Thursday, 29 March 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Mystic River

IMDB: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 Stars

Release Date: 15 October 2003

Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne.
Written By: Brian Helgeland
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

Described by IMDB as "Childhood friends Jimmy Markum, Sean Devine and Dave Boyle reunite following the death of Jimmy's oldest daughter, Katie. Sean's a police detective on the case, gathering difficult and disturbing evidence; he's also tasked with handling Jimmy's rage and need for retribution."

I've seen this film quite a few times now and I've enjoyed it each time. Its a great story and a great new twist to a murder mystery. I like how each of the three main Characters Jimmy(Penn), Sean(Bacon), and Dave(Robbins) has their own story within the main story of the film. When I found this film in the $5 bin at Walmart last year and saw the names of the actors, I could hardly believe I'd never heard of it. I love Sean Penn in anything I've ever seen him in. He's an amazingly diverse actor, and this role was made for him. I don't want to give too much away about the story, but you really get to know all of the characters quite well. There's a lot of conflict and mystery, as not one but two crime stories have taken place, and you have to figure out if they are connected or not. I have to say its weird seeing a movie that takes place in Boston that doesn't have Ben Affleck or Matt Damon in it.

This has quickly placed itself if my top 10 favorite movies list. Great action, drama, thrills, and mystery. Great ending too. All of the writing and directing was fantastic, as was the acting. I love Emmy Rossum, so I was super happy to see her in it.

That's all I really want to tell about my thought on this film, I'm afraid to give to much away. All I can say is, I love this film, and pretty much anyone else who's seen it. It won best actor and best supporting actor at the 2004 Oscars, and was also nominated for Best Picture that year. So, if that doesn't convince you to watch this movie, I don't know what will.

Overall I give this film a 9/10. Seriously, that good. Go see it now.

DIY: Small Painted Flowerpots

- terracotta pots
- Any colour paint

I honestly don't know if a specific paint is necessary. I went to Walmart a bought a colour tester paint can. Its super small and a pretty decent price, with plenty of paint. Then, just paint. You can decide how many coats you need, but they look so much better. You can see the bigger pot I bought in the background and I plan on painting that a different colour. I shall post pictures when I am done.

I really like the way they turned out!

Kiwi Film Review: The Hunger Games

IMDB: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Roger Ebert: 3/4 Stars

Release Date: March 23 2012

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harelson, Lenny Kravitz.
Written By: Suzanne Collins(Book & Screenplay), Gary Ross & Billy Ray (Screenplay)
Directed By: Gary Ross

Described by IMDB as "In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives."

My review for this film is going to be pretty all over the place because I've read the book and I'm being slightly picky. I'll start by saying *SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD* as I don't think its possible to do a review without talking about specific parts of the story. 

I want to start with saying that I actually really enjoyed the movie itself, as what it was. But if you are going to see this movie without reading the book, I beg you to stop and read the book first. It is infinately better. They did a pretty decent job and keeping close to the book, and I even enjoyed the parts that they added in, but I really did not enjoy that they left a few of the things out, and they did leave a lot. I'm really truly trying not to be one of those awful people who nit-picks everything about the movie, but there were a few things that just didn't make any sense to leave out. 

I'll start from the beginning I guess, I think they did a pretty good job capturing the bad conditions of District 12, but MAN I'm I pissed at how Katniss(Jennifer Lawrence) ended up getting the Mockingjay Pin. Why on earth would they leave out Madge?! She's so important in the second book, why would they leave that out!? I understand you can't include everything but that was one of 3 things that actually bothered me. I think they did a good job showing the relationship between Katniss(Lawrence) and Gale(Liam Hemsworth). They also did a good job with the reaping, and how I pictured Effie (Elizabeth Banks). I wish that they had spent a little more time on the train then they did, as they spent many days on the train in the book. I loved the choice for Haymitch(Woody Harelson), and Caesar(Stanley Tucci). I also thought they did a great job at casting Katniss(Lawrence), Peeta(Josh Hutcherson), and Gale(Hemsworth)

Now comes the downside.. I hated what the did with the Capitol, it looked SO fake. I also thought the fire on the clothes looked horrible. Besides that I thought the did a good job keeping close to the book for the rest of the time in the capitol. Once they get to the game,  the cornucopia was nothing at al like I pictured. I pictured this giant horn-shaped object with supplies falling out of its mouth. Also, they left out the part where she nearly dies of dehydration, but you can't include everything, so I dealt with that. I think they did a good job with the Rue scene, I cried so I suppose that's a good sign. Right after that comes my second pet peeve; when they find out that there can be two victors and Katniss(Lawrence) whispers Peeta's name instaed of yelling it. She literally spoke the exact same words that she would have anyways, why couldn't she have said it louder. I realize this is a VERY tiny part of the book/film, but I just felt like it really showed that she actually did have some real feelings for Peeta(Hutcherson) in the book. The next part I understood had to be cut short because of the time limits of the movie, but even if they had just added an extra 10 minutes of  them being in the cave it would've added so much more real feeling to the film. I really felt like anyone who hadn't read the book wouldn't have cared about the love story between Katniss and Peeta at all. Katniss is also supposed to be seriously injured at two points in the story. First her ear is supposed to be destroyed and then her head is supposed to be deeply and seriously cut. I think even adding one of those would've added a little more suspense in the story. The end of the games had some minor changes, but they managed to make it pretty sufficient. Here comes my final and biggest pet peeve from the movie. The fact that at the end of the film, Katniss doesn't tell Peeta  that she doesn't actually love him, and that it was all an act. That is CLEARLY a pivotal moment in the book, and series, and is extremely important in the second book/film. I can't wait to see how they fix that one.

Overall, as I said, I enjoyed the film. I liked how they added all of the behind the scenes stuff in how the Hunger Games are fun, and the commentary with Caesar. I do wish that they had fixed my pet peeves, as I do feel they hindered the story, but alas here we are. I also think they lacked some character development, but I can't say for sure.. I'd like to hear what a person who hadn't read the books thinks.

I give this film a 7.5/10, definitely not as good as the book, but a solid film on its own. A definite must see!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Lion King

IMDB: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4 Stars

Described by IMDB as " A lion prince is born in Africa and is told by his father, King Mufasa, that when Mufasa dies, Simba will take over the throne, cheating his Uncle Scar out of becoming King of the Pride Lands. Scar, fueled by rage, plots to kill Mufasa and Simba so he is able to take over the throne. He and the hyenas team up and manage to push Mufasa to his death, but Simba survives, and, armed with misinformation, flees the Pride Lands. Simba, believing that his father's death was his own fault, decides to never return home; due to this decision, he meets Timone the Meerkat, and Pummba the Warthog, and the trio become fast friends. Simba stays with them well into adulthood until his childhood friend, Nala, tracks him down and begs him to return to the Pride Lands, where Scar has reigned as King for years, and ruined everything. All of the animals will starve to death if Simba does not return. "

The Lion King is well known as one of the greatest Disney movies of all time, and I’d have to agree. When I was a kid the music and images were captivating, and I have to say that that hasn’t changed. When I heard it was being re-released in theatres in 3D I pretty much went crazy. I went to see it last night with a few friends and it was the most fun I’ve had at a movie in well, ever. I sang every song and I quite frankly didn’t give a shit how anyone else felt about it. The writing was fantastic, and the jokes witty. The entire movie was beautiful. And the music; where to start with the music! The score was perfect. Every tune fit perfectly with what was going on in the story, and every note was beautiful. Then there’s the songs. Who doesn’t love a good Lion King song? God love Elton John. Can You Feel The Love Tonight will be my wedding song. Its decided. Just so beautiful.

I’m not sure how to end this, so I’ve just got to say its in theatres for 2 weeks. For the love of God give your childhood this gift and go watch it.

CAUTION: you WILL have the entire soundtrack stuck in your head for at least 24 hours. (Not that this is much of a bad thing)

Overall I’d give this movie 4.5/5 stars. I almost gave it 5 stars but then I remembered its a kids movie and that might be a little overboard.

Kiwi Film Review: Rain Man

IMDB: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4 Stars

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise
Directed By: Barry Levinson
Written: Barry Marrow, Ronald Bass

Described by IMDB as :"Charles Sanford "Charlie" Babbit is a self-centered Los Angeles-based automobile dealer/hustler/bookie who is at war with his own life. Charlie, as a young teenager, used his father's 1948 Buick convertible without permission and as a result, he went to jail for two days on account that his father reported it stolen. It is then that Charlie learns that his estranged father died and left him from his last will and testament a huge bed of roses and the car while the remainder will of $3 Million goes into a trust fund to be distributed to someone. Charlie seemed pretty angry by this and decides to look into this matter. It seems as if that "someone" is Raymond, Charlie's unknown brother, an autistic savant who lives in a world of his own, resides at the Walbrook Institute. Charlie then kidnaps Raymond and decides to take him on a lust for life trip to the west coast as a threat to get the $3 Million inheritance..."

Rain Man? I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, Tom Cruise can act? This genuinely surprised me. I mean, I guess I knew he could “act” as I’ve seen him in a lot of movies, but his performance really showed me a new side of him. However, the best part of the movie BY FAR was Dustin Hoffman. Seriously, are we sure that he isn’t actually Autistic? He was SO convincing. The storyline was great, and the writing was excellent. Such a great concept, and the character development was fantastic. Tom Cruise’s character, Charlie Babbitt, goes from an egotistical asshole to a loving brother right before our eyes. I found it pretty difficult to sit through the moments when people were giving Raymond(Dustin Hoffman) a hard time for having a mental disability, but I guess that just makes me a normal human being. 

I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t seen this movie until tonight. If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, seriously, get on that.

Chocolate Croissants

Super easy way to make a delicious dessert in 15 minutes!

1 pack Pillsbury Croissants
1 pack Milk Chocolate Chips

Unroll the pack of croissants, place 10-15 chocolate chips in the middle, and roll up starting from the largest end. Follow the baking instructions on the croissant package. Super easy!

Yields 8 croissants.

Kiwi Film Review: Moneyball

IMDB Rating : 8.2/10

Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Robin Wright.

I saw this movie earlier today and its all I’ve been able to think about since. Such a great heart warming story. The acting and writing was fantastic, and the thing I love most about these movies is that they are “based on a true story.” It starts off with Billy Beane’s(Pitt) team (The Oakland A’s) losing yet another last game of the season. His luck then continues to go downhill as he loses 3 or 4 of his top players and is has to find a new line up to try and win the world series with only a fraction of the finances that the other bigger teams have to work with. Then enters Peter Brand (Hill) who comes up with a new strategy in choosing players, which turns the whole sport on its head.

The acting was wonderful, Brad Pitt has really continued to show that he’s more then a pretty face, although he really does have that going for him ;), and he really is a brilliant actor. Jonah Hill continues to play “that awkward kid” perfectly well, it was interesting to see him not able to rely on his humour to charm the audience. Although, I’m willing to bet that his intimidation towards Brad Pitt’s character wasn’t entirely acting. Then you have Hoffman who plays any character he’s given brilliantly. Even though he had a smaller role he had no problem giving the intensity he’s well known for. So many great heart felt moments, my favorites involving Billy Bean’s daughter, she really did an amazing job singing and playing guitar, so shout out to Kerris Dorsey! Overall I’d have to agree with IMDB and give this movie about an 8/10.

Definitely a must-see, this is not just a baseball movie people!

Kiwi Film Review: Tree Of Life

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Roger Ebert : 4/5
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain

Written & Directed by : Terrence Malick

Two Brad Pitt movies in a row!

The movie starts off in the 50’s where you find out that Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien (Pitt and Chastain) have just lost one of their sons. Skip to, what I assume is, present day where Jack (Penn) is having trouble in his life due to what he grew up with as a child. The camera angles and editing in the scenes are perfect and interesting. I loved the whole “how the earth came to be” part of the film. It was all so beautifully orchestrated. Plus, fuck yeah dinosaurs! It honestly took me until the volcano’s to understand what was happening, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen, it was just so beautiful.

Then we get to the more difficult part, the harsher parts of life. Jack, growing up under a strict father, becomes more rebellious, but he never strays so far that he loses his guilty feeling for whatever he has done. It was interesting to see Brad Pitt in such an aggressive role, but it was also pretty difficult to watch. He did a truely great job, as did the rest of the cast. Its really easy to see how times have changed in the last 60 years. The amount of discipline seen in this movie was normal in that time, but I think its clear that it doesn’t always work the way Mr. O’Brien(Pitt) wanted it to. Jack especially grew to resent his father even praying to “God” for him to die a couple of times. Mr. O’Brien seemed to really want the feeling of love from his children, but even he wasn’t stupid enough to see that it wasn’t always there. Mrs. O’Brien(Chastain) then had the difficult job of trying to provide the children with a form of love they could understand. It must’ve been so difficult to sit back and watch your husband give such a hard punishment back then. The acting by the children was fantastic. All three of the O’Brien children were just wonderful. I love seeing new child actors doing such a great job. According to IMDB this was all 3 of their first films, which is pretty impressive! This is the third movie I’ve seen Jessica Chastain in, in the last month, and she’s really been choosing some great films, and has really shown her skill and diversity.

The only complaint I have is that I wish they had shown a little more of an older Jack (Penn) and shown the effects later in life. Also, did I miss how his brother died, because I don’t remember learning the details of that. I heard Penn say that he died when he was 19 but thats about it, I think I might’ve missed a few things in the whispers.

The story and writing was great. I think its important for this movie that the writing and directing were both done by Terrence Malick, as I’m not sure it would’ve had the same effect if it was one person trying to see another persons vision. This film really shows how important life is, and how easily it can be taken away.

Overall I’d give this movie a 7.5/10. Great score, great writing, great acting.

Kiwi Film Review: 50/50

IMDB : 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes : 93%
Roger Ebert : 3.5 stars

Stars: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogan, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Directed By: Jonathan Levine

Written By: Will Reiser

Described by IMDB as : “Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.”

I apologize in advance for what I assume is going to be a poorly written post as I am now half asleep.

Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing at this moment, and go see this freaking movie. First of all, I think that the poster is actually a perfect representation of this movie. Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) doing what he has to do, while Kyle(Seth Rogan) makes it slightly more difficult with his antics. I didn’t know until I looked up the information for this review that it was based on a true story, which is actually pretty cool, but super shitty for obvious reasons. It starts out with what seems to be a normal life. A seemingly healthy guy, Adam (JGL), going for a run, experiencing some back pain, but living life with his girlfriend and best friend and dealing with the stress that comes with work. Cut to, him finding out that he has cancer. The poor guys luck continues to go downhill when he finds out he has to do chemotherapy, and his girlfriend is cheating on him. First off, how messed up do you have to be to cheat on someone with cancer. Seriously not cool.

Throughout this whole process his best friend, Kyle (Rogan), is a semi helpful and semi selfish friend. So he occasionally uses Adam’s (JGL) cancer for sex, deep down he’s a pretty decent friend, driving him around and having his back when he see’s that Adam’s girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) has been cheating. Then there is his therapist (Kendrick), who in the beginning seems slightly annoying and unhelpful, but in the end, he falls in love with her.

Its unbelievable how much I laughed in a movie about cancer but hot damn, they made it happen. However, as much as I laughed, I cried. There are some seriously sad parts in this movie. Luckily, *Spoiler Alert* it has a happy ending. The writing was so good, I seriously LOL’d for at least half of this movie, as did the rest of the audience. But the sad parts were sad. I’m pretty sappy when it comes to movies.. but I seriously cried at least 5 times in this film. It really takes a great film to evoke two very strong emotions. It just seems so wrong for such a young person to have to go through something this difficult, but as they say, shit happens.

I just absolutely love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and this film just adds to that love. His acting abilities continue to shine, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Seth Rogan’s character Kyle is much the same as a lot of his other, more well-known characters, but this one has a certain depth.

Overall I’d give this movie a 9/10. I absolutely loved it, and its definitely added to my list of favorite movies. Definitely a must see!

Kiwi Film Review: Midnight In Paris

IMDB: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4

Directed & Written By: Woody Allen

Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen.

IMDB discribes it as: “A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.”

I heard a lot about this movie before I saw it, but I had no idea what it was about. This movie is without a doubt my favorite Owen Wilson movie I’ve ever seen. It starts off with this engaged couple travelling to Paris on vacation, then after walking around the city at Midnight, Gil(Wilson) is transported to the 1920’s in Paris where he spends his nights hanging out with Hemmingway, Picaso, and pretty much every other famous writer or artist from the 20’s. He slowly realizes that his fiancĂ©e Inez(McAdams) isn’t really the woman for him. She doesn’t understand his love for the city of Paris, or his love for rain. He meets a woman in the 20’s who’s gorgeous and charming, and he falls in love with her as well. When she discovers time travel herself, he realizes that he can’t live in the past and that everyone wishes they could’ve lived in a different time, but thats not really living.

I just loved this movie! I’ve gotta catch up on my Woody Allen movies. They’re always so complicated but romantic in a logical way. It was such a great concept and perfectly orchestrated. It was constantly interesting and imaginative, which is makes it stand out in a sea of mediocre films. The concept is completely true, I always wish I was born in the 70’s or 80’s, but you really have to just live in the moment.

Honestly, I don’t find Owen Wilson a very good actor, I surprisingly liked him in this movie. I pretty much wanted to punch Rachel McAdams in the face everytime she spoke. The rest of the cast was also very good, but the thing that really made the movie was the writing, and just the concept in general. This movie is a must see for sure. God damn, Woody Allen I love you. Off to find some more of his movies.

I’ll give this movie a 8.5/10. Soo good, seriously go see it!

Kiwi Film Review: Manhattan Murder Mystery

IMDB: 7.3

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Roger Ebert: 3/4 stars

Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Alan Alda, and Anjelica Huston

Written & Directed by: Woody Allen

Described by IMDB as: “Larry and Carol are fairly normal New Yorkers who have sent their son off to college. They meet an elderly couple down the hall and later in the week find that the wife has suddenly died. Carol becomes suspicious of Paul who seems to be too cheerful and too ready to move on. She begins her investigation. Larry insists she is becoming too fixated on their neighbor as all of the irregularities seem to have simple non-homicidal explanations. Ted, a recently divorced friend helps her investigation and Larry begins to become jealous of their relationship and agrees to help her.”

I watched Midnight in Paris a few months ago, and I said in the review that I needed to watch some more Woody Allen movies, and I’ve finally gotten around to it. This movie was actually really good, I don’t think I’ve seen one with a similar story line, which is a great start. The thing I like most about Allen’s films is that they’re such simple ideas, but they’re exactly what I think about. Those times you think “damn, I wish I was alive in the 80’s, or the 70’s, or the 20’s,” or those times when you think you and your friends can figure out a mystery. He’s a genius, they just eat away at my mind. Amazing cast, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen work so well together, it saddens me that they aren’t still together. At first Anjelica Huston’s character was sort of random, but in the end it made sense. Its funny because at the core of the story its actually about jealousy and trying to make sure the couple doesn’t get boring as they get older. The whole movie all I could think was I want my relationship to be like this when I’m married and old. I can’t wait to be able to go out to a nice restaurant with my closest friend every week.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie. Everytime I watch one of his movies I desperately want to move to wherever the movie takes place, whether thats New York or Paris, he’s such an amazing storyteller. I’m definitely going to try and watch all of his movies as soon as possible.

I’m giving this movie a 8/10.

Kiwi Film Review: The Godfather

IMDB: 9.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Roger Ebert: 4/4
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton.
Written by: Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola.

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola.
Described by IMDB as: “The story begins as “Don” Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia “family”, oversees his daughter’s wedding. His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father’s business. Through Michael’s life the nature of the family business becomes clear. The business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and benevolent to those who give respect, but given to ruthless violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family. Don Vito lives his life in the way of the old country, but times are changing and some don’t want to follow the old ways and look out for community and “family”. An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don’s influence to further his plan. The clash of the Don’s fading old world values and the new ways will demand a terrible price.
*This review contains SPOILERS*

God damn. God damn. God damn. How have I waited this long to see this movie? I’ve seen on a couple of sites that I’ve looked up that its widely decided that its the the greatest movie of all time. I think its a pretty great movie, but its not in my favorite movies of all time. Its really made me realize that by not watching older movies I’m missing out on a lot. I’ve only seen a handful of movies that are older then the 80’s. It starts off with Don Vito Corleone in charge but I was shocked to see at 45 minutes he was shot. I though he was dead at first, and was so confused and sort of disappointed, but in the end he’s still alive. I finally understand why everyone loves Al Pacino. Its so weird to think that he’s the same person who’s in the shitty movies he’s been in recently. Same with James Caan. The man was in Elf for god sakes. Most importantly, Marlon Fucking Brando. He isn’t a boss, he’s THE boss. I need to watch more of his movies because god damn he’s amazing. At first I found his voice sort of annoying, but it seriously adds to the character. Its amazing that the movie was 3 hours, but it was so jammed packed with interesting goodness, it went by so fast.

Second movie in a row tonight that I watched with Diane Keaton. Its amazing the difference 20 years makes. From tonight, I’ve realized that she is seriously one of my favorite actresses. This movie also really shows how great an actor Pacino is. The range of his character in this movie alone is astounding. First he plays a college kid who tries to stay out of his family business, and by the end he’s in charge of the whole operation.
I really love the time period of this movie. The whole 40’s/50s gangster scene is so fascinating. I’ll definitely be watching the 2nd Godfather movie tomorrow. Normally I’d be pretty worried about being disappointed with the sequel to a movie like this, but the reviews for the second are also fantastic which is super exciting.
Overall I’ll give this movie a 9/10.

Kiwi Film Review: Thor

IMDB: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

Roger Ebert: 1.5/4

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins

Written by: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne. (Original Comic Book by Stan Lee)

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Described by IMDB as : “The warrior Thor (Hemsworth) is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard by his father Odin (Hopkins) for his arrogance and sent to Earth to live among humans. Falling in love with scientist Jane Foster (Portman) teaches Thor much-needed lessons, and his new-found strength comes into play as a villain from his homeland sends dark forces toward Earth”

I think the first, most important, thing to say is holy hot damn Chris Hemsworth is one attractive man. Seriously, between him and Liam, I’ve never seen a more attractive set of brothers in my life. But, moving on. The movie was actually pretty good, I’ve obviously put it off for a long time because I wanted to see it in theaters, but no dice. I’m not sure if it was just me, but it seemed like the movie went by really fast and I actually would’ve enjoyed it more if it had been a bit longer with a bit more of a storyline. Overall the acting was pretty good, and I loved Natalie Portman in it. Chris made an excellent Thor, and I can’t wait to see more of him inThe Avengers. I’m not really sure what else to say about it besides again stating that I wish it had, had a better, stronger storyline. But, of what there was it was well done. The special effects were pretty decent. Again, I’m excited to see all of the super hero’s together in The Avengers.

Overall I’ll give this movie a 7ish/10. Probably not a movie I’m going to watch again.

Kiwi Film Review: I'm Not There

IMDB: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4 stars

Release Date: 28 November 2007

Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Julianne Moore.

Written and Directed by: Todd Haynes.

Described by IMDB as: “Six incarnations of Bob Dylan: an actor, a folk singer, an electrified troubadour, Rimbaud, Billy the Kid, and Woody Guthrie. Put Dylan’s music behind their adventures, soliloquies, interviews, marriage, and infidelity. Recreate 1960s documentaries in black and white. Put each at a crossroads, the artist becoming someone else. Jack, the son of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, finds Jesus; handsome Robbie falls in love then abandons Claire. Woody, a lad escaped from foster care, hobos the U.S. singing; Billy awakes in a valley threatened by a six-lane highway; Rimbaud talks. Jude, booed at Newport when he goes electric, fences with reporters, pundits, and fans. He won’t be classified.”

I’m not entirely sure what I think about this movie. If I sleep on it and wake up tomorrow and have a different opinion, I will do an update, but as for right now I think I’ll say, I just don’t know. Overall, I liked it, BUT, it was very difficult to follow. Maybe if I had known more about Bob Dylan before watching it would’ve been easier to understand everything. I thought the acting was amazing, as was the concept, I just though it was I dunno, maybe could’ve been done a little differently. I’m sort of confused by whether this is the actual story of his life, or if its mostly fiction. I think I would’ve liked it better if all of the actors still played him, but actually had his name and just portrayed him at different points in his career/life. Its uncanny how well Cate Blanchett was able to portray Dylan. Also, was it just me or did we catch a glimpse of Heath Ledger’s dong? Nice. I think this movie mostly made me want to see a biography about him just so I could find out. I really wish it was more a movie about his life rather then what it was. I also wish that if it really was a story about his life, that it had been in chronological order, I think thats what made it mostly confusing for me, just how over the place it was. I think overall I’d recommend it to people who really enjoy movies. Again, I think it was well done, just sort of confusing.. pay attention.

I think I’ll give it a… 7/10.

Kiwi Film Review: Casablanca

IMDB: 8.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Release Date: 23 January 1943

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid.

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

Written By: Julius J. Epstein

Described by IMDB as: “In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan….”

I’m writing this review while watching, so if its a confusing review I apologize. I’m also sick, so I probably mostly make no sense. I’d also like to apologize for how many times I’m about to use the word “classic,” its just there’s no other word that fits. First of all, I feel like I really lucked out on the quality, its so clear excellent restoration to whoever does that sort of thing. This first thing I noticed about this movie is how much I loved the poster. Its just so classic. I love the typography on the title and the way they displayed the names of the stars. The second thing I noticed was, the song playing throughout the whole movie, is it just me or is it the same as the beginning of “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles? Sneaky, sneaky.

I’m really enjoying the 40’s time period, its so glamorous even in the middle of wartime. Its quite interesting to see a movie about World War II while the war is still taking place. The Nazi’s are still the bad guys, but not the monsters they’re portrayed to be in more recent films. This is obviously because they didn’t really know about the Holocaust until the war was over, but its interesting to see just how little they knew. They talk about how Victor, Paul Henreid, was in a concetration camp, but I feel like they didn’t understand exactly what that meant in 1942. The fact that he’s still alive and able to talk to Germans makes it clear that they definitely didn’t know. The thought that the Germans are trying to politely convince Rick to give them the letters of transit is ridiculous. They’d torture him, take them, and kill him. They wouldn’t have shut down his club, they would’ve burned it down. But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Is it just me or does Ilsa, Ingrid Bergman, have a literal glow around her whenever there’s a close up of her face. She is truly gorgeous. Again, such a glamorous time period. Humphrey Bogart is SUCH a stud. Its really amazing that he was born almost 100 years before me. He’s definitely a great actor, the New York accent of the 40’s is so classic. The final scene is so sad, but Bogart’s final outfit with the trench coat and the hat is perfect.

This is such a classic love story and I’m so glad I decided to watch it. I’ll end this review with a “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” and a “here’s to looking at you kid.”

Overall I’ll give this film a 8/10. A must see for any movie lover.

Late Night Updates

Hopefully someone is enjoying my new blog posts. I'm going to try and post one or two Kiwi Film Review's before I head to sleep for the night. I'm so excited to finally get this under way!

Cookie Dough Dip

-1/2 cups Butter
-1/3 cups Brown Sugar
-1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
-1 block Cream Cheese, softened
-1/2 cups Icing Sugar
-3/4 cups Chocolate Chips

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 60 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. You can serve this mixture with just about anything, but I served it with graham crackers and they turned out wonderfully. I sort of thought while making it that it wasn't very much, but I had WAY too much for 4 people, so it's probably a good size for 6-8 people.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

I absolutely love this dish. At first I wasn't a huge fan, but now I can't wait to try it again!

-8 oz uncooked rigatoni
-1 T olive oil
-1 c chopped onion (I only used half and it was plenty.)
-1(10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed (This is what the original recipe calls for, but I hate the smell/taste of frozen spinach so next time I make it I'm going to try fresh spinach.)
-3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
-(8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese (I couldn't find one, so I bought one container of chive, and another of onion and mixed them together.)
½ t salt, ½ t pepper
1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions. Spread oil on bottom of 11×17 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & cream cheese mixture into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.