Category Archives: So Last Night I Watched…

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Review

I went into this with low expectations…

2012, THE PERKS OF BEING WALLFLOWER

I didn’t know a lot about this going into it, I knew it was based on a book (which I had never read) and that the author of the book was writing/directing the film. I was also aware of most of the cast given that they were all relatively big names, but, I had no idea what the story was actually about or whether it was a comedy or drama or whatever. The reason I wanted to see it was because the music in the trailer was pretty cool and Ezra Miller is one of my favourite young actors.

I went in fearing the worst and hoping for the best.

I loved it! It was as though I was watching a rather dark John Hughes film, I came out of the cinema feeling uplifted and wanting to talk about what I had just seen, which is amazing because it’s very rare that a teen drama has any sort of effect on me other than annoyance!

The performances from the whole cast were very good, Logan Lerman and Emma Watson surprisingly so, when called upon the adult cast members all put in small yet memorable performances, but for me Ezra Miller steals it with another great performance. Seriously if you haven’t seen this kid act check out City Island, Another Happy Day, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Perks because he has a BIG future.

As far as Stephen Chbosky goes he does a great job with the direction of the film as well as the script. I don’t want to say too much about the story as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but believe me it’s great!

***Mild Spoiler***

My one complaint would be that given it’s set in the early 90’s and that the main characters are supposed to be misfit outsiders, I found it difficult to believe that they had no idea what “the tunnel song” was, surely teenagers from this time would have heard Heroes by David Bowie before? It’s one of the most recognisable songs by one of the most popular rock stars ever!

***Spoiler Over***

As I said at the start I was not excited for this film, I thought it looked interesting but in truth the only reason I went to see it was because I’m a fan of Ezra Miller and Paul Rudd. So if it won me over I’m sure it can win most people over! GO SEE IT!

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So Last Night I Watched…The Artist

I finally got around to watching The Artist and I thought it was…

Brilliant! I thought that absolutely everything about this film was exceptional, but the performances by the actors are what make it for me. Jean Dujardin deserved the Palme D’or and Golden Globe for this wonderful performance, Berenice Bejo is captivating as the beautiful Peppy Miller and of course Uggie the dog is hilarious!

It was just brilliant, I absolutely loved it. I was worried going in as I was sure it could not possibly live up to the hype, but I was wrong.

I’m sure it will go down in history as a must watch for any film lover and if it cleans up at the Oscars I don’t think anyone would disagree (that said I do hope Hugo wins big on the night, as it was one of my films of 2011). The Artist had that rare quality in that as soon as it was over I was thinking about seeing it again. If you haven’t seen it already I can’t recommend it enough. Stop reading this and go see it now!


So Last Night I Watched…The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Live Aquatic is the other Wes Anderson film that seems to generate a lot of hate, well I’m here to defend it!

“When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou’s son, the crew set off for one wild expedition”

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a hilarious Adventure Comedy starring Bill Murray on top form as the the titular Steve Zissou. As you have probably guessed by now I am a huge Wes Anderson fan, I love all of his films and get extremely excited when a new film of his is announced (see my Moonrise Kingdom post for further evidence). So this week I already watched The Darjeeling Limited and as the Moonrise Kingdom trailer has been released I felt in the mood for some more Anderson action.

In my opinion the Life Aquatic is his funniest film, mainly due to the fact that it features Bill Murray’s most prominent role in a Wes film. Murray’s pitch perfect dead pan delivery is a perfect match for Anderson’s writing style and to be honest I will never understand how anyone can hate something that has Bill Murray in it, the man just has funny bones, he oozes comedy at of every part of his being. He is hilarious. Having said that I don’t want to forget Willem Dafoe, he is brilliant as Klaus the “B squad leader” who’s childish jealousy of Steve’s supposed son Ned Plimpton (played by Owen Wilson) is both touching and amusing in equal measure.

Everything about this film is top quality. The set’s, costume’s and especially the music. One of my favorite parts of the films is at the end when Steve and Ned have been arguing over Jane (Cate Blanchett) and they walk through the whole ship talking, as they do they are follwed in a single tracking shot and we see every member of the crew just going about their duties. It’s a great shot. I really love this film and I am certain that time will be very kind to it. I’m sure in years to come people will look back and spend time trying to figure out just how/why The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou didn’t receive the appreciation it deserves in it’s own time.


So Last Night I Watched…

Angels Crest

So Angels Crest tells the story of a small town in the Rocky Mountains that is ripped apart when a father (Ethan played by Kaboom’s Thomas Dekker) is charged with negligent homicide after his three-year-old son Nathan freezes to death. The two were out on a trip when the Ethan decided to go track a dear and leave Nathan sleeping in the truck. The son managed to get out of the vehicle, get lost and the next day he is discovered by Ethan dead. Once the father is charged everyone in the town reacts differently to the situation, with some being more understanding than others.

There is a very good/interesting idea at the heart of this film, there was a lot of potential to do something great with the set up. But once everything has been set up and the story should start to really get going and pull you in it just… doesn’t. I think a lot of the blame rests with the writer, the characters never really develop into fully formed people and it is damn near impossible to care for them. The performances of the actors are okay but nothing special, I actually thought Thomas Dekker was really good in Kaboom but I was a little disappointed with him in this.

All in all it was a little disappointing, but I will be keeping an eye out for the directors future work.


So last night I watched…

Jules and Jim

So last night I watched Francois Truffaut’s classic Jules and Jim. I hadn’t watched the film in a long time and I had forgotten how influential it has been. Watching it I could see all the camera movements/shots/cuts that filmmakers such as Wes Anderson have borrowed and are using today.

 

My favorite part of the film is when Jeanne Moreau’s Catherine sings Albert’s song to Jules and Jim. It’s such a nice song and works brilliantly with the scene. A lot of people don’t like this film because they don’t get the characters or they feel that the characters are to unlikeable. I don’t understand why people have to like characters to appreciate a great film.

I don’t want to say too much about the film because I think those that haven’t seen it should go, watch and decide for themselves…so yea…go watch.

 


So Last Night I Watched… The Fighter

The first time I saw this Mickey Ward biopic I was in San Diego and it was Valentine’s Day 2011, we went to see it because we were bored, there was a cinema near by and we wanted to see the least romantic film possible as to avoid being surrounded by couples.

Well we weren’t surrounded by couples but it turned out we were wrong about the romance, The Fighter is a very romantic film in every sense of the word. It is a true underdog story that anyone with a soul will not be able to help but be swept away with, the obvious comparison to make would be Rocky…but I’m going to avoid drawing to many comparisons. I think this film is under rated, which is surprising considering it won supporting actor/actress Oscars for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo and was nominated for about 5 more.

Bale and Wahlberg

One of the best things about this film is how much Mark Wahlberg clearly cares about the subject and how much work he has put in to make it happen. It all shows in his performance which I think is the most under rated part of The Fighter. Wahlberg shows the strain that Mickey went through carrying the burden of his drug addict brother/trainer Dicky Ecklund (Bale) while putting up with his some what insane, short tempered, over bearing mother (Leo) and clan of intrusive sisters.

I think this is David O Russell’s best film yet, I am a huge fan of I Heart Huckabee’s and Three Kings, but this film connected with me in a way that those two couldn’t. My dad is a huge boxing fan (in fact in his younger days he was even an amateur boxer) and on Sunday mornings we would get up early and watch the fight that he recorded the night before. My favorite boxer, the one who’s fights I got excited about and couldn’t wait for was…Mickey Ward. So you see The Fighter had an unfair advantage from the word go, it had the nostalgia factor, a one way road back to my child hood and a happier simpler time. It’s one of the films in my DVD/Blue Ray collection that I know without doubt I will be getting it out to watch again a few more times over the next year. It doesn’t matter what sort of mood I’m in or what kind of day I had, I know that if I put this film on I can just sit back and enjoy.