ihcoyc: (Default)
The ever-adorable online feminist community has driven Joss Whedon off Twitter, because

Cut for spoiler )

is something they decided was intolerably sexist. (Disapproval of Iron Man's joke about ius primæ noctis is also involved.)

More spoilers in image )
ihcoyc: Bad literature (Bad literature)
Look at all the delightful and highly entertaining films that came out in 2014.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Lego Movie
  • Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • 300: Rise of an Empire
  • Hercules
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay


This has in fact been a fairly stellar year for movies. I don't expect any of these films to be shortlisted for an Academy Award. If any are, it will be among the last two. Oscar prefers unwatchable dreck like 12 Years a Slave to anything that people choose for entertainment value. This is why I find it impossible to take the Academy Awards all that seriously.

Replay value is a major, major factor in my assessment of a film's quality. I own Gladiator, but think less of it than I do of 300, or Troy, or for that matter of Triumph of the Son of Hercules, each of which I've watched many times for every time I've seen Gladiator. And Gladiator is supposed to be a great film in one of my favorite genres. Gladiator takes itself too seriously and as a result is much less entertaining. In retrospect, the best thing about it was the soundtrack.

Since objectively speaking I'd rather watch Triumph of the Son of Hercules than Gladiator, I'm not sure what it is exactly that is supposed to make Gladiator the superior film here. The high-seriousness of the proceedings? That's part of what leaves me cold. The lack of reliance on stock genre plots? I consider the embellishment and refinement of stock plots and characters to be an art in itself, and I wouldn't have become a fan of the genre if the stock scenes and characters did not amuse me. Why should I prefer something that deprives me of part of the pleasure and part of the point of choosing that kind of film?

Replay value is huge for me. It's to the point where I use films for other purposes. When I want to brush up on my ability to understand French, I watch Barbarella or Le pacte des loups again. There are artier French films, but none I like better. Same thing with understanding Scandinavian; there I turn to Ronal the Barbarian.

I'm fully aware that this makes The Rocky Horror Picture Show the greatest motion picture ever made. As it certainly is.
ihcoyc: Bad literature (Bad literature)
My problem with the Hunger Games backstory is that it isn't good for Americans to portray the people with culture, fashion, and philosophy as the bad guys, while the good guys have woodsy skills, family ties, and live simple lives. That sort of thing appeals to the worst in us.
ihcoyc: Man vs Nature (Men)
Finally got around to seeing 300: Rise of an Empire. I found it deliciously silly; the main character is actually Artemisia, and Eva Green's performance is beautifully over the top. Themistocles comes across as a Greek Wallace making Braveheart speeches wherever he goes; most of the time he's such a one note character that by the end it's amusing whenever he opens his mouth.  The sex scene with Themistocles and Artemisia is also hilarious.  The re-enacted naval battles manage to be obviously implausible and widely historically inaccurate.

It isn't so much drama as spectacle. Unlike Gladiator, this has the main thing you're looking for in a sword and sandal film: i.e. it is unintentionally funny.  That makes up for a great deal.  As such I highly recommend it.  This has the potential of becoming one of those films you watch over and over again.  ⋆⋆⋆⋆
ihcoyc: (Default)
Her name is Gal Gadot.  She's Israeli, where she was a physical trainer in the Israeli army. 

Gal Godot


Somebody buy her a steak and egg breakfast.  She has acting experience, bit parts in the Fast and Furious films, apparently; never seen them.  As someone with some experience in physical training, I gather she understands the task before her if she wants to fill the suit.  She does not seem obviously bad for the part, which is a plus.

My misgivings are less about her, and more about Warner/DC, which has proven again and again that the current people in charge are clueless as to how to treat the national treasures they control.  Man of Steel was as solemn and joyless as most Batman pictures are.  Marvel/Disney has recently made probably the two best superhero films ever made -- Avengers and Captain America -- and they understand something that's eluded DC so far.  Marvel/Disney's best films are all about, "here are our characters, being awesome".  Warner/DC is still stuck on "this is why it sucks to be that guy".  This is where MoS went wrong.

A Wonder Woman movie appearance that gets stuck on "it sucks to be Wonder Woman" will fail as hard as the current Wonder Woman comic book fails, for the same reason.  I no longer trust Warner/DC to be smart enough not to do this.
ihcoyc: Bad literature (Bad literature)
Experience has taught us that if you're a fan of a major character, it becomes important to insist on fidelity to the characterization established over a long history. There's a moment when you have to say, 'that's too ugly for Superman.' I don't like to see expectations being lowered like that.
ihcoyc: Shocked! (Shock and Awe)
The indie film John Dies at the End is, along with Mike Judge's poorly distributed masterpiece Idiocracy, one the most successful attempt to bring the spirit of the Firesign Theatre to the screen. You know they know; there are several references dropped over the course of the film. But what we have here is a Firesign Theatre that's been updated for the 1990s, with extra darkness and gore.

What I would compare it to is: spoiler cut..... )

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