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Posts Tagged ‘Crimson Peak’

As I decide on my top ten movies of the year, here are the films I loved but didn’t make my top ten:

A Most Violent Year: Don’t be misled by the title and trailer, this isn’t a violent action movie but a classy crime thriller with fantastic performances from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.a most violent year

Amy: Director and producer Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees are back with portrait of singer Amy Winehouse.  As compelling as Senna (2010), the real brilliance of the film isn’t the telling tale that played out in front of the worlds press, but the less know and more intimate story of the tragic figure.Amy

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance): Winner of four Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography).  Michael Keaton is perfectly cast as an actor once famous for playing a superhero trying to reinvent himself as a stage actor.  Probably director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s best film to date.michael keaton birdman

Bridge of Spies: True story of a cold war soviet spy, the lawyer who defended him and the ultimate exchange in Berlin.   Director Steven Spielberg does what he does best delivering tension and suspence as well as comedy.  Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks are both on top form.  Rylance has to be a good bet for best supporting actor Oscar.Bridge Of Spies

Brooklyn: Story of a young woman who moves from small town Ireland to Brooklyn in the early 50’s.  A surprisingly low key film but totally enthralling, largely thanks to Nick Hornby’s great script and another standout performance from  Saoirse Ronan.Brooklyn

Crimson Peak: A movie of the month winner, but it doesn’t quite make my top ten.  A spiritual successor to The Devil’s Backbone to, to paraphrase a quote from the movie it isn’t a ghost story, it is a story with ghosts.  Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston are good, Jessica Chastain is fantastic and clearly having a blast.crimson peak

It Follows: Another  movie of the month winner that just misses my top ten; Superior horror with an original antagonist.  The style and the soundtrack are reminicent of the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Maika Monroe impresses in the lead, a young star on the rise to look out for.It Follows

Man Up: British romantic comedy centring on the fallout of a woman who finds herself on someone else’s blind date.  Lake Bell is fantastic and Simon Pegg provides good support.Man Up

SPECTRE: Skyfall was my favourite film of 2012, following Skyfall always going to be an impossible task, and to say isn’t as good doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good film.  Pulling together all the elements of the previous three films to create a story arc for Daniel Craig’s Bond feels forced but taken on its own merits it really works.SPECTRE

The Gift: A confident début as feature director by actor Joel Edgerton.  What starts out looking like an 80’s/90’s yuppies in peril thriller becomes something far more interesting. Edgerton co stars with Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, all three are excellent. The end has divided opinion, but I think it is perfect for the film.

The Gift Gordo

The Gift Gordo

The Lobster: Set in a strange unexplained dystopian society where single people are turned into an animal of their choosing if they fail to find a partner.  The strangest film I have seen for a very long time, I really loved it, but I am really not sure why.the lobster

The Martian: Held together by a great turn from Matt Damon but kept tripping along by director Ridley Scott who has crafted a surprisingly funny and easy going movie.  Scott’s best film since the underrated Kingdom of Heaven a decade ago.the martian

Wild: The true story of Cheryl Strayed, a young woman who decided to walk the thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail.  We begin to understand  her motivation through flashbacks as the film unfolds.  Well constructed with great use of music and an excellent performance from Reese Witherspoon.Wild

Watch this space for my top ten of the year some time before Christmas.  

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Another busy month with lots of interesting and varied movies, here are the contenders for movie of the month: onth:

McFarland: (I actually saw this at the end of September but forgot to add it my list) Disney does these true life sporting movies really well, see Million Dollar Arm, Invincible and Miracle for example.  The young unknown cast are good as is Kevin Costner, Maria Bello isn’t given much to work with.

McFARLAND, USA L to R: Jose Cardenas (Johnny Ortiz), Danny Diaz (Ramiro Rodriguez), Thomas Valles (Carlos Pratts), Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar), Damacio Diaz (Michael Aguero), Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran) and David Diaz (Rafael Martinez) Ph: Ron Phillips ©Disney 2015

Macbeth: Brutal and visceral take on Shakespeare’s tragedy.  It looks fantastic and has a real emotional impact but has a flaw.  Normally the centre of the story, Lady Macbeth is sidelined, this is all the more surprising considering she is played by Marion Cotillard.Macbeth

The Walk: Dramatisation of Philippe Petit’s illegal high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre as seen in the documentary Man on Wire (2008).  The walk is spectacular especially in IMAX but the build up is a little flat.The Walk

The Intern: A retired 70 year old man takes a job as an intern.  Don’t be fooled by it being a nice film or the lukewarm reviews, it is actually really good largely thanks to stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.The Intern

Regression: Drama/thriller about the scandal involving regression therapy in the 90’s and 90’s.  It lacks a little direction but is ultimately a lot better than the reviews will have you believe.Regression

Suffragette: If you only remember one thing from school about women’s suffrage in Britain it will be Emily Davison and the kings horse at the Epsom Derby.  More than a hundred years have passed since then and yet this is the first film on the subject.  Carey Mulligan is fantastic in the lead as are Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw in supporting roles, the plot however is a little too by the numbers and fails to elevate the film to greatness.Suffragette

Crimson Peak:  The look of the film possibly owes a debt to Dario Argento or even Nicolas Roeg but the story is pure Guillermo del Toro.  A spiritual successor to The Devil’s Backbone to, to paraphrase a quote from the movie it isn’t a ghost story, it is a story with ghosts.  Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston are good, Jessica Chastain is fantastic and clearly having a blast.crimson peak jessica chastain

The Program: The story of how and why Lance Armstrong cheated his way to be the most famous and successful Tour de France rider.  Well passed and structured and with great performances from Ben Foster and Chris O Dowd.The Program

Black Mass: Whitey Bulger was the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, he was also an FBI informant and his brother was state senator.  A story so bizarre it has to be true!  The film plods a little and isn’t a patch on similar themed Martin Scorsese films.  Johnny Depp’s performance is actually very good but is distracted by his over reliance on makeup.Black Mass

The Lobster: Set in a strange unexplained dystopian society where single people are turned into an animal of their choosing if they fail to find a partner.  The strangest film I have seen for a very long time, I really liked it, but I am really not sure why.

IMG_2135.CR2

IMG_2135.CR2

The Last Witch Hunter:  Vin Diesel plays an immortal witch hunter keeping the world safe.  There is nothing wrong with it but it fails to do anything, new original or particularly interesting.  Most notable as the first significant movie role for Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones.The Last Witch Hunter

SPECTRE: Following Skyfall is an impossible task, and to say isn’t as good doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good film.  Pulling together all the elements of the previous three films to create a story arc for Daniel Craig’s Bond feels forced but taken on its own merits it really works.SPECTRE

There were a few contenders but the movie of the month is:Crimson Peak

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My top ten most anticipated movies for the coming year, along with the release date and the reason I am looking forward to them:

American Sniper – I am praying for a return to form from Clint Eastwood, and the trailer is excellent. 16th January

Whiplash – Great word of mouth.  16th January

Ex Machina – I am a fan of Alex Garland as a writer and am interested to see what he is like as a director.  Plus, the trailer looks interesting. 23rd January

A Most Violent Year – Great cast, interesting trailer. 23rd January

Kingsman –  The Secret Service: Another off centre action/comedy from Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. 29th January

Blackhat – Michael Mann’s first film in 6 years.  20th February

Mad Max: Fury Road – I am such as fan of the original films I wasn’t keen on the idea of this but the trailer looks amazing. 15th May

Crimson Peak – I am keen to see anything from Guillermo del Toro. 16th October

Spectre – A new Bond film is always exciting, the success of Skyfall has upped that.  23rd October

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Can J.J. Abrams do for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek? 18th December

Also keen to see: John Wick, Jupiter Ascending, Child 44, Jurassic World, Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Mission: Impossible 5 and The Hateful Eight (we probably won’t get it in the UK this year).

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