14 films in 7 days: Part I

Posted by Bel. The time is 8:11pm here in Wellington, NZ.

I've been sick. Poor me! I'm feeling better now and I have to thank the healing power of cinema. I've averaged 2 films a day over the last week, which is pretty good considering I've also read nearly half a dozen novels. And slept for about 8 hours a day. Extra. Heh heh.

  1. The Machinist

    I am a huge Christian Bale fan (not least of all because his stepmum is Gloria Steinem) but lordy me, he is not easy to watch in this film. The DVD cover describes it as ‘Fight Club meets Memento’ which is apt – if a littler spoilery? (I am so sensitive.)

    Portraying a man whose demons drag him down a path of paranoia, complusion and anorexia, Bale’s acting in this beautifully shot film is overwhelmed by his physicality. Time and time again his skeletal frame is so literally breath-taking that I found myself disturbed and distracted from everything else in the movie.

    * shudder *

    I know that everybody else talked this out already (when the film was released, a million years ago) but it’s hard to let it slide. Particularly when you keep in mind that he then went to make Batman (as pictured), followed by Rescue Dawn with Werner Herzog. Even the director lost 30 pounds (13 kilos) shooting that harrowing prisoner-of-war jungle escape film, Bale's weight reportedly yo-yoed by 55 pounds (25 kilos). There's committed to the cause, and then there's whoa boy, take a chill pill, it's just acting!

  2. Once Upon A Time In The Midlands

    Seemed like a very good cast (Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke and Shirley Henderson) but we turned it off after about 5 minutes. Not that funny.

    Not that funny, guys!!

  3. Unbreakable

    We own hundreds of DVDs and I’m on a mission at the moment to watch the ones I’ve never seen. This was not a good pick for first off the list. How did Samuel L Jackson read pieces of dialogue like "I believe comic book heroes walk the earth, I believe you are one of those individuals. It's time for someone like you." and not tell M Night Shyamalan where to get off??

    "blah blah idiotic rhetoric blah blah meaningless goobledygook"

    I could not believe how ridiculous this film was. And not just the preposterous storyline, but also the poor filmmaking.

    Why is there that ridiculous extended scene of Bruce Willis (bless his heart) with his son boy, doing the stupid weightlifting scene, for about a million years? How could he have not ever noticed before that he is strong? And, after making such a big deal, with this long dragged-out scene, why is his strength never once again referenced in the film?? Why? WHY??

    Why did I not just turn this film off after 5 minutes?! Why would anyone think “Mr Glass” was a good name for a villian? It’s not! “The Shard” would be a good name for a villian – “Mr Glass” sounds like a window cleaning service. GOD!! You vex me, M Night Shyamalan.

  4. Resident Evil

    Because I am a noob, I had no idea a) that this was based on a video game, b) that it was a zombie movie.

    So I was sitting there (by my ralph) being all ‘hmm… overlaid graphics referencing video gaming… how dated… rahrah’ and thinking I was awesome, and then proceeded to be all terrified by the zombies and flesh eating and the freaky dogs and SO ON. Shame on my name.

    (What did I think it was going to be about?? …World War II probably. Like most of the DVDs we own.)

    German paratroopers invading Crete

    I quite liked this because there were two female leads kicking arse, except Michelle Rodriguez's character is so stripped of femininity (sexuality in general?) I’m not sure she counts. There were some cool special effects, like the guy getting all diced up by the laser thing, although the main DNA mutant creature did looked a bit passé in light of having seen District 9 recently with its cutting edge CGI.

  5. Definitely Maybe

    Confession: I quite like Ryan Reynolds. I was secretly thrilled when my stepdaughter Maia chose this at the DVD store and even more so when it turned out to be quite entertaining.

    From trailers, I thought the storyline was his little girl doesn’t know who her mother is and he tells her three stories about three women, not revealing which is the truth. This triggered my ‘utter Hollywood bullshit’ alarm, as who ON EARTH would do such a thing to a child searching for security. And SURELY NOT Ryan Reynolds, bless his heart.

    The goss on you & Alanis now, plz. And then I give you Oscar tips.

    But rest assured, the plot is more along the lines of the precocious daughter (played by the ever lovely Abigail Breslin, of Little Miss Sunshine) wanting to know how her mid-divorce parents first got together. The story, of course, is not so simple, and involves a few different time periods (with some nice references to the Clinton era – Bill’s, that is).

    The cast is nicely rounded out by Rachel Weisz, who is just wonderful; Isla Fisher, who is just wonderful; and Elizabeth Banks, who is a bit of a non-event. Kevin Kline also has a rather large cameo, playing some kind of Jeff-Bridges-as-The-Dude-meets-Ben-Kingsley-in-The-Wackness character.

    I’m not saying ‘HUNT THIS FILM OUT’ but I did genuinely laugh at some of it and it was nice to enjoy a rom-com without having to completely disengage. (Haha such a snob.)

  6. Cinema Paradiso

    Yes, a classic, and one of Mark’s favourite films – meaning that we only have it in a special edition Italian language version. Wow, cool: packaged up in a 35mm can with a commemorative booklet. And completely unwatchable. What’s Italian for “D’OH!”??

    Luckily the video store had this DVD of it with an amazing invention called SUBTITLES and I finally got to watch it in a language I understand. It was epically long but really lovely.


    It is a film for lovers of film. Set mostly in the 1950s, it revels in nostalgia, referencing the golden age of cinema, filled with passion for life and love.

    It is the story of a prodigal son who returns to his village where his childhood was spent enthralled in the projection booth of the rustic movie theatre. Unsurprisingly, many scenes from this film have become iconic, including when the town square spontaneously becomes the venue for an outdoor screening.

    EDIT: Guess what I just found out from your friend and mine, Google. What we watched was the 'Director's Cut', which is an hour longer than the original cinematic release - mainly because he revised the previously ambiguous ending. I love me an ambiguous ending! Dang it. I say go with the original. I have little regard for 'Director's Cut' versions.

    *Wipes away a tear at the thought of the butchering of her beloved Donnie Darko*

  7. 6 Days 6 Nights

    This was a French movie with that lady from Betty Blue in it, but we turned it off after 5 minutes because nothing had happened.

    And yet it looked so promising.


2 thoughts on “14 films in 7 days: Part I”

  1. Hmm how come I have seen, like, none of these? Well, I have seen Unbreakable but it was yonks ago, to the point of not counting. Interestingly, QT recently ranked it in his fave films of the last 20 years which made me want to watch it again. It's all referency of Superman, which I didn't get when I watched it a million years ago. (QT's list if you're interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz4K-Rxx2Bk&feature=popular)

    The whole emaciation thing put me off watching The Machinist. Will investigate the non-Director's Cut of Cinema Paradiso. Have wanted to see Definitely Maybe (also have a soft spot for The Other Ryan), but these days I only see movies if I go to the cinema to see them, buy them on DVD, or happen to catch them on tv so it may never happen. (DVD store? They still have those??)

  2. Haha that QT list is exactly why I watched it!! And we owned it, soooo... Now I will desperately trying to flog it off onto some comic book nerd friend of mine. I love comics n all but this was just too much codswallop for me.

    I imagine you making the most of one those Netflix/Fatso type DVD-mail order services?? Have they caught on in Londontowne...?