‘Life’ film–defied absolutely zero scifi tropes

Everything that can go wrong in a space movie about life from Mars or other planets did go wrong in Life. The producers and writers didn’t defy any tropes with this one.

Life is truly true to its Hollywood film type/genre. Not to say that there is no hostile life the universe. Only that why does every life form that potentially exists in the universe other than human life have to be portrayed as completely hostile or completely docile?

It isn’t like white Europeans have a great track record with people from other nations, including their own. So I guess, as a film drenched in white ideologies, that it stands to reason that their enmity towards “the other” on Earth is reflected in their ideas about and portrayals of other life in the universe. Everything that is not them is a threat or it simply excites them to perceive the other as a threat and that’s the Hollywood selling point.

Your imaginations are pitiful.

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The Nobility of Wonder Woman

Watched the DC Wonder Woman movie, starring Gal Gadot. I gotta say, I was something very much like pleasantly surprised. Her theme music is on point, with Hans Zimmer involved. What I appreciated most was the handling of Diana’s personality. But first–

These are the major issues I had with the film:

  1. That love interest guy, Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine), isn’t necessary. As a guy like him usually isn’t. Really? You’re fighting the god of War and you’re too busy getting upset over your your boyfriend’s oh-so-noble sacrifice to get your head in the fight? Just straight-up wailing at the heavens, are we. Annoying, you’ve known that guy for all of about five seconds, Diana.
  2. Black Amazons are relegated to background characters. They are kind of treated like part of the scenery. Though I will admit I was pleased to see them there because I’m getting old, racism is still tiring, and simple representation is occasionally nice and all that.
  3. Doctor Poison is problematic for reasons I don’t want to examine too closely.
  4. Glamour and supermodels–because people who aren’t beauty queens can’t be super heroes. I get it, that’s the industry’s idea of beauty and worth. Whatever.

Other than recognizing her when I see her, I don’t know much about comic book and previous television or film portrayals of Wonder Woman. What I like about this 2017 film’s Wonder Woman is how I identity with her principles, the sense of nobility in her actions and thoughts. For the most part, she is not a woman sitting around waiting to be saved or sacrificing her beliefs and things she cares about for a boy. Her outrage and general feelings about the world of men is a little bit how I feel just about every day. Diana is compassionate, intelligent, and powerful. And I liked seeing her fight, honestly. She did her thing, it wasn’t reckless and she fought to right wrongs, not “just because”.

Overall, I left the film feeling a little more pleased than I normally would. And that’s saying something.

Dads That Suck: Me and Peter Quill

**SPOILERS**

Since I talked about absent male parents on my other blog, I guess I’ll keep it coming.

For my birthday, I went to the movies for the first time in years and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Just like an increasing number of Marvel movies these days, the writers really need to adjust some of their humor. But what I found myself struck by was the relationship between Peter Quill and Ego.

Since my birthday is around the same time as Father’s Day, I give a thought to that relationship. I sensed the pain and anger that Peter Quill, even as a fictional character, must have felt to learn the truth about his father. There was just something there in the story that resonated with me.

I do not easily refer to my sperm donor as “Dad”, despite the title of this post. Simply because he’s not that and it offends my definitions of the words family and father to give him an honor he did not earn. No, my sperm donor didn’t kill my mom and he isn’t a god. Just a really messed up, manipulative, entitled, arrogant guy who can’t keep it in his pants. He might not think he’s God’s gift to the entire universe but does think he’s God’s gift to women and he deserves a throne built on my back for not wearing a condom.

I know what it’s like to want an absent father to turn out to be a better person than his absence would lead you to believe. I didn’t play a game of Light-ball catch with my sperm donor like Peter Quill did. But I did give him a chance. And he wasn’t worth the time, energy, or the chance I gave him.

Maybe I’ll save a post about Yondu for later.

I’m rooting for you, Nebula. Commit that patricide.

‘Deadpool’, thoughts

Thanks to watching Deadpool, I now have “Careless Whisper” by WHAM! stuck in my head. Smh, I think its the lyrics and jazz/saxophone in it. The soundtrack also has DMX “X Gon Give It To Ya” and Salt n Pepa “Shoop”. Because they want to dust off Black folks’ stuff so they can look cool and act like its new.

Naturally, there’s some so-called humor in the movie that I didn’t appreciate. Couldn’t appreciate really. Rape jokes aren’t funny. Period. I’m disappointed in Marvel for going there. As disappointed as you can be when you don’t really expect much from the entertainment industry. I’m not a fan of cheap thrills and shock value tactics. I’mma need people to do better.

Same thing with the Deadpool sequel’s trailer. Took morbid humor and the whole bullshit “gritty” and “dark fantasy” trend people are loving right now way too far. I was laughing all the way through Deadpool in the phone booth awkwardly struggling into his suit. I laughed until his intended rescuee gets shot and killed in the alley and Deadpool, the would-be rescuer finally in his suit, goes and lays down with the poor guy’s still warm body and talks to himself. Haha, yeah, because that’s so funny, Marvel producers.

Watched Recently–quick rundown

I started reading books again, mostly romance. Mostly disappointments. Luckily, I’m not paying for most of them. Watched a lot of movies, some of which might not be listed. Any of this will be revisited for further details in the future. Thinking of getting an account at The Artifice to write about things I watch and meander over.

Anime:

  • Dimension W— Liked this one quite a bit.
  • Dantalian no Shoka
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Anne Happy (Did I mention that I watched this a few months ago?? Revisited it when I wanted something cute to watch.)
  • I’m not sure I wrote a post about D. Gray-Man but I liked that enough to write a three fan fictions about it.

Movies:

  • Deadpool, despite my better judgement. It had its moments. Negasonic Teenage Warhead was a plus.
  • The Last Witch Hunter (I like seeing Vin Diesel in this kind of role *shrug*. Though his character was patronizing to witches though, in that kind of “Let me tell you who you are after I’ve been slaughtering your kind for centuries” way.).
  • Central Intelligence (I want to call this movie everything but what it’s called–National Security, Redacted–I keep forgetting what this movie’s title and had to go to Dwayne Johnson’s wiki and look at his filmography to get it. I liked Dwayne Johnson’s character. Overall, for a movie I walked in on, I thought it was pretty funny, thank you, Kevin Hart.).
  • I saw Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Tim Burton might be the reason I didn’t hate it. Loved the ending credits song by Florence + The Machine, “Wish That You Were Here”–even if the chorus had too much “lift” and noise for the rest of the song to me.
  • Solace, starring Anthony Hopkins
  • I revisited Phantasm, which I think either earned its cult following or I’m deluded because I saw this when I was a kid and thought it was pretty good. I didn’t know there were so many sequels. I think I watched four them.

TV/Shows:

  • Couldn’t watch Hand of God. It felt too much watching Sons of Anarchy all over again, and not just because of the leading actor.
  • Caught up on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and watched Slingshot.
  • I tried to watch The Leftovers, it was uncomfortable and took too long to get to the point.
  • Rotted my brain with such pop media gems as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Once Upon a Time.
  • Some Jessica Jones, and a little Luke Cage, some of which was appreciated but too dark and graphic and I’m sick of 100% contrived for entertainment, dark and graphic “gritty” pretenses in my life.

Tarantino, NO; Zack Ward, how do you do

So the mother got Restoration, The Hateful, and Regression from Redbox and wanted someone to watch them with her.

I didn’t want to watch any of them honestly. I flat out refuse to watch any known Quentin Tarantino movie, because, ya know, he’s a racist and makes no attempts to disguise it. Kill Bill has a great soundtrack but Tarantino lost me at From Dusk Till Dawn after that Django bullshit and him claiming that he’s the reason people are talking about slavery.

My sister loves The Others, which is done by the same guy who did the second movie on the table, Regression. Looked it up, and the movie is about someone who accuses her father of sexually abused her as a kid. Not interested in seeing a film about that.

The last film put in front of me is Restoration, and the person responsible for this is Zack Ward. I was interested after reading that snippet that every website trots out about it. Little dead white girls haunting houses are a staple in American horror films but I hoped that her demise wasn’t super graphic so I could watch the film and decide if I thought it was any good. However, not willing to take the chance that the movie was a waste of time, I read several reviews trying to see if anyone wrote about the plot. No reviewer detailed the plot and there’s not a Wiki about it either, so off and on for a couple of hours I mulled over whether I wanted to give Restoration a chance.

In the end, I decided to watch it. For some reason, I don’t feel like telling the plot either so I won’t. Restoration had its moments. I wouldn’t say it was super bad and I wouldn’t say it was extraordinary either. It was good, I guess, maybe it was the acting. The potentially problematic presentation of the Black nurse (nurses? were there two who only appeared briefly?) was unfortunate and the ending itself was unfortunate in nature but not unexpected. Also written by white people, it had a The Skeleton Key element to it that nobody talks about in their reviews though Restoration‘s explanation could be clearer. I knew something was wrong with the protagonists’ overly friendly neighbors when the husband put the words “ancestor” and “East India Trading Company” in the same sentence. Racist, raping, genocidal bitches. So it was immediately confirmed to me that the neighbors were the problem after these words were said. In front of a fancy display cabinet full of treasured relics from the whites’ most beloved age of colonialism, delusions of supremacy, and willful destruction and maiming of the lives of other races.

My final thoughts as I walked away from the movie: Hmph. That is very disturbing.

the thing about productions

You’ve probably heard about how TV shows are worked and recorded way in advance and how a lot of movies are in the making years, sometimes decades, before you ever see them in a theater.

What really takes the wind out of my sails (and then transforms them into rockets) is that thing that happened in that movie that I want to lodge a complaint about or that thing that I saw in that show that rubbed me twenty different angles of the wrong way–all of that stuff is planned long before I am ever, unfortunately, exposed to it.  I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that it was planned before I ever see it or hear it or the fact that it was likely intentional. So you’re telling me that all that time I wasted having to deal with Bobbi and Hunter along with the previously unkillable and deeply conflicted Grant Ward in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was INTENTIONAL?! (I’M GLAD THEY’RE GONE, by the way.)

It’s sick. We live in a sick, twisted world. @_@

Recently, I saw Midnight Special, Andron, and Miracles From Heaven. I think I’ll talk about that next time. Otherwise, all I got is more venting about about Naruto Shippuden and Masashi Kishimoto.

Recently Seen

I have watched several anime and movies recently. The anime may need its own post. The movies, I won’t waste too much time discussing.

I tried to watch Iron Man 2. While I think Robert Downey, Jr. is a little handsome and I like his character’s facial hair, I have the same problem with his portrayal of Tony Stark that I have with his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. I don’t like arrogant privileged assholes. Meh. I got bored with him, turned off the TV, and went to bed.

Watched Ant Man. Even with Hope van Dyne  (portrayed by Evangeline Lilly) painted as having antagonistic daddy issues and being unreasonably angry and abrasive like most female characters who aren’t completely passive, it gets a few points because it had its funny moments and I really enjoyed Michael Pena’s character, Luis.

Anime: Little Witch Academia. Shiki. Angel’s Egg. Suki Ii na yo. Magic Knight Rayearth. Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Noblesse.

I’ll comment on Shiki. It is morbid, depressing, gory,  and a little creepy at times. Originally by Fuyumi Ono, it is a pretty good vampire story about a small town where people start dying off one by one when new and mysterious neighbors move in there. I like the whole score of characters; a lot of viewers would likely complain but as long as I can figure out who’s who and the producers/artists/writers are making an effort to make it clear, I’m good and I find it interesting to follow. I like all the opening and closing theme songs–“Kuchizuke” by Buck-Tick is my favorite. Once I got over some of the characters’, er, interesting bed hair, I honestly got into this anime enough to watch some it again.

I thought less of other things such as Little Witch Academia. It has some potential but falls short of its magical school and magical girl ideas.

Angel’s Egg was so weird that I liked it. Its something you have to watch for yourself. Besides, I’m not exactly even sure what I just saw. BUT I like it!

The Suki Ii na yo manga rubbed me wrong after a few chapters but I watched the anime anyway. The issues I have carry over into the anime: I can’t figure out whether Yamato is just trying to fix the broken antisocial girl or not. Which I don’t like. But I love his hair.What kind of message is the mangaka, Kanae Hazuki, trying to deliver to girls who might be like Mei Tachibana? I find it suspect. I get the fantasy of an unpopular girl magically falling in love with the most popular boy in school. But is Mei only a social pet project to Yamato?

There isn’t enough of Noblesse for me to watch in order to comment though I like the artwork, style, and animation.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica  hurt my feelings, it made me feel so many emotions. Sort of a departure from Sailor Moon’s brand of magical girl. I think it was worth watching. Maybe I’ll write more later.

Magic Knight Rayearth–I haven’t gotten the chance to finish but I believe its intentions are pure. Thank you, CLAMP!

Spy…

Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy…

I can’t believe I’m saying this.

I think I kind of…liked it.

Arguably, the writing of Spy was more true to satire (than, for example, a show like Family Guy which I am not a fan of). I read Spy initially as the kind of fiction that isn’t necessary meant to degrade fat women but more draw attention to fat stereotypes and machismo. It shows a fat woman being tough, capable, confident, calling out b.s. to an extent, and getting over a guy she’s attached to who obviously sees her in a not flattering light romantically.

There was a joke about Black people in there that pissed me off but I even thought that was handled in a way that I could deal with at the moment when McCarthy’s character says, “That’s not appropriate” and it was over.

Not to sing the film praises or those of Melissa McCarthy or anything. I never wanted to see the movie because of that trailer they played to death on television  around its release date of McCarthy getting that that motorcycle stuck in the wet cement. I assumed it was just another two-hour, thinly veiled attack on fat women using a desperate fat woman to do it. I would stare at McCarthy on that freaking scooter stuck in that concrete with absolute woe and burning contempt.

But even I laughed when I gave Spy a chance. I was glad to just be able to see a comedy, starring a fat woman, and for once just fucking laugh.

‘The Visit’–obnoxious white rap and an empty ‘slice of life’ moment

*SPOILERS?*

Minding my own business, my sister asks me if I want to order a new M. Night Shyamalan movie… I was all, “Oh, it can’t be too bad. Its M. Night. And, look, producers from Insidious and Sinister.”

The Visit is a film about a two children who, for a week, go to stay with their grandparents. Grandparents who their mother has not spoken to in fifteen years (over something stupid) and that they have never seen before. There, they discover a shocking secret.

Where to begin?

  1. A lot of people might not, but I accepted the idea that the children have never seen even a photo of their grandparents before as a basic premise of the film. As ridiculous as the idea might seem.
  2. The rapping white kid? Not funny (Okay the last rap was a little funny). I’d want to slap him upside the head even if he was Black. Misogynist lyrics and attitudes–not cool, not when anyone does it. I don’t care how many Black guys you bump fists with or how many “hos” and “bitches” you add to the verse. And this white kid had no flow whatsoever, plus T-Diamond Stylus is a stupid name. Co-opting and appropriation of Black culture/arts will never be a good look, whites. For the record.
  3. What was the mom even mad about??? One, white people have illegitimate anger issues; deny them even something simple and they go crazy because they’re used to getting what they want when they want it, even using violence to get it–WHITE PRIVILEGE. Two, her parents were actually right and they only concerned for her. Three, she’s so mad she never even showed her kids a picture of her parents?
  4. Having involuntarily lived with someone who needed serious care for his mental health and oftentimes neglected it on purpose, you can imagine why The Visit was disturbing for me.
  5. Becca, the young woman in the film, seemed more sad than angry over their father abandoning them yet she gets the whole “Don’t hold onto anger” anecdote from her mom. The movie nears its ends with Becca showing the glowing, nostalgic video footage of their now absentee father playing with them when they were little. As a man directing this film, at a glance, Shyamalan is potentially sending the message that Becca’s earlier refusal to forgive her father and use the footage in her movie was misguided. The guy coldly abandoned her and her family for another and Becca’s refusal to remember him fondly and warmly suspiciously and silently transforms into the same glowing footage she refused to include in her film near the end. And right after a conversation about holding onto anger when the situation between Becca and her father versus that of her mother and her mother’s parents wasn’t remotely analogous. Has Becca forgiven her father? Was her resolve to see his actions for what they were and her own feelings that weak? Or has she imply accepted their past together along with his abrupt and callous departure? The whole situation rubbed me wrong, as someone whose sperm donor was absent until I was a teenager, told my mother that me and my twin were her children alone, and only showed his face because he expected me to take care of him after he aged, as he had used women this way his entire life and has like ten kids. The whole thing sends a bad message that might work for girls on that patriarchal stuff or all into forgiveness regardless of the situation but it didn’t work for me.

In summary, aimless white anger, the obnoxious rapping white kid, the “grandparents”, and that empty slice-of-life crap on Becca and her experiences with bye-bye daddy are the things that stood out the most to me. And that plot twist was the sickest I’ve seen in a long time.