Thanks everyone for your well-wishes in comments and emails, etc. I'm feeling better, although in the last two days, as I've decided to just go about my life as normal, and I've probably regressed a bit. But oh well, I can deal with blowing my nose and an occasional cough.
Last night I saw the movie 300. My friends have anticipated seeing it for a long time, although I only became familiar with it a few weeks ago. I had enjoyed Sin City, although the violence left me nauseated, so I was a little worried by the NY Times review stating, "300 is about as violent as Apocalypto and twice as stupid." And then right before watching the movie I read the People Magazine review that started out with, "Just before raping a woman, the villain of this piece sneeringly tells her, 'This will not be over quickly and you will not enjoy it.' Ditto for 300." Oh, so not only is the movie violent and bad, but there's going to be a long, painful rape scene. Goody.
But when it comes to my movie going habits, I'm a bit of a sucker for "events" and I tend to also tend to just agree to see movies that my friends want to see (like Snakes on a Plane), unless I've read enough reviews and heard enough about a movie to know that I wouldn't like it. With 300, I read some positive reviews as well, and I figured I'd at least find it beautiful to look at, and I set my expectations as to the violence and acting/storyline appropriately.
I wasn't disappointed by the movie. In fact, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. (I think I've mentioned this before, and it's sad, but I'm convinced that it's all about expectations. I don't want to have low expectations of the movies I see, but it definitely allows me to enjoy the movies more. For example, I didn't think Little Miss Sunshine was all that great, whereas all of my friends loved it and saw it multiple times.) I would also like to point out that there is no rape scene in 300, and that the scene that the review is referring to is consentual sex, although maybe it would fall under the sexual harassment umbrella, but regardless, thankfully it is not shown at all on camera.
The movie is gorgeous to look at. Grand, sepia-toned landscapes. Incredible CGI creatures. Lovely, half-naked warrior men with strong legs and killer abs. Thousands of arrows darkening the sky. It wasn't too violent for me, because the way the violence was done was also beautiful, a "ballet of death" as it's been described. So much to look at, so much to take in. Great battles scenes. The dialogue is horrible, though, and there were so many scenes/things that my friends and I made fun of after the fact. One of my favorites was an exchange between the king and one of his distraught captains. It went something like:
King: My heart is pained for your loss.
Captain: Your heart? Heart? I HAVE FILLED MY HEART WITH THE BLACKEST HATE!!!!
King: (nods) Good.
hahahaha. Oh, boy.
So in summary, I can't say it was a good movie, but I enjoyed the experience.
Other bite-sized reviews of a few I've seen in the past four months or so (both on video or in the theater):
United 93: heartbreaking and educational. You know how it ends, but as you watch you still hope that somehow it ends differently. You'll cry during the whole last third of the movie.
The Departed: compelling. My heart was pounding and I had a knot in my gut during the whole last 30 minutes. Overall very well-acted, especially Leonardo DiCaprio.
Pan's Labyrinth: breathtaking, imaginative, raw, the best movie I saw last year.
Dreamgirls: glorious to look at, powerful music, incredible performances by Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy
The Holiday: great chick-flick, funny, wished the two main characters had healed on their own, without having a new love interest in their lives, but then I guess it wouldn't have been a romantic comedy. Totally unrealistic, but it was great for what it was.
Prairie Home Companion: boring with a few moments of brilliance, hated the whole angel storyline. Was disappointed because I love the radio show.
Children of Men: didn't meet my expectations, felt that too much was explained, but thought it was an interesting and thought-provoking concept and a great-looking movie. And I heart Clive Owen.
Roll Bounce: exuberant, fun, loved it!
Music and Lyrics: Another perfect chick-flick/romantic comedy, extremely fun and enjoyable, I love both Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, hilarious. Even heard the men in the theater laugh out loud heartily.