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I would appreciate it if anyone who has a blogger account and who likes my blog (its under the website people) to follow it. Join in film discussions when I talk about film, get our brains a-workin'
Definitely not as bad as all that...
It's true that this isn't a fantastic film, but I found it enjoyable, especially considering all the negative reviews surrounding this film. It's a little odd (maybe even jarring) when you hear the first lines of Shakespearian dialogue spoken in an Australian accent (and I'm saying this as an Australian!), but after a while I stopped noticing it. A few sequences where a a little drawn out, and I felt Sam Worthington struggled with his lines a little, but the emotion was there. There were some fantastic supporting performances from the likes of Lachy Hulme (Macduff), Matt Doran (Malcom) and even Victoria Hill (Lady Macbeth) had her moments. I've said some sequences drag a little, but for the most part they were action packed and fun. Beautifully shot - it's a rich, yet dark and grungy atmosphere. My main problem with this film is the witches - I understand what director Geoffrey Wright was trying to do with them, but I was not a fan of them. Having said that though, I didn't like the witches in Roman Polanski's Macbeth or the BBC's 'Shakespeare Re-told' version either. I'd give this a 6.5 if the thing would let me, but it rounds up to a seven. If you're a fan of traditional Shakespeare, I can well imagine that you'd be mortified by this film, but I think this is a clever re-imagining.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Was pleasantly surprised
Gnomeo and Juliet is the latest re-imagining of Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet . I will admit that I didn't go into this film with high hopes, but while its not an instant classic, I was pleasantly surprised.
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean...
The film begins with an amusing homage to these lines, before we really get into it. The garden gnomes of two neighbouring backyards, the Red Gnomes and the Blue Gnomes, have an ongoing rivalry as to who's garden is best. They constantly try to sabotage each other and dislike each other immensely. After a lawnmower race in which Tybalt the Red gnome (voice of Jason Statham) beats the Blue gnome Gnomeo (voice of James McAvoy), Gnomeo and sidekick Benny decide to sneak in by night and vandalise the Red's garden. Meanwhile Juliet (Emily Blunt), protected and thought too fragile by her father Lord Redbrick, is desperate to prove she is otherwise. Gnomeo and Juliet meet, and the rest is history as they say.
Of course, the film can't follow the original play exactly - this is a kids movie! It's not a tragedy, it's a comedy. This is where I expected to be let down - I honestly didn't think I would find it funny, but I'm glad to say for the most part, I found this film charming and funny. It could have been funnier, but the younger audience will love it, which is the important thing I suppose.
Shakespeare fans will have fun spotting the little references to the Bard's works (including a cleverly worked in quote from Macbeth of all plays). I did. For instance, the owner of the Blue Gnomes is Miss Montague (Romeo's family in the play), while the owner of the Red's is Mr. Capulet (Juliet's last name). The owners themselves hate each other. Spotting the celebrity voices is fun too. Michael Caine is Lord Redbrick, Maggie Smith is Lady Bluebury (I didn't notice this) - I particularly enjoyed Patrick Stewarts brief appearance as a statue of Shakespeare, with whom Gnomeo has a brief conversation. Shakespeare was a smug guy. The voices were all well cast, and the animation is of a good quality.
Complimented with a fun Elton John soundtrack (he was an executive producer, go figure), this film is enjoyable, and a good one for the kiddilinks.
The Tommyknockers (1993)
Could have been so much better...
So, I had just watched Stephen King's IT, and I saw the DVD of this for only ten dollars - I thought why not? The only thing I really knew about it was an actor that I'm a fan of (Craig Parker in case you were wondering) had the tiniest of bit parts in it, and I have a friend who likes Stephen King novels.
Bobbi (Marg Helgenberger) digs up a strange artifact in the woods - soon the whole town (small and isolated - who knew?) starts acting very strangely, inventing things they'd never normally be capable of. The only person apparently immune is Bobbi's partner, Jim 'Gard' Gardner, a poet who is a recovering alcoholic.
Sadly, this was a bit of a joke after IT. I could see the potential, can still see the potential - maybe a remake should be attempted. The beginning of the film (I should say mini-series or telemovie I guess) drags and drags. Cheesy love scenes, bad acting, worse special effects. Even the name Tommyknockers (once you find out what it means) is ridiculous! I had to laugh sometimes at how bad it was. The only thing I can't really complain about was Jimmy Smits as Gard. He was obviously trying his best with the material they had.
Ten dollars wasted.
Life in a Day (2011)
One word - amazing.
For an hour and a half, I sat back and experience Life in a Day - what do you think happened on July 24th, 2010? Out of 4500 hours of footage, coming from countries all around the world, featuring people of all ages and walks of life, in all conditions of life, with all different kinds of quality of film, the editors and film makers have created something really special.
It was an exploration of humanity. It spanned from the earliest hours of the morning to the few minutes before midnight. It was amazing to see how creative people can be. The simplest aspects of their day - things they consider ordinary - become extraordinary. There was some beautiful imagery. It was filled with montages (it would have to have been - they had to be very careful with their editing and pacing), most of which start of on a light note, but become more serious. A beautiful score and a wonderful soundtrack compliment it. It's funny and heartbreaking and emotional and engages with the audience by allowing us to relate via the only thing every single person on earth can relate to - being human. Our humanity.
Certain people were focused on. The man from Korea who has been cycling around the world for over nine years, having visited 190 countries. He says he's not from North or South - just Korea. He hopes for reconciliation. "The impossible is possible". A gay man coming out to his grandmother. A couple renewing their wedding vows on their 50th anniversary. One of my favourite images was of people lighting floating lanterns and sending them up to the sky.
People were asked to say what they loved, and what they feared. It's not all light-hearted. I've said this was an exploration of humanity - we get the full range of human emotion and experiences. Love, joy, fear, birth, marriage, celebration, religion, war, anger, despair and death. It wouldn't be human if there was no death. People with cancer. People admitting to fear death. Some chilling footage of Love Parade in Germany - when there was that terrible stampede in the tunnel. People probably went along thinking they would just film the festival. A news photographer showing us his home in Afghanistan, juxtaposed with a wife in America, waiting to skype with her husband, who is fighting the war. A montage of humanity at what I felt was its most violent, wild, crazy.
I won't forget the last 'Life in a Day'. A woman who stated she waited all day for something exciting to happen, but it didn't. Nothing happened, and it often doesn't. Life isn't amazing everyday, she says. I'm not special - but she still somehow felt that today was special anyway. She probably didn't even dream of making it into this film. The feeling that this film left me with was hope. So many people in this film had such hope for the future. It's wonderful to see.