2007-01-08 20:50 in /life/movies
In the two weeks, I’ve watched 6 movies, which is fairly unheard of these days. We saw Happy Feet and Charlotte’s Web in the theater, and at home I’ve seen The Thief Lord and Cars with the little one, and Whale Rider and V for Vendetta without. A few observations:
First, I’d started to forget how much I really do like movies. For the last few years, I’ve only been able to see 3 or 4 a year. So, this has been a real treat.
Second, finding decent child-appropriate movies is much more challenging than it ought to be. As far as I can tell, Yahoo! Movies has no option to sort or filter by rating. The website for Hollywood Video does, but it was challenging to figure out how. Even then, I could only find new releases. That is how we came up with “The Thief Lord”, though, which turned out to be a good choice. Dramatic, but not too scary, no gratuitous language or violence, and not a product placement or tie-in to be seen.
Third, the rating system is just messed up. It seemed like a good thing when they started including explanations of the ratings, but really it just seems to highlight how messed up, and sometimes arbitrary it is. “Whale Rider” is rated PG-13 for “brief language and a momentary drug reference”. The drug reference is so quick and subtle most children under 13 probably wouldn’t catch it at all, and I didn’t even notice the language. On the other hand, the overall subject matter of the movie could easily be upsetting and hard to explain to a child. While browsing the video store the other night, I found an even sillier example. L’enfant is rated R, ostensibly for “brief language”. This is obvious bollocks. It’s rated R because it’s about a guy who sells his newborn son, then has to navigate the criminal underworld to get him back.
Finally, “V for Vendetta” was amazing. I expected it to be thought-provoking, but I wasn’t expecting to find myself sitting on the floor, 2 feet from the TV, completely absorbed by it. That’s not to say that I was completely supportive of V; in fact, if the story didn’t have the moral complexity that it does, I probably wouldn’t have found it as fascinating. I’ll be digesting it for a while (and I’ve got the graphic novel on hold at the library).
2005-04-09 00:04 in /life/movies
I love Nick Nornsby’s books, but I’m not sure that every single one needs to be made into a movie. High Fidelity was pretty good on the screen, with only slight Hollywood-ing. About a Boy, was okay, but really suffered in my mind from being temporally displaced by ten years and consequently losing a major source of emotional content. However, when I heard this morning that an adaptation of Fever Pitch was about to come out, I was appalled for at least three reasons. First, “Fever Pitch” is probably has the least general appeal of any of Hornsby’s books, and the least potential for adaptation: it’s basically a diary covering 30 years. Second, they already tried it once unsuccessfully (granted, I’m sure the utterly gratuitous cover art used in the US didn’t help). Third, they made it about baseball! Blasphemy! I mean, the title doesn’t even make sense now. The nerve of some people.