Mini Movie Marathon

Two days off = five movies.  Is that better or worse than an entire trilogy in less than a week?  As in, more or less productive?  Or not productive at all?

Maybe I’m stock piling ideas for my book that I keep thinking I should write but at this rate won’t start until I’m 90.  I did get other things done.  I DO know how to work the pause button.

It all started with The Importance of Being Earnest.  I guess the rest of the cast was good, but it’s hard for me to take my eyes off Colin Firth.  And that’s why I saw him trying really hard to keep a straight face in some of the more ridiculous scenes.  Reese Witherspoon can do a British accent.  Although since I’m not British I could be completely wrong about that, but it sounded fine to me.

Then good old Netflix suggested I might like Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.  This was a little more intense.  The revolutionary dissonances of Igor’s work versus Coco’s radical ideas in women’s fashion.  So of course they hit it off, but the relationship was doomed.

 Wings of the Dove was also about a doomed relationship, and it’s all Helena Bonham Carter’s character’s fault.  She wanted it all, and in movies that usually means you end up disappointed.

So – from London to Paris to Venice to Tuscany and Shadows In the Sun.  And another kind of love story altogether.  This movie was more about the love of writing and the fear that can paralyze a writer when he thinks he might have nothing left to say.

Well they should all just sit down and watch more movies.  Tons of ideas there.

Giancarlo Giannini as Father Moretti was delightful. So was Joshua Jackson, but only when he forgot to slick back his hair with grease.  Yuck.  And the beautiful scenery will make you want to book a flight to Italy and never come home.  Unless of course you live there already, in which case, gawd I envy you.

As good as all of these were, The Young Victoria turned out to be the best of all of them.  You’d think by the time I got around to this one I’d be all sapped out, but nope.  Emily Blunt is a perfect young Victoria and Rupert Friend is an excellent Prince Albert.  I think there were sparks.

If I’d seen movies like this in school I might have had a better appreciation for politics and history.  Well, that’s debatable.  I might have wanted to meet Rupert Friend.

The next thing I’m going to tackle is a thousand page novel.  Going to sleep and to work can be such annoying interruptions.

F is for Fifty Shades of F***ery

There have been so many horrible reviews written about the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E. L. James that my mind was made up to not bother reading any of it.  But Book One got downloaded to our shared Kindle (by either one or the other of my daughters, doesn’t matter who)  (and if I did it myself, I don’t remember!) and so there it was, and I thought, what the hell, and started reading.  Finished it and downloaded the second one.  Finished that and downloaded part three.  Seriously, it’s like some kind of strange addiction to the weirdest fairy tale ever written.  Somebody called it “literary crack”.  It’s a modern-day fairy tale fantasy for a day dreaming adolescent, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet I found myself reading away, wanting to believe the unbelievable.  Because it’s just so f***ing unbelieveable I can’t believe it.

Quick character synopsis – Ana Steele, a socially awkward 22-year-old virgin (rolling your eyes already?) who has no idea she’s brilliant, gorgeous and desirable,  meets Christian Grey, a drop dead handsome 27-year-old billionaire control freak who flies a helicopter, owns a jet, lives in a penthouse, employs full-time security staff, has darkly erotic tastes, plays the piano, suffers flashbacks and nightmares from early childhood trauma, was seduced as a teenager by a family friend old enough to be his mother, is heavily into sexual role-playing, has self-loathing issues and been in therapy all his life, and is using his vast wealth to combat world hunger.  Yes. Really.

Even Quicker plot synopsis – They can’t keep their hands off each other or be physically separated without feeling suicidal.  There is a lot of angst.  They work it out.

There is really not much of a plot, very little character development, repetition that will drive you mad, a bit of melodrama here and there, but never any doubt whatsoever that it will all end blissfully and happily like every good romance does.  Oh yeah, and physical intimacy and gratification on every other page. Sometimes every page for pages and pages and pages.  If there were a sexual olympics, Christian and Ana would definitely be contenders.

Who can say why this trilogy is a runaway best seller?  It’s not literary genius by any stretch of the imagination.  There are many more talented writers out there.  I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it.  But I did read the entire thing.  Just like I read the entire Hunger Games Trilogy.  As for Twilight and Sleeping Beauty – couldn’t make it past book one in either case.

Anyway, now I guess I have a better idea what all the fuss is about.  Much ado about nothing much.  So of course perfectly suited to being turned into a full length movie or two!  My head hurts just thinking about it.  Read it for fun or diversion or to be a critic or to become a six star fan.  Or not at all.  More power to Ms. E.L. James who is laughing all the way to the bank in spite of what we think.  And threatening to write MORE!  I am SO biting my lip (and rolling my eyes) in breathless anticipation.

Q and A on the Last Day of May

Cartagena Film Festival office

Cartagena Film Festival office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Describe the last difficult goodbye you said.  Every goodbye is difficult for me.  Just ask the people who are foolish enough to phone me.  Or ask W, who left for Ontario over a month ago, planning to be gone for 5 or 6 months.  Drive carefully and see you later hardly seemed adequate as proper send-off sentiments.  Any goodbye is easier if you can convince yourself it’s certainly not forever.  Even better if you can just avoid saying it altogether.  Especially when loved ones are physically gone.  As long as you remember them, they can be close forever.

Have you ever attended a film festival?  Not a real one.  But lately I’ve been having my own private little film festivals watching Netflix on my computer into the wee hours at least twice a week.  They keep making suggestions (if you liked that one, you’re gonna LOVE this one….) and I keep adding things to my “list”.  In order to see everything I want to see I’ll have to somehow become immortal.

At what point in your life did you start feeling like an adult?  That would be yesterday around 4:00 p.m.  The feeling did not last long.  It never does.

What are you most looking forward to doing this summer?  Watching the grass grow.  And then watching someone else cut it.  I’ve used up all my holidays until the fall.  I have no trips planned.  I work four days a week and sometimes cover for holidays. So between working and lawn observation and talking about it here, I’d say my schedule is pretty tight.  No one else would say that, so I figured I might as well.

Create a new television show that will delight audiences.  Okay, and then what happens?  Will I get paid for this?  Or are you just toying with me?  Like when I’m asked for advice and then told how stupid it is?   Sorry, I’m not falling for this one.  The most delight I get out of the tv is when it’s turned off.  I don’t think that will  be a really popular option.

Who do you trust with your biggest secrets?  Since I can’t think what those biggest secrets might be, (or if I ever had any they appear to be long forgotten),  I suppose I can trust myself to not go around blurting them out to the world.

Recall one of the best teachers you’ve had.  Everyone I’ve ever met has taught me something.  Life itself is the best teacher.  And age is irrelevant.  Newborn baby, teenager, ninety year old – everyone has wisdom to share.  You just have to shut up and listen, mostly with your heart.  Sometimes with your eyes closed.

Do you think smoking should be banned in all bars and restaurants?  Yes.  And also in all private homes, public places, and parked or moving vehicles.  And anywhere else on the planet that’s not covered by those categories.  People should be encouraged to find a less disgusting way to kill themselves.

Name a song that always puts you in a good mood.  I’ll do better than just name it – listen to this and you will be inspired to figure out your own little happy dance.

Pirate Radio

Why have I never seen this movie before?  Where have I been?  Under a rock?  How did I miss “The Boat That Rocked“?  Great soundtrack (’60s Rock and Roll), amazing group of actors (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Chirs O’Dowd), exciting story, lots of fun!

When it was over, because it’s impossible to get too much Chris O’Dowd, I started watching “The IT Crowd” tv series in which he was one of the main stars.  And I actually laughed out loud.  A lot.

Either these shows are both excellent bits of entertainment or I’ve been living alone too long and Netflix has become my only friend.  Oh well.  Good times.

Movies! and More Movies!

Man, I have become some kind of movie watching machine in the last little while.  Trying to get my money’s worth out of Netflix I guess. Or trying to prove that as long as it involves sitting down I’ll watch just about anything.

 

If I had to pick just one out of all of these to recommend, it wouldn’t be this one:

Age of Darkness in French, but Days of Darkness in English, with English subtitles that someone complained were very poorly done.  And the story was just plain weird.

I love Lost in Austen, but never watched it from start to finish before.  I’m sure it’s been on tv.

And NOW, I’ve decided I need some Will Ferrell, best of, volumes one and two, from SNL.  Then I will blame the fact that I have nothing to write about on all this zombie-like movie watching.

Which is actually what I’m doing right now, if you think about it.

Movie Night

Seemed like a good idea to have a Netflix Night last night, so I did.  Quite often I spend so much time chosing what to watch that I don’t have any time left to watch it.  So I just clicked on some random thing in my list and here’s what I got.

Sandra Bullock is a great actress, but what a weird character she portrayed in this one!  I watched the whole thing though, without any fast forwards.  And that’s certainly not something that happens all the time. Then, still amazingly awake, I clicked on movie number two.

And once again surprised myself by sitting throught the entire thing, even though movies about making movies are not my idea of great stories for movies.  Just like reading a book about someone who is writing a book is not my favourite kind of plot.

Perhaps I could write a blog about someone who is writing a blog.  And then make it into a book about someone who makes her blog into a book and then takes the blogging book and turns it into a movie about a person who blogs and publishes her work and eventually stars in her own film.  I’m searching for the fast forward button just thinking about it.

We Saw the Hunger Games Movie!

And yes, we are still pumped and talking about that!  The movie opened here on Friday but we weren’t brave enough to try to get in to see it until yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.  Turned out to be perfect timing – one show was just sold out and starting and we were twenty minutes from the next one with no crowds to contend with, at the ticket counter or at the concession stand!  When we came out two and a half hours later the place was jam packed with a line up waiting to get into the theatre we were leaving.  There have been shows every twenty to thirty minutes every day since it started.

What an excellent movie!  It’s been a long time since I read the books and I know how difficult it is to develop a lot of characters in such a short time, but they did an admirable job with the main ones.  Of course there’s stuff missing, and a few changes, but all added up it’s a laudible interpretation of book one of the trilogy.

The casting for Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth) was brilliant.  There was no disappointment for me from book to screen.  And Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy – priceless.  I’m not as sold on President Snow being played by Donald Sutherland because he just doesn’t come across as evil enough  for me.  Perhaps he’ll get more diabolical as the series progresses.  Which means I’m hoping for sequels.

This is what the movie making people have to contend with as far as characters go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Hunger_Games_characters

What a daunting task.  I’m glad I read the books first, but it’s a great movie on it’s own.  We were a little concerned that there would be way too much violence (blood and guts and explosions and death scenes), but all kidding aside, the previews for the movies coming up were more horrific than the main feature.  I asked Kenzie to sum it up for me in one sentence and she said “It was awesome.”

I’m just going to agree with that.