mary_j_59: (Default)
So, after writing the earlier blog posts, I came across this comparison on youtube:

It's extraordinary how alike they are. In particular, it's extraordinary how, whenever the old movie deviated from the book, the new trailer seems to deviate in the same way. I get the sense, from watching this short video, that Ava DuVernay may be remaking a movie rather than filming a book. This would explain the major deviations from the book. (And I don't mean the race of the characters! I mean the setting, the lack of Sandy and Dennys, the scenes that seem like earthquakes, and so on.)

But I might be wrong. After all, the new "Jungle Book" could also be compared to the old movie point for point. But the makers had clearly read the book and paid intelligent tribute to it, as I said in an earlier post. They ended up making a unique and excellent movie. Let's hope the same with be true of the new "Wrinkle in Time".

Still, I'm more apprehensive now. I can't help but be apprehensive, since I love the book so much! We shall see.
mary_j_59: (mug)

(Mowgli faces Shere Khan in the new movie)

That was going to be “It’s the writing, stupid!” Not that any of us is stupid! But, when we see a film, how much thought do we give to the writers? I finally want to rave quietly about the recent Jungle Book. There was so much about that film that was excellent! Many people have pointed out many of these things: the excellent animation, the child’s performance (which, okay, had its rough spots, but which was generally completely natural and believable), the voice cast, the music, the pacing, and so on. Only a few people that I know of mentioned the writing. And it is the script all these other things depend on. You could have fine actors, excellent animators, good musicians, excellent sets and camera work and so on. Yet, without a solid story, you could still have a bad movie.

Now, I’m of the generation that remembers the “original” animated Jungle Book. And I’ll tell you something. When I saw it as a small girl, I liked it. I even liked it a lot. I didn’t love it, and that’s because I knew and loved the book. The cartoon simply wasn’t anything like the book. The new movie does justice to the book, as well as the cartoon.

For the new movie has three sources. They are (1) the Disney cartoon. I don’t honestly remember it well enough to say how good an adaptation of the cartoon this new movie is, but others, who remember it better, proclaim this adaptation is very good and faithful. (2) the stories Kipling wrote. I loved how Kipling’s actual text was used in the film – more on that below. (3) Finally, there is real science; the actual natural history of Asia.

The filmmakers, including the writer, succeed in melding these three things into a classic coming-of-age tale. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (portrait)
I have not been able to find any sporking of the third "Hobbit" film, so here is my effort. As you'll know from my earlier review, I love Fili and Kili, so this movie made me sad. The book does, also, but in a good way. The movie was a mixed bag, IMHO. Comments are welcome! Here goes—

The Battle of the Five Armies
(or, Wrong UNIVERSE, dude!)

As told by Fili, Kili (in part from the Halls of Mandos in Valinor), Biblo, and sundry other characters.

When we left our heroes, they had sorely provoked a huge dragon.

Smaug: I am sorely provoked. But forget those miserable dwarves and their rabbit-creature. I can take care of them later. I burn to have revenge on Laketown!

Bilbo: I’m horribly afraid Laketown will burn, as well.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (portrait)
“Why listen lady,” he said with a grin of delight, “the monks of old slept in their coffins!”

“They wasn’t as advanced as we are,” the old woman said. (From “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, in The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, Hardcover, 17th edition, FS&G 1981, page 149.)

Recent events have gotten me thinking about progress, which may be more illusory than it sometimes seems. G.K. Chesterton once wrote a poem about evolution. Its refrain went something like this: “Evolution – up, up, up/Evolutes us on, on, on”.  Similarly, C.S. Lewis compared evolution to a sailor climbing the rigging of a sinking ship. My point isn’t that evolution is false. On the contrary, it is as solidly proven as a scientific theory can be. Evolution certainly happens. And so does progress. But evolution is full of turning back and cross breeding and dead ends, and progress is very far from linear. It’s a serious mistake to think that, just because people lived before us – say, a generation or so – we are more advanced than they are.
mother shoots villain
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Drive of Dragons)
The Desolation of Smaug, as told by Fili and Kili, with help from Bilbo and occasional interjections from other characters-
Or, Wrong Movie, Dude!

After seeing The Desolation of Smaug, I was looking for sporkings, but couldn't find any, so I wrote my own. Note: Fili and Kili are still my favorites of the dwarves; they have been since I was a little girl. There's a wonderful analysis of the characters and their relationship here.
Warning: Spoilers for Peter Jackson's Desolation of Smaug
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Varen)
Bruce Wayne climbs

“Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” (The Annotated Thursday, Chesterton, paperback, 1999 Ignatius press, page 81).

This quote leapt into my head when I was watching The Dark Knight Rises the other night – I showed the whole series to my teens this summer, and I continue to be impressed at how well thought out and (generally) well told this story is.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Varen)
I think we've all heard that the villain is the story. That worries me because I'm not at all sure I have strong villains. Do you really need a villain in order to have a viable story, and what is the villain's role, structurally?

I've been avoiding this series because I don't like darkness and mayhem, but I’m finally showing the most recent Batman films in the library. Yesterday, I showed The Dark Knight. And I've been pleasantly surprised. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Michael)
I don't usually watch the Oscars - and there have been a lot of people refusing to watch because DH was slighted, etc. Well, most of the time, my favorite movies haven't been nominated, and I can't remember the last time a movie I hoped would win best picture actually won. But, although it was much too long and self-indulgent, as usual, I really, really enjoyed the Oscar show this year Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Well, my sister and I and a friend are just back from Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and here is my report. Warning - some spoilers ahead: Read more... )
mary_j_59: (kiril sword)
Those of you who are also his friends will know that Jon Gibbs is quite a guy! He is selling these mugs along with his ebook on CD, and I would urge all of you who write to get one.* Because it's true. If you write, you are a writer. You don't have to wait for anyone else to validate you; you don't have to be published (though that sure would be nice!); you don't have to be a bestseller. All you have to do is write. So give yourself a boost and remember: if you write, you are a writer. It doesn't matter how the world defines you.

*(or whatever creative thing you do, as Brenda Ueland says. It's all good!)

A couple of other things: The colors are really glorious now here in Southern NY. The maples are any number of shades between pale yellow green and scarlet, and the cork bushes and sumac and poison ivy (yes, poison ivy. One wonders why it's so pretty) are deep crimson. When driving back from a meeting, my sister and I saw a nut or oak tree (probably an oak) with purply-brown leaves. You wouldn't think all these colors could look so lovely together, but they do.

And my sister and I just saw How to Train Your Dragon It's an utterly charming movie, but nothing at all like the book - which is also utterly charming. I'm not sure I don't like the movie even more than the book. The one thing I didn't like was the boys' voices; they were all played by older boys or men whose voices had changed, and that didn't feel right to me.

mary_j_59: (Default)
Yay! I have been looking forward to this one - and I must say, it looks pretty good, purist though I am. )

mary_j_59: (Default)
Here is a link to a quick and dirty video I made today - something that happened this morning. Unfortunately, I was so rattled that I didn't get very good footage - had to move my car. We had a spectacular view of the flames shooting from this poor fellow's car from the library. No idea what can have caused the fire. No one was hurt and only the one car was damaged.

Here's the link:

BTW, Puckling, your mom was there with a high-powered camera, and talked to the owner. So you will soon know more about what actually happened than I do!
mary_j_59: (Default)
Just a brief ramble on two subjects:
1. Why Harry Potter is like Titanic, and why both of them annoy me, inspired by a conversation with Darkthirty.

2. Why Snape isn't weak, inspired by reading Mike-Smith, who thinks he is.

3. Finally, my problem with superheroes. Inspired by the conversation above.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
This is what my 10th grade girls did this year. The writing and editing were exceptionally clever, IMHO, and they gave me permission to post the short film to youtube. (Last year's film by this same group was quite classy, as well. They are a talented group of young women).


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