Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Surreal Movie List Part 2 and some other info

Continuing yesterday's surreal movie list with three from yesterday and one that I just thought of in the shower. I can't believe I didn't think of this one yesterday. It really belongs in the top 5. I will make it number 6 to compensate.

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--not the original awesome famous one, but the remake with Johnny Depp. It made my skin crawl. I can't handle watching it. You know the story, so I won't bother rehashing details.

I don't hesitate to say that Johhny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka was the creepiest thing in this movie. The atmosphere was definitely something out of a creepy nightmare (very Tim Burton-esque), the kind that make you wake up scared but you really can't pinpoint a specific reason why. It disorienting for sure, but it was unsettling to me, too.

7. Juno--Teenager gets pregnant with her best friend's baby, decides to give it up for adoption, and learns all these life lessons yada yada happy ending. The main factor here that makes this feel unreal and dreamlike is the music. This intro song made it feel other-world. That and the atmosphere (it doesn't seem like it's set in the United States, but a completely foreign country. It was filmed in Canada, but I think the setting was Minnesota). Ever seen Napoleon Dynamite? Notice a similar atmosphere between that and Juno? That's what I mean. That thing that makes them similar, whatever it may be, is what makes it surreal to me. For the record, I like Juno but I never really understood Napoleon Dynamite.

8. The Wizard of Oz--obviously. When I heard the rumor about the munchkin that hanged himself in the background of a scene, I wasn't shocked to hear it. It was obviously fabricated, but unlike Maureen McCormick's illusion-shattering "Brady Bunch" confessions,The Wizard of Oz is dark enough to make muchkin suicide conceivable.

The Snopes explains that it was an ostrich, not a hanging munchkin. The movie borrowed a bunch of big birds (alliteration sighting. ahem.) to put in the background and make the set look more like nature. This summer, I got to go to the huge warehouse sound stage where they filmed all this. You could fit a racetrack in there.

Wow, I'm off topic. Anyway, The Wizard of Oz was surreal. The end.

9. Across the Universe--20-something-year-old from Great Britain moves to the United States in the middle of the Vietnam war. Love, friendship, tragedy, anti-war protests, and a line-up of mostly late-Beatles songs.

Awesome movie, but you have to understand it to appreciate it. I love it. But seriously, watch the trailer. The end of the trailer really demonstrates my point. It was going for the LSD late-60's effect. They definitely spent a lot of time in front of a green screen. I would have loved to be around to see how they did some of this. "I Want You" is so cool.

I can't think of a 10th one right now, but I'm sure I will. I love making lsits like this.

My other thing: I finally watched the series finale of "Gilmore Girls" yesterday. I've been holding off on it because I dind't want to be disappointed if it sucked. It's my favorite TV show. It wasn't bad, actually it was interesting. Because of Barack Obama, that finale went from topical to timeless in just over a year.

The show ended with Rory getting a job that required her to leave Stars Hollow, and the town giving her final goodbye along with the show. He job was to be a travelling reporter for the Obama campaign, riding in his tour bus (or whatever it's called) to conventions and primaries all over the country. Keep in mind that this episode aired May of 2007 when the whole election was just starting out. There was a chance at that point that Obama wouldn't get anywhere, so the episode could have gone stale after a few months.

Because of Obama's success, that episode has soo much more meaning than it did when it aired. Working on the Obama campaign is incredibly significant now. I went to the thesaurus website to look up a better word for "a big deal" and Obama's picture greeted me in an ad bar on the top of the screen. And Rory's working for him! Hehe. If the season finale was this year, I don't think they would have used Obama's name in the episode. He's too big, and they'd run the risk of being overly political.

Disclaimer: I'm not talking politics or arguing for or against Obama, just if he wins, the "Gilmore Girls" finale would gain a whole new level of relevance in it's after life. I mean, it made an episode about our president before he was even a nominee. That's like shows that talk about Ronald Reagan during his acting days before he became president. Rory says in the clip, "I'll be leaving for who knows how long. It could be two months, it could be two years if Barrack does well." Oh, he did well alright.

This last season of the show was nowhere near as good as the previous seasons. The show got a new writer in the 7th season who leaned more to the drama side of the comedy-drama. I didn't like that.


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