My Movie Alphabet

My Movie Alphabet is a blogathon started by Mettel Ray, but I learned about if from Cinematic Paradox. Anyway thatks to both of them.

The idea behind the blogathon is to list all movie related stuff (films, directors, actors and so on) according to alphabet, one per letter. Believe me, it is a lot fun to make the list and better to read it. So, here is mine:
I had a lot options, at first wanted to mention 21 Grams and 50/50, but then I remembered that I've seen this film plenty of times, that this movie made me interested in card counting and that I've spent a lot nights in trying to do what Ben, Jill and others were doing.
Definitely, one of the best movies and best performance by Russel Crow. I remember my first class in math, before university when a teacher asked: "Has anyone ever heard anything about John Nash?" And I raised my hand and told him: "You mean the guy played by Russel Crow in A Beautiful Mind".  Since that my professor did not hope much for me.
This movie is my personal favorite black comedy of all time. Seriously, I could write here more successful and iconic movies (like Braveheart or Brokeback Mountain) but no, this is what I really like. I think this is Cohens' one of the bests.
I also wanted to mention Catch Me If You Can - a great duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, but I love Crash more and I believe that it is one of the most undervalued and highly hated movie of all time. Though I think this can be one of the best dramas of the decade with a powerful story and good cast.
This is an extraordinary crime movie of Martin Scorsese, that I hated once. But later realized that I could not watch any better movie in the genre made it one of the my top choices. I had some more options to name here, like Dances With Wolves, Doubt or Denzel Washington. But I guess I made a better choice.
I've got a lot reasons to love this movie. Julia Roberts is the biggest one. I've been her huge fan for years and I still love all her movies. But this film is a brilliant work of Steven Soderberg and Albert Finney. I've watched Erin Brockovich more than 10 times and still keep doing it. The moment I decided to make this list, I knew that film would be on it.
It is easy for Forrest to run the "F" letter of my movie alphabet. Hanks outstanding performance, beautiful music and amazing story made this movie unbeatable in this category.
Gladiator is my all time favorite and most watchable movie for me. This is definitely the best historic drama ever. Just can not make any movie list without including it.
"H" was probably the hardest decision. I wanted to list here Hunger, Hans Zimmer, Hugo, Hotel Rwanda, Harry Potters, Hollywood. But then I went through my childhood and I remembered that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the two films I love from my early ages. The same time, the funniest performance by Jim Carey is really worth of noting.
Do I need to explain?!
She was the first actress ever I fell in love with and the only whose every films I've watched. I still love her acting, voice, charm and each character Roberts played and still expect for her huge comeback to movie industry.
One of the most inspiring drama I've ever seen. I've not thought much about "K" letter choice. Obviously, this movie made me remember itself pretty successfully. Just MUST see film for everyone.
The reason I listed Little Miss Sunshine in my alphabet are two my all time fav. characters: Olive and Grandpa. This film makes me laugh every time I watch. Also I would love to mention: Life is Beautiful, L.A. Confidential and Little Children.
Genius!
Sorry to all celebs and movies that start with "N" this is because of my great love to adventure movies.
Obviously, my greatest link to movies.
I wanted to mention here Paul Newman, Public Enemies, The Prestige but Pan's Labyrinth is such a great fantasy that I could not resist temptations. 
Quentin, hope for your Django! That's all!
Absolutely, I think about my blog all the time and the first thing I remember is my blog Running Reel, the. I love it most. More than any other fictional idea around me.
Hey, Steven! You've made most of my favorite movies, including Schindler's List, Catch Me if You Can, A.I, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park(s) and you deserve to be here man. 
James Cameron, I could not list you, unfortunately for you, your name starts with "J" and I already have my own all time favorite with same initial. But still I love your film TITANIC, maybe the first my film I remember so far. As a perfection of directing, technical, creative and acting works, I find this movie to be most deserved one on my list.
A film with great screenplay, greater actors and the greatest Kevin Spacey.
The only reason I should like this movie is it's amazing cast. However, I find something more attractive that makes me watch it over and over again.
Tilda was perfect in We Need To Talk About Kevin, have not seen such powerful performance for years. 
It's a little bit hart to call him director, but he already has 3 films and he's just 23. I watched his I Killed My Mother and that was pretty good movie. I wanted to mention here The X Files in the name of my favorite TV Show, but I hope Xavier will become a great movie-maker and that's why he made my list.
You've Got A Friend In Me is the most friendly song I've ever listened to. This song unites all three parts of my favorite animation Toy Story. That is why I decided to mention in my Movie Alphabet. Just love it!
Zachary's Sylar was the most interesting character in Heroes, he gives a good performance in Margin Call and normal one in Star Treck. And also, none of "Z" letter movies make me feel like I want them in this list, so I made a decision in favor of Zachary Quinto.

Huh, that was hard to make this list. But now I like my job. I think, I did pretty good. 

What about you?

Movie Review: Sinister (2012)

Could not imagine Ethan Hawke in horror movies, I thought he was more romantic drama type. Well, he did well and I liked the movie itself. 

Sinister tells a story of a true-crime writer Ellison (Hawke) who moves to the house of last victims. He wants to write a bestseller and puts lots of effort in it.   Ellison accidentally finds 8mm "snuff" films on the garret of new house and opens terrible truth about other 3 family murders throughout the country. The more he learns about those crimes, the more he wants to write and the less safe his family feels in their new home.

Averagely, I liked the movie. It is a good horror one, sometimes I had to close my eyes, sometimes it was scary. I've to admit that the story developed pretty quickly, it does not made me tired, bored and I did not even want to forward it. But though the end was too predictable, because every horror movie ends with the death of the characters.

Ethan's performance as alcoholic writer, who goes crazy for his book, is pretty good. He looks nerdy enough for a book author and dramatic - for alcoholic. His frustrated and scared scenes are almost perfect and his emotions are so much powerful that makes you feel the dreadful fear of character. Hawkes made brilliant debut in horror movies.

Juliet Rylance plays Ellison's wife Tracy, that could be one of the best female performances in horror movies. And the kids playing their children are also worth to be mentioned.

Director Scott Derrickson shall be honored for this directing work. I still love The Day the Earth Stood Still (another Scott's movie) but this one is a bit better. Even technical stuff is more than OK, except editing. I found film editing terrible, especially at the ending part of the movie. I guess it would be far more better movie without such mistakes.

So, I can list this movie as highly recommended for this genre fans and just recommended for those, who just want to spend some time at TV (or PC), who find Hawke handsome and who believe that he played outstandingly.

8/10

TV Series: Dexter, Arrow, Modern Family, Revenge

As for today, probably TV-Series take more of my time than films. But it's OK, as long as the best seasons of my favorite shows are running. The fact that I watch them, already means I like them. But let me share couple of words:

Love Defies Reason
I wrote a post about the 7th season premiere, where I doubted that it could be not as good season as most of fans and I wished to. But I was wrong and I'm happy. I believe Dexter is the best show running currently on TV. This season tells most shocking stories with lots of passion and surprises. Everything going in previous seasons result in particular way and form in this season. I guess Michael C. Hall is going to another Golden Globe nomination next year. He makes brilliant Dexter  a real serial killer and now a man in love with another serial killer.

Arrow
The first season of the show about new superhero - Green Arrow premiered this year. Stephen Amell is handsome, billionaire and educated Robin Hood, literally, he wears the hood. The show is somewhere in the middle of nice and good. I watch every new episode, enjoy but it's not like making me attached to the screen.

Amell could be better superhero. He has the whole package in terms of physical resources, the character itself is pretty heroic but Stephen's performance is something I'd love to make better. He should make the spectaculars love his hero but I kind of think it's on the contrary. But I don't like the idea of arrow armed superhero in XXI century, that is less real, and too lame. 

However I will continue watching the show, there are lots of things I want to find out.

The fourth season of Modern Family is definitely the most hilarious one. I've enjoyed watching every episode, laughing loud. Gloria is pregnant and she's become more sensitive, passionate and explosive - a definite Colombian character. Haley went to college and then she was kicked out, Mitchell and Cameron are raising their own child. Phil and Claire still are the funniest parents on the net so far. 

 
I started to watch Revenge after the big Twitter buzz. I expected something very different, really smashing. But the first two series did not impressed much. The actors are OK. They act just like average soap opera heroes  but potentially, the plot of the series is pretty good. I loved first 10 minutes, but got bored later.

I'll still try to find time and watch it. Maybe I'm missing the most important part.

So, which series is up your mind currently?

Box Office Updates (Nov. 19. 2012)

Box office results for current worldwide releases:


"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" opened to an estimated $141 million this weekend. The final chapter in the film series came close to breaking the franchise opening record set by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" which grossed $142.8 million three years ago. 

Rank Title Weekend Gross Week
1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 $ 141 M $ 141 M 1
2 Skyfall $ 41.5 M $ 161 M 2
3 Lincoln $ 21 M $ 22.4 M 2
4 Wreck-it Ralph $ 18.3 M $ 121 M 3
5 Flight $ 8.62 M $ 61.3 M 3
6 Argo $ 4.07 M $ 92 M 6
7 Taken 2 $ 2.1 M $ 135 M 7
8 Pitch Perfect $ 1.26 M $ 61.1 M 8
9 Here Comes the Boom $ 1.2 M $ 41 M 6
10 Hotel Transylvania $ 900 K $ 143 M 8

10 Films that Changed Cinema: Jaws (1975)

There are a lot kind of movies and I've probably seen most of these types. There are good films, beloved films, hated ones and just those that have changed something in movie history. They may not be one of the most favorites, or one of IMDB's top 250, however those films turned movie industry in something different resulting in modern cinematic art.

In the series of 10 Films that Changed Cinema I'll represent ten motion pictures that leveled the movie-making business up and lead it to progress.

The first film I've to honor is iconic movie of my favorite genre, that is horror, Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

Before early 70's there were few blockbuster movies, Hollywood mostly produced well played dramas with the cast of most popular actors and actresses, telling heartbreaking and memorable stories. But then Universal Pictures decided to make something extraordinary and producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown started working on Peter Benchley's novel Jaws. Initially the film should have been directed by Dick Richards but the studio refused the candidate and gave the job to 27 year old, almost new comer Steven Spielberg. And then what Steven did changed everything.

Spielberg rewrote the script and merged some different stories that include: Herman Melville's 1851 Moby DickIbsen's 1882 classic play An Enemy of the People, documentary film Blue Water, White Death (1971), Peter Matthiessen's 1971 non-fiction book Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark, horror films: The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) and The Monster That Challenged the World (1957), a real-life incident on the New Jersey shore in the summer of 1916 that claimed five lives over the course of two weeks.

He genuinely used a widely spread Selachophobia - a fear to Sharks, that has been the biggest trouble for America during 70's. Steven built his script up on the phobia of "something" that's not seen on the surface but it still watches you from the very deep of ocean. An extensive marketing campaign called for movie fans "Don't Go in the Water" or "Watch the movie once more, bu now with your eyes opened". Jaws shocked america, people who were afraid kept going to theaters and attend the movie once, twice and even three times. Vince Sculli attended 28 screenings in row.

The technology of visual effects used during the filming - full dimension shark and artificial ocean - had been widely used in such iconic movies as Superman (1978) and Star Wars (1977). But the most important, Jaws is the first blockbuster horror movie, favorited by even most coward people and grossed USD 470 million (net USD 1.85 billion as today).

The film won three Oscars including Best Editing, Sound and Score (written by John Williams), but lost best picture nomination to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Spielberg was missed.

For acknowledgment of great technical work and the start of blockbuster horror movie era, also in the name of millions of fans, I believe Jaws is a great candidate to be among 10 Films that Changed Cinema.

How do you think, does Jaws really deserve to be in this list? Or which other motion pictures do you consider to be that much significant? Feel free to comment&share.

Coming Next: 10 Films that Changed Cinema: Star Wars (1977)

Movie Review: A Royal Affair (2012)

My next Oscar watch movie is Danish submission for Academy Award best foreign language film nomination - A Royal Affair

This most fresh picture tells a story of mad and young King Christian VII, his wife queen Caroline Mathilde - unhappy English princess and Johann Sturensee - a German doctor who truly believes that can change something for good in Denmark.

Christian is insane, he is not the one who can rule the country, there is nothing interesting in governing for him, and he would rather enjoy by acting, theater, poems his dog and whores. Christian can not de facto make any kind of decisions and he does not want to. The board of trustees - a bunch of people who can not be trusted - took over the control of whole kingdom. Their government leads Denmark to poverty and injustice.

Even his beloved wife Caroline is unable to change the king and make him get power in his own hands to bring the fame of Danish Kingdom back. But there is a man, Dr Sturensee who was hired to heal Christian and help him in overcoming the madness. Johann who has not done this before, tries to make the king feel like a king, makes him talk in the name of people and go against the board. They both start to think how can Denmark become better place to live.

But Caroline falls in love with Dr Sturensee and gets pregnant. As the baby was born, her mother - the Queen was sent away from castle and Johann was executed. The board recovers its power overruling the king again.

A Royal Affair is truly one of the best submissions of this year. The movie is brilliant in terms of acting, writing and directing.

Mikkel Boe Folsgaard (Christian) delivers genuinely perfect portrait of the King. He is amazing in every aspect, he's good at both dramatic and comedy parts of his character. It is hard to play Christian VII as he changes very much in every moment. The actor should be able to quickly switch from angry king to funny one and I believe Mikkel dealt with this in the best way.

Alicia Vikander (Caroline) plays the most dramatic character in whole movie - a person who's punishment was possibly the hardest one - died without seeing any of her child. At the same time she has been severe Queen, protecting her child, obeying wife to the king, strong person for the whole kingdom and the most unhappy one in the Denmark.

Mads Mikkelsen's (Johann Sturensee) act is the most average and weird character. He is unemotional, but passionate, quiet but adroit, best friend and most cruel enemy of the king. He is not the best part of the movie but still makes the cast pretty charming.

Unlike most of historic movies, A Royal Affair is not boring, it has lots of refreshing moments, delightful sets and touching storyline. I did not really expected this movie to be that logical and well written. The story itself is dramatic and dynamic. The dialogues are pretty natural, smart and easy. However the writer does not give you too much to think, the pictures just roll and at the end of the film, you don't have to guess anything (which can be pro or con at the same time).

As for technical part of the movie like costumes, production design, music and cinematography, they were above the average, especially the first one. Which makes the film better candidate for being nominated for Best Foreign Language nomination.

All in all, this is really good movie to watch, it kind of reminds me The Madness of King George. Though I recommend this film to my dear visitors, watch it because it is worth.

8/10

Box Office Updates (Nov. 12. 2012)

Box office updates of most current releases:

Box Office

Rank Title Weekend Gross Week
Skyfall $ 87.7 M $ 90 M 1
2 Wreck-It Ralph $ 33.1 M $ 93.7 M 2
3 Flight $ 15.1 M $ 47.8 M 2
4 Argo $ 6.75 M $ 85.7 M 5
5 Taken 2 $ 4 M $ 131 M 6
6 Here Comes The Boom $ 2.55 M $ 39.1 M 5
7 Cloud Atlas $ 2.52 M $ 22.7 M 3
8 Pitch Perfect $ 2.5 M $ 59 M 7
9 The Man With The Iron Fists $ 2.49 M $ 12.7 M 2
10 Hotel Transylvania $ 2.35 M $ 141 M 7


My Top 10 Movie Characters of All Time

I've already chosen My Top 10 TV Characters of All Time, now let me go through the favorites from Motion Pictures. Some of them are funny, others -evil, some are dramatic and some - mystic, but they make me watch the movies the appear in. That's why I call them my top choices among thousands of others.

  1. Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) from As Good As It Gets
  2. Roger 'Verbal' Kint (Kevin Spacey) from The Usual Suspects
  3. Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) from Erin Brockovich
  4. Queen Elizabeth (Judi Dench) from Shakespeare In Love
  5. Grandpa Edwin Hoover (Alan Arkin) from Little Miss Sunshine
  6. Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) from Little Miss Sunshine
  7. Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) from The Social Network
  8. Satine (Nicole Kidman) from Moulin Rouge!
  9. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Pirates of the Caribbean
  10. Comodus (Joaquin Phoenix) from Gladiator

Just Missing:

Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) from Pulp Ficion
Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) from Pretty Woman
Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) from Fargo
Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Golden Globe Predictions (TV Category)


In my previous post I predicted Golden Globe Motion Picture category, now it is time to look through TV Show categories that are more competitive this year than it was last year. 

This year couple of new Shows have been premiered and some of them are already considered to be major competitors (for example The Newsroom) for this award ceremony which means that some old series have to go back

(The shows are sorted in likelihood of nominating)

DRAMA SERIES

  1. Homeland
  2. Downtown Abbey
  3. Mad Men
  4. The Newsroom
  5. Game of Thrones

TV DRAMA ACTOR

  1. Damian Lewis in Homeland
  2. Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom
  3. Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
  4. Jon Hamm in Mad Men
  5. Michael C. Hall in Dexter*

TV DRAMA ACTRESS

  1. Claire Danes in Homeland
  2. Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife
  3. Michele Dockery in Downtown Abbey
  4. Connie Britton in Nashville
  5. Emily Mortimer in The Newsroom

COMEDY SERIES

  1. Modern Family
  2. Girls
  3. Veep
  4. The New Normal
  5. New Girl

TV COMEDY ACTOR

  1. Louic C. K. in Louie
  2. Matt LeBlanc in Episodes
  3. Matthew Perry in Go On
  4. Jim Parson in The Big Bang Theory
  5. Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock

TV COMEDY ACTRESS

  1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep
  2. Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreations
  3. Zooey Deschanel in Girls
  4. Lena Dunham in Girls
  5. Mindy Kaling in The Mindy Project

TV MOVIE/MINISERIES

  1. Game Change
  2. Sherlock
  3. American Horror Story
  4. Hatfields and McCoys
  5. Political Animals

TV MOVIE/MINI ACTOR

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock
  2. Kevin Kostner in Hatfields and McCoys
  3. Clive Owen in Hemingway and Gellhorn
  4. Woody Harrelson in Game Change
  5. Keneth Branagh in Wallander

TV MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS

  1. Julianne Moore in Game Change
  2. Sigourney Weaver in Political Animals
  3. Nicole Kidman in Hemingway and Gellhorn
  4. Queen Latifah in Steel Magnolias
  5. Jessica Lange in American Horror Story

TV SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
  2. Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family
  3. Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad
  4. Ed Harris in Game Change
  5. Sam Waterson in The Newsroom

TV SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Sofia Vergara in Modern Family
  2. Maggie Smith in Downtown Abbey
  3. Julie Bowen in Modern Family
  4. Ellen Burstyn in Political Animals
  5. Ellen Barkin in The New Normal

Most likely to be omitted from the final list of Golden Globe nominations still are: Game of Thrones, last year winner Peter Dinklage, Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Julia Bowen (Modern Family). But I still keep them in the list that can be changed in any moment, before nominee announcement.

* Michael C. Hall is not widely predicted for this nomination, but I consider him to be one of the best candidates this year. As Dexter's previous season was quite tough and he's already received a Emmy nomination this year, he can be in a list.

Movie Review: I Killed My Mother (2009)

I Killed My Mother or J'ai tué ma mère (in French) is a directing debut of actor Xavier Dolan who actually was 20 by film premiere that can make him the youngest director of all time.

I just randomly decided to watch any of his movies and this film was surprisingly good.

The movie tells a story of young gay teenager (Hubert played by Dolan himself) who's relationship with his mom is total mess. They both try to settle those infinite conflicts down in their own way but nothing works for good, each time they restart, everything goes wrong. The film has its own definite perk being autobiographic picture of  Xavier's life. We don't exactly know how much truth is there but it still is charming.

The movie talks very easily about the problems in common mother-and-child relations: misunderstandings and indifference, love and hate, personal attachments and aversions. But it never points who is guilty, because both are and the only mistake Hubert and his mom make it blaming each other and shifting their own blames on the other side. Herewith they don't talk, don't ask how was the day, don't try to learn what they both like or hate. It seem's they have not talked since Hubert was 5 and mom thinks that her son is the same, but he's changed and he keeps silence about it.

Chantale (mother) loves her son, as much as she can but she does not care and is not able to care of him. She more enjoys watching TV or eating, however hates cooking. She forgets things, mostly does not keep promises, is impulsive and does plenty of stupid things regretting later. But never understands that she hurts her son. Despite that she's attached to son, does not let him go, somehow she feel comfortable playing a role of bad mother.

Hubert loves his mom, but can't stand of being her son. He can't stand her ignorance, irresponsibility. As a rebel teenager Hubert's got his own life, boyfriend, friends and lots of different ideas about everyday life. His hate towards mom is result of his great love in childhood, as life has changed, Hubert's feelings have  also transformed. In his video diary he calls it "different love" which I understood not as love of mother and child but love of man and woman (though Hubert is gay), accordingly he hates a mother in Chantale but loves a woman in her.

As far as this is his first try I liked the screenplay and the way Dolan decided to tell us the story. That was easy to perceive and made you think pretty much. A lot of dialogues, that I enjoy most, made film more dynamic, emotions - more sincere and the idea - more dramatic.

But I see Xavier to be better director than an actor or writer. He has a vision, he can see the feelings, I guess. The movie was beautifully made, with some delightful scenes and cinematographic tricks that made a film more desiring to watch. There was too much emotions transferred through non-emotional subjects, for instance butterflies on the wall.

In spite of Dolan's pretty good acting, the cast was not that good it could be. Anne Dorval (who played Chantale) seemed to overplay her role and some of others underplay. But I guess that shall be one of the best starts ever in movie history.

7/10

VIDEO: IMDB TOP 250

Someone posted a video on his YouTube channel named IMDB TOP 250 in 2 1/2 Minutes. It contains scenes from highest rated 250 movies on Internet Movie Database.

Frankly speaking, this guy deserves an Oscar for editing. Check it out!