For the curious, here are my annual statistics for 2012:
126 visits to the movies (I don't count repeats)
72 current "regular" films (8 of them animated)
54 "other" films
13 Bollywood films
11 collections of short films (7 of them animated)
17 classic films
8 concerts/operas/stage productions
And which were my top 10?
1. Les Misérables
2. Life of Pi
3. The Avengers
5. Caesar Must Die
6. Robot & Frank
7. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
9. Moonrise Kingdom
10. OMG: Oh My God!
Most fun - The Avengers
Favorite documentary - Caesar Must Die
Favorite Bollywood film - OMG: Oh My God!
Favorite animated film - Brave
Honorable mention - Lincoln (a great film and award-worthy)
Worst movie ever - Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
Monday, February 11, 2013
I was incredibly angry after seeing The Last Mountain. I found myself disgusted by the greed displayed by the coal industry and the politicians (regardless of affiliation) that they buy and that is poisoning air and water and sickening innocent children. A pox upon the executives and their henchmen who bribe ("lobby") and the officials who are bought.
The Princess and the Frog had a good message about the difference between what we want and what we need. The voodoo aspects were a little too intense for a G rating. It didn't scare my granddaughters, but I had to answer a lot of questions. The 3-year-old also kept asking where the princess (the focus of Disney’s hypermarketing) was, and both got confused by the flashbacks and dream sequences. Louis the alligator was the most interesting and well done character, but it seemed like he was pulled from the cast of Fantasia and plopped into this movie. Prince Naveen seemed to be played by Pepe Le Pew in a frog suit. All in all, I think the movie is poorly rated and will disappoint the little girls expecting more emphasis on princessness.
I saw The Goat Rodeo Sessions last year, live on the silver screen. I wasn't actually disappointed because I didn't know what to expect. Most of the music was not very melodic (progressive bluegrass??) and wasn't my cup of tea, but it did give me an opportunity to go away (shut my eyes and see where the music takes me) without guilt. I thoroughly enjoyed the encore when they played Bach on bass, cello, and mandolin; played some good fiddle music; and ended with "All Through the Night" (I got a little misty during that). I was also proud of myself for recognizing Chris Thile, who was the lead singer for Nickel Creek.
Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, was an Australian production, revised from the failed London version. The good news: the sets were incredible and beautiful; there was a touch of heavy metal; Anna O'Byrne, as Christine, had a beautiful voice; and I got to blubber at the end. The bad news: it was decent, but not even close to The Phantom. When I saw it at the local Cinemark, I overheard someone in the lobby compare it to seeing Return of the Jedi after The Empire Strikes Back; it can only be a letdown. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who Ben Lewis (the Phantom) reminded me of - it was Vampire Bill. All in all, I enjoyed it and got to cry.