Monday, August 25, 2008

summer complaints and praises

I can't believe how little I've read this summer, after promising myself to read a lot, since it would have been the first time since LAST summer when I actually would have had the time/energy to pick up something other than Aristotle or a manifesto from the Weimar Republic, or something (not like I actually every had the energy to pick that sort of stuff for Humanities last year, either, but you know what I mean). It's rather pathetic that the only stuff I've actually read have been the first two books in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, because even at 400+ pages each, they really don't count.

And I've hardly watched any movies, either! I suck. Although I'm extremely grateful that I ended up watching Gosford Park with Jenna a few weeks ago, because I love that movie pretty much more than....all but...two movies that I've ever seen? I think it officially edges into the third spot on my Favorite Movies Ever list, following Sense & Sensibility and The Court Jester, of course. GOD it was so good. LOVED IT.

Get Smart was also really enjoyable -- don't expect it to have much at all to do with the TV show, because you'll be disappointed if you do. On it's own it was REALLy funny, however.

The Cat's Meow was good, too, until I saw Gosford Park, which takes place about ten years later. GP was so good that pretty much anything else set during that time period seems kind of unfortunate to me.

I didn't expect to like The Affair of the Necklace, and while even though I wouldn't tell anyone to go out and rent it, I was pleasantly surprised by how it tied everything together, with how the heroine had a personally impact on the French Revoltion and all of that stuff. So it wasn't bad.

Reefer Madness was AMMMAZING (the 2005 movie musical version, not the 1930s film it is based on). I saw the stage version (twice) at school this past year, and I think it's unfortunate that it never took off as a successful musical. The lyrics and music are really great. My favorite song is "Listen to Jesus, Jimmy". GO RENT IT.

Merchant of Venice was good, too. My only problem is that I'm so into the history plays right now that I really don't care much for anything else. Sorry.

You've probably never heard of The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant, and that's too bad. It's the most expensive Australian made-for-TV movie ever. I had been waiting to see it FORRREVVVER, but I figured it couldn't be that great, because the DVD cover was kind of ridiculous, among other things I had heard. But it ended up being AWESOME -- it's about the first group of British prisoners to be transported to Botany Bay in Australia, and it features Romala Garai (who played the older Briony in Atonement, but better here) and Jack Davenport, who I LOVVVVVE. The whole time my mom and I were watching it, it was hard not to point out all of these things that would have been different (for the worse) had it been an American movie. This one is highly reccommended.

Perfume was weird, but I liked it. It's about this guy who has this ridiculously good sense of smell, so he tries to bottle up and save the smell of everything -- including all of these hookers that he kills. Everyone in it is pretty good, and it's worth seeing, I just wouldn't watch it again.

And I liked Cold Comfort Farm, too. It wasn't what I expected, and it usually bothers me to No End when a plot point is built up like crazy, with nothing ever happening. But that didn't really bother me, so that's good. Eileen Atkins is awesome in EVERYTHING. And I thought Kate Beckinsale was really good too, which means something, because I think she's pretty annoying otherwise.

Annnnd, my mom and I watched all ten episodes of Berkeley Square, which was sooo fantastic that I can't even begin to tell you. It's this British TV series that was made in 1998, and it follows the lives of three nannies who all live at different houses in the same square in London in 1902. So pretty much I feel like I know what it feels like to be an early 20th century live-in nanny, now. OH MY GOD. Seriously, American TV SUCKS.

And I watched the entire first season of The Tudors, but I didn't like it. This deserves a post of it's own though, so expect my official review soon.

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