Thursday, 25 June 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Sibling Relationships

Sibling Relationships. Biologically related.

I found this week's theme quite a difficult one, like I seem to each week actually, especially as the picks can only be 3 films. I immediately thought of the Marx Brothers but they don't play brothers in their films. Then I thought of the Coen brothers but again they make films and their characters who are siblings have twisted relationships are just aren't significant enough to warrent a pick. The Darjeeling Limited would have been perfect but I already chose it for mother - son relationships. There are plenty of films were siblings bonds are strong but are not the centre of the film, like The Hunger Games. Other films seem to be more subtle but I apart from a handful of films, there aren't many films just about siblings, except In Her Shoes, which just irritates me to my core.

Sense and Sensibility
This was one of the films that sprung to mind when thinking about sibling relationships. The book, which the film is based by Jane Austen, who was very close to her own sister, was actually going to name to book Elinor and Marianne. These two sisters are close, both different in many ways but they share their secrets with one another. Marianne who speaks her mind, Elinor who is more reserved by can say so much in just one movement or expression. Closer in age, their younger sister Margaret might be left out but she has a place in their connection as the adventourous one. A brilliant story about sibling bonds as well a true Austen story about life and love.

The Virgin Suicides
Five sisters who all decide to kill themselves at the same time. Well, the youngest dies months before the others, but still, all of them go. In the book, the're planned deaths are spread out a little more, but in the adaptaion of  Jeffrey Eugenides debut novel, also the first film from Sophia Coppola, the youngest kills herself at a party that was held to encourage the girls to socialise more after the youngest first attempt. The other four sisters go, in various ways, at the same time. The sisters have an air of mystery around them, 5 then 4 beautiful girls, with incredibley strict to the point of smothering parents. In both film and book you never find out why they did it, they kept their secrets. 

Based on a book, based on a true story, the Bondurant brothers—Forrest, Howard and Jack make moonshine during prohibition. They run a successful business until the corrupt law tries to mussel in. It's great period crime drama with a great cast, but at the films and story's core are the brothers who work together, live together and would do anything for each other, even die together (don't worry that wasn't a plot spoiler).

A little bit of a cheat this one but.....

A Series of Unfortunate Events
I couldn't not include this film in this topic. Aside from the fact these three orphans are the most unluckiest children ever is an understatement, the books are brilliant and unique, including the characters. They are put through the grinder more than once or twice. The film was brilliant, such a shame that the series never continued, I think this should definitely be rebooted. Violet, Klause and Sunny, siblings are not only close but are great survival companions. They use each others' strengths in all their problems and they never leave each other behind, they stick together no matter what, that's why I couldn't leave the film out.

Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursady Movie Picks.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dream Vacation Blog Challenge

Well I usually say holiday rather than vacation but that's me, British all the way. My dream holiday/vacation would usually involve the sea or being in the forest or a city with amazing bars and views to soak up the culture. My dream film related holiday would probably be much of the same. But let's make this interesting.

Looking at the films surrounding me, I have a whole host of places to escape to. I think I would be greedy and have two holidays, one in the realm of murder mysteries and detectives, the other more fantasy and science fiction.

For my first journey I would start in London, catching the train from Paddington, heading towards the coast. As this is a fictional holiday anything goes. The train would take me and companions, Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and Tintin (and Snowy) to The Grand Budapest Hotel where we would indulge in delicious cakes from Mendals before we boarded the funicular to the hotel. We'd wine and dine, admire the views, take advantage of the spar facilities. After a few nights in luxury we would catch the Orient Express where of course, we would all solve a crime together, through the snow and ice we would seek out the answers.

Our next stop would into the Marx Brothers film, A Night at the Opera, where would have front row seats to at first the mayhem then the fanatstic opera, l Trovatore.  We would venture at night through the streets of Berlin, then Vienna, running into our old friend Harry Lime, hearing the famous music as he runs into the shadows. Another crime to solve together perhaps?

We would then be invited to an exclusive party at Gatsby's where we would all indulge inall that 1920's can offer us. Dancing, singing, drinking, we all retire to our hotel, this time in Paris, right next to the Moulin Rouge.

It is here that I bid farewell to Poirot and Holmes, but Tintin remains my travelling companion as we take the Belafonte across the ocean to Berk, home of the fearless Vikings and the amaing dragons. We get to meet Toothless (a dream come true), a real dragon, I get to ride a real dragon. I am ecstatic and can't believe we are on the island.

We sail on to the next island, Where the Wild Things Are. The gang all stand on the beach, including Max, they greet us in such excitiment as they have just finished making their great nest. But the tide is coming in, a signal for us to move on, we go with the tide.

We arrive on the shore where the Doc and Marty are waiting for us, they said we could borrow the DeLorean for a few days. We drive immediately to 23rd Century New York and hang out with Korbin Dallas. He takes us on a tour of New York, listening to Ruby Rod on the radio. We then visit LA in an alternate 2019, we are allowed to visit the Tyrell Corporation building, it is impressive with such amazing views.

We head back to modern day Paris where we meet Amelie, she still has her dad's gnome so we suggest that she comes with us for the rest of the trip, gnome and all. We're just about to head for Finland when Peter Quill shows up in his amazing spaceship. As this is a much better way to travel, he park up the DeLorean and head off to Asgard, home of the Nordic gods. We fly around the city but we aren't allowed into the palace as Odin is busy and Thor doesn't seem to be around. Heimdall opens up the byfrost for us and get beamed down into Middle Earth. I couldn't be more happy. I am in my element. 

We roam the hills, climb Mount Doom and even visit Edoras and Gondor. But I feel mostly at home in Hobbiton, where are lucky to find that a few of the hobbits are on Air bnb, so Tintin, Amelie, Peter and I all get to spend the night in a real hobbit hole. We have breakfast at The Green Dragon and then decides to make out way out of Middle Earth. Heimdall sees we're done and picks us back up. We take Peter's ship and head for last stop on the tour, Jurassic Park World.

Seeing dinosaurs up close is incredible. Luckily nothing crazy happens, we came on a good day. We ride in the cars around the paddocks and visit the bird cage. We also see the Mosasaurus show, it is unbelievable at just how gigantic the creature is.

We say farewell to Peter Quill and pick up the DeLorean. Tintin and I drop Amelie off back in Paris and head for Finland. We visit Moomin Valley and the whole Moomin family. We have a bonfire watching a comet race across the sky.

Finally I take my last trip alone, in Iceland, just like Walter Mitty. I witness the erruption of the volcano, Eyjafjallajökull and catch a bus to Reykjavik, where I watch the Northern Lights before catching my flight home.

 That would be my dream holiday in the world of film.

Thank you to the host - Girl Meets Cinema - for coming up this great idea for a blogathon.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Animated Movies

This week is a very broad genre and I actually found it difficult to pick. I thought I'd go for films I thought not many people would pick. But you never know, all three films might be very popular.

Flight of Dragons
This one is a bit of a cheat as I wrote about it previously in an 'Afternoon Movie' post but it is, for me and my sister at least, a classic animation which we watch many times when we were younger. I experienced a rerun of it during Uni. It has dragons, wizards, time travel, giants, magic and a board game. The latter might be dull but its important. You can't find it on DVD, not in the UK anyway, only on VHS, for ages I had to make do with youtube but it was worth it.

Chicken Run
Aardman Animations proved further just what brilliant animators and storytellers they are. It's 'The Great Escape' with chickens and it is pure gold. Cocky American rooster happens upon a chicken farm where they are all trying to escape, the need to escape becomes more urgent when the farmers decides to harvet the chickens and not the eggs. Great scenes in this as well perfect animation. Loved it in the cinema, still love it today.

A Town Called Panic
A french stop motion animation about Horse, Cowboy and Indian who all live together in a rural farm. Weird things happen, involving lots of bricks, an invasion of water creatures, journey to the centre of the Earth and a surprise birthday BBQ. That is as basic a plot as I can explain. It is bizarre but again, it's hilarious, even once you get past the main characters. Just to point out, the most intelligent of the three is the horse.

Don't forget to have a look at where it all began, Wandering Through The Shelves.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Small Screen Wonders

I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the TV shows that I'm watching/going to be watching/talking about and annoying my friends and family about. I feel I don't talk about TV enough, not enough.

Before I even get started, 'where's the comedy' I hear you cry at the end of this post, well before you even get there, the simple answer is, I missed most of 'Brooklyn 99' season 2 when it was on and I'm really annoyed at myself. Otherwise, there is really any good comedy shows on at the moment, just the usual thing.


This is my new obsession. Even after watching the trailer I knew I'd be hooked on this bizarre sci-fi drama from the Wachowskis. Eight people who share minds, emotions, touch, environment with each other. Each character has their own story and how they react to each other. As with most shows where there are many main protagonists, there are a couple that don't seem to interact with all the others as much. But I'm only half way through. Already have a favourite too.

It's like another Nashville and Smash to be fair. A soap like drama that is centered around a music genre. Nashville was/is all about country music, Smash was about broadway musicals (loved that show) and now Empire, which is all about hip hop, pop music. With added family drama that may be liken to King Lear, maybe? No? Ok I'll stop with that comparison. Whatever it is, its actually an addictive show to watch.

No Offense
 After my lack of intersest in British shows lately, I was so glad to see this pop up in the Radio Times. From the makers of 'Shamless', I thought this has got to be good and my gad it is. A police drama, set up North, seems run of the mill, but the first case and the one that runs throughtout the series is about a murderer who targets Down's syndrome teenage girls, its brutal. But it the first time I've ever seen a police drama write about this.

Game of Thrones
There is only a day until the Season 5 finale, and its' all going on, in true GoT style, there is death to be expected, and I'm guessing one hell of a cliffhanger. Can't say anymore in case I'm accused of spoiling something I don't even know about.


True Detective
Hvaing yet to finish the first season, this show might take a back burner just until I'm caught up. I know the stories aren't connected but I still want to complete the story. The trailers for this season look immense and the cast has expanded, with more 'big' names heading for the small screen. It's the writing, it's the characters and it is, after all HBO, you can't turn it down.

A British drama on Channel 4 that takes place in a parrallel present where robots or 'Synths' can be purchased and used as servants in households. The trailer looked interesting and rather disturbing so of course it had my attention. There also seems to be a trend at the moments for films and TV shows about lifelike robots, but that just be me noticing this.


Wayward Pines
Started this as I love mystery and I thought maybe M Night Shyamalan's work would transcend onto the small screen. I really liked the first two episodes but wasn't sure about the end to the second, since then, I've hung back and waited to hear if it got better. Not many people must be watching it as I've not heard a peep about it since it started airing. I might find my way back to it when I've got a chance, give it a second look.


House of Cards
Does this show need an intro from me? I have to say, this is the show that started the whole, made for streaming only and all episodes at once trend and what a most excellent idea it was and is. It is a brilliant show, where the lead characters, ultimate power couple, Frank and Claire Underwood, are really horrible people. I have yet to watch season 3. I am saving it for after OITNB and when I've finished watching Sense 8 (it really is my new obsession). But I have an idea if where things are headed for the Underwoods.

Orange is the New Black
After watching the first two seasons and following my favoutie two characters on Instagram (P & Tastee) I love this show. The characters are just too well written and the comedy is balanced with drama and emotion. It's just a great show that champions women. But I won't dive in too soon when its back on Netflix, I'll wait a week after the hype dies down a little bit. 


American Horror Story: Hotel
With only a mouth watering cast announced, little or actually next to nothing has been leaked about story. With the usual air date in October, there is a whole Summer to wait. I'm hoping it will be similar to the first series (my favourite) taking place in past and present, but there is also the worry that it may go full Shinning and we want it frsh and original please, especially after the mix of angry and praise for Freak Show.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
I think me putting this in here explains itself. I want to see FitzSimmons back on the screen. That is all.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Set in a High School/Secondary School

 Movies Set in a High School/Secondary School. Another nice long title to have in my post. I'm sure Mean Girls will be a popular one to pick but I'll stay away from my more obvious choices. There is also a serious lack of films from the UK set in schools, at least secondary schools. Well, 'If...' is a British film but I didn't care for the film that much and the more recent following would be a good choice but I haven't seen it yet. The film below either seem to take place, mostly at school or they are about school.

 "What's your damage Heather?"

Who would have thought that great power comes from a red hair scrunchie and being called Heather. A satire about teen suicide, does seem like an odd choice for a film subject and later an off broadway musical, that I have the soundtrack to. Winona Ryder in her heyday along side Christain Slater, again in his heyday are a couple of misfits who decide to get their own twisted revenge on the more popular students by staging their murders as suicide. It's better that this description, I assure you.

"I saved Latin. What did you ever do?"

This was a pick I hesitated over as it is more about Max, Jason Schwartzman in his film debut giving an award worthy performance. But the majority of the film does take place, either at the Rushmore Academy or at Max's other high school. Either way, both of the schools have truely amazing drama departments, meeting the rather intimidating Max's specifications. It really about a teenage boy falling in love with a woman far too old for him and his determination that he will win the girl, while also trying his hardest to stay at his beloved school.

10 Thing I Hate About You
"I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time"

I could have picked Clueless or Easy A but I went for the Shakespearean adaption/modern twist film. Plus, I loved and still do love this film. It was one of my first teen movies I watch when I was younger. Surprisingly, I used to watch other genres, maybe not fit for a 10 year old to watch, but hey, no matter. I love 'The Taming of the Shrew' and after seeing the film many times, I picked up on more similarities that were included. A great cast, filled with typical tropes of the genre and setting as well as adding a few great extras like, Bogey, just the character, he's a weird add on. Also Kat and Patrick are just great sparring characters who don't loose their edge. On a side note, the school that the film was shot in is amazing, its like a palace by the sea. The only thing about this film that irritated me was the title. It's too darn long. And I know we were all counting the 'hates' in the poem at the end.

Don't forget to check out the host with the most - Wandering Through The Shelves.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pop Quiz!

Something occurred to me today and as it turns out, to some of my family too.

It was my uncle's birthday today. He and my aunty were over here from New Zeland, about to go on holiday around Europe and they stopped off to see us all here in the UK. I'd just like to say, haven't seen my uncle in nearly 13 years! It's kind of a big deal.

Anyway, we gave him a card, this card in fact (see below) and what was going to be just a fun card, film related of course, turned into a game of charades and realisation about my knowledge of film.

This is actually quite big headed of me but I actually knew the answers to all but M, Q, V, X and Y. I thought S was something else but I was wrong. Not bad though 20/26. My family guessed a few and I tried my best to act out the ones they didn't. I struggled to do a charade of P if I'm honest.

When I found out the answers to the ones I didn't know, I found that I had either never heard of them or would never have got the answer from the picture. All in all I love these quiz cards. I've actually given a few out when I've found them. As well as ears, theres genres too.

The creator of these brilliant bits of art is Stephen Wildish, have a look at his Tumblr blog and website.

The second part of this tale of family charades was understanding people's eras in terms of films. I always thought my time was the 90s and 2000s but even on the latter quiz, I was stuck on a couple of letters. I think my parents and aunts and uncles, their era might be more 70s and 60s. I'm hopoing when I'm older I'll keep a grip on the films that are out in the future and stay up to date. Until then I'm going to keep testing my knowledge with these brilliant quiz cards.

Here's a few of my favourite ones, see how many you can get. Unfortuntely I don't have the answers, but I'm sure Wildish does.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Fandom Friday: The Next Characters That Should Be On Our Screens

Comic/book/ character(s) that I think should have their own TV series or film as part of Fandom Friady.

I know it's meant to be character picks but the entire cast of Fables deserve to have their own TV series, HBO style, as they would do the massive universe of fairytale characters from every continent who are in exile from their homeland from the dangerous adversary and living in secret in our world. I know there is a film in the works but a TV series is the right way to go with this one. I actually pitched Fables as TV series as part of a module at Uni, I made merchandise and everything. 

Fig (and the House of Mystery)
One of the lesser known Vertigo comics but a brilliant bizarre one that had some weird characters. Based all around stories, oh and a house of course. Fig and Harry would be the main focus here. Fig more so. An arictecture student who literally stumbles into the House of Mystery and cannot leave. To its other patrons, they pay for drinks at the bar by telling stories. As you can guess, each issue had a new unique story included. I think this would make a great TV series, possibly for Netflix, it would work in that format and I think the side stories should be animated.

Mortal Engines
I read this book over 2 days, I couldn't stop reading it. I bought it for 20p at a Summer Fate would you believe. It was one of the first YA dystopian novels I read, years before the Hunger Games conquered the world. It may seem like a complicated plot but its no Divergent rubbish. After the world was ravaged by nuclear explosions, survivors built gigantic vehicles, Traction Cities to avoid any further disasters. In this new world there are no nations, only these monsters exist, London being the biggest of them all, devouring smaller engines. There is an amazing description of the actual city and how it looks, a brilliant story. I didn't know but there were sequels, creating a series, so a franchise could be born.

Le Brock - Grandville
Described as Rupert Bear meets Sherlock Holmes directed by Quentin Tarantino, as it is quite violent. In a world mostly populated by anthropomorphic animals and humans are the under species, called 'dough faces'. It's a mix of steampunk, alternative timeline and a thriller. Set at the end of 19th Century and follows, Scotland Yard's finest, Detective Inspector Archibald "Archie" LeBrock, an anthropomorphic badger. With 4 out 5 of the planned books already published and each focusing on a different genre, there is a weath of characters and story. I would suggest that this would a great animated TV series - much more series Bojack Horseman.

The Six Sisters
This pick is a bit of a curve ball. I like my sci-fi, my fantasy, my murder mysteries and my classics. I also like predictable well researched regency set books about a family where all the sister find husbands in funny tales. These books, written by prolific writer M.C. Beaton, (look her up, she's big) would make an excellent BBC drama series, each episode centered around a different sister. Its a familiar set up, with some terrible names of characters (but I love it), six sisters, daughters of a rather dodgy village vicar who needs money to pay for his hunting hounds so decides its time his daughters married rich husbands. It's all great fun and not without its tragedies and more serious incidents.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Kids Movies Adults Would Enjoy (Non-Animated)

For me, there were too many films to pick from. Of course some of the films that came to mind I thought maybe they weren't aimed at kids to begin with, like Time Bandits. Is that a kids film? It has a PG (not a rating anymore but is still used unofficially) rating. Also, Where The Wild Things Are. The film is based on a children's classic book but I feel the film would go over children's heads, its too deep for them to grasp. So, I went for safer options and films that I was obsessed with as a child and film I saw as a teenager and used to watch on a loop at Uni.

1. Jumanji
Couldn't stop watching this as a child. Didn't see it in the cinema but saw it frequently on TV and when I taped it. A game becoming real when you play it, anyone of any age can enjoy this, plus it has Robin Williams in it. He wasn't outrageous and he wasn't completely serious, a great balance for a children's film based on a book. This also came out around the time people were loosing interest in board games, excellent boost. 

2. The Goonies
'Goonies never say die!' That's right, they don't. I saw this when I was older, in college and couldn't stop watching it in Uni. Kids going on an adventure to find some treasure to save their homes while gangsters track them down. Again, I'd watch it. But I think this film appeals to the older crowd for nostalgic reasons. Still, it has some great meme making moments in it.

3. Labyrinth
This was going to be in the list from the start. Classic film starring David Bowie and his crotch as the Goblin king who makes a teenager run through a maze to save her baby brother she screams wishes would be taken away. A musicial mixture of Bowie, puppets, mayhem, dream sequences and the bog of eternal stentch that seems like the worst thing in the world. A film that deserves 'cult' status and has inspired the 'Masquerade Ball' at the Prince Charles Cinema which I enjoyed immensely, especially blowing bubbles at the screen and singing along to 'Dance Magic Dance'.

Don't forget to check out where Thursday Movie Picks all started - Wandering Through the Shelves.