Monday, November 28, 2005


Well, that went quickly, didn't it? My longest holiday weekend of the year, come and gone. Sigh. Good news, I was reasonably productive. Of course no to-do lists were checked off in their entirety, but who in their right mind expected that?

We are officially decorated for Christmas, most of our Christmas presents are bought/made/wrapped, and the basement is all ready to be drywalled. AND I got ALL the Christmas cards done, we are just missing a few addresses. I am immensely pleased with myself. I did all this while feeling slightly queasy.

We also managed to watch a gaggle of movies. That's the nice thing about long weekends. I'll play "my opinion matters because I was a film major" and tell about them.

Thanksgiving Day: Batman Begins. One of those films I'd been pushed from every direction to see, but was too cheep to pay money for. A generally intelligent approach to a genre that frequently leans toward mindlessness. A few too many cops were sacrificed in roll-over car chases for my taste, but every superhero needs a few unfortunate faceless casualties, according to the rules of superhero-dom, I guess. The villains felt just as contrived as ever, but at least the hero was morally complex. That was refreshing. Some decent cinematography and reasonably blended-in CG also helped.

SAT - Pride and Prejudice.
I am completely guilty of being a girly girl. But I don't think that's the only reason I liked this film. It was very nicely packaged. It moved at a perfectly pleasant pace, never dragged its feet and only occasionally combined too many occurences into one scene. (I've been told this is thanks to Ms. Emma Thompson who gave the script and extreme makeover, she gets special thanks in the credits) And contrary to the rest of the world, I actually like this Mr. Darcy better than Collin Firth's. Instead of seeming broody and mean, he just seemed sad and uncomfortable. That seemed to make the character much more likeable, which is important when you have so much less time to make the audience like him. The direction very carefully avoided melodrama, and only slipped up on a few humorous occasions. While it may not tackle anything new or difficult, it was as pleasant an experience as I could have hoped for, and what else does one expect from a Jane Austen adaptation of the most popular romance in the Western World? (I think I can safely call it that). The only possible downside, and not a complete downside at that, was Keira Knightley's Elizabeth. She was not altogether unlikeable, but she also seemed to overdo it on the tomboyishness, to the point where it was occasionally difficult to see what exactly was her virtue that Mr. Darcy so admired. She also on occasion looked about 12 years old. But, she did manage to make the dialogue given her seem very natural, and managed a much better repoire with the Jane character than had previously been done. Generally just a very likeable, very pretty movie.

Sat night - The Door in the Floor

This was recommended to me by a coworker, and I try to generally be open to recommendations. I can see why it was recommended to me, but I have to tell you that Renn hated it. Hate Hate Hated it. I didn't hate it but I took issue with it in the same way I took issue with Monster's Ball. Too many horrible random occurences in one movie. An audience starts to feel like the director is just trying to send them through an emotional wringer. However, because not a single character was easy to identify with, I didn't manage to care about any of them. I felt sort of sorry for the parents loss of their sons, but had a hard time justifying their later behavior based on this, and just felt relieved to not actually know or have to maintain a relationship with any of them. I don't think that was the intended effect. Instead of feeling thoughtfully provoked, I just felt desensitized. I do not recommend this experience to anyone who has ever been offended or shocked or dissapointed by a drama. This will do all three.

Other than that, there were just the Holiday TV specials, hardly worth mentioning. But it was fun to watch TV with my niece Maren. Everytime anyone said "TV" she'd get all light up and say "TEE BEE" and nod her head with vigour. It was cute. I think the idea is that she doesn't normally get to watch that much television, which is just fine.

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