21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: April, 2015

Top 6 favourite actors/actresses

Actors help a film to become beneficial to watch with the help of the imagination of the director. Here are 6 actors who I find myself watching and admiring whenever I watch their films. I couldn’t narrow it down to 5.

1.) Robert Pattinson

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People now type cast him as ‘The Guy from Twilight’ but I think that he is alot more than that in terms of being an actor. I have watched some of his out of Twilight and Harry Potter roles, and he has so much potential, yet he can use his ‘pretty boy’ face that people only see him as as a basis for a generally tormented man with inner demons. He may not be like this in real life, but in every interview that I have watched him in, he always has to fit in some sort of joke or inappropriate comment. I hope he chooses more challenging roles like The Rover or Remember Me in the future, and for some reason I think he would suit being in an animated film. He’s done some rubbish movies- I personally disliked Bel Ami and I cannot sit through Cosmopolis but there have been ones where he has shown how good he really is if he doesn’t get a rubbishy script i.e The Rover, Water For Elephants and Remember Me.

2.) Christoph Waltz-

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He was only metaphorically dug out of the rocks by Quentin Tarantino about 6/7 years ago, but Christoph Waltz does have the skill to have the stage presence in the scene as he freezes time so that everyone watches him because he is so mesmorizing. Even if the particular film is rubbish, he is usually the only decent/watch able actor out of the whole film. Being the king of playing a villain is an understatement, because I think it is rather demoralizing to put someone like Christoph Waltz into a category considering that he was worked his way to the top for longer than the time that I have been on this earth, and he has that evil glint in his eyes that you never see in his interviews.  My favourite films of his are probably Django Unchained, Water For Elephants and maybe The Zero Theorem, but he provided a good voice for his charecter in Epic. He has also earnt whatever he has got i.e two Oscars, Star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

3.) Hugo Weaving-

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He is so underrated considering that he has been in up to 5 huge blockbuster movies. As he changes in basically every single film that he is in, he always has something else to offer at a different angle. It is not all about the blockbusters when it comes to an actor like this guy, it is what is behind all the CGI effects that we see all the different charecters that he plays. He has been in more films than I expected, and when he was younger, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He looks so distinguished that you probably wouldn’t know who he is unless you looked him up or followed one of his die hard fans on Twitter, and without access to his usual comfort blanket of facial expressions, he can still carry a character using various ways of body language i.e his distinguished facial features. So far, I cannot choose a favourite film of his, because he always has other things to offer whether it is on stage (he is also a stage actor) or in one of his many films, playing a character from a freedom fighter to an elf king to a drag queen, the latter which always has hilarious and convincing results. His interviews are always rather interesting because he refuses to acknowledge his top-actor status and he actually has quite a bit of IQ like his V for Vendetta co-star Natalie Portman. 

4.) Natalie Portman-

Actress Portman attends news conference at 65th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin

I must admit that Natalie Portman is a very pretty actress to the point of some sort of girl-crush level. I personally think that she is a  very good actress, and stands out as a character because she kicks ass and generally comes across as being badass and rebellious; whereas some films portray women as sexual objects, therefore she is an example to all young women. She is also a very smart celebrity, making that balance between glamorous woman and brainy balanced so she isn’t seen as a gossip-magazine airhead last seen on TOWIE, and she has regular acting breaks to focus on other things regarding her personal life, to direct or so that she does not go insane like other former child actors.

5.) Tom Hanks-

Tom Hanks

This guy is just legendary. There has only been one boring film of his which I have seen, but he is still a living legend; an iconic man for many generations and decades, and many generations to come (I would honestly want my future family to sit down and watch Big, the Toy Story films, Saving Mr Banks etc with the same intention that  he is awesome). It was also very good of him to appear in Carly Rae Jepsen’s video ‘I really like you’ considering their difference in target markets.

6.) James Dean-

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One of the ongoing questions is what would he be like as an actor if he hadn’t tragically died in the car accident in 1955. Would he be a style icon for most men, boys and up and coming actors, an inspiration for so many people, or would he want to change himself so much so that he would become a boring has-been with a legacy. He only did three movies in his lifetime, yet he was the inventor of a new brand of the 50s called a ‘teenager’ which is no longer a stage between childhood and adulthood and he was a fashion icon, particularly in Rebel Without a cause with the iconic blue trousers, white t-shirt and red jacket (the only film that I have admittedly seen of his so far). I think there is also an upcoming Robert Pattinson film about him (Dean, not Pattinson).

Who are your favourite actors or actresses?

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Healing (2014)

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Go Yasmine. All that is seeking is seeking you’

Healing is an independent Australian prison drama about a prison inmate called Viktor (Don Hany) who is given the responsibility to look after broken birds (and develops a relationship with them) by a case worker called Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving), a man who is troubled by the loss of his daughter. The film also stars Xavier Samuel as an inmate called Paul.

The movie itself is a visually stunning masterpiece, with the long and lingering shots of birds flying on a clear sky which probably take up most of the film’s duration; and I think that it was good that it is not even a very big film; because having a million dollar budget would ruin the artistic tone which comes with the rarity of an independent film which a couple of awesome actors thrown in.

The actors were brilliant. I’ve only ever seen Xavier Samuel as some vampire in the third Twilight film, but this proved that he had more to offer as another prison inmate, and as Hugo Weaving is one of my favourite actors ever; it was good to see him slip off his Elrond, V and his other characters mask and just act in a way which is closer to his home and where he is comfortable, even if he only needed to stand around and be intimidating for about two hours.

The cinematography is stunning, the soundtrack fits the slow and steady mood of the movie and I didn’t realize how long shots of birds can be so beautiful and artistic. It isn’t the best film ever, nor is it the worst and it would be nothing without Hugo Weaving’s ever- majestic performance which no other actor can even reach (slightly irrelevent, not even Christoph Waltz can reach it) and the ability to move you. At times I ignored the supporting actors roles and acting because his powerful presence on screen can freeze the scene and make viewers only watch him. It is original, I don’t think many directors have explored a prison drama at this angle before, and no other director never will.

Outstanding acting, moving, great cinematography but a bit slow at times.

3.5/5

 

Titanic (1997)

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‘I’m the king of the world!’

James Cameron directs this movie, based on the  ill-fated passenger ship which sank on this day 103 years ago. The movie is about a wealthy woman Rose (Kate Winslet) and a indigent artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) who meet on the Titanic and fall in love on the doomed voyage.

Some people love it, some people find it cheesy and some either like it or hate it from Celine Dion’s famous song ‘My Heart Will go on’. It is the movie that properly defined Leo Dicaprio as a teen heartthrob but at the same time, it was about twenty million over budget to make from James Cameron, but instead of being an overpriced flop, it made millions at the box office until it was overtaken by Avatar (2009).

I actually first watched this movie with my sisters when I was six, and it has not bored me in the many viewings that I have had of it since. With every romance story, there is always the ‘hot/kind bloke saving the poor woman from the evil or vindictive guy’ which is like Jack and Rose, with her fiancee Cal (Billy Zane).

Leo DiCaprio was reasonably good in this movie until you see him in daring later roles which makes his character  Jack sweet and innocent, and Kate Winslet was brilliant as she often is but Billy Zane relied on his face acting to carry his character along. I don’t think the people at the time realized the suspicious ‘unsinkable ship’ would come as a shock to then when it sank, but I don’t think we should poke fun at the biggest natural disaster ever.

3.5/5

 

Stand by Me (1986)

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‘I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up’

Based on the Stephen King novel ‘The Body’, Stand By Me is a coming of age movie about a group of four boys; Chris Chambers (played by the late but still great River Phoenix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), Gordie (Will Weaton) and Vern (Jerry O’Connell) who are fascinated by and track down the body of a boy their age in the woods near by.

The concept as a whole is similar to maybe Lord of the Flies in the sense that four young boys are left on their own without any remote adult supervision only to often create havoc, and at times I associated the two films together; what happens when children are let loose by themselves. We as an audience can almost follow the boys’ around as they take a journey across many railway lines, bridges and through deep ponds; and we can laugh and cry or stand at the side. The best part about this movie is that it is original and none of the adventure would be seen in a post- 2000 film.

I did not realize until the end that you are only a child once and you should make the most of it, even if it means going on a risky quest which is eventually made to look like an adventure.

The actors were very good. I primarily wanted to watch the film because of the titular Ben E. King track which I have come to like, and because of River Phoenix, an actor who was gifted in his craft but died over 20 years ago because he threw it all away to drugs and he is also the older brother of actor Joaquin Phoenix. Corey Feldman and the other actors were also very good and provoked the film to move quietly at a steady pace, making it the best that it can be. Ben E King’s song ‘Stand By Me’  fits in very well with the story about the best friendships that you can ever have in your life at the mere age of 12.

The film isn’t my absolute favourite and it deserves a rewatch but it is one which I came away from with plenty of interpretations; or maybe that it just me overthinking. I cannot really make as much as a full judgement because I have not read the Stephen King book in which it is based on.

Thoughtful, provoking and brilliant but a little slow.

Directed by Rob Reiner.

4.5/5

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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‘I’m going on an adventure!’

Peter Jackson returns as director in the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on the novel by J.R.R Tolkien.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is about a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who, along with his hobbit friends, to include the giant wizard Gandalf, quest to reclaim their lost dwarf kingdom, led by Thorin (Richard Armitage).

As a short term Lord of the Rings fan, I watched this in the hope that it had the potential to carry on safely into the Hobbit. Whenever I talk about Lord of The Rings, people always talk about the Hobbit.

It has that same fantasy element; being swept away to Middle Earth with the hobbit holes, the epic battles between the good and evil, the fantastic soundtrack, not forgetting some of the original cast members and characters such as Gandalf (Ian McKellan), Gollum (Andy Serkis), Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and others, even a bit from Elijah Wood.

Martin Freeman wasn’t too bad as Bilbo, considering that I usually see him as Sherlock’s assistant or a strict primary school teacher. Some of the original cast were an added benefit, and of course Richard Armitage gazing like some sort of dreamy god, but I suppose he was meant to be the leader.

Apart from that, at times I wanted the film to end, and it did not have that same colour scheme that Lord of the Rings had; the colour was either very solid or very dark. Maybe I should watch the Hobbit with the intent of actually watching the Hobbit, not a copy of the Lord of a Rings, or watch LOTR expecting it to be brighter and shorter.

Anyway, excellent cast, still an outstanding soundtrack but it sometimes went a bit slow butbearing in mind that I have never read the Tolkien novels, it was definitely entertaining to watch.

3/5

 

 

 

She’s the Man

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‘I’m allergic to the sun’

Based fairly loosely on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, She’s the Man is about a female footballer called Viola (Amanda Bynes) who dresses up as her brother Sebastian to make it into the boys’ football team when the girl’s team is cut and falls in love with the team striker Duke (Channing Tatum), unknown of the consequences that will come with dressing as a boy.

Although this movie is primarily a teen chick flick, the basis proves some form of feminism and proves that women/girls can do or play whatever they want, even proving to men that they are good at a stereotypically male sport such as football and everyone has a secret to hide. At times it was very clichéd and I think that there has been other similar films just like this one, and watching it all the time makes it predictable and tiresome,but very quotable. It gives the complications involving love, hints of feminism while still applying it to Shakespeare’s age old play to a sport like football and modern day.

I suppose that this is the sort of film that you don’t need to think about anything to watch it, if you need a good laugh and is socially acceptable to quote (mostly if you are a teenager) and the cast are good considering the target age, before Amanda Bynes’ years of legal troubles.

Funny, entertaining with some good moments (um,I get really bad nosebleeds) and a generally good film.

3/5