Archive for Film

Hayley Westenra’s “Prayer”

Posted in Hayley Westenra, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24 March, 2009 by Nicola

I am going to take a wild stab in the dark here and guess that no matter what type of music you listen to, that most Eastern country, Japan, has laughed in your face before when they received the coolest edition of that coolest album by the coolest artist.  Damn them.  Us Westerners are never content with our 12 track albums, we want the four bonus track edition that Japan or Taiwan have.  All the more reason to hop over CDJapan and make an account.  This beautiful album, Prayer, released only for the Japanese market is no exception.  It’s actually a goldmine what mouth-watering tracks for any Hayley Westenra fan.

This album basically has lots of tracks recorded by Westenra that are otherwise scattered all over the place.  To put this into perspective, if you want to buy all of these tracks without buying this album, you will have to buy up to twelve albums to make up the tracklisting.  You see how awesome this album is now?  Continue reading

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Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader”

Posted in Film, The Reader with tags , , , , , , , , on 8 February, 2009 by Nicola

I am very self-conscious when it comes to writing film reviews, as I have not a clue what I am talking about, but I can hardly help myself here.  I have a sincere compulsion to gush about the film that I watched yesterday evening and is still on the forefront of my mind when I woke up this morning.  In truth, I wanted to spill out my gushiness as soon as I got home from the cinema, but sleep beckoned.

So.  The Reader is adapted from a novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink (a novel I have not read, and one I must add to my ever growing reading list), whether it is a faithful adaptation, I cannot say.  Regardless, the film has powerful messages and raises important moral questions which are incredibly difficult to answer.  Continue reading

The Best Films of All Time

Posted in A Little Princess, Aliens, Atonement, Beauty and the Beast, Film, Howl's Moving Castle, Lists, Lost In Translation, Love Actually, Personal Musings, Pride & Prejudice, Schindler's List, Spirited Away, The Fifth Element with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 4 December, 2008 by Nicola

I will say this. I do not like films. I am serious. I do not like romantic comedies, horror, science fiction, thrillers or any other genre for that matter as a general rule. For me to like a film, it either has nostalgia value, or it has to be artfully brilliant. The scores or soundtracks to films are a huge factor in my liking a film. Sometimes, a film can be downright silly, but extremely entertaining. This is why I think it may be worthy to mention the rare times a film has captured me and the ones I actually enjoyed.

Pride & Prejudice – Joe Wright
My favourite film of all time by a mile. First of all, it helps that I am a period drama fan, love Literature and most of all, adore Jane Austen. Even considering this there are plenty of versions of this classic and even more period dramas out there, but this one comes out on top. I must have seen it over a dozen times by now. I first went to see it at the cinema and I found myself grinning goofily at the screen as I willed the protagonists on with all of my heart and soul. Now, I hate RomComs, and I am no soppy female that swoons over handsome men on the screen, but I think my heart stopped when Mr. Darcy came out of the fog. Not only was it beautifully shot but Dario Marianelli‘s score at that point was just magical. Speaking of which, the score of this film is probably the element that sets this film apart from the others. The Pride and Prejudice score is by far my favourite album which I play from beginning to end over and over again. Joe Wright proves himself to be one of the most promising new directors with this film. Sadly, he was robbed of his Oscar.

Aliens – James Cameron
I think this is largely nostalgia, though it scared me when I was young. Strictly speaking, I do not really enjoy any of the films in this franchise. I find the second film, Aliens, to be the most tolerable. What I am in love with is the creature itself. I think it is a fantastic creation and it is the model of the Aliens xenomorph which I favour. The new CGI aliens in the latest AVP films do not cut it for me. I mean, the creature itself is so mind blowingly awesome. Every part of its body is sharp and deadly, it has, like, three mouths, it bleeds pure acid, so if you shoot it, you get gunked and you still lose, it is really fast, it swims, and it is born inside living hosts. That is an alarmingly lethal foe. And Ripley is awesome. Continue reading

Joe Wright’s “Atonement”

Posted in Atonement, Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2 December, 2008 by Nicola

Strangely enough, I feel exactly the same way about this film as I do about the source material. Like the book, this film is aesthetically pleasing. It is poetically shot, the performances from the cast are astonishing, especially the three Briony’s. There is a sense of foreboding as the film starts in a everyday home, as the haunting score by award winning Dario Marianelli sweeps in. The costumes are beautiful, and the image of Keira Knightley in her stunning green gown will probably never leave me.

There is a lot to see here, but the film’s short-comings are through no fault of the film makers who have created probably the perfect adaptation, but the source material. Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name is a beautifully written book, full of Latinate language and lush imagery. McEwan’s failure is to come up with not only an engaging story, but to flesh out the characters that could make the plot work. He failed on both counts. And so, ever so loyally, the novel is adapted to screen, and the exact same problems are translated there. There was not one unconvincing performance in the entire film; Keira Knightley and James McAvoy did all that they can, which was more than enough (and definitely Keira’s best performance since Pride & Prejudice) but the characters are somewhat mechanical. Characterisation is neglected; motivations are one dimensional; emotional engagement with the protagonists is a real effort. Continue reading