Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 228

movie: The Ghost Writer
starring: Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall,
genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A writer is hired to finish writing the biography of a former Prime Minister, but soon finds himself solving the murder of the man he's replaced.

This is based on a book.   It's also a movie by Roman Polanski.

I'm a big fan of Polanski, he always makes such deep, rich and haunting films.

This film is set in dark tones, and you just want to wrap up in a sweater with something hot to drink while you watch this.  The attitude of this movie does as much to bring you in as the acting does.  You begin to become as paranoid as the lead characters are at times from the mire scenes at the ferry.

what do i think i learned from this film?
When you find yourself digging through people's personal lives, you never know what you might find.  The truth will always find it's way to the light even when you do everything possible to silence people.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classic Style Monster Movie Blogathon

I asked everyone to pick 2 of their favourite "classic universal style" monster movie, from any decade.

My choices are 1) Dracula  1931 with Bela Lugosi and
2) Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein from 1948

I don't think I could have done this without picking Dracula. It helped to put both the studio and Lugosi on the map.
I always found the scenes to be creepy and unsettling, which for the era it was created in is what horror was all about.
There is just something about the shadows and the soundtrack that send a slight chill up my spine.
The fact this film was done at the transitional point of movies going from silent to sound, with it's moments of  silence I think adds to the idea of doom being everywhere. 

And Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein... it was the first time I ever saw an Abbott and Costello film.  There is just something about  the transition of these larger then life scary monsters as comedic.
I think, it just goes to prove how much of an iconic element the classic creatures were, even at that point in society, that they would get the pop culture treatment
In a way, it took the fear out of what those classic monsters had represented up to that point. Helped to make many accept the ideas behind the monster films who might not have originally (there had been some controversy when Dracula was debuted with an original end scene stating vampires were real, and some religious groups were upset over it)
Another part of it's charm is it's just so over the top.

I actually had runner up films from the 1980's and 2000's. Monster Squad and Van Helsing for my second pick... but I just love the way the Universal Monsters look in black and white.

Day 227

movie: Season of the Witch
starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman
genre: Action, Thriller, Paranormal
year: 2011
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Two former solders are hired to take a young girl through the mountains for trial for witchcraft.  Along the way, they're faced with death, betrayal, and fear.

Nicolas Cage! 
What more should I say? 

This starts out very strong, building on the theme of good vs evil... or so you are lead to believe.  But what you have here is a story that is more then that. 
It's a story about truth vs lies.  What we are led to believe vs what we know is right and honest.

As you follow the characters through their journey, little is explained but you get the feeling that not everything is what you see. Which proves to be the case.
This is also one of those, knowledge is power stories.  They need to get to a book of spells that the church is holding in order to perform the trial.

what do i think i learned from this film?
To trust what you feel and never take what you are told as total end all.  And it's all about the book.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Reminder Classic Monsters

Just want to remind everyone that my first blogathon is tomorrow

Pick 2 movies from any decade that fit in the category of Classic Universal Style Monster films.

I'll be posting tomorrow, Sunday July 29th 2012 at 12 noon EST

Day 226

movie: Eat Pray Love
starring: Julia Roberts, James Franco
genre: Bio-pic, Drama,Romance
year: 2010
format: DVD

plot: A travel writer decides to take a year to travel to three places she's never seen in order to regroup after her divorce. Along the way she learns to let go of her fears and just enjoy the moment

Based on the autobiography of the same name

This is one of those stories that I say it finds you, you do not find it. 
This is a film (and the book as well) that really hits you in the gut. You either connect with it or you don't, it's a love or hate effect.
Ironically, the parts of the film I connected with the most, were the parts of the book I connected with the lest. 

I know for many, it was geared as the ultimate chick flick but it's a hell of a lot more then that.  It's truly about finding your balance and your other self.  No matter if that other self is your soulmate in physical form or your ideal self (career, house, the perfect purse)

what do i think i learned from this film?
This is about baggage.  Physical and emotional and what we choose to drag around with us and what we choose to let go. It's about not hiding from anyone, especially not from yourself.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 225

movie: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Starring: Tom Wisdom, America Ferrera
genre: Drama, Romance
year: 2008
format: TV EDIT

plot: The four friends are all in college and once again spending time apart for the summer.  They send each other support over the summer by once again mailing the jeans to each other with updates of their adventures

This is based on the book series

Where in the first film, death seems to be the main focus, in this one it's birth.  As one of the characters witnesses her friend's mom in labor and fears herself that she might be pregnant.
One of the other girls is trying out a new career as an actress, while another is reconnecting with her past.
The fourth character is back in her old relationship, but unsure if it's the right one for her.

The jeans end up being stolen marking the end of the summer and the rebirth of their bonds.  I thought that it was fitting (no puns intended) but a bit on the predictable side. This film was almost too much to believe as it has an overly happy ending that just feels way too hollywood, unlike the first film which had a bit more of a real tint to it.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Just because you are not the ideal does not mean that you have to be in the background. Everyone deserves their time in the spotlight and everyone is meant to fall in love and have someone fall in love with them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 224

movie: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
starring: Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel
genre: Drama,
year: 2005
format: TV EDIT

plot: 4 friends spend a summer away from each other but stay connected by sending each other a pair of jeans and letters telling each other what's happening in their lives

This is based on a series of books

This is like Sex and the City for teens.  The topics are not what you would expect for a movie geared for teenaged girls, but it does hold it's own through most of it.
Death and grief are the main topics in the storylines, giving three of the four characters their depth.
The fourth character is dealing with her first love. 

I found the balance doesn't really work. It's just a slight bit off kilter and heavier then I was expecting.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Nothing can ever stay the same, and growing up is never as you pictured it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 223

movie: Harry Potter 3 the Prisoner of Azkaban
starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman
genre: Drama, Adventure,
year: 2004
format: TV EDIT

plot: Harry and his friends find themselves in their 3rd year of school, and hiding from escaped prisoner Sirius Black. Their new Dark Arts professor starts to introduce them to their worst fears in hopes to prepare them all for the fight of their lives

This is the third movie in the series as well as being based on the third book of the same name.

And the series starts to take a darker turn, getting more personal with the plot.
The characters are at that age where everything feels ten times more drastic then it really is, which is shown brilliantly with the metaphors of impending doom.  The feeling that you have need to be everywhere at once, and that time is not what it used to be.
I have to admit, watching them on tv has been a challenge in itself, as I hate waiting, and that's what I have to do (unless I break down and rent the remaining films) 

I found the first two in the series to be a bit on the safe side, but then again they were totally geared for kids.  This one was a bit darker, and kept my interest a bit better.   I have never read the books, but I do like the addition of the shapeshifters and werewolves in this film.  
Gary Oldman's character was just mysterious enough to make you wonder if he was playing it as a nod to his role in Dracula?

This is also the introduction of Timothy Spall who is an actor that doesn't get the kind of recognition that he deserves. I would love to see a major North American film take the actor and make him the lead and not just a supporting character.  In this film, he doesn't have much screen time but he does steal his scenes.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You can't always take things at face value. Not everyone is what they appear nor are all situations what you would expect them to be.  You have to know when to go with your gut instinct and when to think thinks through.  

Over Coffee- July 25th 2012

I just thought I would put a reminder out there, that I'm doing my first blogathon on here on the 29th of July.

The details are on this post here

In the meantime, don't forget to check out some of my Top 5 Favs lists.  They are all over this blog.

Til later- Ardeth Blood

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Top 5 Foodie Movies

There is just something so perfect about a movie that has to do with food and eating.  Something comforting about the idea of bringing people together around a table.
This is my top five favourite movies on the topic of cooking.

3.Big Night
4.Ramen Girl
5.Woman on Top

 Ratatouille.  I would never have even thought to pick this film up, but for the fact that I put the question out on Twitter about two years ago asking what were some of people's favourite cooking movies?  I was answered by a celebrity chef saying he loved Ratatouille and watched it with his kid all the time.
I went out right away and got a copy and totally understand why he chose it.  It's more then about food, it's about living your dreams no matter how many obstacles are in your way.

Julie and Julia (Day 1) I know I've added this to more then one of my top five lists, but it's a movie that really affected me on a bunch of levels. I think the magic of this film is that it's a bio-pic. Lives were changed by the two women and the ripple effect is still being felt decades later.

Day 222

movie: Fanboys
starring: Sam Huntington, Seth Rogen
genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, Drama
year: 2009
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: a group of friends make their way across country to steal a copy of the Star Wars Phantom Menace film before it's official release in 1998

I liked this film for a few reasons, one was that it showed what real friendship is meant to be.  Another was that it was about going for your dreams no matter how far out they seem

There are typical scenes that pit Star Wars fans against Star Trek fans in an age old battle of who's movie is better, which had it been handled slightly different might not have worked at all.
It also seemed to be the biggest running joke through the entire film. That, and the star studded cameos by former Star Wars actors, not to mention William Shatner as himself.

While I was watching it, I had a few thoughts about the core of the "the force vs the fleet" storyline but sadly, I did not make notes.
Growing up, I was a die hard Star Wars fan.  Then I became a Star Trek fan. Which in the end led me to becoming a Farscape fan.  Each section of these space odysseys have their own brand of faith and therefore their own brand of faithful. Actual religions and cults have since sprung up in the last 50 years since the creation of each, lending to the last few generations of fans learning certain moral lessons in a way that only really devoted fans can.

Ironically, it was SW1Phantom Menace that ruined the Star Wars franchise for me.

what do i think i learned from this film?
But in the end, you have to believe in something even if it seems like you're the only one who does.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blogathon- I'm hosting

I've been wanting to have a blogathon of my very own, and just could not pick what to do.  So, I thought, why not do a selection of movies... sort of.

I had heard from a buddy that there is going to be a massive re-issuing of the classic films in time for the 100th anniversary of Universal (October-November 2012) and thought what a brilliant idea!

Let's celebrate the 100th anniversary of the classic style monster movies by having a blogathon.

If you are interested, just leave me a comment with your name and blog title/url and I'll make up a list for the day of.

This is my first time hosting a  blogathon, therefore I ask you be gentle with me... I bruise easily

-Ardeth Blood

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 221

movie:Jesus Henry Christ
starring: Toni Collette, Michael Sheen
genre; Comedy
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: a child genius learns that his dad was a sperm donor and goes in search of him.  What he learns is that he has a half sister who's had a research book written on her, and that the man who might be his biological father may or may not be his half sister's step dad.

The write up of this film sounds more complicated then it really is. I just couldn't figure out how to do the write up without giving away major spoilers.

I love the pairing of Toni Collette and Michael Sheen in this film, these are two of my favourite actors. 
Their roles in this film are very much tipping the gender roles, as Collette plays this very strong feminist while Sheen plays a more sensitive emotional male. 

This is not your typical romantic comedy, far far far from it; but it does still have a romantic sense to it.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Family is what you make for yourself.  This movie asks the questions about roles and parenting.  What makes a parent? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 220

movie: Midnight Son
starring: Zak Kilberg, Maya Parish
genre: Vampire, Drama,Crime
year: 2011
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: a young man who suffers from Porphyria, and works as a security guard on the night shift, falls in love with a woman he met at a bar.  Soon, he learns that he has Anemia as well and starts to believe he might just be a real vampire.

This movie was brilliant!
You've got a gorgeous blend of every vampire sub-genre here and it actually works to perfection.

The film takes two real medical disorders, mixes in real folklore, and some key Hollywood plot points to create one of the most original vampire stories I've seen in years.

The vampires are both living and dead.  Let me rephrase that... the lead character is a living vampire while two of his victims become vampires after they've died from accidental deaths ( one from a gun shot and one from a bottle slicing him.  And in some folklore accidental deaths can cause vampirism) 

As for the metaphors,  a) drugs is the most obvious here.  One of the victims happens to be an addict, the other happens to be a dealer.
b) We also have the vampire as the outsider, the reject.
c) The lead character is an artist who only paints landscapes of sunrises and sunsets, lending to his obsessive behavouir. (another metaphor for disorders and addiction)
d) We have a blood disorder,
e) The character played by Parish is a goth-type which falls squarely into the social sub-genre of vampire films.

For anyone who is a student of the vampire genre, you will see echos of other films like Midnight Kiss, Pale Blood, Habit,  Immortality Wisdom of Crocodiles, Vampire's Kiss, My Best Friend is a Vampire and even Fright Night (Fright Night by the way is used as the movie the lead character is watching at one point)

For anyone who has got it in their head that a good vampire movie needs to be overly sexual or deviant should go looking somewhere else.  The story is beautifully done with little nudity.

what do I think I learned from this film?
There is a line in this film that gets repeated by almost all the characters "we all have our thing"  meaning, everyone has something that they are addicted to or obsessed by.   It's learning to accept each other as well as ourselves for the things that we do have as habits. Our addictions, right or wrong are a personal thing. They are part of who we are and how we see and accept or don't accept ourselves.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 219

movie: Bad Influence
starring: Rob Lowe, James Spader
genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama
year: 1990
format: TV EDIT

plot:  a yuppie who seems to have the world at his feet, looses everything when he's set up for murder.

This was a tv edit so I don't know how much of the plot was edited to fit what the station thought was the main theme.

Normally, I love anything with either actor, but this one left me wishing for a fast forward button.  The end of the movie dragged for a bit too long then just ended abruptly.  Again, I'm not sure how much of that was the original movie and how much was because it was edited for content and time.

It starts off like a fairly decent movie, but becomes a bit of a nightmare.  It's almost like Fatal Attraction for best friends, or a male version of Single White Female.   It just doesn't hold up after you get about forty-five minutes into it.  I'm not sure I even want to track down a proper unedited version to compare.

I'm adding the "vampire" tag because of it's use of manipulation. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
Not much to learn from this

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Top 5 Sports Movies

This is just a short list of some of my favourite sports themed movies.

1.The Wrestler
2.The Warrior
4.Best of the Best
5.Vampiro: Angel Devil Hero

Okay, everyone knows by now that I'm a major vampire fan, and wrestling fan, so the documentary about wrestler Vampiro shouldn't have come as a surprise on this list.

The movie The Wrestler is one of those rare films that is just so damned good.   And there have been more then a few wrestling movies over the last 30 years, but this really is the only wrestling movie I've seen; other then a few documentaries,  that takes the industry seriously.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 218

movie: Whip It
starring: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore
genre: Drama,
year: 2009
format: TV EDIT

plot:A high school student who has been made fun of by all her classmates joins an all women's roller derby league

This is based on the novel "Derby Girl"

This is like so many movies that take place in the sports world, it's about the underdog and how they bring themselves out of the bottom to the top.
There were a few elements that reminded me of RollerBall (that stared Paul Heyman) but it just never felt like an honest story to me.  There was just something about this film that felt too much like it was trying too hard to be indie.  (if I just made sense to you then you need a drink too)

In short, I just didn't care for this movie.  Drew Barrymore's role in the film is a minor role, but it was her debut as a director which might have something to do with the feel of it trying too hard.

what do i think i learned from this film?
I'm just not a fan of roller derby. Nor a fan of Ellen Page. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 217

Movie: Real Time
starring: Jay Baruchel, Randy Quaid
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Year: 2008
Format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot:Andy is a gambler who owes thousands of dollars to a loan shark.  His number has just come up and he has just over an hour to live before the hired hitman is suppose to kill him.  The one question he's asked is how does he want to spend that hour?

This movie runs at 77minutes (roughly) and you are watching what seems like one big long shot.  There are rare shot changes and only about 6 characters in the whole movie, giving it the feel of a stage play at times.

I think the beauty of the film is it's simple concept. 
You have a guy who never felt like he was ever going to amount to much and therefore spends his last hour doing nothing but insulting everyone and driving in circles around his neighbourhood.

I'm a major fan of Jay Baruchel, and I love the way he can balance drama with comedy in everything he's been in, and still make it seem natural.

what do I think I learned from this film?
It's never too late to try to improve your situation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 216

movie: Bringing Up Baby
starring; Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
genre: Comedy, Romance
year: 1938
format: TV EDIT

plot: A paleontologist ends up spending a night trying to help a woman find her pet leopard. All the while trying to secure a million dollars from the woman's aunt, the day before he's suppose to get married to someone else.

This is one of those it's so silly it works films.  I was laughing out loud through most of it.

A movie like this could only have truly worked in the time that it was created.  There is just something too innocent for it to really have the same sort of punch were it to be done now for the first time.  (I do realize it's had it's fair share of remakes already)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Sometimes you have to believe in love at first sight, and sometimes you just have to follow the dogs.

Over Coffee- July 16th

I was checking out a few new items on the Cineplex site, and saw they have a game or community or something, where you can leave your favourite quote from your favourite films.
I thought, brilliant!  But when I went to leave mine, it sent me to Facebook. 
I don't care for that. Just don't understand why everything on the damned planet needs to be connected to Facebook?

But, I still think the idea of having a favourite movie quote is a great thing. 

So here is one of my favourite movie quotes.

"What kind of a name is Jonny Gunn?" - Jack Deth

"What kind of a name is Jack Deth?" - Leena  

from the 1985 film  TRANCERS
I also think the tagline from the movie trailer is brilliant "Jack Deth is back, and he's never even been here before"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 215

movie: Velvet Goldmind
starring: Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale
genre: Drama, Music,
year: 1998
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Britain in the 1970's and the lives of four people change the course of the music industry forever.  A journalist in 1984 is given the job of doing an article on the anniversary of the disappearance of the biggest rock star of the 1970's.  Soon you discover the journalist is closer to the source material then anyone thought

So this is loosely based on the whole David Bowie character from his Ziggy Stardust days, and Iggy Pop/Lou Reed.
I got the David Bowie and the Iggy Pop references right off the bat, but I had no idea about the Lou Reed stuff until I went to look for the poster just now.  Then again, I was never a fan of Lou Reed so...

The imagery is lush and brilliant.  It really captures the feel of MuchMusic and MTV in the beginning states of the channels, and makes everything feel like a classic video.
There are so many elements that reminded me of The Wall and Tommy.   Just these wild over the top moments that seemed more designed for a big rock opera then a small film. 

This would have been done about the same time as American Psycho, and Bale proves that he can play older and younger and to the extremes. 
I can't get over how many of the actors' in this movie were doing "American" accents who are British and Australian. 
There is something to the undercurrent of this film, that leaves you more shocked by the anger then the nudity.  It's gritty when it needs to be and sweetly nostalgic when you're not expecting it to be.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Sometimes being in the moment is all you can ask for.  When you try to recreate a movement from your past, you can give a dishonest spin to it if you're not careful.  Everyone takes a bit of everyone else, sometimes without even meaning to. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 214

Movie: Star Trek 2 Wrath of Khan
starring: William Shatner, Ricardo Montalban
genre: Scif-Fi, Action, Drama,
year: 1982
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: The crew of the Reliant are taken captive by an old enemy of Capt. Kirk's, and brainwashed into helping Khan start to get some revenge.  The Enterprise, which was on a training mission is the only star fleet ship in the area and therefore, the only ones who can help.  Soon it's a face off between Khan and Kirk in a battle of wills.

30 year anniversary of the film. 

I have to say, growing up I had seen bits and pieces of all the ST films, but it wasn't until I was in my late 20's before I actually sat down and watched a ST film all the way through.  I've been semi-addicted ever since. (ST X-Nemesis was what really got my attention)

I know there have been countless studies and reviews and journalistic reports, as well as millions of fan literature on the subject of Star Trek, so my break down of this would be nearly pointless at this juncture.
But, with that said, I wanted to there is a feeling of tribute to this film. This to me could easily of been a stageplay by Shakespeare, it had all the elements. What all great movies should live up to.

What did I think I learned from this film?
Revenge is a personal thing. Sometimes it serves a purpose, sometimes not so much. We all have to live up to our dreams and our regrets or else we will never be able to live with ourselves. 
There is a natural cycle to everything it's just how we choose to accept it that defines if it is a positive or negative ripple into the rest of our life.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 213

Movie:Beyond Sherwood Forest
starring: Robin Dunne, Katharine Isabelle
genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
year: 2009
format: TV EDIT

plot: After seeing his father murdered as a young boy, Robin Hood hides in the depths of Sherwood Forest.  After a decade being an outlaw, he has a chance to clear his father's name.  Soon he's off to the mystical dark woods in search of the cure for a woman who is a dragon by day.

This is a made for tv movie.

Scream Queen Katharine Isabelle plays her character as a shapeshifting dragon a bit on the stiff side given she rose to fame playing the werewolf in Ginger Snaps.

The idea was sort of weak, and I just expected more out of the high profile British and Canadian actors then what was delivered. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
Honor is a thing that few people truly have. 


If you're not reading the LAMB, you should be.
It's the biggest group of movie bloggers and critics on the web. 

And why yes, I was one of the new blogs of the day today. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 212

movie: Wrath of the Titans
starring: Bill Nighy, Sam Worthington
genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: After Zeus is captured, it's up to his son Perseus to help get him back from the underworld before the Titans are let loose on Earth

This is one of those the destination is more important then the journey films.
It sort of goes nowhere.

This is also a sequel to Clash of the Titans... which I had no idea when I saw this. Could explain why it feels like you're walking around blind through most of this.  I guess you sort of need to see the first film to understand the whole idea. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
You have to keep your faith in the thing you believe in most or you might loose it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 211

movie: 21 Jump Street
starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum
genre: Comedy, Action, Crime
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Two young cops are sent back to high school undercover to fish out the school's latest drug dealers.

Okay, what do you want me to say about this?  It's a remake of the old tv show.  A show that never aired where I live and thus I can not compare the two. Which might actually be in my favour because I thought this was a funny buddy film.

There is a small twist in the dynamics of the whole plot, by a simple name switch which leads the to characters in each other's former roles.  Tatum's character, a major jock joins the advanced classes and Hill's character, the classic geek joins the jocks, giving what might have otherwise been a disaster, a real chance to humanize the two characters. 

But wait, there's more.  Johnny Depp has a small cameo in the movie, which you miss the first time unless you're really looking. And when I say first time, I mean he pops up in the beginning and at the end. 

Otherwise, I can see this becoming a short series of films.  There is definitely great comedy timing between the duo of Hill and Tatum. They should be able to get at lest two more films from that without tiring audiences.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Sometimes you really can go back and start over, but do you really want to?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 210

movie: Mirror Mirror Snow White
starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins
genre: Comedy
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: The kingdom has fallen on hard times, but the Queen is set on marrying a young prince.  Only the prince has fallen in love with Snow White.  In order to secure the prince's love, the Queen puts a spell on him and sends Snow White into the woods to die.

This is just the same old same old.  It's made to be a family comedy but it falls massively short.

I don't have much else to say on this other then the last time I saw Julia Roberts in a bad movie was Hook.

what do i think i learned from this film?
I learned nothing from this movie

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 209

movie: The Front
starring: Daniel Sunjata, Andie MacDowell
genre: Crime, Drama
year: 2010
format: TV EDIT

plot: A Boston detective is asked to once again open a cold case to help solve a current copy cat murder.

This is a made for tv movie.

You would have thought that I learned my lesson the first time around with the whole Patricia Cornwell movies, but no.  This one was actually a lot better then the first one At Risk.
Would I sit through it

There isn't much to say on this other then it's your typical made for tv cop movie.  This might have worked better as a full on tv series then just a single film. There is so much promise in the three leads but even in a two movie arch, they really don't get developed as they should.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Everyone wants to be someone else

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 208

movie: A Thousand Words
starring: Eddie Murphy, Cliff Curtis
genre: Comedy, Drama
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A fast talking book agent finds himself nearly silenced after mystically receiving a tree that is connected to his soul.  Each time he utters a word a leaf on the tree dies and if the tree dies so does he.

This was brilliant. Simply the idea of Eddie Murphy who is known for his fast talking foul mouthed movies doing a film where he has to completely rely on his body language.  I couldn't have cast it better myself.

This is about finding your center, dealing with your personal issues and finding your true voice.  The character deals with a few usual normal things like the whole concept of miscommunication in relationships.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Choose your words wisely as they might be all you are remembered for.  You always need to take some time to reflect on what's most important and be grateful for having whatever that is in your life.

Friday, July 6, 2012

day 207

movie: Underworld
starring: Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy
genre:  Action, Drama
year: 2003
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A war has been going on for centuries between vampires and lycans.  Now, Selene one of the highest ranking vampire warriors discovers that the lycans have been experimenting on a few humans.  All the humans have one thing in common, they are the direct bloodline of the first lycan. The hope is that they can create a hybrid of both species. On the run with the human Micheal, she's now the target of both vampires and lycans.

This is the movie that started it all.
A combination of elements from the vampire games from the 1990's, and a straight up commentary on the history of race issues.

what do i think i learned from this film?
This is one of those times I'm honestly at a loss as to what to say.  I loved this movie when it first came out 9 years ago.  It's one of those stylishly brilliant movies that draws you in with the mood and vibes.  It makes you want to dress up and play vampire and werewolf.  But other then the obvious theme of everyone comes from the same biological elements; it's just a cool film. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Over Coffee...July 5th

I'm sitting here now, on a day where I'm just wondering about a ton of stuff, and one of the things I was thinking about randomly; were a few blog posts I had done back a few years ago on another blog.

And then re-posted on yet another blog few years after that for a Halloween theme. (at some point I'm sure I'll re issue them all here too... just maybe closer to Hallowe'en)

They were a "best of" series.  All on the theme of vampires.
What got me thinking about all this today was a short clip I saw online for the Dark Shadows movie with Johnny Depp.  He talked about some of his favourite vampire movies over the decades.

One of my first non-movie of the day posts on this blog was a short list of my Top  5 vampire films
(I have two other blogs dedicated to just the review of vampire movies and books)

Another thing is that no matter how well we plan something, things get in the way.
The plan for this challenge was to watch one different movie a day for one year and blog about it.  And so far, for the most part that's what's happened.

for the most part.  But I in my grand wisdom, did not take in account the unforseen.   As in power outages that kept me from watching a movie on a particular day or from getting online to blog.
I also did not take in account sick days.   Or in my case, the broken knee.  A whole week was stripped from the challenge because of my being in hospital back in February.  There's also been a few days where migraine headaches have gotten the better of me and looking at a tv or computer screen was impossible.
I have to wonder, if Julie Powell ever had so many medical issues when she first did the Julie and Julia project?  
I'm sure other bloggers who dared to do year challenges had ups and downs, highs and lows and massive eye strain along the way... right?

Day 206

movie: Sherlock Holmes
starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law
genre: Crime,Action,  Drama, Comedy, Thriller
year: 2009
format: TV EDIT

Plot: Holmes is hired to stop a ritual cult murder, only this sets into motion a revenge plot by the man, Blackwood.  Soon, Holmes and Watson find themselves neck deep in a terrorist plot which involves all of London.

This is the first film in the new series.

I love the pairing of Downey and Law.  There's something electric between their comedic timing that just works.
 This is one of those films that fits into almost every sub-genre  with ease.  It's well acted, well written and gives enough colour to what could have easily have been a paint by numbers. 

what do I think i learned from this film?
Nothing is as it seems, and everything has a creative solution.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 205

movie: Devil's Diary
starring: Alexz Johnson, Brian Krause
genre: Horror, Drama, Paranormal
year: 2007
format: TV EDIT

plot: Two angry teens find a leather bound diary in a graveyard and start to take revenge on their school.  Soon, they find themselves at the other end of the revenge.

This is a made for tv movie.

It's one of those typical "the devil made me do it" Halloween time films.  It had some real promise at being a really good update of the Craft, but it fell so short.
There is only so much you can do with high school revenge plots, and this one just seemed to be like a paint by numbers script.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Kids are so cruel, and if you believe that high school is your entire world then you'll never make it in the real world. Then again, if you can survive the evils of high school, you can survive almost anything.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 204

movie: Percy Jackson and the Olympians:The Lightening Theif
starring: Logan Lerman, Uma Thurman
genre: Adventure, Fantasy
year: 2010
format: Cineplex Digital

plot: Percy finds out that he's a demigod, the son of Poseidon, and that Zeus and Hades are looking for Zeus's missing thunder bolt. For some reason they believe Percy stole it.  He's then hidden at a camp for mystical creatures. After his mother is kidnapped, Percy and two of his friends go on a cross country trip to find the missing thunder bolt to try to save his mom

This is based on a book.

This was another one of those films that tried to stuff too much into a short amount of time.  I did like this movie though.
I know this was geared more to kids, but some of the themes in this film are more suited for adult situations.

There is one piece of the plot that sort of felt thrown in for no reason, when Percy's mother comments about why she married who she did and why, it feels like it was a last minute thought (I have not read the book so I can not compare the storyline)

what do i think i learned from this film?
You can not pick your family, but you can pick who becomes your family.  You have to stick to your guns no matter what.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 203

movie: The Trotsky
starring: Jay Baruchel, Colm Feore
genre: Drama, Comedy,
year: 2009
format: TV EDIT

plot: Leon believes he's the reincarnation of the late Trotsky and decides to plan out his life to match his hero's. Soon he's trying to stir up a revolution in his school.

This is why Jay Baruchel is so damned cool, for roles like this.

What I loved most about this film, was that it was unapologetic in the fact it was Canadian, and with the idea that if you're not willing to stir something up when you truly believe in the cause, no one else will.

This is one of those laugh out loud movies that you can sit through a few times.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You have to have the guts to make a stand in life, even if it seems a bit foolish to the outside world.  History does repeat itself, you just have to make up your mind if you're going to learn from it or not.

Canadian Top 5 Favs

 It's Canada Day, and I started thinking about some of the movies to come out of Canadian cinema in the last few years.  With directors/producers like Bruce McDonald (Dance Me Outside, Hard Core Logo, Highway 61) David Cronenberg (Rabid, Videodrome, Naked Lunch) you can't go wrong.
Here's a short list of some of my favourite Canadian actors.

1. Hugh Dillon
2. Kim Coates
3. Callium Keith Rennie
4. Brendan Fletcher
5. Don McKellar

Bonus round cause they're so damned good...

Ryan Renolds. Christopher Plummer, Jay Baruchel, Graham Greene,

And if you've been paying attention to things, you know I'm a massive vampire fan.  Some of my favourite vampire movies happen to be Canadian.
Suck, Blood and Donuts, Karmina and K- 2 Les Zombies,  and Central Park Drifter (originally called Graveyard Shift)

And let's not forget some of the best werewolf films in the last decade were Canadian made.   The Ginger Snaps trilogy,  (Ginger Snaps, Ginger Snaps 2 Unleased, Ginger Snaps 3 Ginger Snaps Back) and  Skin Walkers,