Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

I made a joke in the comments on THIS POST, at the Toast, about how I would like to watch a movie that was just Heather Lagenkamp and Jamie Lee Curtis going around and solving mysteries, but then I started to think about it and actually this is basically a completely amazing idea that I will now elaborate.

The premise of Final Girls, Inc., is that our heroines have formed what is essentially a private-detective agency, except instead of going around from town to town and fighting and killing monsters, they go around in search of other “final girls” — people who have survived horrific encounters with the supernatural — and help them cope with the trauma and put their lives back together.

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trainwreck

I think this is right. –ed

Cara is a humourless man-hating American feminist artist. Harriet is a humorless man-hating British feminist PhD Candidate. Here, they discuss their reactions to Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.

Harriet:

Yes, ok, so I enjoyed how Amy isn’t “nice” in the way we tend to expect female characters to be “nice”–she has complicated feelings about her aging, bigoted, father, she’s relentlessly mocking of her sister’s family, she pursues her own agenda when it comes to one-night-stands.

Cara:

I think what I really like is that she’s not only “not nice,” she’s also capable of being really nice, as she is to her dad. She takes care to preserve his things and visit him at the home. She loves her sister, even though she’s awful at showing it. She’s conscientious about not stealing the article that her co worker wants to work on.

Harriet:

Yeah, so although she’s not always as generous, or as malleable (struggling to find the right word here) in social/romantic/familial situations as we might expect, we’re still on her side. She escapes without being cast as the bitch (Tilda Swinton fulfills that role, just in case we’d forgotten what it looks like).

Cara

Fair. Let’s not be bitchless.

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Yes.

I know that I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to build up my credibility when it comes to talking about movies, and I know that basically everyone (including some critics that I almost always agree with, like Walter Chaw and Genevieve Valentine) hated this movie, and so I’m going to burn that credibility by saying that I loved it.  I just saw Jupiter Ascending on Saturday and I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun at a movie.  (No, wait, I can, it was Wreck-it Ralph.  I really liked Big Hero Six, but if I’m being honest, I had more fun more consistently watching this crazy tower of excellence).

SPOILERS.

What follows is a partial list of things about Jupiter Ascending that are perfect and amazing.

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So, I didn’t think that I especially cared very much about The Avengers 2: Robo-Boogaloo and after seeing the teaser trailer I actually still kind of don’t. But I also kind of do, because even though the adventures of a bunch of super-powered guys who shoot and punch shooting and punching a bunch of robots doesn’t have a huge amount of appeal for me, puzzles about story DO have some appeal for me.

I am, therefore, going to play a game – based on what we’ve got here in the trailer and the very little we know about what’s definitely in the movie, I’m going to see if I can figure out what happens in it.

Strictly-speaking, this is me just improvising – I am sort of talking my way through the sort of movie that I might make if I knew these things had to be in it. Don’t count it as a real prediction (though, if I turn out to be exactly right, or close to right, or even better than the movie that actually comes out, definitely call me up to work on all of your movies, you guys know I am a genius, right?); this is the idle speculation game.

Let’s play though. (more…)

I guess it’s the 15th anniversary of the release of Fight Club, so everyone is talking about it again I guess. Fight Club gets a bad rap these days, and there’s a feeling that maybe the Suck Fairy came and worked her magic, turning a film that a lot of folks kind of liked fifteen years ago into a big pile of crap. What is this movie? A testosterone-saturated pile of White Male aggression, a maybe kind of racist, patriarchical Trojan horse fed to a new generation of teenage boys under the guise of an appealing adolescent nihilism? It is gross, who even liked this, right?

I liked this, and actually I think it’s pretty brilliant. Hear me out though, I’ll explain.

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Cara Blouin

Here is a quote from Manohla Dargis’ review in the New York Times of the movie “Boyhood,” by Richard Linklater, which — as I am sure you have heard — used the same actors over a decade to tell the story of the life of a single child:

It’s no surprise that watching actors naturally age on camera without latex and digital effects makes for mesmerizing viewing. And at first it may be hard to notice much more than the creases etching Mr. Hawke’s face, the sexy swells of Ms. Arquette’s belly and Mr. Coltrane’s growth spurts. You may see your own face in those faces, your children’s, too.”

I am not familiar enough with the sexy swells of my own belly to know whether or not I could have had some deeper human experience by identifying with those of Patricia Arquette. But I did not actually see my face in the two mentioned, because my face is female.

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Guardians of the Galaxy did really well, so that means there will be a sequel (Guardians of the Galaxy 2: 2 Guardians, 2 Galaxy), and I think that is a great opportunity to correct what I perceive to be a glaring flaw in the first movie:  Gamora’s criminal under-utilization as the most badass character of all.

Now, everyone loves a good, clean karate-fight.  Your Captain America versus Batroc the Leaper, &c.  But also one of the things that makes fights great and interesting is when there are obstacles or limitations that the fighter has to overcome (think basically every Jackie Chan fight scene ever).  These are good ways to make the fight unique and creative, and also often to raise the stakes of a fight scene part way through, so that we don’t get tired of seeing people try to kick each other or what have you.

Guardians of the Galaxy did do one of these, the Gamora / Star-Lord Supine Karate Fight, and don’t get me wrong, I love a good fight where both characters are lying down.  In my opinion, almost ANY fight could be improved by having the fighters lie on the ground and try to hit each other!

Still, you’ve done that once.  Here are some other ideas.

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Fine!  It was fine.  A fine movie.  It had some exciting space adventures, people flew around in ships and shot each other with lasers.  There was some kind of power-exploding MacGuffin, that was great.  The character stuff was for the most part exceptional.  Groot was there, he was awesome, Rocket Raccoon was awesome.  My favorite was actually Drax the Destroyer!

(“We just established that blowing up the ship I’m on isn’t saving me.” “When did we establish that?” “Like three seconds ago!” “I wasn’t listening to that part, I was thinking about something else.”)

Hahahah.  Excellent use of Dave Bautista, finally we’re seeing him live up to the potential he revealed as Bronze Body Man in The Man with the Iron Fists.

A good time was had by all.  I am going to write a few things here, because it is in my nature to be a Debbie Downer, and a natural enemy of all that is good and fun, so if you HATE FUN, by all means, keep reading.

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Guns of Cydonia

Posted: March 6, 2014 in Braak
Tags: , , ,

Behold! Here is a new thing!

Cities on the Red Frontier is the name for a series of interlocking sci-fi/western epics set on Mars in the 27th century. This is the background material for these stories, which I am probably never going to get around to. I wrote the screenplay for the first one, Guns of Cydonia, but Bruno Heller has since announced that he’s making his OWN sci-fi-western-on-Mars, so the heck with it.

I am putting the screenplay up here and all the background material that I thought of, and giving it to you, the world. Read it, steal it, add to it, take from it, do whatever the hell you want.

The script is available at the Cities on the Red Frontier Site.

Happy birthday, everyone!

Imagine This for a Second

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Braak
Tags: ,

I am just saying, like, imagine this, imagine that Leni Riefenstahl made a move in the 1930s, and in that movie an army of sub-human rat-monsters tried to destroy Germany with the aid of a sneaky shape-changing mastermind with mind-control powers, and so Hermann Goering got together a Nazi Obermensch, Werner Von Braun, a berserker soldier, Ed Harris’ character from Enemy at the Gates, and the Viking war-god Tyr. And these guys got together, and without any attempt at communication or negotiation or anything, they all get together in Berlin where the manipulative shape-shifter has managed, due to the failure and incompetence of Germany’s old ruling bureaucracy, to bring his entire army of hideous rat-men to fight them. Then they just end up wrecking all the rat-monsters, finally Werner von Braun invents an atomic bomb and shoots it at the Rat King and it blows him up, and this causes a psychic backlash that annihilates the entire rat-species. Victory for the German people, &c.

If you saw that movie now — like, if someone had unearthed it from a trove of forgotten secret Leni Riefenstahl movies — you’d be really uncomfortable with it, right? At the very least, you’d watch it and think to yourself, “Yeah, that pretty much IS how the Nazis saw the world — the Germans are outnumbered surrounded by subhuman enemies, undermined by spies and traitors, governed by corrupt buffoons, and only military might and technology and the purity of their mythic heritage can win the day, and they’ve got no choice but the complete destruction of all of their enemies.”

I’m not saying that’s what the Nazis DID, obviously — they did a bunch of horrible other things. But this is how they SAW themselves, right?

I’ve just been thinking about this, it’s started to make me uncomfortable with…certain movies that I may have seen recently.