Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Sandy  (Read 6061 times)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2018, 11:22:39 PM »
I mean, if Fly Away Home ended with Anna Paquin's character crashing her bird plane and dying, that would have been a bummer. Maybe a Thora Birch or a Kirsten Dunst. Alicia Silverstone as well, though she tended to play some darker characters who met poor ends.

You had many crushes! I was more a devotee to one. :))

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because her celebrity crush happens to be Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Relatable! Though my opinion of The Maze Runner being what it is, maybe she should view this as a happy occasion. He is free to not be in that franchise now.

Haha! I'd tell her that, but she's pretty enamored with the whole thing.

pixote

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #71 on: June 27, 2018, 10:23:23 PM »


13 Going on 30  (Gary Winick, 2004)

This is an interesting movie you've got here, Sandy. The opening scenes are impressively cringe-worthy (in a good way), distilling every worst high school fear into a few brief moments. Once Jenna's birthday wish is granted, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the premise — specifically, how it merges the high concept of Big with that of Rip Van Winkle. Jenna awakes not only in an adult body but also seventeen years in the future — into the information age. The comedic and thematic potential of that dual concept is off the charts, and I was super eager to see what the film would do with it.

But then, something weird happens. The script sort of ignores its own premise. There’s one scene early in act two where Jenna is baffled by the ring of a cell phone, but, after that, the leap from 1987 to 2004 rarely presents any obstacles. She adapts too quickly. As such, the film owes less to a fantasy movie like Big than it does to a less fantastical movie like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (or even Regarding Henry), where a character struggles with a job because they don't have the experience they claimed they had (or lost their memory). The script rarely deals with its own core ideas and instead breezes past what I would have thought would be the story's most interesting moments. Ruffalo’s character, for example, is too quick to accept the fact that Jenna's jumped forward seventeen years into the future. And even then, it doesn't interest him at all. He's just like, "Oh, really? Huh. Okay. Anyway, I should go because you're pretty and I'm engaged." (I remain uncomfortable with the classic romantic comedy lack of empathy for the off-screen heartbreak of the non-leads.) Similarly, Jenna, though excited to drink alcohol, isn't at all curious about sex and other possibilities of adulthood; but she's still ready to get married. That's odd to me, to say the least.

I think my favorite scene is when Garner flirts with the boy in the diner. That moment alone hints at everything I hoped the film would be. I think it's also one of Garner's best scenes. She rarely felt like a thirteen year-old in a grown-up body to me, but the diner scene was a great exception.

Criticisms aside, I still had a fun time with 13 Going on 30. As I might have mentioned previously, I think a documentary of you watching the movie together with your daughter would have been better suited to my tastes, but what can you do?

Heartache to heartache.

pixote
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 10:25:59 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2018, 11:19:52 PM »
ooh, I love this! I feel like I've talked about 13 Going on 30 here on the forum, but can't find it. Much to say about this film, but will have to come back tomorrow to reply. I'll try and give you a little taste of that documentary you were hoping for. :)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #73 on: June 29, 2018, 01:22:43 AM »
I found it!

13 Going on 30




Journal Entry: May 12, 2004

I just got back from the late movie. I went and saw 13 Going on 30. I especially liked Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Matt. Here was an idealistic child whom life had damaged, and the adult he became - world weary, resigned and still absolutely kind. Also with an underlying vulnerability. One of the best male characters I've seen in a long time.


Well, that's embarrassing. Three short, stubby sentences, followed by a long disjointed one and then a sloppy sentence fragment. I could excuse it by saying it was written late at night, or that I wasn't a consistent journal keeper, thereby not having kept my writing skills up, and it would be true. But the bigger truth is, I wanted to quickly jot down my thoughts on the man, in case I forgot about him later. I needn't have worried. He's been on my mind a lot over the years, since I haven't seen another character, with so few brush strokes, come off the screen as fully formed. How can such a frothy bit of fluff movie produce such an unforgettable character? It's because of the nature of the film and having now seen Ruffalo inhabit other characters, I put the praise squarely on his shoulders. His authenticity and (borrowing from the Breathing Life thread) sincerity shine through. I watched the movie again yesterday, to see if it I still felt the same way about the character and sure enough, there he was again. And for that, I love this silly movie. Oh, and Jennifer Garner is 13 as far as I can tell.

This is an interesting movie you've got here, Sandy.

:)) It took me a few years of being on the forum before I got enough courage to put it in my top 100. I don't love it all, but I wanted to be honest about my affection for the film and especially this one particular character.

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The opening scenes are impressively cringe-worthy (in a good way), distilling every worst high school fear into a few brief moments. Once Jenna's birthday wish is granted, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the premise — specifically, how it merges the high concept of Big with that of Rip Van Winkle. Jenna awakes not only in an adult body but also seventeen years in the future — into the information age. The comedic and thematic potential of that dual concept is off the charts, and I was super eager to see what the film would do with it.

I wish it could have delivered all the potential you had hoped for. :)

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But then, something weird happens. The script sort of ignores its own premise. There’s one scene early in act two where Jenna is baffled by the ring of a cell phone, but, after that, the leap from 1987 to 2004 rarely presents any obstacles. She adapts too quickly. As such, the film owes less to a fantasy movie like Big than it does to a less fantastical movie like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (or even Regarding Henry), where a character struggles with a job because they don't have the experience they claimed they had (or lost their memory). The script rarely deals with its own core ideas and instead breezes past what I would have thought would be the story's most interesting moments. Ruffalo’s character, for example, is too quick to accept the fact that Jenna's jumped forward seventeen years into the future. And even then, it doesn't interest him at all. He's just like, "Oh, really? Huh. Okay. Anyway, I should go because you're pretty and I'm engaged."

I took it as him liking her in spite of his worry for her sanity. Also, I chalk it up to typical suspension of disbelief in rom-com fare. But you're right, it's all too quick.

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(I remain uncomfortable with the classic romantic comedy lack of empathy for the off-screen heartbreak of the non-leads.)

I hear you. I did appreciate how Ruffalo's Matt did not walk away from the life he had chosen, even though he had love for Jenna. It was another reason I admired his character.

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Similarly, Jenna, though excited to drink alcohol, isn't at all curious about sex and other possibilities of adulthood; but she's still ready to get married. That's odd to me, to say the least.

:)) Um, having been a 13 year old girl and being around other 13 year old girls, I can attest to this phenomenon. I didn't do this, but I knew girls who were making scrapbooks of their future weddings. :P I didn't know anything about sex at 13. Heck, I still don't. I guess I'm trying to say, this isn't as odd to me as maybe it should be!

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I think my favorite scene is when Garner flirts with the boy in the diner. That moment alone hints at everything I hoped the film would be. I think it's also one of Garner's best scenes. She rarely felt like a thirteen year-old in a grown-up body to me, but the diner scene was a great exception.

So great!

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Criticisms aside, I still had a fun time with 13 Going on 30. As I might have mentioned previously, I think a documentary of you watching the movie together with your daughter would have been better suited to my tastes, but what can you do?

Heartache to heartache.

pixote

We stand :)

You're such a good sport for watching this, pixote. Thank you ever so much!

pixote

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2018, 06:22:22 PM »
I especially liked Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Matt. Here was an idealistic child whom life had damaged, and the adult he became - world weary, resigned and still absolutely kind. Also with an underlying vulnerability. One of the best male characters I've seen in a long time.

I neglected to single out Ruffalo for praise, but I really liked him here as well. He's the heart of the film. I've always rooted for Ruffalo as an actor, so it was extra rewarding to see him elevate a seemingly ordinary role like this.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #75 on: July 03, 2018, 04:34:23 PM »
I neglected to single out Ruffalo for praise, but I really liked him here as well. He's the heart of the film. I've always rooted for Ruffalo as an actor, so it was extra rewarding to see him elevate a seemingly ordinary role like this.

pixote

How do you say, "Yes, to all of that. Each word is precisely what I wish I had expressed. What you wrote makes me smile." ?

I guess I just did. :)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #76 on: August 01, 2018, 06:35:49 PM »
I missed this in the Respond to the last movie thread!

Highly Recommended

Sandy, I never knew you had baggage with Sullavan. I'm guessing this means you haven't seen The Shopworn Angel, which is an earlier film with her and Stewart?

I hope one day to unload some of Marlene Dietrich's luggage.

I haven't seen The Shopworn Angel. Now I have another film to drag my feet about! ;) I look forward to seeing it, truly.

When you say you hope to unload Detrich's luggage, you mean me right? I do have some that needs to be let go of.

The gif you used in the review you linked makes me smile. :)

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #77 on: September 01, 2018, 05:59:23 AM »
Yentl (1983)

Better late than never with this other one I had planned back in May.

So there's a bit of a meme about movie plots that could be solved in a minute if they could use a cell phone. I've developed two similar devices that would cut through a substantial amount of exogenous plot drama.

The first is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they became atheists." Admittedly that would be anachronistic to this time period. The entire world as presented here is Judaism, made more present in that the central barrier is Yentl's desire to study the Talmud. So becoming atheist would be an odd solve for that particular ambition. But whenever a significant theme of the dramatic struggle is religious law, my first instinct is to always say, "ditch that nonsense*" (nonsense here not actually meaning faith in total, but variants of faith that seem unjust and not in keeping with one's inner compass of right and wrong that I suppose could be God-given). But I could choose to picture this as a secular barrier to women studying.

Perhaps more incisive to this film's drama is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they just embraced polyamory." That so much romantic drama in our stories is produced by a societal assumption that we can and should only be with one person and that upon finding that person we should not so much as lust for another person, is really shocking once you view it from outside that assumption. I really enjoyed watching each spoke of this love triangle form, how initial perceptions change as they view each other not as competition but as fully formed individuals.

So yeah, if I found the drama a bit contrived at times given my a priori, there was still some wonderful character moments to pull me in and along.

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2018, 06:24:48 AM »
Everything would also be solved in 10 minutes if Yentl would just fully embrace the teachings of the religion she so loves and just accepts her place in society and the restrictions her religion places on her. Not as modern or progressive a solution, but equally effective and more true to life. Also equally absurd in that the difference between these and "if everyone had a cellphone" is that the latter would not, in the vast majority of cases, change who the characters are or what they value, it solves artificial external roadblocks, not internal character driven ones. The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires, and the varied attempts at reconciling the two. Saying she should just change her beliefs (or her desires) isn't a plot solution, it's a fundamental alteration of the character.

One of my biggest annoyances with a lot of romantic comedies is "this would all be solved much more quickly if they communicated with one another like reasonable adults." A fair complaint in most cases where the film is about romance and the lack of communication is an artificial drama bomb used to extend the plot. It wouldn't be a fair complaint in a film that actually addresses their inability to communicate as a human issue rather than happenstance.


Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2018, 08:48:13 PM »
Yentl (1983)

Better late than never with this other one I had planned back in May.

What a nice surprise! :)

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So there's a bit of a meme about movie plots that could be solved in a minute if they could use a cell phone. I've developed two similar devices that would cut through a substantial amount of exogenous plot drama.

The first is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they became atheists." Admittedly that would be anachronistic to this time period. The entire world as presented here is Judaism, made more present in that the central barrier is Yentl's desire to study the Talmud. So becoming atheist would be an odd solve for that particular ambition. But whenever a significant theme of the dramatic struggle is religious law, my first instinct is to always say, "ditch that nonsense*" (nonsense here not actually meaning faith in total, but variants of faith that seem unjust and not in keeping with one's inner compass of right and wrong that I suppose could be God-given). But I could choose to picture this as a secular barrier to women studying.

I would be hard pressed to find secular barriers to women which aren't rooted in religions, so you're stuck either way. :) I tend to lean towards your attitude, because even though I'm not an atheist, some religious practices come across as nonsense. Since being free to use your critical thinking skills has been part of your whole life, or much of it, it becomes a little difficult to share another perspective. It might come across as backward, or subservient, and it can be, but there are reasons people allow strict religions to rule them. It's easier to say it is a historical issue, but it's happening today too. I can share one story and it's mine.

I lived almost 50 years in a religion that has very strict doctrines. Pulling out of it was a very slow and painful process (decades), because it's a patriarchal church which uses the tools of message control, shame and "circling the wagons", so if someone has doubts, the message is reinforced and the person is made to feel unworthy for wavering. Obedience is self perpetuated. It's also community, so to leave is a fearful thing. Historically, losing a community could mean death; today it is old fears carried on. Plus! Salvation itself hinges on staying in the fold. It's hard to bypass the "God Card" especially since the teachings have been instilled since infancy, and since I'm a woman, my worth has always been secondary, so there's that hurdle too. I heard someone say, "Control the women, control the church." Seems to hold truth.

When I was young, Yentl was a clarion call to move boldly even within tight parameters. Now that I'm older, it's a clarion call to move boldly and cast off any unwelcomed parameters.

Another saying I heard (You've Got Mail) is, "You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly, in the corrupt sands..." So be it. :)

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Perhaps more incisive to this film's drama is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they just embraced polyamory." That so much romantic drama in our stories is produced by a societal assumption that we can and should only be with one person and that upon finding that person we should not so much as lust for another person, is really shocking once you view it from outside that assumption. I really enjoyed watching each spoke of this love triangle form, how initial perceptions change as they view each other not as competition but as fully formed individuals.

:))

Way to bring your own personal problem solving to the situation!

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So yeah, if I found the drama a bit contrived at times given my a priori, there was still some wonderful character moments to pull me in and along.

Thanks for watching it. I too am drawn in by the characters and their situations.