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Waltz With Dogshit
cap, captain miss america
I just got back from seeing "Waltz With Bashir." I had seen the previews for it and in spite of it winning a zillion awards, I thought it looked like someone's crappy flash movie.

Then it won the best picture awared from The Society of Film Critics.

I don't know if they just felt bad for not recognizing last year's Middle-Eastern autobiographical animated film about political strife in the 1980s, which was awesome? Because I can't for the life of me get why this thing that looks like one of those animated Charles Schwab ads and sounds like a bunch of Israeli soldiers trying to pass the buck Nuremberg-defense style ("Oh, well, I told my commander that the massacre was going on; I figured he would do something about it.") is supposed to be better than Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, or Milk. Is it because they have never seen an edgy animated film before?

Granted, out of the 87 minutes of footage, there were three or four sequences that were visually stunning, but that amounts to maybe less time than Rhino the Hamster is onscreen during Bolt.

So, yeah, totally not impressed with this movie. And it is very rare that I dislike a movie so much that I consider leaving fifteen minutes into it. I didn't. But I wanted to.

Something good did come out of the experience, though! I made this!

I am also reading Gail Carson Levine's "Fairest." She has now done retellings of two of the fairy tales I have always wanted to do retellings of-- "Ella Enchanted" came out when I was two chapters into the first draft of my own Cinderella retellng and it really discouraged me for a while-- but I love that book. This one is excellent as well, so far. I am really pleased, because I was not as big a fan of "The Two Princesses of Bamarre."

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Aw - you should make your own knitted valentines!

Yay! A movie post from Tea! I have missed these. Especially as I saw about seven movies over the past few weeks.

I do want to see Waltz with Bashir, but it is good to be forewarned.

Did you see Synecdoche? I'd love to hear your take on it. I found it bizarre and brilliant, irritating and satisfying. A completely paradoxical experience and film.

My kids and I adore Gail Carson Levine. Middlest is rereading Fairest right now, coincidentally. Enjoy!

Yeah, I wouldn't say don't see it, because I think it's one of those "academically, you should see this," movies, but I don't think it was all it was cracked up to be.

I did see Synecdoche! I thought it was fascinating. I think the funny thing for me, though, was that the part that struck me most was the Olive plotline, which was so moving and sad.

Well, I'll go in with lowered expectations, always a good thing.

Ya know, the Olive plot line was terribly sad, and it was the one plot line I have the most trouble integrating into the rest. The tapestry of "we are all each other" and the whole integrated everydayness of moments that are lifetimes sorta interchangable - you know, the whole buddhist thing - it all made sense to me, except Olive. She starts integrated but becomes apart, estranged, foreign. It upsets the balance of things. Which is probably the point, but I'm not smart enough to see it.

Am I overthinking? Maybe I'm just meant to be sad...

No, but that was definitely not what I got out of the movie. Which I don't think is bad, I just think it was that kind of reflective film that everyone gets their own thing out of. I was looking at it as people's attempt to create art that is better than life in order to enhance their lives, and how that always, in the end, falls flat. I think that's where Olive fits in; while Caden is trying to create theater, Olive turns herself into a piece of art. They're both trying to fuse art and life, make life better, more important by turning it into art, but in different ways. And I think it spoke out against interchangeability, about how actors cannot replace real people; you can't just re-cast a role in your life, and when you do, the new 'actor' might fulfill the same role, but never in the same way.

Thanks for the review. I'll probably check out Bashir, since I might end up having to write about it at some point, but yeah, it would have to be a pretty great film to edge out Frost/Nixon, Milk, Hellboy 2 and the other standout films of 2008.

Yes, I said Hellboy 2, and I offer no apologies.

You do realize that now I have to kill you, right?

And yeah, I am glad I saw it, because I think it's one of those 'important' movies, but the preachiness of it outweighed anything that could have been moving. I really feel like Persepolis did everything this movie did, but better.

The only one of those I've seen is Persepolis, which was definitely underappreciated. I love the scene where she's yelling, "Death to the Shah!"

Yeah, I think Persepolis is a real tour de force, and this, to me, was a pale, less-funny imitation of that. I mean, I appreciate it on a technical level, because they really did some interesting things with mixing forms of animation, but not anything more interesting than I've seen in people's art school theses. Just with a bigger budget.

Still need to see Milk but the other two were fantastic.,

*movie swoon*

I want to see The Reader, and I haven't seen Revolutionary Road yet, but other than those two, I think I'm good on my 'serious' movies. Benjamin Button was decent but not nearly as good as the other movies vying for awards-- there is usually one movie a year I feel that way about. Last year it was Michael Clayton, which, while it had a couple excellent performances, was just a good movie, as opposed to an amazing, powerful movie.

Milk is a movie that I think is not as artistically interesting as Frost/Nixon or Slumdog, and it does less new in terms of the art form. I think Frost/Nixon and Slumdog both really stretch boundaries in terms of storytelling. Milk is just a good, decent, touching, and emotionally moving biography that is coming out at just the right time. Definitely worth seeing, but that's my two cents.

Frost/Nixon I simply loved for Michael Sheen to begin with and then I loved the whole movie since its was so wonderful, not to mention his team, all those actors I am rather fond of all well it just felt like an actor dream team to me.

Slumdog was more amazing than I expected and felt so raw and real, I just adored it

EDIT: Oh! And I also want to see The Reader though I barely know what its about!

Edited at 2009-01-07 03:02 am (UTC)

Go see The Reader you two! Beautifully done. Powerfully touching and Kate Winslet turns in an amazing, amazing performance. She's putting together quite the body of work...

Also add Doubt to the list, and if you've room and the patience for subtitles, I've Loved You So Long.

I saw Doubt; I really liked the way that it was subtly different from the play. Didn't see I've Loved You So Long yet, but it's on my list! I am trying to cut back on movies and be more responsible about my frivolous spending.


You know what's funny? I saw Slumdog when it was on limited release in New York-- like, the week it came out. I had been almost wetting myself waiting for its release. So then it came out, and I made myself the icon like, the second I got home. And I got NO comments on it for weeks, and then suddenly in the past two days, I think you're the third or fourth person to comment on it!

I had been wondering what it meant and now I am all OMG AWESOME!

YAY crochet heart! How cute. :)

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