Monday, July 23, 2012

Funny AND sad

I never realized how many moments in parenthood would straddle the heretofore unknown line of heart-breaking/funny.  To wit: on Saturday we dropped off the Boobla with Momma D so we could go see a movie (review below).  When we walked in the door three hours later, he was sitting next to his Nana on the couch, shoulders slumped, a little dejected, and his eyes were BRIMMING with tears.  According to Momma D, he was fine the whole time he was there for the most part, except at a few moments, she would just sense that he would just start to get kind of sad.  He wouldn't cry, or make any noise, but I guess he just started thinking about us (specifically, me) and then he would just get kind of teary and down.


That is the CUTEST/SADDEST thing, ever!  He was so weepy - poor little bubby.  Just picturing the little Big Yam having like, sad thoughts, is the worst.  But it's also funny seeing him there all welling up with emotion because he doesn't know where we are.

We've seen a few movies lately - here's the rundown:

Young Adult.  Written by Diablo Cody.  Directed by her co-conspirator Jason Reitman, it's about a rotten, juvenile, high-school queen bee whose life has gone nowhere and who decides to go back to her podunk hometown to steal back her high school boyfriend.  It's a nasty piece with Charlize Theron's Mavis an evil, morally bankrupt, self-absorbed piece of work.  It's supposed to be black comedy but I dunno - I'm not really sure why it got the awards buzz that it got.  It's okay.  Kind of forgettable.  

Ahhh, Lars von Trier.  You with your weird Cannes nazi-comments and your Dogme 95 and your shaky cam and your sadistic pleasure in watching women suffer.  Melancholia racked up the awards at Cannes for Kiki and for the film.  It's about a woman, Justine, who is suffering from a deep depression but seems to find some kind of solace as a heretofore hidden planet, Melancholia, is on track to crash into Earth and obliterate us all.  The film starts so promisingly - with an overbearing Wagner refrain repeated accompanying absolutely gorgeous, saturated, moving pictures of stunning beauty.  It ends strongly, too.  The final image is equally beautiful.  But the middle...the middle gets all typical Lars on you - it meanders, there is a wedding rife with awkward moments (what is with those Scandinavians and their awkward wedding movies?  See: The Celebration), there are scenes that seem fraught with meaning and subtext but might just be what they are at face value, there is shaky cam.  There is a mis-cast Kiefer Sutherland looking like he's trying very very hard to be a SERIOUS actor and there is Lars fave Charlotte Gainsbourg trying to convince everyone that yes, in some universe, she could be Kirsten Dunst's sister.  Everyone in this film seems like they had their names picked out of a hat to be in the movie - the accents clash, there is no harmony to the performances.  It is punctuated by beautiful scenes but I don't think this film is for me.  If I want long, arty silences, I'd prefer Meek's Cutoff (which we got halfway through and then stopped.  We'll have to pick it up again).


Seriously - this review contains spoilers.

Okay.  The Dark Knight Rises.  Hrm.  Hmm.  I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it.  It's kind of garbled (like Bane's speech, haha!)  It's hard to end on a Bane note.  As a baddie, Bane is set up to have these weird, Occupy-like, Communist-revolution class warfare motivations but the political message is deeply, deeply garbled and flawed.  It just makes no sense.  Why are we trying to take down decadent Gothamites?  Are people who resent the rich really just thugs?  Or, if the movie is to be believed, are they really just victims of an unhappy childhood?  See?  It's a weird poli-sci 101 and pop psychology 101 mashup.  I don't love Anne Hathaway, but her presence here is okay, although I have a hard time buying her as a love interest for Batman.  I think my chief complaint was how murky the message was.  The message in The Dark Knight is clear - Batman has to struggle with his own raison-d'etre in light of the anarchy and nihilism of his double, the Joker.  This movie is a lot more confusing and unfocused.

It is very, very difficult to top Heath Ledger's Joker's charisma and villainy.  It was a perfect performance and a near-perfect film.  Ending with Bane as your resident baddie can't help but feel like a let down after.  Tom Hardy also has to try to act without much of his face or voice, which is challenging.  I remember reading the comics when Bane was introduced.  He was scary as all f**k.  More so than the Joker.  This is someone who could actually beat Batman.  In this film, Bane can physically do it - but it's not very fear or awe-inducing - it's like watching a UFC match when one of the contestants is a giant, juiced up, Cro-Magnon specimen.

There were also some technical issues.  I think in response to the early criticisms of Bane's unitelligible delivery in the early teasers, they overdubbed his voice (it's still only partly telligible - ha).  Unfortunately, they overdubbed it poorly.  Bane's voice wasn't integrated into the film, so it sounds like he's sitting right next to you instead of part of the action - they didn't (couldn't) capture the ambient room sound that makes it seem like he's right there.  His vocal track was just laid on top.  It's pretty distracting.  The film also suffers from a classic Nolan issue - TOO. MUCH. EXPOSITION.  Ai ya!  It's the worst!  He's got to wean himself off of it.

I loved the strong women in the film - Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway.  The big reveal ending was super touching and super empowering for women.  Nolan ends the series with a flourish.  I think part of my problem is that I don't want to live in a world without Nolan's Batman in it.  So I'm being nit-picky.  It's definitely worth seeing but I didn't love it.  I really really liked it.

We had a lovely, lovely weekend.  Swimming with J & the Hungarian Princess at Lolly's house on Friday.  Breakfast with my mum and Poh Poh on Saturday.  A Saturday afternoon spent doing not all that much and then eating a southern style menu of chicken fried steak, corn pudding (I love my corn pudding recipe, so!), tuna macaroni salad, and some grilled zucchini just so it wasn't completely off the rails (I fried the steaks in lard).  Then I made us peach cobbler for dessert.

Sunday we went to the Farmer's Market and went on a long bike ride and then we met up with R & R at High Park and partook in Barque's Family Supper - you pay $30 and they bring out platters of food - a good amount for the price - we were stuffed.  There were roasted radishes with smoked bacon butter, salt cod crostini, gazpacho, clams with chorizo, anise roasted chicken, ribs, a green salad with apple and shallots, spinach with blue cheese and roasted tomatoes (which was absent from our platter), and mocha brownies for dessert.  It was a feast.  And good company to boot.

Tonight we had grilled coca-cola marinated pork chops with cauliflower and fennel pakoras and zucchini pancakes.



Anonymous said...

Ugh. You are so missing it! Bane's dialogue is irrelevant. The true villain is the legacy of Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Shadows. Bane and his persona involve theatricality and the art of distraction...hallmarks of the League and how Batman became Batman. Bane as a symbol is as much as Batman as a symbol.The real goal was to raze Gotham to the ground to build a new order of absolutes. So...nihilistic as opposed to Joker's anarchy. You have to watch Batman Begins to understand how this one ties it all so beautifully!

Blogger said...

Do you love Coke or Pepsi?
SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER and you could get a prepaid VISA gift card!