Sunday, September 28, 2008

Live Blogging Desperate Housewives, or How we're 5 years into the future!

Live Blogging Desperate Housewives Episode One Season Five 
"You're Gonna Love Tomorrow"

It's Sunday evening and I am compelled to live-blog the D-Hos season premiere cause well... I'm done doing work this weekend and I'm thinking this'll be fun. Never live-blogged before so we'll see how everything goes.

Mary Alice briefs us on Susan and some woman called Lilah. 
WOW. Not even a minute in and we're already on soap-opera land. CAR CRASH! Is Teri okay? Yep... Is Mike? ... Jesus! Like enough stuff hasn't happened to him/them?!

"Where did time go?" Asks Mary Alice... don't know. But why don't you tell us?
Ooh. Love Marcia's hair. Very Martha Stewart chic.
Ew. Juanita's "pretty dress" - and are we discussing weight issues for a 4 year old?! 

And the Bree soundites begin:
"That's no surprise, my pies are always amazing." 
"Andrew, tell this gentleman that if he calls me 'sweetie' again I'm gonna grab his camera and take a picture of his colon!"

Is it illegal for me to find Lynette's twins attractive?
And Gale having sex? So QAF! Except he's into commitment... weird.

Ahh! An albino's a-knocking! PSA: Don't let albinos into your house...
Oh, Nicolette you always knew how to make an entrance! In this case, you just had to pull open your car window and let us know you are now "Mrs Williams" to Mr Albino.

Edie: "I have a husband now"
Susan: "Really? Whose?" 
Hah-larious. And so true.
But now we're in bizarro-world: Edie's being nice? I smell a plot-twist!

Gabi soundbite: "Want me to pull off the Solis family album? Like a bunch of sea-lions on a rock!"

Ahh! Make it stop! A Beverly Hills Chihuahua TV Spot - Oh Piper "Coyote Ugly" Perabo: whatever happened to your career? 

Gale Harold naked. I guess D-Hos producers know what they're doing! I find it funny though that they're a) rehashing a Susan season 1 sketch and b) pairing him with ze gay couple (and trust me: I would take a cell-phone pic if I caught Gale in his underwear near my house)

OH MY GOD. Gabi's game is amazing. Can I make MY kids follow my revving car around the city?! "You're tired? I thought running through that guy's sprinkler would have freshened you up!"
Bree: "I always changed something [in your recipes]"
Katherine: "What? The font?!"

"Welcome to Australia"! Welcome to you too Mr Jackman and your rippling, sweaty pectorals!
"Just because it is, doesn't mean it should be" - you're right Nicole... unless it's so pretty looking and directed by Baz! [Yay for Australia tv spots!]
On a sidenote: Ashton Kutcher exec produces "Opportunity Knocks"!?

LOL I do love it when Lynette plays the "I'm a passive aggressive mom/wife!" Case in point: giving the twins Tom's convertible after Tom refused to ground 'em.

Love the Katherine-Bree bitchy fights. But not as much as Tom-Lynette passive aggressive discussions about parenting! 

Gale Harold karaoke-ing?! "I wanna be YOUR boyfriend Gale!" (And who's on the front row? Ze gays again!)
Susan: "Maybe I don't deserve to be happy..." Hm... did I hear another plot-twist coming? And it all comes full circle!! But wait... WE don't get to hear what that's all about?!

omg! Danielle took the kid! Orson's gone?! (Or was?) wtf? 
Aw, Bree's business is her surrogate child. That's a wee bit depressive... and there was no humour to tone that down...

Thank god they don't call Maynard 'Maynard' (MJ instead). Oh, Lilah and her kid died... whoa dark place anyone?
"In a flash the life we knew is gone"
And Mary Alice leaves us with a couple of questions:
How could he have left me?
When did my beauty start to fade?
Why has my friend changed?
Was i the best mother i could have been?
And of course Dave is a crazy angry-prone ex-con on parole?! Now... who's the person who should be concerned?!

Whoa. That was an exquisite episode -Season One good. And it does play like a pilot: everyone is set up for what's to come this season (Lynette and her twins, Gabi and her self-image issues, Katherine and her stunted professional career, Bree and her family past, Susan and her new beau, Edie and her crazy husband... and I am hooked again!) and the 5 years flash forward allows them to play any and all angles they want (oh flashbacks will come in handy I'm sure). Here's to a desperate and past-haunted season ahead!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Flyboys, or How I'm Seeing Double

At first I wanted to give the James Franco movie the benefit of the doubt thinking maybe this new film with a "The" before 'Flyboys' was trying to capitalize on its success. And then I realized its total domestic gross was $13 million... 

But I'm glad we waited for Mr Franco to become a bona fide movie star - now we have James in his full glory (gay and nekkid in Milk of course! - not weepy and straight in Nights in Rodanthe... or stoned yet funny in Pineapple Express).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hugh Jackman or Tina Fey as Oscar Hosts, or How doesn't it make total sense?

Over at the Gold Derby blog, Tom O'Neil is spotlighting the conversation everyone else is/should be having: Who should host Oscars 2009? 

Many names are floating around: repeats (Stewart, Martin), newbies (Colbert, Gervais) but one that really struck me was Anne Thompson's suggestion of having Hugh Jackman host the Oscars - and then of course I had to throw Ms Fey, cause well... she's awesome!

Sure, Stewart and Colbert might have the political edge (which granted might be a little bit passé come February); Martin - and an unmentioned Whoppi - might bring back the glory of the 'ol days when people actually watched the broadcast; Ellen - who I thought did an amazing job two years ago might have the feel-good ambience around her and Gervais might have the buzz (with a post-Emmy bump) but Jackman and Fey would bring a couple of things the broadcast needs:

Hugh Jackman
- Talent (not just comedic: please see Kate and Leopold; not just musical: please see The Boy from Oz and not just dramatic: please see The Fountain but also of hosting: please see The 59th Tony Awards and no, you're not allowed to think about Viva Laughlin...)
- Class: don't he look good in a tux?
- Drool-worthy Oscar moments: I mean, isn't he dreamy looking?
- Musical medleys! Think Billy Crystal only hotter!
- Industry good-will and good timing: Baz Luhrman's Australia will be coming out later this year, and it might make a big splash with AMPAS and X-Men: Origins will be coming out next year; it's perfect timing to get Jackman in the spotlight!
- International appeal: he is Australian for god's sake!
- Box-office clout. Two words: X-Men.

Tina Fey
- Talent. Two words: 30 Rock. Or wait just one: Emmy (times 3!)
- Experience doing/writing live TV. You don't get to be head writer at SNL for nothing y'know!
- Industry good-will and great timing. If 2007 wasn't the year of the Fey (Baby Mama + 30 Rock + Palin impression at SNL) I don't know what's wrong with the world.
- Comedy at last! That need not be political Stewart/Colbert style, but SNL (sans Michael Phelps) season premier style!
- Class: I mean didn't Alec say she was the Elaine May of her generation? And don't she look good in a crazy/classy entertainment garb-outfit?
- Drool-worthy Oscar moments: remember how the best part of Oscars for some of us are the Red Carpet dresses? Imagine that on stage what with Tina changing her outfit Heidi-Klum-at-the-Emmys style!

We'll see in the next couple of weeks who AMPAS picks as their host, but let's hope the broadcast is better than the last couple of awards shows we've seen (the godawful VMAs with Russel Brand who's wasted in such a cookie-cutter role; the Reality TV-infested Emmys and the last-minute Oscar telecast we saw in February due to the Writer's Strike)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

RENT (Filmed on Broadway), or How do you measure a year (or ten)?

Why am I the witness?
And when I capture it on film
Will it mean that it's the end
And I'm alone

RENT: Filmed Live on Broadway
Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Starring: Adam Kantor (Mark), Justin Johnson (Angel), Michael McElroy (Collins), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Mimi), Tracie Thomas (Joanne), Eden Espinosa (Maureen) & Will Chase (Roger)

Having only seen the Chris Columbus version of RENT (but having obsessively listened to the original Broadway Cast Recording) I came into RENT: Filmed Live on Broadway with the expectation that it would surpass the movie version (of course!) and convince me why it's one of the greatest musicals of the last decade. Thankfully it did that - and more!

Sure, the Chelsea Theatre screwed up the sound at first and we had to live through the credits (including the audience around me clapping) twice, but once the 'show' started I was enthralled. I knew all the songs, but seeing the industrial and malleable stage, the crazy costumes and the ingenious staging of it all, I (re)fell in love with RENT. True, there are those that will say that this wasn't the 'real thing' and they are probably right, but it got as close to it as it could - not, of course, without its faults (can someone explain to me why it privileged close ups and middle shots in big musical numbers where the staging clearly elicits a wide shot? or why in the first half an hour or so it feels as though it was cut by the a Baz Luhrman-circa Moulin Rouge editor only without Jill Bilcock's grace/intent/effect/need?)

Once I got over this (and realised that Rodney Hicks is no Taye Diggs - his was the only performance I didn't connect to) I thoroughly enjoyed RENT: Filmed Live on Broadway and I can't wait for it to be released on DVD so I can enjoy the poignancy of Without You & Goodbye Love (where close ups actually made sense), the hilarity of Over the Moon, the heartbreaking I'll Cover You Reprise (it's that much more affecting on stage) and of course the riotous La Vie Boheme (even if in my opinion the number doesn't lend itself to the grating cuts and close-shots it was subject to)... 

There are too many things to love but it ultimately comes down to the power of the music and the staging and - yes, because I should finish this off with some corny RENT send-off - RENT and its legacy will live on for more than 525600 minutes... Show (A+), Film (A-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Buffy embraced by Emmys, or How The Gift is the Most Memorable Moment of TV!

Yes, The Gift was voted the Most Memorable Moment on TV (Drama category - Friends' The One Where Ross Finds Out got the Comedy category) - though you wouldn't know it from the telecast which was so self-indulgent in its first two hours it didn't leave anytime for any fun stuff in the last hour (cutting NPH/Cheno's bit?! cutting away from Ms Williams and Ms Ferrera when they were presenting?! reading off the nominees/winners as if this was last year's Golden Globes' press conference?!)... thankfully the last hour was filled with enough Tina Fey to keep me interested.

Kudos to Tina Fey for her trifecta win (and for ultimately giving one of the funniest presenter-bits with fellow SNL pal Amy Poehler), applause for Mr Josh Groban who rocked the house, a thumbs down for the Reality TV Hosts (except for Ms Klum who I enjoyed in every costume change - and really, I expected nothing else from) and a great big hooray for Mad Men for winning Best Drama Series!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

True Blood/Earshot, or How I'm Seeing Double

True Blood (HBO)
Starring: Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Michael Raymond-James, Stephen Moyer, et al.

I have yet to make up my mind about True Blood. I came into the first episode thinking: "Whoa! This is going to be some sub-par Buffy rip off, HBO-style!" and came out thinking "Whoa! This was a sub-par Buffy episode 'Earshot' mixed in with racial/sexual politics, HBO-style!"
That said, give me Ryan Kwanten naked in 95% of his on-screen time, and I'm a happy camper:

Seriously, not since Queer As Folk have I seen an hour-long drama relish so much seeing its male actors be naked and having sex. Oh Aussies...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Emmy Predictions, or How why not?

The Emmys are upon us.

Of course that means it's time for... disappointment!

Yes - these are the awards that shunned Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who have crowned Frasier as the all-time champ, who have bestowed 3 (!) Emmys on James Spader's mantel, who keep nominating Two and a Half Men, who snub Battlestar Galactica time and time again, who won't televise the fun Creative Emmys (they were hosted last weekend by NPH and Sarah Chalke!) and who feel policemen, doctors and lawyers are the only interesting characters on TV (for more on this, check out TFE's Emmys Post) and who this Sunday will most likely give us more water-cooler talk along the lines of "Uggh.!!" and "Why?! Why?!" - Even Vance agrees!

That said - predictions are always fun (here's hoping for a Mad Men sweep! here's mourning an anticipated Boston Legal takeover... here's hoping Amy pulls a historic win! here's mourning no Pushing Daisies in Comedy, no Desperate Housewives anywhere, no Mary MacDonell... here's hoping NPH prevails!)

**Mad Men - Should/Will Win
Boston Legal
Damages - Upset (?)

**30 Rock - Should/Will Win
The Office - Upset (?)
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Two and a Half Men

John Hamm (Mad Men) - Should/Will Win
James Spader (Boston Legal) - Upset (?)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)
**Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

**Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Should/Will Win
Steve Carrel (The Office)
Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) - Upset (?)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)

**Glen Close (Damages) - Will Win
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) - Upset (?)

**Tina Fey (30 Rock) -Should/Will Win
Julia Louise Dreyfuss (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) - Upset (?)
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Mary Louise Parker (Weeds)

William Shatner (Boston Legal) - Will Win
Ted Danson (Damages) - Upset (?)
Michael Emerson (LOST)
John Slattery (Mad Men) - Should Win
**Zeljko Ivanek (Damages)

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) - Should/Will Win
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
**Jeremy Piven (Entourage) - Upset (?)
Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Kevin Dillon (Entourage)

Candice Bergen (Boston Legal) -Will Win
Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) - Upset (?)
Chandra Wilson (Grey's Anatomy)
**Dianne Weist (In Treatment)
Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters)

Amy Poehler (SNL) - Should/Will Win
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) - Should Win
**Jean Smart (Samantha Who?)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) - Upset (?)

Manuel's Tally: 5/10

The Women, or How it's SatC... on Valium

The Women
Written and Directed by Diane English
Meg 'past her prime' Ryan, 
Annette 'no one does deadpan better than me' Benning, 
Debra 'I own a monopoly on gay sidekicks' Messing, 
Jada 'token black lesbian' Pinkett-Smith, 
Eva 'wtf is wrong with my face?' Mendes 
and Candice 'yes that's MISS Murphy Brown to you b**ch' Bergen.

The problem with The Women is that it resembles its main star too much. Diane English's 'remake' of Cukor's 1939 (and highly superior!) The Women is as bland, as passé and as unlikable as Ms Ryan (or as her fashion collection on screen - or the entire colour palette of the film for that matter!) And that's a problem. Especially when the marketing department so forcefully wants us to take this as a Sex and the City phenom. But it would seem someone has slipped some valium into our Cosmo because this movie feels so subdued it might not even have a pulse. Meg plays a Connecticut wife who gets cheated on by her husband - and the film follows her as she 'deals' with this and 'finds herself.' The Benning and co. play her circle of friends - always there to help her through her hard times. Annette is trying her best with the material she's given, Debra is trying to work with the material she wasn't given and Jada is overacting like hell in a role that so unabashedly screams 'TOKEN' it leaves no room for "funny." (Don't even get me started on Middler's overacting, Mendes' shrill performance, Bergen's non-character and the array of secondary characters that riff on every stereotype ever created: the hun/angry supermodel, the foreign maid, the Queens' nail-girl...) English's screenplay feels so outdated and so out of touch with the type of world she is trying to create that it was no surprise I found myself laughing outloud only a handful of times... less times, of course, than when I found myself cringing as I heard zinger after alleged zinger fall flat. I'll stick with the original thank you very much Meg! D

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Rebound, or How Justin Bartha needs more/better work!

So I was channel surfing the other day, and found myself catching the end of that Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle Failure to Launch (what's that? Her co-star? No... I don't think she was acting with someone. Oh those walking pectorals who think they're an actor? Yeah... don't know their name. What's that? Matthew? No, that doesn't sound right...) Anyways - trying to not look at SJP's very airbrushed face or those pectoral's attempt at acting, my eyes were glued to Justin 'Nic Cage's sidekick in National Treasure' Bartha!
Of course, wanting to see where else I could catch Mr Bartha, I found myself on his imdb page. To say that I was shocked to see him billed next to Catherine Zeta-Jones on an upcoming comedy is a bit of an understatement.
Catching the plot synopsis and the poster, left me wondering:
- what is Academy Award-winning Mrs Michael Douglas doing an MTV movie for?
- what is the "IT" the tagline claims she's got but he's "just getting"?
- what do I need to do to grab Mr Bartha's thigh?
- why is no one offering Zeta-Jones better roles?
and of course, if they're at a laundry room, and they want to capitalize on Mr Bartha's looks... why is he not shirtless?

I am very excited, I can't wait to watch this on a random Sunday afternoon on TBS!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sofia Vergara on Chelsea Lately, or How really... accents are funny

I don't watch Chelsea, Lately on E! as much as I should. But I do catch up with it from time to time on and thank god! How else would I have found this clip of Chelsea and her (wo)man-crush on fellow Colombian Sofia Vergara?

You gotta hand it to Sofia, she embraces her accent-ness to a point where I could never imagine. Her delivery of "I Love America" is pretty much priceless and god bless Manolo for keeping her in check! (And no, I still don't think I'll be catching up with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns until it's called just Meet the Browns and he drops the narcissistic ego-stroking possessive from his titles).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gov Palin and Sen Clinton, or How It's Tina and Amy!

Burn After Reading, or How Idiocy is fun... and deadly

Burn After Reading
Directed and Written by The Coens Bros
Starring: George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, JK Simmons & Brad Pitt.

To say that Burn After Reading is a comedy of fools is to underestimate its final message delivered by the drunken and defeated Ozzy (Malkovich): "You are the kind of idiots I've fought with all my life! But this time I win!" Sadly - albeit humourously as presented by Simmons in the film's epilogue - no one really wins in this film.

This is a movie that I'm tempted to label "mysanthropic" - not because it hates all its characters, but because it is so intent in finding the laughter in all their reprehensible features and lofty "goals": Linda's depressing love life and hopeless vanity, Chad's airhead-ness and greediness, Ozzy's alcoholism and lack of anger management, Harry's sex-addiction, and Katie's icy coldness (that scene with the kid is pretty amazing). If No Country for Old Men left you with no hope (but scared shitless) Burn After Reading will leave you with a similar sense of hopelessness that only sinks in when you stop laughing: is the world populated with just these type of people? If that's not as depressing as knowing society can create such a brutal force as Anton Chigurg, I don't know what is.

The Coens new film may not be a comedy for the ages, but it sure knows how to garner laughs at their characters' expense, and considering that's what I usually do in real life it was thoroughly enjoyable. And also, where else do you get a sex-crazed George, a dumbass Brad, a drunken Malkovich (okay don't answer that!), and a bitchy Tilda? (or that either). A-

Favourite Moments:
Every time Ozzy says "memmoah" (in his mind "memoir")
- The first phone call between Ozzy and Chad ("We have your... shit")
- The first encounter between Ozzy and Chad ("Give me the stuff!")
- The first scene ("I have a drinking problem?")
- The last scene ("What have we learned here?... Not to do it again. We don't know what it is... but yeah, okay.")

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doubt, or How The Devil Wears Nun

The Fall is coming! Not only did we get the Changeling trailer with Angelina Jolie getting a child switcheroo and a first look from ET at Revolutionary Road, but yesterday we got the trailer for the Streep-Seymour Hoffman-Adams film Doubt based on the play by the same name.

Seriously - how scary does Meryl look? No flying handbags - but I'm already terrified (and excited about watching this).

And if we're talking Oscar bait:

"I have my certainty!" > "I want my son back!" ::plate smashes!::

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mad (Wo)Men, or How it IS the best show on TV right now

Mad Men Season 2
(Or, Mad Wo-men, cause they're like... important too... and yeah, hot and well-dressed)

If there is one thing we can say about Mad Men into its second season, it's that it has upped the ante for the female characters. Relegated to a (very frilly and glamourous) corner last season, female characters from Matthew Weiner's award-winning show have proved to be as psychologically complex and alluring as Mr Don Draper himself. A look at the core three:

Betty Draper (The Wilful Wife)Betty has evolved from being a cliche and become truly an exploration of domestic ennui, where it's not just about sexual frustration, or spousal distance, but about what she wants and wants to be. For all I know, this role was pretty much based and developed alongside Julianne Moore's greatest roles in The Hours and Far From Heaven - I mean, you can see her sadness and longing when she looks at Don even though she craves and is fascinated by the touch and gaze of other men around her. If you need another reference: she's Mary Louise Parker sans the valium
Favourite quote:
(Answering why she looks sad)
"No, it's just - my people are Nordic"

Crucial Scene Season 1:
A day-dream sequence with an A/C salesman
Crucial Scene Season 2:
Car failure in the middle of the road forces Betty to seduce the repair guy and still make it clear that she won't go that far.

Joan Holloway (The Sexy Secretary)One of my all time favourite characters on the show - mainly because she seems to get the best on-liners and zingers while all the while looking like a gorgeous voluptuous woman (doesn't she look like she could break Teri Hatcher in half just by looking at her?) Just like Betty, Joan has moved on from being a stereotype and become a much more interesting character: what happens when what defines you gets neutered as soon as you get what you want? (the former being a fun sassy guy-crazy gal, the latter being a big rock and a marriageable guy)
Favourite Quote:

(Commenting about Paul to his new African-American girlfriend)
"The last thing I would’ve taken him for was open-minded
Crucial Scene Season 1:
Late nights at a hotel with Mr Sterling.
Crucial Scene Season 2:
Face-off with Joan 2.0 (aka "Jane")

Peggy Olson (The Go-getter Gal)Peggy started the series as the focal point through which we saw Sterling&Cooper, but ever since Season 1's finale (and this season in particular) she has become Don's female foil: both are hiding secret pasts and trying to get them buried so as to not endanger their current positions. What is interesting is the extra layer this gets when you throw such a revered concept as 'motherhood' into the mix. Don may have put his family and identity past him, but is this more of less forgivable than leaving a child behind? Needless to say, I'm interested to see what the writers have cooked up for Peggy now that she's taking Joan and Bobbie's advice and "acting like a woman"
Favourite Quote:

(Rejecting a fellow at a party)
"Eugene, I'm in the persuasion business, and frankly I'm disappointed by your presentation"
Crucial Scene Season 1:
Dances with a boy at a party, sees Pete looking down on her. Stops.
Crucial Scene Season 2:
Dresses up, sits on a guy's lap, sees Pete looking down on her. Laughs.

Bring on the rest of the season to see what's in store for these Mad (Wo)Men!

Sarah Pitbull Fey, or How I'm Seeing Double

You tell me who she looks like more...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Milk, or How the Trailer has arrived

I can't name you one Sean Penn movie I like... leafing through I'm left wondering if I've seen him in anything other than on that NBC sitcom white people (and me!) like playing Ursula/Phoebe's love interest. (Mystic River, I am Sam, The Interpreter, Dead Man Walking and All the King's Men are movies that I keep thinking I should watch but never get to...)

Also, other than Good Will Hunting, that vignette in Paris, Je t'aime and (ugh) Finding Forrester, I have not forayed much into Gus Van Sant's filmography.

That said, the supporting cast alone has got me excited for Milk:

- Emile Hirsch looking like a crazy cool 1970s gay
- James Franco looking like a hot 1970s gay flirt
- Lucas Grabeel looking like a campy crazy 1970s gay
- Diego Luna looking like a hot foreign 1970s gay... well, you get the picture.
(Also Mr Diane Lane - while not quite umping the gay quotient of the film, keeps me interested after American Gangster and No Country for Old Men)

Watch the trailer here:

If nothing else (and hopefully distracting me from Sean Penn - who, despite my little exposure, has always seemed like one of those people that take himself a wee bit too seriously as an actor) the Danny Elfman score has me intrigued and that - added to the Franco nudity, will get me to buy tickets opening weekend.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Disney's The Little Mermaid, or How Everything I Know I Learnt from Animation

I love 1990s Disney movies. It's not for nothing they call it the Disney Renaissance - I mean, a decade that brings you Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin needs to be kind of amazing. Sure, the later movies couldn't live up to the apex that was that Shakespearean Savannah story but I do think there was still bristling brilliance in all and every Disney animated release: the colour palette in Pocahontas, the art direction in Hunchback of Notre Dame, the humour in Hercules, the character design in Mulan, and the action sequences and the soundtrack in Tarzan. But if there's one movie that foretold all of this animated goodness, it was Ron & Jon's The Little Mermaid, based on Hans Christian Anderson's tale (now being re-told successfully by Miyazaki in Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea). And so I give you:

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Dir. Ron Clements and Jon Musker

Everything I Know I Learnt from a Red-Headed Teenager who dreams of being part of our world...

- My hair needs no product under the sea to look good if I am a red-headed mermaid.
- Conversely, my hair needs no hair product out of the sea if I am an animated prince who seems to mousse his hair naturally.
- Forks make good combs.
- Statues make for good birthday presents (friends: take note!)
- Larger ladies with short hair cuts who have pets and no children cannot be trusted.
- Every teenage girl in the 90s learnt "reprimanded" from this film.
- My voice is an ethereal glowing little shiny cloud (and can be easily stolen!)
- "Never underestimate the power of body language!"
- Teen angst is not exclusive to... what's the word again? Humans.
- Crabs have Caribbean accents.
- Love at first sight is enough to trade your voice in a pact with a crazy sea-witch and leave all you've ever known behind.
- "The seaweed is always greener on the other lake"
- Seagulls are funny and kinda weird (and this was all pre-Nemo!)

Check out past "Everything I Know..."

Pixar Edition
Lilo & Sticth
The Smurfs
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles