Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monty Python Almost the Truth

It is a 5 hour documentary about Monty Python. I repeat, it's a 5 hour documentary about Monty Python! It's a long special feature about Flying Circus, Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and Meaning of Life. I am a HUGE Monty Python fan (even though Tiffany hates me for it) and this was right up my alley. It's fun to hear the stories of the members of how they made it. It's fun to relive the movies and shows again (even though they make it a point to show all of the offensive stuff). Monty Python are the Beatles of comedy and this is the equivalent of Beatles Rock Band. Okay, Spamalot would be like Beatles Rock Band, this would be more like the special features to Beatles cds. Holy cow, I HAVE GOT TO SEE SPAMALOT! 7/10
PS>My favorite flying circus sketch is Strangers in the Night. Here it is:
PSS>It's probably because I love Michael Palin. Right-O!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Going into this movie, I loved the book but had been told this movie is slow. I had a lower expectation for this Harry Potter so I didn't see it in theaters but decided to buy it the first day it came out on blu ray. This was my second blind buy, and my first blind mistake.
For those few who haven't read the book, the movie is quite slow and missteps over important areas of the book. Ok, let's just talk about the movie.

SPOILER ALERT! (go see the movie before reading this review)

This is my second favorite book next to the Goblet of Fire but the movie seemed to be confused on what it was telling. It took 2 hours to flash 2 flashbacks of Voldemort's life, get Draco in place to do his job, and tell a whole lot of snogging story that just doesn't go anywhere. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Twilight where they are telling a whole lot of love but miss the connections between the characters. You tell me that Harry and Ginny is told so that she can share one kiss in the Room of Requirement? Hermione and Ron aren't even together at the end of the movie and they spend TOO much time on them. And my biggest problem with it is it never feels like magic. It feels like a an average teenage whiney drama. I am okay with the teen love, but the story is not ABOUT that, it is a subplot in the book, but made mainstream plot in the movie. It makes it slow and directionless.

The story is about Draco and Voldemort. Of course we follow Harry around as he discovers the truth about both of them, but revealing only 2 memories of Tom Riddle leads us to believe that Harry really knows NOTHING about where the Horcruxes are, only that they exist. Where Harry was taking a whole semester of the history of Voldemort with Dumbledore, we get to see 2 glimpses. I pity Draco in the book. I'm glad they kept it that way in the movie, but missed his character struggle. So big problems were too much Lavender and not enough Voldemort.

I can get past that. I think I feel that way only because I read the book, but my biggest problem with the film is the battle at Hogwarts (or lack of) at the end. There is a perfect opportunity to make a great piece of cinema if you just follow what was written. There is no excuse for it, especially since they made us wait an extra 9 months for the movie. The cave and inferi were well done, but when they get back to Hogwarts and everything seems nice and calm. Dumbledore doesn't freeze Harry under the invisibility cloak?!? Snape greets Harry before heading upstairs to kill him?!? Snape and company escape Hogwarts swiftly and calmly?!? NO FREAKING WAY! This actually made me so angry that I couldn't get to sleep very well afterward. How could they completely skip the epic battle inside Hogwarts? The lucky potion that keeps Hermione, Ron, and Ginny safe? There was no reason to omit it. It still makes me angry.

In this movie, Harry Potter has lost his magic. After 2 hours of character development (which isn't really needed because we've known these characters for 5 movies now) and snogging , we finally get a quick run of the wizarding world but it is just not epic. I want to read the book again to compensate, but does anyone want to buy a Harry Potter 6 blu ray/dvd combo? I can't watch a movie that makes me angry. 4/10
PS>I know this movie will have the Breaking Dawn effect where it just gets worse the more I think about it.
PSS>My biggest problem with reading the book before is I have a good idea of how it should be directed. I was probably too harsh because of this.
PSSS>I just read that David Yates is directing both parts of the 7th movie. I am no longer excited. How did he get this gig?
PSSSS>I wouldn't be surprised if he took out the escape from Grimgotts (because I love it so much)
PSSSSS>This is my second least favorite Harry Potter movie (with the 3rd being the worst)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Four Christmases

To get the Christmas mood, Jamie brought over this blu ray and I was pleasantly surprised. It makes itself out to be Meet the Parents times 4 but with funny and quotable lines, it surprised me how much I enjoyed it...even though it is not a very good movie. First of all, the families aren't even that weird (okay, well, I guess maybe it's because I'm a Newton). Second of all, the arc of the characters is predictable from the beginning. Third of all, even though family is the main point of the movie, marriage isn't and that erked me. Even though it is a very shallow film, it still had things to think about afterward (how scared people don't want to have kids. How love is know vulnerabilities, etc). Like I said, not the best movie of the year but served as an enjoyable night. Thanks Jamie! 6/10
PS>Few quotes from the movie:
"You can't spell families without the word lies."
"Woman, you get over here and swaddle this baby!"

PSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 6/10
Violence: 4/10
Profanity: 4/10


I took Tiego to see this movie with DJ Grubb, Alex, and Colvin. I didn't think much about it other than it is a kids movie, but it turned out NOT surprising me, because that's what it was...a kids movie. Astroboy has a lot going for it, but the story is cliche and the action is mediocre. Tiego loved it though and asked me many times after if he could be Astroboy. Worth a rent for the kids but not if you are watching it alone. 5/10
PS>Kids in Mind Meter
Sex/Nudity: 1/10
Violence: 4/10
Profanity: 1/10