Those of you that read this blog regularly or those of you that know me in person know that animation is my main interest, however I am a film student and I like to think that I watch a lot of films so I decided to write about my favourite live action films, so you know that I don’t only watch animated films.
So, in no particular order…
Lost in Translation
I honestly couldn’t tell you why it is that I enjoy this film so much, I seem to be a sucker for Sofia Coppola’s dreamy coming of age films. Lost in Translation was released in 2003 and stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, the plot of Lost in Translation would seem a bit boring on paper but there’s something I really enjoy about seeing the sites of Japan through the eyes of the film’s director; Sofia Coppola, that accompanied with soft dreamy indie music makes me somehow sentimental over the time that none of the films plot happened to me? Coppola has a way of doing that. The film focuses on; “A lonely, aging movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo. Bob is there to film a Japanese whiskey commercial; Charlotte is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.” I won’t lie, this film isn’t for everyone, it can be a little slow if you’re typically not into these kinds of films but it really is one of my all time favourite films.
Watch the trailer for Lost in Translation here
Now I know, avid fans of my writing (aka just my mum) will (probably not) notice that I recently made a post telling the tale of how I basically think Disney live action remakes are unnecessary but I watch them anyway however 2016’s remake of Pete’s Dragon is different. I originally saw Pete’s Dragon at the cinema as something to do for my 20th birthday, I thought the trailer looked cute but I wasn’t expecting a lot but I really did enjoy the film! it was very sweet and I seem to find myself enjoying non human/human buddy films (How To Train Your Dragon, The Iron Giant, Lilo & Stitch, etc.) I forgot about it for a while but since it was released on DVD I seem to be watching it non stop! I’m surprised it hasn’t got more attention honestly! The plot of Pete’s Dragon goes like this; “Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford), a woodcarver, delights local children with stories of a mysterious dragon that lives deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. His daughter Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) believes these are just tall tales, until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley), a 10-year-old orphan who says he lives in the woods with a giant, friendly dragon. With help from a young girl named Natalie (Oona Laurence), Grace sets out to investigate if this fantastic claim can be true.” If you haven’t had the chance to see this film yet, I definitely suggest seeing it at least once! I’m a Bryce Dallas Howard fan so I was sold as soon as I found out that she would be almost staring in it!
Watch the trailer for Pete’s Dragon here
I know, I know – BUT WHICH ONE?! Well I’m a big fan of the entire Star Wars series, if I had to pick one, I’d say Episode V: Empire Strikes Back but I also have a soft spot for (I’m about to anger a lot of people here – but freedom of speech and all) Episode I: The Phantom Menace and I’m also still on the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hype, to put it simply, I just enjoy all of the films. It’ll be hard to summarise the entire series plot in this short blog entry so i’ll be short and vague to avoid spoilers, here it goes: “The Imperial Forces – under orders from cruel Darth Vader – hold Princess Leia hostage, in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance, and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.” A lot more happens in all 8 films but like I said, it’s impossible to summarise everything in one short paragraph!
Watch a fan made Star Wars series trailer here
I can’t remember exactly when I first saw this film, around the age of 13/14? I can’t believe that it’s been out in the world for almost 10 years now! Other than the fact this film has a GREAT soundtrack, amazing cast and sweet story, I also have to mention what an amazing screenplay was written for this film, Diablo Cody wrote some of my favourite on screen dialogue ever. This sweet, oddly sentimental story goes like this; “When precocious teen Juno MacGuff becomes pregnant, she chooses a failed rock star and his wife to adopt her unborn child. Complications occur when Mark, the prospective father, begins viewing Juno as more than just the mother of his future child, putting both his marriage and the adoption in jeopardy.“
Watch the trailer for Juno here
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
I’ve considered myself to be a Jim Carrey fan since the age of 10 when I watched Bruce Almighty for the first time and found his exaggerated comedy hilarious, fast forward to when I was about 12 years old??I was helping a neighbour sort through her garage when I found Ace Ventura: Pet Detective on VHS, I was immediately interested in this film because of my love of Jim Carrey and pets! So my neighbour said I could have it and I rushed home to watch it on the TV in my room which had a VCR built into the TV (lucky me!) I watched the first scene in which Ace is disguised as a FedEx delivery guy in order to rescue a dog in an apartment complex (if you’ve seen this film you know the scene I’m talking about) watching Jim Carrey throw this box around, hitting it on every surface he can find, getting it stuck between the lift doors made me laugh so much as a kid and it still does now honestly! thus begun my love of this goofy film. The plot of Ace Ventura goes like this; “When the dolphin mascot of Miami’s NFL team is abducted, Ace Ventura, a zany private investigator who specializes in finding missing animals, looks into the case. Soon Miami Dolphins players are kidnapped too, including star player Dan Marino, making Ace’s sleuth work even more pressing. Working with Dolphins representative Melissa Robinson, Ace closes in on the culprits, but not before many ridiculous misadventures.” I know there is in fact a sequel to this film Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls however I’ve never found it as good as the first film, I have only seen it once or twice a long time ago though so maybe I should give it another go!
Watch the trailer for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective here
From the goofy Ace Ventura to the melancholy Her, similar to Lost in Translation in the fact that this film is a little slow but with beautiful cinematography, I guess the director of Her; Spike Jonze who was actually married to the director of Lost in Translation; Sofia Coppola for a few short years, explains the similar style of film making. The story of Her goes like this; “A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage ends, Theodore becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets “Samantha”, whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though “friends” initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.” Once again, similar to Lost in Translation; I’m a sucker for simple but sentimental stories accompanied by beautiful cinematography and soft indie music, I know that’s not the best way to say why you like a film but that’s honestly what I like in films, to feel as if you are remembering how that happened to you even though I’ve never fallen in love with Siri?
Watch the trailer for Her here
Another childhood gem, 102 Dalmatians has been one of my favourite films since I was 4/5 years old, I distinctively remember having a fancy dress party for my 7th?? birthday and my mum made me a costume of the main Dalmatian puppy in the film; Oddball who has no spots, so my costume consisted of white floppy ears stuck to a headband, a white shirt, white leggings, and white face paint, crawling around on the floor with a balloon on a string hanging out of my mouth, as that’s how a dog would carry a balloon? it was a simpler time… ANYWAY, the plot of 102 Dalmatians goes as follows; “After a spot of therapy Cruella De Vil is released from prison a changed woman. Devoted to dogs and good causes, she is delighted that Chloe, her parole officer, has a dalmatian family and connections with a dog charity. But the sound of Big Ben can reverse the treatment so it is only a matter of time before Ms De Vil is back to her incredibly ghastly ways, using her new-found connections with Chloe and friends.” Honestly, I think this favourite comes from pure childhood nostalgia.
Watch the trailer for 102 Dalmatians here
The Addams Family
Yet another childhood classic, I seem to be living in the past for this list, I remember my dad showing me The 1991 Addams Family film when I was 8 or 9 years old?? and I instantly fell in love, I think he showed me the sequel after and I went on to investigate more of the franchise as years went on, I’m also now a fan of the 1964 TV series now and the 1992 cartoon series, this love of The Addams Family caused me to get a portrait of Wednesday Addams tattooed on my upper arm about a year ago! The plot of the first Addams Family film goes like this; “When a man claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams, arrives at the Addams’ home, the family is thrilled. However, Morticia begins to suspect the man is a fraud, since he cannot recall details of Fester’s life. With the help of lawyer Tully Alford, Fester manages to get the Addams clan evicted from their home. Gomez realizes the two men are conspiring to swindle the Addams fortune and that he must challenge Fester” There is in fact a sequel to this film in the form of The Addams Family: Family Values which is just as good as the original so if you enjoy the first film, give the second one a go!
Watch the trailer for The Addams Family here
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Now this film, gives me all the emotions. I’m so jealous that I didn’t come up with the premise of this film myself as I think it’s genius. I got shown this film by a friend when I was around 15 years old and as cheesy as it sounds I instantly connected with it, If you’ve read my previous post on my favourite women in film, I mention how a couple of people I know have compared me to one of the leads in this film; Clementine, which makes this film even more emotional. The plot of The Eternal Sunshine goes like this; “After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey) from her mind. When Joel discovers that Clementine is going to extremes to forget their relationship, he undergoes the same procedure and slowly begins to forget the woman that he loved. Directed by former music video director Michel Gondry, the visually arresting film explores the intricacy of relationships and the pain of loss.” Oh look! another Jim Carrey film, I told you he was my favourite! I’ve heard from a few sources that there’s going to be a TV series based on this film and I’m not going to lie, I’m worried at what they’ll do to my favourite film but it could be amazing! we’ll see.
Watch the trailer for The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind here
Another classic franchise on this list, Jurassic Park is everyone’s favourite film in one way or another! I can’t exactly remember when I first saw Jurassic Park but I know I seem to find a way to quote it in every day life as often as I can. Like Star Wars, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, here’s the plot to Jurassic Park; “In Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler and mathematician Ian Malcolm are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermind, billionaire John Hammond, assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt.” I’m going to use thisentry to remind my best friend who I hope is reading all of my blog posts; Rachel to take this as a reminder to watch Jurassic Park.
Watch the trailer for Jurassic Park here
10 Things I Hate About You
It’s a little cheesy, it just screams typical 90’s romcom and it’s actually a modernisation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You has a special place in my heart. The plot focuses on; “Kat Stratford is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn’t attract many boys. Unfortunately for her younger sister, Bianca, house rules say that she can’t date until Kat has a boyfriend, so strings are pulled to set the dour damsel up for a romance. Soon Kat crosses paths with handsome new arrival Patrick Verona. Will Kat let her guard down enough to fall for the effortlessly charming Patrick?” I love this film because it has again, a great soundtrack, some hilarious gags but also a lot of heart.
Watch the trailer for 10 Things I Hate About You here
2011’s answer to The Muppet movie, I love this Muppet film, sure Muppet Treasure Island and Muppet Christmas Carol are good too but I love the original Muppet stories. The songs in this film are so fun and I always find myself singing “life’s a happy song when there’s someone by your side to sing along…” One of my favourite actresses is in this too! Amy Adams (who made an appearance in this list earlier with Her) and of course she plays the most adorable character possible. The plot of this Muppet film goes like this; “Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, is on vacation in Los Angeles with his brother Gary and Gary’s girlfriend, Mary. They discover that greedy Tex Richman plans to raze Muppet Studios and drill for oil on the spot. Desperate to save the Muppets’ former stomping grounds, the three friends join forces with Kermit to reunite Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the rest of the gang to hold a telethon to raise the $10 million they need to save the studio” This film is full of celebrity cameos, references from previous Muppet works and a lot of laughs, definitely a film to see at least once in your life, even if it’s just to get the catchiest songs stuck in your head.
Watch the trailer for The Muppets here
So here we are! I know this is a pretty long list, I’m still trying to figure out when a blog post is too long or too short but now I can prove that I don’t only watch animated films! I recommend all of the films on this list to everyone (age rating appropriate of course). If you generally only read my blog for animation posts, don’t worry I’ll be back to regular programming next week. Let me know if we have any of the same favourite films!