Marvelous Mondays – The Wolverine by Tranquil Dreams

Happy Monday everyone! Check out my contribution to the Marvelous Mondays series over at Natasha’s Life of This City Girl blog. If you don’t know her, she is an amazing blogger that features awesome movie and book reviews among many other topics. Remember to go check out the other Marvelous Mondays reviews as we check out the Marvel-related movies over the years by different guest bloggers.
The Wolverine was one I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first released in theatres but after delaying it over and over again, I finally gave it a watch and it was surprisingly entertaining fun! Head on over to check out the full review ūüôā

Life of this city girl

Happy Monday, folks!

To continue our extensive run with this blogathon, Kim of Tranquil Dreams was kind enough to review The Wolverine for me. Thanks Kim!

The-Wolverine-2013

I’ve never been a comic book reader, at least not for superheroes.  For the longest time, Marvel and DC Comics didn’t mean much to me.  I knew the general popular superheroes but I never knew more than that.  When X-Men hit theatres, it didn’t have such a huge appeal to me.  However, I only started being more into superheroes after The Avengers and especially my eyes were focused on Marvel.  The quality of each of their movies is almost guaranteed.  Despite X-Men not having such a huge appeal, I did enjoy the first one when I saw it and soon saw X2 and X3 also.  The most outstanding character have be The Wolverine and Hugh Jackman has been identified with him.  When The Wolverine…

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Valentine’s Marathon: Kate & Leopold (2001)

Last year I wanted to do a Meg Ryan marathon and seeing as that didn’t happen as her filmography is pretty long, I decided that I’d go through the few that I had acquired during this year. ¬†I felt pretty bad especially since Paul over at Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies¬†asked me again about it and I promised him that I’d try to put at least one of them in my Valentine’s Marathon. I definitely would like to see another one but Kate & Leopold was my choice because it was a romantic comedy and I needed one of those after a very teary after A Walk to Remember ūüôā

kate and leopold posterDirector: James Mangold

Cast: Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer

Stuart (Liev Schreiber) finds a crack in time and ends up falling into April 1876 where while he is documenting photographs as he follows his great great grandfather, Leopold Duke of Albany (Hugh Jackman), he also catches his attention. Leopold follows him accidently back to 21st century New York but before he gets a chance to actually explain everything to him, Stuart has an accident and asks his ex-girlfriend Kate (Meg Ryan) who lives upstairs to help him. While Stuart struggles to find a way to escape the hospital, Leopold is learning about the new time he is in while befriending Kate and her brother, Charlie (Breckin Meyer). The affection between Kate and Leopold grow but he knows that he must leave her.

kate & leopold meg ryan hugh jackman

I like Meg Ryan a lot and none of her movies have disappointed me thus far. Kate & Leopold is one of the new ones with Meg Ryan and its a charming one. ¬†Of course, Hugh Jackman does most of the charming. Where do you find gentlemen these days? No offense. ¬†If you exist out there, well, you sure aren’t in Montreal and I haven’t met you. Of course, it doesn’t bother me too much but c’mon, lets face it, wouldn’t it be awesome to be courted by a gentlemen in elegant sweep you off your feet ways? I know I would. ¬†Its like how we watch Audrey Hepburn movies and say, “They don’t movies like this anymore.” Same thing, just different context. Its classy and beautiful. Hugh Jackman just takes it and leaves and for me, Meg has always been a classy lady so this fits her.

kate & leopold meg ryan

If you take Kate & Leopold and try to apply logic and the concept of time travel and ask whether it makes sense, well, it doesn’t. ¬†There’s a lot that doesn’t really work but I don’t know, as much as I did notice it, it didn’t bother me all too much. ¬†I’m not watching a drama and accuracy doesn’t have to be the main focus in a romantic comedy. ¬†If you are able to toss logic to the back your mind and just enjoy the sweet story, this one is alright. It’d gladly sit through this one again but if given the choice, I’d probably choose some of Meg’s other works like When Harry Met Sally.

kate & leopold liev schreiber

Other than Meg Ryan and a very charming Hugh Jackman, there’s also Liev Schreiber. So this is where Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber started acting together, eh? My first thought when I saw Liev Schreiber was, “wait a minute, I saw him in X-men Origins!” You know, my boyfriend’s sister thinks my boyfriend looks like this guy. ¬†I don’t think so personally but it did help me recognize him. ¬†I haven’t seen this guy much anywhere but he is pretty funny in this. ¬† The other supporting role with Breckin Meyer playing Charlie was actually funnier.

I really don’t have much to say about Kate & Leopold. ¬†Its a good romantic comedy. ¬†The time travel plot is quite incomplete but if you’re willing to through out logic and just enjoy Hugh Jackman’s charm and his very awesome accent, it’ll be entertaining ūüôā

Have you seen Kate & Leopold? What did you think about it?

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Saturday movie night with my best friend ended up being her choice out of my unseen movies pile! We love watching animation together and its been forever since we’ve actually sat down at home eating dinner together and just enjoy a movie. ¬†Last movie we saw was in the theatres last year, Brave and it was totally awesome ūüėČ Rise of the Guardians was one that we believe we saw the preview of when we went to see Brave.

rise of the guardians posterDirector: Peter Ramsey

Voice Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo

The Four Guardians have always taken care of the hopes and beliefs and happiness of all the kids around the world. ¬†They consisted of a russian accent Santa Claus called North (Alec Baldwin), Easter Bunny called Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth Fairy called Tooth (Isla Fisher) and Sandman called Sandy who doesn’t talk. ¬†When North sees that the Boogeyman called Pitch, has come out of hiding and used his darkness to try to take over the Earth, he calls up the Guardians for a meeting. ¬†When asking advice from the moon, they see that they are to summon a 5th Guardian, who is a mischievous Jack Frost (Chris Pine). This comes as a surprise to both Jack Frost and the Guardians. ¬†As Pitch launches his plan to come out of hiding and destroy every child’s dreams and happiness, the Guardians along with Jack Frost needs to find a way to work together and figure out how to stop him before its too late.

Was 2012 the year of awesome animated flicks? I loved The Lorax (although there was a fair share that didn’t). ¬†I absolutely adored Brave and now I had so much fun with Rise of the Guardians! I just totally blame the promotional team for this one. ¬†It was so awesome but yet the trailers, not for one second, made me want to go see this.

rise of the guardians guardians

This movie is definitely one that I found was really magical.  Its suitable for kids but gives the adults a good sense of adventure as well.  Its not dumb childish humor but actually rather witty dialogue.  Bringing in the mythical characters that a lot of children do (or adults have) believe in and setting them as the heroes of the story makes it very unique.  It also gives them a meaning as we are revealed that even our heroes before they become immortal have to earn their way to be who they are and each one had a life before this one.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

All the characters were designed really well. ¬†My best friend (and I) particularly loved how they made North have a Russian accent. ¬†I thought that was really nifty and cool. ¬†Easter Bunny was made all ninja style and he rocked the screen under Hugh Jackman’s voiceover. That makes sense since he has to jump and hop everywhere. ¬†His interaction with everyone was most of the comic relief. ¬†Chris Pine did a very good Jack Frost, although I almost didn’t even recognize his voice at first. ¬†His story was the main focus throughout this flick so his character grew on me as it progressed.

rise of the guardians pitch

This flick had Pitch as the villain. I think he did so amazing. ¬†For one, he has one of the best voices in the business and its actually sad that I don’t recall him doing any voice work before. ¬†He rarely does bad guys but somehow I felt he was a good level of evil to make everything work out.

rise of the guardians sandy

One last thing that I really loved was the visuals. ¬†The way the designed each of the “palaces” where the guardians lived were all very creative. ¬†They each gave a beauty and imaginative. ¬†The way the characters would use their magic and the colors they used were absolutely amazing. ¬†I may have talked about this last but it was the big element that kept drawing me into the world of the Guardians.

This flick had a good amount of action to hold both children and adults but in no time did it feel that it was too intense or inappropriate for children at least. ¬†They kept reminding us that we all have that child in us. ¬†I’d recommend not only for a fun magical adventure but also that it carries a deeper meaning that we need to find our center. ¬†No one will treat situations the same way but we all are unique and that gives us our advantage.

Les Miserables (2012)

les miserablesDirector: Tom Hooper

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Raymayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit

Les Miserables is a Broadway based on the famous book by Victor Hugo with the same name. ¬†It has gone on for over 25+ years on stage and is renowned. This movie is an adaptation of that Broadway led by the producer of Cameron Mackintosh who is also the one who put it all together on stage. ¬†I will give you a general plot summary in case you are unfamiliar with it. ¬†Les Miserables is about the life of a man called Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). ¬†He was convicted because he stole some bread for his sister’s dying child and after that trying to escape, he ended up staying as a slave in jail for 19 years. ¬†When he gets his parole by Javert (Russell Crowe), that is where his story starts. ¬†Valjean is angry at the world and of the prejudice and discrimination he gets because of his convict. ¬†The cause is poverty and when the priest welcomes him, he steals his silver and runs away. ¬†When he is caught, the priest defend him and say that he gave it to him as gifts and gets rid of the police. ¬†He then asks him to use the silver well and become an honest man. ¬†Flashing forward eight years later, we see that he now is the mayor and is known around the town. He lets go of Fantine (Anne Hathaway) accidentally and then leads up to her falling deeper and deeper. ¬†In regret, he saves her and promises to take care of her daughter, Cosette. ¬†At this time, Javert has entered into the town as the police. ¬†He learns of Valjean’s identity and then pursues him to bring him back to the law. ¬†Valjean quickly escapes and runs to save Cosette from the innkeeper (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his wife (Helena Bonham Carter). ¬†After he escapes from town, we flash forward to another nine years later and they are at the brink of a French Revolution. ¬†General Lamarque, who stands up for the people is on his deathbed and the people are getting ready to rebel lead by Enroljas (Aaron Tveit) and Marius (Eddie Raymayne). ¬†We also see that Valjean and a grown up Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) has returned. ¬†Through this, we get the love story that comes alive with Cosette and Marius. ¬†We also see Eponine (Samantha Barks), who has a crush on Marius and is the innkeepers’ daughter and she helps. ¬†Its here that the French Revolution happens and Valjean decides to help out in hopes to protect Marius. Long plot summary, I know but it was the only way that I could bring everyone into the picture.

Let me first by saying that out of the few 2012 movies I did see and I saw some really high expectation ones, this one is my film of the year for 2012. ¬†Its not because I do love the Broadway and the music to bits. ¬†The story is fantastic. ¬†I had my doubts about this movie even though I was pretty hyped up about it. ¬†Knowing the musical itself very well, this could have easily bombed, as most musicals adapted into movies turn out. ¬†This one had wonderful voices to support it. ¬†Thats one of the most important parts because it is ALL singing. ¬†The dialogue is sang just like the original musical. ¬†Now that we are on music and vocals. ¬†If I was to treat this as a standalone film, its perfect. ¬†However, I do know the actual musical, there was a few issues with casting. ¬†Russell Crowe has a beautiful voice but I didn’t think it was strong enough for the role of Javert, but since he nailed the last solo song that he performed, I let it pass. ¬†Hugh Jackman really made the role his own. ¬†The BEST role was Fantine as she was captivating and just pulled at my heartstrings. ¬†However, if I was to put a weak link, I’d say it would be Amanda Seyfried. ¬†She has a very sweet voice and she did a pretty good job as Cosette but her voice wasn’t as high so it turned a bit shaky and that bothered me a bit. ¬†I was extremely shocked by Eddie Raymayne. ¬†That guy is a wonderful actor and has an amazing voice and just his expressions when he did his solo was just amazing. ¬†I’d also like to give special mention to Samantha Barks, as she is a really awesome Eponine. ¬†She also played this role for the 25th anniversary in concert performance and she was fantastic in that as well. ¬†I’d really like to see her in more movies because she makes a pretty good actress. ¬†Another special mention is to the priest who did the role of Jean Valjean in the 10th anniversary musical. ¬†Although, I think Jackman got some pointers from him on being a good Valjean because there are similarities in the way ¬†he expresses it. ¬†I wonder if that did happen.

Another thing that a lot of people seemed to criticize was the close up shooting of the characters. ¬†I actually thought that it did add to the movie experience because above all, this is a musical and a lot of the acting is in how they express themselves in their faces and perhaps less their movements. ¬†I can tell how it could be bothersome at times, but nothing beat the biggest thing that is unique to my movie experience and thats French subtitles for the lyrics flashing at the bottom which cut off part of the performer’s face because of the close-up. ¬†It comes with the territory though, so what can I say? It was something I had to live with.

Another mention has to go out that this is produced by Cameron Mackintosh who is the one who put together the musical in the first place.  To me, he is renowned for putting together successful musicals and seeing him being the producer of this already gave it so much  more promise.  Very pleased with that!

It turned my New Year’s Eve into a slight cry fest because it was just so emotional. ¬†To have me cry in public is not a easy thing to do, but I did because it was done so well.

This movie is a must-see because its probably the best musical that has been made so far. ¬†I highly recommend it if you are into musicals. ¬†If you aren’t, it might be harder for you to enjoy it.