January 31, 2014

Film Friday: January Reviews

1. Manhattan (1979)
This was only my second Woody Allen movie so I was still not used to his style and mannerisms.  Yet by the end of this film, I felt wholly acclimated to, not to mention entranced by, his quirky dialogue and charming characters.  In short, it was gorgeous, intellectual and witty.
3.5/5 stars

2. Amélie (2001)
After hearing many people talk about it, this was one of those films that I thought was horribly overrated.  And for this reason, I thought I'd dislike this film.  But no.  I really, really loved it.  Paired with the humorous narration, the eccentric personalities of Amélie appeared relatable and real.
4/5 stars

3. Father of My Children (2009)
There's something particular about the way the French move that was brilliantly captured here.  The ambling walking, the playfulness of the younger sisters and the apartment they lived in all pleased me in a purely aesthetic way, distracting me from the not-so entertaining plot.
3/5 stars

4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Undoubtedly, this trumps the first. This video eloquently sums up the majority of my thoughts.
4/5 stars

5. Drinking Buddies (2013)
Perfect for a lethargic day, the slow chronicling of a friendship on the verge of being something more intrigued me.  Sadly, it wasn't the most original nor inspiring film so I'm rating it quite low.  It appears my love of Olivia Wilde as an actress (and human being) proves not enough to boost it into 3-star territory.
2.5/5 stars

6. Everything You Want (2005)
Once I realized it was a made-for-TV-movie, I simply embraced most of the hokeyness.  Took me a while, too, in order to understand exactly what constituted the conflict.  Decent enough for watching in bed on a break yet unlikely to change your views on life.
2/5 stars

7. American Psycho (2000)
Throughout this violent tale, I was simultaneously engrossed and revolted.  I think I need to watch this film again to fully appreciate it.   I missed a large portion of the dialogue as he was *SPOILER* murdering various victims.
3.5/5 stars

8. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
These ensemble drama/comedies have a special place in my heart, rooting back to my unconditional love for the TV classic 7th Heaven.  In this movie, life and families were captured as complicated and ever-changing.  Who can't find some humanity in that?  P.S. Younger Josh Hutcherson was a cutie.
4/5 stars

9. Noah (2013)
If you're spending any time on the internet, you have 17 minutes to spare to watch this student-made short film that takes place entirely on a computer screen.  You can read my full review here.
4/5 stars

10. Don Jon (2013)
Joseph Gordan-Levitt proves to be an even more accomplished and remarkable actor, creator, director, everything.  Interviews he did to promote this film helped framed his satirical statements about the objectification of women and the media-produced illusions of love, relationships and anything in between.  Well acted and tightly edited, I became invested in the title character, even though he was still kind of a jerk.
3.5/5 stars

11. Fruitvale Station (2013)
This film details the events leading up to the unjust death of a young man trying to do right by his family.  Portrayed as neither fully a hero or fully a villain, the real-life story of protagonist Oscar brings greater awareness to police brutality and racism in America.
3.5/5 stars

12. Penelope (2006)*
Self love, my friends.  Self love.  Practice that and just maybe someone like James McAvoy will come along!  In all seriousness, if you like modern-day fairytales with good twists, this film is for you.
3/5 stars

13. A Movie (1958)
Watched in my Oppositional Cinemas class as an example of montage film.  Not worth watching unless you're very into bizarre, theoretical short films.
3/5 stars

14. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)*
Wes Anderson's incomparable directing style makes films like these a great joy to watch.  If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?
4.5/5 stars



  1. Hi Lizzie! Thank you for these lovely, snappy little reviews!

    I absolutely love Amelie, so I'm glad to see that you liked it too & that it lived up to the hype :-) I also enjoyed The Kids Are All Right much more than I thought I would. I really really wanna watch The Darjeeling Limited, but just haven't had the chance. Maybe now is the time to give it a try! Also on my list of films to watch are: Drinking Buddies (massive girl crush on Olivia Wilde), Noah and Don Jon, to name but a few. Definitely gonna try and watch these in the near future :-)

    Hope you're well!

  2. Wow, you've been watching quite a lot of movies. I kind of wish I could be doing that right now, but kind of not also, because I'm more on tv show marathons recently.
    Penelope and Amelie are definitely favorites of mine. I never did see The Darjeeling Limited. Somehow it never seemed to interest me, but I suppose now if I ever have a chance to, I shall see it!
    I've decided to start blogging again. On a new one, not the old one. :l There's no telling how long it will last, hahaha. You seem to be busy with college, too, but that's good to stay focused. 1.5 years I've been free from studying and it has been a relief. Hope you're doing well, and your studies. :)