So, it has been a long old while since I last posted a review, so thought I would kick off again with my current obsession - The Hunger Games. Yes, I have become one of those people - not great.
For those who have heard the hype, but unsure of the story, this is based around lead character Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic future. Within this world, the Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, holds absolute power over the rest of the nation. To ensure they stay in power, they host the annual The Hunger Games an event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive. Brilliant concept, brilliant book, brilliant everything!
Now, I fear it is going to be a bit of a difficult review here. Overall, I absolutely loved it! The acting was spot on, casting was one of the best I have seen before and the film was a near perfect reflection of the original story with only minor changes. All good stuff.
Where this film failed, in my opinion, was in choosing the rating of 12A, which meant that the horror of the film was underplayed. This was done in order to reach the avid younger fans of the book, but for the older fans, I think it was a bit disappointing. It may be due to my love of Battle Royale, but that is exactly what I was hoping for, a bit of blood with my mass murder.
It will be interesting to see what they do with the remaining films…
P.S. I am totally Team Peeta
Huck Rating - 8/10
Emotion - spot on
Quote - “And it was decreed that each year, the 12 districts of Panem should offer up a tribute of one young man and woman between the ages of 12 and 18 to be trained in the art of survival and to be prepared to fight to the death.”
Quote - “You started this, you made this happen. Why don’t you admit it? You pretend it’s not happening, nothing’s happening? YOU FUCK! Giving me all your secret fucking signals so that I come towards you! Why don’t you leave me alone, eh? What do you want? What do you want? I love you! I love you! And now you’re trying to fucking DESTROY ME!”
The Banger Sisters
Huck Rating - 7/10
Emotion - guilty pleasure
Quote - “I am the same color as the Department of Motor Vehicles and you look like A FLOWER”
It seems all the rage of late for films to reflect the lives of prominant figures throughout the years. We have Leo Dico’s version of J Edgar Hoover, Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Magaret Thatcher and, more specifically to this post, the gorgeous Michelle Williams doing her best to deliver the performance of Marilyn Monroe. And that she does perfectly.
Cast alongside new comer Eddie Radmayne, this film tells the story of aspiring film maker Colin Clark, who’s first taste of the silver screen was as third assistants director to the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier. Based on true events taken from real-life autobiography of Clark, the films unfolds as a fairly unsteady relationship between this young man and Ms. Monroe - displaying the lesser known side of the actress. That side being one who lacks confidence amongst her peers, doubts her acting skills (though interestingly, shows a type of acting new for her generation) and appears addicted to pills.
First and foremost, I wanted to point out that both Williams and Redmayne play their roles beautifully. Williams was clearly born to play a young Monroe, having encapsulated her movements, expressions and voice perfectly. We even got a fantastic performance from the legendary Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike. She brings a bit of warmth and humour to the film - which I fear is definitely what it needed.
Which moves me nicely into my overall thoughts on the film, which can easily be summed up with one word - meh. As great as all the actors are there is a supreme lack of anything else. The storyline is cute at best, the snapshot of a young Marilyn is fairly interesting and the direction is spot on. But I just didn’t feel it for this one. Maybe it is a case of overhyped doesn’t meet expectations. Who knows. All I know is that if the story was more intriguing, everything would have come together perfectly due to the strong cast.
Huck Rating - 5/10
Emotion - cute
Quote - “It’s agony because he’s a great actor who wants to be a film star, and you’re a film star who wants to be a great actress. This film won’t help either of you”
I have a problem. Now, it’s not exactly a hugely one, but it is still affecting my film loving life. Why is it that I can just not come across a film that truly horrifies me? I am a total scary film fanatic, but over the past few years, nothing seems to be working for me. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a few minor exceptions (see The Strangers, Orphan and Paranormal Activity - maybe even the third?) but I really resent this current trend of gross/gore equalling scary. It really doesn’t.
In comes Shelter, I was excited about this one as its two front runners (Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Myers) are pretty shit hot actors. The storyline also made me think that actually this may do it for me. Based around psychiatrist Cara Harding (Moore) who is under the general thought that split personality disorder is just a state of mind that a person uses as a coping mechanism as opposed to a true split. That is until she meets patient David (Myers) who may seriously be the case to disprove her theory. The films starts of well, with the right amount of intelligent dialogue and character development, but my film geek side started to worry when we chop to a fairly stomach churning scene of man scratching his rather red and gooey neck. Bleugh. And that is where the film began to fail. It proceeds to go on and battle between an actually a fairly good plot and feeling the need to shock - something I am sure it doesn’t need to do.
I would go on and explain how both actors were on top form, with a passable casting of daughter Brooklyn Proulx, but I’m too annoyed by the root that director Måns Mårlind decided to go down. So I am just going to end this fairly short review with a plea to all up and coming (and current) directors that we really don’t need blood curdling action, shots of throats being slashed and torturous scenes in order to be terrified. In fact, its probably the opposite. So please put serious thought into how you will translate script to screen and give me something horrifying.
Huck Rating - 5/10
Emotion - annoyance
Quote - “Just because you’re older, doesn’t mean you’re right. It could just mean that you’ve been wrong for longer”
It is that time of year again. Awards season is just around the corner, so it is time to start thinking nominees. Thought I would be hot on the pulse and list out the recently announced Oscar 2012 nominations (those in bold are my predictions)…
Before I continue to go on and praise the performances of not only Michael Fassbender (the future Mr Huckett) and Carey Mulligan but also director Steve McQueen, I have to heed a warning to all my faithful readers. Do not, and I mean do not, watch this film with anyone. I have previously read that some films are made especially for personal viewing. Not in a seedy way, but because of the connection you can make with a film. It can be deeply personal, apparently. This concept never made sense until I watched Shame.
Fassbender plays the handsome yet conflicted Brandon. His life appears perfect until the reappearance of his estranged sister, Mulligan. Now, you may think this sounds like nothing out of the ordinary from a film plot but you would be wrong. Shant go into too much detail, but life turns out to be not so grand for Brendan as he begins to analyse his lifestyle, culminating in one of the most heart rendering endings to a film I have seen in a long time. Twenty on-screen minutes that firmly places Fassbender within the top actors currently on the silver screen. His performance, alongside Mulligan, is second to none, with both wholeheartedly taking their respective characters with such raw talent that it is spellbinding.
My favourite scene which shows off McQueen’s talent is the ‘date scene’. Oh my word. Perfectly orchastrated. Perfectly acted. Perfectly shot. A scene I could watch over and over. Just perfect.
This is a must see film for those who want something out of the ordinary, that pushes the limits of what you think you can handle and has you applauding but not fully understanding why!
P.S. You’ll be very proud that I didn’t mention once about Fassbenders nudity and continual on screen bonkinh. Maybe that means I am growing up.
Huck’s Rating - 9.5
Emotion - raw
Quote - “I’m not playing the victim. If I left, I would never hear from you again. Don’t you think that’s sad? Don’t you think that’s sad? You’re my brother.”
Not sure if you’ve heard (and if you haven’t, not sure where you have been) but we have some seriously hot, young and most importantly British acting talent surging through for 2012. Rather than regurgitate the likes of Shortlist, GQ, Empire and list out this fabulous new bunch, I thought I would focus on my pick for stardom in 2012. Douglas Booth.
Once I have your attention back from staring at that face which was clearly a gift of God, I would like to talk a bit about him. I first came across Douglas after renting Christopher and His Kind and popping it in the DVD player one evening. Though not hugely impressed by the made-for-TV film, I was impressed by Booth and his protrayal of the wholly innocent Heinz. You could literally read the characters thoughts/feelings/emotions through Booth’s eyes. And then came another TV appearance as lead in BBC’s Great Expectations. One of the best things to have come from the broadcaster all year, and he definitely had a part to play in making it a splendor. And the reason? He can actually act. You may think me slightly odd to be a fan of an ‘act-or’ based on this, but with the amount of run of the mill, boring, seemingly gorgeous ‘actors’ out there, it is becoming a forgotten art. FYI my ex would be so proud of me right now!
Anyway, I digress. There is a lot that will be happening for Booth this year including the upcoming Life At These Speeds. But more interestingly, I look forward to seeing his take on playing Romeo in Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Not much information out there currently, but it is already on my ‘to watch’ list, which grows day by day.
Now, keep your eyes peeled for my 2012 wrap up post where I can declare “I told you so”
A Dangerous Method (February) - put Michael Fassbender in any film and I am there. However, think I am slightly more interested in this one due to storyline. The history books allude to a serious bit of animosity between psychologists/friends/colleagues Freud and Jung, whack Keira Knightley into the mix and I can hear the Oscar nominations already.
Prometheus (June) - lots of noise out there about this one, but not much a lot of information! Some are saying it will be the prequel to the successful Alien franchise, others saying that it is totally unrelated. Who’s to know? Either way, excited to see what Ridley Scott has to offer. And yes, it has Fassbender in this one too.
The Dark Knight Rise (July) - the third (and final?) in the Dark Knight film series, which I am far too excited about. Looking stunning as per usual, this film sees our favourite Batman come back to defend Gotham City after being underground for eight years. Expect a lot of raw, man on man action.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December) - there seems to be a bit of a theme this year with prequels/sequels/spin-offs. It is basically the new film trend for 2012, alongside the fairy tale gone crazy (keep reading). But, I for one can not contain my excitement for The Hobbit - yes, I am a LOTR geek.
Snow White & The Huntsman (June) - as mentioned, the fairy tale gone crazy genre continues into 2012, this time, it is Snow White. But she seems to have gone bad ass. You will have seen the trailer from my previous posts, but look out for great performances from Kirsten Stewart (do I like her?), Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.