jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
One of the things I want to do this year is keep a log of the books I read and movies I see, along with a brief review of them. I'm a little late starting, but I'll do what I remember.

Book Review: 'A Rogues' Proposal' )



Movie Reviews )
jayes_musings: (Fassy -- kiss him he's irish)
I've just got done watching this, and I'm not yet sure how I feel about it.

Yes, it is a very powerful film, its brutality and starkness very hard to stomach but very realistic. The performances are all strong, with Michael Fassbender's exceptionally intense as Bobby Sands. The cinematography is just gorgeous with such understated attention to detail that is in stark contrast at times to the violence.

Yet, even bearing this all in mind, I'm not sure yet if I particularly liked it. For certain, it has something to do with my own feelings about the IRA, having grown up during the periods of their 'mainland campaigns' so there is very little sympathy in me for them (likewise, my feelings for Unionist paramilitaries who were no better). I also remember hearing about the hunger strikes of the Maze prisoners on the news, with daily updates on the condition of Sands.

And that, I think is part of my problem with the film. While the scenes of Sannds' strike are very realistic and unforgiving in a man's suffering as his body wastes away, there was no outside context given the massive amount of media attention this received at the time, and that left me feeling very detached from it.

That said technically the film was outstanding, as I've said. It starts slowly, following the start of a new day with one of the prison guards. Certain things aren't explain, and the film takes its time in revealing these small details, which add to its depth. It then switches to the arrival of a new Provo prisoner, and his introduction is harsh with the "blankets and no wash" protest. It's not until more than thirty minutes into the film that Sands is introduced and it is a brutal one as he is dragged from his cell, beaten bloody and forcibly washed and sheared.

With no sign that their protest will ever get the British government (under Margaret Thatcher) to recognize them as political prisoners, there is the most compelling, stunning scene in the film. It is 22 minutes long with 17 of those with a fixed camera and Sands and a priest talking. In a time of close up and constantly shifting camera angles, it is an amazing piece that is very theatrical. Not only is it visually stunning, but the dialogue is exceptionally clever with the first part the two men are verbally sizing each other up and dancing around the real subject with small talk.

Then it's the hunger strike, and this is where I was thrown out of the story, as I had no sympathy for Sands' condition, but lots for Fassy's, who had lost a great amount of weight for the scenes, and he was terribly emaciated. In the earlier scenes, he was very nicely buff.

An excellently made film with tremendous acting (plus full frontals are never a bad thing!), and artistic, but it still didn't fully engage me.

The DVD extras has a wonderful interview with Fassy...which is almost worth the price of the DVD alone!
jayes_musings: (Fassy -- straw porn)
I heard this film was quite brutal, and I don't mind that, and of course, I'm eager to check out new Michael Fassbender fare.

It is indeed brutal, and people with weak stomachs probably shouldn't watch this. When it comes to movies, I have a pretty much cast iron constitution, but there were a couple of parts that were very, very difficult to watch.

The premise is that Steve (Fassy) takes his girlfriend, Jenny, out to Eden Lake for a romantic weekend and to pop the question. Trouble occurs when they are harassed by a gang of teenagers. As Steve tries to reason with them -- and act a bit macho to impress Jenny -- things go rapidly downhill as the teenagers proceed to terrorize them. They attack Steve and hunt Jenny, and what should have been a wondered getaway turns into a fight for survival.

Here be spoilers )

There are problems with the movie. There are times when suspension of disbelief is tried, and you think why didn't they (Steve and Jenny) just do this or not do that, and they would have got away. Some of the coincidences were a little contrived as well, but in all it's a very good thriller, mostly because of the realism. It leaves you with the feeling this could really happen. There's no monster, no supernatural enemy, just a bunch of kids who are, like too many kids today, total little thugs who get nothing but enjoyment from harassing people, and aren't controlled by their parents.

EDIT: I've added some screen caps )
jayes_musings: (Fassy -- smoking hot)
Michael Fassbender has been nominated for the Orange Rising Star award at the BAFTAs. This is a public vote, unlike the other awards, so please go VOTE FOR HIM HERE!.
jayes_musings: (Fassy -- kiss him he's irish)
On preparing for his role as hunger striker, Bobby Sands, in "Hunger"

"I felt really focused, really centred, really strong. Hungry all the time, obviously."
jayes_musings: (Fassy -- smoking hot)
The Daily Mail is useful for something!

Michael Fassbender cast as Heathcliff!

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Jaye

February 2015

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