Over the past few days I’ve been archiving lots of older stuff (from the bits of my old tumblr/twitter/facebook that the Internet Wayback Machine caught.) After all, the clue’s in the OVERLY DEVOTED Archivist name. So I thought I might post links to some choice older nonsense here, meticulously labelled, for your viewing pleasure.
#1 Use a different movie for each prompt #2 Add photos and/or explanations of how your choices fit the prompts #3 Tag a few friends to play along
Let’s see what we got.
1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree — movie that involves agriculture
OH NO. Okay… Hmm. WAIT! My husband just HANDED ME the most obvious answer. The Martian, a space movie which I love, all about a guy who survives on Mars by growing potatoes. (It’s much, much more interesting than I make it sound there.)
Home to a really good line about humanity and the world:
“Every human being has a basic instinct: to help each other out. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.”
2. Turtledoves — movie about a long-lasting relationship
Back in 2007 this movie ripped my heart out, stamped on it, put it back in, then kicked it upwards through my brain and out my head.
I speak of course of Atonement, the tale of a doomed romance and some beautiful, beautiful dresses. In the end, Robbie and Cecilia can’t survive World War II or the British class system. (Yeah, the British class system, not Briony, is the villain of this story.) But Briony ensures via her writing that they have a long-lasting relationship anyway, and I cry.
3. French Hens — movie that takes place in France
Okay, it’s a toss-up between two movies here, both based on works by Victor Hugo: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables. And… despite the fact that it has virtually nothing at all to do with the book… I think Hunchback juuuust takes it, because it’s a gorgeous, interesting, progressive-for-Disney film, and I love it.
I can’t even choose one shot from this movie so just have the opening one. And hey! The titular church didn’t burn down this year! It’s still there!
4. Calling Birds — movie where people talk on the phone
Okay, I’m gonna stretch the definition of “phone” a bit here and show you something from The Phantom Menace:
I’m sorry I knoooooow Love Actually probably isn’t really all that great as a movie and it’s so cheesy and corny and up-itself but I love it. It’s like a warm Christmas hug. (And I don’t even really like Christmas, so…)
6. Geese A-laying — movie with a birth or that features babies
So before there was Baby Yoda, there was this equally adorable fella:
And I think his presence is enough to qualify Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a film that features babies. No births though, unless you count the birth of a god or the birthing chamber stuff on the gold planet or various “rebirths” of characters. Wait… GOTG2 is surprisingly birth-metaphors-heavy actually. Who knew.
7. Swans A-swimming — movie where someone goes swimming
Okay, so maybe this isn’t so much “someone goes swimming” as it is “someone tries to swim and nearly drowns” but…
I can still remember the music from that bit in Fellowship of the Ring after all this time. My god, the last quarter of that movie kicks all kind of ass and tramples on my feelings, I love it so.
“I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee. And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to.”
8. Maids A-milking — movie with cows
Okay, this can only be Children of Men. (A film that I very nearly put at #6.) Why? At the film’s pivotal moment we get this beautiful, striking scene featuring a whole lotta cows.
I think it’s meant to be reminiscent of Mary in the manger. And I love it so much. Please watch Childrenof Men, it’s so harrowing but so good, it’s amazing, I promise.
9. Ladies Dancing — movie with a dance scene
AM I GONNA DO IT? YEAH I’M GONNA DO IT. I’m gonna put Spider-Man 3 in here. Yes, that one.
But not for that dance scene… or even that one. You know the much-derided ones I mean. The one I like is this one:
Harry Osborn (in his various incarnations) is my Second Favourite Fictional Character Of All Time, and Mary Jane is pretty high up the list as well, so it was nice to see them have a moment of happiness before one of them dies. Honestly, that’s it. (I unapologetically love Spider-Man 3, even if only for Harry. I admit it. I’m sorry. No wait, no I’m not.)
10. Lords A-leaping — movie about athletes
Aw dang… I’m not good at this genre. But I do really like Noel Clarke’s Fast Girls and no-one else seems to have seen it, so I’m putting it here. I really need to watch it again actually. It suffers from Unnecessary Forced Heterosexual Romance In An Almost All-Woman Film Syndrome but eh, what doesn’t.
(Yeah, the Noel Clarke from Doctor Who. And yes, that is a pre-mega-fame Lily James.)
11. Pipers Piping — movie with someone playing a musical instrument
Wait, NOW I can get Les Miserables in here. During the very start of the “Drink With Me” scene Grantaire (my First Favourite Fictional Character of all time) starts running his hands over a broken piano.
It doesn’t make any sound of course, but that’s so much more poignant than if it had.
12. Drummers Drumming — movie with characters in the military
I don’t really get to go to the cinema much these days but one film I did see this year was Tolkien, which kinda delves in a little into how Tolkien’s experiences in the First World War inspired his writings.
It didn’t get very good reviews, to my surprise, and I suppose the dispute with Tolkien’s descendants definitely didn’t help, but I liked it. It definitely didn’t shy away when depicting the horrors of World War I.
And that’s that…
You should definitely do this meme if you want to! In fact, please do!
Hooray! And there’s even a release date. My dearest hope now is that the third MCU Spider-Man will finally get to mention Peter’s past and Uncle Ben now: I cannot even begin to describe how much it annoys me that that hasn’t been the case so far.
Once this film and the future one are done, hows about passing the mask along to Miles Morales?
There was a time yesterday when almost every single hashtag trending on Twitter was Spider-Man related in some way.
So clearly this latest news has hit a nerve somewhat. I don’t know what to make of it, beyond, “wow, it was a pretty ballsy move to end Far From Home on a massive cliffhanger, then.” Actually no, wait, I have a few other thoughts:
This whole situation has really solidified my dislike for Venom. Goddammit, why’d you lot have to make his solo movie a hit?!
Great, now we’re going to get bloody Jared Leto playing Morbius while poor Tom Holland, if he even keeps the role, will be awkwardly shoehorned into the background. If that method-acting asshole sends the poor boy rats there will be hell to pay.
3. Some days I hate being a fan of primarily just the Raimi Trilogy and the comics. This is….not one of those days.
So it is perhaps inevitable that Spider-Man’s greatest enemy, the Green Goblin, will pop up at some point. Lemme tell you about him. GG is much more frightening when he’s Norman Osborn. Norman Osborn is a power-hungry abusive misogynist with weird hair, almost like… you know… someone else. (Yes, Marvel really did kindasorta call it. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so depressing.) Woman-hating is built into his character, and was ever since he threw Gwen Stacy off that bridge.
So, what actors can pull off the Goblin’s particular brand of villainy? Obviously Willem Dafoe did it first and he did a great job. But try as I might I can’t quite see him as the casually demonic Norman of the 21st century Spider-Man comics. This ultra-manipulative bastard right here.
But you know who I think could pull it off? Bradley Whitford.
I’ve been watching him every Sunday in The Handmaid’s Tale and I’m constantly impressed by him. I keep seeing him in things now and damn, he is really good at being evil. But perhaps more importantly he’s good at being quietly evil. The sort of evil you don’t fully understand until it has its hands around your neck, which is exactly what Norman is.
But, I hear you say, Bradley Whitford doesn’t… actually look like that anymore. He got older and the Osborn-like red hair is gone. Well, yes. That’s true, and it’s rather unfortunate that it’s true because West Wing-era Whitford would have been pretty close to the character physically.
Obviously that’s not neccessarily a problem since Marvel is spookily good at de-aging their actors via CGI, but I reckon that 59-year-old Whitford could still do an incredibly good job. I mean I don’t know about you but to me this picture alone has major “I’m totally going to kill Spider-Man” vibes.
And if all the above hasn’t convinced you here are 20 seconds of Whitford being completely pissing terrifying in Get Out (a film I haven’t actually seen because I’m too scared, but I have at this point seen enough clips of it to be able to hold a conversation about the plot:)
Which leads in neatly to the other thing about Norman: his privilege. Dude is privileged on almost every axis: race, class, wealth. And boy, does he know it and boy is he not interested in discussing it.
And that’s something else Whitford can act very well.
So that’s my pitch! And don’t worry, I have considered the question, “No matter how good an actor he is, isn’t Bradley Whitford going to look pretty silly in a bright green goblin mask?” The answer is, if current events have proved anything, I don’t think the character really needs a mask anymore.
I decided to check up and see what my favourite Spider-Man characters were up to in the comics!
Well alrighty then.
Okay, let’s check in on Harry Osborn, I figured! As he has so far been untouched by the MCU (which is probably a good thing) he’s not exactly in the comics much, so I guess he might be ok-
WHAT HAPPENED?!?! He died again in almost the exact same way!?!?!… Oh. It’s an alternate universe. Or an alternate retelling? Either way my second-favourite fictional character of all time lives to fight another day, hooray! This is DOING MY HEAD IN.
I do love comics, I really do! But I haven’t actually read one in ages because they’re impossible to keep track of. There’s reboots and reimaginings and alternate futures and retcons and it’s ridiculous. Great, but ridiculous. I still haven’t seen Far From Home yet (tomorrow hopefully!) but I worry that them introducing the “multiverse” into the MCU will take things into a more, well, comic-y direction, and suddenly there will be Earths-[insert number here] all over the place. Because I kinda feel it was that sort of thing which helped sink the X-Men franchise, the constant going back on things and retconning and throwing in different universes, it just got waaaay too confusing for people who weren’t massive fans to begin with.
But we’ll see! Also I still hope the MCU never brings in Harry because there’s sooooo little chance they’ll get him right. Look at all that going on up there! That’s not even the half of it!
and it reminded me of how much I love, love, love that movie, and particularly this scene.
Throughout Spider-Mans 2 and 3 I’ve noticed Ursula serves as a sort of stand-in for how Peter treats women. I once did that PUBLISHED PIECE (aaaaaah) about how that much-maligned dance scene in Spider-Man 3 is actually Peter Parker straight up partaking in street harassment. He’s not trying to catch the attention of men, just women. Bothering them in a public place.
And throughout that whole infamous montage Peter mistreats Ursula, too, demanding she bring him stuff and generally being totally rude to her. He’s stopped being a gentleman and turned into an obnoxious, inconsiderate douche. Before, she brought him food because she clearly wanted to make a connection with him, and now he’s taking advantage of her good nature.
I know, I knoooooow. Spider-Man 3 is considered one of the worst films of all time, was disowned by its own director, etc etc etc. But I still really and truly love it for its “every mistreatment of women is UNEQUIVOCALLY WRONG” streak.
(Also because it’s the only good film adaption so far of Harry Osborn, BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY)
Anyway! I’ll be seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, probably, but no matter how good it is I don’t think I’ll ever love a Spider-Man movie as much as Spider-Man 2. Does it have a chocolate cake scene? Does it have Ursula? Does it?!?!?