Star Wars Episode III: Padme has developed a serious case of agoraphobia and is unable to leave the house, although she suspects the universe is falling apart outside her doors. Instead she obsessively dresses and redresses herself like a human Barbie® doll, her compulsions leading her to seek ever more intricately ridiculous hair styles and shiny accouterments. My god, she's sleeping on pearls with a tiara on her head! Someone help this woman -- she is obviously in deep pain. Her (secret) husband comes and goes (though not talking of Michaelangelo) and seems to be in some kind of trouble, but she is unable to determine what sort of difficulty due to Hayden Christensen's inability to convey emotions. Ewan MacGregor stops by briefly and, being a real actor, manages to convey the fact that her husband is really, no fooling in trouble, and she finally rallies, accompanied by her best gay friend, to jump on board her girly ship (shiny, no rough edges, meant only for running out to shop, so no security of any kind) to confront her abusive husband despite being nine lunar months pregnant with twins. He of course abuses her and leaves her for dead, pursued by a Jedi with a restraining order. Although she recovers from his assault, she expires having given birth to plot points, realizing at last there is nothing else for a woman to do in a George Lucas film except die on cue -- with ludicrous hair and uncomfortable clothes.
Howl's Moving Castle: Not Miyazaki's best film, but a lesser film by him is light years better than the multi-million dollar extravaganza assembled by Lucas from CGI and rejected soap opera dialogue. Which is to say it is magically beautiful, a wonder to look at, touching in emotions and a delight for the eyes and heart. Even in the dubbed American version -- very nearly capsized by Billy Crystal's hamming (why do American actors have the notion that if they cannot be seen then they must work doubly hard to be heard? Christian Bale, Jean Simmons and Lauren Bacall are all wonderful and understated in their delivery, and consequently, a delight) -- it is a wonder to behold.
Batman Begins: Better than the other Batman movies.
Land of the Dead: Mr. Punch will never die. He is indeed too old to die. The zombies could learn much from him. Big Daddy is cool -- I laughed out loud at the band. The emotions and morality may be a tad heavy handed, and -- as Gene put it -- Hopper pretty much phones it in (again). But Simon Baker was a credible leading man, Leguizamo was in rare form (wild but not over the top), and it was great to see Robert Joy (if a little sugar coated). I hoped Asia would have more to do, but alas, I ought to have known better (but as Pat says, I'm just a girl). It was fun, I enjoyed it -- yes, including the Bush bashing. It was not as visceral as Romero's earlier efforts; let's say, a kinder, gentler zombie flick. Go. Have something meaty afterward.