I've seen a lot of movies lately, not the least of which were last weekend during the Wisconsin Film Festival. henrietta1 & I went both Saturday & Sunday, spending a good deal of time on State Street. The Shorts.Times.Ten was hit & miss but the real star of the show was Linda Linda Linda in the Capitol Theater. It's a Japanese movie about three high school girls trying to keep their band together to perform at the school festival. With three days to go they recruit a Korean foreign exchange student & scramble to learn the music & find places to practice before the show, as well as deal with interpersonal relationships both in & out of the band. It's a charming film with a lot of good moments & music you'll be singing on the way out of the theater. And yes, it's the Linda Linda Linda by the Blue Hearts that the film is named for. You can download the movie version here.
I finally watched the new King Kong a couple weeks ago. It's quite good with many scenes faithful to the original, tho' it's obvious why the original filmmakers left out others. It's not a story that needs to be extended to three hours & it really doesn't benefit from the extra footage other than having more time for special effects. Aside from the absurdly grotesque islanders early on, the relationship between Kong & the heroine was overplayed & the ending was just disappointing. I waited three hours to see Kong fall of that building & what I got was a load of melodramatic crap. In this the original was much more realistic. When he let go he fell straight down, careened off the outcropping midway down the building & crashed into the street. In the new version he shoots back sixty feet from the top of the tower, hovers in the air for ten seconds while the sob-story music plays & then slowly disappears into the nadir. No crunch, no tumbling ragdoll, just letdown. Not that I'm basing my entire view of the movie off fifteen minutes. I really did enjoy it, but after the first viewing that is what was most memorable.
Anyway, due to the Film Fest I decided to spend the entire weekend watching movies so Saturday night I went out alone to see Night at the Museum at Market Square. With a good premise & better special effects it had a lot of promise but just didn't live up to it. The plot was weak, predictable & handed over on a platter. I realized too late that its target audience was probably much younger than I originally expected & geared more toward the brats kicking the back of my seat than actual lovers of museums. It was entertaining nonetheless but could have been so much better.
The letdown of the weekend however was when I returned home to find that Duck Soup Cinema was earlier THAT SAME DAY. I was even on State Street at the time. Unfortunately nothing was listed in the Film Fest guide & I never received a letter, despite signing up on their mailing list last winter when I attended with sacredspud. With faith lost in their electronic devices I will now be checking regularly the local listings & other outlets for the next showtimes. Duck Soup only comes around a couple of times a year & it is definitely something I do not want to miss again!
But it's interesting how things turn around sometimes. I had plenty of time before Museum Saturday night so I did some movie shopping on the west side, having in my possession some coupons for Best Buy & a strong desire to browse titles. I struck gold at PrePlayed where I found the big Harold Lloyd box set that I had been eying for months but had not yet brought myself to pay full price for. There it was, like new but considerably cheaper. This did well to soften the Duck Soup blow that came later on & fairly cemented my idea to do a Silent Movie Marathon sometime soon. Later that nite I cuddled on the sofa & watched the entire first disc. It's going to be a jolly good show, I just know it.
Sunday tho'. Sunday was the big nite. Sunday the Evil Dad, Colin & myself went to see the late showing of Grindhouse at Star Cinema. I have to say it was everything I had hoped for & more. I loved the way it was presented with faux movie trailers & vintage styled theater messages. The filmstock also appeared appropriately aged & damaged negative & jittery camera effects were used to enhance particularly dramatic or violent scenes. The whole experience worked out quite well & I can only hope that we'll eventually see Grindhouse II & III somewhere down the road. The double feature format works well & future movies need not even be sequels. Rodregez & Tarantino are fired up enough about this. Now we need a big enough audience.
More movies this weekend I expect tho' not as many will be watched. I'm going to search for a special edition DVD of Metropolis for my own little film fest. I don't know why I haven't picked it up before. Now is certainly the time which means I probably won't be able to find one anywhere, just like Roger Rabbit. Fortunately Colin has one for sure along with several other features if all goes well. Now I just need to decide on a weekend.
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