Review: Easy A (2010)

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easy a movie poster“The rumours of my promiscuity have been greatly exaggerated.”
– Olive Penderghast

SYNOPSIS: A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. – via IMDB

I am not really into comedies, but every now and then you get a good one. One that is sharp and witty and doesn’t take itself too seriously or try too hard. Easy A was that one for me. I thoroughly enjoy Emma Stone, so to watch a film where she is leading lady is excellent. Olive is smart and intelligent and has an incredibly good sense of humour and Emma Stone brings out those qualities really well. I must say though that I can see how she got so flat about the reputation she had garnered, though how/why the hell she let it get so out of hand is beyond me.

Amanda Bynes cracked me up, definitely the kind of person that I would stay hundreds of kilometres away from –  what a nutcase and a silly bitch (yep, gonna put it out there just like that). It is a feel good movie to watched an A student go on to be the town bicycle, if only by reputation, and take it to a certain extent.

The relationship between Olive and Woodchuck Todd was quite sweet, and that he was the one that stood by her no matter what is pretty awesome. The way she embraced her role as the scarlet woman was terrible, though she rocked it. Olive’s family was definitely entertaining for me, and the banter that went on between them was truly crazy and funny. Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci played the parents excellently.

I like Easy A, it was a fun movie that did not take the romance in it to extremes or make it the central point, only something that becomes evident later. Before that it is all about Olive and the silly mistakes that she makes that will take her to where she is. I definitely enjoyed this one, well worth a watch.

Blind Spot Series 2017 Rankings

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So, another year gone, another twelve movies crossed off of my Blind Spot list. For the most part, I had particularly good movies this year. For the most part…

Anyway, as always, I decided to rank them all here.

12. Deliverance (1972)

Well. This. Fuck this movie. I will say it again, fuck this movie. Yep, totally hated it. I am sure you all remember the Shitfest-worthy meltdown I had about this. If you don’t, you are more than welcome to head on back to the review linked above to see how I raged. Ugh…

11. Once Upon A Time In America (1984)

Certainly not an underrated gem as I was led to believe, I was so amped to finally watch this gangster movie and was totally let down by it. What a waste of nearly four hours of my life!

10. Cronos (1993)

While I am always up for Guillermo Del Toro’s Spanish works, this one was not nearly as great as I was hoping it would be. It was not a bad movie by a long shot, but it does not stand equal to The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth.

9. The Road (2009)

Dark, depressing, apocalyptic, The Road definitely paints a super depressing, far more realistic apocalyptic future than these movies usually portray. Viggo Mortensen is exellent, and Kodi Smit-McPhee also holds his own in the bleak movie. Worth the watch!

8. Say Anything (1989)

So pleased to have seen this –  it is one of those movies that is referenced all over the show, and I have never really known how it all fit in. Man, Lloyd Dobler is absolutely adorable and the boombox over the head scene finally makes sense now. Say Anything is sweet, but not to soppy your stomach churns. Enjoyed this one!

7. The Help (2011)

Okay, so right off the bat, this is not unpredictable, but that doesn’t make it bad. The Help is rather formulaic, and shies away from some of the sick history it is steeped in, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t find other ways to run home the story. There are terribly sad moments, moments that will make you mad, and some great sections with some fantastic humour, and the movie has heart. The cast, too, definitely sold this one.

6. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, but I really liked this one. I thought it was funny and shot really well and rather strange, but it all worked. I would like to rewatch it and see if it holds up as well. I must admit, this is where I finally understood Tom Hiddleston’s appeal to the world – before he was just a decent actor. After this? Impressed. Plus I liked the humour in this. So deadpan. Swinton and Hiddleston make this a treat.

5. The Orphanage (2007)

Another one of those cult classic type movies I have vowed for years to get to and just never did, 2017 was the year that changed. The Orphanage is haunting, sad, beautiful and creepy, and has a solid story as a strong psychological aspect to it, making it a movie that gets under your skin and lingers long after, not just a typical, generic horror movie at all.

4. JFK (1991)

Conspiracy theories galore! Naturally this was totally going to be my cup of tea, and it totally was. There were some solid performances and I was particularly interested in how Stone would set out his case for JFK’s assassination. While I feel that it was heavy handed in forcing his interpretation of events down the viewer’s throat, if you watch this as a theory and not as the gospel of the answers to JFK’s assassination, you are in for a good time. Great starting point for those not too familiar with the intricacies of the infamous case.

3. City of God (2002)

I can see why this movie is so popular – it is so not an easy watch, but it is engaging, gritty, violent, realistic, and truly gets you thinking. It tells a super solid story and it draws you in, getting you invested in some characters from this nasty slum. It is depressing and yet completely enthralling, something I can see myself revisiting.

2. Rear Window (1954)

James Stewart man, what an actor. The man is amazing, and with Grace Kelly at his side, the duo was bound to impress. Hitchcock, too, weaves a tense one-room story, which is carried and fleshed out completely by a talented cast. The tension is palpable, the story is smart and engaging, and the pacing is just right. Rear Window is a well-crafted movie and definitely worth the time.

1. Atonement (2007)

Ah, Atonement. Where do we even start? My goodness, what a watch. While it is not completely perfect or shocking, and it is predictable in places, it is handled so well and is shot brilliantly – truly, what beautiful shots. James McAvoy is absolutely perfect here, sweeping us all up so completely in Robbie. Keira Knightley, too,  managed to not work on my last nerve. The two work together well, and Atonement tells one hell of a story, a journey I both loved and resented in equal measure. I thought it was told so well, and some details were handled with such aplomb. What a movie, though certainly not a light, easy watch.

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

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CRAZY STUPID LOVE_COMBO BD (1000250398).indd

“I have loved her even when I hated her… only married couples’ll understand that one…”
– Cal Weaver

SYNOPSIS: A middle-aged husband’s life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars. – via IMDB

You know, the more I watch this movie, the more I enjoy it. I watched this years ago at the behest of Natasha, who knows I cannot really stand rom-coms, but does know what type I can deal with. When she told me to check this out, I figured why not? She won’t just recommend me anything in this genre, so it had to be decent. Plus two, the cast is fantastic. Let me tell you, this movie is great, and I grow constantly more fond of it. It is just so much fun.

I enjoyed that this was not some stupid, soppy, desperate love story. This looked at people who have lives that fall apart – midlife crises that aren’t dealt with, cheating, insecurities, all of it. It explores embracing yourself, letting other people in, dealing with issues head on, so many things. I enjoyed the themes of this movie. And yes, love is an extremely prominent theme, but it does not make you want to retch, so that is a good thing! Crazy, Stupid, Love knows what it is and what it wants to be, and goes with it. It is smart, funny, witty, and sweet, and I appreciated all those things.

Let us not even remotely forget the cast. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are absolutely phenomenal here, and have ridiculously amazing chemistry. Really, I could watch them all day together. This is one of two movies where Steve Carell does not grate on my last nerve, and Julianne Moore is, as always, well worth the watch. Kevin Bacon’s moments were also those of pure entertainment, especially as the movie progresses. What a boring man! Also, everyone worked well together. I particularly appreciated Jacob taking Cal out to begin their main training. Oh boy!

There were plenty awkward moments, plenty funny and plenty sweet, but everything works. This is the kind of romantic movie I can revisit without feeling just plain down ridiculous. There is a lot to like about it, and a movie you can get away with watching with your other half without them wanting to slit their wrists. As you can tell, I quite like this one for a variety of reasons, and I can highly recommend it.

Oooh, oooh, before I go. Women across the globe will thank Hannah for not letting him put his shirt back on after assessing his Photoshopped beauty. For science…

Skip the trailer, just go straight to the movie.

April Blind Spot Review: The Help (2011)

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“God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me.”
– Aibileen Clark

SYNOPSIS: An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids’ point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. – via IMDB

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, I did as little reading on it as possible. I was only told that it is really good and well worth the watch. The subject matter is something that interests me, and it wasn’t long before I realised that this was a movie I was going to enjoy based purely on the fact that the subject matter was handled from the perspective of women alone.

Let’s get right to this by saying that there are some great characters in this, and there are some truly reprehensible ones. Emma Stone is, of course, absolutely fantastic to watch here – sassy and strong. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are brilliant – also strong women – brave women. Then there is Jessica Chastain, and she is such a sweet, innocent character. These are all characters that you like. They had good chemistry and worked well together. I enjoyed watching Celia and Minny every second, and the relationship between Aibileen and Skeeter is also touching.  On the other side of the spectrum, there is only one I really need to mention here, and that is Bryce Dallas Howard. Her character is so cruel and mean, and Howard plays her so well that you resent her guts. Ugh. Nasty stuff. I get mad just thinking about her transgressions and views.

Anyway, telling the civil rights struggle from the perspective of the women was something new, and that it was being investigated by another woman was also good. So often we hear of the plight from men, but the women, too, had stories to tell. The movie managed to balance cruelty, humour, joy and sadness very well, but it must also be noted that the subject matter, while heavy, never gets as heavy as it could. Look at it as this being a lighter serious movie, if that makes sense. Simplistic, that would be the word I would use. Also probably safe. Drama, yes, but not on the levels of, say, The Colour Purple or American History X.

A sweet film that tackles some heavy issues, but never really going for the guts and glory, but certainly carried by stellar performances and a great cast, so as to elevate it to an enjoyable watch. The movie plays it safe, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing here. Worth a watch.

Sporadic Scene: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) – Family Reunion

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Do not watch this if you have not watched the movie, it is a bit of a spoiler!

This scene is undeniably one of the very best things about Crazy, Stupid, Love. I mean it was wholly unexpected the first time I watched it and geniusly crafted, the family reunion had me in stitches. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, but it was handled with aplomb, and it definitely the standout scene of the movie. If you have not seen this yet, you have got to get to it!

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).

Rapid Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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birdman poster

“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.”
– Mike Shiner

SYNOPSIS: A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play. – via IMDB

birdman bang
GRADE 8There was hype around this movie, but it was something I had been waiting for and looking forward to see, then it released and got rave reviews. I had to know now if the cast was worth getting excited over the movie for. Let me tell you, it was. I loved the comedic aspect to Birdman, it was sharp and dark with a dash of quirk, and I liked it for the most part, though it certainly isn’t my favourite film or the next best thing I have seen in ages. Birdman was carried by a great cast. In all honesty, I wanted to see this specifically for Emma Stone and Edward Norton, both whom I absolutely love to watch. It all paid off. Michael Keaton delivers a powerhouse performance and just owned his role. I had a giggle to see Norton play an actor who is so difficult to work with, especially when he has a reputation of being so much like that in real life. Naturally, he was worth the watch every second he was on screen, and the interactions between him and Keaton’s Riggan were just fantastic. Emma Stone really sunk her teeth into the role of pissed off, drugged out, damaged daughter and she managed to rock that role, too. She’s just so good to watch, no matter what. My other half specifically commented on the camera work in this film, so now I will have to make mention of it. He loved the feeling it gave you and the way it made the whole movie look and feel different, and he was right. The incessant drum score worked, too, and it had all the potential to fail but never actually went there. I liked how, watching Birdman, it was aware of being a film but also brought in so many real life aspects (looking specifically here at Keaton’s career and choices and Batman as well as Norton and his reputation of being difficult to work with). It’s like… a film being real being film. I don’t know how to explain it properly, but those who have seen this will understand. Cara gave a wonderful explanation of this if you want to know a little more in her review of the film. I enjoyed Birdman and thought it was well worth looking into, though I can see how some people aren’t going to like it. As much as I liked this, though, I also feel that there is some extreme over-hyping going on over it. It is definitely going to lose out with some viewers who won’t appreciate everything, but overall it’s a nice watch.

Top Ten Actresses I Would Watch In Almost Anything

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So when Abbi over at Where The Wild Things Are did her top ten list of actresses she would see in pretty much anything, that sparked a whole new thing on the blogosphere. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I started this list soon after she did hers, and I just never got around to going back to it and finishing it up. I realised recently that now is the time to do that! Without further ado, I present to you my top ten actresses I would see in pretty much anything.

Emma Stone

emma stone

Where is the love: She is cute, she is smart, fun, and sexy and so normal, you cannot help but love the girl. She is down to earth, and not afraid of making a fool out of herself, and that is always cool.
Best role: Wichita in Zombieland (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The House Bunny (2008)

Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Where is the love: So many people complain about Angelina Jolie and I’ve never been able to understand it. She is exceptionally talented and wicked sexy, and works hard. She’s a (big) family woman, which is cool, yet she’s still grounded and out there. Plus she and Brad Pitt are just like the most gorgeous couple ever.
Best role: Uhm… this isn’t easy. I am going to go with Jane Smith in Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Marion Cotillard

marion cotillard

Where is the love: That voice, the way she carries herself, the distinct regal air, Marion Cotillard was destined to impress me. Not only that, she can handle herself in just about any role, but I must say that she excels at playing the slightly psychologically unstable.
Best role: Mallorie “Mal” Cobb in Inception (2010)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Taxi 2 (2000)

Eva Green

eva green2

Where is the love: Talented and beautiful, Eva Green brings it all to the table. Oozing style and sophistication, she is captivating on screen, always bringing that extra little something to a character, and she isn’t afraid to go wherever the character may take her, even when that is Ugliesville.
Best role: Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Dreamers (2003)

Jessica Lange

jessica lange1

Where is the love: Jessica Lange is just awesome. I really like her stuff, and I think she is mesmerising and she’s still got it going, even for her age. She dominates the screen whenever she is on, and can play anything from timid and quiet to in-your-face vixen.
Best role: Fiona Goode in American Horror Story: Coven
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Far North (1988)

Judi Dench

judi dench

Where is the love: Let’s be serious… Judi Dench is just so British, and she embraces it wholeheartedly. Tea and biscuits British, and above all else, she is a solid and entertaining actress. She can play a variety of roles across the board, ranging from comedy to hard-hitting, take-no-nonsense powerhouse performances such as M, she never fails to impress me.
Best role: M in any Bond film, but also Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Carey Mulligan

carey mulligan

Where is the love: She is so cute and quiet, but can always deliver an understated but powerful portrayal of a character, and I like that talent.
Best role: Irene in Drive (2011)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)

Helena Bonham Carter

helena bonham carter

Where is the love: Ditzy, crazy, talented, striking? What’s not to love about Helena Bonham Carter? She embraces all her roles and lends them some of her quirkiness, and she is always just absolutely astounding to watch, no matter what role she is in. Something about her is just so inherently different.
Best role: Marla Singer in Fight Club (1997)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Dancing Queen (1993)

Mia Wasikowska

mia wasikowska

Where is the love: Mia Wasikowska won me over with her portrayal of Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012). After that, I kept my eyes open for her films because she is gifted and different, and brought something fresh and new to the screen (in my opinion). She has continued to churn out some consistently impressive work, and she has this air of innocence about her she can use to either define a character, or manipulate the audience with.
Best role: India Stoker in Stoker (2013)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Lens Love Story (2007)


Honourable Mentions:

Julianne Moore

julianne moore

Where is the love: I love Moore for her consistency, and how much effort she puts into her roles. I like the way she has played such a variety of characters, and she has given each and every role her best.
Best role: Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Nine Months (1995)

Cate Blanchett

cate blanchett

Where is the love: Blanchett is so refreshing in her sense of uniqueness, and brings that to life on the screen with every role that she takes. She draws you in no matter what her role, and can play anything from elvish queens to folk rock stars.
Best role: Jade Quinn (Bob Dylan) in I’m Not There (2007)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Ponyo (2009)

Katharine Isabelle

katharine isabelle

Where is the love: Katharine Isabelle is undoubtedly the horror queen (for me) and she dominates that role. Husky voice and those big green eyes, she was destined to rock any role thrown her way. She is a solid actress, never over the top, delivering just the right amount required for her performances, able to play weak or bitchy or in your face, Isabelle is very talented.
Best role: Mary Mason in American Mary (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Cousins (1989) 

Mélanie Laurent

melanie laurent

Where is the love: French and proud about it, Laurent always manages to play a brooding yet strong woman, slightly different, always impressive.
Best role: Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Rice Rhapsody (2004)

Vera Farmiga

vera farmiga

Where is the love: I think that Vera Farmiga is pretty underrated, and I like her. Very subtle, but she can totally rock her roles. I must say, she can get pretty creepy sometimes cause she can play cooked a little too well.
Best role: Norma Louise Bates in Bates Motel. Because really – she nails that performance each and every time. Slightly too realistic sometimes.
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Breaking and Entering (2006)

Amanda Seyfried

amanda seyfried1

Where is the love: What I enjoy about Amanda Seyfried is that she’s a little different. I don’t know why she would appeal to me as an actress, but she does. I have enjoyed watching her play the super special and slow Karen in Mean Girls, and her general progression on to other roles, bigger, better, meatier, is something I have liked. She always does the best with what she has, and even when she is in a crappy movie, she always stands out.
Best role: Karen Smith in Mean Girls (2004)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Big Wedding (2013)

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

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“Soon everyone in this city will know how it is to live in my world. A world without power, without mercy, a world without Spider-Man.”
– Electro

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still fighting crime under his guise as Spider-Man. Graduating from high school alongside his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), his life is just setting out to begin. Peter, meanwhile, is struggling to deal with the fact that he promised Gwen’s deceased father, police Captain George Stacy (Denis Leary), that he would stay away from Gwen as to keep her out of danger. Oscorp employee Max Dillon (Jaimie Foxx) meet Spider-Man one day when Spider-Man is out fighting crime, and develops a rather obsessive interest in Spider-Man. Dillon is an extremely socially awkward person. Peter ultimately wishes to leave Gwen and she does the breaking up, saying she cannot deal with his emotional swings concerning the promises that he has made her father.

the amazing spider man gwen and petr

“You’re Spider-Man and I love that, but I love Peter Parker more.” – Gwen Stacy

Norman Orborn (Chris Cooper) meets with his son Harry (Dane DeHaan) shortly before he dies, telling Harry that he, too, will die of the illness his father suffers as it is a genetic disease, but tells Harry he has left the entire Osborn fortune to Harry, maybe he can save himself. The two have a very strained relationship, and Harry has a lot of things he cannot forgive his father for. When Peter learns that Norman Osborn has passed away and that Harry is in town, he meets with him. The two of them click back into their rhythm easily again and spend some time together. Dillon, on the other hand, is dealing with some awful things at work, and an accident as Oscorp kills him. Dillon comes back later, but there is something wrong with him. Going into the city, his powers are amplified with the energy flow from the grid beneath the city, and Spider-Man swoops in to stop him. Spider-Man believes that Dillon is innocent and not responsible or in control of what happened to him, but Dillon’s own personal issues rapidly become a problem and he learns to the more evil and angry side.

the amazing spider man harry and peter

“We have the power now. We literally, can change the world.” – Harry Osborn

Dillon is caught and locked up at Ravenscroft Institute, where scientists are running tests on him. Harry is unaware of this, as well as the death of Dillon, and Donald Menken (Colm Feore), an Oscorp board member,  is using it to blackmail Harry at a later stage. Menken is enraged that twenty year old Harry got the Osborn empire. Harry is looking for a way to cure his illness, and contact Peter, requesting he speak to Spider-Man. Harry is convinced that Spider-Man’s blood can save him. Peter denies the request, and Harry flies into a rage when Spider-Man pays him a visit and denies him the request, too. Peter, meanwhile, is looking into his parents’ past, trying to uncover why they left him and why they were killed. Peter is struggling to let Gwen go, who is looking to move to England and study at Oxford University on a scholarship. Harry approaches Electro, the mantle Dillon has taken up after his capture, after Menken manages to successfully usurp the Osborn throne. Electro gets to kill Spider-Man, whom he believes has betrayed him, and Harry gets access to the spider research that Oscorp houses.

the amazing spider man 2 harry and electro

“Think bigger, Max! I’m not the one you want. You want Spider-Man and I can give him to you!” – Harry Osborn

Will Electro carry out a successful attack on Spider-Man? What will happen to the friendship between Harry and Peter once Harry makes his hatred for Spider-Man clear? Will Harry regain power of Oscorp? Will Electro ever relinquish his bad ways? Will Peter learn more about his parents’ deaths? Will Gwen and Peter ever be able to work something out in their relationship?

the amazing spider man 2 goblin and gwen

“Everyday I wake up knowing that no matter how many lives I protect, no matter how many people call me a hero, someone even more powerful could change everything.” – Peter Parker

A 7/10 for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I am still Team Garfield. All the way. Go vote. Andrew Garfield was again entertaining and amusing as Peter Parker, and a fantastic choice. Emma Stone was again excellent as Gwen Stacy, and I liked the fact that their relationship was more fleshed out this time. Those two have stunning chemistry! Dane DeHaan absolutely thrilled me in here, and was the big reason I was insistent on seeing it in cinema. While I was not sold on the Green Goblin completely (it just had to do with the fact that he looked a little ridiculous and all), I cannot deny that DeHaan was thrilling. I just loved seeing him on screen, and my faith was greatly rewarded (not that I expected much different). I loved the relationship between Harry and Peter, though I really wished that Webb had spent more time developing it, maybe saving the Goblin for later. I felt the villains were a little rushed here, and certainly needed a little bit more work. The Goblin popped up way too fast, and Electro definitely needed some more filling out. Neither villain resonated with me. I thought the effects to be decent, though sometimes the CGI was excessive. The humour was great, I had quite a few laughs in here, and that is always fun. Overall it was definitely entertaining, and I liked that. It was nice to see a bit more going on between Peter and his Aunt May, a lovely addition there.

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

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the amazing spider man poster

“We all have secrets: the ones we keep… and the ones that are kept from us.”
– Peter Parker

Peter Parker (Max Charles) loses his parents one night when he was young. His father Richard’s (Campbell Scott) office was burglarised and they rushed to his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben’s (Martin Sheen) house. His parents never made it back, and Peter grows up with his aunt and uncle. As a teenager, Peter (Andrew Garfield) fits in at school and at the same time doesn’t completely. He has a massive crush on the gorgeous Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who takes notice of him when he stands up to the school bully, Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka). Peter discovers his father’s old briefcase as well as some papers and pictures, and learns that his father worked with Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) at Oscorp. Peter really wants to get into Oscorp to see what they were working on and possibly meet Dr Connors.

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“Secrets have a cost. They’re not free. Not now, not ever.” – May Parker

At Oscorp Gwen Stacy leads the group around on tour, noticing that Peter has sneaked in. She says nothing, and he enters a lab where genetically modified spiders are being used to develop a biocable. A spider bites Peter, and his life changes. He has new abilities and strengths that are weird and inexplicable and definitely give him a fright, and his behaviour changes. His aunt and uncle worry about him, though Uncle Ben is sure it is just a phase. The more Peter studies his father’s papers, the more he thinks he understands about what was going on. He visits with Dr Connors, who is massively impressed with Peter and his incredible level of intelligence. Peter even gives Connors the decay rate algorithm his father had worked out, which happens to be the missing piece that Connors needs to complete his research. Connors has difficulty at work when he is pushed to develop a cure for the dying Normon Osborn, head of Oscorp. Peter pushes back with Flash at school, and his uncle is called in about the fight. Instead of collecting his Aunt May that night, Peter loses track of time when he and Connors regrow a mouse’s limb.

the amazing spider man peter starving

“There’s rumor of a new species in New York. It can be aggressive, if threatened…” – Dr Curt Conners

Peter and Uncle Ben fight about Peter not collecting his aunt, and Peter leaves. His uncle is walking around the streets looking for Peter after he stormed out, and when a cashier refuses to let Peter buy milk at a deli, Peter refuses to help the cashier when a thief holds up the deli. This all leads to Uncle Ben being killed in the street, and Peter having the guilt wash over him that he could have prevented it. Flash and Peter even come to a reluctant sort of truce. Peter decides to use his powers to hunt down the man that killed his uncle and exact the justice he feels is deserved, and designs his suit and mechanical devices to shoot webs from. Peter and Gwen are getting closer to one another, and Peter has an argument with Gwen’s father, police captain George Stacy (Denis Leary) about Spider-Man, and that he is not all bad. Gwen learns that Peter is Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Connors gets fired by Dr Rajit Ratha (Irrfan Khan) when he refuses to move onto human testing, and in desperation tests the algorithm on himself seeing as he has a missing limb and it regenerates. However, there are problems when the regrown limb is lizard like, and Ratha is on his way to the Veterans Administration to administer it under the pretext of it being a flu shot.

the amazing spider-man gwen and peter

“You should see the other guy. The other guy, in this instance, being a giant mutant lizard.” – Peter Parker

A massive fight breaks out on the bridge, and the people are terrified. Spider-Man swoops in and saves the day, though the city thinks he is either a hero or a menace, but either way you look at it, Peter realises he cannot just hunt the man responsible for his uncle’s death, but protect the city, too. He needs to find out who the Lizard is as well as balance his life, responsibilities, power, grief and infatuation with Gwen Stacy. Will he figure out who the Lizard is? Will he ever be able to beat the Lizard? Will the Lizard ever humanise himself again? Will Peter and Gwen find a nice and comfortable place with one another? Will Spider-Man ever be accepted by the people?

the amazing spider man peter

“You’re a wanted man, Peter Parker.” – Gwen Stacy

A well-deserved 8/10 for The Amazing Spider-Man. This movie got right everything Sam Raimi’s did not. For the first time, I saw a realistic Peter Parker, and a believable Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield brought a lot to the table with his acting capabilities, and this is duly noted. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy was fantastic – she is pretty, smart, well-spoken, willful, strong… everything you would expect Peter Parker to want. This film also embodied the intelligence that Peter possesses, which is great to see how insanely smart he is. The previous movies didn’t really capture his ingenuity. The chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield was palpable and intense. The Lizard was just so well done, and everything just looked so good. His character probably could have been developed more, but I liked it for what it was. I will always regret not having seen this in cinemas when it was released due to thinking “too soon” (let’s face it, when it came there were only five years between the final of Sam Raimi’s trilogy and this new reboot), but it surprised me immensely. The cast was fantastic, the camerawork and effects worked so well. They also captured the humour of Spider-Man in here, there were a few places I cracked up good and proper. They also encapsulated so well that Peter was neither popular nor the lowest on the food chain. I thought this was a fantastic addition for Spider-Man, and well worth looking into if you haven’t already!

Review: Gangster Squad (2013)

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gangster squad poster

“Go back to Chicago and tell them what you saw tonight. You tell them that Los Angeles belongs to Mickey Cohen.”
– Mickey Cohen

It is 1949 and Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is on a mission to control all the organised crime in Los Angeles. Detective Sergeant John “Sarge” O’Mara (Josh Brolin) of the Los Angeles Police Department ruffles Mickey’s feathers up by saving a young woman from some of Cohen’s thugs. Earning the reputation of ballsy and unafraid, Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) puts O’Mara in charge of waging war against Cohen, any means necessary. O’Mara has special operations training and what not from World War II and would be perfect. O’Mara graciously accepts the offer to take Cohen down using guerrilla warfare tactics, and sets about putting together a task force. Parker makes it clear that the LAPD will be in no which way involved with whatever the outcome of the operation is – they are to operate under total anonymity.

gangster squad mickey cohen

“I’m not angry. This is business.” – Mickey Cohen

Sergeant Jerry Wooters is an immoral detective with the LAPD. His ideals for the task force have long since been thrown out the window. One night at a restaurant he meets Grace Faraday (Emma Stone), and is in love. His childhood friend Jack Whalen (Sullivan Stapleton) warns him to stay away from Grace, she is Cohen’s girl. Whalen is also in with Cohen to some degree, on the other hand he is an informant. Jerry and Grace start up a very hush hush relationship with one another, both keeping it from Cohen. O’Mara and his wife Connie (Mireille Enos) discuss his new task, and she reminds him that she is pregnant and that he has a family to provide for. Thereafter she helps him assemble the team he will use, ones that will most likely not be on Cohen’s payroll. So O’Mara recruits Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), a family man, Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), an anti-herion black cop who is intent on making a difference and sharpshooter Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), who comes part and parcel with his Hispanic partner Navidad “Christmas” Ramirez (Michael Peña). O’Mara fails miserably when trying to bring in Jerry, who is content on doing absolutely nothing at work.

gangster squad love

“Where have you been all my miserable life?” – Grace Faraday

Now that the task force is formed, they start knocking over Cohen’s businesses, starting with an illegal casino. Instead they get busted and locked up, and before anything can happen, their luck takes a turn. Jerry joins the gang when a young kid named Pete (Austin Abrams), who polished shoes, is murdered when Jack Dragna (Jon Polito) is almost assassinated. Embittered, he goes in to murder Cohen, and Whalen stops him just in time. He breaks some of the guys out of prison, and soon the squad starts cracking down like a whip on Cohen’s activities, causing major issues and just becoming a real pain in the gangster’s side. So far the group has remained anonymous, and by a stroke of luck Keeler manages to plant a bug in Cohen’s home, giving the squad an even better insight to the inner workings of Cohen and his people.

the gangster squad

“You lose everything and you win the war – you’re a hero. You lose everything and you lose the war – you’re just a fool.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

Cohen’s organisation is suffering, and he is getting angry. Will he work out that it is a bunch of cops that are bleeding him dry, causing him grief? Will he work out that Grace is in love with another man, one of the men that are causing him untold amounts of trouble? Will Cohen ever get to run Los Angeles completely, as he hopes to, even though he is sustaining serious knocks in business? Will the Gangster Squad bring Mickey Cohen to his criminal knees?

gansger squad planning

“We intercept that dope and he is dead on the water.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

I am going to score this a 6.5/10. I had a hell of a lot of fun with this film. It was serious at parts, and then it was balls-to-the-wall fun at other times. There was humour, there was drama, there was a love story and there was tons of action. This is not a film to take too seriously, and I liked the fact that the movie never tried to be that too much. Some people wanted it to be more, but it is nothing but an entertaining piece of film. It benefited from a really good cast and a decent script, though the dialogue was pretty damn questionable at times, it remained entertaining throughout. I didn’t know what to expect at all from this film when I went in for it seeing as I had tried to keep my knowledge on it at an absolute minimum so that I could have no expectations (I try really hard to do that), and had a colleague strongly recommend this for me, and I must say it was pleasurable. There were flaws, there were mistakes, but overall not enough to detract from the movie (unless you want something very serious and historically very accurate). Emma Stone was simply gorgeous as always, and Brolin, Penn, Patrick, Mackie, Ribisi and Gosling really worked well together, definitely giving you something to smile about. The Gangster Squad itself was endlessly entertaining to watch, too, and I thought this was done rather well, and I enjoyed the costume design. A light film, not the greatest of all time, but perfect to put in for the simpler things in life, not too demanding.