Saturday, January 30, 2010

Movie Review #5: The Phantom of the Opera Mega Review

When I was 7, I was fortunate enough, by the good graces of my mother, to be taken to see Phantom of the Opera. It was my 3rd musical I had ever seen (at the time), and definitely would remain one of my favorites to this day. Though I didn't understand all that was going on, I knew one thing was true: The Phantom was a special person, that was misunderstood by everybody, even by the woman he loved. This, along with my favorite story ever written (Beauty and the Beast) would be a statement that would stick with me for years to come. A couple of years later, when I started getting interested in reading anything heavier then my Game-Boy, I began to read the many variations of this odd french thriller. Though the story itself is interesting, it is by far the romance and the character of Erik himself that always pulls me back in. Now around this time, I also dabbled into the many film versions of Phantom.... Which will be the subject of today's review.

Before I go deep into my review, let me give you a bit of background. The first noted film version of Phantom is an international 1916 silent screen movie starring a variety of Swedish actors from the time. This is considered at this point to be a lost film, and only is known by it's random mentions in other media. The most well known version in film terms is the infamous 1925 Lon Chaney Sr. silent film. It's both considered to be a masterpiece of filmmaking and one of the outstanding moments of Chaney's career. Though proceeding that, you might not believe this, but there are over 20 film adaptations and TV versions of this story. Some might just reference the general plot, while others dig deeper into the edges of the tale.

But rather then suggesting or going through each adaptation, I'm giving you all a mega "Phan" review of my top 5 favorite Phantom movies. Now, shall we proceed to the dungeon underneath the opera house? I think we shall....

First off I wanna give some special mentions that didn't make the cut, but I couldn't help but tell you about them.

Now I know many of you are going to be disappointed by this, but the Llyodd Webber version isn't in my top 5. Why? Well for starts, I wouldn't be a good reviewer if I was telling you about the versions you already know about. Second, though Gerard Butler is beautiful, no way in Phantom-y goodness hell does he capture Erik's character, visually. Because he's too much of a pretty boy to truly be the Phantom, and the make up they gave him for his "problem" on his face, it's just a disgrace to all of what Phantom of the Opera is. Aside from that, the cinematography is amazing as well as certain performances (Carlotta especially), and visually it is exactly like the musical. So for that alone, check it out.

Then I gotta mention The Wishbone episode. This seriously, funny enough, might be the most faithful version of the original novel I have ever seen. It has tiny elements (Such as Christine's missing scarf) that no other version has even begun to include. Also, Wishbone is just fun in general, so look for that one as well.

Now, lets go beneath the opera house... Starting with...

#5 The Claude Rains Version
Now, overall I put this on the list because it has one of the best selections of music I've heard in any of these film, which it even won an Oscar for. Story wise, it's a bit hit and miss. This is one of the first versions (but not the first) to begin the whole trend of being "scarred by acid" that makes The Phantom "The Phantom". Also, The Phantom and Christine's relationship was originally supposed to be a father and daughter form, but was changed to... 50 year old man loving 17 year old girl? Ok Universal. Claude Rains is one of my favorite actors from the classic film era, yet he doesn't exactly "shine" in this movie. But, Susanna Foster is a whole other story. To note, she's one of the only actresses to play Christine in these films who is actually singing, not dubbed. Her voice is fantastic and far superior then any other Christine's I have heard since. Also, the original music for the film is enchanting (check it out here).

#4 Song at Midnight/Phantom Lover Version
This one you probably have no idea about, unless you are a true "Phan". Both films are deemed the Chinese version of the story, but I really think both of these are more then that. Song at Midnight was the first to come out, with great direction and very powerful scenes. Though I must say, the original's make up aside, I prefer The Phantom Lover remake then the original Song at Midnight. Here's the plot... A famous male opera singer is in a deep romance with the daughter of a factory owner. When she is told to marry another in an arranged marriage, she plans to runaway with the singer. But instead, he is killed .... or so she thinks. Years later, another young male opera singer goes to rehearse in the famous abandoned Opera house. He is then haunted by The Phantom (who, we find out, was the famous male opera singer that was "killed") The Phantom asks the young singer if he can pretend to be the person The Phantom used to be for his love... who still believes he is alive. The way the story goes on is very gripping, but with a somewhat confused ending. Still I totally recommend it if you want to see a different take on the original story, but watch it dubbed (the subtitles are god awful).

#3 The Phantom of the Paradise
Just a warning before you go into wondering "Why the hell is this on your list?", this a cult classic, but is definitely one of the more awkward adaptations to film. But why is it number 3? Just because it's the most individual version. It has great rock music, some really funny and unique performances, and of course, Paul Williams (need I say more..)The plot is a mixture of both Faust and Phantom, which if you know in the original Phantom story, Faust is the opera they perform in the first section. I thought that was a cleaver tribute in a way to the original. Winslow is a struggling musician who writes a rock musical version of Faust, but Swan (Paul Williams) steals his music, and ultimately makes Winslow a monster. But the question is, who really is the monster in this tale? It's the audiences choice on the matter in the end. You'll also be interested to know that this is Brian De Palma's first film (the man who would later directed Carrie among others), and this is also my favorite film of his. Also, check out the music...this by far is my favorite song, along with this one. The music is the real star of this movie, so go and be impressed.

#2 Robert Englund Version
It was hard to chose between the last two of which order to put them in, but I decided to chose based on the entire story, rather then just which Phantom I favor. This almost "hammer horror" styled version, stars my favorite Phantom of all time, Robert Englund. Many of you probably have no idea who this man is, unless you are a horror film nerd of any kind, but this actually is the same guy that played Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm-street series. But why is he my favorite Phantom? Well personally, I think Robert took the role in a whole other direction that no other actor since Chaney had even tried. He brought the sarcastic humor, romantic charm, and powerful frightening behavior that makes Erik so compelling. I also happen to enjoy the twist on his back story in this version, that he made a deal with the devil (similar to Faust) to make his music famous, but in turn, his face was ruined. Unfortunately, he has to go through some pretty nasty stuff to keep up a decent appearance (think the victorian era version of a face lift) That possibly might be the only flaw with this movie, the violence. Though I'm a person that can handle the blood and guts it throws at you, many of you might not be able too. But if you want to see an excellent Erik performance, go get it!

#1 Charles Dance TV Mini Series Version
This, my fellow frillies, is my favorite version. Though it's very long and has a lot of story going into it, this version by far is the most enjoyable, romantic, heartfelt and beautiful. It features a very toned down but enjoyable Phantom (played by Charles Dance), and goes deeper into his backstory, including elements about his father and mother's relationship. Unfortunately it throws away a lot of the original story elements, but takes some tiny details and makes them bigger. The best example would be Philip, who originally was Raoul's brother, but then makes him to be Christine's other main interest and gets rid of Raoul entirely. Philip is a bit of a jerk, yet I can see why in some sense Christine would be interested in him. I can't not mention the most epic ending ever for a Phantom movie, it has you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and is so beautifully shot, I cried the first time I watched it. Here's a snippet of what I'm talking about....

So overall, what Phantom movie should you see? It depends on your taste. These movies just as movies aren't exactly the best, except for the last mentioned really is a brilliant mini series, and the other 2 from the top 3 are great for their own genres. I give them all, 4 headbows. They all have a special something to them that makes them shine, and therefore you really should check them out if you want to be engrossed in a great story that has lived for over 100 years. If you haven't fell under the Phantom's spell, I think it's about time you took a chance on it.

I really hope you enjoyed today's lengthy review !! as for next weeks , check out the trailer here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Next Months Review Theme: Romantic Horror

It seems by a majority vote that Romantic Horror is the winner of February's movie review theme! I personally was hoping this one would win, due to it being valentines day (but I definitely didn't want to celebrate it in the traditional sense). Here's a list of the upcoming reviews ~~ enjoy:
~ Phantom of the Opera MEGA REVIEW (my top 5 favorite versions)
~ The Portrait of Dorian Gray (1945)
~ Mary Reilly (1996)
~ Wait, these are horror movies? review including Rebecca + Wuthering Heights

I hope you are all excited, my favorite ruffly readers !!

I'd also like give a shout out to all the new followers! We have reached from what was 2 to now 17. Yes, it's small, but I truly appreciate it. But the goal? By the beginning of my next review on Monday to have 25 followers! so tell your friends about La Vida Frills and let's get this party started (as they say) ~~
Look out for some new non-review posts and I hope to hear more from you all in terms of feedback. Do you like the reviews? Want more non-reviews? Tell me.

Thanks and look out for a new post on Sunday and of course a review on Monday ~~~
(also, the majority of the photos i use are credited to and flickr)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Review #4: "Somewhere in Time" 1980

A pocket watch. A simple yet complex piece, but in today's movie is the symbol of one of the most beautiful relationships captured on film. It represents time, lost memories, and a love that could not be broken by anything. I'm discussing of course the romantic cult classic "Somewhere in Time" (1980) starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

The plot is that of a playwright named Richard, who after the premiere of his latest work, is stopped by an elderly woman. She gives him a pocket watch, and tells him to "come back" to her. He later discovers some years later, that in fact she was Elise Mckenna, an actress of the early 20th century. Through some deep research, Richard finds himself able to go through a unique style of time travel, in which the person is hypnotized into the mind set of the time of the location they are in. Suddenly he is now in 20th Century Michigan, at the Grand Hotel. But what transpires is a fantastic romance for the ages...

But what makes this movie so interesting, besides it being an absolutely beautiful love story, is the impact it's had and its history. Though in its original release it bombed and was panned by critics, it's become one of the most successful cult movies of all time and actually has it's own annual event at the Grand Hotel, in which people dress up in costumes and guests from the film dine with fans. It also has it's own fan club and magazine, that's been publishing since the early 90's.

Of course, originally as a child I was drawn to Christopher Reeve. This sadly was one of the last films he would make before his life changing accident, to which Superman himself was paralyzed from the neck down. He is absolutely charming and completely believable in this movie. I also have to give props to Jane Seymour. Though usually I find a lot of her work to be very cheesy and somewhat annoying, I find this to one of the fewer rules that she was meant to play. She's very good with period films, for which this is by far her best (Move over Dr.Quin!!) By far though the best part of the movie is the location. What's great is that you can actually still visit the Grand Hotel in Michigan to this day, and maybe have your own little time traveling romance as well? The costumes also are amazing, and were nominated for an Academy Award.

My only possible problem with the film is the length and the ending. The pacing is a bit slow at time, and the ending could have been touched up a bit more, though still emotionally gripping, but you'll have to see for yourself.

Finally as mentioned, due to it's fandom popularity, you can easily get the film and tons of merchandise surrounding it. They all can be found here along with more info here.

So, the grading for the movie.... 4 headbows !! Though with it's length and questionable elements of time travel, this love story is definitely a nice treat for the senses. All you frillies are sure to enjoy this, maybe cuddle up with your Prince while viewing.

Just a reminder, you only have 3 more days to vote for next months theme! So far Romantic Horror is winning, but if you think overwise, ROCK THE VOTE. Until then, apologizes for the late and short review. Be ready for some other new posts and more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Review #3: Return to Oz (1985)

*I'm so sorry that this post is a bit late, I've been a bit ill and adjusting back to school. Enjoy the post!!

Do you remember your first visit to the magical world of Oz? My mom bought the first ever VHS copy of the 1939 classic for me when I was only 3. From that moment on, I remember sitting on my carpet and being completely in love with the Emerald City. I would forever continue to return to that world time and time again. But, when I was 7, having a sleepover with my best friend at the time, she pulled out an odd looking tape titled "Return to Oz". Not knowing what exactly lay ahead of me, I exclaimed my interest in seeing this new chapter of Dorothy's adventures on screen. What I came to find was something completely different, something that original frightened me so much, that I never wanted to see the film again. So, when it came time to come up with ideas of movies to review (that also went with the theme) this film, though originally hesitant, seemed like the perfect choice.
But why review this movie? Why go back to something that wasn't exactly positive when I have my own liberal free choice to review something different? Well, I felt it wrong not to go ahead with this review. Why? Purely because Dorothy is the American lolita icon. The UK has Alice, Japan obviously has lolita itself and it's many famous celebrities, as well as other countries having their own Lolita related characters of fame. In America though, Dorothy is our frilly lady. From the mind of L.Frank Baulm, this young country girl from Kansas has entered into the pop culture mind set all over the world. She embodies innocence in it's purest gingham dressed form, and continues to inspire anyone that comes near her stories. With that in mind, I now bring you today's review of..... Disney's Return to Oz starring Fairuza Balik.
Now, due to the lengthy and sometimes confusing plot of this movie, I'm not gonna go into the details, but just the important things to know. So we begin our story with seeing Dorothy in her bed. 6 months have past since her trip to Oz, and all she can do is think about the marvelous world. Her Aunt and Uncle (looking a bit too young for my taste) begin to panic, and consider doing electro shock therapy on Dorothy to make her go back to normal. As her mind reaches to go back to the Emerald City, Dorothy returns to her once yellow brick road to find it turned into a mess. Oz is completely disembodied, and her friends (Lion and Tin Man) are turned to stone while The Scarecrow, the king of Oz, has been kidnapped. It's now up to Ms.Gale to rescue her friends and Oz from it's current state.
On her way, Dorothy meets new friends. Instead of her usual Toto, Dorothy's new sidekick is a talking chicken named Bellina. She also meets Jack Pumpkinhead (who I can't help but think of a Mr.Skellington when I hear his name), Tik Tok, and Gump (a talking head of a moose). Aside from them, the most interesting character would be one of the villains, The Nome King. Though he visually is very frightening, he is still very compelling, and more interesting then the original Wizard himself.
Though there are a lot of reasons to prove that this movie is beyond creepy, the most obvious sequence is when Dorothy goes to retrieve the magical powder (that will make Gump come to life) and is in a way "attacked" (but more mentally then physically, which also goes for the audience) by a hall of disembodied heads and a headless body. The scene can be watched here.

But why with all it's scary images and story, would be people continue to return to this version of Oz? Because, though the 1939 version is the most well known and loved, this is by far the most realistic and faithful film adaptation of the Oz stories. I don't think Frank L.Baulm was thinking of a happy go lucky musical when he wrote the story. The Oz stories weren't meant to be something that was completely devoid of the realities of life. It was meant to help children grow up in a more creative way, even if that way involved life's most intimate fears. Though others may believe otherwise, if you can to see the true vision of Oz, I recommend this.

So what kind of frilly lady would enjoy this? I recommend it more for either Sweet lolitas (with a bit of a more twisted taste) or gothic lolitas. It has the sort of sarcastic and meek undertone that works well in some prints and ideals, sort of like a Atelier Pierrot design or a more toned down Alice and the Pirates creation.

Overall I give the movie 3 headbows (3). Visually it's great to watch, but I wouldn't recommend it for the weak of heart. Thanks for reading this weeks post, and sorry for the delay. Next week will be the last 80's fantasy review, and here's a preview to keep you interested.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Review #2: Labyrinth (1986)

So, when you think of things from your childhood, what do you remember most? For me, one of the things that sticks clearly in my mind would be the work of Jim Henson. This man is the definition of imaginative. I believe him to be one of the more modern equivalents to Walt Disney or L.Frank Baum. Unfortunately, Jim died during the beginning of the 90's, and too early might I add. But, with his final film, he left a legacy of a brilliant and lively imagination that no one can top... And with that I bring you the subject of today's review....
Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and a very young Jennifer Connelly.

Now, why out of all the 80's fantasy movies did I chose this film? Well, this definitely is one of the more girly features that came out of the genre at the time. It stars a strong female lead, lots of fantastic images, and of course includes one of my favorite people, David Bowie. Most of you have either heard of or seen this film before, so I won't go into a length review of the plot.

The story surrounds around the character known as Sarah (Connelly), a teenager with an interest in fairy tale stories, especially that of the Goblin King. When her fantasy life is interrupted by her parent's request of babysitting her little brother Toby, Sarah goes into a fit of rage. She hates wasting her time taking care of a screaming child, and asks without thinking "I wish the goblins would come and take you away. Right now." Suddenly, her request is fulfilled, when Toby vanishes without a trace. In his place stands Jareth, The Goblin King himself (Bowie). He tells Sarah that in order to get Toby back, She must travel through the Labyrinth in front of Jareth's castle and rescue him from there. But, if she does not make it in time, Toby will be turned into a goblin and become Jareth's property forever. From then on, the movie becomes the story of Sarah's journey to rescue Toby, and the things that happen in between.

Now on to what stands out about this movie. Overall, it's hard to find any negative qualities about Labyrinth. Henson captures the simple yet dramatic world that children imagine when they think of fantasies inside themselves. Similar to that of The Wizard of Oz, this film has it's reality counterparts that help Sarah turn from a young girl to a women in only a matter of moments. Visually, this movie can not be compared. It's beige color palette, touched with few bits of pastels is very memorable. This movie has definitely influenced the colors of future fantasy tales (film or book form) for years to come.

I think though there are only three things that really have me coming back to this movie, for the many years I've watched it over and over again. For starts, Sarah and Jareth's relationship is definitely complex. What begins as the usual protagonist vs. antagonist, which then buds into an innocent romance, ends as a form of unrequited love (though on whose end? you'll have to find out for yourself). Second comes the costumes. They can be as simple as a blouse with a pair of jeans, to an absolutely drop dead gorgeous ball gown, they are simply unforgettable. Last but not least though, David Bowie. He is perfect in this rule. It's embodies the dangerous rock star side of him, but with a taste of elegance. I personally think he is a very talented and underrated actor, which here he really shines. The songs in this movie are also amazing, especially As The World Falls Down (my personal favorite.)

But for the petticoat loving people out there, why would Labyrinth be a movie to check out? I personally think it's one of the most visually beautiful movies to ever be made. The costumes, locations and overall feel are very lolita and girly appropriate, without it being a chick flick and losing it's intelligence in it's story telling. Also, once you've seen the Ballroom sequence, try and tell me how you wouldn't want a lolita replica of Sarah's dress? Finally, it's great to see a fantasy movie carried by a really intelligent young female lead. She may have her faults, but they are ones that can be looked over with ease.

So with that, Labyrinth gets four headbows out of five. Except for a bit of a lengthy running time, this movie is almost perfect. A great last treat from the amazing Jim Henson.

Keep checking out every Monday for a new review, and here's a sneak peak at next weeks ---- Here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Horse Of A Different Color

As related to my post about dressing in lolita around your family, this is a very similar one, about as just as important a topic.
So, today you get invited to go out with your friends. There are a variety of places that you and your friends might be going to. The mall, the movies, the arcade, theme park etc. You've picked out your most rori filled outfit. The problem? These friends don't dress lolita. Now you might automatically say "Um, so I just won't wear lolita then..?" But my answer? NO. Don't give into the impulse thinking thats the only solution to the matter. You obviously love to dress lolita, right? It's your own style and you shouldn't feel ashamed of it.

But then the question becomes, how do I wear lolita without looking like the odd ball of the group? OR how can I wear lolita without my friends running away from me? Well, based on personal experience, I have some suggestions. They might not work for everybody, but I'm sure they'll be at least a bit helpful.

First off, where are you going with your friends? I find that every place has a different sort of vibe to it, which can help with your choice of what to wear. For example, take the mall. It's filled with stores (that yes, will have super cute loli-able off brand stuff in it), food, and large crowds.

I suggest this is the place where you dress a bit more casual. Do not wear more then 1 petticoat, nothing crazy in terms of headgear or extensions for that matter. You want your outfit to be cute, but also easy to get around in. This is because you might wanna try on clothes and or anything wearable. You don't want to take 20 minutes to remove your coordinate just to try on something that normal would take 10 minutes to check out all together. Also, wear comfortable shoes, I can't stress enough how important this is. If you are shopping for 5 hours, it's best to not wear your favorite pair of Rocking Horse Shoes. Go for instead a more flat pair, like Tea Party shoes or Heart Buckles (preferably the replica versions).

The next step in this is, what should I wear as the main chunk of my outfit? Jsk/OP or a skirt/cutsew outfit? I'd either go with a JSK or skirt/cutsew outfit. Most OP's (not all though), can be a bit over the top. I'd also go with either a bold colored piece or a very tiny print. For prints, here are some examples.

Now what about accessories? Personally I wouldn't go with anything too crazy. Have fun with the tiny things like earrings and rings, but everything else I'd leave to be simple. Also go with bold colors socks or ones very a delicate design. I personally wouldn't go for stripes or a heavy looking design, unless these are the only socks you have.

Here are some other tiny things you should keep in mind.
  • If you are going to the movies, don't wear anything like a bonnet or hat. You don't want someone being rude to you and asking for you to take it off.
  • Put confidence in your step, no one wants to see a frilly lady or gentleman walk around with a sad expression.
To conclude with this question, what if my friends really aren't cool with it? Well personally then thats a shame, and you should find friends that accept you no matter what you wear. I unfortunately, when I started dresses lolita more then I did prior, I got many a bad review from people I did respect at the time.

But at the same time, I was able to find friends that either didn't care or completely supported it. The main thing to think of is, are you comfortable in lolita? then wear it! Again, you shouldn't feel ashamed of this. Have fun no matter what the occasion is, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

I hope this was at least a bit helpful. Look out for Monday's next movie review.... here is another clue.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Frill Reviews #1: The Frog Prince

Oh the 80's... A time where no shoulder pad was big enough, Hair Metal was the "totally awesome" tunes of the time, and our only real concern was Ronald Reagan and his "magical jelly beans".
But do you know another popular thing that came out of the 80's? Fantasy Movies. Now, it maybe because of how crazy this decade was or all the elements, and amounts of hair mousse, feel into place. But we were all treated to a crop full of epic fairy tales, all with an 80's twist.

There are probably ones you have heard of more then others (Jim Henson's films & Legend), but today we are going to be discussing probably one of these few "jems" you most likely have no idea it existed. But it's best to explain why it even exists in the first place..

During the later part of the decade, a company called Cannon Films (responsible for a collection of B-Movie Action flicks), decided that they wanted to make a handful of children's fairy tale movies that would mostly be shown in some of the UK theaters that they owned at the time. The owner of Cannon quoted that he "wanted to make movies for his grandchildren" and with that 6 films were made.

As I was deciding on which of these to review, I looked for one that was the most unique, and the one with the more "interesting" songs and acting. Sadly, many of these movies aren't exactly oscar worthy, but I think the one I will be discussing today is definitely one to check out. The movie... The Frog Prince starring Aileen Quinn and John Paragon.

The story is that of Princess Zora (Quinn), who is currently residing in the home of her Uncle, The King of the land. The time has come for one of the higher ups to pick the new heir to the throne, and Zora wants to be accepted as the Princess she is.

But someone gets in Zora's way, and who might that be? Well you'll be surprised to know that is none other then Helen Hunt (one of her first roles), as her Wicked Step Sister Henrietta, who wants the crown. Of course, Henrietta is considered to be the top choice, due to her beauty (and not really anything else...), but Zora still wants to prove her Uncle wrong. Sadly, every time Zora tries to show her royal skills, Henrietta always ruins it.
Due to these events, Zora loses all hope in her friendless world. That's right, the poor girl has no friends, except for her lucky Golden Ball. But when she accidently drops her treasured item into the wheel , a Frog Man, appropriately named Ribbit (Paragon),appears. Ribbit goes on to tell Zora of how he is an outcast of his home too, being a "Too Tall Frog".

Deciding that these two have a lot in common, they quickly become friends. When Zora's Uncle arrives with a letter about the Sunset Ball (where the next Princess will be chosen), Zora doubts herself in thinking she can win. But Ribbit decides to help her by teaching her all the right moves. During their lesson though,Henrietta sees how much Zora looks like a princess, and plans to stop the progress!

After their lesson, Ribbit goes to return to his pond home (because if he has no water, he will unfortunately die), in which he promises to return the next day for the dance, and the two proclaim their "Friendship". As Zora sleeps, Ribbit is kidnapped by Henrietta and hidden in the Black Forest, to die with no water.

When Zora awakes, she question that Ribbit might have "Forgotten Her",But when she realizes what exactly Henrietta had done, she is given her Uncle's blessing to find him. Unfortunately, if Zora doesn't make it to the ball by sundown, she will lose the right to the throne forever.

On her journey, Zora eventually finds Ribbit, and kisses him on the cheek in their embrace. Suddenly Ribbit is turned into a handsome prince, proclaiming that he had been under a curse for the past year and Zora had broken it. Of course, everything turns out fine in the end, as Zora gets to the castle in time with her prince, and Henrietta has lost! Happily Ever After as they say...

So first off, Why should you frilly people even think about seeing this movie? I personally think that is a very Sweet lolita appropriate film. It's cute, simple and visually it's very pleasing. I find much of it to remind me of Baby's color ways, and I now personally wish for a Ribbit/Frog Prince inspired print (Jumperskirt please?)

I do though have some tiny problems with the movie. To begin, many of the "plot lines" aren't 100% developed as they should be. Though I wanna nit pick every single one of them, I have to come to the conclusion that, it's for kids and they don't really care. But there are some of them I know kids would question, especially my next problem in general, this "friendship" between Zora and Ribbit.

Now in most adaptations of this story, Zora's character would be closer to 18, but actually she's 12. I think this may have originally been written for the prior age mentioned, but because Quinn was such a popular name at the time (due to her fame from ANNIE), they threw her in there and changed the plot. So what originally was supposed to be a "romantic relationship" now was changed to a "friendship". The only thing is, if it's supposed to be a friendship, then why are they acting otherwise? I'm guessing the screenwriters were fed up at this point, and just kept everything except for it being changed to "friendship". This also could be some sort of growing up thing, because usually 12 is the age when girls (at least for me...) noticed that boys weren't gross anymore. Take it either way you will, it can seem a bit creepy, but yet I let it slide, cause it's cute when looked at otherwise regardless.

The good points? Well because I've watched a lot of the Cannon films, this one I think is one of the best. It's actually a unique twist on the story, and the songs are adorable. In some of the Cannon films, the songs are very out of place, or the voices are horrible (Trust me, they really are.) But this has the great distinction of having the songs mostly great all together. None of them are great lyrically, but they are simple and very pretty. Some can even get stuck in your head easily. Here are my favorites in audio streaming form ----
  • "Friendship" This one is adorable, but again you have to think of it in the most innocent ways possible and that it probably was intended to mean something else originally. Both of the vocals are cute, and Paragon has such a nice voice.
  • "Have You Forgotten Me?" This song is definitely my favorite. Quinn's vocals are adorable and just so painfully sweet. Again a lot of these are written in a lyrics 101 style, but still very cute.
Another good thing? John Paragon in my opinion steals the movie. He's very charming and very good with the part. Again, after watching a bunch of these movies, He's one of the better actors to be included. Good job casting!

So overall? I give this movie 3 Baby headbows and a wrist cuff (3.5)
It's not perfect, but its adorable and a fun movie to watch when your feeling blue. It certainly put a smile on my face !

But the question is, if you want to see if, where should you look? Unfortunately it isn't available anywhere in the US (except occasionally the VHS will pop up on Ebay), and the other international copies are in their respective languages. So here's a present from me to you. Here is the trailer and here is part 1 of the movie. The quality isn't great, but it's watchable at least.

Incase you are interested in checking out other Cannon films, here is the other ones I recommend...
  • Beauty and The Beast - It's generally good, the "Beauty" character is dumb and can't really sing, but the Beast stands out in this version and has a neat costume. It has some interesting differences between the usual tale, and Beauty has a lot of siblings in this version.
  • Puss n Boots - I recommend this purely for the fact that Christopher Walkin is in it, singing and dancing (and actually pretty good!) It surprised even me.
So, I hope you enjoyed the first of many reviews! But, what will be next weeks review you ask? Here is a clue.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's a New Year Of New Frills

Captain's log --- Second day of 2010. Now that a new year along with a decade has gone away, I personally think it's a great time to make a list of your frilliest goals. Now rather then your actual shopping goals (Yes, I'm talking to you miss "I want the sugar unicorn cake crack print" !), but more goals of things you'd like for you to happen in or for yourself as a lolita. Here's a list of my goals and I hope they can help you too !
  • I want to experiment in other styles outside of my usual sweet tendencies. Mostly classic and pirate (ARRRR!!)
  • I'd like to take control of my room more and make it the palace I've always dreamed of.
  • I would like to collect more cheaper pieces (Yes, that means you Bodyline) so that I can wear lolita on a more daily basis.
  • I need to go rent out the camera from school and film more of my documentary, before I have to go into more hardcore classes.
  • I want to make this blog as lovely and known to people all around, as possible.
  • The vlog needs some more love, so I hope to post a video once a week there.
  • I want to attempt to make as many new frilly friends as possible before the summer. Though I love my NYC girls, I would love to make a whole bunch of new friends outside of my home state.
  • I want to lose more weight (haha, original right?) so that I may fit into a bigger variety of pieces.
  • I need to be properly taught some new make up tutorials, along with how to actually use things like concealer, without looking like a Star Wars extra.
  • Finally, I want make lolita more a part of my life then ever before !!
Now on to another important thing --- I have some new things coming up for the blog, which you all should be looking out for. First of, I'll be going to one of my first completely out of Tri-State meet ups. I'll be meeting the majority of the CT Lolita's for the first time, including Victoria of Lolita Charm and Aly of Miss Lumpy. Now I have met these two ladies on other occasions, it'll be the first time I'll see them in their natural CT habitats, it's very exciting. Expect a video and blog posts on the event (we will be see The Princess and the Frog, second time for me but still all the more fun).

(To the above, sadly this was cancelled so no post about that. If you'd like to see the coordinate for that you can check it out here and here)

Next up, I'll be making a weekly themed post, in which I'll be doing what I most love.... talking about movies! It will basically become a review of the best lolita friendly movies to see, some you might not have even heard of. I'll be posting the first review on Monday and every Monday from now on. Also, every month the movies will have a theme... so what is this months theme? 80's Fantasy Films. The first will be Cannon Film's B-Movie classic "The Frog Prince" starring the original Annie herself, Aileen Quinn (and a very young Helen Hunt as her evil step sister). I hope you look forward to the reviews and also check out the poll, in which you can help pick next months theme!

To end, La Vida Frills will be having a monthly contest... details on that later.

I hope that 2010 is a productive year for all you poofy people out there and that you continue to see La Vida Frills progress.