felicityking: (red sonja 2)
books:

  1. The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin (Holocaust memoir)

  2. Rena's Promise by Rena Kornreich Gelissen with Heather Dune Macadam (Holocaust memoir)

  3. Sedna: Goddess of the Seas by Joel Rudinger

  4. Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Gene Roddenberry


documentaries:

  1. Jubilee: a Time Less Golden (BTS of Derek Jarman film, 2003)

  2. Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2013)

  3. Mystic India (2005)

  4. Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979)

  5. The Kid Stays in the Picture (Robert Evans-Producer/Paramount history, 2002)

  6. When We Were Kings (Mahommad Ali/George Foreman/boxing history, 1996)

  7. Audrey Hepburn: In the Movies (2012, retrospective)

  8. Hubert Selby Jr: It/ll be Better Tomorrow (2005, writer/film biography)

  9. Trek Nation (Gene Roddenberry legacy, 2010)

  10. Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (food, 1980)

  11. Land of Milk and Honey (french people on vacation, 1971)

  12. Two in the Wave (French New Wave, 2010)

  13. No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vitmos (cinematographers/new Hollywood history, 2008)

  14. Trances (Moroccan pop band history, 1981)

  15. Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still ( 20th century dancing,  2013)

  16. SyFi 20th Anniversary Special (network documentary)


miniseries:

  1. David Copperfield (BBC, 1999)

  2. The Hollow Crown: Richard II (BBC, 2012)

  3. The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1 (BBC, 2012)


movies, underline equal rewatch, bold equal international:


  1. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

  2. A Report on the Party and Guests (1966)

  3. Dead Man (1996)

  4. Push (2009)

  5. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

  6. The Million Dollar Hotel (2001)

  7. Partition (2007)

  8. Jubilee (1977)

  9. Clandestine Childhood (2012)

  10. Adera (2010)

  11. Bullets over Broadway (1994)

  12. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

  13. The X From Outer Space (1967)

  14. Wings (1966)

  15. District 9 (2009)

  16. A Farewell to Arms (1932)

  17. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

  18. My Left Foot (1989)

  19. Munyurangabo ( 2007)

  20. Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967)

  21. The Tailor of Panama (2001)

  22. Argo (2012)

  23. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

  24. Clerks (1994)

  25. 54 (1998)

  26. Tokyo Story (1953)

  27. Four Rooms (1995)

  28. Hero (2002)

  29. 8 Women (2002)

  30. Permanent Vacation (1981)

  31. The Emperor Jones (1933)

  32. Cronos (1993)

  33. Three Colors: Red (1994)

  34. Black Orpheus (1959)

  35. The Music Room (1958)

  36. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

  37. Weekend (1967)

  38. Wild Strawberries (1957)

  39. A Woman of Paris (1923)

  40. Two Tons of Turqoise to Taos Tonight (1975)

  41. Rashomon (1950)

  42. Emotion (1966)

  43. Cries and Whispers (1972)

  44. Anne of the Indies (1951)

  45. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

  46. Jet Lag (2002)

  47. The Tin Drum (1979)

  48. Halloween: H20, 20 Years Later (1998)

  49. La Strada (1954)

  50. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

  51. The Woman in Black (2012)

  52. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

  53. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

  54. The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962)

  55. Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)

  56. Bottle Rocket (1996)

  57. The Home and the World (1984)

  58. El Mariachi (1992)

  59. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

  60. The Vanishing (1988)

  61. A Knight's Tale (2001)

  62. Total Recall (1990)

  63. Brick (2006)

  64. Revanche (2008)

  65. Purple Noon (1960)

  66. Gosford Park (2001)

  67. The Hi-Lo Country (1999)

  68. Murder, Inc (1960)

  69. The Lovers (1958)

  70. The Last Metro (1980)

  71. Yojimbo (1960)

  72. Sanjuro (1962)

  73. Belle De Jour (1967)

  74. Stranger than Paradise (1984)

  75. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

  76. Revolver (2005)

  77. Night on Earth (1991)

  78. Mystery Train (1989)

  79. Flight (2012)

  80. Mala Noche (1986)

  81. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

  82. The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

  83. The Hunger Games (2012)

  84. 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967)

  85. The Hangover (2009)

  86. 48 Hrs. (1982)

  87. The Four Feathers (1939)

  88. Corpse Bride (2005)

  89. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

  90. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

  91. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

  92. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

  93. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

  94. Miss Congeniality (2000)

  95. Superman: The Movie (1978)

  96. National Treasure (2004)

  97. The Red Violin (1999)

  98. Star Trek (2009)

  99. Superman II (1980)

  100. Manhattan (1979)

  101. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

  102. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

  103. Life of Pi (2012)

  104. The Impossible (2012)

  105. Margin Call (2011)

  106. Speedy (1928)

  107. The Steel Helmet (1951)

  108. Eijanaika (1981)

  109. Iron Man 2 (2010)

  110. George Washington (2000)

  111. Death by Hanging (1968)

  112. YoYo (1965)

  113. This Means War (2012)

  114. The Living Skeleton (1968)

  115. Walkabout (1971)

  116. The Cremator (1968)

  117. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

  118. The Lost World (1925)

  119. Peppermint Frappe (1967)

  120. The General (1925)

  121. Tracked (1985)

  122. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

  123. Safety Last! (1923)

  124. Unstoppable (2010)

  125. The Machinist (2004)

  126. People Like Us (2012)

  127. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

  128. Basquiat (1996)

  129. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008)

  130. Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

  131. The Suitor (1963)

  132. Thor (2011)

  133. Sita Sings the Blues (2008)

  134. Dr. Jack (1922)

  135. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

  136. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  137. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

  138. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

  139. Before Sunrise (1995)

  140. 2 Days in Paris (2007)

  141. Somewhere (2010)

  142. El Sur (1983)

  143. Le Grand Amour (1969)

  144. Galaxy Quest (1999)

  145. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

  146. Number, Please? (1920)

  147. An Eastern Westerner (1920)

  148. High and Dizzy (1920)

  149. Never Weaken (1921)

  150. Avengers Assemble (2012)

  151. A Royal Affair (2012)

  152. Treasure Planet (2002)

  153. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

  154. Charulata (1964)

  155. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

  156. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

  157. Planet of the Apes (1968)

  158. Touki Bouki (1973)

  159. Law of the Border (1966)

  160. The Housemaid (1960)

  161. Dry Summer (1964)

  162. A River Called Titas (1973)

  163. Teen Kanya (1961)

  164. Redes (1937)

  165. The Devil's Eye (1960)

  166. Mest (1989)

  167. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

  168. The Kid Brother (1927)

  169. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

  170. Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (2002)

  171. The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

  172. Doom (2005)

  173. My Dinner with Andre (1981)

  174. Babette's Feast (1987)

  175. Red (2010)

  176. Blind Dating (2006)

  177. Carriers (2009)

  178. Contagion (2011)

  179. The China Syndrome (1979)

  180. The Little Princess (1939)

  181. Pacific Rim (2013)

  182. Wall-E (2008)

  183. Avatar (2009)

  184. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

  185. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

  186. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

  187. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

  188. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

  189. The Haunted Castle (1896)

  190. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

  191. Rachel Getting Married (2008)

  192. The Tree of Life (2011)

  193. Iron Man 3 (2013)

  194. Green Lantern (2011)

-----------------------------------------------182 new films, 12 rewatches

OTHER:

  1. Paperman (Pixar short, 2012)

  2. Six Men Getting Sick (David Lynch short, 1966)

  3. The Alphabet (David Lynch short, 1968)

  4. Premonition Following an Evil Deed (David Lynch short, 1995)

  5. The Grandmother (David Lynch short, 1970)

  6. The Amputee, Version 1 (David Lynch short, 1974)

  7. The Amputee, Version 2 (David Lynch short, 1974)

  8. Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel (PBS, Live from Lincoln Center, 2013)

  9. Dog Eat Dog (Before the Door Short, 2010)

  10. Hostage: A Love Story (Before the Door short, 2009)

  11. Steam Trek: The Moving Picture (fandom-spoof, 1994)

  12. Babylon 5: The Gathering (TNT, re-edited film, originally 1993, 1998)

  13. Dance in America: Wolf Trap's Face of America (PBS, Great Performances, 2009)

  14. Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris (PBS, Great Performances, 2013)

  15. Blood Rush (CW, Arrow short minis, 2013)


tv series:

  1. The Outer Limits, original series, season 2 (ABC, 1964-1965)

  2. Star Trek: The Original Series, season 1 (NBC, 1966-1967)

  3. Merlin, season 2 (BBC, 2009)

  4. Star Trek: The Original Series, season 2 (NBC, 1967-1968)

  5. Star Trek: The Original Series, season 3 (NBC, 1968-1969)

  6. Star Trek: The Animated Series, season 1 (NBC, 1973-1974)

  7. Star Trek: The Animated Series, season 2, (NbC, 1974)

  8. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 1 (syndication, 1987-1988)

  9. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 2, (syndication, 1988-1989)

  10. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 3 (syndication, 1989-1990)

  11. Farscape, season 1 (The SyFy Channel, 1999-2000)

  12. Farscape, season 2 (The SyFy Channel, 2000-2001)

  13. Farscape, season 3 (The SyFy Channel, 2001-2002)

  14. Babylon 5, season 1 (PTEN, 1994)

felicityking: (night time)
(early posting cuz I'm working 12 hour shifts till Wednesday) (Year end roundup of 2012 NYR coming in 2013. I know, you're so excited. ;)) 

personal/monetary:
~Get a Macbook Pro
~buy an HD TV
~pay down my loans more
~find time to exercise even if only once a week!

Pop Culture:
50 books. Read at least one history or graphic novel. 
100 films.
10 documentaries
3 miniseries
felicityking: (autumn)
This has always been my least favorite of the HP series and rereading it (for the first time in years), I finally figured out why. 

Roll Call of Complaints I have with this Book )
felicityking: (Default)
I'm reading all my summer books now, because I know when summer comes, I'll be wishing it's winter. But when it's summer, I can think back on these books and remember what is about summer that is special, what is buried and waiting to be unearthed beyond the sticky humidity and. the hot-enough-to-melt-cement days.

If you've ever wonder what a Midwest summer is like, this book will describe it to you. Even though Bradbury later moved to LA, and wrote elsewhere, he spent much of his childhood in the Illinois. I'm from the Midwest as well, a born and bred Ohioan. Even though it's 2012 now, and the book was written in the 1946 (but takes place in 1928), some things about Midwest don't change: the quiet towns, the passage of time where nothing significant happens--and yet it is significant in its own way--and the underlying darkness that we don't notice because we feel safe.

DW concerns two brothers, Doug and Tom, and one idyllic summer where Doug realized he was alive. Actually alive. He can feel it in his feet, right down to the ground, and his decision to record as much as it possible.

There really isn't a plot to the book. It's really a series of vignettes about Doug's life, his family, and his neighbors. Being plotless actually helps the book. Because you really get to smell a way of life that is now gone: when trolleys once ruled the streets, when people met at ice cream parlors, when a town was small enough that you knew everybody, when dandelions meant wine and not weeds that must be extracted from yards.

I've read Bradbury before but never really loved him until now. The Martian Chronicles but was good but didn't do anything for me. Farenheit 451 is something I've tried to read but can never get into. But this. This. Was amazing. I kept expecting it to disappoint me but it didn't.

The thing I loved most about this book was the poetic way it was written. Every description was so vivid and lush. Bradbury doesn't just describe, he gets into the heart of something and makes you see it differently. I would quote but you have to read the full book to see how each description builds upon each other.

*********************

Oh, and Ray Bradbury, wherever you are, the Happiness Machine has been destroyed. It's called tumblr, and on any given day, you can find 3 sunsets on your dash, photography of Paris, London, and places from around the world. Mrs. Auffmann was wrong. It doesn't make you depressed that you can't leave, that you are awakened to dreams you never knew you had. She was right though that if you get too occupied with the happiness machine and leave other things neglected. She is also right in that seeing too much of one thing can make you less appreciative of it, take it for granted...mindless reblogging. But it also connected many of us together, so it's not a complete waste. And we use it for than just mindless reblogging. We try to educate each other about issues and raise awareness about things that matter. But, yeah, too often we neglect what really matter. But still. Not a complete waste.

I'm very sorry also to tell you that nobody appreciates the dandelions anymore. Yards are deplete of them. If you see them, it's on a home that nobody owns, a ruins where the grass is overgrown. I'm glad you aren't alive to see how dandelions are just tossed aside, instead of being used for cooking or wine-making.

But the ice cream trucks have replaced trolleys. Old people still are time machines to the past. Kids go trampling through the woods and enjoy the carnival. So, while some things have changed, other remain the same. So even though the dandelions are no longer bottled into wine to savour on cold, damp nights, idyllic memories are still being made.
felicityking: (Blair Waldorf/Gossip Girl)

Newest to oldest, per usual.

Somers Town. A hobo an an immigrant become friends in inner city London. Despite it's slightly pretentious note, this film is quite likable. It felt genuine. I want to use the word literary to describe it, but that suggests it contained certain cinematic imagery when it didn't. It really had no plot but the vignette-like quality of the film gave it a realness that other "slice-in-the-life-of" films lack. I looked up the film, and apparently, the director is regional Midlands one who is reguarly on the film festival circuit. And, yet, the film didn't have the calculated feel that many indies have today (you know: the ones that clearly vying to get an Oscar...). I really enjoyed seeing this different view of England which isn't documented enough in films. I do recommend it.

Titanica. A 1995 IMAX documentary narrated by Leonard Nimoy. Dear James Cameron: it's very good to know that your idea of "research" consists of lifting a subpar documentary scene for scene. Seriously! Just watch this and then watch the film and you'll see how much Cameron plaguarized. Now why do I say it is subpar? Well, it doesn't put Titanic in the context of its time. It's basically boiled down "arrogant people with bad decision-making skills." When it was so much more than that. Ironically, nobody in this documentary comes off looking good either. The explorers pat themselves on the back even as they crash into the wreckage and try to lift luggage off the floor because it might have real gold in it or the shiplog or a valuable rare book. This is only worth watching to enjoy how spectacularly everyone--from explorer to historian--makes fools of themselves when discussing the ship. Only the survivors and the footage give this any dignity.

City Lights. I've watched several of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp films and never once have I gotten a slash vibe from them. However, this one just gushes out the slash like there's no tomorrow. The Little Tramp befriends a millionaire who only remembers him when he is drunk: when sober, the millionaire only sees the Little Tramp as a stranger. This leads to many pratfalls and double entendres. The main story though involves the Little Tramp discovering a poor blind woman and falling in love with her and what he does to save her. Like all of Chaplin's films, there is social commentary. However, I will keenly admit all that captativated me was how much of a dandy the Little Tramp was, and all that slash. I mean, it's everywhere! Forget "Star Trek: TOS," Chaplin was the one who inadvertently discovered it.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Whatever PS lacks, this one makes up for it in spades. I dare say, it also benefits from the LOTR effect. There is more attention to detail and more details in both the set and costume design. The vistas are grander in scale and scape. n other words, the HP series no longer feels trapped in the 1990s. There is also a charm and enchanting quality that PS lacks. I think COS is helped along to in that is more closely adapted to the book but the changes made aren't haphazard. (Scenes actually flow and make sense: it doesn't feel rushed.) But I also think the kids actually own their roles now in a way they didn't in PS. (Watch and tell me you don't think Daniel Radcliffe is a BAMF! when he smirks against Tom in the COS.) The only miss in the film is the casting of Kenneth Branaugh as Professor Gilderoy Lockhart. Book! Lockhart is full of himself, but he manages to charming and funny by virtue of being so egotistical. Film! Lockhart is full of himself...but dignified. That said, I think the film did a great job capturing the loopy balls-always-up-in-the-air nature of the book with the introduction of Dobby, the COS, and Lockhart. Oh, and it wins a bonus point for a continuity callback: When Harry meets Voldemort in PS, Harry is wearing a red sweater. In COS, when Harry meets Tom Ridde, Harry is wearing ... a red sweater. I thought that was a nice detail.

Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring). One doesn't usually use the words "beautiful," "enchanting" and "meditative" to describe horror films--particularly ones that feature rape and unpleasant killing scenes--, but without a doubt, this film was all those things. But it is not just a horror film, it is also an examination of religious conflict, faith, and family. The costume and set design, and nature backdrop, contribute to the stark wonder that makes this film unique. Concerning a family in the Medieval times whose daughter is murdered and how they extract revenge on her killers. Apparently, The Last House on the Left is a remake of this film, and I ever do watch it (I don't like torture porn), it will only to see how this got remade.

The Circus. This is the first silent film I've watched since I've graduated from college! Wow! That's 5 years! Shame on me! This is one of Charlie Chaplin's Tramp movies and it was really good. Even though it's from the early days of Hollywood, I couldn't help but see it as a metaphor the industry past and present: how fame is fleeting and how hits are always expected, but how the system tries to manage you. How in the end, all you have is yourself. Offtopic: say what you will about silents, but they do preserve the pantomime and vaudeville of the late Victorian era & Edwardian era. And while I don't consider myself a film snob, I adhor students of film who dismiss this genre. (I actually met one in college. He was very dismissive of the era, saying that "they were just learning how to made movies in those days" as a justification for why he ignored films of that era--as well as films of other eras.)


El Angel Exterminador (The Exterminating Angel). Part satire, part horror, this film chronicles what happens when several upper-class society members attend a dinner party, and then are unable to leave. Going through the tag on tumblr, I saw this comment 'it's like Lost set in a living room' and that aptly sums it up. Or Lord of the Flies meets Downton Abbey. I thought it was quite good. Remarkably scathing too in how it showed how things don't matter when you are starving and trying to survive. On that note, I will add, I was THIS close to having an orgasm the first 20 minutes of the film: the sumptuousness, the luxury, the opulence, is just breathtaking: both the set interior design and the costumes. It was truly cinematic porn! (But by the end, one is only acutely aware of the grossness.) Oh, and the ending.... just imagine if the film had gone that route. Apparently, Luis Bunuel was considered a controversial filmmaker and I have no doubt as to why!

Mitt liv som hund (My Life as a Dog). Lasse Hallstrom is like the L.M. Montgomery of cinema, and I don't mean that in a bad way because I love LMM, but basically: you see one Hallstrom film, you've seen them all. This was made in 1985, but it contains the hallmarks of his films to come: a not quite idyllic family living in a not quite idyllic time. A coming of age tale. The eccentrics. The beautiful scenery. Heartbreaking but not a wring-your-heart-out-will-ruin-you-forever tragedy. A story will a philosophical and semi-mythological event. I liked it, but it's typical of his work. The thing I liked best about this was its depiction of slower times without being sentimental. Also, the little boy kills me: "I always compare. Things could be worse."

Merlin 1.05

In the Bedroom. I hated this film. The characters only existed to serve the plot, nothing more. I found the ending to be quite farfetched as well: Richard would NOT have been acting like an innocent, lost puppy based on his actions earlier in the film. The only scene I liked was the "you're so unforgivable" scene because the characters seem to spring beyond the confines of the film. I will say the costumes, set design and Maine landscape all suited each other nicely. However, this film wasn't worth any of the Oscar nominations it got. I enjoy Miramax films but this one is clearly one of those only designed for the awards circuit. You can feel it in every scene. I don't mind carefully scripted films, but this one the "I want my awards" weight was clearly felt in every edit. Even the banter didn't care like banter. (Oh, and trivializing domestic violence? Making it look like it is secondary to a lover's triangle and blaming the female? So not okay in my book.)

Groundhog Day. I've watched this film dozens of times through the years but this is the first time I've ever reviewed it. A stuck-up, shallow weatherman has to repeat the same day over and over again. When I was younger, I didn't appreciate this film, but I've grown to love it over the years and I really like its message: all of us might be stuck living the same day to day life, but we can still grow and enrich our lives not just to kindness to others but also through learning about the world. Although the 'small town people are more real' line does annoy me and I'm from a smallish town!

Proof. Flawless. When I read or watch movies, I like to think of them having dialogues with each other, and this one makes an interesting one with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Restoration. Like those films, it's about the power of the mind, madness and genius. Without intending to, it also has a feminist lense in regards women not getting recognized for their contributions in various fields. Gwyneth Paltrow is amazing. It's a pitch-perfect performance. John Madden also must be credited because while Patrow has a heavy role of being the drab, depressed--perhaps a genius--but burdened with the weight of the world--the film never feels overly down. It just zips along. I strongly rec this film (and have yourself a film fest and watch RotPotA and Restoration with it!)

felicityking: (autumn)
Gaskell is one of my favorite writers. I only discovered her two or three years ago, but she's quickly ascended the ranks to the top. She's a Victorian writer who wrote about issues such as the Industrial Revolution, workers rights, gentility, women's rights and roles in the world, etc.


Oh, look! It's another book review! )
felicityking: (autumn)
Attention: SPOILERS!

Every few years, I reread this book and everytime I read it, I always come away with a different outlook on it. The last time I read it, I was focussed on the descriptions of the wealth and Sara's personality, neither of which I look at favorably. This time, I've noticed more complexity to the book and why Burnett did what she did. (But I also think her message gets nearly lost.)

ALP is the story of Sara Crewe. In a span of 5 years, she goes from having a loving father and great wealth to obscene orphaned poverty to being reclaimed, not only as a wealthy heiress but also having a new family.


I wish I could show the you the beautiful Graham Rust illustrations )
felicityking: (autumn)
NOTE: This list will exclude live TV series viewings and news shows. Just stuff that applies to my scrapbook (books and movies). Leave a comment if you want to more specifics thoughts on anything. Order: newest to oldest.

Time to make a new post!

A Bout de Souffle (Breathless). This. is considered one of the great classics? Let me summarize the film for you. The first 30 minutes, our anti-hero (a thief/murderer) makes derogatory remarks about women, including his girlfriend, Patricia (to her face). The next 30 minutes is basically this: "Have sex with me, Patricia." "I'm not in the mood." The last 30 minutes consist of dialogue like this: "What are you thinking?" (to Patricia), "I don't Know. If I knew, I'd be sure" and this classic "What does 'puke' mean?" To make matters worse, our hero is a jerk and his heroine, an empty headed stupid (not to mention constantly objectified) person. I only watched this film to the end because it's a French New Wave film and to my knowledge, I'm not acquainted with that part of cinema history. One bad film doesn't make a whole genre, so I'll certainly watch more NW films, but this....can go in the trash heap alongside lowbrow frat boy comedies.

The Station Agent. I got all excited when I saw the cast: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, and Michelle Williams. And, the credits were the about the only thing I enjoyed. This film is deeply offensive. Basically it's one of those "Magical Other" films. In this case, Finn, a dwarf, is the MO, and he gawked at the whole film for being one. Then there are friendships which came about because people wouldn't stop harassing him. Last, but not least, we never find out the agency behind his character. He basically exists to listen to, comfort, and give advice to normal (re: non-dwarfish) people having problems. The film would have been FAR less offensive had Finn been just a normal size guy, or his dwarfism not called out. every. second. Or if he had been given a personality. Instead he just exists as that "abled" person there to make make non-abled people feel better about themselves. I don't rec this film at all.

Amelie. From an artistic standpoint, I really love this film. The cinematography, the costumes, and the soundtrack are flawless. But, from a storytelling point, I can't stand the heroine! I'm suppose to be in awe of her preciousness and twee, but instead I find her actions to be naive and unintentionally cruel. Nor was I enchanted with how she invaded other people's privacy just to do "good." I don't think she was good nor did I feel she deserved to rewarded at the end. I can't believe people actually love this movie and love this heroine. Especially when several of her solutions involve making asshole men look like angels just so she can feel she helped along somebody's love story. I wanted to slap her so often throughout the second hour. Horrible film only redeemed by it's set and design elements.

Sherlock 1.03
Sherlock 1.02
Sherlock 1.01


Donnie Brasco. Simultaneously considered underrated and the last great Mob movie to be made. Based on the true story of an FBI agent who infiltrated the mob during the 1970s. It is surprisingly low-key. Nothing big or "epic" happens. It just the day-to-day living of the Mob. Yet, it also has many classic elements of Mob films: the horror movie shoot-out scene, the frustrated wife (in this case, a wonderful Anne Heche) and a straight arrow struggling to cope with his morally grey side. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp are flawless.

The Life of David Gale. A great idea with a very poor execution. And,  yes, even the Great Kate Winslet has bad movies, and this is one of them. Anti-Death Penalty spokesman Gale is sentenced to death for the murder of his colleague. The film traces Bitsy Bloom's (the reporter) journey to prove he is innocent. The problem with this film is that are constantly TOLD about David's activism, but we never SEE it. Instead, we get to him drunk, having sex with former students, caught in an ugly divorce, etc. The film would have been more relevant (and better put together) if it had showed David's activism. Also, if it had used real life cases to make it point. Instead, it ends up feeling like a cheap, sleazy thriller.


Merlin. 1.04.
Merlin. 1.03


A Very Potter Musical. (StarkidPotter's official youtube channel) Despite being a Harry Potter fan for years, I've never gotten into the fanon aspects of it. This crack musical, introducing Darren Criss, has totally changed my mind. While it definitely is a college production on a college budget, the storytelling shines rights through. And th songs! Singable and singalong! I especially enjoyed Quirrell (who I'll never view the same way again) and Draco Malfoy.

The Shipping News. If L. M. Montgomery were alive today, I believe she'd write something like this. Despite being a Hollywood film, the movie felt Canadian. A down-on-his-luck man and daughter move back to a quirky town where their ancestors came from. I liked this movie, but I would have preferred if the movie let me discover the mysticism on my own rather than trying to awe me with it and thus making it feel forced. The scenery was beautiful, and the acting good, but I was meh overall.

Restoration. Despite laughable wigs, lacklustre sets, and second-rate costumes, this film manages to be good due to a James Newton Howard score, a wonderful script and A-list stars who bring emotion and depth to what is basically a Merchant Ivory wannabe movie. Charles II's doctor, Robert Merivel's rise and fall and rise again is chronicled.

The Quiet American. This is a strangely detached, cold, unemotional, distant film. Made even moreso by the "prettified, no chaos anywhere" staging from the costumes to the scenery to the acting. It was good, but for a film taking place in Vietnam, about deception, news vs what actually happened, the disconnect makes the film feel more like an intellectual exercise rather than a film about the early years of Vietnam.

Passion Fish. A soap opera actress moves back to the Bayou South of her childhood after becoming paralyzed. There she reconnects with her old friend, as well as a newcomer in her life. I wanted to like this movie, but it just doesn't hold up. It's not so much a character study as a series of vignettes (mostly characters describing their lives) with scenery thrown in. Alfre Woodard owns the film, but even she can't save it from feeling like "TV movie of the week" fodder.


(All shorts from pindippy.com, under "Musical")
Hello Cheesecake, Cool like Dat, The Pinafore, Tom, Poetry in Motion, Fred, Window, Pizza Express, The Pinafore, Bebe.

For such a silly song, both versions of "The Pinafore," somehow managed to reduce me to tears with its wistfulness about childhood and growing up. "Pizza Express" meanwhile managed to capture the impatience of wanting to be elsewhere. "Fred" is the stand-out though. It's a unique take on domestic violence. Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the HP movies, is like a real life Luna Lovegood. She's just so unique, offbeat, and one of a kind! If you like improv and British comedy, you'll like her stuff.
felicityking: (autumn)
NOTE: This list will exclude live TV series viewings and news shows. Just stuff that applies to my scrapbook (books and movies). Leave a comment if you want to more specifics thoughts on anything. Order: newest to oldest.

Desperado. I should have despised this movie, given how it treats violence in a throwaway, almost graphic novel manner. But I didn't. Antonio Banderas is searching for Boucho, who has wronged him in a past life. Despite the bloodshed, which was cringeworthy, somehow the tone remains...comic. Not lighthearted, but certainly the humour is there. Quentin Tarantino has a rather memorable cameo. Also, Banderas oozes a certain charisma and charm. It's' got a few twists and turns, and it's slightly ridiculous, but it's good despite the violence.

Rabbit-Proof Fence. Although this is an awe-inspiring film, it never lets us forget how many families were torn apart due to the racism of the Aussie govt towards Aborigines. The film is based on the true story of 3 siblings who walked over 800 miles to their home in Jigalong after being taken from their family. Although this concerned Aussie history, the US govt has a similar practice towards American Indian tribes (as did the British to the people of colour under the empire/commonwealth) so the film remains a pertinent history lesson no matter what culture you come from. It addresses a bit of colonism that always get left out of the textbooks.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. JKR might be pleased with how Steve Kloves adapted her work, but I'm not. He devalued "The Golden Trio + Neville": Instead, it's "The Golden Trio + Draco," with Neville eliminated from prominent scenes that he was in in the book. There are no little character touches scenes that are dotted throuhout included either. It's all introduction, plot, and exposition: wash, rinse, repeat (& the weirdest bits that help the film make sense are missing. Like WHY they are serving detention in the manner they are). And time seem to have passed Chris Columbus by. For a film released concurrent to LOTR (and both franchises rely heavily on CGI, big sets, and locations), it has the feel of a mid-1990s film in both framing and technique. And John Williams! Not everything needed to be scored with an "OMG! Harry's first time! Isn't this magical and epic!?!" (The book is very fresh in my head. I just finished it earlier today.) But at least Harry actually had to work for that snitch in the first quidditch mate (an vast improvement over the book).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowing. While JKR is overly fond of the word "said" (uses it for everything: after questions, exclaimations, musings, etc), the reasons why I fell in love with series way back in 1999/2000ish is because of her vivid, wonderful descriptions. She really does invent a whole different world! And makes you believe it does exist. What I like best about this book can be summed up by Hermione Granger: "Books! And Cleverness! There are more important things --friendship and bravery.." Also, I LOL at how JKR basically gave us a preview of the coming books via Harry summarizing the centaur predictions: "[The planets] must show that Voldemort's coming back...Bane thinks Firenze should have let Voldemort kill me...I suppose that's written in the stars as well."

Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Surprisingly thoughtful for a popcorn blockbuster. The CGI was good but the CGI climbing did distract me at times. Also, Tom Felton was WAY over-the-top as a villian. But the story itself was subtle (or, at least not "use a hammer to make the point") in being a cautionary tale about geno engineering. I also enjoyed the relationship between Cesar and Will. Overall, an effective backstory/prequel to both the PotA original + sequels, and remake. Oh, and make sure to watch the first few minutes of the end credits! .... OK. Not going to lie. You need to see this!

13Hrs. OMG! This was awesome! For a low-budget horror film shot in less than a month, the special effects and set are quite amazing. Sarah Tyler, who has been living in the US, comes home to England to reunite with family and friends. Bliss is gone by the night, however, as a creature is in the house stalking them. This is the type of horror film I like: moody, atmospheric, creepy with just enough blood and guts to keep you intrigued but not a torture porn film. (The soundtrack is flawless and really adds to the film.) Also, there's a sequel coming out this year which I definitely will see! Oh, and Tom Felton is in it! Very un-Draco-like. (No, he's not the creature!)

Merlin 1.02
Merlin 1.01

December Boys. I realllllllly wanted to not just like, but love, this film. The Australian scenery, the soundtrack, and the story are all wonderful. Even though the characterization is thin, the actors manage to make the characters interesting and 'meaty.' The film did get to me emotionally with its bittersweetness and sadness of the boys' lives but it's moves at a glacially slow pace. It's a coming of age story about 4 orphans who visit the cove and have the chance be adopted. Daniel Radcliffe didn't remind me of Harry Potter. But he didn't have much to do but be be the older, protective brother type.

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens. One of his Xmas books only for the time period that period rather than being about the holiday (his other Xmas books take place around the holidays). It's about self-sacfrice and love. However, it is rather melodramatic and grandiose. On the other hand, it's refreshing to read a love triangle that doesn't end in a cat fight. The characterization is too thin, but the descriptions are amazing! (My faves: the battle of death turning to an orchard of life over the centuries, and the fire causing the shadows to dance).

Cherrybomb. From a technical standpoint, the movie was excellent: the acting, the editing and the soundtrack all complimented each other and nothing stuck out as bad. But try though I might, I couldn't get into this. Angsty films that angsty for the sake of being angsty don't appeal. But I will say, it was nice seeing "Sophy Hutton" play a bad girl and Rupert Grint play a character nothing like Ron Weasley. But he does steal a car!

Wild Target: A zany, offbeat British caper comedy that is LOL! and feel good for a story about bad characters (an assassin, a thief, and a loose cannon). Additional reasons to watch: the film fashion and scruffy, naked Rupert who plays an adorkable idiot.
felicityking: (Default)
1. Today is a bad day. Everything that can go wrong is. Ugh! I wanted to buy new skirts from Land's End but they had none in my size, and one cute one that I liked was only available in regular. I sent a customer complaint. I hate being petite! I love fashion but loathe how that world thinks only tall, skinny women wear clothing.

2. My wireless is being wonky today. I have no idea why. It's not rainy or windy (usually when it tends to act up).

3. On the upside, I have been getting out more. At the Dance N Style, I went out with a group of ladies for drinks about 2 Fridays ago. It hasn't been since college that I went out for drinks (usually I have wine at home) so it was unusual but nice. 2 days after that I also went out to lunch with one of the ladies. They are all 20+ years older than me, but I'm getting used to having friends WAY out of my age range. (I'm 28.)

4. I cut my hair. It's very short and very low maintenance, which I like. Very easy to maintain.

5. I moved up the date on my New Year's Resolutions since half the year is done. You can see what I have and have not accomplished so far. I still have yet to open WMM and make a video. I'm starting to get the itch though! I also haven't watched a movie in 3 weeks, so I need to get back into the habit of doing that. But I'm almost halfway for books, so I'm doing good where that is concerned!

6. Tumblr has become my mindless addiction. My escape from the world. This is still my preferred site, over Facebook, to talk to people, but lately I've been one of those "don't want to confide anything because my life sucks for frivolous reasons" moods. Also, most of the places I'm on here are GG-related. I know I won't be watching the show next season, but I have to figure out other interests I have in common with my GG friends. (Plus, I'm still depressed about how Dair ended. And Chuck! Can someone kill him already? Ed wants off the show, so it can't be that hard.)

End of updates. Off to do the dishes.
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