Monday, 30 June 2014

June Watch List

Apart from the salsa obsessed element to the film, this Brit-Rom-Com isn't that bad but not as good as I thought it would be. Nick Frost is great in this and I really hope he did most of the dancing in this. The story is quite run of the mill, chubby guy with weird talent like the pleasant American girl who happens to share said weird talent/interest. Annoying (but hilarious Chris O'Dowd) third person is trying to ruin things for said chubby guy. I am being unfair, the film is funny in parts and the cast are great but it is rather predictable. It would be nice to see a film where average girl gets average boy but with a massive twist of some sort. One last thing, the lunchtime dance off is hilarious. 3/5

From the director of Amelie said the posters. The director also made MicMacs, a brilliant and under appreciated well crafted film with great characters. Moving on. This is Jean-Pierre Jeunet second english language film and it may not be as beautiful as Amelie or as creative as Micmacs but it has heart  and a truly (adorable) brilliant actor, the very young and talented Kyle Catlett.

The film is based on the book, The Selected Works of T.S Spivet by Reif Larsen. I bought the book in preparation for the film but didn't finish it before the film was to disappear from the cinema. The book, similar to the film is annotated and full to the brim.


This film looked like it could be decent for two reasons, Kevin Kline and Morgan Freeman. The other two actors are quite disappointing. Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas are playing stereotypes of themselves throughout and De Niro is especially annoying, always being a negative moody old man. They may all be old men but Kline and Freeman have all the best lines. There are some funny touching moments of friendship but that doesn't stop the creepy old men eye boggling at (basically) teenagers. Its late life crisis comedy that couldn't be saved by the Pirate King or God. 2/5

I watched this because I had never seen it and I needed an action film to watch while on my excercise bike. I thought dragons, check, hearing Christian Bale with his real (and better) British accent, check, a film set in England, check, watching an action film, un-check.

The set up is simple. A dragon's nest is uncovered deep underground under a London tube station and from there the planet burns. Dragon attack survivor, Christian Bale is sort of in charge of a small community of other British survivors in Cumbria. The year is 2020, dragons rule the skys and burn the ground. American self claimed 'dragon slayer' Matthew 'can't believe he won an Oscar' McConaughey arrives with a group of other army like fellow dragon slayers and a helicopter. He is annoying and shoves his weight around and acts like he was the only one effected by the dragons. Gerard Butler, also with better, real accent, has the best line; 'The only thing worse than dragons, Americans.' For this film, its true. 2/5

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Reboot and Restore

My laptop just gave up on me. Just decided that it was its time to either play up or give up, either it's been major inconvienice. Luckily my mentor (work thing) and my (soon to be) brother in law came to the rescue. 

Do excuse the lack of photos on this post. My laptop isn't photogenic. Plus I hate it at the moment.

Funny how you can rely so much on a damn machine holding all your memories and work you spent years on. Last time this issue happened, I barely had time to back up everything and my old laptop just  blew out like a candle. I've been prorated this time. But it's still worrying.

It's been rebooted now and hopefully restored back to how it was when I first got it. Now comes the (not so) fun part of reinstalling EVERYTHING!!  Hopefully my next post won't be from my handy little iPad and will include photos.

Monday, 23 June 2014

It's Been 10 Years Since We Saw That Dance

We all know the dance. We all had the tshirt. We all know his name. We all wanted to draw ligers. At least all those die hard fans do and did.

'Tina you fat lard come get some dinner!' Most quoted line apparently.

Apart from a very bitter writer from The Wire, there has been positive articles about the 10th Anniversary of the now classic cult hit Napoleon Dynamite. Back in 2004 I was quoting this film like crazy with a few friends who had seen the low budget marvel.

For those who have not seen this gem, the story is set in a non-descript town and is about the title character Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). There isn't really much of plot apart from Napoleon trying to help his friend Pedro become Student President at school. To me its a series of great moments joined together by a group of believably weird people. Jared Hess, the director and co-writer (with wife, Jerusha Hess), actually wove some real life moments from his life into the film. Such as he was really apart of the Sign Language club and his family's cow really was shot in front of a school bus full of children.

After seeing the above poster, I was slightly put off but after reading about the film showing at Sundance and the small article in Empire (which I had, at the time, started reading religiously) I changed my mind. I found the film on sale in HMV and went ahead and bought it. I was hooked and intrigued at the same time from the moment the famous food credits started. Those now famous food credits were actually shot after the film was shown at Sundance. They were shot and designed by the DP, Munn Powell and the actor who played Kip, Aaron Ruell.

Obviously the crowning moment is at the end when Napoleon does 'the dance'. I don't want to spoil anything because I'm hoping that this will convince you to watch it. All I'll say is its amazing.

 To commemorate the 10 year anniversary, 20th Century Fox had a special screening, with Will Forte hosting. They also placed the creepy looking statue (see below) on the studio lot in LA. At least the gesture was there.

The film spawned an animated TV series with the original cast providing the voices. But alas it wasn't to be, FOX cancelled the TV sitcom after 6 episodes. I managed to catch a couple of episodes and I thought it was great but I suppose it was just me and 9 million other people who watched were the only ones. 9 million wasn't enough for FOX.

Anyway, back to the positives. Napoleon Dynamite definitely deserves cult status and will live on!


Sunday, 15 June 2014

It's Been 10 Year Since We Learnt Those Plastics Rules

After Napoleon Dynamite recently celebrated it's 10 Year Anniversary, it brought another film to my attention that had celebrated its 10 year. The teen movie that really did define my school years. The film that was no your typical teen high school movie. The film that first had me being obsessed with Tina Fey. Of course its Mean Girls.

I remember the film being at the cinema back in 2004. I was in Year 9. God I feel old. Everyone had seen it and was talking about, so my friend and I, late to the party, saw it after the initial hype. Laughed all the way through and didn't stop quoting it after.

I remember I got a free poster/mini magazine in a random bigger magazine. I had no idea who Tina Fey was why her name was so big on the poster. The mini mag had the layout of the cafeteria and the rules for being a plastic. It was so cool!

Those were days when the 'plastics' weren't famous (well only two of them are), Tina Fey still hadn't made an impression in the UK and Lindsay Lohan was not the media mess she is now. Things were simple back then

This evening in fact, my friend (been friends since we were 5) and I loved the film back in 2004 and watched it again. It's still just as amazing and yes we could still quote it all. From the Burn Book to Miss Norberry to Damien being 'too gay to function' to that bus hitting Regina George to not really knowing who Glen Coco is. Its a classic. But then all the best (and only good) teen movies come out every 5 years and are based on a book.

Tina Fey wrote the script after reading a psychology book and partly based it on Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. "It's kind of a how-to guide for girls and parents of how to get through middle school and high school basically when girls are being so mean to each other. But when I read it, I actually thought it was kind of funny because the things that girls do and the way that girls will mess with each other is sort of ingenious. So I thought that there was a lot to write about there." - Tina Fey on writing Mean Girls.

The film now has a cult following and its not surprise why. The film is filled with witty dialogue and as i've already said, filled with quotable lines and characters that you can either elate to in a bizarre way or at least know/knew of people like those portrayed in the film. Having gone to an girls school when this film was released, I have known my fair share of mean girls.

After going to a Mean Girls: Quote A-long at the Prince Charles Cinema in London last year I can safely say that future generations will be enjoying this film or years, because let's face it, it is so fetch!

‪#‎film‬ ‪#‎MeanGirls‬ ‪#‎MeanGirls10thAnniversary‬ ‪#‎sofetch‬

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

BuzzFeed Understands

Way back when I started this blog, my first post was called 'All Katies Are Crazy' which they are. It's in our nature.

While at work today, my friend sent me this link from BuzzFeed, evidence that I am not the only Katie out there who knows what she is talking about.

Behold: 15 Things Only People Named Katie Will Understand

I would like to add to this quite accurate list (apart from 12, that only happens in movies, in real life we're just seen as crazy or bossy or weird) just a few things.

16. Whenever Katies get called the wrong name, we correct the person but they see it as a harmless joke and deliberately start to call us the wrong name because, 'its oh so funny'. ITS NOT FUNNY, ITS FRAKIN ANNOYING! Then the crazy comes out. Ah well. Stereotyped again.

Also, going back to point number 7, its not a prettier name, if it was we'd keep it. Its long. Too many letters.

Last point, I would like to see a character in a book, a film or TV series where an assassin is called Katie, I think that's fair.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Building An Empire

I, like many others, am a collector. Nothing sinister, just the usual films, books, mugs, postcards, that sort of thing. One thing I have always collected many of was magazines.

Does anyone (in the UK) remember Girl Talk magazine? A very innocent publication that used to come with photos of cute animals, usually of the fluffy variety. There were games and quizes about who your best friend is and light hearted stories about living on a farm.  I had so many of these magazines that I ended up hoarding some of them at my Nan's house. Eventually I through all of them away.

When I grew up slightly and went to secondary school, I bought Bliss magazine. Instead of fluffy animals, there were posters of random male models - age appropriate. The articles were about 'how to get a boyfriend' and questionnaires about what type of boy would like you and what hairstyle you should have. Pretty basic crap really. I am not proud of my Bliss phase, luckily it didn't last long. Those magazines barely gathered dust on my shelves. In the bin they went. To be honest, I only bought Bliss magazine because it was cheaper than the other teen magazines and its A5, fit in my bag perfectly.

By Year 10 I was reading NME. Everyone has started getting into music. Most girls would be buying Heat and Hello! or if there were rich, Vogue. But as there was nothing to read in those magazines, I opted for something fun and again, cheap. NME was about £1.85 back then. But then again, each week, it adds up. I kept my NME magazines for years, got rid of most of them when I went to college because I needed room. Plus, by then, I had actually stopped buying it. I stopped buying them by the end of Year 11. Only they ever had on the cover was Pete Doherty and I had no interest in that guy. I did buy a copy last year but that was because the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were on the cover.

Throughout all these magazine phases, I have always loved film and wanted to read about film - well maybe except the Girl Talk phase. I bought my first Empire magazine in 2003. Why? It was a film magazine and the cover image was from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I was obsessed with LOTR when it first came out but had only bought books about Middle Earth. I was in Tesco and my mum said that I can buy a magazine, I used to avoid the 'men's section, which was where the film magazines were. This annoyed me so much. Film is not gender specific. But on this day I spotted the cover and had to buy it.

From that day in 2003, I have bought all but 2 issues of the magazine. Empire, you are brilliant and extremely addictive.

Here is my stash, it is vast and heavy and has had to be moved many times as the pile gets bigger and bigger. Every time I move the pile, I end up looking back over past issues. I have to say, I'm quite proud of my collection.

While still in school, I was obsessed with films and wanted to read it in the open. But, I went to a girl's school so reading a non faff magazine, I was indeed made fun of. Someone even said to me 'why are reading a men's magazine? Is porn isn't it?' Ignorant person. I put them straight and put them down. It's a film magazine bitch and its not a men's magazine, it's my magazine!

My collection is still ever growing but I am worried that the bottom of the cupboard will cave in, it is creaking these days. 

Happy 300th issue Empire!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

May Watch List

After an 'in your face' start with Jude Law monogloguing about his cock while a fellow inmates is on his knees, the story takes a violent then humorous turn. Dom Hemmingway is vile and angry but he has 12 very good reasons. After keeping his mouth shut for his criminal boss, Dom gets sent to prison for12years. When he is released he wants his money. Plus interest. And a present. At first you think the film is about him getting his money and after it's stolen, about getting it back but it's not. The film turns sentimental and loses its edge but the story picks up after a funny scene with Dom running the road after a woman on a scooter. Foul mouthed, most if the time unessarcary, but it's funny in a black comedy sort of way. It's also great to see Jude Law playing this sort of character. Richard E Grant is also brilliant though not featured enough. 3\5

Just like the trailer says, 'how would you describe Frank?' It's a part comedy, part serious drama about mental illness and musical adventure and coming to terms with loss. It's a beautifully amazingly made film. A group of oddball musicians, each with their own strange habits and characteristics who cling together to make an album that never gets made. The story is linear but in a way isn't. The cast is brilliant and are willing to go crazy and weird, especially Michael Fassbender who plays Frank covered up by a plastic head throughout the film. He is a brilliant actor as he conveys Frank's emotions without a face. The ending is really sad but works so well coming full circle. I highly reccommend you listening to this awesome song featured at the end of the film: 4/5 

Monsters! Big monsters! But shouldn't be watched in 3D. I saw it in good 3D but still, not needed. I enjoyed it. The monster parts anyway. The human cast were not no compelling, especially Aaron Johnson-Taylor who is the man with no face throughout the film. I love the director, Gareth Edwards, the genius behind Monsters (2010) and I still love his work, he has a style but not to everyone's taste. 3/5

I love a good thriller plus the novel was written by The Talented Mr Ripley author. Three people become intertwined in a murder, escape and betrayal story. An American couple, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, seem like they are simply on holiday in Greece, but after they meet American con artist Oscar Issac, the truth comes out. For me, the film was about the two men and their relationship, the awkward father son/accessories to murder. Dunst is actually good in her role than is more than, wife role, but still plays out as a secondary character. Oscar Issacs is great. He's still at the stage where he gets good roles that aren't Hollywood bollacks. It's a tad predictable towards the end and the final scene is ridiculous but it's a good suspenseful story. An added photo of Oscar Isaac. 3/5

Sci-if, battles and aliens plus Harrison Ford, brilliant. Alas, the film is lacking a charismatic lead. Butterfield is dull and not a good actor although he plays loney genius we'll he was still very annoying to watch. Thank gad for the vast supporting cast. The ending had a good a bit of a cop twist. A huge lead up to 'the' battle of the film only to be seen on screens. The training portion of the film was fun to watch especially the battles between groups at the training centre in space. But as I said, the film lacked something. Probably a soul. 3/5

This is not a Woody Allen film, he just acts in it. The writing, directing AND acting comes from one of my favourite actors, John Turturro. Film fans will know him from various indie films and O Brother Where Art Thou. Uncultured heathens will know him from Transformers. I shudder. I haven't see any of his other film but I will now. Allen plays a retired bookseller who pimps out his friend, Turturro, to his rich doctor and her friend after they say they want a threesome. Amusing premise and follows through as a gentle comedy. In another hands this film would become awful and too sexual but this film crafted well, apart from the third part of the film when it's gets very Jewish suddenly and I'm not sure why it needed too. The side story of Turturro falling in love with a rabbi's widow from a strict community but it was nice as a side element to the film. Still, Allen is very funny, has the best lines as, Dan Bongo. 3/5

Mutants fighting human oppression. It's a theme used throughout all the X-Men films in some way. Mutants trying to kill all humans is also a familiar theme. Someone complained that this is all the film ever follow. I disagree. As well as the those main themes that feature, it's also about evolution and of course friendships between the mutants and how they cope with their own abilities. There is a wider picture that should be looked at. There was a big hype about the film and for me it paid off, even though it basically cancels out most the events in The Last Stand, thank god. People have moaned about this too. I think it's a good thing. People have also moaned that the mutants don't get a lot of screen time. Who cares!!! It's great to see them all there. My favourite mutant doesn't even feature in the film at all but I still loved the damn film. Now I have a new favourite, Quicksilver.
Anyone who is familiar with the various X-Men story lines you already know about sentinels that kill mutants. In the future, these sentinels are hunting mutants in Barron wastelands, the few X-Men that are left are travelling from place to place to avoid capture. They decide to send Wolverine back in time to the 70s to convince younger Charles and Erik to join together and stop Mystic from ruining everything basically. Not everyone from First Class makes it back in the film. Which is annoying but realistic. New mutants are introduced, even non speaking ones. It's great to see more mutants appearing, the variety is better. Can't say much more as it would be spoilers, apart from the Quicksilver scenes are the best. The word is he will be back for Age of Apocolyspe, which is excellent news. 

Ignore the hype and go see this brilliant film but don't bother with 3D. 4/5