Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Movie Round-Up

I'm always inspired by Orange Crate Art's movie reviews to write my own. 
Here are a few of the movies I've seen recently:
1. Batman vs. Superman (2016)

I've been wanting to research typical male fandoms, which I'm not very familiar with, and this fit the bill:
bink and I were among the few women in the theater, and the only women who were not there with a man.

I was mostly bored [things blow up, many things] or disturbed [why do these DC comix movies seem to advocate for fascism?],
 but I did like three scenes very much:

1. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor eats jolly rancher candies ---I like cherry best too! 
I always like Eisenberg---he vibrates at a wavelength that communicates (to me, anyway) that he's a super-anxious person who's being heroic really surprisingly well. 
I find this cheering.

2. Clark Kent brings home groceries.
 So darling! 
He comes home with a brown-paper grocery bag with a bunch of flowers peeking out the top, before he and Lois Lane (Amy Adams, another actor I always like) reenact the bathtub scene from Bull Durham.

 Fans (and academics who study fans) say one motivation for writing fanfiction is to fill in the missing scene. 
This is the missing scene I want:
Clark Kent does Lois Lane's laundry.

(Oh, my shameful fantasies.) Maybe I should write it. 

3. Wonder Woman shows up. 

Batman: Is she with you?
Superman: I thought she was with you.

She's with herself. 

2. Web Junkie (2013, US-Israeli, dir. Hilla Medalia and Shosh Shlam)

China has declared Internet addiction a mental disorder, 
and this interesting documentary is about the boot-camp/prison–style camps in China that deprogram Internet-addicted teens
--the sort of kids who play video games until they die.

The film reveals a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum:
The teens go online because they're lonely, one boy says, and they find other lonely people there.
And they're lonely party because they're all only-children, due to China's one-child policy.

Loneliness and bordeom and stress. We've got plenty of that in the West too.

3.  52 Tuesdays (2013, Australia, dir. Sophie Hyde)

A sixteen year old girl whose mother is transitioning from female-to-male films herself over a year.

I found this painful to watch because the parent's needs [to become his authentic self] overwhelm the needs of the child [to have a stable parent], which reminded me very much of my mother and me.
This felt very real. Being a parent is a sacrifice, but what if the price is too high?
What are you going to do? It happens...

To me, the gender-transition story was beside the point--it could have been anything the parent needed that took him away from being able to care for the child. But of course it's very topical, and reviewers do say it's a good, honest story on that front.

4. What's Up Doc? (1972, dir. Peter Bogdanovich)

A tribute to the screwball classic Bringing Up Baby. I saw WUD when it came out, and then not again until it played at a local theater as part of a 1970s comedies series a few weeks ago. 
What a pleasure!
Madeleine Kahn [below] is perfection! I'd forgotten how beautiful Ryan O'Neal is--and not bad at comedy at all. Even Barbra Streisand is likeable, which as some reviewer said, takes some doing. 

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2016)

I already wrote about seeing this the first time. I'd enjoyed it just fine. 
I went again somewhat reluctantly, mostly to keep friends company and because it's playing at my favorite $3-tickets, second-run theater, the Riverview, which is decorated 50s-style because it was never redecorated in the intervening years.
Certain movies benefit from being seen in a theater full of families laughing, clapping, and spilling sticky drinks, and this was one of them.

Funny thing: I liked the movie much better the second time. I don't expect that from an action movie, where knowing what happens ruins the suspense. 

In this case, knowing what happens allowed me to relax and enjoy the young hero, Rey, without worrying under my breath that the filmmakers were going to compromise her heroism with her sex (or gender or sexuality). 
They don't. 
She never has to get rescued, she never becomes a sex object, or even an object of romance. She could be played by a male actor and it would make no difference, like Ripley in Alien.

And I loved BB8 even more than before, having time to notice how much personality, pluck, and humor this metal ball conveys. A very clever, very pleasing creation.

BB8 is my secret identity.
Rey and BB8


Michael Leddy said...

I had no idea that there was a tribute to Bringing Up Baby . On to the queue it goes. I think the seventies are my weakest film decade.

ArtSparker said...

Will watch Eisenberg in pretty much anything. He occasionally writes for the New Yorker, don't know if you have seen any of his pieces for them.

Fresca said...

MICHAEL: I'm eager to hear what you think of it. I don't know why it's not more well-known. Maybe related to how Ryan O'Neal and Bogdanovich both fell out of favor for their personal lives?

SPARKER: Me too (will watch JE in almost anything). Rent this movie and just skip to the Lex Luthor parts---he's a treat!

I actually haven't read anything by him--will look them up! Thanks for the tip.

Zhoen said...

I saw What's Up Doc on a plane, when I was 10. Flying alone to visit my brother in Phoenix, from Detroit. I liked it, didn't really understand it, had no idea Madeline Kahn was in it. Now I'll have to find all her bits in there. Thank you.