Wednesday, 29 January 2014

What I've been watching in: January

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Drinking Buddies is not your typical rom-com and trust me, this is a very good thing.
Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are two friends who work together, drink together and genuinely care for one another. They are the kind of pair that you instantly expect to be in a relationship together, however, both are in relationships of their own. Kate with Chris (Ron Livingston) and Luke is engaged to Jill (Anna Kendrick). In Drinking Buddies we get to see how the lines between friendship and romance can so often blur which is explicitly exemplified between these four characters.
This movie feels very realistic and draws you in to the character's lives from the very beginning and genuinely has to be one of the best films that I've seen a while. I definitely recommend you check this movie out.

Wish You Were Here (2012) 
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price, Teresa Palmer, Anthony Starr
Wish You Were Here stars Edgerton and Price as married couple Dave and Alice, who go on holiday to Cambodia with Steph, Alice’s sister (Teresa Palmer), and her new boyfriend Jeremy (Anthony Starr). When only three of the foursome return home to Australia, the mysterious disappearance of Jeremy sees a tangle of secrets and lies begin to unravel before them.
The real standout star of this has to be Edgerton, who I was already a big fan of after seeing Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty and The Great Gatsby (see below). His brilliant portrayal of Dave really carries the overall momentum of the movie and keeps you speculating as to just what his role is in all of this.
I was really surprised that I hadn’t heard more about this movie, as I had a genuine lump in the back of my throat watching the last twenty minutes or so. Even the day after I'd watched this I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I'd definitely say it's one to watch.

The Great Gatsby (2013) 
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
This was the one movie that I really wanted to see in 2013 and yet, for one reason or another, I never got the chance to. Thankfully my parents got the countless amount of hints I was leaving and I received this for Christmas. I really couldn't wait to watch it to see if all the hype that I'd heard from friends was really correct.
Shamefully, I’ve yet to read Fitzgerald’s novel (which is pretty bad considering I did an English degree at University), so I really had no idea what to expect. I had a feeling it would be pretty impressive from what I had seen of the trailers and of course from what I heard from the wonderful soundtrack (if you haven't downloaded the soundtrack yet I really do urge you to).
I've long been a big fan of Baz Luhrmann's work, especially on Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet so I was expecting quite a lot from this and it really did live up to all those expectations. I really enjoyed this and the whole theatricality of it. Like the aforementioned Luhrmann movies, music played a big part in this and I fell in love pretty quickly with the whole roaring 1920's period, from the hairstyles, to the clothes, to the cars.
My parents also bought me the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby which stars Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby so I'll need to watch that too and see how it compares.

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen
When her best friend Sophie (Mickey Summer) moves out, Frances (Greta Gerwig) finds herself having to re-evaluate her life in what feels like a bit of a quarter life crisis for Frances.
I’d heard a lot of great things about this movie, you just need to have a look at some of the reviews online and you’ll see quite a lot of near perfect reviews of this independent black and white movie. In my opinion it almost lives up those reviews. Greta Gerwig is brilliant as Frances and as a viewer in my early twenties I definitely related to Frances and her struggle to truly find herself and her place in the world.
However, I couldn’t stop myself from comparing this to the HBO series Girls, which I am a big fan of. It seems to tread a lot of the same ground with many parallels, plus I think the fact that Adam Driver also stars in this made me even more aware of the comparisons.

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Adam Brody
Lovelace is based on the autobiography Ordeal written by the infamous 1970's porn star Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried). It chronicles the years of Linda's life where she finds herself in the porn industry after being coerced by her controlling and abusive husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). 
I'd read an interview with Amanda Seyfried and was definitely intrigued to check this movie out. Plus it's packed aplenty with actors such as Adam Brody, Chris Noth, Bobby Canavale and Hank Azaria, all with perfectly coiffed hairstyles and plenty of handlebar moustaches. And James Franco does pop up as a young Hugh Hefner which feels a little strange as I’m used to seeing him as an octogenarian surrounded by women a quarter of his age.
It is a difficult watch throughout as it deals with domestic violence and physical and sexual abuse. But what shocked me the most was how successful the movie Deep Throat was yet it had such an exponential impact on her life. According to Lovelace in the closing credits, Deep Throat made over $600 million worldwide whilst Linda only earned $1250. This, for me, just reiterated how exploitative the whole situation was for Linda.

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni
This wasn’t a movie that I’d heard a great deal about before stumbling across it but I gave it a go as it had some of my favourites from TV (hello April from Parks & Recreation, Brendan DeLaurier from The Mindy Project and Nick from New Girl).
Magazine writer (Jake Johnson) and two interns (Aubrey Plaza and Karan Soni) seek to investigate the below classified ad;
'Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons.
Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.'
The plot isn’t one I would normally be drawn to as I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan but this movie certainly blurs the line between sci-fi and a not so traditional rom-com, a combination I've not found all that often but it definitely works here.

What have you been watching this month? Do you have any recommendations?

Have you seen any of these? If so, what did you think of them?


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