400 And Counting: Week Seven (Fight For Your Right)

November 28, 2014

This is the week that I completely ignored the SBS On Demand service and got my movie fix elsewhere. I guess it’s good this blog has nothing to do with watching the 400 movies added to it.

Right. Distraction.

I’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon recently. I’m enjoying it, but it exactly the same as every Pokémon ever. Also I watched a Disney movie this week.

Treasure Planet (2002)
Directors: Ron Clements and John Musker
1:35:00 (Completed)

I’d never actually seen this futuristic, yet old timey pirate themed, adaptation of Treasure Island until my sister bought the DVD (yes, people still buy DVDs). Like most Disney films it has a lot of heart, has some great actors doing voicework and the plot is pretty easy to follow.

Jim, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (post 10 Things I Hate About You, pre Brick), is a teenager who dreams of adventure but will settle for getting in trouble with the robot police and making his single mother worry until — wait for it — a dying pirate hands him a map. What sort of map you ask? That’s right, it’s a treasure map! To a planet! With treasure! Cue a grand adventure with pirates and action and father figures and lots of excitement.

This was a movie I was glad to watch.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) (aka. “eHarmony Presents: The Secret Life of eHarmony: An eHarmony Film” — there is so much product placement in this movie -ed.)
Director: Ben Stiller
1:54:00 (Completed)

Normally a film directed by and starring Ben Stiller would make me…how do I put this…not in the slightest bit interested ever and please don’t call me again. This, however, is the second time I’m seeing this. This was my pick of last year’s boxing day films (by the way: St Vincent, The Hobbit, Big Hero 6 and The Water Diviner are my preferences for this years, in order).

Walter (Stiller) is a photo negative manager (or something) at Life Magazine and a massive daydreamer, to the point where he’s not really living his life as much as zoning out. When Life closes down (damn you computers!) he is thrust from his fantasy world into a global adventure that somehow manages to be more exciting, interesting and more unbelievable than his daydreams.

There are great performances by Stiller and Kristen Wiig, who together help make this film (and I know I overuse this word) touching and just a great experience.

Journey to the 100 Man Fight: The Judd Reid Story (2013)
Director: Anton Cavka
0:57:00 (Completed)

This hour long doco tells the story of Judd Reid, a Melbourne born Karate master who prepares for the ultimate challenge, the 100 man Kumite, where he is pitted against 100 black belts consecutively.

Like the saying goes, the journey is more interesting than the destination. Finding out and exploring the how and why someone dedicates their lives to martial arts was, to me, far more interesting than the fight at the end. While there were some issues (I don’t know if it was projector issues or the film makers ignored ‘title safe’, meaning half the subtitles were cut off), this was an incredibly interesting look into the life of a man focused on perfecting and passing on his art.

Pride (2014)
Director: Matthew Warchus
2:00:00 (completed)

It’s 1984. Thatcher is in power and the miners are on strike. A group of gay and lesbian activists band together to help another community who they feel are being abused by the police and their government. Naturally, there are cultural clashes between the mining community and the flamboyant gays.

The story won’t really surprise you, and a number of the characters are pretty stock standard. That however, doesn’t stop this from being a moving and emotional film. While I’m not an activist myself, I’m a sucker for films where people stand up and support the (maybe not the right word) oppressed.

I’ll be honest, I cried. I really liked this film.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
Director: Francis Lawrence
About a Third/2:03:00 (DNF)

So I went and saw The Hunger Games again. I attempted to do a movie double with my sister — attempted is the key word. The second viewing, less than a week after the first session, was a mistake. Far too soon for my liking. I just walked around outside for the first twenty or so minutes and there may of been some napping.

It’s not all bad news – basically every scene with Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones) was still great and the back story of President Snow still needs to be made into a political thriller, but apart from that, my next viewing of The Hunger Games won’t be until the last film comes out next year.

The Japanese Film Festival kicks off in Melbourne on the 28th of November, and I, along with a bunch of the New Game Plus crew will be watching movies like crazy. So come along and join us for some subtitled awesomeness. From the looks of it, I’ll be seeing about 4-5 films and I’ve decided to go in blind. I’m not reading descriptions or watching trailers — just roll film and see what happens.

Film of the week: Pride
Movies watched this week: 4
Did Not Finish (DNF) this week: 1
Time spent this week: 7:14:00
Total movies watched: 38/400
Total DNF: 2
Total time: 64:23:02

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