Saturday, 13 July 2013

Citizen Kane (1941)

Finally saw Citizen Kane! After seeing so many Simpsons episodes that reference it! Half an hour before the end my dad got up tired and announced he was off to bed, he then said "When's he going to find his effing ******?" to which I said "Anna might not know the ending Dad-Y!!!!!" (I knew what Rosebud was because, well, I think everyone does, but I had a feeling Anna didn't, I was right she wasn't 100 percent sure) Dad-Y protested saying "It was in the Simpsons! Mr Burns had a ******!" Anna screeched "HE HAD A BEAR!!! Bobo was a BEAR!!!" So Dad-Y managed to ruin the ending for Anna even though she'd managed 24 years and an hour and a half into the actual film without knowing… God damn it!
Anyway, we knew now what Rosebud was but we didn't know if the characters would find out, so the ending was still magnificently haunting and to us, as hoarders of our own childhood stuff, terrifying!! Anna told me this morning she couldn't sleep because of the fear.
"Yeah, I kept thinking Rosebud was in the room with me!" I agreed.
Not quite the same fear methinks.

The Orphanage (2007)

Celia and I made the mistake of buying an actual GOOD horror movie instead of the crap we usually watch like the Changeling or Pet Semetary. We were scared all the way through but then discussed how good it was and how we liked the Peter Pan theme. We went out of the house and had a nice long walk and then watched some Alan Partridge to forget how scared we had been. four hours after the film had ended I went to bed and as soon as I closed my eyes I thought about every single detail of the film, I was terrified for hours. 
This is why I shouldn't be allowed to watch good horror! Only classic horror please! or naff horror!! The Orphanage, on reflection didn't have anything horrible visually in it (except one gross bit) but with the combination of very good artistic direction, music, suspense and of course the age old theme of creepy dead children… it made for a hauntingly good film. I'm still scared but I keep thinking about the Peter Pan element and loving it.

The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists (2012)

AMAZING! How did I miss this!? Where the hell was I when it came out?! I remember vaguely seeing some kind of promotion but I just thought "Ugh, more pirates!" for some reason, despite it being clearly Aardman I thought it was going to be full of stupid American jokes, fuck, it was so British! An amazing voice-cast and the jokes, both verbal and all the beautiful visuals. God, it was lovely! It made me instantly go out and buy it.
Also it made me finally fancy Hugh Grant after hearing that women fancy him for twenty five years, now that he's a clay pirate I totally get it.

Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Paul fixed my computer while I was allowed to eat crisps and watch one of his billion movies, he picked this one out. OH MY GOD. I remember seeing the poster and shuddering, it looked awful, Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi all looking horrendously photoshopped… Paul said after I'd been enjoying it thoroughly for fifteen minutes "It was totally panned but me and Pippa have watched it four times, it's great!" He was right it was great, it was REALLY enjoyable, I was so surprised!! I can't wait to own a copy and make my dad watch it. My favourite bit was when Alan Arkin, retired classic magician saw Jim Carrey's rubbish "street-magic" (I think he was puking up sweets like a human pinata) and said "This isn't magic! It's some kind of terrible crap!" 
I've been saying that all week.  

The Omen (1976)

JD picked out some films as he always does when I go to visit, he knows I like horror films but can't watch them on my own (which is why Celia and Lauren have to watch one every time they visit) Why had I never seen the Omen before?! Why didn't I know who was in it!? It was great! and it had a great cast!! At the end I said "I can't wait to find out what happens next!" and JD said the other films are rubbish and apart from Sam Neil in the third one, have rubbish casts. Boooooo! 

The Village of the Damned (1960)

We also watched this one on the same day. It was GREAT!

The Changeling (1980)

"Celia, I want a classic type of horror film that will be creepy while we're watching it but won't actually scare me at all in the long run!" The back of the box said "After the tragic death of his wife and daughter Composer George C. Scott moves into a Victorian haunted house to carry on his work." Perfect!
Man, what a stupid film. Much hilarity.

Memento (2000)

I've been meaning to see it for years, I love the Prestige and I thought Inception was ace. Maybe I was expecting too much or maybe I just hate that rubbish actress from the Matrix so I knew she'd be playing a douche, but I thought it was a bit crap.

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Paul and I saw the Liberace film. It was great. Brill performances and a great comedy turn from Rob Lowe. Shame it's not on at the cinema in America so it can't win any Oscars, Michael Douglas was great as disgusting old Liberace, what a creep! The part he was born to play baby!!

Chimerica, Almeida Theatre

We booked Chimerica ages ago because we needed a Saturday matinee to make our London trip complete, nothing was on that grabbed us, even Chimerica we thought sounded a bit naff, granted we'd only read the title and nothing else but we booked it anyway saying "I wonder if Stephen Campbell Moore looks like a turtle in real life or just in the History Boys film?"
Stephen Campbell Moore is incredibly attractive in real life! So was Claudie Blakely, but I knew that anyway, she's super cute. BUT the attractiveness of the actors played no part in how fucking awesome Chimerica was. The play had just opened, and we looked briefly at a Guardian review on the way just to see what we were letting ourselves into, five stars and the phrase "incredibly filmic" jumped out. 
The staging was amazing, a rotating box with sliding doors provides countless different rooms and settings, projections of photographic backdrops set the time and the scenes perfectly. Chimerica was like State of Play (the bbc drama not the US film), journalists getting too involved in a story, but this time a photographer getting in too deep, it was a thrilling scary and exciting drama with a believable love story dropped in! There were scary bits too! It was amazing, by the interval neither of us wanted it to end, it was the best most enjoyable piece of theatre I'd seen for ages, it was really great. A week later all the newspapers had given it five stars and it was transferring to Broadway. Enjoy it America! It's a brilliant political thriller!

Othello, National Theatre

Anna and I had booked tickets to see Rory Kinnear do Othello, or as we call the play "Iago" as soon as they were released. We are huge Rory fans. Rory did not disappoint, without him that play was just another Othello, same as always. I can see how people would be impressed with the sets and staging but really it wasn't bold or edgy, it looked good but really it was very traditional, Nick Hytner doesn't take risks anymore, I'm glad he's stepping down as artistic director. The play was good and everyone was good and Rory of course was magnificently horrid but the play we saw the second day put how just average it was into perspective.

Man of Steel (2013)

Father's day. My dad has always loved Superman but hated what they do to him in films, he hates most of all that Lex Luthor is always portrayed as a ridiculously campy figure of fun, Superman Returns continued this and we were so disappointed because Kevin Spacey can be super evil, we all know it.
There was no Luther in this one so I was hopeful, also I liked the look of Henry Cavill, he looked like Superman as I imagine him even if he was not as my dad did. Anyway, within two minutes of the film starting I knew my dad would hate it and hate it all. Russell Crowe (who dad had so enjoyed in Les Mis!) riding about on a 3D dinosaur, wtf?! After the first ten minutes I stopped worrying how my dad was feeling and just decided to concentrate on how I felt. 
Everyone seemed to hate it but I liked it. I agree with my dad that Kevin Costner was awful and should not have been allowed but Jonathan Kent is always a douchebag so it doesn't bother me that much. I liked it. I actually really liked it. I liked it all the way through and I loved the end. 
Sorry dad, it was the best Superman I'd seen! Still not right at all, I agree, but a better effort than ever before.

Star Trek into Darkness (2013)

When Calum came to visit we all saw the new Star Trek film, I saw it again with my dad in Hebden Bridge, which was great because I haven't been there for ages, I love all the sweeties you can buy and cups of tea and hot chocolate. I got through two packs of poppets and a highland toffee bar probably for under a pound. Best cinema in Britain.
Anyway, I liked the film because I'd seen Wrath of Khan and so I got that it was just a big rehash of bits of that- Also I've heard the episode of Fags, Mags and Bags (Radio 4) Wrath of Khan which is also a rehash of that- but HILARIOUS. But I don't think you need to know Star Trek to enjoy this one. I didn't really know Star Trek when I saw the last one but I still totally loved it! 
Everyone agrees without Cumberbatch the film would be average though. Hooray for the return of Jermey Irons/Alan Rickman Die Hard type British Villains, well done Cumberbatch, use your acting talent to camp and laugh and use that voice!!

In the House (2013)

I wonder what it is about Kristin Scott Thomas that the French like? That cold almost frigid character she always plays, is that what foreigners think the English Rose is? I have known women who come across cold and frigid, they always marry foreigners, I suppose anyone else would realise they are socially awkward, to the foreign eye they are just English.
Anyway, I like KST ok, she's fine but I found the way she delivered her lines was too English, surely the French audiences noticed this? She delivered her lines with the sarcastic intonation in the wrong places, right if you're speaking English, but weird if you're French. Vis the plot, again it was like people raving about Tim Roth in Broken, she was just a bit part in the background, it was all the French actors, her husband, the creepy boy and the family he gets involved with, they were the film, it wouldn't have mattered if she'd been there at all! 
But it was a good film, I think I'll make my dad rent it when it comes to the Library.

Grigory Sokolov at La Fenice, Venice (April 2013)

When Rob and I went to Venice in April we decided to try and recreate the joy of seeing a classical piece of music in a fabulous traditional theatre like we'd done in Prague when we saw Mozart's Magic Flute performed in the State Opera House. In Prague we had shared our box with a group of horrific Americans- the mother and her friend were fine, they enjoyed it oohing and ahing quietly while the teenage daughter shifted and texted and Dad, no better, got up the moment the singers took their bows and said gruffly "Well you can cross that off your list, an Opera in Prague," what a dickhead, the wife should have punched his pus…
WELL, we sort of had the opposite problem in Venice! The only concert I could find at that time of year was a piano concert in the magnificent Fenice (Phoenix Theatre- so named because they rebuilt it after it burned down in the 70s) The guy playing was a famous Russian pianist, I hadn't been to any piano concerts before but thought, well, if he's famous he'll maybe bash out some famous pieces that we can enjoy before we go to dinner! (Italy is all about going to dinner) The boxes in Prague sat 6 people, the ones in Venice were more intimate, we were sharing our box with a very well-to-do older couple obviously from the Venice Set, they probably went to music concerts every month, it was probably their thing. 
I sat and listened and enjoyed the music for 40 minutes before I totally zoned out, then came the interval. "Don't worry," I assured Rob, "second acts are always shorter than the first." He too had zoned and as it was now ten past nine we were getting a bit peckish, we'd probably be out by ten.
At half ten we were starving and after not recognising any of the music and we said afterwards that the pieces he played probably displayed great skill and that's why he was famous and skilled but when you come down to it, as we were just the common man, to us the music was instantly forgettable and we would have preferred some good tunes. There was about three minutes in the first act I remember that was nice.
Anyway, at half ten he took his bows, thank god, we were starving! Thank god the restaurant we'd chosen was only a second away next door! thank god!
He then proceeded to play SIX encores. The couple we shared the box with clapped and stood up and were so utterly thrilled by number four that the chap was turning round to us and holding up four fingers in delight, "Four! Four!" he said in amazement. "Yes!" We said through gritted teeth.
We couldn't leave. We were so hungry and so bored and yet we couldn't leave. What if the couple we were sharing the box with came into the same restaurant we had run to to see us scoffing big plates of squid ink pasta and Venice veal? They'd think we were awful uncultured pigs! We had to stay. After the sixth encore it was eleven o'clock. We left calmly but managed to eat three courses, drink massive amounts of wine and have coffee within an hour. It was a good meal.

Broken (2013)

I can't remember if I saw this rehash of To Kill a Mockingbird before or after some of these April/May films but I thought it was brilliant and violent and haunting and horrible and brilliant. It was a film Anna and I wished we'd seen with our parents and with our boyfriends but that we didn't want to watch again in a hurry because it was just so traumatic! 
Rory Kinnear's ham-eating was a good comic moment for us but in context just as frightening as the rest of his great performance. All actors involved brill- Cillian Murphy was great. Tim Roth was praised at the time but I don't know why, he was barely in it and he didn't add much when he was. 

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Hello "Things I have watched and Seen blog" prepare to be reminded of the crap I've seen in the last four months! Starting with this particular piece of crap that I had the misfortune of seeing when it was out! Disappointing! And as usual 3D just gives me a headache!