movies

The Magnificent Seven

I watched the newest Magnificent Seven. I have exactly and only seven thoughts about it.

1. I have really been having a Denzel renaisaance lately. A Denzelaissance. I had kind of forgotten about how mesmerizing he is. Given that, this should have really just been the Magnificent Uno, because I just wanted him to be on the screen the entire time. YOU GO ‘HEAD AND SMOLDER, D.W.

2. Is Chris Pratt turning into Snide-Remarks Guy in movies? I do not wish this, please and thank you. Chris Pratt without the underlying sweetness is just two steps too many into Brolandia for me.

3. Ethan Hawke was the sensitive one because of course he was. He has that face that looks like a post-sneeze and/or imminent heartbreak at all times. DENZEL GET BACK ON THE SCREEN I MISS YOU.

4. So much shooty shooty, like even for a western. The final fight scene was, according to my internal clock, around thirteen days long.

5. Byung-Hun Lee was good but I have said it before and I will say it again CAN THERE BE ONE ACTION MOVIE THAT HAS AN ASIAN CHARACTER WHO DOES NOT HAVE GINSU KNIFE SKILLS THANKS IN ADVANCE.

6. Martin Sensmeier is a Comanche that actually speaks the language, which is a first. Also, the POC characters don’t all die by the end! THEY ACTUALLY GET TO LIVE. *applause*

7. Peter Skaaaaaaarsgaaaaard (I never know how many a’s so let’s go full phonetic-pirate spelling) is the bad guy and his name is BOGUE. GET IT? BECAUSE HE IS SO BOGUE. And he really is. Whenever he does an evil deed, yell out SO BOGUE, DUDE. It will make your movie watching so much better.

I would not really call this The Maginificent Seven. More like the Pretty-Good-to-Medium Seven.

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The Sound of Music

I watched The Sound of Music the other day to get myself out of the grumps. This is a movie that I probably could act out for you, all the parts, because of how many times I saw it in my petite bebe years. Before last week I don’t know when I have seen it as an adult though, and it is BREAKING NEWS kind of a great movie. Let’s combat my grumps by talking about my Sound of Music thoughts, pot pourri style, shall we?

First of all, I have beef with the name. Sound. Of. Music. Ok, sure. There is sound. That sound is often music. But Rodgers, Hammerstein, honeys, come on. Could we have picked a more boring name? We have so much to work with here. Let me suggest. Sing and Run, Because Hitler. Whatsa Haps, Von Trapps. Nuns vs Nazis. There are a million options.

As the movie opens, we find Maria the nun twirling on a mountaintop in that iconic first shot. Or, as my mom said as we watched it together: “Woo! Here we go, Maria’s being weird!” Turns out the thing that I never realized as a child is that Maria is a straight up weirdo! Like, she is ODD. Just running around enjoying her twirly skirt on a mountain, talkinbout larks learning to pray. Uh, ok, girl. You do you.

Turns out Maria is late for bell-ringing time at the convent, and no one can find her. Instead of being alarmed (I guess she goes missing a lot, so NBD) these nuns start singing a song about how they think she’s a frigging nightmare. MEAN GIRLS IN THE NUNNERY. They call her a headache, a pest, a flibertyjibbet (which, if you ask Snoop Dogg, def means something not great), and a DEMON. These nuns! Horrible. Don’t believe me? They bring this song back on MARIA’S WEDDING DAY Y’ALL. She is walking down the aisle to “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” You get her married up, that’s how you solve it, apparently. Her problem was lack of government-church-sanctioned sex partnership, which makes people prone to mountain twirling. PUT A RING ON IT TO STOP THAT SHIT STAT.

Speaking of which, the President of the Nuns tells Maria she has to go be a nanny, and Maria responds by singing her guts out on the bus ride there. She arrives and meets Captain Von Hotness, who has this whole dom thing going on with a weird whistle and stuff. The kids are mildly terrible, but not really that terrible (those former nannies must have been severe milquetoast ladies), and before you know it they are singing about their Favorite Things together, one of which, weirdly, is doorbells.

But first! Liesel the teen goes out to the makeout gazebo to meet Rolfe, who is CLEARLY ICKY. They sing a song to each other about how he is going to mansplain his way into her knickers but he spends so much time mansplaining that nothing happens. Good! Get away from him, Liesel, you in danger, girl.

Maria then makes clothes out of the curtains in her bedroom, which, IDK, it seems like one would get permission from one’s employer before doing that, and they all run around Salzburg learning to sing. When they return the Captain is there with Uncle Max and his gf the Baroness. I BECAME KIND OF IN LOVE WITH THAT BARONESS. I mean, she was fabu. The problem is that she is not traditionally maternal though and therefore, in the Musicals Rule Book, we know she is doomed. Although I am absolutely sure, dollars to donuts, that the Baroness would tell Liesel straight up to get the hellfire away from Rolfe. The Baroness ain’t playing that shit, it’s obvs.

The Captain gets mad that Maria has taken the kids out on the town in curtains, which actually seems kind of reasonable in terms of being mad, and fires Maria. The kids sing a song and melt his heart and he unfires her. THAT WAS AN EVENTFUL FIVE MINUTES.

Max is a sort of Simon Cowell type person I guess and he wants the kids to sing for dollar bills. Then he says that, in this time of the rise of the Nazis, the most important thing is to get along with everybody, and Captain Von Hotness is like “I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU SOMETIMES MAX” with an anti-Nazi steel stare and OH SNAP THIS MOVIE JUST BECAME ABOUT CURRENTLY NOW, THAT’S WEIRD. Think about that, for a quick second, you folks out there that are peddling the idea that empathy with people who suffer from the racisms (AKA ECONOMIC ANXIETY POTATO POTAHTO) is the answer. I stand with Captain Von Hotness on this one. SORRY MY GRUMPS ARE COMING BACK, MOVING ON.

Then they do this really long puppet show about goats, because why? I do not know. Like, what was that whole thing for? To release the pressure from the Nazi talk, I guess.

Then the Baroness is like “Hey Maria, you and my dude are kind of feeling each other, I can tell,” which you may think is a bitch move but to that I say WHERE IS THE LIE. Maria is like “oh my goodness, the only thing left to do is GHOST THIS JOINT” which she does.

The kids sing sad songs and try to play ball with the Baroness but they don’t even throw the ball straight so she can catch it and then have the nerve to roll their eyes at her. You don’t have to chase that dang ball, Baroness. I would wife you even if the Captain won’t. And, turns out, he won’t.

Maria goes back to the nunnery and tells the President of the Nuns why she peaced out. President Nun is like: wait, you did this because you were afraid he would get up in your twirly skirt? And Maria is like, yes. And then Pres Nun sings “Climb Every Mountain,” which WHOA. CLIMB EVERY CAPTAIN IS BASICALLY WHAT SHE IS SAYING, MARIA. That song is about seizing the day, even if the day equals Captain Von Hotness. SEIZE IT.

Maria shows back up and she meets the Captain in the same makeout gazebo that Liesel and Rolfe used. Ew. Get a different makeout gazebo, mom and dad. They actually do makeout unlike the kiddos, except Maria keeps talking about the President Nun, to the point where the Captain says, while he is kissing Maria, “WHAT ELSE DOES THE REVEREND MOTHER SAY?” You guys, he says it right into her mouth. That is some freaky deaky shit right there. Climb every mountain, tho.

They get married and then the Nazis come for the Captain and he is like IMA RIP THIS NAZI FLAG, and Liesel asks Maria for advice on why come Rolf doesn’t want her any more and Maria is like, don’t worry, you are still young, more fish in the sea, etc. Instead of HE IS A NAZI which really should be the only message.”Lo and behold you’re someone’s wife, and you belong to him” is a line that Maria also sings here. I just ask you, would the Baroness being peddling that tripe? Nope.

They get out of town, partly, but then go to Salzburg Idol as a diversion. They sing a medley and win the competition but choose to escape instead, which, good choice. They hide at the nunnery where the Captain confronts Rolf who remains horrible, and then they make it to the mountains. I assume the same mountains we started with. No more twirling, the mountains are for resistance now.

THEEEEEEEEEEEEE END

That helped me ungrump a little.

All We Have To Do Now

Remember when we used to write about pop culture and artsy farts and stuff? Those were good times. Are we ready to do that again? I say yes, because here’s the thing. This weekend, I had all these plans that I had made before the election, and on Wednesday I was thinking about all those plans and my soul felt like a little kid who has had enough of their day and just decides to go limp. You know how they do that? Just, wilt sag nope I am done I can’t oh the humanity. But many of those plans were with other people, and I didn’t want to be wilty cancellation lady, so I did all the plans. And it didn’t make me all the way better, but this is what it did do.

On Thursday night, I went out for karaoke, and I mean to tell you my ass was dragging all the way there, as grumpy as could be. But my friends and a whole slew of strangers had a religious experience to the tune of You’re So Vain and My Prerogative and Footloose and so many more. Strangers were hugging after songs, everyone was dancing to every song, and there was a point during Freedom 90 by George Michael where we were all throwing up our arms into the air, throwing our heads back and shout-singing ALL WE HAVE TO DO NOW, IS TAKE THESE LIES AND MAKE THEM TRUE SOMEHOW, ALL WE HAVE TO SEE, IS THAT I DON’T BELONG TO YOU, AND YOU DON’T BELONG TO ME, FREEDOMMMMM YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE WHAT YOU TAKE and I felt like maybe things would be ok if there were people like these just out here in the world, and I almost cried.

On Friday I went to see a performance of several Jessica Lang Dance Company pieces. One of the pieces was based off of interviews and artwork that was done by a group of veterans and another one was danced to a set of Shakespeare sonnets and they were the kinds of dances that I just wanted to go on and on and live inside of. When each dance ended and the lights went down, the audience would let out a soft, collective “oh!” My dear Delium said “It’s as if we all got gut punched at the same moment.” True, true, true. Didn’t we just, though?

On Saturday my dude and I went to see Moonlight, and it was so beautiful, and sad, and loving, and cruel, and kind, and delicate, and majestic, and stunning that I started crying fifteen minutes in and I didn’t stop all the way through, not even when the lights came up or when we walked out of the theater. We wrapped our arms around each other and went home, holding on tightly. That movie reminded me of everything that is important, and I am not kidding.

Time to get back to it, everyone. In all the ways.

Freedom 90, George Michael

Consumables #156: Watching Nostalgia

I am sorry to be that tiresome dingus who constantly talks about the weather but it was in the mid-90s for the past few days in this city of reptilian vampires and people were Fer-eaking Out. I did my utmost to keep my glee to myself, and I have done well with that, but I will tell you, my close personal peeps, that it was glorious to me. As my dear Mary Berry would say on the Great British Baking Show, I am getting an even bake through and through and it’s quite delightful.

Aside from evenly baking, I have been having an attack of the nostalgias lately. There is something about hot weather that makes me think of childhood summers when I lived in less mild places, so maybe that is why. It also just so happens that I have watched, read, heard some nostalgic things as well. Such as what? Such as these.

Stranger Things: Has there ever been a piece of art that is so meticulously constructed to pluck a certain generation’s nostalgia bone than this? Methinks not. However, I have a confession to make, and it is this. I did not, even as a kid, like Stephen Spielberg movies. Not ET, not Goonies, not even Stand By Me. BEFORE YOU THROW YOUR TOM-AH-TOES: I am not saying I actively disliked them. I thought they were fine. As an adult I can look back and deconstruct that perhaps this was because Spielberg wasn’t really connecting with my arty POC girl heart, but that could be hindsight. All I know is that I was a little girl that was starved for representation, and when I say starved I mean I was WRINGING rep where there was none to be had. Like, I decided Jaclyn Smith was my favorite Charlie’s Angel because she was the most tan. Also, when I read the Anne of Green Gables books I was FIXATED on the fact that Diana had black hair. OMG BLACK HAIR IT SAYS SHE HAS BLACK HAIR I HAVE BLACK HAIR ALSO PLEASE KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK HAIR. There was not a brown person to be found hardly anywhere so I was grasping at straws. Most of the time, again due to lack of options, it was hair-related. I can name off for you all of the pop culture black-haired touchstones of my youth (Dear Veronica from Archie Comics: in the words of Whitney Houston IIIIIIIIIIII-eeeee-IIIIIIIIII will always love yoooooooooo). Anyway. My point is that although the nostalgia in Stranger Things definitely worked on me, it was a weird feeling. Like, I loved it because it reminded me of being a kid, but also I felt that same disconnect. The same one that I feel with John Hughes movies, by the way (DON’T THROW THOSE TOMATOES I SAID).

Don’t Think Twice: This is that one starring Mike Birbiglia and Keegan-Michael Key, et al and the first thing that I have to say about it is that I can NEVER REMEMBER the gee-dee name of this movie. I keep wanting to tell people to go see it but I’m like: Stop Thinking Now? Who’s Thinking Twice? Twice Thinking Tales? Stop Thinking Sense? Thinks and Thinksability? Ugh, my brain. So, a thing you may have forgotten about me because I am decripit and can barely remember my life before librarianship anymore so why should you remember it, is that there was a time, in my youth, where I was a bonafide theater person. I worked in the THEE-AH-TAH, like in a for reals way, and trod boards and was pretty good at it and comedy was my thing and I loved it with all of my heart. Maybe not as much as I loved the career I had before that as a tippy toe dancer, but pretty dang close. It was such a beautiful time in my life, I could cry if I think on it too much, which I kind of don’t. This movie is about people who love that stuff too, and how some of them succeed and some of them don’t and some of them just decide to quit. It’s the Some of Them Decide to Quit part that pretty much ripped my guts out. OH HI, MIDDLE AGED REGRETS MOVIE, WHAT, NO I AM JUST CUTTING ONIONS IN THE MOVIE THEATER, NEVER YOU MIND.

The Get Down: I put off watching this because honestly I wasn’t convinced that I needed to know what Baz Luhrmann wanted to say about hip hop. However, given the setting, the topic, the actors OF COURSE I was going to watch it. I am only two episodes in and it is a hot melodramatic mess, but sort of in a good way, I think? I guess I don’t care about the story that much. I do care that the 70s hip hop fashion is on POINT, and I do care that there are dance battles, and I do care that there is a sort of Kung Fu wielding graffiti superhero, I guess? These are things that will make me happy, despite how much scenery is being chewed every second of the dang thing. I am going to stick with it, at least through the first season. It makes me want to wear bell bottoms and halter tops, which in my parlance is an endorsement.

That’s a lot of nostalgia items, is it not? Let’s add one more. A jam from the turn of the 21st century, still on heavy rotation on my current playlists. Takes me back. So good.

Angie Stone, Wish I Didn’t Miss You

 

Consumables #155: Watching Jason Bourne

Peak summer feelins, y’all! It has been beautemous in these parts. We have finally started to feel the burn (if you will pardon the expression, don’t get hot under the collar, now) season-wise. I had a supes fantasmic week off early this month when my niece came to visit me from the Eastern Seaboard (how come nobody around here talks about the Western Seaboard? What is a seaboard, anyway? Please file this under: I Should Look It Up But It Ain’t Likely To Happen) and we ran around my city in the way that you do when people come to visit from out of town. It was really fun and a wonderful reminder that my fam is kind of the best. Also summery: maxin’and chillaxin’ out on the deck, which has been pretty great because if you recall, I made our noisy garbage neighbor boys move out just by THINKING THEM OUT OF HERE. So now we can barbecue to our hearts’ content without bordering the Land of Dudentina. Ahhhhhhhh, refreshing.

As part of summer lovin’, had us a blast, we have been taking in lots of summer blockbuster style movies. Latest one: Jason Bourne. Here’s what I will tell you about Jason Bourne movies. The first ones are the best ones and the formula is getting a little old now, but a thing I enjoy about them is the use of PURPOSEFUL WALKING CHASES. Jason Bourne does so much power walking and manages to make it suspenseful! Bourne movies bring the same cadence that I use at work when I have to walk over to get my latest printout from the printer and I am on deadline. Only instead of printouts, Bourne walks into punching someone in the face with his bare knuckles until they die, but almost same diff. Not only this, but oftentimes his purposeful walking involves technology. He is assessing the best route via a GPS gadget, or giving someone directions in a quiet, intense voice using an earpiece. Just picture yourself walking around with google maps and add in a French rooftop assassin and you get the gist. On the downside, there are a few things about this latest Bourne movie that are less than ideal, say for instance if you are looking for “story” or “motivation” or “things making sense.” Put those in the Con column. But speedwalking with intense determination? Full marks.

Also? The main lady character (there are only a couple of ladies in these movies at a time, you understand) spends the entire movie with her hair clipped up in a big black plastic 80s hair clip. Sorry to have to reduce the lady character to her hair accessory and not her performance but IT WAS A 80s HAIR CLIP. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I do not know who made this decision– the hair designer of the movie, the director, who– but I was so here for it.

These are my thoughts on Jason Bourne. Speed-walking and a hair clip. That’s kind of all you need to know.

Mani-clobber

Hey BooBoos! I have so many things to share with you that I am CLOGGED. My blogging needs to Ex-Lax and Chill. Where to begin? IDK. Let’s just dunk ourselves into it. (Can I make these opening sentences sound any more vaguely disgusting? I AM DOING MY BESTICLE).

I took myself to the local manicurist establishment the other day. I am not one to do that very often because I can pretty much do my own nail paintings to my required level of satisfaction and regular manicuring seems like fancy lady Mrs Howell times to me, but I had a stressful week and wanted to do something nice for myself. I went to a place near my house that had good online reviews and asked for a plain manicure which came with a hand, arm, and shoulder massage. And you guys! That massage was the kind of massage where the lady was prrrrrrrrretty much beating me up. I also am not a big massage connoisseur (see Mrs Howell cheapskate comment above) so maybe I just do not understand such things but OMG. WHY AM I PAYING FOR THIS PERSON TO SMITE MY RUIN UPON THE MOUNTAINSIDE. I came here for sparkles on my nails. I did not see “reenact the Rocky-in-the-meatlocker-scene with yourself playing the role of The Meat” listed on the website. YEESH.

So many pop cultural goings on! First of all, what I really want to do is a close read of the Swift/Kimye sitch but I shall spare you the agony. The problem is that my knowledge and interest in the Kardashians is really at genius levels at this point; I mean I am the Neil De-Grasse-Tyson of Kardashians and no one else I know is into it and so conversing about it is too hard. Like, you know how a movie will come out and DeGrasse-Tyson will be all “THAT ISN’T HOW SPACE WORKS, SANDRA BULLOCK IN ‘GRAVITY'” and everyone sort of rolls their eyes because that’s annoying, Uncle Neil, but also Uncle Neil KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT AND WE DO NOT. That is me. Only I am Uncle Neil and the Kardashians are space and my friends are Sandra Bullock. Someone will say something about a Kardashian and I will say “ACTUALLY WHAT KIM DID THERE WAS SUBVERT THE RACIALIZED DYNAMIC OF SWIFT’S COMMENTS ABOUT KANYE IN A FLAWLESSLY THOUGHT OUT AND IMPECCABLY TIMED WAY AND LET ME TELL YOU MORE ABOUT THIS AND I CAN ALSO DRAW DIAGRAMS WITH TIMELINES IF THAT HELPS YOU” and then people want to body check me, manicurist style. So, just know that I want to talk more about this but I am going to stop now AS A FAVOR TO YOU. Trust me, you should thank me. I have a problem.

I went to the movies to see some ghosts being busted last week. It was super fun, and it was pretty cool to see the stars– who usually do much more over-the-top kooky, adult-oriented humor–skew their comedy to a younger, PG-13 audience. I wish I would’ve had this movie when I was 10.

Also seen by these eyeballs: Bed, Bath, and Star Trek Beyond. People who like Star Trek movies like it through various access points, and for me the main one is the relationships between the characters. The more they get to interact and develop nuance, the happier I am. The recent reboots have done this pretty solidly, and I have to say that although I liked this one a lot, it didn’t have as much of this as I wanted. That’s the down side. The upside was that there was a lot of fun chasey chase and explodey booms that were quite enjoyable, and also John Cho. I like a large heaping dose of John Cho, which, I know, so original.

If all that weren’t good enough! Great British Baking Show is BACK. BISCUITS, SPONGES, AND EVEN BAKES FOR ALL. The parade of colorful jackets on one Ms Mary Berry, the thoughtful, always kind but always tough judging, the disgusting looking food (NO PRUNES IN MY BREAD THANK YOU), mwah! So great.

So much more to share, but Ima get going for now. Summer is in full swing, y’all! I hope you are having a ball and not letting any manicurists wallop your neckbone. Here’s my current jam for your earball pleasure.

Good as Hell, Lizzo

 

 

Take care

It has been a hard, raw week in our world, my darlings. How are you all doing? I hope you’re taking care, and that goes double for my POC brothers and sisters. It’s a traumatizing time and the shit just keeps coming, and for those who see times like these and galvanize, organize, and push even harder for positive change, please take some time to decompress, take care of yourself, lean on your loved ones, clear your head as much as you can.

It can be a fraught thing to have a little project like this here blog, whose reason for existing is pure silliness, during times when nothing feels worthy of lightness. I kept thinking about writing, but I didn’t want to because of the heaviness in my own heart, so this week just went by without any drafts being started. It’s been a busy week anyway- my niece came to visit from the east coast, plus I had a nasty cold all week at the same time, and interwoven into that was what felt like a frenzied loop of checking twitter and other sources for news, reading, checking in with friends, writing legislators, making calls- all the things we do to try to push back against the wave of despair and worry that are so much larger than any one of us at times like this. Why would I take any time out of my week to write you some ha has about Veep, or whatever? It seems absurd.

Today was a day that I took some time for myself to try and stop the cycle of reading, checking, doing, and acting and remember that it’s ok, and healthy, to try to think about something else. Unplug from the news. Take a walk. See a movie. Hug and kiss someone. Watch lots of car karaoke on youtube, if you must know. We need that.

So, in that spirit, I’m posting some things that I took in today, and yes, my goofball tone will stay in tact. I flatter myself I am sure, but I’d like to think that checking in with this corner of the internets could function as a sliver of that self-care space that you might need. We’ve got a lot of work out there in the world to keep ourselves informed and moving forward, but in between, I am here for a few seconds of dippy joy.

Love and Basketball: I love this movie so much that I don’t even care that it has sportage bouncey ball at the center of it. Monica is a basketball star who falls in love with her childhood neighbor Quincy, a basketball hotshot in his own right. I think what is missing for me in most romantic movies is the sense that the couple are truly friends, equals, and partners in their relationship and this one has this in piles without losing any sexiness. Plus! Sweet 80s and 90s hip hop and r&b soundtrack is just TO DIE FOR. Watch it and feel better about things.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: This memoir by Padma whats-her-face from Top Chef gave me the rep sweats (THANK YOU NPR’S CODESWITCH FOR GIVING ME THIS PERFECT TERM. Rep sweats = that anxiety you get as a person from an underrepresented group who sees someone on tv or movies that is from your group and you want them to be great SO BADLY). I could have gotten past a lot of things for Padma, but you guys she went and insulted Fiji, where my folks are from. An Indian-American lady (yay, I identify with that!) takes time out of her life to make a very specific reference to Indians from Fiji (gasp! a level of specificity that never happens! REP SWEATS ENGAGE, WHAT WILL SHE SAY), and then all she does is talk about how people from Fiji are coarse, speak terribly, are embarrassingly backward, hate women (WHAT) and beat their children (DOUBLE WHAT). EXSQUEEZE ME PADMA BUT YOU NEED TO SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP. Ignorantly shit-talking an entire culture is the sign of a horrible person, so Padma, my rep sweats were warranted. You are an epic, epic fail.

Clue: Tim Curry as the butler, Michael McKean as the nerdy scientist, Leslie Ann Warren as a Susan Sarandon doppleganger, ALL GREAT. If for nothing else, watch this just for the line where Madeline Kahn talks about how mad she is.

2 Dope Queens podcast: I could not love it more and am now just mad that I listened to them all too fast and I have no more to hear. SAVOR THEM.

Hip Hop Family Tree comics series: Chock full of hip hop artists from mega stars to deeper cuts, this will make you want to make playlist after playlist.

Mr. Robot: Despite the feeling that comes over me when I am watching this that it could’ve been written by a really smart but overly serious ex-boyfriend of mine in college (IT’S ALL CORPORATE CONSUMERISM, MAN, WE ARE ALL PAWNS, NO LISTEN) this enjoyably conspiracy-ish world of smart weirdos who are all half terrible but not wrong about things (oh hey, like that ex-bf was) is fun to binge, just in time for the next season to come out later this month.

Refill your souls, friends.

 

X Men, lots of X Men

I went to see the latest X Men movie this weekend and here are my thoughts about it- don’t worry, no spoilers.

They put Oscar Isaac’s lovely mug in a sort of turtle-like face paint and dressed him in a couture tin can. He is ageless and hanging out in ancient Egypt being evil. At one point he walks out into the streets with only a loose Jackie O scarf around his head and no one seems to notice that he is BLUE LIKE GROVER in broad daylight. He absorbs other mutants’ power through some sort of ancient motherboard technology. He meets up and recruits Storm. I feel like these movies never give Storm enough to do. She is obvs awesome and yet she’s always sort of background.

Rose Byrne was running around in a burka for disguise-purposes. Don’t do that, Rose. Just don’t do that.

We find Magneto being a family man, which doesn’t last long. He’s gonna put on that metal skull hat shortly and sling some major hardware, don’t you worry. I find Michael Fassbender distracting, I am not gonna lie. Like, he’s too hot. I should be paying attention to how he is using metal weapon art to express his anger management issues but when he’s on screen all I can think is OH HAI YES JUST WALK AROUND SOME MORE WHY DON’T YOU.

There is also Professor X as played by James McAvoy who can also go to a sultry place for me (hello, Atonement) but I feel like he can hide it better because of acting so it wasn’t the same issue. Plus they make him say things like “spit spot” which is a boner killer, if you will pardon me saying so.

Raven is the shape-shifting blue scaley mutant played by Jennifer Lawrence. Here is the thing about Raven that I don’t understand. She’s got this conflict about whether she should be out and proud with her blue-scaled, red mullet self, or whether she should keep it on the DL and walk around looking like a normal, with blond Jessie Spano hair. Obviously we want to live in a world where it’s ok to let your blue skin shine. However. How come the only blue-scaled option is nude? Like, why can’t her blue skinned self put some PANTS ON OR SOMETHING. And if part of her fight is for nude rights, like at least say it. IDK.

Then there’s Angel who is angry and has wings, Nightcrawler who I love because he’s such a gee dee scaredy cat which seems like the most reasonable thing to be, considering. Also Cyclops who gets magical sunglasses that actually look like sunglasses (I always think about poor Georgi LaForge in Star Trek who had to wear that banana clip on his face), and Jean Grey who is SANSA MOTHERJUMPIN STARK. My brain almost couldn’t take that in. Also in the house is Hank McCoy whose mutant power is that he is a blue lion guy? I never understood that one. Olivia Munn also gets in there as one of Oscar Tin Can Isaac’s henchmen. How about we have an Asian or Asian American person in one of these movies who didn’t have any martial arts anything. No effing samurai-style light sabers, no flying kicks, nothing. Just have them fighting like other people. Maybe next time? Hope springs eternal.

What I am saying is that THERE ARE A LOT OF X PEOPLE. I didn’t even get through everyone. X-THRONG MORE LIKE. It was X-breadth but no X-depth.

They run around, blow things up, punch each other in the face, murder kind of a lot of bystanders, and all like that. You know, the yooj. I give it a solid ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Stay Amok

You know how there are those scenes in Star Trek TNG where the Borg get untethered from their hive mind and they all start walking around like tipsy robots, their heads short circuiting from feeling their brain juice on the loose for the very first time? This is what Seattle people look like when the sun finally comes out after a long soggy winter. Certifiably AMOK.

Last weekend we ran around and did so many things we were swimming in amokness. Among the things we did was go to opening night of a gem of a show called Now I’m Fine, where musician, comedian, and writer Ahamefule J. Oluo told autobiographical stories, punctuated by music played by a 17-piece orchestra. It was heart-swelly and should you get the chance to see it, take it.

I also went to a screening of the movie The Last Dragon, starring Vanity. There was a time, around 6th grade, when my friend Sarah and I were obsessed with all things that had to do with Vanity, the frontwoman of Vanity 6. We had come to know about Vanity a little bit past when she became popular, via an old Rolling Stone magazine that my sister had with Prince on the cover and Vanity standing with him burning up the pages with her eyeballs. This was right at the point in my life when my curiosity about sexy business was all questions and no answers and when I saw her there was something that made me think: THIS LADY HAS ANSWERS, Y’ALL. I started listening to her music (she was a solo artist by then) and just rolled around in what I then thought was the dirtiest, nastiest, slinkiest music I could have imagined. DON’T LAUGH I WAS TWELVE I DIDN’T KNOW. When I listen to it now, yes, it is Velveeta levels of fromage. It is clear that this music was tailor made for sexually curious youngsters. It’s like My Little Pony rainbow unicorns but with horrible double entendres that are more impressionism than anything. “Sugar on your candy cane” = me: I think I know what she is talking about. Something boners something? IDK, so dirty, Ima pretend to my friends I know what that shit means.

So when I saw that a local cinema was screening The Last Dragon, starring my girl Vanity, I had to go. I had seen this movie as a kid and loved it for many reasons. It had: kung fu battles, breakdancing, music videos embedded (including one by DeBarge), a healthy sprinkle of cuts from original Bruce Lee movies, and Vanity. To my middle school self, this was the perfect cocktail mix of fabulousness. I was a little bit afraid of seeing it again because how can something like that retain any childhood magic? But you know what, you guys? IT DID. My expectations were set pretty low, but I am going to stand here and say THAT MOVIE AIN’T A BAD MOVIE AND I WILL STAND BY THIS IN A FAKE KUNG FU STANCE.

There are many things that you can point to about Vanity that are problematic, objectified female sexuality probably being a fair one overall. I can honestly say that this was not what I picked up from her work as a 6th grader who was curious about what was going on with Adult Touching And The Like. The thing that I picked up from her was a playfulness, a performative mischievous quality that appealed to me in a society that was telling me that, as a girl, it was not ok to think about sex as being fun. One thing I noticed about The Last Dragon was, as cheesy as it is, that movie is clearly in on its own joke. I can’t say whether that was true for Vanity in her work in summary, but I think it fair to say that it’s work that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is a concept I like, even as an Old who is, to be honest, a bit appalled that I was singing along to “and then he found my hallway that went all the way” when I was twelve.

 

 

Consumables #151 Watching In the Heart of the Sea

I had to go to a meeting today and when I got there I was already almost late and there was no parking anywhere. So I parked in a questionable spot and went to my meeting and when I came out? A ticket on my windshield asking me for FIFTY GEORGIE WARSHINGTONS. And I couldn’t even be mad because I knew I was being shady.

I watched a movie all about bad decision-making the other night called In the Heart of the Sea. In it, Chris Thorsworth plays a dude who decides to go hunting for whales so as to use their oil. I only know Chris as Thor and when he is Thor he has a very Thor voice. I guess you could say he has a Thor Throat (LOOK MA, ARE YOU PROUD OF THAT ONE?). In this movie, he is not a super hero but he still has that voice, just booming out everywhere. Do you think he booms it out like that just when he is ordering his latte in the morning or whatever?

Anyway, he goes off to sea. The heart of the sea, of course. Although it seemed more like the ass of the sea. There was nothing but storms everywhere they went. And then whenever whales showed up, Thor and his buds had to just stand there on the side of the boat and wait for them to swim by and throw harpoons at them by hand and hope for the best. I do not know how, in this day and age, we are supposed to feel sorry for whale harpooners or root for them in any way, but there you have it. There is one whale who is a total Kujo whale and busts all of Thor’s shit up one side and down the other.

To sum up, Thor got jacked up and I got squeezed for fifty monies, both victims of bad decisions.