Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies To Watch All Year Round

Well, time has finally come to wrap up another year for all of it's good and bad. I do not wish to do that now, seeing that I still have over 24 hours for a miracle to happen, not to mention that all is well that ends well... and if it isn't, it is not over yet. So this year might be over soon, life isn't. That is why I wanted to list you a couple of movies that I watch every single year. Without exception! I might watch it at a different time, but I do watch them - always.
Perhaps you'll get curious and find some favorite of yours hidden there! Who knows?

The first movie is La Boum with Sophie Marceau. I watch this movie usually on the 30th of December. And then I watch the sequel La Boum 2 on the 2nd of January. This is a little ritual of mine, to end the year with and to begin another. This way, I actually watch both movies in the same year... just the other way around. I know it is weird, but bare with me! The story, in a nutshell, is that of Vic, a young teenage girl and her first love. In the background, her parents get separated because of cheating on the part of her father, for which her mother gets revenge. In the end, they realize that they love each other too much. The sequel is supposedly two years later, however Vic seems much more grown up and she gets together with a college boy. He finally seems to be more then the guys she dated previously, and unlike the first one, that sort of had an open ending, this ends on a happy note and it really makes you believe in eternal love: Two people who fight for each other and don't give up at the first sign of jealousy or controversy. Either way, I pretty much grew up on these two movies: they where my mom's favorites when she was a little girl. The songs are iconic, the actors and story are exceptional and well, the main characters are really good to look at! French people do know something about making movies, contrary to popular belief! Anyway, starting your year with Sophie Marceau is a great moral boost! (I made a fan video out of the two movies, you can watch it by clicking here!)

Speaking of touching love stories, this second one is a favorite of mine. The clashing of British and American traditions is a never ending well of resources for movie makers. Some use them better than others, this is one of those cases. I am of course talking about The Wedding Date, a story in which Kat (Debra Messing) hires a male escort, Nick (Dermot Mulroney) to accompany her to her sister Amy's wedding (Amy Adams), because her ex-fiancee Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield) is the best man. She has moved to New York, and is now going back to London for the wedding. During the movie, we find out that Jeffrey has cheated on Kat, and while doing so, had fallen in love with Amy, but Kat finally learns how to let go of him. Nick in the meanwhile realizes that Kat is the first woman for whom he would be willing to quit his profession and finally fall in love. The two get together in the end. Let alone the beautiful landscapes in the great country of Britain, this movie has an exceptionally great script! Some movies start on a funny note, and they end up forgetting about that... This however has the sense that something isn't quite over yet. It does start off on a funny note, and it keeps it throughout the whole movie, without ruining the more dramatic scenes. There is also a sense of mystery, as we slowly find out that something has been going on behind Kat's back... In the end the viewers are awarded, because although you kinda know that the two main characters will get together, they have a great story arc and they both need to conquer certain fears before being able to be happy. Back in 2005, I saw this movie twice in the theater, I really loved it and up until this day, around April, I always watch it again. It is a real home run if you ask me! (For Christmas, my sister made me a fan video out of this movie, you can view it by clicking here!)

One time during the year I watch one after the other the Italian movie L'Ultimo Bacio and the remake The Last Kiss. This is one of my favorite Italian movies because of the protagonists, Giovanna Mezzogiorno is the best you can ask for. Five years after the release they made the American remake. This is the kind of love story that I write when I work on my own scripts. They are really inspirational for me, both great movies and the casting choices in the American fixed the only problems I had with the Italian. I have written an OLD vs. NEW compare-and-contrast, which nicely summarizes my views, if you get the time check it out here! Either way, there are great Italian movies out there, hard to find, but if you follow some of the great actors' career you are bound to find some great films out there!

With my birthday on June 1st the summer movie marathon begins. You might have read my review on Sixteen Candles (click here if you wish to do so now!), in which I reveal that I have watched this movie on my birthday every year since my own sweet sixteen, which, in the year to come, will make it the 7th time I've seen it. I don't want to go into a lot of details, mainly, it is Sam's birthday and everyone forgot about her during the mess that her sister's wedding is causing. In the meanwhile, she is longing for a boy she thinks doesn't even know she exists, while it is quite the opposite, and he too is longing to meet her. In the end, of course her family apologizes and the movie ends in one of the most iconic kisses in American movie history - trust me, everyone knows that scene! I love this movie, I always have, always will. I really don't want to go into more detail, read my review and you'll get an answer to all and any question you might have, but let us now move on to the summer triplets:

Now, I quite confident to tell you that this next movie is my favorite. And I literally mean that I, unlike every poor being on this planet, have 1 favorite that cannot be rivaled by any other. This movie is The First Wives Club. Taking into consideration that I was about 7 years old the first time I saw, I have been rewatching it every year since and have completely grown up now to actually understand what it is about, and not just laugh at the comedic scenes. The story is about four best friends from college who have lost touch during the years and are now reunited because one of them has committed suicide. The three, all of them stuck in a circle of unhappiness, join forces to bring down the ones who have made their lives miserable: their husbands. Their friend died, because she couldn't handle her divorce and having been left for a younger woman, not to mention having have lost contact with her friends. Knowing, that the latter cannot be changed, the three decide to make sure that this tragedy never occurs again. WIth schemes of blackmail and other distortions, they get their money back from their exs and build up a crisis center for women in downtown New York. The movie is of course considered a comedy, but a grown up comedy none the less. It really focuses on what can go wrong in a marriage and how hard life actually is without your friends in it. The imdb rating is a total bullshit, so never mind that, rent this one! Trust me, it'll be worth you while!

Every summer I have three movies, classics in my opinion, that I cannot live without. The first being 3 Men and a Little Lady. My mom was always in love with Tom Selleck after Magnum PI (how could she not? He is a stud! Still is! And that perfect mustache? How does he do that?) Either way, this movie started my fan ride in following Ted Danson and Nancy Travis. They both star in great TV shows now, so at least I get a chance to see them. The movie was originally the remake of a french movie, and this is the sequel. Three best friends live together and raise the daughter of one of them with the girl's mom. In the end there is of course a great romance and a happy ending. It is a cute and funny story, again, clashing of British and American culture - but without any stereotypes. It is a lot of fun!
The second one is a movie that the Americans don't like for some reason... at first I thought that perhaps the dubbing made it better, but upon watching it in original I realized that it was just as funny. This is the movie version of a play, in which the lead, Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone (Sylvester Stallone) plays a gangster who decides to go straight on the same day when the police tries to catch him; another gangster plans to kill him; his daughter gets engaged and he finds out that he has fathered another child. This is a great comedy, with such well known actors as Ornella Muti, Marisa Tomei, Peter Riegert, Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri and Kurtwood Smith. In comments I have read that they find Stallone to be a bad comedic actor - I don't think that is the case. If you can, get a copy of it! You'll be sure to like it!
Lastly, my favorite musical-movie. I haven't seen it on stage yet, but I would kill for a chance. We are of course talking about Grease. This movie is really what my childhood is all about. But unlike most people, the love story that keeps drawing me back into watching it over and over again is the story between Rizzo (Stockard Channing) and Kenickie (Jeff Conaway). 'There are worst things I could do' is my favorite song in the whole world. Since I was 6 years old, I find that I have become the number one fan of Stockard Channing, and trust me, she is wonderful in this movie! (Maybe even better than the leads...)

The next one is also a summer favorite, as I have seen in the theater in summer. You probably don't know it, as it is a Hungarian movie, but for me it is really the tip of the iceberg. The title is Valami Amerika, which stands for 'A Kind Of America'. Tamás is a young, Budapest-based director of video clips and commercials who dreams of directing his first feature film with the title 'The Guilty City'. He has already written the script but does not have the means of financing his project. Thus when he surprisingly gets an email from American film producer Alex Brubeck who writes that he had liked the script and would like to meet him personally, Tamás sees all his dreams come true. With the help of his two brothers Ákos, a successful manager and sex maniac, and András, a poet and complete loser, he tries to make a good impression on the American and persuade him to finance the film project. But there are some surprises on the way... Hungarian movies have tried to copy the American style for years - without any success I might add. This movie is outstanding because it doesn't want to fit in elements that the Hungarian culture doesn't have. Here I mean that we have movies about cheerleaders, proms, movie premieres and none of these are heard of, even now! This movie is singularly and exceptionally wonderful because it is revolutionary on a Hungarian scale, it is adherent to our culture and has a thick logical script with some of the best actors that ever lived in our little country. Try and watch it, there are english subtitles available on the net!

On July 17th Mamma Mia! premiered in Hungary. That summer I spent all of my time watching as many Meryl Streep movies as I possibly could, I was so excited! I had to find something to see while waiting. As far as musicals that I have seen on stage go, this is my favorite. The movie is just as much up there, I was not disappointed. I have seen it 8 times in the theater! I'm not even kidding :D. I already loved the songs, I love the story and the casting was marvelous! They made great choices and I applaude that they waited for the director of the musical to direct the movie as well! I do have two complaints... There were a total of 3 songs cut from the movie, and I really didn't get why... Not to mention, those were my three favorites! The first is 'Under Attack': this song comes up at the beginning of the second part, when Sophie has a nightmare. Honestly, the movie built it up very well, Sophie fades because of her dads and mom and fiancee, meaning that a nightmare scene would've fit perfectly, but there was no mention of why this song got cut. The second is 'One Of Us': sang by Donna. The third is 'Knowing Me, Knowing You': which would've been Sam's solo. Now, people have heavy criticism on Pierce Brosnan's singing, I personally had no problem with it. But if that is the reason they cut it, perhaps they shouldn't have casted him... Just saying. Either way, I can see how the last two didn't really fit in the quick going of the story, but the first?? Why did you cut it? Secondly, while waiting for the movie I watched as many interviews and featurettes as I could, and the actors kept talking about how hard the 'Voulez-Vous' dance was... but you can't really see anything in the scene that was finally released. Not even the DVD bonus features have anything on it. I didn't get that... BUT, I do watch this movie every year on July 17th, even if I watch it previously on TV or just with friends. It is one of those tiny rituals I'm not willing to get rid of!

As summer ends, come the fall movies, or at least those that make me think of fall. There are two worth mentioning. The first is Cocktail. This 80's movie has been my favorite ever since I saw it. I do find Tom Cruise to be and exceptionally wonderful actor, even if he is really weird in real life... And his roles in the 80's? God, I would've killed just to be the first one to see them on the big screen! After this movie I became a hardcore Elisabeth Shue fan too! Up to today I always check where I can find her, and just the same, I try to watch the best Cruise movies as well. The story is about Brian, a handsome fellow who goes to New York to study and simply be young. He becomes a wonderful bartender, but he hates New York and he goes to Jamaica to make his dreams come true. Ironically, it is there that he meets and American girl, Jordan, who pretends to be poor, as it seems that money is the only thing that Brian cares about. Having had enough, and realizing he is in love with Jordan, he goes back home to find her - only to discover that she is carrying his child. After having proven that he doesn't care for her money, Jordan decides to marry him and they open their family bar together. It is a great story, clever script and it has the one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. The two main characters have great chemistry on the big screen.
The second movie is one that I have quoted and requoted, and also reviewed about a year back. This is My Sassy Girl. The story takes place in the beautiful Autumn in New York, where two young people meet and, although the universe doesn't seem to be on their side first, fall in love. This for me is the ultimate love story. The two don't even share a kiss until the end of the movie, but you are completely involved and concerned for their happines right after the first shot of the movie. It is really that good, trust me! I wish for you to read my review, which you can do if you click here, so you understand where I'm coming from. This was one of those typical indie movies that is completely under the radar, yet it deserves attention! Make sure you get this one!

Before I wrap up, I'd to mention one last movie. I of course have my Christmas favorites, which you might read on my list of 15 favorites, but there is one movie missing from there, which isn't Christmassy at all, except for one really depressing scene... But the first time I saw it was in fact on Christmas and so I try to rewatch it around December if I can.
This movie is Billy Elliot, which I find to be the gem of the British Film Industry. The story is about Billy, a young boy who's mother had died, and who's father and brother take part in the mining strike in Northern England. He is torn between his love of ballet and dancing and an old-fashioned family. It isn't until his father realizes that his kids' dreams are the most important thing, that Billy can fully become himself. This is a very touching story of a boy and his father who's relationship was destroyed by the mother's death. It is a sad story, but with a happy ending. I always cry when I watch it, but that doesn't stop me! There is even a musical currently playing on the London WestEnd as we speak. This I find is truly a wonderful tale, so even if you didn't care for the previous movies I mentioned, trust me, this one you'll want to see for sure!

Well, I hope I have given you a couple of ideas and that you'll try and see some of these. Or if not, if you have your own rituals, make sure you keep them up - there is something magical and special about all movies or series one decides to rewatch. They really define us! Well, this has been CsorEsz, signing off for 2012, and looking forward to great new year. I have reviews like The Hunger Games, Bachelorette, The Lucky One and the Closing Of Ring. Be sure to like me on Facebook and Have a Very Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment