giandujakiss: (Default)
So I hadn't seen the Star Wars movie because I'm really not a Star Wars fan. But everyone was screaming about how awesome it is that a woman gets the Skywalker role, and that two non-white men are cast in supporting roles, and Leia's a general, etc, etc, and so I finally went.

And now, having seen the movie, yes, kudos to the casting and all, but ... there's a reason I'm not a Star Wars fan. I'm going to have to stand my ground on that one.

And as glad as I am that they're clearly setting up for sequels, and given the tremendous box office success I'd say sequels are a certainty, the cynical part of my brain thinks that the sequels will dial back Rey's role. The studio heads will dismiss the success of TFA despite the female lead as being due to the brand name of the franchise; they'll convince themselves that now that the novelty has worn off, boys will need a male hero to maintain interest, and also how are they supposed to sell toys with breasts on them? And Rey will be reduced to a supporting role in her own story.

Takers?
giandujakiss: (Default)
Loved it. Was riveted.

I'm consistently amazed by movies (All The President's Men, its obvious forerunner; The Big Short) where everyone knows going in how the movie ends, but it still holds your attention because it's just such a great journey.

Anyway, at first I was afraid to watch Spotlight because I just didn't think I could take wallowing in the subject matter. But the movie is really more about reporting than the scandal itself. Don't get me wrong - the movie doesn't shy away from its subject - but it's the reporting that's in focus. What holds your attention is watching the reporters' growing amazement as they realize the extent of the problem - and the coverup.

Of course, after I saw Spotlight, Sister Act was on television, and man, talk about whiplash in terms of portrayals of the Catholic church.

Also saw Suffragette. Sadly, I found that very disappointing. A great example to prove the old adage, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union." The political polemic overshadows the storytelling, which is a pity, because if the movie had focused more on the story, the politics would have sold themselves - there's a lot of wonderful, heroic, tragic, horrifying history to mine. The movie is massively uninterested in portraying how anyone could have believed in this system, lived under it - which I dislike, because if there are any lessons to be learned from this kind of history, it has to be that people who thought themselves to be fair and good were able to justify this system to themselves. The lesson is how people in power convince themselves that the power is earned; and the distorting effects of that power on their behavior. And of course, that power doesn't give ground without a fight, no matter how justified the cause may seem in retrospect.

The movie tries to capture the idea of the suffragette movement through one woman's gradual conversion to the cause, except her conversion actually happens incredibly quickly; meanwhile, most of the other characters are more symbols than actual people. Lots of speeches by lots of characters, but I didn't get a real sense of where the movement was, its effect on the public, its relative popularity at the time. Critical things that might have had more of an emotional impact - the idea that politicians were keeping suffragette protests out of the press, for example, to keep them from making waves - were almost an afterthought. Compare, for example, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which makes the suppression of press coverage into an incredibly powerful rallying point (I'm not suggesting Suffragette should have shown an army of children printing a newspaper; just that it's an easy outrage-button to push and they didn't push it). Frankly, this vid of the movie Iron Jawed Angels is more powerful than the entire Suffragette movie.

Joy

Dec. 27th, 2015 08:28 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
I'm going with the critical consensus. Jennifer Lawrence is a joy to watch, and there was a really great idea for a movie hiding in here, but sadly, there's too much other poorly conceptualized crap obscuring it. Because the tale that wants to be told is a straight up American dream sort of story - and that part's charming - but David O Russell couldn't leave it there; he wanted to make it also about some kind of dysfunctional family drama, and as a result, everything's kind of a mess.
giandujakiss: (Default)
loved it. It was extremely creative in the way that it jazzed up both the characters and the film style in order to turn an essentially unfilmable story into a surprisingly suspenseful film, considering we know how it ends.

It came up with some marvelously entertaining and original ways to explain the financial maneuvering behind the crisis, though I'm not certain how well they'd translate to someone who genuinely went in not knowing the basics.
giandujakiss: (Default)
I realize that many people dislike the male lead, because he's such a boring and traditional stoic man-painy kind of guy, but I see it differently.

As far as I'm concerned, the show is about Sif and the rest of the team. He's there to look pretty and make cow eyes at Sif and be just competent enough to seem Strong while simultaneously constantly finding himself in need of rescue (by Sif). He's an outline, a paper cut-out who exists to illustrate how desirable and awesome Sif is. He is, in short, a Strong Male Character.

And when I view him through that lens, I don't mind him at all. He pleases me.
giandujakiss: (Default)
The film [Steve Jobs] ultimately suggests that the deeply unpleasant behavior of people white men in the tech industry may be worth putting up with because of what they sometimes manage to create, often in spite of themselves.
-- Farhad Manjoo, Steve Jobs Review
giandujakiss: (Default)
Very brief thoughts from someone who has no familiarity with the original series -

Read more )
giandujakiss: (holmes)
If you (1) loved the first Sherlock Holmes, but (2) hated the second one, I'd love to get your advice about whether I should see this movie.
giandujakiss: (brosnan booze)
in Some Kind of Wonderful now playing an overbearing mom on an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

I don't think anything in my life has made me feel quite this old.
giandujakiss: (gay batman)

giandujakiss: (Default)
So, all the news lately is about the To Kill a Mockingbird sequel, and how the Big Revelation is changing readers' views of the classic characters. Many people who love Mockingbird and outraged and unhappy over the new book.

In case you've avoided the news, I have spoiler space -

Read more )
giandujakiss: (Default)
It's really interesting to think about the way strippers are portrayed in Magic Mike the Sequel versus any movie with female strippers and male clients.

Read more, not really spoilery, mostly because MM has no plot )
giandujakiss: (Default)
I've mentioned before that I have this terrible weakness for those shitty basic cable TV romance movies - usually they're a Christmas phenomenon but there are nonseasonal ones as well. I can't stay away.

Now I'm watching one called Perfect Match, about a wedding planner who has to team up with an event planner to plan a wedding. It's horrible. The premise is that the (male) event planner has never planned a wedding, and keeps suggesting hypermasculine themes that the groom loves (let's have it in a football stadium! With barbecue!) while the wedding planner suggests girly things that the bride loves (winter wonderland princess theme!). Ha ha! Men are like this and women are like that! And the professional wedding planner has no idea how to manage grooms who are afraid of girly themes! And the event planner has no idea how to choose a venue that's even physically accessible to attendees (let's have it in the mountains so you hike first!).

And then the event planner keeps blindsiding the wedding planner, which is adorable and shows the wedding planner has no spontaneity! She brings in a baker for a cake tasting, and the event planner invites his own baker along for a competition, even though the original baker thought she had a gig - what charming rascal!! (Did you know dulce de leche cake is more masculine than coconut? Also chocolate with chocolate ganache is more masculine than Black Forest. Keep that in mind if you want to avoid emasculating someone.)

I don't know why I'm continuing to watch except I admit to morbid curiosity as to how the wedding actually turns out. I mean, I presume the punchline is a perfect wedding that blends the two styles, and I have to admit I really want to see what they come up with (though I don't know why - I hated the wedding dress that the movie told us was perfect - it was all wrong for the bride's figure, especially as compared to the other choices).

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