Staying in tonight? I know I am!
Maybe you’re even looking for some movie advice, too?
Staying in tonight? I know I am!
Maybe you’re even looking for some movie advice, too?
For this Friday I decided to dig, a little deeper, into that mysterious male psyche I never quite understand.
What better place to start than with a male chick-flick, the action film?
“Tobias Bluth” is best-described as a “…deeply closeted homosexual” from the series Arrested Development.
This is a video montage of his erotic outbursts:
Thank goodness it’s Film Friday!
For this week’s segment I’ll be covering the documentary At Your Cervix. Get some popcorn and enjoy!
At Your Cervix trailer:
Hello everyone! My name is Jenna and I am super excited to be joining the Shameless team!
Every other Friday –-starting today— I will be posting a film review via video blog.
Click below to see my take on The House Bunny.
Agree with me? Disagree? Have a movie to suggest? I wanna hear it all ;)
When I was younger I was completely in love with Disney films. My favourites, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, I played over and over on a loop. When The Lion King came out in theatres, I actually went to see it three times (and please don’t mention that I was fifteen when it came out, okay?) A few years later I had more of an eye to critique what I thought was just harmless cartoon fun, and I really didn’t like what I saw. Not only is Disney jam-packed with obvious sexism and gender steretypes, in contains the worst kind of “acceptable” mainstream racism readily available at your local Wal Mart.
While some may argue “that was a different time” (which I’m not buyin’) when referring to the racism in movies like Fantasia, Dumbo, and The Jungle Book, Disney still has to be on the hook for some of their most recent blunders (Mulan anyone?) So when I saw this piece on Jezebel about “Disney’s first black princess” I knew I needed to post:
In March of last year, the company announced that production had begun on the film, a fairy tale to be called The Frog Princess featuring Maddy, a black chambermaid working for a spoiled white Southern debutante. A voodoo priestess fairy godmother helps Maddy win the heart of a white prince, after he rescues her from the clutches of a voodoo magician. Clichéd? Stereotypical? Yeah, that’s what many people thought. So even though the film was slated for a 2009 release, Disney went back to the drawing board.
Really? This is the best they could come up with? Well, given what they’ve “come up with” in the past, we shouldn’t be all that surprised. Watch this recap of some of the worst crimes Disney has committed to date (Although it doesn’t include the film that I believe to be one of their top ten personal worst.)
Warning: this video contains some pretty disturbing stuff, even if it is “just a cartoon.”
I’m actually starting to wonder if Disney cartoons are simply obsolete? Do they really need to do a “black princess story” at all? Do girls still need their princesses rescued by princes? Do boys still need that, for that matter?
The reviews for Wall-E, Disney’s latest Pixar film, have been strong. Admittedly I haven’t seen it because I’ve been too busy getting choked up about the trailer (the robot falls in love!), but in the spirit of Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo, it seems to toss in the trash a lot of the problems listed above and move into a new kind of storytelling that a wider variety of kids can relate to. Disney seems to be better at creating monsters, toys, fish, ants, and robots we can relate to, rather than people. I was always curious as to why the Pixar division was able to, from day one, create stories that were inclusive, while the cartoon division just kept on being problematic (To give you an idea of what I mean, Toy Story and Pocahontas were released the same year. Toy Story marked the first involvment Pixar had with Disney, admittedly only in distribution.)
Do you think that Disney’s effort at a black princess is even worth it? More importantly, why is it so hard for them to get it right?
Disney is a billion-dollar business which makes a huge impact, globally, and especially with little girls. Therefore they have a huge responsibility: To make a black princess impressionable kids can look up to. … But how is it that Nickelodeon can figure out how to create an engaging minority-oriented TV show (Dora The Explorer) and Disney — a company founded in 1923, with a history of questionable characters … can’t draft a politically-correct film about black people?
Until I get off (on?) my ass and see some movies, I really should get myself removed from the Film Friday rotation.
For popcorny movies I have a big backlog of last-in-a-series movies to see. Like the most recent Bourne Identity and the most recent Bond. Then there’s the new stuff that I’ve been waiting for, like Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E (hello? Short Circuit? Anyone?).
When I do want to
curl up (who am I kidding) lie flat and drooling on the couch at the end of a long day, I put in something short and/or episodic from the private stash.
Recently, that has meant watching my mini-library of Siggraph Animation Theater Program DVDs.
Traditionally, women only have a couple of roles to play in action movies. If you want to be fair, I suppose men only have a couple of roles to play in action movies too, since the genre seems only so open to nuanced, complex characters. But based mostly on personal experience, the ass-kicking female characters fall into a scant few stereotypes: there’s the butch “plays with the boys” type role, the glam lipstick assassin, and finally the most enduring and perhaps most respected of the stereotypes: the protective mother. You know the type: think Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (“Newt! NEWWWWT!”) or Jodie Foster in Panic Room.
Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Connor in the first two Terminator movies ranks as one of the most visible examples of the role. And maybe it’s just my fetish for all things to do with nuclear armageddon, but she’s always been one of my favourite characters as well. How can you not relate to a woman who’s thrown into a mental asylum because she says her son will be humanity’s last hope in a post-nuclear war against a malevolent artificial intelligence and its army of killer robots? We’ve all been there. Sort of. Connor is arguably one of the more complex characters we’ve seen in an action flick, even if her motives are fairly simple. As all good heroes are, she’s essentially plucked out of her normal life by powers beyond her control and forced into a role she never expected to have—and transforms into a determined, cynical, hard-as-nails fighter who willingly sacrifices her own humanity in order to keep the human race safe, though she will never reap the benefits personally.
I just finished catching up with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a Fox series that just wrapped up its first season and has somehow avoided cancellation on the Network That Kills Anything Remotely Good. Moving Sarah Connor to the small screen is a bit of a challenge, partially because there’s no way you can recreate the blockbuster-sized explosions and action sequences of the movies, nor can you rely on Arnold Schwarzenegger to take time off from his governor’s duties to utter his deadpan cyborg lines. Neither does Linda Hamilton does not return in the role of Sarah Connor, instead leaving those duties to a very capable Lena Headey. Thomas Dekker takes on the role of future human resistance leader John Connor, and Firefly‘s Summer Glau inherits Arnie’s task as a friendly Terminator sent from the future to protect John.
The nine-episode first season starts fairly slowly, setting up its pieces deliberately but failing to bring much in the way of writerly polish; you have to wait until about the halfway mark of the season before things pick up dramatically. But even in the first few episodes it’s clear that the producers of The Sarah Connor Chronicles intend to flesh out the mythology of the Terminator franchise. And once the show’s set up the plot properly, it’s a lot of fun to watch how it all goes down. Old-school Terminator fans may balk at the new Sarah Connor, but after a while you get used to Lena Headey’s portrayal; her Sarah Connor is still determined, still cynical, and still a reluctant hero, while in some ways seeming more personable than in the movies.
Having just finished its first run on Fox, it’ll be a while before DVD sets show up, but if you’re in the mood for some decent sci-fi drama, keep an eye out.
Film Friday is on hiatus this week!
In its place please enjoy this clip from one of my favourite movies. No, it’s not Fellini’s 8 1/2, it’s the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie!
SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick are sure that they’ll never make it to Shell City to rescue King Neptune’s crown. They lack the chops, they’re nothing but bubble blowing babies. But then suddenly and mysteriously they grow facial hair. Never mind where it came from - now armed with their new manliness they “can do anything.” Or can they? An incisive commentary on modern masculinity. For serious!
This clip is so subversive that Youtube has disabled the embedding function. No matter, you can still view it right here.
The clear winner was The Taste of Tea. Mike didn’t know much about it, so I was really worried that it was going to be another Beijing Bicycle (which had been a harsh lesson in ‘don’t judge a movie by its english cover‘). But it wasn’t. It was 143 minutes of surrealist … well, not ‘surrealist fun’, but something like that. Irresistibility?
The Taste of Tea does go on. So load up on snacks. If you’re going to dive in, push through the first 15 or so minutes, which I didn’t especially enjoy. If you keep going you’re rewarded with some beautiful long, unaffected shots of Japanese countryside. But more than that, with many captivating, sometimes bizarre, sequences.
For my Film Friday this week, I’m offering not a review or a critique, but a Shameless Exclusive. A friend directed me to this short video made by New York artist and musician Jessica Segall. It’s a history of corn told in shadow-puppetry - a fine mix of art, history, politics, oh and just a little sci-fi. (Of course, if you think about it, lots of food-politics stuff is way more Twilight Zone than Rod Serling’s most out-there fantasy.) Hope you enjoy. And eat those Corn Pops while you can, because after this you may never again.
Drop in on Jessica Segall and her band here.