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Blind Spot Series 2014

I recently stumbled upon Ryan McNeil's site, where he was running a feature called Blind Spot. It's basically listing down 12 films you must see that year, one for each month. I thought it was a great and challenging idea, considering that I barely write much reviews. Also, despite being a fan of motion pictures, I haven't seen a lot of movies. This is a great way to expand my movie horizon, and to finally watch some classics I've been meaning to see. Here is my list, and I hope I get to accomplish this by next year! I'll be updating this as I post my reviews, so feel free to check back once in a while!

Concept Art: Sleeping Beauty

A tad bit late on the holiday greetings but I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas with their family and friends! While I've been away from my screen most of the time, I had been watching a ton of movies with my siblings, starting with holiday themed ones and voting what to watch next. One of the movies we watched was Sleeping Beauty. While I'm still not a fan of the princess, I really liked the art that they used, particularly the color scheme they used on Maleficent and her dark lair. The animated work had a darker tone compared to its predecessors, but its scheme is still quite vivid. While Sleeping Beauty is far from my favorite Disney movie, I really liked the visual arts that went with it, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. 
All stills are taken from here.

Trailer: How To Train Your Dragon 2

I was swept away with How to Train Your Dragon, and how it has a heart at the depth of its story. To this day, this is still one of my favorites. It took for the sequel to come out, but hopefully it lives up to the reputation of the first movie. I like how older Hiccup and his friends are; it's rare that time passes in animated movies (an example of this rare occurrence is the Toy Story franchise, which really symbolized a nostalgic feeling, and at the same time, a representation of who we are in the present, that like Andy, we have grown up, but we still hold the good memories of the past). I'm definitely looking forward for this next year -- and to end my senseless chatter, I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a crowded year, movie wise.

Iron Man 3

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle
Director: Shane Black

After coming off strong in The Avengers, I was expecting Iron Man to be as epic, or slightly less than epic as the movie. Iron Man was great but I felt a little skeevy about Iron Man 2, so I expected the third to redeem the sequel. The third movie was a good one, albeit it did not live up to any of its predecessors, both the original and the sequel. Nor did it live up to the standards The Avengers already set in, considering that the movies are now slightly angled towards the story for The Avengers 2. To be honest, the plot is a bit surreal as The Avengers (technically thinking about it), but it's the out of the world crisis thinking that may have placed Iron Man 3 on the edge. Despite the seemingly redeeming third act, Iron Man 3 felt a little bit too off-beat, even for the liking of Tony Stark.

Se7en

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow
Director: David Fincher

Thrilling is one word to describe the viewing experience. It wasn't like an ordinary crime movie I've seen, with all the bad guys and transactions and revenge plots are usually involved. The movie brings two unlikely personalities together to solve a rather smart and puzzling case that involved literature, preach and a whole lot of tasteful gore (yeah I said it, tasteful gore).

Before Midnight

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Director: Richard Linklater

We meet Jesse and Celine in a train, and watched their connection grow through the streets of Vienna. We witness their reunion at a bookshop in Paris, the two being older and wiser. Years later we encounter Jesse and Celine once more, but this time their indivualities reaching out through the sanctity of their marriage. While its predecessors showered us with their personal ideals and realities, this installment treats us to their growth as a couple, and how their relationship has changed over the years. While it did have the similar charm as the first two films, this one worked a bit differently. At the end of the film, I realized that I know these people. I've seen these people. These people are married couples. It doesn't matter whether they're just reaching a decade of their marriage, or they've been married a long time, but Jesse and Celine painted a picture that most married coupl…

Breaking Emotions: Hate/Love

For instructions, click here. For the emotions, click here
Finishing up the Breaking Emotions blogathon are hate and love, these two emotions rather harder to condense because there are so many choices! This was a fun blogathon, and thanks again to the lovely Mettel Ray for hosting it! 

HATE

Movie 43

That was the worst movie released this year. I chose this scene mainly because it's the only one I remember...and that's not a good thing. I have no idea what the actors were thinking; this was a sad excuse for a movie. Were they blackmailed to do this? I don't think the payday excuse is going to work on this one.
The Great Gatsby
Gatsby as a whole was not that bad, but it's not Oscar material either. Of all the scenes I found ridiculously bad, this was a really bad one. Was that supposed to be for fun? Flirty? Entertaining? Show off new clothes, or to let her feel the material? For whatever reason it might be, the scene was just plain bad. If I were Daisy, I would be weird…

Breaking Emotions: Smiles/Thrills

For instructions click here, for the emotions click here
Mettel Ray has released the last two sets a couple of weeks ago, but it's only now that I'm getting to work on them. Usually I do parts of my blogging at work, but I haven't been able to sit in front of my laptop for weeks, usually just reading blogs over the phone. With the holiday season rolling through, hopefully I'll be able to get some entries in before the holidays completely swallow me whole. For this set of emotions, it's smiles and thrills. 
SMILES
Wall-E Wall-E and Eve reunite in space after the whole self destruction fiasco.
Wall-E is my favorite Pixar movie, and this is my favorite scene. Their love is so simple and yet so beautiful. I love that while Eve is worried for Wall-E, all Wall-E could think about is Eve's mission, and how he wanted her to fulfill it at all cost. This has very minimal dialogue for an animated film, and yet the actions say everything you need to know (and will love) abo…

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth Director: Francis Lawrence
The whole world probably saw Catching Fire the weekend it came out. With the array of young adult adaptations, The Hunger Games franchise has emerged victorious among its competitors, lining up to the success of its fellow franchises, namely Harry Potter and the Twilight franchise. While the franchise has yet to earn its ranks as one of the classics, Catching Fire delivers enough fuel to keep its audiences satisfied, triumphing over its predecessor by miles. However, the movie was still lacking in some perspective, with Mockingjay hopefully filling the void and closing the franchise with a bang.

Breaking Emotions: Surprise

For instructions, click here. For the set of emotions, click here.

It's a new set of emotions for Mettel Ray's Breaking Emotions blogathon! This week's emotions are tears and surprise. I rarely cry at sad parts of movies, so I thought I'd stick with surprise itself. 
Now You See Me The mastermind was Detective Rhodes
This is a one-time surprise, because when you see it again, you get the hints and the clues that it was actually him. I was recently talking about this movie with someone, and when the emotions this week came up, this immediately came to mind. I originally thought it might be Melanie Laurent, considering that she was always talking about magic and its history.

Shutter Island Daniels was Laeddis and he was a patient in the hospital.
I honestly thought that it really was a detective story in a spooky island with mental patients. I was wrong (sort of).  
In Bruges Harry Waters commits suicide; he thought he shot a little boy.
I honestly did not expect that mome…

Don Jon

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Don Jon was the directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, one of the finest actors working in the industry today. It was a good debut for the actor; the film was certainly entertaining. It was geared towards men, but has elements that appeal to female viewers as well. It definitely had its mix of comedy, romance and drama, and did not fail to meet expectations. It has more than what it leads on, and despite the hasty finish, it did have its momentum and an enjoyable cast to go with it.

Breaking Emotions: Fear/Awkward

Mettel Ray is hosting another blogathon! For this week she posted fear and awkward as the emotions. I chose to do both, although the fear-inducing ones are not centered on horror films. For instructions, click here. FEAR
Schindler's List This is one of the film's powerful scenes for me, as this was the only scene where they're shown entering a gas chamber, heightening the horror experienced while watching the film.
We Need to Talk About Kevin Until now I am at awe at this film, but someone like Kevin is quite scary, as you never know what goes on in his little head of his. This scene basically culminates his performance, and the role cements Ezra Miller's career.
Gravity This is just one of the many fear-inducing scenes found in this great work by Alfonso Cuaron. The cinematic experience was amazing, but being in her situation: not so amazing.
AWKWARD
The Way Way Back
Singing on a off-key note wholeheartedly...not knowing that someone else was watching you.
Bridget Jones'…