Awkweird Me
Monsters University (2013)
I wouldn’t call Monsters, Inc. (2001) one of my absolute favourite Pixar films, but it is really good. This film worked fairly well as a prequel to it. It was cool to see the origins of some of the characters. The story simply wasn’t as good though. It was so similar to many other American college movies. I felt like I’d seen it all before. So, yeah, it was pretty predictable, even for a kids’ film. But really, I can’t complain too much - it was fun, and enjoyable and had a bunch of funny moments. And, of course, the animation was beautiful and all the voice-work was good. This was the third Pixar movie in a row that hasn’t been unanimously loved, and (with no films scheduled for 2014) I really hope they can bring it back in 2015. I’m really looking forward to Toy Story of Terror! though!

Monsters University (2013)

I wouldn’t call Monsters, Inc. (2001) one of my absolute favourite Pixar films, but it is really good. This film worked fairly well as a prequel to it. It was cool to see the origins of some of the characters. The story simply wasn’t as good though. It was so similar to many other American college movies. I felt like I’d seen it all before. So, yeah, it was pretty predictable, even for a kids’ film. But really, I can’t complain too much - it was fun, and enjoyable and had a bunch of funny moments. And, of course, the animation was beautiful and all the voice-work was good. This was the third Pixar movie in a row that hasn’t been unanimously loved, and (with no films scheduled for 2014) I really hope they can bring it back in 2015. I’m really looking forward to Toy Story of Terror! though!

Gosford Park (2001)
Seeing this film now, it’s rather difficult not to think of it as writer Julian Fellowes’ prototype of Downton Abbey. It’s incredibly similar (with Maggie Smith essentially playing the same character), but doesn’t get to flourish like the TV series does. There are far too many characters here, and a 2-hour movie isn’t enough to get to know them. This is a shame, as the film has a fantastic cast. It’s over an hour in before we get to the murder mystery plot, and even then it doesn’t really get any more interesting. I was often bored and I didn’t really like it, overall. It’s another example of a film that should’ve been a TV show. Thankfully, it pretty much exists in Downton Abbey.

Gosford Park (2001)

Seeing this film now, it’s rather difficult not to think of it as writer Julian Fellowes’ prototype of Downton Abbey. It’s incredibly similar (with Maggie Smith essentially playing the same character), but doesn’t get to flourish like the TV series does. There are far too many characters here, and a 2-hour movie isn’t enough to get to know them. This is a shame, as the film has a fantastic cast. It’s over an hour in before we get to the murder mystery plot, and even then it doesn’t really get any more interesting. I was often bored and I didn’t really like it, overall. It’s another example of a film that should’ve been a TV show. Thankfully, it pretty much exists in Downton Abbey.

Hitchcock (2012)
I wasn’t too enthused about seeing this film because the trailer made it seem like it was basically a comedy, but, while there are light and comedic moments (which I did appreciate), they don’t make up the entire film. I quite enjoyed it overall. Psycho (1960) is my favourite Alfred Hitchcock film, and I loved seeing all the scenes of them making it. I kind of wish there had been more. I liked how it opened and closed like an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Anthony Hopkins was excellent and completely disappeared into the character. The rest of the cast were fine too. The major thing I wasn’t that keen on was how it focused so much on Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife. It just wasn’t all that interesting to me. Oh well, it’s still a very solid film about a legendary filmmaker.

Hitchcock (2012)

I wasn’t too enthused about seeing this film because the trailer made it seem like it was basically a comedy, but, while there are light and comedic moments (which I did appreciate), they don’t make up the entire film. I quite enjoyed it overall. Psycho (1960) is my favourite Alfred Hitchcock film, and I loved seeing all the scenes of them making it. I kind of wish there had been more. I liked how it opened and closed like an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Anthony Hopkins was excellent and completely disappeared into the character. The rest of the cast were fine too. The major thing I wasn’t that keen on was how it focused so much on Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife. It just wasn’t all that interesting to me. Oh well, it’s still a very solid film about a legendary filmmaker.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of
 Ga’Hoole (2010)
P365 Film #301
When I first heard of this film, I was pretty immediately put off. The title is just kinda terrible. Or, at least, it’s rather unappealing. I think that’s one of the contributing factors as to why it didn’t do too well at the box office. I heard some decent reviews though, so I thought I’d give it a try. For the first half, I wasn’t really into it. I was too preoccupied with the fact that the characters were owls and with the supernatural plots devices. But I eventually got into it and ended up kinda digging it. It had a pretty conventional plot for a family film, but it was still enjoyable. It had some nice wit to it too; I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The animation was quite beautiful too. So, yeah, if you can get past the owls, it ain’t half bad.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of

Ga’Hoole (2010)

P365 Film #301

When I first heard of this film, I was pretty immediately put off. The title is just kinda terrible. Or, at least, it’s rather unappealing. I think that’s one of the contributing factors as to why it didn’t do too well at the box office. I heard some decent reviews though, so I thought I’d give it a try. For the first half, I wasn’t really into it. I was too preoccupied with the fact that the characters were owls and with the supernatural plots devices. But I eventually got into it and ended up kinda digging it. It had a pretty conventional plot for a family film, but it was still enjoyable. It had some nice wit to it too; I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The animation was quite beautiful too. So, yeah, if you can get past the owls, it ain’t half bad.


The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her
 Lover (1989)
P365 Film #233
This film is mostly set in a restaurant, wherein the owner (Michael Gambon) and his wife (Helen Mirren) regularly dine. It’s pretty obvious early on that Gambon’s character is a huge prick. Just an absolutely unbelievable asshole. Seldom have I seen such a dick of a guy on screen. How Gambon can pull that and being Dumbledore off, I’ll never know. Anyway, Mirren’s character begins an affair with a guy at the restaurant and it goes from there. I liked it a lot. It was shot in a very simple way, but it was quite effective. It was dark, it was sexual and contained great performances all around.

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her

Lover (1989)

P365 Film #233

This film is mostly set in a restaurant, wherein the owner (Michael Gambon) and his wife (Helen Mirren) regularly dine. It’s pretty obvious early on that Gambon’s character is a huge prick. Just an absolutely unbelievable asshole. Seldom have I seen such a dick of a guy on screen. How Gambon can pull that and being Dumbledore off, I’ll never know. Anyway, Mirren’s character begins an affair with a guy at the restaurant and it goes from there. I liked it a lot. It was shot in a very simple way, but it was quite effective. It was dark, it was sexual and contained great performances all around.


O Lucky Man! (1973)

P365 Film #214
I hadn’t realised it when I went to watch this, but it’s actually a sequel of sorts to If…. (1968), which has Malcolm McDowell playing the same character. I plan to see that in the near future. Anyway, this film was pretty damn bizarre. It starts off simply enough - a young man is hired to be a sort of door-to-door salesman for a coffee company. However, this leads him to a series of events and situations, each more strange than the last. I’m talking witnessing a live “chocolate sandwich” (that is, a threesome involving two white women and a black man), participating in a horrific medical experiment and being involved in bombing of a third-world country. The film is also interrupted every so often by a band performing songs in a recording studio, basically summing up the themes. It also features a young Helen Mirren, whom I almost didn’t recognise. It’s almost three hours in length, but it changes so often in so many different and unexpected ways, that it never gets boring. I don’t know if I ‘got’ the film, but I damn sure enjoyed it.

O Lucky Man! (1973)

P365 Film #214

I hadn’t realised it when I went to watch this, but it’s actually a sequel of sorts to If…. (1968), which has Malcolm McDowell playing the same character. I plan to see that in the near future. Anyway, this film was pretty damn bizarre. It starts off simply enough - a young man is hired to be a sort of door-to-door salesman for a coffee company. However, this leads him to a series of events and situations, each more strange than the last. I’m talking witnessing a live “chocolate sandwich” (that is, a threesome involving two white women and a black man), participating in a horrific medical experiment and being involved in bombing of a third-world country. The film is also interrupted every so often by a band performing songs in a recording studio, basically summing up the themes. It also features a young Helen Mirren, whom I almost didn’t recognise. It’s almost three hours in length, but it changes so often in so many different and unexpected ways, that it never gets boring. I don’t know if I ‘got’ the film, but I damn sure enjoyed it.


The Tempest (2010)
P365 Film #187
When I heard director Julie Taymor was doing an adaptation of The Tempest, I was excited because I really like her films Frida (2002) and especially Across the Universe (2007). I’d also read and studied the play a few years ago at university and liked it for the most part. This film hasn’t been received very well, but I quite liked it. Hearing Shakespeare’s language is always better than reading it. Some of it was really beautiful to listen to, but it was also sometimes difficult to hear exactly what they were saying. I always knew what was going on though. Taymor changed one of the main characters into a woman, played here by Helen Mirren. I think it works, and mostly because of Mirren. I was also really impressed by the performances of Djimon Hounsou and Ben Wishaw. Even Russell Brand wasn’t bad. Visually, it was so stunning and amazing, I thought. Great cinematography and colours and visual effects. The ending of the story is a bit disappointing, but everything up until that is fantastic. If you like Shakespeare, I think it’s worth a watch. If not, you probably wouldn’t like it much.

The Tempest (2010)

P365 Film #187

When I heard director Julie Taymor was doing an adaptation of The Tempest, I was excited because I really like her films Frida (2002) and especially Across the Universe (2007). I’d also read and studied the play a few years ago at university and liked it for the most part. This film hasn’t been received very well, but I quite liked it. Hearing Shakespeare’s language is always better than reading it. Some of it was really beautiful to listen to, but it was also sometimes difficult to hear exactly what they were saying. I always knew what was going on though. Taymor changed one of the main characters into a woman, played here by Helen Mirren. I think it works, and mostly because of Mirren. I was also really impressed by the performances of Djimon Hounsou and Ben Wishaw. Even Russell Brand wasn’t bad. Visually, it was so stunning and amazing, I thought. Great cinematography and colours and visual effects. The ending of the story is a bit disappointing, but everything up until that is fantastic. If you like Shakespeare, I think it’s worth a watch. If not, you probably wouldn’t like it much.