Weekend Roundup: Farewell My Queen, Purple Noon & Wishing I were at San Diego Comic-con!

Well my weekend is pretty uneventful really. I didn’t even go to the cinema nor watched too many movies. Friday night was a fun Movie Night with my girlfriends, which we haven’t done in almost a year since one of them had a baby. We’ve decided on the movie weeks ago, Farewell My Queen, which is fitting since I’ve been obsessing over the French Revolution since my Paris trip in early June.

FarewellMyQueen

The film focuses on the relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her readers Sidonie Laborde during first days of the French Revolution. The whole movie takes place in Versailles which is beautifully shot. Now believe it or not, I have not seen a single movie about Marie Antoinette nor the French Revolution. Though the film looks authentic and well-acted, the film barely pays any attention to the real issues that led to the revolt. The Revolution only serves as a backdrop, focusing more on the obsession, loyalty and betrayal of the three main characters.

As I’m now watching Downton Abbey, the upstair/downstairs lives of the servants, courtiers and the royals in that lavish palace is fun to watch. The scene when the courtiers find out about the list of the 300 targets of the guillotine is pretty intriguing and you could really feel the tension brimming in that dark corridor. The performances are quite good, I’m especially impressed by Lea Seydoux as Sidonie, who’s really the lead of the film. She has a certain vulnerability about her that makes you sympathize with her right away, and she’s a stunning actress who definitely looks more interesting the more you look at her. Diane Kruger is quite effective as the Austrian-born queen, whilst Virginie Ledoyen is as beautiful as she is aloof, which is fitting as she’s the object of the queen’s affection. Overall though, the film is just ok, perhaps not the best films out there on the topic of the French Revolution, but it’s not a bad one to start with.

PurpleNoonCriterionFor my July Blindspot, I watched Purple Noon (Plein soleil) starring Alain Delon. I’ve seen the remake The Talented Mr Ripley years ago so I knew the gist of it but honestly I’ve forgotten most of the details from that one. One thing for sure Matt Damon is not nearly as appealing as Delon in the role of Tom Ripley, even though it’s funny that Delon barely spoke any English in this film despite being an American character.

Delon with his razor-sharp cheekbones and steely gaze possesses a certain coldness, that dangerous undercurrent beneath such an impossible good looks. I’ll save the full review until Tuesday but suffice to say I’m glad I finally saw this one. I’ve been wanting to see more from Delon after seeing him in a taciturn role in Le Samouraï.


Now, the rest of my weekend is filled with a lot of drooling over Comic-con in San Diego. My dear friend Melissa of Snap Crackle Watch was there with her girlfriend, lucky gal! Here’s her recaps – Part I and Part II. I was following her fun tweets all weekend, can’t wait to read her recaps whenever she gets around to posting it. Man, I could see why it’s getting more difficult impossible to get to SDCC, I mean the kind of films being covered there is incredible! Interstellar, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs Superman, The Hobbit 3, etc. Here are my favorite photos from the four-day festivities!

A bunch of trailers debuted at SDCC, but I refuse to post those grainy, shaky-cam versions shot by fans in Hall H. I’ll wait for the official one, thank you very much. But hey, the one I’ve been waiting for, Mad Max: Fury Road, has released its first trailer online!

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I didn’t see any photos of Tom Hardy so he might not have been at the Mad Max Panel but here’s the new trailer. Interesting to see him with his Bane-like mask, ahah. So far it looks very cool though I expect the second trailer to actually show more of the story than just a mash-up of action sequences in dystopian Australian dessert.


Well that’s my weekend roundup, folks. What about you, seen anything good?

Everybody’s Chattin’ & Question of the Week on Movie Franchises

Happy Thursday everybody! I’m going to hit two birds with one stone today in combining two post *series* in one. Well, inspired by my recent viewing of Transformers 4 and some other news, the topic this week is: Hollywood Movie Franchises.

EverybodysChattin

Ok, so let’s start with some of my favorite posts from the past couple of weeks:

  • RIPEliWallachI LOVE actors appreciation posts! Cindy wrote a fan letter to the great Bill Murray, while Fernando paid birthday tribute to Queen Meryl, as in Meryl Streep. As we’ve just lost Eli Wallach, Michael paid tribute by listing his favorite films of one of the master Hollywood character actors. RIP Mr. Wallach.
  • A few reviews of 2014 movies I haven’t seen yet: Josh reviewed ENEMY, Sati reviewed MALEFICENT, and Melissa reviewed PALO ALTO, which was by yet another Coppola, Gia Coppola (Sofia Coppola’s niece)
  • Keith reviewed QT’s latest from 2012: DJANGO UNCHAINED and Mark reviewed a 90s sci-fi that’s definitely worth your while: CONTACT.
  • On the classic film front, Steven just reviewed yet another film by Douglas Sirk, Written On The Wind, starring Rock Hudson & Lauren Bacall.
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  • Now, Andrew has been doing Recasting Posts of Best Picture Lineups, which is a VERY cool idea! Of course this one on Roman Holiday caught my eye, I mean I don’t think anyone could top Gregory Peck/Audrey Hepburn, but still it’s fun to see his picks.
  • Mikey recently interviewed Eli Roth & Lorenza Izzo and talking about the World Cup!
  • Vic gave us an updated list of what’s just been added to Netflix Streaming. Very informative, thanks Vic!
HitchcockJimmyStewart
Hitchcock w/ Jimmy Stewart on the set of Rear Window

Now for Question of the Week!

Interesting that on the same day I saw Transformers 4, I read Josh’s post on 10 Movie Series (Franchises) that he gave up on. Fortunately there’s only a couple there that I have seen, Twilight and Underworld, both of which are NOT worth following anyway.

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This past week I’ve also seen news updates on the reboot of the Mad Max franchise from the late 70s-mid 80s. In place of Mel Gibson, we’ve got the charismatic & bad ass Tom Hardy in the role. Check out the cover of EW with the first look with Hardy and Charlize Theron. Boy it’s been FIVE years since I first started blogging about that movie! Everything is old is new again, as it’s always been the case in the Hollywood… as the creativity has dried up long ago. I also heard news about the upcoming PREDATOR sequel or reboot, what have you. Something that made Tim VERY happy indeed 😉 He’s already offered up 5 Ways to do the Predator sequel right.

Well, I don’t mind some reboots and not every sequel is automatically horrible. I for one am anticipating this Mad Max movie that’ll be out May of next year. I’m also looking forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the third Hobbit film, as well as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I later in November. Speaking of which, check out the latest teaser:

Whoah, that’s pretty creepy! Can’t wait to see that one.

But out of the few movie franchises I do like, there are dozens and dozens I wish would never get made. I think all that Josh has mentioned in his post are such time-wasters, and I definitely would add Transformers on the list as this fourth installment is so mind-numbingly horrible! And at 165 min (that’s nearly 3 hours long!!), it’s such another overindulgent Michael Bay’s plaything masquerading as a movie! It’s like eating the most gut-growing, heart-threatening, life-shortening junk food saturated with sugar & fat, but the worst part is, it doesn’t even taste good! Ok I’ll save my rant until my review this weekend.


So my question to you is two-fold:

Which film franchise(s) are you a big fan of & don’t mind that it keeps on going and which ones you wish would die a thousand deaths?