jaebility: (pw // fuck yeah)
We hadn't gone to the movies in ages; the Dude broke our dry spell by insisting we see The Woman in Black. He'd read the book - he's a huge fan of Victorian ghost stories - and he was also interested in seeing how the Hammer Film re-boot went. Also, he has a thing for guys with mutton chops. So yeah, it was a big ball of expectations.

And then he could barely watch it because it was too scary.

I liked it. Daniel Radcliffe is maturing into an excellent actor. It was a little distracting in the beginning - Harry Potter, what are you doing over there, go back to Hogwarts - but once I got over that, I really enjoyed his performance.

Sets were beautiful, capturing the atmosphere perfectly. That house. That village. The scenes inside the mansion were perfect: the Victorian style made each room draped in darkness, cluttered with the flotsam of the characters' stormy lives. Long halls that disappeared into shadows, massive windows hidden behind drapes and covered in grime, each corner cluttered with curios.

In the end I think it relied too heavily on the GHOST POPS INTO THE FRAME SURPRISE! Also, while the plot revolved around denying women's agency, the movie gave little screen time to the (very few) female characters.


Jun. 22nd, 2011 08:15 pm
jaebility: (mst3k // mr. b)
Watching Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis as the pirate Morgan. And yeah, it's awesome. A strong female lead who kicks more ass then her crew combined? and flirts through an amateur surgery? and in her first scene of the movie is sauntering away from a night of pleasure?

Of course now I want to read Morgan/Isabela. And/or just some Isabela fic where she slashes/sexes her way through to treasure.
jaebility: (random // snape)
Deathly Hallows was AMAZING.


Jul. 2nd, 2010 12:10 pm
jaebility: (avatar // boobies)
The reviews for The Last Airbender have been delicious, but I think Charlie Jane Anders's one on iO9 takes the cake: "This is the part where I would insert a quick plot synopsis of the film, but it's really unnecessary - Shyamalan has boiled every epic heroic story of the past 20 years down to its most basic, primal soup-y essence, so he can spray it all over the audience, in a kind of Hero's-Journey bukkake. You will be finding chunks of Joseph Campbell's calcified spooge behind your ears for three days after watching this film, no matter how many times you bathe."
jaebility: (arch // books window)
Pete and I saw The Secret of Kells last week. It's an absolutely breath-taking movie - It surpasses anything by Pixar and Disney.

I read a review - unfortunately can't remember by whom - which bemoaned the lack of female protagonists, particularly in children's media. I agree completely; girls have to identify with the male characters, sometimes against the female ones. However, the reviewer used Kells as an example, how it's about Brendan, the young monk-in-training, or whatever Catholics call that role, and not about the female spirit Aisling. Pete and I were talking about this on the subway ride home: the movie's not really about Brendan. It's about the book.

Finished The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte last week, too, and I felt the same way. The books take precedence; the characters exist almost in a passive sense in regards to the books. In Club the main character, a "book hunter" named Lucas Corso, is hired to locate two copies of a rare and old book The Book of the Nine Doors. As he fulfils his mission, he realizes his life is following the plot of The Three Musketeers; he later ruminates how fictional his quest and the people in his life seem to be. They exist to progress the plot; they are pages in the book.

And that's what I think about Kells, too. The characters don't really matter. We don't learn much about them, they don't really grow or change over the plot's progression, and there's not even much of a plot. They exist to protect the book. It's not a story about their maturation, it's about how the book expands.

It's all very meta. Wish I were more articulate.
jaebility: (pw // lawyercest kissy)
"When you're a teenager it's true: Life is hard. You're beginning to see how profoundly you can be disappointed or disappoint others yourself; you can be taken aback by cruelty, both that of others and, shockingly, that of yourself; you feel the pressure of the future as you're pressed about colleges, about majors, about extracurriculars; you begin to keep secrets about your thoughts, about what you do; and sex! my god, sex is so confusing." Shining Light on the Demons of Adolescence by jdeguzman

Thought a lot about Coraline this weekend, as per usual. In the book and movie, she's twelve, maybe eleven - But not a teenager, and certainly not 16 or 17, when concerns about college and sex grow prominent.

I like thinking and writing about Coraline as a kid or as an early teenager, but shit gets real when she's a bit older.

Ok, tangent: I was talking to The Boy the other day about how I don't like the "oops I fell onto you" trope that pops up in (or "oops I fell into" hur hur hur) fiction. Crappy romance novels love this: the heroine accidentally trips and lands on the hero, tee hee hee, and they realize how physically attractive the other is. I don't like how it strips the characters of choice. Characters, especially adult characters, shouldn't have interaction forced upon them because they're too immature to initiate something themselves.

I think Coraline has a clear image of what she wants. She thinks she's independent because she's often alone - her parents are too busy to attend to her. It's only at the end that she realizes how she can be truly independent. Coraline's an instigator, too.

Tangent again: In my mind, Wybie's mother was a single parent. I like the idea that Wybie's always been around independent women, that all his role models are strong and female. He's more than content to follow Coraline - He learns to trust her (even though she's batshit insane as far as he's concerned) and willingly puts himself in danger because he so strongly believes in her (and his Other version even SPOILER! diesfor her).

What I like about her (and Yuffie, too, actually; in my mind they share a lot of characteristics) is that Coraline is bold and confident in her actions and decisions. There's a scene in the movie where she runs up a flight of stairs with (Other) Wybie behind her. He holds onto the railings; she doesn't. Coraline's movements are certain, unlike Wybie's, which needs support. (Coraline could totally be a meme like Chuck Norris. Coraline doesn't run up stairs, stairs run from her! ...Let's pretend that made sense.) That's a very telling scene.

Where was I going with this...

The quote is taken from a post about YA literature and teenagers' experiences in general. And hell yeah do I agree. Those years were hard and confusing and painful - I still am baffled by a lot of what happened, by a lot of what I did. I read YA novels as a kid and teenage, though I don't think I actively searched for them or even realized that I was reading in the YA genre. When I got older and started to differentiate between YA and adult novels, I moved away from the former. But now I think I'm becoming enamored with them.
jaebility: (avatar // dance)
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how bemused I was that some of the Coraline fandom portrayed Wybie as white (here at my IJ and LJ). Since then I've been mulling over it some more - and finding more white!Wybie pictures at DeviantArt - so I'm revisiting the subject.

Some of my FL pointed out that Wybie could be mixed-race; I completely agree that this is possible. However, I maintain that whitewashing him is odd.

I thought and thought and strained the few braincells I have, but there was still something that bothered me about this that I couldn't figure out. Then Spielcheck nailed it: "My guess is that some of them are being racist - they are trying to make an ideal version of the character, and to them ideal = normal = white. But I would guess lots of people simply don't recognize it because they're not used to seeing it. They automatically interpret characters in terms they're more familiar with."

I think that's it, exactly. And I also think that's damn interesting. I wish I knew more about race and racism in America (if anyone could recommend some books, I'd be really grateful); I'd like to know if this has happened in other medias. There's the castings of the Avatar: The Last Airbender and 21 movies - in which Asian characters are going to be played by white people or were changed to white characters - and I think they might be related to this, but it's not exactly the same. I'm not sure -- Again, I need to learn more about it.

Man. "But I would guess lots of people simply don't recognize it because they're not used to seeing it. They automatically interpret characters in terms they're more familiar with." If that's true, then fiction needs more diversity immediately. I hope Verb Noire is crazy successful. It's bad enough that the majority of characters are white heterosexual guys (and that the target audience is the same), but to then reinterpret minority characters to fit that stifling mold -- Wow.

Additionally, I said in my first post that I thought that Wybie being black/mixed was a deliberate attempt to engage minorities -- I was wrong on that. Ravenbell gave me a link to a video of Shane Prigmore (check out his blog for his awesome art), one of the character designers, talking about his work on the movie (here).

It's hard to hear, so Prigmore makes a post to clarify:
"[Wybie] was approved and finalized as a sniveling white kid. Infact I was even doing his temp voice for the story reels. THEN …I was doing a ton of exploration for a new little ghost girl (that was shown on this video just before my Wybie stuff), and in my explorations I did some African american versions , just to throw it out there, to mix it up. Well out of all of them Henry chose the little African-American girl hands down. Well that changed things , because that little ghost girl is supposed to be related to Wybie…..So , Henry and I changed Wybie to an african american kid in the eleventh hour…."

So: Bummed that Wybie and his relatives have a token black character feel, but! I'm still glad that Selick and Prigmore decided to change his character design.

(Tangentially, I was talking to The Boy about this [again] this past weekend. The only piece of media I could think of where a character was changed from white to black was in movie adaption of The Shawshank Redemption. There's gotta be more, but that's the only one that came to mind.)
jaebility: (coraline // porch)
This is definitely an OH MY FUCKING GOD moment: “There’s always a chance for a sequel,” Selick acknowledged in an exclusive interview with MTV News...”

A Coraline sequel? Excuse me as I run madly around the apartment, squeeing and waving my hands. Coraline is one of my favorite characters - Girls need more tough, courageous, smart heroines like her. Oh man - What would is be about? Another journey into fairy land, this time to rescue Wybie, who's been captured by the Fairy Queen. Or exorcising the ghosts that still cling to the Pink Palace. Eeeeeeee! Of course the shipper in me wants to see teenage! Coraline and Wybie, but anything they create will be awesome.

Coraline was a success, so LAIKA will hopefully continue to make awesome stop-motion movies. I love that style of film; computer-generated movies just don't have the intrigue. Even if Selick decides to work on other Gaiman projects, it'll still be amazing.

Eeee Coraline was absolutely breath-taking. The character design was perfect, the scenery - like the house collapsing at the end - was gorgeous, the song/dance numbers were incredible. The more LAIKA, the better.


jaebility: (Default)
a jar of jae

November 2016


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