December 18, 2002
the two towers

midnight premiere. super-fiend fanatics all around. it's the best way to see these things. now then what can i say?... seriously do not continue reading this if you don't want spoilers, ok?


#1 bad things. (to get them out of the way.)
tedious fight scenes.

lots of walking

it was just like the boring-ness which is reading the middle book. well really all of the books. isn't that fucking sad? i mean...maybe this is a good point to the die-hard fans who will be pissed at all the other liberties taken by this second movie. but maybe they would just be bored too. but maybe al the fighting scenes will call to mind things like world war II and freedom and liberty and things that tolkein was actually concerned about at the time. or maybe they'll just be lots of headless things and ladders being flung and urukhai being all groany and hollery and really kind of funny in a hackneyed embarrassing sort of attempt at horror on what looked like a low budget at times. cheese dood. cheese.

it was like....the first one was GOOD, right? was serious and magical and real and true. and this second one is more....cheese. like....serious cheese. as if they couldn't quite hold together their subject matter and they became too interested in playing up certain characters to the detriment of others (ie unintentional humor employed by golum, intentional though...sometimes misplaced humor by sam, aragorn, gimli) as opposed to the seriousness of the quest and the battle for middle-earth. (don't get me wrong i fucking enjoyed the humor, i'm just saying it didn't quite fit in.) mainly what it did was bring the movie down to being a...parody sort of. a parody of tolkien's work. like they thought, "now we have established ourselves with FOTR, now we can putz around a little and enjoy ourselves and have choppy editing and make some crude jokes and have some laughs at the expense of following up a really good movie with a not so good movie." a damn shame is what it was.

the ents were too physically short (kristen pointed this one out as a flaw. but maybe it's more of a personal vision flaw than a real flaw, because otherwise the ents were pretty great. well...ok i thought they would be fatter too. and maybe speak slower. and...have more screen time. but they were pretty boring when not stepping on evil minions so whatever.)

frodo and the ring (the main fucking character here people--the ring, not frodo. fuck frodo, cute though he may be. fucking hobbit. practically a midget.) was in the movie about maybe a total of 30 minutes. that's kind of unacceptable. following the plot of the horse-lords, all well and good. the fucking touchy-feely bullshit with those 2 kids and their mom? totally unnecessary. i mean, they wanted me to be all in touch with their spirit or her maternal instinct or something but really i was just like, "who the fuck cares!? get off the screen!" maybe those ones were HIS (peter jackson) kids? i know they were both in there somewhere. their fighting tactics in the helm's deep battle sequence? equally shitty. i mean, maybe that was in the books too and maybe i've forgotten how horribly they fought, but still. did they need to wait that long to shoot arrows? no. did they need to be such wussies about pushing the ladders off? no. did they need to have only like 15 people left at the very end out of the hundreds they started out with? no. it was silly. and the lack of what's her name fighting? what's up with that? she was supposed to fight some i thought. although i don't think she did in the book....not yet at any rate.

not that i can pinpoint all that many examples but it seemed as if the liberties taken in this movie was far more gross than anything done in the first one. they cut out tons of shit, which fine, they had to make it shorter. and they added the stuff with arwen, which yeah is culled from the appendix/short story tolkien wrote about their doomed love, so fine whatever. but there was a lot of ent stuff cut out. and a lot of faramir stuff cut out. and some of the things they did with aragorn (fell off the cliff? did that really happen?) seemed faked.

but let's be the honest the spirit of the books is still primarily maintained. and on to the good things.

fucking schizophrenic golum was BRILLIANT. at first i was like, "ah man. stupid cg effects. shitty face with those big eyeballs all gross and the comb over and ew butt crack." but then later on when he does the first major scene by himself where he talks to the evil golum and says, "goes away and never comes back!" and the little face saying, "no." and the bad face saying, "kills them! tricksy!" "master is our friends." oh man. shit he was awesome. and it's sad, as kristen commented, that the cg character stole the fucking show. but you know what, he was just GOOD. the acting was seamless. and the facial expressions grow on you like a foot disease blanket. splendid.

the boys were in fine form with their little jokes and their battle counts and legolas got all the good special effect moves, the jumping on the horse while it was running, the sliding down a stairway on a shield while shooting like 10 urukhai. he was amazing. now if only he didn't have that hair.... aragorn's sly smile was a sight to see after the aloof unapproachable he played in the first one. apparently the human love interest is good to him. though i still like arwen a damn lot.

gandalf seemed sadly lacking in the screen time, but acquitted himself well whenever he was there.

watching ents squish people and bang their heads together and kick them like footballs was fun.

elijah wood's acting, i thought, was GREAT. but i know not everybody thinks that.

the sweeping vista scenes are still gorgeous, though getting a little old at this point and tiresome like the walking. oh man i slipped back into bad. so i think it's time to conclude.

the two towers is not as good, in my opinion, as the fellowship. i have high hopes though that the return of the king will out surpass them both. since really let's be honest the only actually good part about reading the books is the last 15 pages of the third one and you know what that means...the third movie will have the best last hour out of all three. i am impatient to see more of gondor, more of frodo, more of mordor, more of legolas, more of golum, and more of osgiliath. i think that the two towers is GOOD. technically it doesn't seem as proficient, the propensity for battle scenes in place of more story was disappointing, but overall it's good. the humor moments offset the darkness well. the acting is superb on all parts, (although gimli was a little overplayed at times.) i will probably see it at least one more time while it's in the theatres. and i am soooo happy that i went and saw it at midnight because it's always so much fun to see it first. and it made me all happy and now we shall see how long that happiness last. i give myself till about 7pm before i pass out. =)

another review.

a really good review.

official site.

andy serkis' (who plays golum) webpage.

picture of merry and pippin at the premiere. ha ha!

ho-ho-oh. hello mr orlando bloom/legolas.

Posted by michele at 12:45 PM
December 16, 2002
fruits basket

this weekend...,well just sunday, i watched an entire anime series called fruits basket. yes. fruits basket. not sure why. well i know why it's called that (and trust me the reason is perhaps dumber than the name itself), i am not, however, sure why i watched 26 episodes in one fucking day. or why near the end i started talking to myself, the cat, the television. exhaustion. lack of food. lack of sleep. it wasn't pretty. what WAS pretty were the anime boys. ha! you knew i was going to get to them and my new fervent crushes on each one of the little emotionally scarred 2-d cuties. cutiiieesss....


it was all in all a relatively good show actually. i mean. the plot was well thought out. oh god. i just said that. let me explain something here. the plot was based around this household of three men who, when they are hugged by a girl, turn into one of the 12 animals of the zodiac calender. you can imagine the amount of times the girl had to accidentally trip in order to provide some humorous gag moments. because of course it was a secret from other people. and they would have to cover up really quickly the fact that there was a pile of clothes on the floor and a mouse running across the parquet.

the girl was kind of dim really but always had these holy moments where she would impart some sage wisdom and the males would begin to accept themselves instead of loathing their demon zodiac curse. there were girls cursed too and they had to hug boys to turn. there was a moment with the mailman... anyway. but basically it was a semi-love triangle (undeclared and undecisive) between the main (non-cursed) girl and two of the cursed boys. it was cute. it was sweet. sometimes sappily. but still. and i enjoyed it, i did.

the artwork was standard, though they did some interpsersions of rough sketches which were interesting along with some tv wave patterns every so often to give mystical height or notice. and once there was a scene where there was a train with real people getting off and 4 anime characters in their midst which looked cool. and althogh i know this makes me a dork. in a couple of episodes there were moments when the animation continuity was imterrupted by a misplaced cell. so there would be a fraction of a second where a different image would flash by and with the technological wonder of dvd i could pause fast forward to check and look at how the image was moved slightly to the left so that part of the previous cell was included on one side and the new one on the majority of the screen creating a juxtaposition that lurked at the corners of the eye if you were watching normal speed very closely. in one of these. the characters switched sides entirely and there was this fucking scary shadow figure in the trees on the right side. i stopped pause ffwarding after that.

the reason i found this wacky series in the first place was because i was searching on news of the licensing of 'one piece' (jacob). they are both distributed by the same company (funimation. cause it's so fun.) and although one piece isn't out yet, soon maybe. i know you wanted to see more of it. wacky stretchy pirates. i also got all of FLCL which maybe i will watch today. (it's only 6 episodes.) but i am so fucking excited. it's by GAINAX who did neon genesis evangelion and also kare kano. both exceptional artwork and story. and FLCL is fucking brilliant and frenetic. (or at least the first 4 episodes which i have seen are.)


Posted by michele at 11:03 AM
December 05, 2002


what can i say? has anybody else seen it? do you want to explain the end to me? why were there suddenly multiples of her? did the drugs kill him? why did the very end have to be so incredily hokey patokey? was he dead all along? how fucking cool was snow (jeremy davies again)? why would she want to stay with him? he was kind of an asshole. what the hell kind of visitor was the black woman having? was it even human? i know no one will have any hard evidence on that, because we never saw it, but guesses?

technically i liked it. i liked the cinematography of it. i disliked the dialogue for the most part unless it was snow that was chatting. because his flippancy and gesturing were creepy fantastic. but other than his ass george clooney was irrelevant to me. and natasha mcelhone has really nice hair but... well and nice eyes. they take up her whole face almost! it's pretty sweet.

the website is pretty cool. i learned for example that it's based on a previous movie, solyaris and here i thought steven soderburgh had more indie film integrity than to copy. apparently i was way wrong.

Posted by michele at 12:01 PM
lovely and amazing

was not all that good. i just didn't care about the characters that much. they were all way too neurotic. and the youngest daughter was just irritating.

if only the movie could have been cut down to being ONLY jake gyllenhaal and catherine keener it would have been better. admittedly it also would have then been "the good girl" they practically had the same conversation in the car about going to a hotel in both movies even. wierd typecasting of gyllenhaal, i have to say. well not wierd per se, because i bet women of all ages will want to have sex with him all the time, but maybe more wierd on his part to play the same thing twice.


emily mortimer other than being freakishly shallow was really good. and other than being bitchy catherine keener was really good. and other than playing the same part, albeit less darkly brooding, jake gyllenhaal was really good.

heh. and that is my take on neurotic and controlling.

Posted by michele at 11:39 AM

so i just watched CQ, roman coppola's directorial debut. it's really good. the thing that is the most amazing about it, is the combination of two different movies that are being made within the fim itself. there's the dragonfly movie, and there's paul's movie 69/70. the methodology of 60's camp sci-fi and new wave french cinema in order to illustrate the complexities of film-making in general is well done. the editing is flawless, and the multiple storylines are well orchestrated in order to produce a seamless whole.

you know how you can rave about the beauty and stylistic purity of the virgin suicides by sofia? well in a different way you can say the same kinds of things about her brother's movie. it amazes me how a brother and sister can make movies that are so obviously drawing from the same kind of background in film appreciation while at the same time produce two completely disparate movies.

jeremy davies ability to look introspective and act quietly is the perfect foil to the over the top allure of angela lindvall as dragonfly and billy zane as mr. e. not to mention depardieu, schwartzman, massimo ghini, and giancarlo giannini. angela lindvall's transformations from dragonfly the seductress to valentine the earthy sweet hippie is also impressive for a model turned actress in her first movie. although if you watch the dragonfly alternate version of paul's with her commentary she is so godawful juvenile. but apparently she had a baby boy last february. how scary is that? i don't think 22/23 year olds should be having babies when they themselves still speak like 2nd graders.

the special features on the dvd are wide-ranging. there's video documentaries by sofia, his mom, and some other filmmakers. there's a commentary, there's a live music concert of mellow (speaking of which air is WAY better than mellow, but they're both kind of the same thing. another point in the sibling connection i think.) there's like 5 featurettes too which were fun to watch.

i put it on my amazon wishlist, yes i liked it that much. =)


Posted by michele at 11:25 AM