Posts Tagged ‘Movie’

Welcome to Middle-Earth, weary fantasy-lover!
You have the option of following the epic tale of a heroic white guy (of varying height) as he treks around vanquishing evil, dark-skinned barbarians! If you want to watch (or play) a woman who isn’t given the smurfette treatment, too fucking bad! If you want to be a guy who isn’t white as snow and pure as rain – “we don’t like yer kind ’round hurr!”

Orcs                                                                                   Sad-face

Ah yes Mister Hero, and should the forces of ‘darkness’ unite against your ‘heroism’, fear not, for the pure-races will be preserved by the Deus Ex Machina of an invincible army of green white-dude ghosts! Afterall, what could be more heroic than a god-moding cheat code?

But don’t the orcs eat people, oh wise-and-mighty Aleksandr the Great(est)?

Why yes, my curious Judeo-Christian friends! In the same way that I’m sure all black janitors are magic.

Okay, seriously, what is my point?
Why, allow me to answer you, dear hypothetical reader!
Because while this type of review is not my usual fare, I feel it is incumbent upon me(as a geek)  to address this widely acclaimed work of horseshit that has been methodically spreading itself around popular culture like some over-hyped viral outbreak.
Because I was sick and tired of Lord of the Rings by the time the second movie came out (thats Two Towers, not that desiccated Hobbit story arc). Yes, I’ve read the books. No I didn’t like them either but holy SHIT did the racism not sink in until you put that crap on screen!
I’m not just being hyperbolic! If you take a step away from what orcs (every single one, apparently) do, and just look at it in terms of racial issues, why WOULDN’T they rebel against their Caucasian overlords? Orcs are pushed unto a volcanic reservation (and still hunted for sport) and treated like utter monsters by every single ‘goodly’ person without exception. There are apparently NO redeeming qualities to orcs at all. Shit, even the evil drow of better fantasy series have their outliers! (one outcast drow being the moral hero of several series). More than that, all of the ‘civilized’ societies of Middle-Earth have been living in relatively close proximity for ages and yet remain completely segregated even from each other. Which begs the question: What…happened? Was there some great ‘purge’ of half-breeds? Some ‘final solution’ that all the pure-bloods agreed upon? It seems to me that Sauron, is in fact the Abe Lincoln liberator of the orcs (we just happen to be sitting on the Confederate side of history).

sunrise                       The Grand White Wizard leads the charge against the forces of darkness!

My point is, I really don’t give a fuck if Tolkien came up with the archetypal human/elf/dwarf narrative that is still used today by better fantasy writers (he didn’t). On top of the seriously problematic racial overtones, one has to notice the utter lack of notabe female heroes. Tolkien established an oppressive gender heirarchy in his fantasy world for purely peripheral reasons (as opposed to Game of Thrones, for example, which actively explores these issues ad nauseam).
If you can’t turn a critical eye to the blatant failings of your preferred entertainment genre, you are failing your own sensibilities while openly propagating rather jarring racial (nevermind gender) stereotypes for the sake of cheap (and very white) thrills.

mal3Calm down, its just a movie.

Its not just a movie.
Maleficent is proof-positive that fantastic children’s cartoons like Wreck It Ralph and Frozen out of the Disney workshop are not an accident but part of an empowering new direction for the studio and by extension, Hollywood.
The movie was better than I could have hoped (and I hoped for a lot), free from all the mandatory (old) Disney sappiness and did not even falter in the third act, as too many otherwise great films too often do. I will NOT spoil anything about this film just yet as it is still out in theaters, but you owe it to yourself to see this (and if you happen to pick up any children on the way to the theater, bring them along).
The full review will be posted when the movie has had a chance to make the rounds. For now watch this trailer. Then go see it in theaters and support it with your money. Seriously. Its that good.

Overall, the film Man of Steel is decent at what it is supposed to be (minus the insane anti-logic of both of Supe’s fathers). One teaches Clark to distrust humanity at all costs, something that Super then spends the entire movie trying to overcome, while the other goes out of his way to make sure his species goes extinct (except for his son)…as opposed to the ‘bad guy’ who actually wants to save his people (except for the underclass). Quite the planet of heroes.

Unsurprisingly, the ‘new and improved’ Lois Lane in the film Man of Steel is a complete disappointment. Yet another useless female character placed there solely to demonstrate how ‘great and powerful’ the male character is and then inexplicably find romance where there is none by randomly make out for a solid fifteen. Personally, I find that kind of ‘by-the-hollywood-book’ unnecessarily overt classification of the protagonist’s (hetero)sexuality something that seems almost always out of place. Alien, if you will. But like, in a really tediously pointed sort of way.

lemme look at you, gurl
“Now, hold your head high while I show you how to kick your boyfriend’s ass like a proper lady.”

The villainous commander played by the talented Antje Traue however, was a pleasant surprise. Though scarce in dialogue and stoic by character, her presence and demeanor were a refreshing and much needed contrast to the female lead who’s usefulness involved more saving by strange men than Princess Peace and more fawning over the pretty boy than a Twilight convention.

Worth watching just for that.

Oh, and Colonel Christopher Meloni saved the planet while Clark was busy dicking around.

You’re welcome.