Someone asked me the dull and unimaginative question, "what you up to?" I said watching a film (insert which one here). They asked if it was on Netflix. I instantly said "Of course!" I've forgotten what the world was like without it. It has the best series. The films might not always be the latest releases, but that's fine with me; I tend to prefer older films anyway (at least ten years old). That's when it occured to me that I could write ten mini reviews about the films I've watched on Netflix. Here are ten films I've watched in the past week (yeah, I have too much time on my hands).
1. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Robert De Niro is always the mark of a good film, so I knew this would be great. However I wish it hadn't gone on for quite as long (it was almost 4 hours which I think was too overstretched). I felt I lost track of some of the key plot and that there was too much happening in just one film. It might have worked best if it was in two films or something.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't help compare it to other Italian-American greats such as the Godfather and Goodfellas. Even though it never featured a horse's head or anything as graphic, it was still gritty. Best described as a complicated story of the lives of New York gangsters growing up. As main character, "Noodles" (played by De Niro) returns for a reunion, he looks back on how he and loyal childhood friends turn to crime, which can only ultimately end in tragedy. It is a must-watch.
2. That Touch of Mink (1962)
I am generally a hater of romantic films or the "rom-com", and not because it's ridiculously cheesy (everyone needs something happy or fairytale-like to watch as a pick-me-up every so often). No, it's because every love story is the same. Girl meets boy, boy or girl do something bad, they make up and realise that they have found the love of their life. Fifteen minutes in and you can usually guess how it will end.
This story is still predictable, but I love the sense of old Hollywood glamour that comes to the film. For those who hate old films, it is still in colour! The story follows Cathy, who I instantly warmed to. Her character is so relatable as she seems so strong and independent with a hint of vulnerability. As a sign of the times, women seemed to be looking for one thing...marriage. However she didn't seem immediately interested in that; she wanted to find the RIGHT man to marry.
By chance, when on route to a job interview a car driving ruthlessly charming, Phillip covers her in mud. When going to confront him, she instantly falls for the businessman. This follows the conflict as she wants something serious, and it appears he doesn't. Travelling together they appear to find that they might actually be the perfect match! I love it and would definitely watch again.
3. A Mighty Heart (2007)
A Mighty Heart is an adaptation to the memoir of Mariane Pearl. If you don't know, this follows the true story of Mariane as her husband is unfortunately captured by terrorists. It follows the twists and turns as the pregnant wife worries and looks for a way to get him home.
It was a film adaptation that makes you want to read up into the true story. From there, I discovered that the real Mariane Pearl had specifically asked for Angelina Jolie to play her, and I can honestly say it was the best choice. She was convincing in playing the half-Cuban and half-French international journalist. You felt for her every step of the way in the most difficult time of her life. Disappointingly, from reading reviews it seems that some of the story was inaccurate such as the fact that her husband, Daniel Pearl was treated badly for being Jewish apparently this wasn't a huge factor.
Unlike other political films I've seen, it is easy to understand. If you want to find out more about this heroing story, I would definitely recommend it.
4. The Unforgiven (1960)
I think my main reason for watching the film was that my favourite famous woman, Audrey Hepburn was in it. I love her! The many reasons why are too long to list, and would probably bore you to death. She was well-played and for the first half hour to an hour I enjoyed it; the first western that captured me, but some way I lost what was happening. If you like westerns, watch it, but like me and you watch it for her, don't. She's not in it enough to keep your interest. My favourite Audrey Hepburn films are vast, but if I had to I'd narrow it down to Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
5. All over the guy (2001)
Like I've already mentioned, I love an unconventional rom-com and this had it. It wasn't a must-see but it was a film you can't help but love...Or like, maybe. It revolved around the relationship of two men. We live in the 21st century with people of different genders, sexual orientations and races yet, how often are homosexual relationships actually represented? It started with Jackie and Brett meeting and hitting it off, and they each thought to get their two best friends to hook up. Jackie is the straight woman friend of Tom, who is the typical player who sleeps with someone different and gets bored easily. He was raised by two alcoholics, which later explains some of the masculine mask he puts on and the insecurities he has regarding relationships. Brett is the straight man friend of Eli, who is a pretty geeky character and generally neurotic. He has the embarrassing therapy parents who partially remind me of Meet the Fockers. Will Tom and Eli work it out in the end? It is a beautiful and unpredictable story of finding true love.
6. Men in Black 3 (2012)
So when I saw this, I wasn't sure whether I'd seen the first, second or both of the films; I just knew I'd not seen the third. It was quite a while I'd seen them and anyone who knows me knows I have no concentration span for anything remotely Sci-fi or action. However I love Will Smith (not like that, but there is something about the films he stars in) . Most of all I enjoyed the time travelling element to the plot. I was hooked in every part and would recommend it for easy viewing.
7. The Fault in our Stars (2014)
Firstly, I have to say I've not cried watching a film since I last watched one of my favourites, My Girl. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster of a film to watch; it felt almost like I was part of the experience. I know that sounds dramatic to say.
I have been a fan of actress Shailene Woodley, who plays main character, Hazel Grace Lancaster since I watched the Secret Life of the American Teenager. Woodley has found success since then with the Descendants and Divergent Series. She continues to shine in her role as Hazel, who is a 16-year-old cancer patient. Hazel's life appears to be all about doctor's appointments and staying at home; there is little joy in her life, which is sad when you think she hasn't got long left. All until she meets, Gus Waters who has an infectious lust for life. With a shared passion for books, they embark on an adventure neither of them will forget, and that will change their lives forever.
I don't think I could emotionally take watching it again, but it is a beautiful story, which I recommend to anyone to watch. I know I will be going on to read the book.
8. Double Indemnity (1944)
I loved this film noir thriller which has the character of insurance salesman, Walter mostly narrating the film as he describes falling for married woman, Phyllis. He meets the attractive Phyllis, who is intent on killing her husband for the insurance money. After falling for her, he helps her to come up with the perfect plan to get his own company to pay out! It seems to me like the black widow character of Phyllis before Basic Instinct! Obviously not as erotic, but Phyllis is later revealed to be more than appears. I would love to watch this thriller again and even loved watching the general fashion of the women in the film.
9. I know who killed me (2007)
This is very easy viewing, and you wouldn't get confused with what is happening. It was so bad that it was good and I couldn't stop watching. It was almost laughable. Lindsay Lohan was the best part of the film. Even Lohan slagged off the film in tweets. One fan tweeted, "Can you tweet me I seriously watched I know who killed me twice last night". To which Lindsay responded with: "two times too many."
Audrey (Lohan) is a typical girl at school who hasn't got life figured out, except not every girl lives somewhere that girls are going missing and murdered. When a curfew is set for all teenagers, she unfortunately goes missing and is victim to the sadistic kidnapper. When she is "lucky" and her ordeal is over, Audrey has a shocking surprise for her worried parents; she claims to be stripper, Dakota who was raised by a drug-addict who died a few months back. A bit far-fetched right? The film follows her on the recovery as we try to unveil whether she is mentally ill, intentionally lying or if there is much more to the story. I don't want to ruin the ending for you incase you're silly enough to watch it like I was, but it sees her unveiling a secret that Lohan has acted before.
10. The Rules of Attraction (2002)
This is the worst of them. Do not watch it. It isn't boring, but it isn't good. Not one bit. Quite simply I thought it was a worse version of Cruel Intentions without the bitchiness and lies. No grit or anything really happening. Things were happening, but they weren't really!
I thought that none of the characters were even likable. Lauren was ok, but the fact she wasted her time with guys not worth her time just bored me. James Van Der Beek played bissexual character, Sean Bateman who they tried to make complex, but really wasn't. He was just annoying, arrogant and consumed by his own self-importance. I just kept thinking Dawson wouldn't do that! Maybe he had the same haircut as he did in Dawson Creek, but he'll always be Dawson to me! It is pitched with a love triangle but really it was a group of people who have mainly all slept with each other at some stage.
I hope you liked my blog. I'm not sure if it's a bit long...either way, please let me know what you think of any of the films.