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There’s a very good article on Cracked about messages Hollywood sends to men. Basically if you ever thought ‘hey, men are disenfranchised in the patriarchy too!’ and then reeled back in horror after discovering MRAs, this is a nice alternative.

This thing that got me thinking what the last point they made- than men die a hell of a lot more in movies as just background goons. We don’t get many background female goons for batman, Iron Man or whoever to go through like swiss cheese, and on the surface I thought- yeah, it would be weird to see women get blasted to bits by a dude.

But then I thought about it.

See, and this is going back to Fallout for a minute. I’m playing through as Nate, and Nate is a guy. But Fallout 4 does not care a fig about this and generates goons with randomly determined appearance, ethnicity and gender. 

So for the last few weeks, of all the Gunners, raiders, Rust Devils, Institute arseholes, trappers, etc etc that Nate’s been chewing through, at least 50% of them have been female. And this has been the same whether it’s Fallout, Skyrim, Mass Effect, all the way back to Baldur’s Gate which had plenty of female antagonists to turn into pincushions.

And it didn’t feel bad, because these characters were primarily threats. It didn’t feel like it justified violence against women because if a woman is wearing an outfit 50% BDSM gear and 50% roadsign and is jumping at you with a handheld chainsaw, I think as a feminist you should be allowed to blow her away with a tricked out combat rifle and rifle her corpse for ammo. But that’s just me.

IDK, but I’d have thought Hollywood would look into that when doing a casting call for ‘Goon 213, to be punched in face and impaled on spike by hero.’
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It was one of the first Vietnam war movies I saw. It was hilariously funny, and I always enjoyed watching the wonderful Robin Williams (sniff) doing his awesome stand up comedy routines about the Cold War.

That being said, even I had to admit that the framing narrative around the comedy routines was a bit… lacking. Oh, it was clearly well intentioned, determined to show the consequences of the war on the Vietnamese population and refusing to make this a stand up war movie. Which was great, except it tackled these concepts with all the subtlety of a rampaging bull with an anvil strapped to its tail. Watching the movie was an interesting exercise in vacillating between laughing your head off and wincing in embarrassment.

So husband and I decided that, since we were going to Vietnam (I am writing this in Hue right now) we would remedy my sad deficit of good Vietnam War movies (the only other I’d seen was Apocalypse Now) and I looked forward to seeing a more nuanced and interesting picture of the war from a Vietnamese perspective.

Well. If you’ve seen any Vietnam War movies, you can guess how well that turned out.

It was about at that point in Platoon where random white POV character says “We did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves” that I started feeling really fucking insulted on the behalf of the people of Vietnam because what the fuck was the Viet Cong and ANV then? Chopped fucking liver?

Turns out, Good Morning Vietnam was the only Vietnam War movie that even recognised there were people in Vietnam other than Americans, and these people didn’t have names like ‘one legged man’ or ‘woman in village.’

And this pissed me the fuck off because besides being racist as all fuck, telling the Vietnam war from a Vietnamese perspective would make a really really fucking good movie.

I mean, I went on a tour today around the DMZ, with a guide who had been around at the time and could remember the war and what came to me again and again was-

These were people fighting a massively technologically advanced enemy, who was waging war not only against their people but against the whole world around them- poisoning the ground, burning down forests, using immense amounts of hardware they couldn’t dream to match in a direct fight and which could just annihilate everything in their path.

Where have I heard this story before?

I’ve just described the plot to HG Well’s War of the Worlds.

So yeah, fuck Joseph Conrad’s raving racism, the real turn of the century novel-to-Vietnamese war movie is War of the Worlds written from the POV of someone in Da Nang or something when the Americans more in. 

It works on just every level. No one knows if the invaders are going to be good or bad, check. Massive destruction on an unimaginable scale, check. People living underground to escape the machines of death, check. Envrionmental annihilation, check.

And the ending of the novel - slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth - doesn’t refer to bacteria, but rather the sheer arrogance of the American military in thinking the Vietnamese were weak and pathetic and easily conquered. Check mothafucking check.

So fuck Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket, and Apocalypse Now, and even Good Morning Vietnam. 

What we need is a War of the Worlds Vietnam movie.
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So I will now complain endlessly about it:

Spoilers )

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Okay, maybe it's because of spending waaaay to much time reading Nazi propaganda as part of my MA, but I sometimes find myself pinging like a fucking pinball machine in an earthquake when I feel soemthing trying to pull my strings. Sometimes I can let it go because I know it's propaganda for my kind of worldview (oh John Brunner, how I love you) but sometimes it's just so blatant I weant to punch someone (Avatar, my knuckles in your teeth). And sometimes, it's both painfully blatant and completely opposed to my worldview, at which point the implement I am consuming it on goes out of the window.

Which is why my computer is now littering the streets, and I am typing this on my microwave.

Oh Elementary. Why did you do that?

Spoilers for early season 2 of Elementary )

Dear Elementary: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I pee in your eye.
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Fucking hell, talk about shitty timing. I've spent the last three days nailed to my tablet because of this goddamn prompt:

There have been several cool prompts about Newt not being human, but personally I've always loved stories where the understated person is the inhuman one. Because what better cover is there than being so boring and stuffy that nobody would suspect your of having any otherworldly secrets? So, could we get some not!human Hermann stories going on here? Please?

So if anyone wants to Beta-read a really weird (but not Fic From Hell weird) Pacific Rim fic, please drop me a line. This is going to be YET ANOTHER series, albeit a more a managable one.

So yeah, anyone?

*no seriously, wtf is it with this fucking film, it's like the best thing ever and I've got two books, three posters already and I'm eying up more merchandise. It's like fucking crack*
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A bit of Hermann Gottlieb/Newton Geiszler pre-slash. Because they're cute, and about as canon as any other romance in the movie.

Spoilers: the good guys win, whoop-te-do.

In Synch )
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I think one of the reasons various works take off in fandom is directly related to how much there is to 'unpack' in the work, whether in the characters (hellooo Avengers fandom), the plot, or the world. It's one of the reasons why some works, though I like them, don't really stick with me because they don't give me much to work with: it's all been worked out and delivered. And that's fine, but when a work delivers a story and leaves a lot more up to individual imagination, the work takes off in fandom as though someone strapped rockets to it. It's the reason Harry Potter became such a huge fandom, and it's the reason Pacific Rim is going up right now. This article writes:

There's more to say, but I'm realizing first that this article is reaching Kaijulike proportions already, and second that I really need to watch the film once more before digging into some of the ideas more easily. This is by no means a comprehensive catalog of the various visual language/metaphor components of Pacific Rim. It barely even scratches the surface, in fact. Like, we could talk about:


  • The way costuming is used to portray character

  • The fact that the Australians are the only pilots to mark their kills on their armor

  • The crazy closing sequence in the rift

  • The red shoe and the symbolism there

  • Moving beyond images, the fact that Mako's freakout in the first test run happened because she was forced to experience Raleigh's brother's death both from Raleigh's perspective and his own perspective and how she would have been fine if she wasn't hit by a double dose of Raleigh's bad memories

  • The images we see of Herman and Newt's memories when they drift together

There is just so much to unpack in that film, and it's the reason I'm so hyped at the chance of a sequel: After humanity closes the rift and stops the kaiju, what's the next logical step? Taking the war to the kaiju homeworld and showing them why you never, ever, ever mess with muthafucking humanity *screams, flails, beats head on desk* HOLY SHIT PLEASE DO THIS DEL TORO

But really, I just want to spend time in that world, and with these characters. There's so much there, even a two hour film isn't nearly enough.

But until then, we've got fanfic.
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Today, in Pacific Rim World, the first Kaiju emerged from the rift and trashed San Francisco.

Today, in our world, I went to see Pacific Rim for the third time.

I love this goddamn movie.
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Mine though, was a dream. I mean, an actual dream, as in I woke up furious at myself for missing the awesome bits. The whole thing was set during the point where the war against the Kaiju is going bad, and Jargers are falling fast. The Avengers are Kaiju teams (I don’t know if they paired off or if it worked in my headcanon of Tony going solo with Jarvis, Steve being able to pilot one alone, and Bruce drifting with himself via the Hulk) either way, they were in an OT6 poly relationship, and as everything is going from bad to worse they are increasingly terrified that one of their group isn’t going to come back.

It isn’t the dying that scares them, it’s the being alone. All of them have nightmares that one by one, the others die, until it’s just them left, alone in the Shatterdome. They wake shaking and sick, and cling tight to the others, but the fear never goes away.


Finally, Tony’s the one who can’t take it any more, and decides to do something about it. He sets about building the most incredible Jager. He works in a state of terror he hasn’t experienced even in Afghanistan, because at least there it was only his neck on the line.  Now, every day he takes is a day when they might be called out, when one of them might never return. He works like he’s never worked before in his life. Finally, the only thing missing is the power source. It’s an arc reactor, but it needs the vibranium to power it, and Tony can’t synthesise that much. And for the rest of the vibranium in the world…


Steve gives him his shield. Tony doesn’t even get to explain what for (he doesn’t want to get their hopes up, in case it doesn’t work). Steve just says that if it has a fraction of a chance of working, he’s all for it, he doesn’t think he’ll ever need the shield again…


Finally, the Jager’s finished, and Tony brings the team in to look at it. By this point the goverment has pulled funding for the Jager program, and Tony has had to fund this by himself. He’s more or less bankrupt, but the Jager is finished. It’s built of admantium and titanium and some other alloys Tony had to invent. It’s about twice as big as other Jagers, and half again as high, it’s got four arms, and as many legs. And it needs six people to pilot it correctly.

It’s not perfect, Tony explains, although it’s near as and will never run out of power. Eventually the Kaiju will probably get too powerful for it, as they are becoming for the new generation of Jagers. They’ll probably still not make it. But when they meet their end, it’ll be together, as one, linked in so closely they’ll share every thought, every breath. They will not die alone, and no one will be left to grieve.


And that has to be the best gift Tony could have given them, but before anything else happens there’s a Kaiju warning, and they have to take the Jager out. The Kaiju actually gets pretty close to them, to the point where they fight it on the doorstep to the Shatterdome. And the Kaiju goes for them, wraps it’s arms around them and tries to hoise the Jager off the ground to throw it into the sea. It strains and roars, but just can’t do it, then the Jager lifts all four arms, brings them up-

And my fucking alarm goes off. GODDAMIT!

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Yes.

Just Yes.

I tweeted just after coming out of this movie that the biggest thing about it was not the monsters, or the robots, but it's heart. This movie is all heart, all the time.

Very few spoilers and nothing too groundbreaking )

So much love, right here.
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If that's the way they behaved around adults, no wonder the little fuckers never got adopted; RUN AWAY GRUE.
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Which is to be a film coming out this summer. I read and went 'oh, post-apocalyptic fiction! I love those' and promptly downloaded the BD to read them in French so I could get the details.
Spoiler for the comics (which I don't think will be relevant for the movie) )

Iron Man 3

Apr. 25th, 2013 06:52 pm
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Well, that was an incoherent, schizophrenic pile of crap.
Serious spoilers beyond )
Going to be ignoring that one folks.
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Some times, you just want to go to the cinema. It doesn't matter what's on, you just want to go sit and stare at the big screen and eat snacks. I was like that today, and the best film that suited the time I arrived was Wreck-it Ralph, 3D. I'd heard decent things about the film so I decided 'why not?'
Some minor spoilers )
Tally for 2013:

Django Unchained (anything that can make me write a 1,000 word essay analysing it has to be worthwhile)
Wreck-it Ralph (Clever and entertaining, and good natured)
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Yes I waited until Febuary to see my first film of 2013, sue me.

I have an odd relationship with Tarantino movies. On one hand he is without a doubt a terrific director with his own unique style, and the films he makes are very good. However, for some reason, I've yet to see a film of his that grabs me by the throat and doesn't let me go until the last moments. I can never say I love any film of his. It's not his fault, there's just something about them that doesn't quite mesh with me. That being said, I've not met a Tarantino film that I actively dislike (except, for very personal reasons, Inglorious Basterds), so every time a film of his comes out, I usually go and see it because it guarantees a good time. Not every film has to be District 9.

So, that being said, I went to see Django Unchained. To me, it looked like what Inglorious Basterds should have been, and was at the very least not covering a historical period I was familiar with. I went in expecting gore, slaughter and good dialogue, with perhaps a little hope that this would be the film that would make me understand why Tarantino is so universally beloved by so many.

I'm sorry to say I still haven't got it, but that's all I can complain about, because Django Unchained is a rollickingly good film, and I had a really good time. It was, all around, really good, really fun, and really, really satisfying in a visceral way you only get with Tarantino films.

Unlike Basterds, in which I hated the title characters to the point I wanted to Nazis to blow them up as soon as possible, the main characters of Django and Schultz are very likable. They're not always likeable people, but as an audience there's no real problem in rooting for them. The bad guys similarly, are so repellently bad that it's a joy and delight when they get blown away in showers of bullets and floods of very pretty blood.
Spoliers from here people, you are warned )
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Saw it again. No, I don't care that I'm going to see it for a anniversary screening in two weeks. Saw it again anyway. Not as good as I remember it, though.

It's better.

Gets better, every time.
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Films about your subject eliciate a 'meh', but a film about a leading light in your subject eleciates an 'ooh'

Hannah Arendt is finally getting a film.

I know she's a bit of a polarising figure, but I tend to lean more on her side than against.

Argo

Dec. 29th, 2012 11:18 pm
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I've been wanting to see this for a while. I loved the idea and the story behind it, and the film got everything right. It got the right balance of funny and deadly serious, and got the period style and setting (in spite of the history that followed; see: Iran). I thought it was great, and like many good films I really don't have much to say other than it was good, it was fun, and totally worth the money. Ending off a great year of films with yet another hit.


Cabin in the Woods (That was awesome!)
Dredd (Cabin is still the best, but these films are getting perilously close)
Looper (Could potentially have dislodged Cabin if the creators hadn't dropped the ball on half the population)
Batman, The Dark Knight Rises (Had hiccups here and these, but it was brilliant and fun, and I loved it)
Argo (Slick and smooth, perhaps too smooth for me to get my teeth into, but a thoughtful lot of fun)
Prometheus (Flawed, but it's something new and interesting, and looked great)
Avengers (All good fun)
Paranorman (Haven't actually reviewed this one, one of my 'great, but would have liked it more when I was younger' films)
Iron Sky (First half was not my thing, but made up for it by an epic and hilarious second half)
Pirates!
An Adventure with Scientists (certainly good, but nothing memorable. I call it a meringue movie, enjoyable but not substantial)
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I am so not watching this film because the idea of mixing Robin Williams and the Holocaust makes me want to be sick.
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But of all the various film slated for a remake that we are bewailing, why isn't Watership Down one of them? I think the fil is great, but every time I watch it I get the feeling that I'm watching the book on fast forward. This is a film that's begging for someone to take it and give it a proper, Lord of the Rings style adaptation in two or more films. One film, not matter how loyal and beautifully animated, is just not enough to do more than scratch the surface of this incredible book.

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