21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: May, 2015

Big Eyes

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‘The more you lie, the smaller you seem’

Tim Burton directs this docudrama film about a painter called Margaret Keane whos manipulative compulsive liar of a husband Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) claimed credit for her work, popular paintings of children with big eyes. We get a hint of a different sort of Burton film minus Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as the usually dark natured Burton explores a different reality of Keane’s paintings, and takes a couple of incredible actors with him. The colour scheme made the movie look like a painting itself.

Big Eyes is a world away from Corpse Bride or even Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, but we always have that domineering and overpoweringly scheming presence whenever Christoph Waltz is on screen- halfway between slightly overacting or getting downright frightened of his charecter, although he as an actor lives off the sadisticness of various previous characters. If Walter Keane was around nowadays he would be sent to some sort of mental institute- even Waltz manipulates us when he switches over from charming to a psychopath.

Amy Adams, was also very good at playing Margaret Keane and she hid all the years of her husband’s manipulative behavior in herself because he was so popular to the point where he took away her creativeness and personality to get himself to the top. She carries the depth of her charecter throughout the whole film and turns into the object of her husband’s cover up.

I feel uncomfortable to give it a 5/5 because there are some bits that I generally hated watching, although it was good that Margaret got what she needed in the end and is currently still painting even if she is now an old lady. It also often felt like a bright and slightly dramatized documentary where you felt scared of Christoph Waltz’s character, felt sorry for Margaret Keane, and realized that the quality of artwork depends on if someone else likes it. I could not believe that Tim Burton had directed it, but he did do a good job and still had that undermining dark tone. The soundtrack to include a titular Lana Del Rey track suited the film well because Walter was made of lies to get what he needed and wanted.

Terence Stamp from Priscilla and Jason Schwartsmann also star.

4/5

 

 

 

Horrible Bosses 2

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‘With one more P it is. That’s ‘Kidnaping’

The Horrible Bosses trio of Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are back and now they attract attention from Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and his dad Bert (Christoph Waltz) from their invention of the ‘Shower Buddies’.

Horrible Bosses 2 is an ok movie. Not amazing, but not dull or rubbish either, just a bit tepid at times. It gets the laughs, the jokes and occasionally Christoph Waltz pulls it along with his Oscar winner reputation and ability to hold a film up in the scenes that he is in; and perhaps the scenes in which he is not. It follows on well from the first movie but neither movies will ever be my favourite films ever, yet it is better than most of the sequels that I have seen.

Entertaining, well written with a good cast.

3/5

 

Horrible Bosses

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‘You’re three hours late, what’s the deal?

Horrible Bosses is a comedy movie about a group of three men Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) , Dale (Charlie Day) and Nick (Jason Bateman) who want to take down their awful bosses with the help of a former gangster Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx). It also stars Jennifer Aniston as the raunchy boss Dr Julia Harris.

One thing about these movies is that they are not suppose to be taken seriously or have some inner meaning dug out of them, because there isn’t any. Despite criticisms of the film, I personally liked this one and the successor Horrible Bosses 2, although at times it felt like they put all the laugh-out loud bits in one section and left the other part to absorb it.

Witty movie with a good cast but other critical reviews mislead my opinion.

3/5

The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert

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‘How many times do I have to tell you? Green is not your colour’

Stephen Elliott directs this slightly underrated and heavily criticized Australian road movie about two drag queens Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) , flamboyant Adam ‘Felicia’ (Guy Pearce) and a transsexual (Terence Stamp) who drive around in a tour bus performing songs and ABBA numbers at local clubs, until they find the real reason why Mitzi joined them with their elaborate costumes.

The movie was ok, I suppose. As it was primarily a road movie with hints of comedy in it, sometimes it got me laughing, other times I had no idea what I had just seen as the previous teasers also mislead me about the whole film. It is unfair that three actors like Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp and Hugo Weaving as men look better with heavy makeup, elaborate costumes and dressed as women than most of the population (no offence). They were also so convincing that I forgot that they were actually men.

All of  the actors were brilliant, but if it didn’t have Guy Pearce or Hugo Weaving in it, I would have probably never wanted to watch the movie altogether, even if it was for the good choice of numbers (hits). It was also made long before Hugo Weaving was type cast as an agent, elf or masked freedom fighter, and before Terence Stamp was in Star Wars etc. I doubt I would be able to see any of the actors in the same light again and the whole message of the film, beyond the bright costumes, is that it is a comedy of finding yourself.

Great choice of cast, soundtrack, funny from the ongoing ABBA jokes, jokes in general, brilliant actors but it is not one to watch with your parents.

4/5

7 Must-Have Tools to Become a Creative Content Writer

Interesting Literature

By Veronica May

Supplying creative content is the key to being a successful writer. It does not matter if you are only a part time freelancer, or a full time writer, your content is crucial. With that being said, always providing creative content can be frustrating depending of the project. There are going to be times when you feel stuck, or not at all enthusiastic about your subject matter. Fortunately, the 7 tools listed below can help you keep your content creative, fresh, and exciting.

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Goodbye Mr Chips (1939)

Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939

‘How can you ever get old in a world that is always young?’

Goodnight Mr Chips is a poignant classic film about a man called Mr Chips (Robert Donat) who begins teaching at a prestigious boys school, unaware of how he will affect the lives of many generations of young boys in his years of teaching.

I haven’t seen any other Robert Donat films; but just by watching an old movie like this one reminds you that it can be touching without overdoing it, yet it can be simple with the generations of children who are taught by him and you are immediately put back on track if it is ever lost so that it does not go off on a tangent.

There is absolutely nothing that I can criticize about this film; although at times it is a bit stagey, mostly between the younger boy actors. I like the way that the characters come back, and because Chips is such a three dimensional character; when we as an audience lose him, it is as if we have lost a bit of ourselves. Donat cluckily has an ageless face and his eyes give enough expression and emotion to carry the scenes; allowing him to age drastically throughout the course of the film. I can’t remember a film that has inspired me so much as watching generations of boys grow up on screen while still watching it in a 21st century living room.

I laughed, I cried, the music helped the pace and the flow of the film, and I somewhat fell in love with Donat’s acting. I think I would need to rewatch this film again and fall in love with it more, because it is a classic. The set looks amazing, and it only takes an old fashioned film like this one to sweep you back to olden days of classic cinema, as if it is a pre- World war I time warp.You could analyze it as much as possible and it would probably make the film better, not worse.

Sorry for the gushing. If you haven’t seen Goodbye Mr Chips, I would suggest that you watch it (preferably with a box of tissues) because it really makes you think yet it changes your view of old movies;which have come to be my favorite because of their basis to show a story, not a boring back story and random unnecessary characters .For example; there can be a romantic love story between Chips and his wife (Greer Garson) without modern necessities for a love story like sex and stuff.  Garson was also a very glamorous actress of her day who kept the story together in the scenes that she was in.

Directed by Sam Wood.

5/5

The Elephant Man (1980)

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‘I am not an animal. I am a human being. I am a man’

The problem with us as humans is that we do not see what is inside because from afar, because we want the cake to look nice before we eat it. Many directors have proven this and most films show it in a distinguishable way.

The Elephant Man is a true story about a deformed man called Joseph (John) Merrick  (played by John Hurt). Merrick is treated like a circus act because he is disfigured and the only person who treats him well is his doctor Fredrick Treaves (Anthony Hopkins).

This movie definitely makes you think that people judge you on your appearance in the same way nowadays as they did with Merrick (without modern further judgements on the internet or social media nowadays etc) i.e treating Merrick as if he is a monster as he is part of a ‘freak show’.  Most of the film is exaggerated or dramatized to move the story on a little, but it was thought provoking, especially the choice of black and white as it would be the sort of film which would look rubbish in colour and it would not have the same dark effect.

John Hurt is incredibly convincing  as the ‘Elephant man’, and you could come to accept him as a charecter to the point where you want you want to scream at the screen to the people who mistreat him. As John Hurt can be easily transformed because he is a conclusive actor; the makeup looked compelling and sometimes I didn’t know that it was him. As for Anthony Hopkins, I expected him to walk in and say ‘Hello Clarice’ about 11 years too early but he kept to his character and succeeded. Off topic, he is also someone who could read a phone book and make it interesting.

The only reason why this movie seems intense is because we have not seen physical or facial deformities explored at this angle before in such a realistic way.  At times it was a little depressing and quite unwatchable, but why should it be happy?

Directed by David Lynch.

4/5

 

Million Dollar Baby

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‘Protect yourself at all times’

There is some sort of trend in movies of women kicking ass or taking over in a man orientated world. This movie is one of them.

Million Dollar Baby is about a young female boxer called Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) who takes over the ‘man’s world’ of boxing and falls as her trainer Frank (Clint Eastwood) is faced with the hard decision of what to do with his champion female boxer as she is left paralyzed.

I watched it in an RE lesson because of its euthanasia theme, and although some people fell asleep (I don’t know why, it’s a decent but long winded movie), I thought it was good but very realistic and not afraid to show the truth yet does not sugarcoat the reality of boxing in the same way which ‘The Railway Man’ does not dilute the horrors of World War II. Million Dollar Baby is basically and more mature version of the Disney channel movie ‘Jump In’.

Clint Eastwood, as a legendary veteran actor and director of the movie itself, was brilliant as Frank, and it would be sad to one day wake up to the news that he has passed away; while Hilary Swank earnt her Oscar as Maggie along with Morgan Freeman, both of whom put potential into the movie which makes it more than an average sport film.

Heartwarming, realistic, emotional, with a brilliant cast to include Jay Baruchel.

4/5