Summer’s Gone

Bahamas-10

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):

Omat kuvat

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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January films watched

Hello there!

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

lists-of-lists

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.

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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.

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So far so good.

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

The Martian Preview (Toronto Update #1)

The_Martian_2014I had a though of doing three posts of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premieres but I have to admit, I don’t know where to start because there are so many films getting their first showings there… So I ended up writing a piece of The Martian, upcoming Ridley Scott blockbuster. At the moment, after 20 reviews, it still has 96 fresh percentage at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ca is 8.8 (only 605 votes, though). Critics are loving it and the trailer makes it look like a good ride. And funny one, I might add.

The Martian synopsis goes (IMDb): “During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.”

It stars Matt Damon in the lead role and names like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and Sean Bean in supporting roles. It’s, like said, directed by Ridley Scott and shot by very talented Dariusz Wolski, who has shot films like The Crow, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd and Pirates of the Caribbean films (and I would guess knows Johnny Depp quite well…). It’s based on the bestseller (which is apparently really good) by Andy Weir and adapted skillfully by Drew Goddard. The editor, Pietro Scalia, has four noms, two wins in the Oscars. Set decoration is basically NASA or Mars/space and guys responsible of that also have done previously nominations worthy work. It sounds like a winner now when I take a deeper look. Then again, in my opinion, Scott hasn’t done anything good since Gladiator (then again; it was amazing film!) and I’m accustomed not to wait anything from him anymore. Seems like he’s back.

I’m not a big fan of Matt Damon or Ridley Scott. Not even sci-fi films but this one looks very good, I’m excited now! Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think?

Oh, and when it comes to the Oscars, anything’s possible. It can score big but I’m quite sure it will score at least in some technical ones like sounds (both; mixing and editing especially), visual effects (I’m sure of that) and probably cinematography. At least. But at the moment I think Matt Damon will be there with Scott and the best picture too. They need one blockbuster there, you know?

Premieres around the world in the end of Sep or at the beginning of Oct.

After Venice and Telluride – The Second look on The Oscars 2016

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

My promised second update on upcoming Oscar films.

TIFF aka Toronto International Film Festival has begun couple of days ago and already showed new Michael Moore documentary Where to Invade Next as well as new Ridley Scott film, The Martian. I will go through how those films and other new ones from TIFF were received in my next post. This post however is still dedicated to films from Venice and Telluride Film Festivals. See the first part here.

Cary Fukunaga. I have no idea if he is gay or straight, married or in a relationship but if he’s willing, I could marry him. He already directed amazing first season of True Detective but now he has finished his passion project Beasts of No Nation. He did not only direct it, he also has written the screenplay and shot it. And as you might know I’m a big fan of cinematographers (my list of top-10). And apparently Beasts of No Nation is a winner! I watched the trailer (synopsis from IMDb: “A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.”) and it already made me feel bad, so I guess the film itself will be very hard to watch but nonetheless I will watch it as soon as it gets its premiere on Netflix on October 16th world-wide. Idris Elba apparently does career best work in the film as well as total newcomer, Abraham Attah from Ghana, where they shot the film, is supposedly very good in the lead role. I believe the cinematography works as well because previous films of Fukunaga have looked so good. Rotten Tomatoes says 100% fresh right now. Oh, and when it comes to Fukunaga, he’s also hot! Or what do you think?

Hot pic of Cary Fukunaga

Brie Larson is one of my favourite actresses working today and she is only 25 years old. I fell in love with her within 21 Jump Street but after that she has just gone better with Short Term 12, Trainwreck and The Spectacular Now. And now with Room (synopsis from IMDb: “A modern-day story about the boundless love between mother and child; young Jack knows nothing of the world except for the single room in which he was born and raised.”) she might be looking for her first Oscar nomination. I haven’t even seen the film yet but I’m ready to campaign for her. Besides her, critics are saying that a newcomer Jacob Tremblay in other lead role is a find. The screenplay is adapted by the writer of the original book, Emma Donoghue, so it should have a chance for a nomination as well. It all depends how the film will be received by audience. Rotten Tomatoes says 100%.

I had high hopes for Everest but according to mixed reviews after Venice it looks like it’s not the best but I have a gut feeling that wider audiences will like it. Everest is a film about surviving on Everest, based of true events, I think. Starring character actors as well as heavy hitters like Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington and, my all-time future-husband, Jake Gyllenhaal. It will probably still score with technical categories like effects and sounds as well as possibly in cinematography. We’ll see. In theaters on September in most of the countries. Rotten Tomatoes: 76% (that’s not really bad…).

And the last but for sure not the least: Spotlight. IMDb says: “The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.” Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Billy Crudup and Stanley Tucci. Yeah, sounds like an Oscar film, doesn’t it? And it should get a nomination at least to Keaton, perhaps even a win. We don’t know yet. There are changes for Ruffalo and McAdams too. Critics are comparing it to All the President’s Men that went winning four Oscars back in 1977 after gaining eight nominations. There is no reason why Spotlight couldn’t do the same. RT: 94%.

And again, my updated predictions HERE!

The First Look – The Oscars 2016!

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Yay, it’s that time of a year again! Well, at least it starts now with big festivals of autumn. Yes, of course I’m talking about the Oscars. The Oscars season. It stars within ongoing film festivals In Venice and in Telluride, Colorado and continues with Toronto International Film Festival beginning in few days. So, let’s have the first look to the Oscars 2016.

There have been a bunch of eagerly awaited films in line-up of both, Venice Film Festival and Telluride. And the reception has not been bad to most of them.

First out of the oven was Johnny Depp vehicle Black Mass, a gangster story based on true events. Johnny Depp plays Whitey Bulger, a notorious gangster from Boston who ruled the streets back in 70’s. And according to critics, he does it very well (Rotten Tomatoes score atm 100%). So, seems like Johnny-boy is back in contention. The cast in the film is exceptional (well, not really because this year has a massive amount of exceptional casts) including names like Benedict Cumberbatch,  Joel Edgerton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple and Corey Stoll. To me it seems like Joel Edgerton might be one to consider in supporting actor category but only time will tell. Other possible nominations include best picture (maybe), cinematography, score (people are hoping to Junkie XL, who score both Black Mass and Mad Max: Fury Road, to get a nomination this year but composers are a hard group to please if you’re not inside already) and most certainly make-up and hair styling. Just look at the look of Depp!

Next one that received solid enough reviews was Suffragette which, I’m very sure, will get Carey Mulligan a nomination if not a win in best actress category. Unfortunately it seems like the script is not strong enough and the whole film suffers because of that. We’ll see. At the moment Rotten Tomatoes score is only 63 % fresh but the subject of the film is so strong it is very hard to ignore. IMDb’s synopsis: “The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.” Let’s see how it goes down in box-office. Possible nominations besides Mulligan: best film, director (Sarah Gavron), supporting actresses (Helena Bonham-Carter and/or Anne-Marie Duff), cinematography, production design, costume design & score composed by always great Alexander Desplat.

The women have strong presence this year. Or those who want to be women like Danish Lili Elbe, the first ever person to have male to female sex reassignment surgery in The Danish Girl. Elbe is played by the last year winner of the best actor, Eddie Redmayne, who will, for sure, gain a nomination again this year. He and his work look amazing. The film is directed by Tom Hooper, helmer of King’s Speech (which he won the best directing) and Les Misérables that gained eight Oscar nominations and won three. So, high expectations again for Mr. Hooper and according to critics (Rotten Tomatoes 86% atm) it’s a solid piece of art house cinema. Apart from nomination to Mr. Redmayne the film could get nominations for best film, director, supporting OR lead actress, depending which category they choose to compete for Danish Alicia Vikander, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production and costume design as well as make-up and hair styling. I could bet on those three last ones that those are basically locks already. And the score is of course another possibility, it’s Desplat competing against himself but then again, the last year he got nominated twice and won for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

And lastly for today and to me, the most importantly, let’s have a look what critics are saying about new Dabby Boyle directed and Aaron Sorkin scripted Steve Jobs film. “An enthralling performance by Michael Fassbender fuels this brilliant, infuriating and richly unconventional take on the life of an American visionary.” –Justin Chang, Variety. “Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who’s written about America’s Great Flawed Men with such fire and hyperarticulate pathos that he’s threatened to become one himself, outdoes his work on The Social Network with an even sharper and more savage script.” –David Ehrlich, TimeOut. Soooo, looks like we have a winner here! Or at least I hope so. I’m huge huge fan of Michael Fassbender and I would so like to see him win for the best actor. He’s always so good. And Steve Jobs, despite his reputation, is a hero of mine. Steve Jobs (the movie) is definitely in contention with best actor, best (basically already won) adapted screenplay, film, director, supporting actress (Kate Winslet) and supporting actor (Seth Rogen probably). Cinematography, editing and score have also gotten multiple mentions. I just can’t wait to see this. Hope it delivers.

There were also Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, Room, Everest and Spotlight that got premieres in Venice or Telluride. I’ll tackle them in the next post. But if you’re interested, here is my updated, very long list of Oscar predictions for 2016.

The List Lover Updates (50/50, The Oscars and 101 Things)

aphorism1I did check my Bucket List too but I haven’t done any of them. To explain a little to all of you who haven’t noticed my pages on the top of this, is that I love lists and challenges, so I’m basically all the time trying to achieve something. That’s in my nature. I’ve posted few List Lover’s (read: me) posts previously, they can be found by clicking the link of The List Lover on Themes (right hand side on the Home page). I mentioned I will be updating how I’m doing but guess movies have just taken me so thoroughly that I really haven’t paid that much attention to my personal life here in the blogverse. But let’s take a look.

The first, 50/50 Challenge. This is the third year I’m participating. And I never manage to read 50 books. But I’ll try again. I just updated the page so you can see I’ve watched 16 movies this year so far and read one lousy (well, to be honest, it’s almost 800 pages, but still…) book. Movie-wise I try to watch 200 films this year, let’s see how it goes. Here is how I did last year.

Pulp_Fiction_coverIMDb-250. I think I’ve tried to watch those films forever. And I’ve only managed to watch three more since last time I updated. Quite sad. But I’ve seen Pulp Fiction, Casablanca and Big Lebowski that I only watched yesterday. Only the middle one lived up to its hype. But because I own quite many of 250, I promise I’ll watch the following during the next two months:

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Goodfellas
  • Cidade de Deus
  • Vertigo
  • The Green Mile
  • Intouchables
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Amadeus
  • All About Eve
  • Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
  • El laberinto del fauno
  • The Kid
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Trainspotting
  • Annie Hall
  • Warrior
  • Into the Wild
  • The Graduate
  • Roman Holiday

The more personal one, 101 Things in 1001 Days. I have about 18,5 months left. Not that much then. And I just calculated that means doing one thing in a week. That’s a lot… Since last update, I have managed to get into school that I enjoy and have stayed there (1). Even have done quite well, so that area is nicely covered. I’m still studying International Business but I’m basically minoring in Media Studies and the combination is perfect. I’ll write more about it later. I also managed to throw the clothes that were broken away (30). And got some much closer to unpack my stuff that has been sitting in the boxes forever (28). I’ll probably manage to finish that in this month and same goes for filing the papers (29). I also saw a play when my friend had a part in one. And I visited to Paris and also Louvre (93). I really should edit those photos from there and make a photo post here! Here’s one:

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And the last but not least, the Oscar winners predictions. I just updated it today. Took the lists straight from IMDb. I still have about 30 of the features to see and 13 of the shorts, so I can’t have a proper opinion yet. Only thing that is clear to me, I really think 12 Years a Slave should win the Best Picture just because how it handles the subject. And I thought Leo was better than Ejiofor but I haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club yet, so let’s see if it changes my mind about my favourite. The ones in italics are my favourites, the ones in bold are the ones I’m predicting. What are your favourites?

The Best of the Best – Directors

directorI realized couple of days ago that I haven’t posted The Best of the Best list for a while. The lists have been one of the favourite of the readers and as you might know, I enjoy writing lists, so let’s make one more. This time I’m tackling the directors. I started to write this post by checking all the films I have given eight or higher score at IMDb and noticed I have quite many directors whose work I enjoy constantly. 36 to be exact. I managed to limit the list to 27 and I want to mention them all even though the actual list will be Top-10 again.

In the bunch of them I left out of my top-10 are the names like Alfred Hitchcock, whose work, I got to admit, I don’t know that well that he could be in top-10. There’s also Victor Fleming, the mastermind behind Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz, both huge classics and also made in the same year.  Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow are heroines of mine because they’ve managed to get the name in the field that is normally ruled by men. Especially the latter one has my appreciation. She’s a tough one. Tarsem Singh and Baz Luhrmann are great at visualizing their style, unfortunately sometimes in the expense of content. I also love the style of Nicolas Winding Refn, but I think he should still show more of his talent to become one of the very favourites. Same goes with Steve McQueen, the unmerciful Brit.

I love Ang Lee just because he made Brokeback Mountain; the best drama of all-time. The other favourite that I like a lot, but not all of his films, is Sam Mendes. I also have started to like Woody Allen more and more the older I get. He’s one of my favourite scriptwriters as well. Jason Reitman hasn’t done a bad film yet and Roland Emmerich is my favourite when it comes to directing catastrophe movies. Mark Waters, on the other hand, is great at making these comedic teen movies (Mean Girls and Freaky Friday for example).  With Terry Gilliam I seem to have love-hate relationship, I really don’t like Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, but then again 12 Monkeys and Monty Python and the Holy Grail are superb! The latest discovery in my “directors to watch” –list is Joseph Kahn who has made only one feature film that I adored, The Detention. But he has made a lot of great music videos, so I definitely will be watching his career. And finally just out of my top-10 I have Alfonso Cuarón, the master behind Gravity. I’m sure he’ll be in my top-10 in the future. And then to the actual list:

10)

affleck

Ben Affleck

I would never have thought that this guy would be my top-10 list of directors. But he has not made a bad movie yet and if you just watch Argo, Gone Baby Gone or The Town, I very much doubt the next outing of his will be bad either.

 9)

whedon Joss Whedon

Whedon has created Buffy, my second favourite tv-series ever. I loved him already for that and then he made The Avengers, the best comic book adaptation based on Marvel comics ever. The movie was the best of 2012 and I’ve watched already five times and I don’t get enough of it. To say that Whedon is one of my favourite directors is not really fair because he is more talented in writing and probably in supervising all-together the productions at the set but I enjoy way too much his products to really care.

 8)jacksonPeter Jackson

Lord of the Rings. Nuff said.

 7)

Joe Wright director

Joe Wright

His films are my favourite to watch visually. I adore the cinematography in them. I should probably thank the cinematographers but because they vary, I had to assume the style is because of Wright himself. Check Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Atonement or Anna Karenina (2012) to see what I mean.

 6)cameron

 James Cameron

Here’s the guy who wants to push the limits. I got only admiration towards him. And I admire him also because the humanitarian work he does. Plus he made Titanic.

 5)

nolan

Christopher Nolan

He should probably be higher. I’ve given 10/10 to four of his films. He’s a master. And the films of his have substance and appearance that no one else is able to reach. At the moment I’m just more in to the soul of films and that’s the reason why he’s not higher (this time).

 4)spielberg

Steven Spielberg

I didn’t know I like his films that much before I wrote the list of the films I’ve given eight or more. There were nine of them. The first one made 38 years ago (Jaws), the last on the last year (Lincoln). There’s no possibility of denying that he has to be on this list. And the enthusiasm that he puts to his work. Wow.

3)fincher

David Fincher

I use to say he’s my favourite director. He still is when it comes to style. And Fight Club is the best movie ever made. But he seems to be going a little downward. Not much but that much that these following gentlemen get higher places on my list. Plus I think I’m just getting older.

 2)russell

David O. Russell

What a master he is when it comes to directing actors. Just think of Christian Bale or Melissa Leo in The Fighter, Bradley Cooper or Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook. And all of those characters are same time real and surreal. He’s also very talented writer.  Can’t wait for American Hustle!

 1)payne

Alexander Payne

If Russell makes real characters, Payne directs them the way you could imagine them living. And the stories, the heart and soul in them, that is just something I have to envy. The rare talent of making the viewer cry and laugh at the same time. The little details in his films are masterfully directed. Especially when he is working with the men getting older, it is unbelievable. If you don’t believe, check About Schmidt, The Descendants or Nebraska. Masterful.

These are my thoughts. Who are your favourites?

 

Photo credits: Wired, The Guardian, Collider, Gentside, Freeteawithpurchase, Telegraph, Rolexblog, Film School Rejects, The Lavin Agency