Weekend Roundup: The Edge of Love, The Young Victoria and Avatar

Two indie flicks and a giant blockbuster, that’s the three movies I watched this weekend. It may seem absurd to you but I just finally signed up with Netflix again after 2+ yrs of terminating its membership. Vanessa wondered how I filled my time before that, and the answer is, well, the old-fashioned way. I’m probably the only movie blogger in the blogosphere who still go to the local Blockbuster to rent a flick. But now I’m gonna find out what’s the fuss about this ‘watch instantly’ feature Rockerdad kept raving about.

  • FRIDAY – The Edge of Love
    The first movie on my Netflix queue is the indie WW II period drama. I thought the movie was okay, its first hour was quite promising but overall it just felt neither cohesive nor memorable. Keira Knightley proves she not only has acting chops to go with her gorgeous face, she’s a pretty good singer, too. She played a torch singer Vera Phillips with uncommonly bright white British teeth, deep red lips and melancholy eyes, shot in almost surreal-like theatrics. Though billed as a movie about poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), the movie is essentially about the unlikely friendship between the two women who loved him. Vera is his first love who happens to cross-path with him one fateful night, and Caitlin (Sienna Miller) is Thomas’ fiery wife. Knightley and Miller play off each other well and their bond amidst bouts of jealousy and adversity is convincing. The three of them formed a peculiar threesome (not in a sexual way, mind you), but as soon as trigger-happy soldier William Killick (the soulful Cillian Murphy) enters the picture, it’s apparent four is a crowd. The movie seemed to have a lot going for it, but the script (written by Keira’s own mother Sharman Macdonald) simply can’t decide what he wants to focus the story on, so it aimlessly shifts back and forth between the four characters. Not bad I guess for a Friday night, and at the very least least I get to enjoy the Welsh countryside scenery, Keira’s singing and the elegant 1940s costumes … oh, and Cillian’s mesmerizing blue eyes!
  • SATURDAY afternoon – The Young Victoria (read my full review)
    I’ve been wanting to see this film for months, so I’m glad my friend Corinne and I finally find the time to catch this one. It’s late January and it’s pouring rain outside, few things on earth is as unpredictable as Minnesota weather. But at least it makes for a good time to go to the movies. For the first time in a long time, I actually see TWO movies at the theater in a single day, The Young Victoria at 2:00 and Avatar at 6:30. Set three centuries apart, the two movies can’t be even more different from each other, but hey, in a way the Na’vi is a monarchy, too. How about that for stretch 🙂
  • SATURDAY evening – Avatar IMAX 3D
    I don’t think there is any doubt by now that this movie will shatter James Cameron’s own box office record of Titanic. As of Sunday 1/24, THR reported that in its sixth week, Avatar‘s overseas box office has surpassed the shipwreck epic’s international cume by $46 million. But domestically, it’s got several hundred million to go to beat the Titanic‘s $600.8 million gross, which I don’t think they’ll have a problem with. I guess the Canadian über director has achieved his goal of bringing people back to the cinemas. We almost went to see The Book of Eli on Friday night when it was sold out, and Saturday, we got to the theater half an hour before it started and the place was packed! We had to sit all the way in the back by the handicapped section with the black railing right blocking part of my view!

    Thankfully, the movie itself is still impressive the second time around. Blogger Katie said in her Theory of Second Viewing post that she is of the belief that one cannot form a proper opinion about a movie until you’ve seen it twice. Well, I already loved this movie on first viewing but the second time confirmed my feelings about it. I was still in awe of the spectacular world of Pandora, and the plot, however simplistic, was still engaging. And the fact that I’m already familiar with the story kind of helps me pay more attention to things I missed. It’s interesting that I still marveled and laughed at the same scenes as I did before, i.e. when the phosphorous flying jellyfish landed on Jake, and the first time Jake had a wedgie in the Na’vi’s skimpy wardrobe. Sam Worthington’s endearing portrayal of Jake’s child-like naiveté really wins me over this time that I’m willing to overlook his strong Aussie accent.

    I know I sound like a broken record but even if this isn’t your kind of movie (I’m looking at you Prairiegirl 🙂 ), Avatar simply has to be seen on the IMAX 3D theater. Even if you just see if for the special effects alone, it’s still worth your money. Btw, Yahoo! Movies released a 22-minute making-of featurette that shows what the techie mumbo-jumbo like ‘simul-cam’ and ‘motion capture’ really means. It’s cool to see that the actors still have to physically prepare for their role and the length Cameron went to create a ‘real’ environment and something tactile for them to react to. The motion-capture technology doesn’t replace the actor’s work, but I can see that makeup artists might be a bit worried if this becomes a trend in the near future. Anyway, I wish they had shown how they made Jake’s paralyzed leg so realistically skinny though, given that it’s been the subject of people’s curiosity all over the net.
    Vodpod videos no longer available.

So how about you folks? Catch any good movie this past weekend?

12 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: The Edge of Love, The Young Victoria and Avatar

  1. I had myself a little rental bender (and btw, i too make the trek around the corner to a Blockbuster).

    Over Saturday and Sunday I experienced Black & White nirvana as I watched Felinni’s 8 1/2, Woody Allen’s MANHATTAN, and Bogdanovich’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.

    All of ’em classics – all have aged beautifully. Hopefully my string of good times continues this week when I venture back out to the theatre to see CRAZY HEART.

    1. Hi Hatter! Glad to hear I’m not the only one still going to the rental store, but having Netflix is great especially in the Winter so I don’t have to make a special trip to rent/return stuff.

      Interesting movie weekend you got there, so have you seen NINE yet? Methinks you should write a comparison review between that and 8-1/2 that it’s based on 🙂

      1. Not only do I still got to the video store…but there are times where I make a trek across town to a specific one that rents more off-beat fare!

        As for NINE, I have indeed seen it (even reviewed it back here). Strangely, it actually works as a pretty good Cliff’s Notes to understand 8 1/2!

        Hoping to write a comparison post soon, but I’ve been bogged down with scheduled posts this week. My own blog seems to have gotten out of my control!

        By the by…had a chance to listen to my podcast?

        1. I bet no local rental store here carry 8-1/2 either. Rockerdad got it from Netflix I think.

          Just listened to your awesome podcast and left you a looong comment on your blog.

          1. Glad you dug the podcast and thanks for the lengthy comment. I’m pretty jazzed since I’m about to record episode six tomorrow.

            As for 8 1/2, there were plenty of stores in Toronto that had it…they were just all rented out with people studying up for the release of NINE. Now you should have no problem tracking it down.

  2. Mike B.

    Couldn’t agree more about the crowds at movies lately. It’s sort of annoying. Unless you go after 9 pm expect tight seating. A GREAT thing for the industry as even so-so films are bringing it in. Perhaps they need to build a few more theaters in this town!?!?!

  3. Kris F.

    Not sure if it’s my “still high from pregnancy” hormones or if this movie was just that amazing, but I was wiping tears throughout…not out of sadness (although there was a bit of that too), but out of sheer awe in the amazing special effects and magnificent beauty of Pandora. I actually thought it was going to be more military or “Transformer-esque” from some of the trailers I had seen. It wasn’t until I caught the episode of Oprah interviewing the director, that I realized how cool this movie might be, and gave into my husbands weekly nagging to go see this film at the Imax.

    WOW…so glad I did!!! We don’t buy many movies, but we will be purchasing this one.

    1. You’re too funny, Kris, I don’t think my ‘hormones’ make me cry in this one, but yeah there were a few scenes that were heartbreaking. This is one movie where the actual movie is better than the trailers… yes, I’ll be buying this, too, hopefully we’ll have Blu-Ray by then. But I wonder if we can still get the 3D effect on the dvd??

  4. Thanks for linking this Ruth 🙂

    The edge of love is really unusual… weird love story. But yeah Cillian as an Army made my eyes glued to my television 😉

    There are still 3 more cillian Murphy’s movies that I haven’t watched…I’m desperately seeking for them

    1. Yeah, I think Cillian is the best thing about this movie… see how I mentioned his gorgeous blue eyes 😀 What are the 3 movies of his you haven’t watched? Is Perrier Bounty one of ’em? It’s billed as an action comedy (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1003034/) and he’s reunited with Brendan Gleeson again.

      1. Yes I’ve noticed that 😉 those eyes are his greatest gift from God along with his brilliant talent. But he used brown contact lense in Peacock because his character should be unnoticed by others…those gorgeous blue eyes are too prominent for his role.

        Yup, Perrier’s Bounty is one of them. I can’t download his movie anymore since I moved from my old school. It’s difficult to find Irish DVD here 😦 . The others are On The Edge and When Harry Becomes Tree (or is it three).

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