Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't Hate Me


...because I'm opinionated.
On the plane ride back from the Dominican Republic, we watched Enchanted. I had heard wonderful reviews from friends. Many said that Enchanted was cute, entertaining, and charming. You know the story, right? Classic animated fairytale meets live-action comedy.

I'm the first person to admit that I am a hopeless romantic and I love all that sappy, feel good, Disney movie/fairytale/princess stuff. I really do. I also love musicals and many movies that most people would think are overly saccharin.

This said, please don't hate me for what I am about to say. Yes, the premise of the movie was cute, but I really couldn't handle Enchanted. It gave me a headache. Perhaps it was the flight that made me ill. Scratch that. The flight was fine. It was the movie that wasn't!

Giselle, the beautiful princess (who was banished from her perfect, animated, musical world by an evil queen) soon ends up facing the reality of the face paced, modern world of New York City. It really pains me to say this because as much as I wanted to love this movie, I have to give it a 2 out of 5. So sad, since I LOVE almost all Walt Disney films.

One good part about the movie? Patrick Dempsey!!! Need I say more? *drool*

After watching Enchanted, my husband and I, and a couple we met at our resort in Puerto Plata discussed how UNenamoured we were with the film. Luckily for us, there was a second film that played promptly after Enchanted.

Ratatouille is a heartwarming story about a rat named Remy who leaves the French countryside for Paris. He discovers that his cooking idol, Auguste Gusteau has died and through his imaginary conversations with the late Gusteau, Remy is led to Gusteau's restaurant in Paris. Remy builds a rather unusual alliance with Linguini (the garbage boy turned chef) after Linguini ruins the soup and Remy fixes it. It's a delightful tale. I give it a five out of five. Too generous? Let's just say that Enchanted pales in comparison!

Lastly, there's one more movie I'd like to talk about.

While in Toronto the other week, my cousin and I watched Beowulf. My cousin had rented several DVDs, but I had been wanting to see Beowulf for some time.

Many moons ago, I had read the story of the heroic warrior who battled the monster, Grendel. I fell in love with the Old English heroic epic poem, though at some points throughout the poem, it was not the easiest to digest.
In the poem, the Geat hero, Beowulf must battle three monsters (Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a ferocious dragon). Beowulf dies in the last battle.

The film actually took me by surprise. Like the poem,
the movie takes place pre-Christianity. Hrothgar, the Danish king must deal with Grendel wreaking havoc on the kingdom. Enter Beowulf, who boasts that he will rid Hrothgar's kindgom of the monster. Beowulf follows the monster to a dark, watery lair, where Grendel's mother awaits. Beowulf makes a deal with the devil and returns to Hrothgar's castle, where he becomes king.

Many years later, another monster wreaks havoc on the kingdom. This time, the monster is in the form of a dragon.
Beowulf was to kill Grendel's mother as well. Like Hrothgar, Beowulf must deal with "the sins of the father".

Prior to watching Beowulf, I had no idea that the film was animated. The animation work was incredible! However, I was shocked that Grendel's mother was modeled in the likeness of Angelina Jolie! That just doesn't seem right!
Beowulf is a tale of weaknesses and harnessing one's strength to become heroic in order to face one's weaknesses again.

I love the poem and surprisingly, I enjoyed the film. I usually prefer the original works better than the made-for-Hollywood movies. Despite the gore (lots of blood and violence, but that's to be expected considering that this was the time of legendary warriors and conquerors) and the fact that Grendel's mother was made to be sexy and seductive like Angelina, this is a really good film. Though much of the original story was glossed over, I liked this version. I think I'll give it a five out of five.

18 comments:

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Too bad you didn't enjoy Enchanted. I was 'enchanted' by it, especially the first time I saw it. We got the DVD for Maya for Easter, and I didn't like it as much this time around. But still, I liked it a lot, and I'm generally a so-so Disney fan, not always a big fan. Maybe I just like the actress. I didn't see Ratatouille, so I can't speak to that one...and I haven't seen Beowulf, and I am somewhat horrified that they took the horrific, scary as hell mother and made her sexy like Jolie. I don't think there's anything in the poem to suggest that she might in any way be hot.

C said...

J:
I agree with you about being horrified that the likeness of Angelina Jolie was chosen for Grendel's mother. From the poem, I always envisioned something really horrific and not sexy like that.

As for Enchanted, perhaps I was being overly hasty. I really do want to like the movie and perhaps I'll give it another try. This time I won't be on an airplane and have had only a few hours sleep. Sometimes I find when I'm in a particular state of mind, I don't always enjoy the movie as much as I could.

My rule of thumb (this goes for almost everything): Try everything at least three times. Perhaps the first time you try something and you don't like it, that may be because you've got preconceived notions about what you're going to try and have in mind that you don't like it even before you try it.
The second time, perhaps you're having an off day. Try it a third time and if you still don't like it, you probably really don't like it! LOL! That's just my wacky way of doing things! I try things three times before I really formulate a final opinion about it. I know, I'm weird! ;)

I did this with Japanese nato when I was living and teaching in Japan. Nato is fermented soy beans with raw egg. Blech!!! The Japanese love this and apparently it is very healthy. I tried it once and gagged. I tried it again on a different occasion and was still struggling to swallow it. The final time I tried it was months after the second experience and I still didn't like it. After three tries, I decided that I really didn't like it! LOL!

Pavel said...

My kids loved enchanted, especially the squirrel. I thought it was ok,but not great.

As for Beowulf, if they had shown that at school, (especially the part with Angelina Jolie in 3d) I might have paid attention. It was a fun movie!

Glad you're back!

hotmommy said...

Oh shame you didn't like Enchanted! the kids really liked it and you know me and princess stories i loved it too!

haven't seen Beowolf but i'm not that into those kinds of movies. also snice Brad and Jen broke up I haven't been much of an Angelina fan. Sure Brangelina have done some great things for charities and such but if your married then don't sleep with someone else- at least break up or get a divorce AND THEN do what you want. don't pay attention to me i'm just spewing off nonesense :0)

ratatouile- great movie! the kids, hubs and i really liked that one

jan said...

Thanks for the reviews. I'm always looking for something I can enjoy with my grandchildren. I'm afraid that as an English major, I can't watch Beowulf though. I would stand up in the theatre and say, "That isn't what happened."

Starshine said...

I saw Enchanted and Ratatouille and liked them both a lot. The latter made me long to learn French and to explore Paris with my honey.

Shannon said...

We saw Beowulf in the theater. It was interesting. I was very impressed with the computer generated graphics, although they were VERY distracting. Angelina Jolie was a weird choice for Grendel's mother. Maybe that was what threw me??
I can say that just by the previews we decided to pass on both Ratatouille and Enchanted. Rats? Food? Ick...

C said...

Pavel:
Yes, I thought the squirrel was cute too :) I suppose I'll give Enchanted another try sometime ;)

Jan:
I had a discussion with a friend of mine the other day regarding Beowulf. I'm an English major as well and the fact that Beowulf was made into the movie that it was with the inaccuracy of the story, really did make me cringe.

At first, I thought I didn't like the movie just because it wasn't accurate. Then I thought about the computer generated images and how impressive they were. I wonder if the movie would have been as impressive if they had used real actors au lieu of the animated ones.

Another thing I thought about was that even though I am usually adamantly against movies veering too far away from the original literary works, I thought that even though this version of Beowulf was inaccurate, it would spark interest amongst those who had never read (or who had never even heard of) Beowulf before. Hopefully the movie would spark enough interest for some and that they would research the poem and read the actual story.

As much as I am usually anti great works of literature turned into Hollywood movies, I'm hoping in some way this movie will bring popularity to stories like this epic poem :)

C said...

Hot Mommy:
I know. I know. I shall give Enchanted a second chance :)
Wasn't Ratatouille adorable?

Starshine:
I can totally see you and your hubby strolling down the streets of Paris! You actually look like Princess Gabrielle! One suggestion: If you ever do go to Paris with the hubster, make sure you bring your photographer friend so she can take all those gorgeous photos of you guys! That girl is TALENTED!!! I pop by her blog every now and then so I can be dazzled by her work!!

C said...

Shannon:
Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment on my sorry excuse for a blog! ;)

I also found the computer generated images to be rather distracting at first. I was totally unimpressed with Grendel's mom looking like Angelina Jolie too!

As for rats and food...LOL! I was thinking the same thing too! I am really freaked out about rats. While traveling to Indonesia and certain parts of Asia, I saw some pretty crazy things that would not be considered hygienic in North America! Anyway, rats + food really gross me out, but I have to admit that the story was kinda cute. I suppose because it was an animated movie that it made it kind of cute. Otherwise...icky!!!

I wonder why it is that I find animated mice and pests cute and in real life I am creeped out by them? LOL!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm totally impressed that you give things three chances. I usually feel like if I didn't like it the first time, there are so many other movies/books/foods out there, I'm not interested. Though movies seen on a plane are rarely enjoyed, by my experience.

I read your other comments, and I will admit to you that I enjoyed seeing the version of Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes. Loved it. It was SO different from the original movies and plays, but the language transcends all, and the heavily stylized and modern settings were just awesome. I know everyone else hates it.

PJ said...

Hi C! Wow, you should do more movie reviews! :)

C said...

J:
I have a love-hate thing for the Romeo and Juliet version with Claire Danes in it. The first time I saw the movie, I really didn't like it. I guess I've always been a fan of the Franco Zeffirelli version. I love that one! After watching the modernized R&J a few times, it sort of grew on me. However, (and I know this will upset many people out there) I am not a big Leo fan! I loved him in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? though!

PJ:
YAY! It's been AGES since you last visited!!! Please pop by more often. Hugs for you, Conne and CJ! XOXO

t said...

I liked Beowulf and Ratatouil- I haven't seen Enchanted yet.

VE said...

Hey, I was at a resort in Puerto Plata back in August. Which one did you stay at? I had a great time there...

C said...

T:
Know of any good movies you think Hubby and I should watch?

VE:
Hi! Thanks for popping by :) We were at Paraiso Tropical in Puerto Plata. It was great. Which one were you at?

Cherry said...

C, my dear twin... at last we must part.

I loved Enchanted, Ratatouille couldn't hold my attention, and Beowulf? well I haven't seen it and I don't want to. That weird live action animation creeps me out. My co-workers had good things to say about it though, although I think they were just referring to Angie's naked "golden" scene.

C said...

Cherry:
My dear twin, I suppose there has to be something that sets us apart :) I hear ya on the weird action animation. The first time I saw a movie using that kind of computer generated animation, I didn't know if the actors were real or animated! LOL! They look so lifelike sometimes. That, or I need to wear my glasses all the time (which I don't!) LOL!

You're still my twin :) However, now we're not exactly the same! LOL!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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