Apr 24, 2012

Shit just got girly

Life is like Chocolat turns two today. That means it's been exactly two years since that lonely, post-stomach bug Saturday night, when I started my blogging career, which has since branched outside the comfortable zone of movie blogging, as I keep creating new blogs like it's crack, or something. Not that I know if it's approapriate to compare this to crack, I don't know anything about crack, I'm just trying to sound tough to compensate for the girly bug that has just struck my beloved blog. Sorry to say this but I really like this new layout. Girly is good.

What makes this anniversary even more disgustingly girly is that I watched The Notebook today, in the name of a bittersweet tradition. I'm still suffering from the silly fact that I happened to watch Dear John on the day I created this blog. And I need to have traditions, so I have to make myself watch a Nicholas Sparks film every year, every single year! It's torture. Like I wrote last year: "Shame it was indeed a Sparks movie I happened to watch on the day I created my blog, and not one of those extremely highbrow and intellectual art house films I usually watch every night. Ahem." I still stick to that statement. And The Notebook still sucked. It sucked when I was sixteen and it still does.

(Okay, there were one or two scenes that I liked, and where I might've felt a little something, but overall it's such a boring and cheesy story. It's the favorite movie of Marissa from The O.C. which quite fitting because she's equally boring and cheesy. Haha. Anyway.)

Happy birthday to my blog. Next year you'll reach the negative age of three, and I'll be watching The Lucky One. Can't wait, ha! I really need to get rid of this tradition at some point...

If you're wondering what Kate has to do with all of this; well, I don't know. But she's just so pretty.

Apr 16, 2012

Titanic (1997) / the world's greatest love story, or what?

directed by James Cameron / starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart, Bernard Hill, Kathy Bates

To write a post about Titanic. What an intimidating, yet alluring thought! I have decided to take on the challenging, yet inevitable task. This will probably take a very long time... And yes, it did: I began writing this post in September 2010; and I try not to rewrite much because it's interesting to see how my perception of the film has changed since then (good luck trying to guess which parts I wrote just now and which in 2010 or in between...). With the rereleased 3D version now playing in theathres, this was the perfect time to finally finish this post. I don't know if I could ever say enough about Titanic, or ever find the right words to express what it means to me, but here's my best shot.

It's been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.

 Every has their own Titanic story. This is mine: When the film came out, back in 1997, I wasn't old enough to see it in cinema (my parents made sure of that), so I just bitterly listened to my Spice Girls cassettes and tried to shut out everyone around me, going on and on about this cool new movie and Leonardo DiCaprio. When I finally saw Titanic on my twelfth birthday, the counterreaction had already begun, and it wasn't that cool to like it anymore. And anyway, I didn't understand much about films back then. I must have been about 15 or 16, when I watched Titanic for the first time in years, and actually saw what they had been fussing about back in the 90s. Since then, I've watched the film regularly, somehow growing more and more fond of it everytime. It just never seems to get old. Every time I watch it, I feel just as strongly as the last time. If there indeed will be a day when I'll outgrow Titanic, it won't be anytime soon. I can see myself still weeping over the story when I'm 80.
 God himself could not sink this ship.

Titanic is a huge film, a great film, and anyone saying something else is still stuck with that counterreaction. Yes, I can accept that it is not for everybody's taste. Yes, I can accept that the love story is a bit much for some people. Yes, I can accept that some see the story and certain scenes as corny and sappy. And yes, I know some people think it's insuperably unrealistic that, for example, Rose didn't die of hypothermia, but come on; it was established a long time ago that being a major character in a film gives you an edge in what you can live through. Just shut it, haters. I ain't gonna listen to no haters.

While I understand (though not necessarily agree with) the criticism, I don't understand or accept the dismissive attitudes many people have towards Titanic, JUST because there is a love story. All that "the most expensive chick flick in history" crap. It's just as much a historical portrayal of a time and an event as it is a love story. It is fucking annoying and so offensive that if something attracts unusually lot of attention from young girls or women, it's immediately labeled as trash. Makes me furious. But ha ha, you stinky little haters. God himself could not sink this movie, and that's a fact.

Ah, forget it, boyo. You're as like to have angels fly out your arse as get next to the likes of her.

Kate is such a babe as Rose. Of course, Kate is always a babe, and actually so much more than just a babe, she's amazing and incredible and awesome. But Kate as Rose is a real package. That wavy red hair, those rosy lips and cheeks, that curvy figure, and that enviably gorgeous wardrobe. On the count to three, name your favourite Rose outfit! One, two, three, the white light pink/light blue one she wears on the night of the lovemaking and the accident! Contender number two is the dark red dress, with all the lace and the exquisite embroidery and the white gloves, the one she wears for the dinner and the "real party" in the steerage. And there are more favourites, but better leave it at that. (The dress in the picture does belong to those favourites, though.)

Rose might be my all-time number one movie beauty, but there is more to the character than her gorgeous looks. Her unwillingness to fall into the mold desingned for her, and to do what's expected of her makes her a very special, empowering female character. Of course she has her damsel-in-distress moments, and she only gets the chance to grow into an incredible, independent woman because a certain gentleman comes along, but there is admirable strenght and fearlessness in Rose all along (I'm all the time writing "Kate" instead of "Rose"...). You go, girl, fight that stupid 1910s discriminating class and gender role system!

You have a gift, Jack. You see people.

While Kate is clearly the star of the film, the rest of the cast shines, too. There's really no one who wouldn't give a satisfactory performance. Everyone from Bernard Hill's Captain Smith, the horrible Cal and the awesome Unsinkable Molly to the crew members, snooty rich people and the little boy who cries for his father in the flooding hallway (hello, tear streams), they all do a great, convincing job, bringing alive a variety of interesting characters; some based on real people, some not, but they all make me want to know their backstories, how they ended up on Titanic and what happened to them.

And Leo, oh, Leo. Leo is such a little boy. A damn cute one, though! I can't understand how come I never had a crush on Leo's Jack when I was younger, and on the age when I practically had a crush on everything that moved and resembled a man. I almost feel like having a crush on him now, for crying out loud! If only I hadn't overgrown all that foolishness by now... Ahem. Ok let's change the subject.

When the ship docks, I'm getting off with you.
This is crazy.
I know. It doesn't make any sense. That's why I trust it.

The lines above are probably my favourite lines of the whole film. Those are the last words they say before the tiny little iceberg incident, after which everything begins to go straight towards hell. This is the last happy moment. Often in an epicly epic film like Titanic the characters are easily shadowed and overruled by all that epicness. You're just 'WHOA THAT'S FREAKING EPIC!!' all the time and don't really mind if the characters are blown up or torn to pieces, because that'll give a good opportunity for some more epicness.

Iceberg, right ahead!

 However, when watching Titanic, when the moment I know will once again end all the joy and happiness is inevitably approaching, I want to freeze the frame right there and pretend they lived happily ever after. Because I genuinely care about the characters. Sometimes when watching the movie recently I've almost felt a kind of an anxiety - like I wanted to jump through the screen and single-handedly help the ship turn the couple of extra metres and avoid the damn iceberg and give Jack and Rose their happily ever after they so much deserved. Maybe I should get a shrink to tell me what conclusions I should draw of this kind of behaviour? Oh well, maybe he'd just say I've watched the film a few times too many and am forgetting that there's no use jumping through the screen for rescue because the ship already sank a century ago. And that maybe Jack and Rose never really deserved the happily ever after, because ultimately the relationship wouldn't have worked anyway. We've seen Revolutionary Road, right? They would've ended up cheating, bored and pissed off, anyway! ... Okay, now I'm just kidding. Jack + Rose = true freaking love! (Ok. This I wrote sometime in 2010-2011. I'll get back to the topic later, with some new points of view.)

 Well, I believe you may get your headlines, Mr. Ismay.

I believe you did, too, Mr. Cameron... Or have you established the name "King of the World" already? Hah. I don't like James Cameron. I think he seems greedy and arrogant and unpleasant, and it's a shame, really, that he happened to make this one great movie, because otherwise I'd be free to dislike him all I want. Oh well. I will forgive him some of his greed, because this one special thing happened to come out of it. Just cancel the Avatar sequel and I'll forgive you some more! Hmh? Maybe I'll forgive you for making the first Avatar? Sound good? No? Didn't think so. You greedy bastard. Well, if you'll excuse me, I need to go on and praise your film some more.

You jump, I jump, right?

Titanic is full of legendary scenes and iconic lines. Everyone has moments in their lifes when they feel like going, "I'm the king of the world!", or "I'm flying, Jack!". Seriously, tell me you've never recreated those moments yourself? Haha. I'm just waiting for the day when I get to spit a "I'd rather be his whore than your wife" at somebody's face. That'd be epic!

All those legendary moments, and the whole story, reallly, have obviously spawned countless parodies, some better than others. All the same, it all proves that Titanic is one of the biggests things in popular culture, EVER. It is always safe to joke about and refer to the movie, because everyone has seen it. Really, everyone. If there is one movie that you can assume all the people in the room have seen, it's Titanic. Titanic is just that big. (This section also could've had "Freud, who is he? Is he a passenger?" as a headline. Haha.)

I'll never let go, Jack. I promise.

Titanic is a special film for me. It's one of my ultimate favourites. Some days I feel like it's THE favourite. Oftentimes it duels over the first place with Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings usually wins, but, granted, mostly because I actually like Peter Jackson a lot. Sorry, Jim Cameron. Your loss. Ha! I know. That really must have broken his heart.

Anyways. Number one favourite or not, Titanic rules, and it has always been a significant part of my life as a film fanatic, and it remains so. I'll never let it go.

Dawson. Rose Dawson.
Finally, here is something that has recently (actually recently, as in April 2012 recently) occured to me about Titanic. It is not really a tragedy. Um, okay, strike that. I don't think I can get away with saying something like that about a story where 1500 people die. What I meant was, the tragedy is not that Jack dies and so him and Rose don't get to have a life together. The tragedy is that a life was lost to save another. As we know, Jack saved Rose, in every way that a person can be saved. Without Jack, she would've either jumped to her death from the back of Titanic that night, or lived on to marry Cal and to eventually end her miserable life in some other way.

So, that the paths of those two people came together was crucial to the survival of Rose. Now, what if Jack and Rose both had survived the accident (and they might have, Jack too, had Rose gone with that second life boat Jack and Cal put her in; really, think about it!) and, like they'd planned, run off to build a life together? Maybe they would've been happy, right? Then again, maybe they indeed would've turned into that Revolutionary Road couple I was joking about earlier. I mean, they did not really know each other, or really love each other. Obviously they fell in love, in the way people often do, meaning they were intensely attracted and drawn to each other; but they did not have time (they knew each other for like three days, after all) to grow into love; not the epic, romantic kind of love, but the deep caring kind of love that comes out of years and years of mutual life. I mean, haven't we all experienced those sudden, epic, forceful emotions, when a young, silly heart thinks it knows what it wants and needs? Epic is epic, but epic is also unrealistic.

I'm not saying Jack and Rose did not care about each other, because evidently they did. He filled a void in her painfully empty life, and I'm certain she was just the person he wanted to have on his side in his last moments, just the person he was happy to die for. But the complicated, real life beyond the decks and halls and cargo holds of Titanic might have ruined that young, innocent, perfectly blooming love.

I am sure Rose did grow to really, deeply love Jack; at least the memory of Jack. But it's not like she was never able to let him go and love again. Her heart came to life thanks to Jack, but it didn't die with Jack.

In that way, it is not a tragedy that Jack died and Rose had to go on without him. He had already lived quite a life, while she was stuck in a path where she couldn't find happiness. Ending up on that ship together was the best thing that ever happened to both of them. Jack died, but got to experience something amazing in the last days of his life. And his death had a noble purpose that made it count, and he died knowing that. Rose went on, like Jack as his dying wish asked her to. She never let go, and lived a full, happy life.

Before, I looked at Titanic as the world's greatest love story. But now, I guess, I look at it more as the story of how Rose was saved. I don't know, maybe this is the way everyone else has always viewed the story, but this was kind of an epiphany for me. Maybe I'm just slow. Or maybe I've been too blinded by the epic romance to see the bigger picture.

...Or maybe I've just turned into a cynical old woman, who doesn't believe in epic romance anymore. Haha. (If only... I wrote this previous part some days before I went to see the movie in cinema, and afterwards I almost felt like erasing the whole thing. Screw the mature and sensible and realistic definitions of love! I just can't help it, the Titanic romance still gets me, and it gets me so hard. And god damn my pitifully romantic self, but I fell in love while they fell in love, felt their passion and excitement, and was happy to do so. Surely it is not the best love story ever, or anything, but when it comes to epic, larger than life, mindblowing love, there's no topping Jack and Rose. I so want to be eighteen and fall epicly, even if momentarily, in love and run around a luxorious ship doing things and feeling things I've never done or felt before! Yes! Epic is good, epic is great! Let's just skip the iceberg.)

A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me... in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now... only in my memory.

Apr 14, 2012

Aboard Titanic 3D

I know the day is bound to arrive sometime. Sooner or later I will watch Titanic and realize that the magic is gone; that it doesn't make me feel as strongly it used to; that I have finally seen the film too many times and it has lost its charm. I guess it's inevitable. However, today is not that day. I just came back from the cinema after three emotionally exhausting and thrilling hours. Oh dear, what a film. Even on the six millionth watch.

Having been too young back in 1997, this was my first chance to see Titanic on big screen, and I wasn't going to miss that chance. My experience was almost ruined by the most idiotic audience I've ever watched a movie with in my whole life, but not even a stupid bunch of noisy idiots can change the fact that I love Titanic and the story absorbed me in once again, despite the unfortunate disturbances in the world on my side of the screen.

The 3D wasn't necessary, but it didn't bother me very much either. Only the stupid, heavy glasses did, but I forgave them because they ended up being very useful in blocking out everything around me. I couldn't even see the people sitting next to me, and I knew they couldn't see me, so I felt free to let the tears flow, haha. Nearer My God To Thee is a guaranteed tearjerker, every single time, I swear...

Titanic on big screen was everything I expected it to be; constant goosebumps, frequent tears, and looking forward to pretty much every single scene. (The movie has the same effect on me, no matter the size of the screen, but never mind...) It just never gets old, or if it does, not anytime soon. I find it oh so hard to understand people who loathe or feel indifferent about this movie. It's such a great, epic story! The historical framework is fascinating, and the portrayal of the accident so horrifying and touching. And come on, who wouldn't be moved, at least a tiny little bit, by the young and intense love of the wonderfully tragic and incredibly good-looking main couple. Ah, just ah! It's so epic. I swear, the world didn't know epic before 1997.

I've had a massive Titanic post on the works for a very, very long time, and I'm now determined to finnish it. So stay tuned for more, much more ramble about Titanic, which I by the way today name my favourite film of all time. Ask me again tomorrow and I will have changed my mind, but come on, it's the 14th of April, 2012, after all.

Apr 8, 2012

Stupid obsession, go (or slip) away

I giggled at the picture on the left for five minutes and then thought I'd share it, which means:

1) I should to go to sleep now.

2) I need to stop! I need to find something else to obsess over! It'll be forever before Catching Fire comes out, and you can only read the books so many times... You Tube and Tumblr are limited sources of entertainment and the IMDb boards are not a place to be, if you're not an idiot. The ways to channel my fixation are a bit scarce. I even thought about looking into some Hunger Games fanfiction, and that's when I realized I really need to take a break and find myself a new obsession. Enough is enough. This HG thing has been going on far too long. Maybe I'll read Mockingjay one more time and then I'm done for at least a year! (...But there are much worse obsessions to obsess over.........)

3) I still keep giggling at the picture. Boy with the bread. And there's a boy holding a bread. Hihihihihi. Slipping away. Eh heh heh... "Whee!" Hehehe.

Apr 1, 2012

The Hunger Games, Round Two

I visited Panem again today. I was still a very enjoyable experience! (Believe me, it was, despite what I'm going to say next.)

Movie-Peeta is still a bit whiny and sissy. I spotted the key scenes that kind of make him lame and not right for me: 1) When he says he knows he can't win, and even his mom thought so. He sounds bitter at Katniss, like he was making himself a martyr. He should be calmer; hurt, of course, but hiding it, for Katniss. That's how I always saw it in my head. 2) When he waves at the Capitol people from the train, smiling idiotically. Haymitch's comment saves a lot, even though to me Peeta really doesn't look like "he knows what he's doing", he just looks like he likes the attention and the shiny Capitol. 3) When they show his score; again, he cares way too much about himself and a stupid score, and looks happy and relieved that he didn't make a fool out of himself. He should've just made some dry comment about sacks of flour as lethal weapons. 4) When Katniss finds him by the stream and treats his wounds and it looks bad. I can't get over the absence of "You here to finish me off, sweetheart?"... The scenes in the cave make Peeta look weak and fragile, a simple little boy, and he really is not that.

On the other hand, I also paid attention to the things that made Peeta feel like the real Peeta. He's not a total loss... 1) Joking with Ceasar in his interview. 2) The "I don't want them to change me" speech. 3) When he screams for Katniss to run in her "hallucination". 4) The bow joke. 5) When they announce that there is only one winner after all, and he tells Katniss to shoot him. 6) When he touches her braid. I also liked the final scene better now than last time. I mean, it really isn't that clear that it was mostly a game for Katniss and Peeta is extremely hurt, but chooses to be the bigger man and all that, but if you know what is going on in the characters' heads, it works quite well.

Jennifer is still the perfect Katniss.

Seneca Crane's beard still held my gaze every second it was on screen.

The District 11 scene was still spectacular, and the goosebumps were terrific.

...Ahem. This really was not the kind of post that I was supposed to write. Really. I guess I just care too much about my Peeta. But I don't think it's a coincidence that three out of three of the people I know who saw the movie but didn't read the books weren't very amazed by Peeta. And as you know, among the fans of the books, Peeta is probably the biggest favorite. I suppose I should be extremely mad that they didn't get him 100 % right in the movie (I certainly thought I would be if this were to happen), but nah, I don't know. It's just the movie. The real Peeta is still the most lovable thing ever, and nothing can take that away.

I feel like reading the books, again.

EDIT// I actually turned my laptop back on to write this. Haha, obsessive much? Anyway, about Haymitch! He wasn't drunk enough. Or mean enough. After his first scene he pretty much turns into a jolly fellow, who very clearly likes Katniss. No "Stay alive". No "Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?". No "You've got about as much charm as a dead slug". It is actually easy to like the movie-Haymitch, which means something is definitely wrong.

...Oh my god, can you see what I'm turning into? Next I'll start nit-picking about Buttercup being black instead of orange. Or about Effie not saying "It's a big, big big day!" even once. That was quite a shame, actually... Aw, bed! Now woman!