Archive for June, 2007

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Magnolia

June 22, 2007

I decided to watch this movie again, because I didn’t remember anything about it besides the frogs falling out of the sky at the end.

The first thing that bothered me was the use of stupid urban legends to prove some sort of point.   I don’t think the movie really tied people’s actions together at all, just their happening bys.  I Heart Huckabees did the whole thing a lot better.   I thought there were too many characters in this one to really get attached to any of them, or to properly explain their motivations and development.   And the whole movie was just plain boring.  It’s repetitive nature of going through where each character is at one moment got old over time, and some better editing could have saved a lot of time.  I’m not one to criticize editors for stretching out a scene, because in any Kurosawa movie it’s usually a good thing.  But this movie just didn’t have the emotional intensity to make that sort of long cut worthwhile.

This week I tried Amerge for the first time this week, and I have to say it’s the best migraine medication I’ve used so far.  I wish I could get money from the company for saying this but it’s really great, and it’s going to make my life a lot more livable now.   Not only did it completely take away the migraine, but it also made it possible to think and do things during the day.  The only real negative side affect was the nausea and abdominal pain the next day, but to me it was an acceptable trade off.  Plus the doctor did give me medication for the nausea part, but the warning on that one scared me off.

I also watched Pickpocket this week.  Mostly just entertaining for it’s nice shots on how to pickpocket, but it lacked any real plot.  The real interesting feature for me was the girl named Marika Green.  She was so beautiful, and she reminded me an awful lot of Natalie Portman.  I looked her up on IMDB and she wasn’t really in anything I’ve heard of.  Who knows though, maybe she was a huge star in France.

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8MM

June 10, 2007

Normally I don’t comment on movies that I’ve seen on TV because I’m never able to see them in their entirety.  In this case, I missed about the first half hour or so of 8MM.  But I thought it was important to comment on it since it’s been bothering me all night.

No, it’s not the violence or the porn that disturbs me.  It’s the character Nicholas Cage plays, and how his plotline is resolved.  The man is despicable, a murderer, and yet he gets a happy ending with his wife and child.   And I don’t have a problem with happy endings.  But I didn’t believe it for an instant.  The idea that the mother of the murdered girl would write him a thank-you note after he woke her up for a phone call in the wee hours of the morning to tell her that her daughter was dead, and asking for permission to hurt the guys that did it… it just made me sick.  I mean, couldn’t he have waited til daytime, maybe done this in a face to face meeting, and not sent the poor woman into a crying fit?  How did she sleep the rest of the night?  Who could console her at that time?  That’s just sick and cruel what he did.

Then there’s his beloved wife, who puts up with him while he puts them all at risk.  He leaves for days at a time and doesn’t call, he tells her to go hide, he comes to see her with blood all over him and rushes back out into the night when what he should have done was just called the police and let them take care of it.  Yeah, you leave your wife and baby in the middle of the night so you can go and kill some people?  Real hero.

She should have left him.  That should have been the price he paid for his vengeance.  An eye for an eye is no way to live your life, and vigilante justice should not be glorified like this.

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V for Vendetta

June 9, 2007

First off, I need to buy Scarface. It needs to be done.

I watched this movie over a year ago but I couldn’t find a post made about it. Maybe I didn’t write about it, I thought I did. But it’s grown on me since then, and I wanted Eric to see the entire thing. One thing I noticed about previous posts was a number of spelling and grammatical errors, which disturbs me because I’m probably more drunk now than I was while writing those and I’m not nearly as sloppy now.  As Eric tells me, I become more disjointed with every passing day. Which is weird because for the most part I feel happy and normal.

I guess the sad part is, V for Vendetta is everything I wanted my film to be with very few exceptions. The lack of collateral damage on behalf of the main character is particularly admirable, as well as the focus on a war on ideas rather than a war of human casualties. However I still cannot justify the part where he imprisons Evey in an effort to kill her fear. It’s quite easy to lose fear, just deny yourself feelings at all. I’m sure there are many drugs he could have offered her to provide the same effect.

By the way, I noticed the similarity between the drug Prosium in Equilibrium and the drug Prozac. Few people realize this but Prozac does not make you happy, it makes you unable to feel sad. Hence why many people are able to kill themselves with ease during their first few weeks of starting the drug.

Telstar. There are no coincidences.

Edit:  I really didn’t give this film a fair review.  I think I was drunk while I wrote it.  It really deserved a more in-depth analysis.  Fortunately for anyone who reads this blog, I am giving up hard alcohol.

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Equilibrium

June 7, 2007

I got this movie again off Netflix so my husband could watch it this time.  It was also quite inspiring to watch it edited with Muse songs on YouTube.  I’m still working on my screenplay, though since I haven’t downloaded any good word processing programs yet all I have is a couple sentences on notepad.  I should really use notecards too, though sometimes I just revel in the images in my head as I’m driving.  I picture everything so clearly, the goodbyes, the explosion, the gasp as the lead actress covers her mouth loosely with her hand and then begins to scream.  Someone like a younger Naomi Watts.  She’s such a good actress, though getting a bit typecast in the horror/suspense type films.

Anyhow Equilibrium.  Had some wonderful gun action, but the slice of face at the end got to me.  I can’t believe I didn’t remember that from the last time I watched it.  Soundtrack was piss-poor but after watching it with Muse you get some higher standards.  Some of the scenes were unbelievable and just plain laughable, like how this guy can watch people die with no problem but the moment puppies start getting gunned down he gets all horrified.  He blew his cover more times than I could count, and ever time he started running I’m like “You fool!”  And at the end, I cannot agree with how they gunned down the guards outside the factories.  You’re blowing up people’s drug supplies, give them a day and they probably would have joined you.  That’s going to be my big challenge.  A morally conscious rebellion film.  I think the key is to assassinate a main “bad guy”, such as Father in Equilibrium.  The further gunning down of random people would be no longer necessary.  But to destroy the infrastructure is key too.  Perhaps developing some sort of Tachyon Web to eliminate Mars-Earth travel for 5 to 10 years until Earth can build it’s own government.  Winning a war through outsmarting is more satisfying anyway.

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King of New York

June 3, 2007

This film got me to wondering what makes a sympathetic main character.  Is just being the main character enough to get sympathy from the audience?  Is it the actions or intent that add to that?  Plenty of movies are made where the main character is a “bad guy”, but yet in the end we want them to win.  In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, just about every character had killed or betrayed someone else, but yet there were still some that were more sympathetic than others.  Perhaps it’s in the charismatic good looks that allows characters that Johnny Depp plays to get away with murder and still be adored.  I don’t think that really applies to Christopher Walken’s character though.

Perhaps it was intent then.  The idea that he was trying to change his life, change the world for the better.  Even if he could only do that through murder.  Whereas the band of 3 cops who tried to bring him down were motivated by revenge, which is the undoing of everyone who ever hit the screen.

I thought a bit about my Anne Bonny script, and how the professor said “How can the audience sympathize with a character who kills someone in the first 5 minutes of the film?”  The same way they sympathize with any character that gets the most screen time.  Audiences are dumb, they only need to see who is on screen for the most amount of time to decide who to care about.  This is why Heat was unsuccessful, the dual characters just confused the audience.

I don’t know if I really believe that.  It’s easier just to type things out so I remember to think about them later.

I was also thinking tonight about the quote “With great power comes great responsibility.”  I think they used it in one of the Spiderman movies, and I think Stan Lee actually wrote that for the original comic books.  The idea was that people with super powers were morally obligated to use their powers for good.  But here’s the thing, we all have great power.  In the age of internet, international travel, weaponry and information, everyone in the world has the power to greatly influence the entire world and future.  It could be for good, like working tirelessly to discover cures for diseases or leading a country to a better system of government, or it could be for not so good like gunning down random strangers.  But every single person on this planet has the power to do something extraordinary.  Most just chose not to, because it’s easier.

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The Thing

June 2, 2007

I’m not really big on the horror/gore movies so it’s hard for me to make an unbiased review. There was a good chunk of time that I had to leave the room because apparently someone’s head came off and started walking around and being evil. Otherwise the movie was fairly tame, and I was able to sit through it.

The effects were older, and so it was harder for me to take the monsters seriously. At least movies like Alien, the biggest issue with why it was scary was that it was so hidden, able to pop out of nowhere. But with the Thing, it’s in constant sight the whole time, and the transformations seemed very long and drawn out. There was no suspense to it.

Some part of me wishes that monster movies should stop being made. Sci-fi channel seems to come up with another one every week, and they are all the same and all so bad. But every once in a great while you get movies like Alien and Predator (not the vs.) and episodes of the X-Files which were really done very well. The key to a good monster movie is to have suspense and mystery to it. And I think if I want to be scared, I’ll stick to the asian ghost stories. Ghosts are scarier than monsters anyway.

Edit:  Kurt Russell looks better with an eyepatch.  Not many people can pull that off.  Some people just look sick, and not in the cool way.