December 2nd, 2007

Teapot of lurve

AMC Bay Street 16, Showtime, and SciFi: A Cinematic Saturday

Enchanted is the movie du jour, and now I have seen and loved it myself! It's quite silly and cute and enjoyable. And Amy Adams is really pretty, and, as all the newspapers say, she's pretty perfect as a real-life Disney princess. The best kind of fish is one out of water! (What most newspapers fail to mention, however, is that James Marsden is completely hilarious! He's pretty perfect as a real-life Disney prince, a little like a combination of all the Prince Charmings with a generous dose of Gaston.) And even though I have no interest in Patrick Dempsey and also have no bad Grey's Anatomy associations, I actually liked him in his role.

To be honest, I was expecting a little more satire and metahumor, but that's okay. There were fun songs instead.

It was like a Disney movie turned into real life with just the right dose of reality and fantasy. They managed to stay true to the tropes and subvert them at the same time. The audience clapped when it was over, and this was a little 11:15 showing.

Also, why has no one made this movie before? Animated characters get turned into real-life people! It's fun!

Finally, one of the executive producers is named Sunil! Yay!

Then, tonight, in preparation for Juno, I watched Hard Candy, which put Ellen Page in the spotlight (and for a very good reason). If you haven't heard about it, it's about a 32-year-old photographer who chats up and meets a 14-year-old girl on the Internet...except she's the predator. The movie is almost exclusively Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page; there are only three other actors in the movie at all, and they get about five minutes of screentime combined. It feels like a very claustrophobic play, full of tight close-ups and slow pans around the set; there are frequent fades to black, as if a Scene has ended. The tone and shooting style somehow reminded me of One Hour Photo, which makes a little bit of sense since this was also the first movie of a director known for music videos.

It's a very well-made film, very tense, and I love how, because you know absolutely nothing about these characters, you're hanging on every action and piece of dialogue to learn more about them, about who they are, about what's truth and what's a lie. And you struggle with what you want the outcome to be, how far you want it to go.

It's a really good but really disturbing and uncomfortable psychological thriller. It's obviously meant to be provocative (it was inspired by stories of Japanese girls who did this sort of thing). And I kind of want Hayley to meet Dexter so they can compare notes or something. (And I am now really looking forward to seeing Ellen Page play someone completely different in Juno, just so I can stop being scared of her. Stop it, Kitty Pryde, stop it!)

I had to chase that shit down with some National Treasure. Which was really fun! Come on: crazy clues and riddles, secret artifacts, random American history trivia, a pretty lady, and a wisecracking sidekick? What's not to love? I really kind of want to see the sequel. But perhaps not actually pay money. Or redeem a free ticket. Do I lose all credibility as a film critic? Enchanted and Hard Candy are really good too! They're all good in different ways!

I liked every movie I saw today. I'm...running out of thumbs.
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