Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My latest purchazzies…


With the possible exception of Sex and the City, Wall-E is my favorite movie of 2008. It seems fitting that this film was the first movie I ever attended in the theatres solo. It felt like a personal experience. For once, I didn’t have to defend my opinion about it afterwards, which helped me retain my first impression of complete and total adoration.

As far as animated movies go, Disney has always worn the anthropomorphic crown, and this movie adds another jewel. Even though Wall-E communicates only in clicks and whistles, he is a fully-realized three-dimensional character, capable of owning the screen for more than half of the movie by sheer charm and wit. I’d say he is more relatable than most screen actors are, and they have the advantage of being, like… real and stuff. I loved him so much by the end of the film; I wanted to cuddle with him like a stuffed animal, if such a thing wouldn’t result in bruising and smashed-in teeth.

When I watched the movie for the first time, I barely noticed the environmental messages, which seemed to take over the discussion during the movie’s run. Maybe it didn’t take a whole lot of suspension of belief on my part to be convinced that the planet may, at some point in the future, be overrun with garbage… enough garbage to necessitate a full-scale evacuation of the human race. I don’t know – it just doesn’t seem farfetched to me.

Maybe I was just glad that Wall-E was a nice trash-collecting robot after somehow developing sentience. If it were me, I would have been pissed.

Enya, And Winter Came

Umm… WOW!!

Have I said it enough? I love… love… LOVE this lady. I knew in my gut that she would totally own the Holiday genre, and sure enough, this might be my favorite Christmas album of all time (sorry, Mariah).

There are only two traditional Christmas songs on the album: O Come, O Come Emmanuel and Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night). Both are exquisitely arranged in that they are true to the originals but indelibly marked by Enya’s unique sound and aesthetic. I’m particularly enraptured by Oiche Chiuin, which is a deceptively simple chorale arrangement of the hymn. Gaelic is such a beautiful language as it is, but with Enya’s trademark swelling and harmonies, it’s almost other worldly. This is what I want to hear right before I’m welcomed into the Magical Discotech in the Sky.

Also on the album are some attempts at original Christmas carols, including White Is in the Winter Night and One Toy Soldier. The first is all sleighbells, mistletoe, and other holiday references; an upbeat celebration of the sight and sounds of Christmas. One Toy Soldier is a fantastic piece which conjures the warm memories of Christmas morning, complete with brand new toys waiting under the tree. Another stellar track is Last Time By Moonlight, in which two lovers pause during a stroll under the stars and beg one another to remember this moment forever, because no one knows what lies ahead.

Throughout the album, Enya and her lyricist, Roma Ryan, continue to be fascinated by colors, nature scenes, and the seasons of the year. The album feels like a natural progression of all her preceding albums, which seems to corroborate with my theory that Enya is actually writing a massive song-cycle that we won’t really understand until her entire body of work is released. God, I hope I never see that day.

Will and Grace: 8th and final season

I’ve been waiting patiently (or not so patiently, akshully) for the final season of Will and Grace to be released ever since I let it get past me when it originally aired. I think I might have been waiting tables, and there’s yet another reason to be bitter about that.

Most of my favorite memories of college are locked up in this show *winks at Erin*, so rifling my way through these final episodes was a very sentimental experience, to say the least. I can’t begin to explain how much this show informs my own humor and sensibilities, but if I ever have to tell people what I find funny, this show is always the first example.

The last season, unfortunately, is probably the weakest opus in the set. It’s understandable, I suppose. The actors seem bored, the writing is tired, and the jokes just don’t hit like they used to – probably because most of them are the exact same jokes as before. From Season 4 through 6, this show seemed to rely on stunt-casting to keep it fresh, with decent results (there were only a few misfires (Madonna (yeah, I said it))), but by the time Taye Diggs was brought in to play Will’s love interest, it felt desperate… even though I love me some Taye Diggs.

All that said, I thought Season 8, along with the amazing finale, wrapped my favorite show up satisfactorily. That finale was something, wasn’t it? I know a lot of people hate sentiment in finales, especially from characters who don’t normally act sentimentally, but this show always had a chewy, creamy center, so why not let it end sweetly? The finale tried to answer the question that hung over the show since its inception: can a gay man and a straight woman really have a life-long friendship (that isn’t completely unhealthy and destructive to both)? The idea of Will and Grace seems to say, “Yes, it can”, but I think what it’s trying to say is, “Yes, I hope it can.” The obstacles facing a hag and her fag are unique and kind of unexplored in mainstream culture. The show did explore many of these obstacles through its run, and all of them ended well for the most part, which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen in real life. Trust me. The finale presents us with Will and Grace facing the classic killer of relationships such as thiers, which is: despite all their efforts to be everything for the other, neither will ever feel complete without non-platonic love.

In the finale, Will and Grace face this challenge, and for once, they do as they should: they fall apart and lose touch. Such is the life-cycle of a fruit and his fly. Buuuut, since it just can’t end like that, Will and Grace meet up again later in life, because, of all things, their kids meet in college and get married. Yeah, like that would ever happen. But it’s sweet and fantastical and SOBS.

As for me, I do believe a gay man and a straight woman can be life-long friends. That is, as long as both parties are mature and stable and relatively independent. I’m sure those kinds of people exist, although I can’t say I’ve met one. The truth is, and I believe Karen Walker said it best, “Every relationship between a gay man and a straight woman has an expiration date.” I can testify that truer words have never been spoken. Heartbreaking… but true.

What isn’t heartbreaking? My collection, which is now…

... complete.

Please forgive me posting a picture of my Will and Grace collection, of all things. When did I get so nerdy?


Erin G said...

i LOVED the w&g finale, too, even though I know some people hated it. I love karen and jack as old people.

Erin G said...

*winks back*