quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Pure Love)
So I've been seeing a surprising number of films since I moved over here, both as a social activity with the others in my program and on my own as a break from writing and general PhD stuff. I've already put this off long enough that I have to break these into two parts! So let's start with the movie I saw in January and work our way forward...

Ponya, MirrorMask and the Artist )

Now there's one movie I have yet to give an opinion on, but I didn't see it this year. I actually saw it last summer, so normally I'd say that I've past the statute of limitation to post about it. But since I've talked about each and every movie in the series since I've created this LJ, I think I need to say something. I'm, of course, taking about....
Harry Potter )

So that's it. Or rather (ignoring Harry Potter) those were only the movies I saw the first two months of the year. Stay tuned for Part 2 when I bring things up to date. :-)
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Holidays)
Every year around this time I quote the lyrics to some holiday related song and this year is no different. I've been listening to this song a lot as I walked the holiday-decked streets of DC, so it seemed appropriate. Plus, it really was the year of the Muppet this year.

One More Sleep 'Til Christmas

There magic in the air this evening

Magic in the air
The world is at her best, you know
When people love and care
The promise of excitement is one the night will keep
After all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas

The world has got a smile today
The world has got a glow
There's no such thing as strangers when
A stranger says hello
And everyone is family, we're having so much fun
After all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
With a burst of pleasure, we feel it all right
It's the season when the saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive

There's something in the wind today
That's good for everyone
Yes, faith is in our hearts today
We're shining like the sun
And everyone can feel it, the feeling's running deep
After all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas
After all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas Day 

And for those of you who never had a chance to see the Muppet Christmas Carol....

Happy Holidays to you and yours! (No matter which holiday it is that you celebrate.) May the coming year be blessed with good health, happiness and security!
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Book)
Title: Just Another Case of History Repeating
Movie: You've Got Mail
Rating: G
Notes: In case you didn't hear, Borders bookstores are going out of business. I'm going to miss my huge chain bookstore as much as I do the small, independent ones that they drove out of business years before. Even though I always though of Fox Books as being more like Barnes & Noble, those scenes in the movie were filmed in a Manhattan Borders. So now, You've Got Mail has a wonderfully ironic epilogue that nobody was expecting. This little bit of nonsense came out of that. Goodbye, Borders! I'm going to miss you greatly!

Fifteen years after the credits rolled... )
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Hand)
For some reason, I've had this one movie stuck in my head. It was a live-action adaptation of the Frog Prince, circa the late 1980s. I'm pretty sure it was on the Disney Channel. (Seems too sweet and girly for Nick.) There were two princess. One was blond, spoiled and selfish and the other, the heroine, was sweet, if a little childish and plain. The thing is that only one of them was a "True Princess" (though they never explained why, but I guess it had something to do with the fact True Princesses had magical powers), but their mother never said which was which because she wanted them to be loved equally. Everyone assumes that the older sister is the True Princess, but as you might expect, she's not. The Frog Prince part comes into play because younger sister gets help from a talking frog-like man (who's really an enchanted prince) and the golden ball that she drops down the well turns out to be magic. Well, actually, it turns out that she just thinks that the ball is magic and she's the one actually doing everything, because she was the True Princess all along. I'm pretty sure the little sister was played by Soleil Moon Frye and I think the older sister had name recognition too. Does anybody remember this? It seems far too real for me to have dreamed up when I was too high on pixie stix, but I'm beginning to doubt my sanity!

In other news, I owe people drabbles. Life's been a little abnormal, but I'll try to get to them as soon as possible. I swear!

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] flippet found it!! The Frog Prince! It stared the girl from Annie, not Punky Brewster. That's what was tripping me up. Now the real question is: Do I dare watch it again?
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Harry)
So, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yeah. I was not looking forward to this film. Book 7 is not my favorite... or, as I like to call it, "Harry, Ron and Hermione's Camping Trip From Hell" which should give you a clue to my main objections.

Never had I been more excited to know that a movie would be forced to leave stuff OUT. But then they decided that they were going to split the film into two parts. And I thought to myself "Ah hell, the camping trip is back on!" Actually, I was quite delighted that those scenes seemed to move along pretty quickly, though my brother (who never finished reading the series) later commented about how the camping scenes went on forever. I quickly assured him it was much longer in the book!

The truth is... I actually really enjoyed the film! I think a lot of what I was what they changed or how they reinterpreted certain parts. I loved the scene where Hermione tells the story of the Deathly Hallows. The animation was lovely and a welcome change of pace. More importantly, it took a long bit of narrative and made it watchable and interesting.

On a whole, the movie did pretty well with all the useless exposition that was Book 7. Harry's angst over not knowing who Dumbledore truly was toned down and Grindelwald seems to be nothing more than a petty, arrogant thief. Normally I'm not a fan of such glossing over, but frankly the Grindelwald/Third Reich parallels would be a little much for a family film.

I really enjoyed the bit with the polyjuiced Harrys. The Godric's Hollow was as lovely as I was hoping it would be. (Though I wish they had included the bit with memorial where his house used to be. It was a nice bit in the book that captured pretty well how we grieve together as a society.) But I think my favorite moment was during the opening scenes, when Emma Watson knocked it out of the park, as she disappeared from her parents life. And later, in that random London cafe, when she has to erase the memories of those two Death Eater, you can see what it's costing her and how she's thinking about the last time she used that spell. In the books, Hermione modified her parents memories, gave them new names and sent them to Australia. Even without it being explicitly stated, it was a pretty safe guess that she would be back after the war to give them back their lives. But in the movie, it felt... permanent. Hermione had erased herself from their lives and basically just turned herself into an orphan. What a strong, heartbreaking moment to start things off on.

It also made the connection between Hermione and Harry seem that much stronger. And yes, we've now come to the shipper's rant part of the post... )
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Eeyore)
It seems like I always watch more movies when I go home for Christmas than I do at any point during the year.  This year was no exception. Not counting Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, I saw five movies this holiday season, which might be a new record for me. So, here they are, in the order I saw them:

SciFi's Alice 
(They can try to rebrand themselves all they want, but they can't make me use their ridiculous spelling.) I've been wanting to see this modern take of Alice in Wonderland for a while.  It's from the same people behind Tin Man, which I enjoyed... at least until it totally unravel during the second half.  Maybe that's why Alice has been in my Netflix queue forever but I never got around to watching it.  But I happened to catch it television when I was home and totally got sucked in. (And so did my mom, which is saying something because she doesn't much care for sci-fi or fantasy. The fact that all three of her kids eat this stuff with a spoon is an endless source of amusement to us all.) The plot was much tighter and the ending far more satisfying than Tin Man, but what really made it for me was the Alice/Hatter ship. OMG! Seriously, I loved that pairing so much that I immediately started looking for fic. (And I sort of added a Hatter/Alice fic to my Great List of Doom. I couldn't help myself!)  I think I might have to check out Primeval now, just because of Andrew-Lee Potts. Even my mom commented that the actor who played Hatter was excellent. 

Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland
Apparently, this was my holiday for Lewis Carroll adaptations, because not two days after we saw Alice, my mom and I watched Alice In Wonderland. I've heard some mixed reviews about the film, but I loved it to bits. The movie was stunning to look at and cast was amazing. Strangely (because I do like her), Anne Hathaway was the only one I found disappointing. I think it's because, even though she's been in a fair amount of comedies, she's now such a Serious Dramatic Actress, she hasn't quite learned how to make lunacy seem natural.  Or maybe because Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter raised the bar so high there's just no way to reach their level. One of the things I loved was in the beginning of the film, everyone she met was meant to remind you of someone from Wonderland, like the Queen of Hearts, the Caterpillar or the Tweedles. But in the classic familiar sense (even physically), rather than the character interpretation that we will meet in this film. It was a nice twist on a familiar trope.


Another film I've been wanting to see for a while. I have less to say about this one, mostly because if I try it will just come out trite and corny. But I'm so glad I watched it and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 1
In contrast, I have so much to say about this one that I'm going to save it for a separate post. But be prepared for another shipper's rant. It's totally unavoidable this time.

My Favorite Year
My mom insisted that we watch this when it came on TCM and I'm so glad she did. I laughed so hard. I have to say, working on Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows had to be an incredible experience considering how Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and Carl Reiner all later turned to their time as writers on the show for inspiration.But it's Peter O'Toole's Errol Flynn-like character that makes the movie. I loved him in How To Steal A Million, but it's nothing compared to this! I haven't enjoyed a "modern classic" film (aka any post-black & white film that's at least 20 years old) this much since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!

So there you have it. Quaggy's holiday movie guide in a nutshell and I loved each and every one.  Now do yourself a favor and go watch one of them!
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Max)
Because if you haven't seen this yet, it's a crime...

I almost can't imagine how the movie could possibly be better than the trailer. Then I saw this...

I simply cannot wait!
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Trio)
So my youngest brother and I went to see Harry Potter this past weekend. (You know, that makes him sound about 9 rather than 22.) We’ve seen all the movies together so far. It’s going to be a little difficult with the last one seeing as they split the damn thing into two parts. It’s tough enough trying to find the time to see one movie when you’re in separate cities, let alone TWO!

As for the movie itself, I really enjoyed it. Possibly more than the book. Not that it was better, per say, just easier to get into. That said, the movie did have its flaws and I suspect it wouldn’t be nearly as good for people who hadn’t read the books.

Here be spoilers... )

quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (George)
So I watched Dead Like Me: Life After Death. For those of you that don’t know, three years after its cancellation, someone decided to make a Direct-to-DVD movie. Now, there’s not any middle ground with something like that. Either it was going to be awesome… or it was going to be a colossal train wreak. Fortunately, I found it to be more of the awesome variety.

It was pretty clear once we got pass the opening and saw the reapers together that everyone was totally in character as if there hadn’t been this huge stretch since the last time we saw everyone. But then, with a cast of actors this good, you really shouldn’t expect anything less. But it’s important to note that the writing was just in character. In fact the writing was so fantastic, that if you didn’t look too closely, it was really easy to overlook the fact that a new actress was playing Daisy. Personally, I was never a Daisy fan, so I’m not the best judge, but I actually liked the new Daisy. In some ways, I thought the actress was a better fit for the character than the original! If they do make more of these movies, I hope they keep the replacement. It wasn’t as easy to accept that Rube was not there, but since his absence was what moved the plot along, I just had to deal. (I get the feeling that Mandy Patinkin is somewhat difficult to have around for more than a short period of time, which is a shame because he’s such a fantastic actor.) And there was no Kiffany. I know she was only a minor character, but still. I really liked her and they never even mentioned her and that sucks. But we got Delores (and her cat!) and a couple of small, almost cameos, with Crystal, so that’s good.

There is a little hint of the Daisy/Mason ship, but it’s not strong and pretty easily ignored or just dismissed as a friendship/Mason being loyal thing. I was always more of a Mason/George shipper and the end of the series did offer that possibility (or, at least, didn’t preclude it.) But the movie didn’t really have much George and Mason bonding… mostly because George was dealing with her sister.

The rest is sort of spoilery, so I'm putting it behind a cut... )
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Zuko)
I was looking through my files when I stummbled across this meme that I had started but never finished. If memory serves, it became a victim of November 2008. Thing is, I was almost done and it seems a pity to let all that good work go to waste. So without further ado, here it is.

Better late than never... )
quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Eeyore)
I can't believe I got my favorite character! I had convinced myself that just being a bookworm wouldn't necessarily mean that I was actually like Belle!!

She really is a funny girl... )
quaggy: Forbidden Forrest scene from the 1st Harry Potter movie (Night)

quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Hermione)


Merdith Viera interviews JK Rowling at Edinburgh Castle on Dateline NBC tonight at 7PM.

These are my thoughts... and hopefully any major insights JK is ready to tell us.


quaggy: Elizabeth looking back at Mr. Darcy (Default)

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