January 14th, 2005


Movies in 2005

I let life get the best of me and neglected this for a few weeks. Oops.

In summary, Minnesota was up and down as happens with visits to a family contending with something as complicated as my mom's illness tend to be... by the time I got back to CA I needed a vacation from my vacation. I have since been working in the lab and making plans to start constructing a ballgown. I've been picking up fabric here and there so far for a few different dresses, but lack everything needed to start on just one design. Ah, well. Better to have many ideas and places to start than none at all, I think.

shallwedance_ has provided for me a convenient method of journal updating that will force me to write even when I am busy or feel I have nothing to say (which has been frequent lately... I have found myself preferring to take in information instead of expressing an opinion).

This new method is movie reviews.

2005 will be the year I chronicle my life in the films that I see (and random other interspersed rants, I suppose), whether they are new or old, ones I have seen before or ones I have never seen. So: 2005 in movies seen so far:

#1. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring ~ Extended Edition: Watched Jan 3, 2005. I am ashamed to admit that it had been so long since I'd seen the original that I didn't really notice which scenes were the extended ones. Though the whole bit with Galadriel seemed much longer than in the original, which I thought allowed for some lovely character development that wasn't in the original film. Plus Galadriel is just plain cool.

#2. Serendipity: Watched Jan 7, 2005. I love this movie. It lets love be a result of fate and timing without being cheesy and over-the-top about it. And I like the idea that you end up with who you are supposed to be with when the time is right... and that time happens when it happens, not when you think it should. Also the idea that just because you may have one soulmate doesn't mean that you won't find happiness with someone else. Much movie love to this one.

#3. The Stepford Wives Watched Jan 7, 2005. This was a result of a midnight run to Blockbuster in an attempt to fight off boredom (and also as a result of an intense desire for popcorn). Worth watching because my coaches and friends Jennifer and Stanley McCalla were dance consultants for one scene, plus I had friends who were in it. Also, Bette Midler, Roger Bart, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick rock. Great performances... while the premise was a little creepy, the dark comedy was comedic and the sappy moments appropriately so. Oh and if nothing else, the following line made my evening: "only high-powered, neurotic, castrating Manhattan career b****es wear black." Hee.

#4. The Phantom of the Opera Watched Jan 9, 2005. Visually spectacular. Could have done without the randomly interspersed scenes in black and white of REALLY OLD Raoul with creepy monkey box. Oh, and Christine, while she had some good moments, had about the same amount of acting ability as Keanu Reeves. Except her two expressions were "vacant" and "frightened" Which I guess worked as the character is pretty dumb to begin with and spends half the show basically in some sort of a trance. Oh, and why exactly do Christine and Raoul fall in love? (But. The songs were pretty. Not brilliant in their performance in the film... but pretty. And the sets were pretty. And the costumes were amazing. So it was like looking at a lot of pretty pictures and trying really hard to ignore the acting/singing that wasn't happening.)

#5. She Gets What She Wants Watched Jan 9, 2005. This ranks right up there among the absolute worst movies ever seen. No, Piper Perabo couldn't save it. It's basically about high school girls taking over each other's lives and being the catty, backstabbing nasty girls that popular girls in high school tend to be. But really. It wasn't worth the time I spent watching it.

#6. Strictly Ballroom Watched Jan 11, 2005. This movie I appreciate more and more as I move up in the ranks of the ballroom world because while it is a fairytale of sorts, it has a lot of truth in it. And while the people in it are charicatures of ballroom figures, the sport and its associated drama are so over-over-the-top that somehow the characters in this movie don't seem quite so far off. I remember the first time I saw the film... I was a newcomer and didn't quite "get" it. Now that I dance at the higher levels, a lot of what goes on in the film takes on a whole new meaning, and I enjoyed it much much more. Oh, and I'm really really glad (on a shallow level as a dancer) that some of the styles that people wear in this film have gone out, because they're quite hideous.

#7. Finding Neverland Watched Jan 12, 2005. Finding myself home on a Wednesday and realizing there wasn't much time left before the semester started and life got insane, I decided to treat myself to a movie. Which happened to be Finding Neverland because well, I love Peter Pan and Johnny Depp is hot and it came well recommended by the TV adds noting its 5 Golden Globe nominations. It didn't disappoint. The visuals were beautiful, the acting was beautiful and basically this film made me cry. I think some of my emotional reaction to it has to do with the mother figure dying because that is so close to home right now, but the acting and script seem so true and resonant that the moment when Sylvia walks into Neverland is tremendously poignant. Also: I love that Johnny Depp plays with the kids but still treats them like people. He takes their whims seriously but he doesn't tell them that they have to be imaginative or they have to play or anything else. He does for the kids in the play what I think a good parent should do -- appreciate the world that the kids live in and let them be kids, never belittling their views and their imaginings.

I think that's all of them for the year to date. But as this averages to one film every two days, it is quite a lot, really. I suspect the average will drop as the year progresses, but one never can tell.
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