Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

IMDB: 8.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4

Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, Kate Walsh, Paul Rudd, Joan Cusack
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky
Written By: Stephen Chbosky (Novel & Screenplay)

Release Date: 28 September 2012
Described by IMDB as: "Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world."

Wow, just WOW. The only thing that I didn't like about this movie was that I hadn't perviously read the book. I think I can seriously add that to the list of regrets in my life. All I knew going into it was that some kid had no friends, but then did have friends. But there were so many moving parts to this movie I don't even know where to begin. Its about so many different things; suicide, depression, love, abuse, loneliness, mistakes, and just growing up in general.

In the beginning you see how Charlie(Logan Lerman) is alone, and wants nothing more to just have some friends. From the letters he's writing to an anonymous person you know he's had some problems in the past but its not until a little later that you start finding out what they are. Seeing him sit alone at lunch, is just so sad. When he finally meets Sam(Emma Watson) and Patrick(Ezra Miller) everything starts turning around (or so you think). I went into this thinking it was going to be an uplifting happy film about finally finding friends and all of your problems going away, but I quickly discovered this was not the case. It seems like everything starts coming out in that first party they go to together after the Homecoming dance. First when you find out about Charlie's(Lerman) best(and only) friend killing himself, and then about Patrick's(Miller) secret affair with the most popular jock in school, Brad(Johnny Simmons).

After this it starts being happy-go-lucky again for the most part. I mean there's that whole "I'm in love with this girl who's a year or two older then me and who happens to be dating jack-ass college guys" thing going on, but thats a manageable situation. Then when you find out that she was molested by her fathers boss at age 11, you have that moment of "wtf?" but it ultimately ends in Charlie having his first kiss with the girl he's in love with (Watson), even if it can't last longer then that night. Honestly, that whole "secret santa" night was just so sweet, it just showed how much he cared about all of them, and how they cared for him. 

I loved the love of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in this film, the last time you see it its sort of like his final "coming out" into the school. Which leads me to that dreaded Mary Elizabeth(Mae Whitman) relationship. I felt so bad for him for that entire part of the movie because you know he's just too nice to have done anything about how much he didn't want to be there. I couldn't even watch when they were playing "truth or dare" and he kissed Sam(Watson) instead of Mary Elizabeth(Whitman). You just knew it was coming and couldn't bear it. When this basically (and understandably) ruins his relationships with his friends the movie goes back to being unbelievably sad for this poor kid.

Poor, poor Patrick. Honestly, you sort of get the feeling from the beginning that something bad is going to happen with him and Brad, because they say from the beginning that if Brad's dad ever finds out, he'll kill him, but the thought of a father ACTUALLY beating the shit out of his son is so unreal to me that I sort of forgot about it until it actually happened. Then to be torn down infront of the whole school while Brad stands by? Horrible, so, so sad.  Thankfully Charlie redeems himself by saving Patrick from an insane fight of which he blacks out and remembers nothing. 

Finally, Charlie and Sam have that one perfect night together, where they both know exactly how the other feels. Unfortunately this is EXTREMELY short lived by the fact that Sam is heading off to College the next morning. At this point Charlie completely breaks and ends up in a mental hospital for the summer.

Obviously the saddest part is when you finally realize everything thats happened with "Aunt Helen" throughout the whole film basically boils down to the fact that she molested Charlie when he was a kid. The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that I felt as if it wasn't really fully explained in the film. I mean, I dont think it was necessary to have exact details, but if you weren't paying enough attention you could have easily missed the part where you actually find out. In the end Charlie gets help, and figures how exactly what he needs to survive in life. 

I loved every moment of this film. Its seriously the best movie I've seen in a very long time. I need to go buy the book tomorrow and just read. I will be a complete mess the whole time, but it will be a great experience. I want everyone in the world to watch this, because its so many different things that I think it has something for everyone. 

I'm giving this film a 10/10. I've never given this before, but I just can't get past how amazing this film is.

PS. Who the heck is he writing all those darn letters to???

Friday, 19 October 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Shining

IMDB: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd.
Written By: Stanley Kubrick(Screenplay), Stephen King(Novel)
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Release Date: 23 May 1980
Described by IMDB as: "A man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining". The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel's ghosts. After being convinced by a waiter's ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is 'The Shining'."

Well, its close to Halloween so I decided to bite the bullet and confront my scary movie fears head on. I was forced against my will to watch Paranormal Activity 3 last weekend, so I figured if I could live through that, I could probably handle a classic Kubrick like "The Shining," and boy am I glad I did.

Such a classic in every way. I mean give me a break, Jack Nicholson is unreal in this movie, although, the kid who plays Danny(Danny Lloyd) is almost equally as impressive. He's so creepy its unreal! I had no idea why this movie was called "The Shining' until I started watching, but its actually really cool. I liked that the kid has his "special ability," really adds to the story, which most scary movies do not do well enough. Unlike most other scary movies, at no point is this a happy family, I like that. From the beginning you know there's a troubled background; ie, Jack (Nicholson) "accidentally" hurting Danny (Lloyd), and his alcoholism. 

There are just so many creepy scenarios about this movie. The fact that they're alone, or that they're completely isolated in the middle of nowhere for so many months. The two twin dead girls who keep appearing in the beginning definitely don't help the creepiness. Or probably more importantly that the kid is possessed by some weird spirit thing. When he talks as Tony, his voice is so creepy! "REDRUM!" I can't imagine having the ability to do that when I was his age. Its really too bad that this was the only real movie he did, because I'm sure he would've become even more impressive with age. But clearly the creepiest part is Nicholson himself. I mean, when he finally loses his mind and goes completely apeshit? Amazing. I was waiting the whole movie for that classic "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" line, and when it came it was so good.

I feel like I would've been not really interested in ever being friends with Stanley Kubrick, because he has a seriously messed up mind. After watching A Clockwork Orange, and this movie, its unreal how much violence was in this man's mind. Although, in his defence, both were based on novels, so not entirely his fault. Also, both were AMAZING films, so I'm not complaining. I finally understand why this is such a classic. Finally a horror movie that is so much more then that. Its actually an interesting story where I was wondering what was going to happen the whole time.

This movie is great for anyone who loves movies, but scary movies in particular. Definitely a great halloween movie. No cheap scares in this one my friends! So, I give this one a 7.5/10. So damn good.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Blog Header

As I promised earlier I created a new header for my blog. I felt like it was serious need of a facelift and thats what it got. Even though you can clearly see it above I figured I'd post it anyways for future reference. I'm actually extremely happy with it. As you can see its a pretty similar

Here she is:

New Business Card Design

Well, since its been about 10 years since my last update, I thought I'd finally add some design to my blog, which seems legit since I'm a design student. I spent most of the night on a new business card concept. 
I'm actually quite impressed with my work on this one.

Take a look:

I'll try to be back with a new movie review ASAP. I've seen a lot of great ones lately so I'm sure I'll have a bunch all at once. I'll also have a bunch of photography posts in the next few weeks. Now that I'm back to school and a schedule, I promise I'll have more updates! Also, keep an eye out for a new look for the blog!