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27 Dresses

“You want the wedding, you don’t want the marriage!”

!(imgcenter)http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v138/yannie/heigl1-1.jpg(27 Dresses)!

What does a true blue romantic at heart do on a weekend? She drags her fiance to catch the feel good rom-com 27 Dresses, of course.

From the onset, it was clear that this was Katherine Heigl’s vehicle and the others in the film are merely the fleeting scenery. And we all know what happens to the good girls in rom-coms – they end up with their Prince Charmings happily every after. That said, although the movie was predictable, the journey to the denouement was a thoroughly pleasant one (although I can’t say the same for the poor fiance).

The beautiful Heigl dyes her hair brown and is actually convincing as a plain Jane (literally) who is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. But it is her chemistry with the gorgeous James Marsden that lifts the movie. First, they quarrel. Then they discover that they hold similar values dear to their hearts. And then there’s the Misunderstanding which resolves into a fairy tale ending.

Maybe it’s because I am a soppy at heart but I enjoyed the movie very much because I think it encapsulated the process of two lovely people falling in love perfectly. They each have their own little emotional baggage to cast aside, which they do eventually. They are flawed, funny and extremely self-deprecating, which is great to watch on the big screen. And they are silver screen portrayals of my belief that your partner may not be perfect to you but he is perfect for you.

The wedding scene at the end of the movie is exactly how I would like mine to be, if I had my way. Small (minus the 27 “brides”), cosy and witnessed by the people who really matter in our lives. It helps that Heigl looked so beautiful in her 28th dress, and that James Marsden was smouldering hot at the end of the aisle. Swoon.

Go catch it for a fluffy, delightful day out but leave your boyfriend behind. He will thank you for it.

A big deal out of nothing

When I read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, I was amazed by the intricacy of his plot, the emotional depth of his characters and the fluidity of his language. One of the reasons why I love fantasy books is the way they work my imagination and in that respect, Pullman’s mastery won me over.

When I heard the news that Northern Lights was going to be be adapted for the silver screen, I was elated. There is nothing better than seeing the worlds that you had created in your mind using imagination and words “alive” in such magnitude. And once I saw the list of cast members, I realised that it wouldn’t be merely loud booms and crashes.

It thus totally boggles my mind when I read that Christians in the US were raising a ruckus about the movie, claiming that it “bashes Christianity“.

Seriously, it’s a piece of fiction. The church that Pullman writes about may just be a symbol of an institution. The church in his book is cruel and autocratic, yes. Instead of calling for people to boycott the movie (which, really, just goes to show how narrow-minded people can be), why don’t they encourage consumers to watch the movie and then learn to draw the distinction between reality and fiction? Let them decide for themselves whether the content is truly promoting atheism. If they are afraid of children being misled by the movie, isn’t it the duty of these parents to a) simply not let them watch it or b) educate them on what is right and wrong?

These people should learn that the bigger the fuss they create, the more aware others will be of the movie. Human beings are inquisitive creatures and those who have never heard of it will be tempted to check it out to see what the fuss is all about.

Stardust

!(imgcenter)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2008/1762620008_e68a2d4847_o.jpg(Stardust)!

Have been unavoidably detained by the world.
Expect us when you see us.

At the risk of sounding like a biased fangirl, I have to say that I enjoyed the movie very much.

I loved the book and even though the movie did not capture the full intensity of the book’s magical mystery (not many movie adaptations can make that claim), it was a truly delightful journey.

Much credit has to be given to Robert di Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, who filled up the screen with their charisma. In his campiest and most outlandish role ever, di Niro has completely outdone himself and really, one can never look at him the same way again. The luminous Pfeiffer, on the other hand, vamped it up as the evil witch-queen who is bent on carving out Yvaine’s heart. Her obsessive vanity and incessant rage were brilliantly showcased in that slowly decaying body.

It helped, too, that they had the gravitas to carry their characters through much of the movie, which was slightly unwieldy. Charlie Cox was pleasant (and really cute!) in his role as Tristan Thorne, the boy who went off on a fool’s errand but he came across as bland and single dimensional. Claire Danes was beautiful as the star but I was slightly miffed that her happy-go-lucky character was not the despairing, sharp-tongued fallen star of Neil Gaiman’s creation.

Movies being movies, the screenwriters had tweaked a large part of the original storyline. The ending has been modified into a saccharine sweet, typical Disney movie denouement. But it took away the edginess that Gaiman is known for – the bittersweet fact that Yvaine had to live forever in loneliness after losing her one true love to mortality is one reason why the story resonates and feels so real.

But overall, I loved the feel of the movie, as superficial as it was. It made me miss the feeling of falling in love again and it made me wish I was born in the same magical world as Tristan was. Go catch it!

The Dark is Rising

I just saw the trailer for the movie of a well-loved book and it’s left me feeling deflated.

Somehow, the magical, mythical quality of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence is lost amid the loud bangs and technical wizardry. Will Stanton is supposed to be a quiet, unassuming young man who is wiser than his years suggest. And yet in the trailer, he comes across as a little brat who is nursing a huge crush on his schoolmate, something that is definitely conceived by the wildly imaginative scriptwriters.

The series has stayed with me throughout the years since I first picked it up when I was 11. I’ve read and re-read the books at least once a year since then and I have a suspicious feeling that much of the beautiful serenity has been transformed into huge, crazy effects.

It’s probably going to be a disappointing show. But on the upside, tickets to Stardust have been booked for Friday evening and I cannot wait!

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