Sunday, December 26, 2010

Titan A.E. (2000) HD trailer

Titan A.E. (2000)

My mind is set to space cowboys and adventures for several reasons:
1. I want to watch "Cowboys vs. Aliens"
2. I re-watched a few Doctor Who episodes
3. I just finished the only season of "Firefly"

It was no surprise that my memory was jogged by one of my favorite sci fi animation movies, "Titan A.E."

The movie is set far off in the future. The earth has been shattered by an alien race called the Drej. Only a few of the humans were to escape. One such human was a young boy named Cale who becomes separated from his father. Fast forward years later, Cale is now a grown man who is very resentful of being dumped by his father.
During this time, the survivors of Earth are now lowly refugees. Cale is stuck working at a salvage dump. This is where he meets with Akima and her crew of the Valkyrie. The reason they've looked for Cale is the ring that he was left with. It contains a map with the locations of some sort of device that can restart Earth. So begins the adventure!

I just love the idea that there could be alien societies out there. I'm also fond of the kind of stories where the tables are turned. Coming from a planet where humans were the top predators, out in space they have been slung down to the bottom of the rung.

If you had the means of to remake Earth (no matter how implausible they may be) would you do it? What if all the other survivors were gas tycoons? Or mass murders? Or the cast members of the Jersey Shore?

That just opens up a whole can of speculations, so I won't go there.

One of my favorite scene that I can remember is when they're navigating through I think its the Anduli something. It looks like wispy ghosts or something but it was beautiful.

As a female, I really loved Akima. She was one of the few strong female archetypes I had growing up. She was bad ass, shot guns, strong as hell AND she has purple streaks in hair. The purple streaks were bad-ass.

Cale definitely reminds of an animated Hans Solo. He's such a bad ass with a heart of gold that you immediately like him. Matt Damon voiced the character but it's okay to overlook that.

Speaking of voice cast members, this movie is full of big names: Drew Barrymore, Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, Jeaneane Garofalo, .... Tone-Loc. Ahhh, that cracks me up. Was Tone-Lock in every single movie in the nineties???

I have no idea how I came upon this movie. My brother was probably the one who watched it first and I got stuck watching it too. Now that I think about it, this was probably one of the dystopic animation movies out there. I know there's a pirate one with Disney but it's not dystopic.

Alot of people have complaints that the story telling was poor and it took ideas out of other science fiction movies. Well I say screw you to that this movie was made FOR KIDS!!! If the story was any more complicated I would have been bored. If it was completely original, I would not have related to it. Storytellers are constantly extracting ideas from other stories. The ones who make it work, make it stick in their audience mind. Just think of J.K. Rowling and James Cameron.

I really loved "Titan A.E.". I loved the story, I loved the visuals. This movie was just amazing to watch. It was just chock full of actions and fun.

If my VHS copy hadn't been damaged, I would delight in watching it now.

The ultimate, ULTIMATE cherry on top for this movie was the music video that Lit did. I LOVE LIT:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pride And Prejudice Trailer HD

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

When I'm in a pretty low mood or feeling pretty lonely I will pop in the most classic , no fail, always awesome Pride and Prejudice. I don't care what your favorite romantic movie , you owe it al to Pride and Prejudice. It is the original archetype for romance and it will always be.

I bow my head humbly to Miss Jane Austen, the author who gave us other lovely novels for us to cherish. I don't care much for other novels, though. ::makes a dismissive hand motion::

Pride and Prejudice is a classic story that is powerful enough to translate through words an movies over and over again. There are countless of television versions, TV mini series, adaptations ( or glorified fan fiction as far I'm concerned). Hell, there's even a version of the story with zombies.

Pride and Prejudice is a story of misinformation and romance. There is a family of five daughters, one of which is named Elizabeth Bennet.All the daughters are aiming to marry and have their sighs aimed rich men. One new bachelor is Mr. Darcy.

Ooooooo Mr. Darcy. Ooooooo yeah.
The ultimate emo, brooding romantic man. Every female who has read and/or watched the story has heir own reason for falling in love with Mr. Darcy. Why is he so amazing? For me, it's his kind and caring romantic nature underneath his stern and brooding nature...ahhh swooon.

Alot of people have seen the version with Colin Firth. I love Colin Firth but the 2005 version with Keira Knightly. I am not fond of Keira Knightly (oh she killed whatever she called acting potential in the third Pirates of the Caribbean"). No. It is because of the beautiful casting the filmmakers did of Mr. Darcy.

Matthew Macfayden. Oh dear me.
He was AWESOME as Mr. Darcy. He had everything. The kind, dark eyes. The tall, strong physique. The deep, oh so deep, voice.

My favorite, absolutely favorite scene is towards the end. When he walks toward her in the mist. Oh. my. goodness. That is the most romantic scene. That is when I start to squeal and rock back and forth. All the build up through the movie has led to this one scene. OH and it's amazing.

With a classic movie suc

h as Pride and Prejudice that you have only two options when it comes to making a movie of it. Either you can play the movie as it goes in the book or make an interpretation of the story. I feel that trying to do the first is just plain boring. It's way better to just read the novel instead. You get a much more personal and enrich experience out of it.

I much prefer interpretations. Most of the time, the filmmakers grew up loving the story and wants to show their own appreciation for it. The other more recent example is "Iron Man" directed by Jon Favreau. The movie may not cover all the aspects of the story but you can tell it as done with love.

This version of Pride and Prejudice is done in a beautiful and musical way. The tone and mood of the movie is dominated by the beautiful music in the background. Knightly isn't too bad as Elizabeth. She actually played it every well. She didn't overshadow the other amazing characters of the movie. Although her head seem really huge in this movie sometimes.

The casting was just phenomenal. It wasn't too hard to imagine the characters they were to portray.

There are just so many awesome scenes. The dancing part. The rain part. Oh so many scenes! They've all inspire such comforting and warm feelings within me.

I can go on and on on how much I love this version. There are alot of versions and interpretations. Some of them are funny ("Bridget Jone's Diary") while others make you cock your head and wonder why? ( as in "Bride and Prejudice"). I would advise every romantic female out there to read the novel and then find their own visual version of the story. I have to warn you though, it may make life seem dreary after hoping for your own Mr. Darcy.
My deal breaker for a movie based on this story is who they choose to play Mr. Darcy. Simply put, Matthew Macfayden is MY Mr. Darcy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What a Way to Go

What a way to go! (1964)

Geez this took me a long time to remember this movie. I kept confusing this movie for a completely different title. Months I've been thinking about writing this movie.

I adore dark humor movies. I guess a psycologist or someone of that sort would say that poking light at an otherwise unfunny subject was a way with coping with that subject matter. I would have to agree.

Death is not a funny subject. It's the final act of life and it comes with devasting emotional baggage afterward. There are only two ways to deal with the impending finale: to trudge toward it with melancholy doom or with an amused smile.

This movie absolutely surprised and delighted me. From the cheerful cover on the DVD, I assumed I was in for another lighthearted comedy farce from the sixties. Instead I was treated to so much more.

Your introduced to a pretty lady named Louisa May Foster. She is attempting to donate 1 million dollars to the IRS. Of course, the IRS become really suspicious and have a psychiatrist sort her out. It turns out that she came to the money after four husbands who died prematurely.

And the hilarity ensues of course.

I mean really that does not sound like it should be funny in the least. But it is. The movie deals with how differently each man turns out. The most memorable husband is the one who is a painter who lives by the ideals that he is an artist. Until he gets rich and ends up painting with a machine.

All Louisa May Foster wants is to be happy and loved. Not rich and unhappy. For a movie made in the sixties I thought this idea alone stood out pretty well. I do love the romance movies from this age but most of them had the sole purpose of the female character in just finding love. Not to be loved in return. Just finding your true love. It shouldn't be a no brainer that love and happiness should go hand in hand.

Since people love to equate that money = happiness, this movie goes to great lengths to prove just how wrong that assumption is. None of these men were deeply happy when they came into such money. Instead they all changed for their worse and ultimately died prematurely. So in a morbid sense of way, the lesson of this movie is: you love money= you die.

Despite it's lessons, it is still a really funny movie.
Shirley Maclaine plays Louisa. She is so freaking beautiful in this movie. As in "The Women", this movie came to known for the outfits that Maclaine adorns through the movie. Her outfits mirror the interests of the varying husbands from a weird red latex geisha outfit to pink from head to toe. This shows how much a girl can lose a part of her personal identity when she's smitten with a guy. By changing her changes to suit the man, she loses the ability to express her self through her clothes.

Fight it as much as you want people. Your clothes do define and characterize who you are. People aren't going to spend their precious time listening to you and trying to understand your back story. If they don't like your clothes, they're probably not going to like you. What can I say? I'm surrounded by a city of superficial plastics and that has become my own reality.

Psst....Shirley Maclaine is Endora in the "Bewitched" television series. Ahh, there's that light bulb going off.

I really, really enjoyed this movie. The sets are that typical technicolor variety. The costumes are really fun to watch. The sequences in between are really awesome.

PLUS, there are some major hollywood actors in th movie. Many of them my absolute favorites:

* Dick Van Dyke (LOVE him)
* Gene Kelly (LOVE LOVE HIM)
* Paul Newman (love the salad dressing!)
* Dean Martin (ooo, that voice)

Holly molly. Maclaine smooches them all!

It's a movie that is very much different from the rest. It's subtle, witty, and just absolute fun. If I ever see this movie in DVD format, I'm going definitely going to snatch it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whip It - Official Theatrical Trailer

Whip It (2009)

It's been so long since I wrote in my little blog about movies. Why was I so amiss? Well school is a major factor but mainly I had decided to take part in National Writing Month (a.k.a NaNo Wrimo) this past month. The goal is write a story of of 50,000 words in one month. It was HARD. For a new writer it was the ultimate purging out the first draft that had been stewing in my mind for years. And I did! Thanks to all my friends , coworkers, and very supportive boyfriend. They were all supportive in giving me as much time and opportunity to write. I achieved a personal achievement.

Which brings me to my inspiration for this blog entry. It is a movie that echoes personal achievement and fighting your own personal obstacles. Everyone has their own scapegoat they want to point to when they can't achieve their goals. Oh it's lack of time, my boss is keeping me down, I'm too old, I'm too different, I have obligations to fill, blah blah blah. No one is keeping you from achieving your goals except for yourself. You are your own worst enemy.Partipating in Nanowrimo echoed that, an inspiring ranch hand echoed this, and this movie really shows this.

This is a movie that really speaks to all the females out there in the world. It;s also a movie for the males who just want to see females beat the crap out of each other.

"Whip It" is a movie directed by Drew Barrymore (oh yeah, Drew Barrymore! Whoo!). It centers around a young female named Bliss Cavender(played by Ellen Paige) who is just breezing listlessly through life. She only puts up a mild rebellion with her mothers overbearing forcing her into pageants and working her dull life in a diner. She has no known goal or desires.

Until she finds a flier for a roller derby exhibition match.If your not familar with roller derby, then you should be! It's an amazing all contact female sport. ALL CONTACT!lemme reiterate, these are girls that will punch you, kick you, trip you, bruise you , all on roller skates! You should check out the LA Derby Dolls if your curious to know more.

Bliss attends and is completely dazzled by the whole world. Hell I want to be an LA Derby Doll. Only two things stands in my way : 1. my glasses, 2. my teeth (my mom spent a helluva alot of money to fix my teeth, I ain't wrecking it!).

Here are Bliss's problem: 1. she is underage (it's 18+ to join) 2. her mother would not permit her to engage in such an activity ( no surprise- what mother would?) 3. she hasn't skated since she was very very young.

So what's a young slightly rebellious teen to do? Lie to the Derbys and her mom in order to participate. She goes through carefully crafted lies, alot of bruising and training to get what she wants.

The story flows pretty much as anticipated. She becomes great, inspires jealousy, gets found, overcomes more adversity. The story isn't original but it's the content of the story that makes this movie so much fun.

Paige pretty much plays a role that doesn't seem to deviate so far from her other movie roles. She almost reminds me of a female form of Michael Cera. Only difference is that she established as a pretty good actress in "Inception".

Like I mentioned before, Drew Barrymore directed this movie. So there's a great rock vibe throughout the movie. It's more an indie-rock vibe with all the music and characters. I don't have a problem with that since I pretty enjoy indie-rock music. Some people may find fault with this since I've been noticing a backlash against indie-rock music and hipsters. I just shrug at all the negative response. If I'm going to enjoy the music, then I'm going to enjoy the music regardless of whatever stigma is attached.

I'm also a fan of Drew Barrymore. She may not make the greatest movies but she's a great role model overall. She does her own thing, she is who she is. She made alot of mistakes in her past but she is her own time line of overcoming personal obstacles. Hoorah!

The ultimate enjoyment for this movie is what attracts both males and females to this movie. The roller derby parts are just AWESOME! I watched this in the theater with some girlfriends and we ran out of that theater just pumped with energy. We were just going crazy running around, trying to make up our own Derby names.

It's a simple movie for anyone who is looking for a pick me up. It's motivational in it's own way It's funny, charming, and just awesome.

Till next time, toodles!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Never Ending Story Trailer

Neverending Story (1984)

What I wish for right now is to curl up on my bed wrapped in my fuzzy blanket and watch my ultimate favorite movie of ALL time. It tops my "to-watch" movies of all time. It is the first movie I always think of. It is the ultimate movie in my world. I was born to watch this movie.

It is based on a novel by Michael Ende. Like Harry Potter, the story matter is too dark to be even considered a children's tale. I've read the novel. The movie only covers the first few chapters of the novel. It is too amazing for me to even begin to paraphrase the book so I won't.

It is the ultimate escapist novel for a bookworm. How many us bookworms wished that we can influence the pages we read so that it seems that we are part of that adventure? That it seems so real that we are a part of it.

Sebastian is a young boy who has been harasses ed by the bullies in school. After a chase from them,Sebastian ends up in a dusty old bookstore. His eyes become aligned with a book titled "The Neverending Story" with the iconic double snake eating their own tails.

Ignoring the warning from the knowing bookstore owner that the book "is not for kids" (really? that just makes it even more appealing!C'mon!) Sebastian takes off with it (with a note saying that he'll return it. He is a good kid after all).He takes the day off from school and hides in the attic to read the book. We are then introduced into the world of Fantasia!

Fantasia is a beautiful fantasy filled world of imagination. There's all kinds of different characters running around. There's the Rockbiter, a huge stone giant that eats rocks. Or the racing snail (which is awesome! I want one!). Now to the main problem of the movie. There is an evil called the Nothing that destroys everything in its way. The Childlike Empress, who is dying of an unknown illness is unable to combat the Nothing. They send out a call for a warrior to help find a solution to the Childlike Empress problems so they can solve it. In walks a young boy named Atreyu.

I will tell you that the most major crush on Atreyu when I was a younger. He was strong and cute. Still gives me a smile when I watch him. Sigh.

So begins an adventure. Sebastians follows along by reading of Atreyus adventure. Where it culminates into a showdown that still scares the bejeesus out of me. It's not even that scary but its the combination of all the special effects. It was spooky ok? Spooky!

It's a beautiful movie with alot of scary elements. There were alot of enjoyable elements but it was such a great story. Even though I found out later how much was not covered, I still enjoyed it.

It cheers me up immensely every time I watch it. I could feel myself transcending back to my childhood wonder and enjoyment. I wanted desperately to have Falkor to appear out of the sky so we could fly around the clouds.

I'll admit that I'll yell out "yeah!!!" just like Sebastian when I'm driving.

For now writing about it is enough to lift my spirits. Sally forth!

(in case your wondering why the posts are so sparse, I've been attempting to write as much as possible for National Writing Month. If you want to follow what I've been writing, I've posted it on wordpress here:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Love Labours Lost (2000)

I gotta love modern remakes and re imaginations. Even thought most are crappy and out of left field, there are some that are pretty cool in its own right.

Filmmakers and artists are constantly recycling past works that have touched them in some way or form. Art is subjective as they say. One persons interpretation could be completely different from another. I get that. I get that people will have different reactions when they watch a movie. That's the audience.I'm focusing more on the filmmakers responsible for them.

Filmmakers that decide to attempt a remake/imagination face several pitfalls:
* they can completely misinterpret and come away with a movie that will anger fans of the original movie
* they try too hard to stick with the original story, ending up with a watered down version of the original
* Completely ignore the original concept. Leaving title of the movie the the only remnant from the original
*reference an obscure film/genre/music that only a small niche of people will understand.

It's an art to re imagine an art that was done before in a way that is fresh and inspiring. That is hard and I can appreciate it. It took me two tries to sit through this movie. The second time I was sick and reluctant to shift so I just lay there and watched. I know it wasn't just my delirium from the sickness that I love this movie. I'm still humming the music a good month later. Granted, it's because I already loved the music before hand but the movie is still on my mind.

"Love Labours Lost" is a movie that combines Shakespere and the music from Fred Astaire.

Ok. Ok. Pause. First off Shakespere is hard to pull off. No matter how experience of a thesbian you are, it is freaking hard to pull Shakespere off naturally on stage. I will admit that sometimes my eyes will cross and I will focus on a fly when I watch Shakespere. It is just heavy on dialogue. I loved analyzing sections of it in high school. I hate watching and not understand it.

I am not familiar with the Shakespeare story it's referencing so all I have is what the movie gives me. The King of Navarre has proclaimed to lock himself and his three friends in his kingdom to focus on his studies. He prohibits women. Well guess who comes skipping along abut three women and the Princess of France. Apparently there is some silliness as the couples hook up.

There is a background of a war during the movie. I think the Princess and the King of Navarre were discussing some treaty or whatever. The King is bound by his own proclamations (which is bogus by the way)so he tries not to fall in love.

Alot of music that I love from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers is peppered throughout the movie It's done in a different theme and for me it works. The cast did their own singing and dancing. At the same time. These are not trained Shakespearean actors or musical singers. Alicia Silverstone is the princess. That's the acting caliber in this movie!

Something about the color scheme is pretty. Kind of like a play but not.

What really caught my attention was the part where they switch identities. The movie goes from silly and colorful dance numbers to the most raunchiest group orgy I've seen. And they're singing my favorite song. My eyes were practically bugging out of the sockets. It was Wow. Still kind of shocked.

This movie can be hard to sit through. Some of the numbers are awkward. The story is, weird. You got Alicia Silverstone. The major obstacle for anyone is the Shakespearean dialogue. If you've seen "Romeo+Juliet" with Leonardo Di Caprio then you know what I mean.

Other than that, I really like this movie. It had a couple of great actors and actresses and it was just fun to watch. They did alot of great reference to the old genre. I forget the name of the camera angle but during the song, "There's no business like show business", the camera shoots down where the actors dance in huge circles and makes designs. Which is a nod to "Annie Get Your Gun". Not to mention, I love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. The more reference to them the better!

.....Just don't think about the dialogue too much.


Love's Labour's Lost (2000)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Warriors Trailer

The Warriors (1979)

There was a saying that my mother always said that I really should follow: "Don't keep hating on something or your always going to see what you hate".

I kept saying I hate the seventies and then I kept seeing seventies movies. But one thing I have to grudgingly admit is that alot of cult movies came out during that decade. Alot of the movies I like from that decade are cult and just far off the beaten path. I don't think there were alot of restrictions and censorship during that decade so filmmakers just went NUTs.

One of my favorite cinematic treasure is finding a movie that seems stupid and pointless but really has deep meaning to it. Here, I present "The Warriors".

This movie was screened during my story telling class a few weeks ago and I am still thinking about it. I am completely shocked and indignant that I did not know of this movie sooner! Even without knowing the backstory or any other history, this movie was just plain ridiculously awesome. The kind of awesome where you can't believe how lame and epic it is at the same time.

This movie is based on a greek tale of Xenophon. Xenophon is in a mercenary group led by Cyrus. Cyrus leads the group into enemy territory to fight a huge war. During the fight, Cyrus is slain. Xenophon and the rest of mercenary group now have to battle through various groups of enemies in order to make it to the ocean to head home.

"The Warriors" involves the various gang members of New York city. "Gang" as in very silly and descriptive small groups of young people. There are the "Furies" who are baseball bat weilding guys complete with baseball outfits and clow makeup. "The Boppers" who were very shiny purple tops. There is a gang of mimes( I know...mimes..). There is a group of lesbians called "the Lizzies". There is just too many.

"Warriors" are a gang from Coney Island. They receive a summons to join a delegation of a gang meeting. The leader of one of the largest gang, in New York, Cyrus, has invited all the gangs in order to speak of alliance to run the town. Despite the overwhelming positive support from the gangs, Cyrus is shot and the "Warriors" are framed.

Cyrus's gang," Grammercy", uses their intensive network throughout the city to alert all the gangs to capture the "Warriors". The "Warriors" then begin a desperate retreat back to Coney Island.

This movie was just absolutely fun to watch. True to seventies fashion there is a lot of pointless scenes that emphasize sex and just sexism in general. The fight scenes are pathetic for today's standards. You know what? They had a MIME GANG. It's hard to expect expert martial prowess after seeing a MIME GANG.

I did have a problem with the sexism in the movie. I understand that "Mercy", the female cast was to be the love interest. But damn did I hate here. "Swan", the leader, treats her with complete unmasked contempt instead of lust and she follows him pathetically. Ugh! She never did anything to redeem herself or anything. Just another sex object. Psst...I can see your nipples...

I have no idea how the gang violence truly was in the seventies. I can only imagine that they were pretty wild and stupid as they are now. I doubt that they were as colorful and full of personality as the one in the movie. I love that. There are already so many depressing movies that try to tap in to the core of the gang culture only to exacerbate gang violence by glorifying it through movies. I did wonder that it there were any gang members who did watch this movie in the theater, did any of them cringe and become disgusted at calling themselves a gang member? Especially after seeing the lame gang on rollar skates onscreen?

On a selfish note, I very much appreciate that the "Warriors" were bare chested. Although he was a chauvinist dick( damn I hate the bench scene), he was absolute eye candy.

Despite it being a really silly movie, you can still tell that the filmmakers really enjoyed making this movie. I can't explain how I can tell this. There is just a difference you can detect in someone making a movie because they love and someone who makes a movie because that's their paycheck.

The closet example I can give is the franchise that released "Date Movie", "Epic Movie", and "Disaster Movie". I've seen "Date Movie" and I actually enjoyed that one. The jokes were coming from someone who has watched alot of romance movies. "Epic Movie" I actually watched the whole through and it is just awful. The jokes are forced and there is this sense of coldness. I can only suffer through five minutes of "Disaster Movie" before my neurons shriek.

"The Warriors" was made in a heavy consideration of the story and the cast. The jokes were natural. Awkard but natural. There is a seriousness to this story. So much so that you can sense the desperation in getting home.

From the opening sequence I was already excited to watch. Even with the hiccups this was just a great movie. I am kinda bummed that there was only one female gang and they were shady lesbians. Maybe I can make a female version of the "Warriors"...I would love to don that vest...

Can you dig it?!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Metropolis (restoration trailer)

Metropolis (1927)

Happy Halloween everyone!

I gave it a good try to attempt to horror-ify my posts in honor of this month but alas outside responsibilities demanded my utmost focus and attention.

I will end the month with a movie that I just recently watched that has been stuck in my mind. This movie was amazing, dark, exciting, and oddly enough disturbing. It's a movie that is referenced in movies, novels, and general geek culture. Crazy thing is, this movie was made in 1927!

"Metropolis" is a german silent movie that deals with human communication, love, and robots. That's right, ROBOTS. There is also alot of reference to Babylon and other biblical references which I didn't get at first which really annoyed me.

Here's how the story goes: there is an upper city, where the rich walk and play, and a lower city, where the workers live and toil. There is a main Rich man who runs the city and his Naive son. The Naive son falls in love with a saintly woman named Maria who resides in the lower city. As he chases after her, he discovers the harsh world of the lower city and empathizes with them.

There is a pretty scary part where one of the workers dies as he is working the main machine. The main machine then turns into a hungry temple where people are led to it's hungry mouth. Without any preparation, it becomes a pretty scary scene. It was pretty confusing and shocking.

I guess it's the film during that time but the graininess and jerky movements of the actors is just plain scary! Especially when your sick out of your mind and watching the movie in the pouring rain. And you have a fat black cat that insists on digging her claws in her leg at every scary moment.

Anyhoo, the Naive son is touched after hearing a rousing sermon by Maria to the workers to wait for the "mediator". The workers are fed up with endlessly working and are ripe for a riot. Only the calm word of Maria convinces them to wait.

Which brings us to the main lesson of the movie: 'The mediator between head and hands must be the heart!". The hands are represented by the workers and the head is represented by the Rich Man.

Meanwhile, the Rich Man meets with a mad scientist named Rothwang. The connection between the two is that the Rich Man married Rothwangs daughter,Hel, who just passed away. In his grief, Rothwang creates a robot in the hopes of capturing Hel's essence.

The Rich Man finds out about Marias sermon and demands Rothwang to take care of her. Rothwang then kidnaps Maria and then inserts her likeness into the robot.

That part just plain confused me. Maria was helping by calming the crowd. Without her as a buffer, anything would spark the workers into a frenzy. How was it going to benefit the Rich Man by wiping out Maria? Dumbass...

So begins a double cross scheme. Rothwang uses the Fake Maria to lead the Rich Man to believe that she is following the Rich Man. The Fake Maria then begins to destroy the solidarity of the workers and corrupts the rich men.

The rest is just crazy, dramatic, and like I previously said disturbing. There aren't any jump scare scenes or gore. The horror comes with the atmosphere and tone of the movie.

The one part of the movie that has refused to leave my mind is the dream dance by the Fake Maria. She does this crazy, uncomfortable dance. It is just weird. Something about her chest seems a huge disconnect from her body. The actress, Brigette Helm, who played Maria/ fake Maria did an amazing job. In fact, this actress is who made the movie really mesmerizing for me.

With silent movies, the acting is often over exaggerated and dramatic to convey the emotions of the actors. You could easily differentiate the real Maria from the Fake Maria. I really loved how she played Fake Maria. Helm would distort her face and twist her body in an awkward way.

There is a reference to Babylon. I have no idea if I'm going to get this correct, but there was a fake pariah that the people followed which led to their doom.That's where Fake Maria comes in. The Fake Maria instigates the downfall of the city just like the Fake Pariah brings the Apocalypse. Right? I dunno.

Theres also a reference to the Naive heading to his fathers place which is the "New Tower of Babel". From what I know, Tower of Babel was supposed to be the epicenter of learning all the languages.

Communication is a strong thread in this movie. With every lack of communication, problems ensues. From the workers listening to the Fake Maria instead of reason results in the flooding of the lower city. Lack of communication between Rich Man and Naive son results in the Naive son placing himself in danger (which is a good thing later however).

This was my first silent movie so it was kind of difficult to get used to it. The orchestra movie was really beautiful and set the tone of the movie seamlessly. The movie is also split into parts so it's a pretty long movie to sit through.

I can understand why this movie was so powerful. It was way before it's time. Even though the movie was silent, the acting was pretty lowkey and to the point. It was just simply amazing and has not left my thoughts at all.

Plus, I think the Naive son looks like Gerald Way...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Labyrinth Trailer

Labyrinth (1986)

What would be a better happy counter to "Pan's Labyrinth" than "Labyrinth"?

Several reasons why "Labyrinth" is famous:

1. David Bowie
2. "Dance Magic Dance"
3. Jim Henson muppets
4. Jennifer Connonelly

What is it about David Bowie that makes him so ethereal, alien, awesome, and freakin' sexy in this movie????? I'm gonna have to say it was the cape and the crystal balls.

Before "Crank Yankers", muppets use to make the movies or television shows wholesome and silly. Think Alf, Sesame Street, Eurekas Castle, the list goes on."Labyrinth" gave muppets the ability to be creepy and slightly disturbing (come on. those orange things were tossing their own heads around while singing!!!). The designs were grotesque and nothing was friendly about them. Even the big goofy thing was intimidating. It was almost as if Jim Henson had a closet of emo muppets he wanted to unleash upon the world. Thank you!!! Happy muppets can be a bit too overwhelming...

Before I go on, I must say:
I love this movie. I love this movie. I love this movie. This was one of the pivotal movies in my adolescence. I was immediately attracted to the Demon King (I'm not gonna shirk from the truth)and it became my own personal fairy tale. As much as I want to believe I matured, I still feel I am like Sarah before the Demon King: I'm still dancing around living the stories in my mind. Although I do have friends, so not quite like Sarah.

Clarification out of the way, I can talk about this movie objectively. This is not all entirely happy silly movie with muppets.It is a dark and sad movie. Even though the muppets are to add comedy, the music is to somewhat uplift us, there are alot of dark elements: loneliness, kidnapping, delusions, unrequited love, truth, the meaning of friends. What the hell!

"Labyrinth" involves a young girl, Sarah, who loves nothing more than to dance around the park LARPing characters from her fantasy novels. She is stuck babysitting for her baby brother one night. As she attempts to console his crying, she unknowingly summons the demon king (David Bowie in all his glory) to take the baby away. In order to save him, she must solve the labyrinth in thirteen hours.

That's not a happy story right?

The Demon King is hopelessly and cruelly in love with Sarah. He obsesses over her even as he places obstacles in her path. There is a song that Bowie sings towards the end that really shows how much more he wants to possess her instead of loving her. Plus the dance he has with her in the ballroom is incredibly creepy. Really pretty but creepy. Why the hell does he even love her? Why would he love a pansy like Sarah in the first place? I guess a good argument would be that he eventually fell in love with her since she gains the power and strength to work through the labyrinth.Eh. Still kinda weird but I tend to glaze over that.

The muppets are not beautifully made. They're scary and sad almost wiry and underloved. Ugly. Sad. Ew. Think Elmo if Elmo was thrown in a garbage bag full of test tubes teeming with pathogens.

The first ally she meets is urinating against the labyrinth walls.

Stories with labyrinths are RARELY happy stories. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with solving the inner puzzle within out soul conscience. Often times the journey of self-discovery is never smooth and is always full of facing dangers. No one really wants to admit to themselves that they are immensely flawed in any way.

That's why the muppets and the music are perfect in counterbalancing the dark aspects of the movie. It opens up the movie to be acceptable for children. It's pretty much another fairy tale; adult themes hidden in song and dance.

I must have been warped the first time I watched. This was beautiful and romantic to me.
Actually I still think that way....

I though it would be funny if I added a video review from the Nostalgic Chick. See if you agree:

Pan's Labyrinth full length trailer

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

I will give you a better preparation for this movie than I did.

It's not just "scary". It's holy-shit-this-is-my-childhood-fairy-tale-horror-come-to-life- scary. The type of scary where your grabbing the nearest stuffed teddy bear.

It is definitely a movie that everyone must see. After watching this movie, there are usually two extreme reactions : those who absolutely loved it and those who are terrified of ever seeing the DVD cover again.

Why? Simply put, this movie is incredibly hard to watch. Several reasons:
1. alot of darkness
2. very, very, effin' violent
3. alot of blood
4. the Pale Man. Oh,dear fluffy clouds THE PALE MAN
5. Unless you understand Spanish, you have to break the trance by reading the subtitles
(Can be a bit distracting but can also be a relief at focusing somewhere else.)

My advice:
1. don't eat while watching this movie.
2. keep the lights on
3. don't look under the bed/closet
4. don't look too hard into the trees
5. don't watch this alone

It's really easy to stay in my comfort zone of fantasy and romantic comedy movies and just relax. Except that it can just get so freaking boring. You can predict the story line for most of these movies. There's only so much shrugs and goofy grins a person can take before it can become incredibly superficial. To a point where it stops being enjoyable. That's when I venture into movies that shake me out complacency.

Plus the adrenaline thrill that your alive is a good jump start to living.

I can pretty much force myself to sit through a gruesome movie (admist wiggling and covering my eyes) once and then my brain goes into complete shock. An overload of cruelty and violence triggers the automatic mental metal door to slam shut (cue in the "Get Smart" theme song). I'm limited to only one or two of these kinds of movies a year. I'm that much of a pansy.

After I spend a few months breathing and recapturing my thoughts from where it has scattered, I start to analyze. I try to understand my fear and coax it into submission. Slowly and steady I will started to analyze the movie itself. If I'm brave enough, I will force myself to watch it a second time to let the reluctant appreciation set in.

I have to admit appreciation for the dark and the scary. It either takes an incredibly unhinged person to release their inner demons or a person who just understands Fear. It goes back to the whole balance of yin and yang. Light and evil. In order for me appreciate the light I need to look back and recognize the evil. It won't do anygood if I don't understand that it's there.

Although the movie is fictional it's still realistic in it's proportions of human cruelty. That exists. Worse acts exist. I just hope that I will be lucky enough not to experience it.

Guillermo Del Toro (director and creator) is one who understands inner fear. Just watch the "The Power of Myth" featurette on the DVD.You can tell that he understand what was triggering the inner fear in his audience.

"Pan's Labyrinth" is a modern fairy tale/ horror. A young girl on the edge of adolescence along with her pregnant mother is forced to stay with the stepdad in the country. The stepdad is a fascist leader hell-bent on killing the rebels hiding in the woods and all who aid them. To escape the torture and oppresion, the young girl runs off to discover an ancient faun. The faun informs the girl that she is the long lost princess of the fantasy world. In order to claim the throne, she must go through several tests.

Through the fantasy there is a lot of violence tucked in every possible corner. I know the movie is set a few years after the Spanish civil war. Of course there's going to violence. I just hate watching it. I always flinch when someone get's slapped or punched. I'm squealing at the moment a knife heads towards the body.I'm just completely overburdened by the sadness and horror of it all.

It's been a year or so since I've seen this movie. It still terrifies me. I had to force myself to listen to what other people had to say about the movie before I could even begin to analyze. I just remember not registering that this movie was a fairy tale. My mind just started going into shock once all the crazy stuff started happening. My mind was refusing to focus on the movie. It was frantically focusing on anything on the screen that was visually pleasing. Anything. There was nothing. It's all scary. Even the little girl kinda makes me nervous.

This is the way fairy tales were described originally and Del Toro really nailed that. It is an amazing movie in it's layers of meanings. I only caught on to the "girl on the verge of adulthood" part. But there's also the grouping of threes and facial mutilation. Wow. Alot of stuff.

I'm pretty much gearing myself for a second viewing of the movie. Slowly gearing up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ever After Trailer (Good Quality)

Ever After (1998)

Brace yourself for another reimagined story.

This inspiration came close on the heels of a debate that my storytelling class had on fairy tales. When you mention fairy tales, Disney is going to pop in the conversation sooner or later. I am getting pretty tired of everyone harping on Disney. Yes they are not perfect and they have shit bricked alot of crap. But classic Disney was literally where the magic was at. Where the company took elaborate pains to take a fairy story and myth and make it like by little kids practically universally.

Before you take up arms with the complaint that they're tainting the public minds: THERE ARE OTHER FRICKIN' VERSIONS OUT THERE. Fairy tales and myths are constantly recycled and reimagined given the handlers culture, time, and interest. Some people can view fairy tales as precious and timeless archives that should be preserved. Other see fairy tales as in sorely need of updating. There are groups that understand that fairy tales were remodeled in order to make the warning in the story approriate. I am of the of the group where I like to ask the "What If?" in the fairy tales.

And you've seen this happen.
Gregory Mcguire asked, " What if the wicked witch wasn't wicked?" when he wrote "Wicked".
Bill Willingham asked, "What if fable characters existed in our world?" when he created "Fables".
Frank Beddor asked , " What if Alice in Wonderland was really a princess named Alyss"? in the "Looking Glass Wars".

"Ever After" pretty much asks "What if Cinderella was a real human being?"
Damn do I love this movie. It is a beautiful reimagination of Cinderella and romance movie.

In the movie, Danielle (played by Drew Barrymore) is a girl forced to be a servant by her abusive stepmother (played by Anjelica Huston). The stepmother is concerned with having her daughter, Margarite, gain the attention of the Prince (who is absolutely scrumptious....). Danielle couldn't care less as long as her home and servant family stay together.

Through sheer accidence, Daniellle is blessed with money to free one of her servants who is being shipped off. Danielle pretends to be a lady and fights for the servants rights. During the tussle, the prince intervenes and is immediately impressed by Danielles beauty and intelligence.

So begins the love story between Danielle and the Prince. The story is really fun(especially with the gypsys). I love Danielles character. So beautiful, unique and strong. When she is standing in the white costume facing the royal court, wow! Plus she loves books!

The story also adds the involvement of Leonardo Di Vinci whose role is to be the fairy godmother. Da Vinci's role in the movie is sweet and endearing. Almost like that uncle that would tell you an interesting story while pulling a magic trick.

It's a love story and girls swoon over it. If your looking for historical accuracies, look away. It's funny, sweet, and romantic. A great movie to watch after a long day.

(once again, i chose to wrote this blog really late and i'm tired. so i apologize for any glaring grammar mistakes and such!)

Sleepy Holllow (1999)

If I insist on persisting with my halloween theme, then of course a Tim Burton movie would be involved. I've mentioned Tim Burton a couple of times and I will mention him again. I enjoy his style of movies, it's just dark, whimsical, personal, and entertaining.

I absolutely LOVE it that Burton loves to collaborate with Johnny Depp over and over and over. And I love to watch Depp over and over and over.

Verging dangerous close to a tangent, I've always wondered why I love watching Depp. There are other handsome and brooding men but I could only pinpoint that none has his quirkiness. Depp is just more willing to immerse himself in outlandish characters in an intensity that would weaken any other actor. Frankly, Depp is just sexy weird. I love weird!!!

I believe everyone is familiar with the story of Sleepy Hollow. If not then the folk tale is as follows:
In a place called Sleepy Hollow, the residents are haunted by vengeful ghost. The ghost is headless horseman called appropriately enough "The Headless Horseman". Not only is he spooky as hell, but he decapitates his victims! The town either enlists or is visited by Icabod Crane. Crane attempts to help the town and tries to solve the mystery of the Headless Horseman.


Compared to other stories (think stories collected by brothers Grimm), there are way more interesting mystery stories. Stories that are slightly more complex, exciting, fun, scary, stories with more oomph!

Stories of Sleepy Hollow are usually told in an almost comedic tone with Ichabod clumsily finding the clues. There have been many renditions, remakes, and different versions of the story. And they would just fall short of being interesting by insisting on keeping the style of the story the same.

Then Burton breezes in and makes the story the most exciting and scary version I have ever seen. Hoorah Burton!

He re-imagined the story in a way that it should have been; a scary story set in the country. He pretty much wrote a story around the elements that were already there: country, isolated town, and ghoul beheading people.

Small towns set in the country in the middle of nowhere are the perfect foundation for a scary story. Always! It's the vulnerability of the small town. The paranoia of knowing that the town was surrounded by dark enemies and no help on sight. The dark is free to victimize the town.

That's what I see in Burton's version. This small town surrounded by fog and haze. The town is so tiny and at the whim of the ghoul. You can sense the dank and depressing atmosphere. Darkness is everywhere.From the first scene of the town I am terrified.

In most tales, Ichabod is tall, lanky, wimpy, and pathetic. Some tales have Ichabod usually flailing around like a dork and he happens to solve the mystery. Hence why I love Burtons' take on Ichabod. Depp plays Ichabod as geeky ( with his gagdets and knowledge), wary, cautious, and absolutely clever. Adorable.

Burton also seems to adore having my favorite actress appear once again, Christina Ricci. She plays the beautiful and I mean stunningly beautiful love interest. Ricci is just etheral and magical. Not only is she beautiful but she is one of the most astute women in town and quickly Ichabods assistant in solving the mystery.

Although the atmosphere of the movie, the mystery, background, and the Headless Horseman makes Sleepy Hollow the scariest of all the Tim Burton movies, it is also beautiful, magical, and just wildly entertaining.

I wouldn't recommend it for kids however....