Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Movies Seen

Mansfield Park (BBC) (1983 miniseries)
This is BBC. So the sound quality isn't that great. So there aren't dramatic Hollywood plot points. The actors can really act, and the writing of Jane Austen is allowed to shine since the story doesn't have to fit in an hour and a half. Normally I would be frustrated with the very prescribed motions of the society this poor girl, Fanny Price, must navigate. But Fanny made it work for her, and the story was really about the expression of love within this structure. Fanny inspires love because she makes herself so indispensable to the ones she loves. I felt so light-hearted and happy after watching this, Steve said I should watch more things like this.

The L Word Season 4
This series is addictive, what can I say? Lesbian drama. The twink-girl slut of the first season is now the responsible older sister doing mom-like things. Not quite as many sexy scenes, but they're still there. A cute chica named Papi with old-fashioned Latino charm has taken her place as the largest hub on the chart.

Tivo suggested the second (see below) so I got the first from the library. Very dark and blue and gothic. Vampires and lycans came from two ancestors originally infected a long time before. They've been at war for centuries, and plots and betrayals could mean the end of the vampires. This would be another one of those gaming-influenced movies, a lot of rapid-fire gunning, endless enemies and copious mowing down of bodies.

Underworld: Evolution
A continuation of the story, in which the human Michael, now lycan, and the vampire lycan-hunter Selene seek to find their origins and prevent the uber-vampire from awakening his more deadly brother who is the original Lycan. Michael is very special, descended from both branches of the werewolves and vampires.

Interesting crossover: the actress who plays a vampire that helps Selene in Underworld is the actress who plays the human love interest and crime-solving reporter in a new vampire show, Moonlight. I've been watching that too, not bad, pretty people, but as far as pretty people solving mysteries, nothing so exciting as Veronica Mars. (Just watched the final season on DVD.) There too is another degree of crossover. The simmering bad boy vampire friend of the good guy vampire in Moonlight is portrayed by Jason Dohring, the simmeringly compelling bad-boy boyfriend of Veronica Mars. I keep waiting for Moonlight to give his role a bigger, more edgy piece of the plot.

Dark Angel "They designed her to be a perfect soldier. A human weapon. Then she escaped. ...she must fight to discover her destiny."
Tivo recommended this from SiTv. It was playing every day, but only lasted two seasons, so I'm already done. Too bad, it was a neat sci-fi plot just beginning to hit its stride. Genetically engineered kids broke out of a secret military project and years later are finding their way in an economically crumpled Seattle. In the second season, a cabal of other naturally-born uber-humans begin to emerge as the bad guys.

Splash updated for Generation Y. Or would that be Z? Anyway, mermaid story for teen girls. Steve actually watched this with me rather than move to another room. I guess he wanted to encourage me to watch light-hearted fluff rather than those bloody murder movies. It was nice (hearing Meg Ryan in my head saying that).

Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines
I was excited about this, another made-for-TV movie about The Librarian. The first one was campy B-movie fun, with a geeky Indiana Jones type saving the world through archival librarianship. This one was calling it in, filling in the blank with the required plot points and action gags. There could have been some simmer with the geeky archaeologist who could be a cheeky love interest (cute how they sparred over how many PhDs they had) but it was just a piece of the plot, thrown in for a little spark.

Sweet Charity
The best part was Sammy Davis Jr. Ah, to have seen him in concert. Steve was that lucky.

I liked this as a musical well enough. There was something familiar about Sammy's piece, Rhythm of Life. A few days later it came to me, the repeating tune comes up in one of my favorites, The Nightmare Before Christmas, in Kidnap the Sandy Claws, I believe.

You know, this gets me, the whole suing over stolen musical riffs. There's been a long tradition of piggy-backing and invocation of influences in music. It's wildly rampant in musicals, even a bit required. So why do artists get sued over the use of another artist's tune? Art influences and builds upon itself, no individual creates in a vacuum.

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