Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

Posted Image


Click to ToggleParticipate in our raffle!

Hi, Guest. Come take a look and participate in our raffle:

Chima 2014 Big Raffle
Chima 2014 New Member Raffle
Chima 2014 Little Raffle

Kraggh's Works ♫♪



Photo

Olympus Has Fallen Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies, Reviews Apr 03 2013 · 179 views
America, action

Posted Image

 
 
 
:kaukau: Wow.  My expectations were pretty high when I entered into the theatre, because the trailers made this look like a pretty solid action film.  I love it when my expectations are high and they are still beat.
 
Where to start?  This film is technically perfect.  I am predicting that a year from now it's going to have a nomination for Best Picture. The whole package is good.  It has great directing, great acting, great characterization, great writing, great music, great pacing, great editing, great cinematography, and great action (thus championing its genre).  I know that many films get praised for daring to mix genres, such as The Dark Knight.  Others will play their genres straight, but tongue-in-cheek, such as The Expendables.  This manages to find an extraordinary balance.  It's strictly of the action genre, but it also manages to be more than that by being great as a movie.
 
There's a genre out there.  I like to call it the Movie Genre.  You won't find it in any books, and there's no rules for it.  All that is required is that a movie is a really good movie, and not just good for its type.  Hence, Olympus Has Fallen is a great action film, and also a great film even though it didn't bring in another genre to add appeal.  Right now, that's becoming the popular thing among directors and writers who aren't secure with what they have, and it's beginning to feel formulaic.  Olympus Has Fallen instead opts to master its own genre, while also proving itself in all the areas of expectation that I would have going in to see any other movie.  There's nothing for me to criticize, and there's not even anything that I feel I need to forgive, as with other films that are good with what they are.
 
"Action movie" has always had a dirty sound to it among cinema goers, like it's a guilty pleasure.  It's of an inherently lesser quality.  It's something that we can't apply the same standards to, something that can never be quite as tasteful as a movie such as A Beautiful Mind.  It can't be noble and can't be a fine art.  Yet, a lot of suppositions I had about the genre were flipped here.  Directors can make something out of an action premise alone, and turn it into a mature drama.
 
Without giving anything away, let me cover the beginning of the film.  The title shows right away as block words against a black background, with a shot of a waving American flag visible through the letters.  It's hard to describe, but the cinematography of the moment gave me a very good impression of what the rest of the film would be like, and that I was going to see more than just the best action film premise in years.
 
There are no surprises here, since it's clear from the trailer that the president's wife dies early on in the film, and Gerard Butler's character, Mike Banning, rescues the president instead of her.  As expected, the buildup here is devoid of action.  The opening scene is purely character establishment, which can be very forced, but there's a good flow, and Director Antoine Fuqua avoids overdoing it or taking cheap attempts at making the characters overly colorful.  Fuqua does something very subtle, and allows the actors to simply act.  They succeed, and they bring the characters to life without making them larger-than-life.
 
There is also a sense of momentum.  Many action movies contain scenes like these because they feel mandatory in order for the film not to feel like a cheap action flick.  This, on the other hand, feels necessary.  There's a good reason for Mike Banning and the president to go through this.  It also stays intriguing all on its own.
 
Skip ahead eighteen months, and there's explosive tensions between North and South Korea.  Something similar was attempted in the film Red Dawn, without success.  The president, his cabinet, and the Speaker of the House get together in a room, and they discuss the issue.  While it doesn't feel as to-the-tee as Spielberg's Lincoln, it doesn't feel as if they took any liberties in the behind-the-scenes discussions of politicians.  For that matter, nothing that happened behind the scenes in this film sounded speculative.  In any case, as the various officials spoke their first lines, their names and titles were put onscreen.  As a personal preference, I find this really stylish.  My realization that my high expectations were being broken continued to blossom.
 
It's also interesting that Olympus Has Fallen was filmed a year ago, and yet its release date corresponds almost perfectly with news about new tensions between the Koreas.  The way it is depicted in the movie is eerily similar, as if the script was written by a time traveler   Of course, as far as tensions go, it doesn't take much to say that the fictional tensions here are similar to those in real life. It's pretty easy to imagine what North Korea looks like whenever it saber-rattles.  The headlines of the movie match almost exactly the style of the headlines today, and it's a very convenient coincidence.  I don't know if the movie will ever have the same impact in a year as it will today for that reason, though it will still stand as a pretty good movie for those who watch it.
 
The Koreans attack the White House.  The plane revealed in the trailer was only a small fraction of what went on in that storming of the Bastille.  In fact, I'm going to say right here and now that everything about that trailer shows only a small fraction of what goes on in this film, and the best moments are saved for the film itself.  While nothing that happens in the movie contradicts what the trailer lets one on to believe, it's so much more than that.  In that way, this film had a perfect trailer, because it stays true to how it is advertised, it is so good that it's better than what you can imagine it to be and you have to see it for yourself.
 
Back to the details of the attack on the White House, I was surprised at how much sense it made.  There was a real, plausible reason for the plane being able to fly over U.S. soil without being intercepted, because in fact it was, but was adequately prepared for it.  The rest of their attack is intense.  Everyone has realistic marksman skills, and a lot of people die.  That included civilians, which was frightening, because in most films they score low on the sorting algorithm of mortality.   For a full thirteen-minute sequence of film, it had all the scale of a war movie.  The Koreans had incredible strategy.  It was fierce   It made me afraid for Mike Banning.  Because of the subtle acting skills of various characters, I was genuinely concerned about the life of everyone there.  A lot of them died during some intense action.  What's more, I was sickened to see the Koreans shooting every dead body they found in the head just in case.  I personally would have played possum, and in that situation my genius plan would have been useless.
 
After that glorious raid, I really wondered how the rest of the film was going to live up to that.  I was also wondering how in the world Mike was going to take care of the impossible situation the head terrorist set up, because the villain was smart, resourceful, vicious, and intimidating.  Yet, it made sense that Mike could make the difference he did, since his main option was engaging in guerrilla warfare and using his knowledge of the White House to his advantage.  The situation throughout movie was also in constant flow to keep up the suspense, and many times while watching it, my heart started racing, because I never really knew when the status quo was going to change.  I would call a lot of these moments "plot twists", but that term implies a surprise intended to change the way a film is to be viewed, or to put a more negative interpretation of it, a cheap novelty.  There were many times where I thought a large portion of the movie was going to be dedicated to one plot point, because films so often work out in certain ways, but shuffled through them and kept each scene fresh.
 
On the whole, when I went in faintly hoping for the coolest thing since Air Force One, or perhaps even Die Hard, as far as the action genre was concerned.  Now that I have seen it, I truly believe that it was.  Maybe I haven't seen enough action movies to figure out which ones are good "movie" movies, and I'm not denying that there could very well be ones that I haven't seen between now and the release of those classics.  That doesn't negate the solid basis for this film.
 
Finally, a personal story: Some of my buddies visited Washington D.C. a few weeks ago for a political convention and watched this movie in a hotel a week before its general release.  It must have been a unique cinematic experience, and I'm almost jealous of them, save for how freakishly weird it would have been.  Also, one of those "buddies" is a manipulative prick who makes any group experience less enjoyable.  He probably brought a political viewpoint to it when he saw it, but it's not that kind of film and it's perfectly content to leave things as "God bless America".  If I did go, I would have sat next to a real buddy of mine who is a marine.  Now that would have been a great experience.
 
God bless America!
 

24601




Photo

Belated Reaction to the Oscars

Posted by Kragghle , Mar 28 2013 · 140 views

:kaukau: The Oscars have come and gone, and though it's been over a month, I thought I'd come back and make this entry to share my thoughts in the ceremony's highlights and moments that I personally found interesting.
 
To start off, let's give a hand to James T. Kirk.  He had never been nominated for anything and probably never will, since he's not that kind of actor.  However, it seems that the Academy still has a sense of how to represent every aspect of the cinematic culture (outside of the vulgar, of course), and they put him in a prominent role for the ceremonies.  For those of you who haven't seen it, I won't give it away, but for those of you who have, I'm sure you will agree that his appearance was at once both hilarious and awesome, amounting to one of the most memorable moments to this year's Oscars.
 
On that note, there was also a clip of McFarlane flirting with Sally Field in an alternate future (Seth, you dirty, dirty dog).  She's getting ready, and he says (and of course, I'm paraphrasing) "But you know Anne Hathaway is going to win the Oscar anyway, so why don't we hang?"  Some back and forth, as Sally at first pretends that she's too good for that idea, but then she breaks and admits, "It's going to Anne!"
 
According to Captain Kirk, Sally would have won for Best Supporting Actress if she hadn't run off with MacFarlane.  I like that note, because while Hathaway put out the performance of the year, I remember being struck when I saw Sally Field in Lincoln and she was so good that not only did I not recognize her, I was completely convinced that I was seeing Mary Todd Lincoln onscreen (even more impressive is that Sally is ten years older than Daniel, and Mary Todd was ten years younger than Abraham).  When I was done with that movie, I knew that she was going to at least get nominated and for sure be a condender for the win.  While I agreed when Hathaway did indeed win (it was simply the biggest Supporting Actress role of the year), from the standpoint of sheer acting talent, Field trumped everyone else, and I'm glad that it was at least slightly ambiguous leading up to the anouncement for Best Supporting Actress.
 
Coincidentally, both Sally Field and Anne Hathaway played prominent roles in superhero films before playing their Oscar nominated roles in historical dramas later that year.  I found that interesting.
 
Now, here's something I found interesting about the ceremonies.  You ended up hearing a lot of John Williams music.  Near the beginning, I distinctly recalled there being "Flight" from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.  Later, I was also amused when the theme from Jaws was played to signal whenever someone's time onstage was coming to a close (which is a good idea, while also being highly entertaining).  John Williams, you rock.

 
 

Animated Short Film and best Animated Feature
 
On to animated stuff...I had expected La Luna to be nominated, and I was surprised that it wasn't.  However, when they showed clips from their nominees and I was introduced to Paperman for the first time, I instantly thought "I hope that one wins."  Hand-drawn (sort of), strong visual style, black-and-white, tasteful character design, a good title, lovable character depiction right off the bat, and really, really smooth animation all basically pointed to that as the winner.  And it won.  Congratulations, and congratulations to Wreck-It-Ralph for being associated with such a masterpiece.  I truly hope to see Disney create feature-length films to this, because if they do, that would be the second biggest boom in pop-culture this decade since the announcement of Star Wars Episode VII (incidentally, these would both be booms in movie culture on the behalf of Disney).
 
By the way, using the technology for Paperman, studios could legitimately make hand-drawn films at 48 frames per second.  While I would be reluctant to see a special FX movie of that nature for how it would trespass over the uncanny valley and make everything look fake, it would be perfect for handdrawn animation.  The smoothness would look right, since everything about animation is over-the-top and a caricature of real life anyway.
 
At the time, I hadn't seen Wreck-It-Ralph, but I heard a lot of good stuff from it.  Unfortunately, most people classified Brave as their least favorite Pixar movie, so I wouldn't have been surprised if Wreck-It-Ralph won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.  However, in spite of popularity issues, Brave still had a certain storytelling aura about it, and so I called it in favor of Brave.  Then again, Happy Feet won against Cars back in 2006, and Shrek won against Monsters Inc. in 2001.  It seems as if animated films are judged completely different as if they're supposed to be of lower quality, and I think that's ridiculous.  There's a certain amount of prejudice there.  Also, it's a pity that it doesn't take much to get nominated for best Animated Feature.  Basically, all you have to do is make an animated movie that people actually hear about, and you're on the list (presuming that your film doesn't use motion-capture technology).  There really needs to be more animated films.  Especially smooth, hand-drawn ones.  Disney, I'm looking at you.
 
And Toy Story 3 should have won Best Picture in 2010.  I still believe that.  And I mean in sincerely, not as a joke.  It would have been an excellent moment for Hollywood to break precedent and allow itself to critically reevaluate itself, hopefully to rediscover what it's all about.  Were they afraid of being embarrassed   I don't know, but they nominated Walt Disney 59 times and allowed him to win 22 or those, so I personally think that Walt Disney embodies the best of what Hollywood should be.  It would be an honor and a privilege to have bestowed the first ever Best Picture for an animated film on a movie connected to his legacy.

 
 

More Music Stuff
 
There was a celebration for 5 years of James Bond, and Halle Berry called Bond music a genre of its own.  That's pretty prestigeous of a complement.  Normally, I would only use such elevated language for John Williams.  Perhaps I overrate him, although that's kind of difficult to believe.
 
Oh, and Halle Berry's dress was actually cool.
 
Also, another bit from Forrest Gump was playing when Innocente won for Best Documentary, Short Subject.  "Rocky" played during Best Documentary.  These are two cool pieces of music that definitely merit playing during the ceremonies.  If I won an award for a documentary, I would want these to play when I came on stage, too.
 
Liam Neeson then appeared to announce the next batch of Best Picture nominees.  Interestingly, they were all related to political/military dramas, and one of them was by Stephen Spielberg, with whom he bears a strong association due to his starring role in Schindler's List.  And of course, the theme from that movie played in the background when he was introduced.  It will always be his best role, and Schindler's List will always be my favorite movie.

 
I can remember when it happened, but there was also the part where Hugh Jackman sang "Suddenly" and the rest of the cast came on to sing "One Day More" which was what I would assume many people would consider a highlight.  For my sister, it certainly was.  Les Miserables is getting a lot of attention at the Oscars in these last few years, and I'm not complaining.
 

 
Acknowledging the funniest joke of the night
 
Well, maybe it wasn't the funniest, but it was the one I remembered the most.  "I would argue that the actor who really got into Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth...Really?  A hundred and fifty years and it's still too soon!"

 
 
 
And an Advertisement
 
There were some interesting advertisements between breaks.  One of them had something to do with a "Zombie Western Musical", which is an interesting idea.  Along the same vein, there was one with a bunch of video game designers coming up with "Unicorn Apocalypse", and Tim Burton came in all interested in movie rights.  The nerds are like "and then there's a giant battle in the end, and planets are crushing into each other, and - "
 
"Woah, wait!" says Tim Burton.  "This is getting too weird for me."
 
Yeah right.  Too weird for Tim Burton?  Never going to happen.  But it's not too weird for me.  I can see myself taking an idea as extreme as that and having a lot of fun creating a visual symphony of superlatives.
 
The advertisement I found really entertaining, though, was a brief one near the end for Hyundi where the narrator was saying "and I'd like to thank all the engineers who worked on this, and my CEO, and my mother, and - I wish I had enough time to fit everyone in! - but this is such a great honor..." and it was essentially mimicking an acceptance speech at the Oscars.
 
 
 
Sound Awards
 
What's the difference between sound mixing and sound editing?  I'm not entirely sure, either.  In any case, I understood the movies that won these awards.  Les Miserables won for best mixing, and though I disagreed with the cinematography, the sound of the film was certainly immersive and helped make it a 3D experience without actually being 3D - take that all you 3D movies out there!
 
Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall, interestingly, tied for Best Sound Editing.  I wonder how that happens.  Eh.  Well, I'm just glad that Zero Dark Thirty only got that particular award, since the entire movie, for me, was just cheap Oscar bait.
 
 
 
The Family von Trapp
 
There were a ton of references to classic musicals, which I really dug.  I realize now that musicals was actually the theme of the ceremonies this year, so this doesn't happen every year, but it's still cool.  This is a true classic.  It was pretty awesome to accept Christopher Plumber onstage and for him to invite the family to sing...only they were missing!
 
 
 
Anne Hathaway
 
Remember that controversial discussion that started in my blog purely because I thought that Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, was incredibly attractive?  I also said at the beginning of that list that I would have to complete that list before the Les Miserables movie came out, because it would cause me to have to rearrange that list and I didn't want to delete all the pseudo-essays that I wrote ahead of time.  Because Fantine is beautiful, and Hathaway truly sold that character as a real and extraordinarily precious person.  It was, with little doubt, the supporting actress performance of the year.
 
She had a good speech.  She looks beautiful.  Too bad she's married, but I guess that doesn't matter when you have a celebrity crush.
 
Oh, and Sing Softly Love, the theme from The Godfather, played in the background when she finished.  Cool stuff.
 
 
 
 
Production Design
 
It went to Lincoln.  I have to say that Lincoln was the type of movie that was really strong in multiple areas and thus could gather 12 academy awards, but it was also the type of film that was only going to win certain ones.  For example, production design.  i saw that coming, since it was something that stood out about the film.  It's all the more apparent to me now that I have seen a DVD documentary about creating the film, where they went really overboard with the authenticity of it all.  You don't really notice it, because you take many of these places for granted, but they had to essentially reconstruct the White House from scratch, and they studied every room, including his cabinet, with utmost detail, and it's surprising how much effort went into that.  A huge part of that was research, and another chunk of it was the dedication of construction workers and artists.  I personally love films with great production designs, and the authenticity to this one is one of the reasons why I enjoyed it, so I definitely wasn't surprised when this one won.
 
 
 
 
Adele
 
So "Skyfall" won for Best Original Song.  I couldn't quite tell which would win, actually.  They all sounded pretty good, and none of them stood out.  That's interesting, because I was rooting for "Suddenly", but once I heard some of the others, I felt a little selfish for that.  They were all pretty good.  Two of them were sang live during the ceremonies, which might have revealed bias toward those two, but it would have been difficult to tell.  For all I knew, some of the runner-ups were merely being given a chance to shine to make up for losing.
 
Anyway, Adele had a bit of grace on the stage, and I enjoyed her live performance.  What actually stood out to me, though, was the choir in the background.  There was just something...interesting about them.  I can't quite say what it was.  They were dressed up nice, but inconspicuously places in the background.  It all really helped deliver the song.  A lot of great songs have subtle but surprisingly organized background singers like that.
 
As it turns out, Adele won for "Best Song", for which I give her my full-hearted congratulations.  It was something that really made its blockbuster movie what it was.
 
And afterword "Singin' In the Rain" started playing, which made me chuckle.  That is probably one of the greatest songs of Hollywood.  Like, if Hollywood needed a theme, it would be in the top five contenders.  Seriously.
 
Acually, let's take a moment to look at previous winners and nominees.  I'm sitting here, looking at that list in Wikipedia, and here's what stands out to me:
 
  • Over the Rainbow (the other song that would be a theme for all of Hollywood)
  • When You Wish Upon a Star (The definitive theme for Disney.  And Disney wins a lot of Oscars for songs, as you'll see going down this list.)
  • Who Am I? (which was nominated in the same year as the above song, and it wasn't from Les Miserables, but it just goes to show that titles sometimes repeat over time)
  • Baby Mine (From Dumbo, nominated without a win.  It stands out to me because my mother used to sing it to me as a baby.)
  • White Christmas (Everybody knows that one!)
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (too bad you can't see this movie)
  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (didn't win, but it's interesting, because like the above Disney song, it's also composed of nonsense words)
  • Unchained Melody (which later got a better-known cover version by the Righteous Brothers, which later still was used in my pet favorite movie, Ghost, and I love it)
  • Moon River (I went to a concert where I heard a most beautiful operatic voice render this song.  Heck, I'd probably like it anyway purely because it's from a classic Audrey Hepburn movie.)
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Winner!  And by all means, Mary Poppins truly is practically perfect in every way.  Just look at its rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)
  • The Bare Necessities (Nominated, and this was the last movie Walt Disney ever worked on.  It was "Hakuna Matata" before there was "Hakuna Matata".)
  • The Windmills of Your Mind (this is a personal favorite of mine, and I'm really glad it won, because I think way too much)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Nostalgia blast!  Who here has seen this movie growing up?  No?  Then you have no life.  Watch this movie in order to get a full refund on whatever else you've been wasting your time doing all these years.  And again, this is another song with nonsense lyrics.  Believe it or not, this is not a Disney song, but rather from a movie based on an Ian Flemming novel.)
  • Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (Ooo!  This particular winner is another serious contender as a theme song for all of Hollywood.  I'm sure everyone remembers it being used in Spiderman 2, which is one reason why that movie was awesome.)
  • The Age of Not Believing (nominee from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which I seriously need to watch because it's been forever.  I'll put it right next to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.)
  • Live and Let Die (Nominee from -you guesses it - Live and Let Die, another Bond film to get nominated.  Except that one didn't win like this one did.  It's still perhaps the most iconic Bond song.)
  • The Rainbow Connection (nominated, and deserving of so much more of that.  Not only the theme for everything relating to The Muppets, but a classic ode to dreams in the vein of Over the Rainbow and When You Wish Upon A Star.  I love you, Kermit!)
  • On the Road Again (which I find so endearing because it's perfect for playing in the car, and I love songs about travel.  It's also about friends, life, and the long journey of living.  Make everything of it, folks!  Sadly, this lost to "Fame", of all things.)
  • Ghostbusters (obligatory "Who you gonna call?" moment)
  • The Power of Love (This is why the 80's were so glorious.  You don't get rock like this anymore, or movies like Back to the Future.  To think, that movie had this song and the main orchestral music to represent it!)
  • Somewhere Out There (the "My Heart Will Go On" for animated movies - before there was a "My Heart Will Go On", and just thinking about this threw another nostalgia supernova in my face)
  • Under the Sea (when Disney started putting out great movies again)
  • Kiss the Girl (and even got two songs nominated from one movie, because it was that good)
  • Somewhere in My Memory (Nomination for John Williams, which has to be mentioned purely by virtue that he's John Williams.  And Home Alone is an awesome movie, in spite of what the critics said.)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Let's face it, I'm entering the 90's here and of course a ton of these are going to be Disney songs.  Heck, Disney practically swept the Oscars with its songs during this era.  I was one lucky kid.  Also, kudos to Beauty and the Beast for being the first animated movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture)
  • Be Our Guest
  • Belle
  • A Whole New World (the other theme song for Disney)
  • Friend Like Me (since I had no friends when I was a kid, I loved this song, and I had an imaginary friend who took major inspiration from Genie)
  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (it must have been really tough for Academy voters to pick this one over the other great songs from The Lion King)
  • The Circle of Life (makes my list for the top three movie openings EVER)
  • Hakuna Matata
  • Colors of the Wind (Winner, but regrettably, because the song that should have one that year was...)
  • You've Got a Friend In Me (I still cry when I hear this one, because I remember when I was a kid, and I had no friends, and the reason why I had so many toys was because they were the only friends I thought I would ever have, and for about seventeen years I was right.  Sorry, didn't mean to confess so much.  It's not really something I don't want to go into detail on.)
  • Moonlight (which was by John Williams)
  • My Heart Will Go On (Which got overplayed and it became pretty easy to hate.  I'm sure the Academy just didn't want another Disney song to win.)
  • Go the Distance (In particular, this one, which is a great song that has helped me so much in life, and bore so much meaning for the people of my generation.  It speaks to the struggles I had in life, and that I still have now, and I can't imagine living without it.  You're a true winner, Hecules.)
  • You'll Be In My Heart (Thank you, Disney, for giving me these great songs.  A child's life can get pretty messed up sometimes, but I'm glad that you left a legacy that changed the values of Hollywood, so that just because a movie was for kids, that didn't mean that it was inferior.  Even though you couldn't be there for me personally, I'm so glad that you cared for people like me.)
  • When She Loved Me (I cried for you, Jesse.  Unfortunately, I've had that exact same thing happen for me, and I'm sort of reluctant to ever have a friend again.)
  • If I Didn't Have You
  • Falling Slowly (I remember when this one, and it was something I sang often that year, because it speaks to me)
  • Almost There (a personal favorite of my mother's from The Princess and the Frog)
  • Down in New Orleans
  • We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3, because it deserved it)
  • I See The Light (from a particularly magical moment that Disney is really good at creating)
 
Surprisingly, "Singin' In the Rain" was never nominated.  However, since it comes from a classic movie depicting the most crucial moments in the development of Hollywood and all of the spectacle that came with it, I truly would consider the theme for movies in general, and cetainly one of the Greats that represents the progress of the twentieth century.  As much as I must praise many a sad song for speaking to me where it matters, the sheer optimism of some songs is what I live for.
 
 
 
The Other Big Stuff
 
 
Best Actress and Best Picture wins this year were slightly less dramatic, though I kind of called them both.  I really want to see Argo and Silver Linings Playbook now, though.
 
 
So yeah, to wrap this up, Daniel Day-Lewis won for best Actor, as everyone knew he would.  It was like "well, duh".  Sure, it was breaking precedent and nobody wants to elevate anyone too high, but when he walked in, the camera kept on looking at him.  It was pretty much his night.  He was the King.  Although I daresay, the Pope of all actors at this point is Jack Nicholson, who of course co-presented the award for Best Picture with the First Lady (which I understand was controversial for some).  And no matter what, for being my main inspiration from Hollywood, James Stewart will be the patron saint of actors.
 
Best Actress and Best Picture wins this year were slightly less dramatic, though I kind of called them both.  I really want to see Argo and Silver Linings Playbook now, though.
 

24601




Photo

Red Dawn Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies, Reviews Mar 27 2013 · 76 views
action, remake

Posted Image

 
 
 
:kaukau: I had the opportunity watch Life of Pi or this.  Since I don't like watching movies based off of books that I want to read, I went with this.
 
At first glance, this looked to be a B-Movie.  It turned out to be not even that.  And no, it's not so bad it's good.  It simply falls flat and has nothing to offer.  There's some good action here, and some of these people are legitimately good actors.  However, why is Josh Peck still playing a teenager?  I really want to give him a chance at older and more mature roles, but he's being typecast as the slightly dorky brother now.  Come on, he's buffed up since then!
 
Peck was actually my main reason for seeing this film.  I thought that he was going to be hardcore, that this was his chance to be manly.  Yet, the casting director decided to not only make him the week link of the team but put him next to Thor for emphasis.  Come on, guys.  At least give him a cool haircut or something.  There was a sense after the film was over that he was as hardcore as his brother, and it kind of worked, but not that much.
 
What I can give this film is that it starts out fast.  There's maybe only a scene or two before they cut to the chase.  I'm glad that they didn't make me wait too long, but the first film started out early in its very first scene.
 
Yes, I watched the original right after this film.  Heck, I'll draw a bunch of comparisons right at the end of the review, when i really want to cut loose, but I still want to get talking about what this movie got wrong even when you take the context away.
 
It's not that the characters are unrealistic, or that there are any plot holes.  There's some nice action.  Perhaps that's the main reason why anyone went to see this movie, although I'm sure that some wanted to watch it to see if it could build off of another story and add more to it.  Watching this and knowing that it was a remake, I couldn't help but get the sense that the original was better.  I just knew it.  In my bones.  It wasn't something I could confirm until later, but the fact that I could get that impression just watching the remake all on its own speaks leaps and bounds.
 
On its own, what did it get wrong?  Why did it fail as a cinematic experience.  First, the climax had no substance.  That's always bad. Yet, I'm going to go out and talk about the band of brothers here.  First, Josh Hutcherson was a useless character.  I think there was some sort of subplot about him getting over his fears or something, but it really had no substance.  It was just thrown in there, and there was no lyrical throw to it.  I kept on wondering, "Why is this guy in the movie?"
 
Then there's Josh and his older.  After a ton of action and other nonsensical throwaway material, the Koreans get a Russian who specializes in putting down insurgencies.  During the Wolverine's (the name for the main cast, for those not in the know) most important mission, one of the characters gets tackles by two or three Koreans.  I can't remember, since it's been a while since I saw it and it was dark when it happened, while the cinematographer clearly had clearly caught a case of shakycam.  The point it, the Russian walks up to him, sticks a needle in him, and the Koreans let him go.  The guy runs off.
 
This part confounds me.  Is there nothing conspicuous about that?  You were tackled by multiple guys, stabbed, and let go.  They didn't chase after you.  Does it make a difference if I phrase this in the second person, so you can imagine that you are this guy?  Doesn't something about that situation seem a bit off?  If I remember correctly, that character might have even been informed of the purposes of that Russian guy, but I might be mistaken.  In any case, he really should have known that he had a tracking device on him.  Come on, man.
 
Now it's off to the Wolverine's celebrating their recent victory over those pesky invaders.  They got the MacGuffin, and things are looking pretty good.  Thor papa-squats next to his little bro.  Things get quiet.  Up until that point, Josh's character had a lot of trouble with rash judgement, endangering the rest of the group with emotion-based decisions.  He finally manned up with the final raid.  Thor gives him an "I love you, man" talk.  They smile.  It's a tender, quality moment.
 
And it was all just a dream.  No, wait, wrong plot twist.  That would have been a twist.  But no, the obvious thing happened, except I could tell they were trying to make it not-so-obvious.  Yeah right, like that's ever going to happen.
 
See, with a scene like this, I can almost guarantee that something tragic will happen almost instantly afterword, and it did.  I called it the moment the scene began, and I was correct down to the very moment it would happen.  Thor got up, his moment of approval now over.  Josh feels good about himself.  Thor walks over to the doorway to meet with his girlfriend.
 
Bam!
 
Right in the head!  And I predicted the five-second time frame that it would occur.  The girlfriend kneels over him and starts screaming in despair, while the guys get all panicked and have to drag her along.  They start shooting out the windows, trying to escape, succeed, and so forth, until they confirm later on that they have indeed been via the homing beacon in their pal's stomach.  Thor's girlfriend gets ticked, and he's left behind.
 
And I'm telling you all of this because I don't consider these spoilers.  They were really obvious.
 
On another note, the two girlfriends.  Thor's and Josh's.  I can't remember who played which, since they seemed a bit interchangeable to me.  That's not necessarily a bad thing in a movie like this, but it's really disappointing in a reboot.  However, I think that Thor's girlfriend was played by Adrianne Palicki.  Coincidentally, she was slated to play Wonder Woman in a television show.  Good thing that never happened.  In any case, in hind sight, it is amusing that Marvel's main mythological character and DC's main mythological character collided.
 
Oh, and both actresses were in their late twenties when playing these parts.
 
Then, using my resources as a college student, I watched the original with a group of people I considered friends.  The original was a bit tackier, but there was something cool about it.  The characters were slightly more colorful.  Charlie Sheen, while kind of hated today, at least played a pretty good role, being that guy in the letterman jacket.  There was another guy who often wore a Star Wars hat.  They had some cool camouflage outfits.  Patrick Swayze was the lead character.  The deaths were a little more sudden and felt more tragic.
 
And Lea Thompson.  My goodness, Lea Thompson.  You know Marty McFly's mother?  That's her.  That right there is enough to make the original not only special compared to this one, but special in its own merit.  Was her character just a little silly?  Yeah, kind of.  She had this weird crush in that film.  Still, everything about her character is cooler than those random extras who dated Thor and Josh.
 
The original also had a better villain.  In that one, the US was invaded by Cuba, and the Cuban commander who tried hunting down the Wolverines was a little more human of a character.  That's not saying that the Korean guy in the remake was inhuman, but by comparison, where was some more depth in the Cuban, if only a little.  There was more humor, more conflict, and something else in him.  He didn't like being a bad guy.  He didn't like killing.  The Wolverines wore him out, and it didn't personally want to kill them.  He actually let Patrick Swayze's character live when he saw that he was already dying and carrying his dead brother.  He had a lover back home.  Was there an incredible performance?  No, but it was certainly more memorable that the Korean officer who I hardly cared about.  There was humor there between the villains that wasn't in the remake.  It was a nicer experience.
 
And it had Lea Thompson, who's a blessed angel in disguise.  I watched the original a second time just for Lea Thompson's character.
 
So overall, earlier last year I also watched Total Recall, another remake of a classically cheesy action movie that went horribly wrong.  However, at least that one had a memorable moment or two.  Nothing significant, but at least it had that.  As far as the action goes, there is nothing I remember from this new Red Dawn.  These negative tings that I make fun of right now are pretty much the only tidbits I can come up with.  Every once and a while I think "but this part was particularly charming and cool", but then I realize that it was from the original.
 
A tip to screenwriters Carl Ellsworth and and Jeremy Passmore: if you're going to create a remake, take everything that was in the original and flesh it out with an extra dimension added to the characters instead of merely changing the time period.
 
And seriously, I could have watched Best Director, Best Special Effects, and Best Original Soundtrack winning The Life of Pi!
 

24601




Photo

Skyfall Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies Mar 27 2013 · 223 views
James Bond, franchise, spy and 1 more...

Posted Image

 
 
 
This controversial film is something that people seem to either love or hate.  I have encountered people who think that it's not a Bond film, while I, with my limited experience with Bond films, feel that it's a Bondier film than any ever made.  Certainly, it has a new feel, and it definitely stands out, because there's something different about this one.  There's something special and unique.
 
Since I don't know where to start, I might as well begin at the beginning.  It sets the tone with a unique cinematography which persists throughout the film, showcases a dramatic and creative action chase, and ten cuts to the chase (lame pun intended) to one of most iconic moments for any Bond film, which is the song.
 
The song really sets the tone.  "Skyfall" sounds really straightforward  right?  I guess so.  After all, it shares the same title as the film.  Yet, it's haunting, mesmerizing, and sad.  There's a hint of dread there.  The surreal title sequence is, likewise, equally haunting.  The moment the music starts, something stirs (now that intentional pun wasn't lame), and the familiar images of Bond shooting enemy spies and of pretty women flashes by.  Those things are mandatory.  What interested me, however, were the other things, these strange, unconnected mirages that had something to do with the film kept on popping up.  One of them was obvious from the get-go: depictions of bond getting shot.  Yet, there were also pictures of target practice boards, graveyards, old shacks, skulls composed of these elements, and - most curiously - deer silhouettes.  What did all this mean?
 

Whatever it was, everything had a ghostly feel to it, and it was one of the few Bond songs that I actually found memorable.  A part of that was Adele's piercingly sullen voice.  Another part of it was that it was a good song, and I could listen to it on the radio (as I indeed did).  It also won an Oscar, which might not say much to some people, but it certainly provides evidence for the quality of the song if it was voted song of the year among fellow film artists.
 
With that tone set, this turned out to be a very dramatic Bond movie.  To take the side against those who say that it wasn't a Bond film, I bring up the counterpoint that it still struck many of the same chords, just in different ways.  It still had that sense of glam that no other espionage film will ever rightfully have, except this time around the glam went to a moody drama and a tale of loss and being lost.  James Bond finds himself in a dark place throughout the film.  His soul is troubled.  There's actually some substance to his character.
 
In spite of this, there's still some heart and some humor.  This isn't a Christopher Nolan film we're talking about here.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is a better take at a "realistic" adaptation of a popular franchise than The Dark Knight was four years before, because it doesn't entirely get caught up in that.  However, it seems that for the authors, this time around they want the emotions of the main character to be real.  They wanted to inject some humanity into him, while still being loyal to the pillars of what makes James the man he is.
 
Therefore, they clear off some of their ditzy smiles and admit that, realistically, James Bond would not make an ideal agent.  The only reason why he's in his line of service is due to the unyielding faith of Judy Dench's M.  After returning from getting shot at the beginning of the film, he's scarred, both physically and emotionally.  He has to go through training again.  It's really plain from the audience's point of view that he's not really up to the job.  He can't aim.  He can't meet the athletic standards.  He has his limits, and in many ways he in incompetent.
 
Here's the kicker.  His chauvinistic personality is acknowledged in-film as a weakness.  This was never truly acknowledged before.  The storytellers still glamorize these things, since Bond films need glam, but there's a hint of irony in it all.  They acknowledge that these things don't make him cool because they're ideal, but because they're personality flaws that make him an iconic anti-hero.  So while the glorification is still there, it is at least a glorification under the right light.  The storytellers understand what kind of hero he is.  The same can't really be said for other icons such as Batman, who is still hailed as a relatable character who represents ideal heroism, which is really far from the truth.  As such, because of the soul-searching that Bond must g through with this film, I relate to this guy more, as far as semi-dark anti-heroes go.
 
The cool thing is that he has his limits, but he doesn't overcome them with Mary Sue talent.  His gadgets only get so fancy, and his plans are only so intricate.  He's constantly in a corner, and it really does feel like he's in trouble.  Once, when chasing a particular bad guy, it's evident just how hard he has to work in order to pull off some of his stunts.  Many of his attempts to get information are also foiled.  The writers had to try hard to justify Bond's existence in this film, and it was a sub-theme that characters such as M had to deal with.
 
Skip ahead a little, and the film takes a twist.  It seemed to be about one thing, but it was really about another.  We finally get to see the villain for this film, and to my surprise, it was not the ultimate villain implied in the previous two films.  So go figure: this isn't really a continuation of the story establishes thus far and more of a side adventure, although I have to say that there was a really good reason for that.  I'll explain that at the end of this review.
 
Anyway, the villain.  I have to say, Bond villains rarely make an impression on me.  They are almost always boring, stock characters with little personality, and they're kind of cheesy.  However, this particular character, Silva, is played by the glorious Javier Bardem.  I predicted a possibility of him getting nominated for Best Supporting Actor but not winning when I first saw the movie.  Turns out that the prediction was wrong, but then, I can understand why it wouldn't get nominated for anything particularly exclusive   It's not the ultimate acting achievement to bring gravitas to a role, and a lot of actors can do that.  Christopher Lee will never get nominated for playing Saruman, and Javier will never get nominated for playing this legitimately cool bad guy, because in terms of sheer acting prowess it's nothing to sneeze at, but in terms of how entertaining and cool the character was...that's another deal.
 
Without giving away much about the villain, I will say that he does use some illogical Gambit Roulette   Fortunately, it's not too out-there, and the whole time he does seem menacing and difficult to compete with, given his form of terrorism and his level of competency.  His reasons for being villainous are intensely personal, and he relates strongly with James Bond.  There's a slight invisible connection between them, a sense where they truly get each other.  It's a little creepy.  The villain certainly causes James, if only slightly, to take a small look inward.  The business between Bond and the villain is actually onto semi-personal.  The personal issue the villain has is actually with another character, and darn, it's really fascinating.  There's something scary about a man with such a grimly serious agenda and a firm reason for having it.  I can believe that this man wanted what he was working for, and the chemistry between him and the character he was personally involved with really felt real and intense.  Throw James Bond into the mix, and it's much more harrowing to see him actually involving himself in the affairs of real humans.
 
With all this explosive character chemistry going on, Bond really has to take things up a notch.  In so many ways, he's no match for the villain, who's too smart, too powerful, and too determined for him.  How do you make a character like Bond seem remotely relevant in a film like this, when for once he just might get outshown by the villain?  Bond's childhood is brought up.  We get to delve into his past.  The title of the story turns out to have a very personal meaning.
 
As we know, James is an orphan.  This film plays with that.  It doesn't mess with what's been established, as far as I can tell.  It doesn't have flashbacks.  Still, the idea of Bond having to deal with that, to some extent, brings so much about this film together and really ups the ante as far as the scope goes.  When he's pushed to his limits, he has to fight on his home turf, all alone.  He doesn't have the aid of fellow field agents - only his closest friends.  When he and the villain have almost nothing to lose, save for the things that they live for, both turn out to be incredibly resourceful and daring.  Bond makes use of some incredible ingenuity and is willing to sacrifice a lot.
 
During the climax, there's some dramatic lighting, and some really cool shots that made this a rather pleasing film to see in the theatre and that really set it apart from any other spy film I have ever seen.  It was indisputably Bond in its execution, and very much a good drama.  So much about this felt big and larger than life, which is what big-screen movies need to be.  I also love that the film often times took advantage of the big screen and had several great wide shots, especially when it needed it the most, when Bond was dealing with the Bardem's villain and it was necessary to see them on the set for the full impact of their standoffs to take effect.    When they both finally give it their all, they come to a reckoning - something that I always invite in a Bond film and something that is impossible to do with any regularity.
 
So let's get to the fact as to why this is still a Bond film.  The main theme is still used - thank God.  Sometimes humorously, sometimes lovingly.  There's a moment were there are strong references to the old Bond films.  There are nods to retro aspects of the franchise, while ushering in the new.  I'm reminded of the remarkable phenomenon known as "James Bond casting", where a remake or continuity reboot doesn't necessarily mean that all of the characters have to be replaced with different actors, or that the music and other iconic elements have to change.  This film knows its tropes and knows its place in culture (I really wish that Zack Snyder felt the same, as well as other American directors,but apparently not).  There's still the Bond girl, as well as "Bond and a babe in a boat", though this time it's treated with slightly more tragic air, as a result of his instability.  There's still the classic "shaken, not stirred" Martini, but it's delivered with a surprisingly indirect ease.  It takes many cliches and plays them straight, except with as much drama and Bond-glam as possible, since a Bond is the one place where cliches can work.
 
In short, this film burns everything that we knew about James Bond to the ground only to build it all back up again.  At the end, it reminded me of J.J. Abram's Star Trek, where it fell on the note of a content love for everything that it has been and everything that it will be.  Ben Whishaw became the new Q, who until recently I could have sworn he was Benedict Cumberbatch.  So much of the recurring cast associated with Bond films that has been absent in this remake finally came on screen, and the full ensemble got together to have their moment to shine.  This was not meant to be a continuation of Bond's conflict in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, but it certainly set the stage for Bond to be Bondier in the upcoming films, so I certainly look forward to the future of the Bond franchise.  Skyfall did more to reboot James Bond than Casino Royale did.
 

24601




Photo

The 85th Academy Awards

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies, Events Feb 24 2013 · 198 views

:kaukau: This is the first year I've ever bothered to watch the Academy Awards Ceremony.  Part of this is because I have been following Spielberg's Lincoln for quite some time.  I have a great reverence for Spielberg, and to anticipate him doing a biopic of one of the greatest presidents with Daniel Day-Lewis was a worthy wait.  Then I saw the advertisements, and I instantly knew that it was going to be a powerhouse performance.  I watched the movie, and it was the first time in a while that I have been blown away by a recent performance.
 
With that said, I'd vote for Day-Lewis for Best Actor.  This would be an unprecedented third win, but he earned it.  It was that good.  It's the obvious choice, which might annoy some, but Day-Lewis's skill can more or less be summed up in an advertisement for the ceremonies where Seth MacFarlane said "I'm Seth MacFarlane and I will be hosting the 85th Academy Awards.  Except I'm not Seth MacFarlane.  I'm Daniel Day-Lewis.  I'm that good."
 
I thought it was funny, because Day-Lewis blended so well into a role so recognizable, it was a real big achievement.  Not to mention the role, Abraham Lincoln, has a presence and a sense of gravitas that, combined with great talent, leads to an unlikely performance with the exact kind of impression that makes for an Oscar.
 
Of the other nominees, there's also Jackman as Valjean, and as much as I'd like to see my namesake win for Best Actor, I wasn't impressed by Jackman's performance.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen the other actors.  They might actually have a chance, if only because Day-Lewis has two Oscars already and his performance will be legendary already.
 
For actresses, I'm not really a fan of any of the nominees, even though many of them are talented.  Also, I haven't seen any of their performances.  From what I hear, the one I want to win is Quvenzhané Wallis.  Everything about her performance sounds cool.  The other that stands out to me, from what I know of the performance, is Emmanuelle Riva.
 
For best movie, Lincoln was my favorite film of 2012, but I heard good things about Argo, including from my exceptionally picky uncle, so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and hope that it wins.  Besides, Lincoln already has the claim to 12 nominations, the most of any movie this year, just as I knew it would.  I thought that Les Miserables was good, but I'm not rooting for it.  I wouldn't mind seeing AmourThe Life of Pie, and Beasts of the Southern Wild winning.  For best director, the only ones I really see winning are Stephen Spielberg and Ang Lee.
 
What else is there before the Oscars officially start in a few seconds?  Oh yes, I want "Suddenly" from Les Miserables to win for Best Original Song.
 
Well, that's it, guys!  See you all soon!

24601




Photo

The Most Beautiful Woman in the Movies

Posted by Kragghle , in Hierarchies, Movies, Wisdom Feb 23 2013 · 449 views
Ghost, favorite, friendship

Posted Image


 

FOR YEARS I HAVE BEEN HAUNTED BY THE PHANTOM OF MY BEST FRIEND.  She is a woman, and very much like an older sister to me.   She is, in a sense, my ultimate peer.  She is the person who never gives up on me, always has faith in me, and knows that I will pick myself back up again when I fall.  She doesn’t coach me, but she holds me in her confidence, knowing that if she can get things right, then I will, too.  We are, after all, peers.
          This perpetual specter has never left me and has been an archetype in my imagination that has come to define my journey in life.  She has played a part in how I look at myself, how my identity has been formed, and how I view other people, since there are few people who are as real to me (or unreal, as further on I will explain) as she is.
          My friend has a face that has been constant and unchanging over the years, and I know its precise details.  As it happens, she bears a strong resemblance to Molly Jensen, a character from Ghost who always really stood out to me because of this similarity.  In fact, my friend and Molly resemble each other on multiple levels, the face being the least of these.  Many of the ways in which Molly is presented echo the presence my imaginary friend has.
          To me, my friend is Eve, the original, archetypal, unadulteraded Woman.  She is the standard by which all femininity is measured.  She is a wholesome and complete individual unto herself, and anyone who reminds me of her is more human in my eyes by association.
          Since I cannot explain this character, and since she has not appeared in any movie, Molly is therefore the most beautiful woman in any film, ever.  Is she more beautiful than my friend?  No, but she out of all the cinematic figures reminds me most of her, so throughout much of this exposition I will speak of Molly as if she was the standard.  So, then, I am more comfortable around women who remind me of Molly, similar to when a father has unique feelings for his son or daughter who reminds him of himself the most.  It’s difficult to explain, but it’s there.  What I can say is that women who remind me of her make me happy.
          It doesn’t necessarily have to be a feeling of attraction.  After all, I do not have a crush on Molly Jensen.  Neither do I have any romantic element with my best friend.  I never will.  She’s a constant in my life, and so is the nature of our friendship.  It’s everything a friendship can be, but it will not be more than that.  She has, to me, been the definition for friendship.  That’s the archetype she falls under, and it’s a unique relationship I wouldn’t give up for the world.
          A good marriage, though, should be with someone who is also a best friend.  It’s clearly a best friend in a different way, though.  There’s a slight difference, and it’s really difficult for me to imagine what it is.  However, I imagine my hypothetical wife as looking very similar to Molly.  How could I not?  Molly is the standard for beauty, and even if it is not a beauty I am inherently romantically interested in, I would still want a romance to include elements similar to what I see in my best friend and Molly.  I do not want her to be Molly, but I would love for us to have all the same qualities in our relationship plus one extra, that being intimacy.  This wouldn’t make my best friend obsolete, though.  I still want to live for my friends, and I want to be as real and as personal with them as possible, and I think that through friendship there is a form of support and happiness that can’t be found in romance.
          For now, I have neither such a friendship nor a romance.  I am unaware if I have met either person, yet, although there have been a couple of girls when I was a young boy who were good friends to me and I will always remember as the best friends I ever had.  Even after I find someone and decide to marry with her, Molly will most likely still be the most beautiful woman in fiction.  In fact, even if I marry an actress, I probably will not find her roles as attractive as Molly, because once I have experiences marriage, no fictional character could possibly be a standard for romantic interest, as I would already have a wife to set the standard for me.  It would be wrong to look at fictional characters and find them beautiful in a romantic way, even if they looked exactly like my wife, because they would not be my wife.  Molly, however, will forever be a reminder of my best friend, and a symbol of what femininity is beyond just attractive interest.  She represents beauty in not just a spouse, but in people of all different relations.  She can be my friend, my sister, my cousin, my mother, my daughter, my sister-in-law, my niece, and a symbol or what makes people everywhere special.  She is the innocent, blameless spirit in every human being, no matter how flawed.  She is, in essence, the image I attribute to the soul.



 
Posted Image
 

To explain why Molly reminds me so much of my best friend, I’m going to take a look at how she’s presented.  For one, I find her pure.  People have complicated emotions, thoughts, and decisions, yet we are all bound by one very simple reality: we are all human.  We are all very much real people, and we are all special.  Something about her really brings that out.  She is depicted as plain and uncomplicated, straightforward in a way that I cannot be.
          Setting her role in the story aside for now, there’s something about how she’s presented.  She’s actually presented in two ways, the first being Demi Moore’s performance, and the second being Caissie Levy’s performance in the recent stage adaptation.   I always preferred the original, which is why I use Demi Moore’s pictures here.  Caissie’s never carried the same impression, even though the character she played had the exact same name and role in the story, because the character was presented differently in the 2012 play.  It was, to me, looking at a completely different character.  Caissie’s was just some character when Demi’s was, to me, not only a real person but also the subject of this ambitiously named entry.  I appreciate the need for a difference, but I’m not a fan of Demi and I still think she found the perfect interpretation of Molly.
          Part of the difference was how she was viewed as a woman.  One of my favorite things about Molly is that she’s very androgynous.  The movie forewent depicting her as a woman and really just made her one of two people feeling the pains of separation and loss.  Before the loss, she was still characterized as just a person.  She wasn’t “the girlfriend” or “the object of the man’s affection”, and she wasn’t some prize to be sought out for.  Yes, she technically was those things, but for me, that’s never where the emphasis was.  Perhaps this is my bias, because of how she reminds me so much of my friend, but the way that the narrative worked for me was that she was a dear friend of Sam Wheat who also happened to be the one person he would marry.  That second part wasn’t glamorized, save for in a moment of passion at the beginning of the movie.  Is that part really famous?  Oh yes, it definitely is.  During that part, though, she ceased to be Molly, or at least for me, and therefore doesn’t count.  It was the “make-out scene” that was sort of a separate story in its own right and my mind sort of created a different character at that moment.  I think that one of the reasons it never stood out to me that much was because when the characters decided to make out it wasn’t treated as a novelty, since in a romance movie kissing is usually a narrative point that emphasizes how people are coming together, whereas these two were already together.  So basically, there was no glamor.  Her presence was really an ordinary part of life, reminding me very much of how ordinary it is to be with siblings and cousins.
          Molly also dressed in what I call “glorious 90’s fashion”, tied with the 50’s for my favorite era of personal style.  Nostalgia certainly plays a piece in this, since it rings with the tone of a time that means everything to me, but she would so often dress so that there was really no stylistic difference between her and the men.  Everyone dressed pretty similar, save for when Sam and Carl were either shirtless or in business clothes.  Otherwise, she was dressed essentially how any man or boy would dress on a casual occasion, or at least in terms of the 90’s, and it didn’t stand out, because her presentation was fairly similar to woman in the 90’s as well.  I always thought this was cool, because even as an adult, I haven’t strayed far from my boyhood prejudice that girls were stupid when they were “girly”.  Tomboys and androgynous girls were the coolest.  They were people I could hand out with and take seriously.
          My attitude now is less childish, but the end result is still pretty similar.  I have no accusations of girl's fashion of being stupid, since I have, after all, come to appreciate cultural norms and complex historic ideas of beauty.  Yet, wearing dresses is like putting makeup on, and I ultimately find makeup ridiculous and prefer to see people as they really are.  So, too, do I find other items of feminine fashion that supposedly emphasize femininity a distraction that makes people into cartoons instead of flesh and blood.  The way I have developed, it really comes naturally with androgynous, down-to-earth fashion.  Even dressing up like a nerd, with a full set of bowties, suspenders, and pocket protectors, as awesome as I find that to be, is ultimately only adopting a shallow label and identifying with it.  I have a whole rant about people who identify with labels.  Meanwhile, I'm always curious to see how beautiful someone is when they wear completely unromantic clothes, and forgo decoration or any gilding to their sexuality.  In other words, I’m curious to see how a person’s beauty can show through then they are at their ugliest.
          Finally, Molly’s face is crowned by the single most awesome haircut known to man.  And woman.  My best friend has this haircut, and it was the most obvious similarity that Molly had with her.  Obviously, it’s not a hairstyle that people see much of, except in the 90’s, it was everywhere, particularly with boys.  Due to various media I was exposed to, it was the haircut of the ultimate underdog, the kid I related to.  It was the hair of the hair of Kevin from Home Alone, and it was the hair of Harry Potter, among many other examples.  I always wanted a bowl cut, but unfortunately, I didn’t really have the face for it, so my hair looks more like the young John Conner’s, and even that was pretty similar to a bowl cut.
          The point I’m trying to make here is that my imaginary friend is a strong reminder of my early childhood, and by extension life in the 90’s.  Even though she became my friend after the 90’s – we befriended each other when my parents were going through with their divorce – it’s just another association I make.  She’s always had a bowl cut just like the one Molly had, and Molly has the best variation of the bowl cut ever.
          Short enough that it’s easy to take care of, but long enough to protect against sunburn in the summer and keep the head warm during winter, this hair is perfect in every way, unless you’re a marine.  I say that the haircut is pretty useful, so on a practical side it gets a plus.
          This fondness comes from a deeper philosophy I always had.  When Caissie Levy played Molly, she had long hair, and it changed my way of perceiving the character almost immediately.  It wasn’t just because she didn’t look like my best friend.  I said I liked Demi’s presentation because it was plain and uncomplicated, and part of that was because of the hair.  On one hand, it made her a product of the times, but on the other hand, my perception of her as a woman wasn’t based on superficial things.  In the great “nature vs. Nurture Debate” in psychology, I never saw long hair and fashion as an inherently feminine trait.  I never liked contrived gender differences and preferred a world where gender was never an issue of identity.  It always made sense to eliminate gender differences that were mere presumptions and stop seeing people as so different, and especially never to treat them as an image created by society.  A lot of the way femininity is characterized by culture in both the West and the East through images that have become so fundamental in our assumptions about the difference between the sexes that it transcends words.  “Femininity” is constantly misused even by those who try to avoid products of cultural nurturing, and even I am not immune.
          So between short hair and long hair, I see short hair as more “feminine”, so to speak.  It’s actually not even that.  I just see it as more human.  Long hair is weird, and I honestly do not understand how it’s feminine other than by association.  To me, it always made people look like aliens or Tolkien’s elves.  Yes, that basically means that a ton of people are aliens, but I’m not backing down from that statement.  It honestly looks like a goofy alien thing.  In my science-fiction world, short hair is for humans, and when I can see someone who looks more human, then they are plainer, normal, and at the end of the day, just people.
          Long hair, to me, has always been associated with sexuality when not associated with aliens and elves.  Enter Tarzan.  He’s a man, and those long locks make him look manly.  He has a wild side to him, and those locks – those locks – just enhance his sexiness.  When I open up book with advertisements for tuxedoes, the man who stands out is the one with shoulder-length hair and some stubble, because he’s probably some hunk of a surfer or some other crazy athlete.  Either way, there’s a woman in the background who apparently thinks of him as a god.  As nice as that is, I really don’t want to be defined by my sexuality.  Remember, I always related with the underdogs and the simple, plain boys in children’s stories, from Harry Potter to Luke Skywalker.  The long hair increases sexuality, and I have nothing against people who go with it, but it’s weird that half of the population is basically expected to be more sexual than the other half.  That doesn’t seem right.  It’s sexy, but not beautiful.
          To understand how I see these things, look at how my brain operates and deals with data.  I like to compartmentalize everything.  Aesthetically, it separates the head and neck region, and the neck from the shoulders and the rest of the torso.  There is an upward “narrative” in the aesthetics, where everything comes together to place clear emphasis on the face and then on the eyes, and in my science-fiction world it means someone is a human and not an alien and that I therefore an not alone in this universe.  Otherwise, long hair is weird, like some sort of cosmic hiccup.  It clouds the boundaries between the compartmentalized regions, and it has a downward narrative that combines the cranium with the sizes of the face, the neck, and the shoulders, perhaps even the chest and lower back, depending on how long the hair is and how it is arranged.
          The sad thing, since long hair is so uncommon among women, I often find myself interested in them, whether on a romantic or on a friendship level, not because of how normal the hair should be but purely because it is different, and it becomes one of those quirks that I get interested in like girls who dress like real nerds.  I have a giant rant about nerds, and it’s very similar to this one.  I don’t like gaining interest in someone because of superficial things.  Chances are, if someone has a different style that goes against the norm, it’s probably because they’re trying to be different instead of being their natural selves.  That’s why Molly’s different, because I think she is just being herself wasn’t being influenced by her perception of what other women were like.  I think that her presentation was plain and simple because she was plain and simple, and that’s ultimately what comes first.




Posted Image
 

There was a moment when Sam was restless, and she asked him what was wrong.  "It seems like whenever something good happens in my life I'm just afraid I'm going to lose it."
          And I am hit with strong, strong memories of good things in life that I have lost.  The way Sam phrased that concern, the fear of loss is associated with her.  Really, that's what she was to him.  She wasn't a girlfriend or a focus of infatuation.  She was something good in his life.  That spoke to me on one the deepest, most fundamental levels.  This is one of the reasons the character sticks with me, because of what she represents.  She represents meaning in relationships, and good relationships, the ones I want to last.
          Sam's concerns at this point are ones that I relate to in every sense.  There are people who I would have liked to call family, but they slipped into memory.  They became nothing more than another neuron connection within my brain.  There are some people I can never return to no matter how hard I try, because I can't go back again when the person who ought to have had a significant place in my life is now on the opposite side of the grave.  In light of those, I always regreted not loving those people enough, and I always wondered about just how much love I was withholding from all the other people I knew who were still alive.  There was the first friendship I ever had, and I always regreted taking it for granted, for now it is but a memory, and only a hazy one at that, nothing but a glorified neuron connection.  There are high school friendships, middle school friendships, and elementary school bonds that I have all had once upon a time, but now are as a fairy tale.
          I can't stress enough how much I wish for good things in my life to come and stay for good.  I want good things in my life so much.  This transcends a desire for romance, a desire for marriage.  I just want commitments, and I want some things to be permanent in my life that connect it to some ultimate narrative.
          There are many things about Molly that remind me of good things in my life that I have lost.  The good things in particular that come to mind are the biggest ones in my nostalgia arsenal, the phantoms from my past that I have never quite got over.  When I die and go to heaven, I have my equivalents to Fantine and the Biship of Digne that I hope to greet me as I pass through the light.
          I have a dream where I can be honest.  It is more than just speaking truth and being open.  It is a desire to be understood without fear, to be myself and share myself with friends who accept me as I am, and see me within the context of my entire life story.  I want to be known and loved not just for who I am now as an adult, but for everything I was leading up to this point, for how I became an adult.  I want to understand the life stories of my friends just as much, so as to btter understand why they are true and real to me.  In the same way that our mothers, to some extent, will always see us as children, I wish to have family who I feel I have known for my entire life.  I want to see them in terms of their origins, to understand how the adults I know are really just stages in the development of a baby born years ago.  In honesty, I want there to be truth in my life and in the friendships I have.  I want to be my true self - all of it - encompassing everything I have been and everything I ever will be.
          Therefore, I am happy for Sam.  I am so, so happy for Sam.  He doesn't have a girlfriend, but rather he he has been blessed with "something good".  Seeing their relationship, I get a glimmer of a vision of what sort of ultimate peace it is my innate disposition to want more than anything else.  I want friendship, in particular the friendship that I had as a child that had a certain extra meaning, exactly because there was no grand philosophy to define what it was.  Perhaps as a child we had things right.  I want to be like a child again, and I want my life to be that simple.  Work can be as complex as ever, and emotions can have their twists, but why shouldn't good things be plain?
          They are, after all, an ultimate end.
          How ironic it is that Sam is the one who leaves, that he is the "something good" and she is the one who suffers the pain of loss.


 

Posted Image
 

Even though she was a good thing, and she was presented in just the perfect manner that I saw her as an archetypal representation of such, the Sam's musings were ironic.  He didn't lose her.  She lost him.  He was a good thing in her life.
          Thus, the story of the film is twofold.  At the onset, it may appear as a story about Sam and his struggle to help Molly from beyond death.  Yet, at the same time, it's also about Molly coping with a loss and learning to believe.  She is equally the story's main character.  She is, after all, the one who is living.  She's the one with story left to tell, and that's precious enough that it's worth saving.
          There are moments in Ghost where Molly takes control of the narrative.  It precedes the film, actually, because the trailer's tagline was "Do you believe in GHOST", phrased as a question and therefore is a theme that centers around someone's ability to answer it.  Molly's the one who has to respond to that question.  Therefore, it is Molly's job to take on much of the narrative, and there are points where the story is uniquely hers.
          Certainly, the story could be completely dedicated to how Sam uses his superpowers to save the day.  That is an interesting plot point, but it ignores the very significant reality of the film.  He's dead.  Molly attended his funeral.  As traumatizing as it would be to witness your own funeral and know it was for real, imagine, for a moment, just how much more agonizing it would be to be the person standing above the ground who loved the man in the coffin dearly, dealing with the fact that he died and is never coming back.
          The fact is, Sam was something good in Molly's life as well, and he was ripped away from her.  he may have longed for her touch and the ability to meet her eyes again, but he didn't suffer her complete absence.  She went through the stages of grief I know well.  There's the shock, and then the numbness, and the feeling that life is never going to be the same.  There's the burden of loss.  I went from seeing her as a desirable archetype, a good thing, to relating with her.  Suddenly, she felt the same pains I do, and it was completely real and true to life.  I was engaged with her subtle journey through those troublesome emotions.  The moment where she rolls a jar with an Indian-head penny Sam gave her off a staircase is real and more magical than any demonstration of ghost powers on the behalf of Sam.  I live for the one-way conversation between her and Sam where she talks to the air as if he can hear her, not knowing he actually can.
          The pain, the grief, the regret.  That's all real.  She's an authentic person.  While it's something I relate to, it's uniquely her story.  Yes, I see elements of myself in her, but she's unmistakably the Other.  I can sympathize, but never truly feel her pain, yet I know it's there.  And I marvel, and think to myself, at how real this person is.  She shares so many elements of my humanity, and yet they are not a product of my perceptions.  They are not created by my ability to understand her.  They exists completely independent of myself, separated by a wall I will never be able to see past, and yet her humanity burns on, in spite of it never being able to be seen.  She is as real as me without being me, and the more I think about that, the more I get to realizing that that's some kind of miracle.
          See, we are all like Molly and Sam.  One person is not another, and therefore can never truly "know" them.  We live our entire lives on two different sides of a wall, never really seeing each other.  Yet, there are signs of the other's existence.  Through our senses, we can detect each other's corporal existence, and reason comes to dictate that since cogito ergo sum, the flesh of other bodies which seem to exhibit rational behavior must also be self-aware and like us.
          To think, the sanctuary of our minds is an entire reality.  Reality is so big that it is everything.  Then the paradox, that everything exists not only once, but twice, because someone else has their own reality!  Not only that, but it happens seven billion times, all over the globe.  It is beyond comprehension, and yet it is true.  Therefore, if reality is everything, than each person is everything, and life is sacred.  I can be comfortable in this vast world of my mind, but there is a surreal awe about discovering another person and realizing "You too?  I thought I was the only one!"  The universe of my mind is a bubble of non-Euclidean space, never to touch with another cognitive universe, and yet somehow knowing that, in theory, another universe exists, it changes everything.
          Have we ever stopped to think just how loving we ought to be to each other, and just how sacred life is?  I sometimes do, and the resulting analogies blow me away.  I stop in awe, and I chuckle at how ignorant I am most of the time.  I am dimly aware that other people have thoughts and feelings independent of myself, but when it dawns me that they do, how extraordinary it is!  How far beyond the imagination it is to fathom the seven billion stories that unfold on this planet every day.  Then I get to thinking how small I am, and how important everyone else is.  It is like everyone else is another "me", and yet they are not me.  Aristotle thought otherwise, since he thought that all souls were the same substance and merely inhabited bodies with different nurture, but for that to be true, then all realities really only one, like a well-lesioned brain keeping secrets from itself, supporting multiple different consciousnesses all at once to fulfill a complex function.  I don't see the universe that way, and it would be a shame to make everything the same reality.  It's much grander to rejoice in the hyperdimensional paradox that even everything isn't everything.  Everyone is "just like me" (except in a different body), while at the same time, they are distinctly and wholly not me!
          When I put up my willing suspension of disbelief, I see Molly in this way, and therefore she becomes of infinite importance.  I understand Sam's desire to spare her from his fate.  It isn't just romance, but altruism, the ultimate love.  When all the elements of her presentation remind me of an independent reality, of which I am normally only dimly aware, it is impossible not to love her.
          She is someone I can fall in love with.  She isn't a character, but a person.  She isn't a science fiction concept or some pretty idea.  All the fictional characters ever are only a reflection of abstract ideas, but a person isn't an abstract idea.  A person isn't something that you find in a creative story, where an avatar for the plot is created by putting together personality traits and some relateable emotions.  People are real.  Molly, even though she's fictional, reminds me of that.  In spite of all the fantasies out there, she's the person from everyday life I look at and see myself falling in love with over time.  She's that ordinary - yet extraordinary - person who can become everything.  That's what she means to me.
          Perhaps this is another fantasy, but there's always the hope that I will meet someone who consistently reminds me as Molly does every day just how unreal she is to me, for indeed another person's reality can never be my own.  To suggest that another person is real is to create an illusion of her in your mind.  Love isn't necessarily about feeling someone's presence.  She had sort of shortcoming when Sam died when she talked to the air, pretending he was beside her and not knowing he actually was.  It was a talk with herself more than anything, and it reminds me of my own shortcomings and how C.S. Lewis crystallized my awareness of this flaw in human nature in his book A Grief Observed.  We will create a figment of our imaginations out of our loved ones after they have passed away, yet it is not them.  A person ceases to love another when they fall in love with their memory, not the person herself.  The truth is, we do not live on in memory, and that is a lie as old as time.  True life exists in spite of others' notions, not because of it.  Hence, I fall in love with the idea of a person, my own invention.  Molly did, too.
          Or was it that she had some sort of faith?  In spite of not perceiving him to be there, nor having any reason to believe that he was, what if there was some innate part of her that understood that his presence was about?  Sensing his presence, and yet having no way of knowing for sure, she speaks out to him, saying what she thinks he should hear?  At that point she could never know his response, but it wasn't the point.  He wasn't real to her because he was dead, but really, he was never real to her in the first place.  Any belief otherwise would have been a mirage within her own mind, the only thing real to her.  The point was that she had the faith to alter his reality in spite of it being to her an impenetrable void of nonexistence.


 

Posted Image
 

Ghost isn't a love story, nor is it a comedy or a tragedy.  The best label I can give is a "drama", but for me it is what it is.  There's no label for it, but I find it a bit profound that it "is" anything.  It has an identity, a soul to it.  Real people got together to play fictional roles, and real people got together to direct, compose, and take photo shoots together.
          At different times, it can be different things.  Many will call it a romance, but beyond that, it's a story about friendship.  Sam and Molly were many things, but above all they were good things - for each other.  They were best friends, and being romantic partners didn't really change anything in that dynamic.  It was simple love, a benevolent care for each other, just as a child I presumed that it should be.  When Molly's life was at risk, Sam did all he could to save her not because she would have been his wife, but because she was a loved one, a friend, a part of his family and an integral piece of his life while he had it.    He had no destiny, and he had nothing to gain from helping her, not even emotional fulfillment   He was offered to go straight to Heaven when he died, which in theory would be the ultimate emotional fulfillment, but he turned it down, because he wanted for a reality greater than himself.  He wanted for the one person who mattered in his life to have life of her own, and that always resonated with me.
          It was a bittersweet ending, but one of my favorite movie endings of all time.  The music was beautiful, the unique visual feel showcased my favorite example of 90's lighting, the blocking could not have been better, and Demi Moore knew how to cry.  It was also romantic.  Very romantic.
          Which leaves me with some interesting thoughts about Molly, actually, and I return to the similar phantoms of my best friend and my wife.  What is Molly to me?  I find Ghost to be one of my favorite romances of all time, but I don't imagine myself in Sam's role.  Nor do I imagine being there to be the man who takes his place, presuming there is one.  Actually, I don't assume anything after the ending.  That's why it's a favorite: it's such a definitive end, like the end of time itself, where the story completely and entirely resolves every concern I might have ever had by the time the screen dims out.
          All I really know is that I love Molly, or at least as much as I can love a fictional character.  It's some kind of wonderful, although whatever kind it is I am not entirely sure.  It could be platonic, maybe romantic, but at the end of the day, good is good.  I wish to live well with the people in my life, and discover the meaning behind the relationships I have.  She's a constant reminder of that dazzling extra reality I'm looking for.
          She isn't as real as a real person, but it's about what she represents, and what beauty truly means.  People keep on trying to put conditions on what it is, but in actuality there's no such thing as a person who is any more beautiful than the other.  Everyone is ultimately and equally human.  I think of the real people that I meet in my everyday life, especially those who possess qualities that resonate me with elements of familiarity that betray their humanity, and I realize that they have souls equal in their cry of "I am!"
          To be is to be beautiful.


 

Posted Image
 
 
24601

 


Photo

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies Dec 27 2012 · 197 views
Star Trek, sci-fi

Posted Image

 
:kaukau: From the way fans describe this movie, you could almost swear the director was a Wal*Mart greeter.  Fans of Star Trek love to rant about which movies they hate, and this is usually near the top of the list.  I don't know: from what I remember of The Journey Home, I actually prefer this.  It has its charm, and something to fall in love with, although it's definitely not one of the best ones out there.
 
It's primary fault is that it feels more like an extended episode with a high budget.  Chief among these problems is that the majority of the film is spend inside the bridge of the Enterprise, which means that the movie doesnt' have as much flexibility and sense of journey as it ought to have.  Of course, not every camera angle is frmo within the main set.  There are plenty of scenes that remind me of 2001: A Space Odyssey as it takes forever for Kirk and Scotty to dock the Enterprise, among other drawn-out moments.  The movie actually has great special effects for the day, and clearly a higher budget than its legendary sequel.  V-GER's design was spectacular and had a distinct, wondrous feel that reminded me of science fiction movies when I was just a kid, something modern films can't really recapture.  It just might make people nostalgic.
 
Of course, once you find out what V-GER is, it isn't too hard to find out newcomer Captain Decker's plot purpose is.  He's a red shirt, just without the red shirt.  So was Ilea.  They weren't any different than the typical guest character for an episode.  The ending likewise felt like a normal episode once their personal journeys were complete.  Kirk, Spock, and Bones remain unchanged, frustrating fans who might have wanted to see just a little more from them.
 
Overall, however, between the spectacular attempt to clean and polish up the world of Star Trek, thus keeping up with its optimistic philosophy, through new costumes, sets, special effects, and - most importantly - music, and that this still would have made a brilliant final episode for the series, I think it adequately bridges the television show with the solemn movies that came afterword, and it was a worthy experience.  While it didn't achieve greatness, it was good first movie for this franchise.
 

24601




Photo

Les Miserables Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies, Music Dec 26 2012 · 169 views
Les Miserables, musical and 1 more...

Posted Image

 
:kaukau: I was really excited for the movie and it made for a wonderful way of celebrating Christmas.  When I walked into the theatre, it was packed, and that was saying something considering that it was a big theatre.  It was a good thing I claimed my seats early.
 
Regardless of this film's quality, I formed some opinions beforehand.  First, any Les Miserables film is better than no Les Miserables at all.  It's a story that needs to constantly be retold, and I can live without seeing my dream version realized onscreen so long as good versions come out to refresh this story's place in our super-paced international culture.
 
That being said, this is a version of Les Miserables, not the version.  It lacks a full, comprehensive sense of grace and elegance as it takes on the monumental task of translating the musical's nonstop singing from on stage to on screen.  I wasn't a fan of how the camera was constantly on the faces of the actors with extreme close-ups, nor how the only time it wasn't handheld was when it was making sweeping, creative shots similar to the artistic style of Baz Luhrmann, which didn't make for the quintessential Les Miserables experience.  There were far too  many times when I was conspicuously aware of how creative the director was getting with the camera, particularly during character songs.  The place where it fit the most was with the Thernandiers, with which is became delightful fun and the style came to some fruition.
 
The characters also took times to speak, as seen in the trailer, but contrary to what the trailer suggests, the movie is actually incredibly faithful to the play.  Essentially all the songs remain, and some are even added.  I was honestly expecting the director to cut several of them in order to create for a smoother film.  It looks like he couldn't bear to part with them, which is just as well, because I doubt 99% of the audience could, either.  The consequence of this is the afformentioned problems with trying to make it all fit into a graceful screenplay, hence the comparisons to Baz Luhrmann instead Tom Hooper's previous film, The King's Speech, with which I would have preferred more stylistic similarities.
 
There were times when this style realy worked, though.  Whenever there was a character with heavy makeup on, such as the Thenardiers and the prostitutes, it worked wonderfully and it felt like an appropriate translation of a stage production into a cinematic piece.
 
Then there were any and all scenes involving Fantine.  I was, of course, aware of Anne Hathaway's presence, but she brought a lot to the role, and she could sell to me that Fantine looked like her.  I realy like her as Fantine, especialy after she cut her hair in realtime.  As a side note, it was also really cool that they kept her hair cut for when she appears to Valjean as an angel instead of depicting her Hayen-Christianson-as-Anakin-Skywalker-style.  In general, she was a brilliant highlight for the film and my favorite version of Fantine.
 
The Thenardiers were also very fun.  Sacha Baron-Cohen was perfect for the Mr. of the couple and fit into the role in the way I had always seen it in my mind's eye.  He's another favorite to come out of this film.  Helena Bonham-Carter, meanwhile, fit into her role and might be someone's favorite, although I've seen enough renditions that I can think of an actress whos performance I have liked better.
 
However, if we are to nitpick, the beginning of the film has its problems.  The singing at first didn't initially seem to fit.  Far too much of it was directed in such a style that it seemed Tom Hooper didn't want it to sound like singing, but...Come on, it's a musical.  Far too often, Valjean sounded a bit more hoarse than he needed to be.  It made sense, but at the same time, it was done in such a way that it robbed the character of some of his power.  Javert, meanwhile, was a stark surprise when he first started singing, but his voice was something I got used to fast by the time his next song came up.
 
The style of the film continued to suffer with trouble finding a visual grace that matched that of the music until sometime after Valjean received his pardon from the Bishop of Digne and broke his parole, somewhere in the second act.  Before I move on to that, though, let me take this time to praise Colm Wilkinson as the dearly beloved Monseigneur Myriel.  Not only is he my favorite Valjean, but he's also my favorite Bishop of Digne.  He brings a lot to the role, an amazing sense of grace, and there's a little bit more to the role by the end of the movie where he's played up just a little more than past renditions of the character.  It fits, considering the profound impact he had on Valjean.  I can't tell anyone exactly what little extra bit they did with the character; it would ruin the surprise.  But I loved it, and it helped complete the experience for me.
 
Anyway, the filming style was still awkward at that point.  Then Valjean sings into the camera, which follows him around while simultaneously employing creative angles and extreme close-ups.  Then it performs a dramatic zoom to Javert as the movie flashes forward.
 
And then it finds its way with Fantine.  Yes, I believe that's where the film comes to some maturity.  It got better as it got along and the style found itself.
 
Meanwhile, some of Javert's explanation on the supposed discovery of Jean Valjean isn't explained in song, or at least not fully.  The song after the real Valjean lifts the cart isn't fully explained.  This isn't a widely popular song, though, so having that cut just a little short doesn't hurt anybody.  The scene where Valjean confessed his identity before the court lacked a bit of grace.  The story was good, but the director was really straining himself.
 
Then Fantine sang about Cosette and I cried.  The last time this happened to me during a movie was six or seven years ago when I watched Schindler's List.  Hathaway's chemistry with Jackman really brought out something in his performance, although Jackman had yet to fully grow into the role.  That much didn't happen until he picked up Cosette, refused to be fooled by the Thernandiers, and sang the original song "Suddenly".  Then the movie skips ahead several years, and he's definitely Jean Valjean.
 
Don't get me wrong.  I really wanted to be convinced by Hugh Jackman, and I had confidence in his acting.  However, due to the directing where the camera tried to tell the story and other factors, it turned out that it took a little longer to accept him in the role than I would have liked, and Jean Valjean doesn't really, truly come to life until the third act.  Other people might interpret the acting in a different way, although, and perhaps others will find it more powerful than I did.  There's a buzz, after all, of this performance being Oscar worthy.
 
Now, at to the third act, I congratulate Samantha Barks on her breakout role.  I also commend the lesser-known actor who played Marius Pontmercy.  Amanda Seyfried, however, doesn't have much to bring to the role of Cosette as an actress.  It was a lovely role, and I found myself liking her, although it had nothing to do with Seyfried's acting.  She just didn't screw it up with bad acting.  Her singing, however, was quite good and had a certain quality about it that really sounded right for the character, and I can see why she was cast.  Between her, Marius, and Eponine, this love triangle forms some of the greatest singing in the movie.  Enjolras was also a great singer, another with a classic voice that adds some of the play's elegance to this screen epiction.

 
The third act also fully immerses the film in the world of musicals.  That world opens up, broadens, and brings together its full cast, from the central characters of Jean Valjean and Javert to the next generation of characters who fight in the student uprising.  The sets get more use, and the characters are given more freedom to act during scenes of revolution.
 
From here, I really have no qualms with the style that haven't already been said, but at least at this point they've all settled in so that they fit as naturally into the story as they can.  Valjean dies, and boy is it a death.  I really have to give this a lot of credit for being a great movie ending.
 
So at the end of the day, what is my analysis of the film?  Those faults in directing style don't upset me much.  I personally really liked the new faces of Hathaway and Baron-Cohen in their respective roles.  Others might find favorites in Bonham-Carter and Crowe in theirs, who each did their parts justice.  Jackman, meanwhile, is presumably a better singer than the style of this movie lets on and should have been given the opportunity to really let loose and give Valjean's voice the operatic grace it was meant to have in order to give the role its true power.  He was good during songs such as "Who Am I?" where he let his voice go free, but was more restrained during the beloved "Bring Him Home" prayer.  Still, he managed to play Jean Valjean and channel the role.  The same goes for Crowe, and both of them definitely deliver good acting performances that will be remembered more than their singing.  I don't realistically see a ton of Oscars around the corner for this movie, although it will certainly get nominations, with a Anne Hathaway having the greatest chance of winning one.
 
This is a film version.  It's frozen in time.  It can be used as an official standard, should people use its unchanging nature to those ends.  However, it won't.  People who see this as a stage production will discover that it's the medium where it's the most powerful.  This is just another version of Les Miserables, and I was expecting something new, so to heck with the timeles standards.  I have to appreciate Tom Hooper for taking huge risks with this movie, and though in places I don't think the style lived up to hopes, the story was solid.  This is Les Miserables we're talking about (I would have put those words in italics for emphasis, but seeing as they're for a title, I already have), and in whatever form it comes in, it makes a perfect Christmas present with a great story about redemption, compassion, and the special worth of all human life.
 
Speaking of which, before the clock strikes midnight, Merry Christmas!
 

24601




Photo

Lincoln Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies Dec 24 2012 · 133 views
history, America, Civil War

Posted Image

 
One does not simply walk in the shoes of Lincoln.  He is not a role like Luke Skywalker, who was an original creation that one could cast anyone before because we had no idea what a Luke Skywalker was.  No, this is the man whose face we literally see every day on the faces of five doller bills and pennies.  Many actors have come and gone playing him, but the part of Lincoln has, as far as I can recall, always been a supporting character in civil war movies, someone whose presence was limited because of the impossibility of sustaining the illusion that he was real.
 
That is why Daniel Day-Lewis is an actor's actor.  That's an amazing stovepipe hat to fill, and goodness, in spite of the task previously pinned by me to be impossible, he does it.  Yes, I am vaguely aware of how he doesn't look exactly like Lincoln, since after all the real man's face is on money, but he was Lincoln.  This is not something where an actor just shows up to an audition and does his thing and allows his presence to do the work for him.  No, this took genuine work.  Many actors have come to the role, such as Gregory Peck in The Blue and the Grey, and have added presence to the role.  They have given Lincoln a sense of drama, an air of nobility.  Daniel Day-Lewis manages to go beyond that, however, beyond the marble carving other actors and directors have turned him into and delivers a soulful performance, and while watching this movie there was no doubt in my mind that this was Lincoln.  This isn't just a good performance; this is one of the great performances for the ages.
 
When you combing the divine acting skills of Daniel Day-Lewis and the masterful storytelling finesse of Stephen Spielberg, this is a soulful, powerful Lincoln that is destined to become a legend of cinematic history, and is all but guaranteed the Oscar for Best Actor unless academy voters decide to be prejudiced against an actor who has already won the award.  However, as otherwise stated, this is an actor's actor.  The other possible contender for the prize is Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, but that's a stage role where people are used to the usual carousel of faces with different interpretations of the character.  Jean Valjean is my favorite fictional character, but Abraham Lincoln was a real person whose personality has becomed carved into the stone tablets of American history, and it's far harder to deliver a convincing, definitive performance that brings him back to life.  That is by far one of the greatest challenges an actor can be dealt, one that not even most professional actors can pull off, and as such it only makes sense in my mind that Daniel Day-Lewis was the best actor this year by every sense of the term.
 
Sally Field, meanwhile, was also equally as convincing as Mary Todd Lincoln.  I was vaguely aware that there was an actress behind the role, but that was only when my mind tried to disect the movie and something about her eyes seemed familiar, but Sally Field was perfect for the role and I was only aware it was her after I stayed behind to see her name in the credits.  She was amazing, and I can't recall any other movie where Mrs. Lincoln played such a prominent role.
 
The guy who played Secretary of State Seward, meanwhile, was also perfect for this prominent role and was 100% convincing.  I might add that every single one of these actors mentioned thus far were also visually perfect for their roles, and I don't know how Spielberg managed to come across such convenient combinations.
 
Slightly less convincing was Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, who no metter what brings that Tommy Lee presence to his roles.  However, while his performance isn't ultra-convincing, he brings charm and charisma to the role, and the moment he first enters on screen there's no doubt just who this person is and where he fits in with everything.  Along with Lincoln, he's the other rominent character who must be challenged in order to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.  One may or may not like his performance, and I don't think it depends on whether or not you're a Tommy Lee fan, but it's something more complicated than that.
 
The least convincing actor is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lincoln's oldest son.  I guess he loks the role, but thanks to a plethora of big movies starring him that came out this year, he really breaks the illusion created by this movie, which was otherwise a perfect window into the past.  Sorry, Joseph.  Fortunately, he's not too prominent in this film.
 
Based off of acting performances alone, and the amazing souls brought to the roles, I encourage people to see this in theatres before it's too late.  If you're still reading this, stop, make a grab for your wallet, and go see this movie.  Meanwhile, I always, always encourage Americans to view movies about significant events in American history, so even if this wasn't an absolute recommendation for the big screen due to acting, I would still tell people to watch is sooner or later due to the content.
 
With regards to the plot, it's important to establish that this is not a war film.  I suspected that it would be, but I was wrong, and there is only one scene with any fighting in it whatsoever.  That one clip in the trailer where you see bombardment by canon fire for one second is actually about two seconds of footage thrown into the film.  So in other words, don't expect a war movie, but a courtroom drama of sorts, as this film could very well have been given the alternative title of The Thirteenth Amendment, which it completely focuses on.  The politics and lobbying that all went behind nabbing all of the necessary votes made for a very interesting drama.  They don't simplify it, either, as this is an adapted screenplay of Team of Rivals, which is a thoroughly researched book on the complications of the politics within the Lincoln administration.  That Spielberg didn't hold back is noble, and it was a very pleasant surprise that almost every vote for the Thirteenth Amendment was filmed, which was incredibly dramatic and certainly the climax of the film.  Then it ended with Lincoln getting shot and the familiar scene of his time of death being recorded with the words "Now he belongs to the age" said over his body.  It's where it should have ended, but the big moment that this film that stands out is definitely the vote and the drama that built up to it.
 
This is my favorite movie thus far this year, to put things into perspective.  That means I liked this more than any of the superhero movies, Brave, Prometheus, and The Hobbit.  This is, of course, isn't to say that it's going to be anybody's favorite, but it says something of my own interests.  I have gone through the frustration of not having it shown in my area for over a month, but it finally came to my local theatre and a good friend of mine came back from the Coast Guard Academy on vacation and told me about it when we got back together, heavily recommending it to me because he knew it was exactly my kind of film.
 

24601




Photo

2nd Most Beautiful Female Character

Posted by Kragghle , in Superman, Hierarchies Dec 20 2012 · 283 views
Smallville

Chloe Sullivan
 
Posted Image
 

:kaukau: This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.  I absolutely love this character.  She's the absolute of beauty on television, with her only competition being Allison Mack (who, by the way, has an awesome name).  There's so much to love about her that I don't know where to start, so I might as well just chronicle my entire experience with the character.
 
The first I saw of her was in Season 2 of Smallville and in a couple of early Season 3 episodes, back when those were airing.  These were the first bits I ever saw of the show.  I know for sure, from the glimpses that I saw, that the one episode was of Clark getting sick, which I later found out turned out to be quite a cool story for Chloe.  Anyway, asides from seeing the chemistry with the characters and overall feel of the storytelling, which intrigued me and made me want to give Superman a chance, since suddenly the character of Clark Kent became something on an enigma and the complexities of real-life relationships made the character far more interesting, I also saw Chloe and loved what I saw.  I wasn't so into her back then, but I remember asking if she was Lois Lane, because I thought that the depiction and the actress were both perfect.  A cousin of mine corrected me and said it was someone else, but I still thought the depiction would have been perfect for Clark's true love.  She had the sharpness going for her, that sense that she could truly be a friend, and the overall attractiveness thing going for her, which would be enough to drive Clark crazy if he had his eyes open.
 
Then I got the first two seasons a couple of Christmases ago, knowing that I would begin to like Clark Kent, but then suddenly rediscovering Chloe.  She came on the screen and, I kid you not, almost every time I would shout "CHLOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
 
And then I'd shout "CHLOECHLOECHLOECHLOECHLOE!"
 
First, her hair was awesome.  Look at that flippy flipster of flippiness!  It's so blond and...flippy!  And it was short and pixie-like and so lively, and so was her face.  Even when she had a bandage on her head, her face was absolutely beautiful.  I loved her forehead, her eyebrows (with their amazing range of expression), her eyes, her nose, her cheeks, her lips, her chin.  Basically, every single feature of hers is perfect and has this amazing sharpness and clarity to it.  Then she could make these amazing faces, like the one above, that had this remarkable ability to just warm the heart.
 

Posted Image
 

She was a great friend for Clark, too, and I was shipping a romance between them.  She seemed more like what Lana should have been, canon-wise.  And it all just worked.  Even though there was uncertainty about how she would be different than Lois Lane, she managed to pull it off, and she managed to be a fun character that I loved to follow over the course of the first season, being the person who both saved Clark's butt multiple times by being the ultimate information source, being the one who was always getting into trouble, and being the one who was always on the verge of discovering Clark's secret whether by digging up information or because of the times when he needed to save her.  The strained dynamic between them became an entertaining fixture during Clark's high school years, but for the first season it was also fun to just revel in the shared innocence of the characters, who at the time were both incredibly comfortable and safe with each other.  The moments when Chloe got closer to Clark, meanwhile...Well, I totally pretended I was in Clark's shoes.  After all, my real-life nickname became Superman.  Then Clark asked her out to the prom (what freshman were doing at the prom, I don't know, and then in the fourth season it was treated as if it was a senior-only thing), I was like "YES!" and returned to my usual chanting of Chloe's name.
 
The second season was a sort of the same.  There were obvious changes, and they were dramatic and cool, and I liked them.  The innocence of the first season was slipping away, but not entirely gone.  She was discovering that there were things she didn't know about Clark, that there were things that she was keeping from her, and her curiosity got the better hand.  Then, meanwhile, her ability to sniff up information became so insanely good that it attracted the attention of the new series regular Lionel Luthor (and don't get me started on how awesome he was over the course of the series, especially when he could contrast against a cast that was almost completely innocent).  While Lex was still a good guy and she was still friends with him, her life became just a bit darker as Lionel made things tough for her, and she had to stand her own against intimidating forces.  Ultimately, it resulted in this very dramatic moment where she found out that Lana had snagged Clark behind her back, and that betrayal led her to seemingly confirm a deal with Lionel Luthor.  Chloe on the dark side?  Awesome.
 
My favorite moment in the second season was when she read a letter to Clark while he was unconscious on the couch, taken down by a Kryptonite infection.  She was really concerned for him, and to "eliminate embarrassing eye contact", she read the letter out loud in what turned out to be one of my favorite moments in the show:
 
 

I want to let you in on a little secret, Clark. I'm not who you think I am. In fact, my disguise is so thin, I'm surprised you haven't seen right through me. I'm the girl of your dreams masquerading as your best friend. Sometimes I want to rip off this façade like I did at the Spring Formal, but I can't because you'll get scared and you'll run away again. So I decided that it's better to live with the lie than expose my true feelings. My dad told me there are two types of girls: the ones you grow out of, and the ones you grow into. I really hope I'm the latter. I may not be the one you love today, but I'll let you go for now, hoping one day you'll fly back to me. Because I think you're worth the wait.

 
Some of the poetic elegance that went into this were genius upon the part of the writers, with particular her reference to her this disguise.  At the same time, this moment reminds me of Darlene Conner, where she shares her deepest feelings, read from a sheet of paper in an earlier season, that clearly establishes where her heart is, and what sort of inner turmoil she was going through.  At that point, I stopped just having a crush on Chloe and started genuinely caring for her as a human being.  I wanted Clark to love her back because I wanted to see her happy so much, because I wanted to see that radiant smile of hers.
 

Posted Image
 

Beautiful, competent, lovable, brief girlfriend of Superman, adversary of Lex Luthor's daddy, brief convert to the dark side, may I repeat "beautiful"?  I swear, this is what Mary Sue writers wish they could pull off before they end up failing miserably.  It's really strange, because they even treat her as if she's the lesser of two beauties when compared to Lana Lang, an obvious fallacy (down with the Lana Lang), but they somehow manage to even pull that off without even being remotely Mary Sue-ish.  I suppose it helps that she does attract guys from time to time, albeit them all being mutants who later turn out to be psychos (which is almost comedic once she recognizes jut how absurdly bad her luck is), and that Clark apparently does find her attractive, but has sort of the same feelings toward her as Josephine March had for Laurie Lawrence.
 
The third season was perhaps the darkest in the series, surprisingly so.  Lex went insane.  Lionel played both God and Satan with the lives of others.  Pete was forced to leave.  Many bad things happened, and Clark carried out an ongoing struggle with his Kryptonian father and his dawning comprehension of his greater destiny.  Amid all this stood Chloe, not quite as important as Lana, Lex, and Clark, but still a fixture in the show.  By this time, her innocence had been lost.  She had made a deal with Lionel, that great Satan of the show, and was now struggling for her soul.  Meanwhile, her sense of betrayal from Clark became greater and greater, and in the episode where she gained the power to force anyone to tell the truth, except for Clark, the two things she did were to get an incriminating testimony from Lionel and chase after Clark's parents to get the truth about him.  "Do you know what it's like being friends with someone who lies to you every day?" she said over the phone.  The desire seemed to real, so uncontrived.
 
To complete the dark note, she seemingly died at the end of the third season when her struggle with Lionel Luthor finally came to a close.  Had I been with the show at the time, that would have been very upsetting, but I was quite a few seasons behind when I started and knew she stuck around to the very end, so I just appreciated it for the dramatic ending it was, though I can only imagine how dramatic it must have been to have actually been there when it aired for the first time. 


Posted Image
 
I might mention right here, by the way, that one of the great things about Smallville were all the close-ups.  Granted, if I was a director my vision would be a bit different, as I tend to prefer shots that depict entire scenes, but I wasn't complaining when certain characters got their moment right up next to the lens, most of all Chloe.  It makes it so easy to find great pictures of her on Google.
 

In the fourth season, everything freshened up.  It took on the light heart and the innocence of the first season while dropping the consistency of the "monster of the week" formula in favor of a few larger plots that centered around a continuing, larger conflict that brought Clark closer and closer to his destiny.  This would have almost been an ideal season to end the series on, if not for a few loose ends.  Turns out the fourth season wasn't even close, but boy, it's still perhaps my favorite season.
 
The reason for that is pretty simple.  Season one was Whitney season.  Season two was Clark Season.  Season three was Lex Season.  Season four was Chloe season.  This was the season where her character had some of her best moments, where so many resolutions and great changes came her way, and how they made he to grow was extraordinary.  Chloe discovered Clark's secret halfway throughout.  The producers had been playing chicken with this development for quite some time, and I had become so accustomed to any discovery of Clark's secret to being fixed by amnesia, but then they finally did it.  Of course, Allison Mack captured the mannerisms for the character perfectly and delivered her sense of surprise and her struggle to come to terms with the revelation in the most amazing way, with the help of amazing writers.  Watching Chloe secretly help Clark and continually grow in her faith of him was amazing, and I loved her even more for it.  Once all of that uncertainty was gone, once she understood Clark and the faith was returned, that innocence of the first season came back in full.  She that amazing friend once more.  And then, defying all expectations, she did not expose him to the world.  Amazing person, Chloe.  God bless you.
 
Lana was put on the backburner as Clark began to just enjoy his senior year with his friends and the people who mattered.  Lois and Chloe were great friends (even though he found Lois annoying), and angst was set aside.  it was a season to rejoice in Clark's coming of age and a rediscovery of the simple friendships that hold us together, the things that once we reach the end of the line for we realize we don't ever want to truly say goodbye to.
 
It was also really cool that she also happened to still have feelings for Clark and there was a humorous episode dedicated to her drinking a love potion that enhanced preexisting feelings.  And it also hurt like a thousand bee stings during that episode at the beginning that ended with the song "So Much For My Happy Ending" when she was standing next to Lois and Clark having a good time during high school events.  I felt so sorry for her.
 
But on the other hand, Lois was likewise amazing.
 
Then one of the last episodes was dedicated to a relatable theme about saying goodbye to high school.  I watched it when my senior year was almost over.  It was indeed a very bittersweet ending.  Looking back, although the episode itself doesn't make me cry, once I begin thinking about those things my nostalgia forces tears on me as the abstractions of my mind get conflicted.  I'm glad to find a character who feels the same way.
 
The ending of the fourth season was by far the best of the season finales.  Meteor showers.  Again!  Chloe kept her head pretty cool, and it looked like Clark was about to truly discover his destiny.  Chloe helped defend his secret from a Lex who was beginning to fall down the wrong path, and then in the Fortress of Solitude she walked up to Clark and explicitly asked him to use her powers to save her.  It was in the moment pictured below, an there was really no better way of doing it.  Especially since Clark was looking at clips from the Richard Donner film for his education.  This was a really great way of paying tribute to the original Superman movie while taking him in a new direction.  Really, really good.
 
Meanwhile, I was watching this episode during my senior trip, and at around midnight you could hear my jumping up and down during this scene and shouting "CHLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"
 
And I repeated that one word several times.  Man, was I ever on a high that night.  Chloe Sullivan in one glorifying moment, Clark meeting his father's presence in the fortress for the first time, the creation of the fortress, the music, everything.  That was seriously cool stuff.
 

Posted Image
 

Great memories.  They're partially brought on by nostalgia, partially brought on because they were simply great.  There's something about childhood that I will never be able to reclaim, but at least I can still keep on loving this character.  Yeah, she was pretty cool in the later seasons as well, but during the high school years that I watched when I also was in high school, there was truly nothing like it.
 
So what have we learned?  Well, the power of friendship is one.  In spite of the mega-crush I had on Chloe Sullivan, I also saw the character as someone who was simply a great friend, and I think any relationship with he would have to first and foremost be a relationship built on friendship.  Sorry, Jimmy Olson who turned out to be an expy of himself.  One can also see how previous characters mentioned can be brought into the Mackster's best role ever.  She's quirky like Juno, but real.  Asides from being a non-powered comic-book character, she shares with Selina Kyle a plain, straightforward style of femininity.  Like Molly Mahoney, she's a radiant example of innocence in spite of unlikely circumstances.  Like Darlene, there was that letter and those moment where she discovered herself as she got further into high school.  Like Becky, she's competent and has pretty good social skills, and has pretty similar hair, I might add, except better.  Like Saavik, she has sharp features and would look awesome as a Vulcan, while having the intellect and initiative to be a member of Star Fleet.  She even had an obvious Eponine vibe going for her, although her final story was fortunately nowhere near as sad.  In so many ways, she's this ultimate ideal for everything I can possibly imagine as attractive.
 
I also liked that she wasn't defined by her gender.  Yes, she was obviously feminine, and he crush on Clark was a defining trait of hers during her childhood, and she also has a great sense of fashion in every single way, all of which you could attribute to her femininity, but what defined her was that she was a determined reporter.  She had passion.  She had strong principles.  She was defined by her strengths and her weaknesses and how she dealt with them.

The cool thing about her was that she was the everyman, or everyperson if we would rather go by more gender-neutral phrasing.  She was the person who's story we didn't know.  She was the wild card.  She was the girl whose fate could be ended at any moment, that could go in any direction, but meanwhile, that was good because it made me enjoy every moment I had with her without taking her for granted.  During my last two years of high school, as I traveled through the high school seasons of Smallville, she came to represent something for that time in my life, the joy of my youth, and a face in which I could fall in love with so that I couldn't hurt myself again with the drama of real-life romances.
 
Wait, though, what of Miss Lois Lane?  I ambiguously refer to whoever I will ultimately marry as Lois Lane, so surely I see the merit to that character.  Indeed, as the seasons progressed, Lois had her great moments, and though Chloe ousted Lois during her first unofficial season, that set up the character in the most lovable way.  She's so lovably...flawed.  And in the later seasons, she became my reason for watching.  Chloe was still awesome, but Lois became even more awesome.  It still would have been cool if my first impression of Smallville back in the day was true, though, and Chloe was really a high school Lois.  It would have been the most perfect of hybrids.  As she stands, Erica Durance's twist on a role first embodied by Margot Kidder was amazing, and there is absolutely no way that Amy Adams is going to beat either of those two.
 
Tune in for next time for my #1 pick, someone who for as long as I can remember has remained without even the slightest trace of competition until Chloe came along and nabbed a close second place.  Could it be Lois?  Could it be some dark horse candidate?  Could it be an obvious selection that we all know and love?  Go ahead and guess, because like a really good season finale (I got so pumped up writing about that), I feel I've really completed a fun arc after this.
 

Posted Image
 
24601

 






Me

Posted Image


Username: Emperor Kraggh
Real name: N/A
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, 25% Hungarian, 12.5% Swedish, 6.25% German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Smallville & Arthur the Friendly Aardvark
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, politics, drawing
Political party: Republican
Religion: Christian
Language: Not English, but American.

Blog Divisions

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Search My Blog

Recent Comments