One Paragraph 7

The Chipmunk Adventure (viewed at home 9 May 2012)
Gave this movie to my sister for her birthday—we both have fond memories of it from when we were kids, so watching it again was a trip down memory lane. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes trying to “out-rock and roll” each other is always the best part. I hadn’t realised when I was a kid, though, how much blatant lack of respect for other cultures there is in this film. It’s nostalgic, but it’s also completely problematic.

Captain America: The First Avenger (viewed at home 7 May 2012)
Watched this with my sister in partial preparation for Marvel’s The Avengers, which came out in theaters May 4th. We’ll be watching them lead-in movies in chronological order (that is, in regards to their respective story lines, not in the order they were produced). Captain America was actually better than I was expecting. (Maybe I just have really low expectations for superhero movies? I don’t know.) Sister had already seen it, but she didn’t mind watching it again. I liked Tommy Lee Jones character the best, I think, and Bucky. Looking forward to Iron Man, which is next on the list, even though I’ve already seen it.

The Voice New Testament (31 March 2012 via eReader)
This new translation is written in stageplay format with a lot of “context” added in by Biblical scholars. I like the context itself, and I thought I would like the format, but instead the format ended up being very distracting; it reminded me of a Myspace webpage with popups and music and glittery annoyances every few words. Okay, it’s not that bad, but the format was still distracting. I hoped to get into it, but the “context” sections kept pulling me out of the narrative, and that seems like a flaw (possibly a fatal one) when the scholars’ very purpose is for a new generation to read Scripture as a narrative (as opposed to verse by verse).

Midnight in Paris (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
AMC saved the best for last, in my opinion (though the Academy didn’t agree with me on that count, so take that as you will). I didn’t like this film the best because it was the best film, but because it was so much better than I was expecting. Neither my sister nor I like the actor who plays the main character (and actually, he was about as I expected in this movie, too, so) but the story was really neat. Maybe I liked it because it was about a writer trying to find his voice or maybe I liked it because it features some of the most-lauded writers of the early twentieth century, but either way, I was pleasantly surprised. Someone mentioned it was full of geek, but really it was full of smart. Hell, I don’t even like Fitzgerald’s or Hemingway’s writing, but I got excited anyway because WRITERS! I did like Gertrude Stein (in the film and otherwise), though, so.

The Artist (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
The second-to-last film on the docket for the second day. A silent film with an epic score and only about a single minute of non-silent material (literally; I’m not joking). Also the second movie of the day about making movies (the first was Hugo). It was all right, and the audience was strangely quiet during the showing, but I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time. (Maybe everyone else felt that way, too, and that’s why no one was speaking under the actors… because there were no lines to speak under.) It was all right, like I said, and it won the Oscar for Best Picture, so I guess yay?

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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