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Re: [mythsoc] Enchanted

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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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