Saturday, July 30, 2011

On Stage: Hugh Jackman in One Night Only

I was first introduced to Hugh Jackman via X-Men as the deliciously sexy Wolverine.  Fast forward ten years, and I'm watching the same man put on a one-man Broadway show, singing and dancing and making us laugh and cry... what the hell?  Am I in some weird bizarro world?  (Wait, that's DC).  What can I say, Hugh Jackman is awesome!  Well, I kinda knew that already, from his turn as Oscar host, which I thought was so brilliant; they need to bring him back.  His limited engagement in Toronto ended July 17 (I caught the July 16 show) but I think he may make it to NYC and if he does?  Go see it.  It was entertaining as heck!

Now Playing: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part two

It’s been two weeks since I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2. I have to admit, I wasn’t ready to watch the last movie. Jadek kept saying that, for him, Harry Potter ended four years ago when the last book came out. To some extent, he’s right; however, I will absolutely admit to using the movies a crutch to deal with that loss. Sure, I closed the book in 2007, but I still had lots of Harry to look forward to! Two weeks ago, I was not at all ready to have no more new Harry-ness in my life.

The movie began exactly where the first part left off – no “previously on”, no montage flashback, just go. And go it did!  I won't bore you with plot details - suffice it to say, a lot of stuff happens.  Quickly.  Brutally.  Characters live, they die; they succeed triumphantly; they slink off cowardly; bad things happen; good things happen.  And then it all ends.  Through it all, the audience was almost reverent.  It was the quietest movie I'd seen in a long time (despite the giants, magical duels and stuff blowing up) and I found it hard to keep my pathetic little sobs to myself.  With the lights coming up and me still fumbling for a tissue (where are the days when boys had handkerchiefs?), I think I was still in denial about it all.

I watched the movie again, 4 days later with AnCe.  I'm not a movie-talker (despite what Nish says, which is funny, because I think we've seen two movies together in the theatre) and so I was pulled right back in.  Only  a few less tears this time, and I could really focus on the scenes that went by too quickly the first time.  And when it was all over?  STILL not ready to let it go. 

As a movie: this was pretty good.  I can't really think of a better way that they could have wrapped it all up.  Movie fans (but not book readers) I think may be confused by some parts, but that's always been the downfall of the movies when compared to the books.  As book-readers, I think we filled in where necessary and tapped into the emotions we remember having as we read these passages for the first time.  Yes, I think the whole series is worth watching; yes I think it's difficult not to rate this movie as a series finale instead of a standalone movie.  I would give this entire experience a 5 out of 5 stars.  And I'm sorry poppets, that I cannot disengage myself enough to look at part 2 on its own.

Some notes (and spoilers):
- I watched HP7b in 3D the first time and in normal the second.  Being a 'dark" movie - one that takes place mostly outside and at night, I found the normal version quite dark in comparison to the 3D.  This could have the particular screen I was watching, but anyway, I thought I'd mention it.
- Christopher Columbus from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone needs to be rewarded handsomely.  His insistence on having Radcliffe cast has really made this series.  In fact, the entire cast is a real work of art.  When we see Hermione in her Bellatrix disguise (basically, Helena Boham-Carter playing at being Hermione in disguise), it was just brilliant - her mannerisms and facial expressions!  I could actually see Emma Watson in Bonham-Carter's face!  And who would have seen that awkward Neville grow into such a brave man?  The cast, really, couldn't have been better.
- Dumbledore finally comes into his own and we get to see the funny, charming, witty headmaster that I've longed for since Richard Harris passed away.
- Snape's death scene was just perfect.
- Happy 31st Birthday, Harry (one day early).

For those of you who haven't watched the movies (or read the books) because you think all this hype is just exhausting, I think you're doing yourselves a disservice.  I find the stubborn refusal to do something solely on the grounds that it's popular just as silly as doing things for that purpose alone.  The books are amazing - they literally turned a whole generation back on to reading.  I cannot tell you the amount of little children I watched reading the tome (Order of the Phoenix) when it first came out - these same children who for years we've been led to believe couldn't read more than a few pages a time, needed pictures to make it interesting and had to have simple words only.  If nothing else, read the books - they are truly magical.  The movies?  They're like a treat, getting to watch the characters step off the page and on to a big screen.  It's too bad that latecomers to the book series will be "spoiled" by the images from the movies, but as Dumbledore would say, alas.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now Playing: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Short review: Dark of the Moon wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Actually, of the series, this may have been the best one.  Despite the weird Pink Floyd reference (but not), the movie was peppered with neat bits - like Buzz Aldren and Megatron's cape and toppling skylines.  Should you make an effort to watch it if youhaven't bothered with the other two?  No.  2.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Now Playing: Green Lantern

God, I watched Green Lantern weeks ago.  It was nothing to write home about.  In fact, a lot of it didn't really make sense to me.  I should probably write a review eviscerating it, but that's so much effort for a movie that barely didn't suck.  The worst part was that it was boring.  You know, superhero movies have come a long way.  Now, we don't just expect a godo fight scene, we expect drama, comedy, plot.  Lantern really didn't deliver on any counts.  I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars.  Harsh, I know.