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About me

Massive movie geek and big fan of live music. Also slightly obsessed with stand up comedians.

MY MOVIE DIARIES

MY FAVOURITE PHOTOS

About my collections

I'm a compulsive rater of everything.

I love making lists and sharing my loves and hates.

I don't have time to say thank you for every vote and comment but I do really appreciate them.

Lists

7 votes
Seen in 2014 (52 items)
Movie list by talia_sparkle
Published 2 years, 3 months ago
25 votes
Favourite Photos of Michael Fassbender (112 items)
list by talia_sparkle
Published 4 years, 4 months ago 1 comment
2 votes
My Movie Diaries (4 lists)
list by talia_sparkle
Last updated 2 years, 8 months ago
10 votes
Seen in 2013 (125 items)
Movie list by talia_sparkle
Published 3 years, 8 months ago
16 votes
Black&White (43 items)
list by talia_sparkle
Published 4 years, 5 months ago



Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (38) - TV Shows (1)

Take This Waltz review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 22 August 2012 08:41 (A review of Take This Waltz)

*contains spoilers*

I had high hopes for this film. Being a huge fan of Michelle Williams (who for me can do no wrong) and also quite fond of Seth Rogen and Sarah Polley, I expected something quirky, perhaps bittersweet, but a pleasant way of spending a couple of hours. Sadly, this was not what I got.

While the acting is strong by most involved, the plot irritated me and the characters were hugely unlikable (with the exception of Lou (Rogen)). The dialogue too was so pretentious in places it was reminiscent of an episode of Dawson's Creek, so you couldn't help but reel in gall at how contrived a lot of it was.

But the main problem for me was the "romance" between Margot and Daniel. Margot seemed to have an almost idyllic life with a loving husband and a good job, the only thing lacking was a bit of intimacy, which could be fixed if you worked at it. You could understand that she was bored, or wanted a bit of excitement, but it doesn't explain why she chose to actually leave Lou (or why he let her go so easily).

And Daniel is such a hideous character. He's like a stalker, turning up unannounced at every opportunity (the bit at the water aerobics class was particularly creepy), seducing Margot with his sinister sex talk and generally just being a super lecherous weirdo. How anyone could fall for him is totally unbelievable. Does Polley really think that's what all women want? Ugh.

The only redeeming feature of this film is the fact that it doesn't all turn out well for Margot. She realises quite early on that she has made a huge mistake and there is no going back. You almost have to stop yourself from cheering when Lou makes no bones about not wanting her back. "F--- You, Margot! You lie in that unhappy bed you've made!" you almost scream at the screen. But you know that that probably isn't how you're supposed to feel. You're supposed to identify with Margot, but you only end up disliking her. And that's where the film really fails.


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Bruce review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 27 July 2012 08:27 (A review of Bruce)

Silly, fun but also melancholy tale in which a young man grows his own action hero from a lump of meat. At only 3mins 30 secs it's short but sweet and full of imagination.
Well worth a look!


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Vicky Cristina Barcelona review

Posted : 4 years, 7 months ago on 29 February 2012 09:27 (A review of Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Dull, predictable and full of ridiculously long sentences spouting pseudo-cleverness while actually being quite irritating.
A superb cast wasted on characters that you simply cannot like. Sadly it's only Barcelona itself that comes out well, as it is beautifully shot and lovingly detailed.


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The Woman In Black review

Posted : 4 years, 7 months ago on 17 February 2012 10:30 (A review of The Woman In Black)

I was more than pleasantly surprised by this adaptation of Susan Hill's iconic ghost story.
I wasn't expecting much to be honest. I feel that the haunted house genre has, for lack of a better phrase, died a horrible death in the movie industry. Too much focus is placed on special effects, twist endings or convoluted "is it all in their minds?" storylines (see Shutter Island, The Haunting remake and The Others).
Also, having read the book and seen the stage play, I was concerned that the film wouldn't do the source material justice. And, as much as I am a big fan of Daniel Radcliffe, I worried that he wouldn't be able to be the strong anchor the story needs, as his acting ability has been somewhat questionable in the past (especially when it comes to grief and sadness).

But all these fears were unwarranted. The Woman In Black is a well told, well shot and well balanced film.

Firstly, Radcliffe. He not only looks amazing (it had to be said) but he delivers a gently nuanced performance. The opening introduction to his Arthur Kipps, where he mourns his dead wife, is subtle and heartfelt, his grief showing in waves, as well as his love for his son. But where Radcliffe really comes into his own is when he reaches Eel Marsh House and starts experiencing the unusual. There is little dialogue but his face conveys a wide range of emotions - determination, curiosity, fear, horror. Most of it is in his incredible eyes, and the director makes the most of this by using lingering close ups on his face, thereby capturing this performance. His age is not a problem as many feared it would be. He is believably 25-ish and easily passes as a young widower and father.
The supporting cast is also strong. Ciaran Hinds offers great ballast to Radcliffe’s gentle performance, and the various villagers (including a fine Simon Dooley), are believable as scared superstitious locals.

The film is beautiful to behold. Eel Marsh House is deliciously creepy and handsome, covered in vines and wreathed in mist. The expansive shots of the marsh as Kipps travels across it, and especially as it covers over with the tide, are heaped in isolation and bleakness. The moments when Kipps ventures into the mist and is surrounded by it are claustrophobic and chilling.

The scenes of the actual haunting are mostly well done and although they do rely heavily on jump moments, they successfully ramp up the tension via prolonged shots and silence to have you nervous and frightened. The use of edge of frames and background scenes to deliver scares really work, especially with the deep shadows and muted colours used throughout.
As the action increases towards the end, a little CGI does come into play and ever-so-slightly spoils the film, but thankfully it is quite brief and not too disparate with the tone of the film. At the very least, they still made me jump and cower on my partner’s shoulder!

To conclude, an enjoyable and successfully creepy ghost story in the traditional sense, proving that Daniel Radcliffe certainly has a lot more to offer than just Harry Potter. And a vast improvement on Eden Lake for the director James Watkins. Hopefully we’ll see more well-made horror from him in the future.


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The Descendants review

Posted : 4 years, 7 months ago on 31 January 2012 09:41 (A review of The Descendants)

Somewhat bland family drama that really doesn't warrant the huge fuss being made about it.

Clooney's performance is solid yet not spectacular, all moist eyed, furrowed brow and waggly eyebrows, as the father (Matt King) left to deal with his two irritating daughters as his wife lies in a coma.
Coupled with finding out his wife was having an affair with a slimy real estate agent (a surprisingly good Matthew Lillard), we see him descend into a mini meltdown.

There are things to appreciate in this movie, including a fab turn from Robert Forster as a cranky grandfather, and Judy Greer as the unsuspecting wife of the real estate agent, but overall the film just feels really flat. Even the cinematography seems lacklustre resulting in a vision of Hawaii that is grey and dull.
Although you do identify with Matt King the film failed to move me, even when he says a final goodbye to his wife, the result feeling stale and, if I'm honest, a little boring.
How was this nominated for so many awards? I must be missing something.


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Shame review

Posted : 4 years, 8 months ago on 18 January 2012 10:54 (A review of Shame)

Stunningly shot film with phenomenal performances by all involved, Shame is further proof that former artist, Steve McQueen, has complete mastery over the cinematic form.

Michael Fassbender gives the performance of his life (which is really saying something given his career to date) as the sexually addicted and emotionally detached Brandon, living day to day as best he can in New York. The opening scenes give a painful insight into how Brandon has built routine around his addiction, moving from one sexual encounter to the next, his entire life is consumed by it. He cannot sit on the subway, be at work or go out with friends without looking for his next fix. Considering how little dialogue Fassbender has in the film, his face and body portray every subtle nuance you can read to perfectly understand his character and his thoughts. It's such a powerful performance. From the scene where Brandon quietly cries as his sister sings, to his final emotional breakdown, you feel his pain, anguish, and despair throughout.

Carey Mulligan as Sissy, his sister, who barges into his delicately ordered life is also fantastic. She is wild, emotional, a complete mess and causes Brandon's carefully maintained schedule to collapse around him.
Although not as finely tuned as Fassbender's performance, Mulligan is fiercely effective and the scenes between the two siblings are fraught with intensity and feeling.

The sex scenes have caused quite a stir in the media, but I can assure you there is nothing erotic about them. They are clinical, bleak and ultimately quite upsetting. The scenes in which Brandon visits a gay club for instant relief and where he engages in a threesome with 2 prostitutes while Sissy attempts suicide are hard to watch - the stark despair and lack of joy on Brandon's face is brutal and sad. He is so desperate and dejected to have to feed his addiction in these ways that the viewer's heart breaks.

Steve McQueen doesn't attempt to give the film a happy ending; far from it in fact. The final scene fills you with dread as you realise that Brandon may not have beaten his addiction after all.

I certainly cannot wait for McQueen and Fassbender's next project together!



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The Inbetweeners Movie review

Posted : 4 years, 8 months ago on 12 January 2012 10:58 (A review of The Inbetweeners Movie)

The big screen outing for the unlikely lads from Rudge Park Comprehensive, The Inbetweeners Movie is surprisingly short of laughs but big on heart.

It sees the inept foursome jet off to the worst hotel in Malia, Greece, in the hope of sex, sun, sex, sea, sex, drinking and sex. Of course, nothing goes to plan...

As a fan of the Channel 4 TV show I had high hopes for this film, but also reservations - would the format work for 90mins as opposed to the usual 30? Thankfully the answer is yes. The usual jokes and innuendos are present coupled with smatterings of awkward cringy moments.

However, the fact it's not a total gag fest worked rather well. The longer format gave you a chance to really engage with the characters as well as building on their relationships with each other.
The acting is flawless on the boys' part. They have honed their characters to perfection it's hard to believe that they're not real people. It's almost like watching "friends" on a bizarre home movie.

The only criticism I have is the girls they boys hook up with. In no version of reality would Jay or Simon have those girls chasing after them considering they way they behave. They'd be off like a shot to find someone more appreciative. However, it was nice for the film to have a happy ending in contrast to the TV show, and see the lads off to uni with smiles on their faces.
With the ending left so open will we get an Inbetweeners Movie 2?


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Buried review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 22 December 2011 12:40 (A review of Buried)

*contains some spoilers*

Daring and brave film that sticks to one tiny set, one actor and one plot, and manages to (mostly) pull it off.

The idea that 90 minutes can be filled with these limited methods may seem unachievable, but a real sense of claustrophobia and tension is succesfully built over the short running time. The lengthy shot of darkness accompanied only by Reynold's breathing that opens the film clearly sets the tone for what will follow.

Reynold's performance is at turns contained and tragic, and at others explosive and frustrating. There are moments where he misses the emotional mark ever so slightly, veering into cliched territory, but that is not really his fault.
The points in the film where he phones his family or screams in frustration at the American government officials he manages to contact are not as effective as those where he merely tries to find a way out or sadly accepts his fate.

The last ten minutes are shocking and bleak beyond words, which I can only applaud. It's always refreshing to see filmmakers decide to kill the hero after such lengthy empathy with them, even more so when the hero is pretty much the only character.


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Rubber review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 21 November 2011 09:08 (A review of Rubber)

If you're coming to this movie like I was, in hope of a fun, silly, truly original horror film, then you will be bitterly disappointed. Rubber is none of these.
It is a pretentious and frankly dull 80 mins that you cannot get back.

The sequences with the actual tyre aren't too bad. They are shot beautifully, and with some humour that really works. But there are not enough of them to save the film. What you mainly get is an attempt to be clever by breaking the fourth wall and directly addressing the audience and the filmmaking process, that is so filled wih clunky dialogue and even clunkier acting that all you can do is cringe.

A real shame as the premise of a killer tyre is so filled with possibilities.


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Strictly Come Dancing review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 14 November 2011 11:34 (A review of Strictly Come Dancing)

Perfect light entertainment for a Saturday night. Sure, it's cheesy, tacky and the celebs involved are usually C-List, but it's full of razzle and dazzle and fun that I will continue to watch it year after year after year.


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Rated 2013 movies

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Rated 378 tv

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Rated 15 games

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Rated 121 books
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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 31 10:05
Posted: 3 years ago at Sep 19 23:15
Hi talia!! Do you like cakes, desserts and ice-cream??
Well, check my sweet list and choose a dish! ;)

http://www.listal.com/list/sweet-side-world
Posted: 3 years ago at Sep 16 1:03
Thanks a bunch for the list vote and comment! =] And, well, some of the babies are really adorable! =]
Posted: 3 years ago at Sep 10 15:16
Hi. Thanks for the vote!
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 25 1:39
I'm working on some new series, so rolling out the latest rounds of some popular series:

http://www.listal.com/list/vintage-valley
http://www.listal.com/list/jeans-and-heels-iv
http://www.listal.com/list/moistest

As always, thanks for ALL the votes and comments! Your input is ALWAYS appreciated!
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 20 20:04
Hi. Thanks for the vote :)

Edit: 3 years, 3 months ago
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 9 12:23
Thanks for the list vote and comment

Have a great day
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 3 15:10
It's summer time, so,....
Surf's Up!


http://www.listal.com/list/ive-seen-pose-before-x

And if it gets too hot, take a cool dip here:

http://www.listal.com/list/amphibious-assault

As always, thanks for all the votes and comments
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at May 23 20:12
Thanks for the vote! :)
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at May 23 1:20
Welcome to a few new friends,...
Next stop on the Listal World Tour:

http://www.listal.com/list/gyonyoru-nok-magyarorszagon

And the latest Tao Sorority inductee:

http://www.listal.com/list/the-tao-of-noemie-lenoir

As always, thanks for ALL the votes and comments!
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at May 3 23:51
I'm really glad you enjoyed my 'Favorite Under-Appreciated Actors' list. Why didn't you vote for it?
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 22 22:56
A few new lists celebrating a few Listal lovelies' high quality assets:

http://www.listal.com/list/zooeys-tights
http://www.listal.com/list/hayleys-cleavage

As always,...thanks for ALL the votes and comments!!
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 15 14:37
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 11 4:54
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 10 16:49
I'm taking time to clean up my lists (removing dead links, duplicates, etc) for the next few days, so here's a list poll to hold everyone over:

http://www.listal.com/list/whos-listals-most-classic-beauty

As always, thanks for all the votes and comments!!
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 8 15:02
hi friend check out my new list .
hope you like it and thanks for your
time
http://www.listal.com/list/love-these-posters
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 7 2:04
Thanks so much for voting!!
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Apr 5 13:44
Thank you for the Dexter pic vote!

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