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So, this weekend I saw Splice. I will be talking about it tomorrow, but it's just not the sort of blog entry I want to face on a Monday. Especially since I also saw Dhoom 2 this weekend.

Dhoom 2 stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, who had been paired to great effect in Jodhaa Akbar (despite Aishwarya's lack of actual acting ability). I thought, "Well, they did well in the other one. Let's check out Dhoom 2!"

Do you guys remember the first Mission: Impossible movie, when everyone had latex masks on all the time and they spent four hours just double-crossing each other and jumping around pulling off latex masks to reveal other latex masks and shooting bullets in an arc and running around and pulling off other people's latex masks, and you spent the whole movie thinking, "What is wrong with these awful people in this movie I don't understand?"

The maker of Dhoom 2 looked at that movie and said, "This is missing two things: dance numbers, and a man dressed up to look like the Queen. I can fix this."



And so, Dhoom 2 was born. )

Best part: I was thinking about writing this up, and I thought, "Well, it won't be the same without a compilation of Hrithik Roshan walking in slow-motion towards the camera with his shirt unbuttoned and his scarf fluttering in the wind, but where the hell am I going to find that?"

Turns out someone made it, and put it to a love song. Thank you, internet. Thank you for everything.

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[This is the second of three movie reviews that were won in the [livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust auction, which assists fans of color who want to attend SFF conventions, principally WisCon.]

So, the first movie I was given for this auction was The Vampire Effect, which was horrible in sort of a whimsical, amusing way. (Plus, we learned an important lesson about the importance of banana extract in the vampire canon, so you can't say the movie isn't handy.)

The second movie, I had every reason to expect from LJ comments on the auction, would be Peter Coyote's second-rate softcore disaster Bitter Moon. However, [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_monkey was apparently playing me like a violin, because her actual request was the literally and figuratively apocalyptic Left Behind.

I knew nothing about the movie when Kathy assigned it to me, except that it was Kirk Cameron's right-wing wackadoo vanity project.

Now, I know way too much.

I can't possibly go through this movie beat by beat (it's too painful for all of us), so I watched it twice (TWICE), and have made a representative sample of data points, so that no one else ever has to see this movie, because seriously, nobody should.

Ten Things You Should Know about Left Behind. )
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Today at Tor.com, I talk about SyFy's new reimagined-fairy-tale movies of the week. First up will be Beauty and the Beast (naturally), starring Estella Warren (naturally).

Do I think this will be awesome? Yes. But it has some serious work to do if it's ever going to compare to the most amazing version of this story ever broadcast, and I think you know which I mean.



This one. (Immortalized here on Greendale Elementary's picture day.)

Now, this show is not amazing for its overall storyline (which was three ounces of story in a two-gallon jug). Nor is it memorable for its individual episodes, which tended to be like the 90s remake of The Tomorrow People, in that almost every episode featured someone new learning about the underground society that has existed in secrecy for decades, except that judging by the discovery rate on the show, by now everyone in New York probably knows about it and just doesn't realize it's common knowledge because it doesn't come up in conversation. The Underground Renaissance Faire: New York's best-kept secret.

But neither one of those is the element that makes the show truly timeless. That would be the wardrobe.

You do not even know how many pictures are under here. )
glvalentine: (omg no)
So, remember that little Disney window I talked about with The Rocketeer, where they skewed for live-action and slightly more adult? This was part of that movement. This was just the part that was a terrible idea.

Let me tell you, this movie firmly deserves to end up on the WNT side of Questionable Taste Theatre. This would be true on its own merits; the fact that, during my middle and high school years, the teachers of three schools in three different states ALL had this as their default sick-day movie, cements the deal. THREE STATES, you guys. I have seen this movie approximately eight hundred times. It pretty much turned me off live musicals forever, and it wasn't even one. Nice job, movie.

The worst part, though, is that I've been Brave New Worlded into knowing most of the lyrics. If some stranger shouts, "Try Bottle Alley or the Harbor!" I would shout back without thinking, "Try Central Park, it's guaranteed!" I can never un-know what I know, don't you understand?



It's a fine life, carrying the bannah! )
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So, in A Night at the Movies, I mentioned Pathfinder as an appalling example of racism in cinema. I promised to write it up more fully. And I meant to, I really did!

But the problem with this movie is that writing about it doesn't do it justice. It's one thing to write, "The Native American characters are useless." But it really doesn't capture the true flavor of a director who said, "You know who needed saving by a white guy? Those Native Americans who let themselves get killed because they were a bunch of helpless whiners!"

And thus, Pathfinder was born. Because if there was anything that would have stopped that genocide, it was one white dude who Just Wanted to Belong.



It gets worse. )

To get right to the cringing, enjoy the Abridged Classic below.



(Check out more Abridged Classics at Defenestration, [livejournal.com profile] andrewkaye's joint, and home of Eileen who makes me watch Shakira videos.)
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REMINDER: I'm reading at the NYRSF Federations event tonight! Now, to business.

Sometimes I see a movie and want to write about it immediately, like when I walked out of Moon and wanted to ask everyone in the theatre to go talk about it in some 24-hour living room. (Except the dude who stank of cologne and sat right behind me. He's not invited. Anywhere. Ever.)

And sometimes I see a movie, and it confuses and disgusts me so much that I go months without watching it again, much less being willing to write about it, because part of me thinks, "No one else needs to know about that movie, right?" Except that whenever someone starts a conversation about the worst movie ever (invoking, say, Transformers 2), I get this urge to shove the DVD box at them and scream, "Look at this! JUST LOOK!"

Which brings us to today's movie, Octane! AKA Pulse or Diesel, depending on which direct-to-DVD region you live in.

Nutshell: Mischa Barton and Madeleine Stowe's new wax lips are on a road trip for no reason, being haunted by truck-stop people who may or may not be real, but since they are blue-collar we know they must be evil no matter what, so we're good. Mischa Barton gets recruited to a car-crash cult that parties in nightclubs inside empty gas trucks, and is taken to have sex with Jonathan Rhys Meyers because she's a perfect virgin sacrifice to the car-crash gods. And that's the part that MAKES SENSE.



Casting directors for the O.C. should have paid attention to that sign, no?

Oh, Madeleine Stowe. WHAT are you doing. )
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I am not the biggest Bond fan in the world. When he's not a cardboard cutout in a tux, he's a suave-slash-vicious example of British imperialist blahblah. Even as a kid I couldn't see the appeal; Bond rarely entertained, the women rarely lived. I caught a couple of the Pierce Brosnan ones, and I like Daniel Craig in the role (though I still haven't seen the latest one he's in), so my cultural awareness of James Bond is more or less a vague impression of guns and boat chases and Timothy Dalton scrunching up his face all the time like he'd just smelled poop. Also, because his girlfriend was probably dead.

All this to say, I was totally unprepared to be surfing channels and to run across Live and Let Die. I couldn't bring myself to turn it off, because I kept waiting for a punch line that never came, and then it was over.

And you guys, we need to talk.

You know, let's just begin with the title card.



Yeah. So, that happens!

You think it can't get ironically better / actually worse? Aren't you sweet. )
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
So, I saw the new Star Trek movie. I wasn't going to (J.J. Abrams is not what I would call a draw), but people loved it! People insisted! People told me it would be amazing!



All those people were high!

Talk about amok time, damn. )
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I picked up Mary Reilly as my subway reread for the week, and I feel guilty about it. See, it's a very good book (my favorite aspect of it being Mary's total devotion to and enslavement within the Victorian class system blah blah undergradcakes), and people on the subway should not see me snickering as I read. However, I can't help but think of the movie adaptation, which is one of the campest movies I've ever seen. (And we all know the movies I've seen. This is not a small statement.)



You can't tell from this picture, but John Malkovich has an enormous head. At one point Julia Roberts puts her palm up against his cheek and it's like putting a Barbie hand on a Cabbage Patch Kid.

MAREHREILLEH. )
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This week I tackle The Governess, a 1998 faux-Merchant-Ivory picture about a Jewish girl who inexplicably decides that, instead of marrying an old rich guy who is clearly going to die in five years and leave her a wealthy widow, she is going to gain independence by pretending to be a Christian governess and riding off to Scotland, where she immediately falls in love with the old man of the house and becomes that shrieking girlfriend who wakes you up at night because she has loud fights about how she's not sure if he even loves her anymore and then throws his shit down the stairs and you find underpants on the banister the next morning when you're just trying to get to work.

Uh, spoilers. For the movie, and for my life.

The draws of this movie are mainly the cinematography, the evil girl-child, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers when he was, like, twelve years old. And then we're right on to the stuff I don't like, which is a LOT. It hardly even counts as Questionable Taste, except it's so pretty that I can't really lump it in with Prince of Thieves.

I will be doing a lot of talking about the costuming, which did something I never thought was possible, which is Excessive Chemise. (I know, right?)




Girl, your plastic dress is falling OFF. )

Um.

Dec. 10th, 2008 12:21 pm
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It's always lovely when science fiction becomes real: when man flies to the moon, when man unlocks the secrets of the human genome, when man makes a female automaton to be his companion and house slave.

WHAT. Dude, I just report the news.

My favorite quotes from the article:

“She doesn’t need holidays, food or rest and she will work almost 24-hours a day. She is the perfect woman,” he said.


"Women are generally impressed and try to talk to her. But the men always want to touch her, and if they do it in the wrong way they get a slap.”



I actually feel for this guy - he was eight when he made his first robot, so he's smart in that way where you never have a childhood because you can't even relate to anyone. Plus, he's [edit: 33] and he had a heart attack last year, which, dude, VACATION. No wonder he doesn't want the stress of dealing with real people. (This is sort of also how I feel about RealDolls, which are totally creepy, but if guys who are a little nuts are happy sitting at home with a RealDoll, it means they're not out on the streets, you know? I dunno.)

So yeah, I can see how he would just give up on real people and make himself a robot. Naturally it's not a wisecracking guy sidekick, but a beautiful lady. Then again, in a sea of sex dolls, he made himself a genuine companion whose virtue he clearly respects, since he programmed her to slap anyone who grabbed at her (which is hysterical).

But, dude. Seriously. Vacation.
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…the agony of internet forums, all in one post on Oh No They Didn't.

I will say this: in the midst of all my issues with Twilight, the thing that actually interests me is the human-shaped hilarity that is Robert Pattinson. He's awesome, you guys. He rejected the "media training" the studio tried to give him, and has given some of the best sound bytes ever about the movie (including talking about how the book is clearly just Stephenie Meyer's own sexual fantasies written down, and how Edward is a manic-depressive stalker who hates himself and must have series issues since he's a 108-year-old-virgin). You have to love a guy who ignores all promo advice and chooses instead to be hilariously, sociopathically honest:

You couldn’t get a date [before this film]?

When I was in London, it was like, not at all. I don’t know why. That’s all I talked about the whole of last year—that I need to get a girlfriend. I need to get a girlfriend and then this year, I could have any 12-year-old I wanted (laughter).


You just know after hearing this, some publicist jumped out a window. Twice.

And then the world's saddest thing, from the same post. I laughed (it's impossible not to), but after listening to the girls in line being so absolutely absorbed in this idea of the ideal protective-yet-caring, handsome, super-rich, and sneakily-abusive boyfriend, I read this comment with a sinking stomach.




Honey, just…leave that dude you're with, okay? Team College, seriously.

I am still working on two things for Twilight: a We Need to Talk with screencaps and everything, and the big article about opening night with quotes from the girls in line, which I can't seem to finish because it involves looking at my notes and seeing that out of the nine people I spoke to, all nine people thought Edward never crossed any sort of "abusive or controlling" line with Bella. Seven of those nine thought this behavior was okay in the real world, and said they would put up with it if a boyfriend treated them that way. I'll finish the article sometime this weekend, hopefully, but the picture painted by these answers depresses the shit out of me, I'm not going to lie.


ETA: [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue has some thinky thoughts about how it will probably be okay, despite my crushing despair.
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So, Prop 8 got voted through. Let's make this week's movie the gayest gay that ever gayed, shall we?

I am not a big fan of traditional musicals; if people are bursting into song as a legitimate way of having dialogue, then shouldn't the whole thing be music (Les Mis, uh, all operas ever)? The dialogue/music switch is rough for me -- unless someone is actually supposed to be performing, in which case I'm fine with it.

You know what else I'm fine with? Movies about performers. Even musicals.

You know what else I'm fine with? A sharp-dressed man.

You know what I can't decide if I’m fine with? Victor/Victoria.

Cons: Totally ridiculous plot, James Garner, some serious lady-bashing, really horrbile life lessons.

Pros: Really hilarious musical numbers, natural and adorable friendship between male and female lead, Julie Andrews pwning, openly gay male lead, Lesley Anne Warren pwning, presence of Gimli, cross-dressing.




If he's a Polish count, I'm Greta Garbo. )
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So, usually when a franchise property gets its movie rights snapped up, they hire eight or nine writers to slap together some canon plot from the comics/books and then write in more leather bustiers and explosions.

Here's what I think happened to Aeon Flux. Some poor sci-fi fan wrote a perfectly serviceable low-budget science fiction movie about a futuristic city and someone who finds out its inhabitants are clones of themselves. It was a character-centric, quiet movie, Gattaca-style. He sold the rights for seven grand. He went out and bought his friends a bunch of drinks.

Then he found out they were taking his treatment and using it for Aeon Flux, because this one time Aeon Flux also had an episode that was sort of about a clone! And they were going to cast Charlize Theron! And there would be more leather bustiers and explosions!

Then he kept drinking and hasn't stopped. You can still see him today out of the corner of your eye when you pass a dark dive bar; he's muttering "BUT IT WAS ABOUT HOW HUMANITY PERSEVERES!" and weeping into his hoodie. And, you know:



…if I were that guy, I'd be crying, too. )
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(Note: this isn't a Questionable Taste Theatre, because Questionable Taste Theatre is movies I actually like, or movies I suspect are good. This, despite its train-wreck glory, is neither of those.)

Some wiseacre decided to air Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves over the weekend, when they knew I would be helpless with illness right in front of the TV and be forced to watch it!

…three times!

And you guys, we need to talk.



You already have the Bryan Adams song stuck in your head, don't you? )

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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