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Despite everything else happening at the moment in my life, I managed to go to the movies four times in the last week. Here's a non-comprehensive and sadly spoiler-free summary of my thoughts about the different films. (It's not worth doing spoilers behind cuts - you might be spoiled for other movies while looking at the details for a different one.)

Howl's Moving Castle
- Seen on Monday with curtana, forthright, cwjat, SmithKatie, theengineer, A.Z., dark_age_gal, larkvi, saffronjan and John.
- Seen on Sunday with double0hilly and pittenweem

I've been waiting for a year or more for this charming movie to come to theaters, and then come out in English dub. Hiyao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) directed, and his ongoing concern with human impact on the environment was a major movie theme not present in the world. His world is full of coal-burning trains and war-torn landscapes. The first made some sort of sense, the latter less so. The war plot was an add-on to the movie. Calcifer was perfect, Sophie decent, while Howl had some fabulous scenes but was voiced as a little too sickly sweet by Christian Bale, I thought. My first time through the movie, I spent the whole time comparing it to the book (they're about two-thirds the same). The second time, I very happily relaxed into the flow of plot and enjoyed it.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
- Seen on Thursday with aerinah

The most fun, consistently entertaining thing I've seen this week - eye candy, intrigue, comedy, intense action. Surely, not all of the plot made sense; but it made enough sense that the gaps didn't bother me until I thought about it afterwards. Angelina Jolie was particularly good for her role. Also, the movie offered up some fabulous quips and puns. Good wordplay.

Batman Begins
- Seen on Friday with the Serial Diners

I'm not overly familiar with the Batman franchise. I've seen a movie or two, when they first came out, not since, and I haven't read the comic books, the t.v. show, or any other tie-ins. This is all a lead-in to say that, of our group of 20-or-so audience members, the Batman fans were generally very happy with this movie, while the rest of us were merely content. It was a fine movie, not bad, reasonably engaging, but I failed to relate to any of the characters, so I didn't have much stake in what happened to them. I did, however, much prefer Christian Bale's voice in this movie (as Batman) than in Howl.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2005 12:24 pm (UTC)
Agreed, Mr and Mrs Smith is a fun movie.
Jun. 20th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
I like Batman and do want to see this one. Primo (age 8) will want to see it, so we may have to do it on the sly. There's no way I'd have him see this one.

On another topic: Can you recommend a good source for Playmobil (with good prices if such a thing exists)? Seconda's birthday is coming up...
Jun. 23rd, 2005 04:29 am (UTC)
I would love to know of a good source of inexpensive Playmobil too. I suspect eBay etc. would be the best option. My best sources are all somewhat small independent toy stores. Big chains tend to not carry the line, or only a very limited selection. Definitely call around before making a trip - plenty of places don't carry it at all. Also, you can phone the company directly to find out where your nearest store is. (609)395-5566

If you get desperate, you can also order through the company's own website.
Jun. 20th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
(This is Jesse's sister, I promise I am not stalking you) ;)

Christian Bale was a voice in Howl? What character?

I hated every single Batman movie before this one and I never read a comic book. I loved this movie as a good movie, not as part of a franchise. It's rare for me to like a movie to and since I paid almost ten dollars for my ticket I am glad. It all depends though, it's kinda funny to, cause I was never crazy about Christian Bale, not like Jesse is anyway.
Jun. 21st, 2005 04:49 am (UTC)
Siblings of friends are always welcome! (I don't think the occasional single comment really counts as stalking. You'll have to try harder.)

Christian Bale voiced Howl!

I'm glad you liked the Batman movie so much.
Jun. 21st, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
I just bought and read the book and loved it so much! From what I heard though, the movie doesn't sound enough like the book, and I get so obsessive about that. It seems that the director is obsessed with environmental themes, I almost choked after reading the book when I watched a trailer and saw trains and such in the movie!
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
The movie is charming, the book is delightful. I liked the movie much better on the second time through. The first time through, I was getting my book comparisons out of my system. They are rather different creatures.
Jun. 21st, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
Christian Bale
Have you seen "The Machinist"? Not a movie for everyone, but I enjoyed it. Bale dropped like 30-40 pounds & didn't eat for weeks in order to drop his weight to 120 so he could accurately portray the main character, who suffers from extreme insomnia & lack of appetite (in addition to other problems). A pretty freaky psychological suspense flick. Not 4 stars or anything, but if you like Christian Bale, you ought to rent it.
Jun. 21st, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)
Re: Christian Bale
Thank you for the recommendation, but I am a sensitive creature when it comes to suspense. I don't deal well with it, alas. The movie does sound impressive, however, for those of a sturdier temperament.

Strangely, before this week, I'm not convinced I could have even told you that Christian Bale was the name of an actor. But now I know!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )