exactly that

Posts tagged ‘movies’

Diva is the New Bitch

Katherine Heigl, a pale and blonde woman with brown eyes. She is wearing a white shirt and her hair is wavy and swept up. She has one finger touched to her lips.Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood is apparently, like myself, a bit of a Katherine Heigl fangirl. I am not exactly her biggest movie fan, though I do own a couple of her Rom-Coms (on Blu-Ray AND I WILL NOT BE JUDGED FOR THAT SHUT UP!), I do appreciate her acting. Going on a slight tangent here — Izzy Stevens was my favorite Grey’s Anatomy character, and I am still catching up on what they did to her on the show (I haven’t watched U.S. TV in so long!). The ugly spiral that threw her from being a rock star who worked her way through medical school (admittedly on her beauty privilege) and survived loss after a disastrous poor decision to, as this NY Times article says, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a deer. And that was only the half of it.

It isn’t her acting that makes the great package deal of the person inside. It is her willingness to put forth her opinions. I love a woman with a mind and the insistence to let you know that she has opinions that are informed, researched, and firm. Heigl has those, and isn’t afraid to let it show.

It seems that this isn’t the way to make a name for yourself, or rather, a nice pretty name for yourself, in Hollywood or the entertainment industry. They want quiet lady leads who are going to follow the narrative, be grateful for whatever role they are handed where they trot off as tropes…perhaps as vessels off of which coke will be snorted. Or maybe they prefer disposable semen receptacles which are popular in action, epic war, revisionist history, and horror movies that are popular. These seem to be acceptable roles, and they want women eager to play them. Not someone who is going to call movies out for being a “little bit sexist“.

Katherine Heigl seems to have gotten this reputation that she is the foot-in-mouth girl. That she comes on too strong because she has opinions:

“Now I’ve got this moniker that I’m the foot-in-mouth gal, and I keep thinking, In what way? Because I said something you don’t agree with? Because I said something you don’t like? I’m just telling you my opinion. I hate the idea that I can’t be honest about how I feel about things because it’s going to piss somebody off who feels differently. That seems preposterous to me.”

I can totally relate. I’ve been told that I am too “aggressive” when it comes to my opinions, my ideas of right and wrong, whether it is the rules of order and how business is conducted in a PTO meeting or defending myself to the medical officers at the local medical building, or even in my writing.

What I don’t see is how being firm, having opinions, insisting that something be done a correct way, and in a way that is not damaging you yourself, is too aggressive, or makes you a Bitch Diva. How it means that you are getting out of hand, and how it now means that Heigl needs to go on some Apology Tour.

For me it just means that some Marine Corps Colonel is getting all apoplectic because I have the audacity to say that she isn’t the boss of me. I am a civilian and I don’t answer to rank. Only rules.

But insisting that we have the right to our voices somehow marks us.

Yet, as Melissa pointed out, it isn’t an even blanket. It seems that if you are a child rapist, you can get all the Hollywood activists who can’t be bothered to think about it to sign petitions that you should be left alone, because it wasn’t that bad. Or ya know, yelling racist things at your girlfriend after beating her up is no big deal. And throwing a phone in a fit. Huh. That’s cool. No apology tour required.

But don’t you open your pretty mouth, Katherine Heigl! We saw you kick that stuffed bunny! (Really, do you know a mother who hasn’t kicked a stuffed animal out of the way? I don’t) You are a terrible mum, and an ungrateful nobody in Hollywood (that Emmy you won says so!). Now go pay your penance!

But as the NY Times article also points out, and as Silverstein also mentions, Heigl is apparently rocking it out as a smart businesswoman who is showing herself as a force with which to be reckoned. She has produced her latest movie Life As We Know It, which had best make its way to Korea, for well under the amount that the Big Boys spent on Killers. Which was a flop. Her name is being used in sentences with names like Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard for her ability to play drama and comedy with such essence, gradation, and depth, but she is boxed in with actresses who have scarred reputations, like Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie, for being less than perfect starlets. For the record, even when those stars show that they have become incredible businesswomen (Barrymore directs and produces now, and Jolie is in about every action move staring a woman I see now…) they can not ever overcome those reputations. Drew will always be the coked out girl who was in that porno you wanked off to, right, and Angelina will always be the slut who slept with Jennifer’s husband, right? OK then.

Celebrities have two choices: live the narrative and be perfect, or live with the labels that the tabloids put on them. This is compound for women who find their most intimate details, from their diets, beach body, how they mother, and if you are certain celebrities, speculations about your mental health. For Heigl, she apparently will always be the star who speaks her mind. I admire that. I honestly wish that everyone would get over that, because, honestly it is really refreshing. Especially when she speaks up about the way that women are treated in Hollywood.

Really, if she is a Diva, then so are many of us in Social Justice. And I guess it is just the new word of the era used to put us in our place and remind us that people are afraid of power. The power of the woman with a mind and a drive to push herself forward. The power of a woman who will assert herself. The power of a woman who will be active and not passive.

Divas we are then.

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Ramona and Beezus

Movie poster for Ramona and Beezus, with Selena Gomez and Joey King. King has paint covered hands wrapped in a hug around Gomez' waist.While I have been taking a day or two from the internet for some mourning time we took Kid to see Ramona and Beezus, which if you are not familiar with it, is a movie based on the Ramona Quimby children’s book series by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and Beezus is loosely adapted, covering all of the books from Beezus and Ramona to Ramona’s World.

As a child about Kid’s age I was an avid reader, and the Ramona Quimby books were some of my favorites that I think I read again and again. I am sure that by the time I was Kid’s age I had read them at least twice. I had forgotten about them until I saw the poster for this movie, and have been collecting the books up for Kid since. They are a little under her reading level, but right around her amusement level, for sure. Just as I did, we have found that she relates to Ramona as a person who is imaginative and sometimes misunderstood.

Ramona, by the end of the series, and for the purposes of the movie and this review, is a nine-year old girl. She has an active imagination that sometimes gets the best of her, and a ton of energy that she sometimes has trouble channeling in the proper ways, because it is very creative energy and she has trouble expressing that to adults who have forgotten how to think as creatively as children easily do. While this is a series about primarily a young girl and how she relates to the people in her world, the problems Ramona faces are fairly universal (from a fairly privileged standpoint), dealing with everything from sibling rivalry, school anxiety, feeling left out, bullies, the emotional distress of a parent losing a job, of your parents fighting, and many other things that young children deal with as they mature. Part of what I loved and clung to about Ramona as a child was that her family was not the perfect family that I saw on TV or in movies as a child. Ramona and her sister fought. Ramona’s parents didn’t always get along. Ramona’s family had trouble with money, and Ramona often had to wear hand-me-downs too. Ramona sometimes did silly things and was laughed at. It made me realize that I was not that far off from other kids, that somewhere my story could not have been that unusual, because some lady somewhere knew enough about it to stick it in between a book cover (well, some generalities, but it was a start…).

Book cover of Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. Features a taller pale girl in a knee lengthed white dress looking down and over a shorter pale girl seemingly throwing a tantrum, in overalls, a t-shirt, and paper bunny ears.The movie, Ramona and Beezus, was a charming adaptation. The lead, Joey King, broke my heart with her perfect portrayal of Ramona Quimby. The way this was adapted hit so many parts that took me back instantly to the books that I used to sneak under my bed sheets at night on my top bunk with my flashlight and try to quietly read after bedtime. Small details that I thought they missed (Ramona’s toothpaste) came up later and made me laugh while I was busy sniffling (in all fairness, the day you are crying in bouts because you miss your dad is not the best day to see such a sentimental movie, but I digress…). There were some things that were noticeably left out, such as Ramona’s war with her father over his smoking and some other things that you expect to get lost in a movie translation. But, overall, it made the shift to the big screen while staying true to the spirit of the books. It passed the Bechdel test with flying colors, with scenes between Ramona and Beezus, Ramona and her Mother, Ramona and Aunt Beatrice… all very well done.

My criticisms:

The movie had way more source material involving Ramona and her Father, and it was obvious. I often see movies about fathers and daughters and their relationships. Only here and there did it touch into Ramona’s relationship with her mother (the extra-heavy suitcase). I remember Ramona’s mother being the more strict of the two parents, but really, I felt an obvious lack of presence from Ramona’s mother. The scene with Picky-Picky was well done, but could have used more of an emotional portion of having to have Mrs. Quimby discover what her daughters did to spare her having to deal with this on top of working and all the other stress she was experiencing.

Selena Gomez played a fabulous Beezus. I have really enjoyed her as a young star so far (I admit to liking her on her Disney channel show, Wizards of Waverly Place, it being one of the few shows I can stand on the Channel). She is an up and comer if I do say so myself, and by the career she has had already, I think she would agree! Selena Gomez is of Mexican American and Italian descent and, from what I can tell by peeking around in the bios of the rest of the cast, no one else cast as her family in this movie has similar ethnicity.

Part of me finds it troubling that Gomez would be cast in a role where part of her identity could be so erased. Part of me is struggling to come to terms with the possibility that they were trying to present a mixed-ethnicity family… except that is not what one could gather from this situation with two predominantly white parents. I am not arguing that Gomez should not have been cast because she was “too Hispanic” or anything like that, but that since she and King were the leads for this movie, perhaps more attention should have been paid tot he family they constructed around them. I can’t help but feel as if it was a careless disregard and erasure of part of Selena Gomez’ identity.

Promo-still of Selena Gomez, a latina young woman, and Joey King, a pale girl, caught in a sisterly embrace lying on their stomachs as Beezus and Ramona Quimby for the movie Ramona and Beezus.All of that aside, I found Ramona and Beezus charming and a throwback to my childhood. I also found in it an ache to re-read some classic books that gave me a great feeling of closeness with a character that helped me remember that it was OK to be different. That sometimes being different and creative and a bit of an oddball was OK, and even lovable. I recommend the movie, directed by a women, and based on source material written by a woman, and containing a lot of moments between and about girls and women, it was a very funny and fun (yes they are different) movie.

Ramona and Beezus

Movie poster for Ramona and Beezus, with Selena Gomez and Joey King. King has paint covered hands wrapped in a hug around Gomez' waist.While I have been taking a day or two from the internet for some mourning time we took Kid to see Ramona and Beezus, which if you are not familiar with it, is a movie based on the Ramona Quimby children’s book series by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and Beezus is loosely adapted, covering all of the books from Beezus and Ramona to Ramona’s World.

As a child about Kid’s age I was an avid reader, and the Ramona Quimby books were some of my favorites that I think I read again and again. I am sure that by the time I was Kid’s age I had read them at least twice. I had forgotten about them until I saw the poster for this movie, and have been collecting the books up for Kid since. They are a little under her reading level, but right around her amusement level, for sure. Just as I did, we have found that she relates to Ramona as a person who is imaginative and sometimes misunderstood.

Ramona, by the end of the series, and for the purposes of the movie and this review, is a nine-year old girl. She has an active imagination that sometimes gets the best of her, and a ton of energy that she sometimes has trouble channeling in the proper ways, because it is very creative energy and she has trouble expressing that to adults who have forgotten how to think as creatively as children easily do. While this is a series about primarily a young girl and how she relates to the people in her world, the problems Ramona faces are fairly universal (from a fairly privileged standpoint), dealing with everything from sibling rivalry, school anxiety, feeling left out, bullies, the emotional distress of a parent losing a job, of your parents fighting, and many other things that young children deal with as they mature. Part of what I loved and clung to about Ramona as a child was that her family was not the perfect family that I saw on TV or in movies as a child. Ramona and her sister fought. Ramona’s parents didn’t always get along. Ramona’s family had trouble with money, and Ramona often had to wear hand-me-downs too. Ramona sometimes did silly things and was laughed at. It made me realize that I was not that far off from other kids, that somewhere my story could not have been that unusual, because some lady somewhere knew enough about it to stick it in between a book cover (well, some generalities, but it was a start…).

Book cover of Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. Features a taller pale girl in a knee lengthed white dress looking down and over a shorter pale girl seemingly throwing a tantrum, in overalls, a t-shirt, and paper bunny ears.The movie, Ramona and Beezus, was a charming adaptation. The lead, Joey King, broke my heart with her perfect portrayal of Ramona Quimby. The way this was adapted hit so many parts that took me back instantly to the books that I used to sneak under my bed sheets at night on my top bunk with my flashlight and try to quietly read after bedtime. Small details that I thought they missed (Ramona’s toothpaste) came up later and made me laugh while I was busy sniffling (in all fairness, the day you are crying in bouts because you miss your dad is not the best day to see such a sentimental movie, but I digress…). There were some things that were noticeably left out, such as Ramona’s war with her father over his smoking and some other things that you expect to get lost in a movie translation. But, overall, it made the shift to the big screen while staying true to the spirit of the books. It passed the Bechdel test with flying colors, with scenes between Ramona and Beezus, Ramona and her Mother, Ramona and Aunt Beatrice… all very well done.

My criticisms:

The movie had way more source material involving Ramona and her Father, and it was obvious. I often see movies about fathers and daughters and their relationships. Only here and there did it touch into Ramona’s relationship with her mother (the extra-heavy suitcase). I remember Ramona’s mother being the more strict of the two parents, but really, I felt an obvious lack of presence from Ramona’s mother. The scene with Picky-Picky was well done, but could have used more of an emotional portion of having to have Mrs. Quimby discover what her daughters did to spare her having to deal with this on top of working and all the other stress she was experiencing.

Selena Gomez played a fabulous Beezus. I have really enjoyed her as a young star so far (I admit to liking her on her Disney channel show, Wizards of Waverly Place, it being one of the few shows I can stand on the Channel). She is an up and comer if I do say so myself, and by the career she has had already, I think she would agree! Selena Gomez is of Mexican American and Italian descent and, from what I can tell by peeking around in the bios of the rest of the cast, no one else cast as her family in this movie has similar ethnicity.

Part of me finds it troubling that Gomez would be cast in a role where part of her identity could be so erased. Part of me is struggling to come to terms with the possibility that they were trying to present a mixed-ethnicity family… except that is not what one could gather from this situation with two predominantly white parents. I am not arguing that Gomez should not have been cast because she was “too Hispanic” or anything like that, but that since she and King were the leads for this movie, perhaps more attention should have been paid tot he family they constructed around them. I can’t help but feel as if it was a careless disregard and erasure of part of Selena Gomez’ identity.

Promo-still of Selena Gomez, a latina young woman, and Joey King, a pale girl, caught in a sisterly embrace lying on their stomachs as Beezus and Ramona Quimby for the movie Ramona and Beezus.All of that aside, I found Ramona and Beezus charming and a throwback to my childhood. I also found in it an ache to re-read some classic books that gave me a great feeling of closeness with a character that helped me remember that it was OK to be different. That sometimes being different and creative and a bit of an oddball was OK, and even lovable. I recommend the movie, directed by a women, and based on source material written by a woman, and containing a lot of moments between and about girls and women, it was a very funny and fun (yes they are different) movie.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief — That Special Thing About You

Percy Jackson, a pale young man wearing a grey shirt and jacket, weilds a lightening bolt with skyscrapers in the background.

Every now and then a movie comes out and I get super excited about it because it sparks something form my childhood or youth that I love.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians did that. I loved Greek mythology in High School (even if I went a little cross-eyed reading The Odyssey and The Illiad). Hollywood is trying to make mythology cool again, and I was stoked about that.

I so wanted to see this movie…and because I think I live under a rock sometimes, I hadn’t heard it was a book series *scribbles a wish list*.

And then we went to the theater.

***Spoilers Ahead. Turn Back Now!***

Last Chance to Avoid Spoilers!My apologies to everyone reading in the Readers!

***

Dr. Hunt Kevin McKidd Poseidon comes storming out the ocean and makes himself all human looking so he can jaunt up the Empire State building to chat with his brother, Zeus, who has decided that you can apparently walk out of Mordor, because he is royally pissed that someone has bounced and taken his lightning bolt with them… but I guess maybe someone should have picked up his toys a little better, huh? But no, it isn’t Zeus’ fault, because obviously Poseidon has teamed up with his bastard to steal it and overthrow Zeus, because no one trusts anyone here, and we aren’t going to let a little fact that Poseidon’s secret son doesn’t know who he is or who Poseidon is or the fact that he probably skipped school that day distract Zeus from his tantrum… And, hey, isn’t Zeus supposed to wield a thunderbolt? I am not going to rain on their parade…I do not have book or movie deals. Anyhow, Zeus stomps about for a bit and declares that there will be big time trouble of Inconvenient Truth Proportions if someone doesn’t bring his toys back. NAO! Then, he takes the elevator back to Mordor Olympus, because I C WUT U DID THAR! New York is like, where Gods should be!

So, Percy Jackson goes to a really really special school for kids with “special needs”, because he is dyslexic. You can tell because every time he tries to read something on the board it looks all jumbly and it swirls around. It’s almost like it’s…Greek or something. That is also if he has been paying attention at all, because he obviously has AD D, and we all know that this means he can’t sit still or even look at his teacher. In fact, kids with ADD just give up and wander around with headphones on all the time. I don’t know…it all felt very forced LOOK I HAVE THIS PROBLEM1!!1

I do not have ADD, so I can do no more than call my brother to ask if this is an accurate portrayal. My brother does not write blogs. He should. He’s very funny. And also not a concise person.

Percy Jackson can also hold his breath under water for a wicked long time, and no one thinks it is odd that he likes to do this all the time. I have not read the books, so I do not know… does he swim? Is there a reason he is just drawn to the pool all the time that would make sense in the context of his childhood? It is funny that no one has questioned this rather troublesome to the outside observer who doesn’t realize that Percy might have a higher purpose that he doesn’t yet understand behavior. His buddy likes to time him … seven minutes ZOMCC! AMAZING PERCY! It’s almost like he’s BORN to be in the WATER!

So I thought, OK, cool, here is someone who is set up to be a main character who uses crutches, who is Percy’s buddy Grover. That is kind of new. And he’s a PoC. Rawk. A Person of Color who is also a MAIN CHARACTER!

So, let’s go home from school. O HAI! It’s Percy’s mom! She’s ironing her waitress uniform like a good sacrificial lamb! Because here comes Joe Pantoliano who I have only ever seen play someone other than a drunk Italian guy one time on a USA show or something. And he comes in and grabs Percy’s mom’s ass to seal the abused woman who gave up her whole life to become a martyr raise her man-child stereotype. I was pretty sure they were going to whip something out on the table over who was more in charge of taking care of Sally. Oh the price you pay for one night with that man who had the looks of a god! Oh…

So Percy gets to tell his mother that he is so frustrated with school, and she assures him that all of the problems that he is having will all make sense to him one day … because disability is just something we have to tough through until it results in our higher calling? FORESHADOWING!

Cut to Field Trip day to the local museum which just so happens to be having an exhibit on Greek Gods and such. Pierce Brosnan is rockin’ his wheelchair… HEY WAIT A MINUTE!

It is like a crip drag parade in here.

Percy still can’t pay attention even when Professor Brosnan leads him through the questions, so a new teacher leads him into the next room to give him the stern “pay attention” lecture, and it turns out she’s a HARPY ZOMCC PERCY LOOK OUT!

She attacks Percy, and Grover comes to his rescue because HA HA HE IS JUST PRETENDING TO BE DISABLED he can hide his satyr legs and follow Percy around and be his protector, and they run to Percy’s house to get his mother and they all run away to the Camp for Half Bloods, where all the other children who happen to be demigods hang after their secret identities have been revealed.

And they explain to Percy that his ADD is really this cool defense mechanism, meant to help keep him alive when he is attacked, because he is the Son of a God, and is supposed to be a hero. His dyslexia? It is just that his brain is really wired to read Ancient Greek, so it is just that he is in the wrong place. It’s because it is a super power! Sound familiar?

Percy gets to meet all the other demigods including Annabeth, who completes the two dudes one girl trope, although this girl is an awesome breath of fresh air, at least in the movie, in that as the daughter of Athena, she is a perfect combination of ass-kicker and friend, who isn’t having any of that “I’ve fallen in love with you at first sight” crap from Percy. Kudos screen writers! She is smart, she is brave, and I crushed on her a bit DO NOT JUDGE ME!!1! so there is that, and I am hoping that I will enjoy her character this much in the book as well. She was not your Heavenly Sword girl in a chainmail bikini who is cold and stomping everything in her way. She had depth and clothes and I liked her. She was my Ginny Weasley.

And it was all very awkward feeling to me. Because as much as I wanted to love this movie, to get all my fangirl for Greek mythology on and be ready for the next Epic Thing in movies (while not holding my breath for the first great Heroine Movie Series), the first half hour was very off putting for me. There were so many tropes that I couldn’t ink all of my cards and I couldn’t even enjoy the glory that was Pierce Brosnan prancing around half horse. Yes. He’s a centaur and not really disabled either…

However, after a rather chatty discussion with lauredhel about the book series, and having read the first 45 pages of the first book for myself before SOMEONE lost our copy (I would never name names but her initials are The Kid) which we had to ride the bus all the way to Osan to get, I decided that the luster of the story has been lost somewhere in the Big Screen Magic.

The rest of the movie, while veering wildly away from the story arc of the book series, was decent. If you liked the Harry Potter movies you may like this movie. If you like the Percy Jackson book series, you will probably mostly like this movie. If ableism, sexism, racism, and some slightly uncomfortable albeit possibly over the heads of young ones sex innuendos between characters that are supposed to be around 14 or so bother you, you may want to pass. I mean, how old is Grover supposed to be anyhow? And really, when are we going to stop hypersexualizing the PoC characters?

There was one scene that both amused me and slightly irritated me, involving Rosario Dawson’s portrayal of Persephone and Hades, but in the name of spoilers I won’t discuss it at length, but for anyone who has seen it, did it bother anyone else? On a race level or as a trigger for anything else?

In the end, I give Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief a good rating if I can get over the first half hour of aggravation, but maybe it might be enough to put me off altogether if these things are hurtful enough to me. Or maybe it was because SOMEONE ate all my popcorn before the second Lollipop commercial was over. *coughs* However, again, because of the discussion with lauredhel, I am willing to entertain that my perspective is not universal (try not to faint). So, I turn it over to you, gentle readers.

Photo from: Newark Library

Originally published at FWD/Forward

The Importance of Being Ginny Weasley

HPatHBP came out on DVD (finally), and in a way that you can watch a movie in your own home and see things better than you can on the big screen (even in an IMAX, yo), I was able to get a better understanding of some of the things that rubbed me the wrong way about the differences between the book and the movie.

Ginny Weasley is, hands down, my favorite character of the younger HP crowd, the my all time favorite character quite possibly being McGonagall possibly followed by Molly Weasley. I should probably write a post someday explaining why I like Molly so incredibly much, especially when she has been criticized so sharply for being a throw away character for being a SAHM. /digressing

We only get to see snips and snatches of Ginny’s awesomeness. Thanks to the movie adaptations we get glimpses of her untapped potential — the witch she is going to be and the power and brilliance she herself doesn’t yet realize. The books do her slightly less justice, but only slightly. Ginny, possibly from being the youngest and only girl in a very large family of all boy children, has a spark in her (oh, right, the stereotype of the red haired girl!). She isn’t about to be pushed around by all of those older brothers, to whom she has made it clear that she are not to go prodding into her business.

And that includes the matters of her, well, sexuality. Part of what I enjoyed about Ginny is that she is written as a young woman who is aware of and unafraid of her sexuality. From an incredibly het-privileged setting Ginny explores her sexuality and enjoys it almost consequence free as far as I can tell from multiple readings. She experiences the embarrassment of the first crush, a rocky relationship, and deals out and is dealt a fair share of break up. True, Rowling, in the end, gives us the Happily Ever After of letting Ginny have the first boy she ever crushed on forever and ever, and there is fair critique of that, but sometimes in fiction…especially escapist or YA fiction, we don’t mind things that tie up nicely. I don’t speak for every other reader in the whole of the Multiverse, but for me, because of the tumult of the world that Harry Potter has taken us through, with real plots (that make sense *coughtwilightcough*) and depictions of war with characters that you have grown emotionally invested in over the course of seven lengthy novels (and more than one drop-kicked book), well, a Happily Ever After detail can add some salve to a harsh wound of your twin brother dying after you’ve lost your ear. /another digress

It is some of that romance with Harry that was altered in the HBP movie that irritated me. Where Ginny’s character gets a fair amount of healthy buffs in the screen adaptations of OotP that I don’t recall reading in the books:

Ginny Weasley points her wand off screen.

(one hell of a reducto)

Ginny holds her wand and looks at the floor, off screen.

Oh, shit. I think we are going to need a new practice mannequin over here…

I didn’t find this sly and seductive new Ginny that is introduced to us in HBP as enjoyable on screen as I do the confident, funny Ginny, the Quidditch team member Ginny, the fill in as Seeker Ginny. The brilliant, mind-your-own-business, “I do what I want” Ginny. I just didn’t feel like this was the same Ginny in the story…

There are, as The Kid — who is in the last third of reading PoA — pointed out to me, good differences to reading books, in that you get to know what the characters are thinking. Possibly the reason that we never notice that Ginny is subtly laying on the Ladycharm™ is because Harry is oblivious to it, like he has been of Ginny for five whole books. Or, perhaps the screenwriter thought that people would get bored with seeing Ginny bounce around the screen being Harry’s and Hermione’sm pal, telling a rowdy team to STFU and L to him. Ginny, who saves the day because Harry is a bit of a git who lets his temper get to him and his common sense falter leaving her to play Seeker, and then getting the kiss that Ron and Lavender totally steal (which was such a shamelessly self admitting *squee* moment in the book to me. STFU!).

(OK, this one I couldn’t resist…get it…she is like a fucking PPG, all saving the day on her broom and shit! [source])

That moment both ends the build up of Ginny’s five years of “well, I am not going to pine over someone who doesn’t want me” and Harry’s shifting, not quite defined feelings toward her (well, we know what that is called, but this is a PG-13 movie kids…). The movie…didn’t quite do that.

And COME ONE! Stuffing things in his mouth? Getting DOWN ON HER KNEES? Zuh? What kind of movie did I just walk into? *checks the back of the box* It still says PG-13… o_O

I loved the way the movie played up their shared connection over “listening to books that talk to you”, but the trip to the Room of Requirement was slow, awkward, odd…and while I liked parts of it, it just…left me feeling…WTF? There was more hype over Harry ZOMCC totally snogged Cho! But I was certain about a nonillion Harry/Ginny fanfic sprung forth when the sixth book came out…so I would think they could have done the first smooch some more justice…  /dogdammit another digress

It also just cut off the whole thing there. That was it. One smooch and we’re out of here. I hear we have two more movies to stretch it out and fuck up the story line some more (like, did anyone else catch that Ron totally joins the Quidditch team in OotP, not HBP, and was a returning member?), fudge some more non-battles, and maybe turn some characters I like into tropes I hate. Who knows?

Anyhow…I can’t keep this post focused. Depending on the aspects of Ginny’s awesomesauceness, one medium or the other is giving her some proppage. IMNSFHO, Rowling could have done more with her, and the screen writers for some of the movies could have been more consistent.

I know I have yet again written about some fiction that has a following, but I am counting on the fact that I have a readership under fifty to keep things tame in comments. Let’s see how that goes…

It was a book first!

While I was at the Airport in Narita waiting for my flight home I stopped by the book store, which had a nice section of books in English.  I was looking for The Subtle Knife, having just finished The Golden Compass, but they only had The Amber Spyglass.  A brightly tie-dyed looking book caught my eye, and it turns out it was Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  Kid loves Miyazaki films, so I thought I would pick it up for her (as she is an avid “chapter book” reader now).  I almost picked up the one next to it, thinking that Castle in the Air was the same as Castle in the Sky (another Miyazaki movie kid loves), but it’s not.  It is in fact a sequel to Howl.  I have fallen a little bit in love w/ this book, and can’t wait to get the movie again (the copy we had was our former roommate’s).

Kid has really taken to reading chapter books that have been made into movies she loves, which I think is a great way to get kids going.  Her teacher was surprised that she could already read The Sorcerer’s Stone.

What is your favorite book/movie combo?  Adaptations you love or hate?  Anyone paying attention knows that I am a big fan of Harry Potter.  The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman was a win, as was Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Kid was the Fallen Star for Halloween two years ago).  As much as I hate Twilight, the movie makes the book look like Tolkein.

Zuh?

So, I am pretty sure this will go over like a fart in church:

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the rights holders of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — which began as the 1992 crapmound film starring Kristy Swanson and was later transformed by writer Joss Whedon into one of the touchstone TV series of the last 25 years — are planning a remake/relaunch. Now, fans of the Buffyverse have been clamoring for a feature extension ever since the show’s end in 2003; and they’ve made the Whedon-overseen comic books best sellers. Whedon has long been the hand on the wheel of the Buffy franchise, and his cultish fanbase are legion.

That raucous sound you hear is that fanbase currently consulting an engineer to figure out exactly how to support all of the hell they’re gonna raise. Because — get this — Whedon isn’t involved. AT ALL.

 

Yeah, that sounds like a sure fire way to make a successful movie.  Just thumb your nose at the source that made the series successful and wildly popular.  The brains behind the reason that the series is still so popular today.  Let’s take a moment to remember how the first Buffy movie went down the shitter after Whedon washed his hands of it and walked away while the forces behind it twisted it from his brain child into the thing you only watch if you need to do an episode of MST3K.

No way that is going affect how the movie is received.  Nah.

You can’t bring everything back from the dead and expect fans to embrace it.  There is no box big enough for this one.

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