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Film

I can’t get no satisfaction: lament of the pissed off moviegoer

Lately, I can’t get much satisfaction from Hollywood films. And I mean big, fat, Oscar contenders films.

I read the reviews, I enter the movie theatre with great expectations, I come out disappointed. There’s more: I feel guilty for making my husband go through such pain. I assure him that friends and critics loved it and it looked like a safe bet. I come back home angry and incredulous, wondering how can I be the only one disliking so much films that seem to please everyone else. Didn’t they notice the lack of character development, the misogynist clichés, uninspired direction, stiff acting, out of focus close shots, poor audio quality, plot holes…? I go to IMDB to find like-minded opinions, I express my disappointment leaving a 4 star rating on the film page, I snark at the 10 stars reviews and read only the ones that start with “Two hours of my life I will never get back” and “I opened an account just to write this negative review”. But that only makes me angrier. I change my rating to 3 stars. I realize, once again, that I take films, maybe life, too seriously.

Then I save the night with a good TV series. And the magic happens. Continue reading “I can’t get no satisfaction: lament of the pissed off moviegoer”

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“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid”.

Han Solo, Star Wars

The P word

When Snow White first debuted in cinemas in 1937, Walt Disney not only invented the hand-drawn animated feature film, but reinvented traditional fairy tales for the modern audience, creating a new genre. He removed the cruelest and more disturbing parts of the stories, added musical style songs and funny animal sidekicks. Then, over the last twenty years, his company has moved progressively away from conservative and patriarchal clichés: female characters are now more interesting, independent and equal to their male counterparts, love at first sight has given way to more unpredictable and sparkly relationships, ethnic diversity was introduced with Arab, Native American, Afro-American and Polynesian  princesses. There is only one aspect of the fairy tales the American cartoon factory has a hard time letting go of: the royal status of its heroines.

Continue reading “The P word”

The Trolls Paradox

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Countless Hollywood films encouraged us to stop looking for the elusive Holy Grail and realize that the treasure we so desperately crave, happiness, is already in our life. We just need to open our eyes and heart… There is no place like home, learned Dorothy after her misadventures in Oz. You don’t need to travel the world to change it, discovered a suicidal James Stewart on a magical Christmas Eve. The key to fulfillment and success has been in front of you the whole time, was Jerry McGuire’s epiphany.

Trolls, Dreamworks last animated feature, just shared its insight on the matter. And it’s the last thing you would expect from a merchandise-driven movie. Continue reading “The Trolls Paradox”

Big themes, long shots, short-sighted script: how The Revenant’s journey in the wild left so much unexplored

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Here the first part of my review

The frontier, the man versus the wilderness, the fight with the bear, the confrontation with the Other, the heart of darkness, the revenge: on paper The Revenant is the quintessential American film. And an ambitious one: shot all on impervious locations with natural light, long uncut plans and challenging ensemble sequences. Plus it stars the indefatigable Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s in a good streak of memorable performances since, well, forever.

For all those reasons I really wanted to fall in love with Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu‘s las effort, but I couldn’t. There had been many sparkles along the way but it didn’t last: by the end of our hero’s odyssey in the wild my excitement had already worn off. What went wrong? Continue reading “Big themes, long shots, short-sighted script: how The Revenant’s journey in the wild left so much unexplored”

Macho filmmaking, technical prodigies, photogenic pain: how the bear attack sequence in The Revenant epitomizes the entire movie

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And the Oscar for the most detailed man-mauled-by-grizzly sequence goes to… The Revenant! Applause. Next, Ryan Gosling getting hit by a truck, a four minutes uninterrupted take of pure cinematic pleasure.

Oh, it was just a bad dream… Continue reading “Macho filmmaking, technical prodigies, photogenic pain: how the bear attack sequence in The Revenant epitomizes the entire movie”

How I stopped worrying about plot holes and learned why I love Star Wars

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As many out there, I had very mixed feelings towards The Force Awakens. As most who had the chance to see the original Star Wars trilogy as kids, I had very strong reactions. Continue reading “How I stopped worrying about plot holes and learned why I love Star Wars”

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