Blue Jasmine, must watch!

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Woody Allen films are always a must watch for me, so Blue Jasmine was no different (despite not watching the trailer beforehand).

Cate Blanchett’s acting bowled me over at the end of the 99 minutes. The way Jasmine’s story unfolds and the fragility of the character comes through to the audience is unlike any other Woody Allen movie. Despite some lapses in the narrative, Blanchett’s acting leaves you glued to the screen.

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So, trust me, just go catch Blue Jasmine. You don’t even need to bother with the trailer. You’ll love it.

Stoked by Park’s Stoker.

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Stoker, the first English film directed by Korean director Park Chan-Wook caught my attention in a matter of seconds with its trailer. This film deals with the psychology behind violence rather than violence itself, like Park’s previous films.

Plot by Rotten Tomatoes: After India’s (Mia Wasikowska) father dies in the car accident, her uncle Charlie who she never knew existed comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

The visuals are precise. The way the story unfolds really keeps you on the edge. The spiders add to the eeriness if the character Charlie Stoker played by Matthew Goode doesn’t. I literally gasped in awe at the scene of India combing her mum’s hair transforms to the paddy fields where India and her dad used to go hunting in. Park builds horror and suspense with his audience with simple and subtle images that leave you stoked.

India’s dad philosophy which India holds close to her, is by far my favourite line from the movie. “Sometimes you have to do something bad, to keep you from doing something worse.”

Be sure to enjoy this thriller by Park that blends together with a coming-of-age tale filled with psycho-sexual imagery and share my enthusiasm!

Credit to Hot Butter Review for the above image.

The Perks of being a Wallflower.

When I heard that this book by Stephen Chbosky was going to be made in a movie, I was beyond thrilled! And doubly thrilled I had something to look forward to when I got back home after my Australia adventure!

Logan Lerman plays the character “Charlie” really well. He fits into the role of a misfit school kid who is trying to break free from himself, make friends and maybe even, fall in love, very well. He got me hooked with his quirky adolescence almost instantaneously. Ezra Miller who plays “Patrick” or should I say “Nothing” stood out to me particularly. More so then Emma Watson who fits perfectly into the character “Sam” – Charlie’s love interest. I liked Patrick in the movie more than in the book somehow, especially in the scenes when his mischief shines through to the audience so radiantly.

This bit below is from an entry back in November 2011.

Charlie, I saw so much of me in you. 

1. Wallflower

A person, usually in high school, who sees everything and knows everything that’s going on but doesn’t say a word. They aren’t loners, they are shy and don’t choose to be in the mix of things. A person nobody pays attention to, and fades into the background, but are really genuine and interesting people if you take the time to get to know them.

2. Wallflower

A person who see’s the world for what it really is, all the beauty and the ugly. Someone who knows life is only for the one who is not afraid to die and that joy is only for him who does not fear to be alone. These are the most amazing people you will ever meet and you will never, not even if you try, forget them.

3. Wallflower

Someone who isn’t necessarily shy, but never really tells you a lot about themselves. They observe almost everything and listen to everything you have to say without criticizing or judging. These people are often the most sincere, kind, and wonderfully interesting people, yet fail to be attractive to the opposite sex for some reason.

3 definitions that stood out to me then and still do now.

“Sam screamed the fun scream, and there it was. Downtown lights on

buildings and everything that makes you wonder.

Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing.

I started laughing. and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

This definitely is my favourite movie of the year! Please catch this in cinemas if you can and I hope you are in love with it as much as I am!

Charlie, you stole my heart in the last scene when you felt infinite as “The Tunnel Song” (Heroes by David Bowie) played in the background.

Other lines from the movie that tugged a chord within.

“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough”

“You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.”

“I want to make sure that the first person you kiss loves you. Okay?”

“It was the kind of kiss I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know I was never so happy in my whole life.”

Guest post: Thoughts on Moonrise Kingdom

This piece below has been contributed to solosingaporean by fellow movie enthusiast, P.

Anderson’s most mature film to date, Moonrise Kingdom serves up a dose of French-like naïveté with equal parts of heady romanticism and a wariness of love.

All the times I have gone to see a Wes Anderson movie, I have always had the nagging feeling of being transported to a miniature Toyland. Whilst not necessarily bad, I always felt like I was watching the same type of movie. In that sense, Anderson has always been a very specific director, aiming for a certain whimsy and focusing his energies on sculpting a particular aesthetic that serves to divide audiences to this day because either one likes it, or one doesn’t. I have always been in the latter camp only because I feel that Anderson’s considerable talents are far more suited to the intricate stylings of the animated world (indeed, his career best achievement is still Fantastic Mr. Fox) only because I have always felt that his characters in past movies always seem to be not in tandem with reality. With this movie however, Anderson serves up realism in spades and then some.

The movie essentially revolves around a fur hat wearing khaki scout, Sam (a very Ron Swanson-esque Jared Gilman) and a music, book loving jaded hipster Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward who recalls Markéta Irglováin Once) and how their relationship and subsequent elopment fractures the respective communities they are a part of.

The movie zips by and at a brisk 94 minutes, it felt like a play more than a movie at times. The heavy dose of theatricality heaped upon the set pieces made the movie feel even more intimate.  However, the at-first charming yellow filter that smacks suspiciously of Instagram, grew ingratiating by the second act. That said, the movie is extremely well edited and the score is marvelously adept in expressing what the movie wants the audience to feel. But where the movie works, is the acting. For me, the MVP of the movie was without a doubt, Bruce Willis, who plays Captain Sharp, a policeman responsible for finding the two runaways. He brings a machismo that saves the movie from becoming too precious; and his scenes with Gillman rank among the most touching in the movie.  The two leads are capable though Hayward came across as a bit wooden at times.  The rest of the cast give brilliant supporting turns with especial mention to Frances MacDormand and Edward Norton (as Suzy’s mother and Sam’s Scout leader respectively) who infuse their roles with reality, together with that Anderson whimsy, making their characters seem almost tragic. In fact, when Mrs. Bishop talks to her daughter about love, she makes it seem like a warning for her daughter not to follow in her footsteps, making it a stilted, tender moment that allows the audience to sympathise with her largely detestable character.

With humour, charm and wit, Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson’s most mature film to date (certainly ironic, given the dominant role that children play in this movie) as it takes love head-on and asks “Does age even matter in love?” (PK).

Credit to Hot Butter Review for the above image.

Love life – Stricken.

Disclaimer: This is gonna be a heavy post. 

I might be somewhat of a morbid person cause I have a strong liking to watch movies that make me cry and literally hold my heart in my hands. I actually enjoy sitting through a movie where I constantly feel as though I’ve a dagger slashed up against my throat. Where I get so immersed in the film and the characters, that nothing else around me matters. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy a light-hearted rom-com just as much, but if you give me an option between a movie that would make you cry and one that you will laugh your stomach out, I’d choose the former.

That was exactly how I felt watching Stricken. It was a very good film I have enjoyed after a long time. A movie that made me cry, laugh (amidst my tears), think and question.

Is cheating nature or nurture? Is terminal illness an excuse for one to cheat? Are you expected to slip in the face of adversity? Are you expected to stay faithful even after your partner has passed on? Who has it harder, the one who has the cancer or the partner battling with losing the love of his life? Would you rather live life knowing how you many more months you have to live or live in the not knowing? Would you still love your husband if you know he’s cheating on you while you’re here battling cancer? How do you feel about the nights you spend in the toilet puking, while the one you promised to have and hold on to, in sickness and in health , ’till death do us apart is satisfying his lust with the body of another woman? The one with a better body and perfect breasts.

Here’s a good review about this film.

If you haven’t already deduced, this film is about love, cancer, cheating and fatherhood. I might even want to re-watch this again. Am I weird? Yes, I think so cause I like to battle sadness with sadness. I listen to sad songs when I’m sad. I hope I’m not alone in this.

Do you enjoy/hate watching movies that make you cry?

On the topic of grief and death, this article (Comforting that collides with grief) is a worthwhile read.

“Of all the things we learn as we go through life, learning how to express grief and sorrow is not among them until you are face to face with it.”

Midnight in Paris.

Hemmingway to Pender on making love and fearing death

Pender: Were you scared?

Hemmingway: Of what?

Pender: Getting killed.

Hemmingway: You’ll never write well if you fear dying. Do you?

Pender: Yeah I do…I’d say it’s probably, maybe my greatest fear actually.

Hemmingway: Well it’s something all men before you have done, all men will do.

Pender: I know, I know –

Hemmingway: Have you ever made love to a truly great woman?

Pender: Actually my fiance is pretty sexy…

Hemmingway: And when you make love to her you feel true and beautiful passion and you for at least that moment lose your fear of death?

Pender: No, that doesn’t happen.

Hemmingway: I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing and when the man that is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte who is truly brave, it is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until it returns, as it does, to all men and then you must make really good love again…Think about it.