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Summer’s Gone

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Wow! I didn’t even realise how amazingly lazy I’ve been again. With posts in general but especially with my updates. So, let’s take a look where I am at the moment, in life and movie world.

Did you, guys, realised that my 101 (which is 55 these days) has its deadline already in March?! I sure didn’t! Well, I’m certain that I won’t be able to travel to all those destinations mentioned on it. Pity. But at least I will be travelling somewhere (come January and I’ll be heading to Florida and The Bahamas!!! Yay!). Anyway, let’s take a look if if I’ve managed to do anything… Heh, yeah, I went on a date (#8), a very, very nice date. In May already. Pity it didn’t work because I liked the guy a lot. He was clever enough to suggest that we will go to see a film in local art house cinema and even was willing to see Son of Saul, not exactly the first date material. The other thing I did was taking a selfie every month for a year (#16):

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There are pics from June 2augustselfie16015 to March, April and May are somewhere in social media and  I’ll let them be as they’re not that good. But here’s me now, taken this Tuesday. I cut my hair after couple of years keepin’ it long.

Ok, enough of that. What else I’ve managed to do from my list… I did saw the northern lights when I was working in northern Lapland from February until April. I will go back there on 5th of September and this time I’m planning on staying there until the next spring. I also visited there the last week. Here are some pics from northern Norway where I visited for the first time ever:

Btw, if you’re interested in checking out more of my pics, follow me on Instagram, the name fairytalepictures. I also use Snapchat, feel free to add me, it’s satufp (my first name and letters from the blog). I’d love to follow you guys too if you use any of those.

So, three things in, what… a year?! Wow, talking about laziness… What about life goals aka the bucket list? Have I done anything? I kinda doubt it. And yep, I was right, I haven’t done anything. I better start, life’s short, huh?

In February I said I will go and post a list of films I watch every month. Did that happen? No. the-hundred-year-old-man-who-climbed-out-of-the-window-and-disappearedSo, let’s take a look now what has happened my 50/50 list. I can’t even remember when I watched those films. Thankfully (read: sadly) there aren’t that many. I’ve only read two books this year (it’s kind of hard to believe, I really though I’ve read more) but as I’m going to Lapland in a week, I know that I will have time to read more, so it’s still possible to get my 12 books before the end of the year. Right now I’m reading this novel called The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out of the Window And Disappeared and I recommend it gladly! It’s so funny, interesting, heartfelt and just absurd. I love it! They also made a film of it, it might be worth to check out too.

And to films! I’ve seen 66 films this year, so far. 16 of them I saw in cinemas despite the fact that during two months I didn’t really have proper access to them. Well, there is one in the nearby village (30 km away) but the screenings are like four times a week, so it’s good luck if you’re not working then. The best one of the new films to me I’ve seen this year is still Spotlight, the runner-ups being Captain America: Civil War, The Big Short, Pan’s Labyrinth, In Your Eyes and of course Deadpool that delivered even though I had huge expectations! And when it comes to my IMDb-challenge, I’ve watched four from the list. And I’m planning on watching two more today! I already watched No Country for Old Men. On TV side I’ve been hooked to Bones the most of the year and as I’ve been quite tired this summer (I’ve been working at festivals, so it means travelling around all the time), I’ve mainly watched Gilmore Girls as I find it comforting. I did finish watching Outlander, though. It was recommended to me back then when I started my TV challenge.

There you go. This year has kinda gone past without me really noticing it. The summer went and I mainly worked. I only slowed down during the last few weeks and visited a friend in Kalajoki. While in home, I’ve been in Tampere, my favourite place in Finland (pics above, first Kalajoki, 2nd Tampere). I’m still in the middle of my uni, I still need to do the practical training and thesis. As I wrote in the end of the year, I wanted to stay in Amsterdam but couldn’t in the end, so I decided to go to Lapland to make some money after coming back to Finland in the end of January I did apply here and there during the last spring but didn’t get a place that I really wanted, so graduation post-boned but it’s OK. Now I’m off to Saariselkä. Winter is coming.

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Stranger Things Review

I’ve been away for over three months and that I apologize. I’ll get back to that but now the stranger_things_posterreview for my new favourite TV show. Again, like usually, spoiler-free.

STRANGER THINGS (2016)

Created by The Duffer Brothers

Starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer & Charlie Heaton

Synopsis: “When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.” (IMDb)

Few days ago I read a review of Suicide Squad where the writer complained about that there’s no more heart in filmmaking when everyone is just following same script and making same kind of superhero movies that have worked during the few last years. And I know what that person means. It’s all been about making money lately. Who gets the biggest opening, who hires the biggest starts, who has the biggest audience and especially who makes the most money. I’ve liked quite a few of those films but then again, I’ve kind of forgotten them almost immediately. On TV side there’s been amazingly great television lately but for some reason it’s glorious and looks amazing but it’s cold, dark, brutal, sad, violent and makes you feel dirty. To be honest, Stranger Things is also dark, actually very dark, especially literally and it is sad and a bit violent and people are dirty in it. It’s also cold in it. And brutal too, I guess. But what matters the most, it has huge, beating heart in the middle of it.

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When watching Stranger Things you can feel the love. Love towards filmmaking, 80’s, Spielberg, King, fairytales, good, old-fashioned good vs. evil. All those things that made you (or at least me) to fall in love with movies. That “larger than life” thing, you know? Besides that you can feel it, it is there to see in all those big and little details. You can easily see it in those photos of the set, how they look, how the setting is and obviously story owes so much to all those stories before it but yet again, it’s original and somehow weirdly fresh. And with a lot of twists.

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It’s always risky placing a kid in the centre of your film as child actor can easily ruin your story. It’s even riskier to put a bunch of them there but in Stranger Things all kids can carry their parts and even more. I loved every character, especially the lads in the center of it all and even more specifically Finn Wolfhard as Mike as he brought such maturity to the role that kind of variety might be hard to reach even for an adult. And none of these kids have THAT long careers behind them yet. And same goes for guys who created the show, Matt and Ross Duffer aka The Duffer Brothers. As directors both of them (they’re twins) have four (!) credits in IMDb. Not much. So kudos to them; well done! I wonder if they’re both married. :p

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The Duffer Brothers

Back to Stranger Things. Besides the great cast (only Winona Ryder was a bit too much for me from time to time), set decoration, all production design is basically flawless (surely some have already found flaws); it feels like you’ve watching some strange and much, much scarier E.T. And on that mark, do remember to give this excellent series its whole credit and watch it in dark after the sun has set. And how fun it is to spot all those popular culture references? At least to me it never gets old.

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What else? Nothing really, just watch it. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t liked it. To me it was total 5/5. The best new series since Sherlock (I watched that later than GoT). I don’t know how Netflix manages to do this, finding such talents, but I do hope they will continue doing it.

Rating: ***** (out of same amount)

 

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The Best of the Best – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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I was thinking of saving this for later when MCU is ready with its plan but they probably will continue making those films as long as there’s audience for them, so as I really liked new Cap America, let’s list things to celebrate the success of Marvel!  So far there have been 13 films that are part of phases one, two and three. Obviously there are tons of other films that are Marvel branded, e.g. X-Mens but I will only include films surrounding The Avengers.

avengers-age-ultron-hulk-mark-ruffaloUsually I have in my Best of the Best lists some bubbling-unders and will do that this time too. Though there are only three of them. I’m not a big fan of The Incredible Hulk, the whole Hulk-thing didn’t work for me at all until Mark Ruffalo came along. He’s genious. So that is on the bottom of the bunch and next up is Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s way too American for my taste. Plus Cap is kinda boring. And unfortunately I have to leave Ant-Man out of the final Top-10. I love Paul Rudd but that film was just ok.

10)

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Captain America: Winter Soldier

This is really hard as I’m a fan of the whole universe and all these films are entertaining enough and often more. Well, Cap, until the last chapter, has been way too oldie goldie for me and thus this is my number 10 pick.

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Thor

I love, love, love Loki as many of you might know but if you take him away from Thor films, they are not very entertaining. Especially the first one.

8)

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Iron Man 2

Perhaps. I just checked and I’ve given all three Iron Man movies 8/10 at IMDb. So… I don’t know.

7)

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Iron Man

Yeah. Still don’t really know.

6) iron-man-3-poster-ben-kingsley

Iron Man 3

Right now it feels like I enjoyed this one the best, I really liked Ben Kingsley’s character.

5)
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Thor: The Dark World

Loki. And London is a plus. But mainly Loki.

4)
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s a bit messy and too much but I just love it when they’re all together. And Hawkeye’s storyline worked for me. And it was a bit sad too which is usually nice touch to this kind of action films.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s basically tie between this and number two but like said, I love my avengers, so Star Lord and his crew lost. Then again that killer soundtrack gives it an edge. It’s a tie.

2)

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Captain America: Civil War

Like said and like I wrote few days ago, the latest installment to the series is a great one! Go see it! Spidey! Whose side your on?

1) Loki_Empire_header

The Avengers

But it does not beat the original. Josh Whedon is king of this film, the script is absolutely great. And you know; Loki.😉

What do you think? What’s your favourite?

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Captain America: Civil War Review

captainamericaposterCAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

Directed by Brothers Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (comics by Mark Millar, characters by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby)

Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Daniel Brühl, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd & Tom Holland

Synopsis (IMDb): “Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.”

First of all, Captain America: Civil War is not really a Captain America movie, it’s The Avengers film. To me that means that I like it better than other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Or at least it has been that way so far. And you know what, it still stands. New Captain is very good.

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The film is a bit too long but as the ass-kicking still looks good, well, actually, I thought that some fight choreographs were even better than in previous MCU films, it hardly matters. Obviously those scenes need to top each other if you want to place your favourite superheros against each other. Apart from fighting or fleeing, the tone of the film is very sobering as the team ponders what is right and what is wrong and are they too far gone. But it’s still classic MCU and there are great, witty lines written for everyone. Especially for Tom Holland who plays new Spider-Man. He’s absolutely great! I kind
of like to think that he steals the show. And is probably the best Spidey on silver screen ever. Perhaps. I need to see the film again to judge that truly. Just wait for the homage to Star Wars, I couldn’t help to cheer a bit in that scene. Yay!sebastian_stan_hot

Tom Holland might steal the show a bit but everyone involved is great. Obviously. They’ve been playing those characters for some time and some of them really have become them (hint: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans). To me it’s funny how much I like Cap these days as the first Cap film wasn’t my cup of tea. Oh, and all you Sebastian Stan fans; this film is for you. He gets A LOT of screentime. Paul Rudd has great scenes too, I loved that! Ja Hawkeye gets much more time too that I expected, yay for that too, I’m still a big Jeremy Renner fan. On the down side, I’m not sure if I was that into Black Panther and he is going to get his own film… I’m a bit worried about it.

It’s hard to say anything clever of this kind of film. Summer has officially started, popcorn flicks are here (yeah, yeah, there was already one Superman s**t, but who wants to remember that?)! This one is a great one! I recommend to see it. It helps a lot if you’ve seen the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films to keep up. At least the ones with The Avengers. The plot is based on them. Go enjoy! Pure entertainment.

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Soundtrack to My Life Movie Tag

Couple of days ago I read Abbi’s nice post of Soundtrack to my life movie tag that is originally from Le Cinéma en Rose blog and wanted to do my own. So, here we go.

Opening Credits: Favorite Childhood movie

This must be a tie between Star Wars (New Hope) and The Wizard of Oz. I watched them both whenever I went to my grandma’s as we didn’t have VCR at home. Although as this is opening credits, I got to choose Star Wars! What’s more classic?

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Waking up: A film that got you out of a movie watching slump

Well, that actually just happened. I hadn’t watched any films during this month until the day before yesterday and that was The Change-Up that I watched. Hotness of Olivia Wilde gets me out of bed.

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School: A movie you had to watch for school that you ended up loving

Hard one. I got to say Catch Me If You Can. I had seen it before I watched it again and again for my Scriptwriting course but I started to like it much more after analysing it to threads.

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Falling In Love: A director you love so much you want to watch all of their movies

David Fincher is my longest lasting love.

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Fight: Movie with the best action sequences

The Dark Knight. I love those thrilling driving sequences. Very cool bombings also.

 

Break up: A movie you didn’t finish and do not intend to finish

Four Rooms. I just hated it. A lot.

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Hanging With Friends: Movie you think everyone else should watch

Begin Again. I love, love, love it! It made me fly the first time I saw it and world looked so much better afterwards.

 

Breakdown: Movie that seriously affected you/had you crying your eyes out

I’m a huge cry-baby, so there are many but the most… Brokeback Mountain. I might not cry the most but the sadness of it is heart-breaking. “Jack, I swear.” I just watched that final scene (spoiler, obviously) again when I looked it up and yes, it made me tear up.

 

Roadtrip: You favorite series (more than 3 films)

Star Wars. Hands down. Just ditch the first three. I never want to watch them again.

Flashback: Your favorite movie from 5 years ago

Five years ago? I’m just gonna go with my fave that was released about that time. And that’ll be… Wow, there are some very good films released 2010 and -11… But as a favorite that I watch again and again because of them:

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(That’s Thor if you didn’t realise.)

Getting Back Together: What movie can you not stop re-watching

Titanic. I must have seen it something like 50 times.

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Wedding: A movie that is really special to you

Fellowship of the Rings. It reminds me how much I actually love movies and how much I want to be in the industry.

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Moment of Triumph: Longest movie you’ve ever watch

I think it must be Gone With the Wind but it’s not very triumphant as I love the film! But the one that I struggled with is Tarkovsky’s The Mirror. I just don’t get it.

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Death Scene: Movie you wish had ended differently

Friday Night Lights. It is just let down. Way too realistic. And it’s just unbelievably sad if someone’s best days are in high school.

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Funeral: Movie with the best or worst epilogue

The best: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I still love the fact how he named his son.

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Tag can go to anyone who wants to participate! 

 

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The Best of the Best – ROM-COMS

heartsTime for some love and laughs! There’s never enough of those two. Especially these days.

Romantic comedies are my “skeleton in the closet”. I just love them! I can even watch really bad ones. It kind of feels that I’ve seen all romantic comedies. I haven’t really, I do have some kind of limit (read: “made for TV”). Unfortunately there aren’t that many really good ones. Rom-coms are like horror films, only bunch of them are classics. But I do have them on this list (at least almost all of them). I admit, there are some screwball comedies missing, as I still haven’t watched them and the list is also missing When Harry Met Sally because I didn’t really like it. But I did like all these 18 films that I mention next quite a lot.

Like always (see my previous lists like the best cinematographers, directors or TV characters) I have few honorary mentions:

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Sideways that, to me, is more of a buddy dramedy but as all these listed came up from IMDb when searching genres of “romance” and “comedy”, is one of my favourite films that really feel real. And as a wine fan, I love it! Sideways, as a film, is better than some of those in actual TOP-10 but as I don’t see it straightforward rom-com, I left it out. Trainwreck that came out only the last year was a blast and it might end up my eventual TOP-10 but I’ve only seen it once. Pitch Perfect is also great but again, not exactly rom-com. One of the great surprises in the genre lately was Warm Bodies. I’m not a fan of zombies (or movies about them) but this one warmed my heart (and body). One of the classics that I have here bubbling under is Some Like It Hot, that is one great film! And should probably be up there but when I did my list, those 10 were easy to list. Same goes for Groundhog Day. The last one that I have outside of my best ten, is Jerry Maguire. I would have never ever counted it as a rom-com but IMDb does, so here we go. One of the best romantic scenes in films (obviously spoilers):

And now the actual TOP 10.

10) The Proposal

I gave this only 7/10 in IMDb when I first saw it but I’ve seen it since something like five or six times and it always makes me laugh and perhaps tear up a bit. And Sandy is hilarious and you know, I never get tired of watching Ryan Reynolds to take of his clothes.

 

9) Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is better than it’s standing but as I find the best rom-coms actually laugh out loud funny, this one just isn’t one of those, thus it’s place as number nine. But it is my favourite Woody Allen film and I love the writing and characters in it. I first saw it in the middle of summer and it is beautiful and suited to that warm, dark August night better than anything.

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8) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

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This is what I call rom-com! It even has Matthew McConaughey in it! Before his later years career, obviously. And I loved him already back then. His lovely, cocky Texan ways. I think I’ve seen, if not all, most of his rom-coms because he just is the MAN in them! And Kate Hudson is funny and beautiful and this one is a classic in the genre.

 

7) The Great Race

I actually haven’t seen this oldie with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood for years and years but it was my favourite when I was a kid and I remember laughing so much. I still remember the funniest stuff. I should definitely watch it again. Great fun!

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Ok, now we come to those six ones that are THE rom-coms to me. I watch them over and over again. And love them! Despite the cheesiness or anything. These are the films to watch when you feel down.

6) Legally Blonde

Some of you might remember how Ally McBeal had a theme song to make her feel more confident with “yes, I can” mentality. Well, Legally Blonde is my theme movie. It’s my encouragement, I always watch it when I feel I can’t. I don’t think it as a rom-com that much but of course it is. BUT the main thing is that Elle doesn’t need a man to be successful and happy and I like that. Plus Reese Witherspoon is genuinely funny.

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5) Never Been Kissed

Yeah, I’ve seen this ten or more times. I’m not a huge fan of Drew Barrymore but here she shines. And all those supporting characters are great too. You should check this to see young Jessica Alba and James Franco. Cheesiness factor is quite high but who cares.

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4) Love Actually

As this is already my Christmas number one and the film that I wish would survive after armageddon (with few people as there wouldn’t be any point otherwise), I’ll let it slip and put it my number four on this list. But it is still ultimate rom-com. And British do it better. They are funnier.

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3) Bridget Jones’s Diary

I hate the fact that Bridget so desperately needs a man in his life (and I don’t like the second part, she’s way too silly in it) and that she looks, well, maybe, actually, real with her idiotic clothes and desperate need of a cut -hair and is way too ridiculous but maybe that’s the point. We can relate. Where’s my Darcy? Plus genuinely funny! The scene where Bridget introduces the author of Kafka’s Motorbike, I still can’t watch it, too humiliating. And super-funny. And come on, Colin Firth is… Well, Colin Firth. Love him. Who wouldn’t like to be liked “just the way you are”?

 

2) Notting Hill

Have you been to Notting Hill? I would love to fall in love there too. Or in London, generally. Like I said, British do it better; they’re funnier, more real and romantic, apparently. Notting Hill with that Ronan Keating song might be too much to some but not to me. I still laugh, especially when Horse & Hound is interviewing other cast members or Spike is doing anything, or when William says “upsy-daisy”, so hard when watching this. Oh, and I cry so much when watching this film. And in the end I’m so in love and uplifted. That’s why this genre exists.

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1)  Four Weddings & a Funeral

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I should probably thank Richard Curtis for making my life better (thank you, Mr. Curtis) as all four in my top-4 are written by him. Four Weddings being THE romantic comedy. (Thanks for Hugh Grant, apparently, too! I didn’t realise before that he is my ultimate rom-com leading man…) I also always say I’m not a big fan of 90’s films. I guess I’m lying. Thank you also introducing me to W.H. Auden.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

OK, now I want to watch all these great, feel-good flicks. I’m glad they exist.

The Oscars Review: Room & Brooklyn

I know. I’m late with this and I actually already decided not to write this post at all but as I’m now a bit lazy mood after spending hours reading others’ blogs, I’ll just go with this now. roomthemoviewithbrielarson

ROOM (2015)

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Written by Emma Donoghue

Starring Jacob Tremblay & Brie Larson

Synopsis (Imdb): “A kidnapped mother and son make a daring escape, and experience a dramatic homecoming provoking a look into the power of imagination and the unstoppable force of a mother’s love.”

I really, really wanted to love this little film but unfortunately I didn’t. Room was nominated for four Oscars this year including the best picture, actress in a leading role, adapted screenplay and directing. And it should have been nominated for the best actor in a leading role too as Jacob Tremblay is the star of the film (with Larson). It still bugs me that he wasn’t. But thankfully he stole the show in most of the awards shows anyway.

Besides Tremblay, Larson was on top form and I’m very glad she won the best actress. I’ve liked her since seeing her in 21 Jumps Street and in all of the films I’ve seen her since she’s been at least good and very relatable. In Room she’s fantastic. Although I didn’t really like her character. But I think that is a praise to her acting skills as her character has a hard time to adjust and acts like that. It was much easier to like Tremblay’s Jack than Larson’s Ma. The acting is anyway definitely the best part of Room.

I’m not sure if I 100% support Abrahamson’s directing nod. The film is well-done and especially interestingly shot but that’s due to cinematography, I think. It’s amazing how Room looks like before and after. Maybe it’s Abrahamson who got those amazing roles out of his two stars. I don’t know but I’m sure he’ll have bright future ahead. I’m glad Emma Donoghue got a nod for writing as the original novel is hers too. And I do think that if you’re going to nominate something for directing, writing and acting, it should be the best picture contender too, so that was OK.

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When it comes to my opinion outside of acting, I don’t know. I was a bit bored, the story became quite soon an uninteresting one and I just wished that the film would end. It didn’t go under my skin what I was expecting after all the praise. Over-hype made it underachiever to me, I guess. It’s good but nothing spectacular.

Rating: ***½ (out of 5)

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BROOKLYN (2015)

Directed by John Crowley

Written by Nick Hornby (novel by Colm Tóibín)

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen & Domhnall Gleeson

Synopsis: “An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.”

If Room was boring to me, this was way worse! I think I took three pauses while watching Brooklyn, it just wasn’t interesting enough. Brooklyn was nominated for three Oscars; picture, adapted writing and best actress. And I don’t really know why? OK, I admit, Saoirse Ronan was great but she’s quite often great. Her character is shitty, little bitch who doesn’t appreciate anything. (See, there’s my problem with this film; I couldn’t relate to it at all!) I also think that Emory Cohen was very good, he was like I imagine good Italian boys of that time to be. His character was deffo the best thing in film. Apart from costumes, I liked those!

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When I saw the first trailer for Brooklyn, I thought it would be totally my cup of tea and usually I like this kind of stuff but this time when I wasn’t bored I was frustrated of infuriated with Ronan’s character, Eilis. How annoyingly selfish a person can be? Gosh. Come on, girl! You have your whole life ahead of you and you just whine and whine and stay miserable. Plus the character is really bland. Not good entertainment.

What did I like? Well, it looks pretty, the colours are nice and like I mentioned, I liked the costumes and Emory Cohen. And Irish accents. And New York but I always like New York.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)

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New York by me back in 2009.