12 December 2007


Into the Wild
Christopher McCandless graduated from college, gave away his savings, and set off to traipse around the United States in an attempt to escape consumerism and become one with nature. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau and Jack London, he also subsequently joined them as RIP two years after he disappeared.

You could look at the whole thing as a touching tale of a young man finding himself or as a spoiled kid who died because of his arrogance. I lean toward the latter despite the movie heavily promoting the inspiring version. While the film has been getting all sorts of great reviews, I felt it was a bit dry and hardly revelationary -- or insightful. Good cinematography though.

The Golden Compass
Fine, I only watched the back half of the movie (the better half so I'm told) but if the entire thing is anything like what I experienced, it's no great adventure flick. In fact, the entire film seems stilted and aside from the very cool snow bears, there wasn't much we hadn't seen before in either Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia -- neither of which I was in love with in the first place. While this first movie will undoubtedly extend into a franchise, I can't see it measuring up as a classic.

I'm halfway through the book too (and have been for months) but I can't seem to commit to that magic either, although the series is always touted as a classic. I guess I'll give the book another go when I can. The movie? I'll pass.

Would you believe that out of all these movies, Enchanted was the best one? I mocked somebody at work for printing out preview passes to watch this; turns out he was just ahead of the curve. Walking out after the magic of "The End," I just felt happy inside. Happily ever after as it were. The film mocks Disney's classic stories but in a really funny way. The mix of animation and live action is done really well and it's refreshing to see the Disney princess tale given a new spin. Seriously, it's good.

Check out this NY Times story, "The Line Between Homage and Parody," for an interesting behind the scenes.