Friday, July 25, 2014

- - Film Review Friday | Week 3 - -

Hi friends!

Fun fact - this my 100th post! This blog has definitely come a long way since my very first post and it continues to develop and go in a variety of directions. As always, it's lovely to have you here on this journey with me!

Today I have another set of three films that I watched this past week. Please note that although I try my best to not give anything away, there may be spoilers in this post. If this is okay with you, let's move on!

V For Vendetta (2006)
Director(s): James McTeigue 
Screenplay: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski 
Release date: February 2006 
Genre: action | drama | sci-fi 
Running time: 133 minutes
Ratings: 73% (Rotten Tomatoes) | 8.2/10 (IMDb)

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself -- and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

This may very well be my favourite film of all time. I think that V For Vendetta was a fairly solid adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel of the same name, which I read earlier this year and loved as well. In general, I think that adaptations of any kind are always treading on shaky ground because there's enormous pressure to remain faithful to the original novel/story and do it justice while standing apart from it and create something new. A quick look at Wikipedia will tell you that Alan Moore was unhappy with the film - even going so far as to remove his name from the end credits. As a reader of the graphic novel, I can tell you that I enjoyed this film a lot specifically because it wasn't a mirror image of the graphic novel.

Yes, the film does drift apart from the graphic novel by creating its own minor storylines, relationships and interaction. However, the film also filled a lot of gaps for me that I was left with at the end of reading the graphic novel. Perhaps these gaps were because I hadn't paid attention to certain details or perhaps I didn't read everything properly. In any case, while I wont tell you what these gaps were, I will say this - while reading something allows you to formulate a world in your mind, it is also helpful (at times, but not always) to have a visual reference. Either way, having watched the film now, I think I'll have to go back to the graphic novel and re-read it.

Can you think of any film adaptation that was just as good as what it was based on?

Frozen (2013)
Director(s): Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee 
Release date: November 2013
Genre: animation | adventure | comedy
Running time: 108 minutes 
Ratings: 89% (Rotten Tomatoes) | 7.8/10 (IMDb)

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey-teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven-to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

This past week was the second time that I watched Frozen, but I figured that I would include it in my film reviews anyway. I don't recommend this movie for anyone who hates musicals because there's a great deal of singing. I don't mind it at all, but I watched this with Andrew, who wasn't a fan of the random singing at all. Personally, I think music adds to the story, but I also understand that watching characters break out into music numbers can be strange if you're not used to it.

There are tons of reviews of this film and tons of opinions out there, so I'll keep this short. I really liked the unique plot of Frozen, which draws inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. I also really like that despite being produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Frozen breaks away from a lot of the conventions that were established by traditional Disney princess films such as Cinderella and Snow White. One break from convention is summed up perfectly in the phrase, "You can't marry a may you just met," which is an idea that is emphasized several times throughout the film.

Have you watched Frozen? I would love to hear your thoughts about it! Do you see Frozen breaking away from any other conventions?

Enough Said (2013)
Director(s): Nicole Holofcener 
Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener 
Release date: September 2013
Genre: comedy | drama | romance 
Running time: 93 minutes
Ratings: 96% (Rotten Tomatoes) | 7.1/10 (IMDb) | 79% (Metacritic)

A divorced and single parent, Eva (Julia Louis Dreyfus) spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her daughter's impending departure for college. She meets Albert (James Gandolfini) - a sweet, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest. As their romance quickly blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne (Catherine Keener), her new massage client. Marianne is a beautiful poet who seems "almost perfect" except for one prominent quality: she rags on her ex-husband way too much. Suddenly, Eva finds herself doubting her own relationship with Albert as she learns the truth about Marianne's Ex.

I watched the trailer for this film a while ago and after seeing that it's on Netflix, I decided to check it out. The situation that's described in the film (which I won't give away) is quite awkward and I honestly wouldn't know what to do if I was in Eva's shoes. The awkwardness that would be experienced by a couple in Eva and Albert's situations is communicated well by the stellar acting of Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini.

Despite liking this film, I have to confess that I did feel a little bit bored throughout the film mostly because a great deal of the story was revealed in the movie trailer - even Eva's situation is revealed! I soon found myself waiting from one key moment that was shown in the trailer to the next.

Have you ever had a trailer ruin a movie for you?


You know, I had a feeling that I was forgotting to mention one more movie this week - ugh, I forgot that I watched Bridesmaids!! I promise to review it next week!

Thank you for reading! -A.~

All of the posters were taken from Google. All of the film descriptions (in italics) were taken from either Google, Rotten Tomatoes, or IMDb.

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