365 day photo challenge December 18

Watched The Hobbit. In 3D and 48fps – beautiful.

I can’t write a big review because I am tapping this out with a stylus on my phone so I will be concise. Andy Serkis’ Gollum/Smeagol steals the show and he needs to win an award and finally get some recognition. The effects are fabulous, New Zealand looks gorgeous and Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo.

The tone is a lot lighter than LotR and there are a couple of bits that were a bit cheesy but it IS a children’s book and a family movie.

The 48fps did occasionally give it a TV vibe but I saw no rubber noses or stuck on beards as one “heartbroken” (read over-dramatic) critic moaned about. It was a thoroughly enjoyable film and, even though I was angry about the money grabbing tactic of turning one book into a trilogy, I am looking forward to the next two and some Smaug!

Terminator Salvation

All I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t a repeat of Terminator 3.*
Terminator Salvation is set in the future – Judgement Day has not been stopped and those who are left are trying to survive either by just hiding out or fighting back in the resistance. John Connor (Christian Bale *yay*) is now an adult and though he is not the leader he is highly respected by those that believe he is their saviour. Also in this film is the teenage Kyle Reece (who is also Chekov from the new Star Trek movie) – John’s father. He is joined by Star a mute child, and a man named Marcus who I will not say much more about though if you are like me you probably ruined his secret for yourself months before the movie came out.
Skynet has gone crazy and now has, among other things, eel-like terminators in the water, planes and huge robots who collect humans. At the point of time in the movie they are working on mass producing the Arnold-era T800s.
The action and effects were great and they really tried to keep the fans happy – look out for an “I’ll be back”, an Arnold (CGI) cameo and the 80s Sarah Connor photo that Kyle Reece clings to in The Terminator. The whole movie just felt like a proper Terminator, the kind we were all hoping for after T2. It was well acted, the storyline was fab and the sets and action kicked arse.
My only complaint was the very end – why did John agree to Marcus’ proposal so quickly? My fingers are crossed that he will return in the mooted next episode seeing as he managed to have his heart restarted in this one – (sorry if I spoiled).
All in all one great movie and I hope that this is the shape of Terminator’s to come.
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*The lady Terminator can grow bigger boobs, has to analyze blood by licking it to determine she has killed the correct person – what’s wrong with facial recognition? There are too many jokey bits, John Connor is suddenly sandy blonde. That was only the first 20 minutes of straight to video style that I could bear watching again, I will try to give it another go when I have perhaps forgotten the awesomeness that was Salvation.

Cry-Baby

At the weekend I bought a Cry-Baby T-shirt as it was only $15 and had the fabulous Johnny Depp on it. I felt a bit silly buying it having not actually seen Cry-Baby and I usually scorn people who do exactly as I did. So, I vowed to not wear the t-shirt until I had seen the movie.
Cry-Baby is a John Waters film – I so loved his Hairspray that I refused to pay money to watch the remake and watched it when it happened to be on TV (it was actually pretty good but will NEVER take the place of the original for my sister and I). This film has the same vibe as Hairspray – it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s a musical set in Baltimore, it’s about teenage rebellion and Ricki Lake is in it!
I’m sure the 50s had its bad points but going by movies such as Grease and Cry-Baby it looks pretty damn fun. Cry-Baby is the nickname of Johhny Depp’s character Wade Walker. He’s known as Cry-Baby as he is able to shed one single tear. This is handy to get the ladies, but we also learn that this in not the only reason for the single tear. Cry-Baby steals the heart of Allison when he cries a single tear while getting his polio jab. This meeting is all it takes for them both to fall head over heels in love. That and him feeling her up in a field.
Cry-Baby and his gang are “Drapes” who are the opposite of Squares. While Squares like to attend Charm School and sing about Mr Sandman Drapes wear tight pants, drive hot rods and pash (with lots of tongue). Naughty Drapes. Baldwin, Allison’s boyfriend and king Square leads his friend’s to Cry-Baby’s family home where they cause a huge fight and set fire to Cry-Baby’s motorbike.
Cry-Baby is sent to The Maryland Training School for Boys, where he spends his time making licence plates and pining for Allison. Allison sits at home crying and drinking her tears (I almost gagged). With the help of Cry-Baby’s gang Allison sings for his release and they all live happily ever after.
That’s about how quickly the movie wraps it up too. Allison’s grandma goes from a diatribe against Drapes to advising Allison to follow her heart in the space of about 20 minutes.
The brief scene at the orphanage where the children are in glass cases holding placards – “I’m cute” and showing how well they do chores is fantastic. The music was great and the costumes and hairstyles were fabulous but thanks to Katy Perry I shan’t be rushing out to copy.
I was watching the special features and they were talking about the joke where Wanda’s mum drops an f-bomb. The first two are bleeped out and then the third one is not. John Waters said it was because he was contracted to make the film a PG-13 and only 1 f-bomb is allowed. He was hoping that in director’s cut that the bleeps would be taken out. Personally I think the joke works better how it is currently.
While in prison Cry-Baby gets a teardrop tattoo under his eye. Next time you see a gangsta with a tear drop tattoo you should think – are they really a murderer or just a big fan of Cry-Baby?
Overall it was a fun movie but not on the level of classic for me; it was a little too zany for its own good in parts (I’m talking about you iron lung lady).

Constantine

Yet another movie based on a comic book that I have never read.  (I was a Beano girl but I doubt the movie would be very good if they made one).
John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is a chain-smoking exorcist, who has died and come back to life.  He is trying to rid the world of demons in an effort to buy his way into heaven, where he is not allowed to go because he committed suicide. 
The world must be a very scary place if you believe in demons.  Thank goodness for Catholicism’s warped view of the world, without it we would be without so many movies – The Exorcist 1-3, Stigmata, End of Days
Anyway, Constantine gets involved with a woman who is convinced that her twin was brain-washed into jumping off a roof.  He takes a few trips to hell and discovers that sure enough she is there in hell, where she shouldn’t have gone because she was a good Catholic who would never kill herself (despite being in a mental institute).  I don’t remember much else apart from Gavin Rossdale from Bush looking rather camp as a half-breed demon.  It was a bit boring you see and I fell asleep. 
What I did see was alright, the demons were scary looking enough and the effects were pretty good.  Hell would be an annoying place if it was as windy as they made it in the movie.  I don’t like the wind.

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Darkness

I was looking forward to this movie – it came recommended by a guy at work who said his girlfriend had to sleep with the light on after watching it.  It also shares its name (almost) with a very excellent band, how could you go wrong?
Well, you could go wrong in many ways.
For a start, the film was pretty much in darkness, (I know it is the name so it is to be expected but it got very annoying after a while – mainly because people kept moaning that squinting at the screen was hurting their eyes).  The plot was not too bad, there had been a satanic ritual performed at the house where the family live which is why it is haunted.  The dad is losing his mind and the mum is rather cold and unfeeling towards her son who keeps waking up covered in bruises etc.  There was a pretty good twist but what with the half black screen and the baffling accent of the Grandad, it was hard to follow.  And who that is in the car at the end is anybody’s guess.  It was a bit cliched though – spooky children, drawings, scary old house – and the acting was not outstanding.  There were a couple of creepy bits but nothing to wee my pants over.  If I had actually been able to hear over the complaining and cries of “What’s going on?” and “Who’s that?” I may have found it scarier, but I doubt it.
If you want a good scary film go for The Ring or Saw, one that you can see and follow really adds to the suspense.

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Bulletproof

This movie came highly recommended, but I am not sure why.  I am not really an Adam Sandler fan though, apart from in 50 First Dates where he departs from his usual angry man routine.
Damon Wayans is an undercover cop and Adam Sandler is the guy he pretended to be friends with for a year in order to bust him.  Naturally Sandler is rather angry about this betrayal.  Cue angry shouting and silly facials from the king of variety. 
They end up on the run and of course they become friends again after a big misunderstanding (involving Sandler shooting Wayans in the head – he survives thus he is Bulletproof). 
Need I go on?  You will work out what is going to happen if you do watch it anyway.
When our DVD player kept pausing (hey it was $80 from the supermarket OK?) it was commented that the player knew the film was boring and was refusing to play it.

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Hotel Rwanda

Like I’ve said before, Sunday night is movie night.  This week we departed from the usual comedy and horror route and went with something serious.  Libby said she would only recommend this movie to someone who “wanted to bawl their eyes out for two hours.”  She’s not far wrong.
The film, a true story, is set in 1994 when the Hutu and Tutsi’s began a bloody civil war.  The main character is Paul who works in a fancy hotel.  His wife is a Tutsi and her race is the target of the Hutu who intend to kill every single one.  With the UN pulling out and the world deserting them, Paul ends up hiding about 1000 Tutsi’s inside the hotel.
This is not a pleasant film to watch, I sat there full of dread waiting for the next horrible thing to happen.  There is one scene that is even more horrifying when you remember that it really happened; Paul and Gregoire are driving through fog along a very bumpy road.   The bumps turn out not to be the result of poor maintenance but  hundreds of bodies littering the road. 
The acting is fantastic – I am regularly surprised by the talent of child actors, and this movie was another where the children we very believable.    I don’t really know what else to say about it, no wonder it was a hit at the film festivals. This was an excellent film all round, I have not a single complaint with it.

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Sky High

Mr Pigalina’s cousin works for a radio station so yesterday we got to go to the premiere of Sky High for free.  Yay!  We took our niece Nesara (who you will find looking ever so stylish by clicking here) in one of our rare acts of good aunty and uncle-ieness.  We then deposited her safely back home loaded with sugar.  (She was so hyper that she bit a hole in a large inflatable Chupa-Chup in a frenzied attempt to eat it).

But I digress, on with the review.
The film is set in a super-hero high school, where there are two streams, you are either a hero or a side-kick depending on your power.  Will is the son of the two best super-heroes in the world.  Everyone expects him to be fantastic, the only thing is, he has no powers.  He is put into the side-kick stream.  Of course, this being a high school movie, there are love interests, fall outs with best friends, enemies are made and won over and a dance.  However, even though you know what is going to happen it is still a highly enjoyable film.  There are some excellent effects too.  It also had some pretty good jokes.
I was very pleased to see that Tears for Fears (though I am not sure if it was them singing – their song anyway) and Spandau Ballet are featured on the soundtrack. 
I give this a pigs4

Nesara gave it 5outof5 5 fingers out of 5.