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[personal profile] sisterjune
I really gotta stop this updating once a month thing. Hello all! and Sorry I havent been the best commenter on people's ljs either. I really do read pretty much all the journals on my flist so if I dont comment its not cause I dont care! I just lack time and energy lately for this whole blogging and online friend thing. In fact I think I've been a bad friend in general. It's not uncommon for me to end up in a mood and avoid or ignore people in favor of my work or other distractions like movies, tv, books and video games. I know I suck :(
So I fell into one of my moods as I do, feeling put out and went on a big movie spree recently, in part because I FINALLY put in a netflix subscription, and the other reason was I find them rather energizing for my creativity (when they are good anyway). I really cant wait for my classes to end because I so want to use my freetime to write and also take up painting again. Ever since I took that art appreciation class a year ago, I've been wanting to paint again badly. Anyway today I felt pretty good! So I decided to write up an lj post entirely about movies! Yay!

How to Train Your Dragon: I saw this in the theater last weekend and I LOVED it! The story itself is nothing new or very novel, yet the execution was excellent and I rarely enjoy this kind of story as much as I did when I watched this movie. Certainly I would not call myself a fan of the "Boy and His Dragon" stories simply because they are often very narrow in scope, saccharine, conventional and more often than not, just plain dull. This film however is none of those things (well it's a little conventional but forgivable I'd say). I really found myself incredibly fond of Hiccup, he was a little dorky, a little inept, alot scared but never cowardly or pathetic, and he was also incredibly compassionate I thought. Basically he is a very likable lead character, this and the movie taking at least some effort to incorporate girls into what is essentially a typical "boy hero" story made this film very endearing to me. I really liked Astrid, I liked that she was tough and didnt let Hiccup get away with anything, I liked also that she didnt soften on him until she went on a magic carpet ride an amazing dragon ride with him. Speaking of the dragon riding, it is the flying scenes that really carried the film, they are just so free spirited, beautiful, hopeful and pure. I totally had a big silly grin on my face throughout every flying scene!
My favorite thing however was the very strong and sweet bond between Toothless the dragon and Hiccup, it was just so precious and believable and I found myself really caring caring about them from beginning to end. There is a bit at the end that was a wee bit disturbing to me simply because I was not at all expecting it and was surprised in fact the movie went there. I didnt dislike that they did though, I think it added alot of power to the story and to the bond between Hiccup and Toothless. I also liked that despite being the hero, Hiccup does not escape the final battle completely unscathed. It was refreshing to me, once I got over the intial shock of it that is.
Basically this is an awesome movie, so if you are fond of animated films and open minded about children's films, then I say go see it!

Princess and The Frog: I have very mixed feelings about this movie, my main concern before watching this was how Disney would handle Tiana (the main character's) race, before I watched this I read enough of other people's reactions to know that the film did rather well in this regard. Indeed when I watched it I felt that this may in fact be Disney's most racially/ethnically sensitive film ever produced (which is not saying very much) however, there are two big issues I had wit this film which greatly diminished my enjoyment of it.
Problem the first, Tiana and her beau Naveen spend 85% of the film as FROGS. I knew she became a frog, I knew she was a frog for most of the film, I had no idea however that she would be a frog for THAT LONG. I really hadnt signed up for that, but considering this is a Disney film I should have at least seen it coming -_-
Problem the second, Tiana spends the entire movie saying "hard work, hard work, dreams are made with hard work!" and she is so right about that. However, once again I see the theme of the girl who focuses to much on work and doesnt know "how to have fun". I just want to say right now, I hate this fucking shit so much. I HATE IT. I have seen it in so many movies and it is always regarding a woman and let me just say #1 we do not live in a post sexist society, I know that much shock everyone but its true, if a woman wants to get any damn place she has to not only work hard but work twice as hard as a man does. yes this is true even in 2010. #2 Tiana lives in 1920's america, and she is not only female but black, OF COURSE SHE IS GONNA WORK HARD. and in fact back then working hard would not even have been enough most of the time. This compounded with the fact that black people being lazy and shiftless was a VERY popular stereotype back (and hell today, it's just less accepted now) I cannot see how anyone thought that the "you work too hard" narrative would have been a good idea. and yet, there it was! -_-
This obviously annoyed me but we are still not at the part that pissed me off the most, no that honor goes to the scene in which Tiana is ready to throw away her LIFE'S WORK AND DREAM for LURRRVE. Please excuse me while I vomit everywhere.
I just WTF? Ok I know, i know this is a princess story, I get it! and hell I even liked Naveen, I dont blame her for wanting a piece of that (well as a frog....) but seriously how she was ready to give up her life essentially and live FOREVER AS A FROG just so she could be together with her "true love" was just WAY too fucking much for me. I mean she only KNEW HIM A DAY! and She only ever knew him as a frog. It just made her resolve look so cheap, and even when Facilier was trying to tempt her over to the dark side, instead of turning him down out of principle or a sense of righteousness or just plain disgust with his usage of voodoo for dark purposes (since in the film voodoo is not evil in and of itself, which is refreshing) but no! she turns him down because, SHE HAS LURRRVE NOW. She doesnt need anything else! Money isnt important! Who needs dreams or a fulfilling career when you have love! *weeps*
Honestly the film fell apart for me because of these things, I just could not get over it, I love that she used her own money to buy the restuarant at the end and that Naveen helped her clean and works in the resuarant for her. That's real nice and down to earth compared to the usual fairytale ending, but I really feel concerned that what could have been a powerful and inspiring theme about a sweet strong willed and hard working girl who achieves her dreams AND finds love will be weakened with the emphasis in the latter half of the film on love and love alone. Love is great but it doesnt feed you, having a higher purpose you believe you are working towards (like a dream to be a chef) is just as important as romantic love and probably more so. Anyway, the animation is lovely and I did enjoy the characters and the music but I think this is definitely not gonna go on my list of favorite disney films anytime soon. Such a shame. I hope Disney goes back to the 2-D animation again soon though, watching this (and Book of Kells not long ago) I realize how much I've missed it.

Fantastic Mr Fox: I just saw this last night and it was EXCELLENT. Wes Anderson is always amazing, and this movie is no exception. I also find that I am yet to run into a film that is based on a Roald Dahl book and not enjoy it. (well no wait, I didnt like The Witches at all....) Anyway despite the source material being a children's book (albeit one with a slightly dark sense of humor) it has a very adult sensibility. Kind of like Where the Wild Things Are which, despite being a film about a ten year old boy is probably a film that will resonate far more with adults and teens that it ever would with little kids.
Unlike Wild Things though, i do believe this film will be enjoyable and accessible to youngsters, however I think it is probably even more enjoyable if you are over the age of 13. I loved the usage of the stop motion animation here and I think greatly added to the whimsical atmosphere of the movie, the voice cast is excellent and very well chosen (oh man Michael Gabon as the main villain and George Clooney as the hero could not have been more perfect in their roles) and the characters despite all being forest critters feel very human and real. With the dysfunctions of the Fox family the film somewhat reminded me of the Royal Tenenbaums (a movie I also love <3) but this is much more light hearted than that film was. Basically I cannot recommend this film enough, its quirky, its fun, the characters are very engaging, the animation and colors are beautiful and eye-catching, the voice cast is great and the story itself is both thoughtful and ultimately uplifting. Basically very strong all around. Everyone go see it!
(I also wanna add that the score and music throughout the film is also A+ and I found myself dancing to the song in the closing credits.)

ETA: Yes I have seen A2A season premiere and the new DW episode! and I loved both immensely, perhaps I will blog about them in more detail in my next post (or I'll just wait till this week's eps come out and blog about those)
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Tai

October 2010

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