Tag Archives: movies

Launch Countdown to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN!

We all grew up with fairy tales, those mesmerizing stories that gripped our imaginations, first read to us by our parents and later, tales we read (and maybe even reread) on our own. Then there were all the movie versions and spin-offs that we probably saw, and of course the figurines, games, coloring books, tea sets, costumes, and pink sparkly bikes with characters on the basket that we no doubt collected. No matter how much we may try to downplay them, fairy tales are a part of our culture—little pieces of magic that live within us even beyond the years we knew them by heart.

That said, I am in full countdown mode for Snow White and the Huntsman!

The dark version of the classic tale is directed by Rupert Sanders and debuts this Friday. Starring Charlize Theron as the malevolent Queen, Kristen Stewart as Snow White, and Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, it promises to be one heck of a show. I will admit, there have been a few movies that I’ve been eagerly anticipating this year—The Hunger Games and The Avengers, to name a couple—but this one is by far the most exciting for me. Take a little girl who loved all fairy tales merged with a grown woman who loves a solid dark fantasy, and there you have it!

Based on the preview, the movie looks like a fantastically decadent new take on an old tale. You can check it out here: Snow White and the Huntsman preview. I’ve actually re-watched this clip about 30 times myself, I am that excited! 🙂 I’ll be back to share my thoughts this weekend, but I don’t expect that many of us will be disappointed.

So the question remains—will you be heading out to see Snow White and the Huntsman?

🙂

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On THE AVENGERS!

Well, I was going to wait one more day to share my thoughts on The Avengers, but the teenage girl trapped inside me simply couldn’t stop squealing in giddy excitement—so here I am, posting! 🙂

I had tentative plans to attempt to see the movie today, since I’ve been counting down to its release and somehow didn’t make it opening night. Having chaperoned our high school’s prom last night—which, by the way, was a lovely event; all of our students looked sharp and beautiful, and seemed to have a smashingly good time—I was still in bed debating the course of my day when I received a friend’s text, inviting me to see The Avengers at 10:30 a.m.

A 3D movie at 10:30 a.m.? Who does that?

I figured I’d give it a go—and am I ever glad I did.

If you are one of the few who somehow haven’t yet heard about The Avengers, it’s been a highly anticipated superhero action flick in the works for some time. The best part of the movie is that it’s not just a superhero movie, it’s a group superhero movie, thus packing a wallop for most any audience member, young or old. Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Captain America in one movie, contending with the eternally devious Loki? However would director Joss Whedon pull this off?

Seamlessly, as it turns out. Pick your favorite Marvel character from the list above and you’ll be satisfied. All of them hold their own, the actors falling gracefully back into their roles as the characters who at first are at war with one other, but who soon find the power of working together as an incredible team. It is the exquisite dynamic between them that is the real fun of the movie.

The plot is straightforward: a group of heroes is sought out to save Earth from the evil demigod Loki and his power-hungry other universe allies. Meanwhile, our group of heroes is really a collection of ferociously independent super creatures, each wracked with some sort of torturous doubt or hubris that risks everything—but in this case, everything is our planet. Thor feels tremendous guilt for bringing the creatures to Earth. Hawkeye/Agent Barton seeks vengeance on Loki for mind-control. Hulk/Bruce Banner is distraught over his uncontrollable rage. Captain America is still confused by the present, as well as the degenerate cooperation amongst the team. Black Widow/Agent Romanova is the tough girl with a sordid family history. And of course there’s Iron Man/Tony Stark, with his huge ego insisting on handling everything solo.

The good news is that they all figure out how to use their strengths to work together and make good. The results are delightful: a team of superheroes bouncing their powers off one another as they save the day. Who couldn’t love this story?

Hardcore action? Check. Killer special effects? Check. Plentiful wisecracks interlaced throughout? Check. Pretty images? Again, check. Cool costumes? Yep, check. A cohesive story-line and great dialogue? All there, check. And of course, badass heroes? CHECK. Potential for sequel? (You’ll have to see it to answer that question!)

So there you have it. Granted, I’ve always been a sucker for superhero action movies, but I think The Avengers was by far the best. Nothing in it disappointed me, and I think most theatre-goers would be hard-pressed to say otherwise. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly advise you scrap the rest of your plans and see it today. Or at least this week. You won’t be disappointed!

All right, everyone, enjoy the show. Now I’m off to save the world…or at least, pay some bills. 🙂


Quoth The Raven

After a particularly long and stressful week, I decided there was exactly one thing I wanted to do last night: go see The Raven.

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Edgar Allan Poe. The 19th century dark poet and author was one whose work I treasured in high school because I tended to favor the romantic lyricism of his work, as well as his gory imagination. I admit that my previously shared flair for the dramatic didn’t hurt my fascination with the man, either.

So, walking into the theatre, this deep adoration had me hoping James McTeigue’s direction of The Raven would delight me as much as Roland Emmerich’s did in Anonymous last year (great movie, if you haven’t checked it out yet). Though I think the cinematography of The Raven was lovely—the period thriller is set in 1849 Baltimore, a time of colorful and decadent wardrobes, quaint horse-drawn carriages, and bleakly dark cobblestone streets—and the concept was clever, the movie did not quite meet my expectations. The admirable John Cusack seemed believable as a goateed Poe at first, but I soon found myself put off by some of his attempts to speak in the style of his character. In all honesty, I think most of the actors came across that way—their acting seemed fine, but something about their dialogue didn’t click. In Anonymous, I never felt uncomfortable with or aware of the actors’ Shakespearean dialects; here, I felt everyone struggled, spending more of their focus on attempting to command the romantic language than acting their parts. Blood spewing violence aside, I felt the movie had a unique idea that could have been a little bit clearer, and perhaps needed more depth.

Fortunately, I have a knack for enjoying most movies, even those that leave a bad taste in my mouth. Despite my criticism of The Raven, I did find some prettiness embedded in it—namely, the frequent quoting of Poe’s stories as he connected the serial killer to his artistry. If for no other reason, I enjoyed the movie for bringing Poe’s language to the screen and into the ears of a new audience.

Now for some fun: mesh a flair for the dramatic with a love of Poe and a 14-year-old girl, and what do you get? Some really over-the-top poetry. When I arrived home last night, I remembered Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven” once inspired an intensely mad work of my own. Since it’s always good to poke some fun at oneself, and for your amusement, I thought I’d share a piece that a 14-year-old me wrote for a high school English class—and which my teacher found so dramatic, he actually read it aloud to the class, complete with wild hand gestures…Oh boy. Hold on tight, folks, there’s some real teen angst in this one:

Madness

Alas!

What brought it on?

Was it the anguish inside or

Was it the torture on the outside?

Did the cold nights of loneliness

With the terrible insomnia

Of the pain for tomorrow

Bring it about?

Was it rejection, and the feelings

You threw harshly at me?

Maybe it was blackness

That burnt through my window,

Burning until nothing was left

But a shriveled, diminutive

Shell of what I had once been,

Forcing me into eternal insanity.

You laugh at the torture

I must withstand,

But oh!

How you bring it on, let it continue.

Stop this pain you cause me!

Don’t laugh!  No!

Hold me!  Love me!

Be as you once were.

Halt your squalid words,

Your painful ideas.

Don’t grin at me;

So insolent and deluding.

Deceiving and conniving,

Stop it!  Please!

You’re calloused and shrewd.

What caused it?

And in your insinuating actions,

Your insubordinate ways,

Do you realize a

Part of me tears away?

I’m going mad.

You caused it.

You’ve torn my heart to shreds, but

You keep laughing

With your gimlet eyes

Shooting impetuous hatred

My way.

Why?

The pain is

Causing me great

Indignation.

So stop!

You’ve pinioned me against

A wall of thorns

And you won’t release me

Until…

You won’t tell me either!

Stop it, please!

My will to live is gone!

I don’t exist.

I’m just not here.

Stop!

It won’t be long.

You’ve killed my heart,

You’ve killed my soul.

You keep on killing

And you won’t let go.

Your passion to

Hurt me

Is driving me mad;

I’m declining

In more ways than one.

I’m nautious

With your treatment;

Steadily vomiting your putrid

Love out of my system.

But it won’t all leave.

No, it’s still there,

But covered with your madness.

Your madness

My madness,

You’ve given it to me

Like a plague, a disease.

I’m crying out,

Unplug your ears

I love you, please!

I’ve lost my will

I can’t hold on

Save me from this death

You’ve left me mad and insane.

And now…

I’m gone.

***

Wow. There’s probably a reason I switched to fantasy and contemporary fiction instead of poetry… 🙂

If you would like to read more about Edgar Allan Poe, please check out the Edgar Allan Poe Museum or PoeStories.com. You can also read more of Poe’s work at PoetryLovers.com.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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