I'm just kidding- Aladdin will always have the #1 spot in my little Disney girl heart!
The moment I flew back home from my holiday trip, I promptly convinced my boyfriend to watch Disney's The Princess and the Frog in the theaters! It has been a long time since I've watched a 2D animated film from Disney in an actual movie theater. I don't even remember which movie I did see last! (Might have been Atlantis...) I suppose it would also just be repeating what a million other people have already expressed if I say I am happy to see good quality 2D animation on the big screen from Disney again. Even though people give them a lot of poop for "ruining" classic fairy tale stories. Though I find that point of view a bit narrow minded because I don't think there should be restrictions when it comes to telling or re-telling any type of stories.
Either way, I enjoyed Princess and the Frog immensely. It is not my favorite- Aladdin, The Lion King, and Treasure Planet are actually my favorite films from Disney- but it was so much fun to watch!
Putting aside all the controversies that attached itself to this film (all the accusation of racism on Disney's part, etc.), there is nothing threatening about this movie. It is a definite turn to the "modern" princess as the main female character, Tiana, lives in a more present and realistic time than the other Disney princesses. We are presented with her childhood in a lower, middle class African-American family in the South. As an older, young woman, her struggle is not against an evil stepmother, but to work hard and save money to make her own dreams come true (no fairy godmothers here!).
Although, a Disney fairy tale film would be lacking without the presence of magic! Instead of making the story simple, when Tiana kisses the frog (Prince Naveen cursed by the antagonist who dabbles in dark voo doo magic), she also turns into a frog instead of turning the Prince back to his human form!
Tiana fights her own battle throughout the movie, making friends... but not relying on someone else to break the curse. Even in the end, she owns credit for winning the final battle.
Some have reviewed the movie negatively because it doesn't "compare" to the classic Disney animation. I think that is an unfair judgement. Yes, nothing that Disney makes now will ever hold up to their older movies... but that was a different era. Disney is adapting to the new generation of entertainment for a younger audience. The classic formula is still there, but it was changed creatively to bring us something completely new! Any type of creativity shouldn't be expected to remain stagnant. This movie is a breath of fresh air from the previous Princess movies and I think it holds up on its own- just like its Princess.
Keep that chin up, Disney, and I hope this will be the re-start of a new generation of animated films!
Last night, I cozied up in front of my laptop and watched A History of Violence for the first time. I liked the movie and let's all admit that Viggo Mortensen was just smokin' in that film to make up for all that it lacked. Am I biased because I think Viggo is wonderful?!
Then I thought to myself-- wow, just a few days ago, I touched that man and he touched me.
Why yes! I am that happy, nerdy, Asian girl in glasses with Viggo's arm around me!
Do I not look like the happiest female geek on the planet in that photo or what?! The happiness had three parts: A) VIGGO MOTHERFUCKIN' MORTENSEN! B) I'm with Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, bitches and C) He couldn't have been ANY nicer. Seriously, people-- the man was lovely and patient with us slobbering fanwomen. What a true gent; and super nice celebrities make me feel fuzzy inside especially when I have the upmost respect for them.
My friend, Missy (as also seen in the photo), invited me to an advance screening of The Road, in which Viggo showed up afterwards to do a Q&A session. As far as the movie goes, for me it was incredibly dark, foreboding and depressing. I've never read the book and I'm afraid to do so because these days, I want my entertainment to lift my spirits up, not make me feel sad for the world.
Nevertheless, the movie was beautifully done with amazing performances by the whole cast. The production was unbelievable and made you feel that the Earth really was dying slowly and painfully by the dead trees, bleak weather, and the never ending overcast of just gray and dark, looming clouds. The whole world, it seemed, was in a post-apocalyptic state. How it happened? We don't know and will never know. It didn't matter because the viewer is immediately wrapped up in the lives of the two, main characters. The Man (Viggo) and his Son, struggling together and just trying to survive in what has become a brutal, dead, and very frightening world.
Apocalyptic films always affect me deeper than any horror movies can. Just the thoughts of: "That could REALLY happen one day." and "Will I survive?" gives me a little anxiety deep down. To see Viggo's character tramping through a hopeless world, running away from fallen human beings who choose to cast away their morality for survival... it's VERY scary to me. We take civilization for granted and none of us will really know what to do when it is all taken away from us in one sudden strike.
The ending, without spoiling it for anyone, is interpreted by different people. Some see hope, and some-- already so overtaken by the depression through the film-- will see none. Maybe what we see in the end of this film says something deeper about ourselves.
I updated a few clips on my youtube channel from the Q&A, but here is the end of it where Viggo makes a comment on the topic of hope. ***WARNING*** Video may be spoiler-ific!!!
To end this post on a more upbeat note!... Let us review my Fellowship Tally so far, shan't we?!
Viggo Mortensen = met 1x Orlando Bloom = met 1x John Rhys Davies = saw from a distance pinching womanly butts 1x Sean Astin = met 2x Elijah Wood = met 1x Billy Boyd = met 2x Dominic Monaghan = met BAJILLION TIMES IT DOESN'T COUNT ANYMORE!
The Food Industry... worst than the Tobacco Industry?
I went to watch the documentary called Food Inc., which I will have to HIGHLY recommend for everyone to watch.
The movie presented a lot of eye-opening facts about this country's food industry. I hope everyone is already aware that the food we are eating these days are hardly manufactured to be actually nutritious. I know a lot of people are already aware of the animal abuse that is going on with our cows, pigs, chickens, etc. I know everyone is aware of something that is "wrong" in the food industry, but we all tend to turn a blind eye a lot of times.
Heck, I know I do! I love food to the umpteenth degree and I'll shovel anything in my mouth as long as it tasted good! I'm guilty of financially serving these corrupt food corporations!
After watching this movie though, I can no longer completely feign ignorance to the truth and what is REALLY going on with the production of our food. The inhumane treatment of both animals AND people.
It's not even just about our meat products-- even our greens and everything else is affected and tainted. If not with e coli, it's affected by horrifying greed and corruption. The utter carelessness from the people making all the money and to what they are feeding us-- and how our farmers are truly and sadly affected by the crisis.
Eating "cheap" has a price, people. We have kids dying from e coli on a regular basis. That should NOT be the case in the 21st century. We are moving backwards and all because a select handful are making billions feeding us absolute shit.
I can't present all the facts myself in this blog entry, but I just hope to convince more people to go and watch this documentary if it happens to be playing close to you. There is a feeling of enlightenment at the end of it. Trust me. You WANT to know where your food is coming from.
I saw the new Star Trek film last week. I'm not well versed in the Star Trek mythos. My fondest memories of it is watching the original series in the afternoons one summer during high school. I don't know why I started watching it, there probably wasn't anything better on tv, but it sucked me in. I loved how camp it was and yet how important some of the messages were.
In between episodes they'd run interviews with the cast, and they would reveal what it was like to work on and how amazing it was during those years, when the whole world was in turmoil and this show was trying to find meaning in it all.
Over the years I've tried watching various re-incarnations, but I always felt like they'd missed the whole point. In fact, I feel like most science-fiction these days miss the point. Now it's all about spectacle but there was a time when science-fiction was about gaining perspective on issues that plague us now. It allowed writers to present us with a story that was familiar but so far removed from our daily knowledge that it didn't offend our sensibilities but let us think outside of the box. I think that's missing these days.
But, I'm getting side tracked. My point is, I haven't followed with the more modern Trek tv shows, and I haven't seen any of the films except Star Trek Nemesis (which was weird). So, in many ways I'd hoped this was the first Star Trek film I'd really get. And, I sort of did. I knew the characters well enough to love seeing them again on screen, even with new actors.
I think Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) were amazing. In fact, Quinto was so good at being Vulcan, he made the other Vulcans appear too emotional. Pine had the toughest job, from what I could see. He had to play an arrogant bastard and make you like him. I think he did this well.
The rest of the cast I enjoyed just as much, with one exception. I liked Chekov on the TV show, but for some reason it didn't translate well in the film. He was just so over the top and so unnecessarily there, he felt really tacked on. He didn't even get to have a Monkees hair cut.
Story-wise, it was ok. There was a lot of set-up to get through and some really unnecessary chase sequences (bigger fish! and BIGGER FISH). I felt Eric Bana was bland. He was an insane evil bastard and they gave him backstory which basically didn't change the fact that he was an insane evil bastard. I really wasn't all that bothered by the plot, to be honest and got most of my amusement from Scotty.
My one irritation with the story really surprised me. It was that the writer assumed too much knowledge on the audience part. They had little to no explanation to Romulans vs Vulcans and still at this point all I can determine is that Romulans are Vulcans with tattoos and anger management issues. I can understand not wanting to patronise Trekkies, but come on! Throw me a bone here, guys. Is it that hard to have some red shirt ask "What's a romulan?" or something?
But, I'm looking forward to more and that the writing will improve now that introductions are out of the way and we're comfortable with our new crew.
The SoCal Cosplay Gathering is happening this Saturday, May 9, in Irvine, California! The event is put together by some wonderful people who will make sure you will have fun hanging out in a park in your costumes!
If you love fun and cosplay, this is definitely the event for you to go this weekend. For $10, you get food, friends, games, and cosplay. That's better than any ol' convention can offer.
I am not a big part of the scene anymore, so I am not sure if I will go myself-- but I have no problem pimping this event to the world because it's pretty awesome. If I do end up going, see you there!
Otherwise, nothing else going on in my local geekery realm. I haven't seen the new Wolverine movie yet. I want to see it for Dominic Monaghan; but I still hate the choice they made for Gambit. That actor does not do him justice. Yes. I am totally judging him before I even see the movie like a giant, fat jerk-face. Sorry, dude, but when it comes to Gambit... I'm not messing around.
I've never been a Trekkie and I'm barely familiar with the Star Trek universe, but... seriously looking forward to the new movie. It just looks damn cool!!! The cast looks very promising-- and it's not George Lucas directing! (Ohhhh... so went there!)
Not so sure when I'll get the chance to see these movies though. I tend to drive solo in movie theaters these days, but the hard part is finding the time to be a movie-goer-loner.
Whoops, have to deal with some work "crisis"(-es?). Will possibly blog more later!
For the record, I just want to say that I wasn't one of those people who rushed to finish the comic book right before watching the movie. I read the book a few years back, thanks to the recommendation of a good friend of mine, and truly loved it for what it was. Admittedly, I was rushing to try and re-read the whole thing right before the movie because I wanted to have a fresh memory of it in its original form.
There were a lot of good things, and definitely a lot of bad things about the movie adaptation.
Mainly, I would like to applaud the entire cast-- everyone did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life in the big screen. Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II was my definite favorite-- insta-crush for me!!! My favorite character when I read the book is Rorschach; and Walter Kovacs did an amazing, amazing job. Kudos to the acting from everyone in this film.
The visual effects were stunning, of course. I especially love watching Archie (Nite Owl's ship) come to life! Dr. Manhattan looked surreal AND real at the same time. The scenes on Mars were beautiful, especially the glass structure moving around.
My biggest peeve would have to be with the director, Zack Snyder. I won't say he's a bad director or that he did a horrid job. I enjoyed 300 too; but I think he really forced a certain style into Watchmen that worked well with 300, but not with this comic adaptation.
I LOVE stylistic violence. I will admit, I found the violence and gore in Watchmen quite awesome. Though in the end, I have to admit a lot of it was unnecessary. What was even more embarrassing was the soft core porn between Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II. It was definitely a '300 moment sex scene' that the movie didn't really need... but then again, that's just me. I don't know how many fanboys wet themselves over that scene but I could have done without it. I think the conversation after they had sex in the comic book was more poignant than the actual act itself, and from what I remember... it was completely left out in the movie.
A lot of things stayed true to the original and a lot of the original scenes were kept. I also understand why some things were compressed the way they were for the movie, and I thought the screenplay did a good job shortening the story but still making it cohesive.
Yet, I am still not convinced they really enunciated the right elements of the original story for the movie. In the end, despite the fact that I did enjoy the movie for what it was, I felt it was still very lacking.
I guess all I can say is if I had a choice between watching the movie or re-reading the comic book, I would say I would rather read it than view it. The comic stands stronger still and I think is much more fulfilling.
The long anticipated movie by the citizens of NerdLand has finally come out!
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see it on midnight last night and I'm currently sitting at work, so I do not know yet when I'll get to see it. I don't really have my own geek-squad to drag around at midnight showings anymore, especially since we've all scattered around the country and world after high school. It's cool though... I don't have the same teenager energy to stay up for a movie. Hear that creaking noise?? It's mah joints and old bones!
I read the review of the movie in the current issue of LA Weekly Magazine, and the critic basically stated a lot of the deficiencies I fear it will have (also, I find it funny they pointed out that the director of this film is described as "visionary" which is a code word for "a hack"-- hahaha!). Well... perhaps "fear" is not the word, more like what I anticipated would happen when the comic gets translated onto the big screen.
I believe I will definitely enjoy watching this movie especially since it looks visually stunning. As for the story, I don't believe a 2 hour flick will fully grasp and communicate the heaviness of the original plot. This movie will basically be just for show and a sweet, sweet giddy high of watching the characters 'come to life'!
In conclusion, I look forward to watching Watchmen on the big screen, but I'm not really expecting much in terms of doing the story justice.
And I admit it, I love how the costume design for the film is a little bit campy/cheesy superhero style! Even in the comic book I love how cheesy their costumes were because of how much it just contrasted the dark plot.
In other news, I got this awesome package in the mail the other day!!!
The Golden Compass: Or how to get lost in religious debate
I read the Golden Compass and accompanying books when I was in high school. I found the first one interesting, the second one a bit odd, and the third one terrible. I went away from the trilogy wondering why everyone thought it was amazing.
Fast forward six years. I work in a games company and hang out with people who actually read. One night we got to discussing why I love 'kids' books and they assumed I must love the His Dark Materials trilogy. I revealed that I didn't like it. In actual fact, I was apathetic at that point. I didn't remember much about it except that it left a bad taste in my mouth when I finished it. They were shocked. They all felt it was a fabulous trilogy, ground breaking etc etc etc.
I began to wonder, had my teenage self miss-judged the series? Was I too self-involved, or uneducated in religious symbolism and history to understand these so-called amazing books? I wasn't sure. I hardly ever change my opinion on a book, I know what I like and what I don't like, sometimes I can even articulate why.
So, I decided that with the movie coming out shortly, it was time to reread the trilogy and see if I was incorrect in my first impression. Well...I wasn't. I still can't stand them.
The first book starts out well enough, the story is interesting, the characters somewhat compelling. I got annoyed at his bizarre choice to rename common things from our world in Lyra's just to make it more fantastical. Like he says to himself, "Hmmmmm, how do I create a believable fantasy world with the least amount of effort? I know, I'll take random words and find different root words for them. It'll make me look really clever and like I put a lot of effort into it." This concept irritated me because it threw me out of the story. I would try and imagine the scene in my head only to get stuck on a word and go, "Wait, what the hell is anbaric? Is it gas, electric, candle?" and then have to reread the passage because I'd lost the flow.
But the first book isn't that bad, all things considered. It holds together pretty well as long as he doesn't talk about Dust. It's almost as if even he can't decide what the hell Dust is.
The second book just isn't really that memorable. You get through it quickly because you know you need to. Will is so flat as a character and I really just didn't care about him. It's also in this book where everyone starts acting more like super heroes than people. The characters are presented as normal in the first book, but suddenly some of them (namely Mrs Coulter) can now do whatever they want, without proper explanation.
The third book is the worst by far. It's long and blustery and mostly pointless. More and more the characters have these insane abilities and knowledge of what they have to do, and considering this is mostly a war to get rid of God, they sure seemed blessed with powers to do so. But more on that later. My real gripe with the third one is the terrible editing. There's a good three chapters about a stupid bomb that has nothing WHAT SO EVER to do with the main plot. You could rip those pages out and nothing would be lost. Nothing. What kind of editor did this man have? Next gripe is those weird mulefas. I mean, come on. It's the same problem Star Wars books have, they create these absolutely mind blowing creatures that I can't even begin to imagine so I'm stuck with this ugly horse/elephant/on roller skates in my head.
And can we stop being all "Oooooooh be one with the earth" crap? Yes, we get it, their world is perfectly fucking balanced. It's so simplistically balanced they can explain it with elephant trunks! Not like our world where we can only begin to understand the causes and effects of the environment on larger scales and can't comprehend it on small scale at all. Yeah, that's a great piece of writing; let's point out the flaws of humanity by making a metaphor that doesn't work.
Finally, the ending of the third book just sucks. But, that's not really a gripe with his writing so much as it made me regret reading the whole series because it's such a downer. I'm not even one that has to have happy endings, but after all that bullshit you read through to get to the end and that's it? Shit, I'd rather watch Old Yeller.
Now, about this whole religious controversy, everyone keeps saying it's promoting atheism. Well, the definition of atheism is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God." It seems to me that if they're going to war with "The Authority" then in the terms that we have defined Atheism, the book isn't promoting atheism because it states there is a God. The important point is Pullman is saying the God we've come to believe isn't the creator, but that doesn't mean he's saying there isn't one. So, get off his back and stop giving the Atheists a bad name.
As for whether or not Pullman is having a go at the Catholic church, well, considering he's having a war on the one true God (which involves several religions, let's not get self-obsessed here) then he's really writing a book against all organized religions. So, everybody should be pissed off, not just the Catholics.
Personally, I don't see why the church is paying any attention. Whatever his book is saying, it's badly written and confusing so why pay it any heed? They're just drawing more attention to it. I think their time is much better spent banning Harry Potter which is at least teaching children morals and that doing what is right isn't easy. God wouldn't want that now would he/she?
I saw the Bridge to Terabithia. I cried. You should go see it too.
It's an absolutely beautiful film, with good child acting. It's like one of those classic kids films that came out a lot in the early 90s. My Girl, Now and Then, Gold Diggers. Ok, so most of the ones I listed there were girly films, but I can't remember a whole lot of them. I do remember every summer there being a good live action kids film worth seeing, though, and it seems lately that's died off...until now.
I saw TMNT (I can't believe the actual name of the movie is that. What's wrong with spelling it out? Acronyms are evil. EVIL.) and I also saw The Last Mimzy.
First: TMNT I loved it. It was great. It was everything I wanted from a Turtle movie. It made me chuckle, the voice acting was awesome, and the story was fun. I had my doubts at the beginning, but they pulled it off. My only major complaint was that some of shots pulled me out of the movie because they were just so...3D Studio Max. It just felt like I could see them fiddling with the camera in the program, and it pulled me out of the story.
Besides that, the movie was just down right fun. It didn't take itself too seriously. And it didn't try to be epic, which was what I had feared. I also enjoyed how it was kind of...the sequel to the other movies. It didn't ignore what they had done in the live action ones, which just felt right.
And for you Avatar fans, spot Uncle Iroh! Or should I say, hear?
Second: The Last Mimzy Okay...I didn't really know what to think going into this film. I had just seen a preview for it and it looked really fun. I thought it was going to be much more connected to Alice in Wonderland. The acting was fine, the kids weren't amazing, but they weren't bad either. Timothy Hutton and Joely Richardson were great. There was a lot going on there, even if they didn't cover it much. There just felt like there was something lacking. They tied up all the loose ends, they had closure and all that, but it seemed to lack something. I just can't quite figure out what.
The story is essentially that someone from the future sends back these 'toys' that are found by two kids on a beach. They start learning from the toys and their brains get all advanced. They can teleport stuff, use telekinesis, that sort of thing. But when the adults start catching on, all hell breaks loose. They need to send one of the toys back to the future to save mankind, and of course the adults start getting in the way.
It's worth a viewing, but probably best as a rental rather than full price.
Lastly: Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica My thoughts: *SPOILERS* I was so annoyed that Apollo's arrow actually turned out to be an arrow. I mean, HELLO, we missed a chance of awesome symbolism if Apollo Adama had been the arrow.
I was convinced the end of the season was a dream...but I guess not! It's a brilliant move by the writers though. I mean, they knew the rehash of a crisis every week was going to bore the audience to tears. So now we've got to catch up on a year of what has happened and some how rescue everyone from New Caprica.
Starbucks extensions looked horrible. But I liked Admiral Adama's tache. It was awesome.
But the absolute HIGHLIGHT of the season was Dean Stockwell. I just sat their going "Al, it's Al. Oh my God, it's Al!" He's just frakking awesome. He is by far my favourite Cylon.
When I was in 7th and 8th grade I read every single Poirot book I could get my hands on. I loved trying to figure out who the murderer was before Poirot did. But the problem with some of Agatha Christie's later books was she didn't actually present all the clues to solve the murder. It was frustrating because I felt lied to; like there'd been a secret I hadn't been party to, which made me look like an idiot when the truth came out. "Well, everyone knew Dave had an evil twin brother who'd been locked in an insane asylum 30 years ago." Gee, how could I have guessed that?
This was the same problem with The Illusionist. The movie, in essence, is about the rekindling of a childhood romance. That sounds boring, but with the added wonder of it having a Magician, it sounded like it was going to be a fun film. The acting in it is great, I can't fault that. I can't even fault the story, it's got some good twists and interesting characters. What I fault is that the magic tricks are done with CGI. Now that may seem like a weird fault in this day and age, but this is a period movie. By doing the magic tricks with today's technology, the director denied the audience the chance to question how the trick was done and even whether or not it was a trick.
This may seem pithy when you have a good plot and characters, but the movie is a "Who-dunnit?" and because the illusions were actually CGI, the audience wasn't presented with the clues properly. This made the revelation at the end feel cheapened because you couldn't have predicted it on mere facts, only on cliché plot archetypes.
And yes, having a revelation and a twist at the end is becoming completely cliché with movies involving magicians.
I think most people will enjoy the film, but for me, part of the enjoyment was lost because it wasn't staying true to its period, and missed out on getting a really interesting insight into what it meant to be an illusionist in that era.
We are self-proclaimed girl-GEEKS who needed a place to write about it! We don't really do anything special with our lives, but we do enjoy the occasional comic book or fantasy film. Also, the occasional pie. With ice cream. Yeah. Ice cream.