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.

June Blind Spot Review: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

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“When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”
– Adam

SYNOPSIS: A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance – which has already endured several centuries – is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister. – via IMDB

You know, this was an odd one. Even after all these years, I was not quite sure what this was all about, only that the characters were vampires. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie, after I had spent some time chewing on it, that is.

Okay, right off the bat I want to say that the film was extremely visually appealing. It was all shot at night, and everything looks dark but never really dreary, just sort of… I don’t know, typically that dark and romantic vampiric vibe. It really was pretty to look at. The score, too, complements the film every step of the way, and the sight and sound combining like they do really set the tone and the atmosphere for the movie, and then the rest is up to the cast, and boy, they really work that. The comedy in this is also very sharp, and delivered effortlessly throughout and never comes across as jarring, yet it is also extremely subtle.

Tom Hiddleston is fantastic. Really. His Adam is quite a complex character who truly entertained me. He is reclusive, haunted and depressed, yet brings massive amounts of humour to the table, which I thoroughly enjoyed. He is classy to boot, and absolutely gorgeous. Tilda Swinton, as always, delivers a solid character, and Eve is one that I quite liked. She gets this almost childlike joy out of things in the world still, despite having been around so long. Adam and Eve perfectly complement each other, and are just this incredibly beautiful, mysterious couple. Hiddleston and Swinton worked wonders together – they just click, everything falls into place when they are together. There is this comfortable, passionate energy between them.

Wasikowska, while breezing in and out, irritated me, and yet provided comedic scenarios in the midst of all the heaviness that was present. Hurt, of course, is excellent here, and his character is a good one, one I could definitely have seen more of. Naturally Yelchin shone here, as expected. While Adam might hate the “zombies”, he has quite the appreciation for Ian, and I liked how that was handled.

Only Lovers Left Alive is dark, haunting, comedic, sophisticated, and most certainly well worth a watch. It’s a movie you chew on after the fact, and that is something that I appreciate. Definitely a different kind of vampire film, and I liked that. This movie is not going to appeal to those who do not enjoy a slow burn film though, or a movie which is not spoon fed to you. There are a lot of little nuances here, things that make the bigger picture that much better.

Review: Lawless (2012)

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lawless poster

“It is not the violence that sets men apart, alright, it is the distance that he is prepared to go.”
– Forrest Bondurant

SYNOPSIS: Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits. – via IMDB

GRADE 9The movie was absolutely great. Truly brilliant. I know that a lot of people take issue with certain things in it, but I cannot tell you how I get when I sit down to watch Lawless. I am like a giddy child that got to pick out anything I wanted to watch. I can’t count anymore how many times I have seen this since the first time, but it gets better and better.

lawless did you pull a gun

The cast is absolutely phenomenal, and carried this story, and each and every one of the actors and actresses in this is excellent. Tom Hardy is amazing. We all know that I adore the man, and Lawless is no exception. The man is a master and well worth watching – always. His portrayal of Forrest Bondurant is impressive. Guy Pearce is beyond reprehensible and Rakes truly gets under your skin. I have always admired Jason Clarke, but this is where I fell in love with him – Howard is insane, loyal, jaded, cuckoo crazy. Shia LaBeouf should be commended for his role of the youngest Bondurant brother, Jack. Why? Because, as cooked as he may be in real life, he is a solid and consistent actor. I thought he and Mia Wasikowska had lovely chemistry, and they played off of each other nicely. Bertha is just too damned sweet for words. Then I have got to talk about Dane DeHaan. I am a junkie, we all know this, and his portrayal of Cricket is wonderful. He is a character we all fell in love with, whom we adore because you cannot help but like Cricket, and it is easy to understand why he is favouried. Lastly, but certainly not least, there is Jessica Chastain. Beautiful, regal, Red. The moment she stepped onto the scene the Bondurants had no idea what was going on anymore, and I love how awkward the brothers could get around her.

I love the way the film was shot, it is beautiful and engaging, and the plot progression could not have been done better – not too long, not skipped over, every part is given sufficient time to make itself comfortable and relay the epic story of the bootlegging brothers. The score is perfectly suited, and I had such a blast with the humour in the film too. There is some heavy violence, but no violence just to be nasty. It all serves a purpose. I think by this write up you can tell that I am a huge fan of this and think that this film has a lot going for it, and I would highly recommend checking it out!

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: Stoker (2013)

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stoker poster

“He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse.”
– India Stoker

India Stoker (Mia Masikowska) turns eighteen and receives a horrific gift – her father, Richard (Dermot Mulroney), is killed in a violent car accident. Not knowing what to do, she draws into herself even more. She is acutely aware of the senses, and very unhappy when at her father’s wake, his brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), turns up. Her unstable mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman), seems rather taken with his charms and good looks, and it upsets India. However, things get worse when he announces that he is going to be staying with them to look after his brother’s family.

stoker bed and shoes

“Have you outgrown your shoes?” – Mrs McGarrick

Charlie has many tales of travelling the world, and Evelyn seems very engaged with Charlie. India, on the other hand, does not care much for him. Mrs McGarrick (Phyllis Somerville) argues with Charlie, and soon after the head caretaker disappears. Charlie attempts to befriend India, though she coldly turns him away constantly, and is very unhappy with how intimate he and her mother are getting. Something is wrong with Charlie, India is sure of it, but has no idea what. After a dismally short visit from her great aunt Gwendolyn (Jacki Weaver), who is most definitely not Charlie’s biggest fan, India wants to know more about Charlie, but cannot find her.

India is dealing with her own issues at school, as well as the mockery that she has to abide due to her mother’s seeming romance with her deceased father’s brother. It does not make for a good combination, as India is already not an incredibly popular girl. India digs more and more into Charlie’s history, and makes some rather gruesome discoveries about him of her own. India knows more about Charlie than she should, and his slightly weird and psychopathic tendencies, but she says nothing. After a shared ordeal, however, she seems to start to let her guard down around her uncle and becomes closer with him, though she has become more prone to lashing out.

stoker family too close

“Personally speaking I can’t wait to watch life tear you apart.” – Evie Stoker

What will India do with the information that she has on Charlie? Why is he so intent on befriending her? Will India continue to act out to harshly due to the knowledge she bears, or will she find a new way to channel that frustration? Will Charlie and her mother take that final step, and if so, how will India deal with her father’s brother being the new man in her mother’s life?

stoker uncle charlie

“We don’t need to be friends. We’re family.” – India

A 7/10 for Stoker. I am still not one hundred percent sure what it is that I watched with this, but I do know that it kept me watching. Slow paced and definitely odd, it keeps you wondering. It is more the effects and lack of anything sudden that happens that keeps you guessing, and everything looked rather pretty. The dialogue was pretty decent, though I thought Nicole Kidman’s character was really questionable. I mean who jumps for their deceased husband’s brother the moment he walks through the door? Dodgy, I tell you. However, Mia Wasikowska impressed me as India, the introverted and odd girl. The progression of the film was decent, though slow as I have said, but not really dull in any places, or any particular feeling of wanting to hurry it up. You get lulled into the story. I just had to wonder more often than not at the things that were happening – it was superbly odd, and that family has some particular issues. A decent watch and a decent movie, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.