Thursday, 29 November 2012

Argo

In the last days of the 70s, Iranian militants take over the US Embassy in Tehran taking everyone inside hostage. Unbeknownst to them, six Americans managed to escape, and were able to covertly make their way to the Canadian ambassador's house (after being turned away by the New Zealanders and those pesky Brits). After hiding out their for weeks, never going outside for fear of being seen and executed on sight, it soon becomes clear that the CIA must make a move to 'exfiltrate' these citizens. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), their top exfiltration specialist, comes up with a plan to pull them out, by pretending to be a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a new sci-fi B-movie called Argo, and to make the story more convincing, Hollywood needs to get involved.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Quills

The Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) has been imprisoned by Napoleon for writing sexually explicit novels Justine and Juliette. Whilst in prisoned at the Charenton Insane Asylum, de Sade uses a laundry maid (Kate Winslet) to smuggle out his scripts. The Abbe de Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), who runs the asylum, battles constantly with the rebellious de Sade, until eventually Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine), a conditioning expert, is brought in to 'cure' the man.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Top 5... Movie Cars

 Two weeks ago, Aisha and I bought a car. It's her second, but it the first one I've ever put some money towards, and it's our largest joint purchase to date, so it's something of a noteworthy milestone. It would have inspired last week's Top 5, but then my sister went and got engaged, so I had to postpone this one a week, but in tribute to our new powder blue Nissan Micra (named Ellie after the wife/house from Up), here is my list of the Top 5 Movie Cars. Now, I'm not much of a car guy, so don't expect long diatribes about how fast Cameron's Dad's Ferrari 250 GT from Ferris Bueller's Day Off can go, or just how sexy Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini MurciĆ©lago is, because I had to look up what both of those cars were, and I'm still doubting the spelling of Lamborghini. Instead, these are the cars that, for whatever reason, are generally my favourite, be it due to character, coolness or how much I'd like to own one.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Graduate

Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has returned home from university a star scholar, with his parents and all their friends keen to voice their high hopes for him and his future, but Ben is more uncertain with what he wants to do. Amidst this despondency, Ben finds himself the reluctant object of the affections of Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father's business partner, and the pair begin a secret and sordid affair, which becomes complicated when Mrs. Robinson's husband (Murray Hamilton) has plans to set Ben up with his daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross), obviously against the wishes of Mrs. Robinson.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Top 5... Movie Proposals

Earlier this week, I discovered I was going to become a brother-in-law, as my sister's former-boyfriend-now-fiance finally popped the question atop Edinburgh castle. My tribute to them (congratulations Rachel and Sparrow!) is this little rundown of the top proposals in the movies. I'd also like to give a special mention to this video here, which had it appeared in a film would probably be on my list. Anyway, it turns out that a majority of movie proposals happen in rom-coms (I was shocked too), most of which I unfortunately (or fortunately?) haven't seen, so this is list is far from complete. Just like all my other Top 5s really. Oh, and not all of these are strictly proposal scenes, but that's the general gist, so let me off on a couple, OK?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Wicker Man

Devout Christian police officer Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) receives an anonymous letter telling him that a young girl, 12 year old Rowan Morrison, went missing a year ago and hasn't been seen since. Armed only with the letter, a photo and his unbreakable religious beliefs, Howie sets out to the secluded island of Summerisle, where he is met by hostility from the locals, who do not approve of a mainlander on their soil, and all deny any knowledge of Rowan's existence. As Howie investigates further, he is met by obstructions at every turn, and discovers the islands inhabitant's rituals and ideology may have a more sinister cause for Rowan's disappearance than the policeman could ever have imagined.

Monday, 12 November 2012

3-Iron

Tae-suk (Hyun-Kyoon Lee) has no home, few belongings and leaves no mark on the world. Essentially, he has no life, but why would he need one, when he can borrow other people's for a few days at a time? Leaving pizza menus taped to the front doors of houses and apartments, he establishes who is away for a while, breaks in and makes himself quite literally at home, making a quick exit before the inhabitants come home. But in his latest domestic intrusion, Tae-suk neglected to ensure the house was empty, as abused housewife Sun-hwa (Seung-yeon Lee) is still home, and when she discovers him he flees, but he returns to find her husband not being overly kind to her. Tae-suk lures him outside and pelts him with golf balls, prompting Sun-hwa to run away with Tae-suk, joining him on his adventures.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Gangs of New York

New York, 1846. Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson), the leader of a group of Irishmen going by the name of the Dead Rabbits, has roused other rival gangs to join together and fight Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), the leader of the tyrannical New York Natives, over ownership of the Five Points. When Neeson is slain, his son escapes and leaves the city, returning sixteen years later as Leonardo DiCaprio, who understandably has a score to settle with Bill over his father's murder.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Top 5... Directors For The New Star Wars Films

As I'm sure you're aware by now, Disney recently bought LucasFilm, and are currently planning on releasing the next trilogy of Star Wars films, starting in 2015 (which is looking like a pretty damn good year for movies so far, what with Avengers 2 and the Justice League movie). Currently nothing has been set in stone other than a frankly ridiculous amount of rumours over cast and crew, so I'm going to throw my hat into the already over-hatted ring as to whom I believe would make a decent director for what proves to be one of the most eagerly, yet cautiously, anticipated films of the next few years. As I like to do sometimes, I've made two lists, one of a safe pair of hands to kick off the trilogy, and another list of film-makers who could add an interesting spin on the series that I'd quite like to see.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Zombie Mania!

Recent days have seen the release of not one, not three, but two trailers for zombie-related films that I'm really looking forward to. I've not had much of a chance to say quite how much I like zombies on this here blog'o'mine, but they appear in some of my favourite horror films and/or films in general, and I've been eagerly awaiting both of these trailers.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Brief Encounter

Laura and Alec (Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard) meet every Thursday in town - he after work, and she to do the weekly grocery shopping. At first their regular meetings are nothing more than a newfound friendship, but it is not long before they fall for one another. The problem is, Alec will soon be leaving to work in Africa. Oh, and they're both married, with families at home.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Murder!

A member of a travelling theatre company has been murdered in the lounge of the guesthouse in which she is staying, with only a fellow company-member, a discarded poker and an absence of brandy nearby. The trial is quickly over, with the jury swung by the overwhelming evidence pointing towards the defendant's guilt, but after the verdict has been cast and death has been sentenced, one of the jury members begins to have doubts over their decision.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Sullivan's Travels

John Lloyd Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is a big time director of screwball Hollywood comedies, but wants to make something real. Something with a message. Something for the common man. The only problem is Sullivan has never experienced life amongst the common men, so he sets out, against the wishes of his producers, disguised as a hobo and with nothing but 10 cents in his pocket, to see how the other half survives.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Skyfall

A hard drive containing the identities of MI6 undercover agents is at risk of going missing, so James Bond (Daniel Craig) is trying to catch the thief in Istanbul, with the assistance of field agent Eve (Naomie Harris). When Bond is shot and presumed dead, his superior, M (Judi Dench), takes the blame, but when Bond returns from the grave, he must track down the files to save not only his country, but his boss.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Hugo

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, one of the kids from Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang) lives inside the clockwork at a train station in 1930s Paris. He spends his days maintaining and fixing the clocks, stealing only the pastries and milk that he needs to survive and avoiding the child-hunting station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). A run-in with station shop-worker Georges (Sir Ben Kinglsey) results in Hugo having to work for the toymaker, all the while building a bond between Jugo and Georges god-daughter, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz). 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Top 5... 'Friends' Movies

It's David Schwimmer's birthday today, and with the imminent release of the complete Friends boxset on Blu-Ray (available in the UK on November 12th), this seemed to be the perfect time to have a look through the filmographies of the six leads of that great show. That is, until I got severely depressed by just how bad most of the films they'd made were. So bad, in fact, that amongst six successful actors, I could barely find 20 films that I'd willingly sat down and watched. This was a tough list to find five good films from.

5. Lost in Space
I'm fully aware that this is a terrible film, but it belongs on a list with the likes of Godzilla, Deep Blue Sea and The Day After Tomorrow as films that don't really have a lot going for them other than being largely entertaining. Lost in Space features a fairly terrible performance from Matt LeBlanc as Major Don West, the captain of a spaceship transporting the Robinson family to a new colony in an attempt to begin the salvation of humanity, but of course problems arise, most notably a hoard of alien spiders that eat through the ship's hull. Is there anything worth watching about the film? Yes. Gary Oldman is terrific as the evil Dr. Zachary Smith (and a slightly more spidery version later on). The rest of the Robinsons are OK too, particularly William Hurt as the father. And there's a robot! Now, I've never seen the 60s TV show on which this is based, but I'm pretty sure that if they had implemented a weird sucker-fingered alien monkey, the CGI may have looked slightly better than in this film , made 30 years later.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November 2012 Update

Welcome to November everyone! Unfortunately, October was not as successful post-wise as September, as my write-a-post-a-day plan stumbled and fell, but I did managed to put up 18 reviews and 4 top 5s, so it wasn't too bad I suppose.