Movie Review: About Time

about_time_film

They told me I’d do The Ugly Cry. You know, not the one where your eyes water a little bit, or you wipe a small tear. No, no. You will heave, your heart will be wrenched and you mind will run in circles. Well, I didn’t heave, but I did struggle to keep the tears from falling, and once they did, well, let’s just say they didn’t stop, and I left the cinema hoping people would assume I’d seen a sad movie and not that Greg and I had had a huge argument.

Greg actually walked in and said “if I’m the only guy in here, I’m walking out.” I knew he wouldn’t, but I actually sat wondering for most of the movie – hello? When is this supposed Ugly Cry going to kick in? Because for the most part, Greg and I laughed our way through. The loud, hearty type of laugh. Funnily, I saw so much of us in the lead characters, Mary and Tim (minus the American accent an the orange hair). At one point I laughed so loud at a point that wasn’t funny at all because it was the exact same way Greg would have reacted.

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Initially when I heard the movie involved time travel I was all “no, man. You can’t rip off The Time Traveller’s Wife” (I haven’t seen the movie, but am in love with the book). But I was so impressed. Also from the creators of Love Actually, can you actually expect anything sub-par? I’ve never seen Rachel McAdams in a better role, you wouldn;t be able to believe she ever played a meanie like Regina George. And British films are always, ultimately better. Basically: if you love anyone deeply enough this movie will touch you. Do you love your partner? Do you want children want day? Love your family? You’ll feel all the feelings.

It’s funny, I used to pride myself on not crying in sad movies when I was younger. I think it made me seem cooler and tougher. Now that I think about it, that seems a bit heartless. But I think that when you get “older” (I’m not that old yet) you have so many more experiences, so many deeper relationships, different things are more meaningful to you, and these are universal things that you feel, but when you’re younger you might not understand. At 16 I would never have been able to really fathom true love for a partner, or appreciation of your parents/siblings and the mere concept of a day without them. Deep, right?

I don’t want to give it away. But it made me think of so many things. Even this morning while driving to gym at the crack of dawn i started tearing just thinking about it. So obviously, I stopped thinking about it. I’m not going to share why exactly this movie made me “feel all  the feelings”, but it was wonderfully sentimental and touching. There is just so much natural love in this one movie.

I need to stop thinking and writing about this movie, because the tears are starting to surface, and I’m sitting at work, so it’s quite the place for an Ugly Cry, is it?

I’m not sure when this movie is going off the circuit, but please, do go see it.

More than just a social network?

Raise your hand if you don’t like facebook?

Liar. Chances are you found this link on facebook (well, if you’re one of my “facebook friends”, that is)

I was at the movies tonight, as I am sometimes known to do and on came the trailer to The Social Network. I remember when I first heard they were making a facebook movie. “…really?” And I tried to visualise people acting to a script, overusing the word “poke” and talking about their “friends” writing on their “walls”. But thats not what the movie is about.

The story is more about the road to facebook. Zuckerbergs creation of it, and everything following that. I’m yet to see it, as it has not come out here yet. I don’t know what other people think of it as a movie, but personally I am quite interested to see what is made of it. The trailers have done a good job thus far.

Its interesting to note how social media has infiltrated our lives, society and culture. It is hard to imagine the world without it and so many companies, businesses and marketing strategies are incorporating it. To look at how it has shaped the consumption of traditional print news media, the processes and collection of news, and relationships between people.

Yet there is one thing that springs to mind when I think of this movie:
How much of a central point is facebook in our lives, that it deems to be made into a feature film?

 

The Last Song

This was meant to be the movie that Miley Cyrus proved she could act the part in a real movie outside the role of Hannah Montanna and the realms of Disney. Personally, I didnt even know she was in the movie until about yesterday and I’d seen the poster around for a while. I’d expected a “The Notebook” type of movie (I later found out this was written by the same guy) and I must be honest it wasn’t a complete let down. That doesnt mean that Miley was fantastic.

Sometimes (well, often) when a child actor comes out and plays in a series on TV or the big screen, more often than not they’re going to be typecast in that role forever. Macaulay Culkin will always be thought of that kid from Home Alone. Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter. And Miley Cyrus is still Hannah Montanna. Not even that, as a singer, she is still Miley Cyrus, so its kind of difficult to take on another role. It was difficult in scenes to even take her seriously, or to feel that you’re watching a movie thats not Disney or Hannah Montanna related. In the odd scene when the boyfriend would run after her, I expected him to call out “Miley!” as opposed to Ronnie. movieBut thats not her fault, she’s just been type-cast and I suppose it sucks to be her then. In all honesty, best performance was by far the little boy playing her brother. What a sweetheart. He really portrayed love on the screen.

As I said I expected a bit of “The Notebook” yet even though there was some romance (and the guy is her actual boyfriend in real life. you can see he’s cute in the movie in the scenes when he’s clean) the story is more about the developping relationshing between Ronnie [Veronica] and her father. It was a really nice movie though. A lot of emotion in there, which as a person who doesn’t cry in movies, I didnt release. But my friend next to me cried enough into her scarf to make up for our party of 5. I wouldn’t call it a must see, but you wouldn’t lose anything if you saw it. Actually, its a rather pleasant movie to sit through.

Laduma! Vuvuzela! FIFA 2010.

So for my Digital Media Seminar (the same class that is to blame for the creation of this blog) I had to make a Digital Story on something of interest to tourists when they visit for the games. A digital story is kind of like a video, but it has narration and as it suggests – tells a story. I decided to do it on the Vuvuzela (as you might remember, I posted about it previously being used in Israel and had a laugh to myself) and I think it went quite well 🙂 Have a few issues of sound in the middle, so just keep quiet and listen hard lol. Take note of the song in the background, “Stand as One” used in the background, the video you can watch on youtube here.

So I cant find how to imbed the zoopy videos like I do with youtube ones =[ but please give my video a watch (and comment!) at this link, follow the digitalmediauct user to check out the videos of my classmates 🙂

Remember Me

Ok, So theres a bit of Spanish on this image...

Now its been a while since I saw this movie and since it came out, and I’ve been meaning to write about it since but I decided to wait a while for the little hype there was to die down and for people to see the movie because it would have been really hard to write without giving away spoilers.

Its always nice to be pleasantly surprised by a movie. Especially since recently movies have just been average or “nice”. I find that this one gave a lot more than the viewer bargained for. I remember seeing the trailer (which as noted about in previous blogs, I love, and tells one a lot [sometimes too much] about a movie) and thinking “aw cute”. Thats what it seemed like – a simple little love story and hopefully not too mushy. I was a little skeptical with the casting of Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame, I’m just not a fan like all the millions of teenage girls around, who undoubtedly saw the movie only to see him.

The movie started and throughout it there was a slightly dark and somber tone that I noticed, which usually a love movie wouldn’t have. So I continued wondering how it tied up as piece by piece things added up slowly after the events of the beginning of the movie.

The reason for that somber tone is revealed at the end. And it was a really hard hitting ending. I never expected it and thats what was so impressive for me – a movie with an unpredictable ending, and something that isnt cliche or average for a change. It makes you really think about things: what you would do in those position. How people in that position may have felt. (I’m trying to to give much, if anything away here). And in a more general sense the value of life and relationships between people. Valuing time. And others.

I went to the cinema to see a light hearted movie to chill out, instead of a teenage romance I got a lot more out of it. A great surprise at the end. A great movie. I did find towards the end it got a bit slow and dragged, but a couple minutes later was when they hit you with the final punch.

I’m not sure if its still on circuit – its probably not. But I recommend downloading or viewing online or something (since we now are getting uncapped internet in SA) or waiting for the release on DVD to buy or hire. Its really a great movie! I dont know how well it did in the box office and it doesnt look like reviews were amazing, but I think you should watch it anyway. Enjoy!

Why’s a raven like a writing desk?

I know everyone has been looking forward to the upcoming (and now officially released) Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland and there without a doubt millions of reviews up on it too by now. Especially as it was coming out in 3D; now, I’m a BIG fan of 3D movies and I dont think I have passed up the chance yet to see something. It really makes the whole experience that much more fun. Who cares about Avatar and the Navi when you can have Jonny Depp & Tim Burton popping out in front of you? (I dont mean to offend anyone by that rhetorical question – I’m sure many of you DO care…)

The thing that I felt personally about this movie is the aesthetic pleasure it brings to the viewer. For me, the storyline wasn’t as important, though I am sure that for most people it was as important as in every other movie (and may have been a let down to a point – more on that later). Being the person that I am, having dreamed of working behind the scenes and on effects of movies since about the age of 14, seeing a movie like this is simply dream-like. What was nice about the storyline though is that it wasn’t a remake of a classic. It was an adaptation, so it wasn’t expected to be “just like the book” which in some way relieves some of the pressure off die-hard Disney fans who were ready to critique.

I think that they made use of the 3D quite well. Its not all just about giving more dimension to the picture plane and stretching out the landscape – there is so much 3D can do. So far the best 3D put to use that I’ve seen was Coraline, but I think Burton did a good job too. Especially with the falling down the rabbit hole, where it felt as if there were things flying at you! As well as in the forest you feel as if you’re hiding behind the trees as they’re about to scratch your face or later on when the leaves are falling and they come closer to you. Sometimes I dont think 3D movies fully utilize this innovation and its such a pity.

But what I just loveed is how each of the characters were so visually rich. Every time certain characters were on screen, the entire scene seemed to be dedicated to them. I thought the White Queen was simply beautiful; white dress, white hair, pale skin – with dark eyes, black eyebrows and red lips to stand out. Anne Hathaway added a certain daintiness to her part. All the people of her palace were as white and pale and dressed in white. As well as just all their hair skin and clothing, the whole tonal colour of the scene seemed to be white and glowing while she was there.

The Red Queen

There was just some awesome about the Red Queen’s bitchy, cold-hearted, blunt, bad-assness. My favourite about her (now dont judge) were her lips. They always looked like they were angry and pouting – why? Because there was a red heart painted on them, which gave the illusion of a constant pout. Fitting for the Queen of Hearts. What’s also so cool about her is her enlarged head, its not something major but I always think about how that was filmed and the effects made. Her body is perfectly normal. And then you notice how all her patrons (is that even the appropriate word?) have different deformities – ridiculously extended noses, contorted chins, enlarged ears; all to make her royal highness feel important. She was seriously like a bratty demanding 3 year old. (Almost like Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter, a character you cant help but love to hate. Though I think I may have liked her more than hated her.)

Something that gets me every time with this type of movie is how on earth it was filmed. There must have been such a use of green-screen that it is a wonder that Alice managed so well acting with things that weren’t there in a world that she wasn’t existing in. The effects were just lovely. It was the synthesis of real life and the computer generated characters that combined the real world and the fantastical which impressed me. I don’t know why I was so much more mesmerised by this than by Avatar; perhaps I’m just partial to Tim Burton or just didn’t get as caught up in the whole Avatar hype. Another thing which intrigues me is the work with perspective as Alice shrinks or gets bigger and how they filmed/acted that from scene to scene as her height changed and adjusted. Maybe its just me who thinks of these things :S

Somethings that must be commended, as well as the beautiful effects, are the costumes and make-up. They’re just delicious to look at. Yes. I’ve already spoken about the White Queen and briefly about the Red Queen. The Red Queen’s make up, aside for her lips were great I just loved the blue eye-shadow leading up to her perfectly thin eyebrows. The Mad Hatter was also just so intricately dressed and made-up, I don’t even think I paid enough attention to the detail of his clothes or eyes. I actually fell in love with one of the dresses Alice wore – keep an eye out for the one the Red Queen orders to be made for her!

One thing though that was somewhat disappointing were Depp and Alice. His performance was good, but nothing amazing and pretty average. Someone said to me it looked like he had the whole Jack Sparrow walk going for him. Though he did put across his feelings for Alice wonderfully 🙂 I found she though, was also average. Despite that I personally thought she was beautiful – her characters wasn’t striking as others. She wasn’t so strong or anything as the main character or heroin should be; and its not even like when it finally got to the end there was a big penny dropping or something. No. The penny kinda dropped onto a soft carpet without a sound.

Having seen the movie yesterday and since having a whole day to contemplate the movie, I came to the conclusion that the storyline itself wasn’t really anything to write home about. It wasn’t particularly exciting or action filled. Thankfully, the richness of the visuals had me totally distracted for the entire duration.

Something small I did learn though, which I kind of liked: “Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast” -> what a wonderful way to stretch and exercise the imagination.

Oh, and bonkers is definitely the best position to be in 🙂