Awkweird Me
Noah (2014)
From Requiem for a Dream (2000) to Black Swan (2010), Darren Aronofsky has never failed me. And I’m very happy to report he still hasn’t. I had my doubts about this film, just because it seemed so different to anything he’s done before and, frankly, I didn’t think I could truly like a Bible story movie. I kinda loved it, though. I’ve never read the story of Noah (nor any of the Bible), but, yeah, I could tell he took several liberties with the material. It didn’t bother me one bit though - anything he added didn’t seem out of place in what is essentially a fantasy film. Upon further thought and a little reading, I think I understand what the film is saying, but I think a lot of people will miss it, for whatever reason. Russell Crowe’s good and so is Jennifer Connelly, as well as veterans like Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone. However, I felt the younger actors let the film down a little. They’re not awful or anything, just not quite strong enough to carry the material. It’s pretty impressive on a technical level, too. The cinematography is gorgeous and Aronofsky’s direction is impeccable. Not all of the CGI is good, but there are some absolutely awesome action sequences. It’s a very brave and ambitious film from Aronofsky that has, and will continue to, divide people and I truly praise him for it.

Noah (2014)

From Requiem for a Dream (2000) to Black Swan (2010), Darren Aronofsky has never failed me. And I’m very happy to report he still hasn’t. I had my doubts about this film, just because it seemed so different to anything he’s done before and, frankly, I didn’t think I could truly like a Bible story movie. I kinda loved it, though. I’ve never read the story of Noah (nor any of the Bible), but, yeah, I could tell he took several liberties with the material. It didn’t bother me one bit though - anything he added didn’t seem out of place in what is essentially a fantasy film. Upon further thought and a little reading, I think I understand what the film is saying, but I think a lot of people will miss it, for whatever reason. Russell Crowe’s good and so is Jennifer Connelly, as well as veterans like Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone. However, I felt the younger actors let the film down a little. They’re not awful or anything, just not quite strong enough to carry the material. It’s pretty impressive on a technical level, too. The cinematography is gorgeous and Aronofsky’s direction is impeccable. Not all of the CGI is good, but there are some absolutely awesome action sequences. It’s a very brave and ambitious film from Aronofsky that has, and will continue to, divide people and I truly praise him for it.

The Bling Ring (2013)
I thought this was a decent, but not quite great film. I’m a fan of Sofia Coppola and I really liked her direction here. It was simple, yet effective. I almost want to complain about the superficiality of the film and its characters, but I think that was the point. These people are incredibly vapid and shallow, and the film succeeds at showing that. I didn’t think the performances from any of the actors were particularly good though. The whole thing reminded me a lot of Spring Breakers (2012), but it wasn’t as strong.

The Bling Ring (2013)

I thought this was a decent, but not quite great film. I’m a fan of Sofia Coppola and I really liked her direction here. It was simple, yet effective. I almost want to complain about the superficiality of the film and its characters, but I think that was the point. These people are incredibly vapid and shallow, and the film succeeds at showing that. I didn’t think the performances from any of the actors were particularly good though. The whole thing reminded me a lot of Spring Breakers (2012), but it wasn’t as strong.

This is the End (2013)
It wasn’t as funny as I was hoping for, but I kind of expected that. I always love when celebrities play exaggerated versions of themselves, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the film. It was cool having this group of guys, who are clearly great friends in real life, just having fun making a dumb comedy movie. Apart from the main cast, there were lots of fun cameos too, some of which were used to great effect. I wish they had been a bit more adventurous with the plot - they stayed in the same location far too long. Some of the green-screen effects were awful, but the actual CGI was decent. Some of the jokes worked, some didn’t, and it drag in the middle, but I liked it overall. In any case, I left the cinema on a real high note, because the ending was actually pretty amazing - it was hilarious, unexpected and so much fun.

This is the End (2013)

It wasn’t as funny as I was hoping for, but I kind of expected that. I always love when celebrities play exaggerated versions of themselves, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the film. It was cool having this group of guys, who are clearly great friends in real life, just having fun making a dumb comedy movie. Apart from the main cast, there were lots of fun cameos too, some of which were used to great effect. I wish they had been a bit more adventurous with the plot - they stayed in the same location far too long. Some of the green-screen effects were awful, but the actual CGI was decent. Some of the jokes worked, some didn’t, and it drag in the middle, but I liked it overall. In any case, I left the cinema on a real high note, because the ending was actually pretty amazing - it was hilarious, unexpected and so much fun.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
(2012)
I feel very conflicted about this film. There were good things about it, and then were bad things about it, and I just can’t make up my mind how I feel about it overall. There were probably more things I didn’t like, to be honest. The characters were far too hipster, for one. Way too much quirkiness going on. The dialogue wasn’t very good and filled with cliches. I thought Logan Lerman was severely lacking in charisma and Emma Watson was just bad and not natural at all. Her character was the manic pixie dream girl trope incarnate. I straight-up hated some of the film, really. It wasn’t all bad though. Ezra Miller was good, and in a completely different way to his amazing performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). Near the end, it got quite dark and interesting. It was a little too late though, and it still ended as a film to comfort teenagers in their confusion and misery of adolescence.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

(2012)

I feel very conflicted about this film. There were good things about it, and then were bad things about it, and I just can’t make up my mind how I feel about it overall. There were probably more things I didn’t like, to be honest. The characters were far too hipster, for one. Way too much quirkiness going on. The dialogue wasn’t very good and filled with cliches. I thought Logan Lerman was severely lacking in charisma and Emma Watson was just bad and not natural at all. Her character was the manic pixie dream girl trope incarnate. I straight-up hated some of the film, really. It wasn’t all bad though. Ezra Miller was good, and in a completely different way to his amazing performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). Near the end, it got quite dark and interesting. It was a little too late though, and it still ended as a film to comfort teenagers in their confusion and misery of adolescence.

My Week with Marilyn (2011)
It took a while for me to figure out why I didn’t like this film as much as I wanted to. It’s the tone. It’s just too light-hearted. For me, at least. Marilyn Monroe was obviously a very troubled person, and there was a dark side to her that the film touched on but never really fully explored. Instead, it remained quite jovial. It’s fine that the filmmakers decided to take this approach - I just personally wish it had been a darker, more dramatic film. Or perhaps I just want a different film about Monroe altogether. Anyway, the film was still pretty good. Michelle Williams was fantastic. I forgot that it wasn’t Monroe a couple of times, as she was almost as adorable. The rest of the cast were great too. The cinematography was nice and I enjoyed several scenes a lot. It didn’t have the dramatic weight I wanted, but it was a pleasant watch.

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

It took a while for me to figure out why I didn’t like this film as much as I wanted to. It’s the tone. It’s just too light-hearted. For me, at least. Marilyn Monroe was obviously a very troubled person, and there was a dark side to her that the film touched on but never really fully explored. Instead, it remained quite jovial. It’s fine that the filmmakers decided to take this approach - I just personally wish it had been a darker, more dramatic film. Or perhaps I just want a different film about Monroe altogether. Anyway, the film was still pretty good. Michelle Williams was fantastic. I forgot that it wasn’t Monroe a couple of times, as she was almost as adorable. The rest of the cast were great too. The cinematography was nice and I enjoyed several scenes a lot. It didn’t have the dramatic weight I wanted, but it was a pleasant watch.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
 Part 2 (2011)
P365 Film #190
Well, well, well. Here we are. After 11 years, eight of which had a movie released, we are finally at the end of the Harry Potter saga. I think I read the first book when I was about 11 or 12 and and books 2-4 shortly thereafter. The first movie came out not long after that. And I kept up with the books and movies, right up until today. So what did I think of this final film? It was good. But the word that kept coming to mind was… “underwhelming”. I’m not sure if I put too much expectation on it, or if I was remaining too faithful the book but most things fell flat for me. It started off really well. There were some really awesome moody shots and I was getting amped for the ending. But I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for something epic and amazing and I didn’t feel it ever quite delivered. I was particularly disappointed in how it kind of glossed over some of the deaths of certain characters. I was looking forward to some emotional intensity at characters being killed, but they were very casually dealt with. It showed them dead for a second, then moved on to whatever Harry was doing. Everything moved so fast - they hardly ever dwelled on anything (though that’s been true of most of the films for me). So, yeah, most things felt disappointing to me. Harry’s final confrontation with Voldemort should’ve been the grandest moment of the series, but it was nothing too spectacular. Also, I guess it was inevitable with it being all about Harry and there being so many characters, but a lot of them really felt marginalised. Some of the pretty important or memorable characters only got one line, if that. One thing I will praise greatly was Alan Rickman. He was the best actor in the film and I really liked the flashbacks to his past. Maggie Smith was also brilliant. Anyway, I guess I wish I didn’t have the baggage of having already read the books. It’s really nowhere near as bad as I’m making it sound - it was still pretty well-made and enjoyable, but, like I said, underwhelming. I’m now pretty keen to read all the books again, to see how the stories should be experienced. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

Part 2 (2011)

P365 Film #190

Well, well, well. Here we are. After 11 years, eight of which had a movie released, we are finally at the end of the Harry Potter saga. I think I read the first book when I was about 11 or 12 and and books 2-4 shortly thereafter. The first movie came out not long after that. And I kept up with the books and movies, right up until today. So what did I think of this final film? It was good. But the word that kept coming to mind was… “underwhelming”. I’m not sure if I put too much expectation on it, or if I was remaining too faithful the book but most things fell flat for me. It started off really well. There were some really awesome moody shots and I was getting amped for the ending. But I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for something epic and amazing and I didn’t feel it ever quite delivered. I was particularly disappointed in how it kind of glossed over some of the deaths of certain characters. I was looking forward to some emotional intensity at characters being killed, but they were very casually dealt with. It showed them dead for a second, then moved on to whatever Harry was doing. Everything moved so fast - they hardly ever dwelled on anything (though that’s been true of most of the films for me). So, yeah, most things felt disappointing to me. Harry’s final confrontation with Voldemort should’ve been the grandest moment of the series, but it was nothing too spectacular. Also, I guess it was inevitable with it being all about Harry and there being so many characters, but a lot of them really felt marginalised. Some of the pretty important or memorable characters only got one line, if that. One thing I will praise greatly was Alan Rickman. He was the best actor in the film and I really liked the flashbacks to his past. Maggie Smith was also brilliant. Anyway, I guess I wish I didn’t have the baggage of having already read the books. It’s really nowhere near as bad as I’m making it sound - it was still pretty well-made and enjoyable, but, like I said, underwhelming. I’m now pretty keen to read all the books again, to see how the stories should be experienced.