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reviews and reactions to the wonderful world of film

Archive for May 2010

The Young Victoria (2009)

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Two of my favorite “fun” movies are Dan in Real Life and Devil Wears Prada.  This is greatly due to actress Emily Blunt.  She has just a small part in Dan yet still manages to steal the show as Pig-faced Ruthie Draper. Her one scene takes the audience for an hilarious fifteen minute ride (plus, her American accent is pretty fantastic). Prada, too, would not be the same without Anne Hathaway’s carb-hating, Miranda-worshipping nemesis, Emily, with too many one-liners to count. I am anxious for movies such as The Adjustment Bureau, coming in September, and basically anything else featuring her.

Young Victoria brings out a more serious and deeper side of Blunt as she portrays the young Queen of England.  I was not disappointed, she has proved her versitality.  She is the show. The life of a princess is not always a fairy tale, and the role of a queen is no walk in the park.  She allows us to feel her struggle, we see her goodness and her naïveté, her fear of being controlled and her desire to serve her people.

The romance and marriage between Albert and Victoria was believable, thanks again to the acting of Blunt as well as Rupert Friend, who was as good as the former. The supporting cast is also quite solid: Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent… The other highlight is, without question, the costume design which won an Oscar. Magnifique.

I wasn’t terribly impressed by the overall editing of the film, particularly towards the end.  It had a choppy feel that simply wasn’t my style.  However, disregarding a few nit-picky things, I was swept by the film. I enjoyed it and count me in for anything Emily Blunt. 7/10

Written by laurenthejukebox17

May 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

The Ring (1927)

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I’m sick today. I’ve been sick for a few days actually… but not all is lost. I just get to watch a few more movies than usual. 🙂

I’ve actually been compiling over 20 different “blah blah blah movies to see before you die” lists including those from  Empire Magazine, AFI, Yahoo, Roger Ebert and also all the Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress and Director Oscar winners. That alone includes over 1000 movies. I look at such lists and I find that I KNOW 95% of the movies just from my film knowledge but I’ve seen only about 15%. This frustrates me at first… but then I remember that I’m only 18. I’ve got lots of time to catch up.

I’ve been continuing to watch more old Hitchcock movies. For some reason I have this issue of keeping separate the main male characters. Me: “Wait, is that the husband or the lover?” My mom: “It’s the husband, he’s the BALD one…” I’m finding, however, that they are worth the time for historical purposes if nothing else. Many of these “comedies” are so unlike the Master of Suspense’s later work that it’s delightful to catch small glimpses of certain Hitchcockesque filming angles or other such qualities and techniques.

You’ve got your Rockys, your Raging Bulls and your Cinderella Storys… but go much earlier than 1947’s Body and Soul and you won’t find many movies centered around boxing. As I watched this movie, I thought how few films about boxing could have been made before 1930, so a silent dramedy about boxing in 1927 would have been something new to the British screen. That in and of itself is commendable. Since watching I have done a bit of research and found films such as the 1926 Buster Keaton movie Battling Butler or The Champ in 1931, neither of which I have seen. I remain, however, that The Ring was daring for its time.

The film itself was interesting, though not necessarily worth watching twice. The plot centers around a love triangle and the two lead men fighting (literally) for her (undeserving) heart. There were very few title cards, but the plot was predictable enough with them. I was especially impressed with the fight scenes, which were cinematically awesome for 1927, and I enjoyed one particular scene in which the two opposing men are dancing back-to-back in front of the camera while searching for one another. It was some very clever camera work.

I can’t say I enjoyed this film. I would say that I appreciated it. But I’d still take Rocky. 4/10

Written by laurenthejukebox17

May 13, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Posted in 1920s, drama, movies, sports, thriller

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