Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Monday #4

I watched The Bachelor instead. But ONLY because ABC promised, in its promos, that there would be a "BACHELOR BLOODBATH" and then the bachelor looked all solemn and threw roses in the fire and I totally fell for it, okay? Totally fell for it.

Also I was really tired.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Monday #3

Notes from a viewing of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (and, yes, I know I said I'd see a real movie in a real theater this week, but I didn't get off work until SEVEN -- otherwise known as like 11 hours after I GOT to work, and then I had to go to the stupid pharmacy, and then if I'd tried to sit in a theater I would have fantasized about my bed the whole time so CUT. ME. SOME. SLACK.) in roughly chronological order:

1. Oh, this is cute.
2. I like the way the characterizations rely heavily on strings of gerunds.
3. Wow, this is...long.
4. What's the deal with Anna Farris, anyway?
5. Yeah, still pretty long.
6. If a man built me a life-size Jello mold, I'd probably marry him on the spot.
7. Wait -- this is the HALFWAY POINT?
8. There should really be a key shown before every animated film that tells you which celebrities are doing the voices, because I spend more than half the movie playing "Wait, isn't that..."
9. There is a limit to the amount of life-sized food one can watch falling from the sky, and I hit that limit, oh, BACK IN THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION WHEN I STARTED WATCHING THIS MOVIE.
10. Wait, anaphalactic shock jokes? Are we allowed to joke about that now?
11. I like this movie just slightly less than I'd like to be asleep. In fact, that's probably the litmus test for every experience for my life from here on out: would I rather be doing this, or asleep?

Cute, overall. But man -- you have to be SOOOO GOOOD for me to like you when I'm this tired. Also, I was overwhelmed by the bright colors and occasional loud noises. I am aging. Or possibly regressing to babydom.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Monday #2

The variable I didn't take into account when planning a year of Movie Mondays is post-weekend fatigue. I am a basket case on Mondays, no matter how much sleep I get, no matter what I have to do, a swamp of typographical errors and disheveled hair and sentences that end "I'm sorry, what was I talking about?"

If I'd been up for a movie in the theater tonight, I'd have gone with something exceedingly simple. It's Complicated or Fantastic Mr. Fox or, God help me, even The Blind Side. But the goal of sitting in a cool dark space for two hours without falling asleep was completely unattainable, and the fact that I'd promised to watch the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother with a friend (priorities, people) made watching a full-length film at home AND getting a decent night's sleep out of the question, too.

I was a smart, smart woman when I inserted that "short film" caveat last week.

So. Right. I went to the iTunes store, and I start to browse, and I immediately got stumped. I didn't want anything too light since that feels like cheating, so I instantly ruled out a slew of Pixar stuff and Ferdinand the Bull (big ups to the bull and everything just, not, you know, today). Then again, I wasn't up for anything esoteric -- no lingering shots of wineglasses, no French soundtrack, no mothers staring into space as babies wail unconsoled. Or whatever.

I ended up settling on The Little Match Girl, the Disney adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. It (according to wikipedia, repository of all human knowledge) was originally going to be a part of the remake of Fantasia, but then got scrapped, and was ultimately (apparently) released as a special feature on The Little Mermaid DVD. So. Yes. Animated. But Oscar nominated! Full of pathos! Respectable! Just 366 seconds long!

AND TRAGIC AS ALL HELL. From about 0:45 on, my entire thought process was "Please just buy a match. Seriously. Okay. BUY A MATCH NOW PLEASE. The kid has no shoes. In the snow. In Bulgaria. BUY A MATCH FROM HER." And then she sinks into her imagination, and then she dies. It's lovely -- the orchestrations are beautiful, and the color palette seems rich, despite being limited to greys and browns....but I don't know. It's rare for me to question the point of something, and it's rarer for me to take things to task for being sad, but really: what's the point of six minutes' worth of sorrow for sorrow's sake, even if it's lovely?

Next week: a real movie. In a theater. Maybe. SUSPENSE!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Monday #1

The rules of Movie Monday are very simple: see a movie each Monday in 2010, preferably in a theater. If I watch a movie at home, it has to be something I've never seen before -- no fair watching, say, Up Close and Personal for the 24th time. Short films are okay, but only if I'm in an absolute bind.

And, ohhhh, the hopes I had for this Monday -- I'd planned a post-work trip downtown to see either Sherlock Holmes or Up in the Air. The headache I've had FOR THE ENTIRETY of 2010 had other plans. I was back home from work and curled up in bed by 11 am and stayed parked for hours, keeping the lights dim, listening to This American Life, and dozing off. There are plenty of things on Netflix Online I'm dying to watch, but all of them require substantial thought (The Third Man and The Thin Blue Line are hopefully up next). Long story short: on the way home from the pharmacy, I stopped at the library in search of 102ish minutes of complete fluff.

There's no pretty way to say this, but Movie Monday #1 was Get Smart, starring Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway, The Rock, Alan Arkin, and a bunch of people chosen for their "Oh, isn't that the guy from" factor alongside a bunch of people chosen for their apparent willingness to portray ethnic stereotypes.

It is important to note that I love Anne Hathaway beyond any reasonable measure. I will go to the mat in defense of her performance in Bride Wars, I have seen every stupid princess movie she's ever made (and the one not-so-stupid one), and if you don't recognize her performance in Rachel Getting Married as straight-up genius, um, we may not be friends anymore.

That said: this movie is basically what you'd expect. People get in and out of stuff in interesting ways. People fall out of airplanes and live. People try to kill other people in ridiculous ways. There is thinly veiled subterfuge. There is a REALLY FREAKING UNPLEASANT BIT with a rat. There is some dry, almost-funny-but-it's-just-not-quite humor. The age difference between Hathaway and Carell is explained away in the flimsiest manner possible so it's still super creepy when they kiss. A giant box falls on a car, which is always hilarious.

"Facts became known....identities were compromised....and.....I became a brunette."

It's completely watchable, a little ridiculous, and definitely forgettable.

Not a bad way to try and ride out a migraine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assume we're ALWAYS grading on a curve

I've been quiet here lately, by virtue of the fact that I have things to say, but wringing them out of my brain is tricky (delicate understatement), so when they do start to flow (deeply regretting this metaphor), I need to make sure they end up in Important Places (because oh my God, there are pieces of this damn book I've been working on for five (5!) years already, and can it be done now so that I can give my friends copies and afford rent?).

But today I needed to document something pivotal. Today I finally settled on my song of the summer. Now that I've said that, I will, of course, change my mind tomorrow.

Last summer, this was my song. (Key lyric: Decisions to decisions are made and not bought/but I thought/this wouldn't hurt a lot/I guess not...)

This summer, it's this.*

I still hear that first lyric and think it's true. I know it's true. But I hear Ms. Spektor singing "Good is better than perfect" and at LEAST 15% of me is willing to entertain the possibility that she could maybe perhaps be right. Just a little.

We are calling this "progress."

Also, not for nothing, but I think if I met the man this song describes I'd fall in love instantly, if not sooner. This is the point at which one of you is going to tell me that I'm missing something really creepy about it all, like the time I thought "I Will Poeses Your Heart" was really romantic, and it turned out it was about stalkers. Incidentally, I also thought "I'm Every Woman" was "Climb Every Woman" until well into my teens, but that is perhaps less relevant to what we are discussing now.

*Give it a minute to buffer. (That's what she said?)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The name itself sort of funny. Just. FYI.

So, I just did a Facebook search for the (unusual) name written in the front of a used book, then found the person and started trying to figure out, based on their profile, why they would want to sell said book, and then stopped abruptly, because oh my God, I'm the woman alone in her apartment wearing popsicle-stained pajamas and stalking strangers in a triumphant melding of book resales and the Internet, and THAT IS CREEPY.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sometimes you just Know.

I'm watching Nicholas Cage in the Criterion Collection Release (just kidding) of Knowing right now, and I'm less than ten minutes in.

So far the film has included a precocious child in the 1950s, the preparation of a time capsule, a marching band, a well-intentioned but clueless teacher, the precocious child (possibly an orphan?) found in the school basement after something terrible was done to/by her resulting in blood, endless scrolling numbers, images that appear to be satellite photos of the entire world or something, a precocious child in the present day, a pet rabbit with an excellent-looking hutch, an over-sized telescope, the rings of Saturn, a child's conversion to vegetarianism and a parent's over-the-top protestations to same, antlers, two tigers gettin' all playful with each other on the Discovery channel, a house that is supposed to be "quirky" but is really just somewhere Nicholas Cage's character could clearly not afford given what appears to be his current station in life, Nicholas Cage's character drinking a glass of red wine with a bit too much gusto, Nicholas Cage's character grilling hot dogs, and last but CERTAINLY not least, Nicholas Cage's both bewildering and beguiling forehead.

This will be the greatest cinematic experience of my life, obvz.