grub + travels + perspectives

Weekend Movies #9

This week, it's half new movies and half old ones!

1. Dark Places. It was a movie with Charlize Theron in it and was based from Gillian Flynn's book with the same title, and yet I've never really heard about the film until I saw a link from a blog. There wasn't so much buzz or exposure about the existence of this film. I'm surprised it was not hyped given the 2 points I mentioned above. So was it a good film? Yes, it was not that bad. It's decent to watch but I found the story trudging at one point and overall, it's not that memorable. I thought there was a bit of miscast too. (µ)

2. Far From The Madding Crowd. Only reason I bothered watching this: Carey Mulligan. I've never read the classic novel by Thomas Hardy (shame) nor watched the first adaptation of it. The cinematography was great! I loved seeing the beautiful, lush English countryside, but the protagonist of the film, Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) took forever to make the right decision regarding the matters of the heart. She's established that she's a woman who values her independence and declined many wedding proposals but fell in love with the person people told her to stay away from. Oh well, it happens to the best of us, I guess. Hahaha. I wished there was more of Juno Temple's character, too. Her importance in the film appeared too limited.

3. The Drop. The movie starts really slow but I assure you this is worth watching. I love the way they built the suspense perfectly. The storyline is very, very interesting. There's this palpable tension that you could feel from the start of the film that makes you uneasy because you know in your mind that somewhere along the line, something is bound to explode and you're not prepared for it. All the characters are dark and twisted and full of motives -- Tom Hardy, the late James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts were all exemplary in this film. How can you not love Tom Hardy even more now? I'm not usually one who likes crime, gangster films but this one is intense! (µ)

These two. <3
4. Howl's Moving Castle. This is my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film. If you haven't seen it, please do take time to watch it. Miyazaki doesn't really make bad films in my opinion. Spirited Away? My Neighbor Totoro? Ponyo? The Secret World of Arrietty? The Wind Rises? Princess Mononoke? Yup, pretty much all he makes is great. Some may argue that this is actually Miyazaki's weakest film, but to each his own, I guess. The story is unique (read the book if you haven't, there are a few differences though), the animation is just beautiful, and the entirety of the movie is entertaining, and simple and complex at the same time. I love this animation. I never ever get tired of watching this! (µ)

5. A Clockwork Orange. I remember asking a college friend way back (~10 years ago) to download this film because I've been reading a lot about it though I never got a copy because the Internet still sucked that time (dial-up 56 kbps anyone?) and I haven't discovered the power of Torrent. This is one of Stanley Kubrick's most iconic and sensational films. A few minutes in it and you'll see why. Though I had to watch it a couple of times before I fully digested everything about it. Extremely disturbing, definitely will provoke a reaction from you, guaranteed, and may not cater to most people but if you manage to sit through, it is really worth it. (µ)

6. Never Been Kissed. Just to lighten things up after A Clockwork Orange, I decided to watch this Drew Barrymore-starred romantic comedy again. It's a feel good, enjoyable film that can fill you with nostalgia. Although I was cringing at her character all throughout (too many face palm moments), it never fails to make me have a good laugh here and there. There's a great deal of difference when I watched this before (when VCDs were still "the thing") when I was still naive and young, and now because, of course, the story is too fairytale-ish and a tad cheesy at the end, but I guess I appreciate the movie enough that I still turn to it no matter how unrealistic and unsurprising the plot is. :) (µ)