Coraline (3D)

The last time I watched something in 3D, it was either Captain EO at Disneyland (is that attraction even there anymore?) or the Honey I Shrunk the Kids ride at Universal Studios. Coraline in 3D showed me that 3D technology has come a LONG way. The stop motion animation was fantastic in 3D. I’m glad they didn’t make it too gimmicky with all sorts of stuff flying at you from the screen. Most of my favorite 3D scenes were just normal room scenes where you could easily see the difference between foreground and background objects.

The animation and music were my favorite parts of the movie. Had I been a kid, I probably would have enjoyed the story more, but now that I’m a jaded and cynical grown-up (bleh), I couldn’t help rolling my eyes in some scenes whether it be because of the writing, or just the overly didactic tone the movie took in the end. The story seemed like a retelling of Alice in Wonderland to me.

Another thing that I liked about Coraline was the trailer for an upcoming animated film called 9. It reminded me a little of Sackboy from Little Big Planet, but with a post apocalyptic twist. I hope it doesn’t end up being preachy about the environment like Wall-E.

For those of you who hasn’t seen the animated short that the movie 9 will be based on, it’s on youtube here. The mood is fantastic.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is a vampire movie done right. It’s not full of flashy special effects, it’s not a sappy love story, and there’s no violence = sex metaphor in it. It’s a film where the feeling of isolation is thick in the air.

The film’s restraint made every scene all the more suspenseful. I wouldn’t put it in the horror genre, but there were parts where I felt uncomfortable enough to have to duck behind my hands to shield me from what was coming next. The fact that the film starts off looking like a normal coming-of-age story and then goes into something darker made me unsure of what to expect.

I wish that I hadn’t known that Let the Right One In was a vampire movie beforehand. It’s not a major spoiler, but I would have viewed the film differently with a fresh pair of eyes. I left the theater wondering a lot of things, which means I should read the book. I hear that it has a lot of back-story on the various characters and explains a bit about what the film only briefly alluded to.

It makes saddens me to read that there will be an American remake of this. An American director will probably kill the alienation message, make the kids older, sex it up, add some blatant CGI, put in some emo bands for the sound track, and pretty much ruin the movie. That’s not me being a snob. That’s me saying that this movie is perfect as it is and doesn’t need a remake. If people can’t appreciate it the way it is, that’s their loss.

2009 Rose Parade

Rose Parade 2009On January 1st 2009, I got up at 5:30 in the morning for the first time in many years to drive to Union Station to catch the Gold Line to Pasadena. The occasion: the BF scored tickets for the Rose Parade! These tickets gave us reserved seats at the start of the parade, right in the front row. We actually didn’t need to get up that early considering we did have reserved seats, but the BF was excited and thought that they’d close the street to foot traffic if we got there any later.

The Rose Parade is such a bore to watch on TV, but seeing it go past merely 20 feet in front of you is actually quite exciting. We saw a float that blew steam, a celebrity or two, and even a wardrobe malfunction!

The most exciting thing during the parade for me was watching the B-2 stealth bomber fly over our heads. It was so hi-tech looking and definitely stealthy. We didn’t hear it at all.

More pictures on my flickr set