Saturday, March 20, 2010

Catch Up Post

So I'm a bit behind (3 months or so) on updating this thing...though I doubt many people read this at all. Re-watched a lot of great old movies and saw a few new ones too.


"I'm a scientist, remember? I don't believe in the fairytales." - Grace

I think that everyone's pretty much said what's been needed to be said about this movie. Amazing visuals, decent soundtrack, and cliche storyline. It probably didn't deserve all the critical acclaim that it received like its predecessor Titanic (and maybe even less so than Titanic b/c despite all the corniness associated with Titanic, Titanic did have its moments, more so than Avatar), but I do give James Cameron props for his attempt at creating a world (complete with a new world and fascinating animals and I have to add, given my neural inklings, I did think it was very cool how the Navi could telepathically link with their animals) b/c that's never easy to do. It's a certainly decent attempt, and I do always appreciate movies that try creating a new world b/c I don't think enough movies try to do it.

This also makes me think back to Pirates of the Carribbean...although it's certainly not the most innovative movie ever, I do give it mad props for its ability to create a world from essentially scratch. I can't think of any other fandoms (large fandoms with a decent sized following) that's done the same thing off the top of my head that's done the same thing in which the starting source was a movie. (lord of the rings, harry potter, etc etc don't really count b/c they of course, started from the books).

A Christmas Carol

I think that this movie could have been great had it been able to decide whether or not it wanted to be dark and dramatic or comedic. And since it did both, it remains a toss up and not really that memorable save for how generally creepy it was...the two feral children coming out from underneath Present's robes and the ghost of Christmas Present, bones blowing away in the wind.

Casino Royale

Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: No, don't worry, you're not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.

I'm not too pleased with how they handled the ending b/c it was just mostly such an unsatisfactory ending nor am I too pleased with where they took Bond in the next movie (I'm glad it didn't go back to typical Bond which I find mostly unwatchable) but generally, I really liked the re-vamp, the story, Bond's wit, the banter, etc. There are actors whom I causally put on my "yes, I'm fans of them now, and even if they're terrible in X movie, I will always still remember how awesome they were in this one particular movie" and b/c of their performances in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig and Eva Greene have spots on this little list of mine.


Jack: Listen, Rose. You're gonna get out of here, you're gonna go on and make lots of babies, and you're gonna watch them grow. You're gonna die an old... an old lady warm in her bed, but not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me?
Cue Celion Dion's massively overplayed song. Of course Titanic has its corny moments and cliche story and possibly worst subplot ever ("this ship is really really unsinkable"), but the later half of the movie when the ship starts sinking is still a fantastic action sequence (especially Rose struggling to rush through the flooding hallways, ax in hand) and filled with genuinely touching moments (the musicians, the old couple who decide to stay on the ship, the mother putting the kids to bed, etc).
The Rose/Jack storyline, while cliche (class clashes, rebellious, independent thinking rich girl) does have its moments and it's a very touching sentiment that he expresses as he's freezing to death in the ocean. It seems like a wasted avenue that who Rose became wasn't explored further, especially at the end, when you see all those framed pictures at her bedside, they're all pictures of her- where's her family?

The Hangover

Black Doug: I always wondered why they were called roofies, 'cause you're more likely to end up on the floor than the roof. They should call 'em floories.
While it was entertaining and funny in some parts, I didn't find it particularly memorable and I still don't really see what the *big* deal was. Perhaps b/c it was a quintessential guy movie.

Up in the Air

Ryan Bingham: I don't spend a nickel, if I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.
Natalie Keener: So, what are you saving up for? Hawaii? South of France?
Ryan Bingham: It's not like that. The miles are the goal.
Natalie Keener: That's it? You're saving just to save?
Ryan Bingham: Let's just say that I have a number in mind and I haven't hit it yet.
Natalie Keener: That's a little abstract. What's the target?
Ryan Bingham: I'd rather not...
Natalie Keener: Is it a secret target?
Ryan Bingham: It's ten million miles.
Natalie Keener: Okay. Isn't ten million just a number?
Ryan Bingham: Pi's just a number.
Natalie Keener: Well, we all need a hobby. No, I- I- I don't mean to belittle your collection. I get it. It sounds cool.
What I really appreciate about this movie is that it's not really a preachy, message movie...instead, it's very Indie-esque and feels small and personal. It's a fine movie but I don't think I personally am able to fully appreciate what it depicts yet...the loneliness that you feel as you get older and how painful it is to get laid off.


It's still a really good movie/very creepy on a re-watch. There is just something off putting about the whole atmosphere- the neighborhood enshrouded in mist and fog, the quirky neighbors, the other world, the other mother at the end not wanting to be alone, but it's creepy in a good way. Coraline, also, although she's very prickly and hard to like in the beginning, you can't help but to like her by the end b/c she's grown up a bit.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
I think I need to rewatch this movie to fully appreciate it. I've been meaning to see this movie for ages- I've seen numerous pop culture renditions of that scene at the end where the Chief throws the water fountain out the window and escapes and numerous allusions to Nurse Ratched's sinister nature, but I have to say, that as usual, the movie (its tone, what happens) really turns out to be very different from what I'd imagine it would be like.

There is always something very alluring about placing a story in a closed area (a ward, a stay away camp, a hospital with terminal patients, etc)- something about cutting them off from the rest of the world. Nurse Ratched is not as overtly sinister/evil (if even that) as I would have expected- it's ambiguous as to what her actual intentions are and I do admire how she is able to very understatedly maintain order in the ward w/o ever really shouting just calmly saying the rules that are listed.

I think that my two favorite scenes in the movie have to be the world series scene and the scene where McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) ends up breaking the window at the nurse's station to get cigarettes for his fellow wardmate. It's...there's something very magical about those two scenes. It's mostly in the momentum of the characters. The energy that McMurphy exudes is infectious and inspiring in the World Series scene, and you watch those two scenes and recognize why this movie's become a classic.


While I'm not a big fan of the documentary style footage/camera work, Milk was a generally good movie with strong performances. I know that this isn't what main point of the story was supposed to be about but I've always wondered what it was that drove Milk and his first partner away from each other. They seemed happy at first about the idea of Milk running for public office but then there's a threat, a dinner scene in which his partner chases everyone out, and then suddenly they're at odds with each other over Milk's political aspirations.


Fabulous movie...there's rivalry, beautiful music, fantastic performances, but at the heart of it all, this great love and appreciation for classical music. Two clips: