underappreciated films

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underappreciated movies 1/? → the finest hours (dir. craig gillespie, 2016)

How do you know how to get back home? Had the wind of my left going out. Figure if I keep her on my right we ought to be heading in the right direction. We just follow the lights on shore. Listen up, I’ll put the sea behind us. The storm’s easing up, boys so we just look for the lights on the shore to guide us in. Even if we have to go so far as Nobska Point, so be it. We just gotta find land. But don’t you give up hope on me now. She’s a good boat. She’ll get us through. We’ll get you home. We’re all going home.

Is Disney just going to do live actions of all their old films? Because if they are, then they should do the great under appreciated ones like TREASURE PLANET and ATLANTIS. They would be perfect for this modern generation of kids who have never seen the originals. Seriously reblog if you agree.

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MORE favourite dead not-American actors: an Advent Calendar

Day 12: Cary Grant

It’s incredibly hard to think of anything to say about Cary that hasn’t been said a million times, but one thing about him, which I find always interesting, is that the idea of Cary Grant - you know, suave, charming, unruffleable, amused by the world - is only one part of him, and one side of his acting, and the roles he plays. It’s got a lot to do with Hitchcock, of course, 1950s Hitch in particular, as well as a lot of those later-career roles (Charade, Indiscreet). And that Cary is awesome, obviously, but oh I do like the other Carys as well. 

There’s screwball Cary, of course, overwhelmed by Kate H, squawking through Arsenic and Old Lace, trading jibes and zingers with Rosalind Russell. But inbetween these two extremes there are a lot of enjoyable and interesting variations. The trouble with Cary is that he makes the suave and the screwball look so easy, and it’s a short leap to then think, well, he’s not really acting that much is he? He’s just being Cary Grant. 

But he is acting, and what’s more, he’s damn good. Comic acting is as much - if not more of - a skill than dramatic acting. Timing, lightness of touch, underplaying - all of these things count a great deal. And he’s adept at mixing comedy into his dramas, and vice versa - look at The Bishop’s Wife or Talk of the Town (both ace, watch those); and of course look at the other Hitch films, the 1940s ones. Really, look at them, because they’re terrific. Cary is pretty much always a joy to watch, but there’s a real sense of something greater, more interesting, in those films. 

Favourite Role: Johnny Case in Holiday (1938) which is my fave of the Grant/Hepburn films (seriously, why isn’t is as well feted as Bringing Up Baby or The Philadelphia Story?) - it manages to be a philosophical, anti-materialistic romantic comedy that is a constant delight. It has an awesome cast (shout out esp to Lew Ayres as the adorable Neddy) and a corker of a script, and is not afraid to think, as well as entertain. 

Another good place to start: if you ignore the studio-enforced ending, then Suspicion (1941) is one of the best roles and performances of Cary’s career. Who better than Cary to play the most charming of sociopaths? None, that’s who. Plus Joan Fontaine (*heart eyes*) and a wonderful Nigel Bruce. It’s tainted by the ending, and so never quite makes the list of top HItch films, but it’s terrific. (Notorious, of course, is also all round terrific, but I always rec that.) Also Indiscreet (1958) which re-teams him with Ingrid Bergman for a sassy, snappy, adult romantic comedy. Some of Cary’s later roles are a bit squicky, as he’s the romantic lead still to an increasingly younger female co-star. But Ingrid is his age, and his equal, and of course fucking amazing, and it’s a joy of a film. 

Strange Magic Soundtrack Tumblr Sing-A-Long! FINALE!!!

16 days left until Strange Magic is released on DVD!!!   

2 completed threads for ‘Tell Him’!  Awesome sauce!  

Well guys, it’s been a BLAST sing-typing with you all, but unfortunately, this soundtrack does not go on forever.  All good things must come to an end, but let’s close this last sing-a-long post with EVERYTHING. WE’VE. GOT!!!

You know the rules already!  Reblog, add lyrics, soundtrack version only, finish the song at least once in 24 hours or less!

ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!

CUZ I SURE AS HELL AM! 

FOR BUTTERFLY BOG!

FOR POTIONLESS!

FOR THIS TRAGICALLY UNDERAPPRECIATED GEM OF A FILM!!!


Shh, maybe I should take it from here.

WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILD THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!

YOU MAKE MY HEEEEEAAAAAART SIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!

YOU MAKE EVERYTHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING~

GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!

I Just Watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire For the First Time

And WOAH talk about under-appreciated. This is gonna be an extended text post so hunker down y’all cause this is why you need to appreciate Atlantis more (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD, I ain’t ruining nothing for you but if you want to go in completely blind walk away now). Let me kick it off with the most obvious shit.

REASON 1: THE PROTAGONIST

OK so take a minute and envision for yourself what you imagine the typical male protagonist of an animated family film to be like. Yeah, really, do it. I want the very definition of those combined descriptors to be in your mental vision right now. Keep at it. Take your time. Got it? No? That’s chill. How about now? Yeah? Cool.

I’m guessing he was probably some kind of fellow with a lot of wit who needs to learn a lesson or two and has to figure out why he’s problematic and be less problematic. Following Disney’s example, he’s either a prince or some kind of important figure that’s forced to see things from a new perspective, or someone who doesn’t deserve their shitty lot in life and gets a miraculous chance to make their dream come true.

Now take a gander at our protagonist, Milo Thatch.

This little shit is scrawny as fuck and nerdy as all get up. This is even remarked upon by the lead female role (which I’ll get to later) who remarks “You are a scholar, yes? With your frail physique and large forehead, you are little suited for anything else”. So he’s weak and a geek and nobody’s hiding that. Nothing about him is cool or heroic or anything you’d expect from a male protagonist in a film like this.

“But wait!” You think, “That’s how a lot of them start out!”

Yes, I reply, but is that truly so? Aladdin is introduced doing serious parkour running from some guards. We instantly can tell that he’s a cool street thief guy who doesn’t deserve to be poor. Quasimodo is a fucking bellringing wizard. The first we see him he’s swinging from bell to bell like fucking Tarzan. We can instantly tell from the prologue and this introduction that he’s cool despite his deformities. Flynn Rider is literally the coolest dude, that’s his starting character point, he’s smooth as butter and chiller than ice.

“OK,” I assume you reply, because you really can’t argue with me right now as I’m typing this, “But surely he grows and develops into something heroic!”

Close, but no cigar. Milo certainly does grow to become a hero, but his heroism doesn’t come from ability or disposition- he’s always a bumbling, awkward nerd who can’t fight if/when his life depends on it - it’s a more subtle heroism, the heroism you see in a person when they stand up and say to the fellow with the gun, “No more”. At no point does Milo Thatch become an action hero. He is and always will be a nerd who can’t really even drive a truck (to be fair it’s 1914). In fact, even the moments where he does seem like an action hero are just illusions. He isn’t doing anything - he’s literally just surviving. He does crazy, suicidal shit, but never expecting to actually survive, going by the seat of his pants as the situation demands. He’s just a nerd trying to be the hero that’s needed.

But that’s the important part. Milo’s character development doesn’t come from being a dynamic character that learns and grows, his development comes from being a static character that refuses to give up or give in. His struggle is not one of becoming a better person but remaining the better person despite the price he may pay for it. He is, all at once, relatable, representative, and a role model for men, and people, really, like me, who have little in the way of conventional heroic traits but a lot of heart and idealism. I shed a tear or two during the film just because it made me feel like I could be a hero just the way I am - and that’s true for all of us. Sometimes we need to grow and develop to be the hero of certain stories, I’ll be the first to say that, but sometimes we just need to be who we already are and hold onto that.

REASON TWO: THE SUPPORTING CAST

I’ll just leave this pic here to start.

We have, in this picture detailing Atlantis’ main supporting cast, left to right:

  • Cookie, the crew’s batshit insane frontiersman chef who provides a solid 20% of comic relief in hilarious ways that draw on the admittedly stereotypical interpretation of Yankee frontier folk, but he’s fucking senile, it’s kind of excusable, so he’s pretty unproblematic, his character’s not going to be causing any social injustice
  • Packard, who gives a whopping 40% of comic relief by also being a stereotypical Midwesterner city matron, sitting in the middle OF A FUCKING BATTLE just chatting with her friend Marge about her marital woes. I can’t fathom how she can be problematic but please try to convince me.
  • Dr. Sweet, may I say once more, DOCTOR Sweet, who is half-African American, half-Native American, who studied medicine under Native medicine men, medical professionals, and military medics. Stereotype free, as far as my perhaps ignorance eyes see, and is one of the first to speak out when things take a turn for the questionable. Not problematic at all.
  • Vinny,  demolitions expert, who gives maybe like 10% of comic relief through his love of explosives. An Italian who hated his life working in his family’s flower shop until a gas explosion next door gave him direction in life. A real representative for those of us who have got some questionable dreams. Maybe a little problematic because he might incite some arsonry I guess, but he’s pretty harmless.
  • Audrey, a Latina teen, youngest member of the cast, and CHIEF MECHANIC OF THE EXPEDITION. She’s got some stereotyping on her as a tough as nails tomboy who doesn’t take shit and is trying to make her dad proud, but as one of three women featured, she’s a great role model to girls. In fact, her backstory addresses that her dad wanted two boys but got two girls instead - and was still made every bit as proud by them as his boys would’ve done. Generally nonproblematic.
  • Mole. Mole is just… Mole. A Frenchman with an obsession with geology, minerals, digging, and just… dirt in general. The most problematic because he’s kind of a creep and a pervert, BUT, this provides comedy and great character development among the women who STRONGLY reject his advances. At times with violence. Which is chill for the girls out there who need to see that it’s OK to fight back.

In addition, not pictured is Helga, the third featured woman, who is your typical masculine woman. Strong, capable fighter, sureshot, she speaks to the girls who want to be feared, even becoming pivotal in defeating the antagonist with her own breed of vengeance and marksmanship.

In general, a diverse cast of fairly unproblematic characters with plenty of racial and gender representation. Doesn’t tumblr eat that shit up? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Appreciate this.

REASON THREE: THE STORY

I’m not going to spend much time here because I’m not spoiling anything, but yeah, the story’s pretty cool. Value of a life, of lives, stealing and destroying a culture, stabbing imperialism like a serial killer. Reminds us, and I quote, “If every museum returned stolen artifacts, all we’d have left is empty buildings”. So boom, imperialism, out of the sky. Other good stuff in there.

REASON FOUR: THE DEUTERAGONIST

Bang, fancy writing word for you, free of charge. The idea of a deuteragonist is basically that they’re the second most important character. Narratologically, deuteragonists are sidekicks - the Robins and Watsons of the world. However, in some stories, such as this, the deuteragonist is not merely/only a sidekick but a love interest. In Atlantis, the role is primarily an unusual and curious blend of the two.

So let me show you Milo’s pal/romance interest:

This is Kida. Princess of Atlantis. SLIGHT spoiler showing her, but for fuck’s sake she’s in the promo material.

Now let’s see here, first impressions. She’s a person of color, for one. This image is actually kind of pale due to poor quality, her skin is a bit darker in tone than presented. I will concede that she’s pretty conventionally attractive and scantily clad. But part of what she is wearing, you see, is armor. She is first seen among a small party of hunters stalking Milo’s own party. She is a huntress, gifted martially, even fending off armed adversaries for a short period. She can take on any of us nerds easy. She can take on trained soldiers with rifles hand-to-hand (albeit she is outnumbered and caught off guard and ultimately captured, BUT EVEN CAUGHT OFF GUARD SHE BEATS ASS). She voices her dissent towards her father’s commands while still respecting his wishes. 

And up until the end, she shows no romantic subplot. There are times where it seemed implied to me, but then I stepped back and thought, “No, that’s just me putting meaning where there isn’t necessarily meaning”. She and Milo are friends most of the film. Is he crushing on her? Hell yeah, bookish nerd shrimp like him coming across a warrior-princess babe like her? Like hell he’s gonna crush on her. But despite some Freudian slips, he never acts on those desires. His behaviors and actions with and around her are always fueled either by his own beliefs, his own goals, or his platonic affection for her. There was a moment where they were in each other’s arms and looked at each other, and I thought, “PLEASE FUCK NO DON’T KISS YOU’LL RUIN IT ALL IF YOU KISS”, and guess what? They hugged. They hugged each other in a comforting, friendly-loving manner. Only at the very end where they hold hands and it’s implied (IMPLIED I STRESS ONCE MORE) they marry does it seem like they become romantically involved, and that, I think, was the resut a pressured team trying to make it Disney enough for Disney.

IN CONCLUSION

Atlantis: The Lost Empire has:

  1. A relatable, awesome, nerdy protagonist
  2. A diverse, nonproblematic crew
  3. A respectable plot and theme
  4. A kickass warrior-princess POC that isn’t falling head over heels for the protagonist the whole way

It was also too short, didn’t make enough money, and will probably never get the sweet, sweet attention it deserved. But go out and find it online or something and watch it. At the very least the 1.5 hour won’t be wasted.

25 Underappreciated Films

01. Snow Angels (2008)

Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale, Michael Angarano, Olivia Thirlby

It’s easy for us to block out the things that upset us. That’s what I do. That’s what most people do. But it’s important that you feel through this. It’s so important, I can’t tell you.