April Short Movie Reviews – this time with footnotes

Horton Hears a Who – Not good. It was full of pop-culture allusions and while I really, really like heavily allusive works (from Pratchett to T. S. Eliot to Brothers Grimm), these were so pointless it felt as if the movie existed to enhance the allusions and not the other way around (also, it didn’t enhance them and did more disservice to the things alluded to – alludees? – than it did to Horton). Except for the Emo-Who, which still cracks me up. It was ugly and ungainly (especially the kangaroo who freaked me out) and pretty much ignored anyone potentially interesting (the kids, Morton, the Mayor’s 99 daughters). Oh yes, and only boys can save the world. Things I liked: Morton, the character design of JoJo, the bits Shaun Tan did. Something I found written in my notebook later: Was Men In Black a reworking of Horton Hears a Who? Think it over.*

Supanova – First time. Had fun. Jewel Stait was interesting and amusing, Michael Winslow was very funny and had a polished performance with amazing vocal sound effects. Some great costumes (heavy on the anime repeats, but the less-replicated steampunk pieces were very cool, as was the individual in Star Wars camouflage hiding in the bushes). I might dress up next year but most fun was drawing the other attendees.

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Spiderwick (twice) – Not perfect, but not bad. I liked the flawed characters, the actors, and Mallory, the overbearing, strong-minded, sword-wielding older sister was pretty cool. Unfortunately it did get a little too sentimental at times (out of keeping with the rest of the film) and was another victim of the inexplicable genre of wanton destruction of beautiful houses.

One Man Star Wars – Fun for the nostalgia** and to watch anyone do this. It was a bit pricey for what it was, but too long to have been a comedy club act, so I won’t complain. It is certainly worth seeing and I hope he tours One Man Lord of the Rings here.

The Other Boleyn Girl – Pretty, pretty dresses. Pretty scenes. Pretty light. Pretty much a tudor-inspired soap opera. And very, very heavy on the foreshadowing (oh please – is this the third chicken we have seen having its head chopped off in preparation for dinner while the King arrives, in case we didn’t get it the first time?)***. Still, Deb and I had gone on purpose to mock and we didn’t much, so it was better than we expected. Highlight: In the first scene in the King’s chambers Deb started singing “Love shack” and at the end of the credits that was the song which came over the cinema radio!

Matchbox 20 (with Thirsty Merc supporting) – My sister lent me her Matchbox 20 CDs a while ago and to my surprise I knew every song on them. In order. Turns out they were big when I was at boarding school and, along with Sarah McLachlan were part of my first exposure to popular music****. And since they have some memorable, iconic, singable songs and I knew the words (which usually makes concerts better) I enjoyed it very much. My favourite part was when they covered ‘Under the Milky Way Tonight’. Thirsty Merc opened and they were… oh, I like their sound and their hair, both of which is a bit old-rock, but most of their songs are just too sentimental. Also, we were near the front and drinks and finger food at the bar were included in our tickets and we drew pictures of each other, so it was a pretty good night all up. Thanks for the tickets, M&J, sorry you had to go on a cruise:)

The TruthBrisbane Arts Theatre’s annual play based on a Pratchett Novel. This year it was The Truth^. Otto Chriek stole the scene hands-down. Although so did Sacharissa and Otto (“Please! Not to breath like that!”) and Gaspode and Foul Ole Ron… and I fell for William^^ just a little bit. The theatre is small and the sets are basic (well, they were. Now the one set is quite elaborate). Yes there is a person dressed as a dog with a cigarette in his mouth and, at one point, a tutu. Yes, the opening music was ‘Good News Week’. And it rocked and was hilarious and caught the book brilliantly. Moveable type is now my new hero^^^, maybe even up there with the Rule of Law. I did wonder if they would cut Otto Chriek’s periodic evaporations (he is a vampire photographer with an unfortunate reaction to bright lights) but they changed it for the stage and his histrionics were effective and regularly startling. And Pratchett Does Allusions Well.

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*And while you do, check out these reviews for some interesting angles on the movie: Gender inequity in Whoville, and Horton hears a racist.

**Even if mine doesn’t go back that far. In year 11 I had a weekly “gifted and talented” class. The teacher asked me what I wanted to do and I said (1) use the internet and (2) “Watch Star Wars”, so she showed me how to use the computer in the library, and borrowed the original trilogy from the video store. I got to watch them back at the boarding house because it was, technically, homework :) Unfortunately, she borrowed the last two out of order.^^^^

***Confession: I had to ask Deb which number this queen was just to double-check her fate. I can’t remember the names, just the fates: “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived”. It’s a bit like Dubček. I could never remember his name, so I used to walk around in year 12 saying “How much dub could a dubček ček ček if a dubček could ček dub,” and now that’s all I remember about him.

****Also Pauline Pantsdown. Oh, and Alannis Morissette, but that was a really, really bad first experience and took me a long time to get over.

^… shall make you fret.

^^William: “Hold on, hold on, there must be a law against killing lawyers.”
Goodmountain: “Are you sure?”
William: “There’re still some around, aren’t there?”

^^^There was a BBC documentary on this with Stephen Fry, one hour, all on You-tube, but it’s gone now. If you get the chance, watch it, if only for seeing how a wooden counterthread for a screw is carved by hand and Stephen Fry behaving like a complete fanboy over the reconstructed press (“a most satisfactory object”).

^^^^Han shot first.

In Which (10) Terrible Fates Await

The worst:

  • I had a horrible moment on Saturday night in which I actually found cultural-studies-speak useful for explaining something. Took me a while to get over.

Some less confronting but still disconcerting moments of the week

  • A friend telling me, “I am in ur bed, nibbling ur toes”. Seriously, what the? Is there anyway I can *not* misinterpret that?
  • Considering costuming choices for next year’s Supanova. Aimee may go as Rose and/or Howl as both require the same hair. I can’t remember who I am going as.
  • A line-up of people telling me my story was wonderful. I’d find it easier to accept if someone would criticise it.
  • My carefully honed ability to become ill when confronted with pet scatology letting me down at the moment of truth.
  • Realising my answers to Woman’s World’s questions ran over 5000 words (though, to be fair, they asked an awful lot of questions). So, yeah, there’s a lot of context surrounding that article.
  • Finding scrawled in my notebook the question “Was Men in Black a reworking of Horton Hears a Who?” Discuss.

Not so terrible but still somewhat disturbing:

  • Kidnapping, Cannibalism and Singing Telegrams: Darkhorse Presents presents an 8 page Wondermark comic. Always odd.
  • Mama’s little darlin’ loves‘…: A short story from Martin Livings which has changed the way I think about presents (from his series of Tuesday short stories).

And not disturbing at all (in a negative way – in a positive way it has ruffled my equilibrium delightfully) but relevant because the title of this post is from one of his books:

  • A new Shaun Tan book is coming out! Tales from Outer Suburbia! If the scattered pictures I have seen are from it, it promises to be beautiful in a way only a book in which a waterbuffalo giving directions captures perfectly a certain suburban serenity can be. And I was right – I did see his name in the Horton credits. He was involved “at an early stage” so I won’t hold the movie against him.