Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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:http://dragonmaiden84.wordpress.com/)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
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 so....hot. 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.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
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?!