Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'movies' category

“Most Wanted”

December 4, 2006 2:10 am

A surprising number of people who know me know that I adore Disney’s 1973 animated Robin Hood. Of course that could be because I bring it up anytime the subject turns to favorite Disney movies, favorite childhood movies, or homemade Halloween costumes (yes, my wonderful mother made me a purple dress out of old curtains so I could be Maid Marian when I was four). It could also be that I’ve made you sit through it with me. So I guess it won’t surprise you that I’m blathering about the new DVD version they’re advertising this Christmas: the Most Wanted Edition. (Though it might surprise you that it isn’t on my list of most wanteds.)

Obviously, I can’t deny that I squealed when I first saw the ad on tv. But the name, Most Wanted Edition, really bothers me. I mean, really bothers me.

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Thoughts on a Saturday evening

September 16, 2006 10:30 pm

Going up and down three flights of stairs to do laundry again sucks.

Paying for laundry sucks more.

The bright side: yes, there is an elevator. And at least the washers and dryers are efficient.

I’ve been letting the tv entertain me this evening. ‘Course, only a nerd like me would go from Willy Wonka to Richard III… I have yet to see the Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it was fun to watch the old Gene Wilder one again. I forsee an age divide in coming years — I suspect many in my generation and older will always picture Willy Wonka as Gene Wilder.

However, it was a bit trying to fold clothes in front of the Chocolate Factory when there is no chocolate in my kitchen. A situation that must be remedied!

Richard is the 1995 version with Ian McKellan in the title role — the one Pug and I watched for my Shakespeare course last May. Who knew Gandalf could be so evil? I love it, but it’s so creepy! Don’t look at me like that, Richard!

Late summer laundry list

August 27, 2006 9:34 pm

I’ve been back home for almost a week now. In that time, I have:

  • read two books.
  • eaten seven dinners with the family.
  • gone to the doctor, nominally for a check-up, but really just because I needed him to sign a form saying I’ve had my shots and can go to school. Wound up getting a tetnus booster which must have k.o.’ed my immune system enough that I caught whatever stomach bug is going around, because of which I have…
  • spent one night (Wed.) talking to Ralph on the porcelain telephone, so then I…
  • spent two days (Thurs. and Fri.) recuperating.

I have also:

  • seen one move (Being There with Peter Sellers, which is very funny once you get through all the exposition).
  • gone to Montgomery with my dad, my aunt, and my cousin to see an Alabama Shakespeare Company production of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, which was nicely done, despite being peopled by depressed Russians.
  • and moved the boxes I stored at Grandma’s for the summer back to the living room in preparation of my move north next weekend. Actually departure plans are somewhat dependant on whether Ernesto comes to call at the same time.

July/August movies

August 13, 2006 10:39 pm

A quick jaunt through the movies we’ve been watching for the last month and a half.

Chocolat, Guys & Dolls, The Elephant Man, and more.

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Bad idea, good idea? — Trekkie version

August 9, 2006 3:20 pm

I get the feeling this is going to be one or the other. Two characters who have each died at least once; here’s a chance to kill the legend.

(How was that for melodrama? I’m pretty pleased with it.)

Topic under discussion is the Star Trek movie that’s in the works. Slated for release in 2008, nothing certain has been released — not even which incarnation of the franchise we’re dealing with. All that’s floating around out there are rumors and (now) a poster.
(Both links lead to articles on Star Trek.com.)

The poster makes some pretty strong suggestions, though it could be a clever ploy to lead us in the wrong direction. Thoughts?

Weekend at home

July 30, 2006 12:27 am

Saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 this evening. Admirably pirate-y, but could have been more tightly edited. A fun, fantastical romp, but I didn’t love it the way I do the first one. Actually, I really want a crack at re-editing it…

The Magic Castle Disney icon that comes up before the movie troubled me this evening. I remember when Disney was all about magic and goodness and the only movies worth watching were made by Disney (except for The Land Before Time; surely a fluke). Somewhere in growing up – roughly around Pocahontas or The Hunchback of Notre Dame – “Disni-fied” became a pejorative. I think Hunchback showed me more about formula and structure than I realized at the time. I couldn’t find the pacing that I associated with Disney, based largely on Beauty and the Beast, Aladin, and maybe The Lion King. You have the introductory number, the big song and dance, the villian’s big number, the love song, etc., etc., and they’re all very singable. I don’t remember a single song from Hunchback. I also remember crowing afterwards that I had known all along that Esmerelda couldn’t really die – not in a Disney movie! I think that was the last animated Disney I saw in the theatre.

Dad and I had been reading about the founding of Jamestown the summer that Pocahontas came out. I didn’t see it until much later, on video, but I remember comparing things I heard and read about the movie to what we had just read in National Geographic, and saw Disney grasping at straws. And while I find the presentation of noble Indians and money-grubbing, exploitative white settlers preferrable to older stereotypes of savages and civilizing Europeans, the characters are still very flat. At least the Seven Dwarves had personalities!…though I would argue Snow White does not. Nostalgia, it seems, has become so weighted.

Speaking of old things trumping new ones, I’m a bit frustrated that no one seems to make combination mixer/blenders anymore. I know people who adore their KitchenAid stand mixers, but it just seems such a waste to have to store that monster of a mixer AND a stand-alone blender. And really – how often would you use both at once? Seems more efficient to use the same motor to operate both. What was so disasterous about my mother’s mixer that it has completely disappeared from the market? No fair! I want one!…at least, eventually. For now, I have a hand mixer of my grandma’s that must be from the sixties or seventies, to guess from the color scheme.

edit: well, maybe someone does: the Bosch Universal Mixer-Blender.

Drama, drama, drama

July 13, 2006 5:06 pm

(Looky! I finally discovered the “more” tag! The Peak becomes readable again! And believe it or not, I just posted real news, too. It’s down here.)

We are in desparate need of some comedy. Fortunately, a few episodes of Family Guy after a dinner of some fabulous, Carmen-made spaghetti Tuesday night helped to resuscitate us.

The suspects: Crash, The House of Sand and Fog, and Proof

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Summer movies, part 2

July 4, 2006 3:34 pm

After an off-and-on arguement with my computer about connecting to the wireless internet here, it seems that Pug has finally got the upper hand. Hurrah!

The end of my list from yesterday is a truly bizzare collection of films. In no particular order: real penguins, allegorical death, and moving castles.

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Summer movies

July 3, 2006 8:34 pm

What? Have I suddenly overcome my family’s seemingly chronic case of being cinema-challenged? Well, only if you don’t expect me to be up-to-date.

In the last, oh, year or so, my dad has joined the ranks of Netflicks customers (you know, the annoying red Flash ads?). I forgive them the ads, actually — for one, I don’t see them on my machine because Adblock gives me power over my world — but also because the service seems to be very prompt and well organized.

At any rate, there is always a movie around or one on the way these days, so we feel we are becoming most educated. (Or at least we might get a few Jeopardy questions — another current addiction.) The June line-up has included Mel Brooks, crossdressing, solitaire, apes, rockets, and genetic profiling.

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Not dead yet!

May 21, 2006 12:10 am

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Reports of my graduation are still premature. (I have three more days of class. I get my piece of paper on June 3.)

So hello again! Carmen can stop frothing (geez, get a rabies shot!) and perhaps my rabid fans will be appeased.

Charlie Brown went off pretty well. Out first performance was out in the amphitheatre as planned — the forecast had been scaring us all week, but the only possible back-up location was already booked that first night. But the show went on! In fact, it did drizzle a little during the first act, but it cleared up after five or ten minutes and then it was lovely. Miraculously, the crowd didn’t leave!

Since we did have McAlister reserved for Friday and Saturday, we went ahead and moved to the auditorium Friday afternoon — and it did rain off and on all weekend, so we were glad we did. The show went better inside anyway (depite the fact that we were thoroughly turned around at first), so that was good. And there it was, my exit from Pauper Players. Sort of…I had set up a couple of video cameras during the last show, so I’ve been editing and burning copies of the video ever since. Finally got the last of those done this afternoon.

I also sang with Furman’s oratorio chorus (basically all the choruses combine to do a major work at Christmas and again in May) for the last time. I hadn’t been in women’s chorale since sophomore year (partly time constraints, partly personalities), so it was fun to be in a big chorus again. The performance was the day Pug arrived up here after his exams, so he got to come!

It was great fun to have my boy up here for a week, and he insists that he had a good time, despite the fact that he had to entertain himself while I went to class, worked at the CCLC, and wrote a research paper. I guess I even believe him, since after all I had a lovely time, despite going to class, working, and writing a research paper…

Some Linkages:

The Plains of Abraham: There is a Canadian classicist whose specialty is the performance aspect of Homeric poetry. So what does he do but write his own epic in the Homeric style about an event in Canadian history. And he goes around and performs it! He came to Furman the week between Charlie Brown and the oratorio — really cool!

NY Times on Da Vinci: Whatever you think about The Da Vinci Code, book or movie, check out this movie review from the New York Times. Harsh — but very funny! I thought the book was a good read and want to see the movie sooner or later, but it might wait for video. We shall see.

Speaking of movies, the group that brings films to Furman has been doing well this spring after performing way sub par for most of the year — they spent about two months advertising Saw 2 this winter. Ewww!! But now I’ve seen nearly everything I kinda wanted to see over Christmas but didn’t get around to:
Pride & Prejudice: pretty good; worth seeing for cheap; hated the final scene they wrote in.
Brokeback Mountain: I like it. And I think it’s really cool that they can make a tasteful movie about gay cowboys. Really cool.
The Producers: good funny! Though some scenes feel constrained, as though the blocking was pulled straight from the stage version and the camera angle is too narrow.
Good Night and Good Luck: I love black and white. Required viewing for anyone who thinks the Constitution is being trampled on. It doesn’t actively draw parallels between McCarthy and anything modern, but its very presence suggests them. Possibly just me. Also really neat to see the movie and then see a clip of the real 1950’s newscaster who is the main character of the film.

Those of you who remember a certain tenth grade English project may be amused to know that my Shakespeare class is doing something very similar! This time, though, we have to stick to the plot as given, though we may pull from multiple scene or overlay bits to make a point, provided that the point is substantiated by the text in the first place. My group is doing Richard III, a play I didn’t know much about until a few weeks ago. (However, now I can tell you if you don’t already know that the film of Richard III from about ten years ago starring Ian McKellen is phenomenal and you should all see it. So creepy!!) Anyway, I was experimenting with costume bits for this, and then I started playing with my camera and the mirror…ending up with this, which is kind of fun…
Odette casts magic missile.