Tag Archives: gender

Catwoman (2004)

Catwoman is stunning in its badness. I had low expectations, but I didn’t expect just how bad it really was. The movie defies anything you expect from a comic book adaptation or a superhero movie or a movie with a female protagonist. It does everything wrong, looks cheap and amateurish, has a terrible script, some of the worst CGI, an annoying soundtrack and bad (over)acting. This is really, really bad, though enjoyable in its failure because you can’t stop being amazed that they this or that way.

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Inventing the Child – Unschooling and Normal Families

I was asked to write not only about all those bad children’s books, but also to provide some good examples. What’s the point of criticizing all the books your children want to read, if there is no alternative? Sure, I’d still say that you can read the problematic books anyway, but point out the problems to your kid, but it is better of course to just have a good book that follows your own ideology. So, that is what I’m doing today. Be aware, there are many more examples, but in my recent attempt to write shorter articles (just in case that’s a reason people are turned off from reading them), I’ll just focus on some and come back to all of this again in the future.

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Paul (2010)

Paul is a funny movie, no, not on the same level as the Edgar Wright movies with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (especially Shaun of the Dead, my favorite of theirs), but still entertaining and with lots of ideas. It knows its characters very well and respects their geek culture without being too geeky itself. The basic concept is funny and the execution, apart from some scenes that didn’t work for me or felt out of place, is well done, too. It’s an enjoyable film, even if it’s not as brilliant as their other movies.

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Inventing the Child – Of Princesses, Pirates and Top Models

So, it’s time for some children’s books again. Last time I found gender roles, diversity and the lack thereof, animal misrepresentation and much more. Part of my examples today I discovered in a book store in Mannheim and couldn’t help but take some pictures. Let’s take a look!

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The Next Three Days (2010)

(spoilers ahead)

The Next Three Days is an odd movie with an intriguing concept that wastes a lot of its potential on the way. The story of John Brennan (Russell Crowe) who wants to break out his wife (Elizabeth Banks) from prison raises questions of plausibility, but they can be disregarded because you can’t argue too much with realism in a Hollywood movie. The movie’s problem lies more with its lack of focus and character development. It’s a case of too much and not enough. It’s mostly suspenseful and Russell Crowe does a really good job, but the movie leaves him hanging pretty often.

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The Room (2003)

room(spoilers ahead!)

The Room is the bad movie you wish for when you want to watch bad movies. I know I raved about I Know Who Killed Me as a great bad movie, but The Room is on a different level. It’s pretty infamous by now, so nothing I’m saying here is probably anything new, but the movie is just so awesome and weird, really unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s a bad movie I’d rewatch again anytime because it is really entertaining. But just for someone who doesn’t know the movie, I’m trying a plot summary here: Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, the writer/director/auteur) is in love with Lisa (Juliette Danielle), but she loves his friend Mark (Greg Sestero), who doesn’t really seem to love her but just can’t help himself sleeping with her. Add about half a dozen unresolved plotlines and you have a movie that makes no sense whatsoever. It plays mostly in one room, in which people at all times randomly enter and often leave again after 10-20 seconds. But actually, the less said, the better. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go watch it now and come back to us trying to look at some of the thematic aspects of the movie.

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Frozen (2010)

    frozen(spoilers ahead)

Frozen is an example of so-called “survival horror”, though it’s a weird genre, since there aren’t so many contenders. But what else could it be called? It has all the characteristics of a horror movie, only without the monsters or killers. Well, except for the wolves, but that’s my least favorite part of the movie anyway. It’s really effective in making you scared and wanting to look away, which is what a good horror movie should do. The story of three people trapped on a ski lift is inherently scary, especially because the movie makes the situation plausible. You keep wondering how they will get out and for the most part they don’t even act too stupid. The dialogue at times is pretty lame and none of the characters is really sympathetic, but the movie works anyway. And despite the wolves. The problem with the wolves is that they add drama and stakes to a situation that already is as dangerous and scary as possible. They seem perfunctory. The movie would have worked without them and they also seem implausible (even they maybe are not). Anyway, the movie is good enough, I guess, despite its flaws, just because it frightens you so much and that makes it hard to forget it. You don’t remember the flaws as much as the panic of wondering if it’s a good idea to jump off a ski lift.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

guardians_of_the_galaxy_ver2Guardians of the Galaxy is the very definition of a fun movie. It’s extremely entertaining while you watch, exciting, funny and if you get into it even a little touching. It doesn’t completely hold up when it comes to its plot and all of its characters, but that’s not something you’re really aware of until after the movie. Most of the characters are brilliantly written, acted or animated, which is one of the best aspects of this movie. Rocket Raccoon and Groot alone would make a great movie, but in connection with the other characters, they work even better. Even Drax the Destroyer is surprisingly successful. The pop culture references are enjoyable and the jokes are really, really funny, which is not something you find often nowadays, where attempts at humor in a blockbuster movie are often cringe-inducing or infantile. But I couldn’t imagine another movie making a joke about Jackson Pollock and sex and getting away with it. The worst part of the movie is its boring villain, Ronan the Accuser and his scenes are the only parts of the movie that drag.

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You Belong on the Radio – 1980 Edition

UnknownOf course I couldn’t do a year’s theme week without looking at this year’s songs. Because there is only one 1980 week, I decided to look at the top 10 of the top songs of the year from Germany, the UK and US simultaneously, since they also overlap pretty much. Is the music of 1980 as dark, detached and depressing as everything else this week? We’re about to find out!

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