On “Cruella”

(spoilers ahead)

Cruella is not a particuarly bad movie or anything, it just feels so unneccessary and ultimately pointless. The outfits are STUNNING-

-but the problem is, the original Cruella De Vil is just a flat-out irredeemable woman. She’s a nasty rich bitch with no compassion for any living thing. She’s a vampire bat and inhuman beast who ought to be locked up and never released, one could say. And this film tries so hard to make her sympathetic but why? We know the story, we know that a few years after the credits roll the woman formerly known as “Estella” will be skinning puppies and abusing her only friends. The fact that she has an evil mother who killed her adopted mother with a Dalmatian (no really) doesn’t exactly excuse her, you know?

So basically Cruella the movie had to scramble around to find another irredeemable woman to blame and that’s Emma Thompson’s character, the Baroness, Cruella’s unfathomably evil biological mum. The Baroness is obsessed with fashion, mistreats her underlings, is rich enough to never face consequences and would definitely skin 101 puppies to make a fur coat. In other words… she’s Cruella De Vil.

So I keep wondering, why couldn’t they just have run with that? Cast Thompson as Cruella… and have Stone be Estella/Cruella Jr, her daughter. Because you’d barely have to change a single thing in the script, a few names and that’s it! Estella could go through the exact same journey, have the exact same fear of turning out like her mother. Then she can get a true happy ending, no dog-murdering in her future, while Cruella Snr gets punished for her assassination-via-Dalmatian ways. You could even have the fun of not revealing in the marketing who Emma Thompson is really playing and wait for the reaction when it turns out Cruella is a sequel, not a prequel to 101 Dalmatians!

Anyway Disney no longer return my calls.

I have finally seen “Cats”

It was the greatest Bad Movie I have ever seen. None of it made a lick of sense. The word “jellicicle” comes up A LOT and we’re never told what it actually means. Several ballet dancers give it their all but the camera cuts away so quickly we barely see their actual movements. There are human cockroaches?!? which Rebel Wilson eats? Also she licks herself, which cats obviously do but she… really shouldn’t. Judi Dench monologues for about three minutes at the end while the movie desperately tries to roll the credits.


Five thoughts on “Arrival”

So I watched Arrival on Saturday and then today (Monday) NASA flew a helicopter on Mars! Good time to talk about this particular film, right?

….I LOVED it and I really wish I’d seen it when it first came out. I think it would’ve been a great one to actually see in a cinema, alongside a whole crowd of people, too. Still.

After the poster comes five thoughts: most of them spoilery:

1. My god I hate the poster for this movie! One of the most visually stunning films I’ve ever seen and the poster is a five-minute Photoshop job with floating heads? I get not wanting to show the aliens but COME ON!

2. The twist in this film is one of the best I’ve seen, ever. When I realised that Louise’s daughter hadn’t been born yet, that it was the future rather than the past, I think I yelled “HOLY SHIT” or something alongline those lines just because of how invested I was. And when I write down the twist like that it sounds like something obvious and gimmicky but it really, really isn’t I promise you.

3. Amy Adams should’ve been Oscar nominated for this movie. This isn’t remotely an unpopular opinion but my god, why wasn’t she?!

4. So Hannah in some sense isn’t even dead? I mean… okay, she is dead, but since Louise no longer perceives time in a linear fashion she may still get some well, time with her, right? Flashes here and there. Maybe? Looking back over the beginning of the film knowing what the ending was, I sort of assumed that what was meant by Louise saying “Come back to me,” after Hannah died. Maybe I’m wrong but I guess that thought makes the ending less sad?

5. This movie is all about communication and how VERY important it is. So it sort of struck me as interesting that Louise loses something (her relationship with Ian) because she cannot or will not communicate something (the fact that their daughter will die) to him.

Also on a much lighter note man I really wanted to start learning languages after seeing this movie! I don’t think I have the brainspace for it, but I WANTED to?

Godzilla vs Kong

Godzilla vs Kong was EXACTLY as dumb as I hoped, if not dumber. Here are all the thoughts in my head fresh after a (home) viewing. Take this as Kongfirmation that it’s worth seeing IF and ONLY IF you want to turn your brain off for a couple hours:

  • Humankind has about 1 brain cell between them in this movie. See: an evil goateed man trying to make a MechaGodzilla in the middle of a densely populated city, humanity just plain not noticing the previously peaceful Godzilla is only attacking a particular company rather than humans in general, everything Goatee Guy’s daughter does, humankind running about in the streets even though two giant monsters are still in play
  • King Kong gets a magic glowing axe which is always nice
  • We learn in this movie that Jia (the little girl who can communicate with Kong) is the last survivor of the Iwa who were the inhabitants of Skull Island. So that means that very recently an entire culture was destroyed and… it never comes up at all? You would think quite a lot would be made of Jia and Kong both being the last of their kind but it doesn’t get mentioned during their interactions
  • Jia accompanies her adoptive mother (we never really get the details of that story either) and her team on all their incredibly dangerous adventures, including a journey into the center of the earth which killed the previous team, and NO-ONE at ANY POINT suggests that maybe having a literal young child there is a terrible idea
  • Kong and Godzilla have a big ol’ fight in the middle of Hong Kong, skyscrapers go flying all over the place, yet the cool neon lights never go out
  • Speaking of, we’re told that the people in the vicinity of the Kong-Godzilla fight are quickly being evacuated, yet a few minutes later we see a whole bunch of folks on the top floor of a skyscraper, did they somehow miss the two giant monsters beating the crap out of each other?
  • Apex has billions of dollars to spend on a bunch of anti-gravity vehicles and a MechaGodzilla but seemingly can’t afford an even remotely effective security system
  • One of the themes of this movie appears to be “Conspiracy theories might be right!” which is an UNFATHOMABLY THOUGHTLESS thing to be promoting at this particular point in time OH MY GOD
  • Josh (the character played by the kid from Deadpool 2) actually is the hero of this film, seeing as how without his geniunely good idea of pouring alcohol into the MechaGodzilla controls it wouldn’t have gotten disrupted long enough for Kong and Godzilla to get their killer blows in. Josh gets no credit whatsoever for this, remains the film’s butt-monkey, and the last we see of him is his being told to shut up. Yeah actually I think I’m rooting for the giant monsters to destroy the Earth after all?

Justice League

Over the course of an entire week I watched Zack Snyder’s Justice League and my gosh, it’s so much better than the original. No annoying quips coming at you every second, much better design for Steppenwolf, and oh yeah nobody falls in Wonder Woman’s breasts. Hooray!

It’s a real shame we won’t get any of the planned sequels. I even found Jared Leto’s Joker tolerable in that flashforward/vision bit at the end. Heck yeah I’d watch a Batman-Superman Post-Apocalypse and I bet loads of other people would too. And a Martian Manhunter movie! I always quite liked Martian Manhunter, despite his ridiculous name, and I had no idea he was in this so that was a nice surprise.

But anyway…

Knowing the backstory behind why Snyder had to leave the project originally… that just makes me really glad the film actually got released to critical acclaim, in a way that’s completely irrelevant to how good a movie it may or not be y’know? I heard a lot of fans donated to suicide prevention charities while the whole #SnyderCut social media thing was going on, too, so that’s good. It feels like a bittersweet ending to what must have been a really horrible chapter in Zack Snyder’s life.  

Five The Invisible Man thoughts

I don’t really do horror movies. They don’t mix well with my brainspace. But I DID eventually pluck up the courage to watch 2020’s The Invisible Man, after a bit of research as to what exactly it entailed. Here are five thoughts about it. Big spoilers under the poster…

1. Casting Elisabeth Moss in this was GENIUS. Everyone knows her from The Handmaid’s Tale, a show where her character is constantly oppressed and brutalised and treated as a baby-making machine. So we don’t need to see Cecilia’s past abuse at the hands of Adrian because there’s a sense in which we’ve already seen it.

2. There are a few plot holes in this movie. Not enough to ruin it, not at all, but there were some things that made me go “???” Like at the restaurant where Emily is killed, that place would almost definitely have CCTV, surely a tape would show that Cecilia didn’t do it? But it’s never even mentioned. Neither is the phone in the attic and it really bugged me that never came up.

(Also, by all accounts an invisibility suit like the one in the movie is physically impossible since you’d need a cooler and a way to breathe. And even if you solved those problems you would probably stink to high heaven, enough to alert anyone of your presence.)

3. I LOVED the tiny callbacks to the original Invisible Man. Sydney’s fashion mannequin with the top hat looks like the version from the book (I think? I recognised the look, anyway) and the patient in the hospital with the bandages looked like the more traditional movie depiction of him.

4. I did actually scream at the main jumpscare. I scream at horror movies… kinda a lot. It was the bit when Cecilia is in the attic and she throws the paint and the Invisible Man is right in front of her. (Apparently this was featured heavily in the trailers but I missed them all.) It wasn’t so much the shock of seeing something (the suit) which looked so alien but the goddamn NOISE it made. It was like a demonic hiss. Scared the life out of me.

5. This is such a great movie about gaslighting and why you should believe abuse victims. (Someone on TVTropes pointed out that Adrian literally gaslights Cecilia. He turns the gas up and flickers the lights on and off.) Yes Cecilia’s story is outlandish, but not outside the realms of possibility – people are working on invisibility technology right now – but no-one takes her seriously or bothers to check Adrian’s creepy lab-house or anything. I’m reminded here of a pretty high-profile British case from a few years ago – no-one believed the victim, but she was telling the truth.

The awful thing about the ending to this movie is, even after everything Cecilia’s been through it’s still not a happy one. Yes she’s free but her sister is still dead, her best friend probably will never see her in the same light again, Sydney’s college fund is gone… Honestly I think she would have quietly gotten an abortion and then just fallen off the face of the earth.

Knives Out as Cinderella

After ages of everyone saying it was very good I finally saw Knives Out and it is indeed very good. And I think the thing I liked about it the most is that yeah it’s a murder mystery but also… it’s a Cinderella story!


(spoilers ahead)

A beautiful young woman is the true heir to her “father’s” fortune, but is abused and mistreated by her “stepfamily” who look down on her.

The heroine has a helper, let’s say a sort of fairy godfather, who protects and defends her.

The heroine must wear a disguise-

-and flee from a party at exactly midnight.

The heroine has a special connection with animals, which marks her out as pure of heart.

At the end of the story the heroine wins not by being ruthless or devious by by being kind, and her goodness is rewarded.

The wicked stepfamily, on the other hand, are punished.

The heroine inherits her “palace” and takes her rightful place as “ruler.”

And of course, there’s a revelation involving a shoe.

I don’t know if any of this was intentional, but I love it.

There are a lot of movies that are badly made that I love, and there are a lot of movies that are just beautifully made but I don’t like them. And critics have a tendency that that is all they focus on, which is, “I like it or I don’t like it. It’s good. It’s bad.” And it doesn’t work that way, and so you really have to not deal with that part of what happens. It’s the same thing with the audience. You know, I’ve made some movies that have – ten people have gone to see them. Nobody wanted to go see the movie. And some film that the people went and saw and didn’t like it. Probably, you know, maybe a half a dozen of us actually liked the movies, but that’s fine. If I like it, then I’m happy with it. And you have to sort of accept that no matter what.

George Lucas (x)

Death on the Nile trailer

Okay everyone has probably seen this already but still! I really loved Murder on the Orient Express (despite, or possibly because of, having never read or learned the ending of the book) and this has a wonderful cast. I also really love Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot.

But, it also makes me sad to realise that man, I probably won’t get to watch this in a cinema, and neither will most people. :(