Genre Grandeur – An Education (2009) – The Girl That Loved to Review

I’ve been away for a few days, but in that time I did manage to review An Education for Movie Rob! Check it out if you haven’t already.


For this month’s next entry for Genre Grandeur February – Coming of Age movie’s, here’s another review of An Education (2009) – this time by Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review

Thanks again to Justine of Justine’s movie blog for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre, chosen by  Anna of Film Grimoire will be Latin Director movies. To participate, send me your review to by 25th Mar.  Thanks to Anna for a great and diverse choice.

Let’s see what Sherise thought of this movie:


An Education (2009)


This coming of age story occurs in the 1960s and follows the both literal and figurative education of Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan). Jenny lives a strict life that is centered on school and the goal of going to Oxford. That is until she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), a mysterious older man that is all about having fun.


View original post 505 more words

My Anti-Oscars Oscar post


The title may be a little misleading. I love the Oscars, but I also hate them sometimes. But they’re a great chance to celebrate films and to see a million celebrities in one place. This year’s Oscars are going to be pretty boring, let’s admit it. J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, and Julianne Moore are all shoe ins at this point, so you can pretty much hit the snooze button on the show for a while. Unless there’s a major upset (which I highly doubt). All I really have to say is Birdman all the way! Birdman and Michael Keaton!!!


And fuck the Academy if they don’t give it to Michael Keaton. He gave an original, vulnerable, amazing performance. I don’t care if Eddie Redmayne is good, it’s nothing new, we’ve all seen Rainman before.

The other toss ups here are Best Director and Best Picture. It comes down to Birdman or Boyhood. Boyhood has the momentum lately, but I think (and hope) that Birdman takes Best Picture and that Richard Linklater will take Best Director. Otherwise it will be the other way around (the Academy loves to try to spread the love as much as possible).

I hope you liked my unconventional Oscars post. Leave your opinion below and enjoy hate watching the show, as I surely will. And remember kids:


Sick Viewing: Belle (2013) and A Royal Affair (2012)

I recently came down with strep throat so I haven’t been functioning properly for a while (hoping I can make it to work tomorrow). A few days ago in a feverish haze I watched two historical romances, Belle and A Royal Affair.

Belle (2013)
When I first turned on Netflix this was the first film I saw and I chose it immediately as it was highly recommended by Ruth of I really enjoyed the film and it helped take me out of my misery. “Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing” (taken from Rotten Tomatoes).
I love Historical fiction novels, so naturally this film was right up my alley. The sets and cinematography are gorgeous. The acting in the film is all around brilliant, particularly Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Reid (as John Davinier) and Tom Wilkinson. Gugu is definitely an actress to watch in the future. She makes Dido sympathetic, but not to the point of being pitiful. She also has great chemistry with Sam and her scenes with Tom are quite touching. Belle feels refreshing because of its unique perspective. It all felt quite new, which is a very difficult feat in this genre. The romance is quite conventional, but the chemistry between the leads still makes it enjoyable. 8/10.


A Royal Affair (2012)
Immediately after Belle finished Netflix suggested I watch A Royal Affair, a Danish film about Denmark during the Enlightenment and the romance between the Queen and the King’s personal doctor. I’ve been wanting to watch this film for a while as I really like both leads, Mads Mikkelsen (as Dr. Johann Struensee) and Alicia Vikander (Queen Caroline). Overall the film is good, but it has a few faults that prevent it from being great.
First of all, I didn’t enjoy Alicia as the protagonist. Her character is kind of unsympathetic (although her husband is a real asshole). I found her performance bland and there wasn’t much range to her performance. She simply isn’t charismatic enough to carry the film. She’s okay at the beginning as the naïve new girl in town. But she doesn’t convey the maturity that is need later on in the film, as a few years go by. It isn’t so much her looks, it’s just Alicia’s acting and presence don’t work here. Mads Mikkelsen is good as always, he’s quite perfect in his role. Charismatic, funny, intelligent, and sympathetic. But the romance between Johann and Caroline was not believable at all. This is in part because of the difference in maturity between the two (why would Johann fall in love with such a seemingly little girl?). And also Mads and Alicia have no chemistry. Zero. Zip. I couldn’t root for the couple because there wasn’t much to their relationship other than sex and some discussion of the Enlightenment.
A Royal Affair is surprisingly funny quite often. This is mostly because of the King, Christian VII (as played by Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). The King has a mental illness of some kind so he acts strangely and he is very blunt. Watching him was quite fun because you never know what he is going to do next. As the film progresses he turns from a character the audience hates into someone more sympathetic. He is a man that should never have been King.
A Royal Affair is pleasant enough, but ultimately it lacks sizzle. It is a pretty stereotypical historical drama, so if you’re into that you’ll like it, but if not then skip it. 7/10

Instead of posting the trailers for these films (which you have the power to Google anyways) I’m going to post this incredibly funny and interesting interview with Tom Wilkinson. He is an amazing actor that does not get enough credit.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)


I originally wasn’t going to see this movie because the trailers looked really silly. But recently I have heard a lot of good reviews of the film and I really like Colin Firth so I thought what the hell, I’ll give it a try.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Director Matthew Vaughn has created another fun, unique, action film. I loved his work on X-Men: First Class, but I wasn’t a huge fan of Kick Ass. Kingsman kind of blends the two, creating an action film that is both class and crass at the same time. I laughed at most of the jokes, but there were a few that were a little too much for me (I’m still undecided on that last joke before the credits).
The performances are all really good. Colin Firth delivers as usual. It was really fun to see him kicking ass, but remaining posh at the same time. He really carries quite a bit of the movie. It is also great to see Mark Strong having a good role, he’s a great actor. And Taron Egerton is surprisingly good as Eggsy, the film’s young protagonist. He is fun to watch and is able to capture both the fun, silly moments as well as the more emotional ones. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here (he next stars in Legend with Tom Hardy).

Colin Firth and Taron Egerton.
Colin Firth and Taron Egerton.

The thing that I enjoyed most about Kingsman is how self-aware it is. The film knows its place in the spy genre and manages to walk the fine line between James Bond and Austin Powers. It is funny without becoming a total parody. Samuel Jackson is for the most part quite good, but a few times his lisp was annoying and kind of phony.
Kingsman has some good action sequences and plenty of humor. It is refreshing to see a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. While I liked the film, I don’t love it. It is fun and probably the best thing a viewer could see at the movie theater in February. But its humor just isn’t for everyone. Although I have to say, at the end of the movie there was a lot of applauding from the audience, which surprised me. I give Kingsman 7.5 incredibly handy umbrellas out of 10.

Trailer Review: Aloha (2015)

There's no poster yet, so here's a still of Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper.
There’s no poster yet, so here’s a still of Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper.

I’m on the fence about Cameron Crowe’s latest film, Aloha. The only other film of his that I’ve seen is Vanilla Sky which I absolutely love. No, seriously, I LOVE that film. Go see it if you haven’t yet. Like RIGHT NOW. This trailer review will wait a few hours for you, don’t worry.
Anyways, Aloha is about a military contractor played by Bradley Cooper who is getting over a break up with Rachel McAdams’s and falling in love with Emma Stone. Something like that. And Alec Baldwin yells at him. Alec isn’t even funny here because it seems a little too close to how he is in real life. I was waiting for him to call Bradley a “rude, thoughtless, little pig” (sorry, but that will never die).
Aside from the terrible title, I am intrigued by this film. I adore Bradley Cooper and I really like Rachel McAdams. I think they have some good chemistry going on in the trailer. The “conversation” between John Krasinski and Bradley is pretty funny, probably the highlight of the trailer for me.
But, am I the only one who is sick of seeing the older guy fall in love with the much younger girl??? Seriously, it nauseates me (and I am still a young girl). It threw me off a bit in Silver Linings Playbook (although I love that film). Apparently Angelina Jolie was in early talks for the Jennifer Lawrence role in that film. I don’t think she would have been suited for it, but I would have preferred someone like her, who is closer to Bradley’s age. This leads to my problem with Aloha, which is Emma Stone. After looking at IMDB she’s a little older than I thought (around 27), but she still looks like she’s 21. Whereas Bradley is about 40. It just throws me off and takes me out of the movie. If this film is supposed to be about a guy maturing and making more adult choices (just a guess), then why would he date someone so young?? It irks me. I wish Hollywood didn’t always resort to using such young actresses, especially when there are so many talented ones in their 30s and 40s.

Well, will you be saying hello or goodbye to Aloha?

Memorable Moments: The Fearless Vampire Killers

Sharon Tate in The Fearless Vampire Killers.
Sharon Tate in The Fearless Vampire Killers.

Many people may not realize it, but Roman Polanski has a great sense of humor. Often times dark, yet hilarious. This is best show cased in his comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers (also known as Dance of the Vampires) in which Polanski directs, writes, and also stars. The film is a parody of Christopher Lee’s Hammer horror Dracula films.
Sharon Tate is Sara Shagal, the girl that Alfred (played by Polanski) must save from the Dracula-esque vampire villain. The film is great because it is genuinely funny, even more so since I’ve seen some of the films it parodies. Polanski is a talented actor who does surprisingly well with some of the more slap stick humor. The other memorable thing about the movie is the audience can see Polanski and Tate fall in love on screen as they did in real life.
Sharon is my favorite part of the film. Her beauty is captivating. She’s funny and plays the part of the innocent girl very well. Maybe part of my love of her in this movie is just from nostalgia. But she did possess some powerful charisma.
The following scene is my favorite in the whole film. It’s the one scene in the film that is horrifying as opposed to funny. You can see the master of suspense and horror at work as Sara is kidnapped by the vampire. I love the music, the tight shots, Sharon in the bathtub. To me there’s nothing more captivating as her gaze as she slowly looks up at the skylight. The struggle with the vampire that ensues is dramatic in the best sense possible, it always has me on the edge of my seat.

The only video I could find of my favorite scene is over on TCM:

A Most Violent Year (2014)


When I saw a trailer for J.C. Chandor’s 80s crime drama, A Most Violent Year, I was intrigued, but I had some doubts. I was worried that the film would try to imitate other 80s mafia movies like Goodfellas or Scarface. Luckily A Most Violent Year instead carves out its own niche in a somewhat worn out genre. A Most Violent Year is the story of Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), an immigrant trying to create a successful business in 1981, New York City’s ‘most violent’ year statistically.

A Most Violent Year is unique because despite its title there is hardly any violence shown on screen. There are a few moments, but nothing compared to your typical crime film these days. The threat of violence is very important to the film though, it permeates the plot and is always in the background, usually through the radio. When violence is shown it has a powerful impact, especially the last scene.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac sporting some great coats.
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac sporting some great coats.

The most refreshing and enjoyable aspect of the film to me is its perspective on its protagonist, Abel Morales. A lot of films are heavy handed when it comes to their characters and the ‘message’ they want to send. People are often portrayed as black and white with no shades of grey. But A Most Violent Year is different. Abel isn’t portrayed as a ‘hero.’ He is a good man, but there are times when the audience questions what he does. I wasn’t always sure he was right in his decisions. Sometimes I thought, hell, maybe he should arm all his drivers. Maybe he should let his wife (Jessica Chastain) involve her father to solve their problems. But Abel sticks to his choice, and he manages to not do it in a ‘preachy,’ ‘I’m better than you’ way. Oscar Isaac always keeps Abel likeable and sympathetic, whereas another actor might have made him annoying. A Most Violent Year doesn’t have that stamp of righteousness on it like big Hollywood productions have. And that’s why I liked it. It is a very personal film that made me really care for its characters. Jessica Chastain is good in the film, but there are a few moments when her character threatens to turn the film into a gangster cliche.
A Most Violent Year is definitely a good film, but it is very slow. I enjoy the risks it takes and Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain are very good. But it’s not a film that I would watch again. I would recommend the movie to film buffs who enjoy intelligent films. But I don’t think it is a movie that the average film goer would enjoy. But maybe I’m underestimating people. A Most Violent Year gets 7 camel colored coats out of 10.

How to Get Away with Murder: Episode 10; Hello Raskolnikov

Apparently the second half of the season calls for a new wig.
Apparently the second half of the season calls for a new wig.

HTGAWM is back!!! This show is like my soap opera, guilty pleasure whereas Deadwood is my Shakespeare. Anyways I have to say this episode was kind of boring. Not much happened, and what did happen was pretty predictable. The best part is simply the title of the episode (I love Crime and Punishment references!) Well, and Viola Davis who as always delivers a solid performance, continuing to flesh out Annalise Keating. Although I’m still not convinced that Sam murdered Lila, but all signs point to that. I did not like the big reveal at the end that his sister is in town. I feel like it was supposed to be a really shocking and exciting reveal. She’s played by some actress whose face is really familiar, but I don’t even know her name or from where…. Marcia Gay Harden, that’s her name!!! (Praise IMDB!) She’s been in a ton of stuff. Anyways her character doesn’t interest me at all. This week’s episode gets 2 out of 5 immaculate wigs.
• The episode begins with Annalise putting on her game face i.e. her make-up and wig.
• Annalise tells Wes in a brief flashback “What you did tonight had to be done.” Yes, Sam had to be killed because he was a fucking boring character.
• By covering up the murder Annalise is trying to help herself, not the kids. I’m still not convinced that she had nothing to do with Lila’s murder.
• Laurel: “You had a girlfriend you didn’t tell me about, Frank.”
Frank: “A long distance girlfriend.” Because that makes lying okay!
• The case of the week was: In order to get the charges against Rebecca dropped they have to prove that Sam killed Lila. Well, that he probably did anyways.
• Waaaaiiiittt I thought Bonnie and Annalise had a huge fight and that Bonnie got fired??? And now everything is a-okay??? WTF???
• The students are all getting paranoid that they are going to get caught.
• Sam you are (were?) the father!!!
• Bonnie says she was ‘desperate’ when she slept with Asher. Harsh.
• Lila didn’t want an abortion, so Sam killed her. Probably.
• Frank is super pissed at Laurel, but no one has any idea why.
• Sam was at the sorority when Lila was killed. So he probably did it. Probably. The charges against Rebecca get dropped.
• “She’s not a person like the rest of us,” Annalise overhears some bitch woman say in the bathroom. Annalise just comes out of the cubicle, washes her hands, and leaves. So much more satisfying than if she had told her off.
• Laurel, Conner, and Michaela are going to turn themselves in to the police. But Wes and Annalise turn up just in time since Laurel tips them off. Annalise saves the day!
• Their exam is basically their situation lol.
• Sam’s sister is in town. *Yawn*