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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Enchanted

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  • David Emerson
    ... I was so delighted with it that I have watched the DVD three times, and the Central Park production number about a dozen! But after thinking about it, I
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 1, 2008
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      >From: Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
      >Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Enchanted
      >
      >I quite enjoyed 'Enchanted' (only saw it recently on DVD; must buy
      >copy!) and I actually liked the reversing of couples - one didn't see
      >any evidence of 'chemistry' between Giselle and The Prince although,
      >back in their animated world, they would have done just fine because
      >chemistry wasn't an essential part of the marital mix (finishing one
      >another's duets was more like it); same for our own world, 100+ years
      >ago - much more about common values and goals.
      >
      >BUT Giselle has entered into NYC in all its gritty glory (I love the
      >Central Park "How Does She Know?" sequence - sooo fun!) and there *is*
      >this chemistry thing between her and the lawyer (not to mention the
      >daughter) and then he makes her mad - and it's all over. He's brought
      >a whole new emotional vocabulary into her life; she can't go backwards
      >from that (no retreat!), the potential for a good marriage with the
      >Prince has now been irreparably compromised.

      I was so delighted with it that I have watched the DVD three times, and the Central Park production number about a dozen! But after thinking about it, I realize that one of the things that really gets to me is the interpenetration of the cartoon world and the "real" world. At first Roberet is totally New York/realistic, and Giselle is totally Disney cartoon. But as they come to affect each other (in traditional romantic comedy fashion), their worlds start to exchange traits as well -- hence the singers & dancers in Central Park, and Nancy's cellphone getting "really good reception" in Andalasia. Also, by the end, Robert has totally accepted the fairy-tale world's internal consistency, as Giselle has totally accepted the conventions of the "real" world.

      Plus, the whole tongue-in-cheek nature of the film as an artifact, and the countless references to other Disney films (and "The Sound of Music" too). I love ontological humor.

      emerdavid

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    • David Bratman
      I found _Enchanted_ rather disappointing. Sure, the premise is clever and ingenious, and Amy Adams makes an impossible role work, though that shouldn t be too
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 1, 2008
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        I found _Enchanted_ rather disappointing. Sure, the premise is clever and ingenious, and Amy Adams makes an impossible role work, though that shouldn't be too surprising if you've seen _Junebug_, where she plays basically the same spunky character with a more worldly background.

        But otherwise it was yet another ho-hum dreary run-of-the-mill hack fantasy movie. The characters have no romantic chemistry, leading to an ending that feels more serially monogamous than conventionally pair-bonding, which I doubt was the intended effect. The scene where the beasts and bugs of New York City clean the apartment was absolutely creepy, and I'm not sure that was the intended effect either. The actors are ineptly directed. Patrick Dempsey is pathetic. James Marsden is under-utilized. Susan Sarandon chews scenery, but is underfed. Timothy Spall plays Peter Pettigrew again. The chipmunk gets old fast. The songs are almost as dire as their performances at the Oscars had led me to believe. The plot is wayward and full of motivational and strategic holes that could perhaps be filled, but that's the problem: you'd have to fill them. The climax includes the sine qua non of bad fantasy movies, scenes in which the actors stand around staring blankly at blue screens not yet filled with overblown special effects battles.

        Look, I know it's possible to make a perfect fairy tale movie. It's called _Shrek_. If you can't play in that league, don't call on me.
      • Lynn Maudlin
        This is where philosophically we have very different relationships with film: I don t expect perfection and I actively *want* to like the movies I go see; I
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 2, 2008
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          This is where philosophically we have very different relationships
          with film: I don't expect perfection and I actively *want* to like the
          movies I go see; I want to be pleased and enjoy the experience, etc.

          But I'm surprised you find _Shrek_ 'perfect' when you're bothered by
          the critters cleaning the NYC apartment scene; the gross-out opening
          sequence of _Shrek_ was so off-putting to me (and bear in mind my
          predisposition to LIKE movies) that I wasn't able to engage and enjoy
          until about halfway through the film. Happily this is easily solved
          with the DVD: I simply start the movie a chapter in.

          -- Lynn --


          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
          >
          > The scene where the beasts and bugs of New York City clean the
          apartment was absolutely creepy, and I'm not sure that was the
          intended effect either...
          >
          > Look, I know it's possible to make a perfect fairy tale movie. It's
          called _Shrek_. If you can't play in that league, don't call on me.
        • dbratman1
          ... Foo - I don t _expect_ perfection either. But Enchanted didn t even reach basic enjoyability, predisposed though I was to like it. The point of Shrek s
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 3, 2008
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
            >
            > This is where philosophically we have very different relationships
            > with film: I don't expect perfection

            Foo - I don't _expect_ perfection either. But Enchanted didn't even
            reach basic enjoyability, predisposed though I was to like it. The
            point of Shrek's perfection is to demonstrate that it's possible, and
            all the more reason to dismiss excuses for bad movies on the lines of
            "they did the best they can" or "nothing's perfect."

            > But I'm surprised you find _Shrek_ 'perfect' when you're bothered by
            > the critters cleaning the NYC apartment scene; the gross-out opening
            > sequence of _Shrek_ was so off-putting to me (and bear in mind my
            > predisposition to LIKE movies) that I wasn't able to engage and enjoy
            > until about halfway through the film. Happily this is easily solved
            > with the DVD: I simply start the movie a chapter in.

            Not to respond to your problems with the opening credits of Shrek, but
            just to explain the difference:

            1) Shrek is animated; Enchanted isn't. Big, big difference in what
            I'll tolerate. Animated street-rats and bugs are cute (I wasn't
            bothered by Ratatouille, though others were), but CGI or real ones
            aren't. I discovered this difference when watching Who Framed Roger
            Rabbit. Cartoon characters getting pummeled and mauled in Toontown
            was funny; having it happen to Bob Hoskins on his visit there was not.

            2) I was a little put off by the Shrek credits on first watching, but
            the spirit of the rest of the film retroactively cast its charm even
            over that. Amy Adams has a little spunk, but otherwise Enchanted is
            utterly devoid of charm.
          • Lynn Maudlin
            Well, David, I guess I just don t know how to take your closing statement from the previous post: Look, I know it s possible to make a perfect fairy tale
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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              Well, David, I guess I just don't know how to take your closing
              statement from the previous post: "Look, I know it's possible to make
              a perfect fairy tale movie. It's called _Shrek_. If you can't play in
              that league, don't call on me." Sounded rather like you were
              expecting or demanding perfection, at least in my reading.

              Speaking of Amy Adams, have you seen "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"?
              Delightful film, imho - and I have no idea whether you'd enjoy it or
              not; I don't know your taste well enough... worth a DVD rental at
              least (when it's released on DVD).

              -- Lynn --

              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "dbratman1" <dbratman@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@> wrote:
              > >
              > > This is where philosophically we have very different relationships
              > > with film: I don't expect perfection
              >
              > Foo - I don't _expect_ perfection either. But Enchanted didn't even
              > reach basic enjoyability, predisposed though I was to like it. The
              > point of Shrek's perfection is to demonstrate that it's possible, and
              > all the more reason to dismiss excuses for bad movies on the lines of
              > "they did the best they can" or "nothing's perfect."...<snip>...
              >
              > 2) I was a little put off by the Shrek credits on first watching, but
              > the spirit of the rest of the film retroactively cast its charm even
              > over that. Amy Adams has a little spunk, but otherwise Enchanted is
              > utterly devoid of charm.
              >
            • David Bratman
              ... I wrote play in that league, not match that. ... Haven t been moved to see it because the previews and such reminded me too much of other films I found
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:

                >Well, David, I guess I just don't know how to take your closing
                >statement from the previous post: "Look, I know it's possible to make
                >a perfect fairy tale movie. It's called _Shrek_. If you can't play in
                >that league, don't call on me." Sounded rather like you were
                >expecting or demanding perfection, at least in my reading.

                I wrote "play in that league," not "match that."

                >Speaking of Amy Adams, have you seen "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"?
                >Delightful film, imho - and I have no idea whether you'd enjoy it or
                >not; I don't know your taste well enough... worth a DVD rental at
                >least (when it's released on DVD).

                Haven't been moved to see it because the previews and such reminded me too much of other films I found dull.
              • Elizabeth Hardy
                I actually found all of Shrek to be pretty off-putting! I wanted to like it, too, especially with its ideas about true beauty, etc., etc., and great music,
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                  I actually found all of Shrek to be pretty off-putting! I "wanted" to like it, too, especially with its ideas about true beauty, etc., etc., and great music, but the fact that it is marketed as a kids' movie, but is not, for me, appropriate kids' fare (we're potty training; I hear all I want about bodily functions without hearing more on DVD!) really bothers me. Maybe I just have a Mike Myers aversion (except when he's Wayne!) He really just reminds me too much of all the stuff that made junior high school so awful.
                  But this discussion does bring up Lewis's great statement that a children's story (or movie?) that can only be read and enjoyed by children is a bad children's story. I have seen many books and movies that I'm sure I would have liked when I was 12, but I wouldn't touch now! Thankfully, Narnia is just as wonderful (and maybe more so) to me when I go there with my son as it was when I went alone at his age.

                  (And if we're voting...The perfect fairy tale movie is the The Princess Bride! Choosing anything else would be inconceivable!)
                  Elizabeth



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                • David Emerson
                  ... I liked the movie of The Princess Bride okay, but I *loved* the book and so found the movie a bit disappointing by comparison. Maybe if I d never read
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                    > (And if we're voting...The perfect fairy tale movie is the The Princess Bride! Choosing anything else would be inconceivable!)

                    I liked the movie of "The Princess Bride" okay, but I *loved* the book and so found the movie a bit disappointing by comparison. Maybe if I'd never read the book I would've loved the movie.

                    emerdavid

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                  • David Emerson
                    Speaking of fairy-tale movies in general, did anyone see the mini-series The 10th Kingdom ? I believe it originally aired on the Hallmark Channel, but it s
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                      Speaking of fairy-tale movies in general, did anyone see the mini-series "The 10th Kingdom"? I believe it originally aired on the Hallmark Channel, but it's available on DVD (which is how I saw it). It's not great, but it does contain many choice bits skewering various fairy-tale conventions.

                      emerdavid

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                    • David Bratman
                      ... I have a deep aversion to both Mike Myers (that includes all the Wayne & Garth crap) and Eddie Murphy, which is why I was so astonished that I liked Shrek.
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                        Elizabeth Hardy <britomart3@...> wrote:

                        >I actually found all of Shrek to be pretty off-putting! I "wanted" to like it,
                        >too, especially with its ideas about true beauty, etc., etc., and great music,
                        >but the fact that it is marketed as a kids' movie, but is not, for me,
                        >appropriate kids' fare (we're potty training; I hear all I want about bodily
                        >functions without hearing more on DVD!) really bothers me. Maybe I just have a
                        >Mike Myers aversion (except when he's Wayne!) He really just reminds me too much
                        >of all the stuff that made junior high school so awful.

                        I have a deep aversion to both Mike Myers (that includes all the Wayne & Garth crap) and Eddie Murphy, which is why I was so astonished that I liked Shrek. After the opening credits, there's really very little bodily function stuff, and what there is is actually jokes that are funny, as opposed to references that are supposed to be funny only because they evoke taboo subjects.

                        >(And if we're voting...The perfect fairy tale movie is the The Princess Bride!
                        >Choosing anything else would be inconceivable!)

                        I'm with David E. - a pre-film fan of the book who found the movie a bit disappointing. Not bad in any way, but the kidnapping sequence (even the sword fight) didn't have the epic grandeur it should have, and Robin Wright made a dull Buttercup (though she's improved much as an actress since then). On the other hand, both Cary Elwes as Wesley and Billy Crystal as Miracle Max surpassed all my expectations. Not as good as Shrek, but it plays in that league.
                      • David Bratman
                        ... I saw part of that, at the instigation of a friend who loves it. It would have been much better than Enchanted if only it had been no longer than it.
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                          David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:

                          >Speaking of fairy-tale movies in general, did anyone see the mini-series "The 10th
                          >Kingdom"? I believe it originally aired on the Hallmark Channel, but it's
                          >available on DVD (which is how I saw it). It's not great, but it does contain
                          >many choice bits skewering various fairy-tale conventions.

                          I saw part of that, at the instigation of a friend who loves it. It would have been much better than "Enchanted" if only it had been no longer than it. As it was I got very tired of it after a few hours, particularly of the guy who plays the wolf in a grating Method Acting style.

                          All I remember favorably at this distance was the blind lumber. When the heroes express skepticism that he can perform his profession, he booms, "Does a tree move?" This not being Tolkien, I guess it doesn't.
                        • David Emerson
                          ... Yes, that was one of the major failings. Scott Cohen was so much better just a year or two later as Lorelai Gilmore s love interest in Gilmore Girls .
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                            >I saw part of ["The 10th Kingdom"], at the instigation of a friend who loves it. It would have been much better than "Enchanted" if only it had been no longer than it. As it was I got very tired of it after a few hours, particularly of the guy who plays the wolf in a grating Method Acting style.

                            Yes, that was one of the major failings. Scott Cohen was so much better just a year or two later as Lorelai Gilmore's love interest in "Gilmore Girls". But then, it's probably easier to be convincing as a prep school professor in love with a gorgeous woman than as a half-man half-wolf fairy tale character.

                            emerdavid

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                          • John D Rateliff
                            ... PRINCESS BRIDE is a fun film, but my vote for the perfect fairy tale movie -- or as near perfect as makes no difference -- is Miyazaki s SPIRITED AWAY.
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jun 4, 2008
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                              On Jun 4, 2008, at 4:51 AM, Elizabeth Hardy wrote:
                              > (And if we're voting...The perfect fairy tale movie is the The
                              > Princess Bride! Choosing anything else would be inconceivable!)


                              PRINCESS BRIDE is a fun film, but my vote for the perfect fairy tale
                              movie -- or as near perfect as makes no difference -- is Miyazaki's
                              SPIRITED AWAY.
                              --John R.

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Lynn Maudlin
                              It s one of those instances where I m able to enjoy each for what they are; I love the book (love it!) but I also love the movie (spectacular casting!
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jun 5, 2008
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                                It's one of those instances where I'm able to enjoy each for what they
                                are; I love the book (love it!) but I also love the movie (spectacular
                                casting! lulminous Robin Wright and Cary Elwes at his young sensitive
                                virile best, not to mention Mandy Patinkin and Wallace Shawn!) - in
                                fact, my only real complaint is the mediocre score (!! - I know, I
                                love Mark Knopfler - but being a great guitarist and pop musician does
                                *not* make one a great film composer; horrible music under the great
                                sword fight between Westley and Inigo at the top of the Cliffs of
                                Insanity - bleah).

                                -- Lynn --

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > (And if we're voting...The perfect fairy tale movie is the The
                                Princess Bride! Choosing anything else would be inconceivable!)
                                >
                                > I liked the movie of "The Princess Bride" okay, but I *loved* the
                                book and so found the movie a bit disappointing by comparison. Maybe
                                if I'd never read the book I would've loved the movie.
                                >
                                > emerdavid
                                >
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