Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Movie weekend

Wild-card Wednesday calls for something different. For today that means movies! I don't feel like I watch a lot of movies yet somehow I end up seeing a bunch. This weekend was filled with high hopes for myself. The boowahs were going to spend the long weekend in Delaware with my ex and I thought that I would have the opportunity to take advantage of quiet solitude to work on a book I've been asked to edit. Feeling the need to break up the work and give my eyes a break, I signed out some movies.

The best laid plans....I never received the materials I was to work on, my water pipes froze and I spent a good portion of the weekend thawing them and I was just a mess for the remainder of the time for various reasons. I did end up watching two movies.

The one I didn't enjoy much was The Cherry Orchard. I love Anton Chekov's play. It's one of my favorites and I've seen live performances of it more than any other play. The film rendition didn't cut it. I felt like the actors overacted. Scenes seemed drawn out to fill up time. There just wasn't much to like about it. All the actors were British. I don't know how or why that would make a difference or if it did. But I can say it was the first time I've seen a British performance of it (it is based on the director's translation of Chekov's play, too, which may also have contributed to my dislike).

The soundtrack in theory should be awesome. In a nod to it's Russian origins, the soundtrack was of Vladimir Ashkenazy playing Tchaikovsky. There was no rhyme or reason as to when the music played. It may have even been constant. The music added nothing to the movie except for those scenes where people were standing around in contemplation, adding minutes to the movie. It's a shame that the music could not have been used in a more planned manner. It certainly needed something and a thought out soundtrack would have been an easy start.

The other movie I watched was also foreign. It was a Japanese animated film entitled Howl's Moving Castle. A friend had recommended it to me years ago and I finally got around to watching it. Fantastic. Excellent graphics. Excellent story. Nice character development. There were just some quirky plot twists in the end that made no sense to me that made this film less than perfect. I really, really liked it and recommend it highly.

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