Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Swan, 127 Hours & Blue Valentine

Okay, so I guess I should probably explain why I haven't done a post in 3 months. Well, I have been travelling for those past few months visiting places like New York, Europe & London. Of course I had computers over there and saw many films during my travels, so I guess my only excuse is pure laziness. But I am determined this year to double the amount of reviews I did last year. So I'm going to cheat a little and review quite a few films in this post.

Black Swan

Natalie Portman in a scene from the film

After shopping all day on 5th Avenue, New York, I wandered outside of Urban Outfitters, (after being in there just over an hour; yes that store is awesome) to discover there was a cinema just a few doors down. There were two films showing, The King's Speech and Black Swan. Having read about Black Swan before I left, I knew that it was directed by Requiem for a Dream director, Darren Aronofsky and of course Natalie Portman was starring in it, so naturally I didn't hesitate to purchase a ticket.

Unfortunately it has been about 3 months since I saw Black Swan and my memory is not the greatest. So I can just tell you how this film made me feel. During the film there were moments where I was terrified (I even jumped in a part and I do not scare easily), I laughed on quite a few occasions but most of the time I was just captivated at the look of the film and the story just blew my mind. After seeing the film I was unsure of how I felt about it. But I think what makes a good film is one that stays with you days after viewing it which is exactly what Black Swan did for me. I am still thinking about it. Occasionally I'll be like, 'Damn! That ending... boy!' It really did just blow my mind. Highly recommend all to see it and Natalie Portman is phenomenal. The training she must have gone through to do this role would have been hard work, so glad she won the oscar for Best Actress, truly worthy of the award.

Rating: 4/5

127 Hours

An example of the split screen look used throughout the film

Having roamed around Bayswater, London for an hour or so in search of a cinema so that I could see Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, I finally came across a cinema in a shopping mall. I was devastated to discover that they weren't showing Coppola's new film so had to choose out of the third Meet the Parents film, some shitty looking kids movie, Love and Other Drugs or 127 Hours. Having not heard anything about 127 Hours but just seeing that it starred James Franco and was directed by the awesome Danny Boyle (after observing the poster), my decision was made.

Once again, my memory is a little vague and I can't remember this film in detail so this review is going to be a brief one. I loved the editing style with the split screen kind of look that was used a lot in the beginning and occasionally throughout when Franco's character is thinking about his life before being trapped under a rock. The film is shot mainly in this spot where Franco is trapped and we watch him struggle to get out and survive the 127 hours he spends there. This is broken up with him thinking of his life and regretting things he has done. There is a moment in the film where you will be cringing so hard you won't be able to look at the screen. It was quite amusing to hear the cinema audience gasping and cringing and turning their heads away from the screen. It's a great film and one I'm so glad I didn't miss.

Rating: 4/5

Blue Valentine

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

So I'm lost somewhere in London in search of a cinema I had googled and then I turn a corner to only discover Picadilly Circus. It was pretty awesome. I managed to make it to the cinema only 10 minutes late after looking for it for over half an hour. The film I went to see was Blue Valentine and I think me getting terribly lost was a sign for me not to see it...

Having heard such great things about this film I was quite excited to see it. And Ryan Gosling as the lead male in the film made me not want to miss it. But unfortunately for me my favourite thing about this film was seeing a sexy Gosling in a leather jacket with stubble, pulling out all the moves as well as an offensive joke about a child molester (I laughed at the joke for probably too long). For the rest of it I felt utterly depressed and just kept feeling like I was watching another take on the film Revolutionary Road but in a more present time. Revolutionary Road is one of the best films I have ever seen but it made me feel so depressed and put such a downer on my evening after seeing it, so much so that I have never been able to watch it again. Blue Valentine did this for me as well but in a way that I wasn't as impressed as I was after viewing Revolutionary Road. I think it mainly had to do with my feelings at the time because I was in such a good mood so left the cinema feeling quite pissed off that it had dampened my spirits. I think you have to be weary of how you'll feel after coming out of this one. But overall I felt kind of annoyed at it. The performances were great from both leads but it just kind of frustrated me if anything. Such a shame. But perhaps this is just the film for people to see if they are going through a break up and can be reminded that, yes relationships tend to suck.

Rating: 2.5/5