Tag Archives: Movie

The Moral of This Story: Research Before You Move

I don’t think that I’ve ever timed anything so well in my life.  I managed to see two movies today, Ex Machine and Poltergeist 3D and the overlap was nonexistent.  I finished movie one and stepped into the theater of movie two as the previews started to roll; win, massive win.  Usually on two movie days, I find myself with some arbitrary amount of time to kill between films and therefore out of boredom eating double the amount of popcorn that I should.  As is, I sit here with uncomfortable popcorn-belly.  I’m having a popcorn baby, you guys!

So, I was impressed by both movies, but I think I’m going to write on Ex Machina later, as I think that requires a little more chewing in my brain before I can really digest it properly.  So I guess that makes this post about Poltergeist 3D.

Let’s start with this detail: I’ve never seen the original Poltergeist, and honestly, even as a horror fan, I know nothing about it.  I recognized some nods to iconic scenes, but I feel like those scenes I’ve only seen as nods in other movies.

It starts as every haunting story that I’ve ever seen starts, a family moves into a new house for whatever reason they had to leave their last home and are forced to move somewhere new.  The children immediately find something wrong with the house, whatever that may be.  One child is terrified, one embraces, and one is apathetic.  Something happens to convince the parents that the children are not making this up.  They call in experts.

Of course the idea that the child is sucked into the Poltergeists’ dimension is not something I’ve ever seen and that’s where it started to feel different, special.  Because someone has to go in after her.

I’m not sure how necessary the 3D was to the effects, but the effects were pretty good.  There wasn’t anything so overblown that it took me out of the moment.  There was a lot more creepy made up hands and flickering lights than over the top effects.  Of course the portal is a little strange and that’s where most of the overblown unbelievable effects happened.  But really, the only thing that took me out of the moment was the horrible girl sitting behind me who kept gorram kicking my seat.  And I cannot blame the film for that.

I actually found myself emotionally invested in the characters, as well as jumping out of my skin – both hallmarks of a very good horror movie.

I now have every intention in the world of seeing the original.  I really can’t believe that I have made it to 28 and never seen it.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

All Cards on the table:  Going in to see Max Mad: Fury Road, I knew less than nothing about the franchise.  I knew it was a franchise called Mad Max, and I picked up from the previews that it was set in a post-apocalyptic world.  Other than that, I really knew nothing at all about the goddamn films, but the previews for this one made me want to see it and hard.

Good, good decision.  Go see it.  Go.  Now.

In a post apocalyptic wasteland, what are the two most important resources?  Water … and women.

Okay, phrased like that, it sounds pretty horrible.  But really, think about it.  Most of the human race is decimated, oil is basically nonexistent, water is a precious commodity (can’t grow food, or control the masses without it).  In order for the human race to continue, what do we need to do?  We need to reproduce.  And we don’t just need to reproduce, we need to have healthy children, with a healthy gene-pool.  Otherwise, not only have we broken the world, but we’ve effectively wiped the human race off the planet.

Water and Women.  Truly, the most precious commodities in the entire Mad Max verse.  And yet, somehow they made this apparent without being something that made my inner feminist want to punch things in the face.  The female characters started as people that were irritating and sheltered, but they did this thing, and here’s the part that I liked, they grew as people.  That’s the whole difference.  That’s what takes what could have been a teeth grinding anti-feminist issue into something believable, something epic.

Women are actually the only precious commodity that they seem to value at all, in fact. The wars that broke the world were about oil, yet they spend their days in modified 4-wheelers and other cars that have been modified into flame spouting war machines.  Water is rare and controlled, yet they find the time to bathe the sexy women in true Sports Illustrated fashion.  Yet somehow, who the hell cares about the realism?  The movie was epic.  The special effects were even more epic.  The explosions are goddamned amazing.

On the same note, though, those wasteful ridiculous moments are clearly a commentary on our waste in the modern, real, world.  We’re very close to an oil crisis, but do you see anyone slowing down on consumption?  Nope.  We actually have a drought in California, one that’s going to have devastating effects on agriculture for the world, and what are we doing about it in the rest of the country?  Turning a blind eye and turning on our sprinklers.  Seriously, for an action packed, action movie, there was some serious commentary on the world, if you took a moment to look.

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Still Alice – I’m Not Done Yet, Do We Have to Go?

On Tuesday, Boyfriend and I went and saw Still Alice and Birdman (there will be a seperate post for that if I ever work out how I felt about it).  Basically, I picked a movie and he picked a movie.  Of course both of these movies were on our lists of movies to eventually see, since they had won awards at the Oscars, so I didn’t feel too badly choosing Still Alice, I actually assumed he’d be choosing Birdman.

Alice is a linguistics professor at Columbia.  She lives the life she’s always wanted – travelling, learning, teaching, and loving her family.  This all changes when she starts to lose little things. She forgets a word.  She gets lost on campus. She can’t remember things told to her moments before.  In secret, without telling her husband or grown children, she starts to see a neurologist who eventually diagnoses her with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

As someone who is a caregiver in this field, I have some questions as to how they came to the diagnosis.  I know diagnostic tools have gotten better, but we still cannot definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s until autopsy.

The rest of the movie is the story of her loss, how she masters the Art of Losing.  It’s a story of how her family members cope, both well and not so well.

This part was heartbreaking because not only is Alice losing the memory of her family, but in some ways she really is losing them because they’re pulling away or changing entirely to cope/notcope with Alice’s changes.  There was a line in a PinkBerry, where Alice’s husband asks her if she still wants to be here (meaning New York, the house, etc. etc.), she responds: “I’m not done yet.  Do we have to go?”  In the entire movie there is no line that sums up this disease better.  All of the people afflicted have lived lives and none of them deserved to have these lives ripped away from them.  The people afflicted have more to give if we let them, they’d have even more to give if their entire lives hadn’t been ripped away from them by the betrayal of their own brains.

Everyone that has this disorder.  Everyone.  They weren’t done yet.  They weren’t ready to go.

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We Finish Each Other’s … Sandwiches

What Now

So, when they started showing previews for Frozen, I had no bloody idea what the previews were for.   I had very little interest in seeing the movie because I didn’t know what it was.  Now, for me, this is strange.  When the nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced, I had seen one movie up for best film and all of the movies up for Best Animated Movie.   So, really, the fact that this movie started getting such glowing reviews and I didn’t know what it was about was frustrating the hell out of me.  Finally someone told me that it was quote, “a Disney Princess movie with a feminist twist.”  I still didn’t know what the fuck that meant.  But, honestly, it sums up the movie pretty damned well.

Frozen is a story of sisters.  Let’s stop right there.  That in itself makes this story different and more feminist than the rest of the Disney Princess movies.  I didn’t say, “Frozen is a love story,” (which it is) I said, “Frozen is a story of sisters.”  That’s amazing.  Recently Pixar had their first female protagonist, Brave.  Now this.  Evan put it best.  The girls that grew up with Disney Princesses are now creating Disney princesses of their very own.

Elsa is the elder sister and is born with this power of ice and snow.  One night, her younger sister Anna wakes her up to play in the ballroom with her magics.  An accident occurs that makes Elsa hide her magic from everyone, including Anna.  She shuts Anna out, completely.  Until the day of her coronation, Elsa hides, but then her emotion gives her away and she runs.  The main journey is Anna’s journey to rescue her sister from herself.  But, can we take a moment to realize that this is the story of two completely different, completely independent, girls growing into themselves and becoming women?  How amazing is that? A story of womanhood?
One where the moral is, “yes, falling in love is nice, but we don’t need it to solve our problems.”

Men, I’m sorry.  Sisters before misters.

Also, can we take a moment to talk about how beautiful the animation is in Frozen?
Angels sing.

It felt nostalgically like the animation and passion in the old Disney movies with a modern sensibility in the story. (side note: how sad is that, that ‘a story of womanhood’ is considered modern).  There was a sense of romantic beauty that’s been missing from Disney in recent movies.  It doesn’t need to be all about impressing the boy to be romantically beautiful.  There’s a sort of soft loving beauty to the way that Frozen was animated.



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