Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Day Movie List - Part 3

So here is the last part of my Valentine's Day Movie List. I won't write quite as much because well I'm just a little lazy.

The Wedding Singer (1998) - Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Christine Taylor
- The 80s never looked so good. Oh the hair and the fashion that would never pass these days are just too good to pass up. Adam Sandler is less Billy Madison and slightly more of an actual leading man, just the slightest bit. Also the old granny, played by Ellen Albertini Dow who will turn 100 later this year, raps up a storm and is probably one of the greatest things in recent memory.

Pretty in Pink (1986) - Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
- Molly is pretty annoying sometimes but she has a quirky, relatable quality that you can't hate for too long...in one sitting. In any case, another great John Hughes teen movie that teaches us all a little bit about growing up. That being said how Duckie's story ended is pretty unrealistic and don't rely on it if you're a nerdy dude.  

Pretty Woman (1990) - Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
- A high class businessman falls in love with a prostitute. It's an endearing story despite being unrealistic. I didn't see this movie until earlier this year but it was a nice surprise. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts work really well as the unconventional couple we know and love.

The Notebook (2004) - Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands
- It's The Notebook. Enough said.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999) - Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik
- Definitely my favourite teen movie of the 90's. A great pairing of Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt before they hit it big. This movie wasn't crass like American Pie but still had healthy doses of comedy. This movie really influenced how I grew up despite being a little before my time.

- There are a lot more great actors and great cameos in this movie. They don't make comedies like this anymore. One of the greatest movies I've ever seen. It spans a lot of genres; Fantasy, Action, Comedy, Romance. A must watch no matter the occasion. 


ANIMATED

A lot of people overlook romance in animated films. This is a grave injustice and so I want to let you in on some that I enjoy. By no means are these the only romantic animated films or the only ones that I like but I had to cut the list somewhere.

- My absolute favourite romance related animated film. I know there are a few people who actually don't like this movie, maybe because it reminds them of an animated version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, maybe it's for other reasons, I don't know. It just reminds us of two very important things. Firstly, that animated can be touching and emotionally driven and secondly that you don't need dialogue to drive a story. If you haven't seen it you're missing out. I had put off watching this movie for probably about a year and a half and I wish I hadn't.

- To be fair I haven't really heard of most of the people in this cast but does it really matter? It's a great Disney film with a cliche but musically amazing score that will fill you with nostalgia and remind you of the times when you used to have recess and crustless sandwiches.

- Adventure, romance, action, musical numbers, what more could you ask for? I'm sure you can think of something you greedy bastard. Anyway....first animated movie to gross more that $200 million. Not too shabby.

This clip is enough proof of why this movie belongs here. It is a great kid's movie with a great romantic back story for the older viewers. [SPOILER ALERT]: The first six minutes of this clip aren't a spoiler because it is practically the first six minutes of the movie, however at roughly the 6:00 mark it'll skip to the end bits, and although it doesn't really spoil anything it's just kind of nice seeing the whole movie as it builds up to it. If you haven't seen it you're missing out.



-This is another movie that uses great actors and most know that the voices are familiar but aren't sure who the actor/actress is. There are also great parts by Whoopi Goldberg and Rowan Atkinson, you'll know who they play if you just think about it. When I think of The Lion King, I always think of it as a classic an older Disney movie from a different era. However, here is one crazy piece of trivia, it was released in 1994 only a year before Toy Story. It makes you think, damn is Toy Story is and old movie or maybe that The Lion King is actually pretty recent. Then again it might make you think, damn I'm old. If it's the latter....well I can't really help you there.
 
- A surprising cast for the English dubbed version. I actually didn't really recognize it was Christian Bale the first time I watched it. Hayao Miyazaki is a genius when it comes to making animated features. If you haven't seen anything he's done I would strongly recommend you do. Some of his work is a little more far fetched and leaning towards the more hardcore anime fans but I'm sure something in his repertoire will appeal to you. Howl's Moving Castle is just fantastically animated and the story, although dark at times, is very strong and will captivate you such that you'll just want to keep watching.

- They get the most amazing casts when doing voice dubs, mainly because they are only paying for the voices. This was the first Miyazaki film I saw and not surprisingly it's a great one. It has quite a serious tone and by no means a comedy. It is best described as a bit of a disturbing film but you can't help but get pulled into the world Miyazaki creates.
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I probably should have gotten around to telling you guys about the plots of these movies, but whats the fun in that. That would spoil everything and what I say may not give it justice or may I'm too lenient. This is for you guys to get watching some different films and maybe you can tell me what you thought.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Movie List - Part 2


So my list continues. It's a bit late now but who says that spending time with your significant other should be saved for special occasions. I realize that my list is fairly long considering how much I decide to write for each so there might even be a part 3 or I might just half-ass the last bit.

Where were we?

- For some reason I always get this movie mixed up with As Good As It Gets, they aren't really all that similar but they have Jack Nicholson being an ass in both. Once you see the premise of the movie and the characters involved you instantly know what the ending will be, but that's okay it's the journey that counts. Jack is good, not great but that's only because he's set his own bar too high. Diane Keaton is amazing and ravishing as ever even at her age. She is versatile actress but usually plays strong willed, independent women, which is no different for this film. I think the biggest surprise is that Keanu Reeves doesn't make me want to scream, vomit, or punch someone from watching his acting. It's not that it's a great performance but he's set the bar so low with his acting in the past that almost anything else would be an improvement. Something's Gotta Give has a lot to offer and it's a feel good movie for everyone....unless you are uneasy about seeing Diane and Jack get it on. Kidding, you don't get to see that much but now the imagery is there, so enjoy.

Love Actually (2003) - (Too many to name)
- Absolutely love this movie. The English seem to do things quite well and Americans like to shit all over them. I am referring to such things as Valentine's Day which is a poorly made rip-off (yet ashamedly still enjoyable for me) and of the newly remade Death at a Funeral. Notice that I have linked the only version there should be, the original UK version. That's all beside the point though. Unlike Valentine's Day, Love Actually flows relatively well, as well as something as complex as this could be. Not the greatest acting here but well put together. Olivia Olson, who plays Joanna, is a ridiculous singer for an 11 year old. She actually had to practice singing more like a child for the movie because the producers feared viewers wouldn't believe she was actually performing. A nice smattering of different types of love in this film which is nice. It shows a different side of things, notably looking at Sarah's (Laura Linney) and Billy Mack's (Bill Nighy) story arc. Rowan Atkinson (for those who don't know that name, it's Mr. Bean....if you don't know that name....watch more TV) plays a Cupid-like character, similar to Eugene Levy in Serendipity (see I knew it would come back around). There is a look he shoots at Daniel (Liam Neeson) near the end of the film that basically explains everything you need to know about his involvement and his intentions in the movie. All in all a very enjoyable, entertaining movie and highly recommended for dates and movie nights in. Sadly, after seeing it like 20 times it has lost a little magic but most things get old if you watch them too much, so watch in moderation.  

- This is an awesome film. The sets and shots make you really feel like you're really there and although it may be historically accurate, it looks pretty; history majors avert your eyes. This won the 1998 Oscar for Best Picture and I believe that was warranted. On another note Gwyneth actually got an Oscar for Best Actress in this film for playing Viola, the lead female, opposite Shakespeare. I liked her performance but personally I'm not sure it was Oscar worthy, maybe a Golden Globe or something. Maybe I am be swayed by the fact that as a whole the cast did an excellent job. If there was an Oscar for Best Cast....but there isn't. Joseph was probably more deserving of an Oscar, he definitely put a lot of emotion and his odd little spin on Shakespeare. Geoffrey Rush comes in a supporting role and he nailed it. Rush is as funny as ever and adds the right amount of comedy and tension relief in this story. Imelda Staunton plays Viola's maid and I only noticed this after watching her in the Harry Potter films as Dolores Umbridge. The contrast in the two roles is uncanny which goes to show how great Staunton really is. A great chick flick with solid performances all around and not to mention an intimidatingly spectacular cameo by Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth. You know you want to see it.

- Mixing crazy Frat Pack antics and actual romance makes this a great film. Vince Vaughn did a hilarious job as usual overshadowing Owen Wilson even though Wilson's was the clear lead story. Isla Fisher is amazing as the terribly spoiled, overly childish, nymphomaniacal Gloria. You almost forget that Isla is actually Australian. With the supporting cast being rounded out by Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, Bradley Cooper, and Will Ferrell, how can you go wrong. Hilarious comedy that definitely eases the tension in a date situation...given that your date has a sense of humor.

- Everyone has heard of it but most people don't really know what this movie is about. Bogie plays Rick Blaine, an exiled American running a bar in WWII Casablanca. To be quite honest I forget several things about this movie but I do remember enjoying it. One does have to be careful though, since cinema was very different in the 40's and what appeals to 40's movie-goers may not appeal to you. You can't help to love Humphrey Bogart, he's not afraid of anything and I can put Bogart's Blaine, in a category of awesome movie men along with Connery's James Bond and Ford's Indiana Jones. Ingrid Bergman is simply stunning even in black and white and what it may not show in the movie Bergman was a surprisingly tall 5'9. Bergman is the mother is famous Italian model Isabella Rossellini, who was the face of LancĂ´me well into her 40's. Enough useless trivia.... A classic among classics, producing so many timeless quotes that you've all heard but probably don't even know where they came from. It may not be for everyone but I do urge you to give it a shot, you may be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

- I love this movie because Miss Hepburn is the epitome of beauty. Yes, she was model thin and had those classic good looks but she seemed to use it in the strangest, most innocent way and she does it flawlessly. It's almost impossible to get angry or annoyed at the immature behavior of Hepburn's, Holly Golightly just because it's Audrey Hepburn. I can't explain it you just have to see it. Apparently since Hepburn was naturally very shy, this role was very tough for her. This was especially difficult for her in the opening scene where just off camera there were hundreds of bystanders watching which caused her to become nervous and make frequent mistakes. For our Oriental viewers, try not to be too offended by Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi. Rooney is a comedian, just trying to get some laughs and it was a different time in cinema back then. That being said it is one of the most racist roles I have ever seen, that doesn't mean I didn't laugh though. I can't really tell you a whole lot about the movie but just that you have to figure that out for yourself. Just go watch it and you'll see what I mean.    
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Okay....tired of writing again. There will be another part coming and that one will..hopefully..finish this list and include my favorite Animated films with some romance mixed in.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Movie List - Part 1


I was really bored so I decided to make a list of my favourite romantic movies for all the couples out there with time to burn this Valentine's Day. This list will only contain movies I have actually seen so unfortunately it is more biased towards more recent movies. I will watch a lot of the old classics because I am sure they are wonderful but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Feel free to judge and mock my choice of films. I very much enjoy romantic movies and romantic comedies but also have odd tastes in some. I will have some movies that some of you will agree with and others that you won't. Some of these movies can barely even be classified as romance, they just happen to have some in them but that's alright with me. I have most likely forgotten a lot but that's okay because this is just to give people some ideas of what might be a good, stay in and cuddle on the couch movie.

These movies will be in no particular order, just the order I remember them in.

- This is one of my favorites because even though you know it can't happen you always want to believe in the fairy tale, fate, destiny crap. Very cliché and predictable as are most rom-coms but it is still pretty great. Kate and John have a great chemistry and Eugene Levy has an awesome Cupid-like role (I might just refer to this later.)

- Another of my favorites, of course most on this list will be. I find Zooey absolutely adorable, hot in the best way possible and despite others, I don't think she looks like Katy Perry. Joseph has finally grown up from his 3rd Rock days and I am looking forward to seeing some more of his stuff. This movie is mostly for the guys because it deals with the male point of view for a change. It is fairly honest and a pretty decent breath of fresh air from the predictable, pointless rom-coms getting pumped out every year. It is almost all based on true events too. If you get a chance you should check out the commentary of this film it gives you a better idea of what meanings came from different scenes. Also, before I forget, Chloe Moretz was awesome in this movie. She is playing some pretty grown up roles with this one and in Kick-Ass.

- A classic, even though it isn't that old. You got to love vintage Meg Ryan, she looks kind of freakish nowadays though since her plastic surgery. Billy Crystal is great in this too, a little more vulnerable than you usually see him but it's a nice change. Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby round this cast out nicely being the best friends of our leading man and lady. Meg is high maintenance and peculiar and Billy is the perfect ass but they seem to make it work. This follows a great story of how two strangers became friends then realized they wanted to be more than that. Meg's fake orgasm scene is pretty intense and is a bit odd since her character is usually quite reserved. In any case it was....interesting. A must see if you haven't already seen it. Also, Harry Connick Jr. did the music for this movie, yeah he's older than you'd think.

- The second time Meg and Tom team up (first time was in a movie not too many people remember called Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)). A willing suspension of disbelief is needed for movies like these. This would never happen in real life and it's ridiculous but that makes for good entertainment. Movies would be boring if it was just copying the possible. I don't really have a lot to say about this movie. It's just good romantic entertainment. This was before all the tainted money making schemes of today's Hollywood movies. See it, it really is good. If you already have, watch it again.

- Tom and Meg, take 3. Pretty sure this is the last one they'll do they are getting old and Meg looks like someone put her face on too tight. I'm sure Tom wouldn't want to hit that again. No Oscar worthy performances here but a nice little movie that'll still probably make you say "Awwww".

- Not the greatest but it's cute. Some people don't like it, I love it. Ryan Reynolds is as solid as ever being the guy people can relate too but being unrealistically good looking in the process. Abigail Breslin works well as Ryan's daughter, not her best performance but she's what....like 12? I'm sure her best is yet to come. Ryan's love interests are played by Isla, Elizabeth and Rachel, all gorgeous and all older than I thought they'd be. I have a huge crush on Isla Fisher, just something about her. Too bad she married Borat and is like 15 years older than I am. No shocking plot twists but that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it. If you aren't paying attention you might be surprised by the ending...but I doubt it. A great at home date movie.

- A movie about break ups. John's character Rob Gordon really likes to rant about how these girls broke his heart but he's a baby about it most of the time. This shouldn't come as a surprise all guys are babies about this stuff in their own way. His leading lady is someone you've probably never heard of, Iben Hjejle, she hasn't done a lot in America mostly doing...what seems to be Danish cinema and television. Another great movie from one of Hollywood's leading rom-com kings. People forget Jack Black was in this movie, although he's pretty much the same character...so you probably wouldn't miss his performance.

- Surprisingly funny. I was really expecting to not like it but when I saw the trailer I started to have high hopes. This movie isn't for everyone, that being said I cracked up just about the whole movie. Jay is typecast like always, he's basically what Michael Cera is but funnier and slightly less awkward....just slightly. The English Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter both chip in great performances. The other guys in the movie aren't huge stars but they've done a few things. I'd write about it but I'm getting pretty tired of writing. Two of the supporting males in the cast have been on How I Met Your Mother as side characters, I bet you can't figure out who they are....without the internet obviously, that'd just be cheating. I really quite enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it.

- One of John's first leading roles and I personally think this is probably where his career really started to take off. He actually was in several movies before this, notably Sixteen Candles (1984) and Stand By Me (1986) though not in many scenes. I like this movie but the ending is a little odd, I'm not sure what it is about it, not that'd I'd spoil it for you. It just doesn't sit well with me how it ended. That's the best way I can describe it I guess. John Mahoney puts in a great performance as the good guy with a bad side, or is it the other way around? If you're anything like me you probably say him on Frasier for 11 years as Frasier's dad, Martin Crane.

- Not a straight forward romantic movie but more of a blend of a bunch of different genres. A little action, a little comedy, some drama and of course your romance. As you may have guessed I'm a Cusack fan. No man crush intended, I just think he's made for the genre. Sadly, that does make it harder to do other roles. Can't get a much better story than a hitman falling in love all over again when he goes home for a high school reunion. Minnie is as hot as ever in this film, granted it was 13 years ago but she is still hot. She doesn't get to display it but her accent is pretty great too. Dan Aykroyd brings the comedy as usual. He's the bad guy you can't help but love. Again, one of my favorites, mainly because it has a little bit of everything and combines my two favorite movie components: romantic storyline and mindless violence and gore. Not many of those out there. Maybe not the best movie for V-Day, then again, maybe it is.

Honorable Mentions
- Don't really like Kat, she's a little too pale and I think she just tries too hard.
Valentine's Day (2010) - (Do you really want a list of the actors in this? Just click the link...)
- The only reason this isn't in the main list is because I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard its great it is a great film, it is not a lot of hokey rom-com cliches just a straight up love story.
- Don't ask me why I like this, I couldn't tell you.
- Two reasons:
1. Modern adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life
2. Tea Leoni is so hot even now that she's nearly 47
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So thats the list for now. I just got tired of writing I'll probably do some more, maybe tonight maybe tomorrow morning. For now that's it. I'll include some animated movies and more of my favorites in the second part.