Big hair and studded leather

There are a few that agree that Rock of Ages is one of the best, most fun movies ever made, and at least one that has tried to convince me my opinion is absolutely wrong, because it’s the worst.

Those people are mistaken because 1) Tom Cruise in a large shiny dragon cod piece 2) Tom Cruise pole dancing to Rock You Like a Hurricane.

I managed to cull my screenshots from 224 to 19. See the rest below.

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NZFF 2012


Farewell My Queen / Beautiful. Loved.


The Hunt / Distressing. Loved.


Bernie / Odd. True story. Shirley MacLaine is fantastic. Liked.


Monsieur Lazhar / Really liked.


Sightseers / Funny. Gory. Very British. Liked.


The Ambassador / Ballsy. Liked.


The Angels’ Share / Funny. Must see for whisky lovers. Very Scottish. Loved.


No / Emotional. Goodness prevails. Really liked.


Holy Motors / Really fucking weird. Wonderful. Loved.


Sound of My Voice / Brit Marling as captivating as ever. Really liked.

NZFF

The New Zealand International Film Festival is over for another year, and with it goes my latest excuse for skiving off.


Incendies / Loved


13 Assassins / Really Liked

The Tree of Life / Hated


Submarine / Liked


Hobo with a Shotgun / Liked


The Guard / Loved


Another Earth / Really Liked


Melancholia / Really Loved (a lot)


Terri / Liked


The Future / Liked

Attenberg / Liked

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Deathly Hallows - Harry Potter rocky cliff top

Now in their seventh movie, the Harry Potter kids have finally shown how far their acting has come. They’ve realised that a stern voice and a frown is not the only way to convey the seriousness of their situation and now opt for a look or a sigh instead. It makes for some pretty hilarious scenes.

Hilarity is big in The Deathly Hallows, I found myself actual lolling on more than a few occasions and I’m fairly certain it had nothing to do with my midnight screening related tiredness. The laughter however is challenged by some pretty dark scares. The kind you would not let your child see for fear of ongoing nightmares, the kind that makes 20 somethings jump out of their seats!

The real scene stealer though? The landscape scenery. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is focused on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s search for the Horcruxes and their constant move through the UK to avoid snatchers. Lake side, high on a cliff, or in a snow covered forest I felt like I’d seen it all before. And then I realised it was because this time the movie looked exactly how I’d pictured it when I read the books.
Runner up is the beautiful animation scene that explains the Deathly Hallows, unexpected but perfect.

If you attend without the requisite knowledge you are likely to get lost. There aren’t any long winded explanations of back stories going on here. Half Blood Prince wasn’t nearly as true to the book but magically Deathly Hallows Part 1 carries on as if it’s following on from the Half Blood Prince book rather than the movie.

Kick Ass

hit girl

Comic book style ultra violence, cute nerdy boys, bad ass chicks being bad ass, dramatic music scores playing behind one-against-many shoot outs. If you like any of those things you should go see this movie. If you like all of those things you may spend the whole movie throwing your arms about exclaiming “Oh My God” or “Amaze” or “Ack she’s SO cool” while sporting a dumb agape face because you’re stupified by how awesome the whole thing is.

Comic book movies are my favourite genre. (Is that even a genre? It should be by now) And Kick Ass is my favourite of all the comic book movies. Chloe Moretz is perfect as 11 year old killing machine Hit Girl. This movie deserves its 18+ rating.

It’s so awesome that Hit Girl overtook Gogo Yubari as my favourite bad ass.

It’s so awesome I want to go see it again.

It’s so awesome that even Nic Cage nailed it.

Note that I haven’t read the comic so this is from my view as a complete newbie to the Kick Ass story.

Men Who Hate Women

Thanks for indulging me my moment of emo. I’m usually such a happy cynic that when these periods of melancholy and introspection come, and I still feel I can write, I like to embrace them. To bring the drama.

I’ve been sulking about nothing in particular. The bad weather rolls in every second day. Someone says something and I take it the wrong way. I get my period. My friends having to deal with shit I couldn’t handle. None of these things are real reasons for me to be upset, but none of them are invalid either. I’m lucky I have great people around to remind me, even for a few minutes, why I’m usually happy.

Today’s weather was particularly bad and I had nowhere to be and nothing pressing to achieve so instead I watched a bunch of downloaded shows and a few movies.

Cash – OK but not amazing. Sean Bean is great as usual.

Whip It – What’s not to love about derby!? Some lesbian allusions would have been nice, but it was pretty fun anyway. Alia Shawkat aka Maeby from Arrested Development is awesome.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – This one is definitely not a date movie. Rape, murder, and subtitles. It was pretty horrific to watch in parts. Over all though it was very well done, I love the Swedes, and I have a new girl crush in leading lady Noomi Rapace. Particularly in this movie as she is a damn hot goth. The Swedish title works far better for a stand alone film: Men Who Hate Women (translated obv), but as this is a three part series I can forgive the new English title.

noomi 1
Noomi 3
Noomi 2
Noomi 4

10 Years of Fighting

marla narrator

To celebrate the ten year anniversary of one of the greatest movies of all time -Fight Club- I wanted to share a few of my favourite quotes and trivia.

Enjoy.

Trivia

The original “pillow talk”-scene had Marla saying “I want to have your abortion”. When this was objected to by Fox 2000 Pictures President of Production Laura Ziskin, David Fincher said he would change it on the proviso that the new line couldn’t be cut. Ziskin agreed and Fincher wrote the replacement line, “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school”. When Ziskin saw the new line, she was even more outraged and asked for the original line to be put back, but, as per their deal, Fincher refused.

Author Chuck Palahniuk first came up with the idea for the novel after being beaten up on a camping trip when he complained to some nearby campers about the noise of their radio. When he returned to work, he was fascinated to find that nobody would mention or acknowledge his injuries, instead saying such commonplace things as “How was your weekend?” Palahniuk concluded that the reason people reacted this way was because if they asked him what had happened, a degree of personal interaction would be necessary, and his workmates simply didn’t care enough to connect with him on a personal level. It was his fascination with this societal ‘blocking’ which became the foundation for the novel.

When the Narrator hits Tyler Durden in the ear, Edward Norton actually did hit Brad Pitt in the ear. He was originally going to fake hit him, but before the scene, David Fincher pulled Norton aside and told him to hit him in the ear. After Norton hit him in the scene, you can see him smiling and laughing while Pitt is in pain.

Director David Fincher shot 38 takes of the scene between Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and The Narrator (Edward Norton) in Lou’s Bar after The Narrator’s apartment has blown up. Each take was filmed with two cameras, and for every individual take, Fincher would give the actors a rough idea of what to do, and they would improvise most of the dialogue. The scene as it exists in the finished film is made up of segments from numerous different takes and much of the dialogue, especially Tyler’s dialogue, was completely ad-libbed on set. (One of my favourite scenes, Tyler’s laughter is so disturbing, I wish I could find a video!)

Tyler

The Boy finally revealed who he’d turn gay for. I’m glad we’re on the same wavelength.

When Tyler (Brad Pitt) catches The Narrator (Edward Norton) listening at the door as he has sex with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), he is wearing a rubber glove. This was Brad Pitt’s idea, and caused a great deal of controversy with President of Production at Fox 2000 Pictures, Laura Ziskin. She was horrified when she saw the scene and demanded that it be removed. However at a subsequent test screening, the appearance of the glove got the biggest laugh of the whole movie, prompting Ziskin to change her mind.

The breath in the cave scene is recycled Leonardo DiCaprio breath from Titanic (1997), which was composited into the shot.

How a manic depressive relates to the movie.

Quotes

“I see all this potential, and I see squandering. An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off. “

“Now, a question of etiquette – as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?”

“Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not… fuck with us.”

“How’s that working out for you? Being clever.”

Narrator

Inglourious Basterds – Review

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt - Inglourious Basterds

From the tense opening scene right through to the humorous end Tarantino’s cast and script is on amazing form.
Musical scores and the style of beginning each change of scene with a chapter name and number were shared with Kill Bill. The similarities work well with both films but were quite obvious as Tarantino styles. This movie also shared the typical Tarantino gore, it was after all supposed to be a movie about Jewish-American soldiers scalping Nazis in German occupied France.

This is another movie I went in to knowing nothing more than it was directed by Quentin Tarantino, starred Brad Pitt, and involved Americans killing Nazis. I’d also heard that it was Quentin’s version of the past, so not historically accurate.
Knowing so little led to a lot of tense moments, not knowing where the story was going or how it would pan out. At one point I was so overcome with emotion that I began to cry a little, and then before you know it I’m laughing again at Aldo Raine’s (Brad Pitt) accent.

Brad Pitt was certainly the biggest name actor in the movie, but it’s doubtful he got as much screen time as other key characters. Particularly the women of the film – a Jewish French teenager Shosanna and a German film star Bridget von Hammersmark. Colonel Hans Landa the “Jew hunter” steals his scenes with villanious almost over the top performances that leave you tense and wondering what the hell he’s going to do.

My only problem is the scene involving Mike Myers. It felt out of place and his natural comedic accent was so conspicuous I kept expecting him to break out into “Yeah, Baby, yeah”.  The Boy has no problem with the scene, and Mike Myers part has been declared by many as a comeback. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention.

Inglourious Basterds is a stunning piece of cinema you must see for yourself. Make sure you attend when you’re properly awake, most of the movie is in French and German so you’ll need to pay attention to the subtitles.

5/5

District 9 – Review

District-9

PJ* goes back to his roots with the production of District 9 – a fantastic movie full of exploding aliens and humans.
The film is put together with a combination of documentary, security camera, and real time footage. It follows the story of Wikus, a human working for the MNU in Johannesburg, and seems to blatantly mimic the South African apartheid.

Do yourself a favour and don’t watch the trailers if you haven’t already seen them. I went in knowing nothing more than I was going to watch a movie about aliens living with humans, and I’m glad I didn’t know any more than that.

3.5/5

*Peter Jackson, everyone’s favourite Kiwi director/producer