kittiwake: (media)
My favourite film of January is The Artist.

The Artist lives up to its fantastic reviews. I found it utterly charming and so did a work colleague who decided to see it after I told her how good it was.

I watched Hugo in 3D and although it didn't me feel travel-sick or give me a headache, it still kept dragging me out of the spell of the film. I'm never going to be a fan of 3D, but the story was good and the production design was even better.

My favourite film of February is Young Adult.

A Dangerous Method was a bit disappointing. IT was based on a play, and wasn't very cinematic as there were lots of scenes of people sitting around talking, and not much action.

The Muppets was fun. My favourite Muppet has always been Miss Piggy, and she looked very stylish in her job at plus-size editor at French Vogue, and very different from the rough Miss Poogy of the Mooppets tribute band!

The Woman in Black was scary. The changes to the story made sense (I didn't really understand what the ghostly woman was so angry about when i read the book) and Daniel Radcliffe seemed suitable depressed as the widower who had never come to terms with his wife's death in childbirth.

Young Adult is a very dark comedy, starring Charlize Theron as a very unlikeable woman returning to her home town to break up her happily married ex-boyfriend's marriage. I really enjoyed it, but I know a lot of people didn't.
kittiwake: (stormclouds)
My favourite film of October is probably Midnight in Paris, but it was a close-run thing this month, with everything except Sleeping Beauty in the running. I just noticed that last month's post didn't say that my favourite film of September was Trollhunter.

Melancholia stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst playing sisters facing the end of the world, as the planet Melancholia approaches ever nearer and threatens to collide with the Earth. As you might expect from the title, it was dreamy and melancholic..

Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's latest film. An American screenwriter and would-be novelist visiting Paris with his shallow fiancee and her unpleasant parents goes through a time-slip and meets his literary heroes in 1920s Paris. A film about nostalgia and how the present never seems to live up to a lost golden age in the past.

Sleeping Beauty was not very enjoyable.

I haven't read We Need To Talk About Kevin even though it was such a popular novel, but i went to see the film and it was fantastic. A couple of days before I saw it, I heard Lynne Ramsey (the director) being interviewed about it, and I got the impression that she didn't really like the actor playing the teenage Kevin, even though she immediately knew he was perfect for the role. The way she described him it sounded as though she found him too similar to Kevin for comfort!

The Mayhem horror Film Festival

Japanese film Tomie: Unlimited is the eleventh film in a series based on a Manga about a girl who regenerates no matter how (or how often) she is killed. Always called, Tomie, in this film she she starts as a schoolgirl who is killed by falling scaffolding pole while her sister is taking pictures of her. But a year after her death, Tomie knocks at the door of her grieving family's house, and begins to manipulate everyone around her, killing and being killed, and regenerating in all sorts of strange ways. Unfortunately there was a problem with the subtitles at the start of the film, so I have no idea whether she talked like an ordinary girl or not before her death, or whether her sister already knew there was something strange about her. Seeing Tomie's father stuffing a hank of hair into his mouth made me retch, in fact just thinking about it makes me retch too. Is it just me, or is it something about hair that has that effect?

The H. P. Lovecraft Society filmed The Whisperer in Darkness in the style of a 1930s movie, filmed in black and white, with period credits, lighting effects and performances by the actors. They had adapted the story to make it a bit more visually exciting, including showing the monsters, which are only seen 'off-screen' in the original story.
kittiwake: (stormclouds)
Final Destination 5 3D
Although not a fan of 3D, I went along to see this film, because the cinema wasn't showing a 2D version of it. By the time I had watched the 3D trailers for "Warsaw, 1920" and "The Three Musketeers" my head was swimming and I was feeling nauseous and in no fit state to watch any film, let alone one in 3D. So I left the auditorium and went back to the box office, where I swapped my ticket.

The Inbetweeners
Although I have seen parts of occasional episodes of the television series, while waiting for something else to start, it isn't really aimed at my age group and I probably wouldn't have gone to see this film if I hadn't had to swap my Final Destination 3D ticket. But I wanted to choose a film that I hadn't seen yet, had reasonably good reviews and wasn't starting for a couple of hours so there was time for my travel-sickness to subside. However, it was very funny (although there was some gross-out humour in parts) and everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it not just the youngsters.

The Skin I Live In
I heard a review for this film which said it was the reviewer's favourite film so far this year, but that anyone who wanted to see it should avoid reading anything at all about it as it would spoil their experience if they knew too much about the story. So for once I actually made an effort to avoid all spoilers (I didn't even read the leaflet about the film that I had picked up at Broadway) and came to the film fresh. so I can't say anything about it except that it was very good and you shouldn't miss it if you are an Almodovar fan.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Having seen the Alec Guinness in the television series, read the book and listened to the BBC's recent radio adaptation, I was well aware of the basic story and the identity of the mole, but it was still a very tense and suspenseful film to watch. The scenes at the spies' Christmas party with them singing the Russian national anthem conducted by Father Christmas in a Lenin mask were very effective, and design of the Circus (MI6 HQ) with its huge bleak room containing portacabins as offices, suited the characters, sad elderly men, alienated from real life and not even able to trust each other.

Broadway showed this at one of their Thursday Silver Screen sessions for pensioners and as I was off work that week, I persuaded my mother to go with me. The previous week they showed Jane Eyre and the Silver Screen sessions were full, but Norwegian comedy/horror was not such an obvious choice and there were a lot fewer people there. However, everyone who was there seemed to really enjoy it. The film was set in the autumn and the Norwegian scenery was beautiful, even though it usually seemed to be raining. British viewers may not be as au fait with trolls as the Scandinavians, but most should be aware that trolls are turned to stone by daylight (although some of the trolls in this film exploded rather than turning to stone) and like to lurk under bridges, due to "The Hobbit" and the story of the three billy goats gruff.
It was definitely funny rather than scary for the viewer (although the film's characters were often scared), from the first cry of 'TROLL' in the forest and the student film-makers' horror at having to strip and rub themselves with slimy 'troll stench' so that the trolls wouldn't smell them, to the iron armour that the trollhunter wore to confront the troll on the bridge.
kittiwake: (sf)
I have nothing to complain about this month, as all three were well worth the money, but I'm torn between Super 8 and ROTPOTA for my movie of the month.

Cowboys & Aliens was full of plot holes and inconsistencies, but it was enjoyable enough that I don't feel like dwelling on them.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is much more believable than the other films, due to having apes created by motion capture and CGI rather than men in suits. I especially liked the scene on the bridge when the chimps climbed the cables to escape the police while the orang utans swung from arm to arm along the underside of the bridge (I love orang utans). I liked the ending, as it showed a logical way that a takeover by the apes could actually happen.

Super 8 was great. Apparently the last half hour is exactly the same as ET but I have never seen ET so that didn't bother me. The train crash near the beginning was absolutely spectacular, so spectacular in fact that I found it extremely hard to believe that all six children escaped without a scratch on them.
kittiwake: (media)
Since my last post I have seen three comedies, a vampire road movie and a documentary at the cinema. My favourites are "Senna" and "Stake Land".

Funny, with one scene of gross-out toilet humour. If you're ever invited to be your best friend's matron of honour, don't go to a bridal shop after lunch at a dodgy restaurant, and try not to be a bridesmaidzilla as it only upsets the bride.

Horrible Bosses
Another Hollywood comedy. Jennifer Aniston is one of the horrible bosses, and she really should keep the character's dark brown hair and fringe as everybody agreed that they really suit her (everybody being two teenage girls at the same screening as me, my hairdresser and me).

A French comedy about a 1970s housewife who takes over the running of the family's umbrella factory when her husband has a heart attack. There were quite a few laughs and I liked the fact that the denouement wasn't about whether Catherine Deneuve's character would leave her husband for Gerard Depardieu's left-wing politician.

I hadn't remembered what year Senna died, but at one point in this documentary there was a clever piece of foreshadowing that had me counting down towards the fateful year. I didn't know what Ayrton Senna was like as a person, even though I used to enjoy watching him race, and he came across as a much deeper and more complex person than I had expected. When he was asked who he had respected most in his career, he named a team-mate he had looked up to during his first year racing carts in Europe, when it was all about the racing rather than money or politics, which was very poignant. All in all this was the best documentary I've seen at the cinema this year, and surprisingly I have seen 3 already, so it seems to be a year for great documentaries.

Stake Land
Society is breaking down in the wake of a disease which turns people into creatures that act like zombies, but have a vampire's vulnerabilities. They can be killed by a stake to the heart or brain stem or by tying them up and leaving them to be burnt up when dawn comes. Canada is rumoured to be vamp-free and a man and a teenage boy head north, picking up a few other travellers and trying to keep away from land controlled by a creepy cult that has grown up since the disease took hold.
kittiwake: (media)
This time there are several strong contenders for my favourite film, but they are so varied that my favourite is likely to change depending on my mood.

Attack the Block
Enjoyable British science fiction/horror movie, about a tower block on a South London council estate being attacked by shaggy black aliens with luminous turquoise teeth!.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
I must say that the first scene, with the camera looking deep into the cave looked fantastic in 3D, and being able to see the shape of the walls on which the animals had been painted also worked really well. But overall I wasn't keen on it. For one thing it gave me a headache. For another, I was sitting towards the left of the cinema and was frequently distracted by pieces of scenery at the bottom left of the screen appearing to protrude out of the screen. When the scientists were being interviewed in their offices. the 3D looked layered, as though there was a person in the foreground, then a big gap then a backdrop; it didn't really look as if the room was a volume full of furniture, people and air. Lastly,  the subtitles when people were speaking French were really distracting,as were the end credits. It was like looking into an aquarium with the words on the glass wall closest to you. So my basic problem with 3D is that it keeps breaking the spell, which I suppose doesn't matter too much when watching a documentary, but it would matter a lot for other films.

A very enjoyable thriller, about a teenage girl on the run from the CIA. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in the title role. I knew I recognised the girl who plays Sophie, so I looked her up on imdb and she played the teenager who fancied the rock star in "Tamara Drewe".

Little White Lies
French film about a group of Parisians holidaying in a wealthy friend's villa, while one of their group lies seriously injured in hospital. I found it reasonably enjoyable while I was actually watching it, but in retrospect it seems quite bland really.
Now this was a good use of 3D (and it didn't give me a headache). Wim Wender's documentary about the work of German choreographer Pina Bausch. Her dance company contained dancers of a wide range of sizes and ages, some of whom had danced with her for decades. Highly recommended to anyone who like dance.

Win Win
Loved it but the product placement was blatant! 'What are you doing?' 'Playing Wii Golf' (which didn't even make sense since what Terry was actually doing was looking up Kyle's wrestling stats on the Internet, and Mike already knew that, so why would he have asked?). And then it gets mentioned by name again later in the film.
kittiwake: (media)
Black Swan
Psychological horror about an unstable dancer whose grasp on reality disintegrates when she wins the lead role in Swan Lake.

Never Let Me Go
I never really fancied reading the novel that this film is based on, but having seen the film I think I would l like to read it no. It's a sad, grey film, with characters who are resigned to their fate. the saddest point was when the schoolchildren were so thrilled at the prospect of being able to buy toys with their accumulated tokens, and the fact that they were ecstatic when confronted with the rubbish (a naked Barbie doll with no arms, half a recorder) on the table. Towards the end of the film, I realised why they usually died on their third or fourth donation, and that nobody cared, not even them really. Andrea Riseborough obviously has one of those faces that can play pretty or plain - I would never have guessed that it was the same actress as in the one about the women factory workers.

Inside Job
A documentary about the credit crisis, featuring various involved parties squirming and being made to look like self-serving fools, as in the case of the guy who said he left his regulatory role in the midst of the crissis to return to academia because he needed to revise a textbook, and another academic who claimed that it was due to a typo that his CV contained a report called "Financial Instability in Iceland", when the report was actually called "Financial Stability in Iceland". Lots of shocked gaps and laughter from the audience.

The Adjustment Bureau
Lots of plot holes but still enjoyable due to the chemistry between the Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I wouldn't be surprised if it was meant to have a Thelma & Louis/Ashes to ashes ending originally; I definitely got that vibe when they were trapped on the roof. I'm not sure whether or not the Adjustment Bureau was populated by angels or aliens. The Adjustment Bureau agents standing on the roof top in their overcoats at the beginning reminded me of the angels in "Wings of Desire", so to start with I was inclining towards the Chairman being God and the agents being angels, but thinking about it, perhaps it is more likely that they are aliens. The manpower shortages and the fact that plans can be changed when the ripples have got out of hand, seem more like the actions of powerful but fallible aliens (like in Doris Lessing's Canopus in Argos: Archives series that I have been reading recently).

Not as good as Sean of the Dead, but still funny, with lots of geeky references to other films.

A downbeat story of Welsh teens with relationship and parental issues. Good, but I was a bit disappointed because I expecting more after all the great reviews it had received.
kittiwake: (media)
A science fiction movie about an alien invasion seen from the point of view of a group of friends staying in an LA penthouse. Personally I would have retreated to somewhere without enormous wrap-round plate-glass windows, I wouldn't have made a break for the harbour (what you really think the aliens can't go over water? Unlikely!), and if I had decided to make a break for it, then the SUV (which could easily have held all five of them) would have been much more sensible than a convertible sports car - with the hood down!
I would probably still have been sucked up into the spaceship, but there is no need to make it too easy for the aliens!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
The third film in the Millennium Trilogy follows on immediately form the second, And if you haven't seen The GIrl Who Played With Fire it would be very hard to follow, but I felt that it wrapped things up well, even though there was a lot less action than in the first two films, due to the amount of scenes set in the hospital and courtroom.

The Way Back
My aunt was over from Spain for Christmas, and as usual we went to Broadway to see a film. Although "The Long Walk" (the book from which this film was adapted) was probably based on a real escape, it did not happened to the book's author. We both enjoyed it, but there were some oddly abrupt changes of scene that jarred quite badly. One minute they were planning the escape from the gulag, and the next they were running through the woods during a blizzard, then later they were sitting in a Tibetan hut discussing whether to cross the Himalayas immediately or wait for three months as they had been advised to, and suddenly they are walking though a tea plantation in India.
kittiwake: (media)
The Mayhem Horror Film Festival took place at Broadway over the last four days of October, and I went to see three of the films.

AVN: Aliens Vs. Ninjas

This is surely the best film about ninjas fighting aliens ever made. It's certainly the funniest and had the whole audience in fits of laughter. A low-budget Japanese film with sub-titles.


A Hitchcock film from 1972, shot in colour with a pinkish-brown sepia tint. Set in and around Covent Garden when it was still a fruit and vegetable market, it is the story of a man who is suspected of being the infamous necktie strangler. Surprisingly there were some funny moments between all the strangling. It seemed vaguely familiar, so it's possible that I have seen it before, or else I may have seen some clips of it at a film evening class.


This road movie / love story / monster movie is set five years after alien life suddenly appeared in Mexico after the crash landing of a space probe. The northern half of Mexico is now a fenced off infected zone, although people still live there side by side with the monsters. The plot concerns a photojournalist who has come to Mexico to do a story on the monsters, reluctantly escorting his boss's daughter back to the American border. Monsters has got mixed reviews on the Internet, but it seems as though people were mislead by the trailers and expecting a different kind of film (one with more monsters and less romance). On the other hand, I didn't see any trailers or read up about it on the Internet beforehand, as I only decided to go a few hours before the screening so I had no expectations to be dashed. I really liked it and it seemed to go down well with the rest of the audience too. There was a Q&A with the director after the screening, which was very interesting. The film was shot on location and only the main couple being played by professional actors; the other characters were played by locals, including the guy who sells them tickets for the ferry who really worked in a cafe by the ferry terminal. After filming finished, the director, whose film career started in digital effects, did all the effects himself, including changing ordinary road signs to give directions to the evacuation zone or the distance to the infected area, and television screens to show news programs including footage of the monsters and maps of the infected zone.

Other films I have seen in the last few months:

Certified Copy

A British academic called James Miller who has written an art book claiming that copies are as good as originals, is on a publicity tour of Italy, where his book has been an unexpected success. In one of the small towns that he visits, a woman who attends his talk offers to take him out for the day before he leaves town. But after a cafe owner assumes they are husband and wife and the woman doesn't correct her, Miller and the woman start to talk about the past as if they used to be married to each other, and it ended badly. It is all rather odd and it isn't at all clear whether they are talking about something that actually happened, or are just play-acting.

So did they already know each other or not? The Evidence:
1) She professes to be interested in Miller's book and gets him to sign six copies for her friends and relations, but although she sits in the front row for his talk, she doesn't listen to it. She spends the time chatting to the Italian man who has organised the talk, and leaves halfway through because her son is hungry.
2) She drags her son along to the talk even though he is not interested, and then leaves because he is moaning about being hungry. He is aged about 13 or 14, so she could have left him at home or sent him off by himself to get something to eat. So maybe she wants his father to see him, even if the boy does not realise they are related.
3) Miller mentions having watched his wife in the past, walking ahead of their son, waiting at each corner to ensure he is still in sight, but not waiting for him to catch up, which is something we have seen the woman and her son doing earlier in the film. But it is possible that the author noticed them during the short time he has been in town.
4) Her son asks why she got the author to dedicate a book to him by his first name only, when his surname is . . . but his mother cuts him off before he says the surname, leaving me guessing that he would have said Miller (I read a suggestion on-line suggesting that the name was cut off because she wouldn't have said Miller. That poster's theory was that the woman was Miller's mistress, or ex-mistress, the boy was their illegitimate child, and the play-acting was about whether their pretend marriage was as good as Miller's actual marriage).
5) The son teases his mother about fancying the author, but otherwise shows no interest in him. If his parents split up five years ago, he would surely remember his father and be able to recognise him.
6) The author and the woman are very awkward with each other. Maybe Miller thinks that the drive into the countryside with a stranger was a mistake, and wishes that it was over. On the other hand, maybe he agreed to the meeting to humour his ex-wife, and is now regretting if.
7) They both seem quite unbalanced at times, so maybe they are just feeding each other's craziness.

On balance, I think that they are play-acting, perhaps to see whether a copy of a failed marriage can be as convincing as an actual failed marriage. Of course I may be entirely wrong. I think that the woman started the game tentatively, and when Miller responded by talking about having watched his wife in the past, walking ahead of their son, waiting at each corner to ensure he is still in sight, but not waiting for him to catch up, she knew he was willing to go along with the game, and it escalated from then on. By the end of the film, I think that Miller is regretting it and wishing he had never met her at all, but he is stuck as he needs her to drive him back to town

Despicable Me

I have never seen a 3-D feature feature film before, although i did see a short 3-D film with bees, flowers and scenery at the film museum on South Bank a long time ago, and I didn't realise that this was going to be in 3-D until i was handed a pair of glasses as I went in. It was a fun story about a super-villain who adopts three little orphan girls as part of his plan to steal the moon and outdo a new villain who stole one of the pyramids, but I don't think that the 3-D really added anything to the story, and I never forgot that I was wearing a second pair of glasses over my own. The best use of the 3-D was during the credits when the little yellow minions (who were cute, I must admit) competed to see who could stretch out the furthest over the audience, but during the film itself, it broke the spell very time I consciously noticed the 3-D.


This is a horror movie that starts with five people stuck in a lift, with lights that keep going out and a malfunctioning intercom which means that they can hear the security guards and police who are trying to get the lift moving again, while the security guard and policeman can see them on camera but not hear them. The Mexican security guard sees a demonic face (I think that's what it was anyway, I couldn't really tell) flash up on the screen and is convince that one of the people in the lift is the Devil, and that the others will all end up dead, as in a story his mother told him as a child. but no-one else, but the cynical policeman and the other guard do not believe him. I didn't actually find it scary at all, maybe because the story is told from the policeman's point of view, so that the viewer is outside the lift looking in, and therefore does not feel in any danger. It also had a surprisingly feel-good ending, given that several people ended up dead.


A Hollywood comedy starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and some other well known actors. Five middle-aged men (some of whom are more successful than others), bring their families back to the small town they grew up in to attend the funeral of their former basketball coach. Over the course of a weekend in a lake house they reconnect with their families and each other. More enjoyable than "The Other Guys".


I avoided reading any spoilers before going to see Inception, which definitely increased my enjoyment, as the concept and the twists and turns of the plot were all new to me, and I hadn't heard about the ambiguous ending, so there was a lot to take in. After going home and reading all the spoilers and discussion about what actually happened, I had to go back and watch it a second time to spot what other people had noticed and see whether my opinion about the ending would still be the same. However, it's not a perfect film; there was an action-filled part near the end (when the characters were trying to get all the 'falling off a chair' moments lined up) which I found quite tedious.

Made in Dagenham

This is the story of how 187 machinists at Ford's Dagenham plant went on strike after their job was downgraded from semi-skilled to unskilled in 1968. The dispute escalated into a demand for women to be paid the same as men doing the same job, and led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970. As well as confronting the Ford bosses (including a big-shot sent over from America), the support from their union is lacklustre, as they see the women as taking attention away from disputes raised by their more important (male) members, and their husbands and fellow-workers (who the woman always supported when they went on strike) become distinctly less supportive when the lack of finished car-seats and door trims means that they are laid off. I saw it at a well-attended Sunday afternoon screening, with an audience made up of people of all ages, from students to retired people, all of whom appeared to love the film. Sally Hawkins was very good in the lead part, as the machinist thrust into the limelight hen she agrees to represent the women at a meeting with management, as was Bob Hoskins, playing the shop-steward who encourages them to ask for equal pay, because he remembers how his mother struggled to bring her children up on less than 50% of the wages of a man doing the same job.

Tamara Drewe

A British rom-com based on a graphic novel. London journalist Tamara returns to the Dorset village where she grew up, to get her late mother's house ready to sell. Other characters include Tamara's rock stat boyfriend and his boxer dog, two teenage girls who find the idyllic village extremely boring and get up to all kinds of mischief while lusting after the rock star, a philandering crime novelist and his wife who run a writers' retreat, and a local man who was Tamara's first boyfriend. Unusually for a rom-com, it isn't all about whether Tamara will end up with the rock star of her ex-boyfriend, as the story concentrates just as much on the teenagers' antics and the marital problems of the novelist and his wife.

The Other Guys

This is is a very silly cop/buddy movie, which passed the time adequately.

The Social Network

The story of how Mark Zuckerberg set up Facebook, and was involved in two different court cases at the same time, after he was sued both by the friend he screwed out of his fair share of the company, and the students whose idea he stole. An interesting film about a group of unlikeable people.

The Third Man

I've seen this classic movie several times before, and decided that seeing it again was a good way to escape from the football during the World Cup. However I didn't escape it entirely, as the football was being projected onto the wall in the cinema bar.

Cinema Trips: May

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 19:59
kittiwake: (media)
This month's top film was Four Lions.

The comedy-horror It's a Wonderful Afterlife didn't really work for me. The romantic relationships didn't evolve in a believable way, the "Carrie" scene seemed out of place, and there was a huge plot hole at the end. I was expecting that Mrs Sethi would be handcuffed to a prison guard at the wedding, having been let out of prison for the day to attend her daughter's wedding. But no, after Roopi and Raj get engaged the film moves straight on to the wedding with no further mention of the police investigation. So if Mrs Sethi was not arrested, was Roopi still the main suspect? And what happened to the body of the dead policeman, stabbed to death with a pair of garden shears in the main suspect's back garden?

Four Lions, Chris Morris's satire about incompetent suicide bombers, got some very good reviews, and I wasn't disappointed by it. At the cinema there were lots of laughs (some of them rather tentative as the audience wondered whether they should really be laughing), and some moments of absolute silence. I thought that the most unnerving parts were Omar casually discussing blowing himself up with his wife and son, and telling his son a jihad version of The Lion King for his bedtime story.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was back at Broadway by popular demand, so I went to see it in the hope that I would be satisfied by the film and not need to read the books. Unfortunately it was fantastic so I had to add the books to my wish list after all. The lead actress was brilliant and by the end of the film I was finding the actor playing Blomqvist quite cute.
kittiwake: (Default)

I liked both of this month's films but didn't love them, so there's no outright winner.

Nine. The songs were good, but there wasn't really much of a plot. I was interested to discover that as a child, Fergie of the Blackeyed Peas was the voice of Sally in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed it and liked Jude Law as Watson, but Holmes seemed too dithery and there was too much fighting.

February & March

I didn't go to the cinema at all.


This month's top film was Cemetery Junction.

Cemetery Junction. I liked this even though there was nothing especially unusual about the story. Out of the three young men, the handsome one got the girl of his dreams and left Cemetery Junction to travel the world, the troubled one was reconciled with his father and the other one finally got a girlfriend.

The Joneses had an interesting premise but the ending was predictable. It was nice to see David Duchovny again!
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November Cinema Trips

The Fourth Kind was not exciting enough, and the fake docudrama aspect of it meant that it dragged and I got a bit bored. Yawn.

I only went to the cinema once in November, and "The Fourth Kind" isn't worthy of being named as my favourite.

December cinema trips

The Descent: Part 2. Apparently the original film had two different endings. The American ending has Sarah escaping from the cave and driving away towards safety, and seeing Juno's ghost in the car with her. The original ending (the one I saw) implies that the scene in the car was just a dream, and ends with Sarah huddled on a ledge in the cave, with no way of escape. The new film starts with a blood-covered Sarah accosting a motorist on a forest road and there is no sign of her car, so maybe it fits with the
original ending better and Sarah did manage to follow the flow of water out of the cave as she says later in the film. Conveniently for the purposes of the plot, Sarah has lost her memory, so the sheriff, deputy and cave rescue
team who accompany her back into the caves to look for her friends have no idea what they will be up against. It is very gruesome in parts, and is basically just like the first film, except for having both men and women fighting the cave-dwellers, rather than just women.

Nativity! is an extremely funny film about rivalry between two schoolteachers and former friends who are putting on nativity plays. Lots of laughing out loud from the audience at the showing I went to. And it's a 'U' so this is one Brit-com that is totally suitable for little kids.

The Queen of Spades. For some reason Broadway was showing this black and white melodrama made in 1949. It is the story of an inpecunious Russian officer who wants to find the secret of winning at cards even if it means selling his soul to do so. Anton Walbrook chews the furniture as the crazed soldier, and there were quite a few (unintentional) laughs!

St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold was very funny, as the girls try to track down the treasure hidden by a pirate ancestor of the headmistress, and foil the woman-hating secret society run by the descendant of the man it was stolen from, who are also after it. I liked the way they created a Flash Mob in a London railway station to distract the baddies.

My favourite film in December was "Nativity!".
kittiwake: (local)
500 Days of Summer was quite cute and very funny in parts. I liked the 'no resemblance to any one living or dead' bit at the beginning , the dance sequence and the black-and-white films sequence (especially Tom playing chess on the beach with Cupid).

The September Issue was nine months in the life of American Vogue, as they put together the most important issue of the year. I liked the contrast between glacial editor Anna Wintour and laid back fashion editor Grace Coddington, who kept moaning about her favourite photographs being rejected, but when the issue was published commented smugly that nearly everything in it was hers.

Away We Go was a laid back and funny road (and train and air) movie about parenthood.

Coco Before Chanel was not particularly enjoyable, mainly because I didn't warm to Coco at all.

My favourite film in September was "The September Issue".

Dorian Gray was a disappointment. Why did the film-makers need to change the story?

The Invention of Lying was amusing. You would need really thick skin to live in that world!

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was okay, but a bit disappointing as I had been expecting something more (I'm not sure what). However, It was a stroke of luck that Heath Ledger's last film was something fantastical enough that his role could be completed by three other actors without it seeming odd!

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is based on some children's books that I haven't read, and I enjoyed it a lot. John C. Reilly was very good as Crepsley.

My favourite film in October was "The Invention of Lying".
kittiwake: (books)
This month's must read book is "Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction".
This month's must see movie is is "Mrs Henderson Presents".

Books Read

The Splendid Outcast: Beryl Markham's African Stories
Elf Fantastic - ed. Martin H. Greenberg
Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies - Alexander McCall Smith
Aunts Aren't Gentlemen - P.G. Wodehouse
Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson
Miss Mapp - E.F. Benson
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction - Sue Townsend
Dead Babies - Martin Amis
East, West - Salman Rushdie

Here is my December entry on 50bookchallenge.

Cinema Trips

Mrs Henderson Presents
The Producers

Film reviews

A film with so many plot holes it might as well have been crocheted.

"Mrs Henderson Presents"
I loved this - amusing and Will Young was good in it.

"The Producers"
The cinema was full and everyone laughed the whole way through.

And finally, here is the complete list of all the books that I read during 2005:
1 - The Drawing of the Dark - Tim Powers
2 - The Secret of Annex 3 - Colin Dexter
3 - Service of all the Dead - Colin Dexter
4 - A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett
5 - Rune - Christopher Fowler
6 - Charlotte's Friends - Sarah Kennedy
7 - The Philosophers' Secret Fire - Patrick Harpur
8 - Pigs Have Wings - P.G. Wodehouse
9 - The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - Melissa Bank
10 - To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11 - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
12 - Aborigine Dreaming - James Cowan
13 - Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde
14 - Politically Correct Bedtime Stories - James Finn Garner
15 - Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression - Lewis Wolpert
16 - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
17 - Molesworth - Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
18 - The Rotters' Club - Jonathan Coe
19 - On a Pale Horse - Piers Anthony
20 - Underground London: Travels Beneath the City Streets - Stephen Smith
21 - Total Eclipse - John Brunner
22 - Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
23 - A Song of Stone - Iain Banks
24 - The British Museum is Falling Down - David Lodge
25 - Come, Tell Me How You Live - Agatha Christie Mallowan
26 - The Wood Wife - Terri Windling
27 - Not the End of the World - Kate Atkinson
28 - 1421: The Year China Discovered the World - Gavin Menzies
29 - Essays - Michel de Montaigne
30 - Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life - Thich Nhat Hanh
31 - The Eighth Book Pan Book of Horror Stories
32 - The Ophiuchi Hotline - John Varley
33 - Larry's Party - Carol Shields
34 - The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories
35 - Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction
36 - Girlfriend in a Coma - Douglas Coupland
37 - Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
38 - The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
39 - The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
40 - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
41 - Cat Karina - Michael Coney
42 - Fifth Business - Robertson Davies
43 - The Manticore - Robertson Davies
44 - World of Wonders - Robertson Davies
45 - Old School Ties - Kate Harrison
46 - Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter
47 - The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment - Isabel Losada
48 - Before and After - Matthew Thomas
49 - I Can Make You Thin - Paul McKenna
50 - The Wizard of Boland - 'BB'
51 - Wayward Girls and Wicked Women - ed. Angela Carter
52 - Tell Me Your Dreams - Sidney Sheldon
53 - The Electric Michelangelo - Sarah Hall
54 - Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
55 - The Hippopotamus - Stephen Fry
56 - The Cubs and Other Stories - Mario Vargas Llosa
57 - The Book of Proper Names - Amélie Nothomb
58 - Mystery - Peter Straub
59 - The Waste Land and Other Poems - T.S. Eliot
60 - The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby
61 - Into the Green - Charles de Lint
62 - The Winds of Limbo - Michael Moorcock
63 - The Lady and the Unicorn - Tracy Chevalier
64 - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Anon
65 - Cromartie v. the God Shiva acting through the Government of India - Rumer Godden
66 - Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
67 - Viking Age Iceland - Jesse Byock
68 - Maskerade - Terry Pratchett
69 - Achilles - Elizabeth Cook
70 - The Silicon Man - Charles Platt
71 - The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks - Robertson Davies
72 - Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet - M.C. Beaton
73 - The Killer's Guide to Iceland - Zane Radcliffe
74 - Popcorn - Ben Elton
75 - Ancient Echoes - Robert Holdstock
76 - Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination - Helen Fielding
77 - Brief Candles - Aldous Huxley
78 - The Summer Book - Tove Jansson
79 - The Children of Men - P.D. James
80 - Disturbia - Christopher Fowler
81 - The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300 - 1850 - Brian Fagan
82 - The Screaming Tree - Phil Lovesey
83 - Grimus - Salman Rushdie
84 - Cooking with Fernet Branca - James Hamilton-Patterson
85 - 2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
86 - Yes Man - Danny Wallace
87 - The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula le Guin
88 - Kil'n People - David Brin
89 - Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem - Peter Ackroyd
90 - Gods, Demons and Others - R.K. Narayan
91 - The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
92 - Status Anxiety - Alain de Botton
93 - Spanky - Christopher Fowler
94 - Soul Music - Terry Pratchett
95 - No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod
96 - Feersum Endjinn - Iain M. Banks
97 - Atonement - Ian McEwan
98 - The Mistress of Spices - Chita Banerjee Divakaruni
99 - Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
100 - A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse - Richard Hamer
101 - Veniss Underground - Jeff VanderMeer
102 - Orlando - Virginia Woolf
103 - Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith
104 - The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Alexander McCall Smith
105 - The Prose Edda - Snorri Sturluson
106 - Moon Country - Simon Armitage & Glyn Maxwell
107 - Personal Demons - Christopher Fowler
108 - Nine Stories - J.D. Salinger
109 - The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love - Jill Connor Browne
110 - Falling Out of Cars - Jeff Noon
111 - The Solitaire Mystery - Jostein Gaarder
112 - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy - Laurence Sterne
113 - Bachelor Boys: The Young Ones Book - Ben Elton, Rik Mayall & Lise Mayer
114 - The Various Haunts of Men - Susan Hill
115 - Coromandel Sea Change - Rumer Godden
116 - The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers - Henry James
117 - Who Killed Marilyn Monroe? - Liz Evans
118 - The Splendid Outcast: Beryl Markham's African Stories
119 - Elf Fantastic - ed. Martin H. Greenberg
120 - Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
121 - The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith
122 - In the Company of Cheerful Ladies - Alexander McCall Smith
123 - Aunts Aren't Gentlemen - P.G. Wodehouse
124 - Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson
125 - Miss Mapp - E.F. Benson
126 - Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction - Sue Townsend
127 - Dead Babies - Martin Amis
128 - East, West - Salman Rushdie
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