"Betty Leopard": Movies

Monday, 14 March 2011

Movies

I’ve probably mentioned before, I have a funny relationship with movies. I like movies, but I wouldn’t say I love them. I see a lot of movies advertised that I like the look of and would like to see, but rarely ever actually get out to the cinema to watch them. So that usually ends up with it being up to a year before a film is available on DVD or even two years until it’s on TV, by which time I have well and truly forgotten that I was ever interested in seeing it. If you ask me if I’ve seen a movie, I probably haven’t. If you ask me if there is a particular movie I’d like to watch tonight, I probably won’t be able to name one.
But I don’t want it to sound like I don’t enjoy movies. Fair enough there are some movies I definitely don’t like; cheesy, nasty, sickly sweet rom-coms mostly. Over the past month or so I’ve seen a fair few movies that I’ve really enjoyed and I thought I’d share them with you, in case any of you are as hopeless with movies as me. I’m not very good at reviewing movies, I find it hard to strike a balance between talking about them without giving the entire thing away, but I’ll try to give the best overview I can.

Lars and the Real Girl
I watched this twice in a week because I liked it so much when I saw it the first time, I had to share it with my boyf, and he really enjoyed it too. If you know or have read anything about the premise of it, it could sound a bit dodgy, but it’s really not. It’s such a lovely story, but without being soppy or cheesy. Ryan Gosling is a great actor and plays the role of Lars really well, endearing and vulnerable and sweet, making it very hard not to care about him and his story. I totally empathise with him from the point of view of feeling so isolated and unable to relate to other people, I’m not sure how much that influenced my feelings towards the film. Maybe if you don’t understand those feelings you might find the story makes less sense to you, but I’m pretty sure most people know what it’s like to be lonely, even if it doesn’t happen very often.
A significant part of the appeal from my point of view is that it’s different from all the carbon copy movies that get rolled out. I’ve obviously not seen enough movies to know if it’s entirely unique, but it’s one of the most different from the norm movies I’ve seen in a long time.
I 100% recommend you watch this movie, even if you don’t enjoy it (which I doubt), it’s always good to expose your mind to new experiences :)

Shutter Island
I think this was a pretty popular and publicised movie when it was in the cinema, so most of you have probably seen it, but I had to include it because I enjoyed it so much. I loved the psychological elements of it and the number of twists and turns in the plot, I’m not sure I ever actually knew what was going on or what would happen next. To be honest, I think I’d have to watch it again to try and keep up with it all. Even the ending leaves it open to discussion and the boyf and I talked about the possibilities for ages afterwards.
I would never have classed myself as a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, not even when I was a teenager watching Titanic (typically, about 3 years after it had been in cinemas), but more recently I have noticed how much I enjoy so many of his movies. Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator and The Departed really stand out as movies I loved, and Shutter Island is definitely joining them now.
Apparently it’s based on a novel of the same name, which I’d like to read now, it’s such a gripping story. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, you should give at least one of them a go.

District 9
Another one that was pretty well hyped when it was in cinemas, as my memory serves. It’s been on my ‘list’ for ages and I finally got around to watching it a month or so ago. In all fairness, at first it seemed a bit shit, the faux documentary style and the South African accent made it seem like a bit of a bad comedy/parody movie. Not to disrespect South African accents, I actually quite like it and certainly appreciated having a movie, an alien movie of all things, that wasn’t centred in America (the Americans-being-the-obvious-leaders-of-the-planet-that-all-extra-terrestrials-will-want-to-contact-first rubbish).
Reviewing movies is really hard as I don’t want to start going into details of the plot that will spoil things if you do decide to watch it. Needless to say, the plot differs from the vast majority of films, hence my interest in it! Give it a chance, the beginning doesn’t seem like all that, and the main character is a bit pathetic, but that changes. I liked it and I’d watch it again. I’m not sure on plans for a sequel, but it was left open for the possibility.

Monsters
I watched this one earlier this week with friends, based on one of their recommendation. I’d never heard of it before but liked the sound of the plot, alien colonisation of part of the Earth, particularly as I enjoyed District 9 so much. It wasn’t as good as District 9, let down in my eyes by being another America focussed narrative.
I quite liked it, but I’m not sure I can explain why, maybe I just enjoy alien movies. For the most part, it took quite an old fashioned alien/horror movie line in not really showing the other-worldly organisms. I like that aspect of it (and other movies that use similar tactics), I often feel showing the ‘creatures’ can damage the credibility of a film, in my eyes anyway. I often think that what you can imagine is often much scarier than anything that movie effect people can create in CGI. Unfortunately the mystery isn’t maintained throughout the film.
The end was also a bit dissatisfying, leaving a number of unanswered questions and dropping in some last minute, unnecessary romance. That doesn’t exactly paint a great picture, but if you’re stuck for something to watch and have seen all my other suggestions, it’s worth a watch.

Jonah Hex
I wasn’t sure about this one as I knew it contained Megan Fox, who I despise, and that was about all I did know about it, and it was based on a comic.
Having seen it, I can say one of the most significant positive feature of the film is that it’s really short, so if you don’t have much time you could fir this in.  Aside from that, I don’t really know what to say about it. Not sure I’ll be in a rush to watch it again.

Let me know if you’ve watched anything good, or terrible, lately.
Betty
x

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