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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

16 Apr

All y’all know Furious 7 was my first watched of the franchise, and this eighth installment was drift partner’s first. But when we saw a trailer that included Charlize Theron dramatically intoning “There’s thousands of cars in this city and now they’re all mine” we knew we had to go. Opening weekend. To a theater where we could purchase alcohol to consume while we were watching.

And boy howdy, were we not disappointed. This movie, like its predecessor(s?), is incredibly stupid but in the most delicious way. I was trying to give drift partner what little background I could beforehand and the best I could do was a couple of anecdotes and character facts followed by “they’re like the Suicide Squad but of cars.” And, obviously, much better than the actual cinematic Suicide Squad.

I, drift partner, had sort of idly been intending to see these movies based on recommendations from friends, but this trailer dangled the idea of crazy Charlize AND ridiculous car chases in front of me and I am powerless when presented with crazy Charlize. I will watch crazy Charlize Theron do basically anything. I knew I was in for a treat when the first scene of this movie involved Vin Diesel stripping off the doors and trunk of a VW Bug in order to soup up the engine for a race, in such a way that it made it literally LIGHT ON FIRE at one point. I am not a car person, I have no idea what he did, but it was glorious. And then when he won the race, his opponent tried to give Vin Diesel his car, as per their agreement, and said Vin had his respect. Vin Diesel said, “Keep your car. Your respect is good enough for me.” It was so ridiculous and batshit and I loved it. I don’t think I stopped smiling for longer than about two minutes.

Here’s the thing that we’ve come to realize, that has doubtless been realized by many before us. In effect, these movies are the goofy action stupidity with a heart of gold. As they said probably no less than one hundred times, they’re about family. (The trailer alone says this word enough that if you were doing strong enough shots every time they said it – which we intend to do sometime with all of the movies, although with sips rather than shots – you could be blitzed by its conclusion.) It’s this big, ridiculous found family full of characters capable of kicking anyone’s ass any day who all work together out of their continued love for each other. Never mind that most of them have criminal pasts while Hobbs (The Rock) is FBI and Brian (Paul Walker), who obviously isn’t in this film although they didn’t kill him off they just said “we can’t bring Brian into this we promised we wouldn’t” and left it at that, has been an undercover agent as well. Never mind their different backgrounds, or the fact that Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) isn’t even a car person but a hacker, or anything. They’re family. That’s all there is to it.

Naturally this means that the conflict of the film is a question of that. Charlize Theron’s Cipher, a hacker thought to be, even by Ramsey, a conglomerate, blackmails Vin Diesel’s Dom to work for her. Why? Well, this is kind of revealed, sort of, eventually, in a casual recontextualizing of past movie plot points. He upsets his family by doing this, which Hobbs describes very gravely as him having “gone rogue,” and they spend the rest of the movie working against Cipher’s evil plan while also sort of trying to get Dom back to the side of good.

There are a lot of perfectly golden moments in this movie, but some just have to be seen to be believed. Some we feel comfortable alluding to are:

  • Somebody is shielded from an enormous explosion by a protective circle of cars.
  • At one point, a car is drawn and quartered.
  • As if in answer to the cars coming out of the moving airplane in the last film, a car goes into a moving airplane.
  • Helen Mirren is Jason Statham’s mother.
  • Ramsey spends virtually all of her non-hacking/non-plot-forwarding time rolling her eyes at machismo bullshit and/or flirtatious comeons. Also, she wears a vest.
  • Jason Statham plays the Chipmunks Christmas album for a baby to drown out the noise of him fighting bad guys.
  • Hobbs’ daughter’s soccer team, which he coaches, performs the haka before their game.
  • Someone drives a tank. Literally a tank.
  • Someone uses a car door as a shield and a sled, at different points.
  • Someone jumps over a submarine in a car. Yes, a submarine.
  • The Rock weightlifts a concrete bench and uses a concrete wall as a punching bag.
  • Much like he removed a cast on his arm by flexing his muscles in the last movie, he removes handcuffs the same way in this movie.
  • Charlize Theron speaks entirely in cliches, and makes lines that are not naturally menacing sound vaguely menacing.
  • As seen in the trailer, Michelle Rodriguez’ Letty literally shouts at Dom “are you gonna turn your back on family?” and… then he literally turns his back on his family and exits.

Drift partner just classified this franchise as “chaotic good.” Yes, exactly.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on The Huntsman: Winter’s War

8 May

Full disclosure: yesterday we saw Civil War in the afternoon and Huntsman in the evening.  It was that kind of day.  This is not a movie that we’re as worried about ~spoiling, though. Some “highlights”:

6. This movie was really, really heterosexual but also quite gay.
Plotwise, textwise, this was very straight.  It was a tale of two tragic heteros who couldn’t be together because another tragic hetero had been thwarted (“thwarted”) by her hetero partner, and one of the first pair of tragic heteros was working in the service of another pair of not-so-tragic heteros (although you never actually see one of said pair).  But… also, Charlize Theron’s acting choices in this movie and its predecessor seem to be composed of screaming random parts of her sentences, whispering breathily into someone’s ear sexily, and eyefucking everyone. Everyone. In the last movie, the latter two happened with mostly her brother and Kristen Stewart, and in this movie that happened with mostly her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). I’m not sure Ravenna has a “non-hypersexual” mode, actually. This also happened with Jessica Chastain once, so there you go. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt basically made Jessica Chastain’s character into the Winter Soldier and also whispered breathily into her ear a bunch of times. There was also a fellow who seemed to be Freya’s second-in-command Huntsman (? this didn’t make a lot of sense anyway) and who leads all the Huntsmen in their betrayal of her at the end because Chris Hemsworth gave a stirring speech about how all the Huntsmen love each other as comrades or something. He had suspiciously gay undertones to everything he did. Also there were a pair of lady dwarves who lived by themselves, just saying.

5. Elsa fights the tentacle monster.
Can you say that has happened in any movie you’ve seen?  Probably not.

4. The constant mentions but suspicious absence of Snow White herself.
Because Kristen Stewart had been fired from this franchise, she was not in this sequel.  (She’s probably better off.)  But they seemed dead set and determined to keep reminding us that she still existed, somewhere off-screen.  This is her kingdom!  Or, the South is.  The North belongs to Emily Blunt.  At one point a dark-haired woman is seen crying with her back to the camera, allegedly Snow White, but mostly we hear about her from her bland husband Sam Claflin in his one scene and from the narrator.  And speaking of the narrator…

3. Constant exposition.
If the first rule of filmmaking is “show, don’t tell,” this movie rips up the rulebook and sets it on fire while dancing gleefully in the flames. The first 10-15 minutes are almost entirely exposition, about events which really should have been shown; for example, we are shown a single shot of Freya’s beloved before cutting to a scene with Freya and Ravenna talking where Ravenna asks, “Is it love?” “Yes,” says Freya. Um, thanks? Then later, Freya has fled to find her own kingdom in the North and created an army of the nearby villages’ children, which the narrator tells us conquered every army they fought. We are shown a single shot of the Huntsmen army standing around after a battle. Thanks. It seems to be following the tradition of having a fairy tale set the scene with exposition, but they didn’t bother to show some parts that the audience definitely needed to see. (The first half of Maleficent also kind of had this problem.)

2. It turned into a romantic comedy halfway through.
So.  At the beginning of the film our tragic heteros Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) fall in love.  Or at least, apparently they do.  The first time we see them talk to each other, they meet in the dark and make out, then “get married” in a hot springs of sex bathing.  Emily Blunt’s porcelain warging owl spies them at this, however, and their tragic love is torn apart.  Sara believes Eric abandoned her; Eric believes Sara is dead.  He goes about his business, namely the events of the first film.  She is either in jail or manipulated into doing horrible things by Freya for seven years. Eric is sent on a mission by the Prince to find the evil mirror, during which he and his dwarf companions are attacked. Sara rescues them, and he is astonished to find her alive, while she believes that he ran away and left her behind. Herein begins the wacky romcom portion of the story. I honestly thought we were going to spend the rest of the movie watching them fall in love on their wacky journey, sort of a Meg Ryan-style misunderstanding plot with goblins and swords thrown in. That doesn’t last long, but it was a hilarious interlude.

1. Most importantly, the actual story made no sense.
How many children has Ravenna killed to stop them from becoming more beautiful than she? How exactly did Freya conquer the entire North?  The North of where?  What are the laws of magic in this world?  Is the magic mirror possessing people?  What did Freya do to Sara?  Why does Sam Claflin get to kiss Kristen Stewart?  Exactly how did the mirror have Ravenna inside it and then birth her out in a swath of liquid gold?  Where was this sanctuary they kept speaking of to hide the mirror in and why didn’t they just destroy it in the first place?  Why didn’t Freya have more problems with Huntsmen falling in love? Why didn’t she use more drastic measures to try to avoid sexual maturity (i.e. castration)? Why didn’t she make herself an ice baby and call it a day? Why did the dwarves fall in love so quickly, since it’s established that male and female dwarves despise each other? Why were none of the women’s hairstyles even? Why did Freya not at least make her army one-gender, in order to avoid heterosexual complications? Etcetera.

–your fangirl heroines.

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Fashion Friday :: we are not things but we are still fabulous (part 9)

1 Apr

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And to round this out, our queen of rage and grace, Furiosa (Charlize Theron).  All hail, etc.

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Again, we’re doing a layering thing.  Bear with me. On Crop of the World Top in White, ModCloth.

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So put that on top of this.  Peace and Kayak Top in Black, ModCloth.

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Dare I suggest that inspiration was drawn for this item by the very entity I am using it to style?  Charlize Double Wrap Belt, Elise M.

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Destroyyyy.  Tomboy Thompson Destroyed Skinny Jeans, Vigoss.

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You’ll notice I’m breaking my black and brown rule.  That is because, like in steampunk, Fury Road is an exception to this.  Vantage Riding Boot, Franco Sarto.

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Eh, it’ll do.  Brown leather harness, BohoMantra at Etsy.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Film Friday :: and it’s time to talk about Fury Road a little.

15 Jan

Even though the Oscars are largely bigoted bullshit, I’m still really excited about Mad Max: Fury Road getting the second-largest amount of nominations.  I’m really excited about the fact that people took this movie seriously and the fact that people are continuing, apparently, to take it seriously.

And in a sad way, that’s almost funny: in most contexts, a movie about a woman helping other women escape sex slavery would at least look like “Oscar bait.”  So serious, so dark.  But the fact that this was a movie about a woman helping other women escape sex slavery that contained highly saturated colors and flaming car chases made it look like, well, an action movie.  It is an action movie.  And it’s a lot of fun, even with the heavy themes.  But part of the fun comes from the fact that it’s a triumphant movie that never shies away from what it is and never tries to condescend and while there may be a cartoonish element to some of the situations and characters, it’s one of the most relatable films I’ve seen in years.  Not in the sense of I’ve experienced analogous situations, but in the sense of

we are not things.

This is the film’s message, ultimately.  It’s about Furiosa (Charlize Theron), taken from her matriarchal, powerful tribe of women who nurture and fight back and brought unwillingly into a world defined by, as so many others have said before, “toxic masculinity,” by the deification of false machismo that rather literally kills, brought into this world and seen to have risen up through it in spite of her femaleness, her disability (I know I’ve geeked out over Furiosa’s robot arm before, because robot arms are seriously cool, but let’s also not forget that it makes her badass on a whole other level), who’s now using her position to do something important, “steal away” these damaged young girls living a life so far from their choosing.  And – herm, unhh – Max (Tom Hardy) is along for the ride, because toxic masculinity is also dangerous to men.

It’s about The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), favored among Immortan Joe’s human menagerie, who’s heavy with child and bears the most obvious physical marks of her suffering (the spiderwebby scars on her face), who inspires a revolution and preaches agency to the other sister-wives, who may not see the dream realized but is nonetheless pivotal to its realization.

It’s about Capable (Riley Keough), who fixes and thinks and helps, who offers a shoulder to lean on and calm, thoughtful words, who holds her sisters together even when they’re breaking and she wants nothing more who preaches Angharad’s words devotedly, who believes in the ultimate potential for goodness in even someone she oughtn’t to trust.

(That is to say Nux (Nicholas Hoult) who also exists because toxic masculinity is also dangerous to men and achieves the glory he’s been chasing because he casts off the pursuit of it.)

It’s about Toast the Knowing (Zoe Kravitz), quiet and solemn, who hardly cracks a smile, who can handle a gun and drive a car and fight to survive this hellish world, who’s been worn down but refuses to let herself diminish, who sticks close to Furiosa and does what’s needed of her to achieve the best thing for all of them.

It’s about Cheedo the Fragile (Courtney Eaton), young and pure and showing the clearest signs of psychological damage, who runs and cries and hides and clings (to one of her sister wives especially, but more to that in a moment), who seems willing to give up and in the end plays her weakness as a strength, who represents an innocence lost, who represents a tragedy that refuses to end unhappily.

It’s about the Dag (Abbey Lee), wild-eyed and a bit off, hence the nickname, but intuitive and gutsy and even abrasive when she needs to be, who lets Cheedo cling to her and clings in equal measure, who provides strength to Cheedo and to the others but to Cheedo the very most (theirs, one of the most softly intimate subtle physical relationships between women in film that I can recall in recent years), who carries something horrible inside her but learns how to grow something more beautiful, too.

(It’s about the interesting thing I realized, that one of Charlize Theron’s biggest critical successes was for playing a rape victim, that she and every single one of the wives are at least to some extent fashion models as well as being actresses, several of them even being Victoria’s Secret models, which is to say models of a type notorious for being under the male gaze, that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Zoe Kravitz have both taken part in male fantasy film franchises that did them wrong, that hell, Riley Keough was in Magic Mike and it did her character no favors, that hell, Tom Hardy and Nicholas Hoult have even participated in male fantasy film franchises.  Casting them all was either intentional or a very happy accidental coincidence.)

It’s about all of these women and their couple of decent men and the way they intertwine.  It’s about the way that Immortan Joe looks like a cartoon villain, but how many women can say they’ve been made at some point in their lives to feel at least some part a thing like he tried to make his wives feel?  It’s about the way that important stories don’t have to end badly or be cast in grimdark greys or revel in horrors, but how they can be triumphant and uplifting and, yes, fun and sometimes a bit ridiculous, but in the end reach countless people in a way that other stories cannot.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Film Friday :: 2012 in film (2 opinions, 4 predictable favorites, 4 awesome people)

29 Dec

Opinions
2. I don’t care, I’m going to actively promote evil queen Charlize Theron to everyone.
I mean, I liked Snow White and the Hunstman pretty decently well overall, as you may remember.  It’s that kind of ridiculous dark thing I generally appreciate.  But the more I think about it, the more I go: wow, wow, but evil queen Charlize Theron is actually the best thing ever.  I haven’t seen a lot of Charlize Theron movies, or I’ve only halfway seen them, or I wasn’t really paying attention, but wow, maybe it’s just that I sort of dig on evil queens, but I enjoyed the hell out of this particular performance.

1. There were a lot of movies this year that I objectively recognize were good but just… didn’t really care about overall.
The Dark Knight Rises.  Skyfall.  Looper.  Friends With Kids even.  For different reasons each time, but also largely for one overarching reason: I have such a hard time caring about the movie when I don’t care about the characters and/or don’t necessarily appreciate how they were being used.  It’s not that I didn’t like these movies.  To whatever extent, I did. But I wasn’t thinking about them too much afterward, I wasn’t analyzing everything about them happily, I didn’t feel compelled to jump into discussions about them.  I actually kind of fear being asked to join discussions about The Dark Knight Rises, because there really isn’t anything insightful I can say about it.

Predictable favorites
4.
Brave
I just rewatched this movie the other night.  And ugh it makes me so happy.  I don’t really need to repeat myself, but it did so many things right and I adored it for that.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
See but this would also have been a predictable disappointment, because I do not recall the last time I was this nervous about a movie.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower is such a big part of my adolescence that the film had some monumentally-sized shoes to fill in my eyes.  But not only did it fill those shoes, it was actually a really really good movie that did a lot of the things that I thank Brave (and actually the next two movies I’m about to discuss) for.  Yes, Charlie (Logan Lerman) has a crush on Sam (Emma Watson).  But that is not the point of the movie, the point of the movie is friendship.  It’s a love story, but it’s a platonic love story about these young people who care so deeply for each other, and that makes me so absolutely happy.

2. The Avengers
You can see where this is going, no?  I talked about how this movie was almost immediate fulfillment of a wish I expressed: a movie about platonic relationships.  Because aside from Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), there is absolutely no romance in this movie.  (I mean, if you’re too desperate for Avengers romance, you can basically look… anywhere on tumblr or the rest of the internet and find every possible permutation of romantic relationships between every character who has ever appeared for half a scene in the MCU.)  This is a movie about a bunch of people, extraordinary people for whatever reason, who by all rights should not get along, but still manage to forge a beautiful team and do some world-saving.  And this is a movie where the good guys never ever go “oh yeah, and here’s our token lady team member,” they just appreciate her skills like they appreciate (or sometimes don’t appreciate) anyone else’s skills and go about their day.  This is a movie where things felt high-risk and where things felt real even if it was about superheroes and space aliens and where characters were interesting to me.  This is a movie where I actually got invested in really just about everyone.

1. The Cabin in the Woods
This is the height of predictable.  This is also not the only list (or sublist I guess) that this movie will be heading up in the near future.  This movie, though.  This movie has romantic relationships and makeouts and whatnot, Curt (Chris Hemsworth) and Jules (Anna Hutchinson), Dana (Kristen Connolly) and Holden (Jesse Williams), and this is largely because it’s integral to the genre critique and the extreme meta factor.  But you know what I love?  I love the handling of the “Marty and I were sweeties in our freshman hall” bit, insofar as it’s refuted with a “we made out once” and not turned into some source of tension (one of the pieces of Cabin meta I’ve found online talks about this; I don’t remember which one, but one of them, all of which are in my Cabin in the Woods tag so go find it if you’re curious I guess) I love that even while Dana and Marty (Fran Kranz) were running around destroying everything, even while they were clinging to each other and being sweet to each other as the world combusted, they didn’t actually have romantic subplottiness.  It’s so easy to pull that “last boy last girl shove ’em together” stuff, and that has definitely happened in the genre before.  And mind you, I actually do kind of ship Dana and Marty.  But I like that it didn’t have to be made canon.

Awesome people
4. Rooney Mara(The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
It almost seems like this movie came out last year, since it was so close to the year’s beginning.  But nope, this was a 2012 movie indeed.  And I just.  I love her.  Between this movie (because while I adore Noomi Rapace’s Lisbeth, I am not in love with her) and the fact that this was the year I finally finished the book trilogy, 2012 was the year I actually fell in love with Lisbeth Salander.  I think she’s great, and I think she’s fascinating.  She’s a badass, she’s a techie savant, she’s unapologetically bisexual, she’s unapologetically everything actually.  She’s just great.

3. Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks)
I really loved this movie.  Probably because of all of its meta.  But I love Zoe Kazan because she’s adorable and I found the evolution of Ruby in the story to be pretty interesting, and I love her because this was her movie.  She came up with it, she wrote it, she made happen what she needed to make happen.  And that’s super-super-cool.

2. Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods)
We’re into the predictable again.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I get inordinately proud when watching this movie with other people and they express fondness for him, be it the couple sitting in front of me  the third time I saw it in theaters talking about how he was the most awesome one in the movie or be it my friend proclaiming that not only was he awesome, he was pretty cute.  I am bordering-on-creepy-proud of my Fran and how well people reacted to him in this movie.  I am so happy that he was the star of everyone’s hearts.

1. Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers)
I definitely mentioned before that I’ve actually always kind of had a Scarlett Johansson thing.  This used to be for reasons that I couldn’t quite articulate, because it wasn’t because of a particular movie or because I’d read something cool with her or anything.  It just sort of was.  But after The Avengers (and her growing real-life fantastic reactions to people talking to her about it) I feel completely justified in this for the first time.  Because I’m sorry, Entertainment Weekly, but Loki being the one character from this movie that you pulled out specially to mention in your end-of-the-year whatnot?  Noooope.  I am ambivalent toward Loki, actually; I don’t hate him, but neither do I fall all over him going “aw poor baby.”  However, Black Widow has become at least to some of my friends one of my real life things, like British accents or cupcakes or dragons.  Because Black Widow is fantastic and wonderful, and I and the world needed a character like her in this (and really any) movie so much.  She is my rational, kickass, imperfect, literal-minded, well-developed darling, and I am so glad she exists.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Things in Print Thursday :: casting or lack thereof for the Heartsick television series

12 Jul

In the spring, it was announced that they were going to be making Chelsea Cain’s Heartsick series into a television series on FX.  Home of Justified and Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story and other such good things that I trust.  I, of course, went YES YAY.  I’ve been a fan of Chelsea Cain since she wrote that Nancy Drew parody, Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, and I saw her read part of it out loud up at Wordstock and briefly met her.  She’s awesome.  And I love the Heartsick series for a lot of reasons.  I’ve skimmed around a few online articles announcing the series, and most of them have fairly decent commentary; nothing insightful, which is valid, since the adaptation hasn’t been aired yet, but nothing like zombies, really.

I’ve also been searching for casting notices.  And… nothing has been announced yet.  Nothing at all.  Which is a bummer: I love theoretically casting, but it’s hard with television.  So many of my favorite television performers are people I wouldn’t have heard of in the slightest before the show they’re on, and yet they’re perfect.  And there’s always the issue of some actors being film actors and some being television actors and some but not all crossing over, too.

I did find one theoretical casting poll from 2008.  Presumably they were aiming for it to be a film, but it’s the closest I can get and therefore I’m analyzing the bejesus out of it.

So.

They suggested Matthew Fox or Dermot Mulroney for Archie Sheridan.  No and no.  I don’t know any of Matthew Fox’s work, and I really only know Dermot Mulroney from his stints on New Girl and Friends, i.e., also I just can’t see it.  I don’t know who’s right, but not them.

They suggested Charlize Theron or Uma Therman for Gretchen Lowell.  I love Uma Thurman, but I can’t really see her as Gretchen.  I actually really love the Charlize Theron idea, I mean, Gretchen is seductive craycray queen levels of evil and I’d be into it.  But somehow I don’t think that’s even remotely going to happen.

They suggested Zooey Deschanel or Christina Ricci for Susan Ward.  I love Zooey Deschanel, but I can’t see her as Susan at all, and also she has her own television show already and I think it’s really sweet and good okay.  Christina Ricci is late of Pan Am, which was outstandingly disappointing by the end (so many stylish clothes, such terrible confusing plots and character development that went to crap), and I can’t see her as Susan either.  I don’t know who I could see as Susan.  I’m just sitting here going through my lists of television actresses, and there’s the currently employed ones and I just.  I don’t know.  I really like Susan, so I’m going to be really opinionated about this casting, but I have no idea.

The only other of their theoretical casting choices I have any feelings about would be Eric Balfour as Ian Harper, which just, no for so many reasons, and Carla Gugino or Courteney Cox as Debbie Sheridan.  Courteney Cox has her own television program nowadays, and also I can’t see it; actually, I’d be open to Carla Gugino as Gretchen or Debbie.  Why not, I like her and she’s talented.

–your fangirl heroine.

Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Snow White and the Huntsman

9 Jun

Ah, bullet-pointed for convenience, I suppose?

  • Yes, all right.  I’m good with this film.  I have no overarching problems with it that don’t stem from overarching problems with the story of Snow White as a whole or fairy tales as a whole.  In fact, I’d say I enjoyed it.  It was dark, it was weird, it was fantastical, it did many things I generally approve of.
  • Addressing the cast.  Kristen Stewart: back when all I’d seen her in was Twilight, I was ugh.  Because Twilight isn’t good.  Circa Adventureland, I was meh, because I saw it too many times and couldn’t really think any non-meh thoughts about it.  Circa The Runaways and now this, I’m coming around to yes, all right, if they give her something to do, she can do it pretty well actually.  She seems like a fun enough person in interviews and yes, the way that the media treats her is gǒ se,and I’m sure that if I saw her in something not crummy first, I would not have had to take this time to be able to appreciate her.  Which is my longwinded way of saying: good on you, Kristen Stewart.  Good job, I very much approve of your performance here.
  • Also, I was prepared to judge your British accent, because I judge everyone’s fake British accents.  This is not to say I was prepared to hate on it, but I am critical of British accents, and yours gave me nothing to criticize really, so that’s a plus.
  • Charlize Theron was doing a really great craycray.  I tried to explain to one of my people the other day that, at least in my opinion, “crazy” and “craycray” are not strictly synonymous.  That is, all things that are craycray are a little bit crazy, but not all crazy is craycray.  Charlize Theron was craycray here, and delightfully so.  She really is a beautiful woman, and she was doing evil pretty well.
  • Also, I have always sort of approved of the name “Ravenna,” so that was nice.
  • Chris Hemsworth, yes all right.  I have yet to not approve of him, he does what is given him to do very nicely.  And he was given the task of axe-fighting and stuff, which was pretty fierce.
  • Also, the filmmakers inadvertently granted me one of my recent wishes in having his voice over the beginning exposition sequence.  They gave me the gift of Chris Hemsworth reading bedtime stories.  Yes.
  • Sam Claflin, yes I suppose you were very all right at being what you were.  Which was, y’know, not much.  It’s not your fault that I have this inherent bias against the Prince Charming role.  But that isn’t your fault.
  • Also, you are a very lucky man, getting to work with Ian McShane twice in your young career.
  • Ian McShane.  Dear sir.  I would like to give you a “congratulations on being epic” plaque.  Because really, this man is fantastic.  My big problem with what he had to do in Pirates was just that they didn’t know what to do with him.  They just sort of stuck him in and didn’t give him enough to work with.  The role of the presumably head dwarf was smaller and probably less important, but he got a little more dimension in there.  Which was fabulous, because I just love it when he gets to do his thing.
  • Creepy brother Sam Spruell.  You were all creepy.
  • I am forced to fully admit that I have a problem when I’m sitting there through this entire thing just drawing Game of Thrones parallels.  I have been drawing Game of Thrones parallels with everything lately, yes.  But it is a complete issue.  Creepy brother walks in and addresses his sister the evil blonde queen and my immediate thought is “well oh dear, is this going there?”  It didn’t obviously, but I’m sure the internet has taken it there already.  And yeah, when fake-William was walking in the woods with Snow and giving the whole “the throne is rightfully yours, you are your father’s daughter, blah blah blah” speech, I was convulsing a little inside.  In a good way.
  • Finally, one observation I have about this movie, not necessarily a negative but a definite observation, is that this film definitely has Prisoner of Azkaban disease: particularly at the first howeverlong, it is full of as many gratuitous nature shots as can be.

–your fangirl heroine.