Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sorry, TV Shows Ate My Homework

My apologies for not having posted much recently. First of all, I've been rather movie deprived (the only thing I've watched since Defiance is 12, a Russian remake of 12 Angry Men, which was very good, very interesting. I've always really liked 12 Angry Men, both the movie and the play). Second of all, my computer has been rather cranky lately, so much so, that I'm probably going to lose it for a few days next week to get the hard drive wiped. Third of all, I've been lost in television. As you may have noticed, I obsessed over True Blood and now that I'm caught up I've been focusing on the other series I picked up around the same time, How I Met Your Mother. I have also been revisiting Battlestar Galactica by sharing it with my mother (we do this; she gave me Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and James Bond and in return, I gave her Harry Potter, Cowboy Bebop, and Battlestar Galactica). So television has been ruling my life moreso than movies lately (plus, movies in theatres at the moment bore me. PLEASE let Funny People be good. I really want it to be good when it comes out this weekend).

Since I caught up with True Blood and, sadly, shifted focus to How I Met Your Mother, I have become intensely focused on the sitcom. It is very good. I am starting to trust television to actually be good sometimes again. I'm actually following more than five shows! I had to make a list to actually remember which shows I am watching (although I left off 10 Things I Hate About You. To make up for the fact that I actually watched the first three episodes as they aired, I missed tonight's. Yippee! I am mildly ashamed I am watching it, if you couldn't tell). Mind you, most of the shows I am watching are currently not airing as it is summer. And Chuck doesn't come back until March, which blows. But HIMYM is great. And Neil Patrick Harris is great. I am this much more intent on watching the Emmys this year (this is a challenge as I will be at college where we do not have cable in the dorms which wasn't a problem before but now I find it to be rather suck). I want to see him host. I'd also like to see him win.

I am one episode away from finishing season three and then... dun dun dun! Only one season left before I am caught up. I should be doing reading for school (I had been doing such a good job, then I started watching television) but, come on, books for a class called Narratives of Suffering are not as uplifting as laughing at HIMYM. Sitcoms that make me laugh... I missed that.

So again, my apologies for the lack of updates. Also for the probable lack of updates in the near future. Especially since shortly after my darling laptop will be wiped, I will be leaving the country for a weekish-long trip. And then I'll be back at school a bit after that. Oh summer, where art thou? At least when summer ends I will be that much closer to Nine, Sherlock Holmes, and Oscar-Bait Season. And most of my darling shows will be back on the air. Hurrah!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vampiric Highlights

Okay I think I've decided that I do indeed like True Blood, a lot. And it's all thanks to Eric, ripping up a human asshole... with the foil from getting highlights in his hair still in. I find it absolutely wonderful that Eric was in the middle of getting his gorgey vampire blonde hair highlighted and was like "I think I'm going to go down to my creepy dungeon/basement place and see some human scum." I just hope he didn't ruin his highlights with all the blood, poor Lafayette watching from the shadows getting blood splattered on his face...

Other points/questions from the season two premiere which I watched last night: WTF IS Maryann? And isn't it at least a little creepy how she just had sex with some random seventeen-year-old robber? I also look greatly forward to Jessica's girl's night out with Sookie. And I could continue to ramble, but there's no real point. I just wanted to comment on how BADASS Eric is. I sortakinda love him just for those last couple minutes.

Also, currently watching Defiance. It's nice seeing Daniel Craig play NOT-Bond because he's an excellent actor but I do not like him as James Bond. Liev Schreiber's awesome. Aaand now I'm going to pay attention. Also, my blog is reacting really slowly to my typing so signing off. Gonna go watch some WW2 Jews kick ass.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Re: True Blood

Okay, maybe I just misheard my friend, because there was definitely just some graveyard sex, however, there was no digging up corpses for sex. Just a little clarification I thought might be necessary. >.>

True Blood

I am a legit fan of opening credits for television series. It's always exciting to see some sort of (hopefully) professional mash-up to give a hint as to what the series is about, the characters in it, the recaps (I also like recaps and "next week on" segments... it's no shock that I am one of those people who hates missing movie previews), and on and on. When I recently started watching True Blood (currently at the start of episode 8), the opening credits were really something. These opening credits are awesome. No, they don't introduce us to the characters or give us a recap, but they give it such a feel in so many creepy yet intriguing ways (the way the entire series plays out for me). From the snake curled up and hissing to the one scruffy dude leaning back and forward in his rocking chair, the clips are just so intriguing. None more so to me than every time I see the one part that strikes a chord more so than any other part: when we see some surely 15-year-old girl grinding her ass into some middle-aged redneck. It's absolutely horrifying to watch, and every episode as I see the opening credits roll, I watch out for that part, watching the sad movements of this desperate-looking girl and this lecherous guy eying her as she, in all her way-too-much-eyeliner glory, rubs up against him like that's all she can do. Granted, all the clips are incredibly fascinating to watch, and the opening credits of True Blood are honestly one of my favourite parts of the show (granted, I like most of it, save Jason Stackhouse whose character annoys me more and more every episode in all his useless drug-and-sex-addicted assholery).

Here are the opening credits for any who have no idea what I'm rambling on about. Regardless, the show itself has really drawn my attention. I started watching, hesitant, because one friend described it to me as just a bunch of people digging up graves to have sex with corpses (none of which I've seen so far, but I'm only so far in), but got hooked pretty quickly. Minor (first season) Spoiler: you KNOW I was waiting desperately for Sookie and Bill to finally hook up and it was glorious when it happened, so much more enjoyable to watch than all of Jason's hookups... it got boring to watch him have sex really quickly but it just KEEPS HAPPENING STOP SHOWING IT... anyway... I'm totally annoyingly about pairings in series and if it works, it works. I find one or two OTPs (one true pair) in most shows I watch and I CLING to them (i.e. I will never get over Mohinder/Eden from season one of Heroes, I stood by Kara/Lee throughout all of Battlestar Galactica, etc.)

Anyway, as I was saying, True Blood has turned out to be good so far. As I was telling my friend, it's like if Twilight was any good. It has this same sort of forbidden romance appeal, but the characters are actually actual characters and well-rounded and vampire lore actually applies and if Sookie had caught Bill watching her sleep (before properly getting together and all) she would have been pissed. I feel bad comparing True Blood to Twilight though, because the former is actually good, but they do share certain similarities (even though it hasn't been said yet, I'm pretty sure Sookie's other suitor, Sam, is a shape-shifter). Also, forget Edward freakin' Cullen (god I hate him), I would much prefer Bill Compton any day (on top of being attractive and a gentleman, he has a personality, which is always a plus).

End point: the opening credits are fascinating to me and the show itself is totally addicting. Why else would I be up at 5am blogging about it while having episode 8 currently paused? Alright, enough writing, I got to get back to seeing what's up in Bon Temps. x)

Monday, July 20, 2009


Oh right! Maybe I can enjoy dramas. Because I now recall that I also recently viewed a very good Dutch film, the 1998 winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, Character. I paid attention to the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although, I tend to pay far more attention to foreign films because I can't focus elsewhere because I have to read subtitles.

Regardless, I think this just means that the "adult dramas" I have viewed lately are boring or just not that great (apologies to Last Chance Harvey, Pride and Glory, and Public Enemies).

Anyway, Character. My mother and father viewed it before me (we all share a lovely Netflix account which means that movies rot in front of our TV because my parents are workaholics and I sneakily move my film choices up the queue but then my parents want to watch the same movies... so the movies still rot) after it had been sitting in front of our television for at least two weeks, and my mother cryptically ranted "if only he hadn't kept visiting his father." And I think to myself, "what, is his father a gangster? Is he rebelling but failing? Dude, no matter how shit their parents are, some kids just get attached." But my mother has this thing where she actually expects characters to be perfect. Watching Battlestar Galactica with her is a pain in the ass. I love her, but characters are flawed.

As is Jacob, our protagonist. Majorly flawed, but who can blame the kid? (Mind the following spoilers if you haven't seen the film.) He was raised by a mother who didn't care and was the illegitimate son of a prick whom he was indebted to. If he and his mother got along better, I'd totally call this a Oedipus complex (he rivals his daddy lots, physically fighting toward the end. It was awesome seeing this adorable little lawyer beating up his big, buff bailiff daddy). I, for one, thoroughly enjoy flawed characters, ones who have these major problems that they just can't fix. They're interesting, not to mention well-rounded and sensibly-crafted. Jacob can't help but try to tell his father, "despite all the shit you put me through and the way that you weren't there, I STILL WON."

And considering how he got a rather happy ending (aside from the not-to-die-for-in-attractiveness-but-mildly-pretty Miss Le George getting married and strolling about with her baby) and was discovered to be innocent of his father's death, I really don't see how it was such a bad thing that he kept going back to visit his father. Of course he did! Sure, he shouldn't have nearly killed him, but characters don't do what they should; they do what is in character.

James Bond is a majorly flawed character (he's essentially a boozing, womanizing assassin, but he works for the good guys). Pretty much all superheroes are massively flawed, all the best protagonists are. Even Harry Potter, for all his ridiculous Chosen One skills is still a whiny angst-ridden emo/i-miss-my-mommy-and-daddy kid. Even my mother's beloved Bill Adama and Laura Roslin have definite issues.

So I switched topics a little bit, from my issues with focusing on dramas to characterization (something that frustrates me when it isn't done right... I'm looking at you, Heroes, for shitting on your original concept of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and making it into this-character-does-this-because-we-want-them-to... lezzie!Claire is not going to help your show's issues), but I'll conclude with this: Character was a great film featuring a fascinating and well-portrayed (and fairly attractive) protagonist. Maybe I just need to watch more foreign films. I've met very few foriegn films I haven't liked. Granted, Yo-Yo Girl Cop was more ridiculous than good... but it was still fun to see Japanese school girls trying to kill each other with yo-yos.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Stroll Down (Movie) Memory Lane: Rashomon and Do the Right Thing

Isn't one of the most fun parts about watching movies seeing how they unfold? No matter if it's a romantic movie or an actual mystery, a horror film or a dramedy, there is a want for some sort of resolution. That doesn't mean everyone needs to have a happy ending, of course, or even a proper ending. As much as the "end" of Broken Flowers, as uninformative and useless as it is, frustrates me, it's still some sort of end as we see Billy Murray knocking on the door; presumably there is an ending beyond the "ending" we see. Although many movies refuse to find resolution, very few dare to take the Rashomon step and absolutely refuse to endorse any ending to the story. Part of me is very glad of this, as I am a huge fan of endings. I am one of those people who totally did not mind in the LEAST the zillion endings of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. But then, I'd also be lying if I said I did not genuinely enjoy the twister that is Rashomon.

Possibly incomparable, I also think that Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing is, in many ways, lacking resolution. Sure, it ends, life goes on beyond the deeds of that day in the movie, but there is, once again, never a real endorsement for any character's path. They all tried to do the "right thing" and audience members walk away differing in their opinion as to who did the right thing (at least, kids in my film class definitely had varied opinions) or if anybody did at all or even if they intended to or not. But without going beyond any knowledge aside from having watched the film itself, I would make a guess that that is part of the film's premise, not telling us who is right or who is wrong.

But am I saying that Akira Kurosawa and Spike Lee are soulmates? Hardly, especially since this bizarre lack of commentary is used in different ways by the two films. The story within Rashomon is never resolved, but there is a clear story in Do the Right Thing, rather, it's the meaning of the actions, not the actions themselves that are difficult to discern.

Is this making any sense? Perhaps not. I was simply revisiting my old film journals from my History and Aesthetics of Film class from last fall and, although I have thought about this before, I was really bringing it back. This isn't to say that there aren't other films that behave in this way, as I'm sure I've seen plenty, but these are two films that stick with me with their "messages" that aren't the typical message, telling us that sometimes you can't resolve things, sometimes it's impossible to figure out who did the right thing or who is telling the truth, and there is a great beauty in that that I deeply appreciate in both films.

To maybe help make some more sense, here are excerpts from my original film journals for the two films. The parts cut out, about half of each journal, have to do with the visual style (it was a class about the history and aesthetics of film) of each film, which isn't really pertinent to the subject at hand.


"Plot-wise, from the very beginning, we are told that this is an unsolvable tale, but like the man listening in, we too believe we can determine the truth of it all. So we, like the man on screen, hear the four different tales. But how can we know which one is true? Do any of them have any truer elements than the others? They all share common aspects: the same characters, the same location, the same props and costumes, and sometimes similar or the same dialogue. From the bits of evidence we have, shouldn’t we be able to deduct who is telling the truth and who is lying? But then, how could we? There is nothing more honest in one of the stories than the other and none of the characters is painted as trustworthy. Like the listening man, we are left disappointed in our inability to solve the mystery in the end, and like the depressed monk, we too are left with a little less faith in humanity. But the epilogue was a comfort, and although the mystery remains unsolved, that doesn’t mean every mystery cannot be solved or that every person is untrustworthy."

and then here we have...

Do the Right Thing:

The title of the film is perfect as it is near impossible to really say that anybody did the right thing. Maybe the audience ought to do the right thing rather than any of the things we saw the characters do. Or maybe each character thought they were doing the right thing. Nobody really wanted trouble, but they all seemed to find it unavoidable throughout the day. Sal was trying to do the right thing by serving the neighborhood. Buggin’ Out thought he was doing the right thing by protesting the hall of fame, which he saw as racist. Mookie thought he was doing the right thing by enacting some kind of revenge on Sal’s for the atrocity of Radio Raheem’s death. Nobody really tried to do things wrong. But people don’t really know what the right thing to do is. They just try.

Pride and... Ooh, shiny!

Is my taste in movies suddenly bad? Did I acquire ADD recently or something? My prior concern about not being able to pay attention during adult dramas/slow-moving movies reared its ugly head yet again as I sit down to watch Pride and Glory. By sort of paying attention, I gleaned that it wasn't a bad movie, boasting albeit not a strikingly original or amazingly interesting plot but still something good and moving (the theme of loyalty is always an interesting one in crime dramas; although it's definitely been done better, the double bonds of family and police are interesting to watch). But once again, I just couldn't focus. Even after Colin Farrell's character threatens to iron a baby's face I still couldn't pay full attention. I did a little laugh toward the end as Edward Norton confronted Colin Farrell in a bar called Irish Eyes, however.

And the ending in its entirety was good. Getting there was a bit boring at times, but overall the movie was decent, the acting good, and my attention span coming and going. How bad was my attention span? I started twittering in the middle of the movie (they were some interesting tweets though, if I may say so myself). And I played a bunch of Solitaire and Scrabble during the movie too.

Granted, it's always harder to pay attention to DVDs than in movie theatres, and with a laptop right next to me... the temptation to check "hmmmm so how many times DOES the word fuck appear in this movie anyhow?" is difficult to resist (291 times for those interested to know). This is a recurring problem lately and I'm not sure if it's me, summer, or the movies. I'm going to have to find some sort of undeniably brilliant and captivating drama to experiment with this. Recommendations?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Actually Liked a Harry Potter Movie! (this is big)

So it deviates from the book. What else is new with the Harry Potter movies? Since it's been a decently long time since I've read the books, I didn't freak out at any of the changes. And because of this, I actually got to enjoy this Harry Potter movie. Although, I have to say, the Harry/Ginny romance was frustratingly tame. What happened to the snogging in the book? It's not like they get to see each other AT ALL during the next book, so you can't be holding off any epic snogging for that. My only other complaint is that the Snape/Harry tension wasn't revisited properly. Considering it is so important in this installment, I am surprised at how few chances Harry and Snape got to seethe at each other. I've always been disappointed by the lessons being left out in the movies, but that's understandable as they would get boring and repetitive. But a couple Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons, or at least one, would have helped to cement Snape and Harry's hatred for each other, which would have made the final chase much more dramatic. Harry's confrontation with Snape at the end of the movie lacked the same passion and drama it had in the book.

But that's really my major complaint. Although the burning burrow scene was a bit useless and ridiculous, there's no reason for me to be upset about it. Considering how much Weasley subplot they've cut out and how we're not seeing any wedding there since Bill never appeared and Fleur's been absent since forever, why not burn the place down? So whatever, I don't give a rat's ass about that scene. It wasn't particularly productive, but it was a nice moment of drama, so I can't really complain. I've given up being a Book Purist. So long as it's good and keeps the general story alive while being entertaining and doing it well, I'm happy. And I think HBP: The Movie did a pretty good job of that.

Mind you, my friend and I spent half the movie making sex jokes. I blame it all on a friend of mine who, once upon a time, spent ages trying to convince me that Harry was in love with Draco based on the happenings of Half-Blood Prince, as Harry obsesses over Draco. It's all her fault.

But all in all, the movie was shot very well. The special effects were brilliant, and the acting was good. Honestly, this is the movie I think the kid actors finally hit their stride in. For the first time, I was not distracted by Emma Watson's eyebrows! In every other Harry Potter movie, her eyebrows are a massive distraction for me, but I didn't notice them this time, so either I didn't pay very close attention (I'll rewatch the movie and keep you posted) or else she actually started acting without them. MAJOR kudos to her if she stopped abusing her (lovely) eyebrows. Daniel Radcliffe, whose acting pissed me off in Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix (but that one's not his fault; Harry is OBNOXIOUS in OotP), did a good job this time. The Felix Felicis scene was pretty darn awesome, I have to say.

So overall, for once, I was genuinely pleased by a Harry Potter movie. It isn't the book in the least and I definitely like the books far more than the movies, but I enjoyed the movie and would deem it a job well done. Hardly OSCAR-worthy, as some critic baffled me to say (maybe save the effects, of course), but good. I could nitpick for ages, but that'd be useless. Good work. You finally got me, Warner Bros.

Also: HOLY SHIT @ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's gross revenue thus far. It ALREADY broke $100 mil!? I mean, that's worldwide, but still... oh no, don't tell me The Dark Knight's records are going to go bye-bye this soon. D:

High five Titanic

As another film bound to make hundreds of millions of dollars bounces into theatres (read: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which I will be viewing later tonight at the darling drive-in), I've been prompted to renew my constant visits to Wikipedia to check out the top grossing films (both adjusted for inflation and not) and think to myself that Titanic has some major skills considering the names of movies on the list. Every movie, save Titanic, in the top ten is a sequel or based off of a wildly popular franchise (it warms my heart to see Twilight NOT on the lists). This is worldwide before inflation. High fives to Titanic for being so wildly popular without a whizzbang "HEY THIS IS THE SEQUEL/ADAPTATION OF THAT REALLY POPULAR MOVIE/BOOK!!!!" Granted, I love The Dark Knight and the Lord of the Rings movies and they are spectacular, but I'm not entirely sure they, like many other wildly successful films these days, would have been so financially successful without being based on a predecessor of some variety.

It's always nice to see a movie like The Hangover do so well based off of its merits (that doesn't mean it has to be spectacular; although I liked The Hangover plenty, I've liked many a film more, but there is clearly something in it that appeals to audiences, the circumstantial humour, the "holyshit" element, and etc.) rather than due to it being based off of some franchise (a la Transformers 2 or Ice Age 3). Granted, keeping that in mind, it's no surprise there's a sequel for The Hangover in the works. God forbid a sequel ever materializes from Titanic.

But I shouldn't complain too hard. If not for sequels, there would've have been any Dark Knight, Empire Strikes Back, Godfather Part II. But then we also wouldn't have any of those lametastic direct-to-dvd Disney sequels. Or High School Musical sequels. Also, I was totally rooting for The Dark Knight to do majorly amazing last year. >.>

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Television Blah Blah Blah

Considering that I don't watch much television, it's no surprise that I care very little about the Emmy Awards. That is, I did until I realized that I will actually be very sad if my beloved Battlestar Galactica and Chuck are snubbed, especially BSG since it has been routinely snubbed.

This frustration plagued me today as I tried to explain to a friend of mine and her friend why they should watch Battlestar Galactica (as I do to many people, as I have done about several things in the past... like Heroes, back when it was good) and her friend was gracious enough to actually allow me to attempt to describe the premise (which, I admit, I didn't do with flying colours; it is so hard to make the show sound as un-sci-fi as it actually is). This reluctance is something I understand. It took me a long time to give in to urgings to watch House and Mad Men and I watch most other TV shows for various other reasons (I started watching Gilmore Girls due to the ABC Family reruns, Heroes for Milo Ventimiglia's beauty, Chuck because it was on before Heroes, Battlestar Galactica because drunk guys in a neighboring dorm watched it frequently which piqued my curiosity, and Gossip Girl because I was turned on to What Chuck Wore... and I am a twisted soul) but I admit that I rarely watch TV because people recommend it to me directly.

Is it futile to recommend things to others? I know that my recommendations to friends often fall on deaf ears. Or, occasionally, my pushing can lead to overhype, as my roommate refuses to watch the second half of The Departed because I had "hyped it up" too much and she wasn't that impressed by the first half. But then again, I have successfully convinced a few people, namely my mother, into trying these new things. Yes, you say, it's my mother, you say, she'd do anything for me, you say, but it takes at least minimal interest to read through the seven Harry Potter books, sit through Cowboy Bebop and the first three seasons of Battlestar Galactica. Plus, it was by her free will that she started watching Chuck when I watched the DVRed episodes. I have convinced an unfortunate amount of friends to watch Heroes... if only I could transfer that poor faith into a show with real quality, like Chuck or BSG. I apologize, my friends, I never knew it would go so sour after such an excellent start.

But back to the Emmys, which I started to post on. Since I have started concerning myself with them all of a few days ago, I have heard just how lame they are and unoriginal and on about how they don't feature excellence (I admit, I was surprised to hear The Wire, highly praised by every other member in my family including my elder brother, a film major/film buff whose taste in music I disagree with (he likes RAP) but his eye is better than his ear, had never been nominated. I don't know much about it except that it is supposedly AMAZING). So no wonder a show as wonderfully deep, action-packed, thrilling, smart, and acclaimed as BSG won't be noticed. But there's hope yet for my beloved Chuck, which hit an amazing stride in its second season. Yes, the first season was a great start, but the second season... SO good, especially as it moves on.

But if what I've heard about the Emmys is right, Chuck has no hope, and I'll just have to hear more nominations for shows that have never interested me enough to watch or even read about them, much less consider them the best of TV. But then, considering that most television is crap (sure, my friend whose interests include fat people might enjoy Dance Your Ass Off, but I could care less), I can see how it's easy to pounce on anything half-decent. I can also see how hard it is to convince anyone that this or that show is particularly amazing. I know I rarely react, especially to my dozens of friends who are Dr. Who addicts (including my dear roommate), so why should anyone else?

Oh, right, because BSG is totally amazing. x)

And March 2010 and the return of Chuck is SO FAR AWAY.

The only bright side? Mad Men returns next month! I'd feel a lot better if I knew the actual return date though...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sell Me Your Movie!

I have been really impatient with slow-moving movies lately. Normally, movies that take their time interest me more, but I just finished "watching" Last Chance Harvey, for instance, and I just couldn't focus in on it. I kept getting distracted and playing Solitaire. I could try blaming the movie, but I blame myself more so; I just didn't have the patience to watch Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson dance around each other. It felt so much longer than an hour and a half to get through.

But reasonably trying to focus in on the movie itself, it was a cute little ride with good performances from both of the veteran actors. Overall, however, I think that I can't take all the credit for being easily distracted. In my experience, movies have to give me a reason to be interested and quickly. It's fine to go slow, but you have to grab me first and make me willing to take my time. Whether it is with a stunning transformation of space and time (this is how I don't mind at all how long Lord of the Rings is; I just feel so transported and engrossed in the story) or with a smashbang start (I admit, I like movies that start in the middle of some action or some story) or even just with a few witty lines and already well-developed characters... in some way or another, something needs to convince me why I should be watching it, not assume that some Awesome Cast or some Famous Previous Works or some Based On A True Story will actually keep me interested. It'll keep me from leaving the theatre or turning off the movie, sure, but that's because I almost always finish what I start (save the first time I tried to watch The Notebook; turned it off half an hour in due to boredom).

Not that Last Chance Harvey was hardly an example of a poor movie or a movie without the ability to grab me. This is where I fault my impatience. But other movies (i.e. Public Enemies, for instance) lack the conviction that convinces me I should be watching this. Why yes, Johnny Depp does look fabulous in 1930s garb, why yes Christian Bale's character is a smooth copper, why yes Marion Cotillard is purdy, but why the hell should I care about any of this? Oh right, you told me that John Dillinger was an awesometastic criminal. Why don't I believe you? Oh right, because you haven't really shown me why. Yawn, yawn, in the words of one of the fellow movie-goers leaving the theatre "let's go get wasted." It would be more action-packed at least.

But alas, my criticism of Public Enemies rears it's ugly head once again. I do need to see that film again to get a fully rounded opinion of it, but the first time was enough to tell me that it didn't win me over and I doubt it would the second time (although kudos to the cast and the excellent costumes and art direction for their effort).

Anyway, my point is simply that, especially in this era of instant gratification of internet, I need more conviction. At least In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, for being one of the worst movies I've ever seen, somehow believes deep down that it is awesome and deserves to be watched. It's wrong, but at least it tries to convince me. Prove your movie is worth my time! But then again, why should they have to, after all? Considering that people pay money to see a lot of shitty movies, I can't say I blame Hollywood for skimming on the conviction.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Away We Gooooooo

Tonight's viewing pleasure before a whirlwind adventure of a night (that has little to do with movies except for the constant "we're totally in a horror movie! okay, so, who's a virgin? yeah, you're going to die first" and etc. bullshit) turned out to be... dundundun... Away We Go!

Now, I was pretty reluctant to see this movie as I am a little sick of "oh lol we're so witteh" indies, and the Juno ripoff font didn't entice me much. But I was delightfully surprised. The movie was hardly what I would call great or amazing, but it was definitely good and had some priceless laugh out loud moments. Luckily, it didn't focus much on "we're the ideal losers" kind of scenario that bores me (if that makes any sense), but instead had an interesting journey to bring us on. It was like HGTV's House Hunters except with way more laughs, wilder characters, and less focus on the actual house. In fact, zero focus on the physical being of a house (until the end). It was "so adorable" so as to quote my fellow moviegoer. But it's true, cute/adorable are probably the best terms to use to describe it. The whole time, we're just rootin' for the kids to find somewhere and settle down with their happiness. Luckily, they do, although it's hardly a transformation. This is the part I generally like about "indies" - they're less about escapism and more about some sort of realistic journey. My typical problem with that? The "realistic journeys" often have slim to none I can relate to. But this was an interesting tale, nonetheless.

Anyway, overall, I enjoyed the movie, although it was hardly the most memorable or spectacular movie. But that's just fine by me. And the visit to Montreal? Dude, I so want to live there now! xD

Now I just gotta go see Bruno!

Twitter, Inception, And Tonight's Viewing Pleasure!

A) Check out my twitter for short tidbits that can't make it fully into blogposts. I know, I know, I refused to use twitter for the longest time, but it is cute. :D Plus, I feel less annoying updating that frequently over Facebook as I am expected to update my Twitter a zillion times.

B) I love how I have managed to make it into my personality as the go-to movie girl. If my friends have a movie related question to pose or something movie-esque to talk about, they go to me. I have gotten texts asking me what the title of a movie or the name of an actor is. They make me happy because I love talking about movies. Thanks to my darling friend Carley, who just alerted me to the new Christopher Nolan movie scheduled for next year, I checked out the Wikipedia page and got a brief glimpse.

Totally an Awesome Cast post, which she kindly enough pointed out. Leonardo DiCaprio is an amazing actor, for instance, but I admit that I am excited to see him work with a different visionary director than Martin Scorsese, which he certainly has a rapport with considering their extensive work together, but, again, it'll be nice to see him with someone like Christopher Nolan! Marion Cotillard has suddenly become a go-to actress for Awesome Casts, between Public Enemies (which, despite being rather mediocre of a movie, certainly has a good cast) and Nine (which I have become massively excited for), after her stunning Oscar-win last year (not to mention that she is beautiful). Ellen Page... well, we'll see. I honestly haven't seen her in too much aside from Juno (although, no lie, she was definitely good in Juno), but I am rather hesitant about Juno... I never liked all the major hype it got and, believe me, I am beyond sick of the "little Indie that could" stories. Unless we're talking legitimate, amazing indies like The Visitor. But onward! Cillian Murphy, I have to admit, I haven't seen much beyond the Nolan Batman series, but I loved him in the Batman movies, so I'm hoping for good stuff. And, of course, Ken Watanabe, always excellent. And, lastly, of course, Michael Caine. Because, in the stunning three Nolan films I've seen (yes, yes, I still need to watch Memento, don't harass me, I know), you gotta have Michael Caine.

Also, can we take a moment to absolutely love the premise? As quoted from Wikipedia: "Warner Bros describes Inception 'as a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind.'"

Now that sounds epic.

Oh snap. Hold the phone! I just went over to imdb.com and they told me that my dearly beloved Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also going to be in Inception! Hot damn, this really is an amazing cast. Not to mention that via imdb.com there is a suweet looking image of Nolan, DiCaprio, and Watanabe. They know this movie will be good. :D

C) Going out to the movies later. Unfortunately, there really isn't anything out just now that thrills me. Aside from Bruno, which just came out today. Which is one of the possible movies I will view. I will be sure to let you know how whatever movie I end up seeing today is. I need to get back on my game and view me some movies! That's what summer is for, isn't it? Gotta catch up on my work, here.

Oh and a PS: Let me express how glad I am that I Love You, Beth Cooper looks like it is tanking. Hayden Panetierre bores me. I really wish Claire on Heroes could die. Nooo instead, she's getting it on with ladies. Can the other lady have an Arthur Petrelli type power and steal her power so she can friggin DIE? /rant

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moar Movies To See

Okay, so that's a lie. There are other movies I want to see, I just don't have any bets on them being excellent, breathtaking, or maybe I just don't know that much about them. Either way, here are more movies I desire to see as they come out:

Taking Woodstock - I've heard it's not very great, but considering it was filmed in this area, I guess you can say I have an attachment to it. Plus, it just seems like it'd be a generally fun movie. Plus, I want to see if I can recognize any of the extras (they recruited at my school). It'll make me feel way hip and connected.

Bruno - It comes out tomorrow! It's going to be hilariously inappropriate and I will laugh. I like laughing. I still remember my documentary professor last semester, telling us that he was massively psyched for Bruno. After the stunt at the MTV movie awards (which were actually pretty entertaining save the fact that the actual awards were shit)... oh man. Being a lover of bizarre fashion (to an extent, I would never wear Bruno's clothes), I am excited. And inappropriate laughter. I love it all.

(500) Days of Summer - Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome and will do many a great thing. I rewatched 10 Things I Hate About You last night and considering that Brick is perhaps my favourite movie, I am feeling the JGL love right now. And Zooey Deschanel is also very cool. This movie sounds really sweet without intentionally being that way. And the dance number reminds me of Enchanted... in a good way.

The Hurt Locker - Not going to lie, I knew little about this until critics started raving about it. I don't watch much television, but I was watching recently and one commercial essentially commanded me to go see it. So, I suppose I will.

Julie & Julia - I missed all the Meryl Streep Is Amazing film history (I'll have to explore her filmography more extensively in the future), but I am in love with Amy Adams, and that the pair are together is awesome. I finally saw a preview at Public Enemies and it looked really adorable. And yummy. This is why I love Chocolat but can rarely rewatch it. It makes me crave chocolate so much.

Harry Potter 6 - Okay, I loved the Harry Potter books, not going to say they're the best things ever but they're good stories, but I've never been a big fan of the movies. They all feel lost between trying to be a Faithful Adaptation and Finding A New Voice. But I'll give 'em this - the previews always look AMAZING even if I've never been deeply in love with any of the movies.

The Ugly Truth - Another rom com sucks me in! But I can't help it, Gerard Butler's just too amazing for me to avoid. Also, Katherine Heigl is genuinely funny. I actually enjoyed 27 Dresses... to an extent. (Most) rom coms are only so good. I don't know that this movie will actually live up to be hilarious, but it could be, so I will probably give it a shot.

Funny People - This could either suck or be awesome. I am really hoping for the latter. I'd like to see Adam Sandler in a good movie again (You Don't Mess With the Zohan!? Bedtime Stories!?). Plus, I'd like to think that I trust Judd Apatow. We'll see.

Inglorious Basterds - Hilariously enough, as I was skimming old Entertainment Weekly magazines, I came across a note in a 2004 issue that made reference to Quentin Tarantino's long rumored "Inglorious Bastards project." Funny seeing it come to fruition five years later. I have no delusions this will be anything but what it's expected to be. But that doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable.

And there will be more as we get into the I Want An Oscar! season (aka: fall). But, for now, I'll settle for some not-top-notch quality movies. Who knows? They might even surprise me.


Let us take a moment to note just how bitchin' Nine looks! I have not seen the musical, as I have seen very few musicals live, but I just watched the trailer for the upcoming movie three times and am still in love with how it looks like it will turn out. Just note that amazingly awesome international Oscar-winning cast (save two; one is a nominee and the other is Fergie). Daniel Day-Lewis amongst many women, such as Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophia Lauren, Nicole Kidman, and Fergie, with FAB vocals over the trailer. The visuals are already stunning, and I just rewatched Chicago, so that this is being directed by the same guy, Rob Marshall, makes me enthusiastic (I had forgotten just how amazing the movie Chicago is).

I was lamenting over how few movies I was psyched for this coming fall season (also known as I Want An Oscar! season), but then I stumble into Nine, which I had heard about before but not ventured much into. But after seeing the trailer and obsessing over the cast... I'm excited.

And also, major props to Kate Hudson for doing a real movie again. It's been too long, Kate. Please, hang up the rom coms and do real movies. You were so good in Almost Famous! You're a past Oscar nominee! You deserve better. At least pick your rom coms better if you're going to do any.

And although I pay little to no attention to Fergie despite my respect for her as a good vocalist and performer (I just don't pay much attention on the music front), I am very excited to see her in Nine as well.

Last note: other movies this fall I'm excited for? Mostly Sherlock Holmes, which comes out on Christmas. Although Tim Burton-produced 9 looks very interesting and potentially good. I was almost excited for The Road since I started reading it and already really love it, but then I watched the preview and can't hide my displeasure at it looking rather mediocre. This is disappointing as Cormac McCarthy is a great author and No Country for Old Men was wicked good. Oh well. I'll just settle down and enjoy the book.

Final note, for reals: Where the fuck is the Academy going to find 10 Best Picture Nominees without any filler? BTWs, Academy, Star Trek and Up will be filler when you nominate them. They are both good, but we all know they have no chance of winning. The point of five nominees was that they all had a chance of winning... even if it is a slim to none chance like going up against Slumdog Millionaire. But my point is that if Slumdog Millionaire hadn't been the awards sweeper it was, the other four films would've had a chance (well, maybe not The Reader... but I'm still spiteful over the lack of The Dark Knight). I loved Up and really liked Star Trek, but let's not kid ourselves, unless every drama that comes out this year is total suck, neither of those films would ever win Best Picture.

So screw you Academy for another stupid decision. Oh and PLEASE bring back the clips. Seeing Tilda Swinton in another bag, Sophia Lauren with way too much makeup and boobage, and Whoopi Goldberg's unfortunate pattern choice talking about actors they may or may not know very well (which totally ruins it when one winner and nominee are paired perfectly and another are a total mismatch; completely unfair to the poor nominee that was mismatched!) is PAINFUL. I much prefer seeing the clips from movies that actually show us why these actors deserves an Oscar. Isn't that the point of movies? To be shown instead of told (something Public Enemies should have known better)?

And thus ends another longer-than-intended Sarah-rants/raves-about-movies segment.

Have a good night.

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXXIV

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From July 8, 2009:

"Okay, so, I don't watch a lot of TV (shows I view regularly are: House, Heroes, Mad Men, Chuck, and, yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it, Gossip Girl) but let me interject here once again by reminding the world that Battlestar Galactica is one of the best frakkin television shows ever, and definitely one of the best dramas. Now I have never really cared about the Emmys in the past because I don't watch much television, but let me reiterate a call Michael Slezak made on EW.com - frakkin nominate Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnel, and while we're at it, the entire show for some Emmys! Honestly, I'd also make a push for Tricia Helfer; I am always impressed by her ability to play all the Sixes and each of them with their own similar but distinct and fully rounded personalities. And if it was any season but the fourth, I'd also push for James Callis (Baltar was pretty lame in season 4, but astonishing in season 2, for instance - between the parts where he was stranded on Kobol to the Pegasus arc and all the way to his presidency bid, his character was fully realized in season 2).

But all in all, BSG is the best piece of television I've devoted myself to in a while. I don't get into a lot of TV shows because most of them are boring, repetitive, or only have so many good qualities. BSG, however, is excellently-written with a wonderful cast, not only with the leading members, but also with the secondary characters, from Laura Roslin herself all the way down to Doc Coddle, and everyone in-between, like Gaeta, the little favourite-character-turned-LEAST-favourite, but all done with such character... But where was I? Oh yes, and with the most original plot on television, even if it is based off of a previous series and shares similarities with every other space epic. But the way it twists and turns, always making sense, evolving and changing not to fit the writers' whims, but to fit what seems natural, that is in itself a characteristic too few television shows these days do.

Too many shows are afraid of change and stick to their formulatic tendencies. To an extent, that's enjoyable. House operates with its Patient Of The Week, Chuck has his Mission Of The Week, even BSG has its "oh we're out of food/air/water/sleep/fuel/etc. so we've got to find it ASAP" episodes. But each of these series also admirably took big risks, shaking up the formula. House just sent its main character off to rehab, for real. Now THAT is epic. Chuck lost the intersect... got it back... and learned kung-fu. WTF of AWESOME! BSG... gradually eliminated all the ways in which Cylons were inhuman, from turning them into humanoid form to making the girls get pregnant to destroying resurrection! Now isn't it cool when your enemy is suddenly not so different? (This is something I have to constantly remind my mother when she says that the Cylons are "evil.")

Anyway, without getting too plot heavy, my point is that BSG needs some frakkin love, Emmys/rest of the world. Watch it, love it, experience some of the best television ever.

But then again, what kind of hack am I? I watch Gossip Girl and cheer internally everytime Chuck and Blair share a scene. And I totally don't disagree with the random chick on EW.com who said Leighton Meester deserves some recognition (Blair is definitely the most interesting and fully realized character on the show. Also the wittiest. Scenes without her or Chuck suffer from being dreadfully boring at times).

Ahem. As I was saying, check out Battlestar Galactica, you frakkin morons, and understand why the frak I keep saying frak."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXXIII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From July 3, 2009:

"I also read through some old Entertainment Weekly magazines I found in the bathroom. Crazy shit reading about Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt divorcing and House's first season (and the planned Emmy push for Hugh Laurie) and Paradise Hotel (which I think I actually watched a few episodes of before my mother chided me for it, calling it "trash." But it was so entertaining!). Crazy shit, man.

Also, I found it totally hot that Bend It Like Beckham was on the Must List. Damn straight, EW!"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXXII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From June 30, 2009:

"I saw Up again. I cried at least on three, maybe four, occasions. Although it's not my favourite Pixar films because, as good as it is, it's no WALL-E/Toy Story, it definitely got to me more than probably any of those other films ever has. I mean, I cry during most movies I see, or at least tear up, if I like them at all, but I don't usually cry more than once or twice. Kudos, Up!

Speaking of movies, let me count how many people want to go see Public Enemies with me. Hmm... seven off of the top of my head. This will be interesting to actually make happen. BUT I AM PSYCHED. I am way excited to see that movie.

I was thinking yesterday, as I fled the house and my dramatically upset pissiness, about why I love movies, and I realize that it's for the same reasons as everyone else, really. I went to go see Up to escape my life, to thoroughly enjoy a good-looking, well-written story, and that's really why I see all movies, even the prestigious ones, even the bad ones, even the BAMF ones - I see them because I love getting lost in movies.

It's also really sad to think about too because there is this deep love I have for movies that is just so different than love I have for anything, or anyone, else. And when I'm not experiencing that, it's hard for me. It's like I suffer from withdrawal (isn't this just a wee bit pathetic when you think about it?). I have to see movies, and I particularly enjoy seeing new, amazing movies.

I admit, I am deeply upset that there is nothing like The Dark Knight coming soon to theatres. I was so excited for that movie and it was just so unbelievably amazingly awesome on so many levels (it satisfied my childhood Batman-fanatic geek, my Heath Ledger-loving soul, my Morgan-Freeman-Is-The-Awesomest-Badass-Ever side, my action-adventure love, my Deep-Yet-Not-Pretentious-Storyline obsession, and my fangirl like obsession with awesome filmmaking - the soundtrack! the editing! the cinematography! the sets!) and there isn't a movie quite like that this summer. Granted, I am hyping for Public Enemies like there is no tomorrow, but I know it won't be the same.

Regardless, I love movies, if you all didn't already know.

I rented a bunch recently. I watched The Forbidden Kingdom the other day and I liked it a lot. I remember the previews for it and I thought it looked wicked cool but I never got to see it in theatres (I admit, I was pushing for it on senior skip day, but nobody really cared and Liz was all like "NARNIA! NARNIA!" ...at least Ben Barnes is hot...) and I got to see it now and it was very cool. I'm returning to my action-adventure love, I think, especially since I also watched Hero today. It started with the English dub and I was like "uh, no" and went to setup to change it back to Mandarin.

Hero was awesome. It felt so Rashomon in the story-telling style, but with the action flair of the best martial arts films ever. And I loved Tony Leung in that movie. Everyone was great, but he always stands out to me when I see him (i.e. 2046, Infernal Affairs) for whatever reason. The art direction was fabulous, and although the moral of the story, the stance it takes, has a really frightening political meaning, there's a part of me that agrees with the idea that sometimes we do have to make sacrifices to have peace. Of course, this depends on the peace, and we don't want something like the third ending of Jade Empire (aka: totalitarianism and militaristically forced peace) to hold true, but fighting gets tiresome and not all battles are worth fighting.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I just thought I'd share my latest film feelings since, as I said, there is this inexplicable relationship between me and the movies, a bond that I feel so strongly, and that allows me to bore everyone with extensive movie-chatter.

But I hope y'all love me anyway.

Peace (the good sort)."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXXI

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From May 13, 2009:

"I think one of my favourite things about Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog is probably the tags. Sure, there are the ordinary tags like "American Idol 2009" and "The Biggest Loser" and whatever, but then there are the glorious tags such as "deals" (as in big deal, even though the rest of the world seems to have taken a cue from me and dropped the "big" part of that phrase... or maybe I'm just in tune with the world. WHO KNOWS?) and "Waiting" (doesn't it suck to get awesomely interesting information about upcoming projects and then... realize that the film/tv show/video game/book/etc. doesn't come out for weeks, months, or maybe even years?) and other more interesting tags such as "Things That Are Awesome!" and "Hello to the no!" and "I'm Just a Geek" and "The Bad Man Scares Me!" and "Cute Cat Videos!" (which was actually the subject of an entire post).

Did I mention that, aside from filmmaking, writing for Entertainment Weekly is essentially my dream job? Essentially, if I could just write about "and this is why Heroes was once awesome but now sucks" and about how I'll be very disappointed if Sherlock Holmes does not have a cocaine addiction in the upcoming movie mostly because a) the House wikipedia article told me he had one and b) because Guy Ritchie is directing it and therefore I expect some underworldly ongoings. I would also probably write about how I still have nightmares about Diablo Cody's get-up to the Oscars when she won for Juno but since she's a writer for EW I don't think they'd like that very much. And I need to work out a bit more before I can beat her in a fight.

So I totally think I have to start an entertainment themed blog this summer or else I'll die. Molly and Shellie and I will hopefully do it together because it won't work if I do it alone (how did "what claudia wore" get so popular anyway? I mean, it's wonderful, but many wonderful things remain undiscovered on the internet) and because Molly and Shellie are also wonderfully entertainment-friendly people with whom I hope to write many a review for the Bard Free Press next semester. :D

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my joy of EW's wonderful tags with you all. Also insert a couple flails over the House season finale (flailflailflail). Now to go back to reading about how violent video games are badbadbad."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXX

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From April 28, 2009:

"It's over. I'm done. I FINISHED IT.

I don't think that I'm ever going to watch something like Battlestar Galactica ever again. I also don't think I've ever seen a better television show. And, Spoiler Alert!, I'm also incredibly upset that Lee and Kara never got the happy ending they deserved so much. I mean, seriously, despite everything else, there was always them. Even when they had their separate spouses, there was still something there. And once they didn't anymore, they deserved to be together. They deserved it so much. On the bright side, Gaius and Six got back together and Helo survived to be with Athena and Hera. Yes, I am so lame that I care so much about these pairings. But considering the need for the survival of the human race and the character bonds that formed over the show, this was necessarily deserved. I so totally cried when Roslin died, when Kara just vanished in mid-air. Kara's goodbye to Sam. Sam as the hybrid... it was unexpected but so fitting, really. But I'm not sure how I felt about the last ending so much. I mean, the first part "omg, the original Eve" and "omg, it's us!" was cool, but the robotics was a bit much...

Well, overall, this was the best viewing experience I've ever had, I think. I'm so sad to be done, to have nothing left to experience, nothing that's quite the same at least. There's The Plan and Caprica and Razor, but it's not the same. It's not exactly what I fell in love with during the past several weeks, just remnants that will allow me to feel closer to this experience. There was many imperfections, but so much that just worked, and in its entirety, BSG is very near-perfect.

I need to sleep because I'm feeling sick, but I just wanted to make clear what an experience it was to watch that television series. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it, and to those that have, you can understand my strong feelings towards it. I am so glad I watched that series, so glad to have spent my time on it, and I look forward to rewatching it in the future. But it'll be like Cowboy Bebop, in a way. Also an amazing series... but knowing how it ends, and knowing that there are loose, unhappy ends involved, makes rewatching very hard despite the pleasure. Part of me never wants to watch it again, to just savour the experience.

We'll see when I actually have the time. I'll probably change my mind. But for now... I'm going to revel in the experience I've had. I'll worry about revisiting it later."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXIX

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

(**note: my opinions about Watchmen have shifted since this post. I liked it less the more I thought about it. Now I'd label it "okay, I sort of liked it, but not really that much.")

From March 8, 2009:

"Finally got to see it and just got back from the theatre.

The verdict?

I liked it. I really did like it. It is nowhere near as good or as resonating or as astounding as the graphic novel (not to build up the novel too much, despite my love for it), but it is certainly enjoyable. It's incredibly difficult, imo, to compress Watchmen into an under three hour film, but I think they managed pretty well. And, to be frank, it's kind of nice that I don't want to watch all the little things. They add so much into the graphic novels, all the smaller supporting characters, but when you're watching a movie, they're just distracting, so it is kind of nice that they were reduced... although I am a bit disappointed by the shortening of Rorschach's history. I thought the casting was all really good (Nixon's nose was really distracting though), the script was incredibly faithful to the novel, and I liked that the costumes were updated (I'm sorry, Ozymandias' costume, for one, would have been SO campy on screen... as would had everyone else's really). The music was generally cool but some of it was a bit weird. "Hallelujah" playing when Laurie and Dan get it on in Archie was really bizarre to me. But, overall, I thought it was good.

Of course, this is coming from the perspective of someone who has read the novel. I totally understand if people who have not read the novel, or who go in expecting it to be on par with the novel, don't like it, or even hate it. I saw it with two other people who had read the novel and two who haven't. Rachel, who hasn't read the graphic novel, hated it, for instance. There were a lot of little things that weren't really explained (Bubastis, for one) and just too much that couldn't be put on screen in a single movie that made it hard for non-fan viewers to really relate to it.

In the end, I think that, for fans who want a nice little complement to the graphic novel, who would like to see a film version that, while not as good, is still good enough to watch, Watchmen is the perfect creation. However, if you wanted to make a film that made the story more accessible to people who haven't read it, this isn't the best example (although it does a better job than, say, some of the Harry Potter films for explaining most things). If anything, I hope this prompts all fans who see it with their non-fan friends to say, like Jen insisted to Rachel, "well, read the graphic novel. It's better explained and just better overall."

I enjoyed it. I might not bother seeing it again in theatres, but I'll probably buy it when it comes out on DVD. I think it would be nice to watch when I'm just not feeling up to committing to rereading the graphic novel (it's like why I own the Harry Potter films... only, I like Watchmen the film better than the Harry Potter movies)."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXVIII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From February 26, 2009:

"So I was just writing my weekly report for Intro to Documentary Media and we're doing WW2 based propaganda films this week, so I just read comments by Andre Bazin on Why We Fight where he writes about the appeal of making documentaries based off of wars. Because of this, I thought it would be nifty if I wrote about the documentary No End In Sight as we are supposed to be watching a documentary a week outside of class (but not really; more like we're supposed to relate a documentary we've seen outside of class to the readings/discussions/other films we're watching) and write about said documentary. As it is about the Iraq War it certainly says something about the appeal of war-based documentaries, also the use of editing in No End in Sight is really poignant and it presents a particular viewpoint about from "hey guys, here's the Iraq War going on."

And then just as soon as I finished that and printed it out, I go to check my e-mail, and the Yahoo News story is: Iraq Withdrawl Gets Date.

This is weird because I said in my weekly report that there was still no end (I didn't add the "in sight" part because I knew that it was something Obama planned to work on, thank goodness). But what timing to have this announced at the same time I'm writing this!

Oh also I feel very proud; I did almost all of my documentary reading this week. I have all of it done except for the bit I have to read in one of our books I'm going to go do now; I just wanted to write my weekly report before I forgot about my idea. I just hope that my professor isn't like "well, ACTUALLY" about my comment on there being no end.

One more thing about documentary. So, today in our screening, we watched Listen to Britain and Triumph of the Will. The latter got kind of long and repetitive (its point, but as the Nazi regime isn't really one to be enthused about anymore, it got a little boring). So my film pal Molly and I ended up just fooling around 'cause the professor left at the beginning of the screening; staff meeting. There was this funny shot of this guy hanging on a pole during Hitler's visit to the Hitler Youth (I think that was the segment anyway) and Molly and I found this really funny and for some reason we started saying all these famous movie lines but adding pole at the end. Like, "I don't know how to quit you, pole!" and "You complete me, pole!" It was quite hilarious so we were laughing a lot. Also at the fact that Hitler's pants and belt, as well as most SS members, made his ass look really big. We also made up, based on the "awkward turtle" the "awkward German" where you do the awkward turtle, just where a moustache would grow (like Hitler's!) Then Molly was texting with her friend about the upcoming Spiderman the Musical and naming a bunch of funny song titles, and I started performing some of them. We found this all incredibly hilarious, including some other random stuff. And I couldn't control my laughter (I was really low on sleep last night), so I kept repeating, like "I know this isn't a comedy! But I can't stop laughing anyway!" Oh and I also had this awesome deja vu moment where I told Molly that I was writing in my notes about "check out the bitchin' Nazi flags!"

Anyway, I am not some idiot who would dare undermine the horrors that the Nazi party committed and all the shit that went down because of stuff like Triumph of the Will and the strength and power of Nazi Germany.

However, some lame kid in our class, disagreed.

After the screening ended, he came down to talk to me and Molly and he asked "You... you guys know that wasn't a comedy, right?" he said condescendingly. I gave him this look and responded with a "Yeah..." with a facial expression that said "duh." Apparently Molly has another class with him or else has heard more about him; apparently he's a douche; said he does a lot of playwriting and thinks he's the next Chekov. We bitched about him for a while until we parted. What a nosy little condescending bastard. Yeah, we're totally assholes who don't understand what that documentary was about or the impact of it and its featured star."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXVII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From February 25, 2009:


I am so mad at Hollywood right now for even considering remaking one of my all-time favourite movies!

Heroes spoiler: Unfortunately, my previous entry where I rejoiced over the death of Daphne was inaccurate... she's alive and around to make Matt as annoying as ever again. Ugh. Dammit. The latest episode wasn't as good as the first three were, but it was still better than Heroes has been. It felt like it was trying a bit too hard to relive Company Man but didn't have the same impact.

And life is life. Mostly I'm just still wtf-ing over remaking Clue.

Oh and the Oscars were good; for the first time ever I won at home (I won with 17 right out of 24; my brother and dad got 14 right and my mom got something below them)."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXVI

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From February 16, 2009:

"I am so unbelievably happy with Heroes this volume.

I mean, of course the plane crash at the beginning made us all think of Lost and there is some corny stuff going on (but that's always been in Heroes), but, really, the story is coherent, the characters are back to making sense, and reactions happen. Also, I like the new characters thus far.

Let me get a little more in-depth about what I'm loving so far this volume/half of the season. Watch out for some spoilers, of course.

1) Characterization. People are acting within their character. Nathan isn't a total asshole, but he's an asshole, and we're not relying on some stupid "GOD GAVE ME THIS MISSION" bullshit; he genuinely, and understandably, believes that people with abilities are dangerous. Claire is being a whiny bitch, but at her age (she's like 17), she's determined to show her independence and her strength (not just her special power). Sandra Bennet FINALLY got fed up with HRG and kicked him out of the house, which totally makes sense. And Sylar's little speech to miniSylar (Luke) this episode really reconnected us with the purpose of his character: he always has an objective. And yeah, he is a serial killer, although he does it with an objective in mind.

and speaking of miniSylar...

2) New characters: they're doing it better. I like miniSylar/Luke. He's real. He's cool. He's a fucking little punk, but that fits just fine. And he's the surrogate son that took Sylar's place, which actually makes their companionship sensical for a loner like Sylar (who, y'know, butchered Elle, his wooman, last volume). And Alex. Alex, who was introduced this episode. Already has my love. He has a useful ability, but it's really nothing special (like most abilities on Heroes, really; none of them are all too useful on their own save telekinesis, super strength, and the mind manipulation powers; Alex's is the ability to breathe underwater). He is also an adorable looking nerd. And I hope Claire sucks less enough to be worth getting another romantic interest; at least this one already knows her dad's after people like him and that she's not in league with them. Oh and the Hunter. The Hunter is a wonderful new character. I love his cold determination and his kind of extremeist take on Nathan's perspective. The new characters in this volume feel way more promising than last volume.

speaking of last volume's characters...

3) Cleaning Up the Cast. Daphne would have been a really cool character. Really. She was cool until she met Matt last season. The speedster! The perfect villain for Hiro! But no... she just became Matt's little girl. Totally boring and useless. She just made Matt really annoying, and I like Matt. I have to admit, I'm glad she's gone. After she got away from Hiro, she served such little purpose. Matt had more chemistry with the turtle. Really. And I'm glad to not see Maya around. And although I admit that I kinda miss Micah and Molly, I'm glad they're absent in the meantime. And Monica. Well, nobody seems to care about Monica. We haven't seen her since season 2. She had a pretty awesome power for being in such a shitty plotline. It'd be nice to see her back someday, so her mini-adventure in season 2 wasn't totally useless, but in the meantime, like the kids, I'm glad she's absent.

4) The Plot Is Good. This has been a problem for a while. The plot makes sense, for once, and there is one cohesive plot that ties all of the characters together. While they all have their own agendas and plans, there is this overwhelming evil that is constantly going after all of them. And there is a small group (Mohinder, Matt, and Peter, joining up to make their characters much more respectable and less annoying for the first time in a while) that is already focused on the main objective of fighting against this great evil. But there's a plot that affects everyone. Claire is sent to save Alex. The plot is the reason Sandra kicks HRG out. The plot is chasing after Sylar and keeping Tracy detained and et cetera et cetera. You get the point. There is this central elements whilst the characters go develop themselves. Hooray development!

All in all, there is a lot I can praise in the past three episodes alone that I couldn't do for the past season and a half. Don't get me wrong, there were some really awesome elements of volumes 2 and 3. Honestly, Hiro's journey to Japan was pretty cool. Long, too drawn-out, annoying, but cool. It developed his character. It introduced the awesomeness-that-I-dearly-miss that is Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei. But the overall plotline in season 2 was introduced too late and it just became annoying and rather stupid. I read somewhere, I think ew.com, that season 2 would have been way more effective if "Four Months Ago" had happened literally at the beginning of the season; it would have given it so much more direction and focus. And Elle was a pretty bitchin' character. I personally liked Bob, and the evolution of Angela into a bigger character was great.

But... we all know the horribleness. Arthur Petrelli. I think he's probably the worst villain I've seen on Heroes. I'm sorry, the whole Villains volume really sucked in my opinion. You had Mohinderfly in all his annoyingness. You had Maya just hanging around being even more useless than she had been in season 2. And just Arthur Petrelli... a horrible villain. A cool power... but a horrible villain. The shitty chemistry between Daphne and Matt. The ever so annoying Claire. The eclipse shit. Oh my god, I have to say, that may have been one of the stupidest things I'd ever heard of. GOD DAMMIT HEROES, UNDERSTAND CONTINUITY MUCH? Remember "Six Months Ago?" Remember how you introduced all these abilities MONTHS before the eclipse? How tons of heroes had abilities long before six months ago? The concept of the eclipse serving any purpose was really dumb. The only good part? Seeing the funny motions Elle and Sylar make when using their powers... but without seeing their powers!

And, y'know, seeing the ordinary-people-with-powers-you-never-wanted-to-see-with-powers is proving to be interesting. I enjoy the role reversal we're getting with Ando and Hiro. And now that Mohinder is not Mohinderfly, his powers are actually cool. Bah, he was a shitty scientist anyway.

One thing that really did it for me last volume? Peter running around like he uses guns all the freakin' time. Are you kidding me? Didn't he go to MEDICAL SCHOOL TO BECOME A NURSE? I was so glad to see him as a paramedic again.

And, of course, Arthur Petrelli. Arthur Petrelli, Arthur Petrelli, Arthur Petrelli. God, I hated his character. And the whole stupid "Sylar is Angela and Arthur's son" bit. I mean, it helped introduce to us Sylar's current goal of finding his real father, but aside from setting that up, it was just really annoying.

Actually, that's how I feel about all of last volume and most of season 2. It was shitty, but it helped set up where we are now in the show.

Let's hope that Heroes continues to get better and wins back some of its old, disillusioned fans. For those of you who are disillusioned old fans: if you liked season 1 but quit when you saw how crappy the following season and a half were, give it another shot. It's really getting back to being good, in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to next week. And I'm totally going to rewatch the three most recent episodes before next week; they were good. :D"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXV

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 23, 2009:

"Oh also, even though it's beyond a purpose now, I saw Revolutionary Road today. It was good, for sure, sporting some brilliant performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and the supporting cast. I can't decide if I would rank it higher or lower than The Reader though. I originally ranked it higher, but that's because I'm angry at The Reader for stealing The Dark Knight's spots in Best Pic, Director, and Adapted Screenplay. Also, Leo so should've gotten Brad Pitt's spot. I don't mind THAT much because Leo has garnered so many nominations and he will garner many more, but still, his performance was way more impressive than Pitt's."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXIV

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 23, 2009:

"Okay, so, I haven't seen all the films from 2008 (obviously) and I haven't even seen all the big name films. But I wanted to do this now anyway. I've been considering my list for a long while and I think I've finally come up with a proper top ten. I can't think of an order though so you're just going to get my top ten in alphabetical order. There were other good films, other great films either, and plenty of films I haven't had a chance to see yet and therefore have not made my list. But, anyway, enough of my blabbering, here's the list:

The Dark Knight
In Bruges
Iron Man
Man on Wire
Rachel Getting Married
Slumdog Millionaire
The Visitor

I also admit that unlike a lot of critics, I really liked Australia. If I had seen Waltz with Bashir yet I'd probably add it to this list, but I haven't. Role Models and Tropic Thunder were my favourite straight out comedies of the year, but I can't say I liked either of them as much as the ten on this list. I also liked Oscar-bait The Reader, Revolutionary Road, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but not nearly as much as these ten. To round out the other contenders I was considering, The Wrestler, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, and Wendy and Lucy were movies I considered. Oh and there are two extra honourable mentions of movies I saw at Woodstock that haven't been released yet so far as I know: Gospel Hill and The Prince of Broadway. I was SO SAD to be torn away from watching the latter to do actual volunteer work. (I also saw Wendy and Lucy at Woodstock, but that has been released some places, and will be here before long, also it was screened at my school since Kelly Reichardt is a professor at Bard, so it wasn't difficult for me to catch.)

Anyway, there you go. There's my unpolished movie-fanatic opinion. Wonderful, isn't it?

(note how I snubbed two Best Pic noms. SHAME I DON'T HOLD THE WEIGHT OF THE ACADEMY.)"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXIII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 22, 2009:


(And your non-love for The Dark Knight!)

I'm surprised you bitches didn't leave Heath Ledger off in ignoring it for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. I am so furious with them right now. The Reader is a good film, no doubt, but seriously! The Dark Knight is even better. Stupid freakin' prestige, biased against the giant blockbuster just because it is a blockbuster and not caring that on top of that you have one of the best movies of the year. You just cost yourself big time, Academy. Considering that Best Supporting Actor is the first category announced at the Oscars, I'm betting a nice portion of your viewers will come for Heath and then leave after he wins (and if he doesn't, I'll know just how lightly you take "comic book movies").

I'll admit there were a couple pleasant surprises in the nominee list:
Amy Adams for Doubt, which was personally my favourite performance in the whole movie. I'm glad Wall-E nabbed a much deserving Best Original Screenplay nod. Richard Jenkins got a nomination over Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor for The Visitor. In Bruges got a Best Original Screenplay nomination.

And a couple surprises almost as bad as The Dark Knight snubs:
Sally Hawkins is ignored for Best Actress. Kate Winslet was pushed up to Best Actress for The Reader (not so much a bad surprise, but a surprise nonetheless - I think this makes her the front-runner in the category, but I could be wrong).

...I'm just so pissed off about ignoring The Dark Knight so strongly. Here's to hoping it makes a comeback in the smaller categories. Man, am I pissed at you Academy. And sorely disappointed. The Dark Knight was a gem of a movie. Fuck it, at least they made money, but I'm sure if I were in the shoes of anyone who took part in The Dark Knight, I'd want more. I'd want someone to see my hard work, my brilliant film, and give it a little more notice than just having paid for it.

It deserved better. Shame on you, Academy."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 16, 2009:

"But what a movie! Frost/Nixon was really good. Really, really good. For my generation especially who wasn't alive in the time on the Watergate scandal and Nixon's time as a prominent political figure (...president) it is hard not to at times think "wow, I wonder if there's another president who deserves some accountability!" But it's not the current political landscape that really makes the movie so good. It's that after you see it you think to yourself, wow, I just sat through two hours with little movement much less physical action or sexual behaviour, and yet that was intense... and amazing. Michael Sheen and Frank Langella both dominated their roles, really making the audience feel for both of them (of course, Langella had the harder job, no doubt) in so many different ways. I never fully loved either of the characters, nor fully hated them, but there was no way I couldn't connect with and understand both of them at times. Of course, the writing certainly helped that (and, y'know, the real life events). But the film as a whole, nothing too particular, is what made the film so strong. It didn't work for your attention. It didn't try to substitute a lack of physical action with intense music or anything that was over the top (unlike Doubt, another play-turned-movie with little action, which I felt really didn't do quite so well with what it had). It simply was a magnificent film, no matter if it matched up perfectly with history or not, it keeps the spirit, so far as I'm aware, of the historical presence it draws from around and alive.

Frost/Nixon stays in my five. And no doubt it'll be in the Academy's.

So here is my five at the moment, the five I hope for, the five I want, the five I've seen, the five I expect
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (well, I don't really want this one as much as the others, but it'll get there. There needs to be some sort of traditionally epic film in there)
- The Dark Knight
- Frost/Nixon
- Milk
- Slumdog Millionaire (which will go on to win)

I'll kick something very, very hard if The Dark Knight gets muscled out. If any of the movies on my list deserves the boot, it's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXI

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 9, 2009:

"For The Dark Knight?

So, I might be getting ahead of myself here but The Dark Knight is on the short list (7 movies) for Makeup and Visual Effects... and may I say that the main competition for both has got to be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (which, for all its nods, hasn't actually been achieving too many awards). Although I doubt TDK will steal a Best Picture award (although the odds are looking good for a Best Picture nod), it has good chances in most of its other categories and... if nothing else... we can all expect a teary moment to kick off the award show when Heath Ledger wins. (What pisses me off is that the Best Supporting Actor Oscar is always first! The most awesome moment of the night... will be over after fifteen minutes. Jeezum crow, man!). Regardless, I have pretty high hopes for The Dark Knight to score a lot of nods, and at least one statuette.

I'm still banking on Slumdog Millionaire to win Best Picture.

Anyway, I saw Australia today. I disagree with the harsh reviews it garnered; it was a good movie. Definitely of an epic length and scope, at times way too much so, but I've always enjoyed my movies jam-packed with stuff, so maybe that makes me partial to the somewhat bloated plot. And boy oh boy, I see why Hugh Jackman was voted sexiest man alive. I look forward to seeing him emcee the Oscars! In a slower year, he would totally deserve a Best Actor nod for his role in the film too. Anyway, I liked Australia, although it's not in my favourite films of the year list nor is it my favourite Baz Luhrmann film (well... he did make Moulin Rouge!). It's on the short list for visual effects, which I think it will end up getting a nod for, and some other more visual categories seem appropriate for the movie, as, if nothing else, it is beautiful to look at (and so is Hugh Jackman shirtless... mmm...).

Watched the People's Choice Awards yesterday (LAME). Here is an article that really explains how sucky the PCAs were better than me. And I watched the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards this evening. A MUCH better assessment, if I do say so myself. And... jeezum crow, I can't remember which award show this happened at... I think it was the People's Choice Awards... because Christopher Nolan accepted Heath's BFCA award... but... hm... okay, well, whatever award show it was (I think it was the PCAs), Christian Bale merely said, on behalf of something for The Dark Knight, something along the lines of "this is for Heath." It was freakin beautiful. It was all he said, aside from "thank you" trying to shut the crowd up (which makes me almost certain it was the PCAs now).

Hooray for Heath. It's an absolute shame he can't be present for one of the best parts that should have been his life."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XX

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 7, 2009:

"The acting in Doubt was all kickass. But I found the movie to be, overall, kind of boring and monotonous. If there hadn't been such a fabulous cast, I would have been bored senseless and hated the movie, I'm sure. But all four actors were fabulous (and honestly, I think Amy Adams did a better turn than Viola Davis, but the latter is getting all the praise leaving Amy Adams to get shafted on occasion... not that Viola Davis wasn't excellent, but Amy Adams was my favourite part). Anyway, my point is that it deserves all the acting attention it has been getting but aside from showcasing some great talent, it was nothing fabulous.

Also rented and saw Kung Fu Panda. Absolutely adorable, but I keep hearing how fabulous it is and, well, it's good but not that good."

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XIX

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From January 3, 2009:

"Saw The Reader today.

Gonna keep this short and sweet:
Another movie (see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Twilight, as Luba so rightly quoted Harrison's statement) with pedophilia. Mmmm, who knew Kate Winslet liked fifteen-year-old boys?

(oh and it was good, but considering like the first hour is filled with sexsexsex that was kind of the reigning thought in my head for a good chunk of the movie)

And I got a fucking B+ in History and Aesthetics of Film. >.<"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XVIII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From December 31, 2008:

"I should have seen more movies when they were still out! Curse you, college! Curse you distance from theatres!

Films that have potential Oscar nods that I may not get the chance to see:
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Penelope Cruz has been getting Support Actress nods)
Happy-Go-Lucky (Sally Hawkins has had a strong showing in Best Actress areas and it's a potential long shot for some other categories)
Changeling (if Angelina Jolie gets a nod here)
Frozen River (An indie with strong showing so potential nods)
Waltz with Bashir (Almost definitely the Persepolis of the Animated Feature category this year and possibly Foreign as well)

If Frozen River, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, or Changeling get nods I can still make a strong attempt to rent them before the Oscars (they all come out before the ceremony but after I go back to school), but I'm screwed with Happy-Go-Lucky. It just left the Spectrum and it doesn't come out until March. As for Waltz with Bashir, I have no idea when it's coming out, but it might show up at the Spectrum before the Oscars.


Shame on me.

Films that I still (might) need to see:
Kung Fu Panda
The Duchess (Ralph Fiennes... I hate Keira Knightley, but I love Ralph Fiennes and he's potentially a nod either for this or The Reader)
Man on Wire
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

Revolutionary Road
The Reader
The Wrestler
Gran Torino (I saw the preview and as much as hearing Clint Eastwood say "get off my lawn" to some kids, which made me LOL, that on top of the strong showing for the film and Clint Eastwood's general badassness concerning the film, I'm going to try for it)
I've Loved You So Long
Australia (because you know, if nothing else, it's got a slot sewn up for it in set design)

-is sad-
I feel like I'm making progress with every movie I see but there are always dozens more I still want to watch!"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XVII

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From December 30, 2008:

"So because I am a movie nerd, I follow the Entertainment Weekly's website's Oscar blog which posts some stuff I don't care about, but mostly talks about the possible noms and other award shows, which does interest me (if you couldn't tell from the majority of my posts). I assume that most people who read Entertainment Weekly in the first place are similar enough to me that they like movies, and typically they like movies for less common reasons, but not too cynical reasons, because EW is neither total fluff nor is it hardcore serious.

So what baffles me is, well, there is this one most recent blog post that the guy made about box office and award consideration and if one influences the other (this was in relation to Benjamin Button's higher per-theatre average against Frost/Nixon's). Now, this was genuinely interesting to me so I felt like, for probably the first time, I'd make the comment. I started skimming the comments already there, seeing the opinions of others. Now, what baffled me was that I kept reading comments about people bitching about the Oscars, saying how they were stupid and no one cares, people bitching about the movie industry, people just generally bitching about movies that were mentioned, and people bitching about pretty much everything that blog was about.

And I'm sitting here, thinking, why the fuck are people who don't like a) award shows, b) the movie industry, and/or c) award-magnet movies reading this blog in the first place (or this magazine/website)?"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XVI

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From December 28, 2008:

"Two more films down.

The Curious Case of Benjamin, I saw on Friday. It was a good movie, no doubt about that, and I enjoyed it. I have to admit that I didn't get as into it as I am sure the minds behind the film wanted me to. A lot of movies strive to bring the audience into the lives of the people they portray, in fact, I think most movies try to grab audiences and bring them in, if not all. But I felt very disconnected from Benjamin Button. It was a good story to watch, but I was definitely watching everything. I was extremely conscious of my presence outside of the movie. It started off too slow for my tastes, taking too long with old!Brad Pitt before it got into the story, really. And although I loved the guy who told us all the ways he got struck by lightning (hilarious, seriously), the woman who taught Benjamin piano... was a little overdramatic, like they were trying to grab us too soon, trying too hard to bring the audience in to sympathize with the characters. Anyway, overall, it was a good movie. Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, and Taraji P. Henson all brought good performances into it. And the effects were good but not overdone or too braggy.

Slumdog Millionaire, I just saw today. Now, I don't think I can find one bad thing to say about it. I will say here and now, Slumdog Millionaire is my favourite for Best Picture at this point in time. Nothing bad against my other favourites that are possible Best Picture contenders (here's looking at you, Dark Knight and Milk), but Slumdog Millionaire is just so good. It was wonderful to look at, not necessarily beautiful (considering like half the film plays out in slummy areas), but perfect. The cinematography was great, the way the camera poses were perfectly imperfect, giving this film such a nifty unconventional feel. Danny Boyle definitely deserves a directing nod (and I feel the same about Christopher Nolan and Gus Van Sant, BTWs, Academy >.>), and the screenplay was also great, great stuff. Just an overall vibrant and beautiful movie. This is one I'd love to see again. I'd also love to see more Dev Patel! He did a really excellent job with Jamal and although it was definitely an ensemble film (even though there's a main character, he's played by three different actors of varying ages), I think his performance was particularly great. The actors that played his brother, Salim, also, did an especially good job with all three ages. And the soundtrack! Oh my god, what a perfect mix of so much. And I was laughing, happily, when I heard M.I.A. singing along. After hearing Paper Planes non-stop for months, it was wonderful to see it in such a film. <3"

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XV

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

From December 25, 2008:

"Saw Milk. Omg so good. Such a quality film. Sean Penn is stunning as Harvey Milk, giving an excellent performance as quite a character that I knew was going to prove interesting from the first scene were he picks up his unknown-to-be-several-year-boyfriend James Franco (also absolutely fabulous, but I'll get to that later) shortly before e turns 40. Gus Van Sant really deserves a directing nod for this feature, it was wonderful. It was constructed so well with the time lapses done appropriately and the comedic and dramatic portions complementing very well. And, although this is all of course based on fact, the kind of self-mocking scene when the first real female character appears, replacing Scott/James Franco as the campaign manager and all the guys (they're all gay, of course, including little mister Sharpay's brother from High School Musical; he was adorable xD) react rather oddly, all being used to their sausage fest. Of course, the girl is assertive and a lesbian, so that contrasts a bit from the feministic behaviour of a lot of the guys on Milk's team. The supporting cast was fabulous too; Sean Penn didn't quite steal the show from them, they managed quite well. Josh Brolin, of course, as Milk's eventual assassin, played off so well, like a real person rather than just some homophobic douche, which could have easily been portrayed. But no, White was a more interesting character than that, wanting to work alongside Milk even though he didn't in the least support Milk's gay rights platform, and only snapping when it's appropriate, when he's lost his job and can't get it back and he just can't take that a gay man is upstaging him. Then, of course, you get Milk's team. Emile Hirsch was wonderful, James Franco was perfectly stunning, and Diego Luna was absolutely insane (which is spot on for his character). James Franco's Scott was just so perfect, I wish I could be a gay man and have a boyfriend as awesome as him (and avoid anyone like Diego Luna's character). That tender scene just shortly before Milk's assassination, when he calls Scott and talks to him, not long after Diego Luna's character hangs himself, leaving Milk perfectly alone to be assassinated, and tells Scott that he misses him as they watch the sun rise, is so beautiful. There are so many wonderful scenes in the film, but that scene... arguably my favourite.

Anyway, the point of that ginormous paragraph of a review is that Milk is an amazing film, and I highly recommend it. I was totally tearing up at the end even though you know from the opening minutes if you didn't already know anything about Harvey Milk that he's going to die by the end of this movie, assassinated, it was just that strong. It's not just the message that Harvey Milk is trying to bring (one that is still so prominent today; his time really wasn't that long ago), but the emotion that the film carries. I feel like I'm there with him, or I wish I had been at times.

Oh and a little weird note: the costumes and hair in that movie were so perfectly period. I loved it.

So that's one of my films to see down. Plenty to go."