i've been thoroughly enjoying my time off by doing a whole lot of nothing. the best part of it all is that i no longer feel like a permanently on-call babysitter.
yesterday i was able indulge in one of my guilty pleasures: going to the movies by myself. i decided on once after hearing a glowing radio review. it's an irish indie "musical" of sorts. i was kind of thinking it would be along the lines of rent, but i was pleasantly surprised. it was a very low-key story- a gifted irish musician meets a czech flower girl and they work together on an album so the guy can go to london, get back together with his girlfriend, and sign a record deal. sounds like the recipe for a cheesy hollywood romance, but, fortunately for the film, it was handled in a much better way. i was really surprised to see that the movie was rated 'r,' because other than a few dropped f-bombs, there wasn't much indecency for the eyes or ears.
in all honesty, i wasn't sure how i felt about the movie until it was over, and it was then that i decided that i really liked it, because:
a) they didn't exactly follow a "typical" storyline (one could almost argue that there was no storyline)
b) there were many routes the film could have taken, but the storytellers were very crafty to not sell out for the sake of "appealing" to a certain crowd
c) the music was great. scratch that, the musicians were great. honestly, i haven't seen anyone perform with as much emotion as glen hansard in a long time. and, much to my surprise, i found out in staying for the credits, that the actors actually wrote their own music.
all in all, it was enjoyable. i don't necessarily know that i'd want to watch it again, but it's definitely worth a viewing.
in light of my positive movie experience, i decided to make it 2 for 2, and today i went to see harry potter and the order of the phoenix.
if memory serves, i wasn't all too impressed with number four (which happened to be my favorite book), and wasn't expecting much more than to be slightly entertained by number five. i couldn't have been more wrong. my favorite of the movies so far has been the first one, if only for the "la di da, magic is great and this is a wonderful new experience" feeling. the movie had a comforting, home-y feel to it, and it really is the only one i like to watch over and over. the second and third were ok, but the storylines weren't my favorite. and by this point, and especially with number four, a lot of the story elements were outright cheesy. the fourth one was the worst, because in reality it is the first "dark" storyline and they tried to lighten it up with things that just didn't work. i remember the film finishing with an eye roll on my part- harry soaring through the air on his broom was too much for my stomach to handle.
the latest movie turned me into one giant goosebump. maybe it's because of the final book coming out, maybe it's because of the tragic turns books 5 and 6 take, but really i think it's because they didn't try too hard to make it emotional. this particular story deals with some great issues, and i love the prominent topic of good vs. evil (not to mention non-conformity and some other underlying political ideas). i particularly liked what david yates did with it and for the most part, he did his best to avoid cheesiness. it felt a bit more real and as a result i felt much more emotionally connected. admittedly, i was kind of weepy throughout a lot of it. and daniel radcliffe gets better and better with every movie.
i vowed to myself that i will not go to see the sixth movie at the theaters, only because i would be reduced to a puddle of tears and they would have to scrape me off of the floor afterwards. call me a sap, but i cried for hours after reading the book. i can only imagine how i would react to the movie.
finally, the book comes out a week from tomorrow. i already have mine ordered, so expect me to be completely unavailable for the entire weekend.