Monday, July 13, 2009

Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due.

And speaking of great ways to pass the weekend...

In addition to delicious food, I also got to knock out a bunch of Netfux this weekend.

Sunday was a Myrna Loy double feature, neither of which I'd seen before. The first was Manhattan Melodrama, which I have to say earns kind of a meh. It was certainly decent, but I'm also not sure I'd need to see it again. (For the record, both movies I watched also starred Clark Gable, but he was hardly the reason I rented them. I love him in It Happened One Night, but to be honest, I can usually take him or leave him...)

The second was Wife vs. Secretary. So yeah, before you get any ideas (I mean jesus, what a great title), it's 1936. It's dated and more than minutely sexist, but it was actually pretty enjoyable. I enjoyed it more than the first one, to be honest!

And though he's barely in it, I am still going to state for the record that I just CAN. NOT. STAND. James Stewart. His very voice makes me cringe; I simply cannot endure him. I may be in the minority but I simply loathe him as an actor, sorry. I don't necessarily think he's bad, either, it's just HIM. Sorry. Ok, got that off my chest, /rantoff.

So those two were quite enjoyable, even if a little dated.

I also watched a movie that I hesitate to call a "documentary," even though it's classified as one. It was interesting enough, in a car wreck "Real World" sort of way; a little movie called American Teen. It's from 2008 and the marketing makes it pretty clear it's trying to look at the Breakfast Club stereotypes from a real school (the jock, princess, etc.).

It's not to say all their situations and emotions weren't real, and each kid certainly went through everything shown in the film, I'm sure. However, the editing seriously reeks of manipulation and forced storyline. (Sad to say, this is especially true based on one kid's disappearing and reappearing acne, but also in haircuts and clothes.) The drama and sequence of events feel extremely forced, edited and contrived.

That alone really blackens it in my mind as a documentary, but additionally, the very IDEA of a documentary is to capture your subject by interfering as little as possible while shooting (because otherwise, it's not the same, you know?). And the presence of the camera is VERY MUCH felt in every moment of these people's lives and undoubtedly affects the things they do. So this should win some "Way to Bastardize What Documentaries Should Be" award, if you ask me.

And again, that itself doesn't make the final product BAD, absolutely not, it's just not what a real documentary is. The phony-shit editing is pretty offensive to me if they want to be classified as "documentary," but I could certainly respect the research, effort and film itself in another category.

Turning to a COMPLETELY different world altogether, I've gotten hooked on a Korean TV drama called "My Lovely Sam-Soon."

I never thought it was possible (all that pop drama and angst! Gah.) This one aired in the summer of 2005; it's not a TV show, it's basically a mini-series (it aired in June and July).

It focuses on a woman who is a pastry chef (and looking for love, natch), and considered "chubby" and "a spinster." (She is a little rounder than her co-stars, but she merely looks HEALTHY; also, she is 30. I'm not being biased, but BLOW ME.) Sadly, I know this could easily be the case were it set in Tokyo, so I'm assuming Seoul is no different.

The interwebs says it is basically considered the Bridget Jones of Korean TV drama.

It's cute and I want more episodes.


alex said...

Oi! You guys were talking up Manhattan like it was all that and a bag of chips. XD No wonder I'm halfway through it wondering if I'm crazy! Heh heh... I mean, of course the actors are great, but... nh. "Melodrama" is obvsly in the title for a reason.

Must check out that Korean series, though.

Ellen Aim said...

Really?? Sorry, it was a total MEH.

Korean series gets a thumbs-up so far, tho...

Veloute said...

I need to see this Korean series!

Ellen Aim said...

Needless to say, pastry chef, I thought of you the whole time. There is one scene where she's sneaking a look at kitchen creations and they are just SO COOL.

So far, highly recommend.