knitting and the life I almost have around it

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yawngirls and Transborers

So, I've just spent the last few hours of my life watching Dreamgirls. Can I just ask, when did having a plot go out of fashion? This is the second new(ish) film I've seen recently and both times I've wanted those wasted hours back.
Now, I understand that this was originally a musical, so I have no-one really to blame for the utter lack of any memorable songs (except maybe 'Dreamgirls' because it's intensely irritating and therefore memorable, and 'One Night Only' because it's actually sung by someone with a vocal range). Clearly the directer was crippled. And I suppose the sequence of events is down to the original musical also.
But, honest to Dog, I spent the entire film trying to decide who I was supposed to like and where the whole thing was heading.
Now, don't get me wrong. There is definitely talent in this film. The young woman who plays Effie White, Jennifer Hudson, has a sensational voice and 'stage' presence. Eddie Murphy's performance is also fabulous. I was charmed by the both of them.
Beyonce on the other hand... look, she can sing, dance and act well. I really think she did what she could with the part, but I spent the whole film really trying to like her and finding her dim, two-dimensional, and lacking a backbone. And I was prepared to like her in a Bridget-Jones-is-meant-to-be-useless kind of way, until she runs off with her friend's fella. So then I couldn't really forgive her, frankly, moronic obediance and politeness because she wasn't even genuinely nice.
The chap (Jamie Foxx apparently) who plays the ne'er do well fella that Beyonce runs off with is about as convincing as a porridge sandwich. I suppose the mustache is there to add an air of mystique and danger, but it's rather like he's lost a battle with a Vegemite sandwich. He spends the whole movie bullshitting people, screwing people over, cheating on women, having dodgy business practice and treating his wife like a product... and he's really very irritating. You might say this is down to him being the 'bad guy', but i actually think he irritates me because the performance was sub par. There's absolutely no range to his performance: he's the same pratt in the first scene as in the last... at least everyone else managed a superficial bit of development.
The costuming and set, mise en scene etc are all sensational, and I remember why I wanted to see it - the preview looked very exciting. And it is kind of exciting... in a "something might happen eventually" kind of way.
There are lots of great singers and everything, but they have this unfortunate tendency to break into pointless and confusing songs that you're never really sure are supposed to make sense. The suspension of disbelief is difficult in musicals anyway, but for some reason five totally disparate people breaking into the same song in perfect harmony felt really stupid in this film.

It did have it's merits. It isn't the worst film I've ever seen... by a long shot. And perhaps I'm just getting old, and this dissatisfaction is a sign of a premature middle age.

However, I will just add that I recently saw (or more accurately, was forced to watch) Transformers II. Good grief! So as not to numb the minds of the two people who've managed to make it this far, I'll give you dot points:
  • Every female in the film, except for the protagonist's mum, looks like an extra from a Swedish porn film. There are now millions of teenage boys who want to attend college/uni just to see the silicon heave!
  • There is a scrap of a plot, in all honesty, but it's disjointed and confusing and random ideas seem to emerge and then disappear with no real impact on anything.
  • I loved Transformers cartoons as a child, and was actually managed to stomach all the cheese until the last hour...
  • when it took 40 minutes for the protagonist to do something vital.
  • and we watch him and his porn-esque girlfriend run, dodging explosions and giant fighting robots.
  • on a totally separate note, don't run if you have fake boobs and a low cut top. It looks hilarious.
  • And every time they fall over i wanted to scream "just stay down, you twat!"
  • And then she twists her fecking ankle (no, really).
  • and then the ending doesn't even make sense and the supposed 'romantic' resolution is about as convincing as John Howard's smile.
  • Oh, and every scene consists of a million fast-pan shots of even the most mediocre scene... picture me sitting here typing, except the camera is panning around me Matrix-style, and then close up of my eye and then my brow creases, and then my foot tapping and then a super-close up of the keyboard... now picture that happening, with a booming tuneless soundtrack for three hours.
  • OK, I'm done
Thanks for tolerating my winge. I'm sure one day I'll see fit to tell you all something about the impending wedding... or, you know, some knitting or something. One day. When I'm a little less grumpy.

Seen any shockers lately?

the grumpy
Ms Spider xox

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

some holiday..

1. Take one overwrought, overworked and emotionally exhausted teacher.
2. Add two weeks without school, sifted with 5-6 weights training sessions and 10-12 cardio sessions and a (boring) controlled diet.
3. Stir in wedding-stress concentrate (3 or 4 cups). Sprinkle residual school-stress to season.
4. Leave to sit overnight, or until the stress mixture has doubled in size.
5. Fold in appointments with a florist, a cake-maker, a bridal boutique, a dance instructor and a photographer (allow for the stress-mixture increasing in size as financial deposits are added).
6. Purchase and add sugared almonds and the makings of bomboniere.
7. After 5 days, add 125 hours of flu. Sift a light layer of I-can't-work-out-because-i'm-sick and cover with a damp cloth.
8. Fold and construct 85 clear plastic noodle boxes. Be sure to damage both sets of thumb and first finger tips so knitting will be painful.
9. Discover that your veil wont arrive for weeks so you cant get the practice hair-do done during the break. (Hysterical giggle optional)
10. Call dress shop to discover they have no idea why the dress hasn't appeared yet. Fold in the fear that teacher will have nothing to wear but wedding shoes and necklace on the day (try to calm teacher with the knowledge that the groom will be happy with this)
11. Get period a week early, and sprinkle a generous amount of depressing bloat to undermine all the hard work at the gym. Gain 500g and get told off by weight-consultant at gym (I know, right?). Add a stern reminder that 10 kilos need to go in 12 weeks (slight hyperventilation is normal)
12. Get an email from - 80 days to go!
13. Remind teacher that school starts again in 4 days.

Serves one, plus hors d'oevre sized portions for friends and family. Has a remarkably long shelf-life, and often increases in intensity of flavour and size over time.