Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Movies I Don't Hate

Yesterday I ticked off Tasina, apparently, by dissing The Spiderman movies. At the very least, she threatened to disblogroll me. Unblogroll me? Remove me from her blogroll, alright? Or perhaps it was the hate for Spiderman cartoons, or JeanClaude VanDamm.m. (I absolutely cannot be bothered to learn the correct spelling of his name. I just don't care.)

But, hey. She. Likes. Cats. So we are even, and I am confident she will not unenblogroll me...(like unenroll, but unenBLOGroll! Yes, I do impress even myself sometimes.)

Really, Tasina and I are scarily alike, except that she lives in South Dakota and has a job, and I live in Arizona and don't. We even had the same baby names picked out for our kids -- she got the Noah, I got the Tess. At least once a week one of us posts something that the other one could have written.

So instead of risking two days in a row where I tick off the Tasina, because I would hate to push her to actually carrying out the threat of unenblogrolling me, I will rave about a couple movies I love.

The first is Juno. I love this movie. I love the actor who plays Juno (Ellen Page). I love the characters of her parents. The writing is funny.

I was impressed with Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. When I got home I had to google Jason, because I remembered he was in some sitcom in the '80's, but I couldn't remember which one. ( Valerie, then Valerie's Family when they fired Valerie Harper and she was replaced by Sandy Duncan. There. Now you don't have to google Jason because it would bug you until you remembered which sitcom he was in...)

I love the scene where she tells her parents she's pregnant. It's a great scene. The parents' reaction is so terrific. (Actually, since it is past Tess's bedtime -- I am writing this Tuesday night -- I may go yoink the DVD from her just to watch that scene. But then I will stay up way to late because I want to watch the whole thing. Maybe I better wait. Sigh.) I think Juno is just fun and funny and a great smart movie.

The Host

The Host is a Korean monster movie. It is awesome. I love this movie. It's funny and sad and exciting and really really well made.

The main character, Gang Du,
(the guy in the green shirt) loses his daughter to the monster. But then he gets a cell phone call that makes him and his very dysfunctional family -- father, brother and sister -- think she is still alive. But no one will believe them, so they set off to find and save her themselves. The monster shows up right away. Not of that teaser stuff where they show bits of the monster, a claw here, a tooth there, a hint of skin or eye, nope. It's full on monster almost immediately.

And it is an awesome monster. The special effects are excellent and seamless. The monster is creepy and sinister. The locations are great -- much of the movie is set under the bridges and in the sewers and tunnels around the river. The atmosphere is rather gray, which adds to the discomfort and creepiness.

The characters are great. I love the characters. Since it's a Korean movie, it has details that are unfamiliar -- Gang-Du's father owns a small trailer store by the river, and sells things like dried squid. Apparently the longest leg is the tastiest of dried squid legs. The way characters react -- the way the family of the monster's victims grieve, the attitudes of doctors and bureaucrats to Gang-Du and his family -- are different from the way generally portrayed by American movies. On the DVD, the director apologizes to various actors and crew for things like cutting scenes, putting them in uncomfortable situations during filming (like hip deep in the river), for not showing their faces. I can't really imagine most American directors bothering with something like that.

Americans are poked at -- an American mortician (I think) is the one who starts all the trouble by pouring chemicals down the drain, and several other American characters are morons or weird. The American Army is treates as rather bungling, as is the Korean military and government.

Oh, yeah, it's in Korean with subtitles. Actually it is dubbed into English, too, but I hate dubbing. They always end up sacrificing dialogue and pacing of the lines to match the words to the mouth movement.

Oh, yeah, it's kinda bloody sometimes. Tess is not watching The Host until she is quite a bit older, especially since the girl who's about the same age as Tess is one of the first victims of the monster. Which is fine with Tess, since she's not a big fan of the scary or creepy.

The Host is another fun and funny and smart, and creepy and scary, movie.


  1. I haven't seen either of those movies.. so when i finally watch one.. probably in 2010 I will watch them.. Yay thanks Jules..

  2. I haven't seen either of those movies, either. juno looks like fun - and I LUVZ me some Jennifer Gardner. But I'm not sure about Korean monster movies. But we'll see ...

  3. Even with all of the hype, Juno was really well done and generally just plain awesome.

    I may need to try The Host. Actually sounds kind of cool how you describe it.

  4. "Juno" is on my "to see" list... I'm looking forward to it.

  5. I LOVED Juno!! And like I'd ever really disenblogroll you. ;)

  6. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly! I loved Juno. Very pleasently surprised!


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