So, with the new template designer in blogger, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and mix my blog up a bit. I think it's a little lighter and makes much better use of the space.
Any complaints, comments, suggestions?
New segment! Woop woop! Put your hands in the air, Yo!
This one is clearly my list segment. I love reading lists, so I figured it was about time I started making them. The reason these are Lists of Enlightenment is simply because they are constructed using only my opinions, thoughts and feelings. As such, they may enlighten my readers to various aspects of my personality that would otherwise have remained unknown. So, today’s list is:
Top 5 Movies to Turn me into a Snivelling, Slushy Bag of Sap
That’s right, these are the movies to remind the world (and myself) that I am a woman and actually quite capable of being reduced to a giggling ball of fairy floss as well as a sobbing mess.
5. Pride and Prejudice
The BBC series, not the Keira Knightley, “didn’t really need to be made and really wasn’t as good” number. I know it’s technically not a movie but I could care less. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy *sigh* *swoon* *sigh*.
4. JSA: Joint Security Area
No, this isn’t a girly movie, but my reaction was. At the point where I realised how this was going to end, I got quite upset. When it finally happened, I wept. I’m not ashamed, it was a magnificent film and I’m glad to still be affected in this way. So there :P
3. Love Actually
This movie is played every Christmas and every time it comes on I get a big ol’ smile on my face and say “I looove that moooovieee!”. I blame Colin Firth and Liam Neeson. And possibly Bill Nighy just a bit ;)
2. My Sassy Girl
This movie made me laugh, cry, laugh again, and go “Awwwwwww! That’s so sweeeeeeet!” (pitch should increase to the level of squeaking). And I finished on more tears. Then I watched it again with my Mother, and I still teared up. It just rocks so much :)
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Yeah, this film destroyed me. If you need more details, go here. I’m not explaining it again.
So that’s my list. Let the ribbing begin…
Hello peoples :)
I’m starting to get my shit together a little here at RMO and I’m starting to set up some regular segments (mostly so that I have something to fall back on when writers block hits). I started earlier with the new segment “Movies to Grow Up On” and now I’m starting “Actors FTW”. In this segment I plan to outline an actor that I have recently been impressed with and the movies that acquainted me with said actor. Today is Song Kang-ho.
Song Kang-ho is a South Korean actor that I first saw in The Host. I really enjoyed that film and the simple yet utterly devoted father played by Song is one of the reasons. His goofiness is perfectly balanced, as is his desperate need to find his daughter. This was actually the very South Korean film I had ever seen. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was onto a good thing.
From there, I found him again in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Considered the calmer of Parks Vengeance Trilogy (see my review here) I enjoyed this film nonetheless. His part wasn’t spectacularly huge though so I’ll move on. Straight after watching Sympathy for Lady Vengeance I watched Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, which is backwards but I’m glad I watched it in that order. Song’s performance in that film is just brilliant. He demonstrates the lengths a father will go to to have his child returned to him, and the actions he might take if that doesn’t happen.
At this point, I started my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation and was really pleased that a few of the films I watched in that time had Song Kang-ho in them. I won’t go through all of them, but the titles and the order I watched was JSA: Joint Security Area, Thirst, Memories of Murder, and Shiri. All of those titles are brilliant, but I feel the need to draw attention to Memories of Murder. Not only are the performances fantastic, but it’s as Coffin Jon of the VCinema Podcast pointed out to me, its an awesome retelling of Moby Dick.
So if you haven’t seen any of Song Kang-ho’s work, I strongly suggest you go looking. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to hunt down the rest of his films :)
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been inspired. The source of that inspiration? The Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnight Cinema podcast.
“Oh,” you might be thinking, “we don’t need any of THAT sort of inspiration here.”
But it’s totally not what you’d think! And besides, they weren’t responsible for any of that nasty salsa waffles business anyway.*
It just so happens that I was a-listening to the GGtMC’s most recent podcast and the topic got onto what movies The Samurai intends on showing the new edition to his family (Mrs Samurai is expecting! FTW!!). It got me thinking about the films that helped me grow into the she-geek extraordinaire you see before you. Now that I’m 30, you see, I feel I’m allowed to say things like “you know what’s wrong with kids these days?” I also feel like the answer of “they watch the wrong movies” is actually a pretty good one.
So I’ve decided to start going through the old movies I used to watch repeatedly as a youngster. I plan to make this a regular feature. Hopefully I can give some future parents some ideas, or at least get some nostalgia juices flowing. Yes, I know what I just said there…
The first film I’m going to talk about is the result of yet another twitter conversation. I recently mentioned the term Caravan of Courage and was immediately rewarded with recognition by Emily, creator and owner of the XTREEEEEM Deadly Dolls House of Horror Nonsense. Yeah. She cool, yo’. She then reminded me of the other Ewok title.
The Battle for Endor
This film is the sequel to The Caravan of Courage. It centres around Cindel, the little blonde girl with the ace headband and totally rad curly hair, and Wicket W. Warrick, Ewok. The basic story is a group of nasty marauders led by King Terak and the witch Charal attack the Ewok village, killing Cindel’s family (thank God, that snarky teen brother is infuriating) and capturing the Ewoks. Cindel and Wicket escape and manage to find the only other human on the planet, Noah. Noah also has a funny, furry friend named Teek (not an Ewok). They join forces to defeat the baddies and save the other Ewoks.
*Smile* I love this movie. It’s dodgy as all bollocks. The acting is absurd, the dialogue more wooden than Keanu Reeves and somehow Wicket can talk, which is funny because this supposedly takes place before Jedi where he meets Leia and can’t understand English. But Teek is disgustingly cute with a spectacularly addictive giggle and the monsters are genuinely monstery. Not the sanitized, plastic attempts at scary you get in kids films today (sans Pixar). On top of that, you’ve gotta admire Warwick Davis and Niki Botelho. Both of them ran around in the summer wearing teddy-bear suits. Forget. That.
*Sigh* Meeeemoriiiies. Light the cooorners of my miiind…
* Not for public consumption.
Hey champs, fiends, and inbetweenies, I’m done with discussing the cowardice of anonymous commenting and I’m back to reviewing movies from my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation.
First off, my review of I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK is up on (Cool)Shite. Go check out the review and then watch the film because it is awesome :)
Secondly, here’s my review of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I’ve posted it on here because this review is going to go into a little detail on some personal experiences of mine, so I decided it should probably stay on my personal movie blog. I guess I should warn you that if you’re looking for a clinical, intellectual or unemotional review, you’re reading the wrong blog but I will break it up.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly tells the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, French a journalist who was the editor of Elle magazine until he suffered a massive stroke. The stroke leaves him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome, where he is completely self-aware but paralysed and unable to speak. Through the patience and encouragement of a brilliant speech therapist, Bauby learns to communicate by blinking his one functioning eye as she reads reads a list of letters to spell out his messages. As a well respected journalist, Bauby had already signed a contract with a publishing firm for a book deal. In a pretty incredible act of faith the firm agrees to send a secretary to take dictation, allowing Bauby to write his book.
The direction of this film is superb. At the beginning of the film we are restricted to seeing what is happening through Bauby’s eyes. We hear what he is thinking in response to the people speaking to him, but the camera only moves with Bauby’s good eye and we experience his frustration at being unable to communicate or move. It’s not until Bauby himself begins to look beyond his loss and see his future that we as an audience are allowed to do the same.
From then we see the writing of the book juxtaposed with Bauby’s memories, his recollections and regrets. We see him find similarities in others who find themselves “locked-in” to their situation, and we see him attempt to reconnect to his family. The movie flows perfectly from the writing to the story being written about and back again. It never feels heavy-handed nor sappy, but if you don’t find yourself moved then I would seriously consider checking your pulse. You could be a cyborg.
I remember when this film was release in Australia. I didn’t go and see it in the cinema and I have to say, I’m pretty glad about that. I’m also glad my friends and family didn’t go and see it. You see, about a month before the Australian release of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Dec 2007) I suffered an intracranial brain haemorrhage, otherwise known as a brain bleed. I experienced aphasia (couldn’t speak) and lost all feeling to the right side of my body. At the time of its actual release I was in a rehabilitation hospital. I heard about it because my speech therapist was going to see it.
That was 2 years ago (last November). It didn’t take long for me to start speaking again, nor did it take long for me to walk again, but the feeling of not being able to do those things is not something you forget. Consequently, watching this film was like a rollercoaster for me. About 20 minutes in, I fell to pieces, put myself back together again, fell to pieces again, and so on. And the ending completely destroyed me. The imagery of the diving bell that is used when Bauby is feeling completely isolated is just striking. Likewise when he has his awakening of sorts and starts embrace his rehabilitation (the first of my little breakdowns), the depiction of the honest, human therapists who are genuinely concerned with his wellbeing reminded me of the people who helped me.
I found that the true brilliance of this film was in the small details. Things like the awkwardness of some visitors who couldn’t quite hide their grief, the well-meaning staff turning the television off, or the person who should have come to visit but couldn’t handle seeing him in his weakened state (there’s some contention about whether that actually happened, but I didn’t know that when I was blubbering into my puppy).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this film is pretty damn real and heart-wrenchingly honest.
And if you or anyone close to you has ever had a brain injury, get ready for a shit-storm.