Monthly Archives: December 2010

snow snow snow

After about an hour of admiring other people’s blogs and catching up on friend’s posts I should’ve seen weeks ago I realized that I haven’t blogged in ages! To be honest, I’m not really in the mood to talk about movies–which I know I should be, since I’ve seen three movies in theaters and countless others at home, but now that I’ve told oyu that you have something to look forward to in the upcoming posts. Right now, I’d rather talk about… well, I’m not really sure. Let’s see what we can muster up…

Christmas: Ah, Christmas. What we all wait for year-round. Christmas is probably my favorite day of the year, and the month leading up to Christmas is even better in my opinion. My biggest Christmas gifts? A new saxophone case (woo…), two faux furr coats, and a droid! Although I loved my blackberry, it really was out of date and not cutting it anymore. My new droid pro is amazing. I could not be happier and definitely recommend it to all.

New Years: The new year… Today I read an interesting article about New Years, all the hype it’s given and how it’s usually a let down. Although this year I don’t have a sparkly dress and I won’t be going out partying, I am going into Boston for First Night! My friend Kendra and I are heading in, going to watch the parade and fireworks, and then kind of wander around to see what we find. A party in Copley Square?? Very possible. Will we be there? Hellz yeah.

Vacation: Vacation is one of the best–to be honest, I sometimes get a little stir crazy and also lazy (as in I should’ve been practicing clarinet every day because I have an audition for all-states in three weeks and I don’t know any of the scales yet or the piece at all WOOO). No big deal. But sleeping? Win. Reading all sorts of books that I never have time for? Excellent. Buying more books I will not have time to read later? Perfect.

Well I think that’s all I have for now. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s something, right? Look forward to blogs about: The King’s Speech, True Grit (the original and new), The Fighter, A Streetcar Named Desire, Kramer vs. Kramer, and maybe a few others. If that doesn’t give you something to be excited about, I don’t know what will.

 

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The best way to spread Christmas cheer…

…is for singing loud for all to hear!

As to keep my mind off of the fact that I was rejected from college I shall not do a Christmas post! Christmas really is my favorite time of year–the lights, the presents, the tree, and of course, the movies! Here are some of my favorites.

Love Actually: This British film is one of my favorites, Christmas or not. Starring a million major stars such as Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Emma Watson, Colin Firth, and a million others. A intricately weaved story, of many different people in London around Christmas time. Some are falling in love, some out and some just want to get laid. It’s heart breakingly sad, and over joyous at the same time. And has fantastic music.

Elf: Who doesn’t love Will Ferrel in this movie? His child-like innocence and naive nature make him so sweet and yet so hilarious at the same time. Short and sweet and to the point, this film is a classic. I’ve watched it a million times and it never gets old.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Call me cheesy, but I love all of these old cartoons. Some of them are a little on the weird side (Santa Claus is Coming to Town definitely plays up on the Nazi theme and Rudolph is almost brutally sad) but Charlie Brown never fails to disappoint. With a soundtrack that is now the most played on my itunes, it’s sweet, and only about 20 minutes so perfect for the last minute holiday spirit fix.

Miracle on 34th Street: And I do not mean the new one. If you even think of picking up a copy of this film that Natalie Wood is not in shame on you! This is another classic of cinema, an absolutely timeless film. Natalie Wood is amazing as a child and the entire story is so well-done. A full-length feature film, this one is good for long, cold Saturdays with hot chocolate.

It’s a Wonderful Life: To be honest, I’ve seen this movie so many times I don’t even know if I like it anymore, but I’m pretty sure I love it. Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorites and gives a heart breaking performance in this classic. Although I’ve always felt the ending was a little tacked on (the movie really is very very sad, and they kind of throw on a happy ending) I simply can’t resist smiling when a bell rings now.

So that’s it for now. I might add some on later as the holidays grow closer, and keep your eyes out for Christmas releases. Wishing you the merriest holidays 🙂

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Currently Listening to…

I find that my music taste can be pretty scattered, but with the holidays coming up I thought I would share with everyone what I was listening to. Plus I think it’s just fun to share, don’t you??

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake: Although I’ve been listening to this music for years, after watching Black Swan I was reminded how beautiful it is. It’s one of the only pieces of music that can give me chills. It’s right up there with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, pretty much anything Bach and Stravinsky’s Firebird. Although most of the piece is waltz’s and fast-paced at that, which are beautifully written and have amazing melodies, it’s then that oboe hits it’s climax and descends that it’s simply heart-wrenching.

Vince Guaraldi: Although I know that he does a lot of stuff, all I’ve been listening to by him is the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack! I listen to it year round, it’s that good. How can you NOT love this smooth jazz? So soothing and heart warming, there is nothing better than to put on this CD, get a mug of hot chocolate and simply look outside at the snow.

Burlesque: Okay, I know, I know. I said it was awful. But what a guilty pleasure this turned out to be. Christina Aguilera’s voice is amazingly powerful, it has so much strength it’s unbelievable. Cher is, well, not so great so I tend to skip those songs, but Express, Show Me How You Burlesque and But I Am A Good Girl have been on repeat for hours.

Firework by Katy Perry: This one song has really hit a nerve with me. I’m not sure what, but it has. Last week it was Pink’s new single Raise Your Glass (which still is absolutely excellent if you want to go out and listen, definitely do) but Firework has replaced it in my heart as my go to pump up song. It’s excellent.

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Black Swan

It’s not just that some of my all time favorite music is Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake that this movie was absolutely stunning. And it is just that, stunning.

The movie opens with ballet, but if you think you’re in for just a run of the mill dance movie, you are oh so wrong. Unlike it’s predecessors such as The Company, this movie goes beyond ballet, and into the realms of a psychological thriller. I can tell you it’s not for the faint of heart.

The movie, directed by Darren Aronofsky, circles around Natalie Portman, a dedicated ballet dancer who is striving for the part of the Swan Queen in her company’s production of Swan Lake. After she gets it though, is the pressure too much for her? Another dancer joins the company as well, played by Mila Kunis who she believes is out to get her, and her mother is overbearing and frightening. Vincent Cassel plays the company’s director, who pushes Portman to her limits. In addition, a wrecked, drunk and injured Winona Ryder floats around as an old, pushed out of work ballet dancer. She’s good, but flighty and seemingly irrelevant.

The movie is gorgeous–the images are beautiful, Natalie Portman is beautiful, the dancing is gorgeous, as are the costumes and the sets. It’s darkness gives it not only a frightening nature, but also a beautiful chiaroscurro that delights the eye and the mind. Although I am terrified of movies that even hint at being horror, this movie isn’t exactly scary. As it goes, you know it’s being imagined, and although the ending is a twist (which I promise I won’t give away), as you go, it’s not as if you are completely lost in a guessing of what’s happening.

It’s not a perfect film though–I wish they had explored more of the mother’s role, her own psychological issues and her problems. Immediately you know there’s something wrong when a woman in her late 20s is living with her mother when she clearly is making her own salary, and in addition, her room is covered in stuffed animals from her past, pink frills from her adolescent years and music boxes. There’s a scene with a cake which seems a little out of place and awkward, although it’s never addressed and I wish they had.

What I will say is that it reminds me of Fatal Attraction–don’t worry, none of the plot is the same at all, and in tone or spectacle it is not the same, but in the same way that in the film they are huge fans of Madame Butterfly, the opera, and the plot lines follows this basic story giving it an overall and grander meaning, so does Black Swan in it’s essence of Swan Lake. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking comparison, but also one which is perfectly apropos and fitting.

The movie is simply stunning, a definite must-see of the season. Although I had my doubts, they were put aside quickly and definitively.

Overall: Not your typical run of the mill ballet movie, more of a psychological thriller, but absolutely stunning. Portman gives one of her absolute best performances.

Rating: I’m stopping this. I hate ratings and it makes people not read my review. If you want a rating, go to rottentomatoes.com.

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