Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Movies seen

8 of 10 stars. I decided to watch this again so I'm ready for Hellboy II. I like a good comic-book movie. I was surprised to see a lot of elements in a new show I'm watching, Sanctuary (6 of 10 stars). Secret underground lair populated with monsters, some of whom solve mysteries involving other monsters. Besides Hellboy, another male protagonist is a young man with curly brown hair and glasses, a scientist type connected to a military investigation unit. He looks very similar to the corresponding guy in Sanctuary. I imagine Sanctuary will eventually have a save-the-world-from-evil scenario at some point, but so far it lacks the charm of other secret underground investigation lairs. (Special Unit 2: 8 stars; Buffy: 10 stars)

10 of 10 stars. This is just about a perfect movie. I've seen two other musicals created from the songs of a band (Mamma Mia!, Movin' Out). This one leaves them in the dust, though to be fair I shouldn't compare a movie to theater productions.

The love story incorporates many of the iconic images that came out of the 60s, so in a way, it is a fable of history. While that's been done enough, (eww...Forrest Gump) in this case the homage works brilliantly. The Beatles songs are familiar yet refreshingly new to fit the characters, and simpler musical arrangements. Joe Cocker, Bono, and Eddie Izzard could steal the show, but their appearances only enhance the depth of the story.

Familiar musical forms of moving stage parts and dance choreography get enhanced treatment only possible with a movie. For instance, the young men drafted into war are stripped and sent along a surreal assembly-line for their health exams. Compartmentalized boxes and boxy soldiers isolate them and push them along in a truly amazing dance scene that expresses outwardly the inner feelings of coercion and alienation that must happen in such a scene.

5 of 10 stars. This was a musical that did not need to be remade. John Water's Hairspray did all that needed to be done with this. I was rather offended that John Travolta filled Divine's role, and with how that role was changed. Divine was not at all girly hee-hee and self-flagellating in her fatness, the way Travolta played her. This new Hairspray made it all about a chubby girl defying the role society would put her in, whereas the brilliance of John Waters' creation is that what she dreamed was treated as normal, and it was only one narcissistic girl and her mother who saw her as unworthy. John Waters' Hairspray was a revolution, this one was too self-conscious and shallow...the movie and the characters. Completely missing were the scenes where Tracy and Penny ironed their hair after meeting the Beatniks, and thus this movie completely misses the point.

10 of 10 stars. Another nearly perfect movie.

A man takes a wife in the traditional way in India. They move to New York, where it is lonely for her. They build a life, have children, and their child Gogol's story begins. His father names him after Gogol, but the full reason doesn't get revealed to Gogol until he is much older. One of my favorite directors, Mira Nair only gets finer as she gets older. It was a perfect melding of
Hollywood and Bollywood (much less Bollywood). It intends to and does pull the heartstrings.

I've heard from those who've read the book that it was disjointed and not as good. Without knowing the book, I though the movie completely fulfilled its intent.

I've started to keep track of movies and some TV I've seen at IMDB. You can see my vote history here. I know I've already missed some...I started doing this so I could remember what I've seen (and read) and now I can't remember the movie I watched that put me in the same position as others did with The Namesake. I'd read the book, and couldn't separate my dissatisfaction with the movie's interpretation from my liking of the book. Can't remember what movie or what book now. If you want to know more about something I've seen, and why I voted the way I did, leave a message.

Here's how I try to decide my star rating:

  • 9-10: Loved it
  • 7-8: Really liked it
  • 5-6: Liked it
  • 3-4: It was OK
  • 1-2: Did not like it

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