Category Archives: Films

Good and bad films, so I think!

Films I watched in the plane

Did I say that I travelled business class to Colombia? I am not supposed to publicise this, as our parent company won’t allow anyone to fly business (to save on costs during the recession), but my boss managed to convince his boss and off we went in business class. Yay!

Apart from the food and drinks, and the seats that go almost completely horizontal for you to sleep, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was the entertainment system. I am sure, though, that you get the same system in economy class, because I remember very well our honeymoon flights to LA and to Honolulu, and we got something similar.

What did I watch? A bit of everything…



I will be honest. The main reason why I decided to watch this film was because of Alexander Skarsgard (Eric in True Blood), who is absolutely gorgeous and I could just look at him for two hours straight. But, I was in for a treat/shock with the film. Directed by Lars von Trier, I should have known that it was going to be weird at least.

The story evolves around Kirsten Dunst’s character, who is depressed and can’t even be happy on the day of her wedding. The wedding party scene is quite good. So many repressed feelings, emotions and speeches. You get a very good feeling of Kirsten’s family and you can start realising why she is such a depressed person!

But the wedding (which I thought was the main focal point of the film) is only the beginning. The story then centres around Melancholia, which is a planet that is threatening to crash against Earth. Kirsten’s sister is really fearful of this, whilst her husband (Kiefer Sutherland) assures her that it won’t happen.

It is a slow film, but I don’t mind slow films as long as the plot is engaging enough, and this one is. Overall, I think I give it a 8 out of 10.

Bad Teacher.

Typical silly comedy with Cameron Diaz (who doesn’t play the role of her life, to be honest, but she’s not that bad). It has got funny bits, but overall it is nothing too amusing. Shallow girl who wants to catch a rich man, decides to have breast implants to have more opportunities and starts a series of ventures in order to get the money. There is a really funny character in the film, which is a fellow teacher who is in love with Cameron’s new target, and the scenes where they two fight are the best in the film. 5 out of 10.

The Help.

This one is my favourite from the ones I watched. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had heard good reviews, and that’s what made me choose it among many other ones.

It is set in a Southern State (Mississippi I think) in the 50s or 60s, and it tells the story of Skeeter, a girl who wants to become a writer, against her friends ideas that she should marry and settle with a man to look after. Skeeter, however, is set in her ways and decides to follow her own path. She “sympathises” with the coloured folk and she actually misses her maid, who raised her and gave her the best advise. After coming back from college, her maid no longer is in her house but her mother won’t tell her what happened.

She manages to get a job in a local newspaper, writing the “domestic help” column, but as she doesn’t know how to respond to the questions, she convinces her best friend to “lend” her her maid to answer the questions. This then turns into a deeper relationship, and Skeeter starts thinking of writing a book on the maid’s stories.

The film is moving, funny and very well told. I hear the book is better, so I may give it a chance (never the other way round, no!). Definitely a 9 out of 10.

Para qué sirve un oso?

The films I chose to watch in the plane where films that I knew Jon would have little interest in watching. And this one, being in Spanish, was a good candidate. (There was only another film in Spanish, the latest Almodóvar film, but the plot summary didn’t quite catch my attention)

The film is about two brothers, one biologist and one zoologist, who have not spoken to each other in years and have a distant relationship. The zoologist is currently living in an Asturian forest, waiting for the bears to come back to the forest, so he can then stop a building development that is about to destroy his forest. The film has a big “eco-feel”, and there’s much talk about recycling and looking after nature, and things like that.

The film is really funny, and I love the characters and how the relationships develop throughout the film. A 7 out of 10.

Oscar Night

I used to watch the Oscars religiously when I was at Uni. A couple of my friends were movie buffs which made the whole thing more interesting (because they thought they knew what they were talking about and sometimes they couldn’t be more wrong)

Staying up on a Sunday night/Monday morning wasn’t an issue for me. Back then I could pretty much do as I wanted and missing a lesson here or there wasn’t a problem at all (ahhhh… how miss those days of detachment from the MAN…)

So, having only seen two or three of the nominated films to the Oscars this year, my predictions are more like guesses than anything else. And here are the main categories:

Best Picture: The King’s Speech

Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth

Actor in a Supporting Role: (I want to say Geoffrey Rush, but I’ll bet you it will be) Christian Bale

Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman

Actress in a Supporting Role: Helena Bonham Carter

Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Original Screenplay: Inception

Adapted Screenplay: Toy Story 3

And I really don’t know anything about the technicalities like Sound mixing, editing, visual effects, etc, so I won’t comment on that. I’ve got a feeling that The King’s Speech will be the big winner and 127 Hours the big loser…

We’ll see how my “predictions” compare to the actual winners tomorrow morning!

Spirit of adventure

Up movie

The story of Carl and Ellie as told in the cartoon film “Up” is probably one of the saddest stories I’ve watched in a long long time. It made me cry from the very beginning. Which I somehow found a bit annoying, because being a Pixar film, I was ready for a lighthearted, comedic film. I wasn’t ready for a heart-breaking, only-to-be-understood-by-adults storyline.

The problem was that the beginning, the scene setting was too adult-like (never in a million years would children understand the whole significance of Carl’s and Ellie’s friendship, relationship, and sad sad ending) but then they introduce all kinds of fantastic (as in “fantasy“, not “great“) elements more  adequate for a kiddie’s film (the talking dogs, the balloons lifting the house, etc). It just didn’t add up.

It is, however, a beautiful film that makes you laugh and cry, with its own moral at the end (follow your dreams and don’t postpone your adventures) and all that. But the underlying story of Carl losing his wife is so overpowering, that it leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth for hours and hours after the film has finished. I wonder if the creators realised this when making it and if that was their purpose…

Panic Room

I had already seen Panic Room when it originally came out, but I watched it again last night on DVD.

And I liked it again, I mean, it was okay. It is not one of the titles I would put under “My 100 favourite films of all time” but it was an enjoyable watch. Especially because of the very good performance of Jodie Foster.

The plot is very basic: Divorced (or separated) middle aged woman and teenage daughter move into this four-storey house which has got a “panic room”: a room where to hide if someone breaks into the house. And guess what. Yes, three guys break in. They are looking for some money (a few million dollars) that are hidden guess where, yes, in the panic room. And the rest you can imagine: The mother and daughter go and hide in the panic room, the thieves try and try to get into the room, the daughter happens to be a diabetic and suffers a fit when she’s all stressed and deshydrated.

Out of the three thieves worth mentioning the perfomance of Forest Whitaker, who is meant to be the good one among the bad ones. Also worth mentioning how ugly Jared Leto looked in the film (I won’t mention his acting, there’s not much to mention about it). Those plaits in his hair were just aweful. C’mon, he was meant to be a rich guy in the film, the grandson of a multimillionaire… You would have thought that the costume/art department would have something better in mind for a such an attractive guy.

The film is directed by David Fincher, who is the director or Se7en. I think Se7en is the type of film that one would never repeat the success of. Fincher makes a very good attempt at trying with Panic room, but I’m not a film critic so I won’t get into technical details.

An interesting bit of trivia is that Maynard James Keenan (singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle) was offered the role of Raoul (one of the baddies) but he turned it down due to other commitments. Shame, it would have been interesting to see him.