Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Movie Review: Pan's Labyrinth

The only things I knew about this movie before I watched it was that it was an 'art' film and that I would have to read English subtitles, my Spanish is woefully lacking. Oh, and I assumed that it was a film for children; considering the title and that the main character was a young girl, I thought that was a fair assumption. I was wrong.

Quick plot summary (no spoiler): Early 1940s Spain. A young girl and her pregnant mother go to live in the country with a military captain (the mother’s second husband) and his troop of men. He has been charged with rooting out rebels hiding in the hills. The young girl reads fairytales and has a fanciful mind.

When I think of an art film I expect some amazing cinematography, but I also expect to be yawning through most of it. Storyline and plot sacrificed for great camera work and art, but not so here. Pan’s Labyrinth was beautifully filmed, but my attention did not suffer, the action is frequent and interesting. It had artfully constructed natural, fanciful scenes and creative creatures perfectly woven into the real world of the story.

It did all of that while showing a dose of real world violence rarely actualized in ‘American’ movies. There are a few scenes that made me cringe and almost look away, but I didn’t want to miss anything. We’ve all seen people beaten to death and gunshot wounds in American movies; we’ve all been taught that every car that wrecks blows up spectacularly. Everything is done to the extreme for the gore hungry audience. However, Guillermo del Toro ‘understands’ how to use violence to drive the character development and plot and not bore the audience with endless spurting blood packets.

Not a kids’ movie; not an average movie. The subtitles didn’t bother me at all; I was too engaged to be annoyed. The acting was incredible from the whole cast. Sergi López as Capitán Vidal was the stand out performance.

And great respect to the special effects and make-up crew. Top-notch work!

If you’re tired of the same rehashed sequel crap this summer, rent it. As for me I’m going to buy this one; I’ll watch it again and again.

Trailers at Apple


Monday, May 21, 2007

Oil, Gasoline, and Prices, Oh My!

Well, gasoline prices are on the rise again, but I don't hear many people squawking besides me. It's 3.30 around here; actually posted as 3.29 and 9/10, but that fraction never fooled me.

It's just how it always goes, oil companies raise the price incredibly high, let everyone complain and bitch, and then they lower it back down some until people stop complaining, because it is at least better than it was. Then they raise it back up until people start complaining again, but this time the threshold is higher. A couple time of this ratcheting action and they get us used to the new high price and no one bitches anymore, they just accept it. Ah, complacency; after all we have plenty of other things to worry about; it's just easier to accept it, like a prostate exam.

People, doesn't two years of oil companies posting record profits mean anything? They are establishing a new, higher threshold for prices. They aren't building new refineries, they aren't upping production, the price per barrel is lower than it was last year at this time, and yet record profits! *&%$&@!!!

What happened last year when congress tried to get oil companies to give back some of those record profits to the consumer? I remember it in the news for a week or so, and then blip it was gone; no answers; no refund; they just keep squeezing. Hmm, I wonder how many elected officials are invested in oil? Representing us? Hardly.

2006 May-15 to May-19
Mon $69.25
Tue $69.40

2007 May-14 to May-18
Mon $62.55
Tue $63.16


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Don't worship false American Idols

Why is who got dropped off American Idol last night news? It's on my local news, it's on national news, and it's even on friggin' NPR.

I'm for entertainment freedom %100. I like lots of things that I expect most Americans don't, and my answer is usually, "You don't have to watch it." And so I don't watch American Idol, not once, not ever. That used to keep it out of my life, which is how I want it. If other people love it that much, great, I guess, but I couldn't care less if I tried.

But, when it is on THE news, not the entertainment news, I want it to go away. The people who care already watched it, or recorded it last night, so why do I have to hear about it? It is not news.

I know there is real news to report, where is it? NPR I'm so disappointed in you.