Saturday, April 13, 2013

Five Films...

...I've seen and really liked recently.

This Is 40

This is 40

I was really looking forward to seeing this being a huge fan of everything Judd Apatow has made in the past. I saw it in a packed cinema on Valentine's day and I was so shocked that Donnacha and I were some of the only people laughing. I loved it just as I knew I would but I think some people just don't like Judd's sense of humour which is fair enough. I thought his and Leslie Mann's real life daughters were excellent in it as were Leslie and Paul Rudd, who can do no wrong in my opinion. If you're an Apatow fan already you definitely won't be disappointed by this.  I'm already looking forward to watching this again when it comes out on DVD. 

gloria swanson & william holden 1950 - sunset boulevard

Sunset Boulevard

My parents and younger brother came over for dinner a few weeks ago and we were trying to pick out a film that all of us wanted to see, not an easy task! I was pushing for Moonrise Kingdom, but Donnacha suggested Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard from 1950. Surprisingly I had no idea about the plot of the film and about halfway through it struck me as being ahead of it's time and just such an excellent story. I can totally see someone making the same film today and it would still be relevant to today's film industry. Gloria Swanson is unbelievable in it and the fact that Wilder chose to film in black and white adds to the unsettling feel of the film. If you haven't seen this already, it's definitely worth watching.  I only watched Some Like It Hot recently for the first time and absolutely loved it and we watched Double Indemnity in college and again recently I loved that too so I'm looking forward to watching more Billy Wilder films.


Erin Brockovich

I saw Erin Brockovich when it was first released into cinemas in 2000. We had a film night recently and one of our friends hadn't seen it so we decided to watch it since Donnacha and I hadn't seen it in years either. Soderbergh is one of Donnacha's favourite directors and we'd been watching a lot of his films recently including his latest film Side Effects, so it was interesting to go back and watch Erin Brockovich since it was probably one of his most successful films. I forgot how incredible Julia Roberts is in it, the dynamic between her and Albert Finney really makes the film.  It's also nice to watch it again after studying film and knowing more about Soderbergh and being able to appreciate how beautiful it looks as well as being such great true story. 



We watched Antiviral the same night as Erin Brockovich and I suppose the main reason for wanting to see it is that it is directed by Brandon Cronenberg, David Cronenberg's son. Again, Donnacha is a huge Cronenberg fan (I love some of his films, others I'm not crazy about) and therefore we were both really interested to see what kind of film his son would make. We actually got to attend a talk he did in Trinity college a few years ago which was such an interesting and once in a lifetime experience. I could listen to him talk about film all day! So we all went into this not knowing anything about the plot and we were all pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it. It's definitely clear that Brandon has been very influenced by his father, as you would expect, but he has managed to create such a frighteningly realistic alternate/futuristic reality in which "celebrity" culture has been taken to a completely extreme level. It reminded me of Gattaca and films like that, in the sense that there are so many advances in science that are controversial at the moment but how long will it be until they become common practice because people will be willing to pay a lot of money for their use. The lead actor Caleb Landry Jones gives one of the best performances I have seen in a while. If you're squeamish you might want to avoid this but it's one I've been recommending to everyone since we watched it. I won't say anything else because I think it's best to go into films like this knowing as little as possible. 


Spring Breakers

I had been looking forward to Spring Breakers since I first heard that Harmony Korine was making a new film. When I then heard that Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez were cast in it I was even more intrigued because if you know anything about Harmony Korine, or if you've seen any of his other films you'll know why that casting came as a surprise to me. You will either love this or hate it. We saw it on opening night in a packed theatre and there was a definite "what is this?" atmosphere going on. I think the main issue with films like this is that people see a trailer or a poster and think "oh I'll go see that" but they know nothing about the film or the director or what it's really about and then they get mad because it's not what they thought it should have been just by looking at a one minute trailer. I don't read film reviews, because I generally know what a film will be like because I have a genuine interest in them and know about directors/writers etc. I also don't like to know much about a film before I see it because I like being surprised, whether it's good or bad, and if I don't like something I know it was my choice to go and see it. If you choose to pay money to go and see a film, I think it's your responsibility to make sure you know what is it actually about, not what the trailer portrays it as being. In my local cinema they tell you at the ticket desk if the film you've just asked for is a foreign language film. I think that is so ridiculous. A person has no right to be annoyed if they pay to see a film they have done no proper research on. That is all I will say about Spring Breakers, other than I loved it and James Franco is amazing and the soundtrack is amazing. I'd love to know what you think about this as it's one of my biggest pet peeves.

Like I said I don't read film reviews and I didn't want to write any here, I just wanted to share with you some films that I really liked because I love to get recommendations of film/music/beauty products etc. from my fellow bloggers. Have you seen anything recently that you can recommend?

You can read my first two Five Things posts here and here.

Emma x

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


  1. all of these look really good, I will take note of them and watch them :) great post! xx

    1. Hope you do Beth! I'd love to know what you think if you do watch any of them!

  2. Hi, Emma! I studied film making in college and had a voracious appetite for learning about the techniques used by great directors. Later I did some directing of my own when I worked in television and made music videos and commercials. I loved it! As you might imagine, Spring Breakers has been all over my local news because it was filmed not far from where I live. Locations include St. Pete Beach, The Ringling College of Art, the towns of Gulfport and Treasure Island and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The movie made news here because many residents fear that it paints a misleading and negative portrait of the community. I am eager to see it because I love to be shocked, disgusted, outraged, etc. The visceral reaction, good or bad, is part of the fun for me. That's why I love Tarantino and other directors you guys appreciate. I've seen Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich and Sex, Lies and Videotape starring one of my favorite actors, James Spader. I've seen many Billy Wilder movies including The Lost Weekend, Stalag 17, Sabrina, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Irma la Douce, Kiss Me Stupid, The Fortune Cookie and Avanti! Knowing you I highly recommend the Marilyn Monroe comedy The Seven Year Itch, Stalag 17 and Audrey Hepburn's romantic dramedy Sabrina. I hope you're having a swell weekend, dear friend Emma!

    1. It seems we were visiting eachother's blogs at the same time! I actually had wondered about the filming locations. We having nothing like Spring Break here, we would get time off school but there wouldn't be as much of a party attitude attached to it, I guess we don't really have the weather for it here! I'd love to know what you think, it's definitely meant to shock and make you feel uncomfortable, almost like your're on drugs, maybe that's why people don't seem to like it. I'm definitely going to watch more Wilder films soon, Donnacha has a box set so I have to get through those!

  3. I am curious about This Is 40 as I really liked Leslie Mann in Knocked Up. I think she's a very good comedy actress. I'll be giving this a try when it comes out on DVD. I've heard about Spring Breakers too but I'm always dubious about anything with so much hype. It's the reverse snob in me! xx

    1. I know what you mean Lucy, hype can really ruin a film for me! It definitely makes me wan to see something less! Let me know what you think if you see either of them!

  4. sunset boulevard is one of my favourite film of all time! everytime i watch it, i'm still amazed of how ahead of its time this film is. I don't go to the cinema that often because it's so expensive so I do quite a bit of research like you :) might be different if i had the cineworld card or something of the sort, its probably why people cant be bothered to research anymore. Anyways, are you excited for the bling ring too? i think that'll be my next cinema outing :) xx

  5. I really think Billy Wilder as a director was just so ahead of his time with the subject matter he dealt with. I just watched The Apartment the other day and I couldn't believe the subjects it was dealing with for a 60s film. I actually have a Cineworld card, otherwise I definitely wouldn't go. I can't wait for the Bling Ring, the trailer was amazing!

  6. Nice post, I didn't know David Cronenberg's son is a moviemaker as well, I have to check out that film. It's also always interesting to see how children deal with their parent's "legacy".


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