Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Into the Blue [* * * * *]

Seriously - what a dreamboat this Paul Walker is! He's my latest heartthrob, esp after seeing 'Into the Blue' where he swims with sharks and his ex-gf (I mean, his ex-gf isn't a shark.;p)

Then ... since I thought he was hawt, I saw 'Running Scared' and then downloaded another of his movies 'Fast and Furious'.

I liked all of them - well, as much as any woman can like movies made for a pure male audience -esp the roles he's picked. He's always a good guy who cares about kids and animals and a nature lover. Very hindi movie.:)

But I noticed something really peculiar about these tough-guy flicks that I don't recall thinking about before: they're really soft movies, all of them. There's bloodshed and violence and a lot of bad language, but there are no confusing emotions. I guess guys who watch these movies would get really confused if the good guys are shades of grey, huh?:) The romances that women watch, either as serials or as movies, are far more emotionally demanding.

Now that isn't really a criticism of men - more like a critique of movie-making talking down to their audience. I just realised I could watch these more easily than I could even Disney movies - there's no gut wrenching emotional trauma at all. It's simple. I like that.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Pokemon - The Rise of Darkrai [* * *]

Finally (!) I understand what a pokemon is. lol! When my friends had kids (usually one each) the children would be crazy about pokemon coins. I used to wonder what it was about with lazy curiosity.

If I'm rating this movie at all, it's because it brought light where there was darkness in my mind.:)

Pokemon are these cute animals who have special powers and their owners are kids. The kids send them out to fight and the pokemon [unquestioningly] do their bidding (... see the benefit to egocentric childishness?:) Anyway, pokemon is just another word for animal-with-powers.

This movie was interesting on many levels because:
1. it had the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, the barcelona maverick - it's wonderful to see tasteful imaginative use of my hero's bizarre work, esp Sagrada Familia and his park;
2. the pokemon live in the wild, even though a few are tamed by these 'pokemon trainers' - an analogy to pet-keeping children's aspirations. Fortunately, these are clearly magical creatures, I'm relieved they've drawn them colourfully and unrealistically so that kids won't be tempted to demand impossible things from their unfortunate dogs, birds or cats.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Bolt [* * * * *]

-phew- at last back to sanity with the world of animals - even if animated.;/

Bolt is a dog actor who is the only one in the dark. He doesn't know he's protecting his person from baddies for a tv series ... he thinks it's real.

He gets lost in a fed ex package and ends up in New York and has to travel back with a cat for a prisoner and a hamster in a bowl.

It's a charming story about how reality bites Bolt and how he comes to terms with being an ordinary dog. Most of us have had to go through this when we find out that we're not the most important people in the world just because our parents treated us that way... maybe kids who see this movie can make that transition to reality easier than I did. (I must have been way over 12 when I realised that maybe my mom and dad didn't marry because of me. Gawd, it was hard to believe that I didn't come first emotionally! lol :)

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Waltz With Bashir [* * * * * *]

This is the story of an israeli soldier, the filmmaker, who has dissociative memories of being a part of the Lebanon invasion at 19.

He can't recall most of the massacre of the two refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila, not even if he was there at all. It's a remarkable movie - disgusting for what people do during an occupation to escape the reality of their role in it.

It's a terrific psychological effort to remember what he couldn't handle, esp since conscription into the army is forced on israeli civilians, but even more amazing to animate the entire historical sequence.

As one angry critic says - he had no right to the story - the suffering of those 'others'. I have to agree to that point - my sympathy was not with Ari for the telling.

Ari Foreman, who's parents survived Auschwitz, is himself drawn to the parallels of his role with that of the Nazis. That understanding alone is worth watching the entire movie for. At last, an Israeli admitting to treating Palestines like Nazis treated the Jews in the death camps!! Praise Yahweh that it is finally acknowledged openly on film(sarcasm)!

To me, the unacceptable part of Waltz with Bashir is how even when he's doing his unemotive soul-search to understand his role (how very self-centered and crazy for a career soldier of 22 yrs with the israeli army), he eventually settles on the Christian Lebanese militia (Phalangists) to blame for the actual massacres. The someone-worse-than-me escape is always available - as with the germans, so with the jews, Ari. Grow up already, Israelis! Get real about your actions - at least now! It's been 60 yrs of your misbegotten rule.:(