Saturday, 31 January 2009

Shrek 3 [ * ]

I think the basic idea of the Shrek series is good - that everyone deserves love, whether you're good-looking or ugly. In fact, a lot of good-lookers are finks inside, men and women. They hide an ugly nature and some very ugly people are wonderful. Can't read books by their covers.

One of the positive things about Shrek 3 was how it makes all the princesses quite ordinary women, all princes normal, cowardly, self-centered men and all the animals quite lovely. Which is real enough...;)

... but it's realism has nothing to take home, nothing of value for anyone who's avoided ADD. Shrek lies, steals, uses violence to get his way ... he's an ogre who's very much like an american boy in the bush era. Nothing interesting.

Disney and pixar/dreamworks both seem to be run at this point by hentai-wannabes and this is the result of their lacklustre day-job. Bah.

Ratatouille [* * * * *]

This is another lovely modern story. Some of these ideas are terrific for kids who need to develop an idea of who they can be. It's about the equality of all living beings.

A rat who has such a highly developed sense of smell that he can recognise ingredients in what he eats. He begins to cook. Then his colony is chased out of the country and into the city - and the city happens to be Paris.

Rat and a boy make a pact after he creates a soup that wows a critic, and from then on it's amusing and actionpacked until this rat is declared to be the best chef in all of Paris by a food critic towards the end of the movie.

It's creative, fun and exposes a prejudice about rats (and women) in the cordon bleu kitchen, and their talent, in general.

Anyone who's ever known a rats (or women;) will never hurt those determined, delightful creatures - even if they make your fav bookshelf into a nest - they're architects of great talent and talented garbage-disposers ... theres no food wasted around them. They're polite enough about what they'll eat if you make sure you feed them regularly. And they're wonderfully sensitive to environment if you have a rat around, you know days in advance that it's going to rain.:)

Friday, 30 January 2009

Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, 2008 [* * * * *]

I absolutely love toons - they're hippy, upbeat and usually carry very attractive, magnetic messages even kids can remember - about higher values like love, respect, power and karma.

Madagascar 2 is all of that - you come away feeling your time was well-spent with a spiritual guru who's got the fundamentals of animal rights right. The first Madagascar was somehow a little disappointing - a lot like Tom & Jerry, with one animal or human bashing another and you don't come out feeling very good - I always thought it was because Pixar animation was in the grip of cynical IT kids. lol

A whole generation later, they've come back to the values we used to love in Disney's fairytale productions.

A kidnapped lion from New York returns to Africa and then goes on to prove that leadership is about caring, not force; and his dad learns to respect him for being a dancer, not a fighter.

Very enjoyable - even if you're all grown up.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Waking Life, 2001 [* * * * *]

Linklater's movie is a philosophical work about the very slight difference between dreaming and being awake. This guy is dreaming and can't figure out how to wake up. He meets a number of unusual people who talk while he listens.

It's very interesting - the dreamer keeps waking up and finding he's still dreaming about waking up! Each time he learns more about how he can distinguish between the dream state and the waking state.

In one dream, a friend he meets tells him to switch on or off a light to check if it's a dream, since you can't control light during dreaming. In another instance, he notices how the time on his clock wavers and that's how he knows he's dreaming. It's fascinating how the moviemaker introduces philosophy and psychology into this vivid dream.

It supports the gestalt notion that dreaming should clarify and free your choices as your subconscious works best with imagination. How deep philosophical thinking can only be useful to living when they rise out of the unconscious chaos of freedom. If you dream enough, you should grow closer to your instinct and make choices that are harmonious with your survival skills, overcome your limiting fears and prejudices.

The native americans used dream work to increase the efficiency of decisions of survival, we could all learn from our dreams how to cope in stressful lives.

Dreams are also only possible in r.e.m. sleep the most restful time, so if you aren't dreaming enough, you are probably not sleeping enough! Go sleep now and you will find your maya and begin a 'waking life'.:)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Moonstruck, 1987 [* * * * *]

I've given up seeing movies on screen for the present - they're all so mediocre. Instead I'm picking well-loved favorites that have stood the test of time and going with my two fav. categories - romance and sci fi - to bring my interest back to the silver screen. It's annoying to be bored, and feels even more terrible to try to grin and bear it/make the best of it/whatever. I'm not cut out for that.

So, Moonstruck.

It's a humorous story about the suddenness of love and how a really meticulous and perfectionist woman falls into the chaos that we call 'love'. And Cher carries off the role to perfection - she's got such a lovely face and an independent, unique style that comes across in her voice as a woman who knows her mind and isn't afraid to speak it.

Nicholas Cage is, as always, a little looney, a little bit of an emo loser and every woman's nightmare, but I could stand a movie like this where men play secondary roles to some very powerful insightful performances by the women.

There's a theme of man = wolf throughout that's like a subtle undertow of criticism of male opportunism and a set of dogs that appear periodically to remind the viewer of the domesticated wolf in our midst. Very classy.:)

I really enjoyed the movie.