Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Three movies, two theatres, one bad choice

Aaaaaaaand I've rejoined civilization. Four essays were passed in last week, and I'm on my Reading Week from school. Theoretically, this week is spent reading in preparation for writing and midterm tests right after the week. However, all my classes are year-long, and three out of five classes decided they'd rather have a break. I don't know how people manage to go on vacation during this time, though - I'm just content to decompress.

So, I hadn't been to see a movie at the theatre since Christmas vacation. Not that I hadn't had the time, of course - I procrastinated beyond the bitter end. I just didn't want to admit to myself that I was leaving home and not going to work on my papers. Much easier to watch Buffy DVDs at home, in comfortable self-loathing. On Saturday I finished my final paper and my aunt's gentleman friend took us all out to see Casino Royale, which I enjoyed just as much the second time. This is really weird for me, as I have something to admit: Action bores me. I could have slept through The Two Towers. Die Hard is, admittedly, one of my favourite movies, but that's only because John McClane keeps wisecracking the whole way through (see also: Indiana Jones, Malcolm Reynolds).

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Casino Royale. Just as good the second time through, though I noticed a nitpick about the timeline, which I have ranted about in other places but will probably save for another post here. Also, Daniel Craig's biceps are literally larger than his head. It's frightening.

But - to get back to the point - I hadn't made the decision and said, "Hey, I'm going to go see that!" for a couple months, which is especially strange considering I used to go to the movies about once a week. So I was on vacation, and I decided to go to the movies. I noticed The Rules of the Game, a French film from 1939 by Jean Renoir, was playing at the Bytowne, and Tuesday [this was all happening yesterday] would really be my last chance to see it.

And then I thought, well, heck, why not make a day of it?

And then I noticed one theatre started playing movies around 10, rather than most places' noon.

Eventually, the plan was for three: Music & Lyrics (yes, I watch romantic comedies. be quiet), Pan's Labyrinth, and then across town to the one place that was still playing Children of Men. Yes, The Rules of the Game was notably missing. It was either that, or Children of Men, which I'd wanted to see for FOREVER, and hadn't heard a single bad thing about, and had some of my favourite actors, and was directed by Alfonso Cuaron! And I wanted to see it on the big screen. So there.

I rolled out of bed ridiculously early, and headed out to see Music & Lyrics, the first one. Now, I'm not planning to do any reviews here. Just let me say, not as good as I expected. I like Hugh Grant, okay? From everything I read, he's far more intelligent than he gets credit for, and he does have range. And I certainly don't hate Drew Barrymore. But looking back, kind of a disappointment (this may be when compared to the other two films, of course). Rarely have I ever seen a rom com that does the comedy better than the romance. So I laughed, but I didn't care about the characters.
I did, however, care about Drew Barrymore's wardrobe. Except for an early shorts-over-leggings faux pas, I want every single item of clothing she wears in this movie.

Then, Pan's Labyrinth. Okay, people. This is not a movie about Pan's Labyrinth. This is a movie about a kid in war. I have now given you the warning I did not receive. Not that I thought it was a kid's movie, but geez. I guess I was expecting more like Mirrormask, which is beautiful and gothic and weird. For instance, this guy:

In all the stills I saw before the movie of this guy, I thought it was really beautiful. Now I'm just creepified as all get-out. Terrifying.
Mostly as I was watching the movie, my thoughts leaned towards "Guillermo del Toro, you sick fuck." As creepy as Hand-Eyes there is, nothing is worse than what the people do to each other in this movie.

Near the end of the movie, my bladder was full and I was worried about making my bus. So, sadly, I have to say that I wasn't paying my full attention to the screen (while still watching, though). I rushed out at the end, and checked my print-outs for getting to the CoM theatre. I realized I was going to make it and slowed down, and that's when it hit me.

I felt dizzy. My eyes were stinging and I literally couldn't walk straight. It was a raw wave of emotion just hitting me now. When I got to the stop I pulled out my knitting, but my hands were shaking.

This is where I stop and tell you a little bit about how I react to movies. I cry at the drop of a hat about really insignificant real-life stuff. But it takes a lot to make me cry about a movie or TV or a book. I can only remember ever crying over three books - Harry Potters 5 and 6 made me extremely upset, and Lucy the Giant, which will make you completely lose your shit in a serious, body-racking, Beth-March-is-dead-but-even-that-didn't-make-me-cry-this-hard way.

I can't remember ever crying about a TV show, unless you count the first time I watched the end of North & South, when I was considering the possibility that it might not work out and I think something got caught in my eye. There may have been sniffles.

Then, movies. I can only ever remember crying in a movie theatre twice: at Million Dollar Baby (last ten minutes) and then before that was Flubber (goddammit, the robot died). Yes, I'm serious. I don't cry in movie theatres. I can only ever remember two other times I've really cried at movies: In America, as soon as the older sister says "I've been carrying this family on my back for the last year" - oh, here I go again - and Schindler's List, which surely I don't need to explain.

And then I'm sitting in Children of Men, feeling more than slightly zombified by Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, you sick fuck. It needed to be said again.) I'll just say this: Children of Men deserves every piece of praise it gets and more. And at the end . . . I lost it. I started full-out sobbing. Loud.

The movie ended, and I went to the washroom. I splashed some water on my face. I tried to stop crying.
I left the theatre and started walking to the bus stop. I tried to stop crying.
I feel like a husk. This stuff is powerful. It's not so much that I feel depressed. They're just both very, very overwhelming movies. And Children of Men is one of the best I've seen in a long, long time. Just don't do what I did, and watch them together.
I bought 28 Days Later yesterday. I think I'll wait a bit to watch it.

Knitting content coming soon, when I have natural light for photos. I'm halfway through my second Anastasia sock in the Socks That Rock that my SP sent me, and they're absolutely gorgeous. And I'm surprisingly close to joining the yoke on my Knitting Nature sweater.


At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

Weird, I saw the latter two in a row as well, my "Run for the Border" movie brunch one Friday a few months ago. Fortunately it's more resonating heroic kinda stuff that makes my eyes water up, like, say, "Rocky Balboa"'s training or little Kal-El holding up the truck in "Superman: The Movie". Score plays a big part in that stuff but, yeah, it's more a weepy joy for righteousness than anything upsetting. And conversely, movie theaters are the *only* places where I cry. Real life sad stuff just gets me down, but I caught myself crying and realized I was just being over the top one time about 16 years ago, and ever since I just can't do it.


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