Halloween Marathon: Honeymoon (2014)

I saw Honeymoon a good few months ago.  The reason I didn’t post this up is that it requires a very delicate handling to not ruin the story and I’m not exactly sure I’m up to the task. But, when I asked for suggestions, Mel at The Creative Fox Den told me to do Honeymoon.  Plus, she did point out that it is perfect since I did just get married.  We have a postponed Honeymoon but hell, I sure hope my Honeymoon never turns out into this horror. It is quite perfect for the Halloween Marathon plus, its still etched rather deeply in my mind so let’s do it! 🙂

Oh, expect a short write-up/review 😉

Honeymoon (2014)

Honeymoon

Director and co-writer: Leigh Janiak

Cast: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown

A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of their first night.-IMDB

Honeymoon is a rare gem.  One that knows when how to build the mood and character slowly and then flip the situation around as it decelerates into another new horrific world of the unknown.  We are left with questions as the plot slowly unfolds after Bea, the newlywed wife disappears into the woods one day and reappears. Its one that makes you wonder what is going on and offers you up solutions that are all possibilities of outcomes.

The cast here is small.  We have Rose Leslie who plays newlywed wife Bea and Harry Treadaway who plays the husband. They both are fantastic at their roles.  They can show their love and as whatever unknown has caused Bea to change starts breaking them apart, you can still see the connection they have. There’s this reluctance to separate that you can feel.

Honeymoon

The setting itself is in a secluded cabin close to a lake.  Its quiet all around.  The perfect place for something like a honeymoon getaway to turn awry. The music compliments the atmosphere perfectly as well.

You know what? Honeymoon is one to be experienced fully.  Don’t watch the trailer, have as little knowledge as you can going in.  Let its thrills and mysteries, its creeps and horrors consume you as you watch the story unfold. Its exactly for these reasons that I love the world of indie films. You never know what to expect.

Have you seen Honeymoon? Did you like it? (Let’s try and keep it spoiler-free.)

 

Fish Tank (2009)

Last week I raved about a movie that completely just blew my mind.  Seriously, it did.  I didn’t want to reveal the name then but now’s the time: Fish Tank. From the beginning of September when I saw it till now, my mind still wanders back to that movie, about what happened and just the message of it.

Fish tankDirector: Andrea Arnold

Cast: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Harry Treadaway, Rebecca Griffiths

Fifteen year old Mia (Katie Jarvis) lives in the housing projects with her relatively young mother, Joanne (Kierston Wareing) and her little sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths).  She is also out of school as her mother sets up for her to go to a special school.  She wanders alone a lot especially since her mother seems more interested in keeping her life partying, drinking, smoking, pretty much anything except being the responsible parent she should be.  Mia is okay with improving on her dancing in her own world and just keeping everything to herself and living in her own world but thats until her mother brings home a new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender).  He encourages her in believing in herself and that is something she’s never really had before.

Fish Tank

Fish Tank is a coming of age story for fifteen year old Mia.  We see the movie a lot through her eyes and how she feels but a lot goes unsaid because she’s not a big talker.  She’s more of the quiet and analytical type of person.  She keeps to herself a lot but she also reacts with aggression when she has to.  Its all her protecting herself.  Her space includes being in a vacant apartment and dancing alone.  Her relationship with her mother isn’t great and her and her sister obviously care for each other but they don’t always express it in the right way.  Mia is an interesting character because her development throughout the movie is amazing to watch.  Its about seeing the bits and pieces of her that she’s protected as we also see her fragility as well as her tough girl side.  She’s complex but at the same time, she’s learning and growing every step of the way.  What makes Mia real is that she will make decisions that don’t make sense to the audience but at the same time, its those moments that drag them in.

fish tank

A lot of Mia’s character changes because of Connor played by Michael Fassbender.  I’ve always knew that Michael Fassbender is a decent actor (through Jane Eyre and X-Men, etc).  I haven’t seen a lot of his movies but he’s never been disappointing to watch, ever. Fish Tank and Connor is something I’ve never seen Michael Fassbender do.  Connor comes out of nowhere and essentially we know nothing of him just as Mia doesn’t either.  She sneaks around to learn about where he works and he does these mysterious things that all come together at the end of the movie as to what its about.  At the same time, although he’s Mia’s mom’s boyfriend, he also shows a lot of interest towards Mia along with her sister.  Connor never ceases to surprise me because for one, I never expected Michael Fassbender to do a sex scene and that was pretty convincing.  At the same time, there is one other scene that acts as a turning point of the story and as crazy as that scene was, I’m guessing its also the one that has me thinking the most.  Now if you’ve seen this movie, you’ll probably know which one I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Say hello to my new crush up there, I’m so impressed with Michael Fassbender that I’m about to prepare for a movie marathon of the movies he has done to date (if I can find a good portion of them). Charming, sexy and so talented, I just love him!

*ahem* Moving along before I get too carried away…

fish tank

The main focus is on Mia and the influence that Connor had on her.  Except everyone plays a part in her growing up.  We have her mother played by Kierston Wareing who fully convinces us of the type of mother she is and maybe a part of her doesn’t want to give up her youth especially when she’s really not that old and she still wants to have fun.  There’s a boy (played by Harry Treadaway) that Mia meets who she seems to gradually let into her life to trust because of a random bad encounter that spiraled into something else.  Her sister is incredibly convincing with the emphasis of just how their lives are not so fortunate especially when even her little sister engages in some bad habits herself and at such a young age.

fish tank connor mia

Fish Tank is outstanding because of its rather simple story with various twists of a coming of age story.  Its thought provoking and complex because its characters are deep and hard to read.  Everyone has something more but its not brought right in our faces all the time. I love this sort of movie because it envelopes growing up, messing up, making rash choices and really opening up to the world and seeing it for what it is or maybe more than what it is.  Its hard to explain how I actually feel about this without sticking in spoilers so I’m going to stop.  When the movie finished, I sat back and thought about what they meant by calling it Fish Tank.

Overall, Fish Tank is a really good coming of age story with a handful of complex characters.  The main character, Mia being the most complex of all.  There’s a lot of silence and analysis to see whats beneath the surface.  Its wondering what will happening next because everyone is unpredictable in their own way. It feels an ugly reality thrust in our faces except sometimes how do you determine what is right or wrong and is ugly and beautiful. Its about learning to not just look out at everyone but to have the courage to live life, take chances, love others (and yourself) and probably there’s so much more.

I highly recommend Fish Tank.  Its not fast-paced but the whole story is compelling all the same 🙂

Have you seen Fish Tank? Did you like it? What do you think about Michael Fassbender? Are you a fan of coming of age stories?

City of Ember (2008)

One of my absolutely favorite movies.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this but I’m guesstimating that I’m probably at my 4th time watching this movie.  A little adventure fantasy movie as IMDB classifies it.

city of emberDirector: Gil Kenan

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Murray, Toby Jones

This story is about the city of Ember.  Ember was built by the engineers and architects (a.k.a. the Builders) over 200 years ago underground to shield its population away from the destruction above ground that had happened.  They set a box that was set to countdown 200 years and was to be passed from mayor to mayor.  In the line, one of the mayors dropped dead suddenly and the box was tucked away.  The box however keeps counting down and no one knows these plans that the Builders had set.  Fast forward to the present, we are in city of Ember which is lit by many lamps hanging from the cieling.  At a certain age, the children each pick out of a hat what their job for the rest of their life will be supervised by the Mayor (Bill Murray).  We zoom in on Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) who becomes a messenger and Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway) who ends up working in the pipeworks.  At the same time, Ember is slowly dying as the generators are now failing and this results in blackouts that last longer and longer.  Doon knows that there has to be a way to fix it and he explores, while Lina also eventually realizes there are problems more serious than those that the Mayor insists on.  They both end up joining forces to save Ember and the people they care about in this underground city.

Why do I love this movie so much? First off, have you ever played Final Fantasy 7? I have, back in my high school years on my crappy PC that allowed me to play it on a window that was about a quarter (if not, an eighth) of the size of my actual computer screen.  If you’ve played that, you’ll realize that this movie starts off and the artwork resembles it so much. I’m not sure if it was inspired by FF7 but it was mesmerizing and beautiful to look at.  Every detail of Ember was so amazing and visually stunning.

cityofember

What else is important in a movie? The background music was fantastic and it helped build the mood really well.  Plus, we also have to look at the actors and actresses in this one.  I’m a HUGE fan of Saoirse Ronan.  If you need me to jog your memory, she also did Atonement, Hanna and Lovely Bones, which are also very good movies.  She does an incredible job at being Lina Mayfleet, occupation Messenger, a big sister, a caring granddaughter and especially a concerned citizen.  Tim Robbins plays the role of Doon’s father and also the narrator of the movie. I have to give a little special mention to the role of the little girl that plays the younger sister of Lina Mayfleet.  She was super adorable and was absolutely wonderful.

cityofember2

Like any movie, there are imperfections.  There is a part where this time around (probably because of reviewing more movies I noticed) the CGI effects are pretty below average .I don’t want to expose that part because its super intense adventure sequence and contributes to the ending, but I even so, I still found it really fun and intense.

city of ember scene 1

Overall, I love this movie.  Its beautiful to watch, awesome cast matched with captivating music and a brilliant plot.  I personally couldn’t ask for more, fun and adventurous.  When I first saw this, I hadn’t even heard of it but the first second pulled me right in.

Seen this? Didn’t see this? Sounds like something you’d want to see? What did you think? Who is also a fan of Saoirse Ronan? I’m seriously looking forward to her new movie also based on a book about aliens (or something along those lines) called The Host.  I still have to actually check to see if the trailer is out.