?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Three Movie Reviews

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Three Movie Reviews

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
art lives
It is the summer movie season, which is a favorite time of the year for Bobby and me. We are movie enthusiasts and like to see a movie in the theater each week, filling in between with one or two rentals of those we might have missed earlier in the year or older movies that we feel we need to watch for one reason or another. We've been busy at the movies in the past two weeks, and I offer my reviews and opinions on three of the summer blockbusters: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Lady in the Water, and Miami Vice.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was one of those that I saw mostly because 1) I was not necessarily averse to it and 2) my friends really, really wanted to see it so I ended up getting dragged along. And I was glad that I did because the movie was more entertaining than I expected from a Disney movie about pirates.

Bobby and I tend to be impatient when a movie comes out that we want to see, and so we were first in line (literally) on the night that Dead Man's Chest opened. Now before I go any further with my review, it is my belief that the second movie in the trilogy is inherently going to be the most difficult to make and probably the least liked as a result. The first movie in a series rides high on the energy created by its novelty; for example, the unexpected delight that I felt for Captain Jack Sparrow's character in Curse of the Black Pearl will never again be replicable by this movie series. Why? Because Jack Sparrow--and the movie's other selling points--are no longer novel. At the same time, a second-in-the-trilogy movie lacks the resolution and closure of the final movie. The second movie is usually the one where I feel most like I've been left hanging...and unsatisfactorily at that. So, lacking both novelty and closure, the second movie in a trilogy has the unfortunate difficulty of trying to overcome both to be an entertaining film in its own right.

I think that Dead Man's Chest did a commendable job of this.

I have seen buzz along the lines of DMC being inferior to CotBP...and I will agree. I had much more fun at my first viewing of CotBP than I did at my first viewing of DMC. But much of this was because I walked into the theater with low expectations when I saw CotBP. On the contrary, walking into the theater for DMC, I expected to be wowed.

Bobby and I--due to our unfortunate mishap with the Nickelback concert--ended up seeing DMC twice. I enjoyed it much more the second time, when I was aware already of the plot and felt less like I needed to pay strict attention to the story or chance missing something. The plotline is relatively complex for a movie aimed at a general audience, and I have heard some criticism to this effect, but I did not find the storyline so complex that I could not enjoy myself. The characters were notable, the chemistry between them palpable, and the humor pervasive without being too stupidly farsical. For a movie rated PG-13, I thought that Davy Jones and the crew of The Flying Dutchmen were appreciably scary...yet even then, the villains had a depth rarely seen in this sort of movie. Even as Davy Jones is deplorable, he is sympathetic, and I think this series as a whole proves the effectiveness of characters that are not black and white but rather shades of gray, even in a movie like this that is meant to be entertaining rather than particularly profound. (I suggest that the action genre, in particular, take note of this fact.)

I am not much for action scenes, and I will be the first to admit it. During CotBP, though, I found myself entranced by the swordplay. (Part of this, I will admit, is a very strong aversion to firearms and action scenes based almost solely around gunfire.) I did not find the action scenes in this movie quite as compelling, but again, I went in to DMC with a different standard in mind than the first time I watched CotBP. In addition to that, the suspense was well done; in the end, as the three characters fight over the chest, I found myself wondering who I wanted to have it the most. (I decided that Will Turner won out for me because I felt so badly for his poor father Bootstraps, cursing himself to an eternity on The Flying Dutchman to--he thought--save his son's soul. Next was Jack Sparrow. The Commodore--however more I liked him this time than in CotBP--could go float for all that I cared.)

This is a fun movie; I did not go into it expecting profound statements about the human condition or to be enlightened or even moved emotionally. It is a great movie to lose yourself in for two hours, just for the fun and silly humor of it. And it did its job also: Walking out of the theater, one of the first words to pass Bobby's lips were, "I can't wait for the third one now!" and I had to agree.

I give Dead Man's Chest three-and-a-half Keebler E.L. Fudge "Elves Exist" cookies out of four.

The Lady in the Water
Being something of connoisseurs of the fantasy and horror/suspense genres, Bobby and I generally find ourselves eagerly anticipating M. Night Shyamalan's movies. I will admit to being one of the legions bowled over by The Sixth Sense, and I have seen each of his movies loyally since (except for Unbreakable, mainly because I did not realize until recently that it was even one of his movies). Signs remains one of Bobby's favorite movies and is watched perennially in the House of Felagund; The Village was a bit of a disappointment. By the time The Village came out, most of us were on to M. Night's modus operandus of the "trick ending" and I think that too many were watching for it. In truth, I remember very little of The Village except for the ending; The Sixth Sense and Signs, by comparison, stand out in my memory for the movie as a whole rather than the cleverness of how they ended.

I went in to The Lady in the Water hoping that it would not be another repeat of The Village. It was Judgment Day for M. Night for me; I figure that everyone is allowed a flub, and if he made The Village his flub, then I would continue to name myself a fan of his movies.

The Lady in the Water was something different than his earlier work. Whereas his movies tended to be heavy on the horror elements, when I emerged from the theater after seeing TLinW, I had to name it more of a fantasy movie than horror or suspense. Yes, there were horror elements in it, but they were relatively mild compared to, say, the gruesome ghosts of The Sixth Sense or the mysterious beasts of The Village. Instead, the movie was based around a story regarded as a myth--based, in fact, on a bedtime story M. Night had made up for his children--where sea nymphs brave great peril to take messages to the human world above. And I am a sucker for fantasy stories that mix modern life with mythological elements. Some of my favorite fantasy stories use this tactic, the sort of stories that have me walking around in a dreamy happiness for a week.

My father-in-law said something profound after the movie was over. As we sat waiting for the theater to clear to leave our seats, we talked back and forth about what we'd thought of the movie. "I liked it," he said. "It made me think that I could believe in Santa Claus." We all laughed, but the point was true, and I think this is the basis also of my love for the sorts of stories where myths wind up being reality: I spend much of my day between the fantasy realms of Middle-earth (Tolkien) and the Midhavens (my own), and coming into the real world is often a cruel awakening. We do not live in such a place, where heroes and magic are guaranteed protectors from evil. We wake every morning, wondering, Will today be the next 9/11? The next Madrid? London?

To believe even for a few hours in a mythological world becoming part of ours and enabling some sort of positive change--however small--is a welcome and oft-needed escape from a world where war and terrorism and oppression seem inevitable. I find very few reasons these days to believe in the methods that we really have to motivate change for the better; perhaps that is why the idea of being saved by sea nymphs or pagodas or the mythological being du jour so appeals to me.

TLitW did have some things in common with the rest of M. Night's work. For one, it involved the usual motley cast of characters. His characters are one of the strengths of his work, I think: diverse and flawed but not so eccentric as to be unbelievable, something that is not seen too often in the horror and suspense movies that make it to the big screen and often center on a combination of plot and shock-value. There was also the continued notion that that which remains just out of sight is far more frightening than a maggoty corpse, for example, or a big hairy spider springing out and catching us at unawares. This is a philosophy with which I happen to agree on a number of levels. (Perhaps the most practical being that none of us share the same fears, so to show a shadow and let your audience's imaginations fill in the rest is far more effective than pandering to the common fears of a few and leaving the rest underwhelmed.) We caught glimpses of the monster but it mostly remained out of sight and able to appear at any moment, dashing across the periphery of the characters' vision, rising without warning from the shadows.

My main complaint with TLitW was that it felt a bit too plotted, too deliberate for me: a place for everyone and everyone in his place. Every character was there for a reason, his quirks all had a purpose, and it wasn't too hard to guess who would take what roll in solving the mystery. I realize that this is made part of the premise of the movie: that people possessing the gifts needed to aid the sea nymphs would be drawn to the water from which they would emerge, but nonetheless, this did make for a storyline that felt rather linear and predictable.

But all in all, I found the movie innovative, entertaining, and hopeful, and The Lady in the Water now competes with The Sixth Sense for which will hold first place in my heart of all of M. Night's movies. I give it three-and-a-quarter E.L. Fudge "Elves Exist" cookies out of four.

Miami Vice
Before I begin to review this movie, let me say that I have never seen the original Miami Vice television program...not a single episode. Being a fan of '80s music, the soundtrack is far more familiar to me; I can pretty much guarantee that I have at least one song from the television show on my iPod at any given time.

Let me also say that I don't generally like action movies. In fact, it is one of the two genres that I tend to unequivocally avoid, the other being chick-flick romances, situated at the opposite extreme.

So how, then, did I end up seeing this movie? Well, a few months ago, I wanted badly to see Brokeback Mountain but I didn't have anyone to go with me. Jenni was going to come visit Baltimore and we were going to see it together, but that was the weekend that my grandmother died. Feeling sorry for me, perhaps, Bobby agreed to go with me so long as I checked the hallway before he left the theater to make sure that none of his hockey teammates were anywhere around.

Because he was so nice to indulge me in my grief, I made the agreement that I would go see any movie that he wanted to see regardless of how dumb I thought that it looked and would not complain about it. (This was before I had caught wind of Snakes on a Plane. I might have drawn the line at that, but fortunately, Bobby shares my opinion of that foolish tripe.)

He picked Miami Vice, being a fan of the old show.

So I went.

I even went with the hopes that it would be a good movie, and I really tried to give it a fair chance. One of my complaints about action movies is their use of cookie-cutter characters and their attempt to achieve some sort of profundity by 1) devising plotlines so intricate and convoluted that one needs a graphical organizer to remember which Foreign Dude belongs to which Evil Ringleader and who works for whom in secret and who has betrayed whom or has some old allegiance just waiting to be rekindled and 2) long stretches of gunfighting that I suppose is supposed to be exciting. Sometimes, they substitute car-chasing for gunfighting; an ambitious few have attempted to combine the two with laughable results.

Bobby liked the movie. At first, I was willing to footnote my disappointment with the fact that I had never seen the show, but the more I thought about it, the more adamant I became that I shouldn't need to see a show that was popular twenty years ago in order to understand the movie. Movies are not released only for the diehard fans of a show; they should entertain said fans and also introduce newbies to the allure that brought those familiar with the original to the theater based on the name alone. The characters were utterly without personality, even an appreciable "cool guy" disdain common to the genre. I refuse to be impressed by their ability to talk themselves out of trouble alone because any moron with a pad and pencil and enough time can script that. Even I can script that and I think that anyone who has read a number of my stories will admit that I'm not too clever on the plot side of things.

The storyline was the typical convoluted action-movie fare where I spent much of the movie trying to remember which Latino guy belonged to whom and who was supposed to be good and who was supposed to be bad. There is a difference, I think, between an intricate and clever plot and a plot that is intricate solely for the sake of intricacy, as though needing a database for all of the major characters, drug lords, and random henchman imparts some sort of aura of intelligence that the movie cannot produce on its merits alone. It is a fine line, I admit, to creating a plotline that is complicated and clever enough to engage one's audience and keep them guessing and creating a plotline that is so complicated that halfway through, much of the audience has given up on understanding what is going on and settles in for the explosions and car chases alone. It's a fine line, yes...and Miami Vice completely tumbles onto the wrong side of it.

I am not fond of devising rules for fiction, but there is one that I feel is generally a good thing in the majority of stories: Do not bite off more characters than you can chew in a two-hour movie, taking into account that at least an hour of said movie must be devoted to mindless gunfighting, car-chasing, and boat-driving.

Also, simply having two characters fall into bed together and engage in some kissing so noisy that I cringed like I was watching a competitive eater tuck into his fortieth Nathan's hotdog with lip-smacking aplomb does not mean that you have convincingly showed that those characters love each other and that we will have an automatic "OMG!" response when one is called upon to save the other from Certain Doom and Possible Annihilation.

And gunfights...okay, I am going to rant for a moment about gunfights. Why? Because I hate them. You do not hear me use the h-word a lot, but I will saythat guns and gunfights have certainly earned the right to it. First of all, I am not impressed simply because a guy can hold a gun in a threatening manner. Ah, yes, that old action-movie pose that is supposed to trigger the automatic thought, "Oh! He must be impressive or scary!" No. If I run next door into my boss's office, elbows locked, wearing a solemn scowl, and wielding my stapler, he is going to laugh at me. Granted, yes, a gun is more dangerous than a stapler, but it doesn't take courage, competence, or importance to stand like that clutching a metal object.

Nor does it take any of the above to shoot someone. Pulling a trigger is not an aggressive action. It is the action of a coward who doesn't have the balls to do the trick with a sword or a knife or even a big, unweildy club. To quote one of Bobby's favorite bands (since I am so thoroughly ragging his movie), 311: Guns are for pussies.

That said, too many directors, producers, and scriptwriters operate under the delusion that gunfights are somehow exciting. No. Watching grown men hide behind cars and piles of tires and poke out and fire guns at each other for a mind-numbing fifteen minutes straight is not exciting. And if I want to watch tumbling manuevers, I'll put on a tape of Mary Lou Retton and skip Colin Farrell rolling about in the dirt in what I suppose is supposed to be an impressive manner.

And okay, I realize that I harbor an unusual amount of vitriol towards firearms. But even so, I refuse to believe that ten cops and ten bad guys can line up Revolutionary War style (plus and few cars and other interesting objects to use as shields) and every single bad guy gets killed while the cops manage to dodge and roll everything fired their way. Either bad guys intrinsically have bad aim or Neo escaped from The Matrix and has taken to dressing up like Colin Farrell for kicks. A few movies have taken to killing off a few token cops for effect (and after 9/11, I suppose that the "OMG! First-responders being killed!" reaction is supposed to take the place of creating legitimate emotion, which of course takes characterization, which of course takes away from the allotted time for gunfighting) but the point remains that fifteen minutes of watching idiots point guns and dart between shadows in order to achieve a conclusion that we all saw coming from the opening sequence is not my idea of entertaining.

Is that popping sound the relentless gunfire or the sound of my brain cells committing suicide?

Sorry, Bobby, to so thoroughly trash your movie, but I had so much more fun at Brokeback Mountain, and I am forced to give Miami Vice a dismal one E.L. Fudge "Elves Exist" cookie out of four. And unless my eyes deceive me, there's a bite missing out of it.
  • I *so* needed to read this today. Thank you for your reviews! Though I must ask you:

    1. Did you stay past the credits for DMC? If not, you've automatically earned yourself another viewing. Plus, it makes me more money in the movie pool I'm in... and I'd really like to see first place and win!!

    ;-) Also, I might have to disagree a bit on the trilogy movie theory. As a not-so-avid movie-goer (one needs money to attend such funtions, you know), I find that in trilogies, you're going to have at least one movie in the set that serves as the cliff-hanger/leave-you-hangin/that-was-not-an-ending movie. DMC certainly filled that requirement. And honestly, after my second viewing, I didn't really mind so much that it ended like it did. In fact, I even liked the un-ending, as it were. I mean, who would have expected it? (I'm being delibrately vague, but I hope you know what I mean.) But I digress, and apparently a lot! Either way, the first movie acts as an 'introduction' to you main characters, and the minor ones that you know will be back for the second. The second movie often introduces a few more characters into the mix, and often acts as a 'bridge', so to speak. The third movie is the 'conclusion', often answering questions left dangling by the first and second, and is almost often the movie that beats the other two down with and unwieldy club. Star Wars 3 did that for its two predecessors. Return of the King did it for its two predecessors. Since I can't think of any others off the top of my head, I'll quit listing. LOL!

    *blinks* Well, I might not be disagreeing after, but apparently I needed to say *something*. LOL!

    I do know that a year is definitely too long to wait for the third PotC movie... I will likely not see TLintW... and I might be coerced into seeing Miami Vice once, but I don't much like Colin Farrell, so I might not enjoy seeing him as Sonny Crockett, especially when I remember Don Johnson doing it so well. I might not have watched the TV show religiously, but I did catch a few episodes here and there.

    And if I don't go, then it's just testament to the fact that I'll avoid movies with certain actors I don't much care for (ie: get the heebie jeebies over).

    How's that for a long-winded diatribe?? ;-) Toodles!
    • I *so* needed to read this today. Thank you for your reviews!

      I'm glad that my timing was so good! :^D I've been wanting to do this for days, but I've been so busy with things. Yesterday, I got a lot of work done, so I thought, "Heck. I'm rewarding myself!"

      (I'm still working on the PWP post too, btw. This writing journal entries in WordPad is dangerous because then I can take forever to finish a post!)

      1. Did you stay past the credits for DMC?

      No! Damn! We were probably close too because we went on opening night, so of course, it was sold out. And I refuse to be one of the multitudes pushing for the door when I can sit in my seat, listen to the closing music, and leave in a more civilized fashion. :^P But we didn't sit all the way until the end.

      And honestly, after my second viewing, I didn't really mind so much that it ended like it did. In fact, I even liked the un-ending, as it were. I mean, who would have expected it? (I'm being delibrately vague, but I hope you know what I mean.)

      I know what you mean. ;) I like the ending too, how it ties back to the first movie, making the three more of a single large story rather than three separate stories. And I am totally with you on cliffhangers, but I don't generally see the second movie if I do not intend to see the third, so I find that it only increases my anticipation for the next movie. But I know that some people are bothered by the lack of closure, like, "I sat through two hours for what? That didn't tell me anything!" Personally, I like the idea of tying all three movies together, like PotC or LotR. (Incidentally, one of my most vivid memories from seeing FotR was that the person sitting behind me loudly declared, when the movie was over, "Well that was the stupidest ending ever!" Doh! It's a trilogy! It's not an ending at all!)

      I think that DMC does a great job of exciting people to see the third movie. I know that I can't wait for next summer!

      Star Wars 3 did that for its two predecessors. Return of the King did it for its two predecessors. Since I can't think of any others off the top of my head, I'll quit listing. LOL!

      The exception to this (for me) was The Matrix trilogy. I loved the first movie, was totally meh on the second, and can tolerate the third. I still believe that it would have been better left as a single movie rather than a trilogy.

      And you wouldn't know this since you don't go to horror films, but for horror movies in a series, I find that the first is usually the unequivocal best. Of course, I think that's mostly because they aren't written as a trilogy--as were Star Wars, PotC, and LotR--but have sequels tacked on as an afterthought, trying to capitalize on the success of the original. But I agree that in most movie trilogies written to be a trilogy, the last one is the best...and should be!

      I will likely not see TLintW... and I might be coerced into seeing Miami Vice once, but I don't much like Colin Farrell, so I might not enjoy seeing him as Sonny Crockett, especially when I remember Don Johnson doing it so well.

      Amen to Colin Farrell! :^D The man drives me crazy. No matter what role he plays, I can't see him as a character. I see...Colin Farrell. "Oh look, Colin Farrell dressed up as Alexander! Oh look, Colin Farrell dressed up as Captain John Smith!" Never mind that I can't remember a single one of his movies that I have actually liked.

      As Sonny Crockett...he has no personality. And Jamie Foxx really doesn't either. Now I expect it of Farrell, but Jamie Foxx won an Academy Award for Pete's sake! More proof, I guess, that having won an award isn't everything. ;)

      How's that for a long-winded diatribe?? ;-)

      It was great! You've been knowing me for too long; the Rambles are beginning to rub off on you! :^P But it was a lovely start to my morning! :)
    • part 1 - limit overload!!

      (I'm still working on the PWP post too, btw. This writing journal entries in WordPad is dangerous because then I can take forever to finish a post!)

      I can't wait to read it!! LOL!

      ‘Tis why I stay away from doing it (entries in WordPad). Of course, that means I’ll be typing away in my lj without a second thought to room or how much it takes before it screams for mercy…

      No! Damn! We were probably close too because we went on opening night, so of course, it was sold out. And I refuse to be one of the multitudes pushing for the door when I can sit in my seat, listen to the closing music, and leave in a more civilized fashion. :^P But we didn't sit all the way until the end.

      Both times that I went to see it, the majority of the movie-goers stayed, even if half of them were standing in the exit isles, turned back to watch. They learned that one must stay til the very end because of the secret scene after the credits in the first movie. You’ve seen that, right?? Tell me you have! Might need to make a trip up there to watch both with you, just to make sure you stay for the secret scene *after* the credits…

      Either way, you've earned another trip to go see PotC2 for a third time!! ;-)

      (Incidentally, one of my most vivid memories from seeing FotR was that the person sitting behind me loudly declared, when the movie was over, "Well that was the stupidest ending ever!" Doh! It's a trilogy! It's not an ending at all!)

      Even I knew that the ending wasn’t an ending after FotR, and I hadn’t read the books until after seeing TTT!! And if one really chose to look at it in a certain way, RotK didn’t really have an ‘ending’ either. Oh, most of us knew it was over, and there would be no more (damn!), but the ending felt a little too open-ended to me. I loved it, don’t get me wrong! I didn’t go back 4 more times because I hated the ending (which I didn’t – I even knew the words to ‘Into The West’ and sang them in the theater! each time!). But I mean, if one knew there was a series of movies, then they shouldn’t really gripe about the un-endings as the last frames of the first two movies fade away…

      I think that DMC does a great job of exciting people to see the third movie. I know that I can't wait for next summer!

      Me3! Hopefully, if we do this Summer Movie Extravaganza pool at work next year, most of everyone will forget how well PotC did and not pick it so I can!! LOL! ;-)

      The exception to this (for me) was The Matrix trilogy. I loved the first movie, was totally meh on the second, and can tolerate the third. I still believe that it would have been better left as a single movie rather than a trilogy.

      *snerk* I’ve only seen the first one once, and never again. I didn’t bother with the second or third, and from everything I heard about the two of them, I’m glad I didn’t bother. Not that I would have seen them anyway. The first one I was ‘meh’ over.

      But I agree that in most movie trilogies written to be a trilogy, the last one is the best...and should be!

      Yeppir! Stars Wars 3 (and 6 as well) blew the first two out of the water, as did RotK to its predecessors (though I loved all 3), and I’m betting PotC3 will as well. What I’m wondering is: if the first two were largely Capt. Jack driven, then will the third one be as well? I mean, dude is currently partyin’ with the kraken at the bottom of the ocean (or At World’s End), so… does this mean more face time for Will, Elizabeth, and all the rest until they save Jack? OH! And what will become of our Will and Elizabeth?? I still think they’ll get married…

      I’m sorely tempted to go and see it one last time before it leaves the theaters…
    • part 2 - limit overload

      Amen to Colin Farrell! :^D The man drives me crazy. No matter what role he plays, I can't see him as a character. I see...Colin Farrell. "Oh look, Colin Farrell dressed up as Alexander! Oh look, Colin Farrell dressed up as Captain John Smith!" Never mind that I can't remember a single one of his movies that I have actually liked.

      LOL! I think I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie with him in it (that I recall). There’s just something about him that I don’t much like, so I just avoid the movies. Though, I admit to being interested in ‘The New World’ and ‘Alexander’, but mostly due to the EPIC quality they both seemed to have, and not for Farrell.

      As Sonny Crockett...he has no personality. And Jamie Foxx really doesn't either. Now I expect it of Farrell, but Jamie Foxx won an Academy Award for Pete's sake! More proof, I guess, that having won an award isn't everything. ;)

      But out of the two, I’d pick Foxx for better acting than Farrell. But then, I haven’t seen anything with Foxx in it either… but he doesn’t give me the heebie jeebies. He just hasn’t been in anything I might be remotely interested in. Except maybe ‘Jarhead’, but even then… meh.

      It was great! You've been knowing me for too long; the Rambles are beginning to rub off on you! :^P But it was a lovely start to my morning! :)

      I always warn folks that I’m generally a quiet creature, and tend to listen in on conversations. But, once you get me talking on something I might actually know (or think I know), then look out! The younger!motor-mouth!Isil comes roaring to life.

      I’m glad I can Ramble here… it’s fun to Ramble with the ‘gund. ;-)
      • Oh noes! Me too! :^D

        You've seen that, right?? Tell me you have! Might need to make a trip up there to watch both with you, just to make sure you stay for the secret scene *after* the credits!

        *shifts around uncomfortably*

        No....

        So I guess you're going to have to come up and see that I watch them both! :^D

        And if one really chose to look at it in a certain way, RotK didn't really have an "ending" either.

        You're right, it really didn't. But this is/was part of the appeal for me: the sense that the stories are always part of something larger. LotR is really just a single adventure in a whole long history; really, I think that just about any adventure--Fingon rescuing Maedhros from Thangorodrim, for example--could be made into a LotR-scope book/movie. Which is why I don't think I'll ever be able to write all of the stories that I want! :^D

        I love the ending of FotR too, even though it was funny seeing it for the first time, how many "endings" there were! But it was at once sad and hopeful, and wasn't it Bilbo who said, "The road goes ever on?" I get that sense from the ending. I stayed through the credits too if only to admire the beautiful artwork. Bobby was quite used to this by the third time we saw it! :^D

        *snerk* I've only seen the first one once, and never again. I didn't bother with the second or third, and from everything I heard about the two of them, I'm glad I didn't bother.

        Lol, I couldn't remember if you were the person on my flist who really didn't like The Matrix...I guess I've got my answer!

        The first one I liked because I thought that the idea was quite innovative and the world intriguing. The later ones I liked less because they were more a shoot-em-up alien adventure. Car chases bore me, whether in actual cars or in space ships!

        What I'm wondering is: if the first two were largely Capt. Jack driven, then will the third one be as well? I mean, dude is currently partyin' with the kraken at the bottom of the ocean (or At World's End), so does this mean more face time for Will, Elizabeth, and all the rest until they save Jack? OH! And what will become of our Will and Elizabeth?? I still think they'll get married!

        That's a good point about Captain Jack. Hmmm. Yes, I think it will focus more on Will, Elizabeth, and the others, although we might see Jack at the world's end too. But I think that the adventures will focus on the others. (Isn't Jack's father in the third one? Played by Keith Richards?? *giggle*) I also think that Will and Elizabeth will get married. It would be too heartbreaking to have Elizabeth fall for Jack and leave goodhearted Will all alone. (Maybe Will will marry the voodoo lady? :^D) Jenni had an interesting theory that Elizabeth should be a twin, one for each Jack and Will. :)

      • Oh noes! Me too! (the reprise) :^D

        LOL! I think I can honestly say I've never seen a movie with him in it (that I recall).

        He was mostly in bland action movies until recently. I remember first seeing him (I think) in The Recruit, that movie where he's training to be an undercover CIA operative or something. That one was Bobby's idea. :^P Then he was in Phonebooth, where he's trapped in a phonebooth, and if he hangs up, a bomb will go off or something. Both Bobby and I wanted to see that one; I mostly because I thought that the idea had wonderful potential to be very suspenseful. But...it really wasn't.

        Then: The New World. I think that I ranted reviewed this one a while back. I didn't like it. At all. I loved the premise and thought--again, like Phonebooth--that it had wonderful potential, but it struck me like they were trying to make something profound and artistic, but it only ended up boring. Boring and rather insipid. I also believe that this was the point where I decided that Colin Farrell was on my Sh*t List. :^P Because, again, some of the trees in the movie's overdone sweeping nature shots had more personality than he did.

        I haven't seen Alexander, so I can't slam that one. :^P

        But out of the two, I'd pick Foxx for better acting than Farrell. But then, I haven't seen anything with Foxx in it either, but he doesn't give me the heebie jeebies. He just hasn't been in anything I might be remotely interested in. Except maybe "Jarhead" but even then, meh.

        I keep meaning to see Ray, if only to see what the hype is about. Actually, it was on in one of the restaurants in Puerto Rico, close-captioned, but I think that I need to see the whole thing...with sound!

        Jarhead was okay. It got some criticism for being a war movie without a war...but wasn't that the Gulf War, really? It did certainly show, convincingly, how a soldier in such circumstances could start to go a little crazy. I don't know if a movie so boring that one empathizes with the bored soldiers is necessarily a good thing, but I found it fascinating! :^P

        I'm glad I can Ramble here, it's fun to Ramble with the 'gund. ;-)

        Lol! The 'gund is always willing to ramble! Sometimes I wonder if when people see me coming, they turn and run the other way! :^D
  • I have to respectfully disagree with you on The Village, as I much preferred it over Signs. First of all, I really liked the twist and didn't see it coming (appreciating it more the second time, perhaps, in order to look for details a la The Sixth Sense).

    If I had to pick a least favourite movie of M.'s, Signs would be it (though it may be a general disdain for alien movies, especially when you finally see the alien and go, "Oh. Hey little fella! Aren't you cute?" :-P )
    • I have to respectfully disagree with you on The Village, as I much preferred it over Signs.

      You are allowed to disagree. :) I am an arbiter of quality for myself only!

      I knew that The Village was going to end in a twist, and that ruined it for me. I wanted so much more to see the monsters be real.

      As for Signs, I'm not so fond of the ending, but the middle of the movie makes it for me. It's got a nice bit of humor, and when Mel Gibson's character is walking in the dark cornfield, and he drops the flashlight and you see that leg going into the corn.... *shivers* Also when they're hiding in the dark basement. Both of these play on common fears, and they're both believable enough to be spooky for me.
      • Both of these play on common fears, and they're both believable enough to be spooky for me.

        Perhaps that's why I liked The Village so much. It relies on moviegoers coming in with preconceived notions (and fears); we expect the monsters to be real, and we assume--once we see the villagers' clothing, etc.--the setting (time, place, etc). That this is all thrown on its head later is great to me, and then you want to watch it again to pick up clues.

        Signs was suspenseful for me, but not in a way different than any other suspense/horror movie (well, the ones that don't involve egregious gore).
  • I enjoyed DMC, but the first half of the movie was slow - I guess it suffered from too much of a plot. I did stay past the end of the credits (the kids made me) but for the life of me can't even rmember what happened.

    The Lady in the Water sounds good but I'm forbidden to go to horror flicks. I can watch them at home in daylight, but put me in a dark theater with their gigantic speakers......well, I'm a screamer. I give these little "squeeks" at home, but in a theater I do those black and white horror flick kinda screams. though I was told once by the poor kid that sat in front of me that my scream scared the crap out of him and how it really "made" the movie I'll wait for it to come out on DVD, thanks.
    • I enjoyed DMC, but the first half of the movie was slow - I guess it suffered from too much of a plot.

      Yes, I liked it much more the second time, when I wasn't frantically trying to keep up and could enjoy the story a little bit more. Part of this was that I hadn't seen all of CotBP since it was first released in theaters; Bobby and I had watched it the night before, but I fell asleep. :^P

      The Lady in the Water sounds good but I'm forbidden to go to horror flicks. I can watch them at home in daylight, but put me in a dark theater with their gigantic speakers......well, I'm a screamer.

      LMAO! Oh goodness, that's priceless! I can imagine having someone loudly scream behind me would probably scare me more than the movie too!

      LitW is fairly light on the horror, but there are some startling moments. I jumped at least once, and given all of the horror movies that I watch, that is really saying something. There were some yelps in the theater too...probably best to save it for a rental. ;)
  • Pagodas, much like the noble gazebo, are very real, for the record. :)
    • *snicker* Yes, my mom is getting a gazebo so I'm well versed at the moment in the non-mythological stature of such objects!

      The pagodas in question are actually little mythological critters made of bits of stone and glass. The story was called (I think) "The Pagodas of Cibourne" and it made me all wubbly and happy-fuzzy feeling. :)
      • Now I'm getting mental images of a redo of Eric and the Gazebo, only this time with pagodas. Of either variety.
  • Sorry, Bobby, to so thoroughly trash your movie, but I had so much more fun at Brokeback Mountain, and I am forced to give Miami Vice a dismal one E.L. Fudge "Elves Exist" cookie out of four. And unless my eyes deceive me, there's a bite missing out of it.

    hahahaha, got ahuge kick outta that, I'm easily amused.

    I LOVED Pirates, can't wait for #3 which they'll be beginning to film soon:) Okay, so aside from my love of Elves I now have a love of Pirates-who wouldn't after seeing Johnny Depp clad in eyeliner and Orlando Bloom...who somehow turned from Elf into Pirate, LoL. I have my Orlando though, his name is Brandon, and now that his hair is longer and curlier he looks more like Orlando then ever(although he will NEVER admit it!)
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    just no facial hair, LOL....but I like that he isn't scruffy

    anyway....Tammy in fantasy land over here-gah!

    haven't seen Lady in the water yet, although I want to-Brandon knows me and my movies....lol.

    As for Vice-not sure if Brandon wants to see that, not sure if I want to see it either....hmmmm

    • hahahaha, got ahuge kick outta that, I'm easily amused.

      You and me both! :^D Perhaps that is why we get along? Oh, and the Elves.... ;)

      I LOVED Pirates, can't wait for #3

      You and me both! ... Wait, didn't I just say that? :^P

      Bobby and I used to laugh at people who were into pirates. Now...well, we're kind of into pirates!

      And Brandon looks so different from the last time I saw him! Both of our hubbies are growing out their hair; Bobby's also all long and curly too these days but the look really fits him. He's not allowed to grow facial hair. ;)

      haven't seen Lady in the water yet, although I want to-Brandon knows me and my movies....lol.

      I think you'd like it! It's a really nice story but it's got its spooky moments too.
  • I agree with Niothwen, during the first half of DMC I felt like I'd been in the theatre for hours when it had only been 20 minutes. I did enjoy Davy Jones playing the organ with his tentacle beard though!!

    It's interesting seeing all these good reviews of LitW. I haven't seen it, but when I saw the preview, I thought, "WTF is that supposed to be about?!" I like the Sixth Sense, but I also never watched The Village and I fell asleep during Signs, so apparently that one didn't wow me either. Guess M. Night's stuff just isn't my thing.

    Was there a lot of red? My offline friends and I noticed that M. Night uses red as "an emotionally significant color" to the point where it's almost a cliche.
    • Yes! The tentacle-beard was cool! I thought that Davy Jones was really nicely done. I like how when he's talking, little gusts of air come out the side of his face. It's gross and kind of cool at the same time. :^P

      Guess M. Night's stuff just isn't my thing.

      That's more than okay! It's not a lot of people's thing. I happen to be a bit of a horror nut and combine that with fantasy and I'm in heaven! Plus, his stuff has better characters than most horror fare, and I am a sucker for a good character.

      Was there a lot of red? My offline friends and I noticed that M. Night uses red as "an emotionally significant color" to the point where it's almost a cliche.

      No, I don't really remember any red at all. In The Village, red is the "forbidden color" or something; people who wear it are attacked by the monsters in the woods, iirc. I only saw the movie once, when it was first released, so my memory is spotty. I don't recall a lot of red in Signs or The Sixth Sense either (aside from blood in the latter o.O) but next time I watch them, I'll pay attention.
      • Yeah, the air puffs kind of creeped me out.

        I happen to be a bit of a horror nut and combine that with fantasy and I'm in heaven!

        I don't quite classify any of M. Night's movies as "horror"...Horror brings to mind things like Hostel. But at any rate, it must be the combination of drama and weirdness. *shrug* I'll agree that good characters seem to be a hard find in a lot of genres, though.

        I don't recall a lot of red in Signs or The Sixth Sense either

        Can't say about Signs, but I do remember that during the Sixth Sense, there was that one girl who was poisoned by her mom. During the funeral her mom wears a red dress, the roses are red, and the inside of the box containing the tape is red. Haley Joel Osment's tent is also red. I'm pretty sure there's some sort of red for every ghost, but I can't remember the other specifics.
        • I don't quite classify any of M. Night's movies as "horror"...Horror brings to mind things like Hostel.

          I would not say that M. Night is pure horror either, but he does rely heavily on horror elements. His movies tend to span a lot of genres. Probably the closest to being a pure horror movie, imho, is The Sixth Sense, but that also has aspects of suspense and drama.

          I'll agree that good characters seem to be a hard find in a lot of genres, though.

          *raises bottle of Deer Park water* Amen to that! Most movies--particularly in the horror genre--end up meh for me, largely because I don't really give a crap by the end of it whether the main character(s) live or die! (In some awful cases, I'm glad when they actually off the pesky bitch.... >:^D)
          • Most movies--particularly in the horror genre--end up meh for me, largely because I don't really give a crap by the end of it whether the main character(s) live or die!

            That's probably a big part of why I don't like the genre. I watch it and think "Can we get to the point please?" Of course, I feel like that during a lot of movies these days, it seems.
            • Yes, I sometimes think that being a writer diminishes movies. I tend to go in and look past the special effects, roll my eyes, and say, "Can we get a little story with that, please?" Especially when the storyline is some tripe that I could have written in middle school! :^P
              • And with movies like chick-flicks, I think "heck, there's plenty of guy-gets-girl on ffn, and with characters I like better than Guy-on-screen!" (And there's plenty of guy-gets-guy, which is sometimes even better!)

                Middle-school? Nuh uh. Try kindergarden!
                • (And there's plenty of guy-gets-guy, which is sometimes even better!)

                  LMFAO! Whee! Thank you, Tarion, this made my evening!

                  (And you would've gotten the "WTF" icon too, but Meryth is logged on at the moment since he f***ed up the comments in his journal so badly that I had to log him on to delete stuff and put it in the right place. *rolls eyes* Muses...why do we even let them off the balcony??)
                  • *feels accomplished anyway* :D

                    See? Letting the muses use the computer is a Bad Idea! I don't let mine touch The Precious. I would probably go caput. (Though it does provide much amusement when it's not *my* muses trying to take over my computer!)

                    Unfortunately, I don't have a balcony, and the attic is too hot - no place to contain them!
  • I like the Pirates franchise too, and enjoyed Dead Man's Chest. It was quite rich with detail, wasn't it? I wouldn't mind seeing it again, or I just may wait for the DVD.

    I really liked lLitW too. And I believe that M. Night wrote it himself. Good for you, M. Night! He could become quite a good fantasy writer! The story sucked me right in!

    Of course, I cannot comment on Miami Vice, but I will certainly take your word for it that it's not that good!

    Yesterday I went out and bought 2 DVDs and a CD.

    First, the DVDs were Memento with Guy Pearce and Mirrormask the movie based on a Neil Gaiman story that you told me about. I haven't watched them yet, but will look at Mirrormask tonight. It looks really good! I decided to buy it instead of renting it because I was there at Best Buy and they had it. On a whim I went to Best Buy to get a Talking Heads CD because while I was driving around I heard "Psycho Killers" on the radio and was blown away. Even though I've heard it before, but not for years. And I realized I didn't have a "Talking Heads" CD and I love them.
    • I like the Pirates franchise too, and enjoyed Dead Man's Chest. It was quite rich with detail, wasn't it? I wouldn't mind seeing it again, or I just may wait for the DVD.

      I liked it much more the second time I watched it. I felt like I could absorb more of the details--and yes, it was richly detailed!--and the interactions between the characters.

      First, the DVDs were Memento with Guy Pearce and Mirrormask the movie based on a Neil Gaiman story that you told me about.

      I've never seen Memento, so you'll have to let me know how it is. I am intrigued by the idea of it. My dad didn't like it because he thought that it was too confusing, but my dad is confused by anything between a G- and X-rating. :^P Seriously, my dad can only watch family films and pr0n!

      I really enjoyed Mirrormask; it is a beautifully done movie, a very typical fantasy in a lot of ways, but the visuals in it give it life. I still want to find some screenshots and make icons.
Powered by LiveJournal.com