Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sleepy Hollow

Photo credit: Jessica Finson via Photopin
This week I decided to pay tribute to Johnny Depp. Johnny has quite the repritua of out-of-the-norm films under his belt. He is an exceptional actor who puts his own twist on every role he plays. And even though he tried to avoid the heart-throb title, many girls, myself included, find him dreamy. I mean, who could resist him? But I digress.

The movie I chose to watch was Sleepy Hollow. In the beginning, I thought that Ichabod Crane was more of a serious character, which is out of the ordinary for Johnny. Boy was I wrong. After he pulled out the crazy contraptions and gave a dramatic show for a small crowd, I knew it was just another weird role that suited Johnny. And who would be surprised that it was a Tim Burton film? The two seem to have pretty similar tastes in stories and have an interesting partnership going on. They have worked together on eight movies over the years.
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Overall, the movie kept my interest. I have always thought the story of the headless horseman was somewhat spooky, but in a curious manner. Christopher Walken did an excellent job portraying this spookiness. And as always, Johnny made the character of Ichabod his own. The only thing I thought the movie was lacking was in developing the romance between Ichabod and Katrina. There was not much of a story line there, it just sort of happened without fully explaining it. But in the end, I am glad I raided my roommate's movie collection.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Sparkles than Twilight

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Whenever someone makes a reference to a movie that I haven't seen, I am usually curious as to what I might have missed out. A while back, my friends made a reference to the Labyrinth, which sparked my interest. Part of my curiosity came from not knowing who David Bowie was. (I know, I know! I've been living a sheltered life.) What a surprise I was in for.

Labyrinth is an interesting movie, to say the least. I will admit, I was not expecting an almost-musical with puppets, nor was I expecting all the sparkles! I thought the movie was going to be dark, which it was, but not in the same creepy (and sparkly) kind of way. It was marketed as a family movie but I can tell you that had I watched it as a kid, I would have had nightmares! All the creepy goblins and a big, red furry thing with horns... I've had scary dreams from cabbage-patch dolls before, so those things would have for sure brought on night tremors.

Even though it may sound like I dislike the Labyrinth, I was quite amused. For one thing, David Bowie is very eccentric, which may explain the glitter. He sort of reminds me of a male version of Lady Gaga from the 80s. The hair, the make-up, and the pants! Oh gosh the pants! Add in the singing and dancing goblins, it was all so... strange. But from what I've heard, that is David Bowie for you.

I couldn't help making other comparisons throughout the movie. One of the first things that caught my attention was the dwarf that Sarah, the main character played by Jennifer Connelly, met at the beginning of her journey. His name was Hoggle, but Sarah made the mistake of calling him Hogwart, which immediately made me think of Harry Potter. Another thing that crossed my mind was the similarity to The Wizard of Oz. Sarah, like Dorthy, was on a journey through an unknown land and happened to make three interesting friends along the way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Raiders of the Lost Ark

I have always known that the Indiana Jones series was an iconic movie, but I did not realize until I watched the first film just how spectacular they really are. My friends were actually commenting on many of the famous scenes from the movie that have been replicated in other movies. For instance, the scene where Indy uses a bag of sand or something as a weight to replace the treasure and the whole booby-trapped hidden temple ideas have been borrowed by other films such as The Rundown.

Ever since I became a fan of the TV show Bones, I have had a slight interest in archaeology. However, watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and all the adventures Indy has been on made the job seem even more interesting; though I'm not sure I'd ever like to go on such drastic quests. The movie was just overall exciting for me. It also had a little bit of everything in it. It is definitely an action-packed movie, but it also had a little scifi to it with the powers of the Ark of the Covenant and a tid-bit of romance in it as well, not to mention the  humorous overtones throughout the film.

I am quite glad that my friend suggested we start watching the Indiana Jones series for my educational purposes. I even learned a few fun facts. For instance, Harrison Ford was not George Lucas' first choice for the role of Indiana. Tom Selleck was originally offered the role but turned it down to film Magnum P.I. Also, the famous scene where Indiana shoots a crafty swordsman in the marketplace was slightly altered because Ford was sick and was not up for the intricately choreographed sword fight. Who knew you could learn something (albeit something relatively useless) while having fun?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Up: Batman

Throughout the years that I've known them, my friends have tried to "educate" me about movies, though it has not always been consistent. Once they heard about my blog, they immediately began discussing the various movies that they should show me. While they were debating amongst themselves which ones they thought I would enjoy and which to skip over, they temporarily forgot that I was in the room. Needless to say, they are very enthusiastic about this mission.

The first movies to be crossed off of my list were chosen by my friend who is an avid Batman fan. He decided it was time for me to be introduced to Tim Burton's Batman and its sequel Batman Returns. Having previously seen Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and the The Dark Knight Rises, it was hard for me not to compare the two series. Now I understand that the movies are based on different Batman comics, but they still had similarities. 

The most obvious parallels between the two series would be some of the characters that appear. For instance, the Joker was a central character in Batman as well as The Dark Knight. What I found most interesting, though, were the different mood the movies took. While the Joker in Batman, played by Jack Nicholson, was quite menacing, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, in Nolan's series was pure evil. To me, The Dark Knight had a much darker tone to it. You can see this simply by comparing the two Jokers.

Photo credit: Luke M. Schierholz via photopin cc
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Another character that appeared in both series is Catwoman, but like with the Joker, she is completely different in the two adaptations. When we started watching Batman Returns, I thought that Catwoman would turn out to be a heroine like she was at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. However, I was taken aback when she turned out to be a psychotic woman in a leather bodysuit that she haphazardly sewed together. Overall, I found her to be quite the interesting character.

Although the latter made me question my obsession of penguins for a brief moment, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Batman and Batman Returns. However,  my preference lays with the most recent adaptation of Batman. I feel that newest renditions had a little more substance to them and I generally liked the darker mood of the movies. Nevertheless, I still look forward to finishing the original series.