Friday, 30 November 2012

12 days of Blogmas!

Last year, a group of youtubers I'm subscribed to took part in 'Vlogmas', where they vlogged every day in December up to Christmas. I thought it was quite interesting because I love the build up to Christmas and seeing how everyone prepares for the season in their own way is really quite sweet.

I don't vlog, I blog so I thought this year I'd do my own little Blogmas. But without blogging everyday, as I don't think I have enough things to blog about, as well with the amount of college work I've got going on. Therefore Blogmas, for me, is going to be 3 blog posts a week in the run up to Christmas, all about Christmas related stuff.

I'll post Christmas recipes, my favourite Christmas things, diary type events to Christmas things I've done and other random bits I think of.

I'll be aiming to post a new blog every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday as well as 2 extra days of Saturday 1st and Christmas Eve to make it the 12 Days of Blogmas.

A few of my friends who blog are also taking part and I'm sure other people across the world have thought up the same idea of taking part in Blogmas, so why don't you join in too?
Just post your blog to facebook, twitter, tumblr or whatever and tag it Blogmas. And send me a link to your Blogmas, I'd love to read other peoples!

Check out my friends blogs who are taking part in Blogmas too (I'll add more if I see more people take part!):
Laura, Melissa, Rebecca, Amber, Andrew, and Alex.

Hope you all have a great December!

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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger

Running Time: 105 mins
Directed By: Debbie Isitt
Starring: David Tennant, Jessica Hynes, Marc Wootton, Pam Ferris, Ian McNeice, Joanna Page
Screenplay: Debbie Isitt 
UK Release Date: 23rd November 2012 -UK

Christmas is about the only time a ‘good’ film can feel like a great film, and that’s in no way a negative thing, simply because it’s one of the best holidays of the year- family, fun, friends and festive cheer (or in other words; all the good cheese).

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, (sequel to 2009’s Nativity! if you didn’t know) is just the type of good cheese. With some of the same young children as before and a few new, cute faces, Nativity 2 is set around Mr Maddens class at St Bernadette's again. Since the last film, Mr Madden (Martin Freeman) has moved to America, so St. Bernadette’s is looking for a replacement teacher to teach the class and keep the teaching assistant, Mr Poppy, in control. Soon to be Dad, Donald Peterson (David Tenant), is the lucky new teacher who’s fear of becoming a first time Dad is only aggravated once he is kidnapped by Mr Poppy and the children, to attend the Song For Christmas in Wales, losing his phone with no way of communicating with his heavily pregnant wife. Of course these, and the other mishaps, are hilarious and, although predictable, a lot of fun.

To create a great family film, the humour can’t just aim towards youngsters, but adults too. Nativity 2, like the first, is silly, belly-aching fun which is sure to tickle every member of the family in some way. From the auditions, to the long journey to Wales, Mr Poppy and most importantly the children, portray innocent fun such as finding a random donkey and interpreting it as a sign to taking part in fart competitions.

Undoubtedly the stand out of the entire film is the marvellous Jessica Hynes, who is Angel Matthews, a famous singer who judges the show with her own opinions on whose worthy and who’s just showing off. All of the child actors deserve a mention, for being adorable and whole heartedly believable, which is down to the improvised styling that the production took.

Although it misses the charm that most Christmas films entail, Nativity 2 is funny, sweet and enough to get you in the mood for the holidays. 3/5
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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Monsters Inc. (2003) 3D (2012) review

Running Time: 92 mins
Directed By: Pete Docter
Starring: Voice cast: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Frank Oz
Screenplay: Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson
UK Release Date: 19th December 2012 - US/ 18th January 2013 -UK

Review: Every single Pixar film is known as a gem, even if you’re one of those where Wall•E and Ratatouille didn’t particularly move you. With the success of recent Pixar’s in 3D, it seems fitting that the original beauties should be converted and what better time for a Monsters Inc. in 3D than now, with Monsters University gracing our screens in the next few months.

  For those who don’t know, Monsters Inc. is set in the City of Monstropolis, which is inhabited by Monsters. To generate their power, some monsters work in the factory, Monsters Inc., to scare human children because their screams are collected as power. Human children are believed to be toxic in the monster world, so when one accidentally makes its way through a closet portal and into the hands of Sully, he and his best friend Mike have to find a way to get rid of her. In Pixar fashions, everything about Monstropolis is bright, colourful and beams off screen. The entire appearance of the film is glorious and it’s no wonder it cheers people up straight away.

  Monsters Inc. is certainly one of Pixar’s best films; there is no doubt about it. The laugh-out-loud physical gags for kids, mostly Mike, hit the adults, making it a bigger success than most kid’s films. Pixar, as everyone knows, don’t aim for the younger generation, but family. By seeing it in a room full of children and adults, laughing is more contagious and the majority of the hilarious events on screen end up making stomachs hurt from laughter. John Goodman, Billy Crystal and the rest of the brilliantly voiced cast aid the fun and likability of Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully are an iconic dynamic duo, and their chemistry from their voices is so evident at times, it feels as if Goodman and Crystal were destined for these roles in their career.

  On the most part, the 3D conversion works pretty well and most evidently during the opening sequence of them beautifully coloured doors. In the last 40 or so minutes, where the tension begins to build, after Mike and Sully realise Randall’s evil plan, the danger seems to be amplified by the 3D. The real scary monsters like Mr Waternoose and Randall appear far more frightening in 3D than before, as their spider legs or scales are in your face while the rushed chases through closet doors seem more like a narrow escape route. 3D puts audiences into a film and despite the fact it’s animation and about monsters, Pixar and the use of 3D do their job to make it feel real.

  There are moments when the 3D isn’t used as well as it could be, but it is only a conversion and the film didn’t plan on shooting things towards the screen and into people’s faces. The biggest benefit of 3D was the opening short of For The Birds, which seems like it was made for 3D with flying feathers.

  11 years on and Monsters Inc. hasn’t lost any of its spark and fun, while the 3D works nicely for kids who have yet to see it on the big screen. One of Pixar’s winners still remains on top.

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Friday, 9 November 2012

Top 5 dance scenes

One of my favourite things in film is a good dance number. Either an all out musical or a film with a really awesome, random dance scene. I have quite a few favourite dance scenes, but I thought I would think of 5 great ones for a blog post.

The Artist - George and Peppy

I couldn't believe my smile could get any bigger while I was watching The Artist, but once I reached this scene I seemed to just explode. It's glorious. I have since tried to recreate the dance scene myself but have not been successful.

Singin' In The Rain - Mose Suposes

There are so many dance scenes from Singin' In The Rain that are worthy, but if I included all of my favourites, it would be a Singin' In The Rain top 5.

Funny Face

Audrey Hepburn loved ballet and dancing but sadly, not enough film roles allowed her to show her dance talents. This piece from Funny Face shows what she could do. I love the little solo from Hepburn at 2:36.

Top Hat - Isn't This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain)

I adore Fred and Ginger, especially in Top Hat and Isn't This A Lovely Day just fills me with joy. I wish I could dance like this inside when it rains and look at pretty as Ginger Rogers does in horse riding gear.

A Knight's Tale - Golden Years

I don't know why this dance scene entertains me so much, but I remember being amazed by it and the film in general when I was younger. It might be Heath Ledger's complete charm throughout the whole film that makes it special.

Honourable mentions:

The Muppets - Life's A Happy Song

This is a bit of a bonus. The whole song is obviously wonderful, but I love the little 30 second dance scene in the street with Jason Segel. Annoyingly, I can't find it on youtube as it happens just after this clip below, but the one next to it shows dancers performing it on Dancing With The Stars and it's even better.

Top Hat - Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.
Fred Astaire's solo is absolutely magnificent, but the shooting scene from 3:22 - 4:00 always gets me giggling.

What are your favourite dance scenes or musical numbers in film?
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Thursday, 1 November 2012

September and October viewings

I do not know where the time has gone since August. A lot has happened since my last viewings round up, but for some reason I haven't been watching many new films. I think the college work has stepped up since I've been back in September, so if I'm watching film's it's usually film's I've seen before or Arrested Development on loop.

However, I did see a few new things, so I think it's still worth a blog post like my others of this year.

Gnomeo and Juliet (2011) 3/5
Young Adult (2011) 4/5
Blue Valentine (2010) 4/5
Top Gun (1986) 4/5
The Grey (2011) 3.5/5
Gone Baby Gone (2007) 5/5
Paper Moon (1973) 4.5/5
A Single Man (2009) 4/5
First Daughter (2004) 1/5
Headhunters (2011) 4/5
Ruby Sparks (2012) 4.5/5
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) 3/5
Taken 2 (2012) 3/5
Skyfall (2012) 4.5/5 
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