DVD Review – Pretty in Pink

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There are some films that will always transport you back to a certain time and place in your life and for me this is one of those films.

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As a teenager in the 80’s this film along with others such as The Breakfast Club and Lost Boys ensconced its self not only in the memory but also the heart.

Because obviously most of you know the film I am going to do the review a little differently but I hope it might be an interesting format to use doing these reviews of Classic films so let me know…

The Plot

As story lines go its fairly simple a teenage love triangle where class, wealth and status threaten to keep the main couple apart.  Andi is the girl being brought up by her rather useless father after her mum has left (I have to say that like Disney, American teenage films seem to like absent parents) and she has been forced to grow up before her time.  Lacking money, and a female role model, she has developed her own style which, of course, leads to her being ostracised by the cool kids at school. She and her best friend Duckie are outcasts in an environment where fitting in is considered important.

The Trailer

I have to say I don’t really recall the trailer and watching it now I have to say compared to modern trailers I am struck by how poorly the whole trailer concept was used back then, it was not so much a teaser as a plot outline and did not do the film any favours.

The Soundtrack

You can mock the hair and the clothing but the one thing you will never be able to mock any 80’s film for is the music.  The title track is so inextricably linked with the film I challenge anyone who has ever seen it not to think of Molly Ringwald as they listen to it.

Where Are They Now

One thing I do love about Youtube is that there are some great videos out there made by people who take the time to put together amazing fact files on the casts of your favourite films and what happened after the camera stopped rolling.  For this one I have actually chosen a reunion as it is nice to get a little insight from the actors themselves.

My Favourite Scene

This was such a hard choice as there are so many I love, but I decided it had to be this one…

Happy Ending

Of course, teenage films always need to have a happy ending otherwise how would teenagers face the future, if we really knew the disappointments and struggles that lay ahead we would give up there and then.  The reason we loved these films was they allowed us to believe any thing was possible and the future was ours for the taking.

Overall Opinion

You can already tell I love this film, okay there are the odd things that I don’t like, I don’t like Andi’s prom dress, she takes a gorgeous 50’s style dress and destroys it, but I accept in the scheme of the film that’s what needs to be done.  I would also have loved to know more about why her mum left, it would not have taken much just a few minutes between her and Iona in conversation could have done it and that would have added a little more depth to why her dad was such a weak male character.

Marks Out of 5

5 out of 5 massive shoulder pads and an 80’s film can’t do better than that.

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Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 8: List your 10 all time favorite movies

Day 8: List your 10 all time favorite movies

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Top ten films easy yeah!!! Hell no my top tens change depending on my mood so I am bound to miss out loads I would include on any other day.  I am going to try to pick films I have watched more than any other and post a poster and clip for each one, wherever possible my favourite clip. In no particular order….

10) The Breakfast Club – 1985 Brat Pack comedy-drama film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. I loved this film I was of course a good girl at school and only ever had detention once and of course it was nothing like this.

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9) Another in the same vein, Pretty in Pink – 1986  romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes’s films starring Molly Ringwald I loved the fact she was different and a little geeky not really fitting in anywhere yet found the confidence to be true to herself though I will be honest part of me wanted a happy ending for Duckie.

MV5BMTI2OTk5NTE5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA0NTQzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_I decided with this to share the title song as it really was so iconic of the 80’s as a whole

 

8) I grew up in 70’s was a teenager in the 80’s I really could not miss this film out the one the only Dirty Dancing – 1987 American romance film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as Cynthia Rhodes and Jerry Orbach even more poignant now given Patrick Swayze’s death from cancer a couple of years ago the hard part is choosing just one clip so once more the song decided it.

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7) Yet another 80’s classic mainly because I loved dancing I still do though the body can no longer do what the mind would like to…Flashdance – 1983 American romantic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne. It was the first collaboration of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and the presentation of some sequences in the style of music videos was an influence on other 1980s films, including Top Gun (1986), Simpson and Bruckheimer’s most famous production. Flashdance opened to negative reviews by professional critics, but was a surprise box office success, becoming the third highest grossing film of 1983 in the U.S.[2][3] It had a worldwide box-office gross of more than $100 million.[4] Its soundtrack spawned several hit songs, among them “Maniac” performed by Michael Sembello and the Academy Award–winning “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, performed by Irene Cara, which was written for the film.

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6) Barbarella – 1968 French-Italian science fiction film based on Jean-Claude Forest’s French Barbarella comics. The film stars Jane Fonda in the title role and was directed by Roger Vadim, who was Fonda’s husband at the time.

The film was not popular at its release, but it did not vanish into obscurity. Instead, it received greater attention afterward with a 1977 re-release and TV/Video runs, and was later regarded as representative of the sexploitation genre. It is regarded by some as a cult classic, and Jane Fonda’s appearance in the film has become iconic.  It may be politically incorrect but I love this film it is kitsch, quirky and provided the name for my favourite band growing up, amazing sexy costumes what’s not to love. As for the clip I picked well I guess it could be argued what a way to go lol

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5) The Rocky Horror Picture Show – 1975 British musical comedy horror film based on The Rocky Horror Show, a musical stage play, book, music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien. Directed by Jim Sharman from a screenplay by Sharman and O’Brien, the production is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through early 1970s. It introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original Kings Road production presented at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1973. I cannot imagine there is anyone n the planet who has not seen this film at least once but I understand younger audiences may not have seen it yet (I traumatised my daughter by showing her Tim Curry in this when she was watching him be serious in something else lol) I don’t think it needs explaining why its so wonderful but if you are in doubt the clip will remind you.

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4) Silence of the Lambs – a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn. It is based on Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel of the same name, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.  Slightly different from the other films once again but I felt I needed to give a more balanced view of my likes have picked the end scene from this just because I love the way it leaves it open for the sequel but don’t get me started on what they did to that.

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3) Moulin Rouge – 2001 Australian-American romantic pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), who falls in love with the terminally-ill star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, winning two: for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.  A film that I not only love but have in common with my daughter as favourite films I decided to choose a song clip as it sums up the energy and spirit of the whole film so well.MV5BMTk5Mjg0MzM3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTEyMjcxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_

 

2) Lost Boys – 1987  teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest.  Where do I start here, good looking vampires (Dwayne was my favourite) cute dog, comic good guys, evil step parents, mad grandparents this film had it all and more it also had an absolutely fantastic soundtrack.

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Again I am picking a song from the soundtrack this one still gives me goosebumps

 

1) Okay this is possibly my favourite all time film and certainly the one I have watched the most through the years maybe I am a romantic at heart but I will dent it with my dying breath lol

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 1961 American romantic comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney.  What do I need to say about this film Audrey is the epitome of elegance and beauty and the story is one that is heartbreaking so determined to break away from her past she is willing to sacrifice love for financial stability but only finds disappointment.  Her actual occupation should you wish to call it that has been questioned it she simply a social climber or does she trade physical affection of money either way it does not matter as Hepburn plays the character with such fragility and sensitivity.  I just love it and always will.

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New Page

298037_367858213319321_1925694945_nYou may have noticed yesterday a new page appeared at the top of this blog ‘Doctor Who Fan-girl’  don’t worry I am not turning into a TV review blog.

Doctor Who is 50 years old this year, its back catalogue include not only the TV Shows and a couple of dodgy movies but also books, comic, Radio plays, in fact for nearly a third of its existence it was absent from the screens.

Now there will of course be episode reviews but more than that I want to examine why it manages to keep going and gaining increasing popularity.  I will be looking at some of the ideas behind the storylines, looking at what has worked and what has been held up for scorn (oh yes Who fans are as scathing with their criticism as they are devoted to the show)  There will be some who will say but this is a writing blog why look at a TV series but lets be honest how many authors could write a series lasting this long without it getting tired and lets not forget writers such as Neil Gaiman have put pen to paper in its name.

From a personal viewpoint I will also be discussing how my young son reacts to stories as well after all this is a family show and examining the extra’s that come on DVD’s (though this will be as we get them as we only have a couple at the minute).

I decided to do the intro post today as I am still trying to work out how I discuss Saturdays show without spoilers (and sobbing into my computer) so I will share this for now which those on my Facebook will have seen already (sorry) I am just loving this song and the story but this ends with the end of series 6 so has no spoilers for this series….

Also a taster of one of the Extras from the DVD the monster got for his birthday

Bonus Tv Review – Blakes 7

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It could be seen as procrastinating from picking the Mysteries of Udolpho up again but the reality is that one thing leading to another has brought us here last week I discussed my love of the Doctor and the podcasts that I listen to as a result, well I have been listening to back episodes of a couple and listening to one by The Ood Cast another of my childhood favourites was mentioned.  I am fully aware for non UK followers this programme may be unknown unless they have the geek gene but let me introduce Blakes 7.

Now I know that by todays standards it looks terrible it has aged badly when you compare it to CGI technology but it still has something, these characters made you love them or in some cases hate them, as kids we played Blakes 7 in the field behind where I lived, we ran round pretending to shoot each other with sticks that were our lasers, teleported by jumping, and of course we girls spent as much time rescuing the boys as they did rescuing us.  I have to say in many ways my childhood was far more enjoyable than that of my own children, we had far more freedom, places we could play safely and less pressure to produce results at school which ironically led to far more creativity.  Now we have almost gone full turn where people expect children to learn by rote rather than thinking, they have targets to meet rather than time to develop but that is another story for another day.

Of course all good stories need a bad guy or in this case a very bad girl.

She always wore the most fantastic outfits sadly as a bit of a tomboy I never appreciated them at the time I was always far more like Cally who was a telepath aswell as her other talents.

One thing I have noticed is the age of the actors, if this was made today they would all be played by people in their early to mid twenties, for potentially two reasons one of course being sex appeal but the other reason I think is partly down to how long a series can be spun out while it keeps making money, Blakes 7 in some ways is unique in that it has a very obvious limitation in its very title, Blake himself.  His companions can change and if fact Blake himself did not appear throughout all four series but even when not an actual screen presence he was very much still part of the story line, fan fiction has suggested the possibility of clones being involved at the end of the series for its continuance but we will come back to that at in a minute.

If you have not watched this and now have an urge to watch the full series stop here! No seriously stop! Go Away! Because I am abut to discuss the end of the series so if you think you might want to watch it toddle off now the full episodes are on You tube.

Now for everyone else…

Blakes 7 ended with a massacre.  There is no other way to describe it, and today in a society where we have come to terms with the idea of things lasting forever this seems strange, although there was the slimmest possibility of one or two characters possibly having miraculously escaped according to certain fan circles, the reality is that a story line would have to be pretty far removed from reality to allow it.

Part of me would love to see this series remade, but part of me would be scared of what they would do with it.  While I am sure they could do amazing things for the special effects I am not so sure they could re-capture the spirit of it and that they would stay faithful to the ending.

Hmmmm I Really Should be Blogging but Johnny Depp is Distracting Me

I sat down tonight to prepare tomorrows post there was nothing on tv so I stuck a DVD in for background noise.  Now I have actually been working my way through my DVD collection, as between kids and the other half, none of whom associate discs with the boxes they are supposed to live in, many of the discs are scratched and the damaged DVDs take up valuable space on the bookshelves.  So I grab the next on the pile and stick it in not really paying attention to what I am putting in – big mistake!

I have ended up distracted by not only Johnny Depp but the actual film The Ninth Gate, which is one of his slightly more obscure films.

Basically the plot revolves around three ancient books and whether firstly one or all are genuine and secondly whether they contain a hidden meaning.  I am not really going to go further into it if you want to you must watch the film here is the clip…

On the plus side it has inspired me with a topic for later in the week about hidden meanings and whether they exist and if they do are they intentional.  I know sounds good, it might be if I get round to writing it but I shall leave you with my favourite example of a poem with dual meaning which is William Blake’s Tyger Tyger I was a young girl the first time I ever heard it and it was spoken by David Attenborough over the start of a wildlife programme on you guessed it tigers.  I wish I could find a version of the footage but this reading of the poem by Helen Mirren shall have to suffice

Now you can imagine my despair when an english teacher ripped away my pretty tiger images and replaced it with the scenes of industrial revolution.  Where I had seen majestic stripes now stood smoke polluted skies.  It was a long time before I was able to listen to the poem again without it having been spoilt for me.  I think the truth is that my vision of it was just as valid as the academic version.  Blake may very well have been writing about the coming of the new technological era yet one cannot help feeling that should he have lived now, the tigers plight at the hands of man, would have still inspired the self-same words.

DVD Review – Dogville (2004)

I first saw this film just after my back problems started.  I woke in pain in the middle of the night and turned the tv on while I waited for my pain meds to kick in.   I caught just the last few minutes but it was enough to make me want to see more.

Now i have to say it is a very strange film to say the least.  Directed by Lars Von Trier and starring Nicole Kiidman and Lauren Bacall you may be forgiven for expecting a big budget hollywood blockbuster, however you would be wrong.  The whole thing is filmed on literally an empty lot with minimal set.  In many ways it looks a little like rehearsals for a play but the advantage of stripping away all the special effects and scenery is that you can really concentrate on the performances.  The first clip I have for you is from the trailer which gives you a taste of the story without giving too much away

I picked this next clip as it is one of my favourite parts of the film for numerous reasons which I am not going to tell you, I would but it would spoil things so you are just going to have to watch it for yourselves (the full length film is actually on youtube).

And finally I have picked a clip from an interview with the director and lead, you will notice I haven’t really actually said much about the film but I really do think this is one you should watch without someone else telling you too much in advance.

I love this film and give it 5 out of 5, it is not always easy viewing and if you spend some time actually thinking about the messages contained within it regarding humanity, greed and the desire corrupt for selfish purposes then it can be quite depressing but it is as wonderful as it is brutal.   The performances are exceptional especially given the way it is filmed and I really hope that one day the trilogy is made.

DVD Review – Tony Robinson’s Crime and Punishment (Box set 2007)

Originally aired on Channel 4 here in the UK as a series Tony Robinson once more wears his history hat rather than that of the comedian and leads the viewer on a journey through the origins of British Law.

The series moves swiftly through the ages and deals only with major incidents which shaped British History.  The fact that Tony Robinson is not an actual historian works in this case, his enthusiasm for history shines through and as those who have watched his Time Team programmes will know it is a passion which illuminates him on the screen.  He uses visual re-enactments of certain elements to demonstrate some of the issues raised as well as visiting many places of historical events.

If you are a real history buff this may not be detailed enough for you but if you have a teenager you want to get interested in history this may be the way to do it.   Robinson uses his natural gift for humour to provide vivid descriptions of torture methods of times past without the need for graphic illustrations.   He is witty and what information given is done so in such a way that it does not feel like studying.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 as I personally think a longer series with a little more detail could easily have been justified.

Weekly Round Up #2

I am going to be totally honest my attempts at my goals were half-hearted and rather lacklustre.  I did a little on each but not enough to be able to claim completion so I shall carry them forward for the next week and hopefully I will now be back on track.

I have had a very strange week first physio took it out of me then I split part of my wound again – not much just the top bit but enough to hurt like hell.  I have spent most of the week feeling rather sorry for myself and being slightly self-pitying.  Now I have reached the point where I am annoyed at myself and have given myself a damn good talking to.  I really have nothing to feel sorry for myself about – the pain I have now is far less than before the op, my physical limitations once I recover will be limited to a few yoga poses I shall never bend into again but on the whole it will hold me back from doing nothing of any real significance.

You might wonder what the catalyst for this reflection on my pity-party was, well I saw my cat get hit by a car last night.  I had gone to the shop and she had followed me as she frequently does, however normally she does not cross the main road she sits on a wall and waits for me to cross back over.  Last night she crossed while I was in the shop and as I came out she ran past me heading for the road.  Time slowed down, I actually managed to stick a foot out and slow her as she dashed past, if I hadn’t she would have been under the wheel.  As it was the wheel clipped her and she flew into the air.  She must have used 8 of her 9 lives because she has come through the accident totally unscathed as far as I can see although she is still under strict observation and being kept quiet.

Life is just too short to hold ourselves back with negative thoughts and worrying about what might happen, better to knuckle down and work through the pain than let it consume you, and with that said I am going to write tomorrows post a very interesting DVD review…

DVD Review – Jeeves & Wooster (Box set 1990-1993)

I will state first of all that it does require a certain type of humour to fully appreciate this series, and it may very well not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it.

The full series based on PG Wodehouse’s novels only lasts 23 episodes and revolves around the misadventures and intrigues of a group of upper class friends who come to rely upon Bertie Wooster’s unflappable valet Jeeves to step in and save the day.  Are the plots a little ridiculous? Well yes but that does not detract the enjoyment.

In the world of PG Wodehouse it does appear every woman’s intention is to bag a husband and every man’s intention is to avoid being bagged by the one who wants to bag him.  Affections are changed frequently much to comic effect and poor Wooster finds himself frequently in danger of matrimony.

Excellent casting in the main roles has Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry playing the title roles and I really must say if you haven’t watched this then give it a go.  For none Brits it may be a little off putting at first but stick with it and you will soon find yourself laughing at the sort of men who once ruled our country (and from whom those running it today are descended) if nothing else you will appreciate why we Brits need a good sense of humour and why we find it so easy to laugh at ourselves.

5 out of 5 stars.

DVD Review – Jane Eyre (2006)

In keeping to Udolpho’s gothic theme in the absence of a post on the book a review of another gothic style classic.

Originally broadcast between 24/09/06 and 15/10/06 I have to say behind Pride and Prejudice that this is my favourite BBC adaptation.

Okay I have to say straight off that Mr Rochester is possibly one of the sexist male characters ever written in literature.  Yes Darcy would be the choice for a husband but Rochester would be the one who would lead you astray and break your heart.  This adaptation skips through the early chapters of the novel dealing with Jane’s childhood and her time at the Lowood School and takes up the story where is really begins upon her arrival at Thornfield.

The back story of the mad woman in the attic has been wonderfully explored in Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea and one must question what would we have done in Rochester’s place? He keeps her, shut up admittedly, but it would have been easy for him to have abandoned her overseas or to have had her shut away in an institution or concealed in another location.  I may even suggest that other men may have easily have ensured their wife met with an accident to rid themselves of the inconvenience of a deranged spouse.

Bronte’s characters are well acted by an excellently appointed cast Ruth Wilson plays the meek Jane perfectly while Toby Stephens is the ideal Mr Rochester mixing just the right quantity of mystery with rugged attraction.

This gets a huge 5 out of 5 .