Thursday, 1 January 2015

On the 8th Day of Christmas ...

... this blogger gave to thee ...
 ... eight film night picks...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks...
... five gold rings! ...
... four private spaces...
... three things unfired...
... two little birds...
... and a corner shop made of felt.

Happy New Year, it's 2015... when the hell did that happen?

So as you may remember, New Years Eve in our house means watching films instead of the Hootenanny and hopefully remembering to have a drink at midnight if not before.

Our choices in films have been very sketchy. Cowboys and Aliens was a travisty two years ago, whereas last years Moonrise Kingdom was bizarre but brilliant. So for day eight, instead of resolutions I shall never fulfil, I'm going to give you eight movies I love from various genres and years and none of which I'm ashamed of.
Film number one, Whip It! (2009), and do we count this as a sports film? Probably not, but it is a comedy and involves a lot of skating. Seeing the only sport I ever enjoyed was roller blading, I'm counting it as a sports film too. So...

Bliss is a misfit in the small Texas town of Bodeen, she has no direction in life, is less than popular at school and her former beauty queen mother, pushes her to enter beauty pageants designed for anyone other than Bliss. But then, whilst battling with her mother's opinion on her sense of style, roller derby enters her life. Unbeknownst to her mother, Bliss joins the Hurl Scouts, a less than successful derby team and finds somewhere to belong.
Starring Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis and Drew Barrymore (who also directed and co-produced), Whip it is based on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross.

Away from comedy, now to apocalyptic horror. Now, I don't particularly like scary movies. They just not something I watch, give me comedy gore like Shaun of the Dead (2004) over traditional horror any day, apart from my strange enjoyment for zombie movies. 28 Days Later (2002) being one of my favourite films.

What happens when you get bitten by a chimpanzee scientists have infected with rage? Nothing good. 28 Days later, waking up in a London hospital, after being hit by a car, Jim finds himself alone, the empty hospital in a state of a post catastrophe disarray and the city eerily abandoned. Wandering into a church, usually a place of sanctuary, the message "repent, the end is extremely fucking nigh" is painted on the wall and the room is filled with decaying corpses. Mostly. Jim is spotted by what he assumes is another survivor of whatever apocalypse has stricken the city, but instead is pursued by the first of many Rage infected people. He's rescued, but they must flee the city looking for sanctuary.
Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris and Brendan Gleeson. Directed by Danny Boyle. Written by Alex Garland. 

I love this film, it was shot on a relatively small budget, on small hand held cameras which just adds to the fury and terror of the fast based Rage attacks, unlike your traditionally lumbering zombies. And it's almost unsurprising that the sequel 28 Weeks Later (2007), with a larger budget and better filming, actually wasn't as affective a film.

Spot two for Cillian Murphy, Danny Boyle, Alex Garland and apocalyptic drama, in Sunshine (2007).

In 2057, the sun is dying and Earth is suffering a solar winter. Now the crew of Icarus II, the second and final attempt for a spaceship to reach the sun and reignite it, with the payload, a massive stellar bomb. Icarus I was lost seven years earlier for some unknown reason, but, as the new crew draw closer to the sun and the completion of their mission, the distress beacon from the original ship is found and a decision needs to be made. Continue on course ignoring the ship and the depletion of all materials means this is their last chance, or plot new coordinates, find and board the Icarus I and give twice the energy to the bomb.

Starring Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Benedict Wong, Hiroyki Sanada and Mark Strong. Directed by Danny Boyle. Written by Alex Garland

This is such a great film and has a really good score too. If you're not into Zombies, go for Sunshine for the Murphy, Boyle, Garland combo.
Right, we've had comedy, we've had horror and a thriller, now for a romantic comedy of sorts with [500] Days of Summer (2009). It's quirky and the timeline bounces through the relationship of Tom and Summer, stating matter-of-factly that this will not end happily at the outset of the movie. Told from Tom's side of the relationship, running from day one to five hundred, the memory of the relationship turns from idealistic perfection to soured distaste for all all those things he once loved. Tom's a romantic artist who falls too quickly for Summer and while working in a job he tolerates, gradually loses himself and his creativity... know that feeling.

"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to say British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie The Graduate. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parents' marriage she'd only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and feel nothing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel and Chloë Grace Moretz.

I love the actors in this film, the soundtrack, the animations, dance sequence (yep, there's a happy dance and fluttering blue birds) and an artist going through the five stages of grief for a relationship and his creativity. If nothing else it's just lovely even without a happy end.
Newest movie on the list. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), partially for the love of marvel and science fiction, only 98% for the love of Chris Pratt.

Following the death of his mother in 1988, Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by space pirates. Twenty six years on, Quill aka Star-Lord, is a thief for hire, unfortunately he's hired for a job which puts him in the sights of Ronan, the genocidal villain, who will stop at no costs to retrieve the Orb Quill has stolen and take control of the universe. Teaming up with a group of bounty hunters and criminals, Star-Lord has to save the world. All sound tracked by the last mix-tape Quills mother gave him.

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Lee Pace. 

I've watched it once. I was a goner about five minutes in. You have no idea how pleased I was that it was good, because it hadn't been I'd have cried.
Ruby Sparks (2012), is another quirky romantic comedy which was written by Zoe Kazan, who also plays the title roll, and was inspired by discarded mannequins and Ovid's myth of Pygmalion, a famous sculptor who falls in love with his own creation and wishes her to be real and happily she does.

Calvin, is a novelist struck with writers block following the success of his first novel. Unable to commit to an idea he seeks help from his therapist, who sets him writing assignments to spark his imagination, starting with writing about someone who likes him uninspiring dog. Calvin, dreams about a girl who draws his dog and says she likes him. Filled with inspiration as he awakes, Calvin writes about her and gradually, as he develops her character, realises he's falling in love with this fictional person, Ruby Sparks. Who then, after random articles of female clothing appears in his apartment, also becomes real.

Starring Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Benning, Antonio Banderas and Chris Messina. Written by Zoe Kazan.

This is a really weird and sweet movie, I can't really explain why I was so taken by it but I think it's wonderful, even if my family weren't so endeared to it. I would be nice to write the perfect man and fall in love though, I'd even put up with grammatical and spelling mistakes.
I mentioned Shaun of the Dead on film two, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010), is written, produced and directed by Edgar Wright, one of the mad men behind the Cornetto Trilogy and Spaced. So there was inherent love for the work of this man. Plus graphic novel, computer game references and awesome soundtrack, this is another movie if they cocked up I'd have been mad/upset about. Mr Wright didn't disappoint.

Scott Pilgrim, a failing musician, meets Amazon delivery girl Ramona Flowers and falls instantly in love with her, having seen her in his dreams, thus instantly losing interest in his girlfriend Knives. As his band Sex Bob-omb venture into the first round of Battle of the Bands, Scott is attacked and quickly learns that in order to date Ramona, he must defeat her seven evil exes.

Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Keiran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill and Jason Schwartzman. Written, Directed and Produced by Edgar Wright. Based on the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Everything about this film is awesome. That is all.
The Fall (2006) - This is a beautiful film. Just, one of those films, the ones that you know nothing about, but someone says watch (in this case my little sister) and it's unexpected how much you end up loving.

After being possibly paralysed during the shooting of his first film, Roy Walker, a stuntman, is bedridden when he meets Alexandria, a young patient with a broken arm who he begins to tell an epic adventure story too. She returns day on day to hear around the fantastical world and characters who accompany her and Roy as a masked bandit father.

Starring Lee Pace, Catinca Intaru and Justine Waddell. Written, directed and produced by Tarsem Singh.

This is such a touching film. The relationship between Pace and Intaru is what makes this film for me. The way more often than not, it's the little girl who is supporting Walker and helping him through recovery... it's been a while since I watched the film. I'm going to have to put it on now.

And for your viewing pleasure, a playlist of all the movie trailers from my list:

Link | Whip It! (2009) | IMDb | Image | Image
Link | 28 Days Later (2002) | IMDb | Image | Image
Link | Sunshine (2007) | IMDb | Image | Image
Link | [500] Days of Summer (2009) | IMDb | ImageImage
Link | Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | IMDb | Image
Link | Ruby Sparks (2012) | IMDb | Image | Image
Link | Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) | IMDb | Image Image
Link | The Fall (2006) | IMDb | ImageImage

Happy New Year! Part nine tomorrow...

Listening: New Year - Death Cab For Cutie

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails