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Monthly Archives: May 2011

50DMC Day 4 – Your favorite animated film

More info on The 50 Day Movie Challenge here and here.

Nostalgia really makes me want to put The Lion King here, but that would not be quite honest. For the finest animated film I’ve ever seen is not by Disney, but by Studio Ghibli.

Grave of the Fireflies hit me like a wrecking ball when I first saw it. It follows a boy and his baby sister as they try to get by in World War 2 Japan. American aircrafts drop firebombs and turn the children’s home to smoldering ruins. But this is not a political movie about the horrors of war. It’s a human movie about the horrors of times of war. It’s also about maturing, about pride and morals, and about the love that exists between family members and the strain it can be forced to endure. Animation here isn’t used to transport us to some magical far-off place filled with fantastic creatures, but to enhance the various human sides of the characters. The many ways in which Seita cares for his sister Setsuko all serve to move us in different ways, and the end result is one of the most heartwrenching films ever made, animated or live-action.

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Posted by on 31 May, 2011 in 50 Day Movie Challenge

 

50DMC Day 3 – The movie you’ve seen the most (repeatedly) in your life

More info on The 50 Day Movie Challenge here and here.

(All caught up now. From now on, it’s one per day.)

I would like to be able to say that the movie I’ve watched the most in my life is some well-regarded classic or modern masterpiece. But while I can’t be 100% sure, I strongly suspect that that’s not the case. The reason why is the Police Academy franchise.

I was a big fan of the Police Academy films when I was young. We had them all recorded on VHS and I watched them over and over and over. I really dug them all. Well, except Mission to Moscow. Even as a child I could tell that that one was awful. Anyway, most people nowadays will tell you that only the first one or two films in the series are any good. Me, I liked 3 and 4 the best. Probably because they had the most of my favorite character, Bobcat Goldthwait’s angry crazy Zed. So let’s just assume that Police Academy 3 is my most-watched movie ever. It’s as good a guess as any, considering the lack of anyone keeping score.

I haven’t watched any of the Police Academy films since the mid-90s. I strongly suspect that they won’t hold up well today. Some memories are best left alone.

 
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Posted by on 30 May, 2011 in 50 Day Movie Challenge

 

50DMC Day 2 – The first movie you remember seeing in theatres

More info on The 50 Day Movie Challenge here.

(Still playing catch-up…)

The earliest movie I recall seeing in theaters is an animated Tintin film. There seems to be a couple of different versions of the one I’m thinking of, but this Tintin and the Temple of the Sun seems to be the one.

I grew up on old Franco-Belgian comic books like Asterix, Lucky Luke and, of course, Tintin. They most certainly played a part in me learning to read. They all brought something different to the table. Lucky Luke was just really funny, and Asterix had memorable characters and lots of clever wordplay that I learned to appreciate more as the years went by. But Tintin was the one with the great adventures. The titular hero was just a regular guy who ended up exploring all corners of the world and beyond. There was always a sense of wonder and awe to the Tintin comics, and often danger too. You always knew that Asterix could drink his potion and beat up all the evil Romans, and Lucky Luke was the fastest gun-slinger in the West so he’d always be fine too. But Tintin? He was just a young man with no special powers or skills. Anything could happen, it felt like. I guess that was part of the appeal.

As for the film I saw in theaters, I don’t remember anything about it nowadays. I can recall the particular books it was based on (The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners Of The Sun), so the plot I know through that. But whether it’s a faithful adaptation or not and if I liked it or not… no idea.

Hard to find any appropriate clips of the thing on Youtube, but here’s a fan-made video using photage from the second half of it, it seems.

 
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Posted by on 30 May, 2011 in 50 Day Movie Challenge

 

50DMC Day 1 – Your favorite movie

The first day of The 50 Day Movie Challenge is an easy one. Even if one holds the belief that ranking movies is a pointless endeavor (I don’t), I reckon most every film fan has that one movie they hold in particular regard. The one that will always be their default reply when asked what their favorite movie is.

For me, that film is American Beauty. I wasn’t any major movie fanatic back when I first saw this film. I didn’t really know anything about the movie at the time, but it was one of those rare days that I felt like renting a film and it happened to be this one for some reason (maybe the cover drew me in?).

Now, some movies that you love aren’t immediate infatuations. They take a little while to fully earn your trust. Maybe they’re films that you need a second watch to fully appreciate. Maybe they need to be revisited a couple of times over a longer period to grow on you. American Beauty was no such thing for me. Right as the credits started rolling, I knew I had seen something special. While Lester Burnham’s plight of being trapped in his suburbian life wasn’t something I personally had experienced, Kevin Spacey’s strong performance still made it feel highly relatable. It’s oddly triumphant in how he manages to break free from the drudge of his everyday rut, yet not unconditionally so (since it’s spurred by his squicky attraction to his teen daughter’s slutty friend). It shows the contrasts in everyone’s life between the happy facades we show to others and the darker realities only those close to us know about. And then there’s the fact that it’s just a damn funny comedy any way you look at it.

This clip is one of my favourite scenes of the movie. I’m still hoping that someday in my life I’ll somehow be able to work in a variation of Spacey’s line that he says early in the clip. “It’s [X], the [Y] I’ve always wanted and now I have it. I rule!”

 
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Posted by on 30 May, 2011 in 50 Day Movie Challenge

 

50 Day Movie Challenge

So, the first project on this here new blog of mine! There’s this thing on Facebook called The 50 Day Movie Challenge. The idea is that you post a film-related clip every day for 50 days, following the list of guidelines on the page.

1) Your favorite movie
2) The first movie you remember seeing in theatres
3) The movie you’ve seen the most (repeatedly) in your life
4) Your favorite animated film
5) Your favorite documentary
6) Your least favorite movie by your favorite director
7) Your favorite movie soundtrack
8) Your favorite opening sequence
9) Your favorite movie ending
10) The movie that least deserved to win Best Picture at the Oscars
11) A movie you walked out on in theatres
12) Your favorite male performance
13) Your favorite female performance
14) A movie that made you cry
15) Biggest movie character crush
16) The scariest movie you’ve ever seen
17) The funniest movie you’ve ever seen
18) A movie that disturbed you
19) A movie you’re surprised you enjoyed
20) A movie you thought you would love but were disappointed
21) A movie that most fans and critics loved (but you hated)
22) A movie that most fans and critics hated (but you loved)
23) A movie you think is critically or commercially overrated
24) The most beautiful movie you’ve ever seen
25) The best-scripted movie you’ve ever seen
26) The most embarrassing movie in your personal collection
27) An iconic movie that you still haven’t seen
28) A movie you REFUSE to see
29) The one movie you think everyone should see
30) The last movie you saw in theatres
31) The worst movie you’ve ever seen
32) Favorite sequel
33) Favorite remake
34) Favorite series
35) Favorite book-to-screen adaptation
36) Most Uncomfortable Date Movie
37) A film you could never watch with your parents
38) Movie World that you would most want to live in
39) Favourite Musical
40) Favourite Movie Death
41) A film that you quote most
42) A movie that you would love to tour the locations for
43) Your favourite music scene from a non-musical
44) Your favourite comfort film
45) A movie that turned you on
46) A film you would like to remake
47) Currently unfilmed book or idea that should be a film
48) Movie Scene That Most Makes You Wince
49) A Movie that will always make you think of a special moment
50) Favourite Black and white film

Supposedly, this is meant to be done on Facebook, but it seemed like prime blogging material to me. So here we are. Today will be me playing catch-up as I started doing it on Facebook this Saturday, but after that will be a 1 per day schedule.

 
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Posted by on 30 May, 2011 in 50 Day Movie Challenge

 

The blog begins

Hello and welcome to A Swede Talks Movies!

As you might infer from the name, this will be a place for me (who is a Swede) to talk about movies. I’ve previously had a few movie blogs in my native language, but this will be my first proper forray into the English-language blogosphere.

So what can you expect from this place? Well, to be perfectly honest: probably not a lot. I’m not planning on running any real long-term schedule as far as updates go. If I think of something I want to write about, I’ll do it. If that happens twice a day, then so be it. If it doesn’t happen for a a couple of months, then so be that instead. There will probably be somewhat frequent updates at first, though. A project is in the works, you see. More on that tomorrow.

I’ll probably use this as a place to contribute to various blog memes and blogathons (ugly terms but fun things). Various lists and stuff perhaps. There probably won’t be any straight-up film reviews here, though. Or maybe there will. We’ll see.

While the title might be A Swede Talks Movies, it’s no fun to talk to oneself all the time. There’s nothing more fun as a blogger than to get feedback and comments on the things you have to say, so I’m hoping to be hearing from you readers a lot. Don’t be shy to speak your minds. I’m a thick-skinned Swedish viking. I can handle it.

Also, I’m still tinkering with the look of the blog, so even if it hurts your eyes to look at its ugly state at the moment, please do check back in a few days or so. Maybe it will be way prettier then.

 
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Posted by on 30 May, 2011 in Misc.