12 August 2013

Underrated Film: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.


Talking about Kristen Stewart back when she made good films (Adventureland) got me thinking about other underrated films. At this stage, I'm more thinking 'underrated' in the sense where these were acknowledged to be GOOD films, but they never really got the attention they deserved from an audience etc.

So, first up is Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) which is a highly annoying title to write repeatedly, but I won't hold that against it. I've mentioned KKBB before in my Best Film Ever! post, so admittedly, I am openly biased towards the awesomeness of this film. But that is because, it is in fact, awesome. And I'm going to give you a list of reasons why!

1) It's written and directed by Shane Black.

You may not have heard of Shane Black, but you've definitely heard of his films. This guy is behind classics like Lethal Weapon, The Last Action Hero (also, underrated and ridiculous) and the biggest smash of the year, Iron Man 3. He's that guy. I'm not always big into action films. I find that a lot of films with action tend to favour LOUD NOISES over an actual story (case in point; Transformers), not this guy. Shane Black's films become known for the sharp, witty banter between the characters, and this is no different. The relationship between Harry and Gay Perry (not being homophobic, that's his actual name), is one of the best I've seen in an action film, or just in general!

You're welcome.

2) Robert Downey Jr.

It's a well known fact, that RDJ was doing a Lindsay Lohan long before 'doing a Lindsay' was a thing. Dude was into all sorts of craziness. But he went to jail and rehab, sorted his shit out (take note Lohan) and is now one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This was one of his first big films after the stint in rehab/jail and he nails it. This film showed off his comedic chops long before Iron Man was even on the radar and his Harry is an adorable, unlucky, and oh-so-stupid sweetheart. The scene where he accidentally auditions for a film is priceless.

3) Val Kilmer

Now, Val Kilmer hasn't always made the best film choices in his career, nor has he always been the best thing about a film. Not so the case here. In this film, he's awesome. Whilst the character is bitchy, camp and hilarious, Kilmer brings him to life brilliantly, showing facets to a character that could've easily been played as a stereotype. In his hands, Gay Perry becomes a private eye with a heart and a gun down his pants (yes, really).

4) Michelle Monaghan 

Probably not as famous as she should be, Monaghan has been in some big films (M:I 3, Mr & Mrs Smith) but never as a star, or even a real supporting role. Here, she plays a seemingly jaded, failed actress hiding her troubled past. Monaghan shows a strong, independent woman capable of fending for herself (see her face-off with Protocop) but nursing a deep vulnerable streak. Rather than go down the typical action film route and become a damsel in distress, she actively involves herself in the drama. Plus, it's just nice to see a girl capable of doing ANYTHING other than scream in the most masculine genre going. 

5) The story

Okay, I don't want to give away the story because I do really want you to watch it, but you should know that it is good. The main story of the crime to be solved, follows the same narrative line as the old school detective/thriller books, which features in the film heavily. The setting of the story is what makes it though.
Apparently, not a good place...
The film is set in Hollywood, where everyone is trying to be something they're not and the tongue-in-cheek referencing of the industry are part of what made the film enjoyable to me. There is a darker theme of the treatment of women, as Harmony (Monaghan) becomes accustomed to the idea of having to use her body, or have her body used. That an action film especially is willing to make note of that, makes the film all the more interesting and worth noticing. The somewhat scathing mentions of the fickleness of Hollywood run throughout. Considering RDJ, Kilmer and Black's personal experience with this treatment, it just adds another level of humour to the film as they laugh at themselves. The nods to the inner workings of the industry are all part of what makes the story so entertaining. And also leaves mentalists like me, wondering what they are trying to be part of.

So there are 5 very good reasons why you should watch this film. It has everything. Humour! Action! Storyline! Hot Actors! Boobs! Car Chases! Have you seen any films you think didn't get the praise they deserve?

Peace out :) 

11 August 2013

Why I hate Twilight.


Okay, so hear me out first. I know the title is enough to make a 12 year old beat me to death with her 'Breaking Dawn' book, but I can explain!

So, I should say, I really do HATE Twilight. I'll make no bones about that. I read the books when they first came out, largely because I am a marketers dream ('Ohhh, vampires and pretty people! Yay!') and have been full of regret since. Every-so-often I like to hate-read them again, much like I like to hate-watch the films on occasion. Nobody will watch those films with me because all I do is complain. A lot. The problem is that the films never really stood a chance, how can you take a bad book and make it into a good film? 

                                                                               I hate you all.

The problem is the characters. Particularly one character. I mean Bella.

OH MY DAYS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Played by Kristen Stewart, who I actually really quite liked in Adventureland (underrated), she apparently decides that Bella has no facial expressions at all. Not that Bella is well-developed enough to have expression. Essentially, this is a girl whose entire existence revolves around getting a boy to like her and then when he leaves, deciding if she likes a different boy. Who could be arsed? For some reason, she is utterly irresistible to the male gender. Whilst Kristen Stewart is very pretty, the character is dull as shit making this love all the more inexplicable. Bella though, only has eyes for the unattainable Edward Cullen, who comes from the same school of character development as Bella. As in, there is none. Apparently the screenwriters believe that if you're indecently good looking, you don't NEED to have a personality. So of course this runs true for all of the exceptionally good looking cast. 

My main problem with Bella is that she knocks the idea of strong women in films back to the 1930's. This girl exists only to please Edward Cullen. I mean, the dude leaves and she mopes in her room for like 4 months? And she doesn't mope like any other person would after a break up, oh no. This break up is THE WORST BREAK UP IN THE HISTORY OF BREAK UPS. Yours doesn't even compare, because Bella and Edward, are like, meant to be and, are like, part of each other. It's enough to make you want to claw your eyes out. And there have been plenty of women in films whose main drive is to snag a man and get married, but this film and these books were a global phenomenon. I mean, if you were a teenage girl, those books were required reading and the films were essential. So the problem lies in that this girl, who gets in danger constantly and ALWAYS has to be saved, becomes a sort of icon. All the girls want to be like this girl who ceases to exist as a person once she gets a boyfriend, she becomes simply an extension of Edward. She sacrifices her life to be with him, for frig's sake! If you can show me a moment where she does something just for herself, not to please a male character in the film, I'd be quite happy. 

Teenage girls (and apparently their mothers) all fall for this ridiculous idea, that a relationship like this could, or should exist in real life. If you met a couple like this in real life, you'd avoid them like the plague. They are the smug couple who believe that their relationship is worth SO much more than yours, that you couldn't even compare. Ergh.

Films need strong characters as the heroine/heroes. You need someone you want to root for. Twilight offers us a girl who follows a boy around and after that, follows another boy around. Super. In an industry where women are increasingly relegated to the position of 'damsel in distress' or 'love interest', to have a central character willingly made into something so weak is hard to take. Take the likes of Katniss or Hermione, both characters in exceptionally successful franchises, both women entirely capable of looking after themselves. These are the types of characters that teenage girls need to look up to, they are girls you can aspire to be like. 

The other reason I hate the Twilight films is because the general story is just shit. They are essentially a lot of events leading to an anti-climax. 

'Oh, trouble ensues!' 'Oh no, we're going to have a battle!' 'Montage of us preparing for battle!' 'Oh, wait, nevermind. We'll just talk a lot and avoid action of any type.' 'Battle? Na, we'll just head home.'

I paid money for this! DO SOMETHING! I need something other than longing looks and pained signs and 'passionate' kisses to make a film, lads. Have a girl who can do something other than run between 2 different, disgustingly attractive boys! And all these films have really achieved, is make girls think that relationships like this are normal and healthy (bit of perspective, he WATCHED HER SLEEP) and that that all girls need a boy like that. Just letting you know; YOU DON'T. 


I get that this film is super popular, I just don't know why. Like, I genuinely don't understand why people like it so much? If anyone could explain it to me, that'd be great. Yes, the cast are all super attractive, but what else is there?

Okay, I promise I'll be less rant-y tomorrow :).

Peace out!
09 August 2013

Horror films, 'The Conjuring' and disappointment.


So I was meant to see The Conjuring tonight. I have been looking forward to seeing it for SO LONG. The trailer is that good. I'll link it here below for those few that haven't seen it, or for anyone who likes a cracking trailer.

So, yes. We (my sister, her boyfriend and me) get to the cinema and the line is out the door and down the street. Which, whilst a good sign for the movie industry, not a good sign for us getting tickets. So we wait for 10 minutes, finally get in through the door, only to overhear the people at the till say that it was sold out. GUTTED. I don't think I've ever been quite as excited to see a scary film in a long time, so to not get in was VERY DISAPPOINTING. I know, I can just go and see it another time, but I got myself all excited for it! I put makeup on for frig's sake! 

When I got home I got to thinking, what was the last scary film I saw in the cinema that properly terrified me? I find that in today's society, with being more exposed to real life horror (cheers media), it becomes increasingly difficult for a film to genuinely induce fear. I remember when Paranormal Activity (2007) came out and it was massive, and honestly, did scare me. I watched it on my laptop, in an empty house, with the headphones on and I have never feared for my life and sanity more. Obviously, with any big film comes the inevitable backlash, but that film achieved a great deal on a small budget. Certainly a great deal more than a lot of bigger budget horror films can achieve. Having said that Paranormal Activity 2-34, not quite as effective. Although, I did quite like 3...

The last scary film I remember seeing in the cinema, that properly terrified me was The Descent (2005). Holy shit. That film is amazing. Sitting in the dark, empty, cramped cinema in my town you felt like you were genuinely in the caves. There's a lot to say for watching a film in the right conditions. My friends who I saw it with, had to leave the screen because they were so freaked out. Essentially, it's about a group of women who go on a trip following a tragic event, only for shit to get even worse. They go into spelunking (mentalists) in some caves, and find something terrible in there... I would advise anyone to see that film, unless you're claustrophobic, then I'd probably skip it.

Honorable mention goes to Sinister (2012), not a perfect horror film by any means, but so atmospheric and so creepy in a cinema. Sure, I sorta hated the main character played by Ethan Hawke, which took away from it a little, but everything else was pretty great. The music especially is super effective.

Obviously, I've seen other horror films that scared the crap out of me, but a lot of the time I don't get to see them in the cinema. It is very difficult in a tiny town to get seeing any good films, especially when the cinema still plays films that are about to be released on DVD. Which is just strange. 

So, what horror films have you seen in the cinema that scared you senseless?v Have you seen The Conjuring? Thoughts? Let me know! In the meantime, I'll leave this terrifying poster for The Conjuring below, for you too to be scarred by the super creepy doll. 
I fricking hate dolls.

Peace out!

P.S. If you're big into horror films as well, check out www.bloodydisgusting.com!
08 August 2013

Best Film Ever!


So, I've been thinking about what makes the 'Best. Film. Ever', and about what my best film ever is. Largely I think about films when I'm meant to be doing something else, obviously I've been thinking about films a lot. I have a lot of BEST FILM EVER'S!!! some of which are not even close to being a best film ever, yet for some reason I am convinced they are. 

                                               Best film ever?

So is there an actual pattern or design for a BFE (I'm shortening it, I can't be arsed writing that everytime)? Or is it just, a lot of people with mutual tastes declare a certain film 'BFE'? I'd be inclined to think it's a mixture. I mean, 'Shawshank Redemption' is a definite BFE, but it was a total flop when it came out cinematically. Once it reached a wider audience, that was when people recognised how great it was. 'Peeping Tom' is another example. Arguably one of the great horror films, it was reviled upon release, until filmmakers and horror aficionados demanded it got the attention it deserved. 

I guess, the first thing to qualify as BFE is that the films themselves are actually good. So, I'm ruling out the likes of 'Step Up 1-76', romantic comedies starring Kate Hudson (I'm looking at you 'Bride Wars') or her similarly attractive repeat offender Matthew McConaghey and other such films. Any film made on the basis of advertising how attractive the leads are, rather than advertising the story does not qualify. Sure, those films are fun for a bit of mindless entertainment, but a BFE has to be more than that. Although, if the leads are attractive, that is a bonus. A BFE, has to actually have a cohesive story that pulls you in, people who can act and directing that moves a story forward. Since the films made just to show off pretty people generally only have 2 out of the 3 of those basic elements, they are outta here! 

Talking about what makes the BFE is something that I could do for hours, and would do, if only people would listen to me. I am crap at picking my BFE, I need genres and then a top 10 list for each, otherwise I feel like I'm excluding some of my babies. So without further rambling, some of my own personal BFE'S;

Shaun of the Dead, 

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,
Breakfast Club,
The Shining,
Peeping Tom,
Shawshank Redemption,
Streetcar Named Desire,
Rebel Without A Cause,
Pitch Perfect (and what?!),
Easy A,
On the Waterfront,
Beauty and the Beast,
The Godfather,
Joss Whedon's Much Ado (so good),
Toy Story1-3,
Fight Club,
Ed Wood,
Edward Scissorhands,
Monster's Inc.,
Pan's Labyrinth,
Some Like It Hot,

Okay, I think that's enough for now haha. I'll give my Top 10 of different genres another time when I shouldn't be doing something else :). So yeah, these are some of my BFE'S, let me know what you think, any of yours and drop me any recommendations.

Peace out!
07 August 2013

Ohhhh, trailers!

Today was a good day for film trailers. I've put 4 of the ones that caught my eye and that I'm definitely looking forward to. Enjoy!
Ok, so this bad boy is for 'The Counselor', starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Cameron Diaz and directed by Ridley Scott. I think we can all agree, it's a pretty kick-ass cast. Written by Cormac McCarthy (the guy who wrote the amazing book that 'No Country for Old Men' was based on), safe to say it's probably going to be something to look forward to. 

This is a whole other kinda beast. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson and directed by Spike Jonze, this is a much lower key approach to drama. With such a high calibre of supreme talent -- and Scarlett Johansson as well (joke!)-- no doubt there'll be amazing performances all around. The drama is on a much smaller level, about a man trying to reconnect with others, falling in love on the way with an unusual love interest.

Yes, I know. Just yesterday I was complaining about sequels and unoriginal content, but COME ON! This is a trailer of epic proportions. I have to admit, I have a huge soft spot for a superhero film. I fricking love them. I even paid good money to see 'The Green Lantern' and that was after I found out how shit it was. Admittedly, I did regret paying said money, but I was still glad I saw it! Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard and (my current crush) Tom Hiddleston, I know I'll be seeing this the second it's out. 

Technically I think this was released yesterday, but I'm throwing it in here anyway. Again, I know it's a sequel, or 'SEQUEL! SEQUEL! SEQUEL', as Animal says it, but I figured it's The Muppets and they are worth a mention. Starring Rickey Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey and Kermit and the gang, it looks like a good follow-up to the excellent Muppets film starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Which, by the way, is definitely worth checking out. SO GOOD.

Peace out.
06 August 2013

Films and life avoidance.


So, here's the thing. I watch a lot of films. Like, A LOT. Some good, some unbelievably terrible. Truth be told, I have kinda of a soft spot for the terrible films. I guess the sadist in me enjoys my senses being assaulted by mediocrity. And on that alarming note I will swiftly move on! 

Anyway, yes, I enjoy films. Which makes me no different to pretty much anybody else, apart from those few weirdos that don't really like movies. Who even are these people, and what is wrong with them?! Honestly.
I've been told that the way I watch films is fairly strange though, at least to the people I watch films with. I like to analyse the shit out of them, like properly go all Freudian on that film's ass. It's an attractive quality that has won many people over ;). Not really. 

I feel like for my chosen (and totally mental) career choice, this highly irritating habit can finally be put to some use! I mean, Quentin Tarantino LOVES analysing the shit out of films, and he's done pretty well for himself?! So I'm living in hope that my obsessive film watching, and my need to dissect every single detail will work well for me!

That's why this essay bollocks has been so hard for me. Not getting to watch films means I can't escape into (and judge horrendously) another person's world and actions. To me, films are the ultimate escapism. Sure, you can go on holidays, explore etc. but what I like about films is that, at least if something goes wrong, it's not my problem to deal with. I get to sit back and watch. Which sounds terribly voyeuristic if you think about it, but you can't deny, there is something really satisfying about watching somebody else's problems and knowing you could sort that shit out easy. If only the people on the screen could hear your advice...I know I could've saved at least half of the nameless, attractive women that immediately die in horror films.
It's so much easier to sort out a fictional person's issues rather than have to deal with your own reality.

I figure once this essay business is over, I'll start talking about some of my favourite and not-so-favourite films. Because really, I could talk about films all day :). 

Peace out.
05 August 2013

About insane career choices...


So, currently I am meant to be doing Uni work. I am not. Obviously. I'm finishing off my degree in English at Queen's in Belfast, and it is dragging painfully. I was meant to be finished like AGGGEEESSS ago, but for painful reasons I have not. I feel like said reasons might be a bit heavy to go into on a 2nd blog post. I just don't know you well enough, strange and faceless interwebs! Maybe if you buy me some wine we can talk about it.

Anywho. Yes, uni work. I have many essays to be doing. Many, seemingly neverending essays, and yet here I am. I think the problem is that I really hate my degree. Don't get me wrong, I love English. I love literature, I love reading and I (obviously) love writing, but it isn't what I wanted to do. I've known since I was old enough to know, that I have always wanted to do something in film. Studying the meaning of T.S. Eliot's 'The Wasteland' wasn't going to help me on that path, it was just going to make my life SO CONFUSING for a while. 

When I was younger, I spent 75% of my time pretending to be someone else. I'd make my baby sister act out the supporting roles in my incredibly, and increasingly ridiculous dramas. I was to be the best at EVERYTHING. Obviously trying to compensate hahaha. For a while I'd say I wanted to be a Doctor (I never did, but it was more socially acceptable than 'MOVIE STAR!') but that quickly faded after I found out that needles were common tools. Apparently, closing your eyes and jabbing them in is NOT an appropriate doctor-ing method. Who knew?!

So here we stand now. 24 and baffled about what to do once I am free from uni. The problem with my career choice, is that I know EXACTLY what I want to do, but that said choice is near impossible. Think of how many aspiring actors there are out there, desperately trying to convince people that they are worth their attention. Think of how many successful female writers there are compared to men! They are tough situations to think of. And as someone who spends a lot of time in someone else's reality, it is particularly tough to think of these situations as part of MY reality. 

I have so many ideas, some of which I can FEEL are good ideas. In a society obsessed with remakes and sequels and quick ways to make money, you'd think they'd be crying out for original ideas! It's just a shame that you have to know a guy, who knows a guy to even find out someone's name. 

I spend a lot of time wishing I would be happy in any other career, in any kind of job, but until I try I don't think I'll ever be fully satisfied. The other problem with said career choice is that I've always been too...embarrassed I guess, to tell people this is what I want to do. People generally think you're a little insane, and I don't blame them, it really is insane! I think I'm insane! It'd be nice for it not to be insane though, for it to be something that anybody with an imagination could do. Because let's be honest, in a lot of recent Hollywood films, imagination has been lacking. We don't need a remake of a film made 6 years ago, we need something new, and I want to be part of that.

Peace out. 
04 August 2013

This is new!


So this carry-on is new! Never thought I was a bloggy type person. Largely because I am terrible at keeping up a blog. I've tried like 3 times and every time I've just sorta...drifted away from them. This time will be different! I can feel it.

Anywho, I'm not entirely sure what I want to achieve with a blog. I guess I've sorta accepted it's the way forward to anything that I want to do. I am weirdly comfortable with talking to faceless strangers though, moreso than talking to people face-to-face probably...which is alarming. 

So. Who am I? The eternal question. I am...Becca. Yup, that's a good start! But as Juliet once said "what's in a name?" (oh yeah, check my Shakespeare reference out!). Nothing's in a name, I just wanted to show off. I am a self-confessed film addict. Like, if they had a support group for that sort of carry-on, I'd be in it. But there's not, so I'm cool.

I like all sorts of films. Even the exceptionally bad ones, and I'm not sure why I like them, I just do! There's something about creating a whole new world that totally boggles and amazes me and, most importantly, inspires me. After seeing a great film I feel like I can achieve nearly anything. That's the beauty with films; they make you believe the impossible is possible. I came out of Black Swan thinking I was a ballerina, The Dark Knight thinking I was a superhero and out of The Shining with a deep mistrust of anyone working in a hotel. 

Now to the important issue. What does that craic have to do with yon bloggity blog? So, I have made a list of things I want to do. Most of which have absolutely nothing to do with what I've just written, but some are alllll about this obsession. I want to write a screenplay, I want to write about films, for films. Essentially, I'm aiming to break into one of the most difficult industries in the world. Never let it be said that don't aim high!

So for you, faceless and possibly non-existent reader, this is what we will talk about. Films, and my desperate attempt to succeed. If you enjoy humiliation, paralysing self-doubt and crippling insecurity, you'll love this! 

Peace out.

Motherhood, films, beauty, and life



Follow on Bloglovin


Powered by Blogger.