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Travelling in Europe was never like this? V1.00
My reaction to this was similar to my reaction to Wolf Creek (2005). A very watchable film, but including some really sick sexuality. For those with their feet firmly on the ground as regards to good sexual practice then I assume this can be very acceptable horror, if one has a love of this horror genre. Taken has an even more gripping storyline to Wolf Creek, also a more blatant imagery.
Me, when it comes to the portrayal of sexuality I feel on stronger ground with family features such as Aquamarine, fun horror, though features at the quality level of that one are rare. Scary horror can be brilliant too, but I am safer with such as the Scream series, particularly 1 and 4, or Halloween 1 to 5.
I am hoping that if I watch this a few times then the problems I get from the sexual violence will calm. They did with Wolf Creek. Could be I should be able to appreciate this action story a whole lot better.
A plus. UK news of the problems of young people trying to cross Europe to gain political asylum hint that the sexual horror of Taken does have echoes in reality. I used to find it easy just to accept such news, but without realising the level of horror. I am now glad that I purchased my disk.
The Pacifier (2005)
Unusual quality, if this is your sort of thing. V1.00
Recently I have found it difficult to find really good family films, and then I find a batch.
I found this via the Pitch Perfect features, which I can watch over and over again. I rate that the best for several actors and it has gotten me purchasing a few disks of other work, just because.
As an example of early Brittany Snow I have to rate this high. She was good in John Tucker (2006) and this is just as memorable, for me. Both amazingly fun films.
If you rate this too, consider watching The Spy Next Door (2010). A similar story that gets a lot of really bad IMDb reviews, but a lot of really good ones too. I rate it even higher than this, though according to some you need the mental age of less than 12 to appreciate either. Such stories usually rate low at IMDb.
Others in the amazing batch were Home Alone (1990) and Sky High (2005), which I rate as almost as good.
The Pacifier: IMDb rating 5.5, 17.9% rate it as eight or nine or ten.
The Spy Next Door: IMDb rating 5.4, 15.1% rate it as eight or nine or ten.
Home Alone: IMDb rating 7.5, 52% rate it as eight or nine or ten.
Sky High: IMDb rating 6.2, 25.9% rate it as eight or nine or ten.
Easy A (2010)
Hit the replay button. V1.00
This is the sort of thing I can watch over and over again. And I have done just that.
I got it as a follow on to Bandslam (2009). Most of the stuff I have with Aly Michalka is not what I can rate as exceptionally good, but I still try to watch her other work and I discovered this. Aly's role is not so hot in this, she is not the good guy, but she does help along a film that really stands out and the IMDb rating of 7.1 suggests that for once there are a few others who agree on that.
Add Amanda Bynes of She's The Man and LaLaine of Lizzie McGuire, even Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl. Evocative. I am surprised that I have never noticed Emma Stone before.
Scary Movie 5 (2013)
Surprise surprise, sick humour, v1.00
First viewing it felt sick. Vomit. I rated it as zero and switched off early. Except that I had to distrust my first impression and watch it again, see if I switched off early that time too. I found it watch-able but not as interesting as the first or second of the series.
I then stayed away from it for a year and then surprised myself by finding it as less vomit worthy than any of the previous in the series. I accept that I should be ashamed for liking the sick humour in 5.
I hope to grow out of liking this movie. I hope that I do not watch it all that often. It makes me laugh, though.
Lindsay was fun, in a parody of herself. Ashley Tisdale as not memorable, as she was in HSM, but I still found her to be fun.
A nice transgender story, v1.00
I have not come across many transgender stories in feature films. Transamerican and XXY are both fairly serious, reminiscent of the novels of such as Julie Anne Peters. Also, XXY as a subject that is close to transgender rather being solidly part of it. Mrs Doubtfire as definitely not a transgender story, though it is what many understand to be transgender??? Could be that Doubtfire is transgendered without being aware of it or being able to admit it? I find that there are a lot of insidious pressures towards gender change being hidden.
Willy Milly, my UK DVD gives Something Special as the title, is not serious. It is strongly in the tradition of male to female fantasy stories, except those typically have the male to female ending up as permanently female. Here the story was written by someone likely born as a male and ends with the female to male happily ending up back as female. The qualities of maleness, crude, cave man, for how Willy is taught fit the genre: It does not line up with how many of the males actually are. Memories of the transition scene in She's The Man (2006), and how most of the males actually are in that story. If Willy Milly had been written by a female to male it would be rather different.
I experience the story as really okay. Fun escapist nonsense. My DVD is by Pegasus Entertainment. The only flaw with my disk is image quality. IMDb lists the feature as having been made on 35mm, but the visual quality is poor, as if it originated on video. For me it is worth it because of the story.
Grease 2 (1982)
For value in this I have to look to Michelle Pfeiffer and no further. To me that is enough to be able to experience this story as very acceptable.
There are plenty of aspects of the story that are okay, glamorous even, but without my central focus being on Pfeiffer I would have to brush them off.
There are plenty of aspects of the story that I experience as weak, best avoided. I need to fast forward in such as the classroom song Reproduction. Except that some really like that song. Personal taste? In comparison, Blue Crush 2 and Mean Girls 2 are more difficult for me. They lack the simple hook that Pfeiffer gives for appreciating this story, though Mean Girls 2 looks to have had an unusually good script that does not survive the direction of the acting.
The Dam Busters (1955)
A story that ages well, v1.00
In the 1950's and 60's I really used to like war films, especially on the box.
In 2015 I tried looking back and mostly my taste has changed, I now prefer such as Clueless or Mama Mia or Rock Of Ages, but this is one of those that I can still really like.
I note that it is now out on Blu-ray. As I was looking at the genre I went for a DVD disk collection instead, The War Collection vol 1 and 2, and found these useful as I could rate high most stuff on the disks.
Used to be that I had a real love for Lancasters and Mosquitos. The Mosquito does not do so well in features, but the Lancaster does well by this and modern video replay technology allows more detail to be seen.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Fashion Rules, v1.00
A fun story. Except that for me the main actor is the fashion, all else is secondary.
I was thrown that the story is rooted in reality, someone screaming with horror at their experiences when working at Vogue USA. Questions of ethics. Except that the portrayal of the editor is solid. Backtrack. It is bad, just when watching it I am not thrown by it, the editor is a person of stature. Unless one thinks things through. There are all sorts of things that I would really like to scream in horror about and I do attempt to scream occasionally and my IMDb review of Alexa Vega's Innocent (2009) was such an attempt, it got deleted by IMDb, however. There are standards.
The classic feature for ethics problems as Fast Times At Ridgement High as an example and Cameron Crowe's fictionalised biography Almost Famous as background notes.
I find the view of dieting as scary and I do not know how real that depiction was. I have been on a calorie controlled diet for a while due to age or something knocking out my previous tendency to skinniness. The dieting in this story talks of an imbalanced diet based on a false identification of what is healthy. I would have expected Vogue articles to be fairly clued up re healthy diet, though I used to skip over the food ones.
Die Wilden Kerle 2 (2005)
Wild love, v1.01
Early 2016 I purchased four very low cost DVDs as a speculative purchase. Would they be fun second childhood food or not? One was Mean Girls 2, which I was not expecting much of. However the price was low and I do remember a review that suggested that it was a lot better if one did not expect it to be a true sequel. This is made to very different production values and is much meaner than the original, but that could be the direction rather than the script.
The others were Die Wilden Kerle 1 to 3. The DVD boxes were fully in German, but the distributor was Buena Vista so I assume that there was likely to be an English language alternate soundtrack, or at least subs. The first feature turned out to be German only, but the other two had English subtitles.
If I had read the IMDb reviews before purchase I would have avoided these. As is I found both 2 and 3 to be fairly typical of average quality features for kids. Technically weak but interesting none the less. I accept that such stories often get poor IMDb reviews. Personally, I found these imaginative Wilden stories to be a breath of fresh air.
The second feature involves a feud between a mostly boys sports team and its banker. The story flow is based on a pseudo vampire luring the team's best player away by careful use of romance, something that the team itself does not have a clue about. A quality story.
The third feature centres on a feud between the team and someone who left them in the early years, friendship destroyed, a different sort of love being central. All good stuff even though the acting feels weak. A nice extra for me is that this is a transgender story.
I was impelled to get the disk of DWK5 and that is up to the same standard. In this the love theme is the bad guy having a type of love that sucks the victim into eternal chains, eternal death. It also does not get good reviews, but some should be able to get a lot of fun out of these stories, despite that.
In comparison, Mean Girls 2 felt weak. It also reminded me of Disney stuff such as Camp Rock 1 and 2, but weaker. I can still find entertainment in Mean Girls 2, though.
An adaptation that is very okay, v1.00.
The biggest problem that this film series faces is that it is based on some very long and delicious novels. The Hunger Games series shows that the features can still be okay, but that is not the same as 'delicious'.
So I experience Divergent to be very okay. It is an adaptation rather than a straight copy and the two commentaries with my disk do help me see why the adaptations were made. A lot of the film can feel natural, even though such as The Pit is rather different to the book.
The film makers / director are / is, not surprisingly, very visually orientated rather than technically orientated and to me this is the root of the main problems that I experience in Divergent the film. To fully experience most features films one has to suspend disbelief, which can take a bit of work. Mostly with Divergent I find it easy to suspend disbelief, but I had not read the novels for about a year prior to my first viewing.
With the feature Super 8, the train crash is deliberately visually orientated to an unreal extent and its commentary says why. Divergent: My biggest problem, first viewing, was the zip line ride from the Hancock building. Visuals gone wild at the expense of reality. Try such a ride in even a less windy city would be asking to get smeared on the buildings that are passed. Building such a ride would not be so easy for such a society, either. Yet the novels feel very real in their depictions of the ride. The Abnegation underwear of Tris, a more humorous piece of unreality.
There are plenty of other parts of the story where the visuals are too hotted up for my taste, becoming unreal, but to point to them can easily get in the way of appreciation of the film.
I get the descriptor 'delicious' from that magnificent second childhood story Ramona And Beezus.