So I’m trying something new by making an audio review following my second viewing of Spider-Man: Homecoming! Right now I don’t have a way to transcribe the audio, but f I ever get to a place where I can afford to pay for transcription… I’ll get on that.
This review contains so many spoilers for Homecoming, a metric ton of Tony Stark Hate (ugh), some bitterness about the Miles Morales movie we could’ve had, and goopy fawning over how much I loved this movie.
Note: I absolutely wrote the wrong title down initally because I am a space case. Deal with it.
I went and saw Fantastic Beasts this past week.
Considering that my video review is almost an hour long, obviously it inspired a whole host of grouchy thoughts on my end. Mainly that the film’s beautiful cinematography and the way that the magical creatures first brought to our attention in Rowling’s 2001 magizoological textbook are brought to life on the big screen don’t make up for barely unbroken whiteness, Rowling’s misuse of Native cultures in and out of the film, and what reads to me as a really shitty narrative about abuse survivors.
I fell out of love with the Harry Potter series pretty early on. I liked the idea of the franchise and owned all of the books at one time or another, but with every new tidbit that Rowling revealed about her characters and the world that they lived in, I found myself increasingly disenchanted. This is all thanks to Rowling’s constant need to express regret for everything except how lacking her works were in diversity and her new material which contains things like confirming/canonizing her “lycanthropy as a stand-in for AIDS/HIV” stance or the way she views Native cultures as a monolith while misrepresenting and misusing Native peoples and cultures.
I watched Fantastic Beasts specifically because I wanted to check the film out and provide an honest opinion of it. I did go into it expecting to hate two specific things (the lack of diversity and Johnny Depp) but I was surprised at all the other things that made me annoyed or uncomfortable throughout watching it.
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with the critical slant I tend to take when watching films, understand that this isn’t going to be a review where I say super goopy things about the film. I think I say one and a half nice things about it and they’re not very nice at that. So be prepared for a rather caustic look at the thing you probably love!
Notes, clarification, warnings, and links to thing you might want to read are under the cut!
This week’s Bond Girl post is about my favorite Bond film in Pierce Brosnan’s run: GoldenEye.
Here’s an excerpt:
Alec Trevelyan betrays Bond (and MI6) while his own feelings of betrayal drive him. Of course. He has the requisite tragic backstory (the death of his parents at his father’s hand in what Trevelyan sees is a direct relation to British betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks to the Russians after World War II.)
Following the dramatic reveal that Trevelyan is in fact alive and well, James Bond feels betrayed because his close friend not only faked his death, but also has decided to betray the country that they grew up in. It’s such a mess.
Add to that how Trevelyan is certainly dealing with jealousy of Bond and you’ve got this tangled web of emotions and everyone’s inability to communicate before going off to enact their massive plans for revenge.
Seriously, there’s a point where Trevelyan sneers at Bond about finding forgiveness in the arms of willing women “for all the ones you’ve failed to protect.” I feel like it’s an especially cutting dig because Trevelyan most certainly would’ve known about Bond’s wife so this perhaps is a way that we’re getting an oblique reference to James Bond’s dead wife Tracy.
Either way, Trevelyan isn’t playing fair.
If you liked this and want to read more about what I liked and disliked about the film, check out Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating GoldenEye on The Mary Sue site! And comment (if you want) or feel free to chat me up on Twitter about everyone’s slightly sleazy favorite man of international espionage!
Nothing in this review should spoil the film. I talk about stuff made explicit (or implied) in the films many trailers, tv spots, and press releases/interviews.
At the end of the credits, there’s the tagline “A Joss Whedon Film”.
I rolled my eyes so hard that they just about fell out of my head.
The thing about Joss Whedon is that when he’s directed anything, you know it. You fucking know it. We make fun of directors like Michael Bay for his use of lens flare and the Coppola’s for their allergy to casting people of color as main characters, but okay can we at least agree that Joss Whedon movies are so imbued by Whedonisms that you couldn’t possibly mistake his work for anyone else’s.
I’m still going strong with these pieces! This week, I look at From Russia With Love,. Unfortunately, this happens to be my least favorite Bond movie so far.
It only took five minutes in my very first rewatch to make me uncomfortable and that’s important, because from those five minutes on, I wasn’t able to enjoy the film the way I wanted to. I watched Dr. No about eight times before I got sick of it. From Russia with Love took half as many rewatches.
From Russia With Love is the second James Bond film, and it’s based on the fifth novel in Fleming’s Bond series. The film focuses on two main plots: first, we have the far reaching arms of SPECTRE plotting to both steal a specific cryptographic device from (and then sell it back to0 the Soviet government; then, we have one of SPECTRE’s top agents developing a way to get revenge on Bond and MI6 for the events shown in Dr. No via a complicated mix of scandal and murder. It’s more focused on political intrigue than the previous film (which I feel focused more on terrorism than on espionage); here, we have Bond and his allies in a country that isn’t exactly friendly to them, and in the middle of an issue that could end with MI6′s reputation being dragged through the mud.
I’m going to be honest: From Russia With Love alternately bored and annoyed me. The high points of the film were the political parts and the fight scenes, but there was so much more that I either felt uncomfortable with or that straight up made me angry.
If that piqued your interest, feel free to check out Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating From Russia With Love over on TheMarySue and say nice things about it either there or by messaging me on twitter! (Or you know, you can totally disagree with me and share your thoughts about that! I’m open to discussion!!)
I’m on the front page of TheMarySue! Ah! I feel like I’m moving up in the world! Wow!
If you like super critical reviews of stuff coupled with that crisis when something you love turns out to be ridiculously problematic, you should keep an eye out for the further adventures of Bond Girl. After all, there are twenty-three official Bond films out so far and a handful of unofficial ones. It’s going to be a wild ride on our way to Spectre!
You can read Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating Dr. No HERE