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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Let's give this a try, shall we?

Out of boredom, disappointment at how horrible a film Alice in Wonderland is turning out to be, and the fact that there are a few things I might as well get over with writing, I'll just try and get this all out of my system. If only little bits at a time.

Let's see then: there's A's birthday, there's the children's films, and there's Antigone.

I think I'll be wanting to get A out of the way first. As I should know, it was her birthday on Thursday. I hadn't checked facebook in ages, and we don't really talk much, so it was only when I realised I wasn't asleep yet at 1am on Thursday and decided to leave her a facebook message that I found out her phone was stolen. Well, actually, we had spoken. I couldn't help myself and told her she had to watch the latest glee episode. She mentioned nothing about the theft. I left a rather goofy message, wished her a happy birthday, and even did some of the usual "empty wishing" where you say you hope things will turn out alright for them. In this particular case I wished her good luck with her love life, which at best is a rather cruel joke, but I really didn't feel like giving her any kinds of blessings. To be honest, any blessing would have been half-hearted, not to mention useless, and I'm sure would have proved nothing. I talked to her again later, asking how things went and whether or not she'd be doing something to celebrate.

I figured it's about the same thing she did for my birthday, so social protocol would be to do the same, right? She said she'd go out with friends on Friday and would let me know if she was doing anything else (i.e. something I'd want to show up for). I wouldn't be too surprised if she doesn't get back to me. I won't be too let down if she doesn't. I'm not too comfortable with the idea. It may not be bad like meeting with EBF would be bad, it's just not something I'd look forward to (and I'm quite sure she doesn't look forward to it either). It's my mum that worries me. She's been asking about A and her birthday. I said A would get back to me. We'll see if that happens and deal with that later. I... want nothing to do with it at the time being.

On to the film reviews. There's three of them now, as I've just finished watching Alice in Wonderland. Let's try and keep some kind of order, though.

First would be Terabithia, or whatever the proper spelling is. It looked very interesting from the credits up until you realised it was a bit too real-life-ey to be a proper children's film. From a rather romanticised notion of what creativity and imagination can do for children, it's a lovely idea. From the point of view of how to deal with real life, it could almost be helpful. Put together, though? It was just not right. At the risk of sounding very old fashioned, it doesn't sit right with me to have the boy's best friend die. Especially such a tragic death and one he can blame himself for. It's not the sort of thing you want children to worry about.

If you'll have them worry, then you'd better come up with better ways to show them how to deal with it. Replacing the girl who taught you how to make use of your imagination, opening whatever doors that will open, with your nagging little sister just because she's there and thinks you're a god will never do. That's not the right way to deal with the death of a best friend, if you ask me. Not that I'd be too good at providing a better option. All in all, it was "watchable" and kept me wanting to know what would happen next, but some of the acting was over the top, the story made too little sense at times and I really can't get my head around a children's film that will leave you depressed.

On to Spiderwick... Again, I can see how it could have been a good idea. To an extent, it was a good idea. However, even if I leave the sloppy acting aside, I worry that he whole "daddy left us" part was unnecessary. Why bring that up? Why bring him up as a monster (both from an ethical point of view and then impersonated by the ogre)? They showed nothing about how to deal with such troubles and that leaves very little to work with. The fake characters were cute, I'll admit, but some bits were uncomfortably "naturally violent". For instance, a creature that becomes your friend when it's high on honey but will turn on you at the slightest annoyances? That's their idea of a faithful servant? What about the creature that helps you see the rest and eats birds? The part that really gets me is how gruesome it is to be killing dozens of creatures and how it's not only "right" (because they're the bad guys) but shown in morbid detail, all excused under the pretext of "their blood is green slime". Had it been red you would understand how disturbing the thought was. Overall, not bad. Better than Terabithia, but definitely could have been better.

That leaves Alice in Wonderland. I'm very disappointed. They tried to squeeze sense into the books, missed crucial characters, made trivial characters seem more important than they were, tried to put characters into some kind of context and ruined all the wonderful nonsense. That was a very sad waste of a wonderful cast. I'm blaming it on the script and adding the fact that at times it seemed to me like the film was eager to impress with technical parts (like the make up, the costumes, and special effects) that did nothing to help the story. Except for Anne Hathaway and her ridiculous mock-surgeon performance, the cast could have been brilliant had they had a proper script to follow. I can't believe they wasted so much on so little.

Last, I'll just drop a line about how for virgin maidens in Greece marriage and death were related, and how peculiar I find that fact given most people believe dreaming of one implies the other in the near future. Well, my mum, anyway.

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