sisterjune: (Default)
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. Just the barest hint of a spoiler~ )
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, cut for spoilers and ranting/ragey typing ) 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)
sisterjune: (Default)
Guess who just saw Inglourious Basterds? Yep me! :D Finally right? Man it took me forever. and shit you know what? I dont think I've ever seen a tarantino movie in the theater! (I keep spelling theater as theatre and I dont know why, I must secretly want to be european or something) I got to see this via less than uh legitimate means, if you know what I mean but man it was worth messing with bittorrent clients to get this, I'm so sad I waited this long to see it. But hey better late than never right? (since I still havent seen Dark Knight...)

So impressions? Well I think it's obvious already that I liked it but the thing is I really wasnt sure that I would. It's funny, I've seen all of Tarantino's movies now, and never disliked a single one (I straight up LOVED most of them actually) but when this film came out the reviews were so mixed that I wasnt sure how to feel about it or if I should see it right away in the theater.

From here on be spoilers! )
Honestly I wouldnt be mad if Tarantino does another film like this in the future, though I suspect whatever he does. I'll love it.
sisterjune: (Default)
I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland today!

Non Spoilery thoughts: Very fun! After two whole years of anticipating this film (though really I was waiting my whole life for this movie, no that's not even an exaggeration, I've wanted Tim Burton to do an Alice movie ever since I figured out Alice in wonderland was gothic horror, and really his style was perfect for that type of story) I was worried I'd be severely let down....BUT I WASNT!

Wonderland looks as beautiful, eerie, stunning, grand, dreamlike and amazing as I'd hoped. and The plot was a very fun albeit loose adpatation of the books, it took elements from both Alice books, and perfectly executed some of my favorite alice scenes. That said, it really isnt a super faithful adaptation plot wise but tone and style wise I feel like it's one of the most faithul Alice adaptations to ever emerge.
I really loved how the main battle was between two Queens and the one who is responsible for slaying the Jabberwock and giving the crown back to the rightful queen was Alice. Much cooler than having her just wander around wonderland being lost and cute. I've never seen the actress they cast to play Alice in anything before but I feel like she did very well, and she had some STRONG competition.
Depp's hatter was very weird, and unlike the hatter in the books seemed to be bi-polar and would often switch from talking like a nutty british fop to ranting about in a strong scottish brogue. Very odd, but fun to watch. My favorite thing was really the Red Queen/Queen of Hearts as played by Helena Bonham Carter, girlfriend was born to play that role she was so awesome in it! She had the perfect blend of crazy, megalomania, rage, sweetness, narcissism, pitifulness and delusion. I honestly feel like the most underhanded character in the film wasnt the Red Queen but the Knave of Hearts her (supposedly) loyal servant. Dude CREEPED ME OUT.
I really loved all the beautiful costumes in the film and I think Alice ended up changing her outfit more times than a model during a fashion show. The ending is really sweet and lovely, it was so great to see this young woman take charge of her life and go towards this bright exciting future.
I dont know how realistic that was for victorian society but I also really dont care, if we can accept talking animals and jabberwocks, then we can accept victorian woman actually making decisions about their lives and futures.

Voice casting was also really well done and brought the animated creatures to life in the best way! I was really worried about Tim Burton's weird blending of animation and live action but it really didnt look bad at all, it worked! But I didnt see it in 3-D so I dont know if that is the same for the 3-D picture.
and I loved that not only did the Jabberwock make an apperance but so did the Bandersnatch casually mentioned in that poem as well! I only feel sad that neither the walruus nor the carpenter (and their famous feast of oysters) made an appearance in this film. That actually kind of broke my heart a bit ;_;

All in all a solid effort I think. Was it the best Alice movie EVAR? No I dont think so. Though I'd be hard pressed to think of a BEST Alice movie EVAR since every adaptation has it's strengths and weaknesses, I think my favorite will always be Jonathan Miller's version though but Burton's adaptation is easily my second favorite and is the most visually amazing and beautiful alice film I've ever seen. As a huge Alice fan I am very pleased!

Anyway!

In my effort to watch all the oscar nominated animated films for this year. I have taken to various means (both legal and...less so) to watch all of the films. Anyway I already saw Up back when it came out but I have sadly yet to see Fantastic Mr Fox and Princess and the Frog. I did see Book of Kells recently though!

Book of Kells: This was a beautiful animated film. This is really and ode to irish folktales and culture, both the pagan and the christian. It really does a good job of respecting both sets of beliefs and in this fantastical version of medieval europe both the pagan beliefs and christian beliefs are treated as true and real. It's refreshing in that sense. More refreshing is the lovely 2-D animation that you really just dont see anymore, and the hero of the film is very delightful and sweet and while he does slay monsters and save the day he does so with his wits, courage and heart and not with any kind of violence/weaponary or even some sort of magical power.
There is also the sweet befriending of the boy hero with the faery girl Ashley, which I really liked since again it highlighted this harmony between the pagan and the christian, even while the Abbot would rail against pagans and their beliefs.
The central conflict of the story is an interesting one, it's basically a fear of viking attacks here called "the northmen". Historically Vikings were VERY scary and caused great havoc to much of europe in their heyday, it was nice to see a threat that had real roots in history in a story that also treated faery creatures and primordial snake monsters as real. That said to perhaps express the horrifying way Vikings appeared to their victims, the vikings in this film are animated to look almost like hulking shadowy monsters that only resemble men in the vaguest most distant sense. It was a very effective way to show just how scary vikings were without actually making them into some kind of fantastical monster army.
Anyway in a nutshell, Book of Kells is a great story about a young boy coming of age and becoming the great man everyone knows he will one day be, but it's also a story about friendship, facing your fears, faith (not just in deities and heaven but in yourself), and also it's a story that beautifully and excellently blends history with folklore, and pagan with christian. and just watch it! It's lovely and you wont regret it. You can also totally take kids to see it :D I also want to add that the irish folk music in this film is so beautiful and really adds to the rich culture of the film.

I have also watched 3 of the 5 nominated Shorts for the animation category. While I enjoyed all 3, my favorite was easily "Granny o Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" totally cracked me up while also being a really creepy retelling. I hope whoever wrote this film does a full length film one day too.
You can watch the oscar nominated animated shorts here: http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/43953738.html
sisterjune: (Default)
Ok I just saw the first teaser trailer for the burton alice in wonderland film coming out march of next year, and holy crap it was so awesome looking!
It' like alice movie I always wanted to see and never could. and I've seen ALOT of alice movies over the years cause I love love Alice in Wonderland. I am still so amazed this movie is even happening. I mean my God, Johnny Depp? Burton? ALICE IN WONDERLAND? It's like 3 of my most favorite things ever, in one place and helena bonham carter is in it too! PLEASE TELL ME SHE IS THE QUEEN OF HEARTS SHE WOULD OWN THAT ROLE SO HARD. I'm surprised it took Burton this long to do this because Alice is gothic horror and that's been burton's niche since the 1980's. Perhaps he was waiting for the right moment?
Minor nitpicks though, I am not crazy about all the CGI I am seeing lately, not necessarily just in this movie but in general. and Ranting in 5..4..3..2..1 ) That being said I believe Burton's intention is to blend animation with live action in this adaptation so that would make what I'm saying kind of irrelevant to the film.

Photobucket
On that note I want to talk about My favorite Alice in Wonderland movie of ALL TIME (at least until I see burton's adaptation). Jonathan Miller's Alice in Wonderland. It was actually a weird conceptual play originally. It was filmed in 1966, and directed by Jonathan Miller who I am told is/was famous in UK theatre but I have no idea if that's true cause I didnt know he or this film existed until 4-5 years ago when I watched this in I cant remember if it was English or Creative Writing class, possibly the latter.more on this film here ) As a book adaptation it's rather avante garde actually and radical. But as a film that's inspired by alice it really couldnt be anymore perfect. and I would even dare say it better captures the essence of the Alice books than any other adaptation has.

Here is a clip of on YT from the film to give everyone an idea of what I'm going on about here.

it's not the most surreal scene in the film or the best scene but it gives a good idea of the tone.

Tv: Supersizers in Ancient rome! Cue excited and most irrelevant babbling )

Leverage 03: Great episode! It's so great how they are changing it up this season and messing with the core formula, in the last episode the team got caught out and in this one they go about securing the mark in a much different and IMO more hilarious way than usual.
Did you just make a guy's nose bleed with the power of your mind? )

I will wrap up my post with this: http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii243/n1oora/19897467.jpg There should be a law against two people looking that gorgeous and perfect together, really. *jumping up and down with excitement for GG S3*

Is it September yet?
sisterjune: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] gilesandperks

OMG what? there is a Supersizers lj community!? That is AWESOME! *immediately joins*

and You guys have me convinced! I am so watching North & South now...or rather after I finish up Gossip Girl S2. but soon oh yes :D Speaking of GG, Just when I think Blair cant get any more crazy or Chuck cant get anymore hot. it HAPPENS. This show is basically the best thing ever, even though it can be really dumb sometimes and has no concept of the time space continuum or basic physics and Dan is still a huge douchebag but it doesnt matter cause Serena is always awesome no matter how many sucky bfs she ends up with. and one day I may actually say something coherent and somewhat profound about this show, but today is not that day.

Anyway, flist I need your help! now that I am part of a certain comm, I have access to all sorts of bbc period drama goodness so I ask you oh wise and wonderful flist. What BBC period dramas (or any kind of period dramas really I aint picky. but let's stay within europe for the mean time) would you guys recommend to me? Dont worry about if I've seen something or not before just rec me your favorites!

Leverage 02: this week's leverage was wonderful as only Leverage can be <3 I loved that they got CAUGHT in the middle of their con! That never happens and it startled the bejeezus out of me and I started to wonder wtf is gonna happen now. I also totally worried for eliot and I did not want to see him in pain ;_; no not his beautiful yet rugged face! But really what was the best about them getting caught was HOW they got caught and by who. More squee under the cut! ) ILU show <3 and ILU parker for putting a SAXOPHONE in that guy's trunk. Girl you are so crazy <3

I wanna take a minute to talk about a period movie I saw recently called I am Dina
Which is easily one of the most fucked up things I've seen in a long time. but not THE most fucked up movie I ever saw cause THAT honor will always be reserved to the movie "Osama" which I only recommend if you enjoy feeling like someone stabbed you in the face for several hours after it's over and being haunted by the sounds of creaky buckets for 3 nights in a row. *cough*
Anyway, Dina herself is really talented and brilliant and gorgeous. She could ride horses, keep accounts and manage her money and property very well. She sometimes wore men's clothes but could kick it in ladies frocks too and she was a damn fine musician. Unfortunately, Dina is also bugfuck CRAZY. Which is actually kind of awesome cause it means she does stuff like beat the shit out of her dad for slapping her, writes coded love letters using numbers/math, stays up all night playing cello or fucking her way too old husband, throws his dead corpse down a cliff in a blizzard, nearly commits suicide, falls in love with a Russian anarchist, later kills him AND quite possibly rapes the stable boy/man..several times. It's basically a puccini opera combined with a gothic horror novel combined with various "avante garde" ideas from a hash smoking NYU film student.Which is to say it was AWESOME and crazy depressing and bizarrely compelling all at once. )

Well that wraps up this post! good day to you all XOXO (I will do this until I stop watching gossip girl methinks)
sisterjune: (Default)
I saw the new Harry Potter movie today and it was so good that I decided to blog about it!.

You know i've seen the last 5 movie installments in this franchise. and I dont remember hating or even really disliking any of them. The first two potter films were nice but not especially memorable (but i could say the same for the first two potter books though I actuallly liked the 2nd one alot) and the 3rd one was filmed in a very interesting way and is possibly my second fave potter film. the 4th one was alot of fun but was basically shot like a major action film. The 5th one had some beautiful shots but the scenes shifted SO fast and the film just felt like all over the place and i barely remember it. But this one is easily my favorite of the bunch and I think is the first harry potter film to really impress me. This film actually MOVED me, the other ones entertained me but this one made me got me in the heart. I cried and I freaked out and I laughed and I was just utterly completely sucked in.

Something wicked AWESOME this way comes.... )

So so much awesome. Basically a great film, I recommend it to EVERYONE, whether you read the books or not but especially if you did. It actually managed to renew my love for Harry Potter for a whole 3 hours. I might even actually read the 7th book now cause I never did (but of course I read all the spoilers) and now I really feel like I wanna know how events proceed now rather than wait the 5 years the next two films will take and yes TWO cause someone had the bright idea of splitting the 7th book into two parts.

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Tai

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