Truly Bad Films

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Few Movies

Watched a few movies over the week to celebrate being Free At Last from taking two writing courses while working full-time. I didn't love any of them, perhaps because none of them were Truly Bad, but I knew they wouldn't be. Short notes on each one follow:

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - I rented this because I love Jim Carrey. He was a standout way back in his In Living Color days. I don't like all of his films - he can just keep the Ace Ventura series - but he is an amazing performer. One of the most awesome things about him is his orchestration of his body. He has a dancer's physical control. He can move his body as if each part is a different character, dancing together with all his other parts, to tell a mesmerizing story. Even his tongue is a character! The man is incredible. So, I got this movie just to watch him at work, and he was very good, with some hilarious lines. For example: "
"There are many orpahns out there that would gladly swim across a sea of thumb-tacks just to be eclipsed by the shadow that is cast by my accomplishments. But I don't care about them".
I also loved the gloriously beautiful Victorian costumes and the gorgeous sets of this film. The story didn't really grab me, but I wasn't bored either. The closing credits are worth seeing just for the dark beauty of the work of Edward Gorey-esque illustrators. They are past superb!

Kingdom of Heaven - Being a fan of all things mediaeval, I expected to love this story of Saladin's face-off with crusaders at the gates of Jerusalem. It is gorgeous in every regard . . . but perhaps a little too gorgeous. I just couldn't buy into the Princess of Jerusalem character. She was too heavily made up and I didn't believe a woman in her time and place would be allowed to gallop around, sitting astride, leading her entourage as if unescorted. The way her character operated was far too much an intrusion of the modern world. I didn't hate this movie at all, and I will probably rent it again, but all the pretty-pretty people in ultra-fine, shiny fabrics, just reminded me that I was watching a movie and nothing about it was real to me.

Sin City - My God this is LONG. Frankly, I didn't make it all the way through. About 3/4 of the way I just couldn't take yet another inexplicable murder or unexpected plot twist. Why was spilled blood white sometimes and red others? The only character I cared about at all, was Benicio Del Toro's dirty cop, Jackie boy. Now he was kind of interesting. But everyone else was so one-dimensional and cardboard I just could not care less what happened to them, and I proved it by punching the eject button.

Still to be viewed:
Constantine - Real TBF potential here, dear Bander-Log!
National Treasure - Ditto, could be a TBF goldmine.
Land of the Dead - Zombies!!!


At 11:18 AM, Blogger GG said...

Hi Chai, just saw on where MSN needs a blogger to review movies...then saw this post and figured "what the hay, since information is Chai's For-tay (hee hee hee) then maybe blogging for MSN could be too!"

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Chai-rista said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out.

At 4:02 AM, Blogger Sandy said...

I felt the same way about the Kingdom of Heaven....the people were too good lookin' and Orlando Bloom's character was off I thought.

I loved Sin City but am a fan of the comic book and I really think that movie was made for the readers. It was so dead on as far as the characters from the comics..perfect casting..I can't say that enough..casting was dead on!

At 9:29 AM, Blogger bunnyjo georg said...

Oh, I loooooooved the Lemony Snicket movie! You are SO right, Jim Carey is positively mesmerizing, his lines - hilarious. His delivery - grandiose and magesterial. The body movement - perfectly in character. You can't take your eyes off him when he is on screen. I also loved Meryl Streep's portrayal of the grammar-obsessed, paranoid nitwit. She was hilarious. This is definitely a movie I have enjoyed watching again and again. The DVD has a fascinating documentary called "Decstructing and evil character" or something where they crew filmed the creative process behind Carey's development of each character. They would put makeup on him and he would just riff off improv stuff and what took, they kept. It is really fascinating stuff if you are a fan of the man!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Chai-rista said...

Yeah, Sandy - I think Sin City was like spiking a drug for the comics readers. I know people who loved it big time. If I could have had more patience with the plot leaps I would have liked it better.

Bunnyjo - That's really interesting how Carrey developed the characters. The guy he does who comes to the snake man's house is so true to life of certain people I've known, yet I've never seen them characitured on screen like that. He's a genius!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Chai-rista said...

PS - Sandy, I think you're right. Orlando Bloom was too pretty for this role and he is built too slight to be Liam Neeson's son. I simply did not believe a pretty little elf like him could fight off 5 huge berserkers at once, esp. since he was a freakin blacksmith until a few months before. Where did he learn to topple a tower designed to breach a city wall? I guess he practiced that in between making horseshoes. Frankly, I didn't even believe him as a blacksmith!

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Sandy said...

I'm having a serious brain fart today so I can't "talk" or form sentences that make any sense but what you said..haha..


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