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Two words: SKATE COPS

Real Steel

Oct. 27th, 2011 01:11 am
lillibet: (Default)
Tonight we went to see Real Steel, because I couldn't talk Jason into Footloose and he couldn't talk me into Moneyball. The reviews I'd read said that the father-son reconciliation plot elevated this movie beyond its premise. Not so much. The actors were good--Hugh Jackman makes battered & broken look beautiful and he and Evangeline Lily had a couple of good moments--and the kid is cute and the robots are kind of nifty when they're not beating the crap out of each other. If you don't think you'd like a boxing movie, then this is not the movie for you. It's a pretty straight cross between The Karate Kid and The Full Monty. If you're now picturing Mr Miyagi leaving his hat on, you're welcome. The odd thing was that there were a number of mentions and moments that suggested places they could have gone with this movie, but didn't.

Plot Points Not Taken, Behind the Cut )

It was worth the popcorn, but maybe not the price of an IMAX ticket.

Super 8

Jul. 2nd, 2011 12:30 am
lillibet: (Default)
Jason and I saw Super 8 tonight.

There was a lot about it that I really liked and a few great bits, but in the end it failed to make the jump to "great".

Spoilers behind the cut )

Super 8 wasn't quite the movie for me. I can understand why many people love it, but to me it felt like a hodge-podge of homage to the greats, rather than going for great in its own right. But it's by no means a bad way to spend a Friday night and perhaps a preview of better things to come from many of those involved.
lillibet: (Default)
We saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World last night. Overall, I enjoyed it--it's fun and does a better job than many other attempts to bring a comic book sensibility to the screen. The video game tropes were consistently amusing and the characters remarkably true to life for such a stylized endeavor. I was at a party with a lot of those people on Friday night.

Thoughts about comic books and the movies based on them )


Thoughts about violence and women )

Thoughts about Michael Cera )
lillibet: (Default)
We saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World last night. Overall, I enjoyed it--it's fun and does a better job than many other attempts to bring a comic book sensibility to the screen. The video game tropes were consistently amusing and the characters remarkably true to life for such a stylized endeavor. I was at a party with a lot of those people on Friday night.

Thoughts about comic books and the movies based on them )


Thoughts about violence and women )

Thoughts about Michael Cera )
lillibet: (Default)
Jason and I recently saw The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko's film about the children of a lesbian couple finding the sperm donor who is their natural father. We really enjoyed it--it's one of the best depictions of marriage that I've ever seen on screen and the acting is fantastically unstudied.

As it happens, we had just watched one of Cholodenko's previous films, Laurel Canyon a week earlier. One of the things I noticed in both movies is that while the flirtations have a lot of chemistry, the actual sex scenes are frenetic and pretty joyless.

I think the problem with them is that they are very realistic. There's no soft lighting, the camera doesn't avoid the physical truth of aging bodies or the awkwardness of fitting all those arms and legs in one bed. There's not a lot of gasping and moaning--except for breath. The oral sex scenes are hidden by blankets, but they don't shy away from the potential for tedium. This is what sex really looks like.

And isn't that a good thing? Maybe the expectations that the media create are so unrealistic that it's good to have scenes that show how un-sexy sex can be. I haven't spent much time watching other people have sex--with rare exceptions I've followed Zero Mostel's timeless advice "Say 'oops!' and get out!" I've never been interested in filming myself in action, but I'm sure I don't look any better than Julianne Moore.

So why do these scenes feel so strange and wrong? Have I just swallowed the kool-aid and come to believe that sex is--or at least can be--a heart-stoppingly sexy thing? I think the problem is that what these scenes are showing us is only what it looks like. No, there aren't fireworks going off overhead, nor shooting stars (with one memorable exception) but when I have sex, my mind envelops the act in sexiness. It's magical because I believe in the magic. It doesn't matter what it looks like; in order for it to be believable, it needs to convey something of what it feels like. Otherwise the sex scenes end up ruining the mood.
lillibet: (Default)
Jason and I recently saw The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko's film about the children of a lesbian couple finding the sperm donor who is their natural father. We really enjoyed it--it's one of the best depictions of marriage that I've ever seen on screen and the acting is fantastically unstudied.

As it happens, we had just watched one of Cholodenko's previous films, Laurel Canyon a week earlier. One of the things I noticed in both movies is that while the flirtations have a lot of chemistry, the actual sex scenes are frenetic and pretty joyless.

I think the problem with them is that they are very realistic. There's no soft lighting, the camera doesn't avoid the physical truth of aging bodies or the awkwardness of fitting all those arms and legs in one bed. There's not a lot of gasping and moaning--except for breath. The oral sex scenes are hidden by blankets, but they don't shy away from the potential for tedium. This is what sex really looks like.

And isn't that a good thing? Maybe the expectations that the media create are so unrealistic that it's good to have scenes that show how un-sexy sex can be. I haven't spent much time watching other people have sex--with rare exceptions I've followed Zero Mostel's timeless advice "Say 'oops!' and get out!" I've never been interested in filming myself in action, but I'm sure I don't look any better than Julianne Moore.

So why do these scenes feel so strange and wrong? Have I just swallowed the kool-aid and come to believe that sex is--or at least can be--a heart-stoppingly sexy thing? I think the problem is that what these scenes are showing us is only what it looks like. No, there aren't fireworks going off overhead, nor shooting stars (with one memorable exception) but when I have sex, my mind envelops the act in sexiness. It's magical because I believe in the magic. It doesn't matter what it looks like; in order for it to be believable, it needs to convey something of what it feels like. Otherwise the sex scenes end up ruining the mood.
lillibet: (Default)
Finally saw Where the Wild Things Are tonight. I only cried twice:

Cut, Cut, Cut )

As I said to [livejournal.com profile] muffyjo, whose superpowers of babysitting allowed us to go to the movies for the first time in forever, it was like a kick in the head, but in a good way.
lillibet: (Default)
Finally saw Where the Wild Things Are tonight. I only cried twice:

Cut, Cut, Cut )

As I said to [livejournal.com profile] muffyjo, whose superpowers of babysitting allowed us to go to the movies for the first time in forever, it was like a kick in the head, but in a good way.
lillibet: (Default)
Last night Jason and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. A couple of people asked me to tell them whether or not they can see it. I think the short answer is "no"--if violence and torture, of children no less, and grinding, filthy poverty and endemic treachery aren't things you can watch. They're all framed by a lovely fairy tale, with music by A.R. Rahman (the guy who did the music for Bombay Dreams) and for me that made it bearable and even wonderful. But it's not a movie for the faint of heart.
lillibet: (Default)
Last night Jason and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. A couple of people asked me to tell them whether or not they can see it. I think the short answer is "no"--if violence and torture, of children no less, and grinding, filthy poverty and endemic treachery aren't things you can watch. They're all framed by a lovely fairy tale, with music by A.R. Rahman (the guy who did the music for Bombay Dreams) and for me that made it bearable and even wonderful. But it's not a movie for the faint of heart.

FTW

Aug. 29th, 2008 12:43 am
lillibet: (Default)
Tonight is our last date night for a while, since we're heading into rehearsals and that eats up both our babysitting resources and time we're willing to spend away from Alice.

First we went to see Bottle Rocket, a movie about the blind tasting between French and Napa wines in 1976 that put California on the international wine map. It was a fine, fun little movie and we really enjoyed recognizing locations where they shot and the reminders of some excellent wines we loved from that region. But I was distracted by what I can only characterize as bad directing. The script was somewhat preachy and stilted, but really undermined by poorly framed scenes that left the generally excellent actors really hanging out to dry. It's not bad, overall, but I think it could easily have been a lot better.

After that movie, I was really craving good wine and I got it at Oleana: a glass of the exceptional 2005 Bobal Blend, Mustiguillo ‘Mestizaje,’ Utiel-Requena, from Valencia, Spain. It was accompanied by a lovely meal of fried haloumi and squash blossom dolmas, followed by their excellent chicken for Jason and the rabbit shawarma and crispy duck for me.

And we got back in the car just in time to hear the last ten minutes of Obama's speech.

FTW

Aug. 29th, 2008 12:43 am
lillibet: (Default)
Tonight is our last date night for a while, since we're heading into rehearsals and that eats up both our babysitting resources and time we're willing to spend away from Alice.

First we went to see Bottle Rocket, a movie about the blind tasting between French and Napa wines in 1976 that put California on the international wine map. It was a fine, fun little movie and we really enjoyed recognizing locations where they shot and the reminders of some excellent wines we loved from that region. But I was distracted by what I can only characterize as bad directing. The script was somewhat preachy and stilted, but really undermined by poorly framed scenes that left the generally excellent actors really hanging out to dry. It's not bad, overall, but I think it could easily have been a lot better.

After that movie, I was really craving good wine and I got it at Oleana: a glass of the exceptional 2005 Bobal Blend, Mustiguillo ‘Mestizaje,’ Utiel-Requena, from Valencia, Spain. It was accompanied by a lovely meal of fried haloumi and squash blossom dolmas, followed by their excellent chicken for Jason and the rabbit shawarma and crispy duck for me.

And we got back in the car just in time to hear the last ten minutes of Obama's speech.
lillibet: (Default)
Also from [livejournal.com profile] smackaski
Below is the Entertainment Weekly's list of 100 Classic Movies of the past 25 years.
Bold the ones you've seen, underline the ones you plan to.

Listy, list, list )
lillibet: (Default)
Also from [livejournal.com profile] smackaski
Below is the Entertainment Weekly's list of 100 Classic Movies of the past 25 years.
Bold the ones you've seen, underline the ones you plan to.

Listy, list, list )
lillibet: (Default)
This Slate review of the movie Jumpers is amusing me this morning. A few choice bits:

Hayden Christensen is an actor of precisely one affect: a petulant, boyish entitlement so impregnable it borders on malevolence.

...jumpers live life "with all the boring parts cut out." That would definitely rule out this movie.

Only Sam Jackson could spray in a way that makes you think, man, that's some badassed spraying.

Those [Swingers and Go] were movies about amoral jerks with pitiable aspirations toward a materialistically imagined "good life." So is Jumper; but it also feels, depressingly, like a movie by one.

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