brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“Gothika” is a paranormal horror film about women being assumed liars.

Dr. Miranda Grey, played by Halle Berry, works at a rambling beautiful but fairly decrepit mental hospital. Its secure wards feature electronic locks (with, apparently, no manual locks as back up) despite the fact that building’s wiring is faulty and they lose power several times a week. Dr. Grey is successful in her career and in her love life, happily married to another doctor– the hospital director. After driving home one stormy night, however, she wakes up in a cell of the hospital she works at, under the care of a former co-worker. To Grey’s horror, she’s told that she’s the prime (only) suspect in the brutal, horrific murder of her husband. Grey insists she didn’t do it, although all evidence points directly to her. Her claims are dismissed just as the claims of Chloe, a patient alleging that someone has been coming into her cell to rape her, are dismissed. Nobody seems to care that she has no motive. Other than her lawyer, everyone in control of the situation is a white man.

There’s ethical questions about Grey’s situation. She’s in the care of a co-worker whose romantic overtures she rejected. That seems a pretty big conflict of interest. She’s at the hospital she worked at, in the company of patients she used to have control over and is now at the mercy of should they desire revenge or some sort. Providing day to day care are nurses and security guards she’s interacted with every day, so hopefully none of them have an axe to grind with their former boss. The detective investigating her husband’s murder was his best friend, and already convinced she’s guilty.

In this horrific situation, Grey starts seeing ghostly activity, causing her to doubt her mental stability. Then the ghost physically lets her out of her cell, and she witnesses another person in Chloe’s cell, raping her, matching the description Chloe previously gave Grey when she was Chloe’s doctor. She starts to realize there’s a lot more going on than she thought… and to suspect that a ghost possessed her and used her body to murder her husband. But why?

Grey stages a daring escape that includes one of the best hiding places I’ve seen in a movie, and hinges on a sympathetic security guard aiding her. She checks out her home, and the property her husband and his best friend were fixing up. There, she discovers a secret about her husband that explains why a ghost would want to take him out.

It’s a pretty tight movie. I’d heard overwhelmingly negative things about it, but found the story and acting pretty top notch. At its heart, this is more than just a ghost story. Dr Grey and Chloe are both women of color who are in prison and believed to be crazy and/or lying. Their claims are utterly dismissed, even when one of them (rape in a prison) is depressingly common. Men in a position of power prey on women, and trust that their privilege will protect them, will keep other people in positions of power from believing the women they prey upon. The vengeful ghost is a woman who was disbelieved. People, including her father, found it more plausible that she’d run away and killed herself than been murdered, even though she’d shown no sign of suicidal ideation previously.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” features a few moments of terror and slick CGI which are lost in a sea of loose ends and gratuitous mythology.

Clary Fray, a teenager living in New York with her artist mom, starts absently drawing a mysterious symbol over and over and over. What could it mean? Is she going crazy, or is she simply the long lost daughter of half-angel demon hunters, her mysterious and secret past kept hidden from her in an attempt to protect her that goes awry and actually puts her in greater danger? As Clary hangs out with a young man who moons over her (and, inevitably, becomes ENRAGED when she kisses someone else, even though he’s never asked her out or expressed overt interest in her) she notices Mysterious And Scary Things happening around her…. Things Nobody Else Can See! She comes home to a trashed, mom-less apartment, and there’s some legit scary scenes with a shape shifting demon dog that owes a bit of its character design to Marvel Comic’s “Venom.” Thus launched into the thick of the adventure, Clary hooks up with other half-angel demon hunters, meets some werewolves, finds out Johann Sebastien Bach was a demon hunter and that there’s weapons caches under Christian church alters, hangs out at a secret citadel, and makes out with her brother. There’s demons and werewolves and vampires and secret portals and magic and tarot cards and it just comes and comes and comes and doesn’t stop, with no much actual story (other than “find the macguffin/keep the macguffin safe”) holdings things together.

There’s a lot of teens in leather pants, though.

I am a sucker for vampires, full stop. They are absolutely one of my favorite things. I’m also interested in demons, angels, angel-human (and demon-human) hybrids, girls who have to save the world, werewolves, hotties in leather pants, and mystical tattoos/runes that grant magical powers. In theory this movie should have been a big hit. But it’s not, it’s just kind of boring. A trimmer cast, more focused story, and less vague side-quests would have helped quite a bit. Eliminating the “we’re just friends lol whoops no I loved you all this time you owe me” character– or making him not romantically interested in Clary/not a tedious jackass– would have helped also.

I classed this as horror because there’s demons and vampires and shit, and early on when Clary’s fighting the apparently unkillable demon dog that keeps shifting and oozing? That was horrific. But the movie can’t sustain that horror or tension so whoops.

I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“Beautiful Creatures” is a grindingly mediocre movie about magic users, True Love, and the South.

The narrator is Ethan, a football player who loves poetry and books and is all sensitive and stuff like that. His mom’s dead and his dad is completely absent throughout the movie. His surrogate parent is played by Viola Davis, the small town’s librarian and apparently the only Black person (or at least the only one with a speaking role) in the film. (In the book the movie’s based on her character is a house keeper/nanny instead of a librarian. In both versions she’s essentially The Magic Negro: a Black character alone in a sea of white faces who pops up to provide advice, comfort, and answers and then disappears again. She’s a tool, not a character.) His small town life is shaken up when Lena Duschannes starts at his school. All the girls in his class start spreading rumors that she’s a Satan-worshipper, because they are catty bitches, like pretty much every girl everywhere except for Lena who is totally cool and reads Bukowski and is basically a cool dude with tits. Ethan’s been having recurring dreams about a chick who looks just like Lena, because Fate and True Love and blah blah scriptcakes.

They get together, of course, and Lena reveals that she’s a “caster” (IE a witch but don’t use that word it’s an INSULT U GUIS) and so forbidden to fall in love, so I guess all baby casters are the result of one night stands or something. Also, casters are either totally dark (evil) or light (good) and there’s no way of influencing yourself what you are, and it’s totes cool to be a dark male caster but if you’re a dark female caster it’s really super bad so Lena’s in a bit of a pickle because oh noes what if she’s dark!!!!!! Her mother is a huge evil megabitch dark caster and her sister/cousin (I’m not sure which) is a slutty mcslutterson dark caster and her uncle, who she’s staying with, is a dark caster but he’s acting like a light caster to try and help her be light because even though you can’t chose if you’re dark or light apparently her uncle can make that choice.

As it turns out, Lena’s role as dark caster or light caster will something something affect something or other, which is why her uncle Macon and her super evil mom Serafina are both trying to influence her to be dark or light. For some reason. Macon lives in a creepy gothic-y mansion that inside is decorated like something out of, I don’t know, 1980s California only tackier. Most of the adult women wear costumes apparently inspired by “Hocus Pocus.”

This movie raises a lot of questions. Like, if you honestly think someone’s a Satan-worshipping witch, do you really want to antagonize that person/that person’s incredibly wealthy family? Why would a dark caster who apparently can’t chose if he’s dark or light suddenly be able to act like a light caster and influence a young caster to be a light caster? Is this movie reinforcing sexual stereotypes (women tend to be “dark” casters, which means they are irrational, manipulative, sexual, “bitchy,” have strong emotions) or questioning them? Is there a reason women are pitted against women in this movie (Lena’s evil mom is jealous of her daughter’s youth, beauty, power, and hot boyfriend) other than lazy cliche? Is there a reason Macon is the patriarch of a family made up almost entirely of women, including his mom (who, one would think, would have seniority over him)? Is there a reason every single mother is dead or evil and every single father is entirely absent? Is it really a good idea to teach women that men only scream at and berate women because they care about those women? Can we have a movie that isn’t secretly about white man pain like ever?

I originally rated this movie 1 out of 5 stars, then watched a movie so bad it made me go back and rate other movies higher. So I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“Mama” was a movie I saw promos for and got really excited about, but wasn’t able to see in theaters… partly because of child care issues (IRONIC), and partly because my husband isn’t a huge horror fan so it wasn’t at the top of our see-together-list. In retrospect, I wish I’d gotten the chance to see it on the big screen. But when it aired on HBO, I jumped at the chance to DVR it and watched it as soon as I could.

“Mama” is co-written and directed by Andrés Muschietti, based on his earlier short film called “Mama.” Guillermo del Toro served as exeuctive producer, a very good fit. “Mama,” like much of del Toro’s work, is deeply and unsettlingly creepy in the ways that the best fairy tales are unsettling and creepy.

The original film is a neat little confection of horror, short and to the point.

“Mama” the character is portrayed by Javier Botet, an actor with Marfan Syndrome, who uses his physicality and contortion ability to portray creepies in horror films. A big part of what makes Mama so very creepy is the human body behind the CGI.

If you don’t mind spoilers, or haven’t seen the movie in a while and want a refresher, here’s a collection of all the sightings of Mama– many of which I missed because I watched the film in a sun-flooded living room in the middle of the day.

“Mama” is a horror fairy tale about two little girls (Victoria and Lilly) taken into the woods by their father and left there. In this particular case he’s left them there because he’s killed their mother, after escaping some financial misdealings, and fled with them. A car crash sends them into the forest, where the little broken and bloody family comes across a seemingly abandoned house. Father urges his light-haired moppets inside but the older of the two– who’s lost her glasses– hangs back, convinced somebody’s inside. As usual, the instincts of a child are dead on, and whatever’s in the house kills murderous daddy and raises the children as its own.

Later on, due to ceaseless searching on behalf of their artist uncle Lucas (who pays someone else to search, not searching himself), the girls are found and brought to a hospital for evaluation. The doctor is pretty convinced that the older girl can be re-integrated into human society, but the younger one has almost no language and walks on four limbs instead of her feet. They sleep under the beds, they growl and snap, and they draw on the walls. When she gets her glasses back, however, the older sister recognizes her uncle, mistaking him at first for her father.

Uncle and his rock-star girlfriend Annabel gain custody of the children and are moved into an isolated mansion in the woods. The girls’ maternal aunt wants custody, but Uncle is willing to make deals with the doctor to allow him continued access to the kids, so they win. Not even pre-teens, and these girls are already marked by theft, fraud, murder, and shady ethical dealings. Girlfriend is reluctant to take on the (admittedly enormous) responsibility of co-parenting not just two young kids, but two young traumatized kids, one of whom is feral. She is adamant about not wanting to be a mother, about not wanting kids. But when her boyfriend needs her she bucks up and supports him.

Even when it means abandoning her career, her friends/social support, and her own family for life in a creepy house in the creepy woods with her boyfriend’s creepy kids. And then: Mama.

I was deeply worried that “Mama” would end like “The Orphanage” ends, with blame on the part of the mom for not being mom enough. Annabel, however, carves out her own place with the girls, her own relationship with them. And while it’s not quite enough, she isn’t punished for her failings, real or imagined.

Overall, I found it a satisfying movie. The characters are well developed; Mama is creepy and grotesque and tragic; the little girls are tremendous actors; the cinematography is beautiful and the settings are haunting. The ending doesn’t hold together as well as I’d like, because it’s not a good ending. There is no realistic way that Lucas and Annabel would be allowed to retain custody of Victoria, and most likely they would be accused of (and convicted of) murder themselves. The older I get, the more I want endings that aren’t tragic. They don’t have to be all sunsets and rainbows, but a bit of hope would be nice.

The film has some interesting things to say about parenting (we don’t know anything about bio-mom; bio-dad killed bio-mom after stealing a bunch of money from people; uncle Lucas spends money (inherited from his brother’s estate) but not his own time or effort looking for the kids; Annabel (who isn’t related by blood or marriage to the girls) spends time and effort caring for and nurturing the kids; Mama takes on raising the girls after her own child’s death. There’s also a look at abuse dynamics, I think. Mama’s love is smothering and harmful. She hurts other people and controls the girls, ignoring their desires and needs. Victoria, a child, is put in the position of trying to protect her younger sister and the adults in her life from Mama. Parents, adults, are supposed to protect kids from the monster under the bed. But Victoria, a child, has to protect her adults and younger sister from Mama. Mama selfishly tries to strip Victoria from the people who love her and who she loves, and in the end takes Lilly down with her.

Horror movies are at their best when they move beyond simply presenting something scary/creepy/other and when they include something a little deeper. Little kids, abandoned buildings, isolation, forced adoption, forced motherhood: these are all creepy things. But what do these things, and our attitudes toward them, say about us and our society? What is the line between love and obsession?

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

Like most people, I was leery of the idea of “The Hobbit” being split into 3 movies. Of the four Middle Earth novels, it’s the shortest and simplest (not saying it’s simplistic or anything, just the simplest). The other three novels got a movie each, why split “The Hobbit” up so much?

Part of this is because a LOT of material was left out of the LotR movies, and part of this is because the movie of “The Hobbit” has extra material that Tolkien wrote about Middle Earth.

I could tell when the additional material was inserted. It felt like someone pried apart moments in the text and jammed the new material in. I don’t know if someone who wasn’t as familiar with “The Hobbit” would notice, though. I also thought every fight scene could be at the very least halved, if not reduced by 2/3s.

I really liked the songs in the movie. I know some people hate them and mock them, but I really loved them and I wonder if the people who disliked them aren’t as familiar with the source material. Songs and poems are pretty big deals in the books, but aren’t really a common feature of most current movies except as background music or montage music. But listening to the Dwarves singing in Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit Hole threw me right back to childhood and my mom reading the book to me, singing the songs.

Gandalf is a different Gandalf than in the LotR movies. He’s shiftier, dirtier, less imposing, with less renown. It’s easy to dismiss him as some weirdo human in a funky hat, with his wandering ways and filthy fingernails. Saruman pops up and mansplains… wizardsplains?… stuff, dismissing the ominous portents Gandalf is piecing together. And they ARE ominous, a lovely and creepy fortelling of what will take place during LotR. It’s a great, low key performance where he seems all rational and wise, but his eyes are shifty and of course we know better.

Andy Serkis as Gollum was, of course, incredible. I was a little disappointed that some of the Riddle Game was cut but I think only hard core Tolkien fans will even notice, let alone care. And Martin Freeman, of course, was excellent as Bilbo Baggins. I was a little worried I’d only be able to see him as John Watson, but he became Bilbo very thoroughly (and fussily).

I do want to note that as was the case with the LotR movies, the cast is inordinately white. Yes, Tolkien was writing about the coal miners and weavers that he knew in the English Countryside when he crafted his novels, but in the year 2012 there is no reason for everyone to be white. Couldn’t there be Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves portrayed by actors who were Black, Asian, Hispanic, or (especially given the filming location) Maori? It’s lazy and cowardly casting to rely solely on white actors. Additionally, the Big Bad is entirely white. In the source material, he isn’t described. I had a sneaking suspicion that he was painted white to try and avoid a repeat of allegations that plagued the LotR movies, about the bad guys being too reminiscent of Africans (dark skin, dredlocks, face and body paint), especially as he was marked with ritual scarring.

Also, we saw the 2D normal FPS version, and I and the two people I saw it with both felt that some scenes, especially when the camera was moving quickly, was blurry. Not motion-blurry but weirdly out of focus blurry.

In all, though, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next two movies. While I don’t think I’ll see this movie again in the theater, unless it’s at a cheap 2nd run place, we’re ultimately going to add it to our LotR collection.

And now I’m going to compose fanfic in my head of Bilbo Baggins in a frumpy sweater holding a pot of jam and blogging about Sauron, the World’s Only Consulting Dragon. BRB.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

I was going to invite a bunch of people over for New Year’s Eve but then I started feeling sick so only invited one person, then spent New Year’s Eve Day huddled under a blanket on the couch shivering and coughing and watching an “Adventure Time” marathon on tv instead of cleaning up. I briefly considered canceling with the one friend I invited, but I’m glad I didn’t.

My fever ultimately broke, due to the power of rum or friendship or because the virus was running its course, WHO CAN SAY. I made glorious pizza and said friend brought over clearance chocolates and cookies, and we sat around and had fun with Niko and then Nesko put him to bed and she read him 2 stories, and then the three of us adults sat around and talked a bit more and then put on the “Highlander” movie, which friend had never seen although she’s a fan of the TV show.

So basically, I rung in the New Year in the perfect way: with my family and a good, fun friend; with great pizza and rum and coke; with the Highlander. 17 year old me would be pleased with how my life turned out.

One of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to invite people over more often. Since this year we managed to put a ceiling in the bathroom, paint the bathroom, and paint most of the kitchen (still need to paint the trim in the kitchen and some other rooms and paint the built-in china cabinet in the kitchen hall), our place looks less like a hellhole. I really like having people over to watch movies or play games (or both). So I resolve to have people over once a month for movies OR for board games, and maybe try to also have people over once a month for RPG purposes. This will involve 1) keeping on top of household chores/cleaning and 2) not getting sick all the time.

Another resolution is to NAIL bread making, other than Challah. For whatever reason I can make a KICK ASS Challah loaf but non-enriched bread (where “enriched” means “eggs and milk” not “vitamins and fiber”) is still extremely meh. Since there’s a lot of people in my life who don’t/can’t eat eggs or milk, and since breads made without them are also cheaper, I’m going to keep working at it. Once I get a white bread down I’ll work on whole wheat, and then rye. One of my biggest challenges here is a cold kitchen affecting rise time, I think. So I need to just go ahead and let the dough proof for literally 2-3 times what the recipe calls for. Oh, and I’m also going to perfect caramel sauce and fudge sauce.

How was YOUR New Year’s festivities? Are you making any resolutions? How likely are you to stick to them? My dad routinely rotates 2 resolutions: 1) to eat more pie 2) to eat less pie. It seems to work well for him. I’m making a bunch of smaller resolutions on a tiny scale, weekly and monthly things that are more about establishing good habits than changing my entire life.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

Have you seen the trailers for The Eagle? It kind of sounds like it could be GLORIOUSLY AWFUL (note the pagan rubes who coat themselves in mud and dance around fires worshiping a flag with a bird on it), or it could be cool. I’m not sure yet. But I saw the spot on tv:

And my first thought was “wouldn’t it be cool if there were zombies”? Think about it. You’ve got your well armed, well trained invaders who have… swords. And shields. Pikes. Fortifications. You have your locals, who have guerrilla tactics and hiding. You have long distances between settlements. And in between? Zombies. Fast moving, slow moving, whatever. Maybe they came off a Viking ship… one lone longboat kind of washes ashore, at first it seems to contain nothing but dead or very ill men. Then one or two “wake” and start infecting others. And nobody has guns, or chainsaws, or lawnmowers, or any of the modern killing conveniences.

I know zombies are kind of overplayed, even clichéd, but I still love a good zombie story. It’d be so, so awesome to see one in a pre-gun setting. Maybe as part of a Bubonic Plague story. I’d watch the hell out of that movie.

Hm. It’d make a good RPG, I think, too. Maybe I’ll run one.

Edited to add: There are two youtube videos embedded in this post, but they aren't showing up. If you click through to the original post you can see them (in all their theme-breaking glory).
Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

Nesko’s mom called him on Friday and told him to drop the baby off with her, which was AMAZING and AWESOME and means Nesko and I totally went on a DATE. Oh my GOSH can you believe it? We actually left the house together and went to do a fun thing. And then went grocery shopping after. A THRILL A MINUTE RIDE, YOU GUYS. When he called me to tell me he was on his way home and I needed to get myself and the baby ready, I was all “I don’t know, I have no clean pants! they are all in the wash!” I somehow managed to forget that… wait for it… I WAS WEARING CLEAN PANTS. I mean, they were actual trousers, not pyjama pants, and they had a working zip and everything.

We managed to get ready to go, drop off Niko, and squeak into the theater with just enough time to get popcorn. What magical movie did we see? Why TRUE GRIT of course! A movie I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time now.

The first movie, the 1969 version with John Wayne, is one of my favorite movies and my absolute favorite John Wayne movie. The book is excellent. I hadn’t seen the movie or read the book in a while, but I remembered good big chunks of both and I was very excited about the new version of the movie AND the reviews I’d read about it.

Bearing in mind that I was already primed to love this movie, oh my WORD, this is basically one of the most perfect movies I’ve seen in a long time. There were some weird additions to the movie, and some events were moved around, but in all it’s very faithful to both the events and tone of the original book. Did I talk along with some of the dialog (quietly)? You bet your ass I did. Jeff Bridges was great as Rooster Cogburn (and managed to play Rooster Cogburn and not John Wayne, a remarkable feat) and Hailee Steinfeld was exquisite as Mattie Ross.

Oh, Mattie Ross. Along with Tamora Pierce, one of my first introductions to feminism.

What’s that, you say? A movie based on a book written in 1968, a Western no less, is feminist? Let me lay this out for you, if you are unfamiliar with the awesomeness of the story.

Mattie Ross, 14 years old and female, is the oldest daughter of hard working, relatively affluent land holders. She is smart, well educated, and knows her mind– her mother can’t “do sums or spell the word cat,” and it’s possible that Mattie’s status as only (or only surviving) child for so long (there’s a considerable gap between her and her brother, Little Frank) is why she is so highly educated. Not that no women were ever educated at the time, but at the age of 14 she’s essentially her father’s business manager and book keeper, and handles legal matters with the family lawyer. In many ways, she’s been groomed as the heir to the family business, the “man” of the house when her father is away. When her father is murdered and robbed in Fort Smith by a tenant farmer, it’s Mattie (again at the age of 14, alone and female) who travels far from home to take care of his business and get justice/revenge. Adults in Fort Smith are quick to underestimate her due to her age and her gender, but she shows a quick wit and steady head for business. She’s calculating, cold when she needs to be. She’s stubborn and persistent and insists on getting her due. She earns the respect of both Rooster Cogburn, the Marshall she hires to go after Tom Chaney, the coward her shot her father, and LeBoef (pronounced “LeBeef”), the Texas Ranger who is also after him for shooting a senator.

The novel– and both movies– are told in flashback. They’re narrated 25 years after the events of the story by an older Mattie– one who elected not to marry, one who is wealthy and powerful and knows her own worth and was not interested in marriage or being reliant on a husband. She refuses offers to write newspaper articles about her experiences for low pay, and also refuses to give her story away for free to journalists looking to interview her (although she’s willing to throw scraps to aspiring young journos, since she knows how hard they work and how rough the news industry can be). She speaks the truth without sugar coating it, and demands respect. Although her younger brother teases her about being in love with Rooster Cogburn, Mattie’s complex relationship with the man who saved her life and helped her avenge her father is not one about romantic love.

Mattie Ross, in short, kicks all kinds of ass.

I’ve always felt that “True Grit” referred to Mattie, although she tells Rooster that she’s heard he has grit and is looking for that in the man she wants to hire. It’s Mattie who goes into the unknown; it’s Mattie who changes and is challenged and grows; it’s Mattie who uses a dead man’s arm bones to keep herself from falling down a hole and uses a dead man’s hand as a flail to keep snakes from biting her; it’s Mattie who steps outside of her very narrowly defined role to take on a man’s business of money and justice.

It’s Mattie Ross who is my hero.

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Romain Duris is in a new movie! Is it coming to the USA? God I hope so. I would so see this in a movie theater if I had the opportunity.

I can find very little actual information on this movie. The official movie website is a blank black page with a link at the bottom to “participating theaters,” all of which seem to be in England.

Tags:
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

I don’t really like watching movies very much because more and more it’s becoming incredibly obvious that movies aren’t aimed at me or people like me, where “people like me” are “female.” You know. Roughly 50% of the population. Also, these people think and have thoughts and notice plot holes large enough to drive a semi through.

I’m not even going to touch on the ingrained, established sexism of the motion picture industry, despite the fact that women outnumber men when it comes to movie consumption. What I am going to touch on is 2 things:

    The Trailer for “Killers”
      The movie “Dog Soldiers”

      In “Killers,” Katherine Heigl plays a woman who goes from the over-protective, domineering, patriarchal custody of her father to the marriage bed of her husband, who is a former assassin for the CIA and Ashton Kutcher. He, of course, has not told her of his past because relationships based on lies and omissions are the best kind of relationships. Predictably, his past catches up to him and he winds up having to kill a lot of people while he protects and bosses around (dominates) his wife. Apparently he kills/has his wife kill a lot of female people? In brutal ways? God knows there isn’t enough of THAT in the world! What a novel concept: a man causing the deaths of lots of conventionally attractive in blood spattery violent ways!

      WHAT I WOULD LIKE THIS MOVIE TO BE: Heigl is the former assassin! Or current assassin. Either way, she is capable of taking care of herself and doesn’t need a man to protect her. In fact! Her past catches up to her and she winds up– shocking idea– protecting Kutcher. I think it would be really awesome to start the movie with the conceit that she’s just an innocent young woman, sheltered from the world, oh heavens what on earth will she do with this massive phallus gun??!? and then shit gets real and she shows her sharp shooting ability and saves the day instead of being saved. And possibly also she is not a white woman. Is that at all within the realm of probability?

      “Dog Soldiers” is not a werewolf movie about soldiers, it is a movie about soldiers and the bonds of brotherhood and also there are werewolves in it. That’s how it’s been described, anyway. What it actually is about is about trying to kidnap and experiment on local non-human people, and then breaking into their house and busting shit up and eating all their food and being surprised when they want to kill you. I mean, duh. Also, except for the female character and the main male character, everyone else was pretty interchangeable and flat… including the bad guy soldier character. I mean, they had characteristics like “likes football” and “is married” and… uh. That’s about it, I think. One guy’s really fast, maybe? I don’t even remember. The female character acts sympathetic towards them and then suddenly towards the end of the movie it’s like someone else started writing her or perhaps somebody realized they’d written themselves into a corner and OUT OF NOWHERE she starts talking about how the main character is a dudely dude who hates women and she’s just a bitch and it’s that time of the month and then she reveals that she unlocked a door and let the werewolves in. And also she is a werewolf. WHAT A TWIST!!! (this is after a really nice bit where someone was talking about pack dynamics and alpha male and female and I thought to myself “huh, cool, nice bit of parallel there, maybe this movie isn’t as bad as I thought” and then no, it really was.) I mean, it’s not a BAD movie, but you know. It’s not a good one. Also, the bad/evil guy is needlessly bad/evil. Relentlessly. For no reason. He’s just a massive evil dick, like he wakes up every morning and takes his “pure evil maliciousness” pills which make him do irrational but evil things like command a soldier to shoot an extremely expensive tracking dog which would have traumatized the dogs handler, and when the soldier doesn’t, he does it himself. Because he’s just so hard core evil that murdering dogs is second nature, even when that would require a lot of paperwork and explaining and also the cost and inconvenience of having to purchase and train a new dog.

      WHAT I WOULD LIKE THIS MOVIE TO BE: Actual defined characters would have been nice. In a movie where almost everyone dies, if you have a small group of people, it’s kind of boring unless you actually care about and are invested in the people being torn apart. Realistic evil and moral grey areas would have been totally cool too. Also, the fact that the soldiers commandeered someones’ house and ate their dinner and busted shit up really goes unremarked. Honestly, I would have loved it if all the myths and legends of monstrous beasties eating people were just that– myths and legends. And the werewolves were hunting prey animals like deer or something, and they only attacked the humans because the humans were 1) trying to capture and experiment on them, Ultimate Weapon style and 2) broke into their house and fucked shit up. I mean, if I were a werewolf and somebody came into my home and ate my dinner and locked me out etc etc etc I would probably go apeshit on them. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’d do that even without being a werewolf. But that gives you a nice moment of “who is the real monster here.” Is it the humans who invade a sentient beings’ home and place of security, or is it the furry fanged creatures who simply want to be safe? Also a female character who is an actual fleshed out character and also isn’t an evil bitch monster would be totally rad.

      Obviously, I want to see movies that don’t actually exist, except in my own head. I know there’s a few movies that veer close to the preferred vision of “killers” that I have, and I’ve yet to see “Ginger Snaps” which is apparently the most awesomest werewolf movie in all of existence. But I’m getting tired of movies that are “close,” especially as one of the big, glaring failures tends to be “women don’t really exist as characters, except as props/accessories for men or else bitchmonsters.”

      (Oddly, and a second viewing may not hold up, I found “Quantum of Solace” to be exactly what I wanted in a movie, especially with regards to the female characters… one of whom is in a position of authority over Bond and the other of whom has her own agenda and motives, uses Bond to further them, doesn’t sleep with him, doesn’t get killed, and needs the same kind of saving that a male character would have needed… and also is physically scarred but still considers herself attractive and is considered by others to be attractive, as opposed to being considered ugly, flawed, damaged, pretty-except-for, etc.)

      • Share/Bookmark