charloween: (fly)
On Twitter I called it fannish comedy-horror catnip and wished I could draw sparkly hearts all over it )

3b. And as a remake? Totally successful. Possibly even better than the original. Sweet special effects, a snappy pace and dimensional characters, a few sideways references to the ongoing economic crisis and some Deeper Themes about the nature of being a fan. In 3D.

This is all despite the 3D glasses not quite fitting over my own glasses. There weren't many moments where I forgot about the 3D artifice, but I still enjoyed the film immensely. Maybe watching in 3D gets better with practice? This was my first 3D summer blockbuster.

tl;dr - I was expecting silly and fun, and while I got my fannish catnip I also got a film I'd enjoy watching again. It made me happy, and it gave me characters I liked. Yes, it was worth the $15.75 extortion fee ticket price.
charloween: (Default)
I have, however, seen three movies in the last three days: Public Enemies, Moon and Drag Me to Hell, each of which I recommend (though for different reasons). Public Enemies has lots of style, Moon is stark but funny (and contained yet not claustrophobic), and Drag Me to Hell makes you forget that Sam Raimi made the leaden (humourless) crapfest that was Spiderman III.

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Stratford for the third time this summer to see Three Sisters, Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth. Three Sisters doesn't star Colm Feore, but the other two do.

As I'm back to watching movies (lazy, lazy film grad), I've been updating my Twitter feed of movie reviews.

I also have Opinions about all the movie trailers I've seen, but it seems like there are a bunch of fun-looking sf/action flicks coming up. Whoever's in charge of naming these movies needs a refresher in not sucking, though. Armoured? Gamer? Bruce Willis Has to Save the World Again Surrogate? Lame titles, man.
charloween: (pure style)
Today's unintentionally complementary double bill: Velvet Goldmine followed by Zoolander.


Made. Of. Win.

Yesterday's double bill was more... disjointed. The Fall and Casino Royale. Srsly. Why did they even let Daniel Craig put his shirt on? If they're just looking for excuses to get him shirtless, why don't they save the time and plot devices and just have him be shirtless through the entire movie?! It is possible I don't "get" Bond films. I'm okay with that.
charloween: (Default)
Given the amount of anticipation I'd thrown at The Fall, there was no way it would ever live up to my expectations. It nearly did, but there's nothing that can live up to a year's anticipation. It's a gorgeous film, visually, and they've got the kind of locations (Taj Mahal, Hagia Sophia, Bali, Argentina, South Africa, Spain, etc) that most films wouldn't dare attempt. Or would green-screen in. (George Lucas, eat your heart out.)

Speaking of gorgeous: Lee Pace is absolutely fantastic in this. (And yes, is one good-looking guy.)

I was all ready to post about how the film was a really good film but not teh bestest evar, when I realized that I'd seen the damn thing three times in the last three days.

In amongst all the epic locations, stylized fantasy sequences and - yes, [ profile] thucyken - Charles Darwin, there's this odd undercurrent that keeps me from completely falling into the movie and getting lost in it. Oh, and speaking of Darwin, his monkey assistant is named "Wallace". There's a running joke that it's Wallace who does all the work and Darwin's just writing it down. If you don't get the joke, look up Alfred Wallace on wikipedia...

spoiler warning )
charloween: (goaty grin)
Today I got my culture on.

Mum and I went to see Sweeney Todd, had meat pies for dinner (for some reason, we both had a craving), and then later went with Amy, her sister and some peeps to see Enchanted.

Together, they made for an interesting day.

Actually, together, they make me wonder about the way you can tell stories. Enchanted, for obvious reasons, 'cause it's a Disney film that simultaneously is a typical Disney film while sending itself up. Too clever by half. Predictable, but pleasant: more than pleasant, really. The actors were all committed to the wacky, and it really worked. I'm so buying it on DVD when it comes out. Unlike something like Spamalot, they stayed away from being mockingly ironic, and it worked very well.

Sweeney Todd, on the other hand, took some huge chances, and almost made it. It's worth to see for the incredible technical accomplishment. Ten people, on stage for nearly three hours, playing all the instruments (there's no orchestra, just the actors), performing an opera (it's all singing, no talking). There aren't any entrances or exits, the curtain doesn't go up or down. All the props are at the back of the stage, and the set changes are achieved by the same ten people moving stuff around. The fact they pull off any show at all is remarkable. I mean, it's an insane amount of work these people do when you think about how much support is usual for a big show. For that alone, it's worth seeing. It's an incredibly risky move to put so much of your show in ten pairs of hands. With this production, it's almost successful.

The problem is you're watching this Brechtian theatre, and this kind of theatre doesn't necessarily serve the story all that well. We spend so much time watching the production being produced that we lose plot and characters in the technical accomplishment. The story is fantastic (by which I mean: music, lyrics and plot), and the technical stuff was mind-blowing, but they didn't work as well together as they could have. As a show, Sweeney can be brutally disturbing, morally complex and deeply creepy in all its gothic glory. They way they did it, they didn't let the story take precidence, so they skirted over the nuances of the plot. Doing so, they also stripped it of any moral shades-of-grey. I mean, for a story about revenge and murder and cannibalism, the only stance they took was that killing people... happens, sometimes. I've seen this show performed when they got deep into the characters, playing with themes of insanity and whether or not Todd is justified in murdering lots of people. With this? It's an opera about a man's descent into madness turned into light musical comedy.

So the question I'm left with - comparing the two ways of telling this story - is simply: if the story is strong, does it matter how it's told? Just as long as you get the core of it, does it matter so much what variations are thrown on top? Yes, the variations are what you watch for, what make it interesting. But you go for the story itself, right? Enchanted would argue that no, it doesn't matter. Disney films have been telling the same story since the 40s, with minute variations, but the story is still pretty solid (or maybe just 'marketable').

With Sweeney Todd, this production had iffy moments and the risks it took didn't quite pan out, but since I love the show itself so much, the way it was mounted did in no way hamper my enjoyment of it.
charloween: (Default)
Today's Near Dark moment:

Confused, lost and alone, Caleb begs the last three dollars he needs for bus fare home from the nice policeman who thinks Caleb is just some crazy kid riding some crazy high. He's actually turning into a vampire, but neither of them know that at this point. After working the puppy-dog eyes liek WOAH, the cop relents and gives the poor Okie the cash to get back to his cute little Okie farm. Aaaah, how touching.

Of course, he doesn't make it back, because we're still in the first 20 minutes of the movie and Lance Hendriksen has barely had any lines at all!
charloween: (Default)
1. It's snowing huge, fat flakes the size of a toonie.

2. I'm not falling behind in my schoolwork just yet, but I've just discovered that our stolen cable gets the Turner Movie Classics channel. The movies they play in the late afternoon/evening are true gems, but in the afternoon it's pure *crack*. Crack like T-Man, a charming noir-inflected narrative-fiction-style hybrid documentary made as propaganda for the US Treasury Department. The strangest part was how they used film noir aesthetics (the heavy shadows, etc) but the narrative was completely straight. Morally, everything was pure black and white rather than the more typical shades-of-grey you ususally find in noirs. There was also a Sincere Voiceover Guy who kept popping in to tell us what was going on, and how great the operatives of the Treasury Department were. Ah, 1947. I wish I could figure out how to speak like I was in a hardboiled 40s noir film. The delivery of the lines are so bizarre... but If I could figure it out, it would be so cool.

Third-best line (on volunteering to take out a liability to the counterfiting operation): "I'll take care of that curly-haired monkey."

Second-best line (describing the various branches of investigators employed by the treasury dept.): "These are the six fingers of the Treasury Department fist. And that fist hits fair, but hard."

BEST LINE (complaining about how bothersome it was to tail the one villain): "Did you ever spend ten night in a Turkish Bath looking for a man?" There were a lot of steam-bath scenes.They were also obsessed with the idea of death-by-ice pick. It was... odd. To say the least. *snerk* Oh, 1947. You're so closeted.

3. Went grocery shopping yesterday, neglected to pick up anything for breakfast. *facepalm* Green apples and ginger snaps it is!

4. Tonight I'm going to take my first steps toward Getting Involved with the Film Scene, via The Loop Collective.

5. Best part about working with a SPN fan... She asked me if I'd seen the episode, and rather than saying "yes", I stood up, walked to her desk, called her a "brave little soldier" and gave her a HUGE hug. We totally lost it, and everyone else was wondering what the hell was so funny.

6. It's almost frightening how much time I spend thinking about and talking about Heroes. *loves Heroes*

today's saints! )
charloween: (shiny!)
I'll tell you straight up: Smokin' Aces is not the movie you think it is. The trailers will have you believe it's another Tarantino knock-off, an orgy of violence, the truest and purest form of exploitation, cinematic anarchy without consequences. It is that movie, kind of, and it's another movie all together. It's stylish (a bit arch at times, but I'll allow it), well shot, well-light, edited with the same rapid-fire you'd expect, but they make good choices and don't cut shit up for the sake of cutting shit up... it actually makes sense to the story. The dialogue is fun (I'm going to have to see it again just to catch all of Jason Bateman's speed-freak monologue), and the characters all manage to have distinctive voices. None of it's particularly original, but that isn't as much of a problem as you'd think. read more... no spoilers! )

...and before the movie, one of the previews was for Sunshine. I bounced in my seat and *squeed* the entire time the trailer was playing. Danny Boyle doing science fiction! WOO! I wonder how he'll make this one into a happy ending. He's one of my favourite directors because he'll make things all dark and twisted but can't resist giving you lollypops at the end of the movie. Zombie apocalypse? No! Finland will save you! ♥ 28 Days Later. more about the upcoming attractions! )
charloween: (Default)
Oh, Supernatural. It's the first ep I've seen live (ie, not downloaded and watched three weeks later) since October and you're giving me lovely SPN crack. ♥. I love my crack. *snuggles Dean and Sammy*

Now, if only I could find that shirt to wear to the Dance Cave. Rarrrrrgh.

ETA: [ profile] serrico! That Muse song! Was playing in Ellen's roadhouse! Way to kill the angst, show.

ETA2: ... and The L-Word is on right after SPN. Score!
charloween: (Default)
Saw Children of Men tonight, and it was quite good. The sound design was nothing short of fucking amazing, and it looked fantastic. Michael Caine's performance was worth the price of admission alone. (Especially the scene with "Life in a Glass House"). The music choices were incredible. The rest of the performances were equally good. The most unexpected part of the film was its humour. I guess I went into the movie figuring that it was going to be another dystopic film where the survivors of humanity would face their collective fate with uniform nihilism, except for the few heroes who were able to Save! The! World! from despair. It's not that movie. It's funny, it's touching, and it could have been a good half-hour longer and still have had the same impact. I certainly wasn't expecting to laugh quite as much as I did, but I'm also pretty sure it won't be quite as funny the next time I see it (just because I'll be looking around the jokes to see what else is there).

I know for sure that I want to see it again, to spend more time with the cinematography, the sound design, the actors, everything in the film, including the complex and sophisticated politics of the film. There are some pretty tricky things going on with race, revolution/activism and genre. It'll be quite fun working out how it relates to a film like 28 Days Later, which is a lot simpler (ideologically speaking) than this one, but has a lot of similarities. They're both set in England, there're both set after a catastrophic world event, and both focus on a small group of survivors (composed of a white man, a black woman and a white parental figure) who are trying to survive. Both films' treatment of the military is quite pessimistic. But where the zombie movie relies mostly on the zombies for its chills, it's the ideologies present in Children of Men that make the film particularly disturbing. That's not to say Curaron doesn't include some truly chilling visuals, too... in fact, he includes shots of calves and a kitten, but doesn't have any of his characters exposit that the animals can procreate, but humans can't. There's a lot of texture - visual texture - in the film, little hints of what the world has become, but is smart enough to leave that to our imaginations. Why are there piles of burning horse (or cow?) carcasses in that field? The image on its own looks like the pictures of the cattle that had to be destroyed because of mad cow disease, so is that still a concern 20 years in the future? Or is it something else? Did the farmers die and there was no one to take the herd? Infinite possibilities of what happened, and they don't collapse those possibilities (thankfully). It's creepier that way.

Also awesome was the scene with Guernica. There are so many little touches and details that I could rave about the little niggly bits and never mention the actual plot of the film at all. You know what's better? Seeing it for yourself. Go on!

Excellent film. Highly recommended.

music post! )
charloween: (Default)
Today, I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. :D
charloween: (scary)
Don't ask qyestions, just go see Krrish.

Trust me.
charloween: (Default)
1. I've been in training with this Other Job for over a month now, and today was my first real day of work. Responsibility is exhausting. I'm ready to have a big nap, now.

2. I HAVE INTERWEB! I HAVE INTERWEB! I HAVE INTERWEB! Not only that, but it is *my* interweb in *my* name, and that makes me feel so much more independant and all-growed-up than anything else I've done/had/been so far. [ profile] thucyken gets back tomorrow night, at which point it will be *our* interweb. Until then... *bwahahaha* I be downloading. I be music posting. I have the power. And, since I have no life, I can the greatest geek-on because I can go online whenever I want for the first time EVAR.

3. Thanks to [ profile] aoshi's last music post, I'm listening to "Everybody Gets Laid" from Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Sigh.

4. Trying to make a new/better layout for this thing. Failing.

5. Got paid. Bought: Alien Quadrilogy, Buffy s2, Arrested Development s1 & s2, Yu Yu Hakusho eps 1-112. (See above, re: no life.)

6. After Thea's Movie Night of Doom, [ profile] _shewalks and I found The Stills, playing a free show downtown. They played a song she liked, so we called it a win.

7. My sister and I visited my Dad yesterday for Father's Day. We get along with him when we only see him every few months, so it was quite the pleasant afternoon.

EDIT: Military jobs meme )
charloween: (shiny!)
Life soundtrack meme stolen from [ profile] aoshi. I found the same thing that she did: the songs don't really fit.

Movie soundtrack for your life. The rules:

1. Put your music player of choice on shuffle
2. Scene one = first song played, scene two = second, etc.
3. No cheating/skipping
4. Pass it on

Meme! )

Saw a movie last night, and I liked it very much. District 13/Banlieue 13 )

EDIT: (3:45pm) revised and expanded to make more sense. :)
charloween: (Default)
Sky High is the best superhero movie ever, bar none. Plus, the DVD is worth picking up for the blooper reel, because Kurt Russell *giggles*. I kid you not. Honest-to-Pete giggles.

I finally (finally!) got around to watching this year's finale of CSI after [ profile] aoshi said it was good. And it was good. So very, very good. CSI babbles )

I found out that the MK Ultra (Vanderslice's early-90s power-pop band) website is still live, and they have all three albums available to download. I'm listening to him sing about something being machine washable. On some planet that might make sense, too! Hee! There's one called "Goodbye, Max!", too.

AAAAaaaaand, I might go to Japan later this month. For reals. :D
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