Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lorna Doone

Movie:  Lorna Doone
Like/Don't Like:  Like

This is your standard BBC period drama.  If you like BBC period dramas, which I do, you'll like this.  If you're Laura, you won't.  It wasn't my favorite, certainly not up to Pride and Prejudice or North and South, but it had all that it was suppose to.  It's set a little earlier than most, like the 1600 or something.  This only means that there are more wigs and ruffly cravats.  Bonus!  It's kind of like Romeo and Juliet in the Highlands.  Poor farm boy falls in love with a girl from the local family of outlaws - their love is forbidden but they go for it anyway - war ensues.  The content was good, although at times a little confusing.  You might want to bone up on your English kings and queens if you haven't studied it in a while.  Aside from that the only real problem I had was how it was shot and edited.  The fight scenes were horrible.  They were all so jumpy that you couldn't tell who was getting hit or shot or run through.  

Speaking of bonuses...James McAvoy was in it!  It's a bit part so don't get too excited, but we all sighed a little sigh when he showed up, much to our surprise.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jesus Camp

Documentary: Jesus Camp
Like/Don't Like: I liked it, but was very unsettled by it

This one is tough to categorize because it was an excellent documentary but very hard to watch. I thought it was fair and accurate, and sadly, that only made the people in it look very real and very scary. Being Christian, and a comparatively conservative one at that, and coming from a faith that is easily misunderstood and often misrepresented, I have a lot of sympathy for the people that were portrayed here. It's tough to get a solid view of anything that has been filmed then edited out of context. But it's also tough to argue what was shown and said and done, in or out of context.

The film followed three kids to Bible camp. More specifically, a fundamentalist Evangelical camp for kids. It showed them arriving and meeting up with friends and talking like kids do, then going to hear sermons on how it's their duty as Christians to take back America for Jesus and be a driving force for future changes in the government - specifically in regards to abortion and prayer in school - in a pretty hard-core fashion. I'm talking about them speaking in tongues and laying hands on them and working them up into such a frenzy that the kids were huddled on the floor sobbing over their sins and the sins of the world. Some that looked as young as five.

It wasn't what was being taught to these kids that bothered me. It was how they were taught and what the end-goal was. This camp, essentially, is making fanatics for Christ, and that's scary, especially when two of the kids were talking about how cool it would be to be a martyr. I had a hard time seeing much of a difference between these kids and kids shown on videos of al Qaeda training camps. The only real difference was that these kids didn't have weapons in their hands. Well, unless you count the hammer they were wielding to smash a cup that had "the government" written on it. They both speak the same language of fanaticism, that it's a war they're fighting, that they're right and everyone else is wrong, and that they have to take action now, even dramatic action. It's fanatics who take the true principles that religions have and warp them into something horrifying. That was the unsettling part. The uncontrollable fervor in their eyes. The ministers and parents at the camp were hoping that they were training kids who would one day grow up to be world leaders, but it looked more like they were training kids who would one day grow up to bomb an abortion clinic.

*I feel like I should put a disclaimer here since I've already received (and deleted. I'm the only loon who can post on this site.) one comment that started out, "You sound as if you think bombing or burning abortion clinics is wrong." Um, yes. I actually do. I think abortion is wrong too. But fighting against it with acts of terrorism seems, I don't know, a little hypocritical.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Movie:  Cranford (On Masterpiece, you can Netflix it)
Like/Don't Like:  Loved

You all know I will pretty much watch anything on Masterpiece Theater (side note:  did you know it's just called Masterpiece now?  That, my friends, is an outrage!)  And I will also watch pretty much anything with Judi Dench (side note #2:  I have never seen a James Bond movie.  Not ever.  I tried watching the last one and was mesmerized by Daniel Craig's rugged good looks but only for about 10 minutes then I was through with the movie and turned it off.)  So Cranford was a sure bet for me.  It's set in England near the time of the industrial revolution in a small village called Cranford, that is populated primarily by single older women - either widows or spinsters, mostly all meddlers.  A young doctor comes into town and stirs things upa bit and because it's an adaptation of an Elizabeth Gaskell novel, loads of people die.  But don't let the death stop you from watching this.  Or the fact that it is a 5 hour mini-series.  It is a very sweet, funny, charming and touching movie.  

Thursday, May 15, 2008

27 Dresses

Movie: 27 Dresses
Like/Don't Like: Don't like

I watched this over a week ago and I kept forgetting to write about it. Which is not surprising because it is an entirely forgettable movie. It's your basic romantic comedy, but not a very convincing one. It had everything it was suppose to: a slightly neurotic girl, her testy over-sexed best friend, the guy she loves who doesn't love her, the guy she meets and instantly doesn't like for no reason at all but will find out that he has a heart of gold, the widowed father, the needy sister, and the obligatory cutesy montage with a fun soundtrack. It wasn't that I had seen it before, it was that I have seen it done better. This is saying something since my expectations for romantic comedies is already pretty low. When the needy sister asked if the testy best friend, who she didn't even know, would be in the wedding because she would look good in the dress, you know that the writers couldn't figure out another way to get her into those scenes for comic relief and had basically give up before the title paged was typed.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Movie: Juno
Like/Don't Like: Um...I liked it. (I wish I could record my voice here (I'm sure that there is a way to do this, I just haven't learned that magic yet) because it's all in my tone with this one, which is "not exactly convinced.")

I liked it because it won me over in the end. It really was a very charming and quirky story. The characters were all charming and quirky and the music was charming and quirky and I like charming and quirky. Who doesn't? But maybe it was too charming and quirky. Especially in the beginning. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of alien teen talk. Because I'm 80. I could practically visualize the script, and that's a problem for me. I don't like the words to get bigger than the film. But either it slowed down or I just got the hang of it, and about halfway through I warmed up to it. It was a little rough in parts and I had to tell Jason Bateman's character to back off because I was feeling uncomfortable (Who else talks to the movie? Anyone?) but it was sweet and funny.