giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-08-04 07:19 pm
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I have been watching The Mod Squad

That is all. I just wanted everyone to know.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-07-17 04:53 am
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Still Star-Crossed is getting so good!!

I am so depressed it won't be picked up.

At first I wasn't that into it; I liked some of the performances and the lush design, but the story wasn't doing much for me. But now it's really hit its stride!

Sigh.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-07-14 11:34 am
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So I just rewatched Stella Dallas (1937)

Only watch this movie if you're committed to sobbing uncontrollably through the final half hour.

Seriously, it's dated, but even 80 years later it packs a wallop. I can't think of any movie that's affected me this deeply where no one dies, is injured, or even placed in any kind of physical jeopardy.

Has anyone written anything comparing Imitation of Life (1934), Stella Dallas (1937), and Mildred Pierce (1945)? It's like the same story told three different ways, with slightly different shading. (Edit: It turns out there totally is analysis, not necessarily of these 3 films in particular, but the genre has a name: maternal melodrama!)

Also, I'm reminded - in the 1930s and 1940s, movies were about women. When did we lose that?
giandujakiss: (Catwoman)
2017-07-12 03:18 pm
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For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture

I just rewatched Batman Returns. Still in awe of Michelle Pfeiffer's performance. Honestly one of the greatest in superhero movies and for my money, in movies generally.

Here, have a Catwoman vid by [livejournal.com profile] dualbunny:



(via)

Hey, is there any good post-Batman Returns fixit fic?
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-07-05 05:34 pm

Late to the party, but -

In light of the latest news about Hobby Lobby (the company that won a Supreme Court case to avoid providing its employees with insurance that covers birth control), I figured a vid rec was appropriate.

[personal profile] eruthros has made a marvelous Indiana Jones vid critiquing the series. Beautifully done.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-06-15 01:00 pm

Randomly

Does everyone know that the Xena episode The Prodigal is sort of a bastardized retelling of the Jane Fonda movie Cat Ballou?

Because I'm rewatching Xena after seeing Wonder Woman (naturally), and it occurs to me that this obvious fact may not in fact be obvious to everyone.

But it's very much a deliberate reference - much like, say, approximately twenty zillion TV shows (including Buffy) had a "Die Hard"-like episode after Die Hard came out. Or like men jumping from high cliffs into water is meant to emulate Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's a deliberate homage.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-05-04 10:39 am
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So I've been watching Charlie's Angels

The original TV series. And honestly, every time I rewatch I have different political feelings about it.

Right now, they are mostly positive feelings. And I think I've posted about this before, so forgive me if I am duplicative.

The show was derided - even at the time - as "jiggle TV," relying on the sex appeal of the actresses and putting them in exploitative costumes to cater to male fantasies (nurse, women's prison, maid, etc). And there's some truth to this - the women's prison episode is, well, less-than-subtle. But what's also true is that the vast majority of the time, the costumes were, well, pretty modest. The Angels were fully clothed, often in multiple layers (sweaters on top of shirts, etc), and anything else is just what the viewer brings.

Another problem is that the Angels almost go out of their way to be as soft-spoken as possible; it's really obvious on first watching. It's like a palpable feeling that someone felt that if the Angels raised their voice to anything above a mild murmur, they'd be viewed as harpies. And you can do that in fiction - women can speak softly and still be heard and respected by the men around them - but in real life, people ignore women, and especially ignore soft-spoken women. It's a trap; women can't speak uniquely in dulcet tones and expect to actually be heard.

But then there are the positives.

The first - and I'm always surprised by this in 70s and early 80s media, though I shouldn't be - is the sexual sophistication of the women. That's something we lost, along the way; in modern media you can be a likeable slut but usually that means you're the best friend, not the heroine. The 70s and early 80s actually weren't like that; women could be interest in sex, even casual sex, and still be heroines. It's not in-your-face in Charlie's Angels, but it's definitely there; that all of the Angels are sexually experienced is not even in question.

Second, the woman are extremely competent. If you've got a competence kink, this is your show. They are extremely skilled at physical tasks, going undercover, pumping suspects for information, etc. And they are absolutely fearless, and without embarrassment - they do what it takes to get the information they need, regardless of the enemies they might make or temporary humiliation they may endure.

Third, the show is really about women bonding with women. The Angels themselves are portrayed as being closely emotionally bonded, and very often, they bond with the episodic female guest stars. Women are their clients, or are mixed up with the villains, and the Angels are incredibly supportive; a lot of time is spent on women's stories and the basic idea that women defend other women. The concept may have been intended to appeal to men's libido, but the women-centric nature of the show is inescapable.

So, you know, you go Charlie's Angels- you were an important milestone in pop cultural portrayals of women, despite the haters.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-04-12 04:02 am
Entry tags:

I saw Gifted!

Almost nothing happened that wasn't entirely predictable, but Chris Evans was very touchable-looking and pretty and that's what I went to see, so I got my money's worth.

It was one of those movies where, for most of it, you're thinking that there must be some better compromise solutions but no one seems to be able to conceive of them.

However - minor spoiler:

Read more )
giandujakiss: (Default)
2017-01-05 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

Saw Hidden Figures

Loved it. Yes, there's stuff to critique but I'm just gonna float on idealism for a while.

Taraji Henson in particular was riveting; there was something just so compelling about her performance.

The theater was about half full - which is actually pretty good, considering the timing. Kids and adults, and people actually cheered and clapped at several points.

Definitely go see.
giandujakiss: (erikcharles)
2016-12-21 09:52 am

Assassin's Creed

is a terrible terrible movie that wastes some amazing actors.

I know literally nothing about the game, which may color my opinion somewhat, but I Wikipedia'ed it after the movie, and ... no, I think this is just yet another reason why games should not be movies.

(To be fair, based on the Wiki game description, I think possibly it could have been a very good movie. This - was not that movie.)

There are so many many things I could talk about - the wooden dialogue and the nonsensical plot and the absolute nonstop fight sequences that replace anything like characterization -seriously, we don't know the first thing about Fassbender's character and he's the hero - but there's just one very specific point that I will single out to criticize.

Spoilers )

I think at some point I have to recognize that Fassbender will never, ever make a movie that appeals to me as much as XMFC.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-12-19 06:51 pm

I'll probably go see Gifted because soft dad Chris Evans is kind of irresistible but

am I the only person who thinks the story feels different if you imagine it's a boy child instead of a girl child? Like, would we think it's noble for a father figure to insist that a prodigy boy not get the best education so that the boy can have his childhood? Or is that something we only say about girls?

I mean, there's plenty of evidence that early on, girls and boys have the same interest in math, and that girls tend to drop out in part because they aren't pressured to continue - when they say they want to stop, adults let them, and but adults push boys to carry on.

I think it was Katrina vanden Heuvel who wrote that it's only with girls where we say, "Well, you can go off to cure cancer, or you can be a wife and mother - it's your choice." We never present these as choices for boys.

The premise of Gifted seems to fall into the same category for me.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-10-04 05:17 pm

So what do we think of Conviction?

From a legal-mystery standpoint, it's fairly by-the-numbers. But I am excited to see a woman play the maverick-operates-on-her-own-rules-because-she's-just-that-good character. The last time I saw it attempted was Dana Delaney in Body of Proof, where she was basically a Dr. House-like medical examiner, but they couldn't quite commit to her being just as obnoxious as House, so they had to soften her.

Also, they're 'shipping her with Eddie Cahill and I've always had soft spot for Eddie Cahill. Which means, I have no hope for the actual plots, but I am interested to see where they're going with the characters.

Also, they've got a Hillary Clinton analog who looks like she'll be appropriately complex and ruthless.

BTW, I am in love with Pitch, so that's a thing.  And I didn't even realize it was the Saved by the Bell dude under that beard.  I feel very old.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-09-17 08:53 am

Anyone watching Queen Sugar?

Is anyone else amused that Bianca Lawson is playing a character named Darla?

One detail that keeps striking me - Blue, the little boy, plays with what appears to be some kind of Barbie-like doll, and it's entirely unremarked. That's just his favorite toy, whatever.
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-09-04 02:39 pm

Are there any premiering TV shows that I should be paying attention to?

Because I can't find any (i.e., on the actual teevee, not purely internet streaming).
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-07-25 10:30 pm

I'm just thinking

After Trump's lineup of A-List speakers, how awesome would it be if the Dems could round out their speakers with Henry Winkler or Ron Howard?
giandujakiss: (Default)
2016-07-16 09:01 pm

For I have seen Ghostbusters!!

Quick nonspoilery thoughts:

It was a lot of fun, if a bit broader than my taste, and I found myself just sitting there smiling.

It was flawed in that modern action movie way, where it's facially obvious that a lot of exposition and plotting was cut. The only reason it wasn't entirely incoherent was because you kind of know the story from the original - like, not the same plot exactly, but the same story beats. For that reason, I think the original is a superior piece of filmmaking.

Everyone's awesome but Kate McKinnon steals the show.

With the caveat that I've never seen a Paul Feig movie before (again, his humor is too broad for my taste), it was a revelation to see women playing these kinds of roles. Not just comedic, but awkward and goofy and loud and taking up space and with no concern at all for whether they were pretty. (Let's all remember that Joss Whedon told Elizabeth Olsen not to scrunch up her face during the Avengers action scenes, because it made her look unattractive.) That they are women is essentially unremarked.

Case in point: There's a running joke thing about Melissa McCarthy and food, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she's heavy. She does physical comedy and it has nothing to do with the fact that she's heavy.

I remember the original Ghostbusters, which I loved as a kid. It was hilarious and I saw it many times. And always, always - even before I had any particular political consciousness - I disliked the bits that had to do with Bill Murray skeevily coming on to women, and hated the whole part of the plot where Sigourney Weaver is possessed, turned into a weird sex maniac, and has to sleep with Rick Moranis. It was like this horrible sour note in the middle of the film. I wasn't really old enough to understand why I hated those bits, I just knew I found them basically unwatchable.

But with the new Ghostbusters, I get a glimpse of how different it would have been for me - for all of us - if we'd gotten stories about women like this as we were growing up.

There is a scene at the very end of the credits so don't leave.

Oh also good commentary here.