Thursday night was a short viewing night, I only watched two and I still had to stay away from the Clubhouse (I'll eventually get around to finishing the last five or so discs, I just don't know when).
I'm not a Nicholas Cage fan, but I do like the National Treasure movies, so that's the direction I went in starting with National Treasure first. I like the whole Da Vinci Code meets founding fathers theme with this movie and the historical references bring out the history geek in me, especially the whole Crusaders/Mason aspect of the storyline. Plus, there is action, suspense, and romance, so what's not to like?
Then, of course, I followed up with National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Despite the stellar cast, this movie isn't nearly as good, probably because they skimp more on the historical references and focus more on the action.
Plus, I often found myself starring more at Nick's hairpiece than the action anyway. I don't get why he feels the need to do that...there are some extremely sexy bald men in the world, i.e. Bruce Willis. I would probably like Nick Cage so much better if he didn't feel the need to fake like he actually has hair. John Travolta, on the other hand, it wouldn't matter either way, toupee or hairless, I'm not a fan.
Friday took me in a whole different direction. I have all the Disneynature series released to date, but I'm not a fan of nature documentaries per se. I can't stand the killing that invariably happens in these docs. I wasn't allowed to watch nature documentaries as a kid because of the way I behaved...screaming, crying, and nightmares for days. I may worship all foods cow, and eat chicken and pork as well, but if it came down to it and I was forced to kill my own food, I would definitely be a vegetarian. I get the whole survival thing, but I couldn't take a life myself, no matter how hungry I got. I much prefer that giant corporations do that for me and leave me out of it.
I have already watched Roving Mars, so I started with Disneynature: Earth. I figured that since I was stitching anyway, I could easily avoid all the big animals shredding little animals to pieces by just looking away. James Earl Jones narrates this doc and he's got the perfect voice for it, even at the "tense" moments. The scenery was stunning in this movie and I did tend to focus more on the movie than the stitching when I could, but considering this was about Earth, there was a lot more carnage than I would have thought. I was expecting more geology than sociology.
I stayed general and went with Disneynature: Oceans next. I can handle water slaughter a lot easier than Earth-based. These discs are the reason why Blu-Ray exists because they are visually stunning. My biggest complaint about this one is that Pierce Brosnan narrates it and it used a vocal range that made me want to take a nap, even he sounded bored most of the time.
Then it was time to get into the rough stuff, so I started with the one I thought would be the worst (but ironically wasn't), Disneynature: African Cats. I half expected James Earl Jones to narrate this one too, but it was Samuel L. Jackson and I was really pleasantly surprised because he did an amazing job at building excitement as well as being somber. He really should do more documentary work!
My absolute favorite part was the credits! As the normal credits ran on the right, they showed pictures of the animals featured on the left and gave them "jobs", like the giraffe was the "crane operator", one of the birds was "heron and make-up", and I wish I could remember them all because a lot of them was hilarious and I was laughing out loud!
Disneynature: Bears was next. I wasn't particularly watching them in order, I was trying to get the brutality out of the way, but again I failed because this one too was rather tame. John C. Reilly narrated this one and he was surprisingly hysterical. As cute as bears can be, I've seen them up close and they are extremely terrifying, so parts of this film frightened the bejesus out of me. This ended up being my favorite of the animal docs.
Disneynature: Crimson Wing was my next selection, mainly because I didn't actually know that much about flamingos and I was curious why they made an entire nature doc about them when there are so many other animals to cover. Plus, I do have a fear of birds (I typically think of them as flying bugs), so I wasn't too keen on watching over an hour's worth of them, but I was ready to try. Mariella Fostrup narrated this one and, even though I didn't recognize her voice at first, I do know who she is and she was a good fit for this film. This was the most brutal of all the films surprisingly and quite graphic when it comes to baby bird deaths...so fair warning to those with little ones. And don't get me started on the creepy red eyes! They look nothing like my Mickey hat wearing pink flamingo lawn ornament that lives in a decorative flower thingee in my living room.
Thinking that Disneynature: Wings of Life was also about birds, I got the shock of my life when I realized it was all about BUGS! I HATE BUGS! Meryl Streep narrates this one and again, I didn't recognize her voice at first because of this weird monotone she spoke in. This disc is far more preachy while the others are informative and I couldn't wait for this one to end. It was definitely my least favorite of them all. Ugh, bugs.
Last of the nature series was Disneynature: Chimpanzee. Tim Allen narrates this one and he tried way too hard to be funny and often failed miserably. John C. Reilly had me in stitches, Tim Allen barely got a chuckle. The story of the chimps, however, was strong enough that I could ignore him most of the time.
The newest film, Disneynature: Monkey Kingdom, isn't out on disc yet, so we'll have to wait a while for that one. I'm expecting great things, especially since Tina Fey narrates it.
Oh, and when I can't find links to these movies on IMDB.com, I give Amazon links, but I'm giving the links through Amazon Smile, which is still Amazon, but proceeds of any purchases go to whatever charity you pick. Of course, my charity of choice is Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue, which is the group where I got Bam, so they hold a special place in my heart. You can use regular Amazon to buy any of these, I just have Smile bookmarked to make sure all my Amazon purchases go to help them and it's easier for me to link that way...but if you want to donate to them, please feel free, but don't feel obligated.
Live Action: 22
Full-Length Animation: 76
Animated Shorts: 252
Live Action Shorts: 1
Mixed-Medium Shorts: 2
Animated Series: 77
Mixed-Medium Series: 2