Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Red Balloon

I seriously love Netflix because it allows me to watch a vast amount of films that I wouldn't otherwise get around to. Today, after having an exhaustingly busy week, followed by an overly eventful, but surprisingly fun weekend, I was able to relax and watch some wonderful films.

The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge 1956) is fantastic and my favorite watch of the day. It's about a little boy who finds a red balloon during his walk to school one morning. The red balloon becomes his faithful companion, much like a pet, and together the two wander the streets of Paris. Their friendship grows as they spend more days together, to the point where they become inseparable.

The story of The Red Balloon is heartwarming, imaginative, and brilliantly told. It's incredible how emotionally powerful this film is, especially since it is only 34 minutes long and there is basically no dialogue, it's almost magical. I highly recommend seeing this film and it might be wise to watch it with kleenexes next to you. I'll admit it, this film got to me, especially the ending. This film made me feel nostalgic, inspired, and happy. It is beautiful.

Disney Classic: Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is the first full-length animated feature from Disney studios. At the time, the Hollywood film industry was convinced that the film was going to be a major flop. Obviously, they were very wrong in their assessment. After its release, the film was a huge success, so successful in fact that, for a while, it was the highest-grossing motion picture of all time at $8.5 million. Remember, this occurred at a time when people only had to pay a dime to see the film, so in today's dollars that amount translates into several hundreds of millions of dollars. The film itself cost $1.4 million to create. It was in production for three years and it utilized more than 750 artists to complete it.

I love Snow White, it's an amazing film. It has the timelessness that the majority of Disney films possess. The score is brilliant. Who doesn't sometimes start whistling, "Whistle While You Work" or that whistling bit in "Heigh-Ho?" The evil Queen/Witch adds enough creepiness to the film to make the film eligible for one of my personal horror movie picks. That lady was mentally unstable to an extreme degree. Clearly, jealousy mixed with vanity is a lethal substance. Who knew being the fairest one of all was that important? Something tells me that if she had succeeded in murdering Snow White, then she still wouldn't be the fairest one of all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises: Casting Updates

If you couldn't tell from past posts that I have written, I'm a huge fan of Chris Nolan. I have anxiously and excitedly been awaiting to hear anything regarding his next Batman installment. Especially since I saw some of the filming of The Dark Knight because Nolan allowed me and other fans to watch, as long as we didn't use any flash photography. It was so much fun and I'd love to have the opportunity to watch this next one being filmed, too! 

Today, it has been confirmed that the two villains in 'Dark Knight Rises' will be Bane and Catwoman. Tom Hardy has been casted as Bane and Anne Hathaway has been casted as Catwoman. I'm excited about these choices, especially Tom Hardy! I'm not sure how Hathaway will do in this role, but I bet she'll be much better than what I'm thinking. She's done well in many other roles that she has had and Nolan's casting choices usually end up exceeding expectations. Did anyone think that Heath Ledger was going to be as awesome as he was as the Joker? I highly doubt it. I loved Heath's performances in his previous films, but I didn't think he would be all that great as the Joker. I was truly blown away by his performance. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday: Cary Grant

Happy Birthday to the fabulous Cary Grant, who would have been 107 years old today! His birthday is usually a Hitchcock viewing day for me. I haven't been able to watch anything yet, but I want to watch Notorious. It's been a while since I've watched it! I love the chemistry he has with Ingrid Bergman in that film. They are great together! One of the best kissing scenes in film! Enjoy some wonderful pictures of the devastatingly handsome Cary Grant below!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Disney Classics

Every year, Disney and Disney-Pixar films are nominated or winning more than one important film award. This year, for example, Tangled and Toy Story 3 were nominated in the Animation category, with Toy Story 3 winning the category. Tangled was also nominated for Best Original Song "I See the Light." Alice in Wonderland was nominated for three Golden Globes: (1) Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical, (2) Best Actor in a Motion Picture: Johnny Depp, and (3) Best Original Score: Danny Elfman.

While I personally think that the nominating and winning processes of important film awards are usually rigged, I do not think that this is the case when it comes to Disney films. I truly think that all Disney films deserve all of the attention that they get. These films tell timeless stories, have fantastic scores, and can be enjoyed by both the young and the old. I will be doing a Disney Classics segment. I'm going to try to do at least one a week. Due to my hectic schedule and life at the moment, I can't do a full week's worth, but I'll do my best to talk about as many awesome Disney films as possible! You could be missing one and that is just awful and clearly unacceptable!

Friday, January 14, 2011

RIP Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart has been dead for 54 years as of today. He passed away at the age of 57 due to throat cancer. He was an outstanding actor. My favorite film of his is The Big Sleep (1946), mainly because he's kick ass as detective Philip Marlowe. Although, I like him in all of the other movies that I've seen him in, especially when he's paired up with Bacall. Rest in Peace, Bogie!!! Thanks for the endlessly awesome movies you made!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy A (2010)

Is there anyone out there who misses comedies like the ones John Hughes made back in the 80s? Well, you're in luck because 'Easy A' is basically a modern day Hughes film. The film is well written and hilariously delivered by the majority of the cast.

'Easy A' is about a clean cut high school girl, Olive (Emma Stone), who accidently starts a false rumor about herself that she has lost her virginity to a guy in community college. Within minutes, the rumor spreads like wildfire around the entire high school, and in turn earns Olive a new status, which is a super slut. She decides to embrace this new status wholeheartedly. First, she decides to have a fake fling with a gay guy at a party to help him out, which in turn perpetuates her status as a skank. At school, she is continuously being harassed by some extreme Christians who are appalled by her behavior. Her alter ego reacts to their behavior towards her and she decides to give them what they think they are fighting against.

She buys a brand new wardrobe and embroiders a scarlet 'A' on all of it, in order to have her fake status coincide with the character's status in 'The Scarlet Letter,' which is the book that they are currently reading in English class. She also takes on more fake flings with guys' who want to boost their own statuses. She agrees to these fake flings for financial gain, which ends up making her fellow students think that she's a prostitute. Will Olive continue the rest of her high school career as a fake floozy? Or will something happen that makes her decide to come clean and go back to her true self? Watch to find out.

I can't believe how much I enjoyed this movie. It made me laugh almost the whole time, starting right from the beginning. I love the witty dialogue. I love the ridiculousness. I love this movie!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Disney Movie Rewards

This post is for all of my fellow Disney fanatics out there. I absolutely LOVE Disney! I own a huge collection of Disney films, including both the animated and the live action films released by them. I even own both Kingdom Hearts video games that they released a while back and I loved them because my Disney favorites were in the game. I love Disney music and I've been to two Disney musicals, which I loved. I love reading about Walt Disney! Clearly, my love for Disney cannot be fully expressed in words.

I've recently met someone at work who is as equally obsessed with Disney as I am. He informed me of the great things that are available with Disney Movie Rewards points. I was aware of Disney Movie Rewards before he mentioned them, but I had never actually inputted the 'magic codes' to get the rewards because I didn't think that it would be worth my time. However, I was wrong, very wrong!

Ever since December, I've been inputting my Magic Codes to earn Disney Movie Rewards points. I also inputted codes that were given by ABC Family during their running of 25 Days of Christmas. There are other special surprise codes that can be found in other areas or given from Disney just because you're a member. Also, points can be earned by inputting codes from CDs. You can even scan in movie ticket stubs to Disney feature films that are currently in theaters to earn points.

Now, you may be wondering, what do these points get you? Well, they can get you many different things. You can get certain DVDs and Blu-Ray discs that they offer, including classic ones and modern ones. You can also get movie posters, collectible figurines, stuffed animals, traveling bags, craft or game sets, or clothing. It doesn't end there though, you can even get money off plane tickets, tickets to their popular broadway productions, and even a private tour of the Disney studios! It's actually a lot of fun collecting and inputting these codes. Disney fans everywhere should start inputting their magic codes!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dogfight (1991)

I hope that everyone's 2011 has been off to a good start! Mine has been nice. Although, I'm looking forward to spring already because it's been pretty chilly outside. Not that springtime in the Midwest is much warmer. I feel like spring is basically winter, but then it somehow dissolves into summer. I've been watching movies placed in warm sunny places to remember that the weather will eventually be higher than at least the teens during the morning time. I do like when it snows out though. It looks so beautiful!

Back to the topic of this post. I love River Phoenix. Mainly because I love him as Chris Chambers in 'Stand by Me' (1986) and Danny Pope/Michael Manfield in 'Running on Empty' (1988). He had a certain energy about him that is meant to last forever. In a way, it has lasted forever because it is apparent in the characters he played in all of his movies.

I recently watched 'Dogfight,' starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor. It's based in the 60s and River plays a marine, Eddie Birdlace. The night before Birdlace and his friends in the Marines are being shipped off to Vietnam, they decide to live it up for the night. Living it up to them is gambling with each other by playing a mean game known as 'Dogfight.' The way to win the game is to bring the ugliest date to the party they're having at a bar. The one who finds the ugliest wins the prize money.

Eddie ends up bringing a shy girl named Rose, who he meets in a coffee shop. While they are walking to the party and talking, he realizes that she is a very nice and interesting girl. He feels reluctant to take her to the party, but she keeps insisting. By the end of the party, she sees through the game and is furious and humiliated, so she leaves. However, Eddie has learned to like her at this point and is determined to make it up to her. Will she forgive him or not?

At the beginning of the movie, I felt sickened by the game the guys were playing. It was so mean and it made me feel terrible. I especially felt bad for Rose because she was so nice and didn't know what she was getting herself into at all. However, the rest of the movie is very good. I loved it and I recommend watching it. River and Lili did a fantastic job.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goodbye 2010!!! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!! I'm so happy that 2010 is over and done with. I had terrible luck all of 2010! 2011 has started out great so far. I was out until 4:30 am last night with friends and we all had a wonderful time. Today has been pretty relaxing and fun, too. I hope all of you are having a great New Year's!