Thanksgiving Special – THANK YOU for your support!

Peanuts_Thanksgiving

Hello everyone! I want to wish you a blessed thanksgiving to all who are celebrating Thanksgiving today. In a couple of hours, I’ll be traveling about 35 miles north from my home to spend Thanksgiving with one of our old pals who’s coming home for the holidays from Arizona. He’s kindly invited my hubby Ivan and I to dinner at his aunt’s house, so I guess we’ll be having a turkey feast after all 😀 Y’see, Thanksgiving has become sort of an adopted tradition for Ivan and I as we don’t have this tradition in our home country Indonesia. So even though the place where I work give out a free frozen turkey every single year, I never ever cooked the bird before in my life and I wouldn’t even know where to begin, ahah.

In any case, I’ll be taking a few days’ blogging break but before I do that, I’d like to take the time to say my gratitude to those who’ve been kindly supporting my blog. Your readership and comments mean so much to me.

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to 25 most generous commenters!

Michael – It Rains You Get Wet
Mark – Three Rows Back
Cindy – Cindy Bruchman’s Blog
Kristin – All Eyes on Screen
Margaret – Cinematic’s Corner
Steven – Surrender to the Void

Fernando – Committed to Celluloid
Dan – Top 10 Films
Chris W – This is Madness!
Melissa – Snap Crackle Watch

Nostra – My Film Views
Josh – Cinematic Spectacle
Chris – Music and Song
Stu – Popcorn Nights
Mark – Marked Movies
Novia – Polychrome Interest
Natalie – Writer Loves Movies
Chris – Terry Malloy Pigeon Coop
Andrew – A Fistful of Films
Dan – Dan the Man Movie Reviews
Keith – Keith & Movies
Tom – Digital Shortbread
Jack – Lights Camera Reaction
Zoë – Sporadic Chronicle of a Beginner Blogger
Rodney – Fernby Films

Snoopy_Thanks

I also want to give a shout out to those who’ve liked my posts, as well as left comments from time to time:

Paula, TerrenceBrittani, Katy, Wendell, MikeAlex, CkckredJames, NielsTimIrene, JosephRob, Nathan, Elina, Eric, Abbi, MelissaMikey, Kim, Ronan, Iba, Paul S, Mariah, Jenna + AllieRyan, Dan and Sidekick Reviews Blog (sorry I don’t know your name!)
Also thankful to meet some new blog friends, especially another Indonesian blogger Paskalis, so welcome and hope to see you around here more 😀

THANK YOU to all my awesome blog contributors!

Ted, Ashley, Josh, Kevin, Dave, Becky and Sarah

The blogging community is what keep me blogging the past five years. I mean yes, I LOVE movies, but it’s far more fun to share that love with others who love them as much as I do. I’m so blessed to have known you all and I don’t hesitate to call some of you my personal friend.


So once again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving and weekend. Cheers!

Happy Thanksgiving! 28 Movies I’m thankful for in 2013

GiveThanks_PacificBeach

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! It’s the first time I’m spending Thanksgiving apart from my dearest hubby, as he’s in Jakarta, Indonesia and I’m here in sunny San Diego, but I’m thankful nonetheless. It’s been such a blessing to spend time with my BFF whom I’ve been friends with since Junior High! I should make a list of Great Friends in Movies in her honor, kind of like what I did for my loving hubby a couple of years back: What I’m Thankful For – My Loving Husband and also my list of Wonderful Movie Husbands. Did you notice that Christian Bale‘s John Rolfe in The New World kept popping up? I mentioned him again on this Breaking Emotions: Smiles 😀

Now, I’m thankful to be a movie blogger and I’m especially thankful for the friends I’ve made through blogging, and getting press accreditation that gives me access to advanced screenings (Thanks to everyone at ALLIED!). So with those, as well as the two Film Festivals in town: TCFF and MSP Int’l Film Festival, it’s truly been a great year for me as a movie lover. I’m not as hugely prolific as other bloggers but still, there are probably far more films I could list here. But since it’s the 28th today and that number represents a good 2013* sampling based on what I’ve seen so far, let’s just go with that.

MoviesImThankfulFor

Here they are in alphabetical order:

12 Years a Slave
A harrowing and unflinching depiction of human cruelty but it also offers us the beauty and power of the human spirit. I’m thankful for Steve McQueen‘s skillful direction and Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s brilliant performance.

August: Osage County
This film makes me thankful for my family, no matter how nutty and chaotic we think we have it. Beauty amidst chaos. There’s something so out there yet relatable about this dysfunctional family tale, and the amazing performances made this so disquieting yet entertaining.

Austenland
I had so much fun watching this on the big screen. It was hilarious and sweet, yes it’s cheesy and goofy at times but that’s kind of the point. It’s an homage AND a spoof in one, and as a Jane Austen fan, it was a blast to watch.

Captain Philips
There are stories that truly made me grateful for being alive and well, and this is one of those films. It’s wonderful to see an old favorite performer (Tom Hanks) in top form and a brand new face making his mark for the first time (Barkhad Abdi).

Disconnect
A story that really makes you take stock and reflect at our own lives and what’s going on around us. It also introduced me to an amazing British actress Andrea Riseborough who impressed me in all three films I saw her in (the other two were Oblivion and Shadow Dancer)

Fast & Furious 6
Not every movie has to aim for an Academy Award. This one sets out to be a thrilling action with over-the-top spectacle and it delivers! I also like the underlying message about taking care of one’s friends and family.

Gravity
A technical marvel that offers one of the most emotionally-gratifying story I’ve seen this year. We take so much for granted the simpler things in life, but after seeing this, even just inhaling air into our lungs feels like an amazing privilege. Thank you Alfonso Cuarón for making such a masterful work we’d appreciate for years to come.

Her
A movie I barely knew anything about yet I was floored by how much this affected me. It’s such a unique love story. It’s disturbing, thought-provoking, soul-stirring, with a haunting quality that would linger long after the credits roll. I’m always thankful for films that remind us what it means to be human, so thanks Spike Jonze for making this, and Joaquin Phoenix for your soulful performance!

In A World …
Lake Bell‘s debut is real comedic gem! I really like the story of the voice over industry, which I’m surprised it hasn’t been tackled before as that material makes for a comedic gold. I hope she continues to make movies, as Hollywood could use more female filmmakers.

Iron Man 3
To be honest I was rather blase about this one but somehow Shane Black managed to still inject a fresh approach into this bankable Marvel franchise. Robert Downey Jr. once again proves why he’s the best paid Marvel superhero as his charm and wit never fails to entertain. Plus Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley add so much to the fun playing baddies.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler
The themes of racial injustice is how much we have overcome but also that the US still have a long way to go. I was so moved by Cecil’s journey as a person as well as a loyal Butler serving under five American presidents. It’s a poignant, touching and heart-warming portrayal that’s also humorous and lively.

Man of Steel
I’ve seen it three times by now and though I didn’t fall in love with this one as I did with Donner’s first Superman film, there are still a lot to love here. For one, Henry Cavill‘s version the kind of Superman I can actually identify with, his hu-MAN aspect is actually far more intriguing than his SUPER one and his relationship with both his Kryptonian and earthly family are beautifully-realized.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
I know I’ll always be thankful for any film with Idris Elba in the leading role. Especially when it’s a role that showcases his chops and versatility as an actor. I have to admit I feel a bit guilty drooling over him as he’s playing Mandela, but really can you blame me? Who knew Mandela was so darn hunky? 😉

Monsters University
Thanks Pixar for taking me back to the adorable citizens of Monstropolis! Sully, Mike & co. are still a blast to watch, especially little Mike Wazowski as a dorky green-eyed monster in grade school, complete with his teeth retainer! It really made me appreciate the gift of friendship as the movie took us into the journey of how Mike & Sully first become friends.

Mud
There’s something so gratifying to see a talented actor gets a comeback of sort and seeing Matthew McConnaughey in the past couple of years is like seeing him making the most of his second chance at [acting] life. This beautifully-shot film also features marvelous portrayal of unlikely friendships between two young boys and Mud, a man w/ a shoddy past.

Nebraska
Yet another film that makes me appreciate the intricacy of family, that there’s grace even in the most complicated and frustrating relationships. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this film as much as I did, so that’s always something to be thankful for. Bruce Dern and Wil Forte are such an unlikely pairing that paid off big time. The father-son relationship is as convincing as it is endearing. Plus June Squibb is a hoot with her irreverent frankness.

Pacific Rim
Thank you Guillermo Del Toro for such unabashedly fun action movie that’s entertaining to watch over and over! I have seen this movie five times already and I still get this big grin on my face every single time. Yes it’s cheesy but it’s GOOD cheese, so I’m not ashamed that I’ve become a Jaeger groupie 😀 Special thanks to Ramin Djawadi for his super awesome, electrifying score!

Rush
It’s a movie that literally lives up to its title for giving us an adrenaline rush from start to finish. The racing sequences are amazingly-shot and gives us a sense as if we’re right there where the action is, but the dramatic story between James Hunt and Nikki Lauda are just as intriguing to watch.

Star Trek Into Darkness
I already said before that I was thankful to JJ Abrams for making me care for the whole Star Trek universe. I’m especially thankful for Benedict Cumberbatch casting as a sexy villain, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. It’s also fun to see Capt. Kirk and the Enterprise crew, certainly one of my favorite ensemble cast of recent memory.

Stoker
I had trepidation about watching this as the director had made some really violent films in the past, but I’m glad this one was still within my comfort level. Stoker is a gorgeous thriller with an eerie atmosphere that REALLY gets under your skin.

The Act of Killing
No doubt one of THE most disturbing films I’ve ever seen, yet I’m thankful that director Joshua Oppenheimer made this eye-opening documentary that exposes my home country’s darkest past. It’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen and in a land where originality is as hard to find as needle in a hay stack, this is a film that every cinephile should make a point to see.

The Angels’ Share
I had the privilege of seeing this Scottish indie gem just a day before my interview with its writer Paul Laverty. It was a joy to watch newbie Scottish actor Paul Brannigan shine in a heist comedy of sort, funny with plenty of heart.

The Armstrong Lie
A well-made documentary that’s as eye-opening as it is beautiful to look at. Alex Gibney got an unprecedented access into one of the biggest sports scandal in history. Yet as disturbing as Lance Armstrong’s doping violation was, it’s the abuse of power and ugly betrayals that struck me the most.

The Hunt
If you want a roller-coaster emotional ride, look no further than this astutely-made Danish film. It’ll make you in awe of its beauty (the acting, cinematography) as well as incredibly angry at how cruel humanity could be as director Thomas Vinterberg immerses you in the protagonist’ plight. Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely brilliant in his understated yet intense portrayal of a man being persecuted publicly for a crime he didn’t commit, and more heartbreaking of all, cast aside by his own friends.

The Kings of Summer
This film made me so thankful of the beauty of nature and friendship, however fragile it can be. A beautifully-shot coming-of-age story that’s peppered with meaningful and hilarious moments. Great script, performances, scenery and soundtrack — it’s got all the ingredients to make an entertaining film that I don’t mind watching again.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
It’s always nice to see a new face on screen, especially someone as charismatic as  London-born Riz Ahmed. He shines as the protagonist in this cultural drama under Indian director Mira Nair‘s careful direction. Though it deals with a political/terrorism theme of 9/11, this is ultimately about a journey of a brilliant Pakistani young man caught between two worlds in a time where prejudice and distrust runs rampant.

Thor: The Dark World
A robustly entertaining film that’s also thigh-slapping-ly hilarious.  Any movie that features the undeniable charismatic Tom Hiddleston is something to be thankful for, in fact I’d be even more grateful to Marvel Studios if they’d just make a Loki movie already… and soon! 

World War Z
I never thought I’d put a zombie flick on my thankful list, let alone one with Brad Pitt in it! But I quite enjoyed WWZ as it’s more of a political thriller than a slasher/horror flick. The story was intriguing enough that I’m actually interested to see how the planned sequel is going to pan out.

* Note that a few of these films might’ve been released in 2012 outside of the US but I went with the US release dates which were all in 2013.


So HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends who are celebrating! But you don’t need to have a Thanksgiving holiday to be grateful about something.

So what are some of the 2013 movies you’re most thankful for [so far]?

Everybody’s Chattin’ – Thanksgiving 2012 Edition

The parking lot in my office is much more sparse today as people are probably already on the road or up in the air on their way to their Thanksgiving celebration. Well, as we’re all about giving thanks this week, I thought I’d take the time to give thanks to EVERYONE who’s been a loyal supporter to FlixChatter!

I’m grateful that in my third year of blogging I’ve ‘met’ a lot of wonderful folks from all over the globe, some of whom I’ve actually met in person, too! Blogging has become so much a part of my life, in fact if you ask my hubby, it seems to have taken over my life, ahah. I really enjoy writing and chatting about movies and making connections with fellow movie lovers, so THANK YOU for every ‘LIKE’ that you’ve given me and every single comment you’ve dropped on each post. As you know I try to respond to every one of them and you know I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to comment!

Special thanks to: Michael, Josh, Sati, Mark, and Fernando who not only comment regularly but have kindly give shout outs to my blog either on their own blog or via Twitter.

I also want to give a shout out to Allied Integrated Marketing, especially the Minneapolis Director Katie Stroup for admitting me to their Press List. That means more advanced screenings in the future, yay!

Now it’s time for links!

My pal Michael has a plethora of awesome blog series on his blog It Rains… You Get Wet. As you know his TMT one is my favorite, but my second fave is his Same Song, Different Movie series. This time he chose Canzonetta Sull’aria by Mozart, one of the most beautiful aria that makes your heart soar and eyes well up with tears. I’ve only seen the one film he mentioned but I might give The Great Raid a try.

Fernando of Committed to Celluloid recently reviewed a Mexican drama that’s been submitted as Best Foreign Language Film for the 2013 Oscar, called After Lucia (Después de Lucía). It deals with a tough topic of severe bullying, but sounds like the performances are really worth a look.

I LOVE posts about Scene Spotlight and nobody does it better than Lady Sati! The combination of gorgeous photography and animated GIFs are so lovely. I LOVE this recent Scene of the Week in The Dark Knight Rises. I love that scene despite the logic-defying circumstances (but hey, it’s a comic-book movie after all), but I do have more questions after Bruce made the jump.

I mean, how in the world did Bruce make it back to the heavily-guarded Gotham full of Bane’s army with no money, no shoes, and worse of all no Alfred! Nolan has some ‘splainin’ to do in the DVD/Blu-ray feature! 🙂

Being a Movie Trivia aficionado, I LOVE Mark’s Tuesday Trivia Tidbits he started a few months ago. There’s always a few you haven’t heard of, certainly I was surprised by one on my favorite super spy and his famous Walter PPK. So take a look if you haven’t already!

The ever-so-prolific Josh at Cinematic Spectacle watches a bunch of movies week after week. Perhaps he has 36 hours in a day instead of 24? 😉 Well, he recently gave us a viewing update on 12 films he’s catching up on before year’s end. There’s a lot on there I haven’t seen, including the indie dramedy Your Sister’s Sister starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt. I should give that one a watch just for those two lovely ladies!

Last but not least… my pal Terrence always has such a timely poll in his weekly Time to Vote Tuesday. I LOVE that he actually dedicated a poll for my boy Gerry Butler last week to commemorate his birthday!

This week his theme is on Holiday Shopping, so vote for THREE (3) movies that has your favorite shopping scenes! Sorry to hear you have to work on Black Friday, my friend, but here’s wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving day!


So, what are your Thanksgiving viewing plans this weekend? If you’re one of those traveling today, enjoy and be safe. I pray that you won’t end up like these two 😀

A Thanksgiving Post: 24 cinematic things I’m thankful for this year

To my American friends all over the States, I want to wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope that you’re all enjoying some time together with family/friends and cherish those moments dearly. To those in other parts of the world, I bid you happy-almost-weekend day 😀

Well, it’s not as if you need a special day to give thanks, right? But just for the sake of being timely, here are 24 random movie miscellanea I’m thankful for this past year:

1. Well I think it’s quite obvious isn’t it, yours truly has fallen under the spell of the beautiful creature that is Gregory Peck. It’s been such a delight to discover his classic films all the way from the early 40s. He’s just so compelling to watch in any genre! The more films of his I watched, the more I appreciate just what a wonderful actor he truly was.

Playing against type as a gritty, dusty outlaw in 'Yellow Sky'

2. Though he’s passed on last February, John Barry’s music lives on… there are so many wonderful movie music he’s left us with, but my favorites shall always be Somewhere in Time and Out of Africa.

3. The casting of Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel

4. Andy Serkis‘ performance as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes

5. The gorgeous Paris scenery… and Marion Cotillard‘s radiant beauty in Midnight in Paris

6. Tarsem’s visual panache in Immortals

7. Gerry Butler‘s heart-wrenching and fearless performance as Sam Childers in Machine Gun Preacher

8. This wonderful black & white trailer of The Artist, can’t wait to see the actual film!


9. Discovering Tom Hiddleston from THOR.

10. The fantastic rapport between James McAvoy & Michael Fassbender as Xavier & Magneto in X-Men: First Classjust one of the 40 reasons I LOVE this film!

11. Pixar’s BRAVE’s beautiful poster and a very promising trailer!

12. Working on my third pitch this past Summer for Castor‘s Fantasy Draft Pitch blog-a-thon… tentatively titled RESTAURO — starring Viggo Mortensen, Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving, directed by Duncan Jones.

13. Finally getting around to seeing Kenneth Branagh’s HAMLET and loving it!

14. Gentleman’s Agreement, one of the most compelling Oscar-winning film with a bold message about a then-controversial and risky topic about antisemitism… more people should see this even today.

15. Having the privilege to interview Anton Yelchin and Drake Doremus in person for Like Crazy during Twin Cities Film Fest… my first ‘official’ press junket 😀

16. Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain’s compelling performance playing the same character in The Debt

17. Going to Comic-Con this past Summer … and meeting Captain America himself, Chris Evans!

18. The exquisite cinematography of The Big Country by William Wyler… and the joy of seeing Moses and David (Charlton Heston & Gregory Peck) beat each other up in an epic fight scene

19. Harry Potter franchise ends with a bang… and seeing the back story of Severus Snape, played brilliantly by Alan Rickman

20. Terrence Malick‘s suddenly prolific streak, reportedly attached to direct two new films Lawless and Knight of Cups, which means we may see up to five Malick films within a few years!

21. Well-designed and iconic movie posters… such as this one:

22. Spellbound‘s surreal dream montage designed by Salvador Dali… and how dreamy Gregory Peck is in this [sigh]

23. The Hobbit‘s video journals (thanks to Claire Packer for posting the updates). Bless Peter Jackson for constantly updating fans with the progress of one of the most anticipated film of next year.


24. And last but not least… I’m ever so grateful for the joy of blogging and ‘meeting’ fellow movie lovers via the blog and Twitter… thank you everyone who have supported this blog for the past couple of years. Hope you’ll stick around for more 😀


So what are you thankful for this holiday season?

A Thanksgiving Post: 25 things in movies I’m thankful for

Those celebrating Thanksgiving today, hope it’s been lovely and lively. To those in other parts of the world, I bid you happy-almost-weekend day 😀 Well, it’s not as if you need a special day to give thanks, right? But just for the sake of being timely, I’ve been pondering about my love of movies and I’d post 25 random movie miscellanea I’m thankful for:

1. Cate Blanchett’s narration in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

2. Spanish Buzz in Toy Story 3. I’d never want to switch him back!

3. Smashing Pumpkins’ The Beginning is the End is the Beginning song in Watchmen trailer

4. 1999 Mansfield Park‘s lovely quote: “There are as many forms of love… as there are moments in time.”

5. Timothy Dalton and Alan Rickman’s silky voice and their signature inflection when they speak.

6. The amazing train station staircase scene in The Untouchables.

7. The stunning visuals of Tarsem’s The Fall.

8. Pixar movies… particularly these in my top five.

9. Gabriel Byrne’s soulful portrayal of D’Artagnan in The Man in the Iron Mask.

10. Scorching chemistry between Christian Bale and Emily Watson in Equilibrium.

Click the photo to watch the scene in a music video clip on youtube

11. Fantastic opening credits by Danny Yount (Rocknrolla, Sherlock Holmes, etc.)

12. The awesome clay-mation of Chicken Run

13. When Lizzie first meets The Stranger in a cafe in Dear Frankie … The brooding glances, the awkward silence, the husky voice… ‘Americano. Strong.’ YUM!

14. The haunting music of Somewhere in Time.

15. John Williams’ scores… too many to name just a few!

16. The final redemption scene of Ben Hur.

17. Disney Princesses and their gorgeous, indelible songs… particularly this one

18. Michael Keaton’s hilarious performance playing four different characters in Multiplicity.

19. My Favorite Things scene in The Sound of Music.

20. Stan Lee’s cameos in various Marvel movies.



21. Audrey Hepburn’s breathtaking beauty in practically every film I’ve seen her in.

22. Since today’s his birthday… Dougray Scott’s dashing portrayal of a fairy tale prince in Ever After. Happy Birthday Mr. Scott!

23. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery’s fun rapport in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

24. Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride for his awesome name and indelible declaration: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

25. The cinematography of Terrence Malick’s films (Days of Heaven, The New World).

Let me also take the time to thank you all for reading and commenting on FlixChatter. Do keep ’em coming 😀

Now, what are you thankful for this holiday season?

Wishing all a blessed Thanksgiving. Travel safe!

Clooney as the travel expert Ryan Bingham

It’s Thanksgiving eve… or here in America is also known as travel-headache day. Fortunately, I don’t have to travel anywhere this time, but I feel for all of my American friends who have to be on the road, be it by car, train or worse… planes! Air travel seems to be made worse this year with all that enhanced security stuff, which to a lot of people means enhanced groping 😦 Yeah, I know, I know… this is all for the sake of passengers’ safety. And considering the alternative, I guess I’d rather have extra security than no security.

Perhaps you might want to take some travel tips from Up in the Air‘s Ryan Bingham who travels constantly around the country firing people. You might not like the guy, but man, does this guy know how to travel! Not only does he’s extremely skilled in efficient packing (travel light is his mantra), he’s got some foolproof tips on getting through airport security. The movie is peppered with memorable lines, and this one certainly counts as one of them:

Ryan Bingham: Never get behind old people. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love ‘em.

Natalie Keener: That’s racist.

Ryan Bingham: I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.

Heh, I wonder what Bingham would think about all this pat down stuff. Anyway, just looking at the snow storm that’ll hit my neck of the woods any minute now, I’m definitely glad I’m not going anywhere. Definitely looking forward to a mellow 5-day break in town, hang out with friends, do some holiday shopping and catch a few movies. We have The Last of the Mohicans that’s supposed to be arriving from Netflix today. Been wanting to see that Daniel Day-Lewis movie for ages, not sure what took me so long. Oh, and we’ve also just got the Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition recently (the packaging is sooo pretty!), so we might watch some of the bonus features there.

Well, to those who are traveling to be with friends/families this weekend, I pray for safe journey and may your travel headache be little or none. For comic relief, here’s a trailer from a classic comedy Airplane! from 3 decades ago. If anything, be thankful you don’t have to fly in THAT plane with THOSE nutty people 😀

WISHING YOU A BLESSED THANKSGIVING!