Movies and TV


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If you have read the book, I was told, then you would hate the movie; if you haven’t, then you would hate the book after watching the movie.  Well, I haven’t read the book, and I have watched the movie.  And I don’t hate either of them.

In fact, I quite enjoyed the movie.  And I would recommend it to every romantic out there.  Not because this is a terribly romantic movie – which it is, somewhat.  I highly recommend this movie, because it makes all the romantics (myself included) realize how silly we are.  This, my friend, is the ultimate anti-romance movie, despite it’s title suggesting the contrary. 

I don’t know whether the author of the same name book Gabriel Garcia Marquez or the director intended it to be this way, but it sure busted the myth around “Everlasting Love” for me.  What is it but an illusion, a wishful thinking?  How silly it is to think you can actually love or beloved by someone forever?  

Go watch the movie, take it lightheartedly, and enjoy the crude humor.  And I am going to pick up a copy of the book, to see whether the author wrote it while thinking he was doing a huge favor for the incurable romantics.        

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I am a big movie fan, and I’d like to consider myself “seasoned” by the amount and kinds of movies I’ve watched.  I dig indie gems, and I can handle depressingly serious or seriously depressing films.  But when I went to the movie theatre with a friend yesterday, the only Oscar-nominated movie we wanted to watch was “Juno”.  Boy did we enjoy it!  And, to quote our dear Oscar host Jon Stewart, “Thank God for teen pregnancy!”

Take a look at these titles: “There will be blood”, “No country for old man”, “Atonement”, “Sweeny Todd”, which one sounds the least dark to you?  If you chose “Sweeny Todd”, congratulations, you are wrong.  “Sweeny Todd” is about revenge, murder, oh and a pie shop selling pies made with a very special ingredient – human flesh.  (But Johnny Depp sure looks great in it!)

I am glad that the writer of “Juno” won the Best Original Screenplay award.  Ms. Diablo Cody (am I the only one who thinks that her first name might not be real?) did an excellent job.  And may I say that I do believe she also did an excellent job being a stripper?  ’cause she is HOT!  Hot and quirky, what more could you ask for from a writer?  

Oh, and I will for sure check out a little Austrian film called “Die Falscher” (Translate: The Counterfeiters)!  One of my readers will be happy to know that his beloved country has just won her first Oscar and – it is nothing like The Sound of Music 😉 

For us French illiterate – “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly“.

You know it’s a French movie when you see a title like this.  Big Hollywood studios wouldn’t risk at the box office to use a name like this.  And of course, for the sake of box office, they didn’t make this movie.  

The movie was adapted from the same-name book by Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby.  A simple and true story: suffered from a sudden stroke, Bauby was completely paralyzed except his left eye.  With nothing left but imagination and urge to communicate, he started to write a book using his left eye.  The result was a brilliant and touching bestseller.  But somehow I was not convinced. 

It was recommended by a friend with good taste in movie.  But I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it very much.  Our seats didn’t help either – they were too close to the screen.  WARNING: do NOT sit too close to the screen when watching this movie.  Don’t ask why, you will thank me for this. 

Although I didn’t read the book, I felt that the movie only scratched the surface.  “Set your imagination free”, come on, isn’t this theme a little bit old?  Imagin yourself been locked up in a diving bell, you are aware of everything going on but are not able to tell people around you what’s on your mind – no matter how loud you speak, they cannot hear you.  Will “set your imagination free” do?  I don’t think so.  No matter how wild your imagination runs, if you cannot communicate it, life is a living hell.  OK, I confess, I expected the movie to be more depressing.  The studio should have hired a French director instead of an American. 

Disclaimer: I did not intend to write a movie critique 😉 

   

I’ve been listening to Nina Simone for several years now.  Still, her music never ceases to amaze me.  No matter how I feel at a particular moment, there is always a song of hers that suits my mood.  Right now, the song would be “Just In Time”.  I love the scene in “Before Sunset” where Jesse met Celine nine years later after their first chance encounter in Vienna, with Nina’s soulful voice in the background.

Nine years ago, both of them were young and full of hope; nine years later, one was unhappily married, the other lost ability to love.  Is this the second chance?  Just in time?

It gives me hope and sends a chill up my spine at the same time, this little movie.  The promising aspect is that many years have passed, they still could not forget about each other, and their 24 hours in Vienna.  It scares me at the same time because it shows that love – no matter how strong it is – is never enough.  We settle not for the best, but the most convenient.  How many human relationships are genuine, and how many are there simply because “they are there”?  And how many survived not because they actually stood the test of time, but because they were convenient? 

How many are “just in time”?    

Brits are famous for their wits, smart humor, sorry, smart humour.  They are the only English speaking people who can actually save a romantic comedy from being cheesy and cliche.  Don’t believe me?  Try “Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and One Funeral“. 

I am a movie junkie –a good-movie junkie to be exact.  Don’t watch much TV, for most of them bore me, except “Gilmore Girls“, “Grey’s Anatomy“, “The Office“, oh and “The South Park“.  And now this short list has a new addition: “Yes Prime Minister!“.   

Here is a clip, and you will understand why:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKjShmHw7s