A Stressful Cinema Experience

I’m one of those really annoying people who likes to go to the cinema and actually watch a film.

Strange, I know.

Unfortunately, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of the Birmingham movie-going population haven’t quite grasped the concept.

The other night, The Bloke and I went to watch Infinity Wars (don’t worry, there’s no spoilers). After waiting for over a year and then looking forward to it all week, we decided that (as it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest movies of all time) we would spend more to see it on an IMAX 3D screen for maximum impact, something that we’ve never done before. Continue reading

The Quintessential English Baddie: Sir Christopher Lee

The casting of the villain in Hollywood movies has often had political motivation. During the Cold War the bad guys were frequently communists and sported Russian accents, after 9/11 they became terrorists from the Middle East. However, there has always been a tendency to cast British, or rather, English actors in the role of the cold, calculating, evil genius, often to counteract the all American hero.

The stereotype doesn’t exist with us Brits as a race, it’s all about the perception of the English accent and the assumption that our dialect resembles that of the Royal Family. This is known as ‘Received Pronunciation’, or RP, and can be defined as ‘the speech of educated people living in London and the south-east of England,’ often creating an air of imperialism, from a time when the British almost ruled the world.

There seems to be an unwillingness from Hollywood to cast their own in the role of the bad guy. The lead character almost always has to be seen as perfect and embodies the characteristics of the stereotypical hero. In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Alan Rickman’s superb portrayal of The Sheriff of Nottingham was evil, vicious and ruthless. The hero? Kevin Costner, with his heavy American accent. In the Lion King, Mufasa and Scar are supposed to be brothers. Mufasa, the ‘good guy’, is American, voiced by legendary actor James Earl Jones. Scar, the ‘villain’ is English, voiced by Jeremy Irons. In The Avengers, a whole plethora of fantastic American and Australian actors play the lead roles, battling to save the world from the evil Loki, played by English actor, Tom Hiddleston.

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Perhaps the most quintessential bad guy of them all was Sir Christopher Lee, who sadly passed away a few days ago, with the news of his death announced today. From his earlier Hammer roles as Dracula and Rasputin, and Scaramanga in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun,’ to his more recent portrayals of Saruman in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ films and Count Dooku in ‘Star Wars’ episodes II and III, Lee’s ability to demonstrate evil on-screen was unsurpassed. At the age of 93, with his imposing frame and that instantly recognisable baritone voice, Lee was a true cinematic legend. Of all the English baddies, he was the greatest.

Rest in Peace sir… You will be missed.

Photo credits: Sir Christopher Lee. Taken from Virginmedia.com

 

Alternative Oscar Highlights

I didn’t watch the Oscars last night – it was shown on Sky, which I don’t have, and so I followed it through Twitter and online videos and updates.

The were several highlights that I could discuss – Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to stay upright, Sandra Bullock’s stunning dress, Jarod Leto’s moving speech, the fabulous vocal performances from Pink and Idina Menzel and, of course, Ellen DeGeneres’s hilarious hosting skills. However, these were some of the things that made me smile throughout the night.

Benedict Cumberbatch photobombs U2 on the red carpet

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Brad Pitt scarfs pizza that was ordered by Ellen DeGeneres during the ceremony (and I’m slightly concerned about the boob that looks like it is about to pop out in the background)

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A national newspaper decides to rename the most famous song from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – I’m sure ‘Somewhere Over The Window’ will be just as popular as the original…

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And finally, courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres… The greatest selfie ever!

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What about you guys? What was your favourite Oscar moment? You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

Oscars Edition – Top Three

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buquad.com

The Bloke and I adore films, our vice being the purchase of literally thousands of DVD’s over the years to the point where they are beginning to take over the house. We have certain films that we watch repeatedly according to day, mood and time – Friday evenings are reserved for action/fantasy, Saturday afternoons are great for rom-coms, Sunday afternoons are perfect for animation, and Sunday evenings are usually reserved for Asian martial arts (I’ve got a thing for Donnie Yen).

We don’t normally get the opportunity to watch the Oscars as it is shown into the early hours of the morning here in the UK, so to celebrate I have decided to create my own homage to the movie industry, and I would love it if you guys got involved.

To participate, you simply have to answer one question. You can do this directly in the comment box below or by creating your own post and linking it back to this. You can invite all your friends. If you wish to include a link to your blog with your answers, feel free to do so to allow other bloggers to visit you! 

My question to you is:

What three films could you watch for the rest of your life? 

You can simply list the films or you could give an explanation why you have made these particular choices. It’s a difficult question – I could easily list 20 or 30.

Here are my Top 3:

Carlito’s Way – tense, incredible acting and heartbreaking ending.

American Beauty – cleverly written, superbly acted, fabulous plot twists.

500 Days of Summer – a different take on the rom-com, with an unexpected ending.

I asked The Bloke this question and these were his answers.

13th Warrior

Kelly’s Heroes

Underworld

 

I’m looking forward to seeing your answers! You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.

A Freshly Pressed Thor-some Evening! (Groan)

Yesterday evening The Bloke and I decided to go and watch the new Thor film at the cinema. I’m a huge fan of the Marvel films (Avengers Assemble is possibly the best action/fantasy film ever made) and if I’m being totally honest, I was quite looking forward to the prospect of drooling at a shirtless Chris Hemsworth (and appreciating his dramatic talents of course!!).

I wasn’t disappointed, the film was fabulous. So fabulous, in fact, that I had to stop myself from standing up in the middle of the main fight sequences and yelling ‘YEAH’ at the top of my voice. It was also nice to see Christopher Eccleston, a talented British actor, playing the role of the bad guy Malaki, which he did extremely well. Unfortunately, the language that was spoken by Malaki was a little amusing – it somewhat reminded me of the ‘Jabba Wookie Nipple – Pinchy‘ quote from Family Guy’s ‘Blue Harvest,’ so that made me giggle. I’m not going to give a detailed film review at the risk of giving away any spoilers, but these are the facts you should know if you are planning to see it: Continue reading

I Said… Put The Bunny… Back In The Box

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I’d forgotten just how great Con Air is, until I watched it again last night for the first time in years.

For those of you that haven’t seen it, the plot is fairly simple – Cameron Poe (Nicholas Cage), a highly decorated US ranger, is convicted of manslaughter after protecting his wife in a drunken brawl. Finally, after eight years, he’s being paroled and going home to his wife and daughter. His ride home is the Jailbird, which also happens to be transporting some of society’s most vicious criminals to  Feltham Penitentiary, Lousiana’s toughest maximum security prison. An escape is made on board by Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom and the cons seize control of the plane with the intention to fly to Mexico. The officials on the ground want to blow it up, but US Marshal Vince Larkin (John Cusak) and Poe have other ideas…

What I love about the film is the fact that it is one enormous cliche. It’s a fabulous cast and superbly acted, with big budget explosions, quick set-ups and on-going end sequences (Poe saves the day and could quite easily go home with his wife and child but then insists on hunting the bad guys down until he’s killed them in gruesome ways, only to end the film with a very ‘corn-ball’ reunion with his family). The dialogue is witty to the very end.

Cameron Poe: [to Larkin] Sorry boss, but there’s only two men I trust. One of them’s me. The other’s not you.

Duncan Malloy: This is a situation that needs to get unfucked, right now!

Cameron Poe: [smashing Johnny 23’s head into the cage wall on each word] Don’t… *treat*… *women*… *like*… *that*!

 

[referring to Malloy’s Corvette falling from the plane]

Vince Larkin: I know a good body shop in Fresno if it’s insured.

Duncan Malloy: I was bored with that car anyway.

Vince Larkin: It worked out nicely, then.

 

Cyrus Grissom: Considering my audience, I’m going to make this very quick and very simple. [points to objects in the sand]

Cyrus Grissom: This is the boneyard, this is the hanger, this is our plane.

Viking: [points] What’s that?

Cyrus Grissom: That’s a rock.

[knocks it out of the way]

Viking: Okay.

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Some of the one-liners made me laugh out loud at the sheer cheesiness of the delivery. Consequently, this made me think about other films I’ve watched recently. I often find that the worst lines in a film are what makes them so good:

“Kenner, just incase we get killed, I wanted to tell you, you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man…” Brandon Lee – Showdown In Little Tokyo.

“You’re a virus, and I’m the cure.” Stallone – Cobra.

“Death. Courts adjourned.” Stallone – Judge Dredd

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” Liam Neeson – Taken

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.” Hayden Christiansen – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

“Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.” Andi McDowell – Four Weddings and  A Funeral

 

Maverick: I feel the need…

Maverick/Goose: …the need for speed! Tom Cruise – Top Gun

 

“It’s turkey time. Gobble gobble.” Jennifer Lopez – Gigli

 

[the T-1000 has fallen into a vat of molten steel]

John Connor: Is it dead?

The Terminator: Terminated. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Terminator

 

Vilain: You must want to hurt me bad.

Barney Ross: I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m gonna take your life. The Expendables 2

 

“I know he loves you. He’d kill tigers for you.” Marissa Tomei – Only You

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I wonder what the reaction of the real – world population would be if we actually used these lines in our daily conversation… I can imagine a few slaps across the face or large amounts of eye-rolling would occur. I love them – bring on the Brie!

What about you? What are your favourite cheesy lines from your favourite films?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

Picture credits: stills from Con Air

Why I Love An English Baddie…

The casting of the villain in Hollywood movies has always had political motivation. During the Cold War the bad guys were often communists and had Russian accents, after 9/11 they became terrorists from the Middle East. However, there has always been a tendency to cast British, or rather, English actors in the role of the cold, calculating, evil genius, often to counteract the all American hero.

The stereotype doesn’t exist with us Brits as a race, it’s all about the perception of the English accent and the assumption that our dialect resembles that of the Royal Family. This is known as ‘Received Pronunciation’, or RP, and can be defined as ‘the speech of educated people living in London and the south-east of England,’ often creating an air of imperialism, from a time when the British almost ruled the world. Continue reading