On New Year’s Eve my plans were unexpectedly canceled, and I ended up staying in by myself and it was actually really nice since honestly I’ve always found it to be kind of an annoying holiday. The only bad thing was all the technology in my house decided to stop working that night so my plan to watch some expiring Netflix instant movies didn’t pan out, and I couldn’t use our projector. In the end I decided to watch one of the many dvd’s I own but have never seen. The Adventures of Mark Twain promised to be a bit of claymation weirdness, which seemed a good way to end the year. The film is inspired by a remark from Twain that since he was born under Halley’s Comet, he’d go out with it too (and he did indeed pass away the day after the comet returned in 1910).
Last Saturday my companions and I incorrectly assumed we could catch a 7:30 screening of Gravity at the Somerville Theatre. SILLY US. It was sold out at least a half hour in advance and so we walked back to our apartment. We decided to watch another space movie that Miles had recently acquired, a little something called Jason X. I haven’t actually seen any of the other Friday the 13th movies so this was an interesting experience. After that we wanted something more and after making a Jason xXx joke we realized that this could be the night we finally watch The Pacifier, a family comedy starring Vin Diesel that most people probably try to forget existed but had been on my to-watch list for a while.
In The Painting, groups of paintings come to life and their figures search for their painter so he can finish working on them. The whole story is animated in colorful, playful styles with references to great Modernist painters. The protagonist is a plucky young woman looking for adventure. So. Someone finally made a movie exactly for me, I thought. The story throws together three distinctive figures living within a single painting: a privileged “Alldun”, a completed figure; a “Halfie”, incomplete and relegated to living outside of the central castle; and a “Sketchie”, a line doodle who isn’t accepted anywhere.
This re-imagining of the Snow White tale begins with the wicked Queen (Julia Roberts) describing how she took over a magical kingdom by bewitching the king, causing his death, and essentially placing his daughter, Snow White (Lily Collins), under house/castle arrest. She’s obsessed with beauty and glamor and wealth, and bleeds the people dry with her tax demands under the cover of paying for protection against some mysterious beast. After she turns 18 the timid Snow finally gains some backbone and plots to reclaim her kingdom with the help of a confused prince (Arnie Hammer) and a band of valiant dwarf bandits.
One of Pixar’s finest, WALL-E looks towards Earth’s bleak future, with humans escaping the environmental destruction and trash build-up by taking a space pleasure cruise, sponsored by globally dominant super-store Buy N Large. The corporation leaves behind a legion of robots programmed to clean up the planet so it will be habitable again, but after centuries have passed only one is still functioning. This “WALL-E” is adorable and idiosyncratic, developing a sweet, romantic personality with hoarder tendencies during his many years alone. When a robot scout called EVE lands near him, he falls in little robot love.