Friday, June 12, 2009


Movie: Up
Like/Don't Like: LOVE.

It was an exhausting day at work yesterday. Not really bad, just non-stop. The phones didn't stop ringing, the people didn't stop coming in, and by the end of the day I was looking into monastic retreats in Tibet - just so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone.

But I opted for the cheaper retreat of a dark movie theater. Best $8 I've spent in my life. Because I LOVED this movie. LOVED. IT.

Maybe it was because I was so tired, but I was a wreck by the end of it. In a good way. I cry at a lot of things but I wept through this movie. Almost Shadowlands kind of weeping. Within the first 10 minutes. Because they are heartbreaking - both sad and sweet.

The movie follows Carl, an old man whose wife has just died. He decides to go on the adventure he always promised her they would take. This is how he ends up floating down to South America in his house, with a chubby boy scout named Russell tagging along. They end up on an island with talking dogs, Carl's childhood hero, and an exotic bird named Kevin.

It was all just so sweet and funny and lovely and beautiful and I can't say enough good things about it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Movie: Australia
Like/Don't Like: I would have liked it more if it were just one movie

It is a good thing I knew that this movie was 6 days long. Because at the half-way mark, when the movie essentially comes to a climactic ending - complete with a barely beaten deadline involving a large herd of cattle, and a big kiss involving Hugh Jackman - I knew, and was prepared for, another 3 days of movie. Maybe I'm exaggerating here, and that's unfair. It was more like 5 days. Okay, really it was 2 hrs and 45 mins. Which may as well be 5 days in my book. I was talking to Cynde and she casually mentioned this movie and then I casually mentioned that I just got it from Netflix that day and I was planning on watching it. That was two weeks ago! Because when I got off the phone with her and took a look at the movie and noticed that the run time was 6 days long it took me two weeks do decide that it was worth giving up that much time when I could be doing really important reading, or doing my correspondence, or sewing elegant caftans for leisure wear. Or, you know, watching other stuff on tv.

But I decided that it was worth it because 1.) Cynde recommended it; 2.) It has Hugh Jackman. Truth be told, I would watch Hugh Jackman folding origami. 2 hours and 45 minutes is not asking much when you get to see him without his shirt; and 3.) It's a Baz Luhrman film and I love Baz Luhrman films. I just really appreciate the cheesy, epic, lush vibe he tries so desperately to create. I know that it's not for everyone, but I get it. It's like he was born in the wrong era. He could have given Cecil B. DeMille a run.

But I think this is where people will run into problems with it. Because it is trying really hard to be grand and you know that he wants you the feel it. But it doesn't always work. The gist of the story, which is pretty good, gets lost in the length and scope of it. It truly could have been two movies, the first about Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman doing this cattle drive, the second about them trying to save this aboriginal kid.

In the end I enjoyed it. But I think that had a lot to do with being able to watch it at 1.4 speed.