Ok, so I didn't get to finish my xmas movies, maybe next year. I didn't get to watch a couple essentials which, to be fair, I do like to omit for a couple years now and again so they get a little new again. Particularly, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Christmas in Connecticut and Miracle on 34th Street.
I did get to watch a couple more but didn't write them up, one of which was Rambo: First Blood. Now THAT is a classic example of desperate. Rambo is only a Christmas movie in the sense that towards the end of the movie when the fightin' moves into town, there are clearly Christmas lights and decorations in a few scenes. That's it. But still, one could argue it counts.
So now it's more about awards season and catching up on 2010 movies, be they good or just mediocre (I'm looking at you, Please Give). Maybe even a few wretched ones (I totally want to check out The Tourist).
I saw Black Swan with my mom just before Christmas and really, really liked it. It was incredibly well done, stylish and just really well executed. I'm not sure I need to see it again, it's quite intense (like all his films, I suppose) but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Great acting, too, no surprises there.
True Grit was also a really good time. It felt surprisingly mainstreamy for a Coen brothers flick, but not in an objectionable way. Pretty great acting there, too. Even Matt Damn was watchable. (It's probably safe to say I don't have a problem with Damon anymore, but I do find him distracting in that Tom Cruise sense that I often can't see JUST the character, it's still MATT DAMON.)
Most recently, I saw Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Now THAT was incredibly well done, and jesus I do not need to see it again.
It's about a couple whose relationship is just about over, and the story has flashbacks mixed from the beginning of their relationship. The acting is fucking superb and the filmmaking is damn effective. Everything from the camera shots to the space-age-theme sex motel room has a smothering, oppressive feel to it that almost makes it hard to watch. (That motel room, jesus. It just feels like there's no ventilation, and there is no light.) I know, this isn't really a way to sell seeing it, but I think you either already want to see this one or not, there is no "maybe." My only beef was that Gosling's character went from punk to white trash in a way that made him much harder to relate to or be sympathetic for. I thought if he'd been more middle of the road it would have been a more difficult scenario.
I really wanted to see The King's Speech before tonight (Golden Globes!) but it just didn't happen. That is next on the list followed by The Fighter; naturally the Bostonians here are quite proud of their boy! This week, hopefully it'll happen.
Well, completely unrelated, I think the best thing of the year so far events-wise has to be the Sarah McLachlan concert at the Boston Opera House. Wow, that is going to be impossible to top. I was in row CC, which is apparently the third row. I couldn't see her pores, but it was really impressive how close I was. When it's an intimate show, I think it is nicer to be closer--I could see facial expressions and it was just more enjoyable.
I want her shirt, btw. It was SPARKLY.
I also felt a little old to realize that I have been listening to her sing since about 1991 and I really don't think she has any bad records, so I've really kept up with her and lots of her music really reminds me of specific events or times in my life. So it was a pretty moving show for me. Even her newest album is already tied to something--it came out when I was in Sweden and I listened to it a shit-ton, then when I was in South Africa I would usually play a particular mix for falling asleep, which started with Forgiveness, totally the best track on the album even though it wasn't the first single.
I do think it's funny that two of her uber-hits kinda bore the shit out of me. Naturally everyone flips out and goes batshit for Angel, which I have just never been big on. I am sure I liked it more at one time, but when something you like moderately gets shoved down your throat enough, you start to get Real. Tired. Of It. And Adia. Meh, I never got the Adia craze. I get that it's a huge song for her personally (her best friend broke up with her boyfriend, and that boyfriend and McLachlan then realized they were in love, AWKWARD, but yup, she did it, she dated her BFF's ex. I am not judging, I'm sure it was a terrible decision to make. They did end up getting married, so I guess it was a good decision...although they are divorced now...anyway, I think things were pretty bad with her BFF for a while. They are BFFs again, though). Anyway, my point is I get it, but I just never really liked that one much.
The best part of the show was that there was no opener, instead she included Butterfly Boucher
and Melissa McClelland
in the entire show. I'm familiar with Boucher and she's great, but I was really impressed with McClelland. Apparently she's married to Luke Doucet, who I'm familiar with because he's been McLachlan's guitarist since...well hell, since as long as I've been listening to her!
You also cannot see it here, but McClelland is wearing a very cool black dress, black tights and some spanking bright red heels that are quite bitchin'.
I saw Butterfly Boucher before when she opened for McLachlan several years ago. I've tried to keep up with her, but apparently she had a new album in late 2009 I missed the boat on. She's also Australian, so her stuff can be harder to find or it takes longer to get released over here.
But anyway, she is still awesome and it made for a really great show for all 3 of them to be playing together, no doubt an effort spawned from Lilith Fair. I'm just glad I got there on time--how many people dawdle because they don't care about the opening act? I thought Boucher was opening, so it was a surprise when the woman next to me explained how the evening was going to work. (The woman next to me who, for the record, only had her newest album, given to her with the tickets by her husband for Christmas. Uh, great present and all, but the teenager in me is still bitter about the fact that people like that are in the 3rd row and other die-hard fans who can't afford it are stuck in the nosebleeds. Shit, I can't afford it, but this is the only artist other than Simon & Garfunkel for whom I'm willing to make especially poor financial decisions.)
Ok, back to research for another couple hours til show time tonight!