Sunday, December 23, 2007

What was good in 2007?

I will probably, insha'allah, see one more movie this year - I think my family will see National Treasure 2 next weekend.

I have seen a lot of movies as mom and I go most weekends, but still missed some I would've like to have seen and of course saw some I wish I hadn't.

I believe this is a complete list of what I've seen, in no particular order:

I Am Legend - saw this last weekend. It was well-acted, but the whole zombie thing just isn't my favorite.

Golden Compass - This movie was totally lame, and the agenda of the text author shows.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - I actually really liked this movie, but didn't think I would up front. Very charming, clean.

Enchanted - I liked this, but not quite as much as I wanted to like it.

Fred Claus - Completely forgettable.

Bee Movie - Another forgettable movie.

Dan in Real Life - I liked this much more than I expected to. Most of it is quite awkward but somehow appealing.

Disturbia - Not bad at all for the type of movie it is.

1408 - If you want to see a thriller, this is a great one.

The Simpson's Movie - I didn't have high expectations, but I laughed more at this movie than any I can remember.

Shooter - I liked it.

Spiderman 3 - I thought it was kind of over done, but I still have to like Spidey.

Freedom Writers - I disliked this movie, the teacher made me quite angry from a teacher's perspective. Good idea, but didn't come out well in my eyes.

Stomp the Yard - Okay, not so great.

Ocean's Thirteen - Fine.

The Astronaut Farmer - I really liked this movie.

Wild Hogs - This was enjoyable overall.

Premonition - I hardly remember it, it wasn't that great.

Reign Over Me - This was pretty good.

TMNT - Okay, my nephew wanted to see it. Not easy for an adult to stay awake, but okay.

Blades of Glory - Not bad, totally stupid.

Firehouse Dog - Charming. No great plot, forgettable, but nice.

The Invisible - Okay, kind've hard to remember now.

Georgia Rule - The topic of this movie was unexpected and totally shocking, awful.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - I like superhero movies, but of course it isn't one of the best.

Michael Clayton - Well made movie, but soooooooo slow.

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising - Ummmm, plot anyone? Totally a waste of film - too bad because I really wanted to like this.

The Game Plan - Very cute, fun.

Sydney White - I liked the allegory with Snow White, better than I thought but totally typical teen/college movie lame.

The Brave One - My mom really liked this. It is well-made, but honestly I just hated the whole story, it made me too uncomfortable.

Superbad - Embarrassed I saw this one, it was sooooooo raunchy and bad, we didn't realize how bad it was. I did laugh sometimes but mostly I was just ashamed to be there and keeping my eyes and ears closed.

Transformers - A little light on plot but very cool.

The 300 - Much better than I thought, I kind of liked this.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - I think most of these trilogies become a bit too big by the end, compromising some of the fun and charm. True here, but still not bad.

Norbit - One of the worst, most mean-spirited movies I have ever seen. Nothing that was supposed to be funny was funny, it was just sick!

Ghost Rider - Okay.

Music and Lyrics - Better than expected, it was a good girl's evening out movie.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Pretty good, but completely flat compared to the books.

Hairspray - Not bad.

The Bourne Ultimatum - For a third of three, it came off well. I love the whole trilogy even though it deviated much from the books.

Rush Hour 3 - We love Jackie Chan, we loved the first Rush Hour. This just should not have been made.

Because I Said So - mediocre, annoying, but moderately satisfying on the chick flick level - only if you don't think too much.

National Treasure 2 - very implausible, but totally fun

The Great Debaters - wonderful and important

The Lookout - very good story, well-written and well-acted, beautiful too

Here are the year's favorites from my perspective:

Bourne Ultimatum
Astronaut Farmer
The Great Debaters
The Lookout

And the least favorite:

Georgia Rule

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Golden Compass

So I went with mom and nephew this weekend to see The Golden Compass. As with most fantasy, I don't think the movie is as good as the books it is based on.

But for me, there was a bigger problem. This fantasy series by Pullman has some not-so-hidden-agenda to it, but done in a way to apparently attempt to sugar-coat and influence the minds of children who read the books. verifies my perceptions.
Pullman is an atheist who cannot understand or believe in God and has problems with organized religion.

So, his whole book series is a fantasy about a universe in which organized religion is evil, witches and demons are good, and religion is against reason and free-will. The culmination of the series is when the children destroy the fake God created by the church to control people. In this installment, the church (called the Magisterium) is kidnapping children and torturing them, trying to separate them from their animal-soul-demons so they can be good adults, free from the influences of dust, which connects all the universe together.

I wouldn't mind so much if this were just a genuine fantasy without an agenda. But as blue as Daniel Craig's eyes are and as cool as computer-generated warrior polar bears are, I find myself totally turned off by the veiled promotion of personal anti-religious agendas to the youth through fiction literature.