I went and saw the new Lorax movie in 3D yesterday. And while it was visually quite stunning, I’m not sure if it message of the movie coincided with the message of the book. Here are some more of my thoughts.
The movie is visually spectacular. Watching in, what feels like, HD you can really see how stunning it is. You feel like you’re able to reach out and feel the silky texture of Truffula Trees. The Bar-ba-loots (bears), Swamme-Swans (birds) and the Humming Fish are all adorable and cute and make you want one. The 3D elements weren’t over powering or scary, and done in a tasteful manner.
The story of the Lorax is one of conservation and preservation, and I don’t think the movie does a great job of spreading that message. To make a 20+ page picture book last more than an hour, there had to be some kind of backstory. In the Lorax book we never really meet the character that the Once-ler is talking to, but in the movie we meet Ted Wiggins.
Ted, voiced by Zak Efron, is a middle schooler and your normal boy in Thneed-ville. We learn about Ted and Thneed-ville and the evil and comically sized Mr.O’Hare who sells the town fresh air, since there are no more trees to produce it on their own. Ted is in love with Audrey, a tall redhead voiced by Taylor Swift.
One of the first things that bothered me about this movie is that Ted’s main reason to see the Once-ler is to get a Truffula tree for Audrey. That’s right, a story about the importance of saving your environment is prefaced only because a boy wants to impress a girl. I feel this completely undermines the entire message of the story.
So we flip between Ted’s story and the Once-ler’s story, and Ed Helm (voiced by Andy from the Office) does a great job as the Once-ler. As that story progresses we eventually meet the Lorax. Arriving from the stump of a felled Truffula Tree, the Lorax (voiced by Danny Devito) arrives. I do not think Devito was the right choice for the voice of the Lorax, he comes off too harsh and condescending, whereas I always pictured the Lorax to be wise and stoic.
Since this is a children’s movie, it has to have entertainment value for them. So there are lots of physical comedy parts in which Bar-ba-loots and the Lorax take part in. It’s cute and funny yes, but again, changes the characters into less serious roles. It’s hard to believe that the Lorax is the protecter of the trees and the animals when he’s eating marshmallows and pancakes with the Once-ler.
Instead of the typical rhyming nature of Seuss, we get songs. Again, I understand it’s a kids movie, but I think that the tone could have been altered if the actual text from the story had been used. There are 4 or 5 big song and dance numbers throughout the movie and while catchy and what-have-you, it doesn’t really add much to the movie.
All-in-all, I think it was an okay movie. I don’t think that it will replace the book in schools as one of the best kids stories with a message. There would have been many places for improvement, and some core elements needed to be changed.
We still see what a world without nature is like and the how the power of capitalistic greed can change people. I just hope that the kids watching it will see that too. Or at least as much as a kid can understand of that.
The main quote from the movie “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” still remains and I think has an odd application to what’s going on now. With the recent exposure of Kony and that whole debate of whether or not it’s a worthy cause – can be answered with this quote. No matter whether you think that the Kony campaign will be successful, it is making people care an awful lot. So as long as it’s making people care and want to make a difference, then I think that’s a good thing.
But that’s just a side note. Back to the movie, if you like Seuss, go see it. If not, wait. If you think you might not like it, go read the book again, and then see what you can do to care a whole awful lot.
Here’s a list of the major winners from the Grammy Awards last night, stolen from the GlobeandMail.
- Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift
- Song of the Year: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On it), Beyonce Knowles
- Record of the Year: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon
- New Artist: Zac Brown Band
- Pop Vocal Album: The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas
- Female Pop Vocal Performance: Halo, Beyonce Knowles
- Male Pop Vocal Performance: Make It Mine, Jason Mraz
- Rock Album: 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day – This is a terrible album that should not have won. Stupid Greenday.
- Rock Song: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon – This is pretty impressive considering they were up against the likes of U2, Coldplay and Greenday.
- R&B Album: BLACKsummers’night, Maxwell
- R&B Song: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Beyonce Knowles
- Rap Album: Relapse, Eminem
- Rap Song: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West – This is tough because Girlfriend and I are having an argument over who is better, Jay-Z or Eminem. I’m on Jay-Z’s side. They both won two Grammy’s last night.
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West
- Country Album: Fearless, Taylor Swift
- Female Country Vocal Performance: White Horse, Taylor Swift
- Male Country Vocal Performance: Sweet Thing, Keith Urban,
- Latin Pop Album: Sin Frenos, La Quinta Estacion
- Contemporary Jazz Album: 75, Joe Zawinul&The Zawinul Syndicate
- Dance Recording: Poker Face, Lady Gaga - Lady Gaga wins two Grammy’s as well. Interesting
- Electronic Dance Album: The Fame, Lady Gaga
- Alternative Music Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix – I am so glad to see this album one. I’ve been listening to it over the past couple of weeks and it is fantastic.
- Classical Album: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10
- Traditional Gospel Album: Oh Happy Day, various artists
- Spoken Word Album: Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox - WHAT?! Michael J. Fox spoken word? Weird.
- Comedy Album: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Stephen Colbert
The rest of the winners are kind of expected. The nominee’s weren’t that strong in every category. It’s weird that the Grammy’s accepts music put out from October 2008 – August 2009. Such old music.
One album that isn’t mentioned on that list is Booker T. Jones “Potato Hole”, I have this CD to review and will probably try and get that done sometime in the coming week.
As usual Lady Gaga was wearing ridiculously crazy outfits with plenty of ‘costume’ changes. She even got to play with Elton John as the opening number. That would be a pretty amazing experience. I think Lady Gaga and Elton John should get married. They’d have some interesting kids. Too bad he’s gay. I mean, check out the earrings on this guy.
I didn’t watch the show on TV at all, but I did happen to catch Greenday’s performance of 21 Guns which I thought was particularly terrible. I miss old Greenday. Taylor Swift won 4 awards. Too bad Kayne didn’t come ruin her speech this time. I heard he just finished his community service.
Scientists have found a planet in another solar system some 500-light years away that is solid enough to stand on! Yay! This is big news because the previous planets found in outer space have been big gas filled things which are most definitely not inhabitable. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/astronomers-find-planet-to-stand-on/article1289578/
“The evidence is becoming overwhelming that we live in a crowded universe.”
Here’s one my girlfriend won’t like, the University of Toronto is initiating a fee for those who use their library. It’s going to cost $200 a year to use their library; which, to me, seems a little steep. The fee will only be applied to those who are visitors using their library, this makes the situation a little more understandable as students already pay for the use of their school library in their fees. Here’s the part I don’t get, the University is considering charging people to BROWSE their shelves. Not just take books out, but even LOOK. I think that is horribly ridiculous. There is fear that this charge will start up reciprocal things in other schools.
In other news, I’ve signed up to become a MuchMusic VJ. It’s a contest through Much where lots of people audition and so many are chosen. I figure I should do a little more campaigning if I really want to do this for a living, but to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort. I would love to have the job and everything that comes along with it, but I am not really the kind of guy who is going to beg for your votes (I tried that once before for a photo contest, and failed miserably). So I’m going to rely on the people at Much picking substance over gimick.
So in case you haven’t heard yet or haven’t seen the latest Sxe Phil episode, Kanye West was a dick and ruined Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMA’s last weekend. Well now, Kanye’s outburst has become an internet meme - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme – I kinda enjoy these and thus the posting. http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2009/09/14/kanye-west-a-meme-is-born/
So school is going well for me. Everything but Electrical Engineering. That has become my nemesis. I hate it so terribly already. The other classes are good and bearable, in my listening to music class, my homework was to find a song with melody. So essentially I got to listen to City and Colour for homework! It was a great day for me! The boys buying Rockband has been fine, we started a pretty nifty band and it’s a good waste of time. I’m just concerned that somebody is going to walk into our place and steal everything when we’re all in our rooms, because we’re not really attentive like that…
So being a VJ would be a pretty friggen sweet job, and since I haven’t done a ‘Your Turn’ forever, mostly because viewer participation SUCKS. That’s right, I mean YOU. Anyways, what would your ideal job be?
Anyways…look for more updates on the VJ thing, and there’s a new Martlet tomorrow with more of my reviews! Maybe I should start writing some new ones….
Sigh, Kayne West needs to get off his high horse and remember he’s not Jesus.
Last night at the VMA’s he made a fool of himself by ruining Taylor Swift’s speech after she had won the MVA for the best female singer. He proceeded to rant about how Beyonce’s video was better and how she should have won. The fans booed him, and I’m glad they did. He shouldn’t be able to intervene whenever the fuck he wants to complain. Keep it to yourself Kayne.
Taylor and Beyonce later hugged and made up and Taylor was able to finish her thank-you speech the right way.
Eventually Kayne posted an apology on his blog, in all capitals, making himself look even more like a drunk idiot douche bag saying:
“I’M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD’VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED!”
The guy really knows how to fuck things up.
Here’s the list for the other MVA winners.
- VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Beyonce, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
- BEST FEMALE VIDEO: Taylor Swift, You Belong With Me
- BEST ROCK VIDEO: Green Day, 21 Guns
- BEST POP VIDEO: Britney Spears, Womanizer
- BEST MALE VIDEO: T.I. featuring Rihanna, Live Your Life
- BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO: Eminem, We Made You
- BEST NEW ARTIST: Lady Gaga
- BEST VIDEO THAT SHOULD HAVE WON A MOONMAN: Beastie Boys, Sabotage
- BEST BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO: Matt and Kim, Lessons Learned
I think I can honestly say that I don’t know any of these videos, let alone the songs. I feel pretty withdrawn from society and pop culture. Maybe this is a good thing. Good to see that Britney and Lady Gaga both one though.