Tag Archives: simpsons

Movie Review: No 3. The Godfather: Part II

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Movie Review: No 3. The Godfather: Part II

♫ Been spending most our lives living in the gangsta’s paradise ♫
♫ Keep spending most our lives living in the gangsta’s paradise ♫

Well, I might as well embrace it right? The imdb Top 100 list is certainly a gangsta’s paradise… and I feel like I’ve been spent most (of the past year of) my life living in it!

I’m 29 now, but will I live to see 30 (oh)
The way things are goin’ I don’t know 

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Movie Review: No 67. Requiem for a Dream

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Movie Review: No 67. Requiem for a Dream

Marion: Anybody wanna waste some time?

Spoiler alert! This movie is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.

Had I a more solid vocabulary I might even have been about to tell you that before I watched it.

req·ui·em/ˈrekwēəm/
Noun
1. (esp. in the Roman Catholic Church) A Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead.
2. A musical composition setting parts of such a Mass, or of a similar character.

In this case, sadly, it is the dreams that meet their untimely demise.

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Television, I hereby promise to never leave you again

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Television, I hereby promise to never leave you again

After two full months of television avoidance I can now say that I am officially back on the juice!

My 1-year-old nephew helped me break the drought yesterday morning when he was chewing on the remote and accidentally turned on the TV. Upon the realisation that I could (finally) watch TV again, I came rushing to the lounge – toy zebra in arms  and eyes glued to the screen.

TV Time

They were showing ‘Family Ties’, which seemed rather apt.

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Movie Review: No 74. Cinema Paradiso

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Movie Review: No 74. Cinema Paradiso

My last experience of a ‘Cinema Paradiso’ involved my close proximity to the ‘Cinema Paradiso’ in Ettalong, New South Wales, and possibly the worst blind date in the history of blind dates (excluding, perhaps, any that resulted in kidnapping or murder).

It’s safe to say, then, that I was slightly apprehensive about watching this film. Read the rest of this entry

Television-impaired

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Television-impaired

Lisa: Maggie, come to the one you love best…

Today marks the halfway point in my ‘No TV Challenge‘. Although the challenge, set by my dastardly friend Tracey, offered me the option of splitting it into two single months rather than one long, consecutive stretch, I want to get this baby over and done with!

My old favourite, Neighbours, started back this week and of course I wasn’t there to see it. Thankfully, due to the joys of that other time-sucker (the Internet) I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. Nevertheless, I do feel more than slightly compelled to break my TV ban – just for the day – to catch up on the Ramsay street antics.

But I won’t.

No, I shall remain strong.

Wonka No TV

Are you surprised that I’ve managed to last this long without TV? I find it completely out of character that I’ve barely even complained! (At least, compared to my usual level of complaining). Perhaps I didn’t love television so much after all…

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Movie Review: No 16. Goodfellas

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Movie Review: No 16. Goodfellas

I’m beginning to notice some similarities with the Top 100 imdb movie list. As a result, I’ve come to suspect that imdb’s most avid reviewers are just a bunch of 14-year-old boys.

The Top 100 films I’ve watched so far indicate a preference for the following:

  1. Violence
  2. Voiceovers
  3. True stories (as long as they’re violent)

Essentially, Goodfellas is just a gangsta version of ‘The Wonder Years’. Only, instead of angsting over unrequited love and Dad’s latest goof, our hero, Henry Hill, is digging himself ever-deeper into the underworld of crime.

Since the Simpsons is pretty much my go-to reference point for all things pop culture, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Simpsons character ‘Fat Tony’ and his cronies. Interestingly (at least according to Wikipedia), the character of Fat Tony was modelled after the actor Paul Sorvino, who plays the mob boss in Goodfellas, HOWEVER, the first Simpsons episode to feature Fat Tony (which involves a very similar plot to Goodfellas) was devised before Goodfellas was released!

Finally, irrefutable evidence that TV can be up there with the best of the Hollywood films when it comes to quality writing!

Then again, when I say “the best of Hollywood films”, I’m really just going along with the crowd – I’m jumping off that bridge just ’cause the 14-year-olds thought it would be a good idea.

Sure, the film has plenty of drama, and if you have serious bloodlust then you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately for me, my bloodlust is more ‘G’ rated. I can handle Joe Pesci wielding a carving knife… I’d just kinda prefer to see him get owned by a paint can to the face, à la Home Alone.

Movies like ‘Goodfellas’ become popular because they have a cult following, and even Suri Cruise knows that’s no way to make it in Hollywood.

7 (somewhat reluctant) pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘Goodfellas’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

Movie Review: No 38. North by Northwest

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Movie Review: No 38. North by Northwest

Ahh Cary Grant – the George Clooney of the fifties and sixties. Frankly, I don’t understand the appeal of either of them.

Hitchcock’s North by Northwest was disappointing. With the film billed as “Hitchcock’s Masterpiece,” I suppose I expected more. The story is very Bond-esque, which is probably why I didn’t like it. James Bond and Fantasy are my two least favourite film “genres”.

Fans of ‘Mad Men’ would probably love this film. The story centres around a Madison Avenue advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies during the Cold War era.  Supposedly they are after some microfilm. (This microfilm is a plot device known as a “MacGuffin“, which is a fancy term for what I would simply call a “plot flaw”. In other words, whenever you’re too lazy to string a story together properly, just throw a red herring in there and no one will notice! Well, I noticed).

Look, the movie wasn’t all bad. I did find myself laughing out loud a number of times. But then, I laughed out loud during “Dude, Where’s my Car?” so that’s not much of an achievement. The drink driving scene is possibly the most hilarious driving scene of any film ever, and there are plenty of chases to keep you on your toes. The tiny guns are amusingly non-threatening and the police “car phone” is a classic blast from the past. The auction scene is fantastic, as is the scene where Thornhill re-enters the hospital through an unsuspecting (and lonely) patient’s window.

The settings are great too – Grand Central Station, the Plaza Hotel, Mount Rushmore – I felt like I was watching a Macaulay Culkin movie (which, frankly, I would have preferred).

There are some classic lines, like fugitive Thornhill’s remark, “Does anyone mind if I sit down? I’ve been running all day”, or “I’ve got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don’t intend to disappoint them all by getting myself “slightly” killed”.

From a slow start, the film builds like no other I’ve seen. Had the whole film moved at the pace of the last quarter, I think I would have given it a much higher score. Nevertheless, the plot holes and clumsy acting left me “whelmed”.

The female lead, Eve Kendall, is probably the saving grace of the film. Anyone who can scale Mount Rushmore in a dress and heels with handbag in tow gets my seal of approval! She’s not backwards in coming forward, and there is a very interesting play-off between her overtly fliratious behaviour (“using sex like some people use a flyswatter”) and her demure 1950s female persona (“I’m Eve Kendall. I’m 26 and unmarried. Now you know everything”… as if that’s all there is to know about a woman).

Again, Hitchcock’s love story is unconvincing. You might say it’s not exactly his strong suit. While he is up there as my favourite director, I once watched a documentary about his attitude towards women that I found disturbing, and only too reminiscent of Norman Bates’ character in ‘Psycho’. As I understand it, Hitchcock hated women and would use opportunites during filming to humiliate and almost torture them. One famous example was leaving Janet Leigh under freezing cold running water for hours filming that famous shower scene. This story was later disputed, but nevertheless it is hard to argue that there’s not something freakishly Freudian going on with that man.

It’s no surprise then, that he is unable to carry off a romance with any level of sincerity. In this example, from one night stand on a train to marriage proposal, Roger Thornhill is one fast mover:

Roger Thornhill: When we get out of this, you can ride the train with me again.
Eve Kendall: Is that a proposition?
Roger Thornhill: It’s a proposal, sweetie!

Cut to the next scene and he’s already calling her “Mrs Thornhill”!

(Maybe he could give Andy some tips?)

The film quickly closes with that infamous “train entering tunnel” double entendre that you, like me, may better remember from The Simpsons. If you don’t laugh immaturely at that scene you probably need to get your funny bone checked.

7.5 pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘North by Northwest’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.