Two films

Sep. 23rd, 2016 06:33 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)
I saw two magical films set in mythical Japan in two days.

The first I saw yesterday (on a library DVD) was The Princess Kaguya directed by Isao Takahata (Studio Ghibli) Just under two hours long, it's the tale of a beautiful girl hatched from a bamboo shoot, and what she finds as she grows up in Japan. There's a number of hijinks that take place in the film, like impossible quests, but mostly this is a film about simple truths and beauty.

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I saw Kubo and the Two Strings today. There was only one session at 10am, and I thought that if i didn't catch this today I'd miss it at the cinema entirely. I'm glad I went. I think this is the BEST ANIMATED FEATURE I've seen this year. And I was the ONLY person in the cinema!

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It resembles (slightly) the film above, but I can't tell you exactly how, without spoiling things for you. However, do look out for a cameo by George Takai in this, in a very identifiable way! Also, I loved this version of this song as it played over the credits.




laura_seabrook: (Default)
I watched Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie yesterday. I needed to have a break and get out of the house.

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What can I say about this film? It had: "It was a dark and stormy night", the kite eating tree, Zamboni machines, Woodstock and friends, the red Baron, kicking footballs (at the end), Joe Cool, talking about life at the wall, losing clothes after a baseball pitch, wire sculptures the Psychiatrist is [in], Fifi, an absence of seen adults, cameos of Spike and others, and most importantly, the Little Red-Haired Girl. Like the original Judge Dredd film it goes out of canon in that certain way that would NEVER happen in the comic. But that's OK, it's all for the good.

 

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Have been a big Schulz fan since the 60s. Made me laugh and cry, and that must be a good thing.

Two Films

Apr. 27th, 2014 01:52 pm
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I... I... I... I... ...watched all of ANGELS IN AMERICA over two nights. I remember seeing this as a two part TV series way back in 2004(?) but it's really one film. Nonetheless it has a history, being based one TWO award winning Broadway Plays.




You might think from the title that this is a religious or Christian film but it's neither. In fact it's several things. Firstly an examination of the AIDS epidemic in the mid 80s; secondly an existential take the drive to live. What it resembles most is the TV series The Second Coming with (with Christopher Eccleston) with very much a similar outcome.

The biggest downside with this is expecting to see a "regular film" with natural dialogue and a gripping plot. It has neither (the dialogue in particular is very stilted as it seems lifted from the plays verbatim) but it can be fascinating as well.

. . .

Last night I saw most (minus the first 10 minutes) of THE NOTORIUS BETTY PAGE. I had an ex was was into the real life one and she turns up in comics like The Rocketeer. This is a biopic film and so far as I know is fairly accurate.




Betty comes across as a nice Southern Girl who has no qualms about posing for soft porno shots. What the film seems to be lacking mostly is drama of any kind. Stuff happens to and with her, in sequential order. And that's it. Plenty of what might have once been considered gratuitous flesh, but nowadays it's all pretty tame.
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Saw the Desolation of Smaug earlier today as my "Boxing Day Film". I enjoyed it reasonably well, though a good 60% seems to be "added content". Because of public holiday timetables, I got to Glendale about 90 minutes before the start of the film (with nothing open there other than the cinema and Hungry Jacks).

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Anyway the film seems competent enough, but it looks "different from the first Hobbit film. To me, the 3D elements of the previous film seemed to imbue an "inner glow" to the landscape - in this film the daytime scenes look a lot like over-exposed video. But that said, everything is seamless and - though I really wasn't looking - everything seems very real. I was surprised to see Sir Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch in the film, and that Andy Serkis was a Second Unit Director on it. I rather think that Peter Jackson do do some of the stories set in Ankh-Morpork as well because Lake-town just made me think of that all the time (especially Stephen Fry's character) - he'd do a better joke than the overdone badly timed efforts that pass as Terry Pratchett adaptations so far).

But it was certainly nice to see Bilbo and the Dwarves get into and out of trouble again. You'll need to see the next film however.
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I've been watching the 1970s version of Treasure Island (featuring Orson Wells as Silver) for breakfast. Not a bad film but there's something peculiar about it. A bit over-acted and apparently "shot on location" but it seems to lack a certain type of "polish" one sees in other films.  There's a grainy/grittyy quality toi it and the sound seems like it was done in a barn.


Good fun!
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Saw this today (The Hobbit for Boxing Day now). YES!!!!!!!!!   I loved it.
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Saw DREDD yesterday and loved it. They have the character of the Judges and the city just perfect (even though it seems we're seeing MegaCity One in its early stages). Definite lack of humour, so no "Uncle Ump's Candy Bars" or "Otto Sump Ugly Clinics" to be found. But - yes! Today I found some Judge Dredd fan art from years ago and recoloured it, and also took a photo of myself wearing the last remnants of a Judge costume that I'd made for SwanCon. Them were the days...

Judge's Outfit


Dredd(2000)         Dredd (1987)

laura_seabrook: (tired)

Well, was going to see a film today before going to a counselling session and then go shopping. But my right knee seems just as bad today as it was yesterday. So no film, though I do need to do the other two. 

Bleugh!
 
Why? Because the cinema, counselling, and shopping are all in three different places requiring walking and/or bus trips. I can get to the counselling and back on one bus trip and a very short walk, and likewise for the shopping. But  three trips like that might be too much. Besides, I hoped to see the Batman film today, but all the available session times conflict with other plans. There is an Abraham Lincoln Vampire fil which I could get to, if I caught a bus in 22 minutes, but it's all just too rushed. I know the potential for disaster when I see it.

 Likewise, there's a Marriage Equality Rally in Newcastle tomorrow at 1pm. But all I can anticipate is a series of long bus trips, standing around for a long period, and probably no way to get home before the buses stop running afterwards. Suggested on the FB Event page for it that I needed a lift to go, but that being Facebook, someone "liked" the post and no one has offered to help. So, no Rally either.  :(

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BILLIONS OF BLUE BLISTERING BARNACLES, fighting off TEN THOUSAND THUNDERING TYPHOONS!




I loved this. You KNOW - FROM THE VERY FIRST SCENE (which has a special "guest star" in it) - that they've read the books! In fact the opening credits are full of references to them as well.

I don't care that it's not exactly what Herge wrote and drew. You have to understand though that he constantly revised the adventures and had a whole studio to redraw them as well. But it has the main characters - Tin Tin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy - just right.

Much better the the TV versions, which have the adventures to the letter and less the spirit. I've seen the two live action films as well, and while they are good, this seems just right.

Was shouting out stuff before it happened from the audience.

THEY READ THE BOOKS :D
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Went out late (after watching Harry potter 7 Part 2) and did a spot of shopping. Just under tow hours, it's a lot easier just to get what i needed and come home. I've been watching the rain collecting in clouds all day. It might rain tonight, which will make removing the old fence tomorrow fun.

Anyway, while I was out i was reading the "authorised" Something Wicked this way Comes graphic novel. Mixed feeling about this - loved the film.with Jonathan Pryce's understated performance (see below) but the style of the comic seems abbreviated Alex Toth. Still a good read. 



Might watch this tonight, after HOUSE.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

I had waited for this film for some time but in Australia its release was delayed until recently. Then I discovered last week that the only sessions showing locally of Captain America: The First Avenger were on at 9pm. Not a problem if you have a car but I don't and the last bus to get home leaves the nearest cinema before that time. Well, without going into specifics I found a way to see the film anyway, although in a less than perfect condition. I don't think it mattered, in fact it probably added to the film!

I'm highly impressed with this film. Like Thor, the writers have done their research and I think the film captures the character of WWII Cap almost perfectly. Of course some changes have been made to the origin story, but it is essentially intact. The point of a film like this is not to mimic the original comics exactly, but to get across the basic idea and flavour of the stories. What I quite liked about this film was how deftly it wove several Marvel characters and groups together. Not only do we have the Captain fighting the Red Skull (Weaving is perfectly cast) but with the appearance of the Howling Commandos, Agent Carter, and HYDRA. (and their uniform now actually makes sense in a WWII setting).

The look of the film seems just right, and the Nazi hi-tech kit is either based on real designs (in the case of the aircraft) or has the feel of the period. I also liked how we see the Kirby-Simon costume (including patriotic poses which could have been lifted straight off the covers of the comics of the period), and later the Ultimates costume versions. Not only that that but there's at least one scene featuring tricks and hi-jinx on a motorcycle, which is a tip to the otherwise terrible TV show!

I loved it, especially a storyline involving The Cosmic Cube! Can't wait to see the Avengers film. They're doing these right, so far.

RED DOG

Aug. 12th, 2011 03:27 pm
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I don't think I've cried so much, or been so pleased with a film like this for a long long time.

RED DOG is the story about a real dog that was given the same name. He was adopted by the Dampier community and became famous locally when he travellied the North West of the State. As this excert from the wikipedia shows...

Red spent a lot of time travelling on his own, although he was taken in by many members of the community and a veterinarian who treated him.[6] Red was made a member of the Dampier Salts Sport and Social Club and the Transport Union. He was also given a bank account with the Wales Bank, which is said to have used him as a mascot and sales tool with the slogan "If Red banks at the Wales, then you can too."

...he was much loved as well.

 
laura_seabrook: (smile)

Well, I went and saw The Wizard of Oz on the big screen, and overall I loved it. But...

Flaws

As shown, the top and bottom of the film was cropped. I noticed this almost immediately when the opening prologue text seemed to be missing half a line at the top. It was most noticeable in two scenes. The first was where the Witch threatens Dorothy and group from the roof of the Tin Man's house next to the yellow brick road. The Witch's head was cropped out of the frame as she speaks! Also, the classic scene where Dorothy says "And you were thee, and you were there... was severely cropped so that you could barely see Dorothy at all. In fact it looked like this (greyed areas did not show).

I mentioned this cropping to the staff, because maybe other films got cropped as well (for instance, yesterday when I saw THOR bits of both sides were outside the screen).

It was clear by the number and type of scratches on the film, and times the colour registration went out of focus (presumably on a reel change), that this was real film, rather than a digital distribution of the same (which i know they use at that cinema because when I saw Avatar in the same theatre we had to wait for the download). In a way that's really nice, but all the same it detracted from the film.

Notes

Was the Cowardly Lion one of the original inspirations for furries and Furry Fandom?

I was watching Toto all the way through the film, and it's interesting to note that he's carried for more screen time than when he walks. There's a scene where he's placed on a tractor seat and it's clear THE DOG WANTS TO GET DOWN. Otherwise he behaves a lot like my dog Bobby, who is also a smaller breed. He watches and wags his tail at anyone who dances, and on more than occasion that he's being cued by a wrangler off-screen.

The Munchkins really can't dance well or act much either. It doesn't matter that much though as we the audience are all focussed on Glinda and Dorothy singing.

As I watched a song by the Cowardly Lion about courage, I realised that the alliteration in part of another song from Sweeney Todd (about putting people into pies) was directly inspired by it. Check out the links and hear what I mean.



So yeah - I really enjoyed it!
 

laura_seabrook: (Default)

Short version - the trailers on before it!

Why, well they were advertising THOR and GREEN LANTERN, and it looks like they got both of those right - at least they based them on the source material (Thor has Loki, Sif and Eternals; GL has Carol Ferris, Abin Sur, and Oa). Both films I will probably watch, and even if they turn into camp, might enjoy.

About the only thing I knew about Sucker Punch was the posters I'd seen at the Reading Cinema. It looked like a cross between Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Kill Bill. As it was, I was soundly disappointed with what I felt was a "dishonest" film.

Details under cut ).

Still, this is fantasy all the way through - just not good fantasy. It made me think of Heavy Metal magazine, like Fifth Element had. Only, instead of being drawn by Moebius, this film seemed like it was drawn by Pepe Moreno!


True Grit

Jan. 29th, 2011 10:33 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Saw True Grit on Wednesday. I was surprised with just how good the film was.

Haven't read the book that both this film and the 1969 version were based on, but this film version seems to be a fuller, more believable account. I absolutely did not recognise Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf! Of course many scenes are shared with the 1969 version and the film includes the classic "Fill your hands you son of a bitch!" line from Rooster Cogburn.

I read somewhere, and I think it's true, that a big difference between this and the earlier version is that the focus on the story is firmly on Matty Ross, not Cogburn, who though a major character, is a supporting one. Some elements are entirely different. For example, in the 1969 version, after threatening everyone and sundry with her lawyer, we finally get to see him and discover him to be a short weedy man with a high pitched voice!

There's a good reason that never happens in this version, but I won't spoil this for you. Suffice it to say that scenes towards the end of the film reminded me of certain French films, and are better for that. More like Dead Man and The Grey Fox than the previous film, which is a GOOD THING.

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...which is from the soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream. Never seen the film (yet) but I borrowed the CD of the soundtrack from the local library. If you listen to it all the way though you get a very intense feeling, including one of waiting for impending change.

Damn it - I want to see the film, but it will probably be anticlimactic to the soundtrack.

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