Author Topic: Scavenger Hunt #22  (Read 483 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2017, 09:59:49 PM »
Film #16 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #8: Watch any film about the UK national sport of football/soccer (for the 90th anniversary of the first live radio commentary of an English football match)



Air Bud: World Pup
Year of Release: 2000
Directed By: Bill Bannerman
Starring: Kevin Zegers, Dale Midkiff, Caitlin Wachs,   Chilton Crane, Brittany Paige Bouck
Genre: Comedy, Sports

Overview:
Buddy masters two new starring roles ... soccer player and father.

AIR BUD: WORLD PUP is loaded with laughs and cool soccer action as Buddy teams up alongside women's soccer greats Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry, and Tisha Venturini, meanwhile keeping a protective eye over his adorable new family of soccer-playing puppies!

My Thoughts:
Too much teen romance, not enough dog playing soccer.  The humans are painfully average, the villain needs a well-oiled mustache to twirl, and really, you're watching a movie like this for the dog.  Needs more dog.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 2.5/5
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 10:03:30 PM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2017, 10:02:54 PM »
Film #17 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #17: Watch any film starring Zooey Deschanel. Her birthday is January 17th.



The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Year of Release: 2007
Directed By: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner
Genre: Western, Drama, Crime, Biography

Overview:
Everyone in 1880s America knows Jesse James. He's the nation's most notorious criminal, hunted by the law in 10 states. He's also the land's greatest hero, lauded as a Robin Hood by the public. Robert Ford? No one knows him. Not yet. But the ambitious 19-year-old aims to change that. He'll befriend Jesse, ride with his gang. And if that doesn't bring Ford fame, he'll find a deadlier way.

Friendship becomes rivalry and the quest for fame becomes obsession in this virile epic produced in part by RIDLEY SCOTT and featuring gripping portrayals by BRAD PITT (winner of the Venice Film Festival Best Actor Award) as Jesse and CASEY AFFLECK as the youth drawn closer to his goal...and farther from his own humanity.

My Thoughts:
Okay, this doesn't star Zooey Deschanel. In my defence, I didn't know how small her part was going in. She is in the film, however, so I'm going to count it.

This is a long, slow, excellent western. It fits into the genre of dying westerns - the sort of western that doesn't celebrate the height of the west, but laments its death. The death of the frontier, that lawless, violent, chaotic, free place and time - here personfied by Jesse James.

One of the very best things in the film is that it does not portray Jesse as the legendary myth that he has become (and was becoming in his own time). Here he is a man, with virtues and flaws; a human being in all the glory and filth that comes with being human. Pitt's brilliant performance carries all of Jesse's charisma, but also his violence. It never glosses over the murders he has committed, nor asks the viewer to excuse them. Casey Affleck also pulls off the initially hero-worshipping Ford who devolves into resentment and fear. The film is very much a character study of these two men and their relationship.

A fine supporting cast, excellent script, and gorgeous cinematography round out this very fine western. Highly, highly recommended, but don't go in expecting a lot of action.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2017, 10:07:05 PM »
Film #18 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #28: Watch a Norman Wisdom film

Trouble in Store
Year of Release: 1953
Directed By: John Paddy Carstairs
Starring: Norman Wisdom, Moira Lister, Megs Jenkins, Jerry Desmonde
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Norman is working in the stock room of a large London department store, but he has ambition (doesn't he always !!), he wants to be a window dresser making up the public displays. Whilst trying to fulfill his ambition, he falls in love (doesn't he always !!), with one of the shopgirls. Together they discover a plot to rob the store and, somehow, manage to foil the robbers.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't able to sit through this.  Reminded me a lot of Jerry Lewis, and I've never been able to sit through him either.  I know people enjoy this sort of comedy, but it doesn't read funny to me, it reads painfully stupid.  Likely better than I'm rating it; this just isn't my sort of film.

Bechdel Test: Unknown
Mako Mori Test: Unknown

Overall: 1/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2017, 10:15:13 PM »
Film #18 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #15: Watch a film featuring any of the cast of 17 Again



Wendy and Lucy
Year of Release:
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt
Starring: Michelle Williams, Lucy the Dog, Walter Dalton
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Among the most critically acclaimed films of the year, WENDY AND LUCY is a touching, politically urgent road movie about a young drifter named Wendy (Academy Award® nominee Michelle Williams) and her beloved dog, Lucy, lost on the roadside of the Pacific Northwest. When Wendy's car breaks down and her plans for a better life in Alaska fall apart, she is forced into a world of strangers, and comes to a tragic new understanding of the limits and depths of peoples' duty to each other in troubled times. Directed by Kelly Reichardt (RIVER OF GRASS, OLD JOY), WENDY AND LUCY again reveals this director's deep commitment to the subtleties of character, the strangeness of the American landscape, and the pleasures of classical storytelling.

My Thoughts:
To fill this task, I had to dig pretty deep in the cast lists of both of these films. Jeanine Jackson plays a grocery cashier here and she played a lawyer in 17 Again. Needless to say, my collection does not overlap with the cast of 17 Again very much.

This is a story of unvarnished realism, a gritty tale of economic hardship and what it's like trying to get by when you have nothing to rely on but yourself. No safety net, no family, no friends, just yourself and your dog. Lucy is the only friend Wendy has, the only love in her life - and she loves her dog with everything she has.

This is a minimalist film with an aestheic so bare as to look like any dying small town in America. While Michelle Williams gives a powerful, quiet, nuanced performance, the rest of the cast isn't as good. The smug grocery worker in particular comes off very stilted.

Recommended to indie film enthusiasts, but if you're into films with a lot of action or escapism this isn't for you. The ending is a tearjerker, and gives neither hope nor despair for the future, only a wondering moment of what comes next.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Pass

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2017, 10:18:21 PM »
Film #19 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task # 4: A film set during 1917



Anastasia
Year of Release: 1997
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
Starring: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria
Genre: Adventure, Romance, Animation, Musical

Overview:
Based on a true story and brought to life with stunning animation and the voices of MEG RYAN, JOHN CUSACK, KELSEY GRAMMER, HANK AZARIA, CHRISTOPHER LLOYD and ANGELA LANSBURY, Anastasia is an epic tale of breathtaking action and intrigue certain to captivate the entire family!

A spellbinding mix of adventure, comedy, romance and music, this acclaimed animated spectacular tells the thrilling story of the lost Russian princess Anastasia and her incredible quest to find her true identity. When the shadow of revolution falls across Russia, the royal family's youngest daughter barely escapes with her life. Years later, Anastasia and a band of heroic companions must battle the evil Rasputin, his sidekick Bartok the bat and a host of ghostly minions in a headlong race to reach Paris, reclaim her rightful destiny...and solve the greatest mystery of the twentieth century!

My Thoughts:
I saw this historical fantasy when it came out, and I've loved it ever since. As the beginning is during the Russian Revolution, it fits the task at hand. The animation is gorgeous, the music is memorable, and most of the characters are really well done. I especially love how much of a strong character they have made Anya.

My only complaints are that they didn't develop Rasputin enough, and Bartok makes no sense as a companion for him. A bit more work on his background would have made the film better, as would eliminating the comedic aspects of his character - which would also remove the character of Bartok. Bartok feels like a character developed for a different film that was ported over to this one, and the comedic features seem forced on a villain that should be darker.

I'd still recommend Anastasia - it's twenty years old this year and still looks just as good as most everything coming out today.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 10:21:29 PM »
Film #20 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #30: Watch a film which has a British female character as its main protagonist



I Know Where I'm Going!
Year of Release: 1945
Directed By: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: George Carney, Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Captain C.W.R. Knight, F.Z.S.
Genre: Romance, Drama

Overview:
In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's stunningly photographed comedy, romance flourishes in an unlikely place–the bleak and moody Scottish Hebrides. Wendy Hiller stars as a headstrong young woman who travels to Scotland to marry a rich lord. Stranded by stormy weather, she meets a handsome naval officer (Roger Livesey) who threatens to thwart her carefully laid-out life plans.

My Thoughts:
To quote The Beatles: Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

This lovely romance between a woman who knows where she's going but gets sidetracked on the way there features an excellent performance from Wendy Hiller, a beautiful seaside Scottish setting, an interesting supporting cast, and a comic performance from CWR Knight that just about steals the show in every scene he's in. Recommended.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2017, 10:28:30 PM »
Film #21 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #19: Watch a film which features a character called "Rooster" (for the Chinese year of the Rooster)



Rooster Cogburn
Year of Release: 1975
Directed By: Stuart Millar
Starring: John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Jordan, Richard Romancito
Genre: Western

Overview:
Two of the most popular stars in screen history are brought together for the first time in the adventure-filled follow-up to True Grit. The legendary John Wayne reprises his role of the rascally, eye-patched, whiskey-guzzling U.S. Deputy Marshall that won him an Academy Award®. Katharine Hepburn joins him as the prim Eula Goodnight, a missionary who pairs up with the grizzled gunfighter to avenge the death of her father. While in pursuit of the outlaws, a tenderhearted relationship develops between the rough-and-tumble lawman and the flinty reverend's daughter as they join forces to secure justice in the untamed west.

My Thoughts:
This was a lot of fun. Sure, a lot of it seems lifted from the much better African Queen, but Wayne (looking really, really old here in almost his last film) plays a really entertaining character here, and it's always a joy to see Katherine Hepburn playing a strong female character who takes guff from no one. Sure there's no real depth here, it's a light adventure, but I'd say it's worth watching if you like these two.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield