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Tuesday 25 March 2014

Recently Viewed Part 1

I've seen a load of films since January and am only getting around to talking about them now...apologies! The first three were obviously all seen in the cinema and the last four were recent DVD releases. 
I've seen plenty more since then so I thought it'd be easier to just divide them up into different parts and start with the ones from January.

American Hustle
Sydney (Amy Adams) and Irving (Christian Bale) are two con artists working together, who also happen to be in love. Without giving too much away, they end up involved in a hustle with Bradley Cooper in charge which leads to hilarity, success and disaster in equal measure. Nominated for a rake of Oscars, this was hyped up a fair bit but I actually really enjoyed it. The characters were well developed, the storyline was exciting and the acting was brilliant. It was also really funny in parts, especially some of Bradley Cooper's scenes. If you're worried this may not be your sort of thing then you should see it anyway for the style, if nothing else. My god, Amy Adams. I could look at her in this all the live long day. Amazing. 

Anchorman 2
I loved the first Anchorman and can regularly be heard quoting "Milk was a bad choice", so I was really eager to see the second instalment of the ridiculous life of news anchor Ron Burgundy. Similar to the first film, there's lots of running gags, great cameos and bizarre subplots. While it seems slightly less together than the first film it is very funny and well worth a watch.

The Wolf Of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a dodgy stockbroker with no ethics, who quickly becomes accustomed to a decadent lifestyle of money, drugs and beautiful women at his beck and call with little to no regard for the crimes he commits or people he destroys along the way. DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are both brilliant in this, as was Matthew McConaughey (in a very minor role) and it was very entertaining at times. It was also an arse-numbing three hours long. Look, I appreciate Martin Scorsese as much as the next person but he could seriously have done with editing a few of the same repetitive scenes. I'm specifically referring to all of Belfort's rousing speeches on the trading floor and of course the many, many scenes of naked women being degraded. Before you say it, yes, I understand that it's "of its time" and is depicting a particularly misogynistic period of American history but you know, just because something is historically accurate doesn't mean you need to hammer it home. We get it, it was decadent. I understand that Belfort did everything to excess and that was well expressed, a bit too well expressed for my liking, to the extent that it felt irresponsibly glorified. The fact that the film is based on the book written by the real Belfort means that him and his cronies are being celebrated in this film while their victims are barely alluded to. For me that feels wrong and more than just a little bit icky.

Behind The Candelabra
This true story of entertainer and pianist Liberace and the secret relationship he had with his young lover Scott, is at times bleak, darkly humorous and difficult to watch but mostly it's a fascinating look at the bizarre secret lives of celebrities. Both Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were excellent in this and although it's sad at times, it is also stylish and entertaining.

You're Next
I've been a long term fan of horrors but have avoided them a bit in the last year unless I've heard good things beforehand. You're next was critically acclaimed so we said we'd chance it and I'm really glad we did. The film centres on Erin who along with her boyfriend, is staying in a country house for the weekend with his family. What they don't realise is that there's a group of ruthless killers in creepy animal masks surrounding the house. From there it's basically all about survival, who's next and what horrible way are they going to be killed. This is more like my kind of horror because there's no awful torture scene, no one gets raped and at no point did I have to say "ah here!!" and turn it off. Also, Erin is pretty amazing and I rarely have cause to say that about a female character in a horror movie.

We're The Millers
We threw this on purely for something lighthearted to watch but we were both pleasantly surprised. The Millers are a pretend family comprised of weirdos, put together by low level drug dealer David. He needs to look wholesome to smuggle drugs from Mexico as a favour to his boss and so calls on a runaway and a neighbour to be his kids and Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper, to be his wife. They obviously end up getting into a load of scrapes along the way but the film moves along at a nice pace. It's incredibly predictable but is entertaining nonetheless.

Drinking Buddies
This was actually a bit of an odd one. Kind of a romantic comedy that doesn't really go anywhere but in doing so is actually quite realistic and because of the cast, was enjoyable to watch. The two main characters are clearly perfect for each other but are both in relationships so it's kind of a "what's going to happen here" type of thing. I liked how it was shot and that it was a bit different from a lot of other films around at the moment so I'd definitely recommend giving it a go. 

Have you seen any of these? Any thoughts?


  1. I have to say I loved Wolf of Wall St, haven't enjoyed a movie as much in a long time! I understand why some may feel the amount of nudity is a bit much, and it is a bit much, but you end up looking at their lifestyle and seeing exactly what corrupt, slimy a******s they were so it's effective:)

  2. I loved American Hustle thought it was really well thought out and quite funny too. Loved the schemes and Christain Bale and Amy Adams were excellent together.

    Wolf of Wall Street, I liked the first hour of it though it was smart, interesting, well acted (thought Matt McConaughey was brilliant, lit up the screen) but like you I thought it got really really repetitive. And by the end I was sick of it, dying to get out of the cinema. I also would have liked to see more on the victims stories.
    Also does anyone else think that Leo DiCaprio is turning into Jack Nicholson or a really good impression of him.

  3. I'm so glad you said that about Wolf of Wall Street because I really didn't like it for that reason. I was hugely disappointed and it made me sad cos I really love Martin Scorsese but my god it was so repetitive. Also glad to hear about You're Next, its a film I've wanted to see but I always stay clear of most horror films, especially when I'm so sick of women being raped or degraded in them (which tbh happens in not just horror movies but mostly horror movies). I will be sure to check it out now though!

    I can't wait to see Behind The Candelabra also! I can't believe I went this long without watching it. The trailer is the weirdest thing! :D

  4. We were surprised by we are the millers as well. I thought it would be pure rubbish, but I laughed my head off the whole way through

  5. I haven't seen anything in AGES! ant to hear a bit of a mortifying secret? I've never seen the first Anchorman........should I be getting it on DVD?

  6. I’m so scared of horror films but You’re Next was watchable! Erin is a far cry away from her home and away days!

  7. That was Matthew McConaughey?! The penny has just dropped!