I Will See Anything That Features Mark Ruffalo

Thus, I will be seeing this:

An Education {Movie Recommendation}

This weekend, Dan and I watched An Education. I highly recommend this movie. Carey Mulligan was fantastic and I thought Peter Sarsgaard pulled off the perfect combination of being utterly smarmy, but undeniably enticing.

The movie is about Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a teenager growing up in the London suburbs in the 1960s. She’s studious and bright and destined for Oxford as long as she performs well on all her tests and brings up her Latin grades a bit. Then she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), who is older and exciting and concocts elaborate lies that convince Jenny’s parents to let him whisk her off to Oxford for a weekend, and better yet, Paris. He’s sophisticated and charming in ways that are immensely appealing when you’re all of 16 and have yet to discover that a life of adventure and romance can be lived alongside one of study and intellect. This film does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of being young and desiring a life that is more exciting and mysterious than the one you’ve always known. It does a equally excellent job of capturing the letdown that inevitably accompanies making the more appealing, though obviously wrong decision.

And then, of course, there’s the clothes.

The Cove {Movie Recommendation}

photo by jurvetson (click picture for link)

I love a good documentary film. Last year, I wrote about Man on Wire, which is an immensely fun and happy documentary about Philippe Petit’s 1974 high wire walk between the Twin Towers. The story is exciting and it’s depicted in a way that really invites you to become a part of the stealthy, secretive quest to tiptoe on top of the world.

The Cove, which Dan and I watched yesterday, is equally successful at drawing you into it’s undercover, stealth mission, but leaves you with an entirely opposite emotional outcome. It’s a devastating film, crushing and heartbreaking. You will marvel at the horror that is revealed and the audacity of those who commit it. There are moments in this movie that are very hard to watch, but I emphatically encourage you to watch this film anyway. No one on earth should remain ignorant to the atrocities depicted in this documentary, nor should they be denied the flat out awesomeness of how this film was made.

So go, watch it and spread the word. Knowledge is power. Help bring this story further into the light.

Bright Star, Brilliant Colors

On Friday night, my husband and I watched Bright Star, a beautiful film about the three-year romance between poet John Keats and his muse, Fanny Brawne. It was romantic and sad (Keats died at the age of 25), but more than anything else, it was visually stunning

The costumes, especially those worn by Abbie Cornish who plays Brawne, are gorgeous and the colors in the film are so rich and vibrant. I highly recommend it for the visuals alone.

2010 Books And Movies

I’ve replaced my 2009 page with a new 2010 list (see sidebar). I didn’t do a very good job of keeping up with this list last year, but I’m determined to stay more on top of it this time around. I’m always looking for good book and movie recommendations, so I’d really like to be able to provide the same thing for other people. The year is only a month old but I’ve got quite a few things on the list already, so check it out sometime!

Best of The Decade {A Final Roundup}

Well, taking a week off from blogging has certainly left me in a bit of a time crunch as far as my Best of The Decade awards are concerned. So let’s go ahead and get right down to it, which leads me to our:

Best Catch Phrase Turned Colloquialism

That’s What She Said


Best Self-Inflicted Torture

Lost

Nothing else on television in the last ten years has made me want to tear my own hair out as often as Lost. What the hell is going on on that damn island!!!!!!!!!!!???????? My god is it entertaining, though.

Best Repeat Fashion Offender From Someone Who Should Know Better

The ’00s saw a lot of celebrity fashion disasters. 2001 was the year Bjork wore that crazy swan dress to the Oscars. Lindsay Lohan waged what felt like a decade-long war on actual pants with her incessant coupling of leggings with long shirts. Christina Aguilera spent many a year looking like a coked-out biker chick floozy. But even with all those disasters and the many more the ’00s had to offer, I give this award to Justin Timberlake.

Now that he’s successfully brought sexy back, I’m sure he looks back on this picture and shakes his head with self pity and admonishment:

If only I could tell him that in another ten years, he’ll be feeling the same way about these stupid glasses he insists on wearing all the time now:

Come on man, you know better than to dress in a perpetual Elvis Costello Halloween costume.

Best Media Franchise

Wow was this a big decade for the franchise movie! Lord of the Rings took home bazillions of Oscars and loads of money. There became such a thing as a “Twihard.” But as much as Lord of the Rings made me want to visit New Zealand and as crazy as those Twilight fans managed to be these last couple of years, the decade’s best media franchise was hands-down, Harry Potter. Six of the movies and the last four books all came out in the past decade. J.K. Rowling went from being some ridiculously poor woman to being rich, rich as Nazis. It made three young Brits into huge international stars. Harry Potter in the last ten years was pure madness.

Finally, just so that I feel like I’ve hit all points of the entertainment industry, my choice for Best Album of the Decade goes to:

Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning

The combination of political frustration, personal angst and intense wanderlust made this folk album the perfect soundtrack to coming of age in the last ten years. There isn’t a bad song on the entire album–which is no easy feat–and it’s so fantastically bookended by “At the Bottom of Everything” and “Road to Joy” that you end the album with the same feeling awe you started with. I love it.

Updates

I updated my 2009 Books and Movies page. I haven’t read nearly as many books this year as I would have liked, but I suppose that’s mostly because I’m not counting any of the stuff I’ve read for school. I fell way behind in writing up the movies I have seen, but have it all caught up now–which was pretty exhausting but also kind of fun. I didn’t include any of the movies that I saw in the theater (which totals to maybe 2 or 3 on the year and I can’t even remember what they were) and only counted the movies that I actually got on DVD from Netflix. There are some other movies that my husband and I watched online that I haven’t included yet, but I’ll add them to the list at some point. 

My take so far on the movies I’ve watched this year: 

Biggest Waste of My Time: Charlie Bartlett

Best Movie I’ve Seen This Year: It’s a toss up between The Reader and I’ve Loved You So Long. 

This weekend I’m watching: Either Catch Me If You Can or Eagle Eye. Those are the two Netflix movie we have right now. 

Got any good suggestions for me? Put them in the comments!

Back In My Day…

After posting about the Fantastic Mr. Fox clip yesterday, I got to thinking about some of the other books I loved as a child that are now being turned into movies. 

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

 

Where the Wild Things Are

(*I love the use of Arcade Fire as the music for this trailer. Pure win.)

 

It is strange to think about the books of my youth becoming the movies of someone else’s. I wonder if kids will still grow up reading these stories, or if the movies will effectively replace the books. Instead of reading Where the Wild Things Are, you’ll just watch it. It will be like Winnie-the-Pooh, whose adorable bear self is plastered all over kids stuff from sheets and sleeping bags to backpacks and pencils. How many kids do you think still read the original stories that were published back in 1926, though? I don’t think I ever did, but I most certainly watched the cartoon. 

It’s a sad thought, but I suppose this is the way things go. On the plus side, thinking about the kids’ movies of today afforded me a nice opportunity to reminiscence about some of the movies I really loved when I was growing up. 

Animated Disney movies like Aladdin and The Lion King. 

Live action films like 3 Ninjas and Blank Check. 

Awesome sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Angels in the Outfield. 

Stuff with dogs: Beethoven, Homeward Bound (which was also a largely forgotten and very good book). 

 

Seriously, how awesome was 3 Ninjas?