Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Fall (2006)

Genre: Fantasy/Drama
Starring: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru
Directed by: Tarsem Singh

My interest in this film was brought about by two things: 1) the People of the Internet said it was pretty and 2) Lee Pace is in it. Because of my deep love of Lee Pace (aka Ned from Pushing Daisies!), I feel the need to support his work in any way I can, except I just can't make myself watch some of the seemingly garbage movies he's been in (Marmaduke and, soon, Breaking Dawn). Instead, I choose to view the films of his that don't seem awful, such as this one.

And now, having seen it, I must say that Lee Pace needs to do more things as awesome as this because my goodness, I really loved it.

My man plays Roy Walker, a silent film stuntman. However, his career has been put on halt because his latest big stunt left him bedridden and potentially paralyzed. Now he's in the hospital, where he meets fellow patient Alexandria (Catinca Untaru). Because even six year olds cannot resist Lee Pace, she begins hanging around him to hear the fantastic, epic tales he tells. The epic comprises half the film, but the real world tells another tale-- of Roy, who wants to kill himself, and Alexandria, who he tries to get to help him, and their developing friendship.

The thing that has helped propel this film into the heart of the People of the Internet is how visually stunning it is even when Lee Pace is not on screen. The epic tale Roy tells is freaking gorgeous. I was excited every time it was time to see his fictional story be told, because I'd be treated to images like this one:

The pretty was just lovely. The colors, the scenery, the wide shots that showed them both off. So great. I wished for more from the epic, as it often felt like the events that happened didn't matter too much as long as it was gorgeous, but whenever I wished that, I would get distracted by the beauty and not care as to what was going on. Oops?

It's hard to balance two stories within a film though, which is why I understand that neither the fantasy nor the reality are particularly awe-inducing. However, I did like both stories, particularly the realistic one, involving Roy and Alexandria's developing friendship. Alexandria is about the cutest child ever, and putting her with Roy made me almost explode from the amount of adorable. That is, when they weren't breaking my heart. Of course, any story involving a man who wants to kill himself is going to be freaking depressing, but add a child into that mix and it just gets ten times sadder. I was most definitely close to tears watching the pair as Roy got even worse.

The Fall probably would have benefited from a bit more story in its two stories, but, yeah, I don't really care. I loved this movie for its emotion, beauty, and fantastic leading characters. As soon as I finished watching it, all I wanted to do was watch it again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Gold Rush (1925)

Genre: Comedy
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Georgia Hale
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Available for free (and legal) viewing at the Internet Archive

As I attempt to figure out how to write movie reviews and get this blog actually going, I thought for a while about what type of movie I should attempt to discuss first. One of my favorites seemed like a good choice, but it's always hard for me to articulate what I love about my favorite things, so that was out.

Yesterday, I decided to watch The Gold Rush, since I hadn't seen a silent film in a while and I'm slowly trying to see all of Charlie Chaplin's work, because I love what I've already seen. And I figured that since I watched it, there was no reason not to discuss it here.

In it, Chaplin, as his famous tramp character, ventures into the Yukon to take part in the Klondike Gold Rush. However, a storm occurs not long after his arrival, forcing him into the cabin of a fugitive, along with a prospector who has recently struck gold. He also meets a girl (of course), with whom he quickly falls in love (of course).

I have a love-hate relationship with silent films; I do like them, but they always take me twice as long to watch because of how easily distracted I am. I have to pause, get up, and do something else every so often because I do not really have the type of attention span they require, especially when I watch on the computer, where the rest of the internet is always tempting to ensnare me. However, I love that they demand my attention. When watching a sound film, I get just as distracted, because it's easy to look away and still follow along by listening instead of watching. However, with silent films, especially with a Chaplin film, there is a certain attention that's required, because if you look away, you might miss something, as I am sure happened to me during my viewing of this film.

However, although I'm sure there were a few things I missed, that doesn't take away from everything I did catch. There's a seemingly never-ending supply of gags throughout this movie; most of them involve misunderstandings and actions that don't go as planned, but no matter what they are caused by, they were always enough to make me crack a smile. Of course, there are the moments where the actions seem over-the-top, but I think that's a bit expected since they kind of have to be, as physical comedy is most of what can be transmitted through silent films. Plus, the unrealistic aspect of some of the events and effects are half the fun.

The Gold Rush, despite the fact that it took me far longer than its running time to get through, was a delightful, humorous movie, even though no words are spoken during it.

This is an obligatory addendum to say that movie reviews are hard, wah wah wah, and that I apologize for the lack of actual discussion about the film in this review. I'm learning, I'm learning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What is this?

Greetings and salutations.

You may know me from my young adult book blog, Frenetic Reader. Or you may not, which would be a bit odd, because how would you have found this otherwise?

Moving on, though: welcome to my new internet hang-out.

I don't really have time to upkeep another blog, but I've been wanting to make this one because I watch too many movies and have too many thoughts that waste away in my brain. This is mainly for me, so I remember what I thought of the things I watch, but you are more than welcome to follow along and comment and whatnot.

We'll see how this goes.