Sunday, October 24, 2010

Helly's Video View

Firstly, I must sincerely apologise for the tardiness of this post and to make up for it I'm going to do a video view extravaganza! The following is going to be mini reviews of the four films I have watched in the last two weeks, so I hope you enjoy.


Written by John Favreau, it is a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences from when he was first starting out in LA, but this becomes more of a backdrop of the film and we soon discover that the film's larger theme is about relationships and dealing with break ups.

It stars Vince Vaughn in the performance that defined his career and he doesn't miss a beat as the suave,slightly obnoxious, swingin' bachelor. John Favreau also does a great job and in many ways his poignant performance is what gives the film heart.

This film has some truly great moments including the scene with John Favreau leaving the multiple answering machine messages, it's so painfully desperate that you're heart just goes out to the poor guy.  The  pep talk that Vince Vaughn gives Favreau when he's trying to help him pick up women is truly hilarious, so hilarious in fact that you just have to watch it- I also love the swing dance number with Heather Graham towards to the end, they have a sizzling chemistry which is quite unexpected.

The film has a very raw quality and you can definitely tell that it has influenced other films and possibly even TV shows such as Entourage. The film is insanely quotable, the two most famous quotes probably being 'You're so money' and 'Vegas baby Vegas!'. It's a very enjoyable, rough little gem of a movie.

The Village

This film from M. Night Shymalan seems to divide audiences, people either love it or hate it, no one seems to sit in the middle which is why I was very keen to see it. In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I had somehow already heard what the 'twist' was but I only had a vague idea and I tried to just watch the movie unfold and not think too far ahead.

I think that some of the contempt that people feel towards this film comes from the fact that it was marketed entirely the wrong way.  People thought they were in store for a spine tingling thriller and hence were disappointed when this didn't turn out to be the case. The film is still quite suspenseful but for me I would classify this film as more of an un-conventional love story over anything else.

Bryce Dallas Howard gives an incredible performance as the heroine Ivy Walker. Her blindness may seem like just a gimmick at first but Howard's charm and commitment to the role make for a fully realised and unique character. Joaquin Phoenix has surprisingly little screen time but really manages to establish his character in the time he has been given and the film really needs that as the love story is what everything hinges on.

I appreciated this film's truly original concept and it's enthralling performances and think that it gets far too much negative criticism.

A Fish Called Wanda 

This is another one pulled from my vault of all time favourite movies and I had the pleasure of re-visiting it last week. As you may have worked out it seems that most of my 'all time favourite movies' tend to be fairly light hearted comedies and I guess the reason for this is that they tend to be the most re-watchable as they're just so much fun! This film echoes that sentiment exactly as I've watched it countless times ever since I was a youngster (which I realise now might not have been entirely appropriate!) and it still manages to make me laugh every time.

Written by and starring John Cleese, this film retains that Monty Python brand of silly, British humour.  The comedy is quite big and may not be everyone's cup of tea but I think what I like most about this film is that it doesn't take itself seriously and acknowledges it's own ridiculousness (the text at the end on the future of all the characters is the perfect example of this.)

In terms of characters you have John Cleese as the uptight barrister, Jamie Lee Curtis as the scheming seductress, Michael Palin as the stuttering animal rights activist and Kevin Kline as the Nietzche spouting former CIA agent. They're all thrown in the pot to simmer together and the end result is a wonderful comedic stew! Kevin Kline is the real stand out and his hilarious performance as the buffoon-ish Otto won him an academy award. My favourite scene in the entire movie has to be when Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) finally snaps and unleashes a tirade upon Otto (Kevin Kline) about what an absolute idiot he is.

So if you're a fan of British comedy and you haven't seen this movie than it's about time you gave it a look! Just don't call me stupid...

Remember Me

Okay, so I know at this point you're probably wondering why I bothered with what looks like a C grade teen movie designed for 'Twi-hards' but me and this Cat I know had been informed that it was actually fairly decent so I thought I would at least give it a shot.

We had to stop the movie half way through and watched the rest another day. At the half way point I found that the movie was far from perfect but still quite a promising drama with a great soundtrack. I'm kind of wishing that I'd just left it there as the second part of the film is where things take an overly dramatic turn and there is quite a bizarre plot twist . The problem is that up until this point the film had just been an intimate little drama and the plot twist that happens is so epic that it hasn't earned it and it feels completely out of place. There is a Ghandi quote which is repeated in the film which is 'Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it' so I think that's clearly what they were going for in regards to the plot twist and I understand the sentiment but think it could have been done is a much more subtle way.

The two leads (Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin) far surpassed my expectations and have fantastic chemistry, without which the film would have been much less successful. Robert Pattinson was actually fairly believable as the confused yet endearing Tyler, but at points he became overly dramatic (which I think was more a fault of the writing but he could have easily reigned it in a little.) Emilie de Ravin is enchanting as the impetuous Ally and has an understated sexiness. I liked the character quirk of her eating her dessert before her main course to show that she wants to live life to the fullest and not deprive herself of anything but I thought there could have been more examples of this in her character. Pierce Brosnan is laughably bad as the cold, work-a-holic father and I can't fathom why anyone would cast someone so identifiably British (he was James Bond for cripes sake) in a role that requires them to do a Brooklyn accent!

This film still has more merit than I judged it would from the outset and if nothing else I've learnt from this film to not be such an elitist and to give anything a go.


  1. When I saw that you reviewed The Village, I was afraid that you would blindly bag it out - thanks for respecting it. I was blown away when I saw it (probably cuz I never knew of the 'twist', or that it even existed)

  2. I still can't figure out why they cast Pierce Brosnan! A thousand people could have played that role; a thousand people that don't have an inconcealable British accent.

    Brilliantly written!
    Agree on all films; no debating here ;)