Friday, July 29, 2011

097 - Chicken Run (2000)

Chicken Run is the story of a group of chickens that try to make a daring escape as their farm changes from producing eggs to pies.

Ginger is the leader of the chickens on Tweedy's Farm. She is often punished for attempted escapes, but keeps devising more plans with help from boffin Mac.

She cares for her friends - from the headstrong Bunty to the dippy Babs and old-fashioned ex-RAF based rooster Fowler - and when Rocky, a young American rooster, flies in over the fence, she dreams up the perfect plan for escape away from Mrs. Tweedy's automated pie maker.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

096 - Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire tells the story of the competition between two runners for Olympic glory in the 1924 games held in Paris.

Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a devout Christian missionary born in Scotland finds he has a natural talent for running and, after changing from being a rugby winger to a sprinter, puts his ability down to being something gifted from God.

Meanwhile, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a Jewish student studying at Cambridge, quickly asserts himself as a speed runner by beating off his fellow student competition.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

095 - Changeling (2008)

Changeling is the true story of a woman who is forced to wrongly believe a child is hers to cover up the police's incompetence.

In March 1928, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) was called into work unexpectedly and was forced to leave behind her 9-year-old son, Walter, promising to make it up to him tomorrow. She leaves, telling him that a neighbour will come round to check on the house shortly.

Upon her return she is shocked to find him gone and reports the matter to the police. A few months later a boy resembling Walter is returned to her but she refuses to believe it is Walter despite the police willingness to proclaim the case closed. Christine's constant protestations led to her being committed to a psychiatric ward for examination until, 5 days later, the truth was revealed by local minister Rev. Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich) and Christine was freed.

Meanwhile, an investigation into a series of gruesome murders on children is under way and the LAPD spot another chance to cover up the story claiming that Walter was there. Despite the attempted cover-ups, the chief of police stands trial.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is the final film adaptation of the popular book series by J.K. Rowling.

Following Part 1, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are still looking for the final few horcruxes that will bring about the demise of Lord Voldemort.

Their search takes them to Bellatrix Lastrange's vault in Gringott's followed by a visit to Hogwarts where they are trapped by Voldemort and the Death Eaters for the final battle.

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011)

Theatrical Poster
The third Transformers film goes back to the beginning in the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons for Cybertron.

The Autobots, including Optimus Prime, learn of the location of a piece of technology on the moon that could have aided them to victory over the Decepticons in the battle for Cybertron. A select number of humans have known about it, triggering the space race for the first human arrival in the 1960's.

After finding the technology, Optimus Prime revives the inventor and his one-time boss Sentinel Prime in the belief that he will return to rejoin the struggle with the Decepticons but it emerges there is something far more sinister afoot.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

094 - C'est La Vie (1990)

C'est La Vie tells the story of a seemingly perfect family disintegrating while on a summer holiday.

Frédérique leaves for her annual summer holiday with her sister Sophie with their nanny Odette, leaving behind her parents as they continue to fight about their marriage.

She spends most days on the beach with family friends until her mother Lena arrives, complete with a new younger man, Jean-Claude. As she is asked to leave her family by Jean-Claude, Lena must decide whether to save her marriage or lose her children.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Disney's 51st Animated Classic

Tomorrow (July 15th) marks the release of Disney's 51st animated classic, Winnie the Pooh.

Empire's award of four stars displays how Disney are still continuing to be at the top of their game in the movies they produce and release.

Despite the very underrated release, I hope that is succeeds so that Disney can continue for many years in the future.

See Also: The full list of Disney's Animated Classics.

093 - Caught (1949)

Caught tells the story of Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) who marries self-made millionnaire Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan) only to find he is not all that he appears.

Leonora Eames grew up wishing she would know a rich man and have him take care of her for the rest of her life. After attending finishing school, she attends a party only to meet the rich host, Smith Ohlrig, who takes her for a drive.

As she gets to know him she falls in love with more than just his money, but after they marry he begins to become more tyrannical and paranoid believing that she is just after his money. She leaves him and sets up a new life working for a pleasant doctor (James Mason) but her husband isn't willing to give her up so easily.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cast Away (2000)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Cast Away is the story of one man's struggle for survival after finding himself lost on an island after his plane crashes.

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a man who likes to live by the clock. As an employee of FedEx, he prides himself on his ability to be on time for every appointment, delivery and collection. A routine haulage flight goes wrong and Chuck finds himself washed up on a deserted island far away from civilisation.

During his stint on the island, Chuck finds ways to live and even creates his own friend - Wilson - for emotional attachment. He finds ways to keep time by inventing a calendar that works from the sun's movements before eventually, four years later, collecting enough debris to build a raft for his attempted escape.

Monday, July 11, 2011

092 - Cat People (1942)

Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) is a Serbian immigrant living in the United States. Initially secluded she finds enjoyment in painting the local zoo's panthers. While sketching her latest work she meets Oliver Reed (Kent Smith), a ship engineer and they marry shortly after.

Oliver learns there is more to Irena than meets the eye as she believes that when she is in passion's grip she will transform into a panther herself, much like the curse from her homeland. Oliver sends Irena to be cured from her fears by psychiatrist Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway) as their marriage begins to suffer as a consequence.

Bridesmaids (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Bridesmaids follows one woman's life as her world starts to unravel after she is chosen as maid of honour at her best friend's wedding.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is chosen as maid of honour for the wedding of her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). As she begins to organise the celebrations, the wife of Lillian's fiancée’s boss, Helen (Rose Byrne), begins to push through her ideas in order to gain popularity with Lillian.

As Annie's ideas are shunted in favour of Helen's rich extravagance, Annie begins to feel further from Lillian that she has ever done in her life. Meanwhile, after the failure of her bakery, other aspects of Annie's life begin to topple as she loses her home and a potential boyfriend (Chris O'Dowd).

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

091 - Casino (1995)

Casino tells the story of one man's attempt to make it as a casino boss in the - literally - cut-throat city of Las Vegas.

Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) move to Las Vegas in order to find their dream. While Sam finds success as the general manager of one of the biggest casinos in Vegas, Nicky is hired as Sam's personal bodyguard.

When Sam falls in love with a hustler (Sharon Stone) and promises her the world, Nicky starts to go off the rails taking advantage of his position to "win" big in Sam's casino. Sam throws him out, and Nicky becomes leader of a violent gang who rob and rough up the locals.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Bridget Jones's Diary tells the story of one woman's struggle to avoid becoming an old-aged spinster.

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is getting to that age where she feels her life is going past her and she can't do anything about it. After an encounter with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) leaves her reeling after he inadvertently reveals his true thoughts about her blabbermouth, she vows to keep a diary of her life to inspire her to change for better.

During this 'new' time, Bridget falls for her sleazy boss at the publishing firm - Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) - who appears to be stringing her along and her parents split up causing Bridget further disruption after her mother finds someone who she thinks is far more exciting.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Films 091 - 100

The next ten films in the Empire 5-star challenge are:
  1. Casino (1995)
  2. Cat People (1942)
  3. Caught (1949)
  4. C'est La Vie (1990)
  5. Changeling (2008)
  6. Chariots Of Fire (1981)
  7. Chicken Run (2000)
  8. Chimes At Midnight (1965)
  9. Chinatown (1974)
  10. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
So, this is it. The final 10 films of the first 100. This will make me 20% of the way through the challenge.

The previous ten films continued where the ones before finished off. There were some excellent ones from the wonderfully flamboyant Camille to the more secluded Capote. I didn't really enjoy Carnival Of Souls and was a little disappointed with both Carousel and Carrie) but the wonderful films returned with the brilliant Casablanca.

As for the next ten films, the only one I've seen is the hilarious Chicken Run (which I'm surprised is a five-star film). After Carlito's Way I'm looking forward to Casino and Chinatown to continue a fantastic genre. I'm going to have to reprogram the DVD player in order to watch Cat People and C'est La Vie though as they have both arrived from the other side of the pond.

So, until next time!