012: Unfashionably Late To The Party

I stayed up way too late last night, so late that it quickly become the morning, and not just the 1am morning, the actual “Ah, I need a bowl of cheerios?” stage of the morning. I had a good reason though, and that was Misfits. I have heard good things about this Channel 4 show for some time but for some reason it had just escaped me. The story sounded odd, like a strange UK version of Heroes, a show that I gave up on after a good first season. And I just didn’t watch much broadcasted TV, preferring to stream or pick things up on DVD to watch at my leisure.

But last night I bit the bullet and started watching it on youtube’s 4oD page. I planned on watching a few episodes before bed but I kind of stayed up until 7am watching the entire fucking season. What an idiot, but it’s a testament to how good the show is.

It’s uncompromisingly British. It has interesting, contrasting characters that generate actual affection. And it’s refreshing! Refreshing is good. We need it in the often stale world of British TV. I enjoyed all the episodes with only the last episode being a little bit of a drag (minus the dramatic ending) but it was episode 4 that amazed me. When you’re dealing with time travel you have to be careful not to make it too unbelievable, not to ruin it with glaring plotholes, but the entire show dealt with it reasonably well, allowing you to suspend your belief and really get drawn into what’s happening.

I loved the way the characters paths crossed throughout the repeated travelling introducing more depth and revealing what really happened to them without resorting to basic flashback episodes and wasting too much screen time. That was the episode that cemented the show as a must-watch for me. If it was not so good then maybe it would have got to bed at a roughly reasonable time. No, it would still be unreasonable.

I’m actually left a little angry that I put off watching it for so long. It’s great that I can watch 2 seasons in a few days but I do feel a little out of the loop when it comes to chatting about it with friends and online. It’s something that I do with everything besides gaming. If something is hugely popular then I often find myself shying away from it. Not in an “Im too cool for that” kind of way though, not sure why I do it. I need to stop it.

006: The imdb Top 250 Challenge

I read Pete Davidson’s post about being film illiterate earlier and it struck a chord in me. You see I’m not flm iliterate in the way the Pete says he is, but I’m nowhere near the level I want to be. Most of my favourite films are placed within the ‘cult’ category with a few being animations and some even having foreign dialogue; how indie and cool am I?

But there’s so many films I haven’t seen, namely foreign classics and what some would call the oldies. The recent facebook quiz that swept through my friends list proved this, with my results being disappointing low compared to others. I’m not juts basing this on some sort of rivalry, it’s all about personal discovery and my need to broaden my knowledge over a genre of entertainment that I love.

So I was musing on how to do this as I generally am a very lazy person, so sourcing and watching random films seemed like a lot of work with little reward. Then a good Twitter friend of mine, @EEC_Gray (he’s protected but click follow anyway because he’s a thoroughly interesting and funny chap. Double Wins), told me of his plan to watch the imdb top 250 throughout the entire year. I think this is a brilliant idea and I’m going to steal it for my own gain. Worth pointing out the now that I have screen copied the list as of today into a huge word document that will soon become a Page at the top of this blog as it changes daily. Something I learned the hard way.

We need some rules here:
1. I’m not going to review every one as a seperate entity as that would be the majority of my oneaday.
2. I’m going to try and watch them in order but if one of them pops up on Sky then I’ll watch it then and there.
3. I’m going to re-watch the films I have seen, even if I have watched them a thousand times.

I think that’s the rules. Well, enough to get me started, anyway.

DISCLAIMER: A large percentage of these films will be watched on DVD. If I don’t own them I will seek to borrow them off of friends. An unknown percentage will be watched on TV when they become available. However, the majority will have to be streamed or downloaded online, something that I don’t really enjoy doing. I will delete most after being watched, even buying the ones that really impress me. Sorry if this bothers anyone.

30 Movies in 30(-24) Days

While browsing @Jeneahaly‘s oneaday blog, I found her mention of a project started by another oneaday-er, Chris from I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish; which is a fantastic title that perfectly sums up my attempt at the project.

Basically, for the lazy link clickers, you have to answer 30 questions about movies over 30 days. So a month of movie updates, unless it’s one of those months with 29 or 31 days, or one of those leap year things but they’re just bastards so I’m ignoring them.

I’m not going to do one post for each answer, instead covering 5 questions over 6 blog posts – because I’m lazy. I’m trying to make these quite impulsive so expect some random and possibly wrong/easy answers. Without further ado, here are my first questions and answers:

Day 01 – The best movie you saw during the last year

Oh, that is a sneaky one. I watched quite a few last year and can’t remember many that really stood out. Possibly Red Cliff, the original 2 disc un-dubbed version of course. Oh, screw that, it would have to be Bunny and the Bull, written and directed by Paul King, the director of The Mighty Boosh. It was fantastic. Great cast, amazing cameos, and an utterly spellbinding feast for the eyes. If you haven’t seen it yet then please do.

Day 02 – The most underrated movie

I don’t really follow ratings so I’m not sure about this one. Underrated via my friends would have to be 13th Warrior. Yes, I know, it’s Antonio Banderas etc. but I really like the story, the setting and the characters. And there’s some cracking action in it.

Day 03 – A movie that makes you really happy

My Neighbour Totoro. Easy. The original Japanese version of course. I can put up with subtitles and Mae’s voice in the Western version is just horrible. My girlfriend bought a big Totoro plush that has slowly become mine through the years. I hug it while watching it… no I don’t, honest.

Day 04 – A movie that makes you sad

I tend to only watch sad films once as I can’t stomach them for a good long while. So I can’t recall an answer to this one. There is, of course, the obvious choice in Schindlers list, which upset me and educated me when we watched it in school. But I think the movie that made me the most sad, so sad that I actually remember crying, would have to be Terminator Two. I was young at the time, not even in my teens, but I loved that big chunk of Austrian metal so much, and when he did the thumbs up I properly wept. I know Tim Bisley used this in Spaced but I swear to God this happened to me.

Day 05 – Favourite love story in a movie

I like honest portrayals of love in movies and there have been a few in my time. And I can’t really think of any now. What I can think of is less honest in a realistic, normal way but more sweet and fucked up: Garden State. I really dug the chemistry between Zach Braff and the previously hated (thanks to George Lucas) Natalie Portman. So mucyh so that I may have watched the film far too many times.

Well that’s five down and twenty five to go. I’ll try and plan ahead for the rest. This is just a quick brain vomit as I felt like writing something. It’s a fun project, though, why don’t you join in?

27. mumble, mumble, mumb…BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!

Any excuse to use this image...

Why do certain films have such terrible audio? Quiet, mumbled talking then suddenly MUSIC! Making you scramble across the floor to grab the remote, popcorn spraying the TV, beer getting kicked over, and the cat scrambling to find a dark corner. Then when you get your hands on the remote, silence, the audio returns to normal, conversations resume, cat starts eating popcorn.

Why am I ranting about this? Because it fucking annoys me. Especially thanks to my downstairs neighbour, who, although nicer these days, has turned me into a noise-Nazi due to his incessant banging on the roof.

The most recent perpetrator was Public Enemies. The muted conversations forced me to turn the volume up to fifty-two, yes fifty-fucking-two. Not a respectable audio for talking. I can deal with this, but when the sudden burst of a tommy gun  shatters my eardrums, then I get even more pissed off than my neighbours.

Why can’t they, the film making people, sort it out? Levelling the volume to a respectable level, higher for talking, lower for splosions. Or at least install a ‘grumpy cunt neighbour’ audio option? Problem solved.

26. Adventureland (another late one)

The Blu-ray marathon continued with Public Enemies and Adventureland, sadly missing out on Terminator Salvation as the disc just would not play. Thanks, Blockbuster. Public Enemies is very good, and stunning on Blu-ray of course, but the real treat was Adventureland.

It’s a refreshing feeling to watch a film that I know relatively nothing about. I don’t watch a lot of the blockbusters when they come out because I don’t like to be taken up by the hype. I prefer to wait until a few months afterwards when the media are harping on about the next big thing.

I know Bill Hader and Ryan Reynolds, both of which I’m fans of, but the majority of the cast were new to me. I now know that Em is played by the Twilight girl (shudders) and have only just realised that the lead character is played by Jessie Eisenberg from Zombieland. Which annoyed me throughout the entire film – thank you imdb, I love you.

I’m not going to bore you with the story as I’m far too lazy, here’s the link. What I loved about the film was its honesty. It portrayed the awkwardness of love and sex brilliantly by creating realised characters, that I have now completely fallen for. It is similar in style to the likes of Juno and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, but I for one commend this style. I want more films like this. More to add to the likes of Ghost World, Thumbsucker and Garden State. More honest, quirky films. I demand it!

Actually, while your here, can you recommend me any films like the ones listed above? I know of more and probably own some but like I said, I’m lazy, and it’s 02:06 AM. Hopefully life will get back to some form of regularity tomorrow.