Catch Me If You Can (2002) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

I had a privilege to take a part to Table 9 Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Reviews and I wrote about Catch Me If You Can by Steven Spielberg. Thank you very much for the opportunity!

Cinema Parrot Disco

Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Satu of Fairytale Pictures. Thanks for the review, Satu! :-) Now let’s see what she thought of Catch Me If You Can, IMDB rank 240 out of 250…

There are another 16 movies available if anyone wants to do a guest review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos at the top of any of these guest reviews.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

I originally wrote this review/summary for my scriptwriting course, so there’s more plot details that I usually include but change is good, right? I also added some points. Hope you enjoy reading…

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The Oscars Reviews: Joy & Creed

Both of these films only got one nomination each but they’re still worth of reviews, I think, so here we go.Joyfilmposter

JOY (2015)

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by David O. Russell & Annie Mumolo

Starring Jennifer Lawrence(, Robert De Niro, Isabella Rosselini, Bradley Cooper, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez & Elisabeth Röhm)

Synopsis (from IMDb): “Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.”

As you guess it, Joy is actually one woman’s show. Jennifer Lawrence is again amazing. If she continues working like that, making these amazing characters so alive and true, she’ll have unbelievable career ahead of her. She’s already doing more than fine and the part of Joy (loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of Miracle Mop) is again bona fide example of her capabilities. She also again was nominated for an Oscar, fourth time in five years. Not bad for someone who’s only 25 years old.


Other critics have been saying that the story of Joy is not that engaging and there’s not much to tell, that it’s lacking integrity. It also holds only 6.7 GPA in IMDb at the moment. I’m not really sure why. I found Joy totally enjoyable. And I was invested in it in a way that I very much wanted to strangle people in Joy’s life. One can only hope that those kind of characters were not around in real Joy’s life. Joy’s family is portrayed comically, maybe that’s one of the reasons that some are thinking that it’s lacking in genuineness, I don’t know. I found it refreshing take on them and cinematography supports the comic way of telling the story as does the script. I liked it.


Even though Joy is Lawrence’s show, other actors are again good like always in David O. Russell’s films. They might not be extraordinary like they were in The Fighter or in Silver Linings Playbook but they are still good. I especially was infuriated by Robert De Niro’s Dad and totally frustrated by Virginia Madsen’s Mom. The characters are a bit caricatures but I thought it worked, they made them even more insufferable. I also liked a lot how the film looked, settings and especially costumes and hair-styling. All in all, solid film but David O. Russell has made better ones.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

P.S. I also enjoyed the soundtrack like always do when it comes to Russell’s films.


CREED (2015)

Directed by Ryan Coogler

Written by Ryan Coogler & Aaron Covington

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone & Tessa Thompson

Synopsis: “The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.”

Creed is also nominated for one Oscar and that’s in supporting actor category for Sylvester Stallone and I don’t know what to think of that. Sure, he’s better than he has been maybe since original Rocky but he’s really not THAT good. But unfortunately it seems at the moment he’ll get the trophy for sentimental reasons. But that is for sure not deserved because of his role in this film. And it’s kind of sad that he’s the only one nominated because both, Michael B. Jordan as Adonis and Tessa Thompson as his downstairs neighbour are both better. I especially appreciated the latter, she did extremely nice job in this one. I predict big things for her in the future, that girl knows her stuff. The best scenes in Creed were between her and Michael B. Jordan and basically quite irrelevant to the story.


And that brings me to the thing that made me want crawl under my seat in second-hand embarrassment; the screenplay, especially the dialogue. It was SO uneven. So, so uneven that from time to time it was hard to watch and no wonder it was sometimes hard for Jordan to deliver those lines genuinely as they were so cheesy. Ugh. The story also dragged too long, I was bored before the final show-down. Good things about it, it was somewhat true to the original and in this case it was a good thing and it had small moments of honesty and few nice jokes. But in general, no.

Sylvester-StalloneBetter things in Creed: like said, Jordan and especially Thompson were good. I liked the music but it was the same like in all movies like this. And the last fight worked for me but there was nothing special in it.

Maybe I should just give up and admit myself that movies about boxing are not for me. It’s ridiculous sport with all this machismo that I find so amusing and embarrassing. And it’s OK if Stallone wins, he’s kind of sympathetic but it should go to Rylance from Bridge of Spies or Bale from The Big Short.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)

January films watched

Hello there!

I decided I will make monthly updates to my movie lists: 50/50 and IMDb Top-250 everlasting challenge.


As  I mentioned in my review of 2015, I decided I will in reality challenge myself to read 12 books this year (I read eight the last, so it shouldn’t be too bad) and watch 150 films. And as mentioned on the page for 50/50, I will also continue my TV Challenge (although I seem to get lost all the time as I start watching something that is not on that list…).

This year actually started really well when it comes to movies. I watched total of 34 films. Yes, that many. I didn’t have much life in January. But it should change in a week or so, let’s see what kind of an effect it’ll have to my watching habits. I also saw 10 films in cinemas. A lot, huh? But it’s the Oscars time, so… I still need to review Creed, Joy, The Revenant and Spotlight before the gala and I need to watch at least Room and Brooklyn.


Most of the films I saw in January were good or better or at least OK. Few turkeys like Damsels in Distress or Varsity Blues. Yeah, I lost few hours of my life for those ones but then again, I gave four or more stars to 14 films out of 34, I think that’s a lot! So good month indeed. The best of the bunch being Spotlight. Review coming later! The whole list you can see on the page.

Last year I managed to watch only two (!) films from IMDb’s list and I promised I’ll do better this year as most of those films are really good! And I started my year strongly as I watched Spirited Away that was on the list at number 43 when I froze it and also Pan’s Labyrinth on the same day (the 1st of Jan) that is #105. Btw, someone really should have warned me how awful that movie is. I mean how harsh, mean, sad, horrible (and yes, beautiful and so good) it is. It is not the film you should be watching when having a New Year’s hangover… I also added those three films that are now in Top-250 but weren’t then when I cemented my list. I want to watch them anyway and for sure will watch one of them, as that is Room, in this month.


So far so good.

What you’ve been watching in 2016? Any recommendations that I definitely should watch?

The Oscars Reviews: The Danish Girl & Carol

In the last post it was two stories of guys, this time it’s time for the girls.

thedanishgirlposterThe Danish Girl (2015)

Directed by Tom Hooper

Written by Lucinda Coxon, the book by David Ebershoff

Starring Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander

Synopsis: “A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.”

The Danish Girl is beautiful. “Beautiful” is the word that describes it perfectly, this kind of distantly beautiful, a film you admire and can see its beauty but can’t really feel its warmth or sadness. The Danish Girl doesn’t really move you in the way, I think, it should. But then again, it’s really well-made and has two spectacular performances in the centre of it.

The Danish Girl is nominated for four Oscars; the best performance by actor in a leading role, the best performance by an actress in a supporting role, the best costume design and the best production design. And it deserves to be nominated in all of them. The film is very feminine and thus the costumes are also very feminine, they flow and dance around our characters, you could even say that the costumes are characters themselves as they are huge part of the transformation that our main character goes through. And as I said, The Danish Girl is beautiful and that is lavishly showed in production design. A viewer’s eyes can rest on the screen, it’s so very nice to look at. I also enjoyed how the film is shot, how the light has been used to highlight the features of faces or even figures.


The best parts in The Danish Girl are still the performances of Eddie Redmayne and especially Alicia Vikander. Redmayne greatly achieves to portrait the torture Lily is going inside and his looks are just perfect for the part. And as we should already know, he’s very talented actor. But the find here (and in Ex Machina also) is Alicia Vikander, she’s astonishing and should win the Oscar for her performance. It’ll be robbed if she doesn’t. She was already robbed by putting her in supporting when her role is obviously leading lady. While Redmayne’s character is a bit off-putting in her selfishness, Vikander’s Gerda is more rooted, more real, more emotional of those two. It’s easier to understand her suffering and the reactions she gives in situations. If that story is true, how that incredible woman took his husband’s change, I have nothing but admiration towards her. What a woman!

While The Danish Girl is too distant for my taste, it still should be seen just because of those two performances. And as we all know, the lives of transgender people are more than relevant at the moment and here is a story that might shed some understanding on the matter.

Rating: ***½ (out of 5)


Carol (2015)

Directed by Todd Haynes

Written by Phyllis Nagy, novel by Patricia Highsmith

Starring Rooney Mara & Cate Blanchett

Synopsis: “An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.”

Another case where there is total category fraud in the Oscars again. Rooney Mara IS the leading lady here. More so than Blanchett but to be honest, they both are. It is a story of two women who face the hard reality of life when they fall for each other. Besides that they should both be in a leading category for actresses, they both are worth of that. 2015 was a great year for ladies and all of them more than deserve their nominations and recognition they are getting. Hopefully the salaries will follow the suit.

Carol is nominated for six Oscars. I predicted it would get nine nominations, I was wrong with the director, production design and best picture. The latter especially surprised me as it’s still nominated in several categories and to me that means it’s one of the best films of the year. But I guess it’s not nominated because of the weird voting system of the Oscars (explanation here at Gold Derby). Because it definitely is not the best film of the year. To me it wasn’t even near. Yes, it has everything is should have but I just didn’t really care. Blanchett’s character is not very nice, she seems uninterested in others’ feelings. Mara is good and vulnerable but for some reason she has always been great at picturing distant characters and again she does that well. If The Danish Girl was too emotionless, Carol was even more so and what’s even worse; it was also a bit boring, I checked my watch way too often.


But like I said, everything is there. The costumes are striking and especially Blanchett carries them like a true queen. I liked the script, it felt real but it is understated like the whole film. I really didn’t like the cinematography, it is (I guess) suitable for the era but not to me, it looks dirty and old and nah, I didn’t like it at all, especially because I’ve just seen The Danish Girl (I saw these two in a row) that I liked to look at a lot. On the other hand, I’m very happy that Carter Burwell was nominated for the Oscar, he very much deserves it and the music in the film is suitable and supports the story well and this is his first nominations in the Oscars. But like in the case of The Danish Girl, the performances are THE reason to see Carol. And I guess if you like other films of Todd Haynes, you’ll probably like this one too. I don’t like his films and I should just finally realise it.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

The Oscars reviews: Bridge of Spies & The Big Short

bridgeofspiesReviews, as promised.


Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Ethan & Joel Cohen & Matt Charman

Starring Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance

Synopsis (via IMDb): “During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.”

Bridge of Spies is nominated for six Oscars: best picture, supporting actor, original screenplay, production design, original music and sound mixing and to me this film is worthy of all of those nominations. I predicted it will get five out of those six and I only left music out as there just wasn’t enough slots for Thomas Newman who scored the film. But the soundtrack of Bridge of Spies is beautiful and deserves to be nominated. And even possibly might win as Newman has been nominated for 13 times but has never won. Though, unfortunately for him, I doubt he will win this year either. Morricone’s music for The Hateful Eight is just way too good.

Bridge of Spies is guaranteed Spielberg. By far it’s not his best work but solid still. Spielberg doesn’t really do bad films, does he? I don’t think so… Oh, well, the last Indy. Ugh. OK, so he does but not often. Bridge of Spies is quite close to Spielberg’s last effort, Lincoln. It’s more entertaining and light and doesn’t have that many long monologues but it also doesn’t have Daniel Day Lewis. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, the everyman, in the role of James B. Donovan. And he nails it but it’s nothing spectacular. Then again, Mark Rylance as Rudolph Abel is a perfection, I loved his work and despite the fact that all the guys in supporting category are probably deserving, I hope Rylance will win, he’s so good. Other actors are irrelevant to the story and I don’t really even remember their faces anymore. But all solid, obviously, it’s Spielberg’s film after all and I doubt his casting has ever really gone wrong.


The writing is interesting enough and actually well-done as I was so frustrated to Americans while watching this. The flow of the film works. But it will not win the Oscar. But I hope it will win for the Production Design, it deserves it. Nice job! And even though I’m not the girl to truly understand sound design, in this film I did pay attention because it felt real. All the noises around that you hear were there and they felt real, like a traffic outside of your apartment. All in all, Bridge of Spies is good but not spectacular. I was moved by it and felt a bunch of other emotions, so that’ll do. Plus it looks very good.

Rating: **** (out of 5)



Directed by Adam McKay

Written by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, book by Michael Lewis

Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, John Magaro & Finn Wittrock

Synopsis: “Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.”

The Big Short kind of came out of nowhere. Surely as soon as they announced that the film will be out this year, it got some hype already because of the actors but then nothing and then suddenly it was getting nominated all around. And finally for the Oscars where it is nominated for five Oscars including the best picture, supporting actor, directing, adapted screenplay and editing. Big ones! And again, deservedly so.

Since Whiplash this has been the biggest surprise to me and in a positive way for sure! I had my doubts, it’s a film about housing market collapsing after all, how exciting that can be? Apparently, very. I wasn’t at all fond of Adam McKay, the director, before seeing The Big Short and I really didn’t believe that this film can be any better than his previous films. I’m glad to say, I was wrong. The Big Short is a very, very good film. It’s entertaining, thrilling, fun, sad, frustrating and glitzy at the same time. And very smart. The writing is top-notch and I wish it’ll win for the best adapted screenplay, it earns it. I still can’t believe how they managed to explain those complicated financial matters involved in housing markets to us less aware of stock exchange or insurance markets. And doing it by very entertaining way. Thumbs up! Besides writing, I think it will take home the Editing award, it should. It’s THE thing in this film that drives it forward and makes it as fast-paced as it is. Super important and extremely well-done.


I tend to always forget how good of an actor Christian Bale is when I don’t see his films for a while. He just is, really good, a chameleon. Great supporting role here again. Others are good too, but he’s better.

I don’t know what else to say. I loved The Big Short, I think I want to see it again. It’s that entertaining. And surprisingly relevant, read the last texts.

Rating: ****½ 

The Oscar Nominations – how did I do and what else went wrong?

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.It’s been few days and let’s reflect now how I did with my predictions and other thoughts concerning the Oscar nominations 2016.

All in all I did ok. BUT I should never trust my gut feeling or change things during the last couple of days because apparently they will go wrong. I was 75% correct this year. Not my best but not my worst either.

BEST PICTURE I predicted following:

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Carol
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Inside Out
  9. Brooklyn
  10. Straight Outta Compton

I got Carol, Inside Out and Straight Outta Compton wrong and left Room out. I’m genuinely surprised by Carol’s omission, I thought it would be shoo-in. I saw Carol tonight and well, I’m not that surprised anymore. I’ll write a review later. I’m glad Room is in, I believe it’s worth of it even though I haven’t seen it yet. And I’m sad Inside Out is out. I still need to see half of the best picture nominees until I can have proper opinion here. HERE you can see all the nominations.



  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Carol – Todd Haynes
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Martian – Ridley Scott

I had two wrong ones; Ridley Scott and Todd Haynes. I’m a bit surprised of both but especially Scott, he should be there but it’s nice that Lenny Abrahamson of Room got in and well, now, after seeing The Big Short last night, I’m very happy that Adam McKay got in. The film is great!


  1. The Martian – Matt Damon
  2. Steve Jobs – Michael Fassbender
  3. The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio
  4. The Danish Girl – Eddie Redmayne
  5. Trumbo – Bryan Cranston



  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester
  3. Beasts of No Nation – Idris Elba
  4. 99 Homes – Michael Shannon
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo

The best actor I got 5/5 and with supporting 3/5. I’m sad that they passed Idris Elba, the Academy should have included him. Well, I love Hardy and Bale who got in instead, so can’t complain a lot. And after seeing Bale’s performance yesterday, well, he’s fantastic in The Big Short. Then again, isn’t he always?


  1. Carol – Cate Blanchett
  2. The Danish Girl – Alicia Vikander
  3. 45 Years – Charlotte Rampling
  4. Room – Brie Larson
  5. Brooklyn – Saoirse Ronan


  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. Trumbo – Helen Mirren

With the best actress I got Alicia Vikander wrong and I think that’s wrong. Both, Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander should be within the leading ladies. Their parts are HUGE! Mara’s even bigger than Blanchett’s… Idiotic. But I like Jennifer Lawrence and she’s great in Joy which to me was generally more enjoyable film than The Danish Girl or Carol. In supporting I had Mirren wrong which I’m glad about. I still need to see Spotlight of those in supporting category but I hope Alicia Vikander will win, she’s extraordinary in The Danish Girl. Review coming later.


  1. The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
  2. Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley
  3. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
  4. Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman & Coen brothers
  5. Ex Machina – Alex Garland


  1. Carol – Phyllis Nagy
  2. Room – Emma Donoghue
  3. The Martian – Drew Goddard
  4. Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin
  5. The Big Short – Charles Randolph & Adam McKay

 In original screenplay category I got 3/5 correct and in adapted 4/5. In the latter I’m hugely amazed that Aaron Sorkin was left out, I have no idea what happened there?! No words for that. I’m also surprised that Tarantino was left out in original category especially because the writing of Straight Outta Compton is a bit clumsy… Oh well. My favourites to win are Inside Out and The Big Short. Any film that has Margot Robbie in a bubble bath should win an Oscar.



  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight

BEST EDITING was 4/5 The Force Awakens replacing The Martian

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The Martian
  • Spotlight
  • The Big Short

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN was also 4/5 The Martian replacing Carol which I easily understand now after seeing Carol tonight.

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • Carol
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST COSTUME DESIGN again 4/5 The Revenant replacing Brooklyn

  • Cinderella
  • Carol
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Danish Girl


  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Holmes
  • The Revenant

Here I should have predicted  A 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared because it was so “out-there” option. So, 2 out of 3.



  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • The Danish Girl – Alexander Desplat
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • Inside Out – Michael Giacchino
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

Well, here I had 3/5 and I’m a bit sad that Alexander Desplat is not nominated for The Danish Girl, it’s beautifully composed. And I predicted Giacchino for Inside Out but I’m soooooo much happier that Jóhann Jóhannsson got nominated for Sicario because that is one of my favourite soundtracks of the year. That guy is becoming one of my favourite composers quickly. Yay!

BEST SONG I got 3/5 correct here which is good enough for me as this category is always so tricky. I’m sad for See You Again because it’s a great song. I hope Lady Gaga wins.

  • Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Youth – Simple Song #3
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  • Furious 7 – See You Again


  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Hateful Eight
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens


  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant

 In sound editing I had 4/5 missing Sicario and putting The Hateful Eight in. And in mixing I had 5/5. Cool.


  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Jurassic World
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

I missed Ex Machina which I changed back to Jurassic World during the last day. I should never do that!


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE I got one wrong. That was Theeb from Jordan that won over Labyrinth of Lies from Germany. Not so surprising actually.

  • Son of Saul (Hungary)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  • A War (Denmark)


  • Inside Out
  • Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • The Peanuts Movie


  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • Best of Enemies
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

The animated feature category keeps surprising me and I should probably remember that the next year. I also have no opinion here except that I wish Inside Out will win. I got 3/5 also in documentary category. I’m a bit surprised that scientology doc Going Clear didn’t make it… Maybe so many of those Academy members are actually members?

 BEST ANIMATED SHORT I had 4/5, Carface instead of We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. Carface
  5. Prologue

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY was also 4/5, Minerita instead of Body Team 12 (I don’t even know why I chose that?)

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Minerita
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River



  • Ave Maria
  • Bis Gleich
  • Shok
  • Stutterer
  • Winter Light

In the last category I got two wrong, they were Bis Gleich and Winter Light and the nominees are instead Day One and other German short Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut). Again I have no opinion.

That’s it folks. I will continue reviewing the nominees for the next month and write other Oscars stuff. Again, HERE you can see the nominees and later on also my own wishes for the winners and my eventual predictions before the Gala on 28th of February.

The Man of the Day – Alan Rickman

Today I woke up to the terrible news of Alan Rickman passing. To me this has been the most devastating news of great talents passing lately. I loved the man. I first saw and was terrified of him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, back in the days. I loved that movie and he was the best thing in it as Sheriff of Nottingham. Rickman was always great at portraying these villanous characters like Hans Gruber of Die Hard or Rasputin in the TV movie of the same name. And of course as Severus Snape in Harry Potter films. When I heard for the first time that they are making movies of the Potter books, I thought that Rickman must be cast as Snape. And they did. <3

I don’t know, words are failing me. This sucks because he had a lot of life left and many, many great characters to play. It’s weird to think that we won’t be seeing him on a screen or a stage again. At least we will hear his unbelievable voice once more in Alice Through the Looking Glass later this year.

In these pictures.




R.I.P., Alan