Monday, January 30, 2006

Movie Reviews

I wanted this to be a movie-watching weekend, because I have about 30 movies sitting on TIVO taking up space, that I really want to get to. I watched 3 and 1/20th movies, so I guess I didn’t do too badly.

It all started Friday morning when I was driving in to work and made the executive decision that I was going to see Memoirs of a Geisha that night. I did end up going, here is my review:

Memoirs of a Geisha: I just finished reading the book about two weeks ago, which by the way, I LOVED LOVED LOVED. With this in mind, I decided I wanted to go see the movie, even though I’m well aware that the movie is never as good as the book. I’ve decided that from now on, with the exception of Harry Potter, I shall no longer read the book before I watch the movie, EVER. If I’ve already read the book and they make a movie of it, I simply will not watch it. Or at least, I will wait until enough time has passed that I’ve forgotten all the details. In fact, it’s probably best if I’ve forgotten the book entirely. As you can see, I didn’t exactly love the movie. It started wrong, it ended wrong and it was wrong all the way through, pretty much. BUT, I think I would have been willing to overlook some of the liberties they took, had they not completely ruined the essence of the story. As long as I live, I will never understand Hollywood’s desire to take a perfectly good story, and change it COMPLETELY for the screen. In this movie, you’ve got characters having things happen to them that happened to completely different characters in the book, you’ve got a strong protagonist who survives a series of difficult circumstances and still always comes across as strong, and intelligent, and witty, coming across as dumb, and weak, and meek. I feel that anyone who watches this movie and doesn’t read the book, is getting cheated. This is a story of a smart, resilient girl, with some gut-wrenching, deep and emotional twists. I thought the movie, in comparison was bland, superficial, disappointing. That said, if I don’t compare it to the book, I will say this, it was beautifully acted, the scenery was GORGEOUS, and the music was incredible. My friend, who has NOT read the book, loved the movie, she thought it was sweet, and the ending brought tears to her eyes, so I guess it wasn’t as bland as I saw it. This is a tough review, because as a stand-alone, I can see why this movie is getting such great reviews, but as a movie made from a book, it paled in comparison. I’m going to be generous, and give it 3 ½ out of 5 stars, because it was a beautiful movie, if only I’d been able to not compare it.

MOVING ON…Saturday night I decided to work on some of those tivoed movies. I started watching “Girl with a Pearl Earring” but was about 15 minutes into it when I realized that I wasn’t paying the least bit of attention, as it just wasn’t AT ALL a movie I was interested in watching. I’ve begun having the same attitude towards movies as I have towards books, if it doesn’t grab me in the first chapter (first 15 minutes of a movie), I don’t bother with it. There is way too much out there to read/watch, to waste time on something that’s just not grabbing me.

So, I watched “Taking Lives”, with Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland, and a bunch of other people that you go “oh yeah, I know who that is. This one is a suspense/thriller about an FBI agent (Jolie) who goes to Canada to help some detectives with a serial killer case. The movie was twisted, creepy, intelligent, and just fun to watch in general. I won’t say much more, because with these type of movies, you can’t say much without giving away the twists and turns, but I highly recommend it if you like suspense. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I then watched “Ed Wood”. I’m on this mission to watch every movie Johnny Depp has ever made. I’m not really sure why, but there it is, he’s hot, he’s been in a lot of movies, and I’ve decided I want to see them all. This of course means that I’m bound to watch some incredible movies (Edward Scissorhands, Blow, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape), some strange movies (well, actually, they’re all strange), and then some “What the hell were you thinking JD?” movies. Ed Wood falls somewhere between the two latter categories. This is the story of Ed Wood a 1950’s B-Cult Movie director. The movie is black and white and that in itself should have probably warned me that I was in for some strangeness. It also stars Sarah-Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Martin Landau, Bill Murray, and that kid who played Vinnie on Doogie Howser (Max Casella is his name). It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t good either. It was weird. I don’t even know what rating to give it. I fell asleep half-way through it and finished watching it the next morning, because it wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t want to see the rest, but it just wasn’t good enough that I forced myself to stay awake to watch it. Know what I mean? But hey, JD was in it, so that’s a plus. Of course, he was in drag through some of it, and that’s just weird. 3 out of 5 stars, I guess.

That, my friends, was my movie watching weekend. I also watched the SAG awards last night, which were boring (I was reading at the same time), and Grey’s Anatomy, which is fast becoming one of my favorite shows. That show is laugh out loud hilarious, and Sandra Oh, who by the way won a SAG (and a Golden Globe) for her role in that show, is funny as hell.
Okay, I’m done playing Ebert and Roeper for today.


Amber said...

Hmm. Very interesting thoughts.

Wendy sent me here today, I know you stopped by me too, so it all works out. ;)

I too LOVE JD. But yes, what was up with Ed Wood??? SO WEIRD.

One of those you just can't forget!


Unknown said...

My, we have VERY similar tastes. I loved Geisha the book and didn't even bother with the movie because I know it was going to suck as soon as I saw that they didn't even bother to cast Japanese actors in the roles.

I LOVED the book Girl with a Pearl Earring, but again, didn't see the film. It's on my netflix list though.

Anything with Johnny Depp... gotta love it. I've already done his entire screen list. He's so frigging hot. I liked Ed Wood. I have a quirky side to me that loves movies like John Malkovich and Ed Wood.

As for TV, Gray's Anatomy is fast becoming my favorite show and my fav character by far is Sandra Oh. She's hilarious. That apology was to die for.

Here via Wendy, but glad to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Wendy directed me over here......

Lisa said...

What a great time you had! I'm on board with you as far as Geisha and Girl with a Pearl Earring. LOVED the first, hated the 2nd.

Wendy directed me here today!

Tasha said...

SOunds like you had a busy weekend. Usually we watch seasons over a weekend. Like the first season of LOST! I love that show! Do you watch??
Wendy sent me!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Karina...Here from Wendy's Aiditions...I loved your reviews...I think they are very intelligent and thoughtfil and even if I don't agree with you on everytning, I admire all the thought and feeling you put into it! I saw "Memoirs Of A Geisha" I had not read the book, and I saw it on a 'screening' DVD for the SAG Awards, at home! I felt much of what you said, myself, without having the background of the book...also that it was beautifully filmed and well acted...I personally, for some reason, didn't 'care' that much and you do have to care, I think..

About Johnny Depp....LOVE HIM AND HIS INCREDIBLE TALENT!! I admire HIS choices of films because they are not maub sream in any way...he seems to be sparked by something in a personal way and that's why he does a movie...I truly truly admire that in an actor.

Keep being Ebert And Roper..You Do Good!

Evadne Hatte said...

Hey Karina thanks for your visit - so here I am, back at ya!
I'm always grateful to anyone who watches movies and then writes reviews cos I just never get round to seeing any of them (now I can read reviews and just feel like I saw them anyway - ha ha)

WendyWings said...

Johnny is great, he is left of centre and I like that :)
You sure had a movie intense weekend by the sounds of it.
Have a great day.