Sunday, 17 November 2013

My First Film

So as a big life change this year, I moved across the province do to a Film Production program. As part of that program, I just finished filming my first movie and I'm working on the post-production now. I still can't share too much information now but I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from the pre-production and production side of the film-making process. The film is called "Closed Doors." Check out the Instagram photos below!

From the Auditions

Shooting #1

Shooting #2

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

New Apartment

I don't believe I've mentioned this on here before, but in September I moved from St. John's, NL to Stephenville, NL to study film and video production. I thought it was about time to share some pictures of my new digs. This is my first attempt at decorating my own space and I'm actually quite proud! Hope you guys like it!

Living Room
Entertainment Centre
Records and Stuff
Just a Few Movies...
My Eiffel Tower Tea Pot
I love these! Got them at Homesense

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Kiwi Film Review Update

I decided that this blog was being over-run by my reviews, and I didn't want it to be just about that, so I decided to make a new blog, just for film reviews. I'm pretty excited about it, and I'm hoping to do some more updates. The tab above labeled "Kiwi Film Review"will bring you to the site, but here's the link! Enjoy!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Kiwi Film Review: Top 5 Tarantino Films

Top 5 Quentin Tarantino Films
Tarantino is one of the most unique directors of our generation, and probably in history. His films have incredible writing, and over the top violence, and although all of his films share the same theme of revenge, they are all incredibly different films every time. He has created some of the most impressive films of the last 20 years and is therefore one of my favorite directors, and here are my pics for his top 5 films.

5.) Kill Bill Vol. 1
The thing that I love about all of Tarantino's films is that they are all so satisfying because even though we teach our children that revenge is wrong, we just love to watch it happen, especially when it is as violent as possible. I put Kill Bill Vol. 1 on here because it is a great revenge flick, but I put it so low because there were elements that just didn't cater to me, which is fine because its not my film. I'm not a huge fan of martial arts movies so I was definitely more in it for the story line, which I don't feel comfortable divulging any information about because I honestly had no idea what it was about before watching. I went in knowing only that Uma Thurman was going to be wearing a yellow jumpsuit and she would be wielding a sword. I like that Tarantino makes strong women in a lot of his movies, this one is clearly following one in particular. Definitely check out this movie, even if its just so you can get to  Vol. 2, which I liked much better, but we'll get to that in a minute. This film is currently #151 on IMDB's Top 250 Films of All Time.

4.) Pulp Fiction
I am ashamed to say that I didn't fully enjoy this movie the first time I saw it, it wasn't until I saw it again about a month ago that I really fully enjoyed it. I think Tarantino is really able to showcase his witty writing in this film. There's definitely action, but most of the movie is just dialogue and most of the scenes have some great lines. I love that Quentin makes an appearance in this film, and its quite a substantial part. Lots of great actors in this one, and I gotta say, seeing John Travolta in this role was a bit of a surprise for me. I mean, I knew before watching that he was obviously IN the film, but its just weird to see him play a bit of a thug, probably because his more recent roles are more fresh in my mind.  I love the way he shoots the movie, how it's broken up between story lines and it jumps all over the place time-wise so you don't really know the point of what's happening until the very end. The fantastic cast also includes Uma Thurman, Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, ect. I'm probably the only person on the planet that had to watch it twice to love it, so definitely watch it, it's a classic and you don't really get Tarantino until you see this. Its #4 on IMDB's top 250 films of all-time. It was nominated for 7 Oscars, winning 1 for Best Writing for Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary.

3.) Kill Bill Vol. 2
I really loved this movie a lot more then the 1st. I almost didn't watch it because the first wasn't really my thing, but although this is technically the sequel to Vol. 1, it's more of an origin story, which I always enjoy, it is also able to fill in the rest of the gaps that Tarantino left open in the first one, anticipating a sequel. It ends up having a much better ending then I could've imagined, and the fight sequences are really impressive in this film. The scene with Michael Madsen was great, didn't see the snake coming, but my favourite was the one between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah. Watching her use her skills to rip out her eyeball with her hands in one quick motion was crazy. I liked all of the training sequences, which I was surprised by because like I said before, I'm not a huge fan of martial arts movies. You see a lot more of Bill in this one, and you finally fully grasp why she needs to kill him so badly. Once again, revenge is sweet.

2.) Inglourious Basterds
I believe this was the first Tarantino movie I ever saw, and after seeing his other ones I was convinced that this was his masterpiece and there was no way to make it any better than this. This film is currently #2 on my list, so obviously I was wrong, but don't let that take away from how utterly amazing this film is. I watched for probably the 7th time last night and I loved every second of it. He keeps making the revenge scenarios bigger and better. *SPOILER ALERT* I mean, how fantastic is it that you can write a movie where in the end, you kill Hitler, and all of his head guys? *spoiler over* There are so many interesting and hilarious characters in this film, but by far the best character is Col. Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz. He is easily the most detestable character in this movie, but you leave the film thinking "that guy I've never heard of or seen before just won an Oscar," and so he did. Brad Pitt plays Lt. Aldo Raines, also a very enthusiastic character with an incredibly thick Louisiana accent that makes the word "Bonjourno" one of the funniest lines in the film. The final scene of the movie contains Aldo and Landa and it is one of my favorites in the film, just fantastic, but any of the scenes containing these two characters is guaranteed to be golden. Tarantino has included another strong female character in this film with Schosanna played by Mélanie Laurent who is the person who truly gets to enact her revenge. Although I would have wanted a different ending for her in the film, her revenge is fully realized. Some other cast members include Michael Fassbender, Mike Myers, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, and many other impressive guys who played soldiers or other characters along the way. I adore this film, I watch it over and over again and still love it every time. It is #108 on IMDB's top 250 films of all-time list. It was nominated for 8 Oscars winning 1 for Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.

1.) Django Unchained
I absolutely adored this movie, my favorite movie of 2012 hands down. I sort of feel bad for Jamie Foxx, that even though he played the lead, and even though he was really fantastic in this, Christoph Waltz cannot help but, once again, steal the show with his unbelievable acting abilities. He is just so damn charismatic that even though you're not quite sure if he does some questionable things, you can't help but love him. His entrance is amazing and perfectly sets up his character and the rest of the film. Foxx and Waltz are not the only examples of great acting, Kerry Washington was great and plays Django's wife, and Samuel L. Jackson is also super impressive in this movie, but the other person who shared in stealing some of the spotlight in this movie was Leonardo DiCaprio. He was unreal in this character, and I think that the fact that he was not nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars is unbelievable. Christoph Waltz still should have won, but I think Leo should've gotten the recognition he deserved. Jonah Hill makes the most random cameo of all time, and Quentin Tarantino also makes an appearance having one of my favourite onscreen deaths of all time, absolutely hilarious. Like I said before, his revenge scenarios keep getting bigger and bigger, I thought the need for revenge couldn't get any bigger then the Holocaust but he managed to amp it up another level with slavery. The shoot-out scene at the end is fantastic, and there are so many other epic scenes in this film and so many fantastic lines. I don't know how many times in the last year I've heard someone say "You silver tongued devil, you." Like most of his films the violence is extreme so it's understandable that some people wouldn't enjoy it, but I was ecstatic to see Tarantino winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and that Django was nominated for Best Picture. It is #53 on IMDB's top 250 films of all-time. It was nominated for 5 Oscars winning 2, as I previously mentioned, Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz, and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Kiwi Film Review: Top 5 Spielberg Films

Top 5 Spielberg Films

I've decided to try and do a top 5 films from a specific director  or actor maybe once a week, not sure how long it will last but we'll see how it goes. Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential and easily one of the greatest directors of all time. His films span over 5 decades, and over every genre imaginable. He is one of the best fantasy/adventure directors out there, but is equally capable to perfect period piece films, especially biographies. I would watch any of his movies, and am happy to say I've seen at least most of his hits. So here they are, the top 5 Spielberg films. 

5.) Saving Private Ryan
     Really great movie, definitely one of the best war movies of all time. It follows a young Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, who is in the middle of a warzone in France during World War II. After it is discovered that all three of his brothers have been killed in action, and that Mrs. Ryan will be receiving all 3 telegrams on the same day, a group of soldiers go into France to try and bring him home to his mother so she doesn't have to suffer the loss of her final son. The members of the troop include Captain Miller(Tom Hanks), Sergeant Horvath(Tom Sizemore), Private Reiben(Edward Burns), Private Jackson(Barry Pepper), Private Mellish(Adam Goldberg) and Private Caparzo(Vin Diesel). By the time they even begin to look for Private Ryan(Damon) he is already listed as MIA(missing in action) so it is a pretty difficult task ahead of them jumping into a warzone towards the end of the war.. Other cast members include Giovanni RibisiJeremy DavisTed Danson, and Paul Giamatti. The film is #37 on IMDB's Top 250 movies, and was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning 5 including Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Director.

4.) Raiders of the Lost Ark
     Indiana Jones has a very important place in my heart, my childhood was surrounded by these movies, and they inspired my love of history, and my brief stint in the Archaeology field.  I really feel like this film has everything, and therefore I think just about everyone can see it. Harrison Ford is a total dreamboat, which makes it perfect for both guys and gals.  Great action throughout the entire film. The opening sequence is one of the most iconic of all time; the giant rolling bolder, the golden statue/sandbag switch, the falling stone door, and the quick grab for the iconic hat. It has bit of romance with Marion Ravenwood(Karen Allen) who he has a past with, and who actually shows up again in the 4th Indiana Jones film, and actually is quite funny in some parts. Its really clear that this film is from the 80s when it gets closer to the end and you see the hilarious special effects, ie. someone's face melting. The villain in this one is Dr. René Balloq(Paul Freeman) who is quite terrifying and really does look evil. Indy and his team are on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi's. Raiders was the first of 3 Indiana Jones movies in the 80's including Temple of Doom which was mostly meh, but still alright, and The Last Crusade which is probably just as good as Raiders and has Sean Connery playing Indy's dad. Great franchise, definitely check it out! It is #27 on IMDB's Top 250 Movies and it was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning 4 including Best Sound, Best Art & Set Direction, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

3.) E.T the Extra-Terrestrial
     I think it's safe to say that ET is Spielberg's most famous film, and probably the most famous family-adventure movie as well. It is a truly beautiful movie that deals not only with aliens, but friendship and family above all else. It is beautiful both visually and equally so emotionally which makes it an extremely enjoyable experience. It has some of the most recognizable scenes and quotes in film including the image above and the line "ET phone home." It is an enjoyable movie for children and adults alike. The film takes you on an emotional roller coaster and is quite exciting from beginning to end.  All of the cast is fantastic and absolutely charming including Henry Thomas who plays Elliot, Robert MacNaughton who plays Michael, Dee Wallace who plays Mary, and of course Drew Barrymore who plays the adorable Gertie. The filme was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 4 including Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects. Honestly, I'm pretty shocked it didn't win Best Picture since it is one of the most famous films of all time. If for some reason you haven't seen this yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it. It really is a fantastic film that people of all ages will enjoy.

2.) Jurassic Park
     I was never allowed to watch the entirety of these films when I was younger, but I had all of the books that came out with the movie and I adored them. I has seen bits and pieces of all of them over the years, but it wasn't until this year when it came out in IMAX 3D that I saw the full thing in one sitting. What an absolutely fantastic movie. Speilberg perfectly captures the suspense in the beginning. For the first 15-20 minutes there is no mention that there are living dinosaurs on the island and right before you actually see the dinosaurs for the first time there is a 3-5 minute scene where you see Ellie (Laura Dern)'s face when she sees them, and then Alan(Sam Neill)'s face when he sees them, and you still haven't seen them, and finally after seeing the awe and wonder on their faces for a solid few minutes you finally see this big gorgeous wide-frame landscape filled with  a dozen or so Brachiosaurus'. Probably one of my favourite scenes in the whole film, and I think that its a perfect example of the rest of the film. Its such a thriller and, in my opinion, actually a total masterpiece. I absolutely adored this movie, and it just expands my love of dinosaurs even more. Great cast including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldlum, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, and Bob Peck. The film won 3 Oscars including Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, and Best Visual Effects. It is #226 on IMDB's Top 250.

1.) Schindler's List
     I don't think there is a single thing I dislike about this film, it really is absolutely perfect. I feel like most people on earth know what this film is about, but if you are one of the 3 people on that planet that don't know, its about the Holocaust, more specifically about what it's like to live in the famously, most brutal concentration camp,  Auschwitz. It follows the all true life-stories of several different people, mostly Jews imprisoned in the camps, but also Oskar Schindler who is a German businessman who owns a factory during WWII who was an unlikely hero when he turned his factory into a safe refuge for Jews by hiring over a thousand jews to work in his factory and therefor not be put to death by the Nazi's. Spielberg perfectly captures the cruelty of the Nazi Party and the Holocaust and makes the risky, but correct, decision to make the film in black and white with the acception of on little girl in a red coat. As I said before its based on the true stories of many Jews who had been interviewed for the book with the same title. The acting in this film was absolutley phenomenal  Liam Neeson played Oskar Schindler, the hero, Ben Kingsley played his right-hand man, Itzhak Stern and Ralph Fiennes plays the villain Amon Goeth, the man in charge of running  Auschwitz. Some of the best acting you will ever see, honestly. Definitely deserves to be in the Top 10 films of all-time, it should be nowhere else. I think this film is easily Spielberg's masterpiece and it should be seen by all. It is #8 on IMDB's Top 250 Movies and was Nominated for 12 Oscars winning 7 for Best Original Score, Best Art & Set Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Wiring, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Honourable Mentions: 6.) Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 7.) A.I. Artificial Intelligence, 8.)  Lincoln, 9.) Minority Report, 10.) Jaws, The Color Purple, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade,  Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Munich, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Online Shopping Addiction: Birthday Edition

Well, its getting close to that time time of year again, MY BIRTHDAY! Even though its more then a month away, I've started ordering things now so it will get here in time since I am currently living in the middle of nowhere. I'm really excited about this years haul and I wanted to share. So, here we go!

First I'll start with my Red Canvas Classic Toms which can be found HERE

The next few things I bought from Top Shop

Festival Brow Sunglasses which you can find HERE
I recently bought some really great prescription sunglasses, but I wanted some nice ones that are not prescription. Hoping these work well.

Mary ID Satchel which can be found HERE
I really like the size because I can fit a notebook or even a textbook in there for school. Sadly slightly to small for a Macbook.

Cap Sleeve Flippy Tunic can be found HERE
I loved the shape of this immediately. I find these kinds of dresses are very flattering to all figures. I didn't get much colour in this splurge, but I didn't really find many nice patterns, and I really needed a LBD.

Bardot Tunic can be found HERE
Again, really enjoy the shape, and I love the colour.

Moto Vintage Fitted Western can be found HERE
I'm learning from my mistakes this time, it always seems like Jean Jackets come back into style every few years, which I think is good because they really are super cute. Finally found one that I really like. I'm normally not a fan of light denim but I really like it in a jacket.

Hope you enjoyed my splurge as much as I did. Cannot wait until July 22nd so I can open my package and put on some new clothes!!

New trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese and starting Leonardo DiCaprio.

Top 10 Films of 2012 Updated

Well, I did this while I was home for Christmas, but I hadn't seen a bunch of films that had come out while I was home, and I felt the definite need to update it because boy did things change. So, this week I have a bonus Top 10 list, I felt like it didn't really count as its own week since I've already done this list before. So here we go, the new and improved Top 10 Films of 2012.

10.) Zero Dark Thirty
Such a great film, so intense and although I have no idea how much of it actually happened, most of it seemed pretty realistic, and it seemed to have the general gist of what I knew to have happened. Even if 90% of it is BS its still a fantastic film, such a thriller and its definitely action-packed. Jessica Chastain was really great in this one, she's almost unrecognizable in every movie I've seen her in. Kathryn Bigelow directs the films who also directed The Hurt Locker, I think I might like this one more, but I don't really remember The Hurt Locker much despite the fact that it epically won the Oscar in 2010 against her ex-husband James Cameron who directed Avatar that year. The movie was nominated for 5 Oscars winning 1 for Best Sound Editing.
Check out my review for Zero Dark Thirty HERE

9.) Prometheus 
I absolutely loved this film. The special effects were phenomenal which luckily has been recognized by the Academy as it is nominated for Special Effects. I wish it had gotten a bit more as Michael Fassbender was amazing in it. The cinematography was also beautiful, the scenes when they're flying into the planet are stunning. The storyline was fantastic, the only thing I didn't like about it was that it didn't really answer the question that was the entire point of the film. I did however like that it left it pretty open for a sequel which I will definitely be watching the moment it is released. I watched this film early last year and watched it again when I got it for Christmas, and I realized again how fantastic it was. If you like action, thrillers or Sci-fi you'll enjoy this film. Ridley Scott really got it right in this one. Prometheus was nominated for 1 Oscar for Visual effects.
Check out my review for Prometheus HERE

8.) Skyfall
I've heard many people say that this is the best Bond film yet, I haven't seen them all, so I don't feel comfortable saying so, but its definitely the best of the ones I've seen. I actually watched it a couple of times in theaters and I think I may have enjoyed it even better the second time. Javier Bardem was insane in this movie, I think he should have been nominated for an Oscar for supporting actor actually. I thought he was much more memorable then say, Alan Arkin. I loved how vulnerable you see Bond(Daniel Craig) in this one, very unlike the early ones. It was M's(Judi Dench) shining moment for sure, she was in this one a lot more then she normally is. I also liked that this time it wasn't all about the gadgets, I really like how dialed down it was and how it really came down to man to man in a lot of instances. don't get me wrong there were some really great big action sequences, the scene with the subway train crashing through the floor was really great. Definitely watch this movie, no one could possibly regret it. Nominated for 5 Oscars and won 2 for Sound Editing and Best Original Song.
Check out my review for Skyfall HERE

7.) Silver Linings Playbook
I actually loved everything about this movie. It has a lot of really great plot lines and talks a lot about mental illness. Bradley Cooper was really amazing in this one, I have to say I was fairly surprised since his biggest hit was The Hangover, and that doesn't really require the highest of acting abilities, but he showed  a lot of emotion in this one and I felt like we were able to look deep into Bradley Cooper's soul. Jennifer Lawrence was even more impressive, but her performance was less surprising since she'd already had one Oscar nomination for Winter's Bone which was an amazing performance as well. Robert De Niro was absolutely heartwarming in this film, he plays a very different character then I've ever seen him play before. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars, including all 4 of the acting categories. Jennifer Lawrence  won 1 of those Oscars for Best Actress. Really great inspiring movie that everyone should see.  
Check out my review for Silver Linings Playbook HERE

6.) Perks of Being A Wallflower
I think this movie actually changed my life, if not it moved me deeply at the very least. The book is one of my favorites, so I was a little worried about how it would translate  but the author of the novel was the writer and director of the film, so its probably the best novel to film transfer I've ever seen.  There were a couple of things, mostly just character traits that I would have added, as well as what I thought was a pivotal scene between Charlie(Logan Lerman) and his sister(Nina Dobrev) that I thought really showed the strength of their relationship. I thought Emma Watson was really great as Sam, basically the complete opposite of Hermione which was refreshing. Ezra Miller was perfect as Patrick, I've seen him before in "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and I really think he's going to be an upcoming shining star. Again, enjoyed this film to the fullest. Go see it immediately. 
Check out my review for Perks of Being a Wallflower HERE

5.) Cloud Atlas
I saw this movie twice while it was in theatres, it was beautiful, inspiring, funny, heartbreaking, and heart warming all at the same time. It's a science fiction, history, comedy, futuristic  and a period piece film all in one. It touches on all kinds of issues including racism, homophobia, loss, corruption, and morality and spans over thousands of years while all somehow being able to be linked together. You really need to see it more then once to catch all of the little nuggets in there that connect everything. Even to see which characters all of the actors are playing in each world, you really need more then one viewing. The cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and Doona Bae. This film makes it clear that when you see an injustice, you cannot idly sit by, you must do something. I loved every second of this film and would recommend to anyone! 
Check out my review for Cloud Atlas HERE

4.) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
This film is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and part one of The Hobbit Trilogy. Martin Freeman was perfect as Bilbo in this film, absolutely loved him. The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous, and the film was surprisingly bright and colourful compared to the darker Lord of the Rings trilogy which was paralleled in the general feel of the film as well. It was quite up-beat and rather funny at times. Martin brings a really great wittiness to Bilbo and most of the Dwarf scenes are just goofy and hilarious. I think Peter Jackson took a bit of a risk with changing the general feeling of the film so drastically from the LOTR movies, but I think that it worked perfectly. Really interested in seeing what they do with the next two films. Some people might be worried that the film might be super dragged out because they're trying to stretch the small book into 3 films, but this one was jammed packed with action. I enjoyed it even more the second time. Can't wait to watch it a third. 
Check out my review for The Hobbit HERE

3.) Argo
Ben Affleck had a difficult feat to overcome when making this movie, which was trying to figure out how to make this film suspenseful despite the fact that everyone already knew how it was going to end, and I have to say that I really think that he did pulled it off. Pretty much from even the first few scenes when all of the people are in the American Embassy and you don't know if the protestors outside are going to be able to break in or not, all the way to the final scenes in the airport this film has you at the edge of your seat. I always forget just how great Affleck has been at directing. This his only his 3rd feature-length film (the first two being Gone Baby Gone and The Town) and it is totally clear that he has found his calling. The cast in this film was awesome. It included Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall and Scoot McNairy. It was nominated for 7 Oscars and won 3 of those including Best Film Editing, Best Writing, and Best Picture of the Year.
Check out my review for Argo HERE

2.) The Dark Knight Rises
After seeing this movie I understand what a trilogy is supposed to be. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were very different movies, with completely different villains so they were very separate identities, but The Dark Knight Rises manages to tie them all together so well, its almost as if it had just smashed them all together into one movie. Christopher Nolan is an absolute genius  and I think that its clear that these are the greatest super hero movies of all time. I find that in these films its hard to see it, but Christian Bale is an absolutely phenominal actor and I think he brings an incredible amount of strength to the character of Bruce Wayne. In this film Alfred(Michael Caine) makes some big descions and despite the fact that he isn't really in the last half of the movie, he really plays a pivotal role. Tom Hardy plays Bane in this film, and he is the definition of a villain, perfectly terrifying. Joseph Gordon Levitt is charming as always, but he plays a much more serious character in this film then he does in others. Marion Cotillard seems to be a favorite of Nolan's and I thought she was pretty good in the film, but I wouldn't say she necessarily stood out until closer to the end of the film. Anne Hathaway I thought was fantastic as Cat Woman, which I think pleasantly surprised many people. Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman play Fox and Gordon brilliantly once again. Really fantastic characters all around. Like I said, Nolan is a genius and if you have not seen this trilogy do it immediately. All three films are fantastic, but as a unit together they are a masterpiece  It is #52 on the IMDB Top 250 movies, but despite its fantastic response from the critics and audience, it wasn't nominate for a single Oscar. 
Check out my review for The Dark Knight Rises HERE

1.) Django Unchained 
I adored absolutely everything about this film.  Quentin Tarantino is the master of revenge films, and Django is no exception. I find with a lot of his films Tarantino makes it difficult for just anyone to enjoy, they can be quite confusing and violent for most people, ie. Kill Bill, but his last two films, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, have been revenge on the level that we can all automatically accept, whether about the Holocaust or Slavery. His cinematography has vastly improved over the years and I truly enjoy his films. Quentin has an incredibly unusual and mostly frightening mind, but when something like this comes out its all understandable and appreciated. Despite the level of violence in this film, it isn't senseless, and you are practically wanting to cheer him on at some points. Jamie Foxx plays Django who is a slave before the civil war who is freed by Dr. King Schultz(Christoph Waltz), a German dentist turned bounty hunter, but is forced to hunt down his wife, Broomhilda(Kerry Washington), who was recently purchased by Calvin Candie(Leonardo DiCaprio). Thrust into a world of slavery and slave-on-slave fighting, Django is forced to pretend to be everything he hates to get the chance of getting his wife. Things don't necessarily go as planned and a few extra drops of blood are shed along the way. This film is not for the faint of heart, but if you can accept the level of bloodshed from white people, watch it. A very smart and witty film, but also, oh so satisfying. The cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, James Remar, and a couple of interesting cameos. It is #51 on the IMDB Top 250 films and was nominated for 5 Oscars winning 2 for Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz, and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino. Just do yourself a favor and watch this film.
Check out my review for Django Unchained HERE

Thanks for checking out my list! Hopefully you enjoyed it, feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree, or what films you would have on your list on the comments!

Honourable Mentions: My original list included Lincoln, Looper, and Killing Them Softly which were all amazing films, and I wish desperately that I could also include Les Misérables which was also a TRULY amazing film, but I didn't realize how amazing the films that I had missed over Christmas would be. Other Honourable mentions include Ted, The Avengers, The Master, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Pitch Perfect. I also adored seeing Titanic in 3D, but its not really a new movie at all so I didn't think I should include it.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Top 10 Non-Cartoon Kids Movies

So its been more then a month since posting anything, but for me summer has come and I'm working full time. However, I got a new position this week that leave me more time on the computer so you'll probably and hopefully see more of me from now on. Most of these films I'd say are more directed towards 7-12 year olds. I'd say maybe Labyrinth, Space Jam and Matilda might be an exception for those. Its not that the rest aren't appropriate for them, but more that they might not like them as much. All of them are fantastic films but for this one I went 100% with my own personal experience and preference. Please enjoy this weeks list, Top 10 Non-Cartoon Kids Movies.

10.) The Muppets Treasure Island
I've never had a huge connection with The Muppets, but I thought a lot of people who feel this list would be unacceptable without it. I've only seen this film once or twice many, many years ago, but I remember it being enjoyable. I'm sort of using this to include all Muppets movies. Muppets A Christmas Carol is equally enjoyable. Every kid needs to know who the Muppets are, life just isn't the same without Kermit the Frog!

9.) The Princess Bride
"Inconceivable!" Such a fantastic movie! So many memorable moments, and quotable scenes. A great love story, thats equally hilarious with a fantastic cast. Robin Wright plays The Princess Bride,  who is currently engaged to Prince Humperdink, but is kidnapped  and held against her will in order to start a war. Cary Elwes plays Westley, her childhood sweetheart, who has returned as  Dread Pirate Roberts and must save The Princess Bride. Her kidnappers are a group of very interesting characters including Vizzini played by Wallace Shawn and Fezzik played by André the Giant. Of course there is also Inigo Montoya who is played by Mandy Patinkin, who is a young man who is seeking revenge from the six fingered man who killed his father years before. Rob Reiner directed this movie, and it is just so hilarious and sweet. The film is number 194 on the IMDB Top 250 films, and was nominated for an Oscar for best original song. My favorite quote is "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."

8.) Space Jam
Space Jam is an important one to my childhood, I mean, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny in one movie together? In this one The Looney Tunes meet up with what start out to be tiny aliens who are interested in bringing Michael Jordan back to their planet as part of a way to make money for their theme park. Bugs Bunny challenges them to a Basket Ball game with the prize being Michael Jordan. The aliens accept, but then find a way to take the height and skill from some NBA basketball players. In order to keep his freedom Michael Jordan is forced to teach the Looney Tunes how to play Basketball. Great movie, super funny, and overall enjoyable. Also, Bill freakin Murray has a cameo in there. Fantastic.

7.) Jumanji
I've always adored this movie. Robin Williams is just golden in kids movies, his over-the-top personality is perfect. Williams plays Alan Parish, a child who mysteriously vanishes after playing a unique board game, Jumanji, that he finds on his way home from his fathers factory. Decades later two young children move into the same house, and find the same board game in their attic. They also decide to play and a serious of crazy, an exciting events occur changing all of their lives forever. Besides Robin Williams, the cast also includes Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier and Bradley Pierce. Super thrilling movie, and I can't think of a single child who would not enjoy this film!

6.) A Little Princess
This is an incredibly sad movie but I absolutely love it. Dispite the sadness, it is incredibly uplifting, and really focuses on the importance of creativity and imagination in children. It follows a young girl, Sara, who is living in India with her father but when World War I breaks out he brings her to New York to attend the boarding school that her late mother attended when she was a child. Her first few months at the school were fairly rocky with the headmistress Miss Minchin, who was attempting stomp out her creativity and her belief that every little girl is a princess. Sara also befriends a young black girl who is working as a servant and living in the attic. Her life changes dramatically when her father goes missing in action, and is presumed dead. Honestly, just watch this movie. I don't think it'll peak the interest of children under 7 or 8 very much, but you never know. Really beautiful movie.

5.) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
I absolutely adored the Power Rangers as a child. I don't even know how many times I've seen this film. Perfect balance between action, fighting, story-line, and heart. I probably would've given anything for the chance to be a Power Ranger as a child. Ivan Ooze plays a fantastic villain who manages to brainwash all of the parents in Angel Grove leaving the children and the 6 rangers to save the day. I really liked this one because so much was left the the kids in the town to save their parents. Love this movie, I'll probably watch it another dozen times in my life for sure. 

4.) Matilda
This is probably one of the sweetest movies I've ever seen. Matilda is a young girl who happens to be a genius, and possibly has some magical abilities  which is good because her family is basically the worst family in history. She teaches herself to read and take care of herself and eventually goes to school where she meets some great people, and befriends her teacher, Miss Honey. Unfortunately she is unable to escape terrible people as her principle, Trunchbull, is the most terrifying woman of all time. Despite the fact that this description sounds sad, its actually a super upbeat, fun, and hilarious. Great movie for kids of all ages! Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Mara Wilson, and Paul Reubens make appearances in it.

3.) The NeverEnding Story
There are three of these movies, but the first is by far the best. They made the timeless mistake of recasting the main characters in both of sequels. Super uncool especially since in the first movie Bastian is such a sweet and cute kid. Bastian is a young boy who's life is grim when he is constantly bullied at school, but he finds comfort in reading. When he is stuck in the library during a thunder and lightning storm he finds The NeverEnding Story. The book takes him on a magical journey where he finds out that its up to him to save the people of Fantasia along with his friends Falkor, Atreyu, The Childlike Empress, and many others. Great fantasy movie, lots of action, and lots of heart. It is absolutely impossible not to fall in love with Bastian. If you do not give your child the gift of seeing this movie, you are an uncool person.

2.) Mighty Ducks
I love this movie. I don't think this film is for everyone, especially girls, or just people who don't like hockey in general. All of my friends when I was younger were boys so I got roped into watching films like this but boy am I glad I did. These movies are actually hilarious, and so much fun, all of the characters are great and generally there's pretty good message overall. Emilio Estevez plays Gordon Bombay, a selfish, obnoxious lawyer who is forced to coach a kids hockey team after he is sentenced to do community service for drunk-driving. He himself was once an amazing hockey player before choking  on the game-winning goal of a championship game. He teaches the boys how to play hockey, and they teach him to  to not be such a douche. Together they learn how to play as a team and work together to become The Mighty Ducks.

1.) Free Willy
Above all else, this is probably the most important movie to my entire childhood. I love every single second of this movie I've seen it more times then I can possibly count, probably close to 100 times at this point. Jesse is a troubled kid who has been passed around to different foster homes for most of his life after his mother left him to live on his own, subsequently he finds himself in trouble with the law, and after vandalizing the local marina, and is forced to spend his summer fixing his mistakes and working with Willy, the killer whale. When he finds out that the owners of the marina plan to kill Willy, he and his new family, Annie and Glen, and his new friends, Rae and Randolph, risk everything to try and free him. Such a fun, and exciting movie, but also an incredibly heartwarming film. The cast includes Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson, Michael Madsen, and Michael Ironside. This film definitely started my love of animals, especially in the ocean. Killer whales are truly amazing animals, and this is a truly amazing film.

Honourable Mentions: Labyrinth, Fly Away Home, Homeward Bound, Flubber, The Borrowers, Casper, The Sandlot, Angels in the Outfield, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Warriors of Virtue, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Goonies, 101 Dalmatians, Nanny McPhee, Indian in the Cupboard, Willow, Simon Birch.