Author Topic: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews  (Read 6566 times)

snowcat

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Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« on: July 01, 2010, 08:09:27 PM »
I thought I would do this as I plan to review all the films I watch and it also helps me keep track of What I have reviewed.


snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 08:13:27 PM »
Drilbit Taylor – 2008

Running Time: Theatrical 102 Minutes Extended Cut: 109 Minutes
Director: Steven Brill
Stars: Owen Wilson,  Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley, David Dorfman

Trailer:

Review

Dribit Taylor is known for being John Hughes last movie as a writer before his untimely death, He used the Pseudonym “Edmond Dantes” for this film, did he already know it would rate so badly amongst critics that he didn't want his name associated?

On the first day of highschool best friends Ryan (Troy Gentile) and Wade (Nate Hartley) plan to stay out of trouble, but when they witness another kid getting bullied Wade steps in to save his life, thus starting their slide to the bottom of the high school “food chain” with new friend Emmit Oosterhaus (David Dorfman) who they rescued the three embark on a journey to find a bodyguard who will save them from the clutches of their tormentors.

Drilbit Taylor is your typical “PG:13/12” high school comedy,  to me I think the film would have made a better TV series,  getting a better back ground on characters and seeing Drilbit and the kids relationships evolve could have been interesting. Drilbit is not your typical Apatow produced comedy firstly it does not rely on sex and drug jokes, it instead reverts to slap stick humour, people being hit or locked in things. It also features just one Frat Pack member in Owen Wilson, although I'm sure it's not long before Troy Gentile is offered honorary membership as he has played a younger version of Jack Black in a selection of films. Although Apatow did manage to get his wife involved and leslie Mann plays a teacher and object of Drilbits affections.

The film seems to have been purposely made in the style of a hughes film, Of course the film is alot like the 80’s movie “My Bodyguard” and even features a cameo of Adam Baldwin wearing the same jacket from the film. Maybe Drilbit Taylor is a spiritual re imaging of the story of My Bodyguard and maybe John Hughes never finished his treatment because he always saw it being too similar to this film.

Owen Wilson as Drilbit Taylor is an interesting choice, I thought he would be wrong for the part, but I was wrong he suited Drilbit, but the show was stole by the kids, to begin with I thought I was going to hate the kids but I slowly began to root for them hoping they would overcome the bullies, Ive mentioned Troy Gentile before but he really shined in his role as Ryan, people will know him as the young Jack Black in the Tenacious D movie and as a young Nacho in Nacho Libre, Drilbit made him stand out and I'm sure it will only help to propel his career forward especially if he sticks to Apatow films

The Soundtrack features a selection of contemporary rap and rock songs featuring artists such as Weezer and Eminem. The songs generally reflect the characters in the film as Ryan is known for his rapping alot of the rap songs on the soundtrack are associated with him, the use of “college rock” bands such as weezer and the hives also reflects the fact that they are in school, as this is the predominant audience for this genre of music.

As this film is an “Apatow” production there was no doubt that I would see it, it is possibly one of his more young teenager orientated films as it doesn’t really feature any sex jokes at all, the humour seems to come from slapstick and quips, people being punched and what could be clever one liners if this film tried harder. The film was not advertised well, partly due to Wilson already filming Marley and Me during the marketing. Personally I feel that Drilbit Taylor is a fairly weak film, id have expected more from John Hughes and Seth Rogen who is also credited as a writer. It was enjoyable and I didn't even notice that one of the “bullies” was Josh Peck who is now a shadow of his former self.  I just don't think the script was strong enough, and as I said above maybe in using a pseudonym John Hughes already knew this.


« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 08:16:06 PM by Emma (snowcat) »

snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 08:18:10 PM »
Once – 2006

Running Time: 85 Minutes
Director: John Carney
Stars: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová

Trailer:

Review

Before making the film director John Carney was in a band with Glen Hansard called “The Frames” Glen Hansard who plays “the guy” in the film is also in a duo with Markéta Irglová  who plays “the girl” their band is called “The Swell Season”

A middle aged busker who sings and plays guitar in Dublin, known only as “the guy” as he remains un named in the movie, struggles to make a living and with the trials of being a street performer even getting his takings stolen by a heroin addict. One evening whilst playing one of his own songs he meets Czech immigrant flower seller “The Girl” who also remains nameless, the film follows the duos growing friendship and subsequent quest to become something.

Both characters were trained musicians and not actors, and Cillian Murphy was originally set to play the role of “the guy” as he had previously been a musician before becoming an actor, Murphy has also been set to be a producer on the movie but did not enjoy the song that the Swell Seasons had written for the movie and pulled out, This caused many problems and left the film to be funded 75% by the Irish Film Board and 25% by John Carney himself, who paid the leads out of his own salary  Shot in just 17 days on a shoe string the crew saved money by using natural light and friends houses instead hiring expensive equipment and locations. The film cost  $160,000 to make and ended up making over $20,000,000 back. Finally It was Glen Hasards stories of being a busker to his friend John Carney that scored him the job. Although the film was a success both characters have stated that they do not wish to act again, both of the musicians stating that they were very nervous during production.

The lead character of “the guy” is an interesting character we discover he lives with his father and works for him, we also discover that he has a lost love in which alot of his own songs are based on. Similarly we discover that “the girl” also has relationship problems and mirroring the guy as she can play the piano and sing (as he plays guitar and sings) as the cast is so small we learn alot about each character and it helps relate to them and hope they achieve their dreams.

The soundtrack to Once was composed by “The Swell Season” aka Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová  (the main actors) the collector's edition of the CD also features two cover versions of Van Morrison songs. Overall the soundtrack is incredibly strong and although I originally felt a lot of the songs sounded the same upon re-listen they all seem to have personality. As the film features so many songs sung by the characters I personally would class it as a musical although it relies more on the drama of the story then the music. Bob Dylan is said to have liked the film so much that he invited the Swell Season to open for him at certain parts of his World Tour, They covered the song “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”

I heard nothing but good things about Once and I expected something amazing from it, what I got was not what I expected by is something I enjoyed. The soundtrack was brilliant and is on my to buy list. Once is an interesting film named because director John Carney knew so many buskers who used to say “once this happens and once that happens” Once is an enjoyable film part musical part drama and overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.



snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 08:23:16 PM »
Zoolander – 2001

Running Time:
Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell

Trailer:

Review

Funny man Ben Stiller stars as Derrick Zoolander, dim-witted male model who has been brainwashed, The film is based on a series of skits originally created for the VH1 Fashion Award.

Fashion mogul Jacoim Mugatu (Will Ferrell) is forced by the heads of the fashion industry to find a dimwitted male fashion model that can be easily brainwashed to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister at an upcoming fashion show. Child Labour is to be abolished which would reek havoc on an industry that relies upon on it. Mugatu contacts long time friend and agent Maury Ballstein and the two devise a plan to trick Derrick Zoolander in to being brainwashed.

Zoolander is based on an original series of skits for the VH1 Fashion Awards, You can see one here from 1996, this is an “interview with Derrick Zoolander”.
(click to show/hide)
Watching this skit you can see many of the themes that feature in the movie, it also features a selection of quotes and ideas that would make it into the final film. Unlike most films that are based on shorts, Zoolander doesn't seem to be stretched it seems to have been a feature length that was squashed into a short instead of a short stretched into a feature length.

Due to the main theme of the film being the assassination of a fictional Malaysian Prime Minister the film was banned in Malaysia and neighbouring country Singapore although the ban has since been lifted there. The film also featured shots of the Twin Towers but due to its release date being the 28th of September 2001 these scenes were removed. To receive a Pg-13 in the US the “Orgy” scene was severely cut down, this makes the film rely on sex jokes far less than your typical frat pack comedy.

Zoolander has a very strong cast, it is said that Andy Dick was to originally play Mugatu but was unable to due to commitments to another film, I for one am glad as I believe this to be one of Will Ferrell's best performances in a comedy film. The character of Hansel, Zoolander rival was said to have been written with Owen Wilson in mind, I think he was a perfect choice for this part as Ive mentioned before that he and Stiller have a great comedic chemistry. Finally Ben Stiller does a great job of directing and acting in this film you could honestly believe that Derrick Zoolander is a real model and that he really is that scatterbrained. The film features a selection of guest stars from Ben Stiller's parents Jerry Stiller and “Anne Meara” to “Vince Vaughn”, “David Bowie” and “Jon Voight” A great well rounded cast that keep the comedy coming all the time.

The Zoolander Soundtrack features a mixture of original and covers of 80s hits, the music contained references the character of Mugatu who we discover was involved in a prolific 80’s pop band in the later part of the film. Mugatu a selection of 80’s hits also plays throughout the film. Some of the most interesting covers include “He Ain’t Heavy.... He’s My Brother” By Rufus Wainwright, “Love to Love you Baby” by No Doubt and “Relax” by Powerman 5000. The film also feature an array of instrumental pieces composed by David Arnold who has gone on to compose soundtracks for both of Daniel Craig's Bond films.

From the moment I saw the trailer to Zoolander I knew I would like this film, in my opinion Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson make a great combination and Zoolander is no exception. I think it's one of the better Frat pack films and is one that I have found many of the people who dislike this groups films have enjoyed. It's also the only Stiller directed film I have enjoyed. Overall Zoolander is a solid comedy which shows just how funny the frat pack guys can be when they have a good strong script.



snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 08:30:41 PM »
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – 2007

Running Time:  90 Minutes / 120 Minutes Extended Cut]
Director: Jake Kasden
Stars: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer

Trailer:

Review

Walk Hard echos the biopic of Johnny Cash's life Walk The Line, although the film is a parody o the whole biopic genre, featuring an original soundtrack sung by lead actor John C Reilly.

Walk Hard tells the story of Dewey Cox, a Johnny Cash-esque singer who accidentally kills his brother. After learning the guitar and performing at a school concert aged 14, the priest of his town as well as the town folk turn on Dewey saying he plays the devils music, Dewey and his 12 year old girlfriend elope. The film goes on the biograph the story of Dewey Cox from child to pensioner .  We see Dewey become addicted to drugs, go to rehab, go to prison and even get double married.

In the style of a biopic film, Walk Hard starts with introducing the character we see an Older Dewey Cox standing by a wall thinking, we are transported to Dewey's past, here we discover all the trials and tribulations of being a super star, his meetings with Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Beatles and his numerous battles with drugs. I can't decide which decade of Dewey I like the most because I love them all. But hearing his “Bob Dillon” phase made me laugh a great deal. The film was produced by Judd Apatow who is also credited as a writer for the film. The film seems mature for an Apatow film and maybe that's why it failed commercially. The film looks just like any other biopic and I think some people could easily confuse it with Walk the Line.

The character of Dewey Cox is incredibly believable, seeing the performances of Reilly playing Cox live on stage is amazing you would not realise it was him. John C Reilly is one of my favourite actors, and even in his serious roles you could see the comedy breaking through but this film brings him out of his shell and shows just how good an actor he really is. Jenna Fishcher plays Darlene Madison, Cox's backup singer as June Carter was to Johnny Cash on some of his songs. Whilst Fishcer does not sing in the movie,  Angela Correa providing her vocals, Fischer plays a great job of being Dewey's “bit on the side”

The cast and crew of Walk Hard recorded over 40 songs for the film, but only 33 feature in the movie. The official soundtrack release features just  15 of those whilst the Itunes extended version features 30. I love the songs in this film, they suit the style so well, Who knew John C Reilly was such a great diverse singer? He even toured as Dewey Cox singing live to promote the film. Song writer Dan Bern and Mike Viola wrote most of the films songs. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy and a Golden Globe with Reilly singing all of his songs and playing guitar on most.

I was completely surprised by this film, I saw the DVD in a bargain bin, I saw John C Reilly and I had to own it, the film did poorly in the box office not making its budget back, but even Roger Ebert and the Rotten Tomatoes website give it positive reviews. Poor marketing outside of the US let this film down, and even the marketing there didn't seem to make it do well. I have to admit that this is one of my favourite films of all time, Ive lost count of the amount of times I have watched it. I ask everyone to give this film a chance and don't be put off by Reilly's previous Apatow outings such as Step Brothers and Talladega Nights.



snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 08:31:26 PM »
Jimmy ive already reviewed Walk Hard but this review is better... If you don't mind changing it that would be great  ;D

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 09:32:06 PM »
Just changed your old link ;D

snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 09:54:50 PM »
Thanks alot Jimmy!!

snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 09:57:00 PM »
Gone With the Wind – 1939

Running Time: 224 Minutes / 238 Minutes (including the Overture, Intermission and Exit Music)
Director: Victor Flemming
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

Trailer:

Review

A classic American Civil war Film shows the run up to, subsequent Civil war and the aftermath. The film is told from the side of the white southerners. Who used to their rich lifestyles find it hard to cope when everything is briefly reversed.

Lead character Scarlet O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is the daughter of an Irish immigrant who from humble beginnings now owns a plantation called “Tara.” Scarlet is infatuated with neighbour Ashley Wilkes, who although attracted to her is about to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton. At a party announcing their engagement Scarlet meets rogue Rhett Butler (Clarke Gable) soon after this the civil war breaks out. We then follow scarlet as she becomes a nurse during the war and subsequently decides to go back to home to Tara to find her parents, The film then continues to tell Scarlet's story as she tries to make a living in the aftermath of the war and her subsequent marriages.

Gone With the Wind is based on a novel of the same name, and the first scripted version was so long that it would have needed over 6 hours of film. The screenplay writer Sydney Howard  rewrote the script but refused to leave New England whilst filming commenced meaning the small rewrites needed were handled by local writers. The writes to make a film of the book were bought just a month after its release for  $50,000 a record at that time. It took almost two years for director Victor Flemming to decide on a lead actress to play Scarlet although the choice of Rhett seemed to come more easily.  Many scenes were re-filmed due to lighting issues with the opening scene being filmed five times. It is said that Flemming had to pay $5,000 at the time due to Gable's use of the word “Damn” in the film.

Gone With the Wind features a variety of standout characters from Mammy the O'Hara families outspoken housemaid who often tells Scarlet exactly what she thinks. Mammy and the other house and field workers have been subject to racial debates, stating that these characters seem to lack independent thought, personally I disagree Mammy is a strong character who seems to enjoy her work no matter how riled she gets. Hattie McDaniels who played Mammy also went on to win an Oscar becoming the first black female to do so. Scarlet O'Hara is a strong willed woman who we only grow to like when we see her compassionate side, she helps Melanie maybe or selfish reasons but helps none the less and I really feel her character eventually warmed to Melanie.  Finally Rhett Butler, the loveable rogue of the film He seems to genuinely love scarlet and the later on in the film we see a completely new side to him, both Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh were nominated for best actor and actress at the Academy awards, with Leigh winning and Gable losing out to  Robert Donat for his role in Goodbye, Mr Chips        
                          
The Soundtrack was composed by Stephen Foster and features a array of music, some of the most memorable pieces are played at the beginning “The Overture” in which a still picture is shown, during the “Intermission” in which a still picture is shown and finally during the “Exit Music”

When I first started watching Gone With the Wind I thought “How am I going to sit through four hours of this? I even got to a point where I said “I can’t do this” but I made myself continue, as the war began to start I got engrossed I could not take my eyes of the film, I was actually enjoying it and became thoroughly impressed with it. I grew to like Scarlet and even Rhett, and if you can sit through the early stages then go for it, it is a classic after all.


« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 12:18:26 AM by Emma (snowcat) »

venomsinner

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 10:40:52 PM »
Too many walls of text canno't read :p


Najemikon

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2010, 01:11:17 AM »
 :hmmmm:

Emma, are you actually watching these movies? I'm not questioning your reviews, just the fact that it's day one and a bit of the alphabet marathon and you're five movies in, including a four-hour epic.

I know there are no rules, but watching them one at a time is kind of the point. :laugh:

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 03:48:01 AM »
:hmmmm:

Emma, are you actually watching these movies? I'm not questioning your reviews, just the fact that it's day one and a bit of the alphabet marathon and you're five movies in, including a four-hour epic.

I know there are no rules, but watching them one at a time is kind of the point. :laugh:
You may have missed this thread. She's at home resting, with nothing else to do ;)

Haha, and I saw her post on Facebook, during watching Gone With The Wind, uncertain if she'd be awake at the end :hysterical:

Of course, at this speed she'll be done before Tuesday :laugh:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 04:37:15 AM »
Emma, are you actually watching these movies? I'm not questioning your reviews, just the fact that it's day one and a bit of the alphabet marathon and you're five movies in, including a four-hour epic.

I know there are no rules, but watching them one at a time is kind of the point. :laugh:
I did the same last year with my october marathon, but it burned me fast... That's why I want to watch quality films also this year.

snowcat

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 09:49:13 AM »
Haha, Yep I am watching them :p Like Achim said I started Gone With the Wind at 12am, I couldn't sleep because of the pain and after it GWtW I got maybe an hour and half of sleep before I woke up again. the other 4 films are all fairly short, one is only 80 minutes long and from 12 AM - 8PM all I did was watch films type those reviews out and go to the doctors for 20minutes.

I know it seems like im moving very fast, but Im going on holiday on July 24th and on Saturday and Sunday I will be filimg at the Godiva Festival (Englands biggest free festival)

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Emmas Alphabet Marathon Reviews
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 09:52:47 AM »
I will be filming at the Godiva Festival (Englands biggest free festival)
Is it for a documentary you work on or it's school works?