In other news, Coraline 3D (a review)

Coraline 3D: What it is

It’s a mooovie. Duh. ;)

OK, so adding a little more detail here…

Neil Gaiman wrote a book called Coraline, about a little girl in a new apartment who feels like her parents are ignoring her. As is wont to happen in these types of tales, she discovers a door to another world, similar to hers, where her Other Mother and Other Father dote on her and give her everything she wants… until things go a bit eery.

There’s also quite a bit of freakyness around buttons.

Coraline won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella for the year 2003, and also won the Locus Award, the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Work for Young Readers and the 2002 British Science Fiction Award for short fiction. Not bad for an Intermediate-level book…. if you really want to classify it, because I haven’t found an adult yet who didn’t like it.

The movie is out in two versions: normal, and Real3D. I saw the 3D version on Sunday afternoon.

Pros and Cons


  • The movie is just the right length, and will keep you interested the whole way through. I was in a theater full of children and most of the time you could have heard a pin drop.
  • The story, while not exactly the same as the book (for example, there’s an extra character added in) is faithful to the tone and intent of the original. It’s funny, creepy, and a touch heartwarming, without getting stupid or sappy.
  • The rendering of the movie is absolutely gorgeous. It’s done in stop-motion animation the old-fashioned way, but if you’re picturing Clash of the Titans-style cheesy effects, no worries. You really can’t tell that computers weren’t used for this… except that, well, it feels a little more real. A lot of the computer animated films, even the Pixars I love, will jar you out of a state of suspended disbelief with a too-clean-to-be-real shot at some point during the film, but that never happened during Coraline.
  • The 3D effects are used to enhance the film, which is a nice change over the usual jump-at-you screen effects that folks love to slip into 3D stuff. If this film wasn’t in 3D, it would still be totally awesome. Since it is in 3D, it’s that much better.


  • The Real 3D effects take some time to get used to, so don’t get to the theater late. As strange as this sounds, you’re going to want to watch the previews in 3D to give your brain time to adjust.
  • Speaking of the Real 3D effects, this is more a technology thing than the fault of the movie, but they still haven’t found a way to do fast-moving action shots so they don’t look like they stutter a little bit. Especially noticeable were the dragonflies, but it seemed the larger the item the less my brain tripped over it.
  • The soundtrack was… well… I think I was hoping for something out of a Miyazaki film, but it wasn’t quite that enchanting. Creepy? Yes, at times. But very much in the background. If you like your soundtracks in the background – good news! I, um, like a soundtrack I can also listen to while I work.

What I didn’t know until I saw it

If you’re seeing the 3D, take Tylenol in advance so you don’t get a headache. Nighthawk did, I didn’t. I’ve learned.

Who should watch it

Counting down, anyone from ages 126 to… um…. roughly 7 or 8. I didn’t find it frightening (then again, I’ve read the book) but I can see where 25 years ago it might’ve given me a good freakout. (The Neil Gaiman trailer above, on the other hand, well, that still freaks me out.) Since I’m one of the easiest people in the world to freak out, that’s a good sign for everyone.

In summary…

You have roughly 2 weeks to catch Coraline in 3D before it’s only available in non-3D. Regardless of the level of highway robbery currently being practiced by your local theater for 3D films, this one is worth every penny, and you should take the time to go see it.


amc is beating up on me tonight.

It’s partially my own fault. I decided tonight would be a good night for a rum and coke. It’s fair – I haven’t had a drink in a few weeks and sometime a girl’s gotta kick back a bit.

But had I known that they were going to play Field of Dreams followed by The Natural, I’d’ve made sure not to have a second.

Alcohol is a maginifying glass. It takes my love of baseball and magnifies it a hundredfold, making it impossible to keep an dry eye when Ray Kinsella shakes his father’s hand, or Moonlight Graham becomes the Doc, or Roy Hobbes asks Bobby to pick him out a winner. It’s multiplied even further by the White Sox win – a team I’d not care less about if the Phillies had made the playoffs, but since the Sox haven’t won the Series since 1917…

The dog’s snoring a few feet from me. Baseball means nothing to her, football neither. Both (along with hockey) are just a reason that people yell at the TV. She’ll never enjoy the smell of the leather or the spin of the ball. She seems to think that grass is for muching on. She’ll never understand that baseball is the most beautiful thing there is.

No, it’s Iowa. Could’ve sworn it was heaven.

It’s been a long, strange week. Most of them are.

I’ve spent a good part of the week angry at the Phillies, as I imagine anyone in my position would be. When they’re winning the wildcard for the first time in a damn long time, I let my hopes grow. And of course, when the Phils drop three to Houston, and are suddenly in third place for both the wildcard and the division, with a two and a half game gap in September, it concerns me. They’re breaking my heart, and I knew they were going to break my heart (they haven’t been in the playoffs since ’93) and I let them in anyway, and now they’re breaking it. So of course I’m going to call them heartless bastards when they give up a two-run single in the seventh. (I’m telling you, they’re playing the bullpen too hard — why the hell can’t we get some starters who can play more than 5 innings in September? And now we’ve lost Padilla for God-knows-how-long…It’s been a long September and there was reason to believe maybe this year would be better than the last.)

I watched them play while cooking dinner tonight, cursed a bit, then we flipped through the channels for a while, and landed on AMC, about a minute and a half in to Field of Dreams. Now I’ve seen The Natural more times than I can count, and though I’ve never seen all of Bull Durham, in order and complete, I know enough to mutter “eight and sixteen… how did we ever win eight?” under my breath when the going gets tough. But somehow I’d never seen Field of Dreams for more than ten minutes even once.

I won’t tell you about the movie. You’ve either seen it, and know how it makes you feel the grass between your toes, or you haven’t and there’s no way I could describe it any more than I could describe how ghosts in a corn field turn into a baseball movie. Watching it is playing wiffle ball in every yard we’ve ever owned. It’s learning how to score at my brother’s little league games. It’s standing on the mound – any mound – and listening to the air crackle around you. The smell of the leather, the rough feel of the bat, the sound of the dirt and the taste of the air. Doesn’t matter who’s playing, or at what level, or what time. The choice between a fastball and a curve, between a pitch and a throw to first, between an all-out run and a head-first slide. I breathe baseball.

And it took a movie about a corn field in Iowa to remind me of that feeling you get when the sting of the Eagles’ season end is still fading, and the grass is green for the first time. The sky is so blue that sometimes, it doesn’t have to be about the pennant. Sometimes, it’s about the curve of the blue plastic seats at the park, and the hot smell of suntan lotion on my husband’s neck, and the sound of Harry Kalas calling a long fly ball.

Boys, I forgive you. Even if you manage to come back this season and make it to the playoffs only to break my heart again… I’ll still forgive you.

Try to win a few more next year, huh?


You’ll have to excuse me – I’m a little behind in my movie watching. Tonight we watched The Matrix (all three), and today was the first time I had seen Revolutions.

Revolutions brought balance – the combination/destruction of the yin and yang of Smith and Neo. Without that balance, there can be no peace. I heard numerous complaints about the film prior to seeing it (in fact, most folks recommended against it), but I have to say I disagree. I couldn’t choose a better ending.

Now for some dinner – and a massive dose of tylenol while my eyes try focusing properly again.