phoenixastraea: (What a lovely way to burn)
...that I kinda liked Tin Man!  I LOVE Alan Cumming as Glitch the Scarecrow, and considering the Tin Man was always my favorite character, its kinda fun to see him all sexied up in this.

The "Wicked Witch" leaves a LOT to be desired but I'm a big fan of the chick playing D.G.  Judging by her last name, Deschanel, I wonder if she's the sister of Emily aka "Bones".  Anyone know? There's certainly a striking resemblance, even if they're not sisters.
phoenixastraea: (ALL YOUR BASE)
FINALLY got to see Transformers today after WAAY too long of a delay. 

My comments are going behind a cut. 

phoenixastraea: (Dreaming of you...)
Well, I saw the Prestige this afternoon and I've been thinking about it ever since.  

In other personal news, I I'm in a strange emotional limbo.  The events of the past several months have been so insane, so draining, so rollercoaster that I don't even think I've had much time to adjust or even mourn.  I haven't posted about it in here because I haven't wanted to go there, but I just got out of a three year relationship.  I'm fresh out of grad school and wondering about the rest of my life.  I've reconnected with friends and left behind dear ones in another state.  I've done nothing but live in a transitional state since I got back and its taken everything I've got to keep myself together.  I think this has been THE first weekend that I feel that...I can let go a little.  That this too too solid flesh can resolve into a dew, a la Hamlet.  That I can diminish...I know this will sound geeky, but in a strange way, I feel like I've transformed from the Phoenix back into Jean.  It's been tough...but it feels like I can be a little less strong now...a little less superhuman and tough...and start to let go a bit.  

Thanks to all my friends on here, new and old' you're keeping me more sane than you know. 

And a special pic in honor of this...

phoenixastraea: (As you Wish)

Ok, so I saw POTC2 yesterday with a bunch of friends.  

In short, I absolutely loved it.  I have not had that much fun at a movie in a longass time.  What a heck of an enjoyable experience!  Not to mention that my crew and I snuck in some Pirate Water (a.k.a. Capn Morgan rum!) into the theatre disguised as a 20 ounce Dasani!  Like real pirates, we just kept passing the bottle down the aisle and back.  I'm sure that sounds gross, but whatever; it wasn't going to happen any other way.  Needless to say, we had polished that shiznit  off thirty minutes into the movie!  You ain't really seen "Pirates" for real until you've flasked the theatre with 8 of your best friends from high school. Rock rock on!

I've got some work-related stuff to do on the comp today so my full review of POTC will probably have to wait a day or so.  Either way, it gets a solid A.  I'd give it an A+ but I have some issues with what they did to the character of Norrington that sadly forces me to remove the hallowed '+' from my grade. 

I now need to find some hot POTC icons.  Any ideas? Until then, here's Stephen a pirate.  

Yes, it's every bit as awesome as it sounds.

In other news, I have to go out and buy a watergun for my buddy Josh's 25th Bday party today! Beer and waterfighting; truly the nectar of the gods.

phoenixastraea: (OTP2)
Well, I had a blast last night heading out with 12 of my buds to see X3.  I wore my Dark Phoenix shirt to celebrate the occasion.  

Be warned, I will be going in-depth over most of the movie here.  For those of you who are spoiler-wary, go no further...

Oh wow.

May. 23rd, 2006 11:29 pm
phoenixastraea: (Soul Man!)
Oh man, what a night!  Spoilers for tonights season finale of House are under the cut, so beware, gentle reader, if you don't want to know...

In other news, I voted for Taylor Hicks.  Its strange but I never gave a crap about Idol until I found out that he was in the final 12.  I thought, 'Wow...there's someone who doesn't look and sound like every other B-grade pop star out there! Sweet!' I really hope he wins because a) I think he's talented and charismatic and b)I want it to be a big "F U" to all the people who said he wasn't marketable or that there was no way he'd make it this far because he was too goofy/grey/spastic/old etc.  Taylor, I'm behind you 100%.  Don't ever dye that hair of yours, baby.  Show those music execs that there's more to real music than just being another pretty face.  =^)
phoenixastraea: (Smile for me)

[profile] poppy_kitty, this one's for you!  

So, I had written a huge response to all the X-3 hype that's been running around.  These are my qualms, my predictions, my anticipation, etc. 

phoenixastraea: (Smile for me)

I'm sitting here watching "Proof" with Hugo Weaving.  It...has a surprisingly disturbing effect on me.  I find myself pausing it constantly and doing other things, including applying for another job.  It looks like I didn't get that other job for which I applied, considering the radio silence my email inquiry has been met with. *shrug* It had weird hours and I wasn't terribly impressed by the fact that the girl who was interviewing me was in flip flops and a sweater that looked like it came from the sale rack at Old Navy while I was in my finest suit...but then again, that's just me being snarky to cover up my wounded ego, I suspect.  Oh well, that's the nature of the beast, I guess. 

So, I've applied for this publishing job locally.  Once more into the breach...

I find myself loving that quote, not simply because I love Shakespeare...but this quote always seems to come to the forefront of my mind at the strangest moments.  Perhaps its the cyclical essence evoked in the quote...the perseverance required for the implementation of that command.

OH how ironic! In Proof, this woman Celia takes Hugo's character Martin to the symphony and what do they play? Beethoven's Fifth! **Shout outs to all my Vendetta friends!!**

More to rant about later, I suppose.  Anyone else excited about X3 this coming week? I'm thoroughly disgusted at the fact that they're remaking Miami Vice with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.  Blech.  As if Colin Farrell could achieve the pastel excellence of Johnson! Whatev.   

In less snarky news, I got an A+ in one of my courses!  I know what you're thinking: "whoopty effing do, H! Why brag about it?"  Well, ladies and gents, you have to understand, my school just doesn't give out A+'s.  Seeing one of those on a grad school report card is the equivalent of finding an oasis in the middle of a desert.  Well, perhaps that's overdramatic of me, but competition at UVA is fierce and needless to say, seeing that made it feel like a friggen miracle!

Report card, consider yourself PWNED!!!

phoenixastraea: (House)

At first, I thought I would apologize for the tunnel-visioned approach to my House fandom recently.  Then I thought better of it and decided, no, I'm quite proud of my obsession.  Regardless, thanks for bearing with me...the season is about to come to a close, and my GOD what a season finale it will be!!

Be warned, behind yon cut there be spoilers, maytee...

Alright, more on that later.  I've also gotta cover the season finale to NCIS and perhaps Boston Legal. Ahh, Tuesday nights...
phoenixastraea: (Beethoven's Fifth in V Minor)
"...the gunpower treason and plot..."

So...needless to say, I saw a 10pm screening of V for Vendetta last night and right now, I'm flipping obsessed with it. Hugo Weaving is absolutely electric. Hell, even in a mask that man can act better than most of the young brats on our TV screens. *shivers in ecstacy* Whooo. Do it again.

For spoiler's sake, I had better put the rest of my thoughts under a cut.

Ideas are Bulletproof )
phoenixastraea: (Fire)
I just realized this was waaay long, so...on to the Oscars! )
phoenixastraea: (Default)
Well, it's Wednesday and I just sent in one of the last three things I have to do for the semester. Felt pretty good, feeling pretty accomplished. Now, just ten more pages of a paper and one more part of an EDIS final and I'm good to go. Whew.

I also had a great time last night with my EDIS class. Man, those are 12 fun people, including our teacher who was awesome enough to show up for a bit. We all went out to BW3's and had a blast; food, drinks, pool, good times. I have to say, they mix some damn good Grey Goose screwdrivers there! So, it looks like we might all try to make this an ongoing thing a couple times next semester. Woot. I see many games of Chicken in the Henhouse in my future...(trust me, its not as kinky as it sounds! ;^).

I also saw Narnia this past weekend. Very moving. Of course, he's very different from his friend, Dr. Tolkien, in that he makes no bones about his allegories being as explicit as possible, hell, Tolkien actually argued with him on this subject. Tolkien, in his introduction to The Fellowship of the Ring, states that "I cordially dislike allegory in all of its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of the readers" (Foreward, 7).

Effing right! I'd much rather have the freedom to apply what I wish to the story so that it may not just have one meaning but MULTIPLE and unending meaning for me. I love Chronicles, don't get me wrong, but its been a while since I've read TL,TW,&TW and back then, I didn't have the basis for comparison in order to establish the proper analogies. The symbolism was obvious enough, but it wasnt until I saw the pagan altar on which Aslan was sacrificed (by a WOMAN of course *grumbles*) and the two women of the story mourning until the tablet breaks that the *inescapability* of the Christian symbolism hit on the head like a sack of bricks. I could have spoken aloud with Susan at that moment, knowing that she would say, "Where have they taken them?". Hell, they could have just named them both Mary and it would have had the same effect, since it so perfectly imitated, even in language, the scene where the women go to the tomb of Christ and find him missing.

Far be it from me to criticize someone of Lewis' literary, religious, and philosophical *gravis*, but I do think that being that obvious does take away from the experience. Regardless, I definitely think I need to go back to the novels and separate movie from literature, but from what I remember, they captured it fairly well, although I did wish that we could have gotten to know the other combatants in the war a little better. We were emotionally invested in the wars of LOTR because we had intimate knowledge and background of all the races and even the people involved. I didn't get the same sense here, except for concern for the children's welfare and that of Peter's First Lieutenant, the Centaur oresiea.

Otherwise, that's all the criticism I have for the movie. The casting of the children was inspired, ESPECIALLY little Lucy, Georgie Henley. MAN that child deserves an Oscar. I haven't seen that range of emotion in an actor in a while. Tilda Swinton chilled me to the bone as the White Queen. Hot damn, she's great. I loved her since I saw her in Constantine. The voice casting was great and visually it was stunning. Oh yeah, and I nearly fainted when I saw them shoot a phoenix out of that arrow. MADE my night.

Overall grade? A (with some minor quibbles over the "applicability" of analogy).
phoenixastraea: (Default)

I've decided to follow in the oh-so-large footsteps of one illustrious Chris Kiser aka The Kize and post a few reviews of movies, shows, comic books, and the occasional Xbox game that I find myself obsessing over.

Be warned: a great many spoilers lie ahead. 

Today's morsel of goodness/badness is Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.  Ever since I saw the trailer for this movie, I have been beside myself in gleeful anticipation.  In 1993, Tim Burton brightened the world of film with a little jewel called The Nightmare Before Christmas.   A gloriously dark and romantic tale filled with the most memorable songs and characters, it took the world of stop-motion animation to new levels and firmly entrenched itself in my heart in the process. 

That being said, I am having the most difficult time keeping myself from comparing Corpse Bride to NMBC; with the decade plus that had passed between the two movies, I expected an enormous improvement in animation style, and a thought-provoking storyline, both charming and melancholy in the way that only Tim can achieve.  When the endless previews finally gave way to the opening credits, my heart thrilled for a repeat experience of the one I felt with NMBC.   I suppose that was the perfect set-up for my fall into a slowly growing disappointment. 

Tim surpassed my expectations for cinematographic and artistic beauty.  It had the entrancing dark tones of his other movies (namely, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Vincent, and NMBC), and an epic quietness that seeped into my soul.  Now, you might be thinking, 'Hey H, you just employed a confusing oxymoron there. What gives?'   Yes, gentle reader, your double-take was deserved; I said  'epic quietness' and epic quietness was what I meant.   For example, when Victor finds himself in Victoria's main hall all alone, the camera then pans to reveal the sole piece of furniture: the grand piano.  After moving the vase of flowers on top of the piano, he sits down to play.  What happens next is so subtle, yet so grand in scope; as Victor plays, the music and cinematography unites to present the understated beauty of Victor's playing but the actual movements of the camera reveal its grandeur, the incredible importance of this moment of solitary creativity and beauty in the midst of a world of darkness.  When Victoria sees it, we the reader witness this moment with her and are equally moved.   This movie is filled with these quietly momentous scenes that swell your heart.  Additionally, the marked contrast between the worlds of the living and the dead fully illustrate Tim's emphasis on the dread qualities of life as compared with the excitement and limitless potential of fantasy and the unknown.

On further reflection, the visual perfection of the movie does not fully compensate for the somewhat unfulfilling storyline.  While I did love the characters of Victor (another great Johnny Depp role in which he fully merges with the character and truly makes it unique), Victoria (the lovely Emily Watson), Finis (aka the excellent Albert Finney - get the pun on the name, haha!), and especially, the lovable Corpse Bride herself, Emily, all of them PUT TOGETHER did not equal the charismatic power of Jack Skellington.  Jack, who in my oh so humble opinion is one of the greatest characters in all film, has one of the most complex and wonderful personalities; we ache with him when he yearns for something beyond the absolute power he already holds (that very notion that he DOES ache for something beyond himself enriches his very being in our eyes) and we thrill with him when he finds something that will fill his heart with newness and joy again.  Add that to the sweetness and perseverance of the hopeful and loving Sally, the devious possessiveness of Dr. Finkelstein, and the uniqueness of every other member of a very large cast of characters, throw in a dash of perfect plotline, mix it with a wonderful soundtrack and excellent singing by the incomparable Danny Elfman, and you have a movie for the ages.  

Yes, that digression drew me into the wonderful realm of fuzzy happiness and us waaay off topic.  I do, however, think that may be part of my point.  I truly liked Corpse Bride.  I even think I liked it enough to see it again in the theatres.  But am I going back to see it again because I simply can't go another minute without the company of those characters?  Or am I really going to give it another chance, to see if those elements that disappointed me will seem any better with a second viewing.   Sadly, I think its the latter.  I'm sorry, but the French Headwaiter ain't no Oogie Boogie. 

Ultimately, the movie suffers from a plot that never fully realizes itself.  Its great up until the moment that Victor marries Emily, the Corpse Bride, after which he is taken to jam with the skeletons in the underworld.  While this is all fun and dandy, we could have seen less visual gags with bones and brains and eyeballs falling out and could have been treated to a greater depth of plot.  As for the plot itself, it nearly turns into a kidnapping plot rather than a marriage plot, where Victor works his way back to the upper world, only to be taken right back to where he was before, all the while thoroughly confusing his intended, Victoria.  The greater problem asserts itself: once he accidentally marries Emily, where can they go next?  He either accepts her, at which point Victoria HAS no further purpose, or he rushes back to a dead-looking world to a fiancee he doesnt even know, which doesn't make much sense considering how horribly the "Upper" World is portrayed.  The motivations for the characters actions don't fall into place as they do so wonderfully in Tim's other movies.  One character that suffered from lack of proper development was the "villain", the Baron Idontrememberhisname who murders (or does he hire someone?) the Corpse Bride for her money.  He then tries to marry Victoria for the same purpose, but if money is his only gain, why on earth does he threaten her after she tells him that she's impoverished?  Lack of realistic motivation leads for poorly formed plot points and an end result totally lacking in vraisemblance.

While there must necessarily be obstacles, these particular ones made the movie feel like it was spinning in circles, searching for something to do with the two main characters.   The best moment between Emily and Victor centers around yet another piano, a motif which Mr. Burton uses to poignant effect.  Its the start of a real bond between the two of them.   After spending so much time on their relationship, one cant help but question the reasoning behind Victor ending up with Victoria at the film's end.  Perhaps that's Tim's show that they were both worthy of love and of a better life than what they had.  That would fit in with what Tim has said was one of his goals for the film: not to show the Lightness in death, but the darkness and unpredictability of Life. I wished, as many others have in various internet communities, that the movie needed to be a little longer, since it seemed to pick up real speed at the end. Unfortunately, NMBC was the same length, and achieved greater unity of plot, depth of character motivation, and had actually fit the mold of a musical, unlike CB which couldn't figure out whether it was a musical or not.  It's no Nightmare, but perhaps it shouldn't be judged as such.

Bottom Line: while visually perfect in its muted colors, symbolic motifs and brilliant in its choice of voice actors, the Corpse Bride ultimately falls short of my possibly astronomically high expectations.  Grade: B+



phoenixastraea: (Default)
Phoenix Astraea

April 2017



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