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October 12th, 2005 - Yew Erdri Ming — LiveJournal

About October 12th, 2005

Some Tricks Light's Played On Me Lately 06:04 am
Okay, now I'm gonna talk about movies I've seen recently . . .

Corpse Bride

Eh. A decent way to spend a couple hours. A pretty movie, with a couple of palatable songs. I recognised the voice of Danny Elfman himself as "Bonejangles." Not as good a tribute as Fred Astaire in Swing Time, but they don't make Fred Astaires any more. Or Bojangleses, for that matter.

I was surprised we didn't get to hear Johnny Depp sing, since all this time he's been talking about how his first love is music. I wonder if he has a really bad singing voice and everyone's afraid to tell him? It's funny, but in a so-called musical, the only of the principal characters who gets to sing is Emily, the corpse bride herself, and even she has to share her song with two of the more cartoonish supporting characters who otherwise dominate the musical numbers.

A lot of the visuals recall earlier Tim Burton movies--the opening shot of the bleached 19th century city was reminiscent of the one in Sleepy Hollow, where we see Depp's similarly dressed character peering out the window in a similar fashion. Also, the corpse bride's entrance is shot almost exactly like Beetlejuice's.

SPOILER WARNING:

The film's about as good as Donnie Darko and ends on the same note. What's with all the noble sacrificing, anyway? Not that I mind, really. I mean, it is admirable and all. Though mainly what it reminds me of is the scene in Amelie where Amelie's watching television and imagining herself as some sort of tragic saviour. But I like Amelie Poulain, and if you're like her, then I like you too.

Serenity

AH. This was a very satisfying movie. I was saying to Trisa afterwards, "I feel very satisfied right now." It felt good. There was a huge amount of non-bullshit in the movie that more than made up for the two milligrams or so of bullshit I detected.

I've never seen Firefly, but now I very much want to. Serenity was good, uncompromising movie-matter from beginning to end. I mean, yes, compromises were made, but never with the result of damaged goodness. Most everyone talked like grownups, too! In the tracking shot where we meet the crew, two unruly children sitting in front of me decided to leave the theatre when they realised they couldn't follow the dialogue. That is plain great. And it felt great.

Man, I don't think I'm very articulate right now. I feel like a jazz DJ. Isn't it weird how all DJs on jazz stations seem to have inordinate difficulty expressing themselves with words?

Er, that's a digression (obviously). Anyway . . .

Robyn's been complaining that the movie isn't as much of a Western as the television series is. Not having seen the series, I'd say overtly Western qualities (i.e. those not normally shared by space operas anyway) were limited to superficial details; dialects, sets, weapons (Captain Mal's cool quick-draw pistol), references to pioneering, and heists. The personalities of the characters are, for the most part, in wide-open violation of typical Western personalities, and anyway, Whedon's trademark catty dialogue is about as far away from John Wayne as you can get. Which makes me wonder how Western the series can really be.

Actually, the only thing that really bugged me about the movie was all the Galadriel shots of River's feet. I mean, sure, I like her feet, but I got bored by what was being said with them. Again and again, "Oh, poor vulnerable little River nonetheless steps boldly into dangerous/dirty situations/places!" Oh, that River! Where will she get to next? Of course, mainly I liked River. One shot of her holding a bloody sword and hatchet reminded me somewhat uncomfortably of Nesuko. But, hey, Nesuko has a kukri, so she's completely different, right? Right.

Oh, and a lot of people are upset by a certain character's abrupt death. Maybe I'd feel differently if I'd seen the series, but personally, I loved Whedon for it. One of the things about death that's always struck me as particularly bad is the fact that it's a barrier placed between yourself and the deceased that you can't be prepared for. So it seems something of an insult, to me, that characters are constantly given really long, drawn out death dialogues that last comfortably as long as it suits the audience. Sometimes, that does work. But it is overdone. I love Farscape, but one of the most irritating few minutes in my television-viewing life was watching Zhaan bid her personalised farewells to each member of the crew. I was left feeling not so much that Zhaan had died as Virginia Hey was leaving the show.

Er, anyway, I deeply loved Serenity. Sorry robyn_ma and hernewshoes. I cannot share in your disappointment.

And now it's 6am and I think this is getting long anyway (it's kind of hard to tell since I write my first draft in notepad with the word-wrap off. Weird, huh? Yeah, I've only been doing it the past couple months . . . Don't know why but I like it.). I guess I'll talk about the rest of the movies in my next post . . .
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Current Music: "Body and Soul" (take 1) - Thelonious Monk
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