Bohemian Rhapsody: why millennials are pumped AF for this killer Queen biopic

Hello – it’s me.

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been honestly there’s no exciting excuse, I’ve just been lazy with writing about films. I’m back though! And I’m excited to (softly) re-launch my blog and include a whole lot more than just recent-release reviews, so get ready bitches.

Today, however, I thought I’d talk about the already much talked about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Instead of contributing to the thousands of reviews out there, I thought I’d give my hot-take on why us millennials are so keen to watch a biopic about a singer who died before most of us could even say “Scaramouche”.

I would count myself as a huge Queen fan. Not to the point where I know a hell of a lot of trivia (like I would with, say, Fleetwood Mac), but enough to say I know all the lyrics to all their (many) top hits. And I would argue that a lot of my friends in my age group would also count themselves as huge fans.

But why? Well, the cynic in me would probably say that with Freddie Mercury’s sad passing in 1991, we were at the perfect age to absorb the “Queen renaissance” that occurred afterwards. And it’s true, for the years following his death, Queen’s greatest hits saw a return to radio, and featured in the soundtrack of many of our childhood movies.

There’s a lot to be said for nostalgia, even if our nostalgia sort of comes from… nostalgia itself. We were there, consuming media faster than lightning while our parents, radio hosts, teachers, and the rest were feeling nostalgic about losing one of the greatest performers of their time.

I can only speak for my own experience, but I remember going to my own sister’s dance competition when I was probably around 4 years old, and being blown away, not by the performances (sorry guys), but by the song ‘Another One Bites the Dust’. Shortly after that in 2000 the New Zealand team won the America’s Cup and I could be wrong, but I remember there being a hell of a lot of ‘We Are the Champion’s’ being played.

And then there was my own foray into dancing (embarrassing) in 2002, where I learned a dance to ‘We Will Rock You’, taught it to my classmates and then had to perform it a shameful amount of times in front of the entire school.

I’m sure as hell I wasn’t the only one who had my childhood constantly peppered with Queen’s greatest hits, and as we grew older and more interested in music, a lot of us started to expand our CD collections, Apple iPod playlists, and eventually Spotify playlists, to include the classics like ‘Bicycle Race’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Somebody to Love’, and all the other many, many great songs by the band.

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So while, no, we can’t claim to have “been there” for Live Aid, or anything else, we were there for the renaissance, and our childhoods would’ve sounded a lot different without it.

To me, it makes sense that millennials are rushing to theatres to see the beginnings of the soundtracks of our childhoods. It makes a lot of sense.

Ocean’s 8 proves why we should do all-female reboots of everything

We got that Harvey Specter, Han Solo, Danny Ocean feeling and we aren’t letting it go

*SPOILER FREE*

I’m a feminist.

I’m a cold-blooded feminist killjoy who loves to explain to men (and everybody) why representation is important in media.

Hell, I started a blog all about it.

(hi)

But something I always find difficult to articulate to (white) men, is why representation is important. Women and other minorities know all too well why it’s so important to see yourself reflected in diverse roles.

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But men who see themselves in every single possible role, often don’t understand why it’s hard to imagine a world where you can be an astronaut, a CEO, a mathematician, or anything else when you aren’t represented as being able to do those roles – even in fantasy worlds.

I’ve thought long and hard on how best to explain this to even just my partner, without going on a crazy rant yet again. But watching Ocean’s 8 made it so so so clear exactly why, and in terms that men can probably understand.

You know that feeling you get when you see Han Solo weave through meteors that no Empire pilot could navigate, and do it all with a smirk and a one liner?

You know that moment Harvey Specter lays down the evidence and wins a case that seemed unbeatable, adjusts his cuff links, and walks off to a badass song?

Or what about Raymond Reddington, finessing yet another whatever it is he does that white men love so much?

More to the point, it’s that moment when Danny Ocean pulls off the grandest heist in history with all his buddies by his side and in a fantastic suit and some amazing cars.

These men who we idolise, because they are witty, and smart, and do things we wish we could do, while dressing like we wish we dressed, and absolutely crushing every moment and never failing? We want to be them even though maybe they live lives we don’t actually want, but God they do it well and with so much style.

Except we don’t – because we’re women. As women, we see these men and we like them, but it’s just another white man in a position, role, or life we already knew white men could have. We don’t want to be them and hijack their jokes and style.

Where’s our Han? Our Harvey? Our Raymond? Our Danny? They’re starting to arrive, and it feels oh so good to see someone like you who is badass, witty, intelligent, and absolutely winning at whatever they do.

Ocean’s 8 was that – and a million times more. I wasn’t relating to these characters because I would never be these characters – but boy did I want to.

Our fast cars and alcohol references were switched with fashion and art, and it was glorious.

The stakes were high, the jokes were sly, and yes, it’s all just one big vapid heist movie. But it means so much on a larger scale and I absolutely love it.

The whole movie impressed so much the fact that females are each other’s strengths, and that men are wholly unnecessary to reach our goals. That women can come from all corners of life and absolutely slay a project to death.

It also featured a high level of female songs, largely focussed on the art about women in the MET, and showed that high fashion is just as sexy and ex

citing and suitable for heist movies as fast cars and cigars.

And fuck, it had Rihanna so ????

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On a final note, if you still aren’t convinced as to why representation matters, in the words of Debbie Ocean:

“Remember, you’re not doing this for me. You’re not doing this for you. Somewhere out there, there is an 8-year-old girl who dreams of one day being a criminal. You’re doing it for her.”

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5 predictions for Westworld season 2: AKA me making stuff up

*Semi-spoilers but no major plot points of events from the first episode are discussed, just certain themes that appeared as well as the opening credits

Firstly, let me just say, WHAT A FIRST EPISODE. I feel like they did a pretty good job of getting people back up to speed with what happened in season 1, as well as giving us the play by play of what happened after that massive first season ending – without making it seem like they were trying to cover too much in one go. I feel like season openings can often feel like cramming before a big test, with too many topics covered, and too many reminders of the previous season.

I really appreciated the jumping timeline, as well as the focus characters – truly our core-three at this point; Dolores, Maeve, and Bernard. I also really liked that the first episode set up the seasons pace. With so many shows these days ­– especially HBO and Netflix ones – it seems like there’s this competition to be bigger and better than your last season, which can be hard when the storylines are as complex as Westworld.

Last season raised a lot of questions and explored a lot of topics common in speculative fiction, and this second season allows the show to go even deeper than most sci-fi does, so I have a few predictions on what we’ll see this season!

They’re all undoubtedly going to be 100% wrong, because I’ve never been good at this shit in my life, but hey, I thought it’d be fun, and it’s been a hot minute since you guys heard from me!

#1. Fertility/babies/maternal affection is going to be a big undercurrent theme for the season

westworld maeveI’m mainly basing this off the new opening credits, where a mother and baby are recurring. It would make sense for a next step in a new society to be exploring fertility and procreation. Obviously, this is closely linked with Maeve’s storyline, so she’ll be the main catalyst for this I imagine, although Bernard has his own fake-son situation to deal with and Dolores is a woman so like… Male writers… you know the drill…

What constitutes a family? A maternal link? What makes a real mother? Can the hosts procreate? Is it in their future and the next step for their survival? Fertility is a deeply sci-fi conversation, and it would be an interesting spin on the conversation around what it means to be “human” and “real”.

#2. The start of a new civilisationWestworld-dolores

I know Dolores is focussed on destroying humans (you do you, boo), but I have a feeling there’s still going to be exploration into this new civilisation. This goes further than fertility, and stems into philosophy, politics, economics, and community. This community needs each other to survive, but they’re also fundamentally different to our civilisation, so I’m excited to see how differently they create their world and society!

#3. Consciousness vs. conscience

Now that these hosts have consciousness – or some do? Maybe? – they’re soon going to have to grapple with what comes next. A conscience. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m here for a human bloodbath 100%. But soon enough, Dolores is going to start questioning morality. What does she hope to achieve? Is it enough to have consciousness, or must a conscience soon follow? Does a lack of conscience make you superior, or is it a useful tool? Does being alive, mean also caring for others? Of course, cold blooded killers live amongst humans (obviously a major point made in the first season) but I don’t believe that’s who Dolores is. As she said, she’s been forced to play the lovely ranchers daughter, and the murderous Wyatt, but her greatest role yet is that of herself. I don’t believe she’s wholly evil, which means we’re definitely going to find out about the growing moral compass amongst conscious hosts.

#4. What is reality anyway?

Westworld-doloresLast season we truly delved into the age-old sci-fi question of “what is free will”, but this season I predict we’re going to look more into “what even is reality?”. Now that Dolores and Maeve have discovered free will, what it is, and how to harness it, the question now for the hosts (and humans) is – what is reality anyway? This was what I gained from the conversations between Dolores and Arnold, as well as Bernard’s experiences throughout episode one. Reality is confusing. Just because something is “real”, doesn’t mean it’s a “reality”. Are our dreams just as important as reality? How do we know what’s really happening? I think they’ll really play this one out through dream sequences and timeline jumps but again – I really don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.

#5. The true price of data

zuckerberg facebookObviously, user-data is a massive conversation right now with the whole Zucc/Facebook situation, and I think that puts Westworld in a fantastic position to explore this topic. Westworld is, of course, privy to far more data that Facebook ever could be, but it is a close analogy. People act in a way on the internet, far differently than they would in “public” or the “real world”, and Facebook does store that data. Delos is obviously doing the same thing – what are they using it for? Probably advertising lesbereal. What are the moral implications? The legal implications? What does this mean for the users? What is the true price and value of data in this day and age? It’s a topic close to my heart, what with my social media advertising business, so I’m really excited to see where they go with it!

So, those are my thematic predictions! Note how I never made actual predictions on specific events – I ain’t that bold.

What do you think will be discussed this season? What do you hope you’ll see? Let me know! Let’s talk Westworld (please) (I’m begging you) (someone talk to me about this damn show)

Stranger Things have happened

So, did it shape up to last season? Am I going to go all feminist on this shit? Do I want to BE Winona Ryder? Stay tuned.

In all truthfulness, up until now all my blog posts have been filler posts.

My whole year has been a filler post as I anxiously awaited Stranger Things season 2 – it’s safe to say there have been points where I have neared the level of mania I had for shows back in 2010-2012. The Stranger Things obsession has been real my pals.

I’m not sure what it is I love about it so much. The 80’s nostalgia for a time I wasn’t even alive for? A little bit. The sci-fi soft-horror? Sure. The music? Yes, of course. The beautiful friendships of all kinds, but particularly of the younger characters? Fuck yes.

I have a massive soft spot for the portrayal of all kinds of relationships and bonds, and Stranger Things really excels with that. It also portrays a level of innocence and geekiness that has its own sort of nostalgia. The kind that isn’t tied to any generation – we can all sort of relate to that feeling of kinship, spare time, and feeling pretty out of place.

So anyway, season 2 – I was pumped. And if you’re reading this then you probably have at least some small level of interest in what I thought about it, so here it is.

I had a lot of expectations for this season. I knew that there would be new characters introduced to the narrative, and that there would be a widening of the universe which in season 1 was almost exclusively confined to Hawkins.

Season 1 was easy. There were good people, and there were bad people. Probably the only person that blurred the lines was Steve Harrington, but even when you hated him you still sort of rooted for him – and you didn’t hate him for long.

It had a small world and tight knit groups, and I knew that in season 2 this would need to be broadened. And yet I still expected it to be about the group having a close bond, and recognising that they’re stronger together.

After all – and the show acknowledges this – they each experienced a large amount of trauma which often brings people together.

I was so excited to see the team together, but we started where we pretty much started in season 1. Nancy and Mike fighting. Eleven on her own. The boys arguing over a girl. And a love triangle between Steve, Nancy, and Jonathan.

But… I kind of get it. It made sense to the narrative, and although it broke my heart to watch the boys keep secrets from each other and distrust each other, I got why it was happening.

Because it was still Stranger Things. The soundtrack was on point as always (although, and I know they did it in season 1, but I wished they would play Toto Africa again cus that is just such a Mood), as well as the cinematography and costume design.

All that aside, I felt that this season took us to a newer, darker place than the first season – and not in the way I expected.

I expected the monsters to get darker, the risks to get riskier, and the deaths to be gorier, but I didn’t expect what else we got.

Although it didn’t do so very overtly, this season did actually deal with themes of racism and sexism – and in fact, homophobia (very lightly). I’m not saying we should start lauding it as the most progressive show of our time, but something that was definitely lacking in the previous season was an acknowledgement that the 80’s weren’t just a fun, wacky dressed, nostalgic and pre-internet era for everyone. For some people it was tougher than that.

So yeah, this season gave it a shot. A really weak shot – and if we’re going to use the baseball metaphor Ted and Steve both use – Stranger Things is still pretty much sitting on the bench. But it gave it a shot.

Max’s brother (aka Evil Zac Efron™) had a level of prejudice against Lucas he didn’t have towards the other boys – this wasn’t overt racism, but I think we all got the drift.

We also see more of Ted being a shitty complacent husband to Mrs. Wheeler. As well as Max and Billy’s father showing an almost overt form of toxic masculinity, which not only affects his sons inward and outward emotions, but also forces his wife into submission.

It was like Social Commentary Lite™ – like if social commentary were a full fat yoghurt, but Stranger Things were on a diet. And while that’s some Bullshit, I really do have faith that next season will be even better. The actor who plays Mike (potentially our main male protagonist), has shown himself to be a lot more progressive and socially aware than many of his older peers, and that sort of attitude doesn’t go unnoticed.

Netflix is in the unique position where, unlike its network cousins, it doesn’t have to worry about as many stakeholders. Stakeholders, such as advertisers, are one of the main things that prevent network television from being able to be socially progressive. Netflix is a unique forum which doesn’t rely on any ads – greatly reducing the number of stakeholders.

It should be doing better.

If young actors like Finn Wolfhard continue to fight back, there may just be a change, and I have faith that it will happen before season 3 – or maybe I just hope.

But I digress. This season certainly had its failings – the entirety of episode 7 being the biggest one. Like, wow that episode was some trash, try harder next time.

But the other big issue was its major attempts at love triangles. There were only 3 women in this show (bar every mother except Will’s, all of which played a very minor part) that were main characters, and each of them were entangled in a version of a love triangle. And Max was in more than one for Christ’s sake.

Eleven – Mike – Max.

Dustin – Max – Lucas.

Steve – Nancy – Jonathan.

Hopper – Joyce – Bob.

Like, I get it. The Duffer Brothers couldn’t write enough women for the show, which meant that there weren’t enough women to fulfil the hetero-normative needs for each male in the show.

Totally.

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But what the fuck. Was this really necessary? I’ve said it before – love triangles are one of the weakest methods of emotional writing you can employ, and I despise them.

Love triangles only work to simplify the emotional responses of every character involved, and usually they just work to exemplify the males need to “own” a woman.

Like, where ma polyamorous relationships at? I would’ve loved if Steve – Nancy – Jonathan had ended in a polyamorous relationship – instead it just ended in me crying over Steve being lonely.

And then there’s Max. Man, I was so excited for Max. Another female character? Amazing. A girl who skates and calls the boys out on their shit? Inspired. Like, a whole other female character? Colour me pumped.

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But she wasn’t written like a real person???? She was either a prize to be won by Dustin or Lucas, or she was an inconvenience to the predetermined group, and plot. She deserved a lot better than this, and I hope that in season 3 she gets some actual characterisation and storylines.

But that brings me to the wins.

Firstly, all of episode 8 and 9. My tears were flowing like the Cancer trash I am.

The unity and solidarity was heart-wrenching – in a good way – and it showed the complexities of friendships that the other episodes failed to do.

My heart was ripped entirely in half watching Mike try to reach El on the walkie-talkie. That is romance my friends holy wow.

My dreams came true when we got to see the Snow Ball, and although they very heavily shoehorned Will having a girl to dance with (don’t get me wrong, he deserves love, but ??? it didn’t make sense), and it was heartbreaking to see Dustin turned down by everyone except Nancy who pity-danced with him, my heart truly soared when Mike and Eleven were dancing.

I waited so long to see this damn child romance at the Snow Ball, and my tears were both happy and sad at what the two had been through.

At the end of it all, all I can really say is, this is still my favourite show (despite the mess in episode 7), and these child actors still blow me away with their talent.

I’m once more anxiously waiting for the next season, where I hope to GOD the Duffer Brothers don’t think that splitting the team up or shoehorning love triangles is a good idea.

Also final note, I hope we still have Steve in the #squad, even if he’ll be at college and isn’t dating Nancy and is probably alone, heartbroken, and eating his feelings…

#justiceforSteve

“Dunkirk aged me by about 11 years”

That’s what my friend Imojen posted on Facebook and boy has she really hit the nail on the head.

This film is tense from the moment it begins to the moment it ends, and I wouldn’t so much call it an emotional ride as I would call it a 106 minute attack on the adrenal glands. You don’t jump from one emotion to another, you pretty much stay at peak stress levels the entire film with really no down period.

In fact – spoiler alert – Dunkirk happened relatively early in the war, so even when the film ends you don’t feel a sense of triumph, or relief, but rather a draining awareness that this barely touched the surface on the horrors to come.

In all honesty I would say this is the first film where the only character I can really relate to is Cillian Murphy – the only one who seemed to truly mirror my emotions every time the sound of a bomb rang through the speakers for the umpteenth time.

But in a world where Hollywood (a term here used in a broad sense) seems to be determined to pump out more war movies than all 6 British actors can keep up with, this one truly stands out.

Dunkirk stands out because it doesn’t look like a war drama. It doesn’t feel like a war drama. Shit, it definitely sounds like a war drama, but that’s because – as we all know – Hans Zimmer has approximately zero chill. But other than the terrifyingly anxiety-inducing score it is set against, and the obvious war storyline – this is nothing short of a visual and emotional masterpiece.

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Set against the stunning French coastline, where the colours are muted, cold, and misty – with rough waves that show emotional turmoil and danger, rushing against the flat, emotionless beach. There’s a lot to be felt with just this, but the rolling shots from the airplanes, and the ocean-everywhere-you-look shots from the civilian boat; this is the kind of visual backdrop often suited to romantic dramas – but this no romantic drama.

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The writing, however – now this is where Dunkirk really sets itself apart from its many, many war drama cousins.

Dunkirk works hard to create a compelling, unique storyline employing the use of merging timelines. At times, the different time settings were confusing (for me), and NPR seems to think it’s “convoluted” and an attempt to overcomplicate the plot, but to me this isn’t what it was.

There is no point in trying to hide the fact that Dunkirk really happened. That we all know how it ended, and we all know who wins in the end. The point of merging timelines is to overcomplicate the plot. To help viewers see past the modern, emotionally detached historical understanding of the war. The easily constructed “Hurrah! We won! The bad guys are dead!” that seems to be flooding our screens.

The war wasn’t just about big wins, and massive losses. Dunkirk recognises that it can’t just be about who won or lost the war. It has to be about who we lost and how we lost them, and the overcomplicating timelines helps you to see multiple perspectives, and relive the trauma of a lot of scenes – much like soldiers would have.

But yes, this film did all it could to irreversibly damage my adrenal glands, and it worked very hard to make sure my heart was beating at no less than 1000bpm, but I suppose that’s what a war film should be.

There shouldn’t really be a happy moment. There shouldn’t be a release from tension, a moment to gather your thoughts. It should hit you hard, and not end until it’s over.

The tension, however, was made 9x stronger by Hans Zimmer refusing to back the fuck down.

The scene where Kenneth Branagh sees the civilian vessels had the most heart pounding, climax building music behind it, I honestly thought he was about to see a bomb come down. It was emotionally jarring, and it threw me off completely.

Other than the maybe-too-intense soundtrack, one other issue I had with the film was the lack of context. For the most part this made sense. Soldiers can be anyone – their backstory doesn’t matter; we all deserve to survive.

However, when it came to the civilian boat we followed, I needed context. The father and sons’ relationship with George was too confusing to understand.

Forgive me if they are well-known historical figures whose background I should know, if that’s the case I plead ignorance.

But if not, then why did they treat him like a child? I understand 17 is young, but the way they talked to him, as if they were worried about him constantly (even before anything happened), and treated him almost as if he was perhaps disabled?

It wasn’t that he acted in a way that showed him to have a disability, or anything about him to constitute being treated with more concern than the other boy, but that is how they treated him and I wanted to know why. There is much to be said about the positivity that comes when including disabled characters – but this should be explicit, rather than implicit if it is the case. And anyway, he didn’t get a fair deal, so I’d be cautious to call it “positive”.

At the end of the day however, this film tore me to absolute shreds, and emotionally I don’t think I’ll ever quite recover.

I started this blog with an Imojen quote and I’m damn well going to end it with one, because she wasn’t fucking wrong when she said to me:

“Incredible movie I hope I never see it again”.

Too fucking right tbh.

Wonder Woman; and why it doesn’t matter if it’s any good (but don’t worry, it is)

Wonder Woman has singlehandedly saved the DC Cinematic Universe – but what has she done for feminism?

Praise be to whichever stars aligned above to grace us with the first female-led superhero film since the God awful ‘Elektra’ in 2005.

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Before I watched the film, I, and plenty of other people, were very worried that it would be terrible.

 

Not only does it come from the DC Cinematic franchise which is…. Let’s be real here: shit. But female superhero films tend to be made as an afterthought, with none of the same effort or money put into them as with their male counterparts.

 

And for many women, there seemed to be a lot riding on ‘Wonder Woman’ being good – in the broad sense of the word – and it’s not really surprising why.

 

There’s something called a “stereotype threat” which is a situation where a minority (or even, I suppose, a majority) feels that if they fail at something then they are confirming a common stereotype about their community.

 

This could be, an Asian woman who worries that her bad driving will be perceived as a confirmation of the stereotype of all Asian women.

 

Or a gay man, who enjoys skin care and fashion, who is afraid it will be perceived as a confirmation that all gay men are feminine.

 

There are plenty of examples we could use here, but the fear amongst many women who are so desperate for the ‘Wonder Woman’ film to be a success, is that they’re afraid that if it isn’t, it will act to confirm the stereotype that female led superhero females just can’t make bank.

 

And this is entirely understandable. Truly, a lot rides on ‘Wonder Woman’s success unfortunately. If the film doesn’t rank well, it will only serve as ammunition for male-led board members to argue that female-led movies are a waste of time – something that they’re arguing about anyway but who cares, right?

 

And if they don’t make any more of these films well… It’s a bleak future let me tell you.

 

But in my title I clearly state that it doesn’t matter if ‘Wonder Woman’ sucks – and why’s that?

 

Well, in actual fact, that’s sort of clickbait, because as I’ve stated above, it kind of does matter for so many people.

 

What I should really put in the title is that it shouldn’t matter.

 

And to be an even more shit blogger, I’m going to roughly quote someone whose name I can’t remember (but if you know who I’m talking about please feel free to correct me so I can cite them).

 

But earlier last week I watched a video of a woman who explained that she’s looking forward to the time when it won’t matter whether a female superhero film is terrible, because we’ll just keep pumping them out one after the other regardless.

 

She wants us to get to the same point we are with male-led superhero films, and she cited ‘Batman vs. Superman’ to explain.

 

Because as we all know, nobody walked out of that shit-show of a movie and said “oh well, I guess we’re done making ____man movies”. And it has to do with the fact that for every terrible male led superhero movie, there’s another great one!

 

And it has nothing to do with gender, or even the actor (just compare ‘Green Lantern’ and ‘Deadpool’) – and it has everything to do with the budget, writers, and the general production understanding of the original text.

 

So I’m here to propose that we no longer give a shit whether ‘Wonder Woman’ is good – let’s just give a shit about pumping out as many terrible female-led movies as we do male-led.

 

But hey? Didn’t I say the film was good?

 

Fuck yes it was!!!

 

In all honesty, I feel like ‘Wonder Woman’ just single-handedly saved the DC Cinematic Universe which had been making some terrible decisions since… Forever.

 

It was fast-paced, funny, emotional, and absolutely empowering!

 

It was honestly something else to watch so many women kick ass, and to see Wonder Woman in action and doing her most for humanity.

 

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Objectively it was well-made, well-written, and well-paced – even if this wasn’t such a huge step for feminism, I would still highly recommend the film to everyone, because it’s just a bloody good time!

 

But why is it such a huge step for feminism?

 

Well, for me it’s because it does a lot of subverting, and a lot of work to de-stigmatize often stereotyped “women’s roles”.

 

So what does it subvert?

First and foremost, it subverts the fridging trope. If you don’t know what fridging is, I highly recommend this Feminist Frequency video.

 

But maybe wait until you watch the film or it might spoil some stuff for you.

 

It also subverts a lot of “sexy” tropes, such as the ‘born sexy yesterday’ trope.

 

As stated by tumblr user blueincandecence:

 

“The born sexy yesterday trope is predicated on the idea that a woman falls in love with the first schlub she sees and worships him. That emphatically does not happen. In fact, it’s a running gag that Steve is trying to convince Diana that he’s above average. Only when he proves it to her – through his kindness and his bravery – does she fall for him.”

 

The film also works hard to prove that things such as ‘emotional labour’ that are typically assigned to women, aren’t bad things, and certainly don’t weaken women.

 

While the conversation around emotional labour is big, it’s difficult, and it’s not one I want to touch on heavily here – it plays a big role in all of our lives, and Diana’s is no different.

 

When she steps into the ‘real world’ she finds it cruel, untrusting, and often barren of empathy. She sees Steve struggle with empathising with war slaves, and the death of children, as he insists that the quicker they finish their mission, the quicker they can save the women and children.

 

But Diana knows. You can be logical, and you can be emotional, and neither are less useful in a state of war.

 

And because of this, Diana ignores Steve’s “orders”, and uses her emotions and empathy to go where no man has gone before – ‘No-Mans Land’ in the war trenches of course 😉 – and saves the day for so many who are suffering.

 

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It’s only through her ability to empathise, and prioritise safety in the here and

now, as well as in the

long-term, that makes her such a

formidable opponent as she smashes her way through the darkest, bleakest, and most fearsome front of the war.

 

Wonder Woman’ does have its flaws, and I would never call it the most feminist movie around – but rather than spend this review dwelling on these issues, I’d rather celebrate all it does to empower women all around the world, and also show men that masculinity can come in many forms – and hopefully Steve Trevor can be a positive catalyst for change and empowerment for men all around the world too.

 

So thank you to the stars above, or perhaps Patty Jenkins for making this masterpiece happen – and long may Diana Prince reign.

The LEGO Batman Movie – arguably the only canonical Batman in the DC Cinematic Universe

Finally a Batman movie that actually shows him for who he really is – and is actually a really fun time.

The LEGO Batman Movie – Actually a really fucking good time

I was honestly going to try write a blog post this month that wasn’t related to comic books/superheroes.

I swear, I really was.

But listen.
I’m not fucking around here.

I genuinely do not care for any of the other Batmen who have existed within the DC Cinematic Universe. In fact, I don’t think I ever have. Not even as a kid when the only 2 superheroes that exist in your mind are Batman and Superman.

And then I took a paper in university called ‘Comics and Narratives’ and that pretty much solidified my distaste for Batman.

This Batman though? He was everything the Batman in the comics is, and because of that, everything just comes across as a piss-take. He’s hilariously rude, unforgiving, emotionally dense, and extremely show-offy with his costumes and toys.

So basically Batman to a T (or B), only with immensely self-aware writers.

In fact, I was really impressed at how much these writers were clued up on the Cinematic Universe canon, as well as much of the comic book canon. They were referencing obscure parts of the TV shows, movies, and comic books that really showed they’d done their homework.

Although, they really tried lauding Catwoman as one of Gotham City’s biggest villains, and a big time crony of the Jokers. Now, criminal? Yes. Biggest villain? In cahoots with The Joker? I don’t know which obscure, questionably canonical comics they’re referring to, but that’s not really what Selina Kyle is.

Whatever.

Beyond that, the canon was pretty spot on, and the references were insanely hilarious to watch.

It even had a few film-geek references, like calling the plane at the beginning “MacGuffin Airlines”. Any Alfred Hitchcock fan worth their shower scenes would know what a MacGuffin is.

And right from that moment, the film was a hilarious spiral of obscurity, hilarity, and absolute shredding of the Batman Cinematic Universe.

But I have to say, what really sold me on this film as being my favourite Batman of all time? The tearing apart of Suicide Squad near-constantly.

Because fuck that movie.

#shortestblogpostever #justwantedtogivethisfilmashoutout #gonnajustcallmyblogSuperheroMediaReviews

Reviewing Logan; yo when did X-men stop being a catalyst for change? And why do I have so many questions?

Reviewing Logan; yo when did X-men stop being a catalyst for change? And why do I have so many questions?

So being the comic book/superhero trash that I am, I am, of course, writing a Logan review.

I just want to disclaim a couple of things right now however: I’m not an expert on the X-men universe (unless you count Deadpool comics but I Do Not), I WILL be touching on issues of representation in this film as well as attempting (key word) to analyse some of the socio-political issues it touches on, and also, for the record, this is NOT SPOILER FREE.

First and foremost, I’d just like to say that I really, really enjoyed this film. More so than most X-men films, and in fact, a lot of the MCU films in general. I feel like I need to point this out immediately, because when I tend to analyse things either from a point of representation, or in fact any other perspective, it can sound a little like I don’t like it.

The film degree in me is making me critique too much. Or maybe if every movie wasn’t so shit at representation we wouldn’t have this problem. You decide.

So what did I like about it? Well, when considering the X-men cinematic universe (Deadpool aside), in comparison Logan is a gritty, no holds barred, big finale, which isn’t packing its punches when it comes to talking about the inevitability of mortality (even for the immortal), as well as showing the violent, harrowing, and often swearing kind of person Wolverine often is in the comics, but can’t be in the films on account of ratings.reviewing logan

We see the full power of his claws as he slashes through body after body, and even though Old Man Logan may no longer be in his prime, his power is still a sight to behold.

But what I really enjoyed about this film is that it successfully adds dimension, humanity, and conversations of loneliness in a way the previous X-men films never managed to do. Wolverine is a character with a lot of depth, but I have cared for none of his relationships until this movie, when I saw him with both Laura and Xavier. To see him struggle with the opportunity for family (albeit a mish mash of one) was hard to watch, if only because I think we are all aware it just simply wasn’t going to work out. This being Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s last hurrah pretty much means that death is on the horizon, and an extended, slightly less sad family road trip is not on the cards for our dear Wolverine.

reviewing logan
Look at me fucking sobbing over this screencap. My heart is broken!

I also thoroughly enjreviewing loganoyed Laura’s character in general. Mind you, she didn’t say much, and when she did I had no idea what she was saying, but boy that girl is a fucking badass. People keep telling her what to do and her face just settles into this fucking incredible look of “I think the fuck not”, and then she goes all kid Wolverine on them just fucking cage fighting without the cage. And the foot claws? That fucked me up. This kid is too damn cool, and she did it without a single line of dialogue in the first three quarters of the movie.

So yeah, I enjoyed the film. But, I still walked out with a million more questions than I walked in.

The obvious ones being, so the mutants have been dying off? But the reason behind this is only mentioned in passing, as a sort of throwaway line! No! This should’ve been a bigger plot point! I get they wanted the film to focus on the trio, but having the utterly unmemorable villain (whose name I’ve already forgotten even though I saw the film yesterday) simply say “I killed them off by putting a cure in the food, and now mutants have gone the way of polio” is just not good enough! And how did Xavier, Wolverine, and Caliban survive? How do we know no others have survived? I want to know what’s happened to the rest of them! I need flashbacks!!!

And what on EARTH is the socio-political structure during this time period? It occasionally comes across as post-apocalyptic, but perhaps that’s just the warpreviewing loganed perspective of what I expect out of these films at this point. But with so much conversation around border crossing (both Southern and Northern), as well as body-autonomy and reproductive issues, why in the hell is this film seemingly taking no stand what so ever on these issues? In this political climate it’s almost laughable that this film has made these points both extremely vital to the storyline, and also somehow completely irrelevant.

And water? Water seemed to be such an incredibly important motif, or at least like it was initially going to be. If taken at face value, water could simply be seen as the final opportunity of rest for Xavier and Wolverine, who were hoping to die peacefully at sea without hurting anyone. Instead were buried next to small lakes after taking on that one final task where they both hurt many people, as well as saved a few as well. It’s sad, but it’s also a fairly common motif for redemption. Water washes away your sins etc.

It could easily be just that, but I can’t shake the scene where Logan/James helps Will Munson turn his water back on after it was sabotaged by a group of white, domestic terrorist hill billies. Just as with the previous issues, it almost seemed like the film was going to say something. And it easily could have. Water is such a point of contention in the US right now, with the Flint water crisis, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and big businesses taking water from the perpetually in-draught California, it wouldn’t have been hard to make a point here, any point, but again, it fell short.

Maybe I’m just reaching here, maybe water isn’t a motif, but boy it could’ve been.

And then of course, there is the issue of representation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that this is a film that is supposed to be completely centred around the reviewing loganmain trio. And yet, I can’t get over the fact that in the ENTIRE film, including exceptionally minor characters, there were only NINETEEN women. And only a handful of those had any dialogue at all. That’s 19 women out of 97 complete cast members, and I would say in all honesty only 4 or 5 of them had any dialogue included in the film, and only 2 of them played any real part in the film at all, that being Laura, and her initial (but eventually dead) caregiver Gabriella.

That’s pretty fucked up.

I would also say, in terms of cultural or ethnic representation, that was pretty fucked up too. While the amount of white men was overwhelming, it still did better in terms of showing diversity. But diversity isn’t enough. There was so much stereotyping it was ridiculous.

Considering that the majority of this film is set in Mexico, and the outskirts of Mexico, beyond Laura and Gabriella, the inclusion of Mexicans was painfully small, and extremely lazy. The only memorable scene that included Mexican men was a gang of “cholos” trying to steal Logan/James’ hubcaps. Of course, they eventually met their maker after acting as violent, ethnic gang members are supposed to when starring in a white man’s narrative.

I mean, in all honesty, how the FUCK are you going to set your film in and around Mexico and do this? It’s insane.

reviewing logan

And I get it, I get it. Although it may not sound it, I get that this film isn’t out there to be making huge sweeping social commentary, and challenge the lack of diversity in Hollywood, but why shouldn’t it?

X-men was created to give a voice to the minorities. It was created as an analogy for a number of those often perceived as social pariah’s. The original comics were a catalyst for discourse and change – so why is the cinematic universe so goddamn hesitant to continue in the comics’ footsteps? And with the utter shit going on in the X-men comic universe, I think it’s about bloody time film makers step up and say “well we’re going to do better”. Someone needs to.

It’s a crying shame, and while this was a highly enjoyable film – even during the (many) parts in which I cried – I can’t help feeling like it stopped giving a shit about plot, dialogue, and casting realistic characters beyond the main trio.

reviewing logan

* #KnifeDad pictures in feature image sourced from 

From the left field: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

From the left field: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

 

By the way, amazingly, by sheer willpower, this blog post is SPOILER FREE! Yayyyyy.

As a result, however, this won’t really delve into themes or matters of representation etc, it’s more or less just a rundown on what makes this show great. So you can also probably expect this to be rather short.

 

Sorry if you were expecting more.

 

But also not sorry.

 

As a general, but not hard and fast, rule, I usually won’t watch a show (and often times a movie) if I haven’t heard of it before.

 

This isn’t to say I have to have read a positive review, or even heard a review at all. It simply means, if I didn’t know a show existed before I stumbled upon it, the likeliness of me watching it is significantly lower than if I’d, say, heard it in passing before finding it in passing.

 

Nevertheless, on one of the many Tuesday night’s (TV night) when I didn’t want to watch another Meta-of-the-Week on Flash, or it’s-all-my-fault moment of Oliver’s on Arrow, me and my partner were scrolling through Netflix in search of a show to watch, when we came across Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I’d never heard this title before, and although I’ve read the first book in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series, and of course seen the movie, I also had no idea (even as I was halfway through the show) that Dirk Gently’s etcetc was written by Douglas Adams. If I had known, maybe my enjoyment of the show wouldn’t have come as such a surprise to myself!

 

So, why did I enjoy this show so much?

 

It’s hilarious.
There you go. End of blog post.

 

I’m kidding.

 

There are many things out there that are hilarious to me, but I’m not exactly about to write a blog post on each and every Vine I watch.

 

Or am I? Vine blog posts, coming soon.

 

So what makes Dirk Gently’s etcetc so worthy of me typing approximately 700 words?

 

Well, if you’ve watched and enjoyed The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, you likely already know.

 

This show is littered with incredibly quirky, weird, and left-field sentences, characters that don’t quite make sense, and overall a plot that is so convoluted that if I was to try to explain it to you, you’d probably think I was watching a 7 year olds attempt at science fiction.

 

But I’m nothing if not steadfast in my attempts to convince people to watch things I like.

 

So here goes.

 

Dirk Gently is a holistic detective, which is to say he lets the universe give him clues to the case, rather than actually seeking out and understanding clues himself. He meets up with Frodo – er, I mean Todd – by breaking into his house and declaring he lives there, after Todd has discovered a bizarre, and seemingly impossible murder scene in the penthouse of the hotel he worked at. Until his untimely firing only moments after his discovery.

 

Todd unwillingly goes along with Dirk’s holistic detecting, all the while, being chased by 4 rioting men calling themselves the ‘Rowdy 3’, trying to give back a corgi, and helping his sister pay for her meds.

 

Dirk is attempting the noble cause of solving the murder, finding the victims kidnapped daughter, and putting together clues and maps created by the murder victim, all the while being chased by a holistic assassin hell-bent on murdering him for no reason she can explain.

 

This might make absolutely no sense in terms of a recognisable plot, but all I can tell you is

Dirk Gently

 

Honestly, I’m glad no one had tried to tell me about this show before I stumbled upon in on Netflix. I would’ve flat out said no thanks, not my can of beans, and happily ignored it.

 

But thank God no one did, because I can honestly say this show has some incredibly witty dialogue, some powerful and aesthetically pleasing cinematography and wardrobe choices, and an easy-going, binge-able nature.

 

There are, of course, a few sad moments, some very cute moments, and even in a few cases, a couple of nail-biting moments.

 

So if you’ve given up on the fan-service, self-congratulatory BBC Sherlock, then you’re lucky there’s a new detective in town. He’s also pale, British, skinny and male, but he already has more dimension, respect for women and POC, and a better outfit than BBC Sherlock ever did.

 

(Brightly coloured leather jackets and skinny jeans FTW amirite guyz?)

 

Oh, also, for what it’s worth, the representation in this is actually not too shabby, or at least, definitely a move in the right direction.

 

I’ve never really written a blog post to try and encourage others to watch a show or movie, I’m used to analysing them. Dirk Gently’s etcetc doesn’t really require any analysis, but I felt it deserved a mention, as we managed to finish it in 2 chunks, and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

 

The season also ended on a holy shit moment, so I’m hoping the more people I can convince to watch it, the more likely they’ll get season 2 picked up!

 

Let me know if you’ve watched it too, and if you haven’t I’ve so kindly linked the trailer below!