Tag Archives: movies.

Vegging Tales.

I’ve been watching crap movies since I got up. I started with Case 39, which is a horror flick starring Renee Zellweger, whom I kind of hate a lot. So, I was more than pleased to watch her being tortured for the entirety of the movie. The little girl was really a lot of fun to watch, even if the movie was kind of predictable.

I’ve moved on to Green Hornet, now, and while I like Seth Rogen, Kato is stealing the show for me. I pretty much hate Cameron Diaz, but I can deal with her for Kato. (Clarissa’s dad is a reporter in it, wtf?)

I’ve been trying to get my movies out of the way so that everyone else can set themselves up to get their movies on netflix while Husband and I are out of town. We’ll only be gone long enough for a couple of deliveries, but I don’t want our movies to come in and be wasting our subscription.

For your daily cute factor:

Matthew Gray Gubler and Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds posted to Thomas Gibson's tumblr

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Up In Blue.

Tangled was my last movie received from Netflix. It’s Disney’s version of Rapunzel, the girl with the super-duper long hair. The cast was okay, with Rapunzel played by Mandy Moore, former pop idol, and her love interest played by Zachary Levi, of Chuck fame.

As is Disney’s habit, several changes were made from the original text. Rapunzel was not the daughter of a poor couple living near a witch. And Eugene, her Mister Right, was not a prince, however charming he may have been. The witch stole Rapunzel from her royal parents to make use of her innate magic, instead of making the parents hand her over to satisfy a devil’s deal. These changes, as well as certain elements included in the story developed into a much more pro-feminism storyline than is normally packaged in Disney princess movies.

Multiple times Rapunzel in reinforced as a more modern woman. Not only is she spunky, she’s capable and seeks to fulfill her own desires. (Unlike Cinderella, who has her own desires, but refuses to do anything about them, or Mulan, who is obviously capable, but is more focused on protecting her family and denying herself in the process.) Rapunzel is persistent in her goal, not losing hope when denied, but finding another route.

She defends herself consistently, finding a weapon she is capable of wielding, but that also is a symbol of her emerging self: a frying pan. Traditionally a woman’s tool, the frying pan in question looked to be a cast iron model, also known as a brain-basher. When you hear those stories of an abused woman finally going crazed on her dirt-bag husband, she’s usually brandishing this particular implement because it is hand, heavy, and can very easily do a lot of damage.

Rapunzel Brandishing! (image taken from http://threadmaiden.blogspot.com, because it was the most illustrative)

There is a delicious sort of irony that a prop like a skillet is used to injure, even potentially kill, a man who has harmed women. A woman using a woman’s tool to rage against the male-dominated world. Rapunzel turns this on it’s head though, as she doesn’t just use it against the patriarchy, or a man; this is her tool against everyone.

She also is able to use her hair, which Disney has imbued with magic powers, to defend, heal, and change the world around her. It is her great gift, the ultimate symbol of her womanhood. It is as much a hindrance as a help, though. She can use it to move things around her, or to make others happier, but it ultimately also trips her up when she’s in danger, and causes her more stress than I would consider worthwhile.

At the end of the movie, Eugene takes Rapunzel’s hair by force, a violation she was unprepared for. He does it to save her, but also to keep her from over stepping her rights to make a decision for himself. But by that act, she isn’t just saved, she’s also set free. She is of no use to the witch, who is quickly dispatched, and is able to find her way back to her parents to join them once more. You would think that this would be a setback, but it seems to be more of a natural progression.

Eugene Slicing! (image from http://nindogs.blogspot.com, but I'm pretty certain from tumblr as well)

It’s like this: I originally likened her hair to virginity when I saw this scene. That was my immediate gut reaction, the violence and savagery of the moment actually hurt me. But the more I thought about it, the less it was about sexuality and more about adolescence. Her hair wasn’t just womanhood, it was a perception of womanhood. It was her status as a girl, a female child who had yet to experience real pain or despair. Yes, she had been locked away for so long, but she never really found herself wanting for anything but maybe a bit more attention from her (supposed) mother and a walkabout every once in a while.

Eugene is seriously injured, really dying literally in her arms, and he makes the choice to refuse her help so that she will be better off. This sacrifice is the most pain Rapunzel has ever had to deal with. By losing her naivete, she isn’t harmed, not really. She’s just put in a position to grow.

From that point, she’s able to move away from the sheltering mother figure, and begin her way back to her parents. The closing monologue from Eugene makes it apparent that she spends years becoming a kind and wise ruler, and then, years later, chooses to marry Eugene. She doesn’t fall into the decision, it was made knowing herself as a capable adult, a powerful woman.

All in all, I’m actually quite proud to see what Disney put forth with this film. The message I see is one that I would feel comfortable passing to my daughters and sons.


Red Wings and Caduceus.

I adore the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, I would argue that it is one of John Hughes’ finest. The struggle of a slacker to free his companion and woo his lady love while avoiding trouble is a lot of fun to watch unfold.

Matthew Broderick is at his peak for me as the title character Ferris, but frankly, the scene-stealer is Alan Ruck. At 37, he was twenty years older than his character Cameron, but one would never realize. He embodies the (occasionally literal) paralyzing fear that so many of us went through in our teen years, knowing we are more than what people assume us to be, but not really knowing how to show that in the real world.

I don't think it is coincidence that Cameron always wears something with wings on it.

I related so much more to Cameron than Ferris, and I think that’s the point. Ferris is what so many of us would have wanted to be in high school. Fearless and reckless, Ferris gets what he wants with seemingly few consequences, though he doesn’t seem to realize how lucky he is. Most of us are more like Cameron, with pressure and stress coming at us from every direction. We want to be brave, we want to dare, but how?

Vicarious living is great, but eventually, you have to start picking up the slack for yourself. Learn how to swallow the fear down enough to function like our idols do, in the real world. Personal disasters aren’t the end of the world, and we can own up.


Fallen Puff Of Pastry.

I wish I had pictures for you, but they were all eaten so quickly! Tonight, I came home to Butterbeer-inspired eclairs. They were flipping good, despite my distaste for butterscotch.

Apparently, the eclair bread fell, so my roomie ended up stacking them instead of filling them. Even so, the texture on the bread was fabulous. The filling was some glorious concoction half-made up from a whoopie pie recipe and a Butterbeer cupcake recipe, then drizzled with a butterscotch ganache. It was some serious win.

I actually can’t stand butterscotch, which means that most Butterbeer recipes are of no use to me. It makes me sad, because it is such an integral part of the HP fandom, and to not be able to celebrate with everyone else just sucks. However, I’ve been lucky recently in that I’ve found a few alternative recipes that, while incorporating the flavors, don’t completely squick me out, so I’m able to partake. Deliciousness is good.

I’m still a bit wrung out from seeing HP&DH2. I just don’t really know what to say. I’m just hoping that the feeling mellows some before Dragon*Con, as I really would rather not be a gibbering mess if I’m lucky enough to see Matthew Lewis again. (Neville grew up pretty, y/y?)


Not My Daughter, Bitch.

Or, my fangirling over HPDH2. Also, as everyone should bear in mind, potential for major spoilerific spoilers from spoilerdom.

Continue reading


The Musically Inspired Spirits.

 

 

 

 

 

So, while this posts, I’ll actually be at the movie theater, seeing some Vry Srs Bsns known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, parts one and motherfucking two already. I know, you are amazed.

In keeping with this awesomeness, I’m just giving you some suggestions for music to get you in the mood. Two HP inspired bands, and with the tracks that I would recommend, because they are some of my favorites.

Harry and the Potters

I recommend Vernon Dursley, which is from their album Priori Incantatem. You can find it at the bottom of their music page.

Draco and the Malfoys

I recommend Potions, off of their self-titled debut album, the very first track. You can find it closer to the bottom of their listen page. (You can actually download several of their tracks for free, very lovely indeed.)

I hope you enjoy! If you have any suggestions, let me know, ’cause I love the geekdom.


FaveTiem Pt. 1.

Movies!

I love movies!

I love action and adventure and comedy and drama and music and plot and animation and suspense and everything else.

Like everyone, I do have a few favorites that I always turn to when I need a little something-something. They all are very different and do something different for me. So in no particular order, I’m going to let you know about my favorite five movies.

1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka, not Charlie. Not that Charlie wasn’t great, but Willy Wonka has Gene Wilder and awesome songs and the Wonkatania scene, which to this day remains one of my favorite LSDish scenes ever. “Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing!” If you have any inclination to the offbeat and you have not yet seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, there is something wrong with you.

I’ve often felt bad because Roald Dahl, the writer of the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, did not like how Willy Wonka turned out. He felt that it focussed too much on Wonka, and not enough on Charlie, and that it was too related to selling the then fledgling Willy Wonka Candy Factory. But I just love this movie so much, more than I even love the book. Gene Wilder is one of my favorite actors, and I love the interpretation of Willy Wonka as a slightly twisted, yet benevolent candy man.

2. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Tim Curry in drag and six inch heels. Susan Sarandon stripped down to her undies. Meatloaf on a motorcycle. These are all things that go into the making of a delicious movie that has British humor and killer rock soundtrack. At it’s core, Rocky Horror is a scifi movie with a queer bent, if you’ll forgive the pun. Further than that, Rocky Horror pushed the envelope and asked the audience to acknowledge what in their lives they might have been denying themselves, and whether it was worth it, even as it suggested that lives of excess are just as damaging.

And as I said before, the music is truly awesome, so you should check it out.

3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Matthew Broderick is classic as the slacker with a heart for adventure and a plan for the best day ever. To be honest, I’m not a Ferris. I’m more of a Cameron, the best friend who gets drug out against his will, and though he enjoys it, never will it be his idea to do the crazy thing like that. (Personally, I think Cameron is the heart of the movie, but I’m pretty biased.)

Ferris is the epitome of 80s teen films. I love the epicness of the day, and how everything worked out. Sometimes, we need to keep the best scenario possible in our minds, and damn the negative.

4. Die Hard and sequels (1988-2007)

Yes, I’m counting the sequels and the original as one movie. It is the story of one man, and is frankly one of the best movie series ever for the continuity of the story they tell. Bruce Willis plays John McClane, NYPD cop, with aplomb and realism. McClane is not the pure hero, nor is he the anti-hero. He’s just that guy that does what he has to. Sometimes, he does that with unabashed happiness at the fact that he is destroying the bad guy that threatened what he loves.

All four of the movies are filled with moment of suspense and tension, aiming at keeping the audience worked up and understanding what McClane goes through. When he steps in glass, we know how stupidly painful that is. When his wife or daughter is threatened, we fear as well. When he has obviously turned to alcohol to deal with the stress and pain of his life, we know that urge.

But in the end, he is triumphant, and even if he doesn’t deal with the situation in an entirely pc way, I always root for him. Besides, he has the best catch phrase.

5. The Producers (1968)

Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. The original Producers has the best cast and numbers ever. Better than the remake and better than the stage show. Yes, I believe that. No, there is no way to sway me. Yes, you can try. No, I won’t change my mind.

Mostel didn’t want to do the role at first, I would assume because he had already done A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, which was another comedy where his role was a manipulator pulled into his own con. But his wife convinced him to do it, and I can’t help but feel extremely grateful to her for that. I don’t think that anyone else could have played that role with the same depth and breadth. In fact, Nathan Lane’s attempt in the remake feels like a pale remind of Mostel’s performance (and I love Lane).

And again, Gene Wilder. The man is comic genius. This movie proves his ability to be everything Matthew Perry has been trying to be for the last twenty years in film.


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