Saturday, August 22, 2009

Julie & Julia (one down, four to go)

I thought Julie & Julia was pretty fabulous. Being a vegetarian, the dishes weren't exactly as mouth-watering as they may have been for other viewers, but I could still appreciate how pretty all the food looked. But what really caught my eye, of course, were the people and the places. Queens in 2002 is hardly ancient history or very different from today so far as I can tell, but I always enjoy seeing cramped apartment lifestyles, not gonna lie. Of course, the scenery that stole the show was definitely Julia Child's story, mostly the Parisian parts. Although, the tidbit of suburban Massachusetts life toward the end was also a kind of sweet nostalgia.

But the real show-stealer was Meryl Streep, no surprises there. As I said over dinner last night, putting it down now, Oscar nom (and perhaps another win) for Meryl right there. No doubt in my mind. Of course, it would also be wonderful to see the rest of the fabulous cast recognized (when Jane Lynch appeared as Julia's sister Dorothy, it was WONDERFUL, I was very excited to see her; I'd only realized she was in the film when the opening credits were rolling and boy oh boy she and Meryl Streep looked like they were having SO much fun inhabiting their larger than life personas (both personality and size wise, of course)). Julie Powell was easy to roll your eyes at and label as a bitch, but I've always thought Amy Adams is a wonderful actress and despite being frustrated with Julie at times, I certainly thought she was relate-able on many levels. I mean, in an age such as this, whoever has a blog or even a facebook or anything where they can post their thoughts and feelings want validation for them? Isn't it beyond thrilling when someone recognizes your thoughts are worthy to read? And it is so very easy to let that inflate your ego, to take over your life, and I can sympathize with Julie for falling into that trap. It's not as if it takes a particularly vain person to have it happen to, Julie isn't by nature a narcissistic person, but she, like the rest of us, just wanted appreciation and when she got it, she became addicted to it like a drug, and anytime she didn't have anything to show off or if she got negative feedback, it crushed her.

Anyway, I apologize for rambling on far too much about this and surely repeating myself, but I think those who call Julie Powell as a character a bitch are not understanding why she acted as poorly as she did at times. Granted, I myself am a self-centered bitch, so maybe I simply want to show how it's not Julie's fault so I can accept my own nature. xD

Regardless, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep did a fabulous job, and Jane Lynch, and Stanley Tucci, and simply everyone was just so much fun to watch in the movie. I deeply enjoyed myself.

On another note, I am a preview freak. The more trailers that come with a movie, the better, even if they're movies I have no intention of seeing (this is not counting horror trailers, because horror trailers scare the living bejeezus out of me and are usually way way way frightening). And I was BEYOND thrilled to see a preview for The Lovely Bones during Julie & Julia. I hadn't seen a preview for it yet, but I'd read the novel several years ago, the summer before my freshman year of high school, and stayed up until 9am to finish reading it. The preview did NOT disappoint me in the least. I forget many of the finer points of the novel, but it all looked so good, I had to bite my tongue very hard to keep from crying just from the trailer. I am very, very excited for the movie. Hurrah Peter Jackson!

As for his production credit in District 9, I still haven't gotten to see it yet, but I am set on seeing it this Tuesday. And today, in a bit less than three hours, I will see Tarantino's glorious Inglorious Basterds. I am very excited for that. Beyond that, I plan to see Taking Woodstock (having been filmed in my area, most people I know are planning to point out their friends' cameos as extras) this Friday when it comes out (I leave Saturday midday to return to school), and the other movie I am determined to see before I return to school is The Hurt Locker. I also have The Class on DVD from Netflix to watch... and I have a lot of packing still to do having just gotten home from Venezuela.

So I better end this entry now and prepare myself for massive movie exposure! I love it!

PS: Saw the Mad Men season 3 premiere finally. Although it felt a bit slow (but that might just be because it's been a while since Mad Men's been on), I attribute that to SO much catching up. I was slightly sad to see so little Peggy, but it's fab seeing her with her own secretary. The Brits seem a bit off, Pete's as entrancingly yuppie/obnoxious/self-centered as ever, Betty's all preggers, Sally should totally be a lesbian, and Salvatore Romano remains one of my favourite characters on the show. HIGH FIVE Bryan Batt, because you are beyond fabulous and so wonderful to watch as one of the show's many fascinating characters. And a less pronounced high five to Joan for being BAMF.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ancitipating District 9... and a TDK rant.

So here I was all sad that there wasn't a movie both adventurous and interesting, a movie in the same vein as The Dark Knight, that both excites and provokes me, and here comes District 9, a movie that I have not yet seen but deeply want to now. I hadn't heard much of it beyond a title and that Peter Jackson was involved until recently, when Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on it last week. Since then, I have really wanted to watch this movie and have heard a great deal about it.

Unfortunately, I am currently on vacation in Venezuela, but when I get home, I am getting to the nearest movie theatre and watching District 9 (...and then Julie & Julia, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, and Taking Woodstock).

Don't tell me what happens! I want to see for myself. I don't want to be overexposed because I want to be thrilled by what I see not thinking, "oh I remember reading about this part" (although, I have to admit, reading about and seeing the Joker in a nurse's uniform is still different enough for the visual to be hilariously awesome).

BTW, I am skimming rottentomatoes at the moment in a slight pit of boredom and saw that some critic, I forget who, commented that The Dark Knight does not seem to recognize the absurdity of its premise, or something similarly phrased. And, in return, I say, you, sir, are full of shit. "Oh man, a guy who dresses up like a bat and fights crime." Yeah, it sounds ridiculous. So does "a bunch of hobbits going on a journey with elves, dwarves, and men to fight evil and destroy a ring of power." It upsets me when people have to reduce a telling story to the superficial premise. I did it with Harry Potter ("ooh a book about some boy wizard. sounds stupid") before I read the books and realized that I was mistaken; yes, the superficial premise is there, but that's not what the story's about. And why not dress up like a bat to fight crime? It seems pretty practical: you have a dark exterior, you can hold out your "wings" to fly and... yeah, that's about all that's different about Batman's get together and, let's say, a dude who just dresses up in armour with weapons to fight crime.

Yeah, that is clearly totally absurd. Oh wait, I'm forgetting about the maniac who is known as the Joker. Hmm... well, firstly, he's insane... and secondly, ...he dresses funny and refers to himself as the Joker? I think the first one covers it all: he's insane, Mr. Movie Critic, and why not do crazy things like pretend you're a court jester with some grenades and guns if you're insane?

Anyway, this started out as excitement and anticipation to see District 9 and ended with The Dark Knight. Don't all my posts? My apologies, as I've said before, The Dark Knight is simply among the best films I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

(500) Days of Summer...and don't mind the HIMYM comparisons.

I finally got to see (500) Days of Summer today. This has been a long time coming. Of course, loving Joseph Gordon-Levitt and being thrilled by the trailer, I've been keen on seeing it for a while. This past Friday, I was texted by a friend who requested we go see it together. Being epically psyched by this prospect, I was unfortunately busy that evening, but said that either Saturday or Sunday would be fab. Unfortunately, she never got back to me. Monday came around, and I was going to pressure my two besties into going with me (or at least the one that I was under the impression wasn't leaving for college in two days), but the one I assumed was more likely to be able happened to be heading off to NYC the next day and the one who was available, was clearly swamped by packing.

So I ran off by myself, which I do. I prefer seeing movies with other people in theatres, but I don't mind going by myself. However, by the end of the movie, I felt incredibly weird being there all by myself.

Although not a couple film by definition in the least, I have to say, (500) Days of Summer is the exactly the kind of date movie I'd want. But maybe that's just me watching it and feeling incredibly depressed by Summer's accusations that love is a fantasy. I don't like to get too personal here, but I've been rather companionship deprived for some time, and so watching Tom made my heart kind of shrivel up. I was extremely happy with the ending, however. And obvious spoiler alert here... I was simply happy that they had happy endings of some variety. And it all makes more sense that they didn't end up together. But even a failed "relationship" (as it was never really a romantic relationship) makes me jealous, especially for the couples around me in the theatre, whom I found, after the film, to be completely unworthy of being around each other unless it was something deep between them.

But perhaps I'm just a snob in that regard. And, like Tom, I've been buttered up by the movies into thinking love is either one thing or another or another. It's rather ridiculous, actually, especially when I think to myself, "so what movie will my love life look like one day?" because it certainly doesn't resemble any movie I've seen thus far.

On a note with less personal dissatisfaction, maybe it's my How I Met Your Mother craze combined with just seeing this movie, but is it just me, or are Ted and Tom more similar than the letters of their first name? I mean, come on, they're both hopeless romantics and aspiring architects in a big city falling in love with "the one" that's not really "the one." And to top it all off, they both have a single best friend and a best friend that is in a majorly long term relationship (of course, Barney and whatshisface are hardly anything alike). But really, the similarities are rather striking.

But anyway, all in all, (500) Days of Summer was a really excellent film, a really great movie that is both romantic and not, which is perfect in my opinion. It's deeply entertaining and enlightening to see a journey that doesn't pan out, but it's also nice to still see some satisfaction for our lovelorn hero.

Last tidbit: Mad Men marathon that was on today was totally awesome. I got a chance to watch a good chunk of it. It was nice to revisit season 2, considering that it has been quite some time and a trip down memory lane was useful. Also, it was fun to call Pete Campbell a tool several times while describing him to my Mad Men-less friend as I watched it and she packed her things. I am so psyched for season 3! Shame I'm missing the premiere to be in Venezuela with my aunt. x)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Granted, I haven't been to the movies aside from Harry Potter lately...

All caught up on How I Met Your Mother. Good timing too as it is now August and I vowed to read and finish Moby Dick this month (and I hope to read a few other books as well, including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). And, as I have pointed out before, I cling tightly onto one or two pairings in all forms of entertainment that involve even a hint of romance (mostly and especially with television shows), and, yes, that pairing in HIMYM is indeed Barney/Robin.

New topic: Now, not long ago, both The Ugly Truth and Funny People were on my list of movies to go see. And even though The Ugly Truth got pretty bad reviews overall and Funny People's reviews were kind of eh, I still want to go see them (although I'm thinking I'll wait for The Ugly Truth to come out on DVD). Part of me enjoys seeing movies with mixed or not-so-great reviews because I might end up liking them anyway. Sometimes, it is really fun to disagree with the critic, audiences, or awards. I mean, I'm often sorely disappointed when I try to go against the critics and prove to myself that I can like a badly-reviewed film, but it happens. Why else have I seen Sleepover over a dozen times? So I still intend to go see Funny People. But this might also have to do with summer movies not impressing me much. Can there PLEASE be another awesome movie? Something as good, or nearly as good, as Up, mayhap? I am pouting.

Now excuse me while I lament my sad location of living. My parents are off to a wedding reception in an airport hangar (the farm where it was supposed to be is too wet, big shock). This is the utmost class.

OH and I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince again. About the same reception as I had before: I liked it, surprisingly, but the actual plot of the Half Blood Prince is definitely slighted. Also, speaking of attractive skin? Both the youngest and younger Tom Riddle had extremely beautiful skin. That is all.