Monday, January 26, 2009

Latest Two Movies

OK, two movies from total opposite ends of the spectrum. Only thing they have in common is that I happen to watch them this weekend. Also, they both involve strong spirited women.

First up... Juno.
I was avoiding this flick like the plague... who want's to see an after school special about a pregnant teen? I was told that it's not like that, and that it really is a good movie. So the verdict... GREAT MOVIE. Not judgmental, not preachy, not a major downer... but didn't shy away from any of the important aspects of the situation. Possibly s0me of the greatest acting I've seen in a long time. Each character was 1000% believable. Ellen Page was awesome as Juno. The character of Juno was totally cool too (favorite band?... tied between The Stooges, Patty Smith, and The Runaways). Dad, Step Mom, and female best friend were all great. And her geeky boyfriend was an awesome character. I've seen enough clips from the movie that I had an idea what I was in for, but I was not aware of the whole dynamic with the adoptive parents. They played those roles PERFECTLY !!! The best line was "I was just dealing with issues WAY beyond my maturity level."

Geeky folk rock (actually anti-folk... yes that's a genre) worked well. Can't really tolerate Moldy Peaches on their own, but in context it worked. Good for them that they got a big score w/ this sound track.

OK, next up... The Taming of the Shrew
Yes, switching it up to a 1967 version of Shakespeare's classic staring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. I enjoyed the acting, though some of it was clumsy... I mean really, clumsy servants bumping into each other... supposed to be funny, but really just looks clumsy. The costumes and textures were good, showing the juxtaposition of the wealthy vs the poor. All in all, a good rendition.

HOWEVER... what a heaping pile of dung this play is. I'm simply offended by the plot. The whole thing is a homage to Stockholm Syndrome. If your woman has an independent spirit, tear her down and treat her like dirt until she submits and becomes your slave. Then parade her in front of the aristocracy.

It's especially disturbing because Petrucio (Richard Burton's character) is such a stinking drunken louse that he's the last guy in the world to deserve a faithful subservient wife. He only marries her for the dowery in the first place. In the end, he gets the dowery and gets a hot slave for a wife. At several times during the story, you think perhaps she is going to end up taming him... or perhaps they will arive at a mutual respect. But no, this shrew was truly psychologically broken and is now a pathetic shell of a person... and this is heald up as a virtue. At the end, he has her to the point where he points to the sun and says "Look how the moon shines" and she happily agrees that the moon looks lovely. Then he says "You stupid woman, that's the sun" and she's like "My appologies my lord, I was confused... yes it is the sun." It ends with the most pathetic speech by Katharina where she tells the other wives how it is their duty to kneel before their husbands and put their hands beneath their husband's feet.

I really wanted to get behind this in a manly kind of way... but it was just too offensive.

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