Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DVD Review: Enchanted

When the first trailers of “Enchanted” were released months ago, I was a little apprehensive to seeing this film. Disney has had a rough couple of years, and many of their more recent films do not live up to their classics. Since I grew up loving all things Disney, I gave in and saw the movie (five times) in the theatre.

I guess the best way to do a movie these days is to live in the glory of others, while making fun of them and putting their own twist on things. This is exactly what “Enchanted” does. The writer of “Enchanted” (Bill Kelly) decided to poke fun at classics such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lady and the Tramp,” and “The Sound of Music.” Instead of creating a farce, Kelly created a true modern day Disney classic. Forget Ariel, Belle, and Snow White; I want to be Giselle. Not only is she beautiful, hilarious, and a fantastic singer, but she spends her days with one Patrick Dempsey. What “Enchanted” does do is put a fresh story into motion, with Amy Adams holding the reigns.

“Enchanted” is a surprisingly and unexpectedly great movie, but not only for the superb acting of Amy Adams. Before “Enchanted,” Adams was a little known Academy Award nominated actress (and Jim’s girlfriend in a few episodes of “The Office”); now she is a bona fide star. Adams plays Giselle, a not-yet princess from animated Andalasia, who falls into live-action Times Square. The sight of Adams singing and dancing through Central Park, cleaning with rats and pigeons, and becoming less animated is one of the best comedic performances I’ve seen all year. Adams manages to not be too over the top; instead her porcelain skin shines with awe and wonder and her beautiful blue eyes take in the strange world with understanding and acceptance. She is such a joy to watch on the screen.

You see, Giselle is looking for her prince and begins singing “True Love’s Kiss.” She meets her prince, handsome and aloof Edward (played brilliantly by James Marsden), and after the three minute song are engaged to be married. Wow. Problem: the Queen of Andalasia, Narissa (Susan Sarandon), turns herself into an evil hag and pushes Giselle down a well; the bottom of the well turns out to be live-action New York City. Narissa is Edward’s step-mother, and if he gets married then she loses her throne.

Soon Giselle is thrust into the busy New York City night life, and while looking for Edward on top of a billboard advertisement, literally falls into the arms of divorce lawyer Robert (Patrick Dempsey) who agrees to put her up for the night while she waits for her prince to come.

Edward, along with the help of his traitorous servant Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) and Pip, a chipmunk, scower the streets of New York in search of his beloved Giselle. Nathaniel has been given three poisonous apples by Queen Narissa to help get rid of Giselle. Edward is such a cute little ditz running around in his giant sleeves and tights, oblivious to Nathaniel’s plan, while little Pip tries to inform Edward of the situation. No luck.

Meanwhile, Giselle is getting to know Robert and his six-year old daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey). She cleans up their house with city animals (cockroaches, pigeons, rats, flies, mice) to the fabulous tune “Happy Working Song.” She runs through Central Park in an even more fabulous, and very impressive choreographed number “That’s How You Know.” She makes dresses out of Robert’s curtains. She eats hot dogs and wonders how the shower delivers water to her. She learns the rules of dating and tells fairy tales that we are not familiar with.

While spending time with Robert, she realizes she might be developing feelings for him, but he is about to propose to long time girlfriend Nancy (the multi-talented Idina Menzel). Both Giselle and Robert try to ignore their ever growing feelings for each other.
It soon comes time for her to decide between one over-moussed, handsome lawyer, or her handsome, oblivious prince. Such hard choices! The decision is made during a beautiful dance to the song “So Close” (sung by Jon McLaughlin). That particular scene had this twenty-two year squeeing like a tween. Such a beautiful scene. Then is it interrupted by a Narissa dragon, who takes Robert hostage. Technicalities.

The movie takes a slight downward spiral toward the last thirty minutes, but the first hour or so makes up for it. The movie ends with the omniscient voice of Julie Andrews and a happily ever after.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, bloopers (with Adams being hysterical while flubbing her lines and speaking an alien-like language…just watch it), making-of featurettes, a music video by Carrie Underwood, and an adorable Pip pop-up adventure. Apparently the Blu-ray disc contains more “secrets” to filming, but I don’t own a Blu-ray machine. Oh well.

The songs (sung by the actors) are amazing and garnered three Academy Award nominations. My only problem with the acting is the underused Susan Sarandon (who plays evil so well) and that the Tony award winning Broadway actress Idina Menzel’s beautiful voice was not somehow used. Other than that, the acting was top notch and the storyline was not believable at all. All the great makings of a classic Disney film. I give this movie four chap scratches.

The movie is rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo. Things like a pigeon eating a cockroach and a forty foot dragon might scare the little ones, but it is fun for the whole family!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Answer me this

More than anyone wanted to know:
1. Do you hate the last guy you texted? Can't stand Aaron. In truth, he is a great guy.
2. When is the last time you took a nap? I had time to take a nap a few years ago.
3. Do you only drink bottled water? Tap water is free but bottled drinking water tastes good. And, hopefully, there are no drugs in the water I had to pay for.
4. What are you listening to right now? Whatever is on the TV.
5. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Dad(dy).
6. To text you? Tanis.
7. To send you a Myspace message? Cousin Caitlin. Or, as she is called around my apartment: Lemondrop.
8. Drinking anything? Had some chocolate milk a bit ago.
9. Something that happened today that made you angry? There was this bear that attacked me and stole my leftovers. Bears are indeed the number one threat to America.
10. Have you dated anyone on your top friends? That Victor Frankenstein was a mistake. All he wanted to do was make his hideous monster.
11. Do you talk about your feelings or hide them? Depends on who I am talking to.
12. Do you wear makeup? Only when my sister makes me.
13. Are you missing someone? Always.
14. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance? For the most part. I am pretty easy to forgive.
15. What instant messaging service do you use? Don't use any anymore
16. How many people have you texted today? Aaron, coolest sister ever!, Tanis
17. What did you do last night? Dairy Queen after church with the crew and paperwriting (ie youtubing videos).
18.What color is your hair? blondish
19. Where was the last place you hugged someone? My mom in the parking lot of TGI Friday's
20. Who was the last person you talked to in person besides family? The roommate, Bree.
21. What do you want most right now? A new job.
22. What are you doing tonight? Playing "Family Feud" on the computer; watching movies; procrastinatin'.
23. How about tomorrow? Actually go to class, tons of schoolwork, movie watching.
24. Is your phone right beside you? Totally, dude.
25. Are you cold? Idealic.
26. What are you looking forward to in the next few months? Spring Break, end of semester, hypothetical road trip.
27. What color is your bed spread? Dark red and black
28. What does your best friend call you? Jordan. Pumpernickel. Hey You. Yo. Jennifer. Frankie...
29. Would you prefer a thunderstorm or for it to be snowing? Snowing. You can't make things out of rain!
30. Who do you call the most? Zaphod Beeblebrox
31. Have you ever kissed just a friend? Nope.
32. Have you ever fought for the opposite sex? Stupid!
33. Ever dyed your hair? Don't want to talk about it...
34. Last time you cried? Been a while.
35. Are you good at keeping secrets? Most definitely. Unless the secret is harmful to others.
36. Did you participate in gym class? Not recently.
37. What is the closest framed picture? No framed pictures in the kitchen
38. What did you do today? Laziness.
39. What does your last text message in your inbox say? Lol anytime... :-). I love Tanis!
40. Do you crack your knuckles? They pretty much crack themselves.
41. What color is your cell phone? Black as black can be.
42. Do you believe there's always room in your heart for your first love? Sure
43. What color is your sofa? We have covers on them but one is now a chocolate brown and the other is a kind of mint green.
44. What kind of tattoos do you want/have? 2/1. One more; something to do with Jacob's name.
45. Do you give special ringtones to certain people? Anytime my phone rings it is the Scrantones playing the Office theme song. Love it!!!
46. Do you like anyone? More like unhealthy infatuations. Case in point: fictional Jim Halpert and the fictionally perfect Mr. Darcy.
47. Do you have or want a belly button ring? No and no.
48. When was the last time you went out of town? I went to Lamesa a few months ago. Does that count?:
49. What color shirt are you wearing? Gray tank top.
50. Are you on a desktop or a laptop? More specifically, a Toshiba Satellite laptop, but it is not on my lap. It is atop the kitchen table.
51. Where did you get everything you are wearing? Dillard's. Dillard's. Target.
52. What color is your key board? Keyboard is one word. Gray.
53. What did you last cook? I put some waffles in the toaster. Then, I smothered them in peanut butter, chocolate syrup and pancake syrup. Yummy!
54. Watching anything on TV? Bree is watching "That 70's Show" in the living room.
55. What color is your shower curtain? Chocolate brown, tan, sand brown, and mint green.
56. Wearing any jewelry? The cross necklace that once belonged to Jacob.
57. Anything irritating you right now? My eyes hurt.
58. Read anything interesting lately? Always. "Atonement" was amazing! I stayed up until 4 am reading it and it was not even assigned. "Mrs. Dalloway" was pretty good. "The Power of Myth" was also great. "Jude the Obscure" was incredibly depressing.
59. How was your last test? Had an essay exam over "Jude the Obscure" Wednesday. Maybe did ok.
60. Anything hurt on your body? Back still.
61. How big is your bed? Full.
62. What color is your iPod? White. Unless it has my iPod case on and then it is orange. I also have an iSock and it is blue.
63. What kind of underwear are you wearing? Comfortable cotton ones.
64. What is your most valued possession? Bible. Pictures.
65. What is your favorite sport? It's what the English call Football. Also, disc golf is pretty fun.
66. What kind of deoderant do you use? Prescription strength CertainDri and Dove invisible solid. Sometimes works.
67. What is your favorite subject? My English Studies course this semester. Very interesting.
68. Do you have any house cleaning to do? Pretty much always.
69. What are your favorite colors? Apple number 4
70. What day time talk shows do you watch? Ellen...if I am home.
71. What about night time? Conan...if I remember.

Has anyone ever told you that you have pretty eyes? Sure
What have you learned today? The Rice Krispie treats I made a few weeks ago are no longer any good.
Do you like to smile? I love to smile. Smiling is my favorite.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Eh, I would rather not grow up.
What time do you usually wake up on the weekends? Saturday about 9:30 to be at work at 10. Sunday about 8:15 (more like 8:30) to be at church at 9:20. I sleep later during the week.
Do you like peanut butter? Love it!
Should country music die? It's pretty good.
If you could live in any country, where would you live? Magrathea. Or Slartibartfast. (I've got to stop watching "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Are there too many commercials on tv? Oh yes.
How many times have you moved? Baytown to different house in Baytown Crosby to different house in Crosby to Southland to different house in Southland to Spade to Anton to different house in Anton to different house in Anton to LCU dorms to apartment.
What were you like in High School? Nerdy. Jockish. Overachieving.
Scuba diving or Sky diving? How about sky diving in a scuba suit.
Is there anyone you'd die for? Most definitely.
Spell your name without an E,R,S,H,K,I,M,A,: Jodn Dn Wll
Are you happy with your life right now? I am most content.
Are you outgoing? Mostly socially awkward
Is it easy for people to make you smile? I'm easily amused.
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? About 6.
Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? Not to change, only to observe. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything? Don't drink, therefore never been drunk.
What are you doing tomorrow? Shakespeare class with Carole L. Carroll, Islam and Culture with Stacy Patty, eat a few meals in between...
What color are your socks? One is orange with blue stripes and a hole the other is purple with black penguins on it.
Who was the last person in your house? Besides the roommate, it was the sister.
How do you run your days? Slowly. I don't like to run. I take things at a moderate stroll.