Blindspot 2015: Final Feedback

As promised, today’s post contains feedback about my Blindspot list for 2015. I am so happy with the list I compiled with a few people’s suggestions – the movies I saw were all either something I’ve been meaning to watch for ages or movies I haven’t seen and really should have seen to be allowed out in public. So, here we go. There are links to the original reviews for these movies if you want to go check them out.

godfather 2 poster

 

  1. The Godfather (1972): 9.5/10

2. The Godfather Part 2 (1974) 9.5/10

The Godfather Part I and II both appeared on the list when Zoë heard that I’d never seen the two films and threatened to disown me. Well, we can safely still be besties because these two movies are incredible. The incredible acting, directing and story telling makes two incredibly intense movies, and I can cast myself in the fan zone for the franchise – it is AMA-ZING

The-Prestige-2006

3. The Prestige (2006) 9/10

Christopher Nolan is a director that was very well represented on this Blindspot list. I’m still getting to know him and while he may truthfully not be my favorite director, he is a fantastic, incredibly intelligent storyteller. The Prestige hurt my brain on a lot of levels, and the film was very well put together. I would really recommend the film to everyone.

Fury poster

4. July: Fury (2014) 9/10

This. Film. Nail biting. Intense. Wardaddy forever.

thumbnail_poster_color-PulpFiction_11r2_Approved_640x360_141767235537

5.  Pulp Fiction (1994) 9/10

The introductory course to the madness that is Tarantino started here. I am so glad I saw this, because I am hooked by the extravagance of his film making.

Interstellar

6. Interstellar (2014) 8.5/10

Christopher Nolan excelled yet again with a visually stunning film that discusses mind boggling topics. LOVE.

Casablanca,_title

7. Casablanca (1942) 8.5/10

For me the true mark of an epic film is whether it transcends generations. Casablanca is all class in black and white, and is such a wonderful treat to watch.

x-men-first-class-movie poster

8. X-Men: First Class 7.5/10 (2011)

I love a good superhero film. The X-men is by far the movies I know least about, and it has was a great idea to watch First Class. It started my thing for James McAvoy, and it is really worth the time spent.

Romeo and Juliet Poster

9. Romeo and Juliet (1996) 7.5/10

Baz Luhrman is such a grand chap. I love the extravagance of his directing, and Romeo and Juliet is no different. Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio are perfect in here, and the decidedly weird adaption still works very well.

Magic-in-the-Moonlight-onesheet-405x600

10:  Magic in the Moonlight (2014) 7/10

This was certainly not my favorite film on the Blindspot list, and I think the huge problem is the wasted talent from the cast.

invictus poster

11: Invictus (2009) 7/10

Although not a bad film, the film lacks the passion South-Africans feel towards the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Maybe because it was made by Americans and not South-Africans. #justsaying

A good year poster

12: A Good Year (2006) 6/10

This lame rom-com just bored me. Russel Crowe can do so much more man.

Marvelous Mondays AND Blindspot series 2015: X-Men: First Class (2011)

x-men-first-class-movie poster

Plot: In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start world war III.

Rating: 7.5/10

 professor

Now this is what I call killing two birds with one stone! My Blindspot choice for March is incidentally a Marvel movie so I was really happy to watch it and get both done.

In typical Natasha Fashion, I watched Days of Future Past first and liked it so much I needed to see the movie that came before it.  I did, and although First Class was really good it has nothing on Days of Future past. I think Future Past carries such a punch because the world of the X-Men is falling apart and that they are down to their last hope.

I once again loved James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in their respective roles. They are both so good at what they need to portray – McAvoy is a brilliant scholar and Fassbender is a powerful man determined to get his revenge on those who hurt him. Fassbender was slightly lame when he finally killed Shaw – he was immediately into the “villain” mode, and I think he worked too hard on reflecting the now slightly dark side of his character.

I also really enjoyed Mystique in here – she is still young and fresh and not as angry as she is in Days of Future Past. Jennifer Lawrence did a really good job with her – Mystique’s youth is evident but she’s faced the world’s intolerance her whole life because of her condition. I really liked how she undergoes transformation – you can see her skin changing. I do think Mystique’s skin looked way cooler in here, I read that Jennifer Lawrence had make-up for this role but her reprisal of Mystique in Days of Future Past wore a suit because she was so allergic to the makeup.

I still think Nicholas Hoult is way too adorable for it to be legal, and his struggle with what he is as Beast was sad and authentic.  It was nice to see Rose Byrne where she’s not being and idiot in some comedy – she can obviously do better than that and I would love to see her in more movies where she has a role and character development.

Kevin Bacon was entertaining as Sebastian Shaw – he was cold and ruthless and cruel. I thought the fact that he was also a mutant was a nice little twist to the story.

My biggest problem with First Class was the length – it was exceptionally long and not strong enough to carry it. It didn’t carry the emotional punch that Days of Future Past carried, and McAvoy’s broken charm in DoFP was more compelling than the roguish ego he had in First Class.

Overall a great film, but I still think that Days of Future Past was better done.

Blindspot Series 2015

Zoë has been really excited about this and I thought I would also compose one after seeing her rather excellent list (I’m very original haha). I really need to watchall of these movies – they all have different reasons as to why I would want to watch them but I need to get cracking and look at them this year. Let me know what you think and which ones you would like to watch, even if they aren’t on the list!!

X-Men: First Class (2011)

IMDb: In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start world war III.

After loving The Last Stand way too damn much, I really want to see its predecessor and see if this movie also manages to be really in-depth and intense.

Interstellar (2014)

IMDb: A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.

I’m really not sure if I will like this, but I need to give it a watch. Christopher Nolan’s latest movie is the rage all over town, so even if I don’t end up loving it, I definitely need to explore that venue. I can’t see anything really overtaking Gravity for me, but we will see what we will see, right?

The Godfather (1972)

godfather-brando

IMDb:  The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

This is for keeping friendships alive.

The Godfather Part 2 (1974)

The_Godfather_Part_2

IMDb: The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.

This one too. I’ve never really heard a bad word about it though, so I guess it won’t be too much of a problem to watch 😀

Fury (2014)

IMDb: 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. Out-numbered, 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.

Once again, I need see if the hype is really all, if it is good but not my style or if I just don’t like it one bit.

Romeo and Juliet (1996)

IMDb: Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

I actually thought of doing a FTF post for BazLuhrmann movies, but one of my favorite directors doesn’t seem to be all that into directing that often, so I’m rather going to do a week where I explore movies of him. Zoë got me this amazing boxset for Christmas with three of his movies in and I can’t wait to check out this adaption – I really hope it has Luhrmann’s distinctive flamboyant style!

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca,_title

IMDb: Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

It is shameful that I haven’t seen this classic yet. I remember that once at highschool the school’s biggest jock referred to something in Casablanca and if that absolute weirdo knows what is cracking in a movie that sounds so up my alley I best go see what this is about.

A Good Year (2006)

IMDb: A British investment broker inherits his uncle’s chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

This movie has been on my movie list since it premiered in 2006, and yet I still haven’t seen it. It sounds so lovely and like something I would enjoy.

Invictus (2009)

IMDb: Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

I really doubt if I will be moved to tears by an American opinion of one of the greatest moments in South-African sporting history, but I will watch this because even if I don’t like it I will gladly bitch about it for years after 😀

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

IMDb:  A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Reasons to watch this:

1) Woody Allen directed it and he directed Midnight in Paris, and that may be one of my favorite artsy films, ever

2) Emma Stone

3) Colin Firth

4) ‘nuff Said

The Prestige (2006)

IMDb: Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion.

Zoë is always telling me about this movie and then I forget the name and then the cycle repeats itself and… it is a very bad cycle you know. It sounds pretty good, all around happy reviews, I love movies about magic and stuff, so I think this is a must watch for 2015.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

IMDb: 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.

Yeah, I am deeply ashamed to say I haven’t seen this yet. I will watch it for obvious reasons, as well as seeing John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in full 80’s gear (hopefully) ad with delightfully awkward hair styles.

Well then, there you have my list. Let me know what you think!!

Marvelous Mondays: X-Men First Class (2011) by The Girl That Loved to Review

Today’s Marvel installment is by Sherise, who has an absolutely fantastic blog over at The Girl That Loved to Review. If you are not already following Sherise, you are missing out on some excellent blogging and I suggest you rectify this matter verrrry quickly :). Thanks for taking part, Sherise!

x men

This may be incredibly unbelievable to some of you, but I have never seen any of the movies in the X-Men trilogy. Never. The only one I had seen before First Class was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s very weird when I think about it because I loved the animated X-Men cartoon show as a kid. So basically when I saw X-Men: First Class I was viewing it with fresh eyes. I knew generally about the most famous X-Men characters, but that was about it.

What drew me to the theater to see First Class it’s opening weekend, despite not being a big X-Men fan, was the combination of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. These are two of the best actors of their generation and they elevate the X-Men franchise to new heights. They may not be big box office names outside the X-Men movies, but they are integral to the success of First Class and why I love it so much. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have intense chemistry. They are so much fun to watch bounce off each other. I would say First Class is one of the best comic book films ever made. It is very fun and light, but it also tackles some heavy issues.

mc avoy

James McAvoy first won me over in Wanted. I was lured into the theater to see Angelina Jolie, but came out raving about James instead. His work in First Class is phenomenal. He brings a lot of humor to the film, especially in the first half. I get so much joy out of seeing Xavier hitting on college co-eds and guzzling down beer. And the way he says “groovy” is just, well…groovy. I think James humanizes Xavier quite a bit. Xavier is not all knowing and wise. He’s still a young guy figuring things out. But he is also firm in his beliefs and his desire to help other mutants.

fassbender

Michael Fassbender blew me away previously as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. He was so sexy and smoldering. A man tormented by his inner demons and life that had been thrust upon him. Viewed through that kind of lens, Erik/Magneto is very much the same. Only in First Class it’s more like “You killed my mother, prepare to die!”

xmen meme

Any Princess Bride fans? What am I saying, everyone’s a Princess Bride fan. Anyways, Michael has the showier part than James. He even gets all the cool music! He makes Magneto so badass. First Class seems like one long audition to be the next James Bond. I’d watch that. While Xavier lightens the film, Magneto darkens it. He’s a pessimist basically. Michael’s charisma is incredible. I love near the end when Magneto floats out with Shaw’s body before him. He resembles a god. Throughout the movie I was blown away by him.

Okay, enough McFassy love, now let’s delve into some of the things about the film that don’t work. There are enough of them to keep this from being a truly amazing film. My biggest problem is Jennifer Lawrence and how Mystique is handled. Jennifer is fine when she is the human version of Mystique. But when she is blue skinned and yellow eyed… I don’t find her believable. Jennifer seems uncomfortable in Mystique’s skin. But when I think about it, maybe that’s the genius of her performance. Since Raven/Mystique can’t accept herself as she is. I wish she had more to do other than mope around about her appearance. I would have preferred someone older in the part though, someone more equal to James and Michael. The age thing isn’t a huge problem in First Class, but it becomes more prominent, for me anyways, in Days of Future Past.

lawrence

Then there is January Jones as Emma Frost. Most of the other actors are amazing, bringing so much energy to the film. Then there’s January with all the personality of a limp fish. It almost works sometimes, since Emma is a ‘cold’ character. But more often I found myself laughing at how ridiculous she looks and her monotone delivery. And the diamond special effects on her skin looked absolutely terrible. It was horrendous. Rose Byrne is a better actress, but I hate her character. She’s basically useless except for paralyzing Xavier (well, Magneto did it too but…). And the romance between the two is even more useless.

Other highlights are Kevin Bacon as Shaw, the villain. He is convincing and it looks like he had a lot of fun with it. Nicholas Hoult is quite good as Beast. When he’s big and blue he looks like a cute teddy bear.

I love X-Men: First Class. Instead of focusing on huge fight scenes and special effects, Matthew Vaughn focuses on the characters and their relationships with one another. I find it incredibly interesting and fascinating. The way Magneto and Xavier love and need each other, yet are torn apart by their very different beliefs. And how Mystique has a different relationship with each of the two men. My love for this film is why I was disappointed with Days of Future Past. I likedDOFP, but it’s basically the Wolverine show with an emphasis on action sequences. Where were my McFassy scenes? They were so few. And there were even fewer between the older and younger Xaviers and Magnetos. I feel that First Class was a great opportunity to reboot the franchise that was then undermined by DOFP.My rating for X-Men: First Class: 8/10