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December 26, 2008

Can’t get a fairer combination than that. Now, this is the blog entry I meant to start when I got hijacked by holiday melancholy.

Quick Reviews:

Spirited Away — wonderful to watch, amazing visuals, inventive story of a little girl working at a bathhouse for the spirits to rescue her parents from their gluttony induced transformation. Follow the three basic rules: 1. if a small child tells you you’re doing something wrong, you are. 2. Don’t eat the fairy food. 3. Be nice, darn it.

I would have liked this movie more if I had seen it before Howl’s Moving Castle; having fallen in love with that heroine, there are too many similarities between the two story lines. I loved the humor of the little soot monsters; the hovering baby turned mouse was great and the dragon looked cool. Everyone says great movie, but I find it too much like dragon hunting when we played D + D: you go off, there’s some danger, but mostly you come back with a bunch of treasure and higher levels. There was a level of drama and questioning the outcome missing for me.

Mulan: watching it after Spirited Away made the point strongly that the grafted on humor Disney (and many other studios) infect their movies with to be sure someone’s entertained is a CHEAP strategy. Spirited Away made me laugh with the characters and the wonderfully done facial expressions and at surprising moments. Mulan was crisp, cruel, efficient and beautifully drawn, but it lacked poetry. Mulan is still a great story and a heroine I like (Flash appreciated the musical numbers, which I’d forgotten about, although the scary music freaked her out), but the Eddie Murphy bits just rang so very untrue. Humor comes out of character interaction; sure the Batman reference is funny now, but it’s not ever funny. I miss the quality and effort that gets you ever funny. It’s amazing how fast pop culture references and satire go off or are forgotten. Still, Mulan does score as a triumph of human spirit and a score one for the girl story. But such a strong heroine deserved a tale better told.

And now finally to kissing, which neither of the above heroines manages to do…great movies can be a lead up to one kiss; bad movies can be littered with thousands. Hey, I just remembered the New Year’s Eve movie everyone should watch (plus Bachelor Mother because it’s fun) 200 Cigarettes; great ensemble piece with Paul Rudd, Courtney Love (yes, Courtney Love and she’s good), Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Martha Plimpton and a bunch of other strong, funny actors.

Where was I — oh, kissing. iCarly and True Jackson are plugging next Saturday’s(Jan. 3rd) show with a “kisses and misses” theme. Will Gibby kiss Carly, will Freddy kiss Sam and does True have a concussion after kissing the boy (yes, Keke Palmer falls funny)…actually, I had an interesting conversation with Joe, the nephew who will admit he watches iCarly, about how we both think Freddie and Sam kind of like each other. I don’t know what it would do to the show if they replaced their hit/insult relationship with kiss/flirt so I doubt it’ll happen, but I admit that I’m interested. Plus, Gibby’s a hoot so it’s always good to see him in an episode — just no more Neville; I’ll scream too, which probably means he’s too good a villian not to have back.

Speaking of villians — or at least actresses who play them (a special breed), Eartha Kitt died at 81…not only one of the better Catwoman’s but also still kicking it as Yzma on The Emperor’s New Clothes. Listen to her Santa Baby before your holiday buzz is gone; it’s phenomenal.

One Comment
  1. Eartha Kitt seemed to live a fuller life than most people ever manage to do.. and it was so funny to find out that she was a voice in “The Emperor’s New Groove”

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