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.

Slumdog Millionaire

I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire, a movie about an Indian boy who grew up in the slums and wins the top price in India’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire game show. Of course, no one believes that he didn’t cheat to win because how can someone who grew up with no education manage to answer all the questions correctly?

The movie is a perfect mix of suspense, romance, and comedy. I thought the movie would become too formulaic after I realized that we were going to see just how Jamal, the contestant, arrived at each answer of the game show. Luckily, it didn’t end up being to predictable at all. I liked how the movie fed us bite sized pieces of Jamal’s life till the end and showed us present day India without being too preachy.

My favorite thing about Slumdog Millionaire was the soundtrack. There’s a good mix of bhangra-influenced songs as well as catchy pop songs. The best song is at the end, when the credits roll. If you end up watching it, don’t get out of your seat until you see the credits.