Blindspot 2016: final rankings

WOW. I’m done! Can you believe it?! I most certainly can’t. My 2016 Blindspot list was the list I’ve bitched about the most, not because of the bad movies but because I struggled so much getting time to site down and watch the films I chose. I’ve been really bad with schedules, which really ddin’t help the matter. But anyway, let’s stop that now because yet I still somehow managed to see all each and every film listed.

My list of 2017 is up tomorrow, and I’ve at least seen a number of them in preparation with my bestie and the remainders are great films won’t feel like a bit of a chore to get through. I also have most of those films already available, which was one of the reasons I took so long with 2016’s Blindspot – struggling to find these films.

Here’s a rundown of from least favorite to favorite. The scores are listed, but I’m not too worried about that right now, just basically listing what I remember actually liking the most.

Home alone

Spot #12: Home Alone (1990)

Rating: 6/10

This is definitely the movie on the list that I should have watched way early in my life to really love it. I can see why people my age would love it if they saw it as children, and probably has the same sentiment towards it as I do towards a film like Matilda, which again reminds me that I really want to watch Matilda again. Home Alone was lost on me, I really couldn’t find any interest in a story where the main character was a child.

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Spot #11: Love Actually (2003)

Rating: 6.5/10

There are people that actually think that this is one of the best romantic comedies of all time. I could not disagree more. There are critically few characters that are even remotely likeable and I was highly offended by most of their actions. Eugh.The best thing about this film is Colin Firth and Alan Rickman, and if those two men can’t convince me that a film is worth it, nothing can.

Back to the future

Spot #10: Back To the Future (1985)

Rating: 7/10

The same as Home Alone here – missed my chance. It was much more appealing though as there were at least older characters, but I still felt my attention wavering once or twice.

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Spots # 8 & 9: Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)& 2 (2004)

Rating: 7.5/10 and 8/10

Yes, I am fully aware that these are Tarantino films so low on my list, but I have my reasons – mostly (and I might get shot for this bout of honesty), is that I found the story a bit lacking on both and overly violent even for Tarantino. I am such a fan of Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds (my favorite), and Pulp Fiction, and these two didn’t get anywhere close to touching my top favorite films of his.

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Spot #7: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Rating: 8.5/10

I had trouble finding films this year that convinced me of its originality, and ESotSM is one of the very few that could convince me that creative talent was still alive and well. I loved Kate Winslet with her crazy hair, I adored Jim Carrey, Mark Ruffalo was adorable and Frodo was a sufficient level of creep in here. Hey! Kristen Dunst didn’t make me gnash my teeth.

Warrior poster

Spot #6: Warrior (2011)

Rating: 8/10

This movie! I was bent double with anxiety. Who must win? Does any person deserve to lose? Performances by Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy were phenomenal. I cannot accept that this film tanked in the box office, it is truly great.

memento

Spot #5: Memento (2000)

Rating: 8/10

Another frequenter of my Blindspots has been Christopher Nolan. He’s such an intelligent man and it comes through in his films. Memento was this year’s pick, and I unsurprisingly loved it.

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Spots #3 and 4: Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986)

Ratings: 8.5/10 (both)

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Yes, I agree. How haven’t I seen these two films up until now?! I lived for 26 years without the knowledge of how awesome Ripley was or how gross the chestbursters are, and although my life wasn’t sad before, it is all the richer now.

tkamb

Spot #2: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Rating: 9/10

Both numbers one and two for me were really sad and thought provoking films that provided insight into the very best and the very worst of the human nature. Pan’s Labyrinth is the ONLY film that could have beaten out To Kill A Mockingbird.

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Spot #1: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Rating: 9/10

The winner of the year is the gut wrenching and incredibly poignant Pan’s Labyrith. This is a bit touchy feely, but watching this film made me want to cry for two reasons – the beautiful directing and the sad story of Ophelia and her desperate escape methods from the horrors of her world.

Well, there we have it. I enjoyed the majority of this list – truly it is probably only numbers 10 – 12 that really grated on me, and yet I am not displeased about spending time with them. Did you do a Blindspot in 2016? Comment below t and I haven’t discovered your undoubtedly awesome page, send me the link below 🙂

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Happy Women’s Day South-Africa: Top 15 Favorite Kick-Ass female characters on screen

Today is Women’s Day here in South-Africa. Over here we like public holidays quite a bit (although India has TWENTY ONE), so we are all having a day off today – Whoop!

To celebrate, I made a list of strong female characters on screen. I think we can all agree that there are too few well written, complex female characters, but these ladies below are amazing and did their job extremely well in their respective films!

black-widow

Fifteen: The Black Widow – Marvel movies

Female superheroes have increased marginally, and I am really happy about that. My only negative comment is that I am confused why female superheroes need to either wear skin tight leather suits or skimpy Wonder Woman outfits while their male counterparts wears aerodynamically pleasing outfits or war clothing. We have a far way to still go in this genre, but at least we can all agree that Natasha Romanoff kicks ass multiple times on screen and is a fully functional member of the squad. I really enjoy this character, and I think Scarlett Johannson has done a great job bringing her to the screen. It annoyed me a bit that her infertility was this massive discussion in one of the movies – the reproductive capability of her male teammates have never been discussed.

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Fourteen: Katniss Everdeen

Katniss as a character has many flaws – she is selfish and can’t choose between two men. While that is certainly a crime, I have never been able to really judge her too harshly for it. Her world is dark and horrible, and she has nothing wonderful. Turning away from the caring of a good man? It seems nearly cruel to expect her to do that.

But despite this obvious flaw, I really thought the character was badass and capable, and honorable to take her younger sister’s place in a situation where she was guaranteed her death.

hermoine

Thirteen: Hermione Granger, The Harry Potter series

If this had been a literary list, Hermoine would have been much higher. Film Hermoine is great and Emma Watson did a good job with her, but my opinion remains that the film adaptions didn’t do justice to the sheer magnificence of the novels, on any level. Anyway, this isn’t a Harry Potter discussion, so I will just mention that Hermoine Granger is the reason those two boys stayed alive. She is strong, intelligent, fiercely loyal and brave, and her contribution to the wizarding world and the feminist cause must never be forgotten.

Elle woods

Twelve: Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

When Legally Blonde dropped in 2001, every single person on this planet was charmed by Reese Witherspoon and the ditzy genius she created. There were tiny dogs, buckets of pink, manicures and textbooks, all in one film. I placed Elle Woods on this list because we too often forget that it is perfectly possible for a woman to love pink, to be girly and to be very determined, intelligent and capable all at one time. Another excellent thing in the film was that sisterhood won out in the end, and Warner Hungtinton the Third was booted on his ass.

Caroline

Eleven: Caroline Forbes, The Vampire Diaries

As the only series character to make it on to this post, you must know that I am very much team Caroline. Another pretty blonde girl who shows determination, loyalty and passion for life! In season one, Caroline works on your nerves pretty much incessantly. She’s insecure and whiny, and seems to be shallow and petty. However, the second she becomes a vampire and she realises that she will live an eternity in her own head, she gets a grip in such a remarkable fashion that I became her biggest fan.

I am no man

“I am no man”

Ten: Eowyn, Lord of The Rings

Perhaps the lady with the most iconic quote on the list, Eowyn, shield maiden of Rohan, is on first impression another lady who waits while her beloved father figure wastes away at the hand of the dastardly Wormtongue and her brother rides to war against orcs. It quickly becomes clear that this is a proud woman who was raised by warriors, and that she is simply tired of being left behind while those she loves die around her. She finds a way on to the battlefield, and if that chilling and rousing speech Theoden gives before his final ride isn’t enough, Eowyn steals everyone’s thunder by killing the leader of the Nazgul. She also gets her super happy ending at the end, which pleased me to no end.

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Nine: The Bride, Kill Bill

Quentin Tarantino is a phenomenal film maker, and the roles he creates for women are legendary. The Bride is one such character, hell bent on revenge and making people pay for what was done with her. Uma Thurman brings this vengeful character to life with scary finesse, and even though this isn’t my favorite Tarantino film, the character itself is impressive as they come.

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Eight: Hit Girl, Kick-Ass

She’s super tiny, she swears like a sailor, she wears a bright purple wig and her father is Nicolas Cage. Who doesn’t love her? I was a major fan of both movies, and it would be amazing if they could make a third. Hit Girl is the best part of this franchise, showing that gender and size is insignificant when it comes to being a bad ass.

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Seven: Rey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The horror when Disney bought Star Wars was paramount. Everyone was sure it would be a disaster, and no one could even get a moment of sleep due to the inordinate amounts of stress this franchise was causing in their adult lives. LUCKILY, Disney actually ended up doing a great job, and introduced a bunch of new characters that were able to flow nicely with how things had been done in the past. One of the best new additions was Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, a survivor and a strong female character who can do things for herself. I really enjoyed this character – she is a fantastic blend of purity and strength and was wonderful and empowering to watch.

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL

Six: Rita Vrataski, The Edge of Tomorrow

A nice little situation of role reversal, Emily Blunt was a hardened war veteran who saved Tom Cruise’s ass REPEATEDLY from aliens. I loved the character – she was sassy, strong, smart and the heroine of the day.

Eva Green CR

Five: Vesper Lynd, Casino Royale

Did you also just rub your heart because of the pain that shot through it when Vesper was mentioned? It HURTS. Vesper is hands down the best Bond girl that has ever been onscreen. Her sharp brain kept her well equipped to banter with Bond, and her eventual control over Bond ripped out my heart. The fact that Casino Royale is the best Bond film out there certainly helps, but this character in herself is powerful and strong and determined, attributes that were completely left out during the writing process for the other female characters over this incredibly long franchise.

Ellie Sattler Laura Dern

Four: Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jurassic Park

I mentioned in my review of Jurassic World that it felt awful to realize that Dr. Ellie Sattler, who was in the very original Jurassic Park in NINETEEN NINETY THREE was a better, well written and strong female character than the running-in-heels-Bryce-Dallas-Howard. Dr. Ellie Sattler, played by Laura Dern, is super smart, professional, excels in her field and gets to see Dinosaurs in JP. I have loved and admired this character from my childhood till now, and I am eternally grateful to the writers that they allowed this strong character to see the light.

M

Three: M, The Bond Franchise

Dame Judi Dench is literal life goals. She is classy, successful and revered, and a girl can just dream to be her when she grows up. M is Bond’s boss, the only person who can try to control him, and their relationship is amazing and complex. I love the power of M, and Judi Dench is incredible to behold as this woman who puts her country above everything in her life.

Furiousa

Two: Furiousa, Mad Max

Homegirl Charlize Theron teamed up with Tom Hardy in the return of Mad Max, and what a job she did. Furiousa is powerful and intense, and her survival skills in the mad world she finds herself in is incredible. The film should have been titled Furiousa, as it is about her and how she helped the wives escape from that dreadful man. The entire film is one big celebration of sisterhood and sticking together, and I could only cheer on the women as they battled for their freedom.

Shoshanna

One: Shoshanna Dreyfus, Inglorious Basterds

The final accolade was difficult to award, because all of the ladies on here are amazing. However, I do think that Shoshanna is worthy, and that her role in Inglorious Basterds is incredibly important. I loved her – her courage and determination, her absolute hatred of anything Nazi, and her eventual success at revenge.

Well, there you have it. There are hopefully a million other female characters that can be mentioned by you below, and I look forward to seeing your opinions!

Blindspot 2016: Kill Bill Volume I (2003)

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Plot: The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her – a team she was once part of.

What I liked:

The score: The insanity matched the movie.

The directing and coloring. This might not be my favorite Tarantino, but it is classically his style and looks marvelous.

Kill Bill Volume I starts really slow and nearly lost my attention, but once it hits stride it is highly entertaining.

Uma Thurman. Yes. She fits in with Tarantino’s work so well.

The quest for revenge. I might have found the violence too much, but no one would deny that she was right to seek her revenge and revel in it.

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This car. It is naturally everything and so Tarantino.

Vivica A. Fox and Lucy Liu. Both their performances are a bit over the top and ridiculous but it is clearly the aim of this production, and works really well.

The blood spattering in the Tarantino way. So ridiculous. So macabre. So funny.

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What I didn’t like:

The Violence. It is heavy, even for Tarantino.

Some serious questionable events (sorry everyone)

That man in the hospital renting Uma’s body out for perverts – disgusting and nasty, but improbable.

That said, her escape from the hospital… also, really improbable

A sword being allowed on an aeroplane? This one got me the most. Like that would ever be allowed.

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Rating: 7.5/10

I’m expecting to get some strong opinions, so go right ahead J Kill Bill is entertaining once it gets past that slow start, but is unnecessarily violent in parts and contains so many things where I’m like “this wouldn’t ever happen”. There are factors that gives it an up on the negative feelings I had, like the excellent cast, imagery and acting. However, I’m a much bigger fan of Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Happy I FINALLY saw this though. The effort I went through to procure a working copy of this? I will be bitching for ages.

Blindspot 2016: The list

I wanted to say happy Tuesday but since it has long since been established that Tuesdays are actually the real Mondays, I’ll just say: keep strong, friends. I’ve finally managed to pick some Blindspot choices – I actually went through IMDb’s Top 250 and chose a lot of them from there. I should get a post up sometime about what I’ve seen on that list.

Alien (1979)

I know. I’m ashamed.

Aliens  (1986)

Same ↑

Home Alone (1990)

I have no idea why I never saw this as a kid. I’m really interested.

Kill Bill Volume I (2003)

Tarantino is my man of the moment and really looking forward to this. It might be a bit violent for my taste but I am still willing to try.

Kill Bill Volume II (2004)

Same ↑

Back to the Future (1985)

When Back to the Future Day happened last year I hid in my room, ashamed and sad  to not take part in such festivities.

Memento (2000)

What is a Blindspot list from Natasha without a Christopher Nolan education?

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

This book wasn’t a part of my education at school (fuck you, Government). I want to get to both the film and the book this year.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

I haven’t really read up about this because I hate spoilers, so really keen to see what it is about.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Dark fairy tales? IN.

Warrior (2011)

Tom Hardy, my husband. But it also shows up on the IMDb list so it is worth a watch. Can’t wait.

Love Actually (2003)

Because my bestie hated it and everyone else loved it (or most people). So I will go see what I will see.

What did you pick? Link me your posts below 🙂

Blindspot 2015: Pulp Fiction (1994)

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Plot: The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Rating: 9/10

I was so dreading watching this. So long, so much love running around for it. Who has time to spend nearly three hours on something and then tell the world that they hated it? Anyway. I finally forced myself to sit down and get this done, because I still need to watch A Good Year as well and in case nobody noticed, its nearly 2016. So. I sat down and for at least the first fifteen minutes I was like “what the effing eff is this?” All I saw was this one weird couple yapping about something and Samuel L. Jackson saying “motherfucker” more times than I could ever possibly wish to count.

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Then it got really good really fast. It is incredibly weird and the only plot line I ever established was that Pulp Fiction is a movie about a random day in the life of mobsters. However, the day was really interesting and the characters are intriguing. The music, directing, characters and eloquent dialogue is strange enough to keep you watching, and I guess that is what a movie should be doing. I though Uma Thurman made an amazing Mia Wallace, Samuel L. Jackson was really weird but really good and John Travolta has obviously always had a penchant for strange hairstyles.

Pulp Fiction was much more than I thought it would be – as you’ve guessed by the high rating up there. The dialogue is especially a big attribute to the film – providing insight into these strange underworld characters. The non-linear storyline concludes well in the end and the crossing of these characters’ paths are then very funny to behold.

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Pulp Fiction is a great film by all accounts, and a definite recommendation, but only if you actively enjoy strange films.

PS: what the fuck is in that suitcase?!