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The stuff of entertainment

15 Mar

Despite not having cable (sad thing, yes, I know) I can generally fulfill my entertainment needs with Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox. Actually, I find myself invested in a lot of different shows. Some shows are difficult for me to explain why exactly I watch them. Take, for instance, the teen drama Pretty Little Liars. I know the show’s target audience is about 12-16 years old, but what can I say? I totally watch it every week. About a month ago, I went to Macy’s out of boredom (shush you!) and bought a new jacket. As I tried it on I thought to myself, “This is such a Hannah jacket.” As in Hannah from Pretty Little Liars. Sometimes I can be a real gomer.

My lack of cable also is a factor in my watching of tv shows on Netflix. One that I’ve watched about half of the first season of is Hart of Dixie, a ree-dic-u-lous show about a sassy New York doctor and her trials and tribulations working at a family practice in (I kid you not) the town of Bluebell, AL. Her arch-rival is a southern debutante named Lemon. (Don’t you just hate when that happens?) This town seems to live for floral prints, drawled out expressions like, “Daddy, I’m so excited for the sweetie pie dance!”, and having aligators as pets. Okay – don’t get me wrong – I’ve never been to Sweet Home Alabama, but I’m fairly certain Hart of Dixie’s portrayal is rather off.

Recently through Netflix I watched Heavenly Creatures. Released in 1994, (I’m really convinced that 1994 was one of the best years for film) it stars a young Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey as 2 young girls in New Zealand who form an obsessive attchment to each other, and through a series of events, plot and execute the murder of one of their mothers.This is based on a true story! Which then prompted my fingers to Wikipedia that shit with great fervor. Sidebar: every time I watch a movie about a real killer, I have to research them on the Intenet. It’s way creepy, but seriously fascianting stuff to me. Can’t really explain it, but I swear I’m not a killer! There is a line in the film in which Lynskey’s character says, “We have decided how sad it is for others that they cannot appreciate our genius.” That’s so Ali and me. Ha. Kidding. (shhh not really)

It has been many years since I decided to purchase a movie I had never seen before, but yesterday at Target I purchased Life of Pi on a whim. I knew I wanted to see it and just decided to go for it. I watched it last night and loved it! I know it’s gotten mostly good reviews, but there are some that are bad. And not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen this film, but if you are frustrated by the ending because it’s not wrapped up in a neat little bow, I’ll probably think you’re dumb. Yes, the girl who openly admits to watching Pretty Little Liars and Hart of Dixie will think you’re dumb. I don’t like it when Life of Pi is compared to Avatar because Avatar sucked enormously. Life of Pi had stunning visuals with really intellectual themes. Even now, a day later, I’m still thinking about it. So watch it if you can. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. The director, Ang Lee, is just such an interesting guy. I think he’s got an amazing storytelling ability. Here you have this funny little Taiwanese man who has beautifully told Jane Austen’s English period drama Sense & Sensibility with as much richness as the western Brokeback Mountain, and now weaves the wonderful story of survival, the inter-connectedness of life, and fantasy/reality in such an incredible way.

In other events, T-Minus one week until Ali and her gentleman caller pay a visit to Minnesota. Wooo!


Breaking Down Breaking Dawn

3 Feb

I know. This post is uber (do people still say uber?) late, but I’ve only just seen the movie. Two days ago I went to a cheap movie theatre to see Breaking Dawn Pt 1 with some fabulous girls from college. We had wine beforehand and much to the annoyance of the rest of the audience, some debaucherous heckling of the movie ensued. One friend (and follower of this little blog!) asked me to write up a post on it. Got to give the people what they want!

I’ll admit it. I’ve read the books. All of them. It was the year after college and I was in Phoenix. All the sudden this thing called Twilight was everywhere. It was monolpolizing my beloved Entertainment Weekly, it was on tv, friends were talking about it. Since I love pop culture, I had to be in the know about this phenomenon. Being poorer than ever that year I used “Target Library.” I might still be waiting for a copy to read if I used the legit library. Target library is when you buy a book and read it so carefully that the pages or cover do not get crinkled and then return it. Ethical? Nope. Not at all. Haters gonna hate, but if you only knew my salary that year…  So I read them and they were awful. But I read all 4. Why? Because I hated them so much my anger seemed to fuel my reading of them. Once I finished I felt like I may have lost a few brain cells in the process. The protagonist is this horrible, personality-less, clutzy, little waif with no interests or passions other than her boyfriend or maybe cooking and cleaning for her father.

Stephanie Meyer’s definition of love is that you should obsess over someone until they notice you, develop “irrevocable” love after a conversation about the weather or science labs, and then become a martyr for that person. Bella seems to get off on being a martyr. Her martyrdom isn’t ever justifiable. It’s only ever because she has the lowest self esteem of any character ever and truly believes she is dating someone who is better than perfect. This martyrdom culminates in Breaking Dawn when Bella weds perfect Edward at 18 and becomes preggers with a half human/half vampire baby. I’m no sex ed teacher, but it does take live cells to make a baby, am I right? Not sure how that worked out, but Meyer hopes maybe we can suspend our disbelief enough to believe in the magic…or something. The fetus grows at a remarkably accelerated speed and slowly kills Bella as it grows. Conflict ensues with the Cullens and werewolves (the ultimate frenemies btw). The baby is born, Bella gets shot up with Edward’s vemon, and Jacob the werewolf falls in love with the baby (whaaa?) and bum..Bum…BUM…Bella becomes a vampire.

And then, of course, there is the movie adaptation. Kristen Stewart is actually the perfect person to play Bella, if only in the sense that they’re both achingly awkward, sullen, and pained-looking most of the time. I have no idea how some people think those qualities are endearing. I have this theory that Taylor Lautner sounds exactly like JTT. Here’s an obscure site from someone that seems to agree with me. I think that RobPatt is kind of just riding the wave. I saw something online where each of the three main actors was asked if they would be fans of the series if they weren’t cast in the films. RobPatt was the only one who said he wouldn’t be. I appreciate the honesty.

The film starts the night before the wedding, and although she looks pained and unsure about the big day, she says her feet are “burning hot” or something. You know. As opposed to cold feet. Get it? The wedding takes place  in the middle of an ethereal forest (obviously) and every last detail is manicured to perfection. Bella looks like she needs to pop a Midol while walking down the aisle. Several good and “vegetarian” vampires are invited to the wedding. I guess none of the humans think it’s extremely odd that all the Cullens and their friends have creepy, unearthly, glowing gold eyes. NBD. There is a seamless transition to the reception where we witness one of the only redeeming qualities of the movie in the form of Anna Kendrick. Love her. Love her reaction to the shamelessly overdone wedding cake. Even her speech (Everyone gives a speech at the reception. Is that normal?) is sort of funny. Anna Kendrick = best part of the series/most talented actor they cast. Anywaysss, there is a rumble in the woods when Jacob (who decided to grace us with his brooding presence) gets royally pissed off when Kristen Bella (ah, who can tell the diff?) suggests her honeymoon will be as “normal as anyone else’s.” Jacob flies into a rage and must be restrained by other werewolf buddies while Edward stands posessively in front of Bella. Such drama!

The happy couple soon takes off to an undisclosed honeymoon location. We see they end up in Rio and get to be carefree and loving amongst all the happy natives dancing in the street. How ethnic! But wait! Rio isn’t the destination! They soon hop in a speed boat off to a private island called Isle Esme where candles are lit (like, who are they getting to come light candles 5 minutes before they arrive and then leave??) and the decor is Pottery Barn meets beach house. Here’s where it gets good, folks. Bella fidgets awkwardly while Edward suggests a cool swim. Bella asks for some “human minutes” aka she needs to take a sh*t or something. We see her in the bathroom rummaging through her bags and discovers that tricky Alice has packed her bags full of expensive lingerie! Curse you, Alice! She is too awkward and freakish to be seen in anything but sweats on her honeymoon! Yes, she married the man vampire, but how can she possibly look sexy for him on their honeymoon?! Gasp! She finally decides it’s not entirely inappropriate for her husband to see her naked and goes out to the beach. Sexy time begins! Cut to the next morning when Bella wakes up blissfully happy, yet bruised all over. Edward punishes himself and vows to never touch her again while Bella sullenly tries to explain it was “as good as it can get for a human.” First time and bruising? Methinks not, Bella.

They proceed to do fun island-y things until the day Bella barfs up her chicken. She’s got a lil vampire bun in the oven. Oh, and there is some native/indigenous/tribal woman they’ve hired to clean who just knnooows Edward a vampire, or whatever her ethnic interpretation is…evil demon or something. All this woman (I guess her tribal heritage gives her some sort of sixth sense…it’s never explained) has to do is touch Bella’s belly to know something eeeeeevil is cooking in there. How convenient for this tribeswoman to have these undisclosed abilites. She mutters something like “muerte” or whatever the Portuguese equivilent is to explain “death” was waiting for Bella. This tribeswoman cleaning lady really bugs me. Obvies Edward speaks Portugese. We’ve heard him. She couldn’t possibly talk in a full sentence? No, she can only “sense” things and mutter one word phrases. It makes her more like cavewoman/removed from society, etc. Annoying.

Flash forward when they’re back to Washington: Bella’s pregnancy has continued to advance at an alarming rate. The make up people did a pretty good job of making Bella look freaking disgusting. Edward wants to get rid of the “little nudger.” (I knooow, such a gag-worthy phrase!) Bella loves her nudgie nudger and refuses. Suddenly Edward can hear the baby’s thoughts and knows it loves its parents. Case to be made for life begins at conception, Ms Meyer, eh??? Edward realizes at long last that this little nudger is good and not a monster like he is! Jacob is back in the picture and wants to protect Bella from his wolf pack who are hell bent on killing the monster, and obvies Bella too. Jacob won’t stand for it and in a HILARIOUS wolf-form confrontation stands up to what’s-his-face-pack-leader and runs away.

Stuff happens and Bella gets more pregnant/more nasty looking. They finally have an idea for Bella to drink blood. Shocker, I know, but that’s what her little bloodsucking fetus wants. She drinks some and with bloody teeth and lips and demented eyes she looks up to say, “It tastes good.” I giggled.

Basically this continues on for a while until one day she drops her cup of blood. She is much a martyr that Heaven forbid someone do something for her like pick up a styrofoam cup (also, I see no reason why the Cullens would ever have a supply on styrofoam cups on hand, whatevs). When she reaches down her back cracks in a really gross way and Edward has to chew through Bella to get to the baby. Without pain meds, I am pretty certain Bella would just die right there. But hey, I’m no doctor! What ensues is the grossest, yammiest mouth noises ever. So gross. Baby is born looking about 6 months old. Bella is awake long enough to mutter, “So…beautiful…” before stiffening up like a corpse. Luckily, Edward has a syringe of his vemon waiting which he plunges directly into her weak heart. He then proceeds to bite her all over. I don’t know why, but we laughed particularly hard at this. The audience then sees “science at work” as a magic coating of vampire DNA-stuff works its way over all her battered human veins, etc. Apparently this is super painful, but Bella continues to lay still as a corpse. I guess the worst thing that could happen would be people seeing her suffer. Effing martyr.

Jacob thinks Bella has died and then decides to go kill the baby she “died” to have. Duh. But as soon as he looks into little Reneesme’s face (Yeah. Reneesme. Eeew.) he imprints as wolves do, and goes from wanting to kill her to wanting to be with her forever. Yeah. A baby. Seems kiiiind of weird. There is a little bit of a scuffle between the wolves and Cullens before Jacob intervenes and dramatically exclaims, “If you kill her, you kill me!” and they back off. Then Bella’s eyes open and they’re blood red. Cue credits.

Much to the chagrin of the Twihards in the audience, watching this with friends after consuming wine was by far the funniest thing I have done in a while. I highly recommend it.