It seems I had some orphaned notes from around the time of my birthday that I’ve been meaning to commit to type. Most of it is no longer relevant, but criticism lasts forever!
Spellbound was pretty good. It was a terrifying look into the competitive world of spelling bees, with some pretty terrifying parents and kids, and a few normal ones, in the process. It follows the progress of eight such children from the start, giving each a brief background vignette, and then watching them slowly get picked off in the finals. The way this all fits together works remarkably well, as they build up the characters in an orderly fashion, and then slowly tear them down in the chronological order of their eventual failures. I still remember in elementary school that I got second place in the spelling bee because I forgot how to spell “education.” I think that was more than enough for me, having seen this. Jeffrey Blitz provides a well-directed and illuminating look into this weird little world. 8/10.
Let me just say that new South Park sucks. I know that’s not fair, as I’ve not seen a wide range of episodes, but we watched the entire DVD, and all of the episodes were lackluster. I just don’t think it has the charm it used to. Maybe I’m just numb to it. 3/10.
Finding Neverland was cute; a nice story of love and fantasy without devolving into something necessarily sexual. I think some of the casting was weak, and some of the acting unimpressive, but overall was a very pleasant movie. It reminded me a lot of Big Fish in its ability to jump between dream and reality effortlessly. 6/10.