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06

Jul

Today’s Bondathon is live. Enjoy while I roast in the hot sun with my first grade group and my co-counselor.

01

Jul

365 Film Challenge: #46 - #55

46) Martha Marcy May Marlene (really 41 or 42, but it slipped my mind when writing up the previous post) (dir. Sean Durkin, 2011)

  • An interesting look at the effect of a cult on a young woman. Shocking and powerful. 4/4.5 out of 5

47) From Russia With Love (dir. Terence Young, 1963)

  • Continuing the Bond franchise, but out of order, going by the novels. Still a decent film, but it has its issues (underdeveloped female characters, suave womanizer, Cold War tension, etc.), which are a part of the era the film was released in. 3.5/4 out of 5

48) Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson, 2012)

  • A reminder of the innocence of childhood and how adults misunderstand or don’t know how to deal with troubled children, set in the midst of the 1960s on a fictional New England island with a hazardous storm on the horizon. Great cast, script, cinematography/framing, etc. So much love for the opening sequence and the camp walk-through. And the cameo towards the end. 4.5 out of 5

49) Brave (dir. Mark Andrews, 2012)

  • A different take on the traditional Disney princess film, bolstered by stunning Pixar animation and a stellar voice cast. The story might’ve been a touch weak and I would’ve liked a bit more of the different clans. Still, a good film nonetheless. 4.5 out of 5

50) Goldfinger (dir. Guy Hamilton, 1964)

  • Like From Russia With Love, this film also has its issues because of the era it was released in. It’s not as nice towards women as the previous film, as one is killed with gold paint, another by a weaponized bowler hat, and another (alluded to be a lesbian) is seduced and changes sides. But it is overall a decent Bond film that partially holds up, but the special effects (car chases, fight scenes, etc.) do show their age. 3.5 out of 5.

51) Inglorious Basterds (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2009)

  • Ah, a Tarantino period piece … set in an alternate mid-1940s France where WWII is still raging and a crack team of Jewish-American soldiers are traveling around, scalping Nazis, etc. The table scenes (especially Waltz’s first one) are dynamite and ooze with tension … definitely the aforementioned first one. The violence is perhaps a little more contained, yet still there and vicious as ever in Tarantino films (then again, I haven’t seen Jackie Brown or Kill Bill yet). 4/4.5 out of 5

52) The Adventures of Tintin (dir. Steven Spielberg, 2011)

  • I couldn’t help but grab this off the new shelf at the library and give it a re-watch because it was a joy to see it on the big screen in 3D back in December. My familiarity with the character only really goes back to one or two of the animated TV episodes/movies (“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, Red Rackum’s treasure, here we come!” and all that). But the hallucinatory-like transitions, the overall mo-cap animation (apart from maybe the head sizes/facial features not quite seeming right), the tight Moffat-Wright-Cornish script … and the exotic feel that could have inspired the Indiana Jones films (which Spielberg read about in reviews after the first film was released and then got into the books) … perfect. 4.5 out of 5

53) The Cove (dir. Louis Psihoyos, 2009)

  • Well-pointed documentary on Japanese dolphin hunting/slaughter. Tries to be unbiased, but clearly favors an end to the hunting/capture/slaughter (It’s an Oceanic Preservation Society film, a dolphin trainer from Flipper is a part of the crew, Japanese officials dealing with the situation are mostly negatively viewed, etc.). Still worth seeing, though. 4 out of 5

54) Thunderball (dir. Terence Young, 1965)

  • Improves a little more in the portrayal of women department, but there’s still a femme quality that pervades the film. Still, issues because of the era it was released in, as well as some plot holes. Maybe 3/3.5 out of 5?
55) Ultimate Avengers (dir. Curt Geda, Steven E. Gordon, and Bob Richardson, 2006)
  • Most likely meant to be an animated Avengers origin flick for the Ultimates universe, it doesn’t seem origin-y enough. Yes, you’ve got the team coming together, but there’s Stark, the Pyms, and Banner, whom the audience is supposed to be familiar with in some way, shape or form, but because it’s a different Marvel universe and there’s little pre-film information … The voice talent is alright, the plot and character development could be stronger, but it’s not quite what I expected, having viewed most of the Marvel cinematic universe (not counting Incredible Hulk) and some of Avengers: EMH. 3 out of 5

23

Jun

Things I’m Doing

- Still thinking over Korra.
- Reading ‘Thunderball’
- Listening to Dresden Dolls on my shuffling Alternative playlist (“That’s the way it is in Minnesota …”)
- Thinking over how to script the ‘Goldfinger’ Bondathon video.
- Oh, and my diploma finally arrived. Props for cum laude!