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First, Zombieland -- absolutely as fun as the trailers look. Great comic timing, invention, AND restraint -- not something you'd expect to be able to say about a zombie* apocalypse roadtrip action comedy starring Woody Harrelson, but the creators seem to know when they need to hold back and when they can go for it, and make very few missteps. Harrelson is GOLD, Jesse Eisenberg onscreen is a lot less grating than his opening narration suggests, and Emma Stone's Wichita is an unexpected treat -- a wily survivor who isn't undone by sentiment or the other weaknesses female characters get saddled with because they're "the chick." (I'd argue that some of the decisions she makes toward the end that look stupid in hindsight are no worse than a lot of things Harrelson and Eisenberg's characters do.) Just a ton of fun, well worth the admission. (Gore quotient = not bad. The zombies don't get to munch that much, and when they do, it's mostly a bite and pulling some flesh away, not tearing people open and ripping out entrails a la Day of the Dead.)

* Not undead zombies -- the diseased but living human kind. Runners, but here I liked it.

I've been unable to make time for LJing about all the movies I'm watching, so I'm going to drop that and just update my "what I've seen" list periodically. To that end, with favorites and top recommendations bolded:

185. Land of the Dead
186. Short Cuts
187. Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
188. Ivan the Terrible, Part 1
189. Ivan the Terrible, Part 2
190. My Own Private Idaho
191. Big Deal on Madonna Street
192. Unfaithfully Yours
193. An Angel at My Table
194. The Tales of Hoffman
195. Le Trou
196. Au Revoir Les Enfants
197. Koko: A Talking Gorilla
198. Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
199. Suzanne's Career
200. Zombi
201. Spirit of the Beehive
202. The Naked Civil Servant
203. Pan's Labyrinth

204. The Beales of Grey Gardens
205. Fires on the Plain
206. District 9
207. Sweet Movie
208. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
209. Häxan
210. If...
211. Helvetica
212. Cría Cuervos . . .
213. Inglourious Basterds

214. Le Bonheur
215. The Ice Storm
216. Before the Rain
217. The Exterminating Angel
218. Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
219. Last Year at Marienbad
220. Slaughterhouse-Five
221. Wings of Desire
222. Intentions of Murder
223. The Hidden Fortress
224. You Don't Mess With the Zohan

225. In the Realm of the Senses
226. Europa
227. The Thief of Baghdad
228. Even Dwarfs Started Small
229. The Firemen's Ball
230. City Lights
231. Antonio Gaudi
232. The Naked Prey

233. Ivan's Childhood
234. Bicycle Thieves
235. La Haine
236. First Man Into Space
237. La Soufrière - Waiting for an Inevitable Disaster
238. Doraheita

239. The Host
240. Days of Heaven
241. The Cranes Are Flying
242. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
243. Made in U.S.A.
244. Ballad of a Soldier
245. Fitzcarraldo
246. The Fallen Idol

247. My Night at Maud's
248. Elevator to the Gallows
249. La Bete Humaine
250. Juliet of the Spirits
251. Young Mr. Lincoln
252. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench
253. Bob le Flambeur
254. Harakiri
255. Man Bites Dog

256. Au Hasard Balthazar
257. Touchez Pas Au Grisbi
258. Obvious Child
259. Fighting Elegy
260. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
261. Videodrome
262. Zombieland

Will probably slow down my movie viewing a bit over the next few weeks to enjoy what looks like a promising round up of fall anime. So far, I've only seen Kampfer and A Certain Scientific Railgun, with Nyankoi next in line. Kampfer = pure cheese, but that amazing, budget-blowing henshin sequence in the first ep will probably keep me watching for an ep or two more at least. I didn't get past the first ep of Index, but Railgun seems like it could be fun if it doesn't get too moe moe. Kobato is a sure thing, and I'll probably catch at least a little Miracle Train on the off chance it turns out to be wacky. (I missed basically everything last season, and just started marathoning Umineko yesterday. (Much love to GG for going with the pun -- "When Seakitties Mew.")

Yes, Tsubasa's ending seemed both oddly rushed AND like it went on forever to me, too. I'm assuming a lot gets resolved after the fact in XXXHolic.

After Zombieland, ran around getting stuff to make cupcakes Thursday for my trip to rkold's this weekend. (Recipe is via America's Test Kitchen on PBS and available online here -- trial registration required, but well worth it.) This is about as fancy as I get when it comes to baking, with a mock double boiler and chopping up chocolate by hand. Also have a new muffin tin to use, so looking forward to it! Here's hoping I remember to pick up the baking powder I forgot before I'm wrist-deep in melted chocolate... >_>;;


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
Wait, Tsubasa is finished?! THAT MEANS I CAN START READING IT AGAIN JUST TO SEE SUBARU!!! Ahem, anyway, I would be very glad if it's over.

Also, which The Thief of Bagdad are you recommending? Is it the Conrad Veidt one or the Douglas Fairbanks one? Or perhaps another version? And was it Fritz Lang's Harakiri you watched?! If so, I am very jealous.
Oct. 5th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- in fact today, scans are out for the special epilogue chapter that wraps everything up (apart from explaining Fei Wong's motivations, what exactly the deal was with him and Yuuko and Clow, etc.). It was kind of cute, though.

The Conrad Veidt one (haven't seen the Douglas Fairbanks version yet). And Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri (Seppuku). I haven't heard much about the Fritz Lang one -- is it supposed to be good? (Kobayashi's reminds me of Rashomon -- there's just one narrative, but the bulk of the story is told via flashback. Tugs at the heartstrings a little more than Rashomon, though.)
Oct. 6th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Ok, I need to get my ass moving to read Tsubasa. All of my volumes have been collecting dust :/ And scans? Are they on CLAMP's website?

I don't know too much about Lang's Harakiri, but I think it's just one of those films you watch to see how a director improved over the years.
I still haven't watched Rashomon. I FAIL AS A FILM STUDENT!
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
lol You want to talk fail as a film student? I started my graduate program NOT HAVING SEEN CITIZEN KANE. XD;; I think you just have to see as much as you can, keep a list (mental or otherwise) of what you still need/want to see, and not get too overwhelmed at how much is still out there. (But definitely see Rashomon. And if you like Kurosawa, Red Beard and Hidden Fortress are kind of hidden gems that are well worth seeing -- probably more the former than the latter, but I enjoyed them both.)

I'm not sure where you'd download scans, but pretty much the entire run is at OneManga here if you don't mind reading online. (I'm slowly collecting the TPBs -- I can't wait to read the whole thing straight through once they're all out. :D)
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
Totally belated response OTL.

Oh my god, stupid question but are you a film graduate student?! I am thinking about going to graduate school in film studies and have no idea where to even start XD
I don't think it's terrible that you didn't watch Citizen Kane! After all, I noticed that it's one of those films that everyone/professors talk about yet they never screen it for class.

To be honest, I'm really scared to watch anything by Kurosawa. I have this weird feeling I'm going to find it boring and be shunned by everyone who is smarter than I am. It's not my fault I like my melodramas!

Thanks for the link! I must check it out ASAP!
Oct. 5th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Well now I've definitely got to watch Zombieland-- I was turned off by the over-marketing (in LA, at least) but it sounds like my type of film. And the lack of serious gore is a good thing...

You liked Zohan? Really?
Oct. 5th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I had the same fears about the overhyping, but it was a great time. (The zombies do tend to drip dark-colored liquid from their mouths, so if you think that would bug you, you might want to hold off. And in hindsight, hope you see this before you go... XD;;)

I know, I know, but I have a weakness for Adam Sandler movies (especially his older ones), and I thought Zohan was actually pretty clever at times. (You know, for an Adam Sandler movie.) What I loved was when it came out, a few critics actually wrote that Zohan handled the Israel/Palestine situation with more nuance than Steven Spielberg's Munich. I can't weigh in on that having not seen Munich, and it reeked of grudgy "Take that!", but I was amused. XD
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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