Holiday Viewing

This is a weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*.

Beneath Hill 60, DVD

Starring Brendan Cowell and directed by Jeremy Sims, this is the little known (at least to me) true story of how a bunch of Aussie miners blew up some Germans in World War I. Some predictable moments, but pretty good on the whole and illustrates how our troops’ contributions in the major wars of last century get largely overlooked.

Carriers, DVD

An unknown contagion has brought about an apocalypse. Chris Pine and Lou Taylor Pucci are two brothers trying to make it to their childhood holiday home and on the way they come across some disturbing encounters as well as home truths. Christopher Meloni (otherwise known for playing Det. Elliot Stabler in Law and Order: SVU) has a small but brilliant part.

Holiday Viewing

This is a weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”.

Fanboys, DVD

Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette and Kristen Bell star in this fanboy’s/fangirl’s wet dream of a movie. Any self-respecting nerd will love this movie regardless of your franchise affiliation (that is, Star Wars or Star Trek). With some surprising cameos from wonderfully appropriate actors, you cannot call yourself a nerd if you have not seen this movie. 

Beastly, DVD

From the director of a few other movies I’ve never heard of, comes this version of Beauty and the Beast, starring Mary Kate (or was it Ashley) Olsen, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens. Awesome performance as usual from Neill Patrick Harris as the blind tutor but the change in Pettyfer was about as believable as the love story between him and Hudgens. That is, not very.  

Actually, I reckon the ‘beast’ looked better when he was supposed to ugly…

Holiday Viewing

This is a weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*, except when I forget and upload it on a Monday…

Cirque du Freak: Vampire’s Assistant, DVD

A straight-laced teen (Chris Massoglia) gets mentored by a vampire (John C. Reilly) who’s a bit disillusioned with the world. Not a bad movie, but not great, it’s definitely a better choice than Percy Jackson. Visually interesting, there’s definitely a difference between the mundane world and the world of the freaks (the freaks have it better in my opinion). Also, the freaks themselves are awesome.

Moon, DVD

Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, lone crew member on the lunar mining operation run by Lunar Industries. His only companion is GERTY, an artificial intelligence assistant unit, voiced by Kevin Spacey. As his three-year stint on the Moon come to an end, Sam has a startling encounter. Great movie with a great plot and great performances from Sam Rockwell.

Holiday Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*, except when I forget and post it on Monday…

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, DVD

A travelling theatre company offers up more than the audience expects in this, Heath Ledger’s last movie. A bit weird and quirky, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from director Terry Gilliam. Also stars Christopher Plummer and Verne Troyer (otherwise known as Mini Me), with cameo appearances by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.

 

Brothers, DVD

An interesting look at those affected by war, Brothers is a remake of a Danish film of the same name. Toby Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenahal play the central characters. Not a powerful movie, per se, but definitely one that will make you think for a bit afterward. Bailee Madison plays Portman’s oldest daughter Maggie with more subtlety than adults five times her age and experience.

Holiday Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*. Except when I forget and post it Monday…

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, DVD

Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) gets accused of stealing Sean Bean’s lightning. Once he realises he’s the son of a god, he begins to embark on the journey that will take him from Hades to Olympus. It’s an all right film that is very geared toward a teenage audience without the nods to adults most films come with these days. Knowing it’s directed by Chris Columbus should tell you all you need to know.

Invictus, DVD

The story of how South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. Starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, it’s an intriguing look into South Africa’s recent history. The rugby scenes go on a bit, even for my rugby-loving tastes, but otherwise it’s a very good movie. I love how the team was so very intimidated by Jona Lomu!

Holiday Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*. By the way, season’s greetings!

20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954, DVD

Starring Kirk Douglas, this is an interesting adaptation of the novel by Jules Verne. Captain Nemo is suitably mad and Professor Arronax is the university archetype, but all of the action scenes carry on for longer than my MTV-trained attention span can cope with. Douglas’ accent grates as the only American on board, but other than those points, it’s a pretty good movie that almost stands up to today’s standards. It was interesting to note that the environmental message Nemo espouses at one point was way ahead of its time.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth, 2008, DVD

I have a vast love for Brendan Fraser and this movie is no exception. Yet another Vernian adaption, this movie gives a nod to the source material in more ways than one. A whole lot less wet than other modern adaptions but definitely not great. If it weren’t for Fraser, I probably wouldn’t have watched the whole thing.

Holiday Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday (except when I forget and upload it on Monday…) that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*.

Around the World in 80 Days,DVD

This is a rather wet version of an awesome novel by Jules Verne, first made into a movie in 1956. Jackie Chan plays an accident prone fugitive who ends up as valet to Steve Coogan’s Phineas Fogg. Watch this one when it comes on TV if there’s nothing else on.

 

Time Machine,DVD

What is it with modern remakes of classic Science Fiction novels being so wet? Made in 2002, Guy Pierce plays Alexander Hartdegen, time machine inventor. It’s an ok movie.

Holiday Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*.

Water for Elephants, in an aeroplane over middle America

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon play forbidden lovers (she’s married to yet another disturbing character played by Christoph Waltz). It’s a very pretty movie and it was nice to see R-Patz not play a broody vampire, but not even the talents of Witherspoon and Rosie, the very charming elephant, could capture my heart with this one.

 

Sucker Punch,DVD

After her mother dies and she inadvertently shoots her sister, Emily Brownings’s Baby Doll is placed into an asylum for girls by a rat of a stepfather. From here she has delusions of an alternate reality of what the asylum is and what they have to do in order to survive and, eventually, escape. Visually stunning with a fantastic performance from Carla Guigino and cameos by Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn, the soundtrack is awesome as well.

Holiday* Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”*.

Jane Eyre, in an aeroplane further over the Pacific

Yet another adaptation of the novel by Charlotte Bronte, this one with Mia Wasikowska (from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland), was a real snore. Literally. I fell asleep during the opening credits and woke up just as Jane realises that Rochester (Michael Fassbender) is a tosser and comes to her senses. The snorefest probably had more to do with the long-haul flight I was on at the time of watching than how boring Jane is, but as far as classic adaptations go, I don’t reckon I’ll line this one up for my DVD player anytime soon.

Cowboys and Aliens, down the block from Forbidden Planet, NY.

Daniel Craig (or to use the name I give him, Daniel-Craig-I-Want-His-Babies) is a very believable (and extremely awesome) cowboy who has to team up with Harrison Ford to combat the aliens that have taken up residence near their town. Awesome actionfest that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the subject. Some surprisingly poignant moments though. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Holiday* Viewing

This is a new weekly feature every Sunday that highlights all the movies I’ve seen while I’m on “Holiday”.

Easy A,DVD

Emma Stone plays high school student, Olive, who inadvertently ends up with the reputation of being rather loose, shall we say. Or to use the vernacular from my own high school days, a right slag. Very grown up performances and I adore the relationship the parents have with the heroine. Will definitely buy thisDVDand stick it beside ‘Mean Girls’ on my shelf. 

 

Thor, in an aeroplane somewhere over the Pacific

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is tossed out of Asgard by the All Father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and ends up a pesky mortal here on Earth, where he gets hit repeatedly by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Very believable chemistry between Thor and Foster. The final fight scene goes on a bit too long for my MTV attention span, but remembering Hemsworth with his shirt off at that time compensates mightly. Watching the credits, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was directed by Kenneth Branagh, which obviously wasn’t something I knew before viewing.