Sunday, 28 September 2014

What I've Been Watching In: September

The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev
Based on the novel of the same name, The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a movie that I had heard so much hype about. When I mentioned on Instagram (link here) that I would be watching this movie I received a lot of different comments, varying from "meh it's ok" to "it's one of my top films." So this made me even more intrigued to press play that evening.
After watching it I now feel like I sit right in the middle of the two aforementioned responses. It neither blew me away, to the point that it would be one of my favourite movies that I've ever seen, but it did still have quite a few redeeming qualities, ones which I did thoroughly enjoy. First of all, the acting is really rather impressive, especially when I hadn't seen many (if any) movies from some of the main actors in this. The only one I had seen perform before was Emma Watson but I didn't once think, oh look there's Hermoine from Harry Potter. And for me, Ezra Miller was the standout star of this movie. He completely stole the show in my opinion. I also absolutely adored the soundtrack of this movie. Any soundtrack that includes The Smiths, David Bowie and New Order is a winner for me. Oh and not to mention a bit of 'Come On Eileen' by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Some of it was undeniably a little cliche for me but that's probably inevitable when a movie revolves around a high school setting. I think we've all seen and experienced the classic high school tropes so many times that a lot of these high school movies feel rather samey. Even though I did fall right in the middle of the two responses from my instagram(that I mentioned above), I would happily watch this movie again.

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye
If you read last month's 'What I've Been Watching' post (link here) then you will have seen that I watched Insidious in August. I obviously had to buy the Insidious DVD double pack, which included Insidious: Chapter 2 (it's also available to stream on Netflix too) so that I could see what happened next in the Insidious story and I was not left disappointed. I did worry that this would be another one of those horror movie sequels. You know the kind I'm talking about. They're never anywhere near as good as the original and sometimes they're barely watchable. This was not the case with Insidious: Chapter 2. Picking up exactly where Insidious left off, Chapter 2 transports us between the two movie time periods through the use of a multitude of flashbacks. Scenes that you didn't really dwell on in the first movie are given new meaning in Chapter 2. For that reason, I actually preferred Chapter 2 to the original Insidious movie, even though I did want to watch the first one again just so that I could appreciate the scenes that had been explained in Chapter 2.
And it looks like Insidious will be getting a Chapter 3, to be released some time in 2015. Unlike the first two, this third foray into the Insidious story won't star Patrick Wilson or Rose Byrne, so it's safe to assume that the next movie will focus on a new family or perhaps the children once they have grown up. Rumours are circulating that the dreamy Dermot Mulroney will also be starring in the next movie. Even though nothing has actually been confirmed as of yet, I'm already pretty intrigued to see where they take the Insidious movies next.

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah
Much like Insidious, which I watched and reviewed last month (link here), before watching Chapter 2 this month, I just had to watch Kill Bill: Vol. 2 after watching Vol. 1 in the previous month. As much as I adore Vol. 1, Vol. 2 is definitely my favourite out of the two (it's pretty rare to find two sequels (Insidious: Chapter 2 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2) that I much prefer to the first movies). I think this might have something to do with the fact that the three remaining names on The Bride's (Uma Thurman) 'Death List Five' are three of my favourite characters (and deaths). There's Bill's brother Budd (Michael Madsen), the spectacular Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and of course there's Bill (David Carradine) himself.
The scenes that are situated in and around Budd's trailer have to be some of my favourite of the entire movie. If you've seen the movie then you'll know which ones I'm talking about and if you haven't, then you'll just need to trust me. They are both wickedly entertaining and brutal in equal parts.
You also ultimately find out a lot more about the characters in Vol. 2 when you compare it to Vol. 1 as well as discovering what actually happened in the wedding chapel that led to The Bride seeking her revenge in the first place. Of course if you're a fan of the first Kill Bill or Tarantino's work in general, then I'm sure that you will have already seen this movie but if not, I would definitely recommend it.

Friday the 13th (2009)
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle
If you've read any of my previous 'What I've Been Watching' posts (link here) then you might be aware that I do like a good horror movie. This was on TV one night and I couldn't really be bothered to change the channel (how lazy do I sound? Hehe). Having never seen the original, I can't really compare this reboot to that but it is your typical teen horror movie in many ways. I'm not exactly the outdoorsy type but why on earth would you go to a cabin in the woods next to an abandoned summer camp where another group of teenagers have mysteriously disappeared?
If you try to ignore that, Friday the 13th isn't the worst horror movie I've seen. However, it's not the best either. If you're looking for a teen slasher movie, similar to the Friday the 13th reboot, then I would definitely watch the Scream movies or I Know What You Did Last Summer instead. Fans of The Vampire Diaries (which I've actually never watched before) might want to watch this just for the fact that Jared Padalecki is in it. I was a big fan of him in House of Wax (which is a movie I can wholeheartedly recommend even just for the fact that Chad Michael Murray was in it when he was in his prime!) I think I may need to watch that next.

Silicon Valley (2014-)
Starring: Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr
Created by Mike Judge (the man behind King of the Hill, Beavis & Butt-head and Office Space) Silicon Valley is a show based in Silicon Valley in California. It centres around a start-up company who are trying to create and develop a new app/program (can you tell I'm not particularly well versed in the world of computer programming? Hehe).
I have to admit, as soon as I heard that Martin Starr (Bill Haverchuck forever) would be starring in this, I knew I had to check it out and I'm definitely glad that I did. Not only is this a really witty and enjoyable show but Martin Starr is also sporting a fine hairstyle and some pretty impressive muscles (oh yeah!) It might not be to everyone's taste in terms of humour but I've really enjoyed this first season as a whole. Let's just say it's far superior and funnier than The Internship, which I reviewed last month (review here), was and that was also set in the Silicon Valley and in the tech-startup world.
My only complaint, which is my complaint with quite a few shows that have been created by HBO (I'm primarily talking about Girls here), is that there aren't enough episodes for me but that's not really a reason not to watch the show, now is it?
Both Silicon Valley and the next show on my 'What I've Been Watching' list have both been picked up for a second season so I'm certainly excited for both of those.

The 100 (2014-)

Starring: Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, Bob Morley
I have to admit it, even though this isn't the kind of show that I would normally watch, I'm completely hooked on The 100. First of all, the premise for this show is really rather interesting, even if I did initially compare it to The Hunger Games, which you quickly learn that it's notTrying to sum it up in a couple of sentences is a little bit tricky but I'll give it my best go. 
After a nuclear war breaks out on Earth, the only individuals to survive are those who were orbiting the Earth at the time (ie. those on space stations). All survivors and their progeny now reside together on 'The Ark' (which is essentially just one giant space station). When 'The Ark's' oxygen systems begin to fail they are forced to come up with a solution to the problem of surviving on 'The Ark' now that oxygen levels are decreasing rapidly. 'The 100' is made up of individuals, all under the age of eighteen, who have committed a crime on board 'The Ark.' As they are seen as expendable, they are sent down to Earth to see if it is habitable or not, as that might be the only way for the residents of 'The Ark' to survive now. I told you it was tricky to sum it up briefly. All I can say is give it a watch if you can. It's pretty brutal (a lot more so than I would have expected it to be) and has constantly surprised me thus far.

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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