Skipped: Band of Brothers, Battlestar Galactica
I've owned this movie for a very long time. Great movie, although it has definite issues... I've seen it 1,000 times, although not very recently. Poverty, abuse, drugs and two neighbor boys falling in love. I am a fan. A little weird to see Linda Henry and Tameka Empson -- both of whom are now on "Eastenders," which I used to watch -- although I saw them in this first. And I can't hear "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" without thinking of this film.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Skipped: Band of Brothers, Battlestar Galactica
Previews: Captain America: Winter Soldier; Vampire Academy; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; Robocop
Interestingly, the new Captain America movie looks to address some of the things I brought up w/r/t The Avengers. And Vampire Academy felt horribly out of place attached to this movie (and with these trailers).
Thor: The Dark World has gotten a lot of good reviews, but I have to say that I didn't love it. There was good stuff in it, and it wasn't a bad movie, but I wasn't particularly caught up in it or thrilled with some of the story. Jane, in particular, frustrated me throughout most of the movie. I'll try not to be too spoilery, but be warned...
First, I don't buy at all how she became infected with the aether. There's no good reason why she'd stumble into that particular area and get sucked into the other world -- or rather, why her and not the kids that had apparently been playing in the area for ages? Just didn't buy it. Second, as pleased as I was to see a number of female characters pick up weapons and defend themselves and their worlds, Jane is simply a vessel/a thing to be possessed for too much of the movie. She mostly hides, is carried around, and is eventually emptied. The writing improves a little bit at the end, as she uses her intelligence and knowledge to help save the day ... but it's all based on Selvig's technology, isn't it? While Jane isn't a completely passive character, I really struggle with her lack of agency for so much of the movie.
Incidentally, the film *does* pass the Bechtel Test, although with some debate.
I also appreciated what felt like at least a slightly increased number of characters who aren't white men -- the female warrior Sif, the Asian warrior Hogun, Heimdall and Algrim, played by black actors. And I totally either forgot or didn't realize that Heimdall was Idris Elba, who I love, and I spent far too much time while he was on screen saying to myself, "That's Idris Elba, isn't it? Is it? Wouldn't I remember if it was, though?" and then he took of the helmet and I was pretty sure that it was. I did not recognize Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Algrim) at all, though; mind you, he was under major makeup for most of the movie. And Zachary Levi! Didn't recognize him at all, even though I immediately liked his character (and was convinced that he'd end up somehow betraying everyone, since I liked him (this is what usually happens to characters I like)). And yay for Ray Stevenson!
ETA: Oh, I totally forgot how annoyed I was at the beginning of the movie, when we get to see Sif and Hogun (and Fandral) fighting and doing fine, but wait! Here's a blond, male warrior Thor to save the day! Blech.
I would have liked more time with the team, who we barely saw. And I didn't realize that some of those minor characters were in the first Thor movie, which I haven't seen in ages (and also didn't particularly like).
ETA: OK, I watched the first 20 or so minutes of the first movie, and look! There all the Asgardian warriors are (with a different Fandral). Did not remember them even a little bit.
So, yeah, I probably would have been as happy waiting for this one.
Not sure how much I'll have to say here. This is a movie that I actually do watch somewhat regularly. Actually, maybe that means that I'll have more to say, since maybe I've thought about things more deeply...
Skipped: "Angels In America," "Archer: Season One" and all of "Arrested Development."
- I love superhero movies. I know, they're overdone lately. And my love isn't across the board and indiscriminate. But I'll happily watch most superhero movies (if not pay to see them in a theater).
- I also love Joss Whedon, of course, so this is like a match made in heaven. A little surprised at the amount of overlap that the Alien movies are continuing to create. Especially interesting since I just got those movies right before I started this project.
- I've been having a discussion with several people lately about thoughts that I've had on why I like particular characters, and I think it can be expanded to types of movies. I like characters who are broken, who are struggling to do better, who are outsiders, who have secrets. (These aren't the only types of characters I like, but it seems to be a common theme.) I want to understand why they do what they do and how their brokenness affects their lives. Characters with superpowers are typically your outsiders, and of course they have secrets. Some are broken, some not. Plus snarky bastards -- love them too.
- Also, I haven't seen the new Thor movie. I will eventually, probably on DVD (or Netflix). I hear that it's good, but I'm not willing to pay for it. I did pay to see Iron Man 3 when it came out, though (broken character!). And I saw this one in the theater.
- Oh, hi, I should be talking about the actual movie. Tom Hiddleston is an attractive guy (and he seems to have a sense of humor and be game for anything, which is a huge plus in my book), but I do not like long hair on most guys. I hate it on him.
- Sorry, distracted by a discussion of this movie on http://bechdeltest.com/view/3205/the_avengers/ (and the linked post, http://ladybrainreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-avengers-and-lokis-suspicious.html -- some great points! And I think that many of the comments are missing the point re: stereotypes.)
- Hey! Bruce Banner. I can't remember really liking any of the Hulk films. Mark Ruffalo was a great choice for this series.
- I do confess that, despite my love for superhero movies -- and my owing/reading some graphic novels -- I actually know very little about Marvel comics in general or these individual characters, with the exception of what I've learned in the movies and Wikipedia.
- I'm also a hair's breadth away from giving up on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
- Crap, I keep getting sucked into online conversations about the Bechdel Test.
- I seem to find myself incapable of not loving Robert Downey Jr.
- Grr ... now I'm thinking about going to see Thor: The Dark World. Oh, discount showing at 11:10 am ...
- Oh, narrative tropes. We have to tear the group apart before they can come together as a team.
- This movie is by no means perfect, but man do the little things make me giggle. "It seems to run on some form of electricity." Heh.
- I keep thinking about the blogspot post I linked above and, specifically, the issues of masculinity in this movie. It's not something that I really looked at when watching previously. I don't agree with all of that author's points -- although I do think she makes some very, very good ones -- but it's definitely making me think as I watch, which is a hugely valuable thing.
- Slightly off topic, but related: A great look at roles of masculinity in Hunger Games: Catching Fire -- http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/11/25/247146164/what-really-makes-katniss-stand-out-peeta-her-movie-girlfriend
- I also love the damage people cause when the fall/hit things in this movie. That sounds strange, and I don't mean that I actually love the damage -- I love *seeing* that things actually get damaged in a vaguely realistic way, as opposed to the various characters touching down lightly or essentially bouncing on the ground.
- The little buckle on the back of Fury's head seems like it would be uncomfortable.
- Hey, it's Enver Gjokaj!
- So, the Loki/Hulk scene. I have mixed feelings here, because I'm sure that my initial response was much like everyone else's -- it's a scene designed to be funny and I know that I laughed. However, I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea that pain -- anyone's pain, even the villain's -- is something to laugh at. Generally, I don't find bloopers or clips of people getting hit or falling off things funny in any way at all, and I've been told that I need to get a sense of humor because of it. I think what makes the scene work for me anyway is less that it's a statement on how physical strength is more valuable/important/valued than mental ability (i.e. the smart guy gets beat up by the giant green monster) -- although I can see that as a part of the text -- but rather that it's a confrontation of the idea that Loki feels that he's above everyone, that they *shouldn't* be fighting back but just accepting that he's better/stronger/smarter than they are and bowing down. The idea that this group of people will fight back and that they are, combined and individually, able to effectively challenge Loki's beliefs is important. In the scene right before, Hawkeye (not really a superhero at all, just a guy) gets the better of him too with an exploding arrow. Again, I'm not saying that the power over intelligence element isn't there, but that it's not the only thing going on.
- Plus, you know, this is an action movie. Which kinda always suggests that fighting/shooting/killing are OK in certain circumstances.
- So, does the guy who shoots the nuclear missile at Manhattan get in trouble for it? Or is he just following orders?
- I understand why, for simplicity's sake, destroying the main ship through the wormhole means that all the soldiers die (so much easier narratively than having to keep fighting), but it still feels like a cheat.
- Nick Fury aside, we could really use more superheros who aren't white men. (Completely original thought, I know!)
- The one set of comics that I have read is Stormwatch/The Authority, which is hugely problematic in a lot of ways, but which introduces an idea that I like. In The Avengers, we have the struggle between Fury (and the team) and the council that's making decisions that aren't agreed with. The same thing comes up in a way that's both more and less challenging in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- the idea that the authorities know best and those "under" them should shut up and do as they're told. While lip service is paid to this a little in the series, it's a far more authoritarian world there, where the agents are all serving a greater master, who they are more or less told not to argue with. In this movie, there's more of a rebellious spirit, which is understandable given who the main characters are. In The Authority especially, however, the idea is taken to an extreme -- what if the superheroes said no and decided to make the decisions themselves. What if they challenged all governments and councils and the like and fought those battles they felt they needed to fight, and handled the aftermath themselves -- as in, they keep the technology and the weapons and keep it away from any government. The series doesn't always work, and it's hugely violent, and there were whole storylines that I deeply disliked, but I do find that to be a very interesting concept.
- OK. Movie over. Guess I need to eat then go see Thor.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I haven't watched this one in ages (which is, of course, the point of this exercise). And there's a whole disc of bonus content that I've never watched ... and won't be tonight either.
- Got my FBI warning then a blank screen. Hmm. OK, not sure what I did, but it's playing.
- I do love a romantic movie about fate and people who are clearly meant to be together *just* missing each other until they finally meet. I'm a sucker for a good romance in general.
- OMG -- I just realized, after thinking about how different this movie is to the previous four entries, that "Amélie" is directed by the same guy who directed "Alien: Resurrection." AND has one of the same actors.
- I like that we get to hear what the cat likes.
- I love her hair pinned up. I can never get mine to stay.
- So many beautiful gardens in this movie. I need a garden. And money.
- I really like garden gnomes. When I have a garden...
- Oh, this movie makes me wish I lived in Paris. Although I'm sure I'd not actually want to live there (I'm not a city girl).
- I love the colors and the sets in this movie. There are some that just hit me in the sweet spot.
- I like Amélie's sense of retribution.
- I'm out of bourbon. Not relevant to the movie, but I thought I'd mention it since I'm not saying much else.
- Now I want to watch "Blue," "White" and "Red," but I don't have them on DVD ... oh, the very small number of French films I've owned ...
- Oh, good, we're finally getting around to Nino
- Aw, swimming babies.
- Yes, I have so little to say about this movie. It's adorable and the main character is quirky without being annoying, but also sometimes kind of awful.
- It's sweet. She's so very shy. And sad.
- Sandshoes! I still don't know where that nickname comes from.
- And her plans begin to backfire.
- Stop leaving all those candles burning!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving! I've tried to watch multiple things today (and spent most of the day watching "Supernatural" and "Veronica Mars" episodes with Mark), and nothing's sticking, so let's just finish out the "Alien" movies...
- Special edition again because that's the way I seem to go.
- Cute French director intro.
- After watching the last movie, I read a bunch of Stormwatch comics (and some The Authority), including the one with the aliens. Convenient way to kill a bunch of characters (although I think only a couple actually die, really).
- Dude in the intro is disgusting.
- These opening credits are too long.
- Written by Joss Whedon, who I love (of course), although I hear he doesn't like this movie (something about him thinking all the actors said his lines wrong).
- Poor replicated Ripley.
- I shouldn't buy this wine again. It's cheap and tastes it (although I've had worse).
- More awful people.
- Oops. Found out that an author whose work I really enjoy just released a new book! $3.99 on Kindle! Which means that I'd far rather be reading than watching this. Will try to restrain myself.
- Yeah, I'm reading and watching at the same time. Not the best way to have interesting things to say about the movie.
- Mutant Ripley clones!
- There's a bit too much celebratory music in this one. The music overall is too much.
- Ripley sucked down into the writhing mother alien. So weird.
- Alien through the head things was nasty.
- Human-alien hybrid is ugly. And the weird mommy moments are weird.
- Blech, monster sucked through a little hole.
- Suddenly got a very strong, very weird "Firefly" vibe from this movie. Leaving aside that it occured to me that Ron Perlman was playing the Adam Baldwin role much earlier.
- Oh, it's over. And I'm 1/2 through the book (it's a short one and I read ebooks very fast). No really strong feelings, probably because I wasn't paying enough attention (again).
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Another "live" blog!
- If I remember correctly, this is the least liked of the four. I remember not hating it the first (only?) time I watched it.
- I do hate that everyone (except Ripley) gets killed at the beginning.
- Space special effects still look cheesy.
- Maybe the reason that I have affection for this movie is because of my deep love for Charles Dance. Sure, everyone loves him now that he's Tywin in "Game of Thrones," but he's been a favorite of mine since I stumbled on the miniseries "First Born." Loved that series. Interestingly, since I'm sure that I saw that before I saw this movie, and they were released only 4 years apart, I must have seen "First Born" not long at all after it was made. Of course, I'm sure that I didn't see "Alien3 in the theater, so...
- I'm watching the 2003 "Assembly Cut" version, which is apparently quite different from the theatrical version (which is probably the one I saw). For better or worse...?
- Distracted reading the Wikipedia entry on the film.
- Closed my eyes when guy got shredded by the fan.
- Wandered off to make dinner. Came back to Ripley finding Bishop's remains.
- Wow, there's a lot of blood in this one.
- Oh, I'm so easily distracted.
- Now I'm reading graphic novels ... there's an alien in one of them ...
- This must be one of the scenes that was restored because man that effect looks fake.
- Wow, this movie is long.
- Giant video camera!
- I'm counting this as watched even though I wasn't really paying much attention.
Obviously, I just got the "Alien Anthology" set so the first three entries in this series will be all about monsters in space. It's a "live" entry!
- Is that early CGI at the beginning? Because it's a wee bit fake.
- Ice makes everything sparkly.
- Interesting -- gas masks instead of space helmets
- The space shots look incredibly 1980s to me. Not sure exactly what that means, but it seems like you can pick an '80s sci-fi film by the particular look of the early CGI. Maybe it's a model/CGI green screen combo?
- Yay -- young (weasely) Paul Reiser!
- OK, the Internet distracted me and I have to rewind.
- Hey, did I know that Capt. Hollister from "Red Dwarf" was in this movie?
- I do not remember this background about the little girl's family -- maybe it's special edition scenes?
- Is there a casino on this planet?
- Sigourney Weaver does a great job of being extremely jumpy as they're investigating the empty base.
- This is taking quite a while because I keep pausing to do other things. Welcome to watching a movie with me!
- I do appreciate that the aliens can easily get killed by bullets and fire (and getting run over). They're incredibly strong and deadly, but they're not indestructible.
- "Game over, man! Game over!" That's where the line comes from!
- Impulsively relocated the wireless router. So maybe not paying as much attention as I should have been. Also, folded and put away laundry!
- Random Ender's Game comparison thoughts: The aliens are just trying to survive. What right do we have to commit genocide? Are they the alien we can never know and therefore must always destroy?
- Another thing I like about this series: guns run out of bullets. Flame throwers run out of fuel.
- Green screen!
- The alien queen thing looks much less like a guy in a rubber suit, which is nice.
- Oh, I remember how the next one starts and it still makes me angry.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Still good, as always. Although it must be a long time since I last saw this movie, there was nothing in it that I really didn't remember. The technology was obviously slightly out of date, but not so much that it was bothersome. Love how real and lived in the ship is -- not all new and shiny and white. Heh ... and the alien at the end is so obviously a guy in a suit, which made me giggle.
How long will it take? Will I completely forget about it in two weeks? Will I skip the TV series (hint: yes, except the short ones)? Which movies will be in the wrong place and therefore watched out of order?
Shall we begin?