Tuesday, April 08, 2008

All That Trouble for a Movie Review!

On Sunday I went to see Nim's Island with a friend. She was looking to get out to the movies for the first time in ages, so I read through the choices on Fandango for my two closest theater complexes and that film sounded the most promising. Barely. I'd never actually head of it, and the synopsis (which appears on Fandango, Flixter and the film's own website, for starters) is very poorly and ambiguously written:

Anything can happen on Nim's Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl's imagination. It is an existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary character, Alex Rover--the world's greatest adventurer. But Alexandra, the author of the Rover books, leads a reclusive life in the big city. When Nim's father goes missing from their island, a twist of fate brings her together with Alexandra. Now, they must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover, and find strength in one another to conquer Nim's Island.

Okay, first off, the magical place thing is poetic license. I thought it might be a fantasy film, but the closest it got to fantasy was in having a superintelligent pelican (sort of). Second, her life isn't all that similar to Rover's. Third, Alexandra doesn't help to "conquer" Nim's Island, whatever that means.

It doesn't matter, though. It was enough to get me to recommend the film over the next best choice. I bought the tickets from Fandango, and we went. It turned out to be quite a good film, with 3 1/2 great central characters, real pathos that made me cry, real danger that kept me in suspense, and real affirmation as Alexandra is forced out of her self-made cocoon and learns to like it. I strongly recommend it, especially for those of you with a taste for YA and Disney material. Nim's Island is actually quite a bit better than most live action Disney.

So okay, I went to an obscure film and enjoyed it. (Actually, other people must have heard of it, because it was #2 for the weekend.) So what? Maybe nothing much, had I not seen an email today from Fandango:

The email asked me to rate and review it. But wait, isn't that what Flixter is for? That's where I normally do my movie reviewing, such as it is.

So I reviewed it on Flixter. Then I took that review and adapted it for Fandango. Then in trying to find my review, I ended up clicking on a rotating menu of films to rate, some of which appear over and over, as if to force an opinion from me about films I've never heard of. You know, I remember when Fandango was just a way to check what's playing and when, and buy theater tickets ahead of time for a fee. Now it's got trailers and interviews and avatars and ratings and fan reviews and critic's reviews and goodness knows what else. It's turning into Flixter, only not as nice from a user generated content standpoint. On the other hand, why should I generate content for them? As it is, all this stuff I write online is taking me away from the stuff I hope to get paid for. That's my excuse, anyway. Come on, then. Just one more screen of films to rate, and I'll stop, I swear.

But I've escaped that now, and also the Doctor Who Forum, for which I made this icon/avatar yesterday. In deference to those of you who may want to watch Doctor Who on Sci-Fi this month without spoilers, I won't tell you what happened on the premiere episode on Saturday. But it was...oh, just watch it, beginning to end.

Bed now!


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