Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

IMDb Synopsis: Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

If you've seen the new header on my blog (and if you're reading this, I'm going to guess that you have), it's sort of obvious that I'm a huge Hunger Games fan. I read the first book in 2010 and have been addicted ever since.  My expectations for the film adaption were quite high after watching the trailer, and, fortunately, they were met.

There were so many wonderful performances in the film, but the star of the show is clearly Jennifer Lawrence. She was everything I wanted Katniss to be, and even more, capturing the role of a strong and moving heroine. A few other actors I was impressed with (I wish I could discuss them all) were Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley and Isabelle Fuhrman. Liam Hemsworth only has a short amount of screen time, so I don't feel that I can fairly judge his acting skills until Catching Fire is released.

You don't have to read the novels before seeing the film, but I would suggest it, for two reasons: One, while the film is mostly faithful to the books, they can't work everything into the film. And two, the film is clearly made for those of us that have read the books and are so familiar with the story- I could see why someone that hadn't read them could be a bit confused with some scenes.

Overall, The Hunger Games is worth your time, both the books and the film. And, in case you're wondering, it's nothing like Twilight.

5/5 stars

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Week In Film March 18-26

1. Lean On Me (1989)

Rating: 4/5
Really, really enjoyed this. One of Morgan Freeman's best performances.

2. My Sister's Keeper (2009)

Rating: 3/5
It would be 3.5 if not for Cameron Diaz.

3. Casablanca (1942). Re-watch

Went to the TCM screening last week. Amazing.

4. Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Rating: 4.5/5
This is a must see if you like The Picture of Dorian Gray and Gaslight.

5. The Hunger Games (2012)

Review coming soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Casablanca 70th Anniversary Screening

Two things happened this week: First, I changed the blog name to Forever Films. Most people told me there was no need to change it, but I personally prefer this for a number of reasons. Second, I saw my favorite film on the big screen and it was probably the most glorious film experience of my life.

As some of you may know, this November it will be 70 years since the premiere of Casablanca in 1942. Last Wednesday, Turner Classic Movies held a nationwide screening in its honor which I was able to attend. I had never been to a classic film screening before so I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away at how amazing it was to see a film like Casablanca up close.

Although I would have preferred going that night, I had plans early Thursday morning, so I ended up going to the afternoon showing. There were around 12 people there- myself included- and, as I expected at 2pm, I was one of two people there under 50 (I think most of the older viewers were surprised to see me there).

Before the film started there was an introduction from Robert Osborne, and it felt like I was watching TCM in a movie theater. The introduction included interviews with some of the films' writers, producers, etc, and also a few clips featuring people such as Stephen Bogart and Leonard Maltin. I really wish they would start playing it prior to the film on TCM.

As a classic film buff, I loved the way it felt to experience it with others, even if there were only a few of us. I hope I'll be able to go to another classics screening in the future (*cough* Gone With the Wind 75th anniversary *cough*), but I doubt few films would make me feel the way this did, since Casablanca is my favorite film.

If you ever get the chance to see Casablanca on the big screen (or any classic film, for that matter), I implore you to go. Also, if any of you went to the screening Wednesday, let me know what you thought!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Blog Update + My Week In Film March 11-17

In my last post I said that I would be making some changes to my blog, which would probably mean changing the title. Most of you thought I should still keep "Forever Classics", however, I've thought about just making it "Forever Films", since there wouldn't be a huge difference. I haven't made a definite decision yet.

The films I watched last week:

1. The Razor's Edge (1946)

Rating: 3.7/5
I can see why so many people like this film, but I was expecting more from it.

2. You've Got Mail (1998)

Rating: 5/5
I loved it. Don't judge.

3. Notting Hill (1999)

Rating: 2/5
Overrated, in my opinion.

4. Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)

Rating: 4/5
Fun romantic comedy. I'd probably watch it again.

5. The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Re-watch

One of my all-time favorites. Henry Fonda is the best.

That's all for this week. Please bear with me while I work on blog changes. Also, I'm seeing Casablanca on the big screen tomorrow, so fingers-crossed that I get a chance to write about it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blog Updates

It's obvious that I love classic films- they're the whole reason I started blogging. But, lately, I've found myself wishing more and more that I could expand my boundaries more with this blog and discuss modern films as well. (I've been dying to blog about The Hunger Games film adaption). Don't get me wrong, I still love the classics, but I'm planning on making my blog just about films in general. This would probably mean that I'd have to change the blog title and such, which I hope to have done by the weekend.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Week(s) In Film: February 26-March 10

The films I've watched during the past two weeks:

1. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982). Re-watch

Can we get this on Blu-Ray already?

2. Rocky III (1982)

Rating: 4/5
I've yet to be disappointed by any of the Rocky sequels (but I haven't gotten to Rocky V yet).

3. Rocky IV (1985)

Rating: 4/5
This soundtrack is the best workout playlist ever.

4. Dragon Seed (1944)

Rating: 1.5/5
Not even Kate Hepburn can save this.

5. Lady and the Tramp (1955). Re-watch

My second favorite Disney film, behind Beauty and the Beast.

6. The Temptress (1926)

Rating: 3/5
Garbo's performance is decent, but I doubt this is something I'd watch again.

7. Grease (1978). Re-watch

Watched it twice last week. Possibly one of my top 20.

8. The Queen (2006)

Rating: 3.8/5
Helen Mirren was amazing, but I found myself getting bored with the plot.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

7x7 Link Award

I'll be posting MWIF for the last 2 weeks tomorrow, but today I found out that I'd been tagged by Rianna from Frankly, My Dear for the 7x7 Link Award. Thanks, Rianna!


-Tell everyone something that no one else knows about

-Link to one of my posts that I personally think best fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, and Most Pride-worthy Piece

-Pass this award on to seven other bloggers 

1. Tell everyone something that no one else knows about

Honestly, I don't think there's anything too exciting about me that I haven't mentioned at least once before. Unless I haven't said that I'm a huge Hunger Games fan and am ridiculously excited about the film coming out next week.

2. Link to one of my posts that I personally think best fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, and Most Pride-worthy Piece

Most Beautiful Piece

I don't consider any of my posts to be "beautiful", but I do consider It's a Wonderful Life to be a beautiful film.

Most Helpful Piece

I was able to include a lot of facts from Poitier's autobiography in this post, most of which I had never read before.

Most Popular Piece

According to Blogger, this has gotten the most views out of all of my blog posts. But year after writing it, I sort of wish I could change some of my choices.

Most Controversial Piece

Nothing I've written so far has caused much controversy, but I have some things planned coming up soon...

Most Surprising Successful Piece

I received more feedback on this review than expected.

Most Underrated Piece

I consider this my most underrated post, partly because the film is so underrated.

Most Pride-worthy Piece

I'll admit I was pretty darn proud of this one since it took forever to write.

And I haven't looked to see who's been tagged yet, so my apologies if I tag you and you've already done this:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gone Too Soon: James Dean

When it comes to the topic of actors that died too young, one of the first people that comes to mind is James Dean. On September 30, 1955, Dean was killed in a car crash at the age of 24. Although he made only three films (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant), Dean made a lasting impact during his short life, and he continues to influence many today. After I decided to write about James Dean for the Gone Too Soon blogathon hosted by Comet Over Hollywood, I began to think about the different ways that he has influenced pop culture and media, which is what I'll be discussing today.

Dean has been referenced of mentioned in dozens of popular songs, some of them being "A Young Man Is Gone" by The Beach Boys, "Electrolite" by R.E.M., "James Dean" by the Eagles, "Rockstar" by Nickelback, "Speechless" by Lady GaGa, "Blue Jeans" by Lana Del Ray, "These Days" by Bon Jovi and is one of several stars mentioned in "Vogue" by Madonna.

Dean is also recognized in several television shows and movies. On Happy Days, a picture of Dean is seen in Fonzie's closet,  another appears on Rizzo's wall in Grease. The show Queer as Folk compares him to music icons Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix ("They're all legends. They'll always be young, and they will always be beautiful"). Dean is also portrayed by actor James Franco in the biopic James Dean, released by TNT in 2001. I haven't seen the film myself, but I've heard several Dean fans praise Franco's performance and most of the film is said to be accurate compared to Dean's life.

Thanks to Comet Over Hollywood for hosting the Gone Too Soon blogathon. Please go check out the other contributions recognizing other actors whose lives ended prematurely.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Week In Film: February 19-25

Week 2 of MWIF. This time I managed to work in three new-to-me films, along with two re-watches.

1. Elmer Gantry (1960)

Quite possibly Lancaster's best performance.

2. Sleepless In Seattle (1993)

Rating: 5/5
My new guilty pleasure.

3. The Lion King (1994). Re-watch

First time watching this in years. I fell in love with it all over again.

4. The African Queen (1951). Re-watch

I think everyone already knows how much I love this one. I've probably seen it around 20-30 times now and it never gets old.

5. The Artist (2011)

Rating: 5/5
As much as I loved Midnight In Paris, I'll be upset if this doesn't win Best Picture tonight.

That's it for this week. I should be back Wednesday with an Oscar-related post that I'm pretty excited about, so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Week In Film: February 11-18

I received positive feedback last week when I asked if I should start doing MWIF posts in place of reviews, so thank you all for commenting. I only had a chance to watch five films last week, but I enjoyed everything I saw.

1: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Rating: 4/5
Definitely not my favorite Spielberg film, but Hanks and DiCaprio are great.

2. The Hard Way (1943)

Rating: 4.5/5
I was surprised by how much I liked this film. Ida Lupino's best performance, in my opinion.

3. The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Rating: 3.8/5
I thought Newman and Woodward had great chemistry, but the plot wasn't anything special, in my opinion.

4. Say Anything... (1989)

Rating: 5/5
My favorite of the films I saw last week. This is a quintessential film for anyone who loves the 80's as much as I do.

5. La Belle et la BĂȘte (Beauty and the Beast, 1946)

Rating: 4/5
Nothing will top the Disney adaption, but this is a wonderful film. The black-and-white cinematography is beautiful. 

That's it for MWIF week 1. Expect week 2 next Sunday!

Monday, February 13, 2012


You may have noticed I haven't posted many reviews lately. This isn't because I'm not watching films- I am- but I just don't have the motivation to write reviews at the moment. However, I follow several bloggers that do "My Week In Film" posts, where they list the films they've seen over the past seven days and (usually) write a few words about what they thought of it.

I'm considering doing this on my blog, but this would be a bit different since the posts would include modern films I see and probably any films I re-watch. There aren't really any cons to this, but I'm still on the fence about it. So I'm asking my followers: do you think I should begin doing My Week In Film posts or continue with regular reviews? Feedback is much appreciated.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Movie Meme: My Answers

My answers to the Valentine's Day Movie Meme that I published last week!

1. What is your favorite romantic comedy?

Adam's Rib. It's perfect, don't argue with me.

2. What is your favorite romantic drama?

Romantic drama is one of my favorite genres and it's impossible for me to choose just one. Just a few that I love are Casablanca, The African Queen, Forrest Gump and Gone With the Wind.

Yes, I love Forrest Gump. Judge all you want.

3. Worst romance film you've seen?

If you can even call it that.

4. How do you feel about the majority of romantic film being labeled "chick flicks"?

I think it's pretty ridiculous. Yes, most women love romantic films, but there are plenty of men that like them, too.

5. Favorite on-screen couple?

I really love Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment.

6. Favorite off-screen couple?

I sort of answered this in my last survey- I can't choose between Bogie and Bacall and Tracy and Hepburn.

7. Best kiss in a movie?

Nothing else comes close to this.

8. Favorite romantic scene?

For some reason, Blogger wouldn't let me upload it, but this scene from Woman of the Year (even though it's sort of a second answer for question 7).

9. Who are two film characters you wished had gotten together, but never did?

This may not be a legitimate answer since they were dating for the first portion of the film, but I always felt that Peter and Mary Jane should have actually gotten back together in Spider-Man 3. Besides that, I love the film- I've never understood why it got so many mixed reviews.

10. Two actors you think would have good chemistry, but have never done a film together?

Bogie and Vivien Leigh. I picture them together in a Hitchcock film for some reason.

11. Favorite romantic song in a film (doesn't have to be from a musical)?

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. "As Time Goes By" is a close second.

12. Best score from a romance film?

Gone With the Wind. And anything else Max Steiner.

13. Most romantic film quote?

Is "We'll always have Paris" too cliche?

14. A film you'd recommend to watch on Valentine's Day?

Something for everyone:  For comedy, Adam's Rib or The Thin Man. For drama, Casablanca. For adventure, The African Queen. For action, Spider-Man. For animated, Beauty and the Beast. And many more I'm forgetting.

That's it for my answers. Thank you to everyone who's done this meme so far, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Survey time!

My answers for the Valentine's Day movie meme are coming (hopefully) on Wednesday, but until then I'm doing a film survey created by Rianna at Frankly, My Dear.

1. Favorite classic Disney?

Not really old enough to be a "classic", but Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite.

2. Favorite film from the year 1939?

Unoriginal, I know.

3. Favorite Carole Lombard screwball role?

My Man Godfrey. A close second is Hands Across the Table

4. Favorite off-screen couple? (It's okay if it ended in divorce). My answer(s) are the same for question 5, which is favorite pair of best friends?

My two favorite off (and on) screen couples are Bogie and Bacall and Tracy and Hepburn, and the four of them also make up my favorite old Hollywood friendship. This picture is also one of my favorites.

6. Favorite actor with a mustache?

7. Favorite blonde actress?

Betty Bacall, of course!

8. Favorite pre-code.

The horror-addict inside me loves Freaks.

9. Which studio would you like to have joined?

Warner Brothers, hands down.

10. Favorite common on screen pairing that should have gotten married?

William Powell and Myrna Loy. I probably could say Tracy and Hepburn, too, but I'm choosing Bill and Minnie since they weren't actually together.

11. Favorite I Love Lucy episode?

So hard to choose just one, but my first pick would be Job Switching since I love chocolate so much and  it's the first episode I remember seeing.

12. Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman and Greer Garson- which one do you like the best?

This one is obvious.

13. Shadow film noir from the 40s or splashy color musical from the 50s?

For me, film noir. Musicals aren't one of my favorite genres (which is odd, since I love Broadway).

14. Actor or actress with the best autograph (photo preferred)?

15. A baby photo of your favorite actor or actress?

 Bogie, age 2. You can't not smile at this.