My 2007 Summer Movies – Part 3

September 17, 2007 at 10:55 pm 19 comments

Let me wrap up this series before summer ends.  Coz although fall doesn’t officially start until September 23rd, we’ve been experiencing cold temperatures here in Winnipeg for the last couple of weeks.  We’ve been wearing our sweaters and warm jackets and the leaves have started to turn colours.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be writing about the movies that I have seen.  You might still see a movie post here and there.  Only, they won’t be titled My 2007 Summer Movies.🙂

Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

The story is set in the 1990s during the Civil War in Sierra Leone and it centers around this rare pink diamond that Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman, found while he was captured by the rebels and was forced to work in the diamond fields.  While he is in prison, Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a smuggler, learns that Solomon has hidden this stone.  Later on they join in a quest to recover the diamond with Danny promising Solomon that he’d help find his son who has been captured by the rebels. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connely ), the American journalist, they trekked through rebel territory.

I don’t usually watch action films but this one stars Leo.  And you guessed it right.  A Leo fan here.  I watched him the very first time he appeared in the hit show Growing Pains and I just fell in love with him.  I thought I’d check out this movie because he was nominated for an Oscar and lost to Forest Whitaker.  I mentioned this in my comment on Wil’s post The Last King of Scotland, and there were a couple of people who reacted on my comment.  Anyway, it’s all good. :)  We all have our reasons for wanting to watch certain actors and films.  And from Wil’s description of the disturbing scenes in Scotland, I don’t think that I’ll be watching it.  Sorry, Wil.

Blood Diamond also portrays how the children are trained to be soldiers and kill people, even their family.  I was deeply touched by that scene when Dia, Solomon’s son, has the gun pointed at his father and Solomon tries to talk to him telling him he is a good boy and that he loves soccer and school and he is sorry that these men made him do bad things and that his mother and sister are waiting for him back home.  And that he loves him. And tears are falling on their cheeks.  Ah, it’s so heartbreaking.

I think both Leo and Djimon gave very good and intense performances in this film.  I also like the way it ended.

My favourite quote (And I’m sorry if I offend anybody with this):

“Well, off the record, I want to get kissed before I get f*cked.”

Don’t we all?  :)  And you expect to hear that line from a woman.  But it was Leo who said that, in his South African accent.

Fracture

Fracture

This is a cunning cat-and-mouse game between the accused (Anthony Hopkins) who confesses to killing his wife and a young prosecutor (Ryan Gosling) who cannot find the evidence.  I love dramatic thrillers like this.  It keeps you guessing as the story unfolds.  Yes, Sir Anthony is a remarkable actor, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Ryan Gosling.  I think he’s a fine actor, too.

Memorable quote:

Ted Crawford: My dick has evidence.
Judge Robinson: Excuse me?
Ted Crawford: My dick… my private investigator. I call him Dick.

Half Nelson

Half Nelson

What a gripping performance from Ryan Gosling!  He plays a teacher at an all-black inner-city school who is trying to kick his habit of smoking coke. But unlike his ex-girlfriend who is already clean and who recently paid him a visit, he’s not quite there yet.  He’s still struggling with his addiction.  Apparently, the title, Half Nelson, is a wrestling move where you are caught in an uncomfortable position.  And that is indeed what happened in one of my favourite scenes.  Ryan’s character, Mr. Dunn, is in the girls’ locker room (he coaches the girl’s basketball team too) when Drey, one of his 13-year-old students, catches him sitting on the toilet, all sweaty and high from cocaine.  I love that expression on Ryan’s face and also that of the girl’s (Shareeka Epps).  She seemed afraid and confused.  Because what do you do when you catch your teacher like that, eh?  In that scene, he asks her to help him get up, to stay for just a minute and give him water.  Because of this secret between them, they form a special bond.  He would give him a ride home after school or basketball practice, making sure she gets home safely.  And she is worried when he doesn’t show up at school the next day. Knowing that he must have been smoking pot, she goes to his house, making sure that he is all right and picking up after himself.  I love Ryan.  I first noticed him in The Notebook.

Memorable quote:

Change moves in spirals, not circles. For example, the sun goes up and then it goes down. But every time that happens, what do you get? You get a new day. You get a new one. When you breathe, you inhale and you exhale, but every single time that you do that you’re a little bit different than the one before. We’re always changing. And it’s important to know that there are some changes you can’t control and that there are others you can.

Disturbia

Disturbia

Kale (Shia LeBeouf) has recently lost his father to a car accident and he has become withdrawn and troubled.  When his Spanish teacher insults him in class and mentions his father, he loses it and he punches him in the face.  Since he is under 18, he is sentenced to house arrest instead of going to jail.  He has to wear an ankle bracelet, ala Martha Stewart.

To kill his boredom while being stuck in the house, he starts watching his neighbours through his binoculars and video camera. He suspects that one of his neighbours might be the serial killer that is all over the news.  But is he really?

Boy, that Shia LeBeouf is hot, huh?  He has grown up a lot since the Disney movie Holes.  And boy, can he kiss?  His girlfriend Ashley (Sarah Roemer) is hot too.  I can’t wait to see Shia in the new Indiana Jones movie.

Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors

This film is based on the personal memoirs of young Augusten Burroughs (Joseph Cross).  His father (Alec Baldwin) is an alcoholic and his mother (Annette Bening) is cuckoo.  She has a bipolar disorder.  She has been trying to get her poems published in the New York Times and other leading newspapers but she keeps getting rejection letters.  When she and her husband divorced, she leaves the 14-year old Augusten to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, and his eccentric family.  The doctor has three adopted children.  All of them were adopted from his previous patients.  There’s Hope (Gwyneth Paltrow).  Augusten writes in his journal that she is Dr. Finch’s favourite daughter, because Dr. Finch would tell her, “Hope… You are, by far, my favorite daughter.”  And he’d say this in front of the other daughter, Natalie (Evan Rachel Wood).  Natalie wants to go to college but can’t because the doctor has spent her money and he is in trouble with the IRS.  And then there’s Neil Bookman, the schizophrenic son, who is living by himself and from whom Augusten has found love.  Yes, they are both gay.

Augusten writes about his painful childhood with such humour.  It reminds me of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.  If only Angela’s Ashes (the movie) were done in this kind of perspective, I wonder how it would have turned out.  When I was reading McCourt’s book, I found myself laughing a lot.  But the movie was depressing to watch and didn’t engage me that much.  But then, that’s just me.  I think the movie was received quite well.

Running with Scissors also reminds me of The Royal Tenenbaums, which also stars Gwyneth as an eccentric daughter too.  By the way, I just saw Evan Rachel Wood on Oprah.  She’s also grown up a lot since the hit ABC show Once and Again.  She is in this new movie Across the Universe, a musical featuring all Beatles song. I think I’d like to watch that on the big screen.

I enjoyed watching Running with Scissors.  And I think the actors were also great.

My favourite quotes:

Where would we be without our painful childhoods?

I want rules… and boundaries… because… what I’ve learned is that… without them… all life is… is a series of surprises.

Warning:  Spoilers in the comments section

Entry filed under: Books, movies, music, TV. Tags: .

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19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bw  |  September 17, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    I watched Blood Diamond – nice story. I like Leonardo di Caprio’s carriage of the South African accent🙂

    I bought Disturbia DVD last Sunday based on the review of Abaniko. Haven’t watched it yet but sounds quite interesting.

    Reply
  • 2. sesame  |  September 17, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    My husband raved about Blood Diamonds and so I watched it. Very interesting storyline but it’s not as great as some of the others I’ve watched.

    Btw, have you watched 300? I was surprised I like it.

    Reply
  • 3. sesame  |  September 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Okay, I wanted to say this. Why I didn’t like Blood Diamond so much was the ending. I thought Leo deserved to live.

    Reply
  • 4. Wil  |  September 18, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the mention. hehe. Of the movies you’ve reviewed, Blood Diamond sounds like the one I would like to see the most, although I now know how it ends after reading some of the comments. hehe. Oh, well. 😀 You sure know a lot about the actors/actresses. I don’t even know who Shia or Evan Wood are. 🙂

    Reply
  • 5. Haze  |  September 18, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Not one of them are out in France😦 ! I just hope to see them kahit isa man lang, seems they are good films ! Crossing my fingers🙂 !

    Reply
  • 6. niceheart  |  September 18, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    BW, I didn’t expect him playing the role with the accent, but I was impressed. I think you might also enjoy Disturbia.🙂

    Sesame, no I haven’t seen 300. I’ll look it up on the internet and see if I’ll find it interesting.

    Re Blood Diamond, what I like about the ending is how DannyArcher had a change of heart. Because like Solomon, I thought that he would run away from him with the diamond. But see, I have been thinking about this. Did he give up the diamond because he knew he was going to die anyway? Either from his gunshot wound, or if he did survive that, the rebels would be after him and kill him anyway. What if he thought that he has another way to escape, to survive, would he have kept the diamond for himself?

    Sorry about the spoilers Wil. I should add a warning, eh?.🙂 But anyway, do check it out. You might still like it. Don’t I know a lot about the actors and actresses? I watch a lot of TV is what it is. I’m a TV addict. HELP! I was deprived of TV at a certain point in my childhood and now I’m making up for it a lot.🙂

    Haze, no English books and no English movies in France. That must suck eh? Well, let’s hope they bring them to your neck of the woods.🙂

    Reply
  • 7. Daphne  |  September 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I like Blood Diamond more so because of Djimon than Leo being in it. 🙂 Fracture had a nice twist in the end and it was great to see two good actors sparring well on screen. Disturbia didn’t really do it for me, the final scene seemed forced. I’ve read alot of good reviews about Half Nelson but haven’t seen it yet. I do have the ehem bootleg copy of Running with Scissors but cant find the time to just sit still and watch it.

    Btw your previous post about Little Miss Sunshine was very thought provoking and well written. 🙂

    Reply
  • 8. Major Tom  |  September 18, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I did liked Blood Diamond so much and in fact I was a little surprised I never realized it was that good befre watching it since I have not read any rave reviews prior to my screening of it. But it was so enjoyable…

    Reply
  • 9. Kyels  |  September 19, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Yes, life is definitely a series of surprises. Nothing is predictable.
    😀

    I’ve watched Blood Diamond (when it came out) and I was hooked to it. Wrote an article about this issue before for my school, so I was aware of what’s going on in the movie. As for the others, I’d like to check out Disturbia but it’s not out here yet, so I am waiting.

    Reply
  • 10. ipanema  |  September 19, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I’ve watched Blood Diamond and it was like OMG this is really true. I mean those child soldiers. It was painful enough looking at reality since I can only read and blogged about them last year. But seeing them in action is quite different. I like Leonardo DiCaprio’s porrayal but it was sad in the end huh?

    *RE: Spoilers

    Delete the comment. Minsan talaga kahit u’re blogging peacefully, merong demonyo.🙂

    Reply
  • 11. eric aka senor enrique  |  September 19, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you, Irene for publishing this series. Once I feel like renting a DVD, I’d surely browse through these articles to make my selection.

    Reply
  • 12. pining  |  September 20, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Running with scissors sounds wicked if it’s like The Royal T🙂
    shall have it on my must see movies… thanks niceheart🙂

    Reply
  • 13. Gypsy  |  September 20, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Running with Scissors sounds like a great movie to watch–and of course, I would probably be comfortable laughing at the funny scenes just because I am not LIVING with them but just watching from a safe distance.🙂

    Reply
  • 14. Shosh  |  September 20, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I just saw Disturbia and loved it. I enjoyed Last King of Scotland too…Forest Whitaker is awesome!

    I haven’t seen Blood Diamond…I better put in to my Netflix line-up.

    Reply
  • 15. Haze  |  September 21, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Ako ulit, merong V.O. (Version Original or Original Version) pero talagang very rare Nicheart ! As in huling huli talaga kami ! i don’t know it these are out in the video shop, haven’t check ! Good idea, I will check them out😉 ! Have a nice weekend Niceheart !

    Reply
  • 16. annamanila  |  September 21, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    I love it that you give us your favorite quotes in the end. The one about life being spiral and not a circle is so splendid. My dick has evidence is hilarious.

    I love collecting quotes too. But not yet from the movies. But I see they are a good source too. Might as well start now. 🙂

    Reply
  • 17. niceheart  |  September 22, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Thanks for sharing with us your take on these movies, Daphne. It seems like we go for the same kind of movies.🙂 And thank you kindly for what you said about my Little Miss Sunshine post.🙂

    Major Tom, looks a lot of us like Blood Diamond eh? It really has a good story line. Not expected from a genre like this but it’s a really good film.

    It must have been a really good article Kyels. Nice to hear that someone as young as yourself is aware of issues tackled in that film.

    Ipanema, I had the same reaction as you. We read and watch on the news about these child soldiers and when you see them played out on the screen, it’s still shocking. It also made me sad to see the end, but I like it that it has redeemed Leo’s character. About the spoiler, ayos lang naman sa akin. Minsan kasi hindi talaga maiwasan lalo na kung gusto mong idiscuss yung paborito mong eksena. I totally spoiled it na rin naman for Wil.🙂

    You’re welcome Eric. I’m glad that my lists could be of service to you.🙂

    Reply
  • 18. niceheart  |  September 22, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Pining, if you’ve enjoyed Royal T, I’m sure you’ll also have a hell of a time with Running.🙂

    Gypsy, if you like funny movies, Running’s one for you. But there are also some very touching moments. And I know what you mean. It’s easy for us to laugh at other people’s follies if we’re not living them.🙂

    Shosh, you’ve enjoyed Scotland huh? Now you’re making me think twice about watching it.🙂

    Hello again, Haze. So ganun naman pala. I guess you’ll just have to be patient and have to do with what they have available there. Have a nice weekend too.🙂

    I also like jotting down quotes, annamanila. Even if I’m just watching an interview on TV. Sometimes I read them back and ponder on them. I also love that quote about how change moves in spirals. I’m glad that I found that entire quote on internet.🙂

    Reply
  • 19. Rach (Heart of Rachel)  |  September 25, 2007 at 6:05 am

    I’ve seen Blood Diamond and Disturbia.

    Running with Scissors seems like an interesting movie. I’ll keep that in my list to watch.

    Reply

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