12 Months of Movies 2007: July

You saw how big June was. July was practically a tiny picnic by comparison. We begin our journey in the delightful and heartbreaking world of children, before ruining the universe with our second-to-last film. Join me, and we can try to ignore the depths of human depravity together.

Bridge to Terabithia
Tuesday, July 10th, 6:30, Cinema 12

This was another one of those movies where I knew the outcome before I actually saw it. However, I didn’t know what happened in the events leading up to that outcome, so it was a rather pleasant surprise. Well, as pleasant as that sort of surprise can be.
Bridge to Terabithia was hamstrung by lousy promotion. It was made to look like it was another Narnia when it was anything but. It’s not a “real” fantasy film, as such: unlike Pan’s Labyrinth, for instance, there’s no question as to the existence of any of the fantastic elements involved. No, this is a movie about the use of your imagination to conjure up metaphorical interpretations of your day to day life, and about the power of friendship between a young boy and girl. Add Zooey Deschanel to the equation and you’ve got something more than worth watching.
I don’t frequently have reservations about child actors unless I’m watching something like Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, but I’m not always comfortable with them. Fortunately this cast is effective, and Anna Sophia Robb (whom you may recall from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) was pretty amazing. I’ll admit that there was the tiniest problem in the casting of Robert Patrick as Jess’ father, simply because every time I see him I expect him to ask if I’ve seen this boy.
Despite that, a good movie. If you’re prone to crying, this one will get you good.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Wednesday, July 11th, 5:20, Greater Union George Street, Cinema 9

I’ve covered this fairly indepth already; there’s not a lot to say about this movie. Basically it cuts out most of the extraneous plot and makes this a barebones thriller. It’s not the best adaptation – it’s why we’ve got a book – but it’s an entertaining movie. Plus it was hilarious that everyone laughed when Harry kissed Cho.

Cashback
Monday, July 16th, 7:30, Greater Union Bondi Junction, Popcorn Taxi

This is the only Popcorn Taxi that I have resolutely failed to talk about at the time of having been there. Cashback is a strange little British movie, teeming with female nudity. A lot of people can’t look beyond that, and think that the very idea of a naked woman in a film is misogynistic.
This is not the case with Cashback! Cashback is a semi-bizarre film about a man who, after being dumped by his girlfriend, develops insomnia. So he gets a night job. The job is so boring that he learns how to stop time, and he uses his time stopping abilities to undress the female shoppers and draw them (he is an artist, you see).
At the same time there’s a romance going on with one of the cashiers, and typical lad activities on the part of the lads with whom he works. Anyway, despite the preponderance of boobs, this is a good movie. It has elements that would, in the real world, be considered stalkerish but in movies are charming. Then, in the real world we can’t stop time and strip people and then be left to wonder if it’s actual or merely metaphorical. Sweet, if you’re prepared for nudity on the journey. It was an anatomy lesson for me, anyway.

The Simpsons Movie
Friday, July 27th, 7:30, Greater Union George Street, Cinema 11

I still find it hard to believe that this movie even exists. The events of the night on which I saw it may as well not have happened, and I think the same holds true of this movie. I get the impression that The Simpsons are now powered by the smugness of their creative staff. If they weren’t so self-satisfied (a term which I really didn’t want to invoke, because it brings with it the suggestion of Ed Begley Jr. in “Homer to the Max”), I think that The Simpsons would implode with only vague resonances of yellow people existing on the cusp of the collective consciousness.
There is so much so very, very wrong with this movie. Fan service is the order of the day, and I’ll admit that it confuses me so very, very deeply that The Simpsons continues to have fans. I particularly hate the argument that continuity is unimportant in a cartoon, because part of liking The Simpsons in its moments of syrup is in drawing on the histories of the characters.
This is a movie that revises Homer and Marge’s wedding for at least the third time, from “War of the Simpsons” (“that big bash we had with all the champagne and musicians and holy men and everything”) to “I Married Marge” and “A Milhouse Divided” (Shotgun Pete’s and “A Whale of a Wife”). You can remember that “Close To You” is Marge’s favourite song, but not that she got married in a quickie chapel to a MIDI synthesised version of “Here Comes The Bride”? I don’t know. This just isn’t a good movie, and seeing people say that The Simpsons has still got it after all these years makes me incredibly sad.

This is the part where I admit that I drafted part of this Simpsons write up in my head a month or so ago, committed nothing to paper, and lost a few pertinent points along the way. I realise that what I wrote may make me sound greasy, but my using the internet is nowhere near as great a crime as tripe being paraded as the multi-million dollar mongering zenith of artistic and satiric expression.
Plus I’ll never forgive them for killing Dr. Nick for the sake of a cheap joke.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Saturday, July 28th, 5:30, Greater Union Hurstville, Cinema 7

The good thing about this movie is that I figured I didn’t need to see Grawp again, so I cut away to the bathroom at that point. Umbridge was good as ever, plus this was directly after Deathly Hallows was published, so seeing all of the plants for the series as a whole was fun.

Pick of the Month: Bridge to Terabithia

This was actually a tough choice. I think Bridge to Terabithia wins the harsh contest because it made me cry and it surprised me despite my vague foreknowledge of the outcome. This is a children’s movie, but it’s totally outside the realm of modern movies for children. I mean, this is a year that would produce The Game Plan. Knocked Up would feature scenes from Cheaper By The Dozen. Bridge to Terabithia is something different altogether, and is actually credited as being one of the “movies for good Christian children” – despite the fact that it features an atheist as one of the two protagonists, who says that she prefers the idea of a benevolent Jesus to the fire and brimstone that is being taught in church! So clearly there’s some sort of transcendence involved. Even if the kids are playing woefully outdated GBA SPs in 2007.
(Bridge to Terabithia also wins the dubious honour of being something that I had prepared something pretty much to the point of completion for and never actually posted).

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One Response to 12 Months of Movies 2007: July

  1. Wavatar Mark says:

    The Simpsons Movie is at least 10-15 years too late, and it was an entirely forgettable experience. I don’t know if I’d call it horrible – there were some laughs, I guess (more than any new episode since, uh, 7 or 8 years ago) – but it was awfully mediocre.

    I haven’t seen Bridge to Terabithia, and don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard a lot of good things. Maybe I should take a look…

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