Sunday, April 11, 2010

Helly's Film Take and Video View

Hey Guys! Welcome to my new weekly film segment. I won't technically be 'reviewing' films as that implies some sort of rating system and is usually urging you to see a film or not see it. I will simply be giving my opinion of a film and analysing it. Feel free to post your opinion also! The blog will always fall into one of these categories- 'Helly's Film Take' or 'Helly's Video View'. Film Take is where I will talk about a film currently playing in a cinema. Video View will be for movies I've recently watched on dvd (not necessarily current.) I tend to be fairly succinct in what I say, so I may sometimes just write a few paragraphs, not an entire essay. As this is the first edition it will be a double feature, I hope you enjoy!

How to Train Your Dragon

It definitely is no secret now that the realm of animation is not strictly for kids (despite what some of my pretentious actor friends might say.) Pixar seems to have dominated when it comes to animated film in the last few years but this picture shows that Dream Works are potentially becoming serious competition for Pixar.

I hadn't heard of Dragon until Lee suggested we see it the other week. I caught a glimpse of the poster on the way in and gave Lee a sceptical look. But I then sat back and was treated to two hours of viking verility! (Not sure if that really makes sense but I love alliteration he he.) What I like most about this film (as with last years Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs number 5 on my top 10 list for those of you playing at home), is the new transition that animated films making by employing the 'anti-hero'. A character who does not have the stereotypical qualities of a hero (eg. Good looks, bulging biceps,etc.) and who is often an outcast or underdog is the one who inevitably ends up saving the day. This not only makes them a more interesting hero, but enriches the plot overall and sends a much better message to children. It sounds a bit trite I know but I think that teaching kids about the value of individuality and difference is a good thing. This reminds me of a line that Glinda the good witch of the North says in The Wizard of Oz, when she informs Dorothy that '...only bad witches are ugly'. What kind of message is that sending?! But I digress...

All the characters were perfectly matched to the actors who voiced them including Jay Bucharel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristin Wig to name a few. Having watched Jay Bucharel in Undeclared which was made ten years ago, it's great to see that his career is taking of as I particularly like his brand of awkward comedy.

The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is reminiscent of relationships such as Elliot and E.T. and Hogart and the Iron Giant. A misunderstood creature is discovered by a child and a sweet, poignant friendship ensues. All in all a great movie and I know I said that the purpose of this blog wasn't to persuade you to see films but...SEE IT!

Mulholland Drive

This is a movie I have been hearing about for a while and because it was placed in lots of 'top 10 films of the decade' lists last year, I thought I should probably check it out.

Now I hate it when people use the the term 'over rated' when they're referring to a film (or any piece of art for that matter). As personally I believe that your opinion should be just that YOUR opinion and not based on what the general public thinks. So I won't say that Mulholland Drive is over rated but rather I feel that people think they will appear stupid or ignorant if they admit that they didn't really like it. An Emperor's new clothes kind of deal.

I don't want to just throw my hands up in the air and say 'I don't get it' but I honestly don't know if you can classify that footage as a movie in the conventional sense. In the beginning I thought it was a little strange but that everything would probably make more sense at the end (like Memento), but I had no such luck. Forty five minutes from the end the movie descended into total and utter madness. It may sound harsh to equate it to a student film, but that's exactly what it reminded me of. Just a collection of images and concepts, totally unrelated to each other, strung together in order to make people believe that they are viewing something profound. A car crash, Crying over you being sung in a creepy theatre in Spanish, a 1960's movie set and some lesbianism thrown in there for good measure.

A positive I will say about the film ( as I generally like to be a glass half full kind of gal) is that there is a scene in the movie which taught me a lot about acting. Naomi Watts' character is auditioning for a really badly written suspense/thriller movie. In an earlier scene she is rehearsing for the audition in the way that the script would suggest that the scene should be played and it's terrible. When she goes in for the audition, she is told to play the scene in a really close proximity to the other actor and this changes the entire context of the scene. The dialogue is still terrible, but the dynamics and subtext in the scene transform into something captivating. It was a perfect acting example of thinking outside the box and not going for the most obvious choice. So that is something that will definitely stay with me from this film.

I know that this film is beloved by many so please post your comments and tell me the reasons why I am totally wrong about this film!



  1. I like this section, another cool addition in the BOTM universe.

    Regarding Mulholland Drive, I think the fact that you didn't "get it" or found that it was incoherent is a good thing, because anyone walking away from that movie saying that they figured it out is up themselves. I say this because I studied it in Uni, and even my professor confessed that he also didn't "get it" upon an initial viewing. Even Lynch himself has never really explained the true meaning of the film - I think so that it leaves it up to the viewer to use their brains and have a good ole think.

    I've thought long and hard about this movie, and still don't understand it. Obviously I've studied it, so I could quote the themes that my professor told me and say that these are what Lynch was going for; however that would be very pompous of me.

    To be honest, I'm not really sure why I love this movie. It may just be because I've studied it and heard someone talk about it so passionately - or it could be that David Lynch's movies are so attractive to me; they are like a dream.

    If you want to read an essay by my Professor from Uni, the link is below. Maybe have a read of that, watch it again, and see if your mind is changed. Cool article, keep them coming!

    Sinnerbrink on Lynch

  2. Dragon was an awesome movie. Not quite Pixar but still very entertaining. The 3D was really impressive too

    I havnt seen Mullholland Drive though, so no comment there

  3. I love How To Train Your Dragon and have seen Mulholland Drive once years ago, i don't really remember much but i think i really liked it

  4. Nice write Helly. Though I have seen neither, you allowed me to read your article and give nothing away... nice.

    Oh - Sequel Talk: Robin Hood 2; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; and an Odd Mulholland Drive Rumor | /film

  5. Thanks guys! Yeah my I will always try to not give anything away, but should I be in a situation where I have to, I will give you fair warning! Stay tuned next week for helly's film take of- KICK ASS!

  6. Not interested. Too much swearing and violence. I wont be seeing it.

  7. geez enough with the kids movies already