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Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko DVD CoverI watched Donnie Darko once, in college (a long long time ago) and thought it was ok, but I would never say that really liked it, let alone loved it.  On the advice of a good friend, I recently re-watched it and found it fascinating.  

I can tell you that I definitely liked it.

I can also tell you that I definitely didn’t understand it.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II: A Conversation

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)This past weekend, several of us here at Fantasy Matters got together and went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II.  We sat in the second row from the front (not recommended) next to this hilarious little kid who chuckled when Voldemort died.  Afterwards, we sat down and talked about the movie, the book, and the Harry Potter series in general.  Here are some of our thoughts...

We started off our conversation with Neville Longbottom:

[note: this conversation contains spoilers]

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We have a winner!

Thank you all very much to all who participated in our "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever" week--either as those who nominated contestants, those who commented on our choices, and perhaps most importantly, those of you who took the time to vote!

After a week of careful deliberation, we have a winner....

...drumroll please....

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Truth between the spaceships: An alternate view of science fiction films

Fantasy MattersTomorrow the results of the Fantasy Matters "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever Week!" will be announced, and my choice will not win. It will not even place; the movie I would have voted for was not on the ballot. Neither was my second choice. Nor my third. The Best Science Fiction Movie Ever ballot has almost no overlap with the list I would create if asked to name the best science fiction movies ever. There is only one movie (maybe two if I am feeling especially generous) on the ballot that I think even belongs in the conversation.1 I expressed my disappointment with the list on Twitter, and management has kindly given me the opportunity to discuss which movie I would like to have voted for, and more generally why this list is so divergent from my own. [Note from management: In case you haven't voted in the poll, head over here to let your voice be heard--either by voting, or by telling us in the comments how wrong we are.]

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The Truth of "Once Upon a Time"

Ever AfterI really enjoyed the movie Ever After when it first came out, and this past week, when I saw that it was available for streaming on Netflix, I was excited to watch it again.  I remembered it as a fairly fluffy, feel-good movie with some funny parts, and when rewatching it, I wasn't disappointed--it did make me feel good, and I once again chuckled at the exchanges between the step-sister Jacqueline and the Captain of the Guard.  I was also pleasantly surprised--while it is a feel-good movie, it is more than just fluff, since Danielle (the Cinderella figure) is very much an agent of her own change.  She doesn't just sit around waiting for Prince Henry to rescue her; she, in fact, is the one who is the rescuer, with one of the opening scenes in the movie being her rescue of a servant who is about to be shipped off to the Americas.

But what intrigued me most about the movie this time was the frame for the Cinderella story.  Instead of starting with the fairy tale itself, the movie starts with the Brothers Grimm visiting the Grande Dame of France to discuss their latest collection of tales.  The Grande Dame criticizes their version of the story, asking if they would permit her to "set the record straight"--she then tells the story of her great-great-grandmother, Danielle de Barbarac, who was the real Cinderella.  The movie then cuts to the story of Cinderella within the frame, which takes up the majority of the movie, but at the end we once again return to the frame.  The Grande Dame tells the Brothers Grimm that while Cinderella and her prince did live happily ever after, "the point, gentlemen, is that they lived."

Really?  That's the point?

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