I should probably designate a schedule for these, but right now they’re just whenever I feel like it. Or before I forget what movies I’ve seen. I say “so” a lot. :)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I had a ball with the first film (when I ignore the last scene) with its outlandish, but still very English, spin on spy movies. A circle is how the first half feels as well as being part of the tagline. After the initial action sequence that was a lot of fun, the film ping pongs across the globe and back again without doing a great job of setting up new characters and plot. I think it could have established things much quicker and simpler, giving the message about the war on drugs better service. I am also sad with how they seem to be changing locations to continue the franchise. Taron Egerton is still charming as hell.
Blade Runner 2049
Truth #1: I only saw this movie because I love Denis Villenueve. Like, to a level where I took a day off from work just so I could spend it watching all of his earlier films and shorts on Amazon (beware all you gals watching Polytechnique for
Evelyne Brochu). Truth #2: I don’t like the original Blade Runner. It’s gorgeous and I appreciate it for how it’s influenced so many films I DO love, but I get so frustrated with the plot, characters, and its portrayal of women (so rape-y). The sequel is basically rinse and repeat of the first for me. Women again barely have any agency or dimension, the future is as diverse as a vanilla wafer, and the plot - while, thankfully, has more going on than the original - is predictable and falls apart in retrospect. Truth #3: I don’t like Ryan Gosling. His acting…his face…nada, and I know I’m a minority among my kind with ovaries. The best part of this movie was the pre-show viewing of Ryan Gosling’s Acting Range.
Professor Marsten and The Wonder Women
What. A. Surprise. I, and most queer ladies with a Blockbuster card, go back with Angela Robinson from the D.E.B.S. days. Despite this affinity, I was not expecting this film to be as tight and…well-made as it was. The color script, the lighting, the dialogue, the acting…all gold stars. Rebecca Hall shines like a fucking beacon and I want her in everything (I’m still peeved at her being screwed by Iron Man 3). I don’t think there have been many mainstream depictions of polyamory and bdsm, but I can say it’s the best portrayal I’ve ever seen, and likely due to the fact that it was directed by a queer woman. Give it your money, we need more stories like these.
Got to see an early screening of I, Tonya and it is a performance powerhouse. After 30 or so minutes, the actors ceased to be and all I saw were these flawed and, often, horrible people. As a kid I remember the Harding/Kerrigan scandal, but this film made me realize I knew absolutely nothing about Tonya’s life and how it got her to that absolutely insane turn of events. INSANE. Most of y’all probably wanna hear about Sebastian, so I’ll say dude delivers. He does so well as dumbo Jeff with that…that voice, that my ovaries inverted any time he opened his mouth, and something I never thought I’d say when he’s on screen. Moral of the story: stay in school, kiddos.
The Good Place
I only started watching this because I sent out a request for a light-hearted show, as one can only watch Parks & Rec to combat stress so many times. The Good Place was the most suggested by far. It’s got all my people behind it, but the ones that are in front of the camera are what I have issue with. The concept is SO fun, and the dialogue can be SO funny, but SO many times Bell and Danson fail to nail a joke, or timing, or expression. I’d be incredibly frustrated if I were a writer or director on this show. Someone show Danson clips of Jim Rash from Community, please. That’s all I want. I’m sticking with it because the plot is what’s most interesting and I want to see where it goes.
Whaaaaaat was that?? No spoilers, but…I really don’t know what was going on in the writers’ room or the PTB who chose to potentially segment the series as it has. I was hoping charactesr would be more fleshed out and have more interesting dynamics with each other by now. I feel like we still know so little and rely on stereotypes with the characters, and emotions only operate in the extreme. I also wonder what the budget and scheduling is like and what constraints it’s adding to production. I felt S3 culminated into something pretty solid, so this felt like a step back in quality - as if they were forced to cut corners. SO many still characters with flapping lips and panning standing shots. The designs are so dang appealing and Studio Mir is so solid, that it was disappointing to see animation so trimmed down. Not to mention some early keys looked strangely off-model. Perhaps they had to contract out some animation…? I dunno, ya got some ‘splainin’ to do, Voltron.
Between the World and Me: Ta-nehisi Coates
Ok, so just about EVERY line in this book is worth quoting, sharing, and remembering. Mostly written as a letter to his teenage son regarding the world and his experience as a black man in America.
Full of sadness, anger, hope, and despair for the past as well as future. Being a white girl from the suburbs, I can’t begin to understand and fully know his experience, but I can be better about reading from perspectives that are not my own. I really need to pick up his take on Black Panther…
There’s a bit in Wonder Woman that I can’t stop thinking about. It’s the part where she walks towards General Ludendorff at the gala. He see her and starts walking in her direction as if to attack, then surges towards her and grabs her in a kind of dance hold. She’s stunned, frozen. It’s probably the only time in the film where Diana looks afraid.
Because she was attacked, but in a way she’s never encountered before. She’s been trained to handle “honest” attacks, where the attacker makes their intentions clear. But here she is attacked in the way women in this world are so often attacked. It’s an unwanted, unwelcome intrusion, a man putting his hands on her without her consent, intruding into her personal space in an aggressive, obtrusive, threatening manner. But to bystanders, they are simply dancing. She doesn’t know what to do. She’s trained her whole life to deal with honest, open attacks, but faced with the sneaky, faux-polite attack of this kind of man, she’s completely lost.
I thought this was a great moment. It reflects the experiences of so many women so well.
On a side note, I mentioned it to my (male) partner afterward, and he hadn’t even noticed Diana’s reaction in that moment. He’s a great guy and a good, kind person, but his obliviousness to her confusion and fear speaks volumes about the different experiences of men and women in our society.
Philosophical Science Fiction films (of this century)
“Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. …Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don’t know what they’re talking about.”