kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

New Avengers: Endgame trailer at YouTube.

first, hasty thoughts )

In conclusion, yesterday I bought myself a Captain Marvel figure and positioned it carefully atop the White House, to join the movie monsters already here.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
  • There was a trailer for Dumbo but I didn't see it, I was coming back from the bathroom when it ended.
  • Frozen II. I just find it very weird to think of Eleanor Shellstrop and Maureen from Rent as Disney Princesses. Other than that, I have no feelings about this franchise. (I've never seen the first all the way through, I was in the room for parts of it, that's all.)
  • Rocketman. "A musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John's breakthrough years." Uh . . . okay? I guess?
  • Dark Phoenix. I didn't like this the first time they did it.
  • Late Night. Emma Thompson is magnetic, and possibly if Mindy Kaling is writing it, it will treat the characters well?
  • Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. This was like being bludgeoned with testosterone.

I feel like there was more, but it's not coming to me on a scan on IMDB's forthcoming pages, so I guess I'll go to bed.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
What a dire lot.

What Men Want (has extra bit at the start): it's nice to see Aldis Hodge on the big screen? And of course Taraji P. Henson is magnetic. But, no.

The Upside (also has a pre-trailer trailer): it's a Heartwarming Tale of a black guy caretaking a rich white guy who's paralyzed, so it's definitely awful on the race axis and has a strong likelihood of being awful on the disability as well!

Cold Pursuit (why can't any Internet trailers just start with the actual trailer?!): Liam Neeson has found a niche of bloody revenge movies and is working it for all he's worth. Yay paychecks, I guess.

Alita: Battle Angel (actually starts at the beginning!): this is the weirdest thing. The Manic Pixie Cyborg Girl is—I must presume deliberately—visibly 3D animation in a live-action movie, and it's incredibly distracting.

The Favourite (also only the actual trailer): I could not tell what kind of movie this is supposed to be; its tone veered all over the place. Though it's by the guy who did The Lobster so now I'm not surprised.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I never much watched romcoms during their heyday, but I like non-stupid romance novels and Crazy Rich Asians got good reviews from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Caroline Siede, who I trust to notice if it's stupid romance-wise (Siede's When Romance Met Comedy series is great), plus, you know, represent, so why not?

It's very good at what it sets out to do, which is: ridiculously attractive people being charming; a central emotional conflict that was satisfying in its complexity and resolution; and lovingly-shot conspicuous consumption. By which I mean, if you can't roll with a secondary emotional arc being symbolized by a $1.2 million pair of earrings—and not, "here is everything else one could do with $1.2 million," either—then this is not the movie for you.

I enjoyed it very much! But I was constantly aware of what it was doing.

Also I discover from a Hollywood Reporter article that the male lead, Henry Golding, was basically an unknown (he is great) and that there was some controversy over his casting because he is biracial. That is … an issue on which I am not inclined to publicly pronounce at this time, except to say that a movie that has maybe no more than one non-Asian speaking part (Rachel's TA; is there anyone else?) is not in the same position as a movie with the inverse proportions. But it did remind me that the only dark-skinned Asian people were servants; I know just enough about to know that I don't know enough to say more, but it was definitely something I registered.

Edit: from comments, a couple of articles on the complexities here, no spoilers: Naomi Ishisaka in the Seattle Times (will need to pause adblocker); Ada Tseng in PRI.

A couple minor notes before spoilers:

There's a post-credits scene that I missed, alas.

I won't be reading the book, because it sounds much meaner than the movie. I think I will reread Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series instead (A Princess in Theory, A Duke by Default) because they are exceedingly delightful and will scratch the same itch, except with more economic thoughtfulness. (Possibly also I will discover that the second book does address my plot quibble and I missed it!)

SPOILERS for the movie and the book )

Trailers, a weird mix:

A Star Is Born: still looks dreadful.

Smallfoot: still looks like a kids' movie.

Night School: is a thing that I am not the audience for.

Widows: still looks like a potentially immense, potentially guilty, pleasure.

On the Basis of Sex (has a few extra opening seconds that did not play in the theater): this movie is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and needs a better title. I would like it to be good and do well and find it hard to imagine myself watching it.

Searching: the John Cho thriller that takes place solely on his laptop screen, and that got a lot of good buzz at Sundance. I knew of this solely because I saw a GQ interview with him that, relevantly, opens, "You’re the only Asian not in Crazy Rich Asians. Did you miss the meeting?"

Ocean's 8

Jun. 24th, 2018 10:28 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I enjoyed this as a bit of pretty, competent fluff, and I hope they picked 8 as the title so they can do a full trilogy without repeating numbers.

spoilers )

Trailers:

A Star Is Born: this looks dreadful, but you can see Anthony Ramos (who originated Laurens/Phillip in Hamilton) in the background, and awww I'm so happy for him!

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Well, it has more reason to exist than Beauty and the Beast?

Widows. This had me ready to follow Viola Davis anywhere.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: I continue in my indifference to all of J.K. Rowling's post-Deathly Hallows Potterverse stuff.

Peppermint (with a few prefatory seconds that weren't shown in the theater, which is vexing because it messes with the structure). Jennifer Garner does parent-turned-vigilante. I'm glad that women are getting this type of movie but, uh, pass. (It's possible that my reaction to this compared to Widows is a matter of the lead actors, but also I don't think Widows is trying to sell their actions as righteous, just survival.)

Edit: missed one, The Girl in the Spider's Web, I knew there was one more on IMDB that had extra stuff at the beginning. This is a Lisbeth Salander movie, I don't think I need to say anything else.

Bonus: this poster shows Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in The Spy Who Dumped Me and I am so, so sad to report that one of them had not dumped the other.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Solo: still can't make me care.

Deadpool 2: not my thing, but Domino looks awesome.

Incredibles 2: oh gack the tired gender dynamics spare me.

Uncle Drew: continues to be a thing that I am not the audience for.

Mission Impossible: Fallout: 1) they're still making these, huh; 2) oh, it's the famous Henry Cavill mustache! 3) I think a good deal of the appeal of these must be watching Tom Cruise put himself through the wringer.

Smallfoot: I'll probably be bringing the kids to this, and I can't really say I'm looking forward to it.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (IMDB). This has been out a while and I haven't watched it because I don't care. I still don't.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (IMDB). See above. You just can't do young Han unless you digitally age down Harrison Ford, I'm sorry, you can't.

Ready Player One (IMDB). It is as bad as everyone says. Wow.

Red Sparrow (IMDB). This looks like the least-interesting possible version of a Black Widow knockoff. Where is a Name of the Rose adaptation?

Uncle Drew (IMDB). I'm assuming the bad old-age makeup is deliberate.

Venom (IMDB). No, seriously, where is my Name of the Rose adaptation?
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Saw Saturday night. Just for the record, a few thoughts.

spoilers, all the spoilers )

Trailers:

Alpha, wholly unnecessary prehistoric adventure story about teenage boy taming a wolf, thereby creating dogs;

Rampage, which is apparently based on a video game? and is about giant animals and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the man with a special bond with one of them (innuendo not intended but it's very late and I need to go to bed);

Incredibles 2 teaser, which I have no feelings about, having not seen the first;

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which, well, they are sure making more of these, aren't they; and

Avengers: Infinity War, which almost certainly cannot be a good movie, as overstuffed as it is, but you give me a big screen and Cap's appearance as the emotional high point, I'm going to be happy, I can't help it.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Geez, I almost forgot. Which is impressive considering how many of them there were.

FYI: I link to IMDB because it's stable, but on some of these, it adds these few seconds at the start that weren't in the theatrical version? So if there's a title screen that included "Official Trailer," what was in the theater started after that.

Flatliners: it is too! soon! for a reboot!

Only the Brave: I could have sworn this had a different title. Crushingly obvious-looking "inspired by a true story", about a forest-fire-fighting unit.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: I know the first of these has some devotees in fanfic fandom, but I don't go for mentor/mentee, and this just screams "trying way too hard" to me.

It: that looks pretty good! I don't do horror so I'm not getting near this with a ten-foot pole.

Birth of the Dragon: quasi-Bruce Lee biopic, which possibly has been recut to focus less on a white dude, whose presence still seemed weird and out-of-place in the above trailer?

The Hitman's Bodyguard (the version we saw had fewer swears and not the end bit either): okay, I may have been pummeled into submission by this point, but I did actually smile. Not going to see it, mind.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
This was enjoyed by all members of Chateau Steelypips; it was amusingly self-aware and meta in ways that don't detract from kidly enjoyment of the slapstick. (I mean, it opens with Batman in voice-over saying something like, "BLACK. All serious movies start with a black screen.")

I have not seen all of The LEGO Movie, but the bits I did, didn't impress me: oh look, it's the one cool girl, again, and also daddy issues, whee. This movie is still dude-heavy, with just one of the four central hero characters being female, but at least the Mayor is also a woman? And I love that Barbara Gordon is Commissioner here, with Jim Gordon retiring and very emphatically shuffled off-screen, also that she is firmly on the side of Batman working with the police, not as a vigilante.

Here are some extremely mild spoilers, because this is not the kind of movie where the plot is a surprise:

spoilers )

Trailers:

* Power Rangers: is "gritty" really the appropriate aesthetic?

* The Boss Baby: please no.

* Cars 3 teaser: [personal profile] mariness had said that it reduced a theater of kids to tears, so when I realized what it had to be I warned the kids, and they were fine.

* Some live-action thing that looked earnest and kind of too adult and that entirely failed to make an impression on me, even after I looked through the forthcoming list at IMDB.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Doctor Strange: damn it, I had successfully avoided seeing this ball of whitewashing Orientalist crap until tonight.

Rogue One: yay female protagonist, boo leading a team of only other dudes, otherwise can't really tell.

Jason Bourne (the version I saw did not have the first few seconds of this, but started with the overhead shot of Jason on the bed): if this movie fridges Julia Stiles' character I will be REALLY ANGRY. Also I just don't think that there's anything left to say in this franchise?

The Shallows: nice to see a survival action movie about a woman, I guess?

Kubo and the Two Strings: there are a whole lot of white actors' names getting top billing of this fantasy-Japan animated story.

Suicide Squad: awww, lookit the trailer trying so hard, aren't you precious?!
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I didn't take notes, so this is reconstructed by scrolling through IMDB (and thus is in order of release date).

  • Crimson Peak. Still wish I watched horror, which I do not, because look how pretty they all are/this all is.
  • In the Heart of the Sea. Thanks, but I think Master and Commander has filed my lifetime quota for all-dude maritime period pieces. (It does have the actress who played Arabella Strange, Charlotte Riley—who, whoa, I did not realize was married to Tom Hardy!—as Chris Hemsworth's long-suffering wife waiting at home, though.)
  • The Big Short. So let me get this straight. This is a movie about four white dudes who profited off the 2008 housing collapse and we are supposed to ROOT FOR THEM?! Fuck off and die. (Also, two women speak in the trailer: a complicit banker and a stripper. I am not joking.)
  • Joy. Biopic starring Jennifer Lawrence (who at some points looks so much like Renee Zellweger that it distracted me). I have no interest in it but hope it does well.
  • Concussion. About the doctor who first published research on CTE in NFL players. Nice subtle makeup job of making Will Smith just enough different-looking that he's not immediately Will Smith!! when you first see him. I decided before last season that I could no longer care about the NFL, for this among other reasons, so I also hope this does well.
  • The Revenant. Does this fridge Leonardo DiCaprio's brown son as part of his motivation for vengeance against Tom Hardy? Sure looks like it. Pass.
  • The Forest. Starring Natalie Dormer (+), horror (-), set in Aokigahara (-).

And I think that's it. So, so many trailers.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Saw it last night. It's better than I expected but not as good as many people seem to find it.

I saw it described numerous places as a two-hour chase scene and that just sounded really tiring, especially combined with its over-the-top aesthetic. But it does know that viewers need quiet moments to catch their breath and the pacing works pretty well—though I misunderstood spoilers and thought the movie ended somewhat sooner than it actually did, so that was a little weird for me.

I've seen a lot of praise for the action scenes, particularly their use of actual vehicles. To me, something about the way the first vehicle sequence was shot didn't make it look any more or less "real" than good CGI—I think it may have been slowing down and speeding up things for effect? It wasn't very engaging, anyway, though not as distancing as the truly terrible opening sequence of Ultron. By the last big setpiece I was engaged, but that was probably as much emotional as anything. And, overall, the aesthetic was not particularly my thing (except for Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron's character, which (a) has her face and (b) is about the most simple thing in the movie).

Yes, it is about the toxicity of masculinity in a sexist world, and yes, there are lots of matter-of-factly disabled characters, including at least one and possibly two protagonists, depending on how you view things. (However, there is just one obviously non-white character.) But enough was done right about sexism and the female characters that three moments spotlighting male characters at the expense of female characters felt particularly jarring to me—not enough to completely overcome the overall effect, but enough to be distracting and unpleasant.

Finally for general comments, many of the logistics make zero sense, as people have noted. The majority of them I can accept as (a) the product of a deranged mind who doesn't care so much about efficiency as supporting a cult (the water distribution, human milk, gasoline wasting) or (b) the price of admission (Max's likely age). The one I can't actually handwave past is Furiosa having the position she does, actually; she's the only woman we see driving rigs or in a position of explicit authority over men, and I have no idea how she could've got there in this atmosphere. There'd be no movie otherwise, so, price of admission, but I care about her unlike Max, so I poke at the question. (Well, I care about Max, but only with Furiosa. I started getting into the action sequences when they started wordlessly working together, handing each other weapons and trading off shots; and as Chad tells me someone said, there is more chemistry in the bit with the shoulder rest than in the entirety of Ultron.)

Before I get into spoilers, the last thing I can say outside a cut is that that song "Matches" I mentioned last week is totally apropos to this movie. *puts on repeat*

Now, for spoilers. First a thing that is a moderate spoiler but is also an important content note/trigger warning that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere (though I haven't been reading a ton of stuff about this movie):

moderate spoiler, content note/trigger warning )

And now for the rest of the spoilers.

spoilers )

New-to-me trailers:

Vacation. Oh geez, make it stop. (NSFW.)

San Andreas. I am so fucking over the expectation that I will find the deaths of millions entertaining. Especially when the trailer ends with a super-cynical effort to mitigate its own disaster porn by linking to a disaster preparedness website. Fuck. Off.

Crimson Peak. Nice to see a trailer for something I won't see because it looks good at what it does. (I don't do horror. Which is too bad because, Jessica Chastain's face.)

Terminator Genisys. I like that they're starting with Sarah already badass, but do we really need to keep doing this? I don't think so.

The Transporter Refueled. I entirely checked out during this, other than to note that Jason Statham apparently is too expensive for these now.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Another pretty dire lot.

Southpaw: dead wife, daughter taken away, boxing, blah blah manpain.

Jurassic World: I'm pretty sure I'd get more enjoyment of out re-reading If The Velociraptor From Jurassic Park Were Your Girlfriend.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: holy shit it's actually worse than everyone's jokes about it.

Pixels: here I was, desperately hoping for something fun, I actually laughed at the appearance of Pac-Man, and then boom! Adam Sandler. GAH.

Fantastic Four: it might be the contrast, but this didn't look actively terrible? Not, like distinctive or necessary or anything, but not actively terrible. (It was this one; I gather others were different.) I still roll my eyes that they couldn't cast Sue as a black woman too—I mean, yes, it's absolutely possible that she and Johnny are biological sibs, rather than adopted, but actual literal visibility matters. (Yes, I'm aware about the potential relevance to Sue's powers, but still: cast a very-light-skinned black woman if that's what you're going for.)

Tomorrowland: this is the second trailer I've seen for this, and at least it gives me way more of a sense than the first one? I'm still unsure about it, though.

Ant-Man: well, this trailer was more appealing to me than Guardians, which pisses me off because it'll probably do just as well and I don't want it to, because of (presumed spoiler) and also because I still resent its existence.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I deliberately avoided finding out much about Interstellar because a while ago I suggested to Chad that we get a babysitter and go see it, as a much-needed break. Here's my verdict.

It's science fiction that's worth seeing if (a) you want to be up on the state of the genre; (b) you like Nolan's visuals and/or space; (c) you really really like sarcastic robots or Jessica Chastain's face, which are small but notable parts of the movie; or (d) you have a high tolerance for at least one plot hole you could drive a truck through and what I am too tired to find a tactful way to call something other than mystical twaddle. (Chad's term, not mine, though he liked it better than I did.) Also a lot of time, because holy fuck, it's long.

so, so many SPOILERS )

Trailers:

Selma (IMDB). I have literally no idea if this is a good trailer because almost the moment it started I was digging my nails into my hands to keep from bursting into tears out of all the present-day resonances. At least it's being made by Oprah Winfrey's company, i.e., not by white people.

The Gambler (IMDB). I have insufficient space to describe the ways in which this is repellent to me.

Chappie (IMDB). The robot's body language is too obviously a human in a suit, and it just doesn't look fresh, which is a disappointment from the District 9 director.

Furious 7 (IMDB). You should watch this trailer, because it has an objectively ridiculous but really fun heist in the first half and a shot that is a literal row of pretty brown people.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (IMDB). If you care about this, you've already seen it and my feelings about it.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (IMDB). WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. (Also, please tell me that subtitle doesn't mean it's the start of a series.)

Mockingjay - Part 1 (IMDB). I love you, Katniss! Which makes me very afraid for this movie, but I'll see it anyway.

(I think that's all. I didn't take notes but I went forward through the IMDB's forthcoming pages looking for things I recognized. It was also a lot of trailers.)
kate_nepveu: Captain America's shield (Captain America)
but it is not this day. Saw it again tonight, this time with Chad.

spoilers, of course )

Only different trailer was for The Giver, which looked like a bog-standard boring YA dystopia before the title reveal. (Somehow I made it out of the US educational system without reading it, so I don't know if I'd have recognized it beforehand.)
kate_nepveu: Captain America's shield (Captain America)

Oh my god this day. Here, let me dump some more Captain America: The Winter Soldier feelings. (I haven't seen it again, because free time, hah!)

Spoilers for the MCU )

additional spoiler from comics )

Some fic recs, which I think ought to be pretty clear what they're like from the tags and summaries:

cut for length )

Finally, an addendum to my post about the trailers: an important critique of Lucy.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I've got the kids' Cold of Doom, surprise surprise, and took an unplanned snooze getting His Pipliness down for his nap, so something easy to get my brain working again. Here are the trailers I had with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (more thoughts on which coming, unsurprisingly).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: no. Absolutely not. (Grimdark? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?!)

Lucy: if it weren't "let me make a damn Black Widow movie, already," I would be a titch concerned about how much like The Matrix it looks like, but hey: let Scarlett Johansson make a damn Black Widow movie, already.

Blended: As if Adam Sandler and romcom weren't bad enough, they had to go set it in Africa. Run away! Run away!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: I still have no interest in this.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: I'd like to be convinced, but (1) I am allergic to time-travel stories and (2) even if Brian Singer is back, I'm not sure how much goodwill I have left for this franchise. The trailer is notable for having some really impressive eyefucking and at least three perfect single tears, which . . . I dunno, could be good or bad depending on my mood, I guess.

Maleficent: I love her design, and I have zero idea what kind of story is coming out of it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: I don't want to like this movie, and nothing about the trailer is making me feel conflicted about this stance. (The audience was pretty cold toward it.)

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