My thoughts on… The Amazing Spider-Man

I really need to get on top of my film posts. This actually brings me up to date, but it’s been a couple of weeks since I watched The Amazing Spider-Man, and I’ve had the notes in my notebook ever since, and I just kept forgetting to write it up! It’s causing me problems with my target, because I am reluctant to add any more watched films to the to-do list. So I’m giving myself a ticking off, and promising to do better in the future!

Synopsis

High school student Peter Parker finds himself with super human powers after being bitten by a genetically modified spider. Using his new powers to round up New York’s criminals, and falling in love with Gwen Stacy; he is also investigating his father’s disappearance, bringing him into conflict with Dr Curt Connors, his father’s old business partner.

What I Liked

  • Peter Parker is a big geek, and Andrew Garfield certainly gives good geek. He’s also very easy on the eye, which is nice, but more importantly, he plays Peter well, and makes him a lot easier to like and root for than Tobey Maguire ever did (not that it’s a competition).
  • Unlike many other people, I’m not in love with Emma Stone. I don’t hate her, I think she’s great, but I don’t have a massive crush on her. However, her voice is ace. I could listen to it all day.
  • It’s a particular rule of mine that Martin Sheen makes everything better. I genuinely believe this to be true. Sometimes when I am watching him, it feels a bit like he’s a family member, like an uncle or granddad. This is partly because of how familiar he feels to me after years of watching and rewatching The West Wing.
  • Sally Field is also brilliant in just about everything she does. I never get tired of watching her.
  • One of the best parts of any superhero film is the scene where they test out their powers for the first time. The Amazing Spider-Man film is no exception.
  • Talking of the powers, I very much appreciated the technological aspect of Spidey’s powers. The fact that he makes his own web rather than it being a part of the powers imbued upon him by the spider bite is a particularly nice touch, I feel.
  • When I watched Life of Pi, I commented on Irrfan Khan and how much I enjoyed looking at his face. He plays a small role in this film too, and I again appreciated his face. What I appreciated even more, however, was that he got to say Richard Parker in this film too, because that is Peter’s father’s name, as well as the tiger in Life of Pi. Awesome.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I was underwhelmed by the special effects used to create Lizard. He just didn’t look all that great, especially when we are used to brilliant motion capture work in films these days.
  • There’s a scene in which Gwen Stacy is talking to interns at Oscorp, and she brings up a virtual Tree of Life. It’s just nitpicking really, but it was all a little too high tech for me.

I loved it, basically, in the same way that I love most superhero films. It’s fun, and it’s escapism, and the performances were all good, and I’m excited for the sequel!

My Thoughts On… Sister Act

I watched Sister Act a few weeks ago, when I with my friends, and when I said that I have never seen it, my friend John actually said “Shut up!” in a thoroughly ridiculous manner. We were on our way out to a charity quiz night (which we totally won), and so we agreed to watch it when we returned. The trouble is, I got rather drunk at the quiz night, and so I watched Sister Act for the first time whilst inebriated. I am still counting it as a 52/52 film, because I remember the entire plot. But writing a blog post on it some two weeks later is proving a challenge. Apologies for the brevity.

Synopsis

Deloris, a lounge singer in Reno, witnesses her mobster boyfriend murdering a chauffeur. Fearing for her own life, the police place her in witness protection in an abbey, where she has to pose as a nun to stay safe.

What I Liked

  • Obviously, it’s hilariously funny. There are some films (at least there are in my life), that are funny because you can quote them, you’ve seen them a hundred times and they are firm family favourites, but other people don’t always ‘get’ them. I thought this might be the case with Sister Act which everyone else has been watching over and over again for the last twenty years. It wasn’t. It was genuinely funny.
  • Of course, much of that has to do with Whoopi Goldberg, who is hilarious. There’s no getting away from it. She’s the best thing about Ghost (don’t get me wrong, I do love that film, but she’s the star), and she’s hilarious as Deloris/Sister Mary Clarence.
  • Maggie Smith is also awesome in just about everything she does, and of course, as the resident Brit, she plays the uptight, stuffy character, and is the perfect foil for Sister Mary Clarence.
  • The music was all brilliant. I love a gospel choir, despite not being particularly religious, and all the songs were so much fun!

What I Didn’t Like

  • I always tend to baulk slightly at those “You have to watch it!” type of films. Most of the time, when I haven’t seen a film that everyone else thinks is amazing, or must-watch, it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s just that I have never got around to watching it. But when people spend so long going on about how you have got to watch a film, when it eventually comes to watching it, the result is usually just a little underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sister Act, and will probably watch it again in the future. But I don’t feel as though I have particularly been missing out by not watching it up until now!

As I said, alcohol really impaired my ability to write a decent post about this film. I did enjoy it, and I don’t really have anything negative to say about the film as a whole, because it’s such a lot of fun, and as soon as ITV decide to start showing it every other Sunday afternoon again, as they seem to do from time to time, I shall probably find myself watching it again!

My Thoughts On… That Touch of Mink

Synopsis

Cathy Timberlake is a single career woman who doesn’t want love affairs, only marriage. She meets Philip Shayne, a rich businessman who only has love affairs, and tries to resist his advances while holding out for a marriage proposal.

What I Liked

  • It’s a Doris Day film; what’s not to love? I was practically brought up on Doris Day films, my mum loved her, and so she almost feels like a part of the family. Granted, this isn’t even close to being one of her best films, but she brings charm and wit to all her performances.
  • Cary Grant was 58 when he made this film, and he’s still so attractive in it. He’s just about the suavest actor Hollywood ever produced, and I love him! He looks particularly good in a cardigan that he wears.
  • The best friend character (Connie) is played by an actress called Audrey Meadows. She’s not someone that I have ever seen before, but she’s brilliant in this role. She’s the perfect cynical foil for Doris Day’s professional virgin who is holding out for a marriage proposal. I’m always drawn to a wisecracking, cynical, sarcastic sidekick, mainly because I feel as though that is the role in which life has decided to cast me!
  • Talking of Connie, there’s a scene in which she is choosing a hair dye to spray on one section of her hair, à la Caitlin Moran and her grey streak. I love it, and want to do it myself! A different colour every day (if only!).
  • There is a scene in which Philip, who is super rich, arranges a date with Cathy at a Yankees game. As it turns out, because he owns part of the team, they watch from the dugout, and it’s the funniest scene in the film. It also features cameos from actual Yankees players, which of course means nothing to me! (Though I do recognise the name Mickey Mantle, even if I know nothing about him.)
  • There’s a scene in which a secretary is encouraged to take her glasses off and let down her hair, and I truly thought for a moment that it was going to be an actual moment where she miraculously becomes a fox. It wasn’t, and it was a pleasant surprise!

What I Didn’t Like

  • That Touch of Mink, as entertaining as it is, does pale in comparison to some of Doris Day’s other romantic comedies. Pillow Talk, Move Over Darling and The Thrill of It All are much better.
  • Gig Young’s character, Roger, is just a bit odd. He spends a lot of the film talking to a therapist about his friend, Philip, which leads the therapist to believe he is gay, though of course it this is never explicitly said. It’s obviously supposed to be the humorous B-plot, but it all just feels a bit strange!

As always when I write these posts, I have found it hard to find many negatives! I usually enjoy the films I watch, if I know I’m probably not going to enjoy it, I usually won’t watch it! That Touch of Mink was on the television one afternoon recently, and I watched it and enjoyed it. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was entertaining, and that’s usually what I’m after!

My Thoughts On… Life of Pi

I’m so rubbish at keeping up with this film reviewing malarkey. I have considered giving up, but I don’t really want to, so I’m going to try and catch up. And then I have to pull my finger out, because I haven’t watched enough new films!

Synopsis

A sixteen-year-old Indian boy named Pi survives a shipwreck and is stranded on a raft in the Indian Ocean with a tiger named Richard Parker.

What I Liked

  • Despite the very modern special effects, it felt like an old fashioned tale, and I liked that.
  • Irfan Khan, who plays the adult Pi, has an extremely likeable face. I really enjoyed looking at it whenever he was on screen.
  • Suraj Sharma plays the young Pi, the one the we see the most of during the film, and he really has to carry the film. He does so admirably.
  • The CGI is done really well, to the point where you can’t always tell which Richard Parker is real, and which isn’t (except when logic tells you that they wouldn’t have had a real tiger in such close proximity to an actor).
  • I enjoyed the discussion of religion, with the teenaged Pi adopting three religions when he becomes convinced of the merits of all them.
  • Rafe Spall is a delight.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I was initially reluctant about seeing this film, because when I saw the trailer, there was a massive great big whale in it. A gigantic whale. I closed my eyes during that part.
  • As I’ve discussed on this blog before, I don’t really like any under-the-sea creatures, so the fact that the vast majority of the film is set at sea held problems for me. There’s a scene with a lot of fish that I didn’t enjoy.
  • There were points at which I was just sort of hoping for Pi to be rescued. Once they were at shipwrecked and adrift on the raft, we were just sort of stuck there, and it did get a bit tiresome.
  • There’s a part when Pi, loses the book he has been using to record his adventure. I found it kind of heartbreaking.
  • I don’t really know how to feel about the ending. Mostly, I appreciated the way that the viewer (or reader, if you have read the book) is invited to make their own mind up about the truth of the story. But a tiny part of me felt a little cheated by the ending.