Q:What are the films that you'd say are overrated? Or films that everyone loves but you don't really? Mine would be The Princess Bride. I've tried so hard to like that movie, but I just don't. I think it's ok, but sadly I don't see what everyone sees when they say it's perfect and wonderful. :( Oh, well. To each their own, right? :)
Definitely to each his/her own, but I have to say I disagree about The Princess Bride. It’s one of my favorite films! I think it’s hilarious and a great subversion of the fairy tale genre. To answer your first question, though, here are a few films I find overrated:
Inception, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Django Unchained, Black Swan, Zero Dark Thirty, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Donnie Darko, The Dark Knight Rises, Moonrise Kingdom, Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton film), Sweeney Todd, Crash, Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, Dredd 3D, The Hangover, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Drive.
Q:Superb gifs! Do you make them?
Thanks! Yes, I do make them. I am glad you like them!
Q:Will you be watching The Bling Ring?
Probably. I’m interested enough in the story, although to be honest, I’m not really expecting much. I’ve only really liked one Sofia Coppola film, and that was The VIrgin Suicides. It’s probably going to be a bit like Spring Breakers, where I go on the basis that it’s advertised as being supposedly bonkers and outrageous. I hope it’s as self-aware as Spring Breakers.
Q:Brilliant review of Iron Man 3! Thoroughly enjoyed!
Thank you so much! I’m amazed you made it through that giant wall of text! haha I had to watch the film again to really let it sink in, and I have to say I enjoyed it even more the second time around.
Q:Why do people like to give spoilers?? I find it so selfish. You can't go anywhere without people giving spoilers to the Game of Thrones TV show. I get it that some people have read the books, which I think is wonderful - but can't they keep those tidbits to themselves? It's like, wow, well thanks for telling me this plot twist. It's frustrating, because it makes me avoid some websites. Sigh. What do you think?
I feel pretty conflicted about spoilers myself. On the one hand, I’d rather not be exposed to them because it becomes distracting when I eventually do watch a movie or show, and I find myself enjoying them less because the surprise factor is gone. However, I can also understand how frustrating it must be to not be able to talk about something you’ve watched for fear that those who haven’t watched it yet will get spoiled. I’ve had people message me before complaining that I’ve spoiled movies that have been around for decades, for example, and it’s just not sensible to expect others to keep mum about things that you plan on watching, while they’ve been able to keep up on the show on a regular basis. My pragmatic stance on spoilers is: if it’s a current show or film, I won’t post any spoilers for them, and if I do, they are under a cut with a warning. If I gif a current show or film, it’s sans context so that it’s still non spoilery. But I’m not going to limit myself based on the future plans of viewers that I obviously am not able to be mindful of 24/7.
In the age of the web, it’s difficult to lock down information and filter them. It used to be that when people watched a movie, they would go tell their friends about it in person instead of tweeting, facebooking and tumbling about it, but now social media has allowed everyone to be part of little fan clubs for shows and movies and it’s sometimes impossible to avoid being spoiled if you venture on the internet. I think if you’re wary that being on the internet may entail being spoiled, you may be able to sidestep those posts that intend to spoil. I know it can be frustrating, but such is the world we live in!
Q:Just curious, what do you mean when you make a photoset/gifset of a scene in a film and put it in your "entranced" category? Like, were you entranced, or is it the character?
It’s a compilation of character entrances from different movies, so I guess you could call it a play on words.
Q:What do you think of Hard Candy with Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson? Feel really creepy when I admit its one of my favourite films, but the cinematography and dialogue is excellent I think, and as a film it just always leaves me thinking.
I thought it was really good. Definitely unsettling and disturbing, and it’s probably one of my favorite roles of Ellen Page’s, only because it shows her performing with such range. As a huge fan of Patrick Wilson’s as well, I was delighted to see him really shine in this film. He’s such an underrated actor and I think the fact that he was able to be both sympathetic and sinister in this role is a testament to his acting. I also agree with you on the cinematography. The use of color, shadow and contrast plays really well with the film’s themes and it also contributes to this hard/soft atmosphere, much like its title, hard candy.
Q:How do you think Baz Luhrmann will do with Gatsby?
Could be awesome, could be a hot mess. I loved what Luhrmann did with Romeo & Juliet. That was really original and inspired. I also enjoyed Moulin Rouge. While I’m sure in terms of costumes, set design and overall scale of production, it’s befitting of the Fitzgerald classic, but whether it’ll be as successful as Moulin Rouge, I honestly can’t tell. It could be great because of the cast, but I’m not sure about the highly-stylized approach of the film. Not that there’s anything wrong with style. This is, after all, a Gatsby party. But judging from clips and trailers, there’s a weird sort of mannequin finish to the film that’s rubbing me the wrong way. It’s a tale that’s been told many times, so it’s understandable why Luhrmann wants to make this experience unique for moviegoers. But 3D? Yeah, I don’t know about that. My curiosity will get me to the theater, so hopefully it turns out well.
Q:What do you think of actors being "method"? Does it go too far? Or is it justified to improve their craft? I remember reading that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had joked that he never met Daniel Day-Lewis while filming Lincoln, because he was always in character. And Day-Lewis himself joked to his wife during this acceptance speech at the Oscars that she had lived with many different characters through their marriage, and thank you. Day-Lewis is a genius, but I always wonder about method acting.
Actors approach their craft in different ways, I suppose. Whatever helps actors get to the headspace that they need to be in for a role, I can understand. I think I would draw the line to a point where self-harm is involved. For instance, I wasn’t a fan of Christian Bale’s method in The Machinist, going down to a waif-like weight and then ballooning up to body builder-esque for Batman Begins. While I understand that he wanted his performance to be as genuine as possible and for much of it to be captured in-camera, I just don’t think it’s very healthy to put that kind of strain on your body. We’re not talking just physical strain either. Even just insisting on occupying a certain psychological state on a 24/7 basis can be harmful. Heath Ledger, for instance, talked about how much trouble he had sleeping when he played The Joker on The Dark Knight. Whether that played a part in his untimely passing, I don’t know, but it certainly makes you think about the unintended consequences of method acting.
I can understand wanting to stay in character during a production, because there’s consistency in a performance when the actor is able to sustain it all throughout the filming process. I imagine it can be unpleasant, however, to work with someone who is like that. There doesn’t seem to be much room for collaboration between actors when one of them is so focused on staying in character the whole time. I can see that method acting has yielded some exceptional performances (as in the case of Day-Lewis that you pointed out), but I think that being able to hang up your costume at the door before you go home and being able to separate your acting and your personal life might be healthier. Your career shouldn’t take a toll on your personal relationships. Adrien Brody, for instance, after being cast in The Pianist, pretty much threw all of his personal life away (including breaking up with his longtime girlfriend and selling most of his possessions). It was his method of getting into the headspace of a character who has lost everything. It yielded an exceptional performance, but how awful it must have been for that girlfriend to have to sit through that conversation. “Honey, I’m playing a World War II victim and I have to break up with you.” To be a fly on the wall during that conversation!
Q:Hi, firstly I'd like to say tremendous blog! I thoroughly enjoy reading your opinions and insights into the film/cinema world. I'm a new reader of your blog from England and I have a question following on from a previous question. Where would it be possible for me to watch, via buying, download/stream, Japanese movies?
Hello there! Bit of a quandary we’ve got here, since most of my personal sources for streaming Japanese films are US-based (Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, etc). All I can think of that would be applicable to followers in England would be Netflix UK, iTunes UK or Amazon UK for streaming or buying Japanese films. If you’re in university, you might want to check out your school’s media library, as they should have a good collection of international cinema. Even your public library can be a great resource. I don’t know where you live in England, but the Bristol Public Library, for example, allows you to borrow up to 8 DVDs at a time. There’s also the Southwark Council’s Peckham Library, which offers both DVD and blu-ray on loan. Both libraries should have a section for Asian cinema. The best option for you, though, will probably be Cinema Paradiso.
If those options aren’t feasible, you can try this this website for their sizable collection of Asian films. I’m not sure if their videos will play in England but you can certainly try. Normally I would recommend supporting these filmmakers by finding some way to purchase or borrow their films legally, however I can appreciate that they can be difficult to get. Since you are genuinely interested in their work, I would hope that they wouldn’t mind your trying to find alternative sources in order to access them. Hope I was able to help! I’ll open it up to my followers as well. For those of you based in England, would you be able to suggest good resources for Japanese films as well?