Straight Outta Compton review

compton Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Directed by F. Gary Gray

Written by Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus & Andrea Berloff

Starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge & Paul Giamatti

Synopsis (IMDb): “The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.”

Straight Outta Compton was quite an experience for a white girl from Scandinavia. I think people like me should go and see this film. It’s quite nice way to get some shaking. And also very sad to notice how little has changed in 25 years. This film is very much showing the reality of today as well as the reality back in the days of N.W.A. And that kind of reality I have no idea.

Besides the politics, Straight Outta Compton is very good film. More than that actually. Characters are well-build and amazingly look-a-likes to their real life role models. Stories of these guys were authentic, there were no minute when I didn’t think this couldn’t happen. Even though there are scenes without purpose, so some more editing would have been good but those scenes too were genuine. It was so refreshing to see unknown faces on the screen for a change. Except Paul Giamatti who again did swell job. When it comes to other actors, most notably excellent Jason Mitchell in the role of Eazy E, they did splendidly. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is the other actor I’d like to point out for his work in the film but then again, he was playing his father, so there might have been some background work already done before this gig.

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Like said, some more editing wouldn’t have hurt and some scenes were repetitive but that’s life. It can be easily be repetitive. I think that’s basically my only complain. Ok, I’m not the target audience for this film as I find this kind of machoism quite annoying but for the first time I have to say, I kinda got it. There just might be a reason to do stuff that looks stupid like giving the finger to authorities. I’m glad this story got told. And I’m very glad it happened now, it’s so relevant.

And the main thing. The music! Wow, those guys were and are talented. I haven’t really been listening to this kind of music but I sure will from now on. Have a look:

Rating: ****(out of 5)

The Best of the Best – Movies of Music

Yeah. I’m kind of cheating here. Like I tend to do quite often with my Best of the Best lists. So, this is the listing, idea gotten from a blog of Cinema Disco Parrot when she made a top ten of her favourite musicals. Well, I thought of making the same but then I just noticed, surprisingly I don’t like musicals. Weird. I though I do. But all these 12 films that I mention here have gotten me 10 or 9 in IMDb and that means they’re really good and I think that is good line to draw when making a top ten list, or what do you think? BUT as I said, I cheated and following films are not necessarily musicals but films either musicals or ones where music plays important part of the story.

Let’s go. So, two films just bubbling under top 10 are worth of mention too.

Walk-the-Line-movie-01

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Walk the Line

Pitch Perfect

And then to my actual TOP-10. The Best of the Best of movies that include music in one way or another. Clips of some of my favourite parts of the film. Including music. Videos might contain spoilers.

10)

CRY-BABY

I’m quite sure there are a lot of you who haven’t seen this one. You should. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. And Johnny is as hot as ever. It’s trashy, it has young Ricky Lake and porn star turned actress Tracy Lords and it even has Iggy Pop! Recommended all the way. Good fun!

9)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

There’s no way that I could have done this list without Disney musicals. This is the first of three.

8)

ALMOST FAMOUS

I know what it is to love music. A band and follow them wherever they go. I love this film and this scene is the best scene in the whole film. It’s hard to explain how cool it is to travel with or after some band on tour. There’s some kind of magic. And Kate Hudson has never been more beautiful than as Penny Lane.

7)

THE PIANIST

A “little” different music film. Usually films with music are on the cheery side of the notes. The Pianist is devastating. But so well done. Adrien Brody really earned his Oscar for the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman.

6)

FROZEN

I have no idea how many times I have already shared that video. At least four in this blog, I think. Well, once more. I love that song! ❤

5) 

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

I just realised I don’t have Mary Poppins on this list. And apparently I thought it’s worth of 8/10. Hmph. Don’t know about that. But at least I have Sound of Music here. I love that song. And all the others in the film as well. I could’ve chosen any of them but that’s classic. Julie Andrews was and is amazing singer.

4) 

THE WIZARD OF OZ

When I was a kid and were sick my mum took me to my grandma to recover while she went to work. It was the best place to be when sick. She made me Nutella sandwiches and I was able to watch Star Wars  or Wizard of Oz. I couldn’t do that at home. It was so nice. You forgot you were sick when you were shipped to Oz with basket full of Nutella sandwiches.

3)

BEGIN AGAIN

It feels kinda wrong to put this tiny little film with Keira Knightley and Adam Levine on top of Julie Andrews and Judy Garland but I just absolutely loved this film when I saw it couple of years ago. It made me feel like I was flying. Kind of believe in the world again. And it describes the effect of music in your life so well. Oh so well.

2)

THE LION KING

Of course this is on the list. My god that is amazing opening for a film. And that film is still amazing. Hakuna matata!

1)

MOULIN ROUGE! 

That is not unfortunately the original clip of the film which they have actually managed to keep out of YouTube. At least I couldn’t find one. But that is by all means the best part of music of any musical ever. I absolutely love it! But again, I could choose any of the songs in Moulin Rouge. Whatthehell, here’s another:

There you go. I thought this would be easy and quick post to write but nooooo. I’ve been here for hours listening to all of those great songs from great movies. Two best things in the world; movies and music. *sigh* How about yours? What are your favourites? Which films that music is in the lead role would you recommend? I have, by no means, seen all of them.

Begin Again Review

I should probably hop on the board again and what’s the better way to do it than review the film I think is one of the best ever made.

beginagainposterBegin Again (2013)

directed by John Carney
written by John Carney
starring Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley & Adam Levine

John Carney is an Irish musician. Yes, a filmmaker too, but like Begin Again and Once, man’s earlier hit (check it out, it’s alright too and even won an Oscar for the best original song AND was made only with over 100 000 €!) show, he has a passion for music. And while watching Begin Again, you can easily see how much he loves film too. After seeing this film, I actually might love this man.

Begin Again used to be called Can a Song Save Your Life and I think that was much more suitable name for this little gem. Begin Again is just lame. But never mind the name, the film itself is truly beautiful. You probably have to know what it is to have passion for something that over runs everything else to really understand this film but if you do, well, I don’t know, there should be no reason to not to like this. begin-againBegin Again is unbelievably uplifting yet authentic. I didn’t even for once feel this Hollywoodian “gimme a break” -feeling when there is something too much movielike happening on the screen. It was so easy to relate to everything happening on the screen even when there were Cee Lo Green.

Begin Again is about music. And love of the music. The original title says it all. And Keira Knightley sings herself. Not badly, I might add. And the songs. Oh, the songs. I loved the lyrics a lot. The most of the songs are written at least partly by lead singer of New Radicals, Gregg Alexander, a superbly fitting part of this film. Begin Again has same tones as this hit single of New Radicals:

nevergiveupOk, this review seems to be quite a rambling. But what I was trying to say was that the cast is great, especially Mark Ruffalo. The script is so good I couldn’t wait what the characters say next. The ending does not ruin it. The music is perfect. Keira Knightley can sing and play. New York is heaven and hell on earth and this film shows it. I miss that city so much and Begin Again did not make it any easier. I cried and laughed a lot but never because I was sad. I was almost flying when coming out of the cinema. And send sms to my wannabe musician roommate that “I will never ever tell you to stop playing that guitar again.” And I mean it. You should never give up on your passion.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

P.S. I was going to add the trailer here but I don’t want to, it’s not worth of this film. Don’t watch it, just go and see the film.

Copenheaven

linna1I’ve been fortunate enough to been able to travel the two best cities in Europe in a very short time. The first to Prague and then to Copenhagen. The cities are very different, like a night and a day but both are as lovely as a place (that’s not New York) can be. Copenhagen, the day, was so welcoming and sunny. The weather wasn’t the sunniest the whole time we stayed in the city but people were. They tend to smile a lot. A rarity to a Finnish girl like me. And the food! Oh, the food! Copenhagen IS the food capital of Europe! I don’t think I ate anything mediocre. Well, the kebab in Tivoli when we were in a hurry but otherwise the food was every time a top-notch. Amazing! And I love food as you might know from my previous posts. So here’s a round around Copenhagen via my cam and me. Enjoy!

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The first day we arrived really early so we needed to spend time somewhere before the checking time. We decided to take a canal tour with DFDS and that was the best decision ever. We got to know a lot to Copenhagen by sitting still while seeing the city from the sea hosted by the very entertaining Nico, the guide of our boat.

The tour started from Nyhavn that use to be the redlight district of Copenhagen.

The tour started from Nyhavn that used to be the red-light district of Copenhagen.

 

 

The Little Mermaid, the 100-year-old lady by the sea and a few tourists...

Den Lille Havfrue aka The Little Mermaid, the 100-year-old lady by the sea and a few tourists…

... We being two of them.

… We being two of them.

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The cutest thing to live in.

The cutest thing to live in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The canals are not the widest ones.

The canals are not the widest ones.

Amalienhaven and Frederik's Church that's right next to Amalienborg that is a home to Danish Royalty.

Amalienhaven and Frederik’s Church that’s right next to Amalienborg that is a home to Danish Royalty. You can see the Danish flag, Dannebrog, on the right side. It means the Crown Prince was home at the time. 

After the tour we got the room from the hostel, Copenhagen Downtown, where the location was perfect but because I was totally spoiled by my hostel in Prague, I found a bit too expensive compared to what it had to offer.

After the tour we got the room from the hostel, Copenhagen Downtown, where the location was perfect but because I was totally spoiled by my hostel in Prague, I found it a bit too expensive compared to what it had to offer. But I still might go again, not just book the private room.

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The next day we slept in after drowning few beers at the bar called Drop Inn that was right next to our hostel and had a very very very good brunch at RizRaz to start a day.

 

After the brunch we took a long walking tour around the city on the hottest day of the year.

After the brunch we took a long walking tour around the city on the hottest day of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cock's and Cows had the best sign I've seen in a while:

Cock’s and Cows had the best sign I’ve seen in a while:

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Some guy sitting on front of the Royal Danish Theatre

Some guy sitting on the front of the Royal Danish Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Frederick V at Amalienborg Square. The Prince is still home.

King Frederick V at Amalienborg Square. The Prince is still home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I have a thing for statues but this one really is one of my favourites so far.

Ok, I have a thing for statues but this one really is one of my favourites so far.

Kastellet, the fortress in the middle of the city.

Kastellet, the fortress in the middle of the city.

The windmill at the area.

The windmill at the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A view from the top of Kastellet.

A view from the top of Kastellet.

 

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The laid back attitude of the Danes.

The laid back attitude of the Danes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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leijonat

They guard the crown jewels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man himself, Hans Christian Andersen, the storyteller of our childhood.

The man himself, Hans Christian Andersen, the storyteller of our childhood.

In Copenhagen, you need to rent bikes at least for a day. And we did. The city is just a right size to ride around and get to know to the parts that are not right in the centre.

In Copenhagen, you need to rent bikes at least for a day. And we did. The city is just a right size to ride around and get to know to the parts that are not right in the centre.

The first we went to the Church of Our Saviour to climb to the top.

The first we went to the Church of Our Saviour to climb to the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have absolutely no idea why I keep putting myself to the places that I don't want to be. And it's always about churches like in Rome too.

I have absolutely no idea why I keep putting myself to the places that I don’t want to be. And it’s always about churches like in Rome too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though the view was great again!

Though the view was great again!

köpis3

The next up was Christiania, the freetown.

The next up was Christiania, the free town.

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The entry is at the Princess Street with the mural that invites you in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For apparent reasons I don't have many pics of Christiania. This is the one of the rare ones.

For apparent reasons I don’t have many pics of Christiania. This is the one of the rare ones.

 

 

 

Back to Copenhagen.

Back to Copenhagen.

I really don't know what they were doing?!

I really don’t know what they were doing?!

 

They were racing. With the toilets.

They were racing. With the toilets.

In Copenhagen there were A LOT of fathers and children to be seen together.

In Copenhagen there were A LOT of fathers and children to be seen together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitty

Kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's a wall.

Cocks on the wall.

 

 

köpis5

 

 

 

joutsenet2

 

 

 

 

We went to a picnic to H.C. Andersen grave at Assistens Cemetery. It's normal, they said.

We went to a picnic to H.C. Andersen grave at Assistens Cemetery. It’s normal, they said.

Some piggy (me) having a bun.

Some piggy (me) having a bun.

Some grave, I liked how the sun was shining.

Some grave, I liked how the sun was shining.

To Tivoli!

To Tivoli!

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Where we, by very pleasant surprise, ended up seeing the band called 30 Seconds to Mars.

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30stm2

Friend of mine, whom I was travelling with, had her birthday that day, so it was kinda perfect ending for the perfect day. And Jared Leto is very much hot. Still.

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Hope you enjoyed my trip to Copenhagen. I surely did and will go back again. To the next time! Good night.

P.S. Talking about the food: the best dessert I've ever eaten. The dark bread, the softest gorgonzola and plum jelly. AMAZING. I cried.

P.S. Talking about the food: the best dessert I’ve ever eaten. The dark bread, the softest gorgonzola and plum jelly. AMAZING. I cried.

What Happens in Hollywood…

I have this habit to post all interesting film industry news to my Facebook wall. Unfortunately the most of my friends are not so interested in reading movie news. So, I decided I’ll start a new series to add to existing ones (Films of the Week, Tv of the Week and The Best of the Best). I should probably make some list on the front page, huh? But anyway, here are the news of the Hollywoodland that got my attention during the last seven days.

skyfallEurope made the record of cinema ticket sales in 2012. The leader of the board was of course the newest instalment of the Bond series, Skyfall. To be exact there were fewer tickets sold but because of the higher average price of ticket the total amount was 8.5 billion dollars, a new record. Besides Skyfall, other major ones in box office were family animation Ice Age: Continental Drift, Taken 2 and 3D spectacles The Hobbit and overall winner The Avengers. Also European originated The Impossible from Spain and Intouchables from France made the big bucks. Well, euros. In Finland the ticket sales were 19.7 percent up.

Talking about The Avengers. The Disney mastermind behind the Marvel dominance, Kevin Feige, has revealed a bit more about the so-called Phase Two. There’s going to be, of course, Thor 2 (to be released in the end of October) and Captain America sequel. Iron Man 3 was the first film released in the phase two and to date it has already made around 740M $ at the box office. Nice start. The original films in the Marvel World to come out will be Ant-Man and The Guardians of the Galaxy. And the phase two will end with the probable bang with The Avengers 2 that has the helmer of the first part, Joss Whedon, back on the board. To The Avengers 2 Whedon has planned to add two new characters from the comics, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch. I don’t read comics but apparently those two are siblings of certain age. The Hitflix is now wondering who will be playing the characters. gemmaAnd they are listing evermore lovely Gemma Arterton! I so hope that they will at least consider her, she’s a total fox and can easily kick any ass as seen in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Who would you like to see play these two?

Other thing for Disney to ponder is the paycheck of Robert Downey Jr. He has fulfilled his contract now with Iron Man 3, so they need to seal the new deal with him soonish. It is said he already got 50 million dollars for The Avengers, so he can arguably ask whatever for the sequel. Especially after Iron Man 3 making huge money in the cinemas all over the world.

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen, the pioneer of special effects. Harryhausen got interested in special effects after seeing original King Kong back in 1933. Since that he began creating new monsters and dinosaurs to be used on the big screen.He also created the technique that allowed models to be integrated to live-action films. His talent can be seen for example in this clip of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

Ray Harryhausen Myths And Legends Exhibition

“Anyone in the world of animation, SFX or fantasy owes everything to Ray Harryhausen. A true legend. RIP sir.”
-Andrew Stanton, director for Disney and Pixar, in Twitter

The Hollywood Reporter is listing the aspiring TV pilots for the new season. There were a couple that got my attention. The first is called Anatomy of Violence and is at the moment skeetstarring Skeet Ulrich and Amber Tamblyn. The both of them are known names and I have especially found Ulrich very intriguing in kind of sinister way. The series, in case of it’ll be produced, is about “a criminal psychologist (Skeet Ulrich) with an expertise in sociopaths partners with a young, female detective (Amber Tamblyn) with whom he shares a conflicted past”. As you know, I got a thing to that kind of a psychological stuff. The other that I noticed was of course Joss Whedon series S.H.I.E.L.D. That’s Marvel. Again. Maybe I should start to read the comics as well?

The another darling of mine, Game of Thrones, has its own beer now. Would like a taste.

And as a post scriptum, I’ve got to include this video. I just heard it for the first time a couple of hours ago. I’ve always got a thing for Chester Bennington but after hearing this, I think I’m in love with him.

A Picture Tells More Than a Hundred Words

Well, it does tell, if you’re good enough to see the story in the picture. Especially when taking the picture.

I love photographing. Not as much as the moving pictures but a lot anyway. I thought kamerabefore that I’m talentless when it comes to visual arts. I can’t draw. I really can’t. And when it comes to crafts, the image in my mind is much much more beautiful than the outcome. Same thing with making clothes. I just can’t do that. So before, when I applied to Film School I always applied to be a producer because I thought I have to sell because I have no talent in the actual maker-side. But then I found photographing. I have the eye for it, seeing the beauty in everything. Or in general, just seeing things the way that you can capture the image that’s in your mind. I wasn’t able to do it when I tried to paint or sew or otherwise make it with my hands. Not before I got camera.

I bought my systems camera in December 2008. I started taking photographs by shooting different bands. I use to go see a loads of gigs and so it was the most natural to me to start there:

lovex1jonne1

These two are from the beginning of my photographing days. As you can see, I’ve started from the scratch. See how “beautifully” I’ve managed to get someone’s phone in the pic or how I’ve cut his hand away. Cute. But I continued practising and got a bit better.

janne1matti1 viljami1janne2olliOk, the last one is not really that good as a pic. But you see the guy in it? Totally worth to see. Also the band, Reckless Love, is definitely worth to see. Just click the pic and it’ll go to their side. And just for fun of it, here’s one of their music videos:

Back to the photography.

I enjoyed photographing the bands and it took over a half a year before I started to shoot in daylight. I know, weird, but I didn’t even realize it before the summer came along. And when taking all kinds of snap shots of my friends I noticed that I was much better at capturing beautiful images of people than the excitement of a live music:

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Both of these pictures are from the very first day and night that I had my cam with me while partying with my friends. And I still think their rather good. But of course, lucky shots, but in any case that made me notice that I prefer taking profile pictures more than anything else. And since that summer of 2009 I’ve practised more and more. And I should train even more frequently but it is always quite hard work to get everyone’s schedules to fit, so I can have at least a make-up artist and a model present. Here are some pictures from those training sessions:

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jemma2

riikka3I also took the photos for my friend’s degree work that she made to become a hairdresser:

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maka3I absolutely love that last pic. It’s not sharp but the feeling in it! Especially I like it because it’s so hard to make her laugh or even smile in pictures, she tends to look worried.

I recently joined Pinterest, so if you’re interested, you can check more of my portraits in there. And for some pictures from my travels (in this case in London and Dublin), check my previous blog post. I will definitely get back to subject in future, so let me know if you liked the post. Or my photos.