August 25th, 2007


Marie Antoinette

We watched this last night, after a repeat of The Prestige. Lord, it wasn't good. Bog-all happens, for most of it. It's a costume drama without the drama. Or dialogue, for that matter.

Marie Antoinette, played by Kirsten Dunst, comes to France to marry the heir to the throne. She wears dresses and eats cake; he hunts stags and is too shy to do anything about producing more heirs. Eventually, they manage, there's a brief affair, and then the revolution starts and they leave Versailles. That's about it.

We hoped for a light, frothy, high-school story with vague hints towards historical events. What we got was almost a complete lack of story - Marie Antoinette does one proactive thing for the first hour and ten minutes, and that's to clap at the end of an opera.

I can see why this bombed.
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We also saw The Prestige again last night. Well, again for me; first time for k.

I still think it's a great film, although this is tainted by it being the film I think I'd most recently seen (and hence first came to mind) when reading about Women in Refrigerators for the first time. This time through, I could spot all the hints in Borden's dialogue, and it was a lot easier to follow the different threads, each in a different time. k sussed everything a lot faster than I did, too, and it didn't really grab her. Oh well.

Blades of Glory

I'm actually kinda surprised to have seen this. It did look, on first glance, as the kind of thing to steer clear of with a long pole (ah, those pre-mechanised boating metaphors.... anyway). But I think I saw a review that went along the lines of "yknow, even though this has Ben Stiller in it, it's still actually surprisingly funny." And it doesn't, but it is.

(Stiller's an Exec producer, though, so it still has his taint on it.)

It's a silly film, but it did actually make us smile quite a bit, and sometimes I even laughed out loud, which is quite an achievement.

A one-line plot summary: two solo male figure-skating rivals are both banned for life, but a loop-hole allows them to take part as a pair in competitions. So naturally, there's a buddy-movie scenario. With some silly jokes.

Happy Feet

Dancing Penguins. How can this fail?

Perhaps, by not having much of a story?

This film's surprisingly light in the plot department. Mumble's a different Emperor penguin because all the others are natural singers and mumble can't. But he can dance and they can't. So much, so Footloose. He's pretty much expelled because dancing is causing the lack of fish, at which point I thought, "what lack of fish?" Introducing that concept sooner would have been wiser, guys.

He has a girl he dreams about, who turns out to be the local Beyonce, and he acquires a whole pack of comedy side-kicks, in the form of a collection of Latino-esque Rockhoppers. And I'm immediately in favour of bombing Emperor-land so that the far-more-fun Rockhoppers can take over. And preferably join up with their soul-mates from Madegasgar.

It's like someone at DreamWorks said, "Look at this: I've animated a penguin to Stevie Wonder," and someone else said, "sod it, let's make a movie."

So, amusing, but frustrating, too.