Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No need for J&J snobbery

OK, so SWPL's recent post about "Where the Wild Things Are" hit pretty close to home. Though I really can't stand Dave Eggers, I can't wait to see this flick. And that has pretty much everything to do with loving "WTWTA," the book, for as long as I can remember.
I borrowed "Julie & Julia," the book, from a friend a couple of months ago, and promptly packed it in a box and forgot all about it until Madewell threatened to steal it from me so she could study up for the impending movie. So, I did what any really good friend would do: Didn't respond to her request and read it myself over the weekend the movie came out, finally ponying it up in the parking lot after the credits had rolled. I know that brought me some very bad karma, but whatevs.
Anyway, I now spend a lot of time reading food blogs for my job, and there has been a lot of percolating hatred for one Julie Powell, author of "Julie & Julia," the book. (Funny enough, most of these people have no beef with Nora Ephron, who really made all of the questionable decisions in turning the book into a movie.) I heard lots of bitchy reviews about how they should have cut all the terrible Powell parts and just made a Julia Child biopic, for better or worse.
I have to say, I have read many, many worse books. And some really, really terrible memoirs (cough*"Eat.Pray.Love."*cough) that should never even be considered for the big screen. (Julia Roberts, how could you?!) But I thought "J&J," the book, was decent.
The movie was solid. Good even. Someone in our viewing party cried a little at the end, if that tells you anything. But she is pretty sentimental for Julia Child and turning 30.
Yes, the Julia Child parts are way better. However, I think Ephron and Amy Adams tag-teamed to do Powell a little bit of a disservice. They turned her from a sarcastic, funny underachiever with awesome friends and a pretty rad husband into a weepy, feeble doormat with a slightly better job and terrible friends. They did keep the cute, lovely hubbie, though. Not sure how these changes added to the movie's plot or anything -- and if you haven't read the book you probably couldn't care less.
Long review short: Go see it. And pick up some Parisian-style macarons at Ginger Elizabeth on the way to the theater like we did. It makes it that much sweeter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Matthew Walked Out on (500) Days of Summer

I chatted with Matthew (thank you facebook, you bring families together) today about 500 days of Summer. To save time and energy (you'll waste enough of that trying to understand Matthew's psyche) I'll just recreate our chat here. I've deleted the parts where we talk about Mom's upcoming 63rd birthday.

why did you walk out on 500 days of summer?
and what part did you walk out on?

the first 30 min
it was really bad

what did it in?

they were more focused on being hip than having a movie
they referenced a band or a song like every 5 min

I didn't think it was THAT bad

it was kind of gross

I might watch it tonight
give it a second chance

I think you should watch it all the way through

I know
It just bothered me

the Smith's
Bruce Springsteen
Sid and Nancy
there's more too I'm just forgetting

a little too Gilmore Girls for you?
(ed. note: I don't think he got this reference)

well that's 4 in 30 min
a little too much like, trying super hard to just appeal to a certain audience than write a movie
too much cashing in

I understand that you want to connect to your audience and relate to them

(ed. note: I deleted a part here where I didn't listen to him and repeated a question, because it makes me sound stupid)

it was trying too hard to connect with an audience through pop culture than through a story
a love story
an easily relatable love story
and zooey deschawhatever was fucking stupid
and so was 3rd rock

well, to be fair, you only watched 30 minutes so they could've only set up the problem to the story in that time
why did you think they were stupid?

they were annoying
yeah, that's fair - I only watched 30 minutes

let me know what you think when you watch the whole thing


So, there you have it, folks. But I think he does bring up a interesting point - is using pop culture reference to identify with your audience "cashing in"?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

(500) Days of Slightly Annoying Quirkiness

We have been slacking off on MNMN because, well, life got in the way. And there's not much you can do about that. But Tuesday, we pulled it together and trudged on over to Tower for (500) Days of Summer. Thanks to Cody for letting us in for free.

Also, Dear Tower: it was fucking hot in there. I'd appreciate it if you would turn on the air during really crowded movies. What was more clautrophobic? An airless theatre or a doomed indie romance?

Anyway, the movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, both of whom I love. I've had a long-standing crush on JGL for quite some time (love Brick, love Mysterious Skin, can pass on 3rd Rock from the Sun). And who doesn't like Zooey Deschanel? One time I sold her a movie ticket and she was quite pleasant. I'm also a She & Him fan.

The movie itself was... cute. Maybe a little tooooo cute. It's like that time the guy at the Crest wanted his money back because the movie was "too real". Anyway, the outfits, the little montages, the Ikea scenes, the make-up-in-the-rain segment was a little too much. And he's so tortured! I know that the story is about heartbreak and there were definitely parts that I identified with, but at some point you just want to tell him to buck up. Also, was I supposed to hate her? I'm not sure. She was really flightly and kind of a jerk, in my opinion. And totally selfish.

Additionally, the soundtrack was like listening to my "folksysmolksy" pandora station.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the movie, even though it was a little much. Is this movie supposed to be like the new Garden State?

Note: we did go see the Proposal, but it was so awful it was not blog-worthy and we discredited it from being a movie.