Tinkering Away At A Few Film Reviews

In my humble opinion, it’s a pretty good time for films at the moment. Perhaps it’s just that time of year, but I found myself wanting to go to about a bajillion films in the cinemas recently – something that doesn’t happen all that often for me. I mean, I do go to the cinema quite regularly, but the majority of the films I watch are at home, on DVD. So in honour of the recently released films that I’ve gone and enjoyed on the silver screen, I thought I’d make a few comments about them here – and hopefully encourage you to see them, too.

(I apologise in advance for any spoilers for those who may not have seen the films!)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I was originally drawn to this film because of the massive range of absolutely stunning actors – I mean, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy… all in one movie? Yes please! They do not disappoint, either. What immediately strikes you about this film is that there is much less dialogue than one is used to in a film – less dialogue than an actor is used to as well, I’d imagine. Here, the actors master the art of saying things without words, and I believe it is far more impacting and touching for this. This is especially true in a scene starring our own lovely Benedict Cumberbatch, in which he has to force his (male) partner to leave him. Too beautiful, and heartbreaking! And as for Gary Oldman – well! It’s all the harder for him, as an actor, because his character says even less, shows less expression and feeling, than any other. Deliberate, of course – and the fact that Gary Oldman can still portray the character’s thoughts… I mean, wow. I’d say that it’s all part of the overall slower pacing of the film, which is a refreshing change from other ‘wham-bam’ films these days. And the attention to detail – gosh, am I in awe! All the small noises, such as the scratch of a pen on paper… and then there’s the clever camera shots that show the scene from behind a window, or through a door. It just creates such a perfect atmosphere for the era, and the political climate, that the film is set in. While it is a ‘thinking’ sort of film, I’d definitely recommend it to those who might just wish to watch something with brilliant acting and flimmaking – either way, you’ll love it.

This Means War

Ahaa, Tom Hardy, we meet again… and okay, I’ll admit it – the epicness of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy was definitely the initial lure to this film for me. I just adore both of them, and so the opportunity to see a film where they star opposite each other was simply too awesome to pass up. And, you know, I was right – the chemistry between the pair is sizzling! ๐Ÿ˜€ (Not to mention Tom Hardy’s English accent sticking out due to all the American-ness around him… *drools*). Reese Witherspoon was pretty charming alongside the boys – I mean, I liked her in ‘Walk The Line’, and I’m sure she’s been in something else I liked too, so she’s quite easy to enjoy. And, yeah, the plot may have been somewhat of a typical romantic-comedy – not usually my thing, although thereย areย exceptions – but these actors definitely gave the film that extra ‘something’ which made it worth the rom-com plotline. It’s like… ‘Pretty Woman’, I never expected to like, but somehow… I can’t help loving it. Same with ‘Notting Hill’ – Hugh Grant, squeeee… but I digress. This film did have its cheesy moments, but I couldn’t have expected anything different, and they were healthily balanced out by some delicious action sequences, as well as a lot of hilarity! The only thing that I was slightly disappointed by was the ending, in the way it tried just that tiny bit too hard, in my opinion, to tie up all of the loose ends. But then again, I am particularly picky about endings, and they rarely satisfy me completely, so it’s no big deal. Definitely an entertaining watch, for both guys and gals!

Hugo

Whatever you think you know about Hugo… it is far more amazing than you could possibly expect or imagine. Before I watched this piece of art, I naively thought that it was a kids’ film, and for ‘some reason’ was a big hit at the Oscars. However, now I see why this film received the number of Oscars that it did – and it’s not even really a film for kids, despite the principle actors being children. This storyline and its characters offer something to every kind of audience – beautifully dealt with, and easily stepping away from what could have been a clichรฉd ‘message’. Asa Butterfield, the boy the film focuses around, is an absolutely stunning wee actor – I’m completely in love! ๐Ÿ˜€ I totally would have given him the Oscar, had he been nominated. He just put the right amount of emotion into it all. Too adorable! His counterpart, Chloรซ Moretz, was also a joy to watch – my kind of heroine, for sure! Now, I chose to see this film in 3D, which is saying something in itself – I’m one of the unfortunate who have to wear glasses anyway, so when I go to a 3D film… I’m wearing two pairs of glasses. Terribly tedious and unattractive! ๐Ÿ˜› However, this was completely worth it – the location shots of Paris and of the clock tower were sights to behold, and actually, the cinematography as a whole was beautiful. This setting, combined with the heartfelt acting, honestly made me feel awed and marvelled by the end. Breathtaking. Unlike the theme at the heart of Hugo, Scorsese’s film needs no fixing – it’s absolutely perfect.

Seen these films too? Have I made you want to see them? Share your thoughts!

Have fun, filmgoers!
Bri xx

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Day 12 โ€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: Harry Potter Tribute

Harry Potter.

The boy who lived. Every child in our world truly does know his name.

I had been keen to write up a tribute post to Harry Potter for a while, and when I stumbled across this lovely post (thank you Toni! :)), I knew that it would do perfectly! I did add in a few of my own questions though, as I’m a bit of a fanatic! It’s a few weeks late, but I’m planning on seeing Deathly Hallows Part II for the second time on the weekend, so it is timely on that respect!

Favourites

Character: Such a tough one to start off with. I’d have to say it’s a tie between three characters…

Luna Lovegood: Love her attitude about life! She has the best quotes, and, well… she’s just lovely. And Evanna Lynch is perfect! Plus, seeing as I’m blonde, she’s the one that get to dress up as – can’t get any better than that! I’ve made my own cork necklace especially for such occasions ๐Ÿ˜‰ (keep reading for a pic!)

Draco Malfoy: Oh, how I wish J.K Rowling had spent more time exploring his character… yep, I’m one of those fans who believe that he’s a seriously misunderstood character. He’s in a unique position, which gives his character so many interesting sides… I guess that’s what fanfic is for, right? ๐Ÿ˜› Not to mention… Slytherin Prince = HOT.

Remus Lupin: He’s gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚ My favourite of the Marauders… I just can’t help admiring him. Being a werewolf, having to struggle through life, and watching all of his friends die before him – when in all likelihood he probably should have been the first to go… so brave. And he gives out chocolate. Win!

Book: Prisoner of Azkaban. Loved finding out more about Remus and Sirius, and their past. Also adore the whole Time Turner sequence – brilliant!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And… I dunno. I just love the whole atmosphere of the book. It’s just before things at Hogwarts take a turn for the worse, but it’s also more mature than the innocence found in the first two books. Which is, of course, charming in itself, but I love this book for finding a balance. Oooh, and we’re introduced to Hogsmeade – love it!

Film: Deathly Hallows Part I. Not just because it’s one of the more recent ones, but because it has the most focus on character, over plot. I know that some people saw this as a negative point, but I loved every moment. It’s wonderfully faithful to the book, a perfect setup for the end. And Dobby… too beautiful for words. I have to say though, right behind this one is Chamber of Secrets. I’ve watched it so many times, along with Philosopher’s Stone, so it’s very quotable. And very funny. ๐Ÿ˜€

Moment: Talk about an impossible task! What sticks out for me is a moment in Deathly Hallows during the Battle of Hogwarts, where Luna, Seamus, and Ernie cast Patronus Charms to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione, because they don’t have enough fight in them to cast their own. Very sweet! ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoy the whole part in Order of the Phoenix where everyone’s staying at Grimmauld Place – seems like a house full of things to explore. And I love when we go back into Snape’s memories and past. Heartbreaking! May I just say, for the record, I totally knew that he was in love with Lily ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quickfire

House: Ravenclaw. I would love to say Slytherin, but I don’t think I’m evil enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Class: Charms. Swish and flick!

Professor: Minvera McGonagall. Hands down. (although Snape gives her a run for her money…)

Spell: Levicorpus! What fun ๐Ÿ˜€ As for a useful spell… Alohomora!

Potion: Draught of Living Death. And Amortentia, because of the awesome sounding name!

Book: Hogwarts, A History. I’m sure I’d actually read it…

Profession: A professor, I believe!

Shop: Flourish & Blotts, followed by Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop.

Food/Drink: Has to be Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, and Cauldron Cakes. Mmmmm.

Patronus: A frog! ๐Ÿ˜€

Animagus: A cat, naturally. You get to sleep all day.

Creature: Phoenix – preferably, Fawkes. And Dobby, not that he’s a ‘creature’ as such… awww!

Boggart: *shudders* most likely spiders, like poor Ronald…

Death Eater: Bellatrix Lestrange, all the way! ๐Ÿ˜€

Mirror of Erised: I think I’d probably see myself with some novels published…

Final Thoughts

When the final book came out, I was actually working – at a book store, appropriately enough. Dressed as Luna, while my fellow colleagues (who are all middle aged and older!) dressed as Tonks, Harry, and Dumbledore. Too epic. The whole book store was full of people waiting to get their hands on Deathly Hallows. We counted down. Funnily enough, immediately after we yelled “ZERO!” our store CD player, which was playing a specially mixed Harry Potter CD, started blasting out the Hogwarts Song: “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, teach us something, pleeease!” *giggles* Best. Timing. Ever. My boss ripped open the boxes, and I gazed with wonder at the piles of Harry Potter books… until I had to start selling them a millisecond later!

Felt like the longest shift in existence. The lunch break was extra torturous – I bought Deathly Hallows, and then sat staring at it the whole time. I didn’t want to start it, because then I’d have to stop… never again have I possessed such will power ๐Ÿ˜‰ But gosh, it was epic fun, selling the books on the release date – the joy on everyone’s faces, watching people walking out of the shop having already started reading… ๐Ÿ™‚

Going to see the midnight screening of Deathly Hallows Part II – the final film, ever! – was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had, related to Harry Potter. I dressed as Luna, of course. There were so many people dressed up – I saw many Bellatrixs, many Tonks, many non-distinct Gryffindors and Slytherins… and even saw a Voldemort wearing a bald cap! Dedication. While we were watching the film, everyone was so respectfully quiet – except when some like NEVILLE did something EPIC and then we all just erupted into cheers. We saw the Part I film directly before Part II as well, which definitely made for a better time – it followed on so perfectly that it felt like it was just one massive film!

I can’t wait until I have time to re-read the series again ๐Ÿ™‚

Please share any of your thoughts about the end of Harry Potter with me!! I’d love to hear them ๐Ÿ™‚

…although…

It’s not really goodbye, after all!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 08 โ€” A Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad

So… this one made me think quite hard! ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m not generally an angry person (if you hadn’t noticed!) so that was pretty much out… leaving me to find a photo that makes me sad.

*ponders this*

Final Deathly Hallows (Part II) Speeches

Okay, so not so difficult after all.

Gah! The perfect image to sum up every feeling and emotion about the final Harry Potter film release. And gosh, these speeches were actually heartbreaking! Because… it’s the end of an era. I’m one of lucky, privileged people who has grown up with the Harry Potter books and films – grown up with Harry himself. And so to be able to witness the end of the films, the true end… well. I won’t lie, theses speeches made me tear up ๐Ÿ˜›

But it’s not all sad – the magic of it is, we can dive right back into Harry’s world anytime we like, through the books, or through the films, or any other means. As J.K Rowling said…

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

On that note… how about you guys? ๐Ÿ™‚

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 07 โ€” A Photo That Makes You Happy

Well, this is probably meant be a photo that’s more ‘close to home’, but that’s not really what this blog is about. I’m sure you’d much rather see this kind of photo anyways… ๐Ÿ˜‰

John Barrowman – Sunset Boulevard

This is a photo of John Barrowman during the time that he was cast as the leading man (Joe Gillis) in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Sunset Boulevard‘ musical. He played Joe from 1994-1995 at the West End, and in 1996 at Broadway.

It makes me happy for two reasons. First – come on, he’s gorgeous!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Look at how young he looks, so pretty… and oh my, his hair! *fangirls* Ahem. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The second reason is that I adore Sunset Boulevard – it’s a fantastic musical, a great story. It’s actually based on an old black and white film by the same title. I hired it from our library earlier this year – being the first black and white movie I’ve watched all the way through – and it was marvellous. The characters are intriguing, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s transformation of that into songs, music… is beautiful.

So yes. Happy times. Especially when I make it my desktop background… *swoons* ๐Ÿ˜‰

Care to share a photo that makes YOU happy?

Don’t forget to check out the awesomeness that Amber has been up to here!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 02 โ€” Your Favourite Film

I guess I’d call myself a bit of a film geek.

Not as much as some people, but honestly – films are a guaranteed way to get me talking!

Once again, though, I have so many different favourites, from different genres, and all that! I adore psychological thrillers, musicals, ‘old’ films (Oooh, and with old ‘special effects’ – super cute!), dystopian films, clever kids films… and I have to admit, I love a healthy dash of romance in them too. Although… I can’t usually stomach chick flicks. Unless, say, someone has injected me with high amounts of estrogen, or something crazy like that. But then again, I do surprise myself sometimes.

Fight Club (1999)

Interestingly enough, I’d never watched the trailer for this before finding one for this post. It’s amazing how… different the film is, to the trailer! In a brilliant way, of course. I won’t say too much, as I definitely don’t want to spoil it for people, but this film?

Amazing.

I honestly love films that mess with your mind. The first time I watched Fight Club, I had no idea what I had just watched, but knew that I absolutely loved it! So. Clever. The novel that it’s based on, by Chuck Palahniuk, is just as well created. Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic, as always – she really does excel at playing those… mentally disturbed characters, right? I don’t much like Brad Pitt these days, but his earlier stuff is rather enjoyable! And, well… just watch it!

A Single Man (2009)

Oh. My.

I adore this film for many reasons. Firstly, Colin Firth is a spectacular actor – not to mention devastatingly handsome – and captured the character of George perfectly. That’s one of the most important elements to this film, really. The other thing to admire is the brilliant ‘technical’ aspects of the film. The camera shots, the different colouring/lighting filters used, all the tiny symbolic details… it’s a masterpiece!

That, and the emotion contained within it… wow!

It’s also based upon a novel, in fact! I highly recommend it, just as powerful as the film.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

I almost laughed trying to find a trailer for this one! I mean… seriously, how could you encapsulate this film into a trailer!! Teehee.

Nevertheless.

I would be shocked if anyone hadn’t heard of Rocky Horror. But then… a flatmate of mine hadn’t… poor deprived child! I’m not exactly sure how I can describe this film, other than saying that it is utterly confusing, utterly crazy, and utterly epic! My awesome mum, the darling, was the one who originally made me watch it, and may I just say – THANK YOU MUM! ๐Ÿ˜€

The songs, the costumes, the audience interaction, the epic ‘special effects’… really, I would love to pick this film apart one day, and try and discover some meaning.

If there is any meaning at all.

*mysterious music* ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ah well, so how about you lot, then? Agree? Disagree? Feel compelled to follow my recommendations? Have any recommendations of your own? I love talking films, so feel welcome to leave as many comments as you like!

Have fun!
Bri xx