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?

The Expatriate (2012)

expatriateRoze-Rating: 2 / 5

This film is set in Europe about an ex CIA operative who is looking to move on with his past life of violence and concentrate on being a good father. All that suddenly changes when Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) and his daughter Amy (Liana Liberato) narrowly miss a hit murder while they were at the hospital over night. Due to the following day’s strange events, they realise that something has gone terribly wrong, and they may be in the middle of a termination plan as an attempt to cover up a government conspiracy. This also proves to be a time where father and daughter get to know each other even more, but maybe not for the best.

This was clearly a hit and miss film. It overall lacked originality, as you got the sense that it was going to be a Jason Bourne type film. The start may have resembled the Bourne films, but the rest was certainly not. From watching the trailer, you get the sense that it’s going to be an action spy thriller, with some decent action scenes, but this film didn’t seem to offer anything vital, especially to the genre it boasts. Usually with films like this, you expect it to at least shine at something, but this film honestly doesn’t, in terms of the genre, there aren’t any memorable action scenes, characters or quotes.

The film lacked memorable action scenes, and when they did come around, they were short, lacked conviction and didn’t offer any thrills. The character Aaron Eckhart had to play was showcased as an extremely intelligent CIA operative trained to kill, despite this impressive range of skills, the film makers didn’t use any of it to their advantage in any scenes, which made the character seem a lot less impressive and ultimately unrelatable. People want to see a bad ass agent go nuts and partake in crazy secret agent stuff, so that they can go home and think “I wish I was him”, but this character left so little to desire. There was also another problem I had with the film, the hit-men featured to “terminate” their objective were incredibly sloppy and lacked finesse, which are characteristics you wouldn’t expect from a man in that career. This just made the film a lot less believable, because as a professional killer, it would be pretty poor to be spraying bullets everywhere and hitting everything BUT the target intended, so I couldn’t take that aspect seriously.

When it comes down to the plot, there were too many links to Aaron Eckharts character to fully understand who he was involved with, which made it seem like it was made complicated for the sake of it without making it seem intelligent and concise. This made it very confusing at points, and in the end, it really wasn’t worth the brain power and confusion just for something quite petty.

The one bright spark of this film is the female role of Liana Liberato, playing Amy Logan, who was incredibly solid and did her role well. It was nothing more than just solid because the script didn’t leave her much to play with, but this film may give her the opportunity to test that acting skill in the future.

Ultimately for a film of this genre, there should have been more action, a lot more intelligence in terms of the plot and its characters and just a proper emotional connection between audience and character. Positive is that the two main characters pulled out a couple of good performances, but even they couldn’t save such a script.

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.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy Jeremy RennerRoze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

I was pretty excited to watch this film, just the fact that Jason Bourne wasn’t involved, and how that was going to work. I had a lot of faith in this film since one of my favourite actors was cast as the main man. Jeremy Renner coming off four major films, The Hurt Locker, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Town and The Avengers, all of which are amazing films, seemed like the perfect person to play Aaron Cross, and he was, but the film itself was quite a let down.

It was always going to be hard to incorporate Aaron Cross into the Bourne series, and the story alone is smart and convincing enough for Jeremy Renner to enter the world of Jason Bourne, but the film told the story in an inefficient and dis-jointed manner, it needed more flow for audiences to get a grasp of what was happening. After the first 45 minutes, which were very tedious due to its slow pace, the film really kicked to life and gave Aaron Cross a purpose. The action sequences were engaging and exciting, but overall lacked the intensity and tension that the previous films provided. The ending didn’t really conclude on anything which made it seem a little bit pointless, but maybe that was the intention to illustrate some unfinished business. Another thought walking away from the film was that it felt like a very thin plot, compared to the previous films which were very complex and interesting, it felt too much like an origin story without the aftermath. For this film to be as satisfying as its predecessors, it needed a compressed beginning and an extra hour of Aaron Cross bringing hell to Blackbire, alternative government programs and the pharmaceutical industry.

This film really needed to be longer to include more action, but more evidently it needed the previous director of the Bourne series to give it the TRUE atmosphere and intensity it needed, which could have been the difference between another classic and this. But as a Bourne fan, I am hoping that Jeremy Renner can have another go with a more vengeful and determined Aaron Cross joining the war against the corrupt government programs.

What did you think of the new Bourne actor Jeremy Renner? Would you guys be up for a sequel with both Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne? And what did you think of the introduction of Aaron Cross, do you think they should have finished at The Bourne Ultimatum?

Total Recall (2012)

colin-farrell-total-recallRoze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

This film is a remake of the same titled 1990 version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which achieved raving reviews. I haven’t seen the original version but from research the remake covers most of the events which take place in the original, except for a significant mars scene. The remake also focuses more on the political side of the story. It takes place at the end of the 21st century after a nuclear war had broken out affecting almost the whole earth, leaving only “The United Federation of Britain (UFB)” and “The Colony”. This nuclear outbreak prompted the governments to build a gravitational elevator which transports people from one side of the earth to the other, so that workers can be used within the UFB. One worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), is extremely unhappy with his life, despite having a loving wife, he still seeks a way to escape his lifestyle and live his dreams, motivating himself even more to visit “Rekall”; a solution for his problem. The procedure goes terribly wrong and Quaid finds himself in a world that he may regret wishing for.

This film suffers from being a remake, which explains a lot of the negativity surrounding it. If its predecessor never existed then this would be a pretty solid but regular blockbuster film, which is why I have rated it “3.5 / 5″, which could rightly be a lot different had I watched the original. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed a few aspects of the film, which I can safely assume improved upon the original, such as the special effects, action and filming.

The special effects helped create a whole new world which was quite frankly awesome to look at, it truly looked like a post apocalyptic world, with seemingly floating buildings and magnetic cars moving with no wheels. The fact that they could create the look of this fictional setting with a genuine slum tone and a coherent style was magic to my eyes. This aspect of the film, ultimately sets up the rest of the film in terms of action sequences and atmosphere.

The action was easily the best part of this film, making it a lot of fun to watch since it wasn’t your typical gun fight, fist fight or human fight. The war zones were infested with robot killers and people dressed in robot looking gear which you could instantly tell was going to be unique compared to your average blockbuster. The best scene will have to be the elevator scene, giving it a real comic sensation, where your getting main characters switching from elevator to elevator trying not to get crushed. The main cast were exceptional with their action sequences, especially Kate Beckinsale, who has proved time and time again that she can take on gritty action chick characters from her roles in “Underworld”.

Aiding the relentless action was the sharp camera work and it’s movement, which gave it a futuristic look. This was appropriate since the contraption Quain used seemed very video game like, and that’s exactly how the film felt. For instance the way the camera would quickly sway from one kill to the other and the zero gravity action scenes. It made the sequences a lot more exciting and engaging to watch.

The plot is very complex and it leaves a lot of room for an elaborate psychological game to inhabit the film and it’s characters as well as the audience. The reason for this is because I found that I was constantly second-guessing myself after a certain event would take place, and I went from one opinion to another then back again. If done correctly this would have been a pretty great film, but they were extremely safe with it. The dialogue was too literal, and you found yourself listening to a character practically explaining every single significant occurrence which affected the storyline. This made it a lot easier to understand, but it wasn’t subtle or mysterious and took away a lot of the fun that could have come with it. It also felt unrealistic as characters would spend quite awhile just explaining. A clear example of this would be at the start with Kate Beckinsale’s character, when she confronts Quiad, which didn’t make sense anyway.

A lot of potential was lost with that one little lost opportunity, but other than that better than average blockbuster Sci-Fi flick, with top quality action. Popcorn stuff.