My Upcoming Free Weekend

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver SurferImage via Wikipedia

Hi all…

Just thought I’d share a little about my upcoming free weekend. My wife and daughters are flying to AZ and then driving to San Diego, leaving me for 4 days with the cats and dogs. I think I will enjoy my peace and quiet, don’t you? 🙂

My goals are simple: sleep, read, and watch movies.

The movies I want to see are:

Not sure I’ll get to all of them, but we’ll see what I can do.

I’m also excited about the new Harry Potter film, the Bourne Ultimatum, and Stardust, which is a great book if you haven’t read any of Gaiman’s works before.

Are there any upcoming movies or books that anybody else is looking forward to? Pass it along!

–Fitz

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Pan’s Labyrinth – Wow

Pan's LabyrinthImage via Wikipedia

Hi all…

I have to say that I’d been looking forward to watching Pan’s Labyrinth since my birthday in May. It’s the Del Toro-directed foreign film that garnered so much great press at the end of last year. And man was it worth it, with one disclaimer…

[rating:4/4]

It’s rated R for a reason folks. This is not a faery tale for your kids. There’s a war on… The Spanish Civil War to be exact… And there are things going on (including more than one very violent scene) that you’re not going to want to explain to the kiddies.

IMDB’s link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457430/

The movie has a truly magical story centered around a little girl named Ofelia and her mother going to live with her mother’s new husband, a Captain in the Spanish military who is fighting the resistance in a forested area of Spain. Set in 1944, it captures the rustic qualities of a place not quite made modern by the world’s standards of the time. It’s left to the viewer to decide whether Ofelia is escaping the cruel real world that she’d fallen into by literally escaping into a faery tale world OR if it’s all in her fertile imagination.

Film-wise, it was beautiful. The transitions were amazing and seamless. The colors bright where they needed to be and washed out for effect in certain places. The acting was believable from all of the main characters, especially from the little girl who plays the main role of Ofelia. For a young actor, she did an amazing job.

The movie is subtitled, but that didn’t take away from the feel of the story at all.

And I’d comment on the music, but it blended artfully into the background so as to not be noticed.

Doug Jones is another actor in the film who actually played dual roles — as Pan (the Faun) and as the Pale Man. Both were amazing to behold. The makeup and costumes for these characters was as if they had both stepped out of a faery tale into the world — one to teach, the other to scare.

There were places in the story where I could pick out bits of faery lore, such as not to consume faery foods while in the faeries’ domain, or how the “truth” that a faery might reveal might not be the entire truth.

But again — this is not a faery tale for children. This is an adult movie with adult violence and themes.

I give it a whole-hearted 4/4 and wish that it had won MORE awards.

Give it a look — I think you’ll like it!

Thanks and until next time…

–Fitz

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Syriana – George Clooney, Matt Damon, others, and a great script

SyrianaImage via Wikipedia

Syriana is one of those movies that you have to watch without any distractions to truly get. Does that mean I was able to watch without distractions? Heck no. Two kids, two dogs, two cats, and life gets in the way. But I think I got enough of it to understand the gist.

[rating:3/4]

The whole script revolves around the merger of two oil companies and the effects it has on the governments and individuals involved. Some are built up. Some are destroyed. But through it all, the script maintains an apolitical stance that is amazing.

Some may not appreciate this movie. It’s by the director of Traffic from a few years back. And honestly I didn’t like Traffic. We’ve tried to watch it three times and fallen asleep at different parts each time. This script was much tighter and the characters more engaging.

So if you’re interested in some political and international intrigue, this may be a good movie for you. It’s a great ensemble cast with a great script. Hard to miss.

Three of four stars (3/4) simply because it is a bit convoluded in places — but so is the world at large.

Pick up the DVD via my Amazon store link if you’re interested.

You can also find the script at: http://www.script-o-rama.com/oldindex.shtml

And see the IMDB info at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365737/

Hope you enjoyed my review. Let me know what YOU think of the movie!

–Fitz

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