Review: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

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“I don’t like to do what people expect.Why should I live up to other people’s expectations instead of my own?”
– Kat Stratford

SYNOPSIS: A pretty, popular teenager can’t go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does. – via IMDB

This is such a classic in my opinion. I have seen it plenty of times and I still love it. There is so much about it that just screams the nineties but it pulls it off. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this movie, and it is still a blast from start to finish. It has held up really well after all these years.

Everyone does a great job with their characters. Julia Stiles is a fantastic, bitter girl, Heath Ledger is fantastic as the outcast bad boy, Larisa Oleynik is a suitably spoiled brat, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is that sweet boy-next-door type. There are so many characters to talk about here so I will not really get into them all. It’s a sweet, fun story with plenty of humour in it. No matter how many times I have seen this, there are still things I laugh at. 10 Things I Hate About You is also super quotable, and will stay with you long after you have moved on.

The humour is great and the story keeps you hooked throughout. There are so many little things that come together in this to make it worth the watch, and I loved to see how certain characters interacted with others. The soundtrack also totally works with the movie. I thought the rumour mill surrounding Patrick was absolutely amazing, too. While this is not the most original and unpredictable movie ever, it is done so well and the cast work so well together that it still has a fresh feeling to it. Also, I absolutely love the chemistry between Stiles and Ledger.

So much has been said about this fantastic movie over the years, and there is not really much that I can contribute to the discussion. I will just say that 10 Things I Hate About You is quirky and sweet and has heart and gets me every time. It manages the fine balance between sweet but not sappy, and I appreciate that. It is the kind of movie that guys and girls alike can enjoy. The movie is bags of fun every time and I highly recommend it, and not just because of the nostalgia!

Also, could we just take a moment to admire Heath Ledger in this??

Rapid Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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bourne ultimatum

“This is Jason Bourne, the toughest target that you have ever tracked. He is really good at staying alive, and trying to kill him and failing… just pisses him off.”
– Pamela Landy

SYNOPSIS: Bourne is once again brought out of hiding, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is–legendary assassin. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was. – via IMDB

bourne ultimatum

GRADE 8.5Ah, Jason! Just as you think the story is over, a way is found for Jason to be back in the cross-hairs of the United States Government – and really, where else would we want him? Well, for our entertainment at least. The Bourne Supremacy features more shaky cam than I would like, and the end, while brilliant, is a little bit saddening because it took away the whole conspiracy aspect if he made the choice himself, doesn’t it? Matt Damon, of course, was simply excellent here, though we expect nothing less. Joan Allen returns as Pamela Landy, and she still is a wonderful person to hunt Bourne. She is definitely not like the others though, and has a totally different view of Bourne, and I highly appreciate it. Little bits and pieces of Jason Bourne/David Webb’s story come about, and it just continues to ensnare, interest and entertain. The movie is fast paced and thrilling, with a super smart story and excellent performances to carry it. David Strathairn’s Noah Vosen was such a crooked dude, and so necessary for the story. I loved the strife between him and Pam, it was intense, and at extreme opposites to the relationship that has been forged between Pam and Bourne. Nicky Parsons got some more time in this outing, and that was also pretty good. The movie is shot exceptionally well, the performances are spot on, visually the film is great and that choreography? Again absolutely mesmerizing. The Bourne Ultimatum proves why the Bourne trilogy (and yes, people, in my mind it is a trilogy only) is so successful – each installment is equally as gripping and entertaining, and they are all smart. I had an absolute blast revisiting this franchise, it has been well worth the time.

Rapid Review: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

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bourne supremacy

“What were my words? What did I say? I said leave me alone.”
– Jason Bourne

SYNOPSIS: When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive. – via IMDB

bourne supremacy shot

GRADE 8.5Sequel time! The Bourne movies are some of the few movies that remain excellent… well, the original Damon trilogy at any rate. The Bourne Supremacy continues that line of brilliance of its predecessor. Opens to show us the sweet little life Marie and Jason have built together on the run, and when that is snatched away from them, it is genuinely a bitter experience. From there, things just escalate. The plot was another solid one, and the performances all round were excellent. Karl Urban was an enjoyable enemy to stand opposite Jason, and they could really go each other. We see more about Jason Bourne, the man that he was, the man that he has become, and how he desperately wants nothing more to do with the US Government, but apparently they are not done with him. The film takes its time to pace itself, which is something I have always appreciated about these films, and Bourne is just such an amazing character. I love how dark and brooding and incredibly smart he is, it works on so many levels. Also, his jackets in this movie… wow. Let me just have my fetish moment. Matt Damon was, of course, in fine form here, reminding me as always why Bourne is one of my favourite Damon roles. I thought Landy was a great pick to hunt Bourne, she was totally different from Conklin but it worked, definitely not a bad thing. I thought the movie was shot well, though at times I felt that the shaky cam effect was overused, as instead of pulling you into the action, it just gives you a headache and a dizzy spell. I don’t actually have any complaints here, the movie is gripping, thrilling, smart and entertaining with fantastic choreography – everything you’d expect from a Bourne film.

Rapid Review: The Bourne Identity (2002)

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bourne identity

“You’re U.S. Government property. You’re a malfunctioning $30 million weapon. You’re a total goddamn catastrophe, and by God, if it kills me, you’re going to tell me how this happened.”
– Conklin

SYNOPSIS: A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory. – via IMDB

bourne identity freeze

GRADE 8.5love Jason Bourne. Seriously. I love these movies. I have always enjoyed them. Plus, Matt Damon. Because Matt Damon is amazing. But really, I wish I could express how exciting and brilliant I find these movies. Okay, okay, let’s move on to the movie itself. The Bourne Identity is one of those action movies that ticks all the boxes for me. It is smart, has a really good story, has a solid cast carrying it all, is directed well, looks fantastic and has brilliant choreography. The pacing is something I liked. No rush here, so sirree, it starts with Bourne in the ocean, shot, fished out, almost dead, and as Bourne learns about himself, so does the audience, and that is a fun thing. There is no rush, and when the action kicks in, you get swept up in this intense mystery of who the hell Jason Bourne is, and what he was before the amnesia kicked in. Matt Damon is just brilliant here. He delivers us Bourne and he nails it – the emotions are down, you identify with Jason and root for him, even though you know nothing about him at all, it doesn’t matter. Hell, even when you learn he was a super spy assassin, that doesn’t matter. Bourne is layered, and his blank-slate introduction made him someone you could identify with in a hurry, so they didn’t have to tell you too much. But you uncovered more and more about him and find ways to slot the new information in on the man you have discovered him to be without his memory. The story is also pretty sharp, definitely a solid spy-thriller and it doesn’t get old, either. The camera work is also something to be admired, something that transports you right into the events that are unfolding before your very eyes. The Bourne Identity is a solid movie, with a gritty, realistic hero, something I would highly recommend spending some time watching, as it is well worth it!

Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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silver linings playbook poster

“Nikki’s waiting for me to get in shape and get my life back together. Then we’re going to be together.”
– Pat Solitano Jr

Pat Solitano, Jr (Bradley Cooper) is released from a mental hospital after serving eight months as was the minimum amount of time agreed upon by the courts. Pat was treated for bipolar disorder, something that was previously undiagnosed and something that irrevocably changed his life. He is released into the care of his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) and his father Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro), and moves in with them. Pat has changed his life and is eager to reconcile with his wife, Nikki, who is a big reason he ended up in the hospital. She cheated on him with a colleague, causing Pat to give the guilty man a terrible beating. He will hear nothing of the fact that his marriage is over. Pat learns his parents seem to be struggling financially a bit and that his father has turned to illegal bookmarking to get money together to open a restaurant.

silver linings playbook family

“Let me tell you, I know you don’t want to listen to your father, I didn’t listen to mine, and I am telling you you gotta pay attention this time.” – Pat Solitano Sr

Pat is upset about the restraining order that Nikki had taken out against him and that it is still in effect, though he is sure that he is getting his life together and that she will take him back when she realises this. Pat is seeing his court-mandated therapist Dr Patel (Anupam Kher), who is doing his utmost to help Pat out so that he will not be hospitalised again. Pat is getting to a better place in his life, and Patel sees this, though there are still issues that need to be worked out. Pat shares a lot with his therapist, including his new positive outlook on life, enshrined by the term “excelsior”. Pat is invited to dinner one night at his friend Ronnie (John Ortiz) and his wife Veronica (Julia Stiles). At dinner he meets Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), Veronica’s widowed sister, whom he feels is completely socially stunted. The two seem to get along, especially when discussing medication, yet by the end of the night they are at extreme odds again, matters which are exacerbated by the fact that Pat turned down her offer of sex.

silver linings playbook letter

“I have a problem? You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.” – Tiffany Maxwell

Soon, though, Tiffany starts popping up everywhere and is relentless. Pat gets over thinking of her as a slut and thinking of her as a useful tool to get in touch with Nikki again. Naturally, it is a quid pro quo relationship, and Tiffany has Pat promise that he will participate in an upcoming dance competition with her. As reluctant as he is, he finally agrees to do it. Pat is sure that the competition will be the thing to show Nikki that he is a changed man and that they have a chance. Pat Sr. on the other hand is angry that his son is always out and about with Tiffany. Pat Sr. wants Pat at home, he is convinced that Pat is his lucky charm to get the Philadelphia Eagles to win their games. Pat is torn in two directions, and soon discovers that he likes Tiffany more than he should, and she is most certainly interested in him, crushed that he cannot see her through his obsession with a cheating woman who does not deserve him.

silver linings playbook dance lessons

“This is what I learned at the hospital. You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, you have a shot at a silver lining.” – Pat Solitano Jr

Pat Sr. has Pat attend a Philadelphia Eagles game, meaning Pat will miss his dance practise with Tiffany, and being there will win his dad the game he bet basically all their money on. Instead Pat and his brother Jake (Shea Whigham) get into a fight along with Dr Patel, and the Eagles lose the game. Tiffany is outraged that Pat made a commitment and didn’t stick to it, and Pat Sr. is in a state over losing all his money. To even things out Randy (Paul Herman) and Pat Sr. make a parlay with one another: the Eagles will win and Tiffany and Pat will score at least a 5 in their upcoming dance competition. Will Pat Sr. win the money back that he needs for the restaurant? Will Tiffany and Pat be able to work through their silly drama? Will they be able to score the 5 to make the parlay a winner for Pat Sr.? Will Nikki and Pat be able to reconcile now that Pat has turned his whole life around? Will Pat ever fully be in control of his problems?

A 7/10 for Silver Linings Playbook. I have never actually just gotten to this movie, despite how popular it got, despite how much it is recommended to me, none of it. Eventually, though, as always, I got to it. I had a good time with this movie, it really had me smiling and laughing with it. For one, Jennifer Lawrence completely stole the show for me, and was certainly worth her Oscar win. She was absolutely crazy yet adorable at the same time. She was intelligent and funny but not even remotely normal, and it worked. Bradley Cooper was fantastic, and the chemistry that he and Lawrence shared was just brilliant, and they complemented each other so well. I know this sounds crazy, but I knew almost nothing about this movie going in, and I liked the fact that I was not really aware of what was to come. There was plenty to laugh at, and plenty that brought it down to a more serious tone. De Niro was very good here, and it was nice to see him with a better role than usual nowadays. Jacki Weaver was so well cast as Dolores Solitano, she just worked the mother well. She was timid yet supportive, shy yet loving; she managed to balance out her husband just well. Pat Solitano, Sr. was terribly entertaining, the way that his allegiances just flicked around. Chris Tucker provided some smiles with his strange personality and funny friendship with Pat. I must say that this was a good movie, a bit soppy at times but heartwarming nonetheless and flawed , no doubt, but definitely worth checking out, even if only for Lawrence’s performance.

Sporadic Scene: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) – Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You

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10 Things I Hate About You is one of those rom-coms that will not totally sicken guys. In fact, it is pretty amusing, extremely nineties and backed with a great cast. Watching Heath Ledger as the bad boy is always a treat, and seeing how he gets in under Kat’s skin is a gradual process but it works. However, when things went sour and she wrote her English poem for him, it really brings things into perspective. Let’s not forget that it was one of the best love poemsto be heard in a really long time!

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).