Saturday, May 29, 2010

Trueblood Season Two

It is my second Saturday off from work. It has been a pleasure. I fell asleep watching the latest season of Trueblood available on DVD, and I woke up to put it back on. I have never spent my entire day in front of the television. It is awesome, but surprisingly exhausting. My eyes don't want to focus. Fresh air is calling me. If you haven't heard of the HBO series, it is about vampires. The title Trueblood is the brand name of mass produced bottles of blood to supply the vampires so they do not need to feed on humans. The vampires have become labeled another race among humans; some try to fit in with society while others do not try. The main character is Sookie Stackhouse, a telepath. Meaning she can hear people's thoughts. The first season she lives in Bon Temps, Louisiana with her grandmother and brother, Jason. It is a small town, and nothing exciting really happens. Sookie waitresses at a bar/restaurant, Merlotte's, and her boss you find out is a shape-shifter. A vampire ends up moving into town, Bill Compton, who ends up as Sookie's boyfriend. Sookie always has the problem of information overload, she can't figure out how to shut out everyone else's mind. Once she meets Bill, however, she realizes she can't hear vampire's thoughts. She finally has silence. And it isn't because vamp's are technically "dead," it's because they have natural walls around their minds because of their supernatural powers.

I am not about to try to explain the entire crazy show, because let's face it: sixteen hours of television is way too long to write about in a few paragraphs, so...yea, no. The script is always exciting and fresh to listen to. The characters really make the dialogues sing. From Sookie, to Tara, Lafayette, Sam, Bill, Erik, etc. The people really add the pizzaz to make it worthwhile. They are engaging, and the surprises still leave you with your imagination. This second season has more gruesome scenes than the first season had, but it is fitting somehow. I bet the producers wanted to test the water and see how audiences would react to blood and guts getting ripped and thrown around. I do not want to make it seem however that it is all gore, because it truly isn't. Bill struggles to maintain his reawakening humanity after centuries of being forced to think like a vampire. Sookie is finally learning to exist normally without being "overloaded" all the time, if you can call dealing with vampires, shape-shifters, and werewolves normal. Everyone has a complex that complicates someone else's complex, and so the saga continues. It is awesome. I really have no other words for it. Have you ever heard people talk about how they love The Godfather II and III, but they wouldn't have understood them without the Godfather I, not to mention they will never really live up to the first one. That is how I feel about Trueblood. I already love this second season, but I would not have understood it without having seen the first season. There are more shifters, and Satan...I'm sorry, I thought you were...someone else.. Uh-hum *cough, quote from another movie. But, yes, excellent again, this series has earned a place on my shelf. And I anxiously await the third season. Whoever thought sucking blood was cliche or old fashioned was seriously mistaken.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Practical Magic

Days pass, they all glide one into another, and before I know it, a week has passed: a month, eight months. Change is good, it breaks up the tediousness. Lately so many things are changing, I wish I had more surety, more stability. I want stability. I want family, I want a home. As always, there is a movie for this, and it always makes me feel better. Practical Magic.
This movie came out when I was.......(thought process:2010-1999=11 years...) Ten years old, going on eleven. I actually remember seeing the poster at the cheap theater inside the mall. I was smart enough to know my mom would never let me watch something with the word magic in the title of it, and sure enough, we didn't see it. I wouldn't end up seeing it until I was nineteen. I watched with two special friends of mine at the time. I had no idea at the time how much this one movie would affect my life. It is about two sisters raised by their crazy/magical aunts, because their father died and their mother died shortly after from a broken heart. The women in their family are cursed by a spell that kills any man that they love. The dark haired sister, Sally, is afraid of love, while the light red-haired sister, Jillian, goes through many guys (none of them going through her.) They grow up learning and practicing magic. Jillian's gift is less pronounced, while Sally's is more visible.
The parallels in this movie are fluent and beautiful. I have three sisters in my life. And this movie speaks to me about each one of them. I would die for each one of them. One of them is my blood, and the other two aren't, but sometimes family are the ones you choose, and you know they feel the same. Every time I watch Practical Magic, I'm reminded of the bond I have with these amazing women, and even though my entire life could be topsy turvy, I feel stable, because I know I have their love. In my journal, I write random things in the top right corner of every page. The page I arrived at today said, "an emotion stronger than love." I thought of a few things that reminded me and lead me to watch this movie today. I thought of family and fear. But I realized that family can be fickle. And fear can be overcome with love and strength. Thinking more on it, I also thought that while love can be many wonderful things, love can also hurt. Any good thing can be a bad thing as well. It only depends on how it is used. This story reflects that theme.
I cry and laugh with these characters, even when Jillian's psycho boyfriend gets murdered, I am reminded of all the times I step back and look at my life and wonder, "Did I Ever imagine that my life would look like this?" The answer is always, "no." I would never have imagined my life would look like it does now.....And you know what? It's o.k. Because I have the love of my sisters. I love each and every one of you, with your magical practicalities and all. God Bless.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Fair Lady

It has only been a little over a week, and yet it seems as if I haven't been on Blogger in a long while. I recently was relaxing at home after getting out my art canvases and decided to watch My Fair Lady. A friend of mine had suggested I watch it two years ago. About time to watch it, I'd say. I am not very educated about Audrey Hepburn's films. The opening scenes are reminiscent of Mary Poppins character, or rather the appearance, not the character. These older films all seem to have a soft warm glow to them. My generation is used to such fast paced films that we are often times bored with the "classic" movies such as the one I am watching. They were and still are intelligent, but we lack the simplicity to enjoy them.
My Fair Lady is also a musical. I wasn't aware of that when I first put it on. The first song of the movie, the main actor expresses his frustration over why the English can't learn to speak proper English. It is a clever song about grammar and accent, I honestly must admit, only a nerd at heart could enjoy it. His song is followed up by Audrey Hepburn singing about what she wishes she had. I had no idea she could sing as well as act. A nice luverly surprise. This whole movie felt like a candy: from the songs, to the Victorian outfits, to the script. I couldn't watch this every day, or even every month. However, it is a nice respite from the rush of modern films.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man II: Part Two

Thank god, it is officially the weekend. And it is done. I actually took off my rosary today at work. On normal days it reminds me of sacrifice and commitment, love, prayer, and mortality (among other things.) Today, however, I didn't want to be reminded of anything. I felt lucky to feel the wonderful sunshine. I just wanted to be invisible without standing out. I want to talk about Iron Man II, the onscreen struggle is more interesting. The Tony Stark character seems so unabashed about everything. He is quick on the uptake, a genius, and a womanizer. In the first Iron Man film Pepper Potts almost quits because she is afraid of Tony killing himself. Tony opens up a softer side for just a second to make a point to her that he finally knows in "his heart" this is what he is supposed to do; he rhetorically wonders why she stayed all the former years of his aimless wandering, and now that he has purpose she is going to leave him. (Of course she ends up staying, please! It's Robert Downey Jr. for god's sake.) Tony's character definitely still harbors all his old traits, but with a little something extra. His persona has matured, and it suites him well. There is a scene where he suddenly realizes the solution and he remarks that after discovering genius, he is still taken back to school. I was actually quite pleased that they didn't allow Tony's character to sleep with Scarlette Johanson's character. It was satisfying to feel the friction between the three points of the triangle, but it wasn't sullied by casual sex. How refreshing, for a change.
It makes me wonder, when I feel like there is nothing more to know, there really is, I just haven't looked for it. I was surprised to find out that all the Marvel comics are connected in some way. I was fascinated by this discovery and am going to look into researching it. It isn't only in theme and plot they are connected, but they also overlap somehow. I haven't done my research yet, though, so I will only take a look at the plot and theme. Compared to Spider Man, Iron Man is the same theme, just a slightly varied plot. Peter Parker is genius, as is Tony Stark. However, Peter is born poor and has to work his way into destiny, whereas Tony is more born into it. I'm not sure how I feel about superheroes, yet. There are some that look up to them, obsess about them, are jealous of them, connect with them, etc. I run away from my life, so on some levels, I connect. My own shoes seem too much to handle; I don't step up to the plate. I feel like Peter Parker, I just want to be normal: have a regular job, marry, etc. I feel like Tony Stark because I put up a front to hide the few fears I harbor inside, and when they finally surface, I am a total mess. And once the mess is cleaned up, I am back. Until then I will swallow the knot in my throat, and keep hoping there are more movies like Iron Man II to come and fill the space between.

Iron Man II: Part One

Today is my Friday, thank god. I am truly grateful it is the last day of my work week, because I am tired, depressed and wondering why I venture out of my shell into the great unknown every day. I am really starting to wonder if it is worth it all. On a happier note, Hi, how are all of you? I hope you all are enjoying your work week.
A few days ago, I went with a friend of mine to see the latest blockbuster, Iron Man II. It was definitely worth braving the packed Saturday crowds to see it. It was even worth sitting so close to the big screen I got a kink in my neck. Robert Downey Jr.'s character is engaging to watch as is the chemistry of everything in this hit movie. I am only on my lunch at work and have to head back, but I want to talk in detail about this movie later. Take care everyone.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The New World

It is Mother's Day weekend and I am at a loss for words and what to do. So, I am here yet again to talk about a movie of mine I watched a few weeks ago; The New World. I didn't even stay awake to see the end of it. I remember how it ends. It is not a new movie, and the last time I had watched it was a few years ago. I had just moved into my own apartment by myself, and I watched it falling asleep next to the first love of my life. I was woken up in the middle of the night by him leaving and I didn't even turn the movie off before going back to sleep. I woke up again in the morning, alone, to see the DVD menu replaying itself over, and over again. I got out of bed and pushed "play" on the DVD player and listened to it again as I showered and got ready to leave for work. I would leave it in to only put it on to play again when I got home from work to fall asleep to it again, to remember him. It was the last time I got to be next to him. I wonder sometimes when things happen if we realize it is for the last time the occurrence is happening. I didn't realize it would be the last time, and I never asked myself what I would've done if I had known. It is pointless to dwell on the question "what if" once it is all said and done. I think if I had watched a different movie at the time, I wouldn't have been as affected by it. But it seems that at times of stress in my life, music and movies pop up in my life that reflect my situation, and the characters of The New World reflected me at the time.

The New World is yet another film adaptation of Pocahontas and the love story inbetween her and John Smith. I actually have a personal interest in reading about the history of the Indians, and anything about them in general. I particularly am fascinated by the accounts of white people that were taken captive by the indians. I steer clear of all the "hollywood-ized" versions of Pocahontas, but I remember at the time I had seen numerous sneak-peaks of this film and decided to give it a try. Collin Ferrel is casted as John Smith, and a few other main stream actors are included in the credits. Christian Bale, as well, appears as the man later to marry Pocahontas. The girl casted to play the Indian princess is captivating and interesting to watch as a new actress.

The first thing I noticed is that the film photography is incredible. Hands down, I have never seen another film with such beautiful imagery. The soundtrack complements it gently without underplaying itself. The dialogue is kept to a minimum, and truly, every frame is worth a thousand words. Everything is so expressive, from the expressions on the actor's face, to the sound of river water and the hum of insects thriving in/around the banks. It is a fine piece of work to be proud of. I was impressed with the fact that the film did not get lost in the history of the story, but that it took the risk of exploring the actual people's characters emotional make-up. It is usually risky to portray historical people's emotional battles, because it will be criticized not only by movie-going peers, but also by historical fact. Usually the actors pen themselves in with the script not wanting to overstep boundaries, and yet the actors here stooped below the boundaries and found original feeling for these characters within the story. The script really does emphasize points that history does not highlight very much. For example that John Smith actually was treated as a traitor for having made mutinous remarks on numerous occasions on the expedition and almost got hanged upon arrival to the new world. Watching the whole movie unfold, I began to not see the same old story told over by history, but an actual story. I didn't feel like I was watching the worn out story of Pocahontas and John Smith. I was seeing the end of innocence, and the finding of goodness after losing it. I had always seen it portrayed in a god-like sense. I had never looked beyond the surface of the legend because it all seemed so fairy-tale and untouchable, however upon witnessing this, I saw the legend in a new light. I saw that they were people just like me. I was awed by the talent of the actors and the weaving of the script and theme, and directing, etc. As a whole, this movie enveloped me. It took something I thought I knew, and showed me, I hadn't even seen below the surface. It is incredible to see Pocahontas evolve from naive girl, to budding woman. Even though it is over two hours long and could become tedious, it is easy to get lost in.

I, of course, am biased towards The New World. I honestly believe though that it is a profound portrayal whether it were to have sentimental value to me or not. I didn't have the courage to watch this movie till now, not wanting to remind myself of past hurts. I finally summed up the gumption though realizing that past hurts shouldn't stop me from enjoying good things. The New World really is a good thing to be enjoyed.