Monday, August 17, 2009

The Progression of my Summer Movie Madness

I hate Math, but it has its usefulness. For instance, I can most accurately chart my feelings about this "summer's" movies with a line graph which starts on high then dips suddenly. I'm not drawing anything for you, so use your imagination.

Anyway I started off looking at this season's movies with barely concealed delight, then midway down I became less excited and elated. I know the reason why though. I know the reason, and I'll explain in a moment. However, this season had some good stuff out there I can't deny it, so let's get down to my annual (?) recap.

Star Trek
Okay you know what spoiled me for the rest of the summer: Star Trek. Curse you Star Trek, I would blame you if I didn't love you so much. Too much coolness and vulcans and pathos and excitement, and, and this......

I know, I've raved enough. If you want, check out my blog on this movie, and we'll never speak of it again! Never!(Except on days that end with the letter "y".)

I Love You Man
(This movie came out early in the year in the US, but only came to T&T fairly recently I think.)

This movie reminds me why I like a good bromance. In the tradition of "guys who love each other, but are straight", this movie had a hilarious take on a poor guy who realizes he has no guy friends and starts to go on "man-dates" to find a good buddy.

Watched this one with my BFFF on a "girl-date" (hmmmm that doesn't sound as good). It had lots of laughs - perhaps the most I had with any comedy for a long time. I also got to watch Paul Rudd who played such a sweet, sensitive guy that he became one of the heroes of the season for me. He didn't need to go up against killer robots, terminators or ninjas to win my affection. In some ways his situation was more real than a lot of the other hyped up movies in the past months. I am always fascinated by the intricacies of male relationships. If I was a sociologist, I would definitely be hiding behind a lamppost observing the male species in their natural habit. Fascinating! But I digress.

I have to give props to the ladies in this movie. I don't know Rashida Jones from anything else, but as Paul Rudd's fiancee, she was understanding, sweet and adorable which was wonderful considering that the movie could have gone the old route and made her horrible and controlling. I am glad I did not have to wonder why Paul Rudd's character loved her.


Yes, Pixar, you did it again! I knew you could! People wondered about Up and said no one would be interested in it etc. etc. Yet I saw Up, and was delighted. During one scene, a tear ran down my cheek, and that is my equivalent to bawling like a child. That hasn't happened to me in a movie for a while.

As usual, the characters made the movie. Poor Mr. Frederickson! - Another wonderful and unlikely hero just like last years little-robot-that-could Wall-E. Russell - wilderness scout, who never gave up, ever! The dogs have to get a special mention too. I really loved how despite their super intelligence, they were still very dog-like. They are distracted by squirrels and easily upset when their humans are upset with them. They just want to be loved! They also really hate "the cone of shame". At one point, Dug, the hero dog of our tale tells a horrible joke, and for some reason, I can imagine my own dog telling that joke - if dogs could tell jokes that is.

I love that a movie about an "old guy" and a "fat kid" became Disney's second highest grossing film domestically. Pixar once more struck the right keys in this movie. They played real love (more real than a lot of movies you see these days), pathos, humour and adventure, and made a symphony that thrilled my heart.

Pixar can do no wrong.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Every time another Harry Potter movie comes out I think I'm all "harry pottered" out, and go to see it just "because". However I usually end up getting caught up in the story anyway, and enjoying it more than I thought.

I attribute this mainly to the actors. Daniel Radcliffe and the others are doing very, very good jobs. There is a scene where Hermione is crying and Harry is comforting her, and it is very effective.

The characters continue to have just the right "look" as well - the twins, Mrs. Weasley, Dumbldore..... I am not a fan of the first film, but you have to admit, the casting people got it right the first time. They're even growing the right way. Rupert Grint is taller than the other two, just as Ron should be. Neville Longbottom has gone from a small chubby kid to a very tall one with an entirely different look, which I think will totally fit his role in the upcoming movies. I thought Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy looked drawn and squirrelly, but then I realized that his looks fit his tortured role in this movie well.

The kids who played Tom Riddle were very creepy. They were well chosen. And the adults did well too. I like this Dumbledore. Don't care what anybody says. Alan Rickman gets points as well for Snape. The movie does well for setting up the final confrontations.

I don't know about you, but I don't read the books before the movie. I don't have time for one thing. For another, I don't want to spend most of the movie, figuring out what was left out. It's a pointless task in my opinion, and I can't really fault the filmmakers. The same people who complain about things missing would complain profusely if the movie was six hours long, which it would have to be if they put everything in. Sorry folks. You can always use audiobooks.

One of the reasons I am putting Harry Potter on my list is because there were lots of highlights to this movie. For instance, the commericials make you forget that there are a lot of laughs to be had in Harry Potter, and the fun was really fun in this one. Lots of good humour.

The growing attachment between Ron and Hermione is well done here as well. The romantic element was actually well done over all. For example, the movie actually improved on Harry's kissing scene with Ginny. I really didn't like the one in the book. None of the romance seemed forced or annoying. It was just nice.

It was also great to see a nice, death defying Quidditch match, and to see Ron doing his thing as a goalie.

I am also still tickled by how much the costuming has changed and improved in my opinion. I was never a fan of those pointy hats from the first movie. I love how the kids now wear regular clothes out of school, and their "wizardly robes" look like private school uniforms in different variations. I can't say why. I just love it.

I must say how surprised I am that I could not pinpoint more movies worthy of mention in my recap. This time last year there were quite a few more.
But I do not despair, the good among the not-so-good was very high up there in the quality factor I must say, so I can't look back on the past few months without any great regret.


mackenzie said...

All good comments Dixie. But you may have missed some other highlights as well. The Proposal for one - yes - some may typical romantic fare and this may be true but I did love the snappy one liners and interplay between Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock. And in that same vein there was The Ugly Truth - Gerard Butler's character got the animal instinct of all men down perfectly - and I loved the irony in the end of it. There were loads of laugh out loud moments in there. G.I. Joe was a recent one I managed to take in which thankfully was much better in terms of plot than Transformers and may have actually saved the death of summer action movies for me after Transformers 2 came out. The Hangover was a good, goofy buddy movie which I totally enjoyed as well. I'm thinking while watching it, "Wouldn't it be cool to go to Vegas and get so plastered like that with my buddies that I end up with a tiger in my bathroom and with chickens walking round my room?" Drag Me To Hell was another good one - I know you're not big on the horror genre - and that's why you got me to point them out to you! This film was typical Raimi fare - so totally reminiscent of the Evil Dead. Campy, funny and yet still oddly engaging and terrifying. There were some jump-out-of-your-seat moments and I'm not even going to talk about the vile liquids that came from the old lady's mouth... Public Enemies was also worthy of mention - come on Johnny Depp? The man looked hot! Oh - yes - plot was excellent, though so NOT at all what happened in reality, but well acted by all those cast in the roles.

Oh and come on - you're forgetting Wolverine. Having not followed the comics (ever) I liked the back story for Wolverine and I liked how they tied in the characters from the other movies. ANd I quite enjoyed Angels & Demons which I think came out really early at the start of the so-called Summer movie madness (though I do hate to belabour the point - we don't have summer here).

mackenzie said...

OH - and one more - as ridiculous as it was...and I do mean ridiculous - I did enjoy Year One with Jack Black and Michael Cera. Totally hilarious! Really - there's a scene where they were supposed to be stoned to death... I laughed so hard I cried.