Celluloid

Who doesn’t like the Easter Bunny?

It’s been a long while since I’ve gone to see a Christmas movie, and even longer since I’ve seen an Easter one.  Hang on a minute…I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Easter movie.  In fact, I can’t think of another Easter movie, unless you count the Sunday School classics from my childhood.

So, because I needed another way to hype up the kids’ need for chocolate (not to mention my own insane hankering for eggs, eggs, eggs) I took them to see the movie Hop this morning.  I thought we’d be some of the last to see it, but apparently a lot of families have left their Easter viewing until the last minute as the cinema was pretty full.

Hop is entertaining and delivers a few laughs.  The storyline is a little bit cheesy, but it’s really fabulous to look at – as you can see from the poster, the colours used in the film are beautiful and the candy and chocolate are positively mouthwatering.  Russell Brand is great as EB and Hugh Laurie is pretty good as Easter Bunny Senior (although probably not his best work.) I wasn’t impressed with James Marsden, but the kids didn’t seem to mind his slightly hammy performance.

Although it might be a little out of date after Easter, I did notice that it is still showing for a while after the big day.

The movie was just the start of a day of nice discoveries.

Being off the coffee bean at the moment (no mean feat, believe me) I thought I’d treat myself to a new tea.  Popped into T2 and found a yummy sounding brew called Creme Brulee.  A nice change from the usual dull old tea-bags that I’ve been ‘enjoying’ since making the change from coffee to tea. I tried a cup as soon as I got home, and I’ve got to say, it’s as yummy as it sounds! With a dash of milk and some manuka honey, it’s almost a dessert.

Once I got home, I put my feet up and caught up on a few weekend magazines from The Age (I had some from last weekend to catch up on) and I came across a review for a great looking Fiction podcast from The New Yorker.  It’s a series of podcasts featuring authors reading the work of other authors, most often of their own choice. And it’s free, so bonus!  I also subscribed to their DVD of the Week podcasts as well, so I’ve got plenty of listening ahead.

So, no guesses what I’ll be doing tomorrow night.  With any luck, I’ll be eating chocolate, drinking tea and listening to Mary Gaitskill reading Vladimir Nabokov. Nice.

Thank goodness for Paul (aka Not quite the day I expected)

The day started off nicely enough, a most beautiful Autumn Sunday. I suspect that the warm sun and the cool breeze was made all the sweeter thanks to the enjoyment of a (child-free) yummy brunch of eggs, bagels and tea with Matt.  A lovely, all too rare, weekend treat.

And then the day turned a little pear shaped, as they say…best laid plans.

After a failed attempt to see Frankenstein at the Nova (don’t ask, really…) and bit of a tantrum on my part, we made the best of a disappointing situation and turned tale to Southland, bought treats and tickets to see Paul.

And can I just say – thank goodness for Paul and for Simon (Pegg) and Nick (Frost). I can always rely on you guys to lift my spirits.

Just as with Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Simon and Nick’s latest offering is clever and quite hilarious. Paul is of course a tribute to science fiction films past and present, but I’m pleased to say that it doesn’t fall into the trap of parody.

Before seeing the film, I had heard that the sci fi references were a little obvious, somewhat self conscious.  I totally disagree with this, I thought the call-outs were generally pretty subtle and any borrowed lines were worked into the dialogue pretty seamlessly.  I honestly believe that the film would easily stand up with or without the element of homage.

At the end of the day, Paul is funny.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still has enough substance to avoid total frivolity.  It’s a well put together film, effects-wise…Paul’s existence is entirely convincing, and voiced by Seth Rogen he’s terribly likeable.

I reckon this would make a pretty good date movie, especially if you’re a little over the holiday kids-flicks.  I’d not say it’s great for the kids, if for no other reason but that it includes a fair bit of swearing.  The curse-age is completely in context, and very entertaining, but might be a little hard to explain to an 8 year old…

In short – love it, and can’t wait to see it again. and again. and again.

On the cards

I’ve got a pretty busy calendar over the next couple of months, by my standards anyway.  Here’s a few things on the cards…

I must get along to see the exhibition of artworks on paper, Fabric which is being held in Armadale until the 25 March 2011.  This exhibition is apparently quite small but features works by many local artists. The venue itself is also very interesting, the Firestation Print Studio provides a place for professional and amateur printmakers to learn, print and exhibit.  I tried to get along to the show this weekend just gone, but being a long weekend it didn’t happen.  I’m assured by my sports-mad family that after basketball we’ll head on over this Saturday. Full details about this exhibition can be found here

Another local show is being held by Christopher Rimmer, an extremely talented photographer who was heavily involved with the 2010 Pink Lady Art Exhibition.  His exhibition In Africashowcases his latest breathtaking images of his former homeland. The show is running until 8 April 2011 at Galleria Rocco Interiors, 1st floor, 407 Hampton Street Hampton.

I’m looking forward to April, and it starts with a birthday celebration.  The Star Community Cinema in Bendigo turns six years old this year, and they’ll be celebrating on the 1 April with a special screening of True Grit (check their website for full details).  The Star Cinema is a community run enterprise, and is invaluable to the Bendigo region, screening an amazing range of independent and art house films.  They also hold special events throughout the year so be sure to check out their website to see what’s coming up.

Lastly, I’ve booked tickets for Matt and I to go and see Frankenstein. This show is on stage in Britain at the moment and thanks to National Theatre Live, is being shown live on screen in April.  I’ve got tickets for the screening at Cinema Nova Carlton.  The play, by Nick Dear (based on the novel by Mary Shelley) is directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours).  It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternate the lead roles of Frankenstein and his monster from night to night.  I’m extremely excited about this one…I love horror, and I’m a big fan of Danny Boyle.

So, all going well, March and April are looking very cultured and lots of fun.

Have you guys got anything on the books for the next month or so?

Hoot hoot

For the last month, every time the boys and I have walked past the video shop Oscar has hooted…

He’s been very keen to see Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga’Hoole. He seems to be quite fascinated by owls at the moment so this week,  needing an afternoon to get some work done (sorry, can I admit that?) I picked up a copy for him.  I hired it (old-school) as I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted this one permanently in the collection, not being quite sure if it could bear repeated viewing or not.

First thing to be said, it’s a beautiful looking film.  The animation is skillful and the owls make wonderful subjects.  It was really nice to see a film featuring Australian wildlife, without it being too cheesy.  In fact, the Tasmanian Devil at the beginning of the film is quite frightening, it made Oscar jump in his seat, which in turn made me laugh a little bit.

The characters were voiced by a plethora of Australian talent (must have been a slow month in the Australian film industry).  The old favourites – Sam Neil, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, Geoffrey Rush, and Barry Otto made listening to this film entertaining in its own right.  The casting of Abbie Cornish, Joel Edgerton, Ryan Kwanten, David Wenham and Angus Sampson added some new blood to the blue blood, and lightened the mood a little.

So, the kid-verdict… Oscar, who is three, lost interest a bit during the first watch, although he did come back to it on subsequent viewings. He asked to watch it again (and again, and again) and I’m taking that as a sign that he enjoyed it. Evan, my ten year old really seemed to enjoy the film too, which I wasn’t so much expecting.  In saying that, he wasn’t all that interested in watching it over again so the appeal was a little limited for him.

As for myself, I’m a little unsure about it. Maybe I should have sat down and paid more attention, but I’ve got to admit that I struggled to keep track of which owl was which. Maybe I’m getting a little dopey in my old age, but the characters did seem to get a bit mixed up at times.

So, I’d say that this film is visually impressive and a pretty great story for the kids. It’s maybe just a little bit earnest for it’s own good, but overall it’s well worth a weekend watch.  It might give you a couple of hours off kid-wrangling to read a book or have a nanna-nap?

I’m kind of sorry I didn’t get to see this in 3D, I’d think it would have been quite a visual treat.  Did anyone see this at the movies in 3D?  What did you think?

You found a bus where?

I indulged in a mid-week movie with hubby this week.  Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t get crazy and go out or anything, but settled on our new comfy couch, with kids sleeping, and glass of cheeky red, it was still quite a treat.


Into the Wild
was Matt’s pick, and a good one too. The film (released in 2007) is based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book of the same name, and retraces the steps of Christopher McCandless. It’s a fairly somber boys’ own adventure story. In the tradition of  Henry David Thoreau and Jack London, Christopher aka ‘Alexander SuperTramp’ takes to the road, eventually finding his way into the Alaskan wilderness. His trek is a means to escape his dysfunctional parents, and is both an enlightening and destructive journey.

A couple of things really stood out to me about this film, and make it well worth a watch…firstly, its soundtrack, taken care of by Eddie Vedder sets the mood perfectly, it’s appropriate to the era of the film (set in the early 90s) without being retrospective or dated.  Secondly, the story itself seems pretty reliable.  It’s not overly romanticised (well, maybe a little, but not too much) and it seems to be taken from a variety of sources.  This makes it a  really well-rounded storyline.  Lastly, it’s an interesting study of how some choose to deal with trauma and with genius.  This film provides glimpses of transition from childhood to adulthood, a young man struggling to escape his situation and surrounds.

For lovers of literature, this a really interesting film.  Chris is inspired by writers (for good or ill), and analyses their work as if he’s trying to crack a code.  His tendency to look for answers in the work of his favourite authors eventually proves his undoing.

So now I’ve got another book to add to my reading list.  I feel a little like I’ve cheated by seeing the film first, so I’ll have to get my hands on a copy sooner rather than later.  I’ve heard that reading the book is a bit of a different experience to the film, so it’ll be an interesting comparison.

Has anyone read the Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer?  How does it compare to the movie?

Do you think it matters whether you watch a film or read a book first?