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03 January 2008 @ 09:14 am
Juno, Sweeney, and the Butterfly  
Oh, man, I've been so lax about reviewing films here lately. I don't think I can even remember them all, but here's a stab.

Juno was pretty terrific, a nice blend of charming and funny, with a main character (played excellently by Ellen Page) who was enjoyably hard to predict. The script by relative newcomer Diablo Cody was sharp and witty and I'm looking forward to her next one. Further adding to my enjoyment, it had two cast members from Arrested Development (Jason Bateman and Michael Cera) and music by Kimya Dawson and Belle & Sebastian.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is based on the memoir of a French magazine editor who suffered a stroke-induced syndrome that left his mind intact but his body completely paralyzed except for one eye. It was lovely to look at and effecting in its depiction of a harrowing experience, but obviously not a feel good movie. I came away really impressed by director Julian Schnabel.

I'm not a big Tim Burton fan, but Sweeney Todd surprised me, mostly because Burton left Sondheim's musical relatively un-molested. Depp did a decent job both with acting and singing. His singing voice reminded me a bit of 1960s-era Bowie. Helena Bonham-Carter did well enough, but I left the theater severely hankering to hear Angela Lansbury's rendition of "Not While I'm Around."

Listening to: Poi Dog Pondering - "Praise the Lord"
everybody hates a tourist.: she's a doll. pow!dynamine on January 3rd, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
i absolutely loved 'sweeney todd'. well...no big surprise there.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: purple paisleyassmonkeydiary on January 4th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Nice... I like that icon!
xterminal on January 3rd, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
You were not yet aware of Julian Schnabel?

Before Night Falls is the best movie ever made. Basquiat is pretty damned close.

(I still haven't had a chance to see DB&B-- hasn't opened here yet, of course-- but the book was quite interesting.)
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: orange peekassmonkeydiary on January 4th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I knew his paintings, but this was the first I've seen of his films. I always meant to see Basquiat, but failed to get around to it.
Pallaspallasathene8 on January 4th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
There is a woman named Diablo? That is fucking cool.
misterhumbug on January 4th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
And she's a ex-stripper. I've read an interview with her, she's got quite a wit.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: drooling monkeyassmonkeydiary on January 4th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, her blog is a pretty decent read.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: monkey ballassmonkeydiary on January 4th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
Yip, and she seems mighty cool.
orcaarroworcaarrow on January 4th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
I've heard that Burton brought in Sondheim to help him adapt the film score. Hopefully that helps.
Diary of an Ass Monkeyassmonkeydiary on January 4th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
That explains it. I went in fearing it would be all electronic and Elfmanic.