Blindspot 2017: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

ocean

Plot: Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Rating: 8.5/10

Brad Pitt and Matt Damon really is everywhere on my Blindspot list this year. I’m back with Brad Pitt today and looking at the 2001 heist film that proves just how cool Brad Pitt and George Clooney it.

If you are a clever deducer (I know that is not a word), you realized by the rating that I liked this. A good heist film remains a good heist film, and a fast paced, no-nonsense one provides for good entertainment. I thought the heist was brilliantly planned. The film is intelligent and quirky and doesn’t take time to tell its’ story.

ocean1

The core actors certainly contribute towards the camaraderie Oceans provides in spades. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac – really everyone on screen was great to behold. There is a chemistry in the group that comes across as authentic. I especially liked George Clooney and Brad Pitt together. Both men were able to look and sound like old friends who were up to no good.

ocean3

My favourite girl crush Julia Roberts was on screen again. She’s so talented and drop dead gorgeous and she’s so classy on screen. It takes a lot of an actress to be cold and angry and charming at the same time.

ocean2

I really liked that this film didn’t take ages to get through and sort itself out – I hate a long drawn out affair as you all know. The plan was laid out, the men were recruited and informed and things went down. Can’t all films just go like that??

Have you seen Ocean’s Eleven? What did you think? I see the next film in the franchise is an all women cast – a relatively popular decision nowadays. What you all think about that?

Advertisements

Blindspot 2017: Seven (1995)

seven

Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Rating: 8.5/10

Set in a dark and dreary city, homicide detectives Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt must investigate what is turning into a serial killer’s mad spree through town, emulating the 7 deadly sins in the most horrific of ways. Detective Freeman is retiring and after years of witnessing the horrors a decaying city can provide, he’s not too keen about taking up another job. But he somehow can’t pull away – he’s forced to worked with the new young detective and solve this last crime.

I enjoyed how dark and dreary the city was. The constant torrential downpour makes England look like a sunny palace. It’s so heavy, and combined with the decay of the city a sense of hopelessness lies in the air.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s character is a sharp contrast to the city. She’s everything the city isn’t – fresh and sweet and kind. I really liked her, how she balanced her husband out and wasn’t everywhere in the story and somehow remained so important in it.

Seven2

A thing that stands out sharply is the difference between the two detectives. Both are good men but so much difference in character. The younger detective is impulsive, perhaps because of his age. He’s by no means unintelligent but is far less cerebral than his older counterpart, who is often reflective and studies the crime and reasoning behind it well. The dynamic between the detectives shift – initially Freeman is cold shouldering his colleague (I think mostly due to impending retirement) but he begins to warm to Pitt with the case developing.

What is it about Kevin Spacey that he is so well capable to play such derange characters? It is creepy. He is creepy. So calm with an underlying menace. Madness coated in quiet demeanor. That flat of his. His belief in his work. A subtle creep. Sheesh.

How intense was the ending?! Edge of your seat business. John Doe concocted everything to make his plan infallible. I was horrified and entertained, because sheesh, what a nail biter.

Serial killers always have this dark glamour about them. It is wrong, but I have been interested in their mind games for years now – how they justify, what motivates them and how carefully they pick their victims. Seven is a film that follows one such killer in his demented ways in the best method I’ve ever seen. The film is backed by solid performances, directing, score and story to bring a thriller that will remain with you well after the end.

If you are looking for a film that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, Seven is definitely NOT for you. It is scary and gross and relentless and keeps you nailed to your seat, but come prepared because scary man. Scary.

 

Blindspot 2017: The List

blindspot-2017-logo

A few things I can tell you about this list:

  • I deliberately chose “lighter” films than last year. My 2016 list and 2015 list contained some serious heavy weights. I’m happy I got through them all, but to change things up I chose some films that were in a different genre than the other frequenters of my Blindspots.
  • This list started forming as I was thinking about how little of Brad Pitt’s work I’ve actually watched – he’s quite popular on here.
  • I am going to have a lot of fun watching these, I can tell.
  • I actually have a small list of other films that I’ll post some time that I also want to watch this year despite it not being Blindspots.
  • Here is my actual list below that I hope to enjoy and actually post monthly for the rest of the year.
  1. Scream (1996)
  2. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
  3. The Departed (2006)
  4. Seven (1995)
  5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  6. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  7. Ghost (1990)
  8. Basic Instinct (1992)
  9. Goodwill Hunting (1997)
  10. Interview with a Vampire (1994)
  11. The Italian Job (2003)
  12. Walk the Line (2005)

What did you choose this year? Let me know!

Movie Review: Inglorious Basterds (2009)

inglorious basterds

Plot:In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.

Rating: 9.5/10

So, I’m saying this at the start so I can get this off my chest: Is there anything more rewarding to a movie lover than an excellent film? I don’t think so, for very obvious reasons. I’m going to try and write out something for this but if you get halfway and decide that I sound like a lunatic, know that I loved this really really really.

Anyway, I can’t believe it took me so incredibly long to get to this. My sister, who really hates violence in movies, told me about the horrendous scalpings and I steered quite clear. I knew I should give it a try when my Bestie said that she thought I would like it a lot (and threatened to scalp ME if I didn’t educate myself in the Tarantino-business).

IB

It is madly intense. The first opening scene is a nail biter and Christoph Waltz is utterly charming and utterly terrifying. He seems so calm and pleased about being called the “Jew Hunter” that you can’t help but wonder if he is truly insane, whether he is very cruel or incredibly ambitious. Honestly, I think the character is all three.

Then there is Mr. Waltz himself, who speaks English with the clear precision that people who aren’t speaking their first language use. Hearing his voice is so lovely. I can also sit and listen to him for days speaking in his native German. Gosh.

bawnjourno

Then there is Mr. Bawnjourno Brad Pitt. It is so obvious that he is having the time of his life on set – he is so cocky, that ridiculous accent, the exaggerated mustache and the BAWNJOURNO. I’m still laughing my ass off at it every time I remember.

I also really cheered for the strong female characters, most notable Shoshanna Dreyfus. Melanie Laurent did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal as our Jewish heroine. She manages to portray that innate classiness of French woman while accurately expressing her dislike in anything Nazi.

Inglorious basterds 2

I’ve discovered the following thing that I love about Tarantino: He is able to address heavy subject matter in a way that still has a few laughs but it never takes away that he is acutely aware of the atrocities he is addressing. He never shies away from a taboo subject and he never lends sympathy to the oppressors. Inglorious Basterds is such a film – I can’t even say the Nazis were terrible because that is too tame a word. IB does nothing to diminish that fact and shows through a little bit of humor and a whole lot of crazy what the Nazis were and how wonderful it would have been if the war had ended in such a way.

So, I hope you take it that I loved the film – if you haven’t seen it yet, put it on your Blindspot list and get it done!

#bawnjourno

Blinspot 2015: Fury (2014)

Fury poster

Plot:April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened Army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Rating: 9/10

I’m going to keep this as short as I possibly can, because the gushing will be unbearable and irritating for you all at some stage. This movie is AMAZING. For over two hours you are nailed to your seat and drawn into WWII at a stage where the war isn’t quite done yet, and the men on the ground are still battling nonstop with the Nazis, especially aiming to shoot the SS soldiers. Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) and his crew Boyd Shawn (Shia LaBeouf), Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Trini Garcia (Michael Pena) are dealing with the loss of one of their team when they are given Norman (Logan Lerman), a clerk who has been drafted as an assistant driver. Norman is dragged into the warfare he never thought he would enter, and in time he starts seeing Wardaddy not as a monster but someone who takes the task of keeping his men alive very seriously. Facing unspeakable horrors together, Norman quickly finds his guts and becomes part of the team.

The directing is sharp, clear and brutal. It shows how merciless the war was – children hanged for not fighting for Hitler, bodies being driven in by trucks piled on top of each other, men burning alive, starvation and innocent people dying for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is thus more than your average war movie addressing the lives of the brave soldiers (I actually always see that as War Propaganda) – this movie takes you to ground level and reminds you of what the men of the previous generation went through.

The relationship between the characters is intense and intricately portrayed. I couldn’t help but speculate on the intensity of the relationships formed between those four men who have been in the inside of a tank together for three years. At the start of the movie they don’t seem all that close, but the reason is obvious: they are dealing with the death of one of their own. As the movie progresses the sense of brotherhood is really strong and the knowledge that these men are cemented together despite their vastly different characteristics.

Fury1

The performances are all top notch, but most notably I would have to say Brat Pitt, Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf stood out above the rest. Brad Pitt just stunned me by this gut wrenching performance and the layers he added to the character. The grief on his face every time he witnessed more death was excruciating. The battle weary way he carried himself whilst still being the leader was very significant to the success of his role.

Fury 3

Shia LaBeouf… I am not the world’s biggest fan to his personal life because he wants attention so bad. However, in roles like this and Lawless he reminds me how capable he is as an actor. Boyd “Bible” Shawn was such a sweet man and the horrors of the war reflected so clearly in him. I think that he managed to hold onto his religion all the time during the war was powerful, as I think most men just dump it along the way because they simply see too much to still believe in a higher power.

Logan Lerman had me thinking all the time “What an amazing kid”. That said, he is only two years younger than I am but he seems much younger than the rest of the war weary team members. I felt such sympathy with his character and his struggle to adjust. It’s obvious that he wasn’t planning in being part of the fighting in the war and is by nature a kind person who would rather spare human lives. He is initially treated very roughly by Wardaddy but the reason why makes sense – he needs to toughen up if the others want to survive.

Fury2

I’ll just quickly mention that I also really enjoyed Michael Pena and Grady Travis as the remaining two main characters, and really enjoyed seeing faces like Jim Parrack and Scott Eastwood in here.

The story flows well and keeps a good pace – I really couldn’t detect any dip in the story. The ending is magnificent and so suspenseful – I was cringing and yelling and filled with admiration for our boys.

I’m sure it is very obvious that I really enjoyed this film and I am exceptionally glad it was on my Blindspot list! HIGHLY recommended, although sensitive viewers should probably steer clear.