Category Archives: movies

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

I saw Snow White and the Huntsman on Monday. I’m not a big Kristen Stewart fan. Sure, I haven’t seen the Twilight films, but she was awful in Adventureland and forgettable in any other movie I’d seen her in. So, really, one might question why I would watch a film where she plays the hero. The movie did look interesting in a Lord of the Rings sort of way, however. My mom also really wanted to see it. Oh yeah, and Thor’s in it.

Among the previews for a Katy Perry movie and that strange Rock of Ages movie was the trailer for Les Miserables. Despite my previous misgivings about the film, I am so excited for this movie. I’ve seen the trailer countless times for now. It truly looks like it will be epic. Unfortunately, that was about the highlight of the movie night.

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Buster Keaton Live Scoring with Merrill Garbus

The San Francisco Film Festival kicked off last week. I know this not just by following general San Francisco news or by the fact that my sister’s been interning with the SF Film Society. No, I also know this because I was at the opening night party. It was a fun event with so much great food. The only downer of the night is that we met Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) and it turns out that he was kind of a butt.

In any case, the event I was most excited about was a live scoring of Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle shorts. The music and scoring was done by Merrill Garbus and the rest of Tune-Yards as well as local guitarist Ava Mendoza. Now, I’m not really that well-versed in classic films and film history. To my knowledge before the event, the only time I saw Buster Keaton in a movie was his very brief cameo in Sunset Boulevard. I later learned that his last film was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which I was obsessed with as a kid. Beyond that, I am not familiar with Buster Keaton’s work. Nor had I ever seen anything with Fatty Arbuckle in it before Monday. I was primarily excited by the thought of seeing silent films scored by a band like the Tune-Yards. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m a hipster.Whatever.

Well, I guess I have to thank the Tune-Yards for being an intriguing and unique band, because I would have otherwise missed out on a fantastic evening.

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Hunger Games (2012)

Two movies in two months. I think it’s a record. Granted, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this movie ever since I read the books in December and January. It’s been a matter of painstakingly counting down the days and watching every trailer despite having seen them each about a thousand times. But now it’s come and gone, so now it’s time to make sense of what I just saw.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It was a lot of fun to watch and, for the most part at least, the movie stayed pretty true to the book. The movie was fast-paced. The book isn’t that long, but a LOT happened that they couldn’t quite squish into a two and a half hour movie. The acting was great. Jennifer Lawrence sold all of Katniss’s awesomeness. Woody Harrelson was great as Haymitch. Surprisingly, only because I’ve never seen him act, but I loved Lenny Kravitz’s Cinna. I wanted to see more of him. We did spring for IMAX tickets and while it was fun to watch on the bigger screen, I don’t know if this movie really merits the IMAX upgrade.

Also, really, people reviewing this movie need to lay off what should be a non-issue about Jennifer Lawrence’s weight. They are supposed to be starving, fine. I get that. But she did a great job with the character of Katniss. She’s not a big actress by any normal standards and her build reflects someone who would spend her time hunting or spends the majority of the movie training for and running around some large jungle. I would have honestly had a harder time believing some stick thin twig of a girl could do that. Now, what they could have been focusing instead was the cleanliness of her appearance on the outset. Katniss does not care about her looks by most standards. She doesn’t have time to clean her nails and is proud of the hair on the legs, much to the chagrin of her makeover crew in the Capitol. In the movie, there’s really not much of a leap between how she looks in District 12 and how she looks in the Capitol. Oh no, they have to pluck three extra eyebrows. Even a Princess Diaries-style makeover could have been enough. But, no, let’s focus on the weight.

And now I put the spoiler-ish discussion behind a cut…

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Chronicle (2012)

So graduating from law school and passing the bar really did not change the status quo. I still don’t go to movies that often anymore. I guess it’s a slow movie season right now, but in years past, this would have been the time that I scrambled to watch the Oscar movies. I did have an opportunity to watch Phantom Menace in 3D, but I guess I don’t think I need to explain why I opted out of that one in the end. In any case, a lot of people had been raving about this Chronicle movie that I honestly could care less about. It looked like Blair Witch with superpowers. Following recommendations from a number of different people, I decided to drag Chris out to check it out still not quite sure what to expect. I   guess I should cut the rest of this post so that I don’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it.

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Back Again ( And the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

After that post resolving to post more, I disappeared. Granted, two weeks of that time I was MIA on family Christmas vacation. I was sick the rest of that time. In any case, one of my resolutions for the year is to blog more this year. And to blog with more substantial posts. Let’s see if i can make this happen.

Today, I’m going to post about the movies. I don’t go out to them often and often save them for my geek franchises or my post January scramble to watch Oscar movies. But one of my family’s few Christmas traditions is to take my mom to a Christmas movie. Granted, this is usually a RomCom or musical, but I guess there is some sort of bizarre love story in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And it usually happens on Christmas Day, but January 2nd is still kind of in the Christmas season, right?

All in all, I really enjoyed the film. I actually think it was better than the book, which is a rare quality in movies. The problem with the book is that you have to work through almost two hundred pages of agonizingly slow background and plot before the book actually starts getting interesting. This should not happen for what should be a fun summer thriller. The book trims a lot of the so-called fat and gets down to it, while still preserving a lot of important plot details. Rooney Mara was superb as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig, who I had my doubts about, actually hit the mark as Blomkvist. At three hours, the movie was kind of long, but whatever. So was the book. Otherwise, I enjoyed the film a lot more than I thought I would.

While I came in with concerns about how the book would be adapted, I also came in ready to compare it to the original Swedish film. I heard a number of third party reviews from siblings’ friends. One said that the US version was a shot-by-shot remake of the Swedish one. It’s really not. The American version surprisingly was more faithful to the book. I felt like the Swedish version cut a lot of plot out of the movie to make it more of a thriller, which was surprising to me because I assumed it would have been the other way around.

In any case, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I would recommend it. I guess I should give the warning that it got very graphic. Other than that, a fun movie.