Archive for April, 2009

Hamlet 2

April 29th, 2009

S: If you cross Napoleon Dynamite with Dead Poets Society and add in some Godspell and a pinch of High School Musical, you might come close to the essence of this movie. Steve Coogan is hilarious as Dave Marschz (just telling people how to pronounce his name is a big laugh every time it happens). He is a failed actor who, after doing commercials for things like genital herpes medication, has found himself at the rock bottom of the actor’s life teaching drama at a Tuscon High School. When the “tough kids” get forced from shop class due to asbestos-covered portables and join his drama class of 2, he tries to teach them to love theater in a parody of the inspirational teacher movie. He begins to work on a socio-political-avant-garde musical that allows Hamlet to go back in time with Jesus, to prevent everyone from dying at the end. The play also gives Hamlet and Dave an opportunity for father forgiveness. It’s so controversial, it gets the drama program shut down and forces the kids to pull together to save the day in old Andy Rooney “let’s do a show” fashion. However the musical numbers rock – no pun intended – Jesus H Christ, LOL.

All I can say is the song “Rock Me, Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” left me spitting my Margarita out of my nose. This movie is really dumb funny, but I enjoyed it and found it better than Prozac for lifting my spirits. Some of my favorite moments:  the Tuscon Gay Men’s Chorus comes to school singing “She’s A Maniac” from Flashdance as musical accompaniment, the Kaftan scene, Dave roller skating around Tuscon (really Albuquerque).  The film also has gratuitous Elizabeth Shue and David Arquette in bit parts that shine. I give this movie 3 enthusiastic smooches!

The Fellowship of the Ring

April 23rd, 2009


Well, trying to save money, I’ve been rereading books I have read before (series with lots of sequels seem to be my favorite) so I just reread “The Hobbit” and had started on “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Because I was heading into the Mines of Moria in the book, I decided to watch the movie to get me into the mood.

I put the DVD in and watched it while doing some other things around the house. At the end of the film, I sat down and paid attention to all of the things that happen to break the fellowship, cried when Boromir died, and thought again about how much Tolkien loved the hobbits – unattractive, short, brave, loyal, hardy creatures that loved to eat and were just as interested in “second breakfast” as they were in saving the world. I love hobbits too! In the end, watching Sam and Frodo leave for Mordor wondering if they would ever see the others again made me sad, even though I know how it all turns out.

This movie is bittersweet for me. When I found out that they were making a movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was excited. I started looking things up on the Internet and tried to read everything I could about the movie. I scanned forums, IMDB, etc. and discovered that the “Fellowship” movie was coming out on December 19th, 2001. I was really into this. I reread the books and even put a 3 x 5 card on my bulletin board at work with the date 12-19-01. Sometimes, when I was having a bad day, I looked at that card and thought about seeing the movie. I had already talked with Ernie about going to see it on opening night. He reread the books too so we were ready.

That year I had quite a bit of vacation left at the end of the year. I remember taking off from work the Friday before the 19th for the holidays. I was cleaning out my closet. On the 18th, I had planned to take the train down to see my parents, but I called my Mom to tell her that I was still working on the closet and would come on the 19th. I figured I could run down and see them, and still get back to see the movie that night.

At about 6am on the morning of the 19th, my Mom called to tell me that my Dad had collapsed in the bathroom and that she couldn’t wake him up. She called the ambulance and they were on the way. Ernie and I left the house and he drove me to the hospital. About an hour after we got there, they came in to tell us that my Dad had died. This was so unexpected. Looking back, I don’t think he felt that well, but I don’t think any of us, including him, expected this. All thought of the movie went right out of my head. I spent the rest of the day with my family, trying to help my mother cope with things, arranging for family members to get here, visiting the funeral home, etc. I remember working on his obituary thinking it was the last thing I had ever dreamt of doing that day.

The 20th, a Thursday, was a long hard day. My Mom’s sister arrived and planned on staying with her, so I decided to come home to get some rest. About 5pm, I walked in the door and just crashed. When Ernie came home, he suggested that we go to see the movie, just to get out of the house and get our minds onto something else. At first I didn’t want to go, but then realized that I did want a distraction and that after waiting so long, I really was looking forward to seeing the movie.

I was transfixed through the whole 3 hours. Any emotional reaction I had was deeper and more meaningful because of how raw my feelings were. Even after all this time, when I watch “Fellowship” the movie is forever linked with my Dad’s death. website host information It’s hard for me to believe that all those months when I looked at 12-19-01 on my bulletin board, I wasn’t looking at the date I would see “Fellowship” but was looking at the day I would lose my Dad.

So here I am, 7 1/2 years later watching the movie again and thinking about all of that. I know people say that time heals, but it doesn’t. That is a lie. Maybe you don’t think about your loss as often, but when it hits you it hurts just the same. wall cloud . As I watched the end of Fellowship and the credits, there is a song called “In Dreams” sung in a boy’s pure voice and it always makes me think of losing my Dad and how I felt that night sitting in the dark and hearing the words – “And in dreams, we will meet again” and praying that it would be true -that just like Sam and Frodo think they will never see their friends again, in the end they are reunited.

Dad I miss you every single day. Because of you and the things you taught me, I truly love movies and books like Lord of the Rings. You gave me so much. I love you.

“In Dreams”
When the cold of winter comes
Starless night will cover day
In the veiling of the sun
We will walk in bitter rain

But in dreams
I can hear your name
And in dreams
We will meet again

When the seas and mountains fall
And we come, to end of days
In the dark I hear a call
Calling me there,
I will go there
And back again.

Eagle vs. Shark

April 7th, 2009

Eagle vs. Shark

S: So I heard from A, and she was planning to watch Eagle vs. Shark sometime soon. I saw it a few weeks ago, and wanted to do a blog about it. This small New Zealand film is worth going out of your way to see – getting the DVD from Netflix or setting your TiVO to snag it. You won’t be sorry. The hardest thing to get used to is the accent. However, as you watch it, you ear gets in tune with the dialog, and you can really enjoy the quirky story.

The story is about poor Lily, who is nursing a huge crush on Jarrod (played by Joel Tobeck one of the stars of HBO’s Flight of the Concords) as she slaves away at the burger joint “Meaty Boy.” He comes in every day to get a free upgrade to biggie fries on the house, but doesn’t notice her. Lily is shy, but is eternally optimistic and willing to go after what she wants. When Jarrod hosts an “animal party” where you come dressed as your favorite animal, Lily crashes it dressed as a shark. Jarrod comes as an Eagle, hence the title. When Lily beats all comers at a fighting video game, Jarrod finally notices her. After a brief interlude, she goes to meet and stay with his family, and tries to weather a rocky, rocky romance while working her charm on one of the funniest, most dysfunctional families I’ve seen on film in a long, long while. (One of my favorite lines in the film is what Jarrod says when he dumps Lily, “I’m just to complicated.”) LOL  Jarrod spends most of the time preparing to get even with a high school bully, and watching him “work out” had me spitting beer out of my nose.

In some ways Lily triumphs because she just won’t give up and can see the winner in every person. At some point I think Jarrod begins to realize that Lily has become more at home at his home than he is.

We have all gotten used to pulling for the nerdy underdog, ala Napoleon Dynamite, and even though parts of this movie are just as funny and outrageous as ND (one of my favorites) Lily and Jarrod manage to capture quite a bit of sensitivity and emotional depth in a story that is as funky and funny as any offbeat comedy you’ve seen lately. There is some really nice animation in the movie and it certainly shows a less EPIC view of New Zealand than Lord of the Rings did (though it makes me want to visit there even more 🙂 )

A: Okay, I’ll start off by saying it was no Pillowbook, but this one didn’t impress me as I expected. It maybe was the mood I was in. I think I was looking for more humor and less of  neurotic love story. I agree that Lily’s character is endearing, and I liked how she won everyone over. But overall, I spent about an hour just wanting to thump Jarrod on the head. He annoyed me so badly! But maybe that’s because he ended up feeling like a caricature of guys I’ve known…without the mole of course. 🙂 Okay, the moles were funny. As was the scene where Lily moved her sleeping bag over by the fence and Jarrod moved the whole tent over there claiming that he was only doing it because something stunk over in the other spot, maybe a dead possum or something. Heh-heh, okay, I’m laughing again just recalling that scene. But alas, this one didn’t strike me like Napoleon Dynamite and only managed to tickle my funny bone a few times. I’m certain it was more my frame of mind than the movie. At least I didn’t watch it while doped up on pain killers after a tonsillectomy. site whois . 😉

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