Anyway, something I love about Asian movies is when they manage to find white actors to play less than flattering roles, often in recreations of historical events. The question is sometimes, “Where’d they find this guy?” because the acting is so bad, but then it’s “Where’d they find this guy?” because he’s making the British look real fucking stupid. In Ray Stevenson’s case, I’m genuinely curious if his Irish heritage meant no lost love, either, or if it was just a paycheck and an awesome vacation. … More The Day It’s “About” the Empire and Not “By” the Empire
It happened with Terminator: Genisys, it happened with Godzilla vs. Kong. I will eventually see Jurassic World: Dominion and anything that comes after it, but I wish I had the inner strength to resist. The self-respect, really. Some of my favorite movies are American blockbusters, but the “artform” is in a valley phase. They’re now produced with a TV model, where every film is an episode. This works on TV where the budgets are low enough to keep the moneymen off the lot. The proud catchphrase from the golden era was “On TV, the writer is king,” though that was before we learned that a lot of those guys were mad kings. To be honest, the role of a good director in television is underrated, and the problem is that our modern blockbusters make no room for directors. Jurassic Park was directed. And given that these legacy franchises are all about worshiping older work, I can’t escape this thought even if I wanted to. “Look at how much better this earlier movie was!” the movie is saying. … More Why I’m Quitting Dinosaurs
First and foremost, congratulations to WJSN for winning Queendom 2, though the real winner of course was Taeyeon, filling in for Lee Da-hee. I got into Girls’ Generation a bit sideways, so I’m only now reconciling with the scope of Taeyeon’s celebrity. For anyone else who doesn’t fully understand, Taeyeon is an idol for idols. I’ve seen a number of other idols talk about how cool it would be to one day meet Taeyeon, and I saw Bomi all nervous before being in the same room with her. That’s one thing I’d love to really get, the X factor of knowledge that might come from growing up with all that pop culture. The implicit things like Taeyeon’s godliness or what do Koreans reference in their day-to-day? I’ve picked up on some of it, like references to White Tower or The World of the Married? Anyway, speaking of K-dramas, what was interesting about Queendom 2 for me was Bona’s return of the king, where she joined her group after having missed more than half the show due to Twenty-Five Twenty-One. … More Queendom of the Gods
This year I finally got around to checking out Terminator: Dark Fate, which had not been in the cards. I remember meeting up with a friend in Los Angeles and he said, “Why don’t we go see Terminator sometime?” and I replied, “Yeah, I don’t know. Next movie I see in theaters is gonna be The Lighthouse.” Well, joke’s on me, because I still haven’t seen The Lighthouse. I think I may have shared the apathy of the moviegoing public which rejected Dark Fate, something that had been building. I saw Salvation in theaters and enjoyed it, nearly saw Genisys in theaters but went to the wrong theater and didn’t give it another try. Saw it later and, of course, it sucked. As has been documented elsewhere, the prospect of “the third-best Terminator” wasn’t compelling enough. … More But Not Terminator!
So, Shin Ultraman premiered not long ago and it’s Ultra-smashing up the box office (Ultra Smash being a signature Ultraman move). The review bytes I read reflect the response to the trailer, that it’s a lighter version of Shin Godzilla — that’s all I need. I’m no Ultra scholar, so I don’t know how much political commentary factored into the original. Perhaps with Hideaki Anno ceding the director role entirely to Shinji Higuchi this time, there you have it? Well, that’s not really what a director does. And besides, as I learned today, Anno had a much more important role to play: Ultraman. … More And Hideaki Anno as Ultraman
I’m currently embroiled in one of those arguments where the stakes are not even and things could get messy. Podcast guest host Stella took exception to a recent comment I made on QNA about the venerable Star Wars series, how I was uncomfortable as a kid watching the Prequel Trilogy because so many of the Jedi were men. It was only with Rey in The Force Awakens that I felt “Maybe this could be a universe for me, too.” Stella, a far more ardent Star Wars ardherent, with a trove-like knowledge of the Expanded Universe beyond my reckoning and a more intense investment in female representation in fiction (as a female in non-fiction), countered that there are, in fact, Jedi who are non-men. … More There Are No Female Jedi
Red Velvet has already come back, so soon after the ReVe Festival 2022, kind of compounding my anxiety that the lead single “Feel My Rhythm” will be forgotten — or, if not forgotten, uncalculated in the Best of Red Velvet calculations to come. I say this because — and this is personal heresy — it might be my favorite Red Velvet song? … More Enough
I realize I’m late here, but come on. This article in The Atlantic is so shockingly bad I’m amazed it was published (and continues to be referenced, which is how I saw it months later). Because there’s no immediately visible comment section, I’m actually gonna use this blog post to retweet it. The very title, “Are Audiences Smart Enough to Handle Ambiguity?” is a question answered by itself, but before we continue, let’s have some context. There’s a movie Licorice Pizza, and some Asian people got mad because of an allegedly racist character speaking racistly to Japanese characters. … More This Article Sucks
In this first or possibly third episode of an untitled podcast, we’re taking a look at four American kaiju flicks: Reptilian, Godzilla (1998), Godzilla (2014), and Godzilla vs. Kong. What begins as a series of reviews devolves into a screed against modern Hollywood moviemaking. … More Those American Godzilla Movies [Podcast]
I admit I felt a pang of embarrassment after having singled out Rekha Sharma when discussing Yellowjackets on the QNA Year End Review. After being the first actress you see on the show, she’s soon sidelined for a majority of the season and killed off in the finale. So, actually, it was a series of pangs. The funny thing is, in a post-show interview with the creators [which, naturally, I can’t find again], these two emphasized the ambiguity of plot events, that what you saw is not necessarily what it seemed, and the only thing they did confirm is that Sharma’s character is dead. What the hell? … More 01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?