The Day It’s “About” the Empire and Not “By” the Empire

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

01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?

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?

Don’t Look Up

This “review” contains immediate spoilers, so the short version is: do not recommend. The extra half-star is because it’s somewhat funny, and for DiCaprio’s performance, which is considered and against type, but still not enough to elevate the role to a character … More Don’t Look Up

The 20-Year Marketing Legacy of “Training Day”

Filmmakers can be sensitive sometimes. David Fincher still won’t talk about Alien 3, a 25-year-old wound by the time he produced Mindhunter, co-starring Holt McCallany (from Alien 3). Maybe on the promotional circuit, McCallany mentions that he first worked with David on Alien 3, and the director has to sit by silently — we apply the Eisenstein montage to his blank face and imagine the inner turmoil. Once a film has been made, it’s printed onto public record, and may follow its filmmaker through their career. I understand via pop culture osmosis that Stephen King wants to be known for The Dark Tower, but everybody talks about The Stand instead. You may not get to choose, as budgets inflate and stakes raise and the realities of showbiz bear down on creative passersby. … More The 20-Year Marketing Legacy of “Training Day”

“Warrior” Couldn’t Be More Relevant in 2021

Just as some believe anti-violence in film can be achieved by sickening the audience with ultraviolence, any cinematic depiction of racism necessarily traffics in the imagery and narratives of racism. And necessary they may be in turn, all the brutal historical dramas which bring atrocities to vivid life beg the question: isn’t there another way? Perhaps there have been or could be movies about racism that forgo such descriptions as “confrontational.” Instead, we could have two strangers from opposite sides of the track building a new and honest relationship with nary a slur slipping out. Sometimes you want that, and that’d be nice. But sometimes, you want to see a racist guy kicked through a wall. … More “Warrior” Couldn’t Be More Relevant in 2021

Masokaiju Tendencies: Those American Godzilla Movies

Godzilla is a metaphor for the atomic bomb in a film from Japan, a country struck with the atomic bomb by America, so when Godzilla shows up in America, how do you want me to take that? Hollywood has a concise answer: “I don’t give a shit.” A seemingly inevitable statement made as consequence of international intertextuality is forfeited upon the altar of I don’t know what. Three American Godzilla movies have been released so far, and I understand this to be a controversial statement, so I apologize in advance, but none of them have been good. Granted, Godzilla movies are usually not good, but this is different. At least, I think it is. … More Masokaiju Tendencies: Those American Godzilla Movies