Monday, May 31, 2010

In Bruges

It's weird once you think of it. I have sat through six gangster movies without flinching. Then I see In Bruges, which made me want to throw up afterwards because of its glorification of violence.
Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes), a London thug, sends Irish hitmen Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) to lie low in Bruges after a hit goes awry in a London church. While Ken enjoys the historic city, Ray feels completely bored and misses his home. Harry calls with irrevocable instructions for Ken.

I can honestly say one thing about In Bruges: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. So nasty. But it was a good movie apart from that. It felt weird for me to hear Fiennes to drop the f-bomb like he's Joe Pesci or something. And he usually portrays calm and collected characters, so that's what made it odd. Farrell and Gleeson had some good moments together, though I liked Farrell a tad more (for obvious reasons).

My Rating: ****


Being the tomboy that I am, I have decided to see more masculine films. And not too long ago, I saw the best example of a guy film. That movie is Unforgiven.
The town of Big Whiskey is full of nornal people trying to lead quiet lives. Cowboys try to make a living. Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett (Gene Hackman) tries to build a house and keep a heavy-handed order. The town whores just try to get by. Then a couple of cowboys cut up a whore. Unsatisfied with Bill's justice, the prostitutes put a bounty on the cowboys. The bounty attracts a young gun billing himself as "The Schofield Kid" (Jaimz Woolvett) and aging killer William Munny (Clint Eastwood). Munny reformed for his young wife, and has been raising crops and two children in peace. But his wife is gone. Farm life is hard. And Munny is no good at it. So he calls his old partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), saddles his ornery nag and rides off to kill one more time, blurring the line between heroism and villainy, man and myth.
Even though I've seen four Westerns prior to Unforgiven, this takes the cake as the best of the bunch. Even though Daggett is a lawman and people respect him, I think they also fear him for his sadistic ways on enforcing the law. I learned one important thing from watching Unforgiven: you DO NOT mess with Eastwood.
My Rating: *****

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red River

When the name John Wayne is mentioned, his performances in Westerns such as The Searchers and Stagecoach are usually thought of. But Wayne has made Westernsthat are frequently overlooked.

Thomas Dunson (Wayne) builds a cattle empire with his adopted son Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift). Together they begin a massive cattle drive north from Texas to the Missouri railhead. But on the way, new information and Dunson's tyrannical ways cause Matthew to take the herd away from Dunson and head to a new railhead in Kansas. Dunson, swearing vengeance, pursues.

This was the first movie I saw featuring John Wayne. I like how the amount of action is at the right level. One of the writers called it "Mutiny on the Bounty with horses" (or something like that), which makes sense because, in essence, it is.

My Rating: *****

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper: 1936-2010

Academy Award-nominated actor Dennis Hopper has died after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 74.

~May 17, 1936 - May 29, 2010~

Friday, May 28, 2010

Have you ever...

watched a movie only because a certain actor was in it? I will admit I have. The main reason I watched Chocolat (which I thought was pretty good) was because Johnny Depp was in it.

So what about you?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Searchers

Long before Clint Eastwood became synonomous with kick-ass westerns, John Wayne held that honor. And today, many still believe he continues to hold that honor.

Ethan Edwards (Wayne), returning from the Civil War to the ranch of his brother, hopes to find a home with his family and to be near the woman obviously but secretly loves. But a Comanche raid destroys these plans and Ethan sets out, along with his 1/8 Indian nephew Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), on a years-long journey to find the niece kidnapped by the Indians under Chief Scar (Henry Brandon). But as the quest goes on, Martin begins to realize that his uncle's hatred for the Indians is beginning to spill over onto his now-assimilated niece. Martin becomes uncertain whether Ethan plans to rescue Debbie (Natalie Wood)...or kill her.

With this being only the second John Wayne movie I've seen (the first being Red River), I have managed to develop a greater appreciation for westerns. It's gripping from beginning to end and the action definitely delivers.

My Rating: *****

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Favorite Musical

Andrew over at Encore's World of Film & TV invited me to participate in his musical blogathon. He requested me to do a review or write my thoughts on my favorite musical. Having already reviewed it, I might as well write down my thoughts on my favorite musical. What is it, you ask? Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

I have admitted I'm rather squeamish when it comes to blood and guts. And I can "thank" Sweeney Todd for making me more weak in the stomach. I have toughened up since seeing it and have since seen several crime-based movies (The Godfather trilogy, The Untouchables, Road to Perdition, Goodfellas). But still, if there's blood splurting all over the place I'm covering my eyes.

Most musicals are bright and colorful, I prefer dark and moody. So Sweeney Todd works on that level for me. And since it's directed by one of my favorite directors and features one of my favorite actors, that also works.

In some ways, Sweeney Todd is like an anti-musical. As I stated above, most musicals are bright and colorful. Sweeney Todd is dark, bloody, depressing and really messed up. Oh, and very good, too.

Not only is the mood of Sweeney Todd dark, so is the lighting. Take note that the lighting is only bright when the mood of the character in the scene is bright as well. Good examples would be Todd's life before being imprisoned and Mrs. Lovett's dream life with Todd.

This is my second favorite collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (my favorite being Ed Wood). Depp delivers one of his best performances and a damn good singing voice. Burton shows his trademark dark directing style, but in this case it's more morbid.

So there's my contribution to Andrew's blogathon. I mentioned the link above in case you want to participate. Details are on the link.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I really like seeing underrated movies as I stated before.

1960, a small town in France. Vianne Rocher (Julietter Binoche) and her preteen daughter move into town and open a chocolate shop just as Lent is beginning. The town's small-minded mayor Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina) can't accept this and does his best to shut her down, but her warm personality and incredible chocolates manage to win over many townsfolk. Things get shaken up even more when a group of river drifters, led by Roux (Johnny Depp), stop into town (to the even greater distress of the mayor) and Vianne takes up with Roux.

This might be a lesser-known movie because it was up against Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Traffic and Erin Brockovich at the box office (and in the Best Picture race). But you shouldn't overlook it. It's a unique little movie that's rather entertaining.

My Rating: ****

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuesdays with Morrie

It takes a lot for either a movie or a book to tug at my heartstrings. But a few manage to do so. Case in point, Tuesdays with Morrie successfully hit me in a soft spot.

When Mitch Albom learns that his college professor Morrie Schwartz is dying of ALS, he decides to catch up on lost time. In Morrie's final days, Mitch learns life lessons from his old teacher.

A few books managed to pull my heartstrings (Flowers for Algernon, The Reader), but not in the same way Tuesdays with Morrie did. As the novel progressed, it gets more heartfelt and sorrowful. I just love this book and recommend it to everyone.

My Rating: *****

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In Regards to the Seven Questions Movie Meme

About a month ago, I decided to create a meme. I came up with this. Although there was a little confusion at the beginning, I managed to have a few fellow bloggers post their answers on their blogs. Time passed and having thought the meme had died off, I decided to search to see if it had lived on.

It did.

Having seen a fair number of blogs who have participated, I would like to ask the authors of those blogs a simple question: Could you post the link to your answers in the comments below?

Thank you.

Friday, May 21, 2010


In my opinion, I believe that movies released in the 1980's were more focused on making money than pleasing critics. But a few managed to do both. One good example is the 1984 sci-fi flick Ghostbusters.

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are three scientists at Columbia University in New York City. When their grant expires, the guys are fired and they go into business as a ghost extermination company called "Ghostbusters". Their first customer is orchastra cello player Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), who was scared out of her apartment on the 22nd floor of a high rise apartment building on Central Park West. It seems that Dana's neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) is also being affected by the strange happenings in the apartment building. Armed with proton guns, the Ghostbusters become wildly popular and they are joined by Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), who is looking for a job with good pay.

Man, that had to be an awesome movie to see on the big screen. Who would've thought that comedy and sci-fi mixed so well?

My Rating: ****1/2

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Since last July, I've seen six movies featuring James Stewart. Those are his collaborations with Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, You Can't Take It With You) snd Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window, Vertigo), as well as his Oscar-winning performance (The Philadelphia Story).

Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith (Stewart) is appointed on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state's senior senator -- presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state's political boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold). Taylor first tries to corrupt Smith and then later attepmts to destroy Smith through a scandal.

It's safe to say that this is my favorite performance of Stewart's. He shows optimism even when the worst is happening. And the famed filibuster scene showed the height of his power as an actor.

My Rating: *****

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You Can't Take it With You

Since last year, I've seen four movies directed by Frank Capra. Those four are Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful Life and You Can't Take It With You, the latter I'll be reviewing.
Tycoon Anthony P. Kirby (Edward Arnold) fully expects that his son Tony (James Stewart) will follow in his footsteps, but Tony's only real interest is in his secretary and fiancee Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur). His parents are appalled that he wants to marry a stenographer but, to humor him, agree to dine with her family. This is doomed from the start, as they are a collection of free spirits with little visible means of support presided over by Alice's wise grandfather Martin (Lionel Barrymore). It also turns out that buying thier house is key to Tony Sr.'s latest mega-project.
Although it is typical Capra (it ends on a happy note), I still liked it. The chemistry between Stewart and Arthur is good, and the movie had the right mixture of comedy and romance.
My Rating: ****1/2

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Rider

You know how the end of the 1960's for movies was like, "Screw this. We're going by our rules"? One execellent example is Easy Rider.

Friends Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) buy drugs in Mexico and deal in Los Angeles, raising money to travel to Mardi Gras on their motorcycles. Their cross their country disclosing a period of counterculture and intolerance through spectacular landscapes.

Along with Easy Rider being a movie that went by its own rules, it also summed up an entire generation and its angst. Who would've thought that a movie made for $400,000 would become one of the most important movies of the 1960's?

My Rating: *****

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Grapes of Wrath

Although I've only seen three of his movies, I know enough that Henry Fonda is a very talented actor. It kind of shocks me that he was only nominated for an Oscar twice (three times if you count that producer credit for 12 Angry Men).

Tom Joad (Fonda) returns home after spending time in jail to find his family kicked out of their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his uncle's farm, and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life...hopefully.

I really loved Fonda's performance as Joad. You always root for him. Jane Darwell was also very good as Ma Joad, particularly with her speech at the end of the movie. John Ford's directing makes you feel like you're in the Great Depression. Although the mood throughout is bleak and depressing, it's still uplifting in a majority of parts.

My Rating: *****

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Having recently read and watched (and eventually reviewed) High Fidelity, I found myself listening to my iPod more.

My iPod has a diverse list of musicians and bands on it, ranging from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones. My taste in music is just as diverse. I listen to rock, alternative, pop and the occasional classical music.

As for soundtracks, I don't really have a lot. I used to have the themes for Jaws, Star Wars, Mission: Impossible and Beetlejuice on there, but I only have the themes for The Godfather and Edward Scissorhands on there currently.

So I ask you this: what music do you listen to?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cast Away

Robert Zemeckis is mostly noted for the special effects used in his movies (ie, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump). But once in a while, he delivers an entertaining movie with little to no special effects.

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a FedEx systems engineer whose personal and professional life are ruled by the clock. His fast-paced career takes him, often at a moment's notice, to far-flung locales - and away from his girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt). Chuck's manic existence abruptly ends when, after a plane crash, he becomes isolated on a remote island, cast away into the most desolate environment imaginable. Stripped of the conveniences of everyday life, he first must meet the basic needs of survival, including water, food and shelter. Chuck, the consummate problem solver, eventually figures out how to sustain himself physically. But then what? Chuck begins his true personal journey.

Hanks delivers a very good performance as Chuck Noland. Zemeckis manages to create a feeling of isolation throughout. If I was stuck on a desert island, I would bring this along for survival tips.

My Rating: ****1/2

Star Wars

Forget what the critics say about 2001: A Space Odyssey being the greatest sci-fi movie ever made. For me (and I assume many others), Star Wars will always hold that title.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) dreams of something greater than his current position in life. One day, his life changes after encounters with robots C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). R2-D2 holds a message from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) for Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). This leads to a quest, which is joined by smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), to save the galaxy.

I really envy those who saw it in a theater. The Death Star blowing up + big screen = the best time at the movies EVER. 1977 or not, the special effects don't look dated at all. I particularly like Ford's performance. Like I said, I love the rebel.

My Rating: *****

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bringing Up Baby

There's a blog I frequently read whose author has an infatuation with movie legend Katharine Hepburn. Since last November, I've seen three of her movies. Those movies are The Philadelphia Story, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Bringing Up Baby, the latter I'll be reviewing.

When scatterbrained Susan Vance (Hepburn) takes a shine to palaeontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant), mayhem ensues. David, engaged to be married and intensely interested in the arrival of the brontosaurus bone required to complete his project at the museum, is inetricably bound up with Susan's escapades when she finds herself responsible for Baby, a tame leopard shipped to her New York apartment and intended for Susan's aunt in Connecticut.

Although I liked it in some parts, my tolerance level for a majority of it was low. It was too screwball for me to really like it. I did like the chemistry between Grant and Hepburn though. But if you're interested in a good comedy, Bringing Up Baby is a fine choice.

My Rating: ****

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I don't usually watch animated movies because a majority of them are completely ridiculous. But often when I need an animation fix, I turn to the people of Pixar to deliver a good movie.

WALL-E (Ben Burtt) is a robot that is designed to clean up the garbage-covered Earth in the year 2805. After spending seven hundred years alone, WALL-E starts to become lonely. Enter EVE (Elissa Knight), a robot scout from outer space. A romance soon forms.

I stated on an earlier post that WALL-E was my favorite movie of the 2000's. I stated my reasons on that post, but it wasn't good enough. Here are my actual reasons: it's visually stunning and it tugs at the heartstrings. In some ways, it's like 2001: A Space Odyssey for kids.

My Rating: *****

Monday, May 10, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey

I give Stanley Kubrick points for venturing into different genres. He has done horror (The Shining), war (Paths of Glory, Full Metal Jacket) and sci-fi (A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey), to name a few.

When a large black monolith is found beneath the surface of the moon, the reaction immediately is that it was intentionally buried. When the point of origin is confirmed as Jupiter, an expedition is sent in hopes of finding the source. When Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) discovers faults in the expeditionary spacecraft's communications system, he discovers more than he ever wanted to know.

Throughout the movie, I'm trying to piece together what the plot is. But then I just gave up trying and just watched it. Visually stunning and beautiful musical score, 2001: A Space Odyssey is worth seeing for those who are cinephiles or those who want to see an interesting movie.

My Rating: *****

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Murder on the Orient Express

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the mystery genre, particularly at the fact you know what happens when you re-watch it. But from time to time, I take an interest to it.

Unexpectedly returning to England from Istanbul, famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) finds himself traveling on the Orient Express. One of the passengers, Mr. Ratchett (Richard Widmark), informs Poirot that he has been receiving anonymous threats and asks Poirot to act as his bodyguard. Poirot declines but when Ratchett is found the next morning stabbed to death, it is apparent that the threats he received were very real. Poirot soon deduces that Ratchett was in fact the infamous Cassetti, believed to be the man behind the kidnapping and murder of 3-year old Daisy Armstrong some 5 years previously. As he begins to question the dozen or so passengers on the train, he realizes that several of them have a connection to the Armstrong family and he begins to form a solution to a very complex crime.

There are several twists and turns, but not enough to fully grab my attention. I think Sidney Lumet tried too hard on this project. Finney delivers a good performance though.

My Rating: ****

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Iron Man 2

You know how some movies have all this hype that continually builds up until the release date? It can do one of two things: 1) the hype lives up to the expectations of many and the movie becomes the biggest hit of the year (ie The Dark Knight) or 2) the hype falls flat on its face (ie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Thankfully for Iron Man 2, it falls in the former.

With the world now aware of his dual life as Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) on his side, must forged new alliances -- and confront new enemies.

I saw an interesting comparison between Stark and rival Justin Hammer (played to perfection by Sam Rockwell). Both are attention-hungry narcissists, but their means of having attention are different. Hammer likes attention as a means of power, while Stark likes attention because he knows he's doing the right thing (part of the time, anyway).

Much like Batman Returns, there are a lot of more supporting characters than the first film. Unlike Batman Returns, however, it works. Mickey Rourke is a rather believable villain, Scarlett Johansson is good, and Cheadle is an interesting replacement for Terrence Howard. Although it does lag a little, it's still a freakin' awesome movie.

My Rating: ****

Friday, May 7, 2010

High Noon

I will admit I haven't seen a Western with Clint Eastwood. But I have seen a Western, three in fact. Those three are Red River, Once Upon a Time in the West and High Noon, the latter I'll be reviewing.

On the day of his retirement and his marriage to Amy (Grace Kelly), sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) receives news that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), an outlaw Kane brought to justice years before, is coming to get his revenge on him. As others lose hope for him, Kane prepares himself for the worst.

If Fred Zinnemann knew that he would have directed one of the most influential Westerns in movie history, he would've been stunned by the impact of High Noon. The tension throughout is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Cooper delivers a memorable performance as the determined Kane.

My Rating: *****

Thursday, May 6, 2010

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Joel and Ethan Coen are an (cough) "unique" pair of filmmakers. They managed to make movies that are different from other movies. Anyway, back to the review.

Mississippi, 1937. Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney), Delmar O'Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete (John Turturro) escape from a jail chain gang intent on getting to the loot stashed away by Everett. As this is at his house soon to be flooded by a new dam, speed is of the essence. They find themselves fast-talking their way out of one jam after another, and along the way not only have to be wary of riverside sirens but even get to make a pretty good country record.

With this being only one of two Coen brothers movies I've seen (the other is Raising Arizona), I really didn't know what to expect from them. But it's soon obvious: violence which is glorified to the maxium level. But apart from that factor, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a pretty good movie. Good soundtrack, too.

My Rating: ****1/2

The Lady from Shanghai

A common casting idea is to cast real-life couples as spouses or lovers (ie, Eliazbeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward). But when former couples are reunited for the silver screen, it's pretty much make or break.

Micharl O'Hara (Orson Welles), against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's (Everett Sloane) yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby (Glenn Anders), Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Elsa (Rita Hayworth), who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake Grisby's murder so he can disappear untailed. Michael wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Elsa. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how.

The romance between Welles and Hayworth would've been a lot more believable had this been made before they got divorced. The movie itself was good, while the famed hall of mirrors scene managed to stand the test of time.

My Rating: *****

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Heaven Can Wait

It's always interesting to see what happens with a director's career after their debut. Take as an example Warren Beatty. First he's directing the sports comedy Heaven Can Wait, then three years later he's directing the epic Reds which would later win him an Oscar for directing.

Los Angeles Rams backup quarterback Joe Pendleton (Beatty) is looking forward to helping his team get to the Super Bowl. However, he is involved in a road accident and is plucked from his body by an anxious first-time angel (Buck Henry). After finding out his body was cremated, Joe has no choice but to find a new body to inhabit. He finds Farnsworth, a millionaire who had been heavily drugged by his wife Julia (Dyan Cannon) and his secretary (and her lover) Tony Abbott (Charles Grodin). As Farnsworth, he falls in love with activist Betty Logan (Julie Christie).

I really like the comedic flow throughout, as well as the romance. Beatty's performance is both charming and appealing. Like what I said in the introduction, it's always interesting to see what happens with a director's career after their debut. Thankfully for Beatty, his career as a director skyrocketed after Heaven Can Wait.

My Rating: ****1/2

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The 1954 movie Sabrina marks a few things for me. It's the seventh movie I've seen directed by Billy Wilder, as well as the sixth with Humphrey Bogart and the fourth with William Holden. But it's the first movie I've seen featuring the always elegant Audrey Hepburn.

Linus (Bogart) and David Larrabee (Holden) are the two sons of a very wealthy family. Linus is all work -- busily running the family coporate empire, he has no time for a wife and family. David is all play-- technically he is employed by the family business, but never shows up for work, spends all his time entertaining, and has been married and divorced three times. Meanwhile, Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn) is the young, shy and awkward daughter of the hosehold chauffeur, who has been infatuated with David all her life, but David hardly notices -- "doesn't even know I exist" -- until she goes away to Paris for two years, and returns an elegant, sophisticated, beautiful woman. Suddenly, she finds that she has captured David's attention, but just as does so, she finds herself falling in love with Linus and vice versa.

The correct mixture of romance and comedy is evident throughout. The romance between Holden and Hepburn is a little more believable than the romance between Bogart and Hepburn. Wilder's direction and writing is dead-on (as usual).

My Rating: *****

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lynn Redgrave: 1943-2010

The Academy Award-nominated actress has died from breast cancer. She was 67.

~March 8, 1943 - May 2, 2010~

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bloggers and Their Admirations

I read countless blogs and occasionally the author of the blog admires a certain movie or person. I have encountered this many times and I thought it would an interesting post.

NOTE: To the bloggers mentioned, I'm not insulting you. I just want to show other people who/what you like.

First up is Andrew over at Encore's World of Film & TV.  He has a liking to movie legend Katharine Hepburn. A few months back, he did a Katharine Hepburn Blogathon (which I participated in). He frequently brings her up in his posts.

Next up is The Mad Hatter at The Dark of the Matinee. He admires the writing of author Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch). He frequently makes top five lists much in the same vein of Rob Gordon, the lead in High Fidelity. One comment on his blog was being truthful about his Hornby admiration. Even more so when he commented on my reviews for An Education (Hornby was one of the screenwriters) and High Fidelity.

The next blogger has not one but TWO actor admirations. That would Julian Stark from Movies and Other Things.., and his appreciation for Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard. In fact, his username is a combination of Downey's characters' names in Less Than Zero and Iron Man. He's currently doing 23 Days of Robert Downey, Jr. (which I would advise you to check out), though I'm not sure if he'll do the same with Cotillard (I'm thinking it's likely). Personally, I'd like to see his reaction if Downey and Cotillard were to act alongside each other.

The author of Common Sense Movie Reviews (I don't know his name) appreciates Oscar winner Russell Crowe. Much like Julian, he's currently running 26 Days of Russell Crowe (again, I advise you to check it out).

This list just wouldn't be complete without him. Yes, I'm referring to Univarn from A Life in Equinox: A Movie Lover's Journal and his love for director Akira Kurosawa. I'm saying love because I've never seen someone that dedicated to one person. Back in March, he did 23 Days of Kurosawa (which later spawned what's going on at Movies and Other Things... and Common Sense Movie Reviews), a series of reviews on Kurosawa's movies to commemorate what would've been Kurosawa's 100th birthday. On the 23rd day (Kurosawa's birthday), he reviewed his favorite movie of all-time: Seven Samurai. Though I found his rating of 11/10 for the movie a little ridiculous, the review itself is brilliant.

Those are the only ones I can think of. What about you? Seen any interesting ones? Are you one of them?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

BOOK VS MOVIE: High Fidelity

When an adaptation of a book comes to theaters, it's really rare to have it true to the book. Some miss the mark (The Shining), while some manage to hit it dead-on (Rosemary's Baby). If you're wondering where High Fidelity falls in, it's the latter.
After his girlfriend Laura breaks up with him, Rob examines five past relationships to see what went wrong. He also talks about his love of music, since he owns a record store.
I appreciate the fact that Stephen Frears has his movie stay mostly true to Nick Hornby's book (mostly true because the movie's set in Chicago; the book's set in England). Along with that, both are well worthwhile.
What's worth checking out?: I'd go with both.