“Skyfall”

Directed by Sam Mendes and Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan

Bond. James Bond. Got to love him, right? That could just be me, but I don’t think I’m going to avoid a new Bond movies in theaters. Especially with Daniel Craig. It might be a bias of this being the Bond that I most remember, but damn he is attractive. Prior to seeing this one, I heard some negative comments, like it’s not as good as the rest or the plot is a little thin or it was missing the Bond gadgets. I don’t know about all of them, but I really liked this one. This film was a return to Bond roots for sure. There is M, Q and a return of Miss Moneypenny. The gadgets were limited to a radio, a gun and an Aston Martin (an old gorgeous one, for that). I mean yes the gun is personalized to Bond, but yeah nothing too special. Also Bond returns to his home to Scottland. Everything seems to go back to the basics and I really enjoyed it. There is enough action an shooting for any action junkie and yet it instills the fear of the technology generation and the power behind it. Javier Bardem looks horribly frightening as a blond and plays creepy dude well. As for “Bond Girls” there are two very attractive women, but I would not say either is a “Bond Girl,” both are likable though. Ralph Fiennes for once doesn’t play the bad guy, sorry for the spoiler, but he is usually the Voldemort or the Hades character. I really liked it and some times I think it’s good for a film series to peel back the layers and go back to the basics like Bond did. Totally worth watching, even if you aren’t the die-hard Bond fan.

“Silver Linings Playbook”

Directed and Written by David O. Russell based on the novel by Matthew Quick

This is my type of “romantic comedy.” Basically everyone in this film doesn’t have the easiest of lives. It is filled with mental illness, anger and therapy. But every problem the characters have are what makes them more real and relatable. Every character is deep and complex, yet not too far for anyone to grasp. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence make an amazing team/couple and I love them both. Lawrence has easily become one of my favorite actresses. She is beautiful yet completely real. She clearly won’t change who she is and will only get fitter for a film (i.e. Hunger Games). I just feel like she is someone you could meet on the street and someone you can relate to in films. Back to the film. It’s got something for everyone from football to ballroom dancing. Yes the ending is a little predictable but eh oh well. If you are looking for a movie that makes you realize there is someone for everyone this is the one for you. I really liked that this wasn’t your average romantic comedy. I mean yes it was romantic and it was a comedy but the dark  elements were very apparent and really were necessary. I am definitely watching this one again.

Film Festival is over

“Barbara” Written and Directed by: Christian Petzold

I have a great love for almost all German films and this is no different. Nina Hoss plays Barbara a doctor who after filling for a visa to leave East Germany banished to a small town. She is constantly being spied on and searched. She has a boyfriend who is helping plot her escape. Barbara although much resistant creates relationships with her boss, André (Ronald Zehrfeld), and a patient, Stella (Jasna Fritzi Bauer). All of the actors are fantastic in portraying their characters and you really relate to all of them, even the cold Barbara and the man spying on her. Everyone has the assumption that a film about East Germany is one that will obviously be sad, or at least I do. I was pleased to find that this was not the case. It did not portray East Germany as the best place to be, but it finally was a place with real people. They were happy and sad, and of course upset about being spied on. But it was not simply a film that said everyone in East Germany suffered 24/7. It was a real film about real people. I would definitely recommend it.

I watch too many movies

“Breaking Dawn Part Two” Directed by Bill Condon

Written by Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay) and Stephenie Meyer(novel).

Ok so I’m going to start and say: Yes I watch Twilight and yes I do enjoy it. No I am not some Twihard but I love how ridiculous the plot line can be and still be amazingly entertaining. If you think that I believe that this is some excellent example of film you are very mistaken. I believe that this is a series of films in which you sit, basically turn your brain to 13 year old girl and just enjoy, NOT OBSESS, ever! Also don’t think of them as actual Vampires, because sparkling in the sun and lack of staking does not make Vampires. Buffy would destroy them! (No I don’t think Vampires are real.) So back to this movie. Be ready for the longest pre-film credits ever, but they are really pretty, so better? If you don’t know where the previous films left off, I’m sorry, but where have you been living for at least the last four years? Human turned Vamp Bella had a kid with Vamp Edward and creep Wolfie Jacob “imprinted” on the baby. K? There’s a ton of Vamps & Werewolves and drama & angst. Like I said entertainment! Ha. Back to the baby, um I just threw up in my mouth again. The imprinting shit is creepy on its own but the lovely director F-ed up this baby. The baby grows up super-duper fast, so rather than get a real baby at any point he got a 12 year old and used CGI to create a baby that looked like Mackenzie Foy. I learned about something in an advertising class that I took years ago and it’s called the “uncanny valley” which as wiki says “holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.” Um yeah that says it best. I was forced to say ew every time that baby came on screen (not literally, Don’t talk in movies! Ha). They are able to kill off vamps, wolves, destroy earth, create fire, and transform people into wolves, but they couldn’t get a baby. Yes this will bother you that much… You’ll get over it at the weirdly hot sex scene though. No actual sex is shown, but lots of skin, yet not revealing. There is also not a lack of attractive people in this film obviously. The fight scene is intense and will make you cheer and go OH SHIT… Especially since the only way anyone dies is snapping necks and ripping off heads. Yeah um gross sound for sure. Good thing is that you don’t totally hate Bella (K-Stew) in this installment. Until now Bella is a depressed sack of dependent teen angst. Yeah gross.. Now she is an extremely attractive strong woman, maybe because she is married and a mother, what every girl wants (no I’m not reading into it, it’s Twilight, don’t forget.) I really did enjoy it and for those of you who don’t know the book, expect a f-ing TWIST 🙂 I thought it was a good one. But for those of you who loved the Edward “Poo-Face” don’t worry he and Bella BOTH have great ones. Also Charlie (Bella’s Dad, Billy Burke) has always been my favorite character/ only believable one in the entire series, cept Jessica (Anna Kendrick, who can do no wrong) who is not a part of this film. Charlie is still awesome and there is an awkward scene between him and Jacob (totally hilarious). Oh and yes for anyone up on current events, you do find yourself feeling that this would be cute cept K-Stew cheated on R-Patz, which almost makes it funnier, so more entertaining. Just watch it, it’s a lot of fun. Wow, wrote too much. Kay I’m done.

Another Review

“Alter Egos” Directed and Written by Jordan Galland

Another St. Louis Film Festival Film. A film set in a place where superheroes are a regular occurrence and almost an annoyance. Centered around a guy Brendan (Kris Lemche) who’s girlfriend is cheating on him with his superhero-self/ Fridge (short for Refrigerator, ha). The superheroes in the film are losing their funding and the “Superhero Core” uses Fridge to solve that issue. Of course there is a love story imbedded within the story and luckily not with the “cheating” girlfriend, she is quite obnoxious. I am really torn about this film. First about the main actor, Lemche, is he hot?! I couldn’t decide, but the other superhero, C-Thru, (Joey Kern) is definitely an attractive one. Second I love and am completely confused about this film. You realize quickly that it wasn’t the most expensive film ever made. There was definitely a low budget on this one. The whole film is set in one place and the superhero costumes look 100% handmade. Plus the character Shrink (John Ventimiglia) has the worst wig I have ever seen. But for me that almost makes it better. This is a film that I think will become a cult classic. Because it seems as though it knows that a film with a city full of superheroes needs to be a joke. Its funny and overly dramatic and you will find yourself saying what am I watching. Be ready to see every superhero cliche being played out in the best way.  I thought it was awesome, but it definitely isn’t for everyone.

Just another Review & a little Family history

“Wintertochter” (Winter’s Daughter) Directed by Johannes Schmid

Written by Michaela Hinnenthal & Thomas Schmid

Another brillant movie. This film was part of the children’s film festival of SLIFF. I personally would not call this a children’s movie, yes it is perfectly appropriate for children, but “children’s movie” it was not. The film centers around Katarina/Kattaka (Nina Monka) a young German girl, who finds out on Christmas that her birth father is really a Russian sailor. She manages to get her neighbor, Lene Graumann (Ursula Werner) to drive her to search for her father. Her best friend sneaks into the car and tags along. The search goes into Poland, which becomes an emotional roller coaster both for Kattaka and Lene. The meet new friends in the neighborhood’s Inn. Lene’s story is slowly revealed and after her birth her father was killed by a grenade. Then as her mother and her tried to flee she ran and got put on the boat alone. This film highlights many emotional struggles and one’s that I believe everyone can relate to.

So I found out something tonight that I didn’t know about my family, well specifically my grandmother. I have always loved my Oma, she has always been the best. Recently I go visit her and I find out new things that make me know how amazing she really is. Tonight I found out that similar to Lene, from the film, that she and her family had to walk for months in the snow to escape from Poland. First I always thought that I was really German, but I hated what that meant, history-wise. But everything I hear about my Oma is that she was constantly doing everything to “fight” for her family to survive. Almost getting frost-bitten in the snow, breaking the rubble from after the war. My Oma has always been the best grandmother I could dream of, but now she is more than that she is also my hero. I’m sad that I only get to learn about her every once and a while and I only get to hear parts of her life story when I do get to see her.

This movie opened my mom up to sharing more about my Oma and it apparently hit very close to home for us. I really loved this film and it helped me learn a little more about myself, so it was even better.

So this is going to be a Film Review Blog for a bit

The Saint Louis International Film Festival just began (November 8-18) and it’s something that always improves my day. My one day a week job, drove me insane. I learned that teachers want to be teachers, so they can act like children. Yes horrible generalization, but today made me angry. But lets stray away from that and focus on the positive, right? The film festival! Being that I know German and Swedish I love to watch German and Swedish films, totally logical. 🙂 Unfortunately living in Saint Louis seeing foreign films in general is not the easiest thing to do. Luckily for me and many others there is the Film Festival. This year is was sponsored by Whitaker and apparently the brought something like 400 films in 50 languages, if I remember what the guy said right, unfortunately it was before an amazing film so I probably got the numbers wrong, sorry…. Either way there are at least a handful of films I want to see, sadly be aware they are $12 tickets ($10 for students). It is an amazing opportunity to see films that you wouldn’t normally, so I think it is totally worthy the semi hefty price. Now to the first film in my SLIFF experience of the year…

“Die vierte Macht” (“The Fourth State”) Written and Directed by Dennis Gansel 

I’m going to be honest I was drawn to this film by my love of Moritz Bleibtreu. He is in tons of movies, but I think the first one I saw him in was “Run Lola Run” (another amazing film, see it if you haven’t already). This film’s description says that it is German and Russian, but if you are one of those people that hate to read movies, this is a good one for you. There is some Russian, a tiny bit of German (like 3 lines and the title) and the rest is in English. The film follows a German journalist, Paul Jensen, (Bleibtreu) who picked up his life in Berlin and moved to Moscow to work at a Celebrity Gossip Magazine, that his father helped found. While in Moscow he meet Katja, Kasia Smutniak, and she convinces him to write an obituary about a fellow reporter. He finds himself getting wrapped up in a terrorist plot. He is then forced to look into his and his father’s past in order to uncover a political conspiracy  The film is filled with Politics, Fighting, Prison, Murder and thing a good political thriller should have. Personally after seeing this film I’m not sure if I will be visiting Russia anytime soon. No just kidding, but it is that shocking of a film.  The only issue that I had was that I was expecting much more German in the film, but overall it is an amazing film that everyone should see. No I don’t just give positive film reviews, but I have only seen a lot of great films lately.

Watching a lot of Movies

“The Perks of being a Wallflower” Directed & Written by Stephen Chbosky

Chobsky wrote the novel that the film is based on and then he adapted the novel to a screenplay and then directed the film. I think this is a brilliant idea, because then the image of the novel was not altered it was always what he pictured. Knowing that though I was nervous, because he is a writer not a director, but in this film it worked very well. Once again this is a film that is perfectly balanced between the heartwarming parts where you can’t help, but smile and parts where you are struggling to hold back tears. But this isn’t your typical happy highschool movie, it follows the dark life of Logan Lerman’s Charlie. It deals with mental illness, struggles with sexuality, abusive relationships, incest and much more, all while coping with first love. I regret to say that I have not read the novel, but since the writer is the director, that the film is a great representation. The characters are fantastically developed and very complex, and even if you can’t relate to their individual experiences, everyone can find elements to relate to. I loved Ezra Miller’s character, Patrick, he was the best friend you always wanted to have and the guy you always want to be there for. I will always love Emma Watson and I loved her character, Sam, but this is the bad news, her “American accent” is not the best. In the beginning of the film it is much more noticeable, but towards the end you just believe it. Her acting is great though and it’s a pity, but she and the director knew that this was going to be the first thing that everyone was looking for. It doesn’t interrupt the films flow in anyway. It is just something you will notice at first. This film makes you contemplate your life and love right now in a great way, even if it is set in high school. I think it is an overall great movie and another one I would have to recommend. “We accept the love we think we deserve” is probably one of the best lines in the movie and one that will stick with you. It might be really sad, but you will be touched by the character’s attempts to make the best out of rough situations. Go see the film! If the plot can’t convince you, then look at this attractive threesome. Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman are the greatest threesome and the best friends you wish you had and yet they are real characters that you could meet any day of the week.

Pretending to be a Film Critic for a Sec

“Argo” Directed by Ben Affleck Written by Chris Terrio Joshuah Bearman So this was one of the most touching films I have seen in a while. Not in the gooey romantic way, but in the heartwarming not all people suck way. Being that I grew up in the Bennifer loving generation, it was hard to take Ben Affleck seriously. After this and “The Town” I have totally changed my mind. First it is based on a true story, which can either be the death of a film or something amazing. This time it was a good thing. I being the ignorant college graduate that I am, did not know much about the story, other than the American Embassy in Iran was taken over during a revolution. This movie captures the horrifying moments before and during that event. Six diplomats were able to escape the building and hide out in the Canadian Ambassador residence, thanks to the bravery of he and his wife. The CIA is given the task to sneak the fugitives out of the country. Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with the idea of making a fake movie and claiming they are the crew. Then the could just walk out. The film will have you on the edge of your seat for most of the film. Affleck ensure that you laugh, cry and are biting your nails through all of the twists and turns. If you know the history you will know the outcome of the film, but it won’t change how Affleck ties your heart to the characters he shapes. Lora Kennedy the casting director worked some magic with getting the actors to look just like the people they are portraying. Stay till after the film to see real photographs being compared to screen shots of the film. You will see how dedicated Affleck was to sticking to the story. If that doesn’t convince you, Affleck looks extremely attractive with his long hair and beard. Plus the director himself needed to show off his rockin bod once in the film and did so. HA. It was really one of the best films I have seen in a really long time. Everyone should see it, I can’t think of a single negative. WAY TO GO BEN!

“Seven Psychopaths” Directed & Written by Martin McDonagh Talk about the most meta film ever!!! Martin McDonagh even names the main character, played by Colin Farrell, Marty. I haven’t seen lots of McDonagh films, but if this is what they are like they are certainly interesting (in a good way). From the title you would assume that the film follows the lives of seven psychopaths and to an extent you would be completely correct, but there is more. The film follows Marty and his friends Billy and Hans as Marty tries to write the screenplay of his film “Seven Psychopaths . In the meantime Hans and Billy are kidnapping dogs to get the owner’s reward money. The two unfortunately steal the wrong person’s dog. Woody Harrelson’s Charlie is a complex character that you hate, until you see the attachment and tears he has for his dog Bonnie. I’m not going to lie there is a lot of shooting and a lot of blood, but it is used as a tool in this film and not over done unless that is what McDonagh wants to express. The humor is clever and well done and balanced with an emotional connection to the characters. The characters will even tell you what will happen next. Overall it is a clever film that with it’s twists and turns will make you laugh and cry (probably not literally). It might not be a film for everyone. It’s a twisted film, but I think it is worth checking out.