What do you do when you know your time is about to run out? When your life is about to end and you have a day to sort out your affairs, deal with your life regrets and say your goodbyes? This is where Monty (Edward Norton) is. In high school, he started selling a bit of dope and by his early thirties when the police catch up with him, he is a high flyer. Facing seven years in jail, he must say goodbye to his father (Brian Cox), his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) and his oldest friends (Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Why would you have any sympathy for a drug dealer? In all honesty, I didn’t. What I think Spike Lee has done in a really interesting fashion is to show how people deal with the choices of their near and dear; how others deal with losing someone in this way. And prison is an odd way to lose someone – they are not gone, but they are away. Prison for doing something bad over and over, for profiting from the pain of others. Yet people still hurt.
I don’t think it is the best film, but I think it is the ideas that it plants about people, relationships and life that make it fascinating.
The Japanese have come up with a synthesised blood that has allowed vampires to ‘mainstream’. Some are like Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) wanting to be a part of society. But there are others, and that causes a lot of trouble over a whole heap seasons. The show is told mostly through the eyes of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a young woman who welcomes the excitement of vampires and gradually learns that she is a lot more than she ever thought. Then there is her brother Jason(Ryan Kwanten), her boss Sam (Sam Trammell), her mate Tara (Rutina Welsey), her sometimes friend and co-worker Arlene (Carrie Preston), and my fav, chef and Tara’s cousin Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). And then the vampires – Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and Pam (Deborah Ann Woll) and heaps of others.
It starts well, and then gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on… and I loved every moment of it. It’s sexy and sleazy and ridiculous and insane and wonderful. It’s a shame it’s over, though god knows where it would have ended up if it had not finished here.
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a teenager growing up in New York, trying to work out school and boys and a long-distance relationship with her father, and a challenging relationship with her mother. And then she witnesses a woman get hit by a bus and tries to figure out how this fits in with her life.
It’s an interesting film. There are scenes where the action happens in the distance, but the sound is of the events that are happening just off camera – conversations, fights, music, even just roadworks. And other scenes where dialogue is happening but the vision is something totally else. It’s strangely beautiful and mysterious. Unfortunately, for me, I feel like Anna Paquin is just so closely tied to Sookie that I found it very difficult to buy her as anyone else. There is a scene early on with a lot of blood and high emotions, and I couldn’t help feeling that it was all a bit True Blood. And once I got that in my mind, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
I liked it for the first, perhaps, two hours, but then I just got fed up with the drama that Lisa creates all around her, and the way people either confront her or just go along with her drama. By the end I just was fed up with it all.The accident scene was wonderful, made so in part by the wonderful Allison Janney. And the cast in general is very impressive, with Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Kieran Culkin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick.
Do time travel storylines do your head in? Then this may not be the best film for you. Because I love time travel stuff, but I drifted off for a moment in this and suddenly was totally lost.
Essentially, it starts in a future where everything is a bit crap, with bad guys coming from everywhere and the X-Men can’t cope. So, somehow (mutant skills. Don’t question it), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back into the past to change history. And things get awesome.
There are all of the usual fighting and explosions and all of that stuff. Plus the older X-Men folks and the younger ones – we got them all. Really, if you are a fan of the X-Men films, I think you’ll like this. Be hard not to.
X-Men : Days of Future Past was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The mutants are out, the whole world knows about them. Then someone comes up with a cure (source from a mutant whose power is that he strips people of their powers) and there is outrage. Some mutants want the cure and to be normal, but there is also the sinister side of things – the government will force the cure on the mutants. Plus, it will be weaponised. Oh, and the good chick who died at the end of the last film? She’s not dead. But she’s evil. Awesome.
I quite liked this film, although I didn’t like Wolverine’s attempts to be cheeky. He is brooding and, for once, I like that brooding. Don’t make him have snappy one-liners and the like. Just don’t. Oh, and there was a guy with amazing wings. Oh, and finally, how is this the last stand when there are more films to come? Stupid title for a film.
Magneto (Ian McKellen) is in prison, a plastic prison that he can’t control the metal bits and pieces. Stryker (Brian Cox) has turned up, a military guy who, as it happens, wants to destroy all of the mutants. He goes after Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his school and it is all on.
Heaps of explosions, fighting, supernatural stuff, and yet I was a bit bored. There were certainly part that were most impressive, but whatever. But everything was made better by the presence of Alan Cumming. Let’s face it, he can make anything better.
There’s a girl, Rogue (Anna Paquin) who drains people of life, and mutants of their power. And a guy, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who has a skeleton made of a weird metal called Adamantium and has claws and can’t get hurt. They go to a school run by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with tutors including Storm (Halle Berry), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (James Marsden). But, because it is a superhero film, there are the bad guys: leader Magneto (Ian McKellen), Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), Toad (Ray Park) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn). And politics. And taking over the world. And some running and explosions.
Yup, I liked it, although perhaps it was just knowing that it is part of a series of films that made it feel like an extended television episode. Even though things were full on and exciting and life threatening and all of that, I didn’t really fire up on it. I quite liked Wolverine, loved Xavier and Magneto, Mystique was pretty awesome. Wasn’t much of a fan of the other characters, and found Cyclops just really annoying… I can’t tell if it was just because his character was treated as a main character yet portrayed in a very two-dimensional manner or if it was just because I couldn’t see his eyes. I wanted to like it more than I did. But, as always, I will keep watching. I’ve heard the more recent films are pretty darned fabulous.
Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), a woman who does not speak is married to a man she has not met and sent with her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin) to New Zealand, a country only just being colonised by the English. Her new husband, Alisadair Stewart (Sam Neill) is emotionally distant and has no idea of how to deal with a woman. But then she starts a relationship with George Baines (Harvey Keitel) which compromises her own security.
It is certainly a stunning film and I recall it being highly acclaimed at the time. I found it difficult to get past Harvey Keitel’s mysterious accent (I think Scottish?), though he had a lot of passion. But the love story is terrible – the idea that he has to blackmail her into sexual favours (although they are often quite tame, such as lifting her skirt to reveal a tiny hole in her stocking that he then fondles as she is playing the piano. Then, after resisting for some time, she falls in love? I mean, he was a potential escape from the brutal life Stewart had dragged her into, but it was actually extremely unpleasant to watch. Perhaps, if there has been some suggestion that Baines had feeling for her and it was not just a convenient way to bed a white woman, maybe then I’d have accepted it. As it was, it pretty much ruined the film for me, despite the beauty, it was a story about two creepy men dominating a woman. Oh and the piano music was horribly repetitive and drove me to despair.
The Piano won Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Holly Hunter), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anna Paquin) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Jane Campion) and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Jane Campion), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing.