Film & TV Weekly Round-Up (2/5/14)

Friday I finally sat down to watch ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’. My bedroom had become a no man’s land for living since it was cleared for carpet fitting later that day, and my DVDs were hidden in the mess that filled the upstairs, so I gave in and settled down in the living room. Problem is with the living room is the parental units walking back and forth, my mum searching for actors on her iPad and my dad commenting on his favourite scenes (it’s his DVD). It doesn’t make for a great film-watching environment. But I think my attention would have lapsed anyway. It’s a terrific idea as musicals go, and the film was very interesting. But beyond the satire, and the cinematography, and the symbolism I didn’t think much else. Most importantly I didn’t really feel anything, and I was expecting a film about WWI to muster up some kind of emotion. But it was okay, and now I know.

Saturday morning my father asked me if I’d ever heard of a film called ‘Frozen’. Yes, I was surprised. I told him I had, and that if he wanted to buy it on DVD, to learn more, I wouldn’t stop him. Turns out the new conductor of the choir my father is in, is quite modern, and in their Friday night meeting they had gone over the possibility of doing ‘Frozen’ songs in their Christmas concert. This could be awesome. We watched it that night, my parents seemed to like it. I felt the way I had in the cinema, a few points where I got bored, but overall an occasional blubbering girl about it all. I came across this great article a while ago where someone discussed how ‘Frozen’ didn’t really work well as a film because there wasn’t the constant villain that other Disney films possess. Which is interesting, but y’know, finally it’s a Disney film about female relationships so let’s just back off a bit.

I had a shitty Sunday morning and after watching some trash tv ondemand (yes, I will actively seek out bad television) I decided to give in and watch one of my LoveFilm deliveries, ‘Drinking Buddies’. I’d kind of been putting off watching it, it had seemed like a good idea when I put it on my list. Anna Kendrick? Ron Livingston? Olivia Wilde? Mark Duplass…? Or not Mark Duplass *opens new tab, checks imdb* Jake Johnson! (I mix him up with Duplass quite a bit. They look nothing alike, they just do the same kind of films… They were in ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ together, which is quite nice. You can watch that on Netflix if you have it. Oh, and Johnson is great in ‘Paper Heart’. I would actually just recommend you watch ‘Paper Heart’. It’s a mockumentary about finding love and it’s pretty great). Anyway, where was I…? Ah, yes, so a great bunch of actors but I didn’t have high hopes. I was right not to. It was nicely written and directed. But all the normal and naturalistic stuff got a bit boring when you realised you had no idea which character fancied which. Kudos to the director, the natural look is good. But eventually you have to realise that the natural look hides myriad thoughts and emotions, that the audience need to know about. This is when shit like cutting in footage of people staring at each (but perhaps without the other one knowing) comes in handy. Later that day I watching a copy of ‘Notting Hill’ I’d bought cheap a few weeks ago. It’s pretty much as I remember it. Still have respect for the structure and scripting, but still wonder if there is any chemisty between William and Anna, I didn’t see any. I think, overall, I base my appreciation of that film on Curtis’ scripting of Honey’s Birthday dinner party scene… What you didn’t think I’d like Richard Curtis? Or course I do. There will be no Richard hating sentiment on here. He’s a good writer and properly throws himself into the kind of movie making people need to see. The kind that prevents the lonliness from creeping in.

I was away for a few days these week so didn’t see much film or tv. It felt odd. Although, on one occassion, I did end up watching ‘The Lucky One’. My student teacher friend was busy with lesson planning, and I thought, what the hey? Taylor Schilling is cool in ‘Orange is the New Black’, Zac Efron is always pleasant to watch, and Nicholas Sparks based films can have their good points. Although, ‘The Lucky One’ turned out to be exactly how I had imagined it. It was kind of lifeless and bland. And I spent the second half of the film waiting for someone to die. Not ’cause I wanted someone to die, but because I could tell someone was going to die and I just wanted it to happen already. But, y’know, films being films. I have seen much worse, and I have seen much better. ‘The Lucky One’ didn’t abuse my senses in any way. But I still wouldn’t advise you watch it. Unless, of course, you have a thing for Schilling or Efron… or Sparks.

I bought ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ on Blu-Ray yesterday but had to abandon plans to watch it because I’d been travelling all day and was kind of knackered. Can’t wait to sit down to it. But we’ll get back to that next week.

P.S. I see that I haven’t really included much TV this week, but it mainly consisted of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘Masterchef’ and you don’t really need to read about that. But if you have Sky, ‘Hannibal’ is starting back next week, on Tuesday 6th May on Sky Living. I watched the whole first season on SkyOnDemand the other week and if I’d been writing this blog then it’s all you would have heard about. That season one boxset, along with the first episode of the new season, is still available on SkyOnDemand.

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