It’s time for another ZELDA installment!
If you don’t know the story, here’s the basics: A long time ago, in a folder far, far away from any major data congregation, an idea was born. The Creator called her Zelda. For many years, Zelda faithfully stored the good, the bad, and the dungy films without drawing any attention to its brilliance.
One day ZELDA decided to reveal her SECRETS, countdown style. She gave you the 2010 and 2009 overviews, and now she presents the 2008 titles that will rock your world. Or possibly tip it a little.
Without further ADO (not ADIEU, don’t you hate that?)… the three Zeldas of the West.
ZELDA, the EXCELLENT
1. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging: If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a British teenage girl, this is the movie to go to. Georgia is not your average girl, but she has the average teenage problems. Except her being less-than-average makes the average things less average. Make sense? It’s wonderfully British and funny, excellent for giggles at slumber parties. Or if you’re like me and you enjoy these sorts of things in general. Hey, I do have a life!
2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: This is a heart-wrecking story about friendship. It raises a lot of unanswerable moral questions like ‘what is more important: family or friendship?’ Ronan is the eight-year-old son of a man in charge of a concentration camp during World War II. For lack of any other children in the vicinity, he makes friends with a young Jewish boy. That’s when the trouble begins. Truly remarkable and sad. I’d stock up on the Kleenex. Warning: it’s NOT a family movie.
3. The Air I Breathe: It’s one of those movies that follow several different people and their stories, except in The Air I Breathe, the stories get connected somehow. The beautiful part is that these stories are based on a Chinese proverb that separates life into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow, and love. Finally, a film where Sarah Michelle Gellar can truly shine.
4. Wall-E: Wall-E became a beloved family choice as soon as it was released. It’s one of those rare films that don’t need a lot of script to say something. After all, aren’t we supposed to show rather than tell? Wall-E does just that: he follows the she-robot of his dreams across space and among the ruins of the Earth. And the one memorable line that stuck: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-va, will stay with me forever. It’s the cutest substitute for ‘I love you’ I have ever heard to date.
5. City of Ember: You know I’ve been riding the dystopian wave lately right? This film is based on the fantasy/science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau and it tells a story of a shattered world with power and food shortages, and one big secret. If you like speculative fiction and dystopian plots, you’ll love this movie. Of course, young Saoirse Ronan makes it even better.
More excellent choices: The Dark Knight, Blindness, Made of Honor, Secret Life of Bees, Slumdog Millionaire, The Eye, The Other Boleyn Girl, Vicky Christina Barcelona.
And the Zelda award for excellency goes to…
ZELDA, the GOOD WITCH
1. Definitely, Maybe: You want a sweet love story? How about three love stories? And how about some mystery? If you’ve been nodding along, then Definitely, Maybe is the film for you. The sexy Ryan Reynolds reveals the story of how he met his daughter’s mother… along with two other women. But which one is the mother? The high school sweetheart? The selfish career-woman? Or the perfect girl?
2. Pathology: There are movie scenes I never forget. In this film, it’s the sex scene. Who needs porn when you have dark sex involving Milo Ventimiglia? But wait. This is not why the movie’s good. It’s good because it’s cloaked in death and mystery. A bunch of medical students commit murders and make a game out of it. When playing with scissors turns into playing with scalpels, the phrase ‘playing God’ takes a dark twist.
3. Yes Man: I have to admit this one got under my skin for a while. Imagine saying yes to EVERYTHING – however crazy or illegal – instead of succumbing to the perpetual no-sickness of the anti-social movement. (For the record, I tried this myself for a week.) Now imagine watching Jim Carrey of all people saying yes to everything, however crazy or illegal. Enough said.
4. Wild Child: For a teenage movie, this is one helluva good choice! Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts) is a sun-kissed trouble-maker from California, determined to drive her father crazy, but ends up being shipped to her mother’s old boarding school in… England instead. And guess who makes her stay better? Sexy Alex Pettyfer. And if you need more convincing, it’s a pretty good story about maturation and growth. Worth a watch.
5. Wanted: As far as Angelina Jolie action-packed movies go, this was actually pretty good, especially on the big screen. It’s not every day that you see curving bullets and Jolie’s naked butt. Like most of Miss Jolie’s choices, the story has a clever foundation with a bit of a lack in the romance department. But who needs romance when you get all the action you can take and more?
More good enough choices: 27 Dresses, Australia, Camp Rock (for the music), Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Dutchess, Flash of Genius, Hancock, Horton Hears a Who (sweet family movie), How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Incredible Hulk, Keith (off-kilter), Life before Her Eyes, Max Pyane, The Passengers (psych), Seven Pounds (inspirational), Sex and the City, Sleepwalking, Step Up 2, The Other Man, The Oxford Murders, The Women, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2, Untraceable, X-Files: Believe.
ZELDA, the DUNG-BEETLE
1. The Happening: No words can express how much this sucked. In fact, it wins the dung-beetle award for ALL-TIME. No genuine acting. No sensible dialogue. No plot whatsoever.
2. Management: Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl wishes she hadn’t met the boy. That’s pretty much the gist of it. It’s another one of those ‘She’s Out of My League’ scenario but without the humorous element. I am so sorry to say that maybe the anti-Aniston crowd has a point. Poor Jen. She never really got to do the real stuff. I mean, even Sandra Bullock got to win an Oscar!
3. Jumper: Have you always dreamed of jumping from country to country? Teleporting a thousand miles away in the blink of an eye? If your answer is yes, then maybe you’ll enjoy some parts of the movie. However, on the whole the film is a dud. The main character jumps around, then he’s chased after by some sort of jumper-hunters, then he finds a friend and drags his childhood sweetheart around with him, while they’re being chased around the planet. I hope I didn’t make it sound fun by mistake!
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still: It’s just another mindless alien invasion story the world can do without. When I saw The Lake House, I became convinced that the hottie Keanu Reeves can, in fact, do wrong. But even though his lame sci-fi affair with Sandra Bullock in 2006 proved to be a reminder of Hollywood’s poor ideas of science fiction, I never thought he’d go from bad to SUPER-BAD in two years’ time.
5. Eagle Eye: If you have a secret belief that machines will run the world one day, you might want to skip that one. It will feed your paranoia to the point of insanity. The hook is interesting: a super-computer activates unsuspecting citizens to do its dirty work, but once you are hooked, you won’t have much to look forward to. There’s some action and some running… and that’s it.
More sucky (nothing good can come of watching, don’t ask me why I did) choices: 21, Bedtime Stories, College Road Trip, Doomsday, Extreme Movie, Fool’s Gold, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hottie and Nottie, Hounddog, High School Musical 3, Journey to the Middle of the Earth, Marley and Me, Nim’s Island, Spiderwick Chronicles, Over Her Dead Body, Twilight, What Happens in Vegas.
And the dung-beetle award goes to…
Granted, one must never even rent this after seeing the cover. I have no excuse really. I think I just wanted to see how bad the whole movie-watching experience can get. Call it masochism. Call it healthy curiosity. But please -- for the love of God and beauty -- do not watch this or your eyeballs might shoot out of their sockets.
Did I miss anything? What did you think of Zelda's selection? I love to hear from you!