month of blogging

What I’m watching thanks to the internet

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This time last week I asked for some help as I had 44 films sitting on my shelf that I hadn’t got round to watching and really felt that I needed to try and clear that backlog. After asking the internet for suggestions, I was advised the seventeen films that I should most definitely watch as soon as possible.

So here are the films along with the number of people who said I should watch said film:

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10 Films I’m looking forward to from Sundance

fest2014Sundance Film Festival is in full swing so I thought I’d share the ten films I’m rather liking the look of that are currently being shown at Sundance. I’ll say straight away that I lot of these films first caught my eye because they have an actor/actress in it or a director I’ve previously enjoyed, that being said, some of them their synopsis sounds so good I had to share.

To Be Takei
Not gonna lie, the first thing that really introduced me to George Takei was the British reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! I knew who he was – of course I’d heard about Sulu and Star Trek – but I’d never really watched it much growing up. Watching George Takei in the Austrailan jungle really showed what a wonderful person he is and ever since I’ve been a little taken with him. So a documentary about the man himself sounds wonderful, especially of a man who has had such an interesting life.

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Ant and Dec and the National Television Awards

The National Television Awards were last night and to be honest it’s my favourite UK television awards show since every single category is voted for by the public.

Ant and Dec went and won the Best Entertainment Presenter for the thirteenth year running beating Keith Lemon, Alan Carr, Dermot O’Leary and Graham Norton. (more…)

Gotta Keep Walking

Over the past three days I have had work which entails (amongst other things) giving a tour of my university campus to groups of young students. The age of these students varies with whichever school comes for the day – on Monday they were twelve years old, yesterday they were thirteen, and today they were fifteen.

I enjoy my job, even when the kids are a bit lively and sometimes ask silly questions it’s still a fun way to spend a few hours and I get paid for it.

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Waiting for films from America

Untitled6Living in the UK, generally all US film releases get here pretty quick. In the case of blockbusters we tend to get them the same day – or in the case of Marvel movies we seem to get them a week earlier than the US (not sure why that is but thank you Marvel!) In Oscar season, all the films nominated that were released November/December 2013 time in America are released from January- February here in the UK. That sort of time difference happens with most independent US films.

I’ve never really had the experience of being interested in a US film and not knowing when I might have the opportunity to see it – until recently that is.

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REVIEW: The Lone Ranger

lone_ranger_ver12_xlrgThe Lone Ranger came out last summer and I’ve heard a lot of opinions ranging from “It’s alright” to “It’s just bad.” To be honest the negative comments mostly came from my mum who saw it at a free secret preview screening – though I think she was ready to dislike it after finding out it wasn’t Thor: The Dark World like she’d hoped.

Yesterday I decided to watch it. Mostly because it was the only film in the Best Visual Effects category at this year’s Oscars that I hadn’t seen – and also because in my mind that spot should have gone to Pacific Rim. But I felt as if I couldn’t justify saying that until I had at least given The Lone Ranger a chance.

So what did I think? It was alright. It’s in no way fantastic but it was at least entertaining for the majority of the time. At least it was when the characters weren’t being frustrating and there weren’t jumps in the narrative and odd attempts at humour. (more…)

Review: Mojo

Yesterday I went to see Mojo with a friend in London. It was a great day out as the friend I saw it with I hadn’t seen since September so it was a great to have a catch up and go see a play with a great cast that we both ended up really enjoying.

Mojo is set in a Soho bar and club in the 1950’s and it all takes place across two days. One night Silver Johnny (Tom Rhys Harries) is with the club’s boss Ezra talking to Sam Ross who comes across a bit of a gangster (or at least all the other character’s react to him as if he is). The next morning Ezra is dead, Silver Johnny is missing and the clubs staff Mickey (Brendan Coyle) Ezra’s second-in-command, Baby (Ben Whishaw) Ezra’s son who is clearly at least a bit crazy, Skinny (Colin Morgan) who’s slightly dim-witted and always manages to rub Baby up the wrong way, and the double act of Sweets (Rupert Grint) and Potts (Daniel Mays) are struggling to figure out what to do and if or when Ross is going to come and murder them all.

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Films I own that I haven’t seen

Film's I haven't seenI’ve been buying more and more DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s recently so I thought I’d write a blog about my film buying problem.

I do have a problem. I buy many films just because they have an actor or actress in them that I like a lot – it may be a terrible film but I don’t care it has Jason Statham/Anne Hathaway/Sam Rockwell/insert-actors-name-here in it. I also just buy a film because “it’s only £8/£5/£3 – why not?”

I hardly ever let myself go to HMV without a friend as then at least then there’s the hope that they’ll stop me buying every £3 DVD or taking advantage of the 2 for £10 deals. Internet shopping is also a bit of a problem (I have no friend dragging me away) especially when Amazon or Play.Com decides to have deals.

So here are all the films I own that I have yet to watch:

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My thoughts on the Oscars 2014 nominations

oscar-statueThe nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced yesterday. After looking through them all I have to say generally I’m quite happy with who and what was nominated – though I am a bit gutted by a few omissions.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to watch all the films nominated for Oscars this year – or at least all those in the four acting categories, and best director and best film. By the looks of things I should be able to tick off that resolution by the time the Oscar winners are announced on March 2nd.

Let’s start with Best Film. I have seen six of the nine films nominated, the three I haven’t seen being Her, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. Those three films have yet to be released in the UK (or in the case of The Wolf of Wall Street it’s released today). Out of what I’ve seen so far (and if I’m honest seeing the other three films won’t change this) 12 Years A Slave should most definitely win.

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12 YEARS A SLAVE Reaction

(This is my unfiltered reaction (with no spoilers) after getting back from seeing 12 Years a Slave last night. This was all typed between 11:30pm-12am and I just checked for spelling errors today before posting.)

I just got back from seeing 12 Years a Slave and I’ll tell you straight away – everything everyone’s been saying about this film is true. It is a fantastic, heart-breaking, it’s difficult to watch yet a masterpiece of film.

The whole cast’s performances are incredible. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender deserve all the awards that they are nominated for and if Ejiofor and Nyong’o do not get Oscar nominations tomorrow I will not be held responsible for my actions. If they don’t go on to win said Oscars I will be forever disappointed in Hollywood. They are all fantastic. They are phenomenal.

The direction of this film is perfect – I’ve not seen a Steve McQueen film before but the way he would focus on traumatic ordeals and make the audience watch and take it in is to be commended. There’s a continuous shot that pans around to see the various characters reactions to an event that must have lasted for at least three minutes – shots like that makes this film so powerful and thought provoking.

The score was fantastic. I don’t know what instruments were used but some clearly didn’t sound right together and it put you on edge. It made me tense and apprehensive about what was going to happen to Solomon next. Hats off to the composer, whoever they are. (I just googled it and it’s Hans Zimmer – of course it is the bloody genius!)

This film is so powerful because it doesn’t hold back. The brutality is in your face and it doesn’t let you shy away from that horrible part of human history.

I cried at the end of the film, I had tears running down my face and when the credits began to roll allowed myself to sob (not so) quietly. You are there on this journey with Solomon and it’s almost impossible to believe that this all happened to him. When he cries, I was crying with him. There were a few other parts during the film where I had tears in my eyes but it was nothing compared to the final few shots and the title cards explaining more about Solomon’s later life.

I feel that everyone should see this film at some point in their lives. It is a difficult film to watch and it won’t leave you once you step out of that cinema screen but that’s what makes it so great and unforgiving. I can’t quite find the words to give this film justice. I cannot recommend it highly enough and it deserves every accolade. I have now seen every film nominated for a BAFTA for best film and I can honestly say 12 Years a Slave is the out and out winner in my eyes. 12 Years a Slave deserves every award it is nominated for in every category. It is a hard film to sit through a lot of the time but that’s what makes it great.