Five Movies. Five Words – Vol. 5


Well, it’s been more than a year since I did the last edition of Five Movies in Five Words. Seems that the only blog series I managed to keep up with is Five for the Fifth 🙂

I really should do this more often, maybe a few times a year, as it’s a fun challenge to capture the essence of a film, or whatever that comes to mind when I think of that film, in just a single word. As a general *rule* I’m picking films (old or new) I saw in the last few months that I haven’t had the chance to review yet.

So here we go:

The Eagle Huntress (2016)

LION (2016)5movies_liontearjerking

Cairo Time (2009)

The Shallows (2016)

Allied (2016)

Have you seen any of these? How would YOU describe them in one word?

Weekend Viewing Roundup & Updates on my pledge to #52FilmsByWomen

Hello everyone, hope you had a pretty nice and relaxing weekend. Those in the Northeast, hope you’re doing ok and not buried under the snowmageddon! It’s crazy that we Minnesotans have been enjoying relatively uneventful Winter lately, I mean we got the subzero temps last week but as far as snow, there’s really not much to write home about.

Well, I haven’t been to the movies since before New Year but starting this coming week, there’ll be at least one press screening a week, starting with Pride + Prejudice + Zombies this Thursday! Yep, I’m a big Jane Austen fan, but I’m not really a purist so I enjoy mixing of genres, especially as bizarre as this one!

I did see quite a few movies at home, mostly rewatches though:

Learning to Drive
is a cross-cultural comedy drama by Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet that’s instantly elevated by the two charming cast. Sir Ben Kingsley once again played an Indian man, and for some reason I just learned that the British thespian is actually half Indian. Did you know his birth name is Krishna Bhanji? In any case, Learning To Drive is sweet and poignant, albeit rather predictable. Patricia Clarkson is lovely as a woman ditched by her husband. Her character seems insufferable at times, but she displays such affecting vulnerability that you instantly root for her. I haven’t seen too many films of hers but I certainly will do so now.

I still LOVE Notting Hill and my hubby and I actually watched it right after Learning to Drive. He said he’s forgotten most of it but he loved the movie. I think Richard Curtis is one of those rare directors who can make fun rom-coms that appeals to both men and women. Rogue Nation is of course so immensely watchable, glad that my hubby bought the Bluray last week!


As for Gosford Park, it’s been ages since I saw this one so it’ll feel like the first time. I’ve always been fascinated by films about the English class system and this was written by the writer of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellows. It’s part of the three films we’ll be discussing at Cindy’s Lucky 13 Film Club on Feb 13. The cast is filled with the who’s who of British cinema: Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Clive Owen, etc. Ryan Phillippe seems out of place in this lineup, playing a Scot no less!


I’ve mentioned this when I posted my 2016 Blindspot list earlier this month. Well, I’ve seen the first one of my Blindspot film which happens to be directed by a woman: Marie Antoinette (review upcoming). If you haven’t heard of this *movement* yet, well head to announcement here, hope you can take part!

Well, so far I’ve watched three films by women this month, but one is a rewatch (Belle by Amma Asante). I hope to watch another one by end of this month. Most likely it’ll be another cross-cultural drama, Cairo Time, which also stars Patricia Clarkson, directed Canadian filmmaker Ruba Nadda.

TallulahMovieSpeaking of movies directed by women, my good friend Kirsten Gregerson‘s in Sundance this weekend and one of the films she’s been talking to me about is Tallulah. It’s a drama by female director Sian Heder starring Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard and Zachary Quinto, which has just been picked up by Netflix!

No trailer yet but the film’s been getting great reviews, including this one by Variety. I’ll be blogging more about Sundance films later this week.

Well, what did you watch this weekend? Anything good?

Everybody’s Chattin’: 5 blog links for your enjoyment

Happy Friday, all! Two buzz-worthy movies open today: The Town and Never Let Me Go. I’m more curious to see the latter, but I don’t see any theaters playing it in my neck of the woods 😦 I don’t think I’ll get to see The Town as we have quite a few things going on, but the plan for tonight is to watch V for Vendetta on dvd for the second time around. No particular reason, we’ve been wanting to see it again and it happens to arrive from Netflix this week.

Well anyways, here are some stuff worth checking out:

  • The über movie blogger Castor at Anomalous Material list 25 Fall movies to watch for. He tells us which ones he’s excited for, as well as grade their ‘chance of sucking’ factor 😀 I didn’t realize he’s THAT excited about Buried, makes me claustrophobic just seeing the photo!
  • It’s been a week of trailers, but I miss this one as I’ve never even heard of the movie There Be Dragons. But lucky for us Dez has it up on his blog. He said it’s about a thrilling tale from the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and it’s got what he calls super hot cast (I agree), including Rodrigo Santoro and Dougray Scott. Check out the trailer on Hollywood Spy! While you’re at it, find out which actor won his Best British Gentlemen poll. Clearly HS readers have great taste 😉
  • Ronan @ Filmplicity is offering his in-depth analysis on the topic of CENSORSHIP in two parts: here and here. It’s a hot button issue no doubt, so do read on and let him know anything that you think might be relevant to the issue of moral responsibility in Hollywood.
  • I posted the trailer for Cairo Time not too long ago and really liking it, and now Andrew from Encore Entertainment has written his beautifully-written review on it. I love that word, sanguine… I need to use that more often.
  • Steve at The Film Cynics gives his rundown of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly‘ of his week so far. Find out which movie he thought was so awful he had to turn it off halfway through. I sort of already knew that just by looking at the trailer.

Oh, and did you read about this yet? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about Joaquin Phoenix’ Letterman appearance and that whole “I’m quitting acting to be a bearded rap star” fiasco. Well, Casey Affleck finally admitted the documentary I’m Still Here is completely false! I kind of had a hunch the whole thing was just a prank somehow, done in a massive scale but still it was all just a ‘performance.’ And as IFC news says, it’s a darn good one! I’m still not sure if I want to see it yet, it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all.

Well that’s all folks. What movie(s) are you planning to see this weekend?

Conspicuous Trailers of the Week: The Romantics, Heartbreaker, Cairo Time

I realize I haven’t had a trailer post in the entire month of August so I’m playing catch up! Well, I like having some sort of a theme and these three trailers are all about romanza … yet each tells a very different love story and of course, not all trailers are created equal.


Over the course of one raucous night at a seaside wedding seven close friends, all members of a tight, eclectic college clique, reconvene to watch two of their own tie the knot. Laura (Katie Holmes) is maid of honor to Lila (Anna Paquin), her golden girl best friend. The two have long rivaled over the groom, Tom (Josh Duhamel). Friendships and alliances are tested and the love triangle comes to a head the night before the wedding, when the drunken friends frolic in the nearby surf and return to shore… without the groom. Based on the heralded novel by producer, novelist, director Galt Niederhoffer, THE ROMANTICS is a Zeitgeist love story and generational comedy that breathes new life into the genre and recaptures the camaraderie of youth.

The cast leave much to be desired for me (well ok, so Elijah Wood isn’t too bad), but despite that tall, hunky-ness going for him, Josh Duhamel doesn’t have much to offer as an actor. But that’s just my opinion, no offense if you think he’s fantastic in er, Win a Date with Thad Hamilton or even Transformers 🙂 Katie Holmes is better than say, Jennifer Aniston, ’cause at least she tries to do something different from time to time (i.e. Thank You for Smoking), but for some reason I just haven’t warmed up to her, yet. The premise does seem interesting though, but the faux-indie vibe of this trailer seems rather forced. I still might check it out on dvd though.



Charming, funny and effortlessly cool, Alex (Duris) is a professional heartbreaker who for a fee can turn any husband, fiance or boyfriend into an ex. Alex has one ironclad rule: He only breaks up couples where the woman is unhappy. His latest job will put that rule to the test. The target is Juliette, a beautiful heiress who is set to marry the man of her dreams. With ten days until the wedding, Alex has been hired by her father to carry out his most daring seduction yet that risks him being caught by his ruthless personal creditors, angry exes, and the beautiful and independent Juliette herself. But worst of all, will he discover to his own cost that when it comes to love, the perfect plan doesn’t exist?

If this had been a Hollywood rom-com, I might not even bother with it. But the fact that it’s in French and set in the city of love is just magnifique! The premise is a formulaic one and obviously predictable, but yet, the delivery is so charming that this is a chick-flick I could get behind. I haven’t seen anything French actor Romain Duris is in yet, but I’ve always wanted to see The Beat That My Heart Skipped and it’s on my Netflix queue now. I think the fact that he’s not the quintessential pretty boy makes it all the more effective, sub him with some perfect-looking Hollywood stud-muffin (I’m looking at you McConaughey!) and it’ll just be awful! Vanessa Paradis (a.k.a Mrs. Johnny Depp) has quite a gift for comedy as well, she’s obviously beautiful but has an earthy glamor about her. Love the Dirty Dancing reference and that George Michael song, again, the delivery doesn’t make ’em look contrived at all. I might suggest this one for our monthly gals movie night when the dvd comes out.



Oscar®-nominee Patricia Clarkson stars as a beautiful American abroad in Egypt, who finds herself enamored by more than the sunswept vistas of Cairo. Juliette (Clarkson), a fashion magazine editor in her 40s, travels to Cairo to meet her husband for a three week vacation. When he is unavoidably delayed, he sends his trusted friend Tareq (Alexander Siddig) to keep her company. As he guides her through the sights, sounds and unique customs of the exotic city, unexpected feelings emerge leading to an awakening of emotion that takes Juliette by surprise.

The first time I saw this poster a few weeks ago, I was smitten! Everything about it just spells lovely, exotic, enchanting… well, the good news is, so is the trailer. Patricia Clarkson is one of those indie darlings who should have more leading roles. She looks radiant in this movie, and her chemistry with the dapper Egyptian man (played by Sudanese-English actor Alexander Siddig) feels real and sweet, and thankfully schmaltzy-free. The movie won Best Canadian Feature Film at Toronto International Film Festival last year. Directed by writer/director/producer Ruba Nadda, it’s said to be her love letter to the city and a sweeping romantic travelogue with the West-meets-East theme of unrequited love. I’m prepared to be swept away indeed!


Well folks, any of these trailer piqued your interest at all?