Jun 27, 2011

Kill me now... so I can die happy

Here's just one reason why.

This wasn't the exact thing I saw, and I didn't see it this close, but you get the point. If I've seen Chris Colfer do the Single Ladies dance, what else do I have to live for, really?

I'll write a huge and elaborate post of my weekend later on, when I'm not so freaking exhausted and my brain functions a little better.

But anyways... Greetings from Loserville! It's one damn happy place.

Jun 23, 2011

Cry, baby, cry...

This week on Movie Monday... tearjerkers! I can be a real cry baby when watching movies. Often I have phases when I'm more prone to burst into tears during a moving or shocking or, sometimes, completely casual scene. Some quaranteed tearjerkers of mine are The Green Mile (the final execution), Titanic (Nearer My God To Thee), Toy Story 3 (Andy and his toys in the end, duh) and Billy Elliot (only during the phases, though).

Also, some documentaries I've watched recently (Bowling for Columbine and Nuit et brouillard) made me weep so bad it almost hurt. Reality is painful!

My biggest tearjerker still has to be Schindler's List. I rewatched it a few months ago (right after watching Nuit et brouillard, by the way; geez, did I cry myself sore that day!) and it hit me so much harder that it did the first time I watched it several years earlier. Getting older makes you soft! Schindler's List is such an exhausting yet amazing watching experience; your eyes never dry because the emotionally charged scenes are frequent and intense. Approximately half way through I was almost forced to have a break due to the overwhelming stream of tears.

Even though the whole film is a constant parade of weeping, the single most tearjerking scene has to be, in addition to the final scene, all the stuff with the girl in the red coat. Oh dear, oh dear...


P.S. GUESS WHO'S GOING TO LONDON TOMORROW AND TO SEE THE GLEE LIVE! CONCERT ON SUNDAY OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!! (Unless I face some more hardship and everything goes wrong some more. Expect either a hysterically happy or a hysterically depressed post next week... The title will be either "Kill me now so I can die happy" or just "Kill me now".)

Jun 15, 2011

Lost hours of my life

A movie so thoroughly bad, horrible, lousy, that you regret you ever spent those precious hours of your life watching it? That's this week's MovieMonday challenge.

First I thought about Jennifer's Body, which I truly, truly, loathed. But then again, I was kind of glad I watched it, because in some twisted way I enjoyed loathing something that much for a change, and really bashing it afterwards. Haha. So, that option was ruled out. But the final choice wasn't a difficult one at all.

I haven't seen the original Last House on the Left, but if it's anything like the 2009 remake, I don't even want to. It could have been a basic, solid thriller/horror film, but all I remember about it is the rape scene, which seemed to go on and on and on for a half and hour. Okay, sometimes a rape is necessary for the story, and it can be shoot quite graphically and boldly but still with some good taste, like in the Swedish Millenium trilogy. In The Last on the Left the scene is draged out and gloated with, which makes it so horribly repulsive, disgusting and just plain sick. It's not horror, it's porn. And not the normal, sane kind.

We watched it at a friend's summer cottage last year, according to our long-lasting tradition of watching fun and lousy horror flicks when it begins to get dark. I don't know if we'll continue the tradition this year, because LHotL wasn't fun for anyone. Yuck. Just, yuck. I wish we'd taken No, I Still Haven't Forgotten What You Did That Summer Twenty Years Ago Although You Might Have or something to that caliber. Those kind of movies are bad, yes, and maybe those hours are not the most wisely spent hours of your life either, yes, but atleast they don't freaking make you feel both mentally and physically sick. And they call the damn movie a horror classic...

Jun 12, 2011

Paul (2011) - a little something-something for the fanboys

directed by Greg Mottola / starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen

Blah. I was looking forward to this because Team Pegg/Frost always seemed to deliver, but I guess that's only under the direction of Edgar Wright. And when there's Cornettos involved. I guess I have to admit I just didn't fit the target audience. I mean, I'd like to think I'm kind of geeky, and I am indeed excellent at catching Star Wars references, and E.T. as well (although it's been over a decade since I last saw the movie (just making a mental note on that rewatch list)), but when it gets any more hard core than that, I'm out.

Paul is about two British hard core nerds, who fulfil their life-long dream and go to Comic-Con. On the way back they make a cool Alien roadtrip, visiting all the Alien-related places in America. When driving through Area 51, they meet an actual Alien. Called Paul. Only he's not quite what they expected.

The problem with Paul - or, the problem I have with Paul, is that its humour is too American. No offense of course, American humour can be a lot of fun, but with Pegg and Frost, I just kept missing the dry, sarcastic, distinctively British humour of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It was just too much about certain body parts and that certain kind of intercourse, and that kind of humour will only take you so far. Usually, not far enough. Thus, blah.

I liked some of the nerd stuff, yes. That Empire t-shirt seriously was quite cool, and I would've been upset for its sorry fate as well. I'm also having a weird geeky desire to start reading some geeky Alien stuff, about conspiracies and all that. I even feel a bit like watching Roswell, although I never did when it was hip and in and cool.

Seth Rogen's voice didn't bother me; in fact, at times I even found Paul almost charming. Note, ONLY at times. Jason Bateman was cool because agents are cool, and I obviously enjoyed the little Glee invasion aka the tiny role by Jane Lynch.

I guess that's all I have to say. Paul was okay, but I'm getting a bit tired with just okay. My mind hasn't been blown away since the beginning of March and I miss that feeling of post-cinema awe. Luckily, the final Harry Potter is well on the way (sniff/hurray!), and if that doesn't cause some awe, I'm never stepping into a cinema again. Cross my heart!

"Are you gonna draw me like your French girls, Jack?"

Jun 9, 2011

Easy A (2010) - so witty it's almost unfair

directed by Will Gluck / starring Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Thomas Hayden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci

How refreshing to watch a funny high school comedy! Like, actually funny! We haven't had these in a while. I mean, Mean Girls was kind of funny, but not the randomly-sniggering-a-week-later-when-thinking-about-a-joke kind of funny. Yeah, it hasn't been a week since I saw Easy A, but it's been like a half an hour and I just sniggered a bit at the scene in the bedroom with Olive and the gay kid. So I think it's safe to say that Easy A was pretty funny.

Olive is a girl with a flawless reputation - not by choice necessarily, though, she just hasn't had many opportunities to ruin it because boys don't notice her. Which is so unrealistic, because she's good-looking and unnaturally witty (I'll get to this later), but let's pretend it's totally believable and just go with this. Then, half-accidentally, a rumor begins to spread, which both puts a nasty stain on her reputation and makes her interesting. She doesn't mind, and the snowball begins to roll and turn into one big, nasty, promiscuous avalanche.

The protagonist of the movie is not your avarage high school comedy leading lady. Like I said, maybe not the most believable outcast, either, but I welcome the change. I'm not really in love with Emma Stone like the rest of the world seems to be, but I didn't find her or her character half as annoying as I'd imagine I might have! There was an inch too much Juno in her. And I like my high school comedies without a single inch of Juno, thank you very much. Still, Olive was pretty cool. Maybe it's the overflowing wit that nags me a bit. But I still won't get into it. (Oh, the anticipation! I'm such a tease.) Still, see the Pocket Full of Sunshine scene to see that she really is quite funny, and even by herself.

So Olive was pretty funny by herself, but the funniest moments were those with her interacting with the various, more or less geniusly hilarious supporting characters. I've already mentioned the gay kid, who, besides making me laugh aloud in that bedroom scene, was kind of sweet and made me go aww once or twice. Amanda Bynes rocked the role of the annoying girl determined to save Olive's eternal soul. Thomas Haden Church cracked me up both in the movie and in the gag reel. The Gossip Girl dude didn't annoy me, though I expected him to because of the association to said TV series. Then there were Pheobe and the sad, sick lady from Green Mile.

And last but not least Stanley Tucci, who deserves his own paragraph, because I don't remember anyone being so fabulously ridiculous in a long, long time. He plays Olive's father and the sad, sick lady from Green Mile plays her mother and I loved every scene with the parents. They're just ridiculously awesome. And Tucci's "Where are you from originally?" and "After we watch The Bucket List, remember to cross 'watch The Bucket List' off our bucket list" and a million other lines I could quote here, but I'll refrain myself.

... But I guess that's where Olive gets her ingenius wit from. I love witty movies and witty people, but at times when watching Easy A I was almost bothered by the incredible wittiness - of Olive, in particular. Which kind of doesn't make sense, because the wittier she is, the better for me, as a viewer of the movie. I guess there are such enormously witty 17-year-olds, but I haven't just met any, so it felt unrealistic to me. Or maybe I'm just jealous because I'll never be that witty and awesome or have such witty and awesome conversations with other witty and awesome people. Boohoo. But seriously, never mind it being slightly unrealistic, it was nice to see a kid having a perfectly functional and totally awesome relationship to her parents in a high school movie. First time for everything, I guess.

Because this has been quite a miscellaneous post with lots of random thoughts in a nice little mess, I'll finnish accordingly by saying that I loved all the references to John Hughes movies. And didn't I feel smart (knowing that a couple of months ago those bit wouldn't have meant anything to me. Haha).

"There's a higher power that will judge you for your indecency."
"Tom Cruise?"

Jun 8, 2011

I'm not crying, not crying not crying not crying... much.

The original video from Empire.com.

Also this.

I think it just fully sank in how horribly sad it will be when it's over. Really, finally, no-going-back over. Oh god. Stupid Potty, making me all emotional.

Jun 7, 2011

Hanna (2011) - confessions of a teenage killing machine

directed by Joe Wright / starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander

I'd been waiting for Hanna since the first trailer I saw. Joe Wright is the director of one of my ultimate favourite films (Atonement), and since that film Saoirse Ronan has definitely been one to keep an eye on. Cate Blanchett is always worth buying a film ticket, and don't we just all love teenage assassins! Add in a rare chance to see your home country in a Hollywood film, and you got yourself a pretty good reason for a trip to cinema.

Hanna is a film difficult to caterorize. There's a bit of a mystery film, an action flick, a road movie and a coming-of-age story. I liked the coming-of-age acpect of it the most. Not surprisingly, knowing me and my preferences. Maybe the script was not the most imaginative, surpriring, skillfully structed one, but the action was nice. And visually the movie was very interesting. Also, great music. And I like movies in which they speak many different languages. I kept expecting to hear Finnish, shame I didn't!

It's cool that they actually came to shoot in Finland; not in Canada or even Norway or anything. Lapland looked pretty cool. And not just in the sense of "cold". (Poor highly-paid Hollywood actors, though.) It was cool to see Finland through "Hollywood's eyes", and notice it didn't look very different from what it really is, or how it's potrayed in domestic films. I'll say it once more: cool.

Saoirse Ronan is such an interesting actress! Just that stare alone is so compelling, with those light eye brows and bright blue eyes. Plus I always associate that stare with the scene in Atonement where Briony is looking out of the window while Robbie is being taken away and she just doesn't blink. Awesome. That girl has one bright future ahead of her.

Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana do their roles with a certain professional-like routine. They're both very good but not too good, because the film is about Hanna and Ronan is the star. Tom Hollander is as wonderfully disgusting as ever. It's a gift, really, to be able to be that slimy and repulsive. And still awesome. That hydrogen peroxide hair was particularly unappealing. Hope he shot his part quite quickly, and didn't have to hang around looking so unattractive for too long. Haha.

The British teenage girl was a real highlight of the whole movie. Really, she was freaking hilarious. Give her an award or something!

 So, Hanna was a good film. Not mind-blowing in any way, but interesting and entertaining enough. The talented cast and the visual look (and one pretty competent comic relief character) carry it pretty far, and there's necessarily no fundamental need for blowing minds.

"You didn't prepare me for this."

Jun 6, 2011

My dearest movie character

"Tough one", I thought, when learning the Movie Monday challenge of the week. Who could I possibly name as the movie character closest to my heart? Well, it wasn't that difficult in the end. I chose the one that first came to my mind, and did it for a reason.

Belle has been my hero for decades. (I guess you can now say that because the movie came out 20 years ago, haha.) She's always been one of my favourite Disney princesses, but while when growing up Cinderella steadily held the number one position with that dazzling ball dress and glass slippers, last year, when my love for Disney peaked once again, I felt safe to announce that Belle had claimed the title for herself.

And isn't she just thoroughly awesome? She was (one of) the first Disney heroine to ditch the role of a frail damsel in distress. Before her there was the stupid teenage brat Ariel (ugh, my blood just began to boil), the naive Snow White who just went with the flow and the apathetic Aurora who had no personality whatsoever. After Belle there's been other kick-ass heroines like Pocahontas, Mulan, Esmeralda and Meg. But Belle is the mother to them all. She doesn't just react; she acts.

Belle does own all the positive qualities of a textbook Disney princess: she's kind, righteous and caring, she sings like an angel, and oh, how pretty she is. I'm a huge fan of that strand of hair that she has to tuck back all the time! She dreams big and never loses her hope. On the other hand, she stands up for her loved ones, even risks her life for them. She's a bit stubborn and doesn't want to be bossed around. She loves books and stories and is very curious. She's subtly sarcastic ("Gaston, you are positively primeval."). She doesn't want to do something just because "she's supposed to", which makes her kind of a misfit. Her biggest nightmare is to become the little wife to the most desired nuthead of the town, and she will not yield to that even if everyone expects her to. She sees past the monstrous appearance of her prince and falls in love with the kind, brave, yet akward man inside the beast. She doesn't just wait around to be rescued. She rescues herself. And her prince, too, on the way. I call that kick-ass, and awesome, and thus Belle is the dearest movie character to me.

And yes, that yellow ball dress is gorgeous, just gorgeous. Might even beat the glass slippers.

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. / I want it more than I can tell. / And for once it might be grand / To have someone understand / I want so much more than they've got planned

P.S. I burned my lunch while writing this post. For a change. I can't even begin to count how many meals I've ruined because of blogging. Oh well, I guess it's worth it.

Once upon a time in Nazi-occupied France...

Click below for some Basterds highlights.

Jun 5, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - old Captain Jack is getting a bit old

From the moment I heard the first rumour that there will be another Pirates movie, I was suspicious. Yet I always hoped that somehow it would end up being okay; a nice little entertainment bomb if nothing else. I don't need that much to be entertained, really! I went to the cinema with very low expectations, but just this once, that didn't do the trick.

Most of the time I wasn't even entertained, just bored, and on the top of it all, hating the fact that people like money so much, and so my poor eyes once again had to endure that extra strain because of that stupid third dimesion. I missed the good old pirate spirit that just wasn't there. I even found myself missing Orlando and Keira! The most crushing thing to admit is that even goold old Captain Jack didn't have the same charm anymore, so the legendary pirate captain must have lived past his best days. I was hoping the Jack thing would never get old - the jokes, the smirks, the drunken way he walks, the idiotic ways he always seems to get out of tricky spots - but what can you do. It sucks, though.

Sure, there were some occasional moments when it felt like the old movies, when the good old spirit showed up, even if only for a second at a time. The nostalgic value was there, yes, but it didn't save as much as I expected it to. Mostly I was just annoyed that they the staining the good memory of all those awesome characters. On one hand it was good that they'd gone to a simpler direction with the plot - it can't get much more confusing than the web of lies and back-stabbing and side-switching in At World's End - but on the other hand, at least that constant confusion assured that you weren't able to predict every single plot twist and turn of events at least five minutes before they happen. I don't think I was surprised once during the whole On Stranger Tides.

Penelope I liked more that I expected (doesn't take much as I didn't expect to like her at all, but anyway). Blackbeard was an okay new character too, but oh well, I'm just rarely into those PURE EVIL vilains; they are much more interesting coming with more than that one single character trait (PURE EVIL) in them. The reward for the most unnecessary and hollow character (in addition to the zombies; if you want someone undead, call the cursed skeletons or Davy Jones's fish people) goes to the replacement of Orlando Bloom's pretty face: the ridiculously muscular clercyman. Apparently he's done most of his God-serving in between fierce sessions of ab excercises and push-ups.

Things I did like: the pirate flag flying at the top of the Disney castle in the logo; the mermaids that actually brought in some nice mythology and action (and the required, boring love story); the Cameo (hahahaha, genius); the undead monkey and The Pearl, even if only miniature versions of them; the Jack/Barbossa moments, because that much charisma and talent can't go unnoticed even if the context and the dialogue were stupid.

Oh well. After all this bashing I think it's more than appropriate to pull the rug from under the whole post and say that I wouldn't mind too much if they did some more mediocre Pirates sequels. I'd go see them anyway, just because... Well I don't know. But I would.

"Why is it we can never meet without you pointing something at me?"

Jun 4, 2011

10 of my favourite movie musical numbers

Some time ago I made a list of my favourite musical moments in non-musical movies. So this list is a natural follower! It also happens to match the first challenge in the new Movie Monday blog. (Note: no animations accepted on the list! Why? It would be filled with Disney songs, and I already made that list.)
10. Time Warp in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

This movie is so insane. It doesn't have a sensible moment in its running time! And I appreciate and respect that. Time Warp is the catchiest and thus my favourite song in the musical, so it has the honour to inhabit the last but not... well, yes, the least position on the list. In a list ranking songs according to their ability to get stuck on your head, this would be number one by a bullet! ... Aaaand just when you thought I would get through with this without mentioning the Glee version, I go and mention the Glee version. Because it's brilliant and Kurt is brilliant and so on and so forth.

 9. My Favourite Things in The Sound of Music (1965)

It's just so very sweet, okay? And so is Julie Andrews, ah!

8. Greased Lightning in Grease (1978)

 I used to love Grease, but then I watched it too many times and now I just kind of unactively like it for the nostalgic value. Still, there's no denying the entertainment value of John Travolta's hips and the always-makes-your-feet-restless value of the beat in Greased Lightning.

7. Good Morning in Singing' in the Rain (1952)

I could've and maybe should've chosen the most iconic musical scene in the history if cinema, but decided to go with this one instead without much ado. I just like the melody and the enthusiastic and cheerful mood of the scene. And the tap dance. Oh, the tap dance.

6.  Can I Have This Dance in High School Musical 3 (2008)

Haha, I think it's appropriate to talk about a black sheep here. Me and High School Musicals go way back, and it would've been unfair and evasive to ignore that fact when making this list. Now, about this particular song and scene. Sometimes I've been joking that I want to dance to this at my wedding, and unfortunately it wasn't always pure joking. I have now accepted that this song will indeed have nothing at all to do with my wedding, whatsoever, but while I'm beginning to forget the lyrics to all the other HSM songs, I still find myself listening to this once in a while. It's quite nice, really. And not half as cheesy as it could be.

5. A Little Priest in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

 Well, first, if there's Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and singing involved, it can't end up being nothing too bad. Sweeney Todd is pretty great, and I chose this scene for its quirkiness, its relevance to the plot, and for the pure joy of watching Johnny and Helena work their magic together.

4. Cell Block Tango in Chicago (2002)

Chicago is sexy and chic and just unresistable. It has many, many awesome musical numbers, but Cell Block Tango is hands down my favourite. Those murderesses just kick ass! After this, no one can say that murder is not an art.

3. Somewhere Over The Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

It doesn't get much more classic than this. Judy Garland, stuck in the dull, colourless Kansas, dreams of a better place somewhere over the rainbow, not knowing that's exactly where she will end up soon enough. Oh, I adore this song.

2. Dancing Queen in Mamma Mia! (2008)

This movie is such a joy. It's the ultimate pleasure without a single drop of guilt. Meryl Streep and the girls dancing around a beautiful Greek island, singing this timeless, feel-good ABBA song, is so much fun - just a thought of it is somehow uplifting and makes a smile sneak up on your face. The best thing is, you don't necessarily have to be young and sweet, only seventeen, to a be dancing queen. It just takes some growing back down.

1. El Tango De Roxanne in Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Moulin Rouge! had to be number one, of course. Deciding on just one song, scene, number, was a much trickier job to do. Your Song, Elephant Love Medley and Come What May finally lost, though only by inches, to the dramatic, thrilling, flamboyant, goosebumps-quaranteed El Tango De Roxanne. Oh, how vividly we feel the heart-rending pain of Ewan McGregor. You just want to give him a big hug. But only after he's stopped singing! Don't you dare interrupt the magic in action.