Movies Lately: 12 Years of Slave, The Perk of Being a Wallflower, Open Grave and The Fifth Estate

It’s time for another movie review 🙂 (well, more like movie thoughts)

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I was planning to share it on Monday so I can call it Monday Movies with the cute picture of my nephew … but last Monday I had a special post about my favorite actor, Cillian Murphy and then this Monday I need more time between my previous post (my serial, Aqeela and Me) and another post. Thus, this post has been delayed for 2 Mondays 😉

I had great movies and a bad one…too bad the bad one came from one of my fav actors.

12 Years of Slave (2013)

 

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Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano,Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard
Rating: 4,5 stars

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 British-American historical drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before his release. (wikipedia)

This is such an emotional movie. I really don’t like watching slavery or discrimination movie because it always give bad feeling about it. It’s a very sensitive issue. I guess that’s the reason I just can’t give the movie a full 5 stars because there’s still that uncomfortable feeling while watching it. The movie was amazingly shot and beautifully scripted. I like the fact that they don’t try to tone it down, it was painful to see the whipping but it was the truth and the didn’t try to make it less painful.

On the actor side, I was expecting to see Benny stood up above the others…unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He was good but the one that shine for me was Michael Fassbender, for me he was even better that Chiwetel Ejiofor (the one who played Solomon Northup). Fassbender made a fan out of me ( I am still not going to say that he is handsome as so many women think – simply not my type, but I admit he is an amazing actor).

12 Years of Slave worth all the praises and the awards…but it is also one of those movies which is great but I will not watch it again.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower  (2012)

Perks

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Rating: 3 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama and is a film adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name. The film was directed by the author of the novel, Stephen Chbosky. (wikipedia)

My curiosity on this movie aroused from a post (about a year ago) which mentioned that The Perk of Being a Wallfalower was the best movie in 2012 (I forgot who or which blog was saying that)…and one of my students loves the movie so much. However, I couldn’t give it more than 3 stars because for me even though the script was great BUT it didn’t touch my feeling at all. I do believe it’s a culture thing or maybe simply because when I was in high school such thing never happen.

The story is basically about a boy who had no friend and suddenly met a siblings who are so unique and can’t care less with the rest of people in school. Maybe I am too carefree that I never even had that lonely moment when I was in high school (both as teacher and student)…so the feeling of the movie didn’t reach me at all. It was a great script, I like it but I wouldn’t say it’s the best movie of 2012.

Open Grave (2013)

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Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Joseph Morgan, Thomas Kretschmann, Erin Richards, Josie Ho, Max Wrottesley
Rating: 4 stars

A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory and must determine if the murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer. (imdb)

You know, somehow I can see a smile on your face because I gave 4 stars for this movie and 3 stars for Perk…let me just say it first, my rating is always based on whether I like it or not…it’s never for how great the movie is according to critics. Like I said above Perks although has great script but it didn’t touch my heart at all while Open Grave with its not so good script had managed to make me glued to the screen. It has that sense of wanting to know what happen next.

There’s no memorable dialogue in Open Grave and the rating is also not so good in both imdb and rotten tomatoes BUT I like the way it flows, the thrill, the not knowing what’s going on and the ending. I like a movie where I have to guess along the way, I am a sucker for unpredictable movie…AND I am also a sucker for realistic ending (read: NOT a forced happy ending)

No matter what people and critics say…I really like this movie!

The Fifth Estate (2013)

Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney
Rating: 1 star

 A dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. (imdb)

Thriller?? who are they trying to kid?

The Fifth Estate is my unfinished movie of the year. If Benny is not in this movie, I would have turned it off in 15 minutes, because Benny still looks cute in white hair, I continued till 40 minutes … but then I had enough and turned it off and watch a science documentary. I think the only one that can make me watch The Fifth Estate from beginning till end is if Cillian played in it.

I like watching biopic because I often got a feeling of closeness to whomever the famous people in the movie was. Take example of Nowhere Boy (which I reviewed last month), it gives a feeling of wanting to know what happens to John Lennon’s life. A good biopic is one that gives us eagerness to know more about one person’s life. The Fifth Estate lacks such thing!! There’s no sense of curiosity over Julian Assange.

Simply said, even the handsome and talented Benedict Cumberbacth can’t make me finish the movie.

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So, those are the movies I watched lately. Have you watched any of those movies? What do you think? 🙂

20 thoughts on “Movies Lately: 12 Years of Slave, The Perk of Being a Wallflower, Open Grave and The Fifth Estate

  1. I haven’t seen any of them. And from your reviews, I don’t plan on watching the Fifth Estate. I know I should watch 12 years, but I also know it will be heartbreaking and I may cry and get really angry. Need to find the right moment for that.

    1. I know how you feel! I have had 12 years of slave for weeks but I didn’t watch it straight away because I know it’s going to be hard to watch. I waited till the right time came.

  2. 12 Years a Slave is tough but that’s part of the power. It’s one of the best films I have seen. Quite possibly, the only film about slavery that one need watch to try and get an understanding of it. Fassbender was just incredible as Epps, a ball of anger and fury, self-hatred and denial. His physical presence was incredible. Benny was okay 😉

    Open Grave looks interesting. That hasn’t been released in the UK.

    1. Completely agree!! Benny was okay but Fassbender was amazing.

      Open Grave is not the best movie around but it sure has great thrill. Hope you will also like it, many people didn’t like it

  3. I’m afraid the last movie I watched was Frozen.

    I’ll have to watch 12 Years a Slave on video, because that uncomfortable feeling makes it hard for me to sit through movies like that.

    I’d probably like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I wasn’t a reject in high school, but only because I had a tight circle of friends.

    1. I know how you feel…that’s why I kept delaying it. I know I need to prepare myself to watch 12 years.

      I KNOW you will like The Perks a lot more than me…I like it too even though I am going to claim it as one of the best movies I saw.

  4. I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower and might even read the book.
    I’ve never heard of Open Grave. Sounds interesting. I will stay way from Fifth Estate. Oh my, whatever happened to BC?
    I’ll watch 12 Years a Slave but somehow I have a feeling I’ve seen similar movies before, so I’m not that keen.

    1. I know many people love Perks, i ended up on the I Like the movie side 😉

      Benny was great as Julian, it’s just the script was too boring. I hope he’ll get a more challenging role soon, him as Sherlock is already challenging but I want to him in movies.

      12 years of slave is a true story and based on a book Solomon had written…that alone makes me want to watch it. Hope you’ll watch it too one day.

  5. The Perks of Being A Wallflower really worked for me. I was blown away by it, possibly because I had low or no expectation about it. I haven’t read the book but I thought the film perfectly encapsulated that time period in young people’s lives. It also did it with a great soundtrack. Thought the performances and script were very strong.

    1. I love the soundtrack! Love hearing Bowie’s heroes.
      I like it but not blown away at all, like I said maybe it’s the culture thing.

      Thank you for stopping by Dan 🙂

  6. Nice recap Nov. You must be in a hurry again, it’s The Fifth Estate, not State 🙂 Yeah it’s not a very good movie tho it was still worth a look because of Benedict. Glad you saw 12 Years a Slave, so heartbreaking!

  7. I loved the Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it wasn’t because it’s such a great movie… it’s not. In fact, it’s got a lot of flaws to it with a somewhat cheesy storyline. Nevertheless I gave it the second spot in my top 10 movies of 2012 for the way it conveyes and raises awareness for some central themes and issues in high school and it also brought back a lot of memories for me. 🙂

    1. I think it works well for people who live their high school somewhat like in the movie…my high school as a student and now as a teacher) is completely different..so Perk only becomes a nice movie to see for me, no connection whatsoever.

      But I am not surprise when you said it’s number two in your 2012 list, I have seen many that said it’s the best movie in 2012.

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