Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Friday, November 9, 2012

A wintry death

You guys. Snow + my car + my absolute inability to force myself to replace my sad old tires with anything even slightly more snow appropriate = all of these things will lead me to ruin before this winter is over. I love this canyon. I wish I could squash it into a tiny package, wrap it in sunshine and that wonderful smell it has after rain and then stuff it away in a little corner of my heart FOR ALL TIME, but the winter commute INTO the canyon is a completely different story. It's like running down a trail, coming face to face with a bear, the bear seeing you, running towards you, swiping at your face with its massive claws and missing by millimeters. That feeling you would have in your heart? That's how I feel when it's snowing and I somehow make it to work safely.

Off to ponder what other folksy nature-related metaphors I can share with you this morning.....

In the meantime, listen to this:

And then read the famously snarky A.O. Scott's review of Lincoln. It's not unusual for him to be so eloquent, but this kind of commendation and reverence is incredibly unusual coming from him. It is a wonderfully well-written review (I love and appreciate a good movie review), and I'm incredibly excited to watch this movie.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Projects and things

I just started working on a Wiksten Tova top in a super lightweight gauzy printed cotton. I want a million lightweight shirts for this summer- I have a feeling it's going to be extremely long and burningly hot (like every summer in Utah, let's be honest).

Thinking of summer makes me dream of vacations. I'm trying to decide whether or not to join a group of friends who are planning to hike Hadrian's wall next summer (see my last post on my inability to make long term plans with an uncertain future staring me down).

Not much funny has happened lately. Sorry.

Also, go see John Carter- just because I actually feel sorry for Disney that it was such a monumental financial flop. Honestly, it's completely absurd, but still kind of a fun movie- old fashioned swash-buckle-y-ness...but with lots of CGI and lots of abs. If nothing else, do it for Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So...I posted a while ago about a review of the movie "Anonymous" (I would put a picture here if I cared enough about it, but I don't, so DEAL with a pictureless post), and I went to see it as soon as it came out here because, whatever, I love movies, OK!? And even more than movies, I love a good period piece. Y'all know me. Anyways, I just realized that it's been weeks and I've failed to say anything about it (and a million other movies), partly because I was just. So. Disgusted. by it.

So here's the thing. Hopefully you know a little bit about Shakespeare. And hopefully you know a little bit about alternate theories of authorship of his works. One of the most popular (and most perplexing and obnoxious) theories started sometime in the 1920s with someone who said to himself one day "well this Shakespeare fellow was lower class. And poorly educated. And so was his family. So there is NO possible way that he would have been smart enough to pen the most transcendent works of the English language. No effing way, man" (they talked like that in the twenties). So this man set out to figure out who else could have been behind it and came up with Edward de Vere, then Earl of Oxford. He was wealthy, he was smart, he was close to the royal family (well the royal person, Elizabeth didn't exactly have a family...), somebody said one time that he was a poet, blah blah blah, it must have been him!

Fast-forward about 90 years, and, despite the fact that 10 of Shakespeare's plays were not performed or published before Oxford's death (and they could not have been published posthumously because some refer to events that didn't happen until years after his death), the theory only continues to grow in popularity, supported and propogated by celebrities (and why not? they're famous, so that makes them smarter than us, righ?!), despite the best efforts of prominent Shakespearean scholars to debunk this piece of ridonculosity (Shakespeare made up words, so I can too. Werd yo.)

So all this was floating around in my mind before I went to see "Anonymous", but I thought I'd find a pretty good movie despite the absurdity of its premise. Unfortunately, I found myself unable to willfully suspend my disbelief and enjoy the movie for its own sake. Why, you ask? Because, as the film went on, that premise struck me as more and more offensive. What? I was offended by a movie?!?? Yes, apparently I'm not beyond feeling. Or something.

Anyways, what offended me so much is that this whole theory (and the movie that supports it- director Roland Emmerich has become a major proponent, and released with the movie, a documentary by his prodcution company and lesson plans to be sent to high schools so kids could learn about this hogwash) is based on the idea that poor/uneducated/obscure people cannot do extraordinary things. Can you imagine tteaching that to high schoolers? Oh hey kids, do great stuff with your lives, but probably just accept that since you're pretty average you'll never do anything better than average, and if you do, the credit will go to someone else, because who would seriously believe that a kid like you could do anything extraordinary? I don't know why this makes me so mad, but it just does.

Oh and on top of that, the people who made this movie and who support the Oxfordian theory of authorship probably mourned the recent loss of Steve Jobs, designer and entrepeneur extraordinaire, which strikes me as ironic because, like Shakespeare himself, Jobs' early life was rather unextraordinary.

And. AND...should I spoiler this? don't read any further if you don't want spoilers.

According to this movie, Queen Elizabeth was a raging wanton who bore many children who were farmed out to be raised in anonymity by her noble vassals. So she never knew who they were. So we find out as the movie progresses that Oxford had an affair with Elizabeth that resulted in a child. NOT KNOWING THAT HE HIMSELF HAD BEEN ONE OF HER CAST-OFF CHILDREN. WHAT:SODfao;sh;oqw??!~!orh;oh?!?!?!?!??!! Oh yeah and they had a kid together. So Elizabeth had a child with her son. HER SON.

I like to keep an open mind when it comes to history, but this type of historical revisionism, that drags major players down to the gutter without any supporting evidence is just disgusting.

UGH. What a frustrating movie. I actually almost walked out of it. For me to even consider walking out of a movie is...pretty extreme. It is classist, it is disrespectful, and on top of that, probably its worst crime is that it's just not entertaining.

Not. Recommended.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More NYTimes movie review ratings:

"'Jack and Jill' is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). Poop jokes."

Classic. Needless to say, I won't be seeing this movie.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I love the New York Times movie reviewers because...well, for lots of reasons, but because, while being oh so smart, they're not afraid to just lay it all out there. Each review ends with the movie's rating, and the reasons for that rating. Usually the reasons have been tweaked.

The coda to A.O. Scott's delightful review of "Anonymous" (you know, that movie that puts forth the old theory that Shakespeare's plays were written by a well-heeled noble supporter?) reads thusly:

"“Anonymous” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Swordplay, bodice ripping, bawdy speech and the cold-blooded murder of the truth."

Spectacular. With just that last sentence, Scott simultaneously rips the movie apart AND increases my desire to watch it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have a really passive aggressive desire to post only about quilting and other..."domestic" hobbies that take up my time from now on, but for now I will resist.

I spent my lunch break today reading Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness". It's October (I thought I'd let you know just in case that fact has escaped your notice for the last 26 days), so I wanted something slightly Halloweeny, and what says "Halloween!" more than H.P. Lovecraft? Nothing.

Anyways, I just started and had only gotten through 4 pages over the last few days, but after today I am COMPLETELY HOOKED. It was quite a trial to tear myself away and go back to cataloging. Have you ever read it? Or any Lovecraft? You probably should, he basically invented the horror genre. But he wrote horror as it should be, not trying to substitute gore for horror. I think true horror should focus more on suspense, on the terror of the unknown, than on known, conventional villains (like any slasher story). I. Can't. Take. Slasher films.

I don't really have anything intelligent to say about any of this. Mostly just, if you haven't read any Lovecraft, you probably should (especially if you're looking to read something scary that will still let you sleep at night). Once you do, you'll start seeing references to him all over the place. Christopher Nolan's Batman movies (well, anything from anyone about Batman really- for some reason Lovecraft pops up a lot), Guillermo Del Toro references Lovecraft all the time, I feel like anything involving a protagonist turning to old musty archives for answers to their deepening fear is a reference to Lovecraft (I don't know where that meme started if not with him). If I paid more attention to things, I could go on longer. But I don't, so I won't.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You guys, ALL the good jobs open up when I'm not looking! I'm ticked. Today I saw the perfect job listing (archivist, working with lots of AV, in ATL at the Carter Presidential Library- I'm an archivist, I've worked with tons of AV, ATL is close to Chattanooga!) but I just can't bring myself to apply because if, on the off chance that I actually got it, I would have to leave my internship about 5 months early, and I know they would understand me leaving, but I just cant bear the thought of leaving so long before it's over! I was so excited when I got this because finally I would have some kind of experience that lasted longer than 4-6 months. I need to get a solid year on my resume.

Job application mental block ftw. ARG.

In other news:

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" was both crazy and stupid, but also confusing (not in a bad way) and entertaining. And oh honey, I never though Ryan Gosling was attractive until I saw this, but (pardon the expression), ROWR. ALSO, the character with whom I share a name is A CREEPER. I don't care if I'm giving you spoilers, but I am just so appalled because she has something unsavory going on inside her brain that drives her to give naked pictures of herself to a THRTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Let's talk about movies.

It's been a while.

Zookeeper doesn't merit a picture, but I saw it. Don't ask me why. I guess that's one of the consequences of being an anti-social hermit (that's kind of redundant) in a "big" city. Anyways...talking animals, Kevin James. It was pretty blah. The highlight was Rosario Dawson who I actually really like, and I'm not sure why she did this movie. She needed money I guess.

Harry Potter 7.2 was...great, of course. I've heard lots of whining about story changes, but hey, guess what, this is a movie, not a book, and it's not exactly like they're playing around with great literature- I've almost always enjoyed the movies better than the books in this series- Harry in the books was annoying enough, an that was at least slightly toned down in movie-Harry. Anyways, I don't care about the changes, and those of you who were with me at the last movie (or maybe it was the 6th one) know that my mind was completely blank as to what came next (they found all the horcruxes? what?). So ANYWAYS, this last movie was at least tied for me with the 3rd (and still the best) installment. I love Ralph Fiennes, he's vulnerable AND terrifying in his snakey self. Also, maybe I cried a bit. Don't judge.

First, before I talk about this movie, let me say that I do not recommend it. To anyone. Let's talk about why.

But first, some background. This is about a young "beauty queen" moved to Salt Lake in the late 70s. It's unclear why- she wasn't going to school, and she's not a Mormon, and to hear her tell it, all she did was hang out and party. Wholesomely, of course. So she tells this story of how one day she's driving around town in her white corvette and pulls up at a light next to a red corvette driven by what she describes as the most attractive man ever seen. In the whole world. Of course we then see a photo of Kirk, the object of her desire, as he looked at the time, and he is nothing as she described him- kind of this large geeky marshmallow of a man. They went on a few dates. Then, according to her, he just disappeared one day without a trace, and without a word to her. He had been kidnapped by those Mormons!

She moved to California to work and earn money to hire a private investigator to track him down. According to her she was waiting tables and working three jobs. We find out later she was working as an escort (though she claims she was...innocent...until she and Kirk finally consummated their love) and posing for some (and when I say some, I mean A LOT) of unsavory publications.

Anyways, long story short, she finds out through the investigator that he's in England, "forced" on a mission by those Mormons! She takes her "friend" Ken, some pilot she hired, and a hired bodyguard with her to England to track Kirk down and save him.

They find him, and here there are two distinct stories. According to Kirk, he was chloroformed, stuffed in a trunk, kidnapped, taken to a cottage in Devonshire, chained to a bed, and raped repeatedly by Joyce (the beauty queen). I should add here that the pilot she hired corroborates the chloroform story to an extent- when he saw that she had brought chains, handcuffs, and a bottle of chloroform to England with her, and when he was told that these things were all to help them rescue Kirk, the pilot luckily came to his senses, decided he didn't want to be involved, and went home to LA.

According to Joyce, he came willingly and acted as if he had been brainwashed, and she took him to the cottage to nurse him back to health with her love, which "nursing" she says was consensual. She claims that he made up the kidnapping story because he was terrified of what those Mormons would do to him if they found out he had had relations with her (because Mormons are scary like that).

So. That's the meat of the story. It is really a fascinating story, mainly because this Joyce is truly living in a different world of her own creation (she was arrested in the late 80s for stalking him- hanging around his office. She says his "fat Mormon wife" told the police it was stalking because she was jealous)- she still claims that she is completely in love with Kirk, and will be until she dies. She's never had another relationship since that time (according to her). I think she's also agoraphobic so he never leaves her house, and rarely has for years.

Most of the movie is an interview with her- these are the highlights- she cries and rages and just goes on and on about the injustice of it all. She's charming in her delusions, but watching her is also quite sad. She's had a difficult life, most of the difficulties being of her own making, but that makes her no less worthy of pity at the least, and empathy at most.

Herein lies my first problem with the movie. I'm not a filmmaker, but it seems to me that making a documentary, a serious documentary that looks closely at one person/their life/their actions requires a large bit of empathy on the part of the director. It didn't seem like this director, Errol Morris, had any at all for Joyce McKinney. Yes, she displays a lot of attention-seeking behaviors, but she is also kind of a tragic figure. If nothing else, the empty second half of her life, spent mostly alone in a farmhouse in rural North Carolina, should evoke our pity. Morris doesn't seem to have pity, let alone respect for his subject. He pulls together her interview in a way that magnifies the crazy, turning this into a comedy more than anything else.

When in reality it's a sordid story of (probably) unrequited and unreasonably long-lasting "love", kidnapping, rape and, well, that's enough, isn't it? A comment that I read about this made the point that if the genders in this story were reversed, no one would be laughing. But as it is, the idea of a woman raping a man seems laughable and impossible to most people. Guess what? It's neither. It's possible, and it's as deadly serious as any kind of sexual abuse.

Ok. On to problem two. Sorry this has gotten kind of heavy- if you've read this far, you deserve a medal. Leave a comment and I'll think about making you something awesome just for being a trooper. Anyways, my second problem. Wrapped up within the story about Joyce McKinney and her eternal love Kirk is a mini-anti-Mormon movie. The Mormon "expert" they interview is someone who is clearly antagonistic towards the church, and some of the things they talk about are just ridiculous in their untruth. The things that ARE true are treated in such a way that they seem absolutely ludicrous, which would happen if you talked about any religion's doctrine in that way. In the end, if I had known about that aspect of the movie, I would not have gone- I would rather not pay money to support something that tears down not just individuals, but entire belief systems.

So, to summarize, "Tabloid" treats a very interesting subject, but does it with so much disrespect all around that it's created in me a new desire to be more diligent in self-educating myself when selecting what I watch.

One last note about this- Joyce has been showing up at screenings of "Tabloid" all over the country to heckle and rage at the screen and generally cause a ruckus (it seems she's not too happy with the way she was depicted either). I kept expecting her to jump up near the end and yell "I'm Joyce McKinney!!!!!" as she has a few times, but I was disappointed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I saw X-Men: First Class this weekend. I was not dissatisfied at having spent money on this, but that may only be because my expectations were kept so low by the last few movies. Mostly I was happy to have an excuse to stare at James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender for a couple of hours.

All that said, it was a fairly goofy movie with a disproportionate number of go-go boots and very mini miniskirts (but I'm pretty sure that's an accurate representation of the time period).

I don't really have much else to say about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I finally got to see the "Cave of Forgotten Dreams". I love going to the downtown theater by myself (even though it seems hopelessly pathetic). It's close enough that I can go on my bike and breeze past all the diners and trade-conference-attendees that generally clog the streets in that part of town.

(quick summary for those who have never heard of it, this is a documentary about Chauvet cave in Southern France where, in the early 90s, three hikers discovered a pristine cave containing by far the oldest (32,000 yrs old) cave paintings known. Since its discovery, the cave has been sealed- only a few researchers have been allowed access- to preserve the environment within the cave that has kept the paintings in such good condition for so long)

Anyways, I enjoyed it. I think I had maybe glanced at some photos before of the cave before, but never really paid attention. That's probably a good thing though because I, in my state of ignorance, felt like I was discovering it for the first time with Werner Herzog and his supporting cast of anthropologists and paleontologists as my guides. This is worth seeing just for the footage of the paintings. They are spectacularly beautiful, painted with an understanding of their subjects as well as an artistic interpretation that we tend to think can only be displayed by our modern artists. I think that a lot of our shock and awe at the beauty of the images themselves comes because we forget or can't possibly understand that the people who painted them were probably very similar to us. Sure, different lifestyle, they still had Neanderthals to contend with, etc...but fundamentally I'm positive that they were motivated by the same things that we are. No amount of technology can change the nature of our basic concerns as human beings- survival, relationships, etc...

Herzog manages, even with this epically fascinating (and at times rather dry) subject, to find little flashes of humor. What I love though is that he presents to us the absurdities of some of the guest stars without derision- it seems he's rather fond of the old perfumer with the crazy eyes and the anthropologist who dresses like a mountain cave man in furs and leather (for no apparent reason). There's an interesting parallel between the interest in the lives of the creators of the paintings and the lives of these modern characters- it's the same interest, and we (I) feel the same drive to know more about/understand more about both groups.

At one point, Herzog is interviewing an anthropologist who used to be a circus performer (which is kind of fabulous) who is surprisingly eloquent. He makes what for me was the most poignant point in the film. He says that "past is lost". That, to me, is the greatest tragedy of any profession dealing with the past (like I do, though the more recent past)- the loss of those lives and their lessons. It is painful and it is hard to accept.

Though that was the lesson that stuck with me the most, I think the point Herzog tries to make is exactly the opposite- that the past is not truly lost, not in this case at least, because those ancient artists left behind something of themselves in their paintings. They left evidence that they lived, and they left evidence that they interacted with the world in which they lived, and they left evidence that they understood the world as it is- full of wonder.

(All of the pictures I've added to this post come from the French Ministry of Culture's website dedicated to the cave. Go there to explore a map and images of the cave, as well as to find out more about its history)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Note to self: never donate blood at work again! I had an appointment for 2:15 and didn't get out until 4- that is WAY too long to spend waiting to bleed for 6 minutes. That's right- only 6 of the 120 minutes I took away from my desk were spent at the purpose for which I went. Useless, chatty phlebotomists. On top of that, I'll probably end up passing out later this evening- I realized that it's probably been almost 10 years since I donated...that just doesn't seem right because I've always been so pro-donation, but that was the last time they had me in the system- 2002, when my address was still Whispering Pines, NC. That seems like a thousand years ago now. High school...

ANYways, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is playing now at the theater here downtown- I'm super excited to see it- look it up! It's about a cave in France where, in the early 90s, some...I don't know what they were...random cave explorers- oh I just remembered- it was something crazy where they were hiking or chilling in another cave and felt a breeze coming through what they thought was a solid wall- they went searching and found this huge cavern that contains what are thought to be not only the oldest, but the best preserved and most beautiful cave paintings in the world. Soon after, the French government restricted access to only a lucky few, basically locking up the cave (and probably with good reason- to prevent damage to the paintings). Rumor is they're getting ready to create a sort of park centered around the cave and opening it to public access and (one would think this was related) so opened up the cave to Werner Herzog and a small film crew so he could make a documentary (in 3d no less!) of the cave. Something about this cave seems fabulous and mysterious and i want to go to there, so I'm excited to go see that here in the next week or so.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trying to find a job is STRESSING ME OUT.

I haven't left the house in three days because of the snow.

Glee hasn't been on tv for A WHOLE MONTH.

I thought classes started tomorrow, and if it weren't for my department's student affairs coordinator, I would have no idea that they actually start today. THAT was almost a disaster. Once, at BYU, I actually did miss the first day of a class because I couldn't find the HRCB on the map (stupid, right?). I was mad.

Did I ever write about Black Swan? Because all of the above things are not good, but they're not exactly ruining my life. Do you know what did ruin my life? BLACK SWAN. If you are even thinking about watching it, DO NOT. Don't get more curious because I said that and go see it anyways. I am telling you, if you want your life to continue happy and carefree as it has hopefully been to this point, by all that is holy, DO NOT watch that movie. I thought to myself "Ooh, psychological thriller...ballet...what could possibly go wrong? This sounds basically amazing." Little did I know what awaited me was basically a few explicitly, agressively, and violently sexual encounters woven together by things like...oh, Winona Ryder stabbing herself repeatedly in the face with a metal nail file...and...a daughter beating up her mother and breaking her hand by slamming her fingers in a door- over and over and over again...and....lots of terrible bloody self-mutilation. Toned down, this could have been a great movie about one girl's descent into madness (although she really started the movie in madness so maybe descent isn't the correct word...). As it is, it's a two-hour shock-fest, where the shocks are indeed shocking, but have tenuous relevance to the story itself. Blurg.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Facebook is...(duh duh duh) down? I was just trying to get on and kept getting the message that it's unavailable and maybe I entered the wrong address. I don't know if you've seen the recent 100% accurate movie ABOUT Facebook, "The Social Network" (I did, and it was fabulous...more on that later), but Facebook DOESN'T GO DOWN. I guess I have no other choice but to go to sleep now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't laugh at me.

I don't watch scary movies very often. Until I watched "Devil" the other night, I think the last real horror movie I saw was "The Grudge". This is because, after an epidemic of boldness and stupidity my first year or two of college, I realized that after I watch horror movies, I CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT. I don't know what it is, haunted houses and things that are real like, oh say, people with guns, don't bother me too much, but show me a freaky movie and I will crawl up under five blankets on my bed (which I have probably moved to the center of the room by this point) with all the lights on, the tv on, and probably a book to read (the more distractions, the better). Don't tell me they're not real. I KNOW they're not real. I'm not an idiot. But maybe it's a symptom of my all too willing suspension of disbelief (which makes me generally a rather easy to please movie-goer), that once I watch something horrifying, I'm reminded of it in the most ridiculous places. So because of this...ahem...problem that I have, I have been studiously avoiding watching television commercials for the upcoming movie "Case 39"- some hooey about a foster child and the curse that plagues her- anyone who helps her DIES. Oh dear. Silly though it be, I can tell that it's scary and I don't want none of it. ANYWAYS, the point of this unnecessarily long explanation is that, with the tv on, but muted, in the background while trying to register for classes just now, I happened to look up right at a moment of scary-face-showing during that commercial. I deeply regret it. Guess how I'll be sleeping tonight?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I include this picture because this is the way I would MUCH have preferred that Nicolas Cage look in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Since when do a (to quote the movie) "300 year old rawhide coat" and hair made out of straw translate into an ultra powerful sorcerer? I'm sorry, Nic, but no matter how much you spin, that hair will NOT turn into gold. I DON'T CARE WHAT THE MICE TOLD YOU.

So unfunny fairy tale tangent aside, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was average. It had some sweet romantic moments, some really delightful Alfred Molina scenes (all of his scenes, actually- his acting is really quite delicious- he did the best he could with a ridiculous script), some scenes of trademark Cageian insanity (which are also guiltily delightful), and lost of unnecessarily silly action sequences and occultism. Magic is awesome, but when the final spell of ultimate evil requires the wicked witch to writhe around on the ground like a...well you don't want to know like what...then it's just too much. I could definitely have gone without the hair swinging.

Final verdict- silly effects+gaudy jewelery+randomly kind of hot Jay Baruchel= C+

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Ok so maybe thats not the real poster, but you get the point. On Saturday I went to see "Predators" with Nicole, fellow librarian. It was...pretty much exactly what I expected, which wasn't much. Imagine, for a second, that the same team that made the original movie set out to do...everything they had already done, in exactly the same style, with a new cast (except for the monsters, of course) and better special effects, and you'll have quite a good idea of what this was like. Bright spots: Adrien Brody and...I hesitate to add him to this list, because he only makes it by sheer force of insanity, but Laurence Fishburne. Also the Yakuza gangster whose name I do not know, but whose scenes were wonderfully referential to older Tokyo gangster films like...well, "Tokyo Gangster" (Kristin, please tell me you remember that). Laurence did the best he could with the material he had, which amounted to not very well with not very much, but it turned out to be one of the more entertaining sections of the entire film. All of that being said, the writing was astonishingly bad, and the violence was over-wrought. It had some really great "ARE THEY SERIOUS?!?!?!?!" moments, but not much else worth going for. Maybe I should start grading movies. I give this one a solid C-.

This definitely had some entertaining previews though. Look up "Machete". I promise you will not be sorry you did.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Why does A.O. Scott always end up reviewing the movies that I am most anticipating? Where are you Manohla?!?!?

Whatever. It's still a well-written review, though a bit disappointing:

"Admirers of Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” will find themselves in good company, though “Inception” does not come close to matching the impact of those durable cult objects. It trades in crafty puzzles rather than profound mysteries, and gestures in the direction of mighty philosophical questions that Mr. Nolan is finally too tactful, too timid or perhaps just too busy to engage."

Ouch. Not what I wes expecting.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I haven't posted about movies in a long time and Andrea blogged a rant today about chick flicks and it got me all fired up, so I guess I'm in the mood now.

First up is a real gem- a French movie called "Barbe Bleue" or, in English, "Blue Beard". It's based on a classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault (ever heard of...oh, Cinderella? That's because of him), a 17th century writer and collector of folk stories. If you've read a lot of the Grimm Brothers o Hans Christian Andersen, you know that some fairy tales can get a little out of control, and Blue Beard is no different (seriously- what in the world is this about?). So anyways, in this movie (one of a large number of versions), two young girls in the 50s are narrating. The younger sister forcefully reads the older the story because the younger is fascinated by it. The elder is terrified. The story itself is about two sisters whose father dies, for which happening they are kicked out of their convent/school. Back home, they talk about their neighbor, old Blubeard, who has been married several times, though his wives have all mysteriously disappeared. The younger is obsessed with his wealth and the idea of escaping to his world of wealth and luxury, and accepts his proposal of marriage. Long story short, he leaves one day, giving her all the keys to the palace, telling her to visit every room and explore the whole property, but not to use the small golden key. So what does she do? Of course she figures out which door it opens and goes inside. There, she finds the bodies of his dead wives (though some versions of the story have them alive still, but tortured and imprisoned and nearly dead). She freaks out, leaves the room, and relocks the door. HOWEVER, instead of staying away for months as he promised, he comes back the next day. Of course she is still out of her mind, he notices, and $#!% happens.

So. Morbid, right? Aside from the one terrifying scene, the dead wives, the film is pretty sedate. It's very interesting because while the little gil narrators are spectacular little actresses (it feels so natural!), the acting in the fairy tale is rather wooden, almost emotionless. I've read a number of reviews that really criticize this, but I think it's a deliberate statement by the director, not the sad result of a woeful lack of talent as some have implied. It leaves them as generic representatives of men and women, their relationships a rather bitter commentary on the sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet relationship between the two. It also preserves the feeling that this is a story we're watching, not a reality or any kind of direct representation of it.

That being said, it is wonderfully watchable and definitely worth the time. It's on watch anytime on Netflix right now if you've got some free time (and, of course, a subscription)

THE LAST AIRBENDER: Well, if you're free for a matinee and really don't care how you spend your time, go see it. Otherwise, avoid like the plague. The performances here are painfully wooden, and not on purpose like the previous film. Just painful, especially remembering Mr. Shyamalan's former talent. Sorry M. Night, you've been replaced and overwhelmed for me by the giant of J.J. Abrams.

Well, all that I really have to say about this movie is "Oh HEEEEEEY Bradley Cooper!!!". The plot and writing were completely absurd. That doesn't, however, negate the fact that this is a good movie to escape the heat on a weekend afternoon. Worth a matinee (maybe not in D.C. though, where matinees are NINE DOLLARS). Lots of explosions, one really entertaining bad guy (hey Raul!), and some really silly portrayals of military types.

I think I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year" is the second best Bollywood movie I've ever seen (after "Lagaan", which is no longer available on DVD or Netflix or anywhere really). It's kind of "The Office" meets India without the sarcasm or the great writing. Harpreet Singh reports a client at his first ever job for requesting a bribe, is told by his boss "that's how we roll", and decides to start his own competing company while still at his job and using their resources (but keeping a strict accounting of everything he uses so he can repay it someday). His boss is horrible to him, more and more coworkers join him, then the whole situation blows up and his boss forces him out of business. Heartwarming self-examination and happy resolution ensues. It's a good, simple, solid movie. AND it's under three hours! (My main complaint about the Indian film industry is that it cannot, for the life of it, produce a movie that is less than three hours long- this one actually is, but only by about twenty minutes). Anyways, if your in the mood for something a little different, give it a try. This one's also on watch anytime on Netflix right now.

I feel like four is a good place to stop for tonight. K bye!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's new

Bored of my design and wishing I hadn't changed from the old one now. It was perfect.

I've been really really falling behind on my movie posts. When I have time I will. Maybe. Here's a sneak preview: Killers was terrible, Letters to Juliet had bad costume design (the Adidas!), and The A-Team was (if such a term can be applied to this type of film) fluffy. But Liam Neeson made that more than worth the $11 ticket price.

I had tapas for the first time this week, and it was a good experience. This was (I'm guessing) a rather low quality tapas restaurant, but I have since gotten some leads on a few very good restaurants that I will definitely be trying.

This last week and a half has been almost a total loss for me work-wise. Monday we didn't work because TWC had programming for us, Tuesday one of the librarians set up visits to the Archives of American Art (inspiring) and the library that serves the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of American Art (peaceful), Wednesday she also set up visits to the American History Archives (spectacular) and the Library of American History at the National Museum of American History (small but good swag). It was really wonderful of her to go to so much trouble to arrange all of those visits for my fellow library interns and I. Also, it was just effing awesome. I had my own private geek fest. Then Thursday through today (Tuesday again) I was off work to attend the American Library Association's annual conference. It was a huge messy geeky greedy get-together of like minded folk. Lectures, discussions, vendor exhibits, and best of all, soooo many free books. Granted, they might be books I would never read if left to myself (Brian Sanderson? SERIOUSLY? Even I have my limits of geekiness), but I got them for free so now I am clearly obligated to dedicate the time.

As a closing note (I'm getting sleepy) if you have Netflix, watch the 2009 French version of "Blue Beard" (Barbe Bleue). It is spectacular, restrained, grotesque, and just very very enjoyable.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I don't have anything exciting to blog about right now.

Just a warning.

Last night I saw "Alice in Wonderland". I'm not really a fan of Tim Burton (or Helena Bonham Carter these days, except when she's ridiculous Bellatrix...or to be honest Johnny Depp, I'm not sure his career is going where he thinks it is right now) so I was not awaiting this premiere with baited breath, but you know how I love movies in general, and especially movies at midnight. They're just better.

That being said, I was really impressed. I was not creeped out as I thought I would be, it was hilarious, the costumes were insane (in the best way possible), the beasts were cuddly, the mouse carried around an eyeball for most of the movie, Mia Wasikowska has the cutest accent imaginable, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter had pigs and monkeys in place of table or chair legs, and...I want to watch it again already. Always a good sign.

So in summary, I'm mad they only had 3D and it cost me $13, but it was mostly worth that much.

All I write about these days are movies, I'm sorry. My life just isn't all that exciting. I dog-sit. I do homework. I have class on the internet (gag me). I sew. I have weekly Glee night. I gossip. I read. I volunteer. Have I written about that yet?

I started volunteering a while ago at two museums in the area. One, the National Medal of Honor Museum, has a separate archive where I spend a few hours each week. It's a tiny museum located in the local mall for the time being because the old location was a moldy flooded nightmare. The other, the Hunter Museum of American Art, is a larger, more financially sound institution where I work in the library each week. The main volunteer is Frances. She's been there for 30 years, is in her 80's, can't hear anything I say, and is rather charming. They still use a card catalog (which they are outgrowing...I keep wanting to tell them just to scrap it all and try something a bit more modern, but the curators prefer this...I have no idea why), and I do a bit of cataloging, book repair, filing, whatever. It's small but it's something to do.

I had a job interview the other day at a local college as a records clerk/counselor/something. It's one of the few I've had since I've been here, and actually went really really well. I dread job interviews. They usually go horribly, I can never think of good answers, and I always leave feeling completely stupid. This however, left me feeling brilliant. There were six people there to interview me (overkill? I think so...), which was ridiculously intimidating, but I managed to control my nervous shaking and present a calm exterior and give great answers to all the questions. I even made them laugh. It was wonderful. The thing is, I haven't heard back yet. It's been almost two weeks now. They warned that it would take a while, but I can't help but be nervous. They had 200 applicants, about 50 of whom had Master's degrees already. I suspect the only reason I got an interview was because I (apparently) know one of the administrators (I didn't even realize this until after I submitted the application, and to be honest, I didn't even remember applying or what in the world the job was when they called to set up the interview) but anyways, still waiting to hear back on that. It would really be ideal. I think that it would be similar in a lot of ways to working at IS. Only, obviously, it would pay much more.

BUT. Right now, I'm really unsure whether I even want this job or not. I have no idea what I would say if they called me tomorrow (which they won't because it's a Saturday) and offered me the job. Why? Because I've already been offered a paid internship this summer at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (heavens, what a mouthful) library. It's not really in the area I want to go into, but it's in an area of librarianship that is higher paying, and probably easier to get into. And, all that aside, it's experience (which I don't have, but need) and it pays real money (which I don't have, but need). If I took a full-time job right now, there is no way I could take ten weeks off this summer to live in West Virginia. Also, I've recently been to a national lab. And who mostly works in labs? Men. Attractive ones. So. Full-time job, temporary security, or no full-time job, start substitute teaching next week, and make myself more valuable to future employers. Which is more important. I have no idea. Please tell me.

So this post basically started off stupid, became inane, and just got really long.

Guess what? Spring break is next week. I HAVE A SPRING BREAK. Take that, world.