31 March 2012

Top 5 Movies Seen in March

At the end of every month I will post my top 5 list of movies seen that month.

This has been a okay month for me. I haven't found too many new favorites but a lot of decent movies.
This is how my ratings has been distributed in March:

As you can see I've watched a lot of movies, and especially rated a lot of them between 5 and 7. I consider a movie I rate 5 to be okay, and a movie I rate 7 to be good. It depends a little on the expectations too of course, if I rate a movie rated 8,3 on IMDb 6 it's probably a disappointment.

Top 5 Movies I've seen in March

1. Celda 211 (2009)

Director: Daniel Monzón
Genre: Action, Drama
Sub-genre: Prison

2. The Help (2011)

Director: Tate Taylor
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Injustice

3. Frequency (2000)

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Sub-genre: Time Travel

4. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Director: Robert Aldrich
Genre: Drama, Horror, (Black Comedy)
Main theme: Jealousy

5. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Director: Arthur Penn
Genre: Crime, Biography
Sub-genre: Bank robbery

Celda 211 was a great movie about a prison riot. Great story and acting and the only movie this month that entered my Top 100 list on IMDb. The prison sub-genre is one of my favorites so it's no big surprise I liked this one.
The Help was a movie about the situation of the colored population and especially the maids in the 60s America. I thought, as Emma Stone was in it, it was going to be a comedy not in my taste, but I was wrong. I obviously hadn't read too much about the plot before watching.
Time Travel is something of a favorite sub-genre for me too, so it came as no surprise that I did like Frequency. It was a really interesting story which kept me entertained until the end.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was a great movie. I consider it mostly to be a comedy and a drama about jealousy, although it has horror elements.
Bonnie and Clyde is one of the better bank robbing movies I have seen, and a true classic.

This months biggest dissapointment: The Maltese Falcon
I really tried to like it, but I couldn't.

This months biggest surprise: The Help
I didn't expect such a well-made and serious film.

28 March 2012

Top 5 Quotes: Speeches

These are not in order, they're too different from each other to rank.

Top 5 Speeches

Nr. 1: Inglourious basterds

The Nazikillin' speech - "We're gonna be doing one thing, and one thing only. Killin' Nazis"
Nobody writes dialogue like Tarantino but I can't put my finger on what makes it so entertaining. Very strong performance by Brad Pitt as well.

Found a cool video of the speech on youtube:

Nr. 2: The Grapes of Wrath

The Liberty speech - "Where ever there's a cop beatin' up a guy. I'll be there"
A very powerful speech well acted by Henry Fonda, my favorite actor of older movies.
Everybody should listen to the song "The Ghost of Tom Joad" by Bruce Springstein and the cover by Rage Against the Machine.

Nr. 3: The Hangover

The Wolfpack speech - "I've just added two more guys to my wolfpack"
I don't know who wrote this speech, but I have to say much of the credit has to go to Zach Galifianakis for his acting. It's really thanks to him the movie was good, otherwise, it would've been decent. He couldn't save the sequel though in my opinion.

Nr. 4: Festen

The Unveiling Speech - "I realised that Helge was a very clean man, with all those baths"
This is perfect, if you haven't seen it, do now! The cold way Christian holds the speech, acting like there is nothing special about the speech and not giving away anything before the disclosure.

I suggest you watch the movie before watching this videoclip

Nr. 5: The Great Dictator

The Humanity Speech - "You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!"
A great attack on the Nazis by Chaplin.

26 March 2012

21th Century Horror

Horror is one of those genres that I enjoy watching mainly because I know what to expect, like when watching a tv-series. Watching movies like 2001: A Space odyssey is great, but I wouldn't do it every day. Watching a horror movie is much easier even if it isn't better.

It's not often a horror movie exceeds my expectations, but sometimes it happens.
Five things that impresses me in a horror movie:
1. I seldom get really scared, so I'm impressed if I do.
2. If it's not too clichéd. You gotta expect some cheesy scenes though.
3. A twist that I couldn't see coming.
4. If the characters doesn't even once say "hello" in a suspicious situation.
5. If they kill that motherf*cker when they have the chance.

Top 5 Horror films of the 21th century

I have not included comedy or musical horrors, I'll do a list of those separately later.

1. Sunshine (Danny Boyle, 2007)
A mission to save the sun doesn't go as planned when they discover the ship of a previous mission that failed years ago.
Maybe not a traditional horror film and surely didn't expect one, but I was occasionally scared watching this.

2. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
A woman is confident that the house she and her children lives in is haunted. 
It's a few years since I saw this, I should watch it again soon to see if it really were that good. Otherwise I remember it being a great mystery horror

3. Villmark (Pål Øie, 2003)
The members of a TV-crew is preparing for a new tv-show by living primitively in a cabin for a weekend. 
This is the best "cabin in the woods" themed horror I have ever seen. The danger is constantly present without revealing too much.

4. Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2009)
Friends on a yachting trip has to go aboard a bigger ship when mysterious weather conditions occur. The ship itself holds an even bigger mystery.
A great mystery horror that really impressed me when watching it.

5. Trolljegeren (André Øvredal, 2010)
Students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings. They start following a hunter and witnesses the real reason behind the killings.
The only movie I liked in the "cam horror" genre so far. Great movie with good special effects.

Other strong candidates:
El orfanatoOrphanÔdishon, The MistThe RingSawEden LakeEl espinazo del diabloBakjwi28 Days Later...Dawn of the Dead (2004), and more

My Top 10 horror films list on IMDb

24 March 2012

On a boat!

Top 5 movies taking place on a boat

Which means not a ship or anything in that size. Yachts, motorboats, rowing boats and everything in between are accepted. Another requirement is that the time spent on the boat has to be more than 50% of the running time and it's a bonus if there are only a few characters. There aren't too many movies that fit this description, but at least enough to make a list of five good ones. 

Nr 5: Knife in the Water (Nóz w wodzie) (1962)

Directed by: Roman Polanski
Genre: Drama, Thriller

The first full-lenght film by Roman Polanski is a polish drama/thriller about a couple that invites a young hitchhiker to join them on their sailing trip. As you can understand, being a thriller, the sailing trip isn't completely troublefree. 
This is a quite slow movie, but it's also quite good. Or maybe that depends on what you're used to.

Nr 4: The African Queen (1951)

Directed by: John Huston
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance, (War)

This is a more fun and entertaining film and instead of being a drama or thriller, this is an adventure and a typical "love starts with fighting" romance film. 
Bogart plays a grumpy riverboat captain who loves his boat and gin, while Hepburn plays just the opposite: a proper well-educated missionary. It's WW1 and after the germans have burned down the mission and caused her brothers death, she want's revenge. Her plan is to attack a German warship. Most of the movie is about the trip along the river to reach the destination. It's a fun movie to watch.

Nr. 3: The Perfect Storm (2000)

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Genre: Action, (Adventure) 

I chose the perfect moment for watching this. It was storming outside, the windows rattled and apart from that I was in the mood of something simple to follow. So I ended up enjoying this more than I thought I would. The movie is based on true events, where a fishing boat gets stuck in a storm far from coast. As often happens when a movie is based on true events, they make up a lot of stuff to make it more dramatic. So wait for the next storm and then watch this.

Nr. 2: Dead Calm (1989)

Director: Philip Noyce
Genre: Thriller

A great, effective thriller about a couple taking time off on a yacht after loosing their son in a car accident. Far out on the ocean they find a sinking boat with only one person alive and the rest dead. He claim they died of a disease, but did they? 

Nr 1: Jaws (1975)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Thriller, Horror

Okay, so this being my number one may not come as a surprise. It's a great thriller and a real classic. I Don't think I need to say anything about the plot. If you haven't seen it, just see it.

Other recommendations: Lifeboat (1944), Waterworld (1995)
These I haven't seen myself: The Old Man and the Sea (1958), Open Water 2: Adrift (2006), The Last of Sheila (1973), Kon-Tiki (1950)
Some time spent on a boat: Deliverance (1972), Apocalypse Now (1978)

20 March 2012

A Few Minutes of Joy

Top 5 Shorts: 5-10 min.

Since I became a member of the website icheckmovies.com I have been obsessed with checking movies from various lists. The fastest way to check a movie without cheating is to watch a short movie, thus I have watched a lot of those lately. Honestly, many of them aren't that good, but sometimes I come across fantastically unique ones. So here's my Top 5 list of short movie with a running time between five and ten minutes.

Nr. 5: Powers of Ten (1977)
This is a fascinating video for a fan of science. It's about the infinity of the universe. You might think something is really huge, like the earth, while compared to something else, a star for example, it isn't. But that star is also small compared to something even bigger etc. Same goes the other way, there is always something smaller.

Powers of Ten (Charles EamesRay Eames)

Nr. 4: Snow-White (1933)
I didn't know old cartoons could be so insane and. Great. This animated short features betty boop in a version very loosely based on the fairy tale "Snow White". Great animation (single handed by Roland Crandall) and a very imaginative plot makes this one of my favorite shorts of all time.

Snow-White (Dave Fleischer)

Nr. 3: Balance (1989)
This is creepy, and I love it. On a platform in the universe, strange men are having a "fight" about a mystical box. Reminds me of a game of chess, it's rather a psychological fight than a physical one.

Nr. 2: Neighbours (1952)
In this experimental short there is also some kind of a fight. Two neighbours are having an argument about a flower that suddenly grows up right between their gardens. Both of them want the flower for themselves. If you haven't seen this or any other Norman McLaren film, I believe you haven't seen anything like it.

Neighbours (Norman McLaren

Nr. 1: Vincent (1982)
While the above mentioned might be equally amazing, it's clear to me that this is my favorite short of all time. I love the poetic narration, the dark style of the animation and music and of course the dramatic story itself.

Vincent (Tim Burton)

Here's a longer list of my favorite shorts: http://www.imdb.com/list/AInC-p1XKxg/

14 March 2012

Top 5 Black comedies 2000-2009

So, this is my first blogpost and an introduction to what this blog is about. And what is a better introduction than an example? So here I present to you my first Top 5 list:

Top 5 Black Comedies of the 00s

Okay, so I made this a hard first list as there are many great films that fit this category, but I thought, as this is one of my favorite genres, I might aswell start here. I had to restrict it to the first decade of the 21th century as it would have been impossible to pick out the top five black comedies of all time. Later I'll make a list of earlier black comedies.

Nr. 1 - In Bruges (2008)
Nr. 2 - O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2001)
Nr. 3 - Persepolis (2007)
Nr. 4 - Planet Terror (2007)
Nr. 5 - American Psycho (2000)

There are many things that make these movies great black comedies.
1. The dialogue
2. The characters
3. The situation
4. Not knowing what to expect

I would argue that the dialogue is the most important part. I just love smart quotes. These movies are just full of them. Here's a few examples:

"A bottle! Don't bother" - In Bruges
"Damn. We're in a tight spot!" - O Brother, Where Art Thou?
"I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?" - American Psycho

For a longer version, check out my black comedy list on IMDb: