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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Zachary Quinto’s ‘Coming Out’ Epicness.

Alright. Time for me to admit to the full extent of my epic nerdiness.

I have recently fallen in love with another fandom… Star Trek! ๐Ÿ˜€

For some reason, I hadn’t watched the 2009 Star Trek film before, and so about a month or so ago I decided that as a self-professed Sci-Fi nerd, it was only natural that I should. Not to mention, a massive slash fan – Kirk/Spock were the original slash pairing, after all. Felt like I should pay hommage to it, or something. ๐Ÿ˜› So… I watched it! And fell in love. The characters are so fascinating, and the cast is bloody spectacular – Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Karl Urban (woo, fellow Kiwi!) Squeee. Easy as that.

Anyway, my new obsession isn’t actually the point of this post – it was just an opportune moment to tell you all, so you don’t find it odd if I suddenly tweet or post about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

…which leads me onto the real reason why I wanted to write this post, now.

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, that is Zachary Quinto, AKA the actor who plays the new Spock (he’s also in Heroes, which I now feel compelled to watch). Since becoming obsessed with the Star Trek fandom, I’ve also become obsessed with him! Obviously, he is incredibly pleasant to look at… ๐Ÿ˜‰ He is wonderfully intelligent, like a walking talking dictionary… *drools* Overall, Zachary is just a really sweet guy.

And he’s also just ‘officially’ come out as gay.

The way Zachary did so was just perfect. The original interview is here, and if you’re not paying attention, you could even miss it! He slips it in almost casually, not trying to make a big deal of it, but at the same time using it to say something really important about the state of our society in regards to this. He’s talking about his role in a play called ‘Angels in America‘ย  – his actual quote is:

Doing that play made me realize how fortunate I am to have been born when I was born. And to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men. And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like I โ€” there’s still so much work to be done. There’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed. The undercurrent of that fear and that, you know, insidiousness still is swarming. It’s still all around us. To revisit that world at all, it took a toll on me. It definitely was an incredible experience but it was really daunting at times.

After this admission, Zachary also posted a wee personal note on his website, which states even more explicitly his passionate feelings on the issue (he’s talking about Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide being the catalyst). Here’s the bit that spoke to me:

but in light of jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.ย  our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. […] i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.ย  jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.ย  and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner – i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me.ย  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.ย  that – i believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.

To me, that… it’s just so heartfelt. Almost made me tear up the first time I read it. Because it’s true, every word.

I mean, I can see why Zachary probably hadn’t come out earlier. He seems like quite a private person, and so probably didn’t see why he should have to talk about his orientation – after all, it’s really no-one’s business. If I were in that position, I think I’d feel the same way.

And yet, on the other hand… when you feel truly passionate and committed to a cause, and want to help in whatever way possible, sometimes these admissions are necessary. I mean, I could be completely wrong here, but this is just my (educated) guess as to the reasons behind Zachary’s decision. He has never denied being gay. As an actor in the spotlight, you can’t really blame him for wanting some privacy wherever he can get it. And now that he has come out, I feel fully confident in saying that I believe he will continue on as he has always done, being true to himself.

So, Zachary Qunito – I thank you for being so elegant, so brave, so heartfelt, and so honest about everything. Seriously, I thought I adored him before this. I sure hope it can pave the way for others.

::EDIT:: Look, he’s inspired someone already! ๐Ÿ™‚ Dan Kloeffler’s ‘To Boldy Go…‘ post.

It all makes a difference.

Love yourselves,
Bri xx

‘All Blacks Don’t Cry’

I stumbled across this video yesterday, about John Kirwan and his personal experience with depression. He’s written a book of the same title, which my Mum owns… shall have to snag it off her to read during the summer. Anyway, this dramatised film is just a snapshot – and I encourage you all to watch it. It’s 13 mins long, but it will be an incredibly important 13 mins of your life spent.

The thing about depression is… it’s swept under the carpet. Forced to hide deep within your chest, caged there. To admit you need help is a sign of weakness, right?

Wrong. It’s a sign of strength.

I just hope that this reaches some of you, and if you pass the video/message on, it may reach others too. John Kirwan has done a lot of depression in New Zealand – the website which he supports runs a really useful looking programme called ‘The Journal‘, definitely recommend it.

Everyone deserves to have someone there for them.

And yes, this post may seem a tad out of the blue… but it’s just something that’s struck me as crucially important, and something I feel strongly about. So please, do bear with my sudden seriousness!

Oh, and just randomly, I’ve officially had my first dream – sorry, nightmare! – where the All Blacks lost the World Cup. Talk about depression.

Sorry, couldn’t help the black humour.

(Oiii, my mind…!)

Love yourselves,
Bri xx

Fandom Is.

Fandom Fox! ๐Ÿ˜€

I didn’t write this – found it here – but I just HAD to re-post it. Because it is SO TRUE, every single word and YAY I’m not alone in this crazy world!

Fandom is focus. Fandom is obsession. Fandom is insatiable consumption. Fandom is sitting for hours in front of a TV screen a movie screen a computer screen with a comic book a novel on your lap. Fandom is eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome and not enough exercise and staying up way, way past your bedtime.

Fandom is people you don’t tell your mother you’re meeting. Fandom is people in the closet, people out and proud, people in costumes, people in T-shirts with slogans only fifty others would understand. Fandom is a loud dinner conversation scaring the waiter and every table nearby.

Fandom is you in Germany and me in the US and him in Australia and her in Japan. Fandom is a sofabed in New York, a roadtrip to Oxnard, a friend behind a face in London. Fandom talks past timezones and accents and backgrounds. Fandom is conversation. Communication. Contact.

Fandom is drama. Fandom is melodrama. Fandom is high school. Fandom is Snacky’s law and Godwin’s law and Murphy’s law. Fandom is smarter than you. Fandom is stupider than you. Fandom is five arguments over and over and over again. Fandom is the first time you’ve ever had them.

Fandom is female. Fandom is male. Fandom lets female play at being male. Fandom bends gender, straight, gay, prude, promiscuous. Fandom is fantasy. Fandom doesn’t care about norms or taboos or boundaries. Fandom cares too much about norms and taboos and boundaries. Fandom is not real life. Fandom is closer than real life. Fandom knows what you’re really like in the bedroom. Fandom is how you would never, could never be in the bedroom.

Fandom is shipping, never shipping, het, slash, gen, none of the above, more than the above. Fandom is love for characters you didn’t create. Fandom is recreating the characters you didn’t create. Fandom is appropriation, subversion, dissention. Fandom is adoration, extrapolation, imitation. Fandom is dissection, criticism, interpretation. Fandom is changing, experimenting, attempting.

Fandom is creating. Fandom is drawing, painting, vidding: nine seasons in four minutes of love. Fandom is words, language, authoring. Fandom is essays, stories, betas, parodies, filks, zines, usenet posts, blog posts, message board posts, emails, chats, petitions, wank, concrit, feedback, recs. Fandom is writing for the first time since you were twelve. Fandom is finally calling yourself a writer.

Fandom is signal and response. Fandom is a stranger moving you to tears, anger, laughter. Fandom is you moving a stranger to speak.

Fandom is distraction. Fandom is endangering your job, your grades, your relationships, your bank account. Fandom gets no work done. Fandom is too much work. Fandom was/is just a phase. Fandom could never be just a phase. Fandom is where you found a friend, a sister, a kindred spirit. Fandom is where you found a talent, a love, a reason.

Fandom is where you found yourself.

Squeeeeeee!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 06 โ€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: Fiction Is My Reality

Fiction Is My Reality.

It may interest you to know that this idea was the very prompt I needed to create this blog. I decided to use this 30 Day Challenge ‘Freebie’, as it were, to give you all a taste of what goes on in my mind, and what the future of my blog will likely relate to!

In a loose, roundabout way, at least. ๐Ÿ˜›

Whenever I care to stop and think about it, I can’t help realising that during an average day I seem to slip into the World of Fiction a lot. So many of the important parts of my ‘real life’ are somehow twisted, infused with fiction.

For example, while…

  • Breakfast: I often read fanfiction updates that have littered my email inbox.
  • Walking to uni/town: Either I’m listening to music, or (more often) daydreaming about my favourite fictional characters.
  • Bored during a lecture: Daydreaming, again…
  • Lunch: Either watch a short episode of a TV show, read a chapter of a book I’m currently reading, or more fanfiction perusing.
  • Gaps between lectures: As a compromise for not doing *real* study, I read the novel that we’re currently studying in my English course.
  • Dinner: Always seem to watch an episode of a TV show, or a movie if I’ve the time.
  • Evenings: If I’m caught up on my assignments (or even if I’m not… *cough*), I often do any number of things that I’ve mentioned already – or, if I’m feeling in the mood, I’ll write a fictional-something myself.

I suppose that it doesn’t seem remarkably strange, or out of the ordinary. After all, it’s just a part of my daily routine. But when I got to thinking about all of this… a startling question occured to me.

Do I enjoy the time I spend in the World of Fiction more than the time I spend actually “living my life” in Reality?

A near frightening thought.

What if I was escaping my life by living in all of these fictional realms?

But… I don’t think this is the case. I mean… I don’t hate my life, so it’s not like I actively want to escape it. And yet at the same time – I do enjoy engaging with all of these types of fiction. I love watching my favourite TV shows, reading fanfiction, reading books, watching movies. Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be engaging with them.

To be perfectly honest, sometimes it does feel like the highlight of my day is an episode of Sherlock, or whatever. Perhaps I’ve just had a bad day, or a boring day. But I don’t think this is the crux of the issue.

I don’t think that my need for fiction has anything to do with how much I like my life, my reality.

Instead…

I think that it has everything to do with the fact that there’s something special about fiction. Something that captivates me, that draws me in. Makes me stop and stare in absolute wonder.

Creativity.

I can’t help that I get obsessive about fictional characters, or am forever off daydreaming in my own, fictional world. It’s just the way my mind works. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I live my life through fiction.

Somehow, I don’t think I’m alone on this. So crawl out from under those blankets – I know it’s warm! – and tell me your thoughts about it. It might prove to be a fun topic to delve into – and I’m sure it will help me understand it more myself! I have by no means provided a lengthy exploration here… there’s always something more to think about.

Leave a comment. Start the fictional ball rolling.

Hope you all enjoyed my first ‘proper’ blog post! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have fun!
Bri xx