Some Thoughts on Some Movies

I don’t really have enough for a full review of any of the movies I’ve watched recently, but I feel like sharing about some of them. Zootopia_Flash_and_Priscilla

Sometime in January or February, we finally got around to seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you are at all interested in seeing it, you probably have already done so, and I’m not such a Star Wars geek that I flatter myself that I have anything significant to add to the various conversations surrounding the new film and its place in the canon. So, yeah, I really, really liked it a lot. It wasn’t perfect, but Abrams did a fine job of it, I was pleased with the characters and casting, and it sure as anything beat the hell out of the prequels.

Speaking of the prequels, some of you may be unaware of this thing called the Machete Order. But don’t click that link if you have ::gasp:: never watched any of the Star Wars movies. In that case, I’ll just tell you straight-up that the recommended order for watching the first six episodes of the saga is IV, V, II, III, VI. Yes, completely skipping episode I (the first prequel). If you have watched at least the original trilogy, go ahead and click through for Rod Hilton’s explanation of why he feels this is the best order in which to view the films. I’m inclined to agree with him overall, but I still feel a bit odd about actively recommending any of the prequels.

Not long after that, we went with some friends to the opening night of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I don’t often go to opening nights or weekends anymore, mainly because in my old age I’m becoming less tolerant of crowded venues. But most of our group were part of a book club that read the book, and this was the first real opportunity I’d had to check out the new cinema bistro in town. And it was refreshing to see cosplayers in Georgian garb instead of spandex. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good feel for the new venue, as several of us had a hard time finding the place and the previews were already going by the time we got in. I never did find the button to put my footrest up.

I said our book club read the book, but I suppose it’s more accurate to say it was a book club selection. I have tried twice now to read it but haven’t gotten very far. It’s an amusing concept, but it only goes so far, and the inserted zombie bits don’t feel smoothly integrated into the Jane Austen story. In some ways, I suspect the movie is actually better than the book. I went in with very low expectations, and I was rewarded with an entertaining pseudo-period romp. I did find it odd that about half the cast seemed to be in on the joke and did a great job camping it up, while the other half seemed to be laboring under the impression that they were in a Masterpiece Theatre production. Even odder, though, was that this just made it all the more fun. Anyway, this movie is worth seeing for Matt Smith’s Mr Collins alone.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a fun Bollywood version of P&P, check out Bride and Prejudice. Bonus: Naveen Andrews! Though he has this irritating habit of being fully clad throughout the movie.

I was kind of burned out on superhero movies, so I didn’t really have any desire to see Deadpool, despite all the hype. But then I saw an actual preview and decided it looked like it might be a little different. So we went during opening weekend. And stupid people brought their young kids. Really? Cinemas should have bouncers. Anyway, the movie was a lot of super-violent fun. I don’t really keep up with the Marvel characters and all their reboots and prequels, so I’m sure I missed a lot of the inside jokes, but it was still a great ride. It is quite graphic and raunchy, though, so don’t see it unless you are prepared for that.

Last weekend I watched Silver Linings Playbook on Netflix. Great performances, good story, but wow, really hard to watch. Particularly for me, as Bradley Cooper in this puts me in mind a great deal of an old friend of mine from high school. It’s worth it, though.

Then a few nights ago Flash (If you know Brian and have seen at least the sloth trailer for the movie, then you understand.) took me to see Zootopia.  This is the best kids’ movie I have seen in a very long time. Beautiful animation, a noir-ish mystery, and great messages about prejudice, all bundled up with a sense of humor that has something for everybody.


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