prodigy: Stephen Maturin from Master & Commander with caption "You don't say" (you don't say)
Cursory post acknowledging I've seen The Avengers and it was pretty good, actually, if you don't think about it too hard.  The plot was pretty stupid, Fridge Logic abounds, and the movie sort of accidentally endorsed a mildly fascist set of philosophies and handwaved away the sheer abundance of civilian death that transpired during it, but I was a fan of the way the characters were handled and a lot of the individual sequences were neat.  I liked it.  It was good popcorn entertainment.  Joss Whedon did the best by what he had, I think.  Black Widow and Hawkeye were my favorite characters, followed by Hawkeye's arms.  Over and out.

Back to adventures.
prodigy: Erik from "Horrors of Literature," illustrated by M.S. Corley. (pity comes too late)
This film was more or less the opposite of Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is an action-comedy satirizing cop action movies where the plot's influenced by the characters' awareness of action movie tropes. It's incredibly sharp and pointed and packed wall to wall with visual and cinematographic references to a lot of different action movies, as well as in-text dialogue ones. You can tell the director's watched a lot of action movies. It's also an excellent and compelling action movie in and of itself, as well as being fucking hilarious. In making Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright didn't waste any screentime or camera angles; it's just intelligent enough to be good meta and it's just stupid enough to be fun. As far as self-aware send-ups go, it's a damn good self-aware send-up.

The Cabin in the Woods was not Hot Fuzz. The Cabin in the Woods was like an attempt at a horror movie satire by someone who doesn't actually watch a lot of horror movies. Which I wouldn't be surprised if it was. It was bland. It was at turns kind of funny, faintly vexing, boring, and baffling. It wasn't terrible. It wasn't great. It was indecisive, mostly toothless, sometimes exploitative under the guise of irony. Basically, if you got a somewhat clever but overconfident 14-year-old to write a meta horror movie for their NaNoWriMo, you would get The Cabin in the Woods.

But I guess it's watchable. Spoilers. )

On second thought, pretty much everything I have to say about it is negative, aside from a few things being funny. I still can't say that I hated it, though. It just didn't inspire that kind of strong emotion. It's lukewarm, faintly annoying, a bit soothingly predictable. It's not worth hating, but I'm not sure it's worth nine dollars, either. I am disappointed, though, I was really hoping this would be the Joss Whedon vehicle that convinced me he was back on his feet at all.
prodigy: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones conked out on the ground. (f. m. l.)
The past few weeks have been a bunch of time spent on planes and, consequently, laid up with a bacterial infection.  I had plenty of time to read.  Here are the reviews I'm too lazy to write.

these turned out longer than anticipated )

This post used to be titled "Media Summary" because I'm pretty sure I've watched more than one movie too, but I've forgotten what they were.  Oh well.  Oh yeah, I saw The Hunger Games movie and Titanic 3-D.  THG was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book.  The soundtrack is really good.  Titanic 3-D is the movie Titanic, but in 3-D.
prodigy: Dorian Gray from "Horrors of Literature," illustrated by M.S. Corley. (swan king)
I really wanted to like this movie. It left me lukewarm. Not entirely cold, just sort of lukewarm -- I wouldn't warn anyone not to see it, but I would give the proviso that I wish I'd gotten beforehand, which is that it's unsatisfying and raw and sophomoric altogether, both as a horror film and as a movie. In the end, it seemed like a lot of good material roughly pushed together into a slow, confusing, pointless mess of gothic-horror-standard set and sound design. The Woman in Black didn't offend my senses or anything, but it didn't electrify them either, which is what I'm looking for out of a good horror film: in a horror or suspense film I want to be dragged out of my own cynicism, I want to be forced to stop thinking about the number of scare chords on the soundtrack. Unfortunately, The Woman in Black was not that film.

The whole thing suffered from a number of weak points, but I think three stood out as the biggest: (1) the passivity and nonsensical behavior of the protagonist, who spent the entire film puttering about; (2) the confusingness and bad exposition in the plot that left me wondering more about unclarity than suspense; (3) the thematic incoherence and feeling of general pointlessness pervading the storyline. The plot itself was a fairly standard wronged-woman-becomes-vengeful-ghost monstrous-feminine unheimlich haunting number, which was good and bad, so it took some effort to make that confusing. Then again, it also took some effort to fill a house with such an egregious quantity of creepy dolls.

I'm also choosing to believe that Daniel Radcliffe is the Doogie Howser of Victorian solicitors because that is the only way this movie makes sense. He's actually a pretty talented young actor, though, and Ciarán Hinds was a treasure in the movie and every scene with his character was much better than those without. I hope the movie's good for both of their careers. Ah, Ciarán, why couldn't you have been the star?

In the end, the movie would've been eminently fixable with the attention of a good screenwriter, but I think that was the problem: it didn't have one. The production designer needed to trot on back to Tim Burton. It takes more than some canned creepy-doll, creepy-child, and creepy-woman imagery to make a fresh horror film.
prodigy: Gif of the "let's all go to the lobby" pre-movie cartoon. (LET'S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY)
If I kept better track of the books I read, I'd do this for books too, but I read too many and in peculiar sequences. And my TV and movie standards are much lower, which helps me pass for a facsimile of a fun and easygoing person under casual scrutiny.

You know, I never was much of a film person and I'm definitely not a TV person. I'm still not much of a film person -- inasmuch as I wouldn't pass up any form of entertainment or possible art, I wouldn't pass up a film, but it's not high on my list of preferred forms of art or narrative. And never mind the television, if I watch more than 2-3 hours of that a week I start getting depressed and confused like a large shark in an aquarium tank filled with electrical interference.

I once had a friend insinuate that children who grew up without TV were doomed to being socially awkward and out of touch with culture. She was cool. I was 13. I was briefly worried. Now with some perspective I'm happy to report that this was probably one of the dumbest things that came out of anyone's mouth at the time, though some people who are insecure about how much time they spend watching TV are doomed to being out of touch with tact, apparently. But partly due to the company I keep -- and mostly due to having a comparative surfeit of time on my hands -- I have 34 entries and counting under my "TV" tag.

Also, Doctor Who played in 2011, and I wouldn't want to be socially awkward and out of touch with culture! (And there was Game of Thrones which I would've watched if I had to watch it on someone else's smartphone.)

Restricting this to a retrospective of TV/movies in 2011 with an exception or two, I am assigning letter grades for some perspective, as it occurs to me sometimes I say I like a movie and what I really mean was it was about a C on the report card but inoffensive and I was bored. Also one-sentence rundowns where they apply.

2011 was a decent year for TV. )

2011 was a shit year for movies. )

Because best is not the same as favorite:

Favorite TV: Game of Thrones, The Hour, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Sherlock, Downton Abbey.

Favorite Movies: Fright Night was the only one I particularly imprinted on. Sigh. O tempores, o movies.
prodigy: Sherlock Holmes tinkers with his chemistry set. (i used to live alone before I knew you)
Hard book to adapt. Better than I expected. Could've been improved with more dialogue, more left on the cutting room floor, and more thematic focus. Sets a little too stylish, mood creepy and disturbing enough. Mark Strong not the man I would've picked for his role, but wound up being my favorite. Benedict Cumberbatch adorable, blowing his boss. Everything else is probably a spoiler.
prodigy: Tulio and Miguel from The Road to El Dorado. (mighty and powerful gods)
I saw two movies this extended weekend in theaters! One was an over-the-top spy-fi action flick, one was a war drama; one got a very high Rotten Tomatoes rating, one got a good-to-okay one; one was not very ambitious or meaningful and one was rather meant to be serious; the first one, of course, was Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and the second War Horse. And in the end I have to agree with Rotten Tomatoes. They were both reasonably good, but MI:GP was much better.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol: This was a movie where people climb like frogs on the sides of Dubai skyscrapers and use magical illusion screens to sneak down hallways in the Kremlin. It pretty much advertised that from the beginning, though, so if you accept that it's a Mission: Impossible flick it was successful and entertaining; it did a fine job of making sure something was always, and I do mean always happening, and at being funny, and at somehow making me like Tom Cruise again for a few hours. Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg were also in it and were adorable. I guess my main issue was that our intrepid heroes spent so much of the movie failing like D&D characters rolling a series of natural 1s that Rel dubbed it "Mission: Incompetent." It kind of was. It was still fun.

War Horse: Despite the fact that Tom Hiddleston is sexy, I don't think this could really decide what kind of movie this was, a Heartwarming Heroic Horse Movie or a War Sucks Movie, and the pacing dragged and the mood stagnated as a result. There were a lot of good moments and all, and Hiddles was sexy if I didn't mention, but it felt like a gritty war movie that didn't quite have the stomach to be gritty. Horse was cute, though.

Black Swan: The second time around, it's amazing how detailed this movie is and how much of it comes through even more on rewatch: the Rothbart's-forest green of Nina's apartment other than her room, which is the only green in the movie, how long it takes her to wear any black, the uncertainty of exactly when her psychosis unfolds, and as Rel pointed out, the brilliance of the emphasized end of the Swan Lake choreography where she's meant to look at Rothbart, Siegfried, and then the audience, and her final three glances in the movie are to her mother, to Thomas, and to the camera. So brilliant.
prodigy: Tate Langdon from American Horror Story. (khthonios)
Fright Night! The Las-Vegas-set horror-comedy-horror Dracula homage I didn't know I wanted for Christmas! I'm sad it had such a limited run in theaters, because it seems like it had a positive reception and it really deserved one -- aside from the matter of David Tennant in eyeliner and leather pants, which stands alone, it was the best vampire movie I've seen in a couple years. As a caveat, I haven't seen the original and I have no idea why they decided to run this in 3-D in theaters, barring faddishness.

From the billing I was expecting something a lot heavier on the Shaun of the Dead side of things; what I got was actually a hilarious-in-bits but otherwise suspenseful and creepy Rear Window-ish contemporary vampire tale. Colin Farrell and David Tennant were both pretty pitch-perfect for their roles, especially Farrell, who got to creep harder than I've ever seen him creep. It had a lot of good lines, line delivery, and 2011-appropriate visual humor, but it benefited especially from some very creepy/beautiful camera shots and deliberate symbolism and social commentary. This movie definitely underscored the sexual assault/molestation element of vampire mythology and underscored it remarkably hard, all things considered, with some fairly disturbing scenes up that alley, as fair warning. I thought it contributed, though, rather than detracting.

Anton Yelchin and his little curly mop are really cute.

Otherwise I am assembling my Yulerecs and eating yogurt.
prodigy: Sherlock Holmes tinkers with his chemistry set. (i used to live alone before I knew you)
A for entertainment! Better than I expected, definitely better than I feared, and 1000% gayer than I expected which is saying a lot considering the first one. Disclaimer: if I was 10x more likely to be kindly disposed towards a paean to the sweeping love of Professor X and Magneto, I was and am about 100x more likely to be kindly disposed towards a paean to the sweeping love of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Which Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies are turning out to be. Like, even more so than the vein of Holmes-themed adaptations in general -- that movie was more than bromantic, it was romantic. Even Jude Law knows it.

Aside from that, though, A Game of Shadows was a straight-up entertaining film that rolled along fast enough to make me forgive its inconsistencies and thinner plot elements. The main weaknesses in plot were some individual clues in the mystery that didn't make sense, the lack of attention our scruffy heroes drew to themselves, and the way they wrote out Irene Adler -- which in itself, frankly, did not bother me, as every additional minute Rachel McAdams has spent in these movies has caused me a small degree of physical pain, but the plot point itself was weak. Pretty much everything else came rolled-up in the genre of steampunk action-adventure, but I suspect anyone who didn't want to see a steampunk action-adventure movie would not have come to see this film in the first place.

It was fun! Really fun. And funny, which was the important thing -- there was a lot of amazing stuff in the way of line delivery, reaction shots (esp. from Jude Law), and straight-up visual humor, which kept the whole thing from being tiresomely taken-too-seriously despite having a somewhat more serious tone than the first film. The franchise is making a solid choice in capitalizing on the fact that RDJ is an actor with a high charisma score and an exceptional level of cuteness, and lets him look unreasonable and cute more often than levelheaded and charming. Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris were good enough in their roles, but their Sebastian Moran was surprisingly cool (and, uh, dedicated to Moriarty), which I was happy about considering too many Holmes adaptations totally waste Moran in the first place.

My favorite thing about the Ritchie Holmes franchise is and continues to be Jude Law's John Watson. The rest of it is basically just bouncy and entertaining -- he's genuinely solid and serious in the role and lends the only real emotional heft to the films via his relationship with his frustrating Manic Pixie Dream Genius boyfriend. I think he's an exception in this case to the general idea that a handsomer actor will be less talented and less suited to an important role: he carries what's an otherwise silly and adrenaline-fueled story to being something you can bring yourself to invest in, and he's dead sexy. I will pretty much watch anything with Law!Watson in.

And RDJ looks pretty cute in lipstick.

ETA: AS [personal profile] relia SO KINDLY REMINDED ME, SORRY SORRY STEPHEN FRY: MYCROFT! MYCROFT MYCROFT MYCROFT!

Shame

Dec. 11th, 2011 03:31 pm
prodigy: Frodo Baggins looks haunted and somewhere to the right. (but i do not know the way)
It takes a pretty engaging movie to make you forget that Michael Fassbender is as egregiously handsome as he is. Shame was that engaging -- more engaging than that, actually. At the beginning I was wondering how a movie featuring a character's sex addiction as a central and serious plot element was going to be carried off without being lurid or glamourized with such a ludicrously good-looking leading man, but after about 15 minutes in I stopped looking at his ass and forgot I was interested in looking at his ass in the first place; by the end I felt like I was watching the humiliating struggles and breakdown of some poor troubled person and that getting off on it would be creepy and voyeuristic, so in that sense, the movie did really well. (So did his acting.) Sex is a hard topic to carry off seriously in American cinema. We tend to be really uncomfortable with it.

Actually, I really liked the movie altogether. I can see why it's gotten such an excellent critical reception. It's been sort of billed as being about a yuppie's sex addiction, and being "like American Psycho with sex instead of violence," and in that it's a repressed-overachiever-has-a-downward-spiral film it's got some things in common with American Psycho and Black Swan, yes. But Black Swan is part psychological horror film and American Psycho is dripping with Bret Easton Ellis's contempt for 90s yuppie culture -- Shame on the other hand has plenty of compassion for its unhappy main character, which is what really makes it work as a movie, in my opinion. A movie called Shame about a miserable protagonist drowning his sorrows in a pathological sex addiction could have been incredibly exploitative and/or judgmental, but I never got the sense I was supposed to look down on Brandon (or Cissy) or feel superior to them. I felt like I was watching someone's unhappy life, with all the little embarrassments and miseries involved. There was some underscored subtext of an abuse history that the siblings shared, but it wasn't beaten to death.

The NC-17 rating liberated it to show whatever details of Brandon's life we needed to see to understand him, which made it succeed without being prudish or shock-value -- cutting it to an R would've upped the luridness factor considerably. It says a lot that a film like this was an NC-17, though. As I recall, the only disturbing content was one short, violence-centric scene near the end (well-done, but disturbing). The rest was just nudity and sexuality.

Meanwhile, Hostel clocked in at an R. Yup.
prodigy: Animation of Heavy and Medic doing dance wherein Heavy pretends to spank Medic. (i love zis doktor!)
Have you ever seen a Twilight movie more than once in theaters? If you're reading this post, I am guessing you have not. I have. More than one. Now I have seen Breaking Dawn twice too. This is a function of seeing it already with [personal profile] relia and having a Twilight-fan mother who has no other relatives or friends willing to see ridiculous fantasy movies in theaters with her. (I've also committed to seeing The Immortals, which I'll probably regret more.) I wouldn't ascribe the term "Twimom" to her, rather an avid fan of the vampire genre in general (she likes both Anne Rice and Blade) who likes to keep up with recent developments in this segment of pop culture. I am also apparently the only damned good sport in my greater familial and extrafamilial social circle, so here I am.

Things I noticed on my first viewing of Breaking Dawn:
- Everything RPattz does is funny.
- Rescore this and it would be a shot-for-shot weirdly structured very slow-going horror movie.
- Seth Clearwater has got a pretty face on him.
- Alice Cullen looks like Kanaya.
- What, nothing else happened? That was a whole movie?

Things I noticed on my second viewing of Breaking Dawn:
- Everything RPattz does is funny.
- Rescore this and it would be a shot-for-shot weirdly structured very slow-going horror movie.
- Seth Clearwater has got a pretty face on him, my oh my. Jake's missing out if he don't snap that up. Haha, snap. All the werewolves are better-looking than all the vampires (Carlisle maybe in the same tier), which I guess is a function of bone-whiteness being much prettier on the page than on a living actor.
- What, nothing else happened? That was a whole movie?
- I feel like this film loudly and clearly broadcasted the exact opposite to the messages it was supposed to be broadcasting. I get this was supposed to be some kind of pro-life miracle story, but it played out like a really melodramatic pro-choice screed on getting pregnant by some cryptkeeper's monster semen and dying gorily when you refuse to terminate it. Similarly I guess this was meant to make you disagree with Sam but if I saw that horrifying monster baby I would probably want to kill it too. Jesus Christ, Renesmee Cullen, get out of my nightmares.
- Why would you go all the way to Rio and then not spend any time in Rio?
- Alice Cullen looks like Kanaya.
- What, nothing else happened? That was a whole movie?

Things I've noticed in every Twilight movie:
- Everything RPattz does is funny.
- What, nothing else happened? That was a whole movie?
prodigy: Charles Vess illustration of a harpist and a woman leaning over him. (had i known but yesterday)
The Walking Dead 2.04 - Cherokee Rose: This show is my favorite at the moment. Highlights of this episode were Glenn and, uh, recent developments in Glenn's life (:D) (:DDDDD) and the titular scene with Daryl and his "Cherokee rose" story. I can't underscore enough how rare it is to see an actively heroic portrayal of a young Asian man, or Asian man altogether, on Western TV, and while I'd love for him to get more screentime I'm happy for Glenn's presence in this cast. Even putting aside the copious Fu Manchu racism, I am dead tired of fictional Asian men who exist primarily as mysterious antiheroic demigods to interact with white men and women (Inception) or blocking figures for Asian women who want to be Westernized (The Joy Luck Club; Lost; fucking everything). Yeah, we get it, TV. We're evil. You're threatened by us. We know. We know. Pretty much in the marrow of our bones and every time we see an Asian face crop up in a movie and cringe wondering how hard the slap's going to be this time we know.

Anyway, Daryl keeps on being my favorite and gets some of the most compelling material, though Shane's still kind of like a beautiful composition you can't get out of your head played in a jarring nerve-jangling minor key. Dale and T-Dog's bonding is pretty much always A+ too and T-Dog could do with more screentime of his own.

~


Marie Antoinette: Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette was one of the free on-demand movies today so we decided to watch it. Given I know Coppola mostly as the cancer that killed Godfather III /b/ and the creator of Orientalist-stereotyping masterpiece Lost in Translation, I didn't really get my hopes up, but --

-- man, okay, here's the thing, Coppola does some of the worst attempts at artsy filmmaking I've seen outside of freshman film students' term projects. Just like a parrot trying to sing the syllables of "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" on YouTube, it's like she watched a film by, I don't know, someone with any filmmaking talent and tried to limply copy what they did without realizing why they did it. She's like an artist who does nothing but trace from DeviantArt stock and animu illustration and slap on Photoshop brushes. Her movies are full of these long, overdone, music-video-esque shots of random things -- pretty scenery, costumes, people doing various activities -- that don't serve any purpose but to fill up space and provide Flickr-esque screenshots, they don't provide any thematic or storytelling information, they're just there. If you chopped out all the random montages of things in Marie Antoinette and pared the film down to things actually happening and people actually saying things, the whole thing would be about 20 minutes long. Along with a bunch of hammered-in shots intended to make the viewer feel like Versailles is a foreign and surreal world, which is a cheap trick for any period film. It's like she had 1 page of content on her English paper and padded the rest out with fluff words. I don't know how this movie got made.

Even if it'd been any good as a movie, though, Marie Antoinette still would've been royalist-sympathizing cloying nostalgic historical revisionist Rococo-porn crap. It's what it set out to be. Does the world really need another Scarlet Pimpernel? Have we not cried enough tears for the poor, sad fate of the poor, sad aristocrats who were so tragically murdered? Where are the sexy period pieces about the millions of people they starved, brutalized, enslaved, raped, and murdered? Sic semper tyrannis, for fuck's sake, it's one thing to portray unfortunate Louis XVI as a hapless, well-intentioned human being far in over his awkward young head with his ancestors' mistakes (which Jason Schwarzman did a pretty good job with, considering the material), it's another to add to the general canon of English-language media portraying the French Revolution as a brutal force of nature and the Russian Revolution as a terrible tragedy and everything else telling us that royalty is romantic and popular revolution is bloodthirsty communism. I've had enough to tell me that Marie Antoinette felt pain like anyone else. I think it's pretty much impossible not to know that. I've never had Hollywood try to convince me that the people who overthrew the monarchy did too -- just the continual text and subtext that the Bourbon and Romanov families were tragic, romantic victims and that Maximilien Robespierre and the Bolsheviks were cruel upstarts who eventually got what was coming to them, and that starving people everywhere should do like good little subjects and wait for moderate, gradual change. Like one year of Terror cancels out centuries and centuries of terror.

Hell with that, you know what? Louis Bourbon and Maria Antonia were the 1%. I never see historical films about the 99% outside of HBO, where you're supposed to gawk at all the grittiness. Maybe it's because not enough of them were debutantes. I think Hollywood has cried enough tears for the Bourbon family. Let someone shed some for the people of fucking France for a change. And not just France.

Anonymous

Nov. 6th, 2011 01:47 am
prodigy: Mr Darcy from 2005 film, caption "well fuck a doodle do." (well fuck-a-doodle-doo.)
This movie was a gigantic insult to the lives, work, and legacy of William Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre, and all their friends and compatriots -- but since it's a feature-length Oxfordian screed, we knew that going in. Oxfordians gonna oxford. Anyway, the first 2/3 of it were also boring as hell and [personal profile] relia kept falling asleep on my shoulder.

The last 1/3 -- surprise! It -- ... improved! [personal profile] relia definitely woke up!

Actually, I dunno what else I can say about this. I'm pretty sure I can't write anything about Anonymous that could be as funny as the movie was unintentionally. But only the last 1/3. The only thing funny about the first part was how I texted one of my college friends to complain about how bored I was and he texted me back with, "You're on your own, bro. I'm wearing a tuxedo and watching Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."

Surprise!

okay I can't actually not comment )
prodigy: Titus Pullo looking really sad. (sorry about that)
Halloween itself turned into an informal marathon of Halloween-related programming, didn't it? Oh, well, the real festivities were Sleep No More on Sunday, and no kids came to trick-or-treat this year anyway. Now we've got this bowl of Nerds and Sweet-Tarts sitting around. It never occurred to me before that both of these candy names are technically descriptions of people.

The Walking Dead 2.03 - Save the Last One: Holy shit. The last time a piece of media took me that much aback on my unknowing expectations of boundaries of character actions and moral compass was the first time I read A Game of Thrones about eight or nine years ago. I'm not kidding. Wow. That was legitimately shocking. [REDACTED] is turning out to be a hell of a creation among TV characters.

Grimm 1.01 - Pilot: Grimm is nowhere near as bad as Once Upon A Time turned out to be, but that is some of the faintest praise you could ever damn something with, so. It's kind of like Supernatural with some vampire-mythos-like monster-and-monster-hunter interaction and overdone Flickr filters? I'm curious to see where they go with it (and cute hapless werewolf dude), so maybe we'll tune in for the next ep at least.

American Horror Story 1.01 - Pilot: Better than it looked. Looked like typical haunted house setup -- was to some degree, but the characters/some of the unsolved mysteries were interesting enough to make me want to watch the next few episodes, as well as the intermittent presence of Dylan McDermott's sculpted naked sexualized body. I really hope they didn't put in an extra dash of that just for the pilot and then hold out on us for the rest of the season, because that'd be a serious waste of an attractive actor willing to show his attractive ass.

Night of the Living Dead: Mostly heard about this movie from my dad's mentions. Was expecting some kind of cheesy 70s B-movie. Instead watched eerie Twilight Zone-esque locked-room tropemaking zombie thriller with handsome lead and depressing social commentary. Me gusta.
prodigy: Mr Darcy from 2005 film, caption "I put on my coat and Darcy hat." (darcy hat)
The Three Musketeers: if the idea of a movie with (a) two airships being impaled like shish kebab on the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral and (b) Orlando Bloom in a fabulous pompadour cackling and draping his evil fingers all over Matthew Macfadyen appeals to you at all, then this movie is probably for you.

The Walking Dead 2.02 - Bloodletting: Spoiler-avoidant version -- Needed moar Glenn. Daryl is always the best. Shane has personal space issues. Guiltily starting to ship-not-ship Shane/Rick here, IE I'd write read the Yuletide fic about how their relationship is a bloody-fated slow-motion tragedy traincrash of volatile clinginess (former) and awkward repression (latter). The Atlanta Survivors and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

The Debt

Sep. 11th, 2011 02:33 am
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Sherlock goes hmm)
Was cool. And intense. I think it suffered from a non-linear timejump trap in that one plotline (the one in the 60s) was much more engaging than the other (the one in the 90s), which might've been fine for its own movie but paled in comparison to the spy-thriller claustrophobia of the other half. However, the 1960s plot was pretty amazing even though it easily could've been corny, and I got dragged into caring about Rachel/David like the corner of my jacket caught in a meat grinder. All the acting was tight, but Marton Csokas stood out the most for me, followed by Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain probably. Though Ciarán Hinds retains his ability to make me feel things.

I'm never sure how I feel about the morality of Nazi-hunting movies, but that's true of pretty much all of them. This one didn't really have the room to be more complicated about that than it was.

~


Have been reading and watching more stuff than I whap up here, of course, but a few one-shots: Suits finale good but not as good as the penultimate episode. I don't even know what I'd say about The Hour, too awesome. I don't even know what I'd say about Doctor Who either by this point, too... well, there's awe involved, definitely, I have experienced what you could call awe.
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
Why is it that queers in historical fiction and fantasy always seem to wind up sniveling, lecherous Depraved Homosexuals? Ah, I just answered my own question. I'm reading Anno Dracula at the moment; I'll save my thoughts for when I finish it, but I must sigh at this trope, so popular among heterosexual readers and writers who consider themselves liberal enough to make gay jokes, more or less. You could make a very slow text-based drinking game out of it. Drink for every time a queer man's sexuality in a historical novel is described as "a taste for boys." Drink for any scene where he fondles something underage and you're supposed to find it grotesque. Drink for interest in unwilling straight men. Drink for mincing, though do moderate your liquor intake, as alcohol poisoning can be deadly. Drink for gay brothels. Drink for equation of homosexuality and pedophilia in general. Chug if he meets a gruesome end. Raise your empty glass to the lesbian women never, ever mentioned. The whole affair makes a soul want to go back to the 19th century and then suck someone's dick good and hard, just to give this genre the middle finger.

Anyway, last night/this morning (we paused and resumed) we put on a recent Jane Eyre film adaptation, the one with Michael Fassbender. I am not going to try to review a Victorian Gothic novel from 1847, nor am I interested in getting into the general literary catfights regarding the Brontes and whether it's a sin against taste to be attracted to Edward Rochester or Heathcliff or Mr Darcy or nice guys or bad boys -- the internet is already clogged with people's arguments about that.

So on the subject of the Jane Eyre movie: it was alright, although sort of fell into the uncanny valley between being the over-the-top ridiculous Beauty and the Beast-ish tropey gothic darque rain-laden story it is and trying to be something more respectable. For example, it cast mousy Mia Wasikowska for Jane Eyre, but preposterously handsome ridiculously brooding Michael Fassbender for Edward Rochester. Inherently these people can't belong to the same story, and it strained suspension of disbelief. The film really should've cast some magnetic Mary Sue -- Keira or her like -- for Jane, then the stormy overblown atmosphere of it all would've been complete. Fassbender's charismatic, though, I was surprised to find that he was; he had to be to make Rochester anything resembling likeable. I mean, the man is dead handsome, there have been decency codes against the things I'd do to him, but he and his shark teeth are pretty well suited to being Byronic. I'll put him next to Gabriel Macht for "possible James Bonds."
prodigy: Bobby's helmet with text "Wot's all this then?!" (wot)
[personal profile] relia's parents are visiting with the dogs. Dogs are always a really really big serotonin-and-dopamine-booster, but I have to complain that the Spartan King is always a demanding-ass customer: every time I stop petting him to type this he keeps nudging me like I'm crinkling a candy wrapper in a movie theater.

Speaking of movies, Captain America. Uh, if I tried to go into an in-depth review of Captain America I would wind up getting hung up on things like "why was everyone speaking English???" so I'll be lazy and C&P from what I said to [personal profile] impersona like five minutes ago: As for Captain America... uh, putting aside the whole notion of Captain America and my opinion that the idea of a virtuous PG-13-rated superhero named "Captain America" should have been retired thirty years ago in disgrace, and the questionable taste of bowdlerizing WWII for a superhero movie, the whole thing could have been written directly from TVTropes. Rel commented that there was probably not a single line that came out of Hugo Weaving's mouth that had not been said in a different movie at some point. I agree with her.

You know, am I the only one who finds it weird that this movie exists in the same universe as the Iron Man movie, wherein a naive rich military-industrial tycoon realizes that American money finances violence abroad? It was the hokiest, friendliest portrayal of military-industrial corruption I've ever seen, but at least it was one. How does Tony Stark whose character journey involved realizing that yay USA = not so much coexist with Steve Rogers, representative of truth, justice, and American fascism?

I think the problem is that because of how lukewarm it is, moderate/conservative/patriotic American viewers are supposed to walk away thinking that the problem is Tony Stark, not American militarism, and really it's because he's dissolute and elite. A wholesome, sepia-toned, good-old-days monogamous humble American boy like Steve Rogers is perfect as he is. This really even further invalidates the whitewashed-progressivism of the nouveau Avengers.
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (but I do not know the way)
So, NYC Pride. You know, I don't actually enjoy journaling the events of my life half as much as I enjoy reviewing things, but in this case I feel like I'll regret it ten years hence if I don't -- historic NYC Pride, eve of the marriage equality resolution that lit up the Empire State Building in rainbow colors, parade through Stonewall Place, all that stuff. Alternatively, I may in ten years be of the opinion that this day wasn't all that significant at all, because marriage equality is barely the start of the LGBT struggle/it got repealed a moment later (please no)/more important things happened since/aliens invaded/SkyNet/climate change/bears/other. But I also might regret it. So: New York Pride 2011, the [personal profile] prodigy and [personal profile] thez version. I'm appropriating [personal profile] thez until she writes her own version.

2:31PM: Dude who looks like Maes Hughes dancing with abandon on a float in red hot pants to Cee Lo Green )

And as for the parade: the first post I made about it, when I got home, was an honest one; I'm glad for my sunglasses. Cool guys don't look at explosions. But while we're talking about not crying behind them or anything and things I couldn't possibly have teared up at -- I didn't-tear-up at the beginning at all the signs thanking Governor Cuomo, and I-didn't-tear-up really hard at the tiny contingent of people honoring Harvey Milk. And every time I saw the Stonewall Pl streetsign a handful of yards away from us.

All in all: an insane, enormous celebration, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and I think I'll give my feet some time to heal before I next go a-wandering with Z. But I'm looking forward.

I know marriage equality is the first yellow brick on our road, and that there are a lot of us the mainstream political gay rights movement have thrown under the bus or sold out straight-up for the holy grail of marriage equality. It's no unqualified We Did It!. But I also know that -- standing in the Village not far from the Stonewall Inn -- the streets hold the blood of many boys and girls who shed it and because of them, a boy and a girl could stand there in 2011 and complain about people trying to stand on a potted plant, and know for just one day of the year that it would be the straight bullies who were afraid right now of us. And for that I have to say thank you. Thank you, everyone from Stonewall, and thank you for fighting the fight that I'm young enough to benefit from. I don't know what else to say. I don't have my sunglasses on.
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (H/M bringin' sexy back)
Loved it, going to own it on DVD. Of Marvel movies I would maybe rank it a #3 or #4, but in terms of sentimental favoritism value to myself I suspect it'll boost itself several places higher than that. The thing is, how do you ensure I am pretty much going to love a movie? Answer: make it about my longtime favorite Marvel character, Magneto, and his tragic backstory, and also my incidental Marvel OTP he has with his boyfriend Professor X. Big gay depressing movie about Magneto/Xavier. Unless you entirely fuck this up, you already have my vote.

Well, they didn't entirely fuck this up, so it was good. In brief rundown -- and because I don't feel like doing a review of the length that would require a spoilercut -- my main problems with it were 1. shoehorned romance scenes put in, as far as I can tell, to make it less gay (it didn't work) (at all), and 2. nasty demonizing/fridging treatment of PoC characters. The first was minor. The second was not so minor. It was the sourest note in the movie for me, very pathetically racist-tropey, and I'll be disappointed if more people don't point it out.

Aside from that: aaaaaagh big gay romantical movie. The entire thing was a goddamn tragic romance, anyway, but it's not often I get to see big-budget tragic romances made of my fandom OTPs so aaaaaaaaaagh. I don't even know how to do an objective review of this film. How does one divorce one's pubescent desire to wear magenta and have a virtuous and overpowerful boyfriend who understands one's manpain? I'm not sure one does, so one will just up and admit it. But I think it was an enjoyable Marvel film altogether, and entertaining, if you can be warned about the PoC-fridging crap (as well as some awkward visual choices with Emma Frost scenes), and generally I agree with Sir Ian McKellen on the matter of scenes that should have been included.

Otherwise, my main regrets are probably that:

1. they didn't explicitly admit that these characters were doing it
2. I will never have mutant powers
3. I will never be as hot as Michael Fassbender

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prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman

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