Spirited Wicker

My grump against fantasy movies continued on Sunday, when we also watched Spirited Away. That’s a film I’ve never heard a bad word about, and it just didn’t do much for me. I nodded off at points, I was uninvolved at all points and I just was under-charmed by the parts I could tell I was supposed to find charming. Hard to tell if my fantasy senses were dulled or I really don’t care much for this and the Harry Potter.

At the other extreme, last night we watched The Wicker Man, which as been sitting on our DVR since around Halloween. I thought this was a fantastic film. I don’t know exactly which cut this was, but it wasn’t one of the really butchered short American ones. I think it was the 99 minute one. It was every bit as creepy as I’ve heard it was. Even knowing the basic outline of the story, I didn’t see where it was going until right before it got there. There were little nice touches, like the fact that when Christopher Lee’s fantastic early 70’s haircut and sideburns are windblown, he looks just like the John Barleycorn icon that is so prevalent in the movie. The juxtaposition of the Christian and pagan imagery was quite cool and very effective. It bugged me that the actor playing Sgt. Howie seemed familiar but I couldn’t place him. By looking at IMDB I realized that hey, that was the Equalizer!

All in all, I highly recommend The Wicker Man and am ho-hum on Spirited Away and Harry Potter #2.

3 Replies to “Spirited Wicker”

  1. Yeah, I agree about Spirited Away. I happen to like it myself, but it’s Miyazaki, and Miyazaki films do require a certain amount of attention span and interest. If it’s not for you…well, you won’t like it very much.

    That’s really insightful, isn’t it?

  2. Can’t say I agree; I felt the opposite.

    Spirited Away’s artwork impressed me, as did the mood it created. The story was pretty uninspired (especially that nonsense about the young prince being a dragon, and, in fact, an extinct river, or something… whatever…).

    In addition to the art and mood, there was a good deal of humor (the big baby! the floating heads!). All in all, my wife and I enjoyed it enormously and will watch it again.

    As for Wicker Man, I rented it many years ago. I was in a cheesy-movie-watching period, and he recently come across such classics as Zardoz (Sean Connery in an orange diaper! With a beer gut! And a rifle! Gi-normous floating stone head! People dying with final words like “It was all a joke!” Can’t beat it.) and Psychomania.

    Somehow, Wicker Man was just not good enough to be good, and not bad enough to be good, either (like the two mentioned above).

    Ah, well. Too each his own.

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