Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Film Obsession's Top 10 Reviewed Films of 2010 [Feature]

This year has been very exciting in terms of big budget film releases. We've seen the rise of 3D creations (even though that's not necessarily a good thing), we've seen stunning spectacles on screen in terms of cinematography, and have witnessed some of the most heart warming stories told in film. 

In case you had forgotten any films that were released this year, watch this awesome video showing 270 films of 2010 in just over 6 minutes! 

(Thanks to HeyUGuys for pointing this out)

So, of all the films I've reviewed (including screenings from The London Film Festival), I'm conducting the famous "Top 10" list. I can imagine there will be a couple you disagree with, and some you won't be able to comment on as they haven't been released, but take my word for it, they deserve to be on this list (If you can trust my judgement)
Click on the title of the film to read the review.

A true English delight with some very endearing characters. Every ounce of this was fun, surprisingly made you laugh and really was perfect was the summer release. 
The mini was a particular favourite English touch of mine. 
Controversial comedy mixed with some good British filming. This film took the humour from Chris Morris and turned it into one of the most quoted films in England this year. 
"Rubber Dingy Rapids"
A real unique twist on a comic book based movie. This film broke the boundaries of how a superhero film could be made. Plus the story was written by Jane Goldman - A woman!
Goooooo oestrogen! 
A genuinely stunning digital animation that hasn't lost any appeal after 10 years of the previous film. The characters are all the same with brilliant new ones.
Is it weird Lotso was my favourite?
It caused uncontrollable shaking and sleepless nights from the very realistic cinematography. This film made me want to walk out of the cinema in fear, no joke.
Never am I sitting in my kitchen alone again. 
Aronofsky showing the world he can turn even the sweetest thing into a dark, psychological whirlwind. The editing and costume was amazing in this, bringing every detail to life.
I'm kind of glad I didn't do ballet as a kid. 
A well thought out action film that makes your eyes pop out of their holes. I was shocked at how much I fell in love with this movie. It's just AWESOME.
You could say I lesbian it. 
Leonardo proves to be Hollywood's finest, as does the thrilling genre this film brings with it. The ending is what turned this film from great to genius.
I wouldn't mind looking after Leo, even if he was a psycho. 
A film that's never quite been done before, and never will. This will not only top the charts of 2010, but in the history of filmmaking. A big statement yes, but it can cope with it.
I wanted it to keep spinning...
This captured my heart from beginning to end, with a one off storyline and absolutely brilliant acting. Films rarely make me cry, but my face was very much soaked after this.
Andrew Garfield is a bit of alright too. 

I hope you enjoyed every film that 2010 brought to us.
Make a list of your own and comment it in the box below!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Kelly.

x x 

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Tourist [Review]

Directed by: Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck  (No Joke)

Starring: Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp

Released: December 2010

This is an odd one. The film is clearly suited for Angelina, showing a desirable love struck women on the mission to find her criminal partner, coming across all sorts of danger. But for Johnny, it's almost as if the role's a promotional part to hype up The Rum Diary and Pirates of the Caribbean 4. That's not to say he's bad; it's just a curious choice of film for such an actor who likes the quirky characters - Not a maths teachers who falls in love with a woman everyone else wants.  

As you can probably tell from the last sentence, this film is completely predictable. I mean, stupidly predictable. It comes across as cool, luxurious and dangerous, but really we guess the plot twist from about half an hour in and are bored of the 'lets not talk to each other and allow the silence to do the talking' theme running through this couple. The jokes are repeated too much and the lifestyle becomes more of a nuisance than anything else. 

It is a beautiful film though. Jolie is just magnificent to look at (from a straight, female perspective - You men must be drooling all over the place) and Johnny Depp is absolutely stunning. He's groomed about as much as he can be naturally, which (although not as sexy as Captain Jack), is pretty easy on the eyes. Having him as my teacher would have got me nowhere in Maths, not that I did anyway. Moving on... And the choice of setting in Venice works perfectly with the aura this film tries so hard to carry. 

The narrative is effectively entertaining for a mindless couple of hours. If you're willing to go in with a completely receptive frame of mind then there's no harm done. But going in expecting a performance of a life time with a real twist to the story will disappoint the hell out of you. I guess it's a play on a rom-com. They meet, there's a connection, there's a gangster that tries to kill them, there's a kiss - Done. 

The film is just so typical, that's the best way I can describe it. Even the cinematography doesn't provide the slightest possibility of excitement. You can sit and watch this film, come out and completely forget about it. There's no impact apart from the fact it's got two of the biggest stars in Hollywood starring in a mundane action/rom-com/gangster tale. Their relationship isn't desirable because it hasn't been set up right in the narrative. The situation that occurs is explained so bluntly that the mystery the characters have in their personalities becomes a bit ridiculous to watch. The very end shows the potential of a good story, where Angelina and Johnny's true colours are shown in an actual, real relationship. It's a shame the story got cut off then. All in all, it's pointless, to be honest. 


Hey, it's funny that Depp is talking about repeating a joke and how annoying it is...

Friday, 3 December 2010

Film Studies: Why it mentally torments you [Feature]

So, studying this subject can be quite a difficult task not only because it involves an in depth knowledge of history, culture, class, gender, technicalities, theories etc. But because the films you watch can actually play on your mind for weeks on end. We see some of the utmost disturbing, confusing, emotionally draining stories all to match with the week's topic we're learning. To give you an example of what we go through, here's a few films that stuck out to me on the course this term...

The Idiots (dir. Lars Von Trier, 1998) - Part of the Dogma 95 movement, this film uses only natural lighting, sound and filming to bring the picture to the screen. We have no special effects or quick cuts, just elongated scenes of pretty disturbing subjects. The film tells the tale of a group of people, who in order to fight back against the government that aren't providing the necessary funds to look after their people efficiently, they pretend to be disabled to gain money or just to "poke fun" at observers. One scene in particular which includes full on penetration in a group orgy makes for some disturbing watching, particularly when it's combined with people acting as though they are mentally unstable. You're watching these people act completely against the norm of society meaning the film is shocking and very, very grotesque. If you know of Trier, you wouldn't expect anything less. This was part of the Transnational Cinemas and global movements in cinema, so you can see why they chose this beauty of a tale. 

Silence of the Lambs (dir. Jonathan Demme, 1991) - I have a real appreciation for this film, not only because it's genuinely very well made film with brilliant characters and acting, but the content behind it is perfect to study. We've got a set up for a perfect thriller, analytical readings for feminism, psychoanalysis and Freudian theory, plus the technical aspects of analysing the sets are just endless. It came under the Audience Perspective topic, and seeing as you can't do anything but gaze upon this story, it was great fun to watch again on the big screen. 

A Tale of Two Sisters (dir. Ji-Woon Kim, 2003) - Anything foreign that's a horror is right up my street. The censorship seems to be a lot less restraining meaning the topics discussed are a lot more openly talked about. This Korean horror tells the story of two young girls moving to live with their step mother, only to find out that a death in a family has come back to haunt them. Hollywood remade this story and called it The Uninvited. I'm pretty sure, even though I haven't seen the film, it wouldn't have the same effect as this one did on me. The film just tormented you from beginning to end with subtle scenes of shock and not so obvious ones of silence waiting for the loud bang to happen. Horrors can become a huge cliché of themselves, but this just restored my faith in them, if not messed with my head... I can't quit decide. 

Black Nascissus (dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947) - This was probably the most eccentric of them all. A story about nuns being sent to a little village to establish a religious community? All we really see are women on the loose with sexual urges and anger issues. It didn't seem to flow, but just went from "Yeah, okay I'm following this" to "Wooh, why the f**k is she on the edge of a cliff?!" It was just completely bizarre, and had a really odd concept. To go with the topic of Dreams and Fantasy theory, the film totally matched everything we were talking about, and applying this theory to other films really made you understand the plot of them a little bit more. But, you can also say that it's reading way too much into something. I'm sure not every director sets out to put a tree in a corner of the screen to represent a phallic symbol, but it's nice to consider it. 

Black Girl (dir. Ousmane Sembene, 1966) - I'd never really seen a South African film before, but what really made this interesting was that it takes place mostly in France. The combination of the two nations gave the reason as to why we were studying this, as it came under 'transnational cinema', and really gave an interesting watch. It's something I'd never quite seen before, purely because the stylistics were so different to Hollywood, and the topic was quite emotional. It saw the story of a young girl wanting to break away and become a nanny, soon to be seen as just a maid to a wealthy household. It has an abrupt ending with a death leaving you feeling heavy hearted. I just had a real appreciation for the art behind this story. 

You can see why Film Studies torments us so... Just look at the variation of films we see! Now imagine watching stuff like that twice a week. The dreams I have are very unique, I'll tell you that!