pen_grunt: (Unbearable Lightness of Being Hat)
Every now and then movie execs don't know exactly how to market a movie. Apparently this was the case with The Princess Bride; is it comedy? Is it drama? Is it romance? Is it...for kids? Not for kids? (Carey Elwes talks about some of the issues with marketing in As You Wish.)

The movies almost always suffer for it--and they're almost always amazing, nuanced movies (thus making them difficult to categorize). Princess Bride was a "flop" that was only redeemed through word of mouth and the wonderful world of VHS home movies.

Alan Rickman dying actually makes me a little sad. He was one of my "I'll watch anything he's in because I like watching him" actors. There aren't many.

I suppose I should watch Die Hard at some point now?

But there are better Rickman movies.

Everyone knows him from Harry Potter, naturally. Galaxy Quest is wonderful and if you're a Trek fan and you haven't watched it, you should. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is another. The 90s Robin Hood with Kevin Costner wasn't a great-great movie, but I loved it as a kid, and Alan Rickman was wonderful in it.

Dogma. Perfume. Sense and Sensibility.

Not Love Actually, though. Alan Rickman was good because I like Alan Rickman...but I didn't like Love Actually.

(You will notice that I HAVE seen things. Despite assertions to the contrary.)

One of my favorites, however, is Truly, Madly, Deeply. Which is a deeply melancholy little piece about the manifestation of grief. And it was marketed like this:

As a madcap romp! As a romantic comedy! So many exclamation points!

Which I guess it *could* be. If you squint. But it's really not.

Even the title is kind of misleading, though I'm not sure what else they might have called it. It's no wonder that many people haven't heard of it. But it's a tiny little gem and some of Alan Rickman's best work. I think it may be time to re-watch it. I haven't since college. Maybe I don't feel the same way about it, but I think it will hold up.
pen_grunt: (Shirley Temple--whoa)
This weekend wasn't somuch about books as is usually the case (hey, for once D was the one that picked out all the books...and I found nada).

I did get most of the way through reading The Soul Weaver (Carol Berg, 3rd in the "Bridge of D'Arnath series). I have to say, it took me three freaking books to warm up to the story, but now I have both the desire to keep on reading, and the desire to pick the book back up when I have to stop. In retrospect, were the library not closed I would have checked the books out instead of buying them (paperbacks though they were) and would not have made the decision to purchase them after I had read them.

Dang, I REALLY miss having the library 10 floors below me. Granted, the new, improved more "awesomriffic" library (I swear it's in the advertising) opens in May...on the 20th....I'm going to the opening party...shuddup...I know....

This weekend was, however, a rare and treasured movie weekend.

The Brothers Grimm
Reviewed )

Dark Water
Reviewed )

Shrek 2
Reviewed )

And that's that.
pen_grunt: (Knights)
This weekend I watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" for the first time since seeing it in theaters (really, with my guy, we HAD to see it in the theater).


While I agree that the movies are generally getting *better* as the series progresses (as are the books), the fourth installment lacked a sense of imagination. The first two movies were basically scene-by-scene snapshots of the book (which was unimaginative, but worked), the third movie was very creatively done but wasn't an accurate portrayal of the book (which also worked). This movie is neither a snapshot of the book (which would have pushed the movie to 5 hours, I'm sure) nor was it particularly creative. I'm not a picky critic--I liked it--but I think I'm over it.

That, and Hermione was just about the most annoying creature EVER in this particular flick. I understand that the characters are aging and are supposed to be getting progressively more angst-ridden. However, Emma Watson decided to play Hermione always on the verge of hysterics. Breathless dismay and shouting prevailed--and got old quickly.

Derrick will probably watch it 67 more times...this year.

...and music )


Mar. 11th, 2006 07:16 am
pen_grunt: (Bobby Dylan)
I'll really digging my new bordello/office space. (The red curtains remind everyone of a bordello, apparently.) I was hanging up my big Bob Dylan poster and I'm quickly realizing that blocking everyone out with bordello curtains, creating a cave-like environment and hanging up angst-y musician posters isn't really doing anything to dispel the impression of the diva-like, broody, reclusive writer. *shrug* Ah well. As Popeye would say, "I 'yam what I 'yam."

Derrick and I watched Crash last night. We had the movie, and I hadn't seen it, so I figured, "What the hell, lets watch the Oscar-winning picture for best film of the year."

The movie ended and I turned to Derrick.

"Was that REALLY the best thing that Hollywood could come up with this year? Really?"

To be fair, I hadn't seen any of the other nominated films. Not that the movie wasn't good. It was. It just wasn't....well, it wasn't on par with previous Oscar-winning films. 4 out of 5 stars, really...but it was just lacking something. It was too much like a forced snapshot. A picture taken with something completely different in the background, hiding out of focus or behind something else. I suppose that films are, in their own way, a very subjective medium where the filmmaker wants you to see life through the snapshot of his lens (excluding the background focus). However, it just felt heavy handed.

Edit: I think I've now pinpointed why I didn't "like" Crash as much as I should have... The main theme of the movie is: everyone is racist...isn't it horrible? (Guilt people, right now you should be feeling guilt for your terrible prejudicial, racist ways.) But then the movie shows (and makes a point of showing) that everyone is pretty much an asshole. So why not be a racist...or better yet, why not just hate everyone equally? It also shows that the cases of prejudicial treatment (the white woman huddling closer to her husband while two black men pass by them on the street) are completely justified, though conceptually "wrong" (the two men in question hijack the woman and her husband's car moments later). So the movie pretty much made me hate everyone...completely equally of course.


pen_grunt: (Default)

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