your favourite Christmas movie and/ or song?

 

 

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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‘Get your hands off my lobby boy!’

Wes Anderson directs this quirky movie, split up into three parts, which is about what goes on when M Gustav (Ralph Fiennes) is accused and framed for murder, and the adventures that he has with the lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori).

The movie has many recognizable actors in it such as Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton; a near all star cast which does not degrade the quality of the movie just because it is made of mostly A-Listers. Often an all star cast in a rubbish movie adds more hype to the movie, but in this case it does not follow that path.

I liked it from the  crude humour and they were not trying to hard to make it funny as it came naturally to Fiennes’ charecter’s mind and it did not get to the point where it being ‘funny’ turned into silly nonsense.

The colour palette was a strong varied scheme, with all the orange, reds and purple blended in and lavish- the colour of which the cinematographers etc use says alot about the mood of the film similar to how an actor would create a mood in a play, for instance.

The only problem is that it drifted off in the middle and the marketing of the movie distracted and wrongly assumed what the film was even about; some of the charecters were also very blink and you’ll miss it.

Overall, a hilariously rude movie with a compelling soundtrack and a great choice of cast.

4/5

Muppets Most Wanted

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”Herr Waltz dances the waltz!’

Ricky Gervais and many others star in the follow up to the 2011 movie The Muppets. Instead of ruining a large storyline (minus the removal of Jason Segel etc) and charecters like other sequels, Muppets Most Wanted potentially starts when the last one ends, filled with singing and many celebrity cameos until it was a ‘Guess the celebrity’ game, names including Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Usher to name a few. Not that I’m complaining.

The lovable frog Kermit has been captured on their world tour, at the hands of Russian warden Nadya (Tina Fey with a Russian accent) while the worlds most dangerous frog doppelganger Constantine has taken his place. I don’t think there has been a full 100 minutes where I have loved every second of it without it feeling slow. It kept me laughing throughout the movie, however the clichés were a bit tiresome and I could only see Tina Fey in Mean Girls. My grandfather loves Miss Piggy and I have come to actually love the fun of The Muppets- it is one of those films which you can sit down and watch in any state and not have to think about anything.

Fun for all the family, and hilarious moments such as the duet between Miss Piggy and Celine Dion, Usher as an usher at the wedding and Christoph Waltz dancing the waltz!

4.5/5