Posts

A Simple Review: A Simple Favour (2018)

A lot of people have loved, and will continue to love,  Paul Feig's adaptation of the Darcey Bell suburban thriller novel A Simple Favour. It's been marketed aggressively - Blake Lively will simply not stop wearing suits - and it's aiming to capitalise off the success of pulpy book-to-screen conversions like the exemplary Gone Girl (largely thanks to David Fincher's eye for detail) or the legion of close copies it inspired. With slick, female led advertising and polarising early reviews, I wanted to enjoy this movie. I wanted it to be over the top and dramatic and twisty and lack too much self-seriousness. I wanted beautiful women, hopefully fluid in their sexuality, embroiled in mysteries. I wanted to look at Henry Golding some more. While I got one of those wishes, with a lot of my desires I was left...wanting.
We're asked to follow Stephanie, played by Anna Kendrick, as she tries to get to the bottom of the disappearance of her new friend Emily (Blake Lively). Is…

Reigniting the Rom-Com: Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Historically, I do not enjoy romantic comedies. I am a horror buff, I love thrillers, I enjoy action comedies and cars exploding, I can tell you every detail of every Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen travel movie, but as soon as romance gets in there on a serious level I tend to stop enjoying things. I'm a bitter weirdo who hates love! You have to throw in something campy for me to get on board, or at least make it queer. All that considered, I don't think anyone would be surprised that I deeply enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians. Like Get Outand Girls Trip and Moonlight and a whole host of other movies, it didn't matter at all whether or not I loved Crazy Rich Asians, because it is not about me. Not every movie needs to be about me. There were a lot of things in this movie that were not for me, and I loved that.

The movie is based on Kevin Kwan's book of the same name, and it follows the story of an economics professor named Rachel (Constance Wu, who is outstanding) whose boyfriend (…

Hereditary (2018) - What's Scary in 2018?

When a movie is fairly universally regarded as terrifying, I become fixated on it. My fascination with horror as a genre has really hardened me to the notion of "scary", but Hereditary was getting rave reviews and being called scary by all the people whose opinions result in critically acclaimed horror. I had to put on my cynical boots - a lot of these people also loved The VVitch, which I found very hit and miss, and the movie comes from the same producers. Still, my yearning to get to the bottom of what people consider to be a properly scary movie in the current day found an acceptable target. 
With Hereditary, it's easy to see why people were so enraptured. It's a thrilling experience. For a relatively new filmmaker on the mainstream scene, Ari Aster has created a very tightly directed and composed movie. It follows a family after the death of Toni Collette's character's mother, through varying places of grief and understanding of the complexities that run …

Ghostbusters (2016) - On the All-Female Reboot: Starting the Discussion

I'm still wary to write about the Ghostbusters reboot. I wrote this post originally in 2017, and in 2018 I still feel like it's a sticky subject. Attitudes towards this movie are so often vitriolic and rooted in personal issues. I believe that the personal is the political, and my review is definitely one deeply informed by my own feminism married with my preferences in regards to film, but I think it's important to address greater issues in filmmaking and how they reflect the world around us. Everyone's opinions deserve respect but when they are purely a result of a misunderstanding of power balances in the world, it's really upsetting, and that was a lot of my problem with the first wave of reviews for the movie. Let's focus on discussing the cheap jokes and lazy plotting; let's not look at all at ideas about women in comedy. I'll make more points about female reboots when I get to writing about Ocean's 8, which I saw recently and loved. Here is …

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) - An unironic sequel to a reboot to a movie about the evils of human greed

It's been a while since I've written about movies! I've been sick, trying desperately to make it to the end of my degree, and watching predominantly television. I have a lot of thoughts about, say, the racial politics on this season of RuPaul's Drag Race or on the casting problems with The Bachelorette or on the importance of kind television a la Queer Eye or Nailed It but the movies sitting in my drafts have been left unremarked upon. That ead against all changes now. Time to ease back in with something that doesn't make me want to bang my head against my computer for discursive reasons but rather for very different reasons: let's talk about the new Jurassic World movie.

I've never written about a Jurassic Park movie on this blog, but my history with the franchise is not one worth extensive literature. I watched the first movie in about sixth grade, and presumably there was some theoretical basis for that because I remember looking forward to classes where …

Barely Lethal (2015) - A Lesson in Squandering Potential & Entertainment for Teenage Girls

There are movies with great ingredients that cannot succeed in spite of themselves. 2015's teenage spy rom com Barely Lethal is sadly one of the prime example of that, because for all of the elements that might be deemed watchable or all of the things you might think would make it good, no amount of charisma can pull writing like this out of the garbage.

I am not one to over critique teenage girl movies while giving male fantasy a pass. I love Fast & Furious movies shamelessly, but I also will defend teenage girl franchises to the end of time. I can critique the issues with the Twilight movies while finding the vitriol directed at them to be absurd and disproportionate (Lindsay Ellis has an excellent video essay on this topic that I recommend to everyone). There is nothing wrong for making movies for or about teenagers, and there have been some excellent - or even just serviceable - ones in recent years! They can be problematic as all hell, but still elevate their material by …

Culture for Consumption and The Emerging Grossness of Bachelor in Paradise Australia

The last time I wrote about The Bachelor franchise at length, my relationship with the series was in a very different place. Being a fan of such an overwhelmingly straight, overwhelmingly white series has never been unproblematic: it's a constant acknowledgement of your part in the furthering of conservative and oppressive narratives. It was a more innocent time as well - I was cautiously optimistic about Rachel Lindsay's season as The Bachelorette heralding better representation! I hadn't yet seen her abysmal treatment at the hands of the media and the show itself, casting a Literal Racist Who Equated Black Lives Matter Activists With Terrorists. We also hadn't seen the appalling mishandling of the Bachelor in Paradise consent incident involving Corinne and Demario, in which race was neglected from the discussion and personality was used to dismiss allegations. Then came a season with a lead both difficult and boring, and I feel as though my relationship with the fran…