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Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

@ajaiken Well, I was referring to Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky specifically (or to be precise the English dubs of them. 😉 ) If memory serves, I found My Neighbor Totoro cute but nothing special. BTW are you familiar with Whisper of the Heart or My Neighbors, the Yamadas? They're not fantasies so I think they have fewer confusing or surreal plot points and they don't suffer from anticlimactic endings, which, as much as I enjoy them, I feel Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky do.

This is changing the subject from movies to music, but are nonclassical concerts generally about storytelling? Giggle  

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : July 28, 2020 7:35 am
AJAiken
(@ajaiken)
Member Moderator Emeritus

I haven't seen Whisper of the Heart or My Neighbours the Yamadas yet, but as a lot of Ghibli films are now on Netflix in the UK I'm hoping to soon!

I guess I wanted to make it clear I was talking about classical music, rather than what else might come to mind if I wrote concert. Giggle  

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Posted : July 28, 2020 11:58 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

Some of you may remember that I don't do streaming services. Well, lockdown has pressured me into getting, one Disney+. (If I still have it, when there's a new Narnia adaptation, I'm going to cancel it and get Netflix instead.) So I got to watch the new Phineas and Ferb movie, Candace Against the Universe. As I expected, it was as good as the first movie, Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension. What I loved about that movie was how it took the characters to places the average episode of the show would never take them. By contrast, the main premise of Candace Against the Universe (the characters go to outer space and meet extraterrestrials) is something that happened fairly regularly on the show. (There was even an episode where Candace meets a group of aliens who make a celebrity, which she initially prefers to her life of Earth but becomes disenchanted with!) And there were actually a lot of dramatic moments that were recycled from similar moments from episodes and specials. To be fair though, the show's been off the air for a good while. Familiar Phineas and Ferb territory is arguably what fans of the franchise want right now. (I still prefer my idea for a Candace centered movie, that she finds out that Perry and Doofenshmirtz have been generally responsible for her failures to "bust" her brothers, and goes crazy, trying to kill them. 😉) 

Spoiler
What was less justifiable was how predictable the main plot was. I could see the twist regarding the villain and many plot points coming a long way off. I don't mind predictable plot points in general but predictable twists really irritate me. And it wasn't even predictable in a Phineas and Ferb way, just a generic movie way. Across the Second Dimension didn't have this problem. 

But the movie did take the characters into some new territory. (I had no one idea how much I needed a rivalry between Doofenshmirtz and Isabella.) They had Phineas be confronted with the fact that his inventions and projects have been making his beloved sister miserable, though the plot structure kept them from really exploring this.

Spoiler
And as predictable as the villain's reveal was, I liked the idea of pitting Candace against a villain who takes all her own vices (her bossiness, her jealousy, her vindictiveness, her self absorption) and shows her them at their ugliest. I think stories like that are interesting and the character of Candace certainly lent herself to them. (Though again, I remember an episode of the show which did the same thing more subtly.) Unlike the Phineas thing, was developed as much as it should have been and gave a more satisfying wrap up to Candace's character than the series finale did, going a long way to justifying this movie's existence.

I was kind of bothered that they didn't do more with Stacy and Jeremy. Neither of them is the greatest character on the show or anything but they're very close to Candace and it felt weird not to give them bigger roles in a movie centered on her, especially given the part where she considers living out the rest of her days on another planet. I can see her getting mad enough at her brothers and mother to cut all ties with them, but not Stacy or Jeremy.

Spoiler
One of the endearing things about Phineas and Ferb is the way it usually tries to redeem its antagonists. Sadly this movie tried to do that in a really annoying way. Having a villain change their minds just because the hero gives them a big speech is one of my least favorite plot devices. Has that ever happened in real life? On the plus side, the movie was smart enough not to have this be what resolves the conflict. On the minus side, not having it resolve the conflict made it seem more arbitrary and obligatory. I'd rather the writers had either given the villain a redemptive arc that was actually well though out, or just not bothered trying to redeem her. The latter isn't totally unprecedented on the show.

But I really did enjoy the movie more than my carping makes it sound like I did. It had almost all the virtues that made the show popular, great voice acting (Ferb's new voice is almost a perfect match for the old one), absurdist humor (what happens when a space ship doubles the speed of light is brilliant) and great songs. (The big musical finale summarizing the moral actually tops the similar ones from the episodes, Summer Belongs to You and Rollercoaster: the Musical!) Candace Against the Universe didn't make me look forward to a potential Phineas and Ferb revival on Disney+. I think the franchise has really "done it all" at this point, and they should let it rest in peace rather than try to stretch it out to point where it'll inevitably go out on a low point. After all, one of the themes of the show is that good times can't be made to last forever and that people just have to enjoy them while they're happening. But it didn't make me dread a potential revival either.

This post was modified 6 months ago 3 times by Col Klink

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : August 29, 2020 8:09 am
Reepicheep775
(@reepicheep775)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I just got back from Tenet and I have pretty mixed feelings on it.

Spoiler
Tenet spoilers

I'm a big fan of a lot of Christopher Nolan's movies, so I had high hopes for this... maybe too high. The first half of the movie felt very... soulless. It just jumped from one scene to the next and, while I understood that the stakes were high, I never really understood why I should care on a human level. Nolan's films are often accused of being cold and humourless - and usually it hasn't bothered me - but this time I could see it. It just felt like it was lacking something... human.

Then the second half happened and the time travel conceit kicked into high gear and I started liking it a lot more. There was some really cool, innovative action scenes and typical mind-bendy stuff. The second half definitely made me sit up in my seat and made me want to like it more than the first half had left me feeling.

So where does that leave me in the end? I'm not really sure. Similar to the first time I saw Inception... I missed a bunch of plot points and I'm sure things will click more on future viewings. Unlike Inception though... this wasn't love at first sight. The jury's still out for me until I see it again. First impressions are, despite spectacular action scenes and some really cool concepts, it left me cold overall.

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Posted : September 15, 2020 8:56 pm
AJAiken
(@ajaiken)
Member Moderator Emeritus

@Reepicheep775 - Tenet - yep.

Spoiler
Tenet

My expectations weren't huge for this film, because the trailers didn't really sell it to me and the reviews have been very mixed. However, I like most of Christopher Nolan's movies so I was looking forward to it.

I never cared about any of the characters. I can't even remember any of their names. I think Nolan usually does a good job of connecting the audience with the characters on screen, even in his films I don't like so much. But there was little here. It was all vague - so vague that revelations were meaningless.

My main issue with the film is the time travel. Differently to Reepicheep's review above, the second half didn't really capture my imagination. I did enjoy some of the action scenes, but seeing them twice drove me nuts. This was one of the big issues I had with Nolan's Dunkirk. That film showed things and then showed them again. Tenet has many scenes which then we see again in reverse later on. But we've already seen them. We already know exactly what's going to happen. So what's the point?

The big action scene at the end just confused me. The forward team and backward team looked so similar I found it very difficult to tell who was who. Perhaps that was deliberate. Anyway, it played like a Michael Bay movie - lots of things exploding, so visually exciting but making little sense.

In the end, I'm left feeling like I've missed the point of it all. And perhaps I have ... 

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Posted : October 5, 2020 7:53 am
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

Since the library reopened in mid summer, I've been getting one or two John Wayne films with each library pickup. We have watched Dark Command (1940), The Fighting Seabees (1944), and War of the Wildcats (1943), and last weekend we watched Flying Leathernecks (1951). It's been years we saw three of the four films, so the younger siblings didn't remember them at all and I only remembered bits and pieces. We hadn't seen War of the Wildcats previously, it was pretty good. 

And then last night we watched Back To Bataan (1945) from our family collection and although we have had it for years this was the first time we had watched it. After watching I am really not sure why we hadn't watched it sooner. 

Recently my younger sister and I watched Dawn At Socorro (1954) and A Man Alone (1955). Dawn At Socorro was okay, I got it as part of a set and as such it's fine. A Man Alone was quite good, a nice addition to my growing western collection. Smile  

SnowAngel


"Live your risk." - Buck Sexton

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Posted : October 10, 2020 3:58 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

For various reasons  I have been to very few movies this year. I've missed some significant ones, have probably forgotten what they were. 

Would anyone care to suggest 3 or 4 that came out this year, to help me look for them for hire? Thank you.

.'....whispered to her,"Courage, dear heart", and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.'

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Posted : October 21, 2020 1:33 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

If you like Jane Austen, there was the new version of Emma — I was thinking of seeing it at the cinema and then the lockdown put paid to all that. I still haven't seen it, but it looked good and was getting very favourable reviews.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : October 21, 2020 3:38 pm
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

After talking about it a bunch, we decided to watch a non Christmas movie last night and that movie was The Hunt For Red October which is one of my favorite movies ever and has been for a very long time. So the conversation at lunch today was full of quotes from the movie and discussion about favorite scenes. My youngest sibling didn't remember much from watching it a couple years ago and was full of questions and comments. Giggle  

We will return to watching Christmas movies this evening as we still have several in our collection to watch, plus a couple more I got from the library. We've been watching classic Christmas movies this year, all made in the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

SnowAngel


"Live your risk." - Buck Sexton

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Posted : December 19, 2020 4:39 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I had the chance to watch the new Emma movie recently. Before any fan of the book reads this post, I should probably lay my cards on the table. I'm more a fan of the 1996 Emma movie (directed by Douglas McGrath) than I am a fan of the book. That's not to say I dislike the book. In fact, most of things I love about the movie were things it inherited from the book. But it also has a few original things that I love and those tip the scales in its favor. (Plus it's shorter. 😉) 

That being said, I can definitely see some fans of the source material liking the 2020 movie better. It includes a lot of lines and details that weren't in the 1996 movie. (Though I'd argue the 1996 movie also had some lines and details that aren't in the 2020 movie.) It gives characterizations to Emma's sister and her husband, who have very brief cameos in the 1996 movie. (Though to be honest, I kind of wish they hadn't because their characters just come across as really unpleasant. Of course, Emma is supposed to be about unpleasant characters. But in the book, I got the impression that despite Isabella's annoyingness and John's crabbiness, they were decent people who liked each other underneath it all.) And Frank Churchill's character is much more developed. (If a deleted scene had been included, the movie would also have done a way better job of developing Jane Fairfax.) There's a good case to be made that this script did the best job of telling the book's story.

But even granting all that, I have to say the 1996 Emma is better on the whole. I feel like that cast had a charm that this movie's cast doesn't. In particular, I feel Anya Taylor-Joy was kind of unappealing as Emma. I hate to say that because she doesn't look like she came from the same assembly line as your average starlets and I want to praise the movie for casting an actress who isn't conventionally beautiful by Hollywood's specific standards as its leading lady. And she definitely has some fun moments and line readings. But she plays the character as so stiff and aloof. It's true that Emma Woodhouse is so supposed to be snobby and self satisfied but she's also playful and outgoing. She can even be capable of self deprecatory humor once in a while. (When Mr. Knightley accuses her of being prejudiced in Frank Churchill's favor, in both this movie and the book, she cheerfully admits she is because there aren't many hot guys in her life.) This Emma comes across as so uptight that if they didn't establish she was lonely right away, it'd be hard to understand why she reaches out to Harriet Smith. 

A little sparkle and mischief would also have helped her arguments with Mr. Knightly. The book does a great job (and the 1996 movie does an even better one 😉 ) of conveying that although they're always fighting, these two characters really like and, on some level anyway, respect each other. Despite having most of its dialogue come from the book, the 2020 movie really can't seem to hit the tone. The actors seem so annoyed by each other that I have a hard time buying they'd make good friends, let alone a couple. (To be fair, this problem isn't nearly as big in this movie as it was in the 1997 BBC movie adaptation.) 

Spoiler
Broad Spoilers
Emma is an interesting book in that a major part of its message, that people from different social classes shouldn't be friends, is considered immoral now but people still enjoy it. Every modern adaptation changes the resolution to the Harriet Smith plotline to some degree. This movie does the biggest 180 from the source material of all of them. Now while I can sympathize with discomfort with the "classist" part of the book's message, I prefer it when adaptation's try to stay true to the original themes. It's gutsier and more interesting to watch. But I'll admit I found this movie's revisionist ending to be so heartwarming I can't complain of it.

Thanks to the script, if to nothing else, I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to people who like this kind of thing.

Spoiler
If nothing else, it deserves credit for having the heroine get a nosebleed in the middle of her true love's marriage proposal. Not a lot of romance's go there. Giggle

P.S.

Sheesh, first Little Women and now Emma. I should really write about some guy movies. But action films give me headaches and it's hard to say anything good about a headache.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : January 18, 2021 3:47 pm
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

I got several movies from the library this week. Tonight's feature will be Towards The Unknown (1956) which I really like, but my sister Scarlet refuses to watch it because of what happens to James Garners' character. Although I don't care for that part of the movie either, it's William Holden that's the main character. Cool  

Another of the library movies was Crossfire (1947) starring Robert Young, Robert Ryan, and a young Robert Mitchum which Scarlet and I watched. The plot was interesting. I was surprised that there wasn't a main character, it followed one character and then another and then back again. It was different, but it worked.

When the library movies are finished we will return to watching the Hornblower series which we started rewatching last weekend. It's been ages since we last watched them and I had forgotten how much I enjoy them. 

SnowAngel

 


"Live your risk." - Buck Sexton

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Posted : January 22, 2021 12:51 pm
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