Emma Stone: Top 5 Films

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Emma Stone has quickly grown to be one the best female actors today with her recent triumphs in Easy A, The Help, Crazy Stupid Love, The Amazing Spider-Man and Gangster Squad. Of course she has some big films coming out soon, one being a Woody Allen project and of course a Spider-Man sequel. Before she starts getting involved in some serious blockbuster films I thought I’d recap on her best 5 out of 15 films in my opinion, since I’ve basically seen them all. There are a couple of films that I had to leave out despite enjoying them thoroughly, the films being The Rocker, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad. Even though I enjoyed them a lot, they didn’t quite match up with the following five films which prove to be pretty awesome.

5) The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Emma Stone takes on the role of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s love interest, and totally triumphs making Bryce Dallas Howard’s interpretation of the character insignificant. To be fair Spider-Man 3 didn’t do too much justice to any of the characters and the trilogy itself, so I will take that comment back. From Spider-Man history in terms of the comics and films, we usually see the girl becoming a damsel in distress and the hero has to rise above everything to save them. Which is why Emma Stone’s take on the character was a lot more unique and memorable. Instead of being eye candy, she actually had the brains and the courage to take on the villain as opposed to standing in the most vulnerable positions with no defense plan. Ultimately it was a great performance exuding genuine on screen chemistry with the lead (Andrew Garfield), making the Spider-Man reboot a successful comic book film.

4) The Help (2011)

This film challenged Emma Stone’s ability to take on a drama, after thoroughly proving her capabilities of starring in comedy flicks. The Help exposes 1960s America focusing on its Civil Rights dilemma’s. Emma Stone is of course the hero of the film playing an aspiring author, Skeeter Phelan, coming out of university with a genuine motivation of succeeding in her field of work. After experiencing her friends discriminating attitudes towards their maids, she decides to interview two maids about their experiences with their employers and taking care of white children. This soon prompts maids from all around the village to contribute to the book idea hoping to expose the realities of racism in America. It was interesting to see Stone involved in a film with such a dark subject. At first you’re kinda expecting her to break out a silly face or a weird noise, but she balances the seriousness of the character perfectly; making her passionate and witty, illustrating her intelligence as well as humor. She joined the ranks as one of the best female actors after this film, and being cast with a group of talented women would have helped her immensely.

3) Easy A (2010)

Easy A definitely has Emma Stone written all over it. You can tell she had a lot of fun filming this movie since the character pretty much mirrors her personality. The film take’s on school culture with a unique angle integrating The Scarlet Letter as a way of boosting ones popularity. Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) originally a nobody, has had enough of being invisible and attempts to climb up the social ladder by perceiving herself as the school bike. Eventually the lies get too much for Olive and the reality of having such a reputation means a lack of respect from her peers. As said before it shouts out Emma Stone with scenes of her being wacky and going all out weird, but that’s the charm of her character and ultimately leads to quite a fun and enjoyable film. 

2) Zombieland (2009)

This is one of Emma Stones most inventive and stylish films, mixing zombies with comedy. It focuses on a group of survivors within “Zombieland”, which is a post apocalyptic world infested with zombies, trying to find their next “home”. For some, home is a twinky and for others it is a theme park across the country, but despite their difference in ambition they all have one goal, which is to survive. Emma Stone takes on a pro con artist called Witchita, using her skills along with her little sister to con their way to a theme park so that they can both finally liberate in some fun. Stone rarely portrays characters which exude sex, but this is by far her sexiest role, I mean what’s sexier than a girl who can take on zombies like a boss while looking as hawt as she does. There’s a reason she’s been linked with a future zombie film, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, it’s because she completely smashed this one.

1) Superbad (2007)

There’s no doubting the hilariousness of Superbad which is why this makes it one of my favourite comedies of all time. It has some of the most memorable characters and jokes you will see in a comedy film. It has a pretty simple plot, but what makes it so good is that it’s scarily relatable. We have all been in at least one of many situations Superbad explores, from indulging in messed up porn sites to going through literally anything to pursue a chance to bone. What also makes this film epic, is that it helped propel Emma Stone’s career from being unknown to being one of the most liked actors today, and for that we thank you Superbad. Despite the lack of Emma stone, it still ranks as her best film for me, and what a great film to debut in.

What are your Emma Stone favorites? and which upcoming Stone films are you looking forward to the most?

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Gangster Squad (2013)

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Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

In this period gangster thriller we are sent back to 1949 post WW2. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) returns from war and back to sunny Los Angeles where things have changed drastically. Mickey Cohen is a power hungry gangster who is willing to do anything in order to grow his empire. His ambitions to own the whole of the west coast drives him to countless murders in what he calls “progress”. Before it’s too late Cheif Bill Parker (Nick Holte) contacts O’Mara and urges him to get a team together later known as “The Gangster Squad”. They’re mission is to take down all of Mickey Cohen’s crime operations before they grow too big to take down.

I expected this film to be loaded with plot twists, character development and periodical references. I suppose I thought it would be challenging LA Confidential or any other good period gangster films. Instead it lacked in all those areas and wasn’t as serious as I thought it would be. This was a good and bad thing because it ticked all the boxes that I like in a fun cop film but with a cast that it boasted and the performances it had; the lack of substance was unsatisfying.The plot is simple which didn’t really leave much room for an explosive film, which was disappointing especially when you have such an intense character like Mickey Cohen as the villain. That being said once you realize what direction the film is going, then you can sit back and enjoy it. As soon as I heard the music during the opening scene with Josh Brolin, I could tell it was going to be more fun than dramatic.

There’s enough action to keep the average film viewer satisfied but on the second viewing you realize it’s not as thrilling as it could have been. The shootout’s are loud but there isn’t much to them making them seem generic. Maybe I’m being overly fussy but I felt there was a missed opportunity in that aspect of Gangster Squad. Nevertheless they were still fun to watch.

The cast is amazing, I mean two of my favourite actors on screen… banging… again. So it was always going to be hard to hate this film when Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are acting together. Luckily they put in some pretty good performances. A lot of people didn’t really like Goslings high pitched, slightly odd accent and I think the director must have caught on to it because it gradually subsided as the film progressed. I didn’t mind it to be honest, it gave his character more of an identity. The rest of the cast were incredibly solid, it was the second time I’ve seen Josh Brolin play a lead role and he nailed it. Now I wish he was the new batman. Sean Penn as always is amazing as the power hungry Mickey Cohen, if there was more to the script, giving him more of a dynamic than just a short tempered gangster with a tolerance to killing then he would easily be one of the most menacing villains of 2013.

Gangster Squad really is style over substance. It’s glossy and pristine, despite it being shot in dark surroundings for most of it, you can catch the colours of neon signs and red lipstick very clearly. It’s definitely nice to look at, which is one of the main positives of this film, it captures that time period pretty well in a unique fashion.

Despite some disappointment over Gangster Squad, I actually quite enjoyed it. It seemed like the perfect film for me, I like gangsters, I like snappy one liners and I like shootouts. Was the film perfectly executed? No, but it’s fun and entertaining enough to watch til the O’Mara-Cohen showdown.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

the-amazing-spider-manRoze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

There was a lot of confusion and pessimism towards this Spider-Man reboot. People were confused about the change of cast thinking that the previous Spider-Man trilogy had not finished, but with a cast like this, I think it was hard to figure out where it could go wrong. I myself was a huge fan of the Spider-Man trilogy and was pretty intrigued about this reboot, especially when I heard Emma Stone was in it, who is my favourite female actor at the moment. Going into the film I was expecting something familiar but I’m glad to say that there was a lot of things different about this film compared to the original and most of those things were huge positives.

A lot of the advertising at first for this film was that it would expose the “untold story” about Peter Parker in terms of where he came from and his parents. To an extent this film explores what exactly happened to his parents, how they were related to Oscorp and how they died but it only touches on it in small doses. If your going to see the film purely for that aspect of the film, then there will be a bit of disappointment, but I guess that’s where they attract you back into the character for this film but also the sequel. As usual these comic films have snippets at the end to leave you guessing who the next villain will be etc, and there’s a mysterious looking man who mentions Peters father, insinuating that there’s still a lot untold, this will be frustrating but I guess that’s where the fanboys come in and speculation begins, which is the whole spirit of these comic films, the film is one thing but the speculation and the hype also adds to the awesome experience.

The film features Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and he totally triumphed, giving the web slinger a whole new identity compared to the original Spider-Man. From playing a few Spidey games and cartoons, the character seemed a lot more witty and annoying than Toby McGuires version, and I think that’s where Andrew Garfield got it right. He was more than just a nerd, he had attitude, heart and style, which is why the little touches like the skateboard and the way he treated his enemies as quite vital to the role. It was also awesome to find out that he was a childhood fan of Spider-Man and looked up to the character, so you knew that he was coming from the right places. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, DAYM, great person for the role, I mean she brings a lot to her characters and this character was never intended to be just cute and a damsel in distress, she brought a lot of charisma and humour to make her a much more interesting and smart character to root for. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone seemed very natural, I don’t know if it’s because they are an item (Damn you Garfield!) but what they were doing worked. Perfect awkward moments mixed with the dialogue, but when they kissed on that roof, Gwen looked a bit too turned on by the fact Peter was Spider-Man, but I’m not complaining. As for the rest of the cast, solid performances of course, especially Rhys Ifans playing over obsessed scientist Dr. Conners, who lets the pressure of Oscorp and his own desire for limb regrowth get to him, ultimately becoming The Lizard.

The action is great, some memorable scenes and I like how they stayed true to all of his trademark moves, seemed identical to the game at some points, which was pretty awesome. The effects weren’t cheap and the The Lizard looked pretty bad ass. Compared to the original, I can’t remember anything negative about the effects, but this version definitely brought something new to the film with the first person scenes, which made you feel even more absorbed into this world that they created. Overall pretty solid action.

I think the only negative of this film compared to the original is that the original had a lot more iconic moments which will live on, while this film didn’t really produce any except for the crane scene. The fact that the original had those iconic and memorable moments made leaving the cinema slightly dissatisfying, because I expected there to be a “with great power, comes great responsibility” line, but it never came, it was all disjointed. I think this film tried a bit too hard to be different from the original which is quite apparent with the way they did the origin story for this film, but it still works, so no complaints there.