JULIE & JULIA (2009): In The Name Of Passion And A Love Of Food

Julie & Julia (2009), Meryl Streep
Julie & Julia (2009), Meryl Streep

When you sit down to watch Julie and Julia, I highly recommend having a few of your favourite foods with you. I say this because you will find yourself with at least one or two serious  cravings.

Based on the life of American Chef, Julia Child, and Writer Julie Powell, meet two ladies with a shared passion for food, cooking and feeding the people they love.

Besides the joy of a well executed drama about two women who quite literally come alive whilst indulging in their favourite pass time, Julie & Julia will likely inspire you to dedicate more time pursuing your own passions.

To look at it another way, should the task of silencing doubters be a  hobby of yours, or one you wouldn’t mind taking up, then look no further to see it done with such admirable aplomb.

If you’re still unsure, I have two words. Meryl Streep.

Happy Julie & Julia 🙂

G

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013): Who Knew Greed Could Be So Entertaining?

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill

Martin Scorsese’s Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) is absolutely dripping with testosterone, not that this should be surprising.

Typical of all other popular accounts of life on Wall Street, there’s plenty, and then some – of the expected excess and debauchery.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio

Based on a true story about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (Dicaprio’s character), the audience, particularly the ambitious will relate to the protagonist’s determination to succeed, as well as get some insight into the many ways the American dream can go very wrong indeed.

With  plenty of well written male banter (one of my favourite things), and great performances all round, you will spend a surprising amount of time laughing. Leonardo Dicaprio and his more than qualified supporting cast absolutely deliver.

The Mark Hanna character played by Matthew McConaughey is so entertaining that you’ll find yourself wanting more.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Matthew McConaughey
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Matthew McConaughey

Jonah Hill, an Actor better known for comedy hits including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Superbad (2007) is great as Donny Azoff. Azoff’s teeth and hair may be highly questionable, but you’ll see that Hill’s performance certainly isn’t.

Girls will definitely enjoy the film but I have a strong suspicion that boys will love it more.

Happy Wolf Of Wall Street 🙂

G

TAKEN 3 (2015) Trailer: You’ll Be Pleasantly Surprised

Taken 3 (2015), Liam Neeson
Taken 3 (2015), Liam Neeson

Taken (2008) was brilliant. Taken 2 (2012) was alright. Taken 3…?

You’ll be relieved to see that the story, by writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen looks quite different.

Can’t say that this is the final instalment, but I’m certainly glad to see the wonderfully voiced Liam Neeson playing seriously badass, ex-government operative, Bryan Mills once again. Bring on 2015!

Happy Tak3n 🙂

G

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (2008): A Definite Seth Rogen Win

This is absolutely not a horror film, but who knew that Seth Rogen playing scared out of his mind could be so entertaining?

Coming from the same team that delivered comedy hits Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007) and most recently, This Is The End (2013); Pineapple Express is an action packed comedy bromance between two mid twenties, weed smoking males who are played rather well indeed by Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Pineapple express (2008), Seth Rogen, James Franco
Pineapple express (2008), Seth Rogen, James Franco

There’s plenty to enjoy in this movie, including the dialogue, well choreographed action sequences, a series of oddball characters; not to forget the undeniable beauty of James Franco’s Smile… 🙂 …something I hadn’t been aware of until this movie. Oh yes.

Last but absolutely not least, should you find yourself to be a fan of writer/ director, Judd Apatow before watching this movie, then you know you’re in good hands.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

CHEF (2014): Prepare To Feel Hungry, In More Ways Than One

Chef (2014)
Chef (2014)

Jon Favreau’s Chef is a comedy film with great music and mouthwatering food that makes you wish you had immediate access to all the bites featured.

More than a feast for your stomach and then some, it’s a beautifully told story about family – particularly the relationship between a busy father and his ten year-old son.

The film also speaks to the sensibilities of those stuck in a career path that no longer supports their need for creative freedom and / or desire to serve their passions in a way that makes them happy.

There are one or two more themes that emerge from the narrative thread. I’ll let you discover those beautiful gems for yourself. Maybe they’ll speak to you more than the ones that stood out for me. Either way you’re likely to be hooked as soon as the film starts.

Happy Chef 🙂

G

SKYFALL (2012) Cinematography: Feast Your Eyes Cinephiles!

A few of my favourite cinematographically stunning moments from SKYFALL (2012). All thanks to brilliant Cinematographer Roger Deakins, of course. What’s not to love?

The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
‘…To strive, to seek, and not to yield’, Skyfall (2012)
‘…To strive, to seek, and not to yield’, Skyfall (2012)
The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
‘…That which we are, we are…’, SkyFall (2012)
‘…That which we are, we are…’, SkyFall (2012)
Back in time, Skyfall (2012)
Back in time, Skyfall (2012)

Film, a perfect marriage of the arts. Who could disagree?

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (2012): Great Example of Trailer Perfection

Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)
Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

From the beautifully paced editing, perfect choice of music, to the narrative concept, dialogue and visuals / special effects; the Snow White And The Huntsman (2012) trailer provides just enough detail to make you aware that this is a wonderfully different retelling.

The decision to make Charlize Theron the key focus of the trailer is genius. This isn’t a film aimed at the traditional young Disney audience. Hence the absence of elements that quite frankly I’m glad are no where to be found. Musical numbers being just one of them.

This tantalisingly dark 1 minute 54 second trailer arrests the senses and refuses to let go until the very last second. What a wonderful marriage of audio visual delight delivered to perfection.

For many, Kristen Stuart is the big draw which is unsurprising due to the success of The Twilight Saga. For me though, without question it’s Charlize Theron.

The tone and delivery of Theron’s performance is such a thrill to behold, that to date I’ve watched the trailer a countless number of times.

The Snow White & The Huntsman trailer has a place in a compilation of my favourite film trailers of 2012. It also makes it on my list of favourite Charlize Theron  performances; Monster (2003) being one of them.

Happy Snow White And The Huntsman 🙂

G

MALEFICENT (2014): Definitely Not Your Typical Disney Evil Queen

Maleficent (2014)
Maleficent (2014)

Paragraph 5 (Spoiler Alert)

Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent has been criticised for not being evil enough. I think people of this opinion have missed the point of the film entirely.

Not to say that the film is perfect, because the pace did leave  me wanting. But it’s clear to me that, for audiences to buy into the story, Angelina definitely couldn’t look for inspiration for her character from the likes of pre-existing Queens of pure evil. A perfect example being ‘Queen Revenna’ of Snow White And The Huntsman (2012) wonderfully played by Charlize Theron.

No, no, no. Angelina would have to study characters far more complex. I imagine she did because Maleficent is absolutely unlike the traditional evil queen, and that doesn’t make for a lesser film, just a different one.

Besides my issues with the pace of the film, there is one aspect of the story that  I found particularly hard to accept…

…now, I may be overthinking things since I’m not the film’s key demographic. But nevertheless… with Maleficent being not just a fairy with powers, but ’the strongest of the fairies’, I expected that she would have the means to regenerate her wings. And if she couldn’t do this, I imagined she would at least use her magic to locate the wings – once she’d used the same special powers to learn that her wings had not been completely destroyed. Am I alone in this?

I certainly have no regrets at all about watching the film. The difference was refreshing. Plus,  I LOVE Angelina Jolie! She could almost lead me anywhere. Probably.

Happy Maleficent 🙂

G

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