Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Silly things

Ah, Adrien Brody. Great in "The Pianist". Otherwise, I just use you for entertainment value. When I'm at the yarn shop, I google your name so I can show your lovely visage to other women. Here's some of the reactions I've gotten (paraphrased): "Julie Rose! I thought you'd go for someone more manly!" Um, what's not manly about Mr. Brody? He doesn't look all that girly to me. Is it the fact that he's skinny? "You find him attractive? I don't get it!" "Look at that nose!" "Wait! I thought you liked Johnny Depp! Well, they're both kinda odd looking, now that I think of it." Yes, folks, these are the things women say to one another, and I'm not talking about young women, mind you. Many of these women are over fifty. Shame on us for being so childish!

Sure, he's not everyone's cup of tea, what with his big, broken nose, but he's certainly a handsome man. Okay. Not everyone thinks so. He's a bit of a test of character, in my humble opinion. Those who think he's ugly don't have enough of an imagination. Uh oh. I may have just judged you.

Yes, this is silliness. Now that I put up a list of this week's popular posts, the entry about my older celebrity crushes are going to come up again and again, and so I felt I must add some of my newer ones. Why? Why not? It's fun. I don't have to be serious all the time, do I?

I just deleted the sentence "here's another one" for I discovered that a still photo of Paul Dano doesn't grab me at all. Not one of 'em. However, I've enjoyed him in many films, especially in "The Good Heart." Last night I watched two more films in which he has starred, and realize he's either been typecast or pretty much plays the same character no matter the role. Doesn't matter to me. I've enjoyed them all. "The Extra Man" is good fun, especially as Kevin Kline is also in it, and "Gigantic" is a strange little film with a few gem-like scenes that I'm not sure held together well, but as I watched it on Netflix and the internet connection kept being dropped, it took me well over three hours to watch all 98 minutes of it.

These are not exactly film reviews, are they? I must admit my review of most films is pretty shallow, as is this blog entry.

I usually don't analyze a film unless I hate it. I should re-watch "Forrest Gump", a very popular film I remember ranting about, and give you a good meaty blog entry. I don't remember much about it now, except thinking it was ridiculous that a person who could be untouched by serving in Vietnam should be celebrated in film, even fictionally, and the fact that I was relieved that only one of the four people I saw the film with enjoyed it.

This reminds me of the last film I did not enjoy, some adult cartoon whose name eludes me. I went to see that forgettable piece of fluff with an even larger group of people. One of my cousins had said it got the highest percentage of favorable ratings (from actual film critics no less) than any movie had ever gotten on Rotten Tomatoes (no link to that here). How could it be lousy? So, we all went to see this film. ..whose name is. . .um. . .Wall-E! Well, anyway, after the first ten minutes, I was bored. Yes, I do get bored. I get bored when I have to waste my time. I sat in that theater thinking "Oh, I'm so jaded. Everyone else is loving this, I'm sure. What am I going to say when it's over? Should I tell the truth?" I was dreading the inevitable after movie conversation.

Much to my surprise, not one of my relatives enjoyed the movie. What we did talk about that evening is why on earth every single critic out there loved the film. We read the reviews on the web, and clucked our tongues. I do have a bad memory. What did those critics say? I do remember that I breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, even I, who thinks she doesn't care what others think of my opinions, doesn't really want to be the lone voice of reason in a world of inanity. That would make me crazy, no?


jmcleod76 said...

I agree with you about Mr. Brody, and about "Forrest Gump." But - and I remember your previous blog entry about it, which was very well-reasoned - not about "Wall-E," which I did love. I got your point about it seeming flippant about the possibility of overconsuming and polluting the world into annihilation, but I suppose I chose to see it more as a warning - as I do with most of the post-apocalyptic stuff I love - than as a nod to go ahead and destroy the Earth because some cute robots will just come along and fix it for us. I found real depth there, in terms of celebrating faithfulness to one's responsibilities, and encouraging people to unplug from their virtual, make-believe world and experience actual life. Yes, the humans in the film were sad and pathetic shells, but Wall-E didn't just come along and save them; they had to learn to save themselves. He just set off the chain of events that let them wake up. I also thought there was some sophisticated commentary going on there in that a piece of machinery had gained humanity while the humans had forgotten theirs. To me, it was pretty deep, at least for Disney (which doesn't take much, admittedly). Before you feel like you need to defend your opinion, though, know that I fully understand every criticism you toward the fill, and I don't take your opinion personally. It's fun to disagree sometimes. I so rarely find myself doing it in this space.

Is this a figment of my imagination, or did you also see Disney's "Up" and hate that, too? After I saw the movie, I thought I remembered you writing about it, but, if you did, I've never been able to find the entry. I loved that film even more than "Wall-E." In fact, it's one of my favorite films, which is saying a lot for a computer animated film (it's not my favorite medium, to say the least), or any cartoon not made by Hayao Miyazaki.

Julie H. Rose said...

Well, Jaime, you have a better memory than I do (to say the least), so I went and searched for the entry. It was scathing! Here it is for the other memory-impaired curious or those who didn't read it the first time:

I won't defend my point of view. What you wrote is heartfelt and honest. What I wrote sounds like it might not be, but was. We have different taste, I'd venture to guess. I did not see "Up", for I disliked even the film's clips. When a friend who has a penchant for the cute told me he'd disliked it, I didn't even bother giving it a chance.

Now I'd like to give "Up" a try, though I'm skeptical. Miyazaki is another story. "Spirited Away" is one of my all time favorites!

I must say this: your description of Wall-E makes it sound like one heck of an excellent film! I can theoretically understand getting that message, but in this case the medium got in my way. I'm in a hurry, but I just saw an article that might have gotten to the heart of my not liking any of Pixar's work. Later!

JohnHecht said...

I love the look of your blog. It's so beautiful.

Julie H. Rose said...

Thanks, John!

Jaime, here's a week's worth of articles about Pixar films (not all negative, as it sounds):

When you get down to it, I think I just don't like the aesthetics of their animation. When one is visually turned off, it's hard (at least for me) to see anything else.

jmcleod76 said...

I actually agree with you about Pixar animation, as noted in my previous comment. I'm getting used to it, and I have learned to quite like somePixar/Dreamworks computer animated stuff (obviously, if I list "Up" among my favorites), but I'm much more partial to actual pen and ink drawings, or even stop-motion, when it comes to animation.

I refuse to even watch certain computer animated films. Generally, these are the ones that fall into the "too realistic" category. Those just creep me out. Examples would include "The Polar Express," or last year's Jim Carrey version of "A Christmas Carol," or "Beowulf," despite it's having been adapted by Neil Gaiman, who I love.

I have a much higher level of tolerance for round, nondescript cuteness that for overdone graphic detail or poorly attempted realism. This is actually a common enough phenomenon to have a whole term devoted to it, "Uncanny Valley."