I watched about half of E.T. the other day. Man, what a movie. It really is exceptional. I’ve seen it a few times before, but most of those times were when I was a little a kid and still freaked out by that little guy. I’m still slightly traumatized by that scene when Michael (the older brother) finds E.T. all sick and dying in the forest. He just looked so freakishly gross. I remember that and the candy scene from when I was younger. We had an E.T. pencil at home, too, and I could never use it. Too scary.
But now that I’m older, I must admit I’m quite charmed by E.T. Each successive time I watched (I have no idea why I subjected myself to it multiple times. I’m pretty sure we owned the VHS), the cuteness to scary ratio would go up (or down?), and now I really like that extraterrestrial. (If he were actually in my house, however, I’m not saying I wouldn’t run screaming.)
Anyway, I first off must admit I am a huge Steven Spielberg fan. His movies are total gold. Just because he makes popcorn flicks for the masses doesn’t mean he’s not talented, you film snobs. I think it’s part of his genius—he makes movies with the audience in mind. His movies are so damn entertaining, you don’t even realize his technical skill.
So watching E.T., I was drawn into all the emotional notes of the story. But at the same time part of me sat there in wonderment of the faultless execution of the film. The tone and atmosphere is really well established by the cinematography such as the faceless men marching when E.T. is taken away. The spacesuit scene is so surreal, and reinforces the childlike perspective. The entire movie is a memory of childhood, perhaps not as a child actually sees the world, but how an adult remembers seeing the world as a child. If that makes any sense. And dude, when the music swells up and the boys start flying on their bikes, it is truly a magical moment. Yea, I know, I’m a total cornball.
I could go on, but I guess I’ll just wrap it up with the script. The script! A total Spielberg script with “ordinary” characters and movie-witty jokes. Visuals are the most important parts of film, but as a writer, I can’t help but pay close attention to dialogue, pacing, and story arc. Lines like Elliot whispering to E.T. “I’ll believe in you all my life,” make me so happy. Not “remember” but “believe”. Perfect. They call movies like Gone with the Wind and Lawrence of Arabia epics, but I think E.T. is pretty epic in its own right.
So I’m guessing that eventually it’ll stop being summer. I mean, sure it’s the middle of October, and it’s still 90 degrees outside. But you know, I think around Christmas time, it’ll maybe start to cool down. A little? But while you may want to kick the sun in its blazing balls of fire now, once you start trudging around in a bulky overcoat and Ugg boots, you’ll be missing that big mass of yellow in the sky.
October 2008 Playlist: Last Days of Summer Edition
1. Sugar, Sugar- The Archies 2. Under the Boardwalk- The Drifters 3. Island in the Sun- Weezer 4. Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison 5. I’m Yours- Jason Mraz 6. One Fine Day- The Chiffons 7. Summer Breeze- Seals & Crofts 8. Swing Swing- The All-American Rejects 9. Roam- The B-52s 10. Hungry Like the Wolf- Duran Duran 11. Boys of Summer- The Ataris 12. Follow You Down- Gin Blossoms
A day off! As in, nothing planned after 6 straight hours of classes today. Sure, the rest of my week is loaded up to the max, but after today, I'll be so ready, yo. I'm using tonight to re-energize fo shizzle.
On another note: Soy brillante. Recibí un grado perfecto en mi examen español hoy. ¡Hurra!
And finally, I came across a really cute movie poster for "The Ugly Truth." (or is it really "theuglytruth"?) So I totally IMDBed it, and the plot summary is amazingly enticing:
A romantically challenged morning show producer (Heigl) is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent (Butler) to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result.
How fresh and original! Heigl really went out there for this role; it doesn't sound at all like the romantically challenged E! host she played in Knocked Up. And a chauvinistic correspondent? Assholes are really hot, you know. They only act jerky so when the right woman comes along, they can change. I guess that's why they keep popping up in romantic comedies. I mean, really? Really?! (to steal a line from Amy Poeler) How many men are outwardly chauvinistic in the workplace these days anyway? It worked in 9 to 5, but that was made in 1980.
I must say that the best part of the summary is the "unexpected result" we can look forward to at the end of the movie. Wow. I just have no idea what it could be. So does that mean Katherine Heigl will hate Gerald Butler for being an obnoxious smart ass? She won't fall for his rugged good looks, charming smile and clever, incorrigibly rascal ways? That must mean she will most definitely not fall for him when she shockingly discovers he really has a heart of gold and/or some past trauma that understandably made him this way. He in turn won't be able to see her as anything more than a smoking hot body and blonde hair because they will not be thrown together in a contrived instance where they will be forced to talk and get to know one another!
The ugly truth is, this movie was already made before. Although I'm pretty sure the first time, it was called Someone Like You and starred Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman.
So I think I’m starting to go from no longer liking Heroes to actively disliking it. Talk about most overrated piece of crap ever. Alright, so I know a lot of people still watch it (why??) but I just gave up after 1 ½ seasons. I devoted HOURS to that show, but all it did was take and take! So maybe I’m a little bitter. But I am a "Lost" fan, so you can’t say I’m not patient.
"Heroes" wants you to think it’s smart, but it’s so not. Superheroes by default are not dumb (obligatory example of “The Dark Knight” belongs here), and they are most certainly not boring (again, see “The Dark Knight”), but somehow this show is both dumb and boring. “We’re cool and epic like 'Lost'!” Is what seems to want to say. The last episode has Future and Present Peter arguing about whether people are good or bad [tangent: Just because the “Five Years Into The Future” episode in season 1 was awesome, doesn’t mean you should just throw them into the future any time!]. Philosophical, perhaps, but their conversation went more like this: “People are good!” “No, people are bad!”
Mohinder said in one episode, “You do not choose your destiny, it chooses you. And those that knew you before Fate took you by the hand cannot understand the depth of the changes inside. They cannot fathom how much you stand to lose in failure...that you are the instrument of flawless Design. And all of life may hang in the balance. The hero learns quickly who can comprehend and who merely stands in your way.” To which I say, just because you say it emphatically in a voice over like that, doesn’t make that speech make sense.
Despite all of Heroes’ shortcomings, I might still watch it if it were just more entertaining. The concept is so interesting, and yet, the execution just falls way short. The creators lack the imagination and foresight to take the mediocre characters anywhere remotely interesting. They borrowed heavily from comics like X-men and Watchmen, and can’t even live up to the original source material. Also, there’s build up, but no pay-off, which is the most frustrating thing. The heroes just seem to be bumbling around aimlessly, making stupid decisions and not interacting with each other. For a show about superheroes, "Heroes" needs more action.
Anything can be cured with a good film. Here are my top 7 for when you’re feeling cranky, low, or just down right depressed. Yay! Chin up, Sunshine. It’s a bright day.
1. Singin’ in the Rain: Just all-around magical with a cute plot, period costumes, corny jokes (“Cosmo, call me a cab!” “OK, you’re a cab.”), amazing dancing, and joyful singing. The American Film Institute ranked this as the #5 Greatest Movie of All Time. Seriously, it’s that good.
2. The Sound of Music: Nuns, Nazis, and bratty kids interact in beautiful Austria to the beat of a catchy soundtrack. Good times had by all.
3. A Little Romance: If I were to make a movie, I’d want it to be like this. It’s not an ambitious film by any means, but it’s insanely endearing. It stars an adolescent Diane Lane who meets a boy in Paris, and to cement their love (aw, first love), they travel to Venice to kiss at sunset. It also stars Laurence Olivier as their mentor/chaperone. The story is sweet (if a bit unrealistic) and intimate, and the scenery is beautiful. It inspired me to try learning a little French, too.
4. North by Northwest: The movie that made me love movies is one that I can always come back to. Feeling down? Why not watch Carey Grant for a couple of hours!
5. Finding Nemo: Someone else pointed this one out, and I must agree, it’s an excellent comfort movie. The soothing waves of the ocean, the heartwarming story of father and son, Dory and an exciting adventure… so much fun! Visually, the movie is absolutely stunning (oh wow, I sound like Tim Gunn). I could stare at it for hours. Which, I guess is kind of what you do when watching a movie anyway.
6. Speed: One cure for depression is to get that adrenaline pumping! Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves must save themselves and a bus full of passengers from exploding—they can’t drive slower than 50 mph! But the freeway! It’s not finished!! Ahhh!! Made about fifteen years ago, the excitement still holds up. A fun ride to make you forget all your troubles.
7. You’ve Got Mail: I’m all over any movie with Christmastime in New York, honestly. Even better when it involves Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks falling in love. It’s based on an old movie called The Shop Around the Corner starring one of my favorite actor sever, James Stewart. Of course, back then, they communicated via newspaper. It’s the 21st century, though, so YGM is all about the email! Anyway, this movie gives me the warm fuzzies every time, and it’s pretty cute and clever.
Honorable Mentions: The Princess Bride, The Goonies, Big, Hot Shots!, and Back to the Future… basically any movie made in the 1980s.
I tend to get obsessive about things for a while, then get over it, and start to wonder what was wrong with me in the first place. Also, having no section for "Favorite TV Shows" makes absolutely no sense to me. That should tell you a lot right there.