Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Three Holiday Movies Reviewed

I did it!  I took myself to the movies... three times in fact. I almost never go because I hate waiting in lines, I hate crowded theaters, and I really hate discourteous movie-goers.  Why is it that someone always has the need to run a commentary on everything going on in the movie while everyone in the theater is trying to watch? In any case, for the most part, my movie experiences were good ones this time around. The movies I saw created enough incentive for me to get out and see them in the theater.  The three blockbuster titles were: The Princess and the Frog, Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes.

Disney's Princess and the Frog was my favorite of the three mentioned above.  I have always been a pushover for Disney since I first saw Sleeping Beauty and Fantasia as a child. Princess and the Frog is also set in Louisiana, so it had the home-field advantage for me as well.  I usually love movies about the South since they remind me of home and since I'm feeling particularly nostalgic these days, it struck a deep chord in me.  The music was fantastic making use of zydeco, dixieland, gospel, and other popular New Orleans Jazz idioms.  The various plots drew not only from Brothers Grimm, but also from Longfellow's Evangeline.  There were also plenty of visual references to other Disney favorites like Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid.  My favorite element of the movie however was all of the wonderful tongue-in-cheek humor about New Orleans culture and heritage.  I found the little jokes about Cajun people particularly humorous and couldn't help but think about my Granny getting a giggle out of them if she were still with us. I laughed, I cried; it was better than Cats!

I made a movie marathon out of Avatar and Sherlock Holmes.  I was glad that I saw Avatar in 3D.  The effects were stunning.  I like epic sci-fi as a rule and Avatar did not let me down. Sherlock Holmes was also a lot of fun.  It had plenty of action and intrigue.  I thought Jude Law was especially good as Dr. Watson.  Typically, Dr. Watson is portrayed as sort of bumbling, but in the latest incarnation, he is played as almost an equal to Sherlock Holmes in mental and physical abilities.  The only bad thing I could say about both of these movies is that I found them a tad too long.  Avatar was nearly three hours and it didn't help that I drank a big soda and was afraid I would miss something important if I got up to go to the bathroom.  Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand, was just plain slow in some parts and there probably could have been some more editing done to get it down to ninety minutes.  Of course, it could be that I was simply tired of being at the movies since I saw it after Avatar.  Nonetheless, I'm glad to have seen them both and I'll be looking for DVD releases when they come out.

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