Five Thoughts on “Not Okay”

I saw this movie a month or two ago during a period where I was, ironically, very very much not okay. And yet, for whatever reason I was able to engage with it, enough to end up watching it twice even, and I’m not completely sure why. I guess it’s just a good film? (Spoilers ahead.)

1. So this is basically Cancelled: The Movie. Did Danni learn anything at all from her experience? She says she didn’t towards the end, which is more honesty than I expected from this absolute car-crash of a human being, but I noticed… She kept her highly distinctive hairstyle even post-cancellation, even though it made her more an easy target for the people harassing her. Maybe that was her way of subconsciously punishing herself.

2. Mia Isaac as Rowan is really the highlight of this movie, she’s just totally and unnervingly believable as a teenage school shooting survivor. You can tell that Rowan is a very kind-hearted person who’s just been constantly destroyed over and over, and then by the end she’s not going to take it anymore. Her last scene with all her righteous anger is really good.

3. And speaking of school shootings… god, I’m just never going to be over seeing shooting drills as a normal part of some people’s high school life. That is accurate to reality, right? I’m not American so I’m getting this info from movies and TV but god, what a way to create a generation of traumatized kids.

4. There aren’t really any sympathetic characters in this movie apart from Rowan and her family, and maybe Danni’s parents. Harper does the right thing by exposing Danni but she admits upfront she was motivated mostly by jealousy. And pretty much everyone else in the movie is incredibly vacuous, hedonistic and self-centered. You kind of wonder if maybe Danni would have turned out at least a little different if she wasn’t working in a world that was celebrating those qualities.

5. Danni’s pet guinea pig (named, rolls eyes, Guinea Weasley) strikes me as an oddly important character. No good guinea pig owner would keep just one of them, they’re social creatures who need a companion. If they don’t have any social bonds, they develop depression and can even die. So Danni is keeping this creature in what’s probably a lot of misery, another indication of how ignorant and selfish she is. And on top of that the guinea pig is a metaphor for Danni herself: right from the beginning she’s clearly deprived of meaningful social contact, and so over the course of the movie her mental state starts to deteriorate. Unlike the guinea pig though, she can choose how to act. And chooses terribly.

Thirteen Lives

Man, Ron Howard really excels at making disaster films with “thirteen” in the title, doesn’t he? I feared going in that this would be a Hollywoodized white saviour type movie, but nope, just a matter-of-fact dissection of events. The British rescue divers are portrayed as competent but it’s made clear they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did without the co-operation and sacrifice of people from all over the world.

The fact that everyone going into this movie knows exactly what happens doesn’t make it any less nerve-racking. It does show Saman Kunan’s death up close which I found very hard to watch.

A great film overall, and it also does the correct thing in not mentioning Elon Musk’s “involvement” at all. I’m sure he was longing to be the star of the kind of movie this movie isn’t.

Oscar nominations

I have more thoughts on the Oscar nominations than I realised so here they are in bullet-point form.

  • I’m so happy Kirsten Stewart got nominated, Spencer is a great movie and finally finally this will shut up the “She’s a terrible actress cos she never smiles/some other misogynist reason” people.
  • Both Encanto and The Mitchells vs The Machines are up for best animated feature and I don’t know which one to root for cos I loved them both.
  • Speaking of Encanto, you can add my voice to the ones staggered that Disney didn’t put “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” into the best song category, absolutely bizarre to think they didn’t have faith in it but ah well, it made them loads of money and LMM still has a nomination so I guess everyone wins anyway.
  • I’m willing to put money on this: Will Smith will get Best Actor as a sort of “make-up” award for all the times he didn’t win and for his long career. I’m SO SURE
  • I am honestly REALLY SALTY that The Last Duel didn’t get anything, not even an acting nomination for Jodie Comer. It’s incredibly good. I’m also really salty that the Razzies swooped in and nominated Ben Affleck, presumably without ever watching the movie. God I hate the Razzies.
  • I don’t know if anyone was genuinely expecting Spider-Man: No Way Home to be nominated for Best Picture, but I did briefly consider that maaaaaaaybe Willem Dafoe would get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He didn’t, but ah well, he was clearly having so much fun in that movie it doesn’t really matter.

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.