Blindspot 2018 review: The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

Silence-of-the-Lambs

Plot: A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

People who choose to put other people through their own digestive tracts have always captured the imagination of the world. For me the very first question is, to cannibals, why though? Kuru brain disease presents itself in the New Guinea inhabitants who chow on their tribe mates. It’s a debilitating neurological disease and sounds really quite unpleasant to me. Also, cooking normal meat can be so tiring and now you want to put human skin through that process? Ick, Ick, Ick.

This film famously won the big five at the Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), Best Actress, best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally). I can say yes, I agree, to all five awards. Anthony Hopkins takes on the most famous imaginary (hopefully) cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter and I have literally never seen anyone give such a frightening and perfect performance. He seems to have genuinely terrified Jodie Foster, who gives an equally brilliant performance as Clarice Starling, the new FBI agent who is tasked with corresponding with Lecter in the hopes to track down cannibalistic serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). It is almost easy to overlook the brilliance of Levine’s work here when his other co-stars were as amazing as they were, but Bill is creepy and terrifying in his own right.

I also liked that Clarice experienced onscreen sexism – it kept it real. She’s an obviously brilliant young agent but she’s a woman and therefore must experience some skepticism and glances. Her relationship with Lecter is fascinating and Foster’s ability to switch between terrified and intrigued is wonderful.

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The move is tense and broody and Jonathon Demme created a bleak and intense atmosphere. The last few scenes alone with Bill and Clarice is full of harsh shallow breathing and sharp light, and I found myself creeping inwards toward my blanket, not knowing who would win, Clarice or Bill.

I watched The Godfather Part I and Part II in my first Blindspot year, and this is the only film that has reached that level of excellence. It’s a thriller (compared to the Horror I was expecting), superbly acted and intense. The story is solid and compelling, and leaves enough room at the end to guarantee your return for the next in the franchise.

Rating: 9.5/10

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Blindspot 2018: Choices

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Well, I’m still need to watch two movies on my 2017 Blindspot list, but here are my next pickings. They are as eclectic and all over the place as last year’s list, which I actually enjoyed so much because it had a bit of everything.

Ghost Busters (1984) 
Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson 
Credit: Columbia Pictures/Courtesy The Neal Peters Collection

Ghostbusters – Time to see exactly how great this is and to get why all the men got so huffy about the all-female cast of the 2017 version, which I also haven’t seen yet.

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The Matrix – I am assured I only need to watch the one

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Erin Brockovich– I am a huge Julia Roberts fan and I really need to finally see the film she won her Oscar for.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s – For the joy of seeing Audrey Hepburn in her most iconic role

Shutter-Island

Shutter Island – need I say more? A psychological thriller with Leonardo DiCaprio

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Blade Runner – I was really interested to see the 2017 version (hello, Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford), but felt it would not be the best idea to start at the second film.

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Revolutionary Road – It is another film with DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, so I am definitely okay with that. #JackAndRose

Jaws

Jaws – chomp chomp chomp

Hitchhiker

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – I’ve been threatened with my life if I don’t rectify this apparently appalling crime.

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Silence of The Lambs – I’m probably going to tuck my feet safely under blankets with the lights on for this, but I’m game.

Die hard

Die Hard – I really do enjoy action films and this film seems like one consistently considered a favorite among them

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The Curious Life of Benjamin Button – This film was the most frequently almost-replaced-on-here-film, but I am still ready to watch and enjoy and watch a young Brad Pitt.

There are a few I’d almost chosen, listed below, which I would still like to get to. Although since I’m not done with 2017’s list yet, just focusing on finishing the chosen ones seem like a pretty sound decision.

  • Ant Man – literally the only Marvel movie I haven’t seen yet in later years
  • Good Fellas – because, Pacino.
  • The Sixth Sense – this was a close call but the internet has long since spoiled every single scene in this so I’ll just watch it when I can
  • The Hateful Eight, because Tarantino. Did not make the list because I’ve heard while it is Tarantino, it isn’t the Tarantino
  • American Pie – A bit of lightheartedness to these proceedings, if you will

If you are taking part this year, let me know!

Marvellous Mondays: Thor (2011)

Marvel logo

Happy Monday, fair friends and readers. I’m reviewing Thor today. I reviewed it before here, back in the dark ages when I was still very new to blogging. I have some mighty months behind me now, where I’ve hopefully improved significantly from those early moments. I also included him in my Top Ten Movie Crushes for Zoë, which you can check out here.

thor poster

Plot synopsis: The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. via IMDb

Thinking back, Thor was probably the first movie of the new Marvel stuff I watched. I was hooked immediately, but it may have been due to the fact that the leading start is so attractive and not really about the storyline. Don’t misunderstand, folks, the story-line isn’t the worst ever, but I’ve since seen tons of movies that do it much better. The Iron Man arm of the franchise is much better than the Thor one, and this movie seems to have been produced solely to prepare the world for the Avengers-storm that was looming.

The impressive array of actors and actresses really helped move this movie along. There is the eternally impressive Anthony Hopkins, the darling of the nerd-world Natalie Portman, the ridiculously charming and mysterious Idris Elba, and the surprising (then) new-comer Tom Hiddleston who some might argue was better suited for his role as Loki than Chris Hemsworth was for Thor.

Chris Hemsworth really looks like what I’ve always thought the Norse god would look like. He was probably doing the best with the material given, and his acting isn’t bad, it is just a bit floppy in places. He has improved through the development of the franchise and he has some roles in other movies that he is really good in. I DO find it laughable that they considered his brother Liam for a few seconds for this role, because that wouldn’t have worked at all.

There is decent enough character development in here: Thor had to learn to not let his hot head dominate over his good heart (that is derived from JK Rowling’s description of Harry) and Loki went from the insecure younger brother to the mad villain.

I enjoyed the graphics, something Marvel has never skimped on. Asgard manages to be both other worldly and beautiful, realistic enough to not make me hate the sci-fi part of it (yeah, I just said that). I loved the Bifrost Bridge, one of the prettiest things I’ve seen in a while.

I would rate this movie a 6.5/10, which is slightly less than my original rating.

PS: You can check the list out here for available movies and drop me a line at natashastander@gmail.com to let me know if you would like to review some!

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor Dark World

It is not often that a sequel does better than its first instalment. I was so surprised that I enjoyed it more than Thor (2011), since I really enjoyed that a lot. I made sure I went as soon as it got released, to prevent any spills on the internet – I experienced that recently and I am still ticked off.

Bor, Odin’s father, clashed with the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eckleston) ages ago. The Dark Elves where planning on destroying the Universe with the Aether, a very powerful weapon. The Elves’ home, Svartalfheim, is destroyed, and Bor seals the Aether in a stone column. He does not know that Malekith and his lieutenant survive.

In the present, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is sentenced to life in prison for his war crimes on Earth. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is told by Odin (Anthony Hopkins) that he will become King as soon as peace is restored to the nine realms.

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*Loki in prison

Thor’s mind, however, is rooted firmly on Earth, where his love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) lives. It has been two years since they have been together, and he misses her a lot. He has Heimdall (Edris Elba) keep an eye on her, and is alerted to when she suddenly disappears from Earth. He returns from Earth to search for her, and when she suddenly displays frightening protective techniques when someone poses a danger to her, he takes her to Asgard, much to Odin’s annoyance. Odin realises that she has been infected by the Aether, and will eventually die from the power that surges through her. Thor promises to find a way to return her to full health.

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*Jane and Queen Frieda

The Aether’s release causes Malekith to awaken, and he swears vengeance on Asgard. The city is attacked, and terrible tragedies happen. Thor and Odin are divided in their grief, and Thor directly disobeys Odin’s orders and leaves Asgard to destroy Malekith. He enlists the help of Loki, knowing that he risks his life doing so. They take Jane with them, as the Aether is now within her, hoping to draw it out of her and keep her alive.

Malekith

*Malekith

Loki manages to trick Malekith into taking the Aether out of Jane, but they fail to kill him. Realising the convergence of the realms is in Greenwich, the return to Earth to fight Malekith.

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*The Dark Elves

Will Earth survive another attack brought upon them? Will Malekith be finally destroyed? And will Jane and Thor finally manage to reconcile?

Rating: 8/10

I really loved this film. It is better than the first one, as I mentioned earlier, and it is incredibly entertaining. There are quite a few surprises and deaths, and it all fits into a good tale.

The humor was well done and luckily not too much. The scene where everyone threatens Loki should he dare betray Thor again was hilarious. I laughed at some of the impersonations Loki pulled off to irritate Thor. Basically his entire part was extremely well written. Tom Hiddleston seemed really perfect for the role. He balances Thor’s extreme presence, and they make such an interesting pair.

This time around, Chris Hemsworth improved on his portrayal as Thor. He was fine in the first film, and in the Avengers, but both of those enabled him to become better as an actor. He really is well cast.

I would definitely recommend that you treat yourself and go watch this in cinema. It is totally worth it.

Have you watched it yet?