Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas movie watching

I got Sparky a gift card to use on Amazon Instant and she picked out the first two films I'll briefly review here.

This is a cute little film about a kid who thinks he's suicidal and checks himself in a mental hospital before he can act on his thoughts of harming himself.  He meets all sorts of mentally ill people and he realizes that he's not so bad off after all, he's just been having a stressful time of it.

I liked all the leads, especially Emma Roberts, who was in the overlooked little gem Nancy Drew a  few years back, and Zach Galifinakis.  The film deals with mental illness but not in too deep a way and in a non off putting way.

Recommended.

 A once famous writer gets writers block.  He breaks it by writing about a woman he'd like to be in a love affair with.  All heck breaks loose in his life when his creation shows up in the flesh.  They fall in love and she's his maniac pixie dream girl trope come to life, literally.  But, when the end of the film rolls around, you have to ask yourself, did she really show up, or was it all in his head.

This is not the kind of film I would have picked to watch but I'm glad I saw it.  It's cute and sweet and a little creepy.  I found Ms. Kazan very cute and appealing and she makes the film a treat.  She also wrote the film in addition to starring in it, so well done you Ms. Kazan.

Recommended.

Sparky knows I love the BBC adaptions of Dickens so she got me a box set of ones we'd never seen.  We chose to watch The Pickwick Papers first because I knew nothing about it.  Turns out this was the novel, first serialized in magazines back in the day, that made Dickens famous.  And well it should because this one is a comic treasure.  The plot is simple, four old friends, led by retired businessman Pickwick, decide to set out to see some of the country and they get into all sorts of comic misadventures.  By the time they get done they've nearly fought a couple of duels, saved the virtue of many a female, made friends, been sued for breach of promise, and more.

This is exactly the type of character driven Dickens work I love.  But it's also one that I would never read because frankly, I find his written work a huge slog to get through and much of the humor is lost on me when I read the works because I get so frustrated with his archaic and long winded prose.  In these adaptations they cut the chaff and keep what's best.

I highly recommend this one.

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