amedia: (Feathery Fractal)
One of the weirdest movies I've ever seen, yet also very beautiful. Another movie I found through Tin Man fandom, and there were some resonances - the steampunk look-and-feel, the brain floating in a tank in green miasma, the villain who looked a lot like the head alchemist. It reminded me even more, though, of Dark City, something about the claustrophobic city setting that seemed to be constantly turning in on itself, a place where it was never light and always gloomy. We've been watching it over the last couple of days and finished most of the last hour tonight. We watched it in French with the English subtitles on.
amedia: (Oz OTP)
Well, as with most things in Tin Man fandom, this is all Erin's fault - IIRC, it was her post about Return to Oz when that movie meme was going around that made me curious. TODS and I watched the movie in segments as a break from grading.

DISNEY made this movie for KIDS????!!!!! I can just imagine them sitting around and saying, "Hey, where are those guys who scared the poop out of toddlers with the Heffalumps and Woozles sequence in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day? Let's give them some more LSD and see if they can scare the poop out of eight-year-olds!" I mean, dude, this movie would have TOTALLY spooked me if I'd seen it as a kid.

But as an adult, I really enjoyed it a lot. It was very creative and clever; I recognized a lot of plot elements from the various books, and I thought they brought things like Jack Pumpkinhead and the Gump to movie-life quite well. I liked Fairuza Balk as Dorothy a lot, and she managed to sound a lot like Judy Garland without sounding as if she was imitating her. Jean Marsh had WAY too much fun as the beautiful evil Witch-Princess in the tower with the over-the-top costumes (Azkadellia inspiration, anyone?).

mild spoilers )
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
We watched Starship Troopers 3 just before the hurricane, and When Nietzsche Wept partly before and partly after. (We actually unlocked a classroom and watched it using the projector, since we had no power at home.)

I can say two good things about Starship Troopers 3: it had Jolene Blalock, whom I enjoy watching, and it didn't suck nearly as bad as Starship Troopers 2. #2 was execrable; #3 was just crappy.

When Nietzsche Wept was excellent; it had a good handle on Nietzsche's philosophy and I was surprised to realize that Nietzsche was played by Armand Assante, who I thought was just a mini-series hunk. He was very, very good, and so was Ben Cross, who played Dr. Josef Breuer, an historical character who was a friend of Sigmund Freud and a contemporary of Nietzsche. It's based on a novel that imagines that Breuer treated Nietzsche with a kind of primitive psychotherapy, and was deeply affected by the process. I found the movie genuinely engaging and touching.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (modern)
I think I may have seen this movie a long time ago, but I didn't remember it very well.

I hadn't realized the narrator was Deems Taylor! One of my favorite books when I was growing up was a collection that he edited of retellings of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas with illustrations. His introduction to "Dance of the Hours" was a masterful bit of deadpan.

I enjoyed all the sequences. Some were almost hallucinatory - the "Dance of the Hours" reminded me of nothing so much as the Heffalumps and Woozles sequence in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. (It also had us going, "So that's where the "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" melody comes from!") I adored the little fairies in the Nutcracker Suite, but the "My Little Pony" cuteness of the mythological sequence set to the Pastoral Symphony made it my least favorite. [ profile] metherion was especially interested in the Night on Bald Mountain sequence because the demon who unfolds from the mountain is a character in Kingdom Hearts. And of course, "The Sorceror's Apprentice" is a classic! And I liked the period during the intermission when the orchestra relaxed by jamming in a jazz style.
amedia: (deadly ninja cuteness)
Rented and watched Batman Begins earlier this week in case we go see the Dark Knight in the theater. It had ninjas! I didn't really get emotionally engaged with the characters, but it was fun to watch. And there were ninjas! I was kinda distracted by trying to figure out if the girl was Katie Holmes (she was) and trying to divorce enjoying her performance with disliking the whole TomKat phenomenon. "But she's cute and spunky!" I told myself. Then my interior self did a perfect Ed Asner imitation and growled, as he did in the premiere episode of Mary Tyler Moore, "I hate spunk."

But there were ninjas!
amedia: (Ninja snack)
The trailer for this martial-arts parody was laugh-out-loud, wet-your-pants hilarious.

Alas, when you take that same number of laughs and spread them out over a ninety-minute movie, it wears thin pretty quickly.

Yes, it's one of those - all the best moments were already in the trailer!

Christopher Walken seems to be having a good time, and James Hong is a hoot as the trainer. George Lopez, whom I have seen primarily as a comedian, was very solid playing mostly a straight man (I mean, the person who sets up the jokes), which I understand is much harder than being the funny one. Aisha Tyler is awfully good as a Bond-style henchwoman. The rest of the supporting cast does their best. But the actor who played the central character just wasn't that great, and the material, while sporadically brilliant, was mostly just not very funny.

But when it was funny? OMG.
amedia: (UFO - Ellis)
This was a good movie, better than I expected. I think I might have seen it on TV when I was much younger; every once in a while a scene would look familiar. I had thought it was in black-and-white, but that's because my parents didn't get a color TV until 1975. (Hey, people thought they were bad for your eyes back then!)

The plot was more complex and interesting than the recent movie. I was all "yay" that the main romantic intrigue was between two middle-aged people, which is a rare and wonderful thing in a Hollywood movie, but then I found out that the actress playing the apparently-middle-aged widow was only 31 at the time. Humph. But she and James Mason struck some great sparks (according to the IMDB they didn't get along offscreen either) and I enjoyed their interaction and eventual rapprochement.

There were some rather silly musical interludes near the beginning so Pat Boone could showcase his talents (I think of him as a preacher, but he was a hot young stud at this time!), but fortunately they mostly vanished once they got to the underground part.

Very early in the movie, the professor receives an award and when he walks into class, his well-groomed students, all dressed in suits, stand up and greet him with a congratulatory song in 3-part harmony. I can't help but think that our glimpse of Trevor's sloppy and disrespectful class early in the new 3-D version was meant as a parody of this scene!
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
Decided to rent the first one before seeing the second, the previews for which had intrigued us.

How did we miss this before? It was great fun! Imagine Lovecraft-style demon-monsters fighting a contemporary-style sarcastic-snarky superhero, with a wild over-the-top backstory, creepy human villains, all kinds of bizarre religious references (how often does Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite - whom I quoted in my dissertation - figure in a comic-book movie?!!!!). Clearly it has destroyed my ability to construct coherent syntax.

And the DVD came with three episodes of Gerald McBoing-Boing (you can see it playing on a TV at some point during the movie) and an animated version of Telltale Heart, all of which we greatly enjoyed as well!
amedia: (rats)
We rented Ratatouille, which we'd always wanted to see. Very cute! I *loved* Peter O'Toole as the food critic!

We saw Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D in the theater with SIL and [ profile] metherion. The latter prefers to watch movies on DVD, but we dragged him along to get him out of the house (it was the day he crashed the car and he was moping) and because he wasn't going to get the 3-D effect from the DVD.

The 3-D effects were great - sometimes a bit blurry, but when they worked they made us jump. The story was very simple and I think the movie might have been boring without the 3-D, but it was fun. Brendan Fraser was very likeable as usual and the others were good as well.

Absolute favorite moment (no spoilers): Very early in the movie, Trevor is unpacking a box of miscellany and comes across a stereopticon. He stares at if for a moment, says, "I have no idea what that is," and tosses it aside. We have a couple of those!!!! TODS collects stereopticon cards! They're an early 3-D medium! So quite a nice reference for a 3-D movie.

mildly spoilery comment )

ETA: This is the SIXTH movie we've seen the theater this year! Last year I think we saw one (the 300). We probably hadn't seen six movies in the theater in the last three years combined! But it's been a great summer for movies and there are more coming - Dark Knight, the new Mummy - we saw an ad for a new animated film called Igor that looks great, too.
amedia: (lightning fractal)
A really unusual superhero movie and I enjoyed it a lot. It was good to see Will Smith and Charlize Theron in a movie again (I had just seen them in Bagger Vance!) There's an Easter egg a few minutes into the credits.
amedia: (Feathery Fractal)
Non-spoilery paratextual comments: How many things can go wrong in one theater, especially with only about fifteen people total? Well... The people in front of us wouldn't turn stop checking cell-phone messages; in a dark theater, watching a dark movie, that bright square of blue light right in front of you is incredibly distracting. They ignored our whispered requests to stop, but after my SIL left to get a manager, they finally turned it off. Fortunately she didn't miss much of the movie, but she shouldn't've had to miss any! (The manager never came, but that's another story.) Then some people came in late: a mom and dad who apparently didn't want to pay a babysitter because they brought a one-year-old and a three-year-old, who babbled and talked, respectively, for quite a while; they took them out once and brought them back in, then took them out for good. Meanwhile, the movie itself was jittery; it wasn't obvious until the action slowed down, but then we could tell that the film was moving rapidly back and forth (it was painfully obvious - literally - during the credits) in the projector.

We spoke to the manager afterwards. It turned out that the usher my SIL had talked to had gotten overwhelmed by a busy period and forgot to ask the manager to check on the cellphone user. The poor kid was right there while we were talking to the manager, and looked very embarrassed, and we emphasized that we didn't want him to be reprimanded or anything. We just wanted her to know the situation, and we also told her about the shaky film (we didn't mention the little kids - didn't want to be piling on). She was very understanding and thanked us for being so polite about the whole thing, and insisted on giving us free tickets for another movie AND a complete refund. Wow! We gave the tickets to the SIL, who loves movies and has a hard time affording them.

mildly spoilery comments )
amedia: (I Spy)
Non-spoilery comments: I *loved* this TV show when I was about twelve (it was on in reruns) and I enjoyed the movie immensely. I haven't laughed this hard at a movie in AGES. Lots of nice references to the series, too.

minor spoilers )
amedia: (colorful fractal)
We rented this ages ago, didn't have time to watch it, and dubbed it off onto a couple of tapes (which tells you how long ago it was!). Finally got around to watching it.
Read more... )
amedia: (ninja1)
Duuuuude. A very thinky movie. spoilery )
amedia: (rats)
Saw this one at MediaWest with the gang there - TODS saw it with SIL around the same time. Fun popcorn flick. I was especially glad to see Karen Allen again.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
I promised to post something about this movie when I saw it a couple of months ago, and I'm finally getting around to doing it!

This was a Japanese anime movie aimed at adults, and it was awesomely philosophical. It's about a company that uses dream-viewing technology as a kind of psychoanalytic tool, and it explores the notion of dreaming on many levels, from the actual dreams people have when they're asleep, to daydreaming/fantasizing, envisioning the future, watching movies, creating movies, visiting cyberspace, playing video games, and so on. It gracefully juggles ideas of randomness and control and plays with cosmos and chaos in an unusually creative way. I highly, highly recommend it.
amedia: (Legolas/Gimli)
This is the animated TV-movie by Rankin-Bass (no relation to the Ralph Bakshi Lord of the Rings). This one is by the same animators who did The Hobbit, in much the same style and with many of the same voices. They managed to give Glenn Yarborough, that glorious Irish tenor from the Limeliters, three or four songs to sing in snatches periodically, as opposed to The Hobbit in which he simply sang "The Greatest Adventure..." over and over and over and over until I wanted to strangle him. Even so, the Orcs definitely get the best songs. I'd heard good things about "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way," and I can only say, yes, it's a great song!

spoilers )

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