Posts categorised ‘Film and TV’

Thoughts on Avatar (2009)

Last night Viv and I took his niece out to the movies (we were charged with baby-sitting, and told that seeing the remastered Avatar in 3D was what she wanted to do – although as she told us once we got there, that was more of an executive decision of her dad’s, not that she objected 🤣).

Neither Viv nor I had seen Avatar before. I have no real idea why I didn’t see it at the time, …

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Link: “I think flouting the Joker’s copyright is funny, and I’m tired of pretending it isn’t”

Original post found at: https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/16/23354819/the-peoples-joker-copyright-dc-tiff

I liked this piece about the stifling nature of our copyright laws. For most of human history, people were free to riff on pre-existing, well-known stories – a tradition still upheld today in modern fanfic culture, however “not totally legal” that may be – and I feel like that was better and healthier. Creatives have to make a living, sure, but that’s because we live under capitalism and dare I suggest that the capitalist system is designed to crush human creativity in this, and basically all other, regards.

Went to see Fight Club at a Hawthorn cinema last night, with my partner and my sister. I’d never actually seen the film before, although I read the book about a decade ago, and really enjoyed it as a story about alienation under capitalism (and, of course, toxic masculinity). For my tastes the movie dragged on too long – the book only took me an hour and a half to read, back in the day, and the movie manages to be almost an entire hour longer than that 😂 – but I enjoyed the beginning and the ending, so overall I’m left with a positive opinion. Not my usual kind of movie, and not perfect either, but pretty good.

Link: “Abolish the Military-Entertainment Complex”

Original post found at: https://jacobin.com/2022/06/us-military-hollywood-movies-top-gun-censorship/

Such a cavalier attitude coupled with the box-office success of the Pentagon-approved Top Gun convinced studios in the 1980s that agreeing to military demands and, hence, making ever more militaristic films was a guaranteed formula for success. Consequently, between the release of Top Gun and the beginning of the Gulf War, the Pentagon reported that the number of pictures made with its official assistance (and approval) quadrupled, and a large portion of these action-adventure productions (quickly synergized into video games, action figures, etc.) were for teenagers.

Though many parents might have objected to such obscene Pentagon-Hollywood collusion, most had no idea it was taking place. Unlike the proudly Pentagon-financed-and-advertised newsreels made by Hollywood directors during, say, World War II, filmmakers from the 1980s on almost never tell audiences that they are enjoying military-subsidized-and-sculpted productions. Viewers may think they are watching a purely commercial venture when they are often watching contemporary newsreels.

“Over and over [Pentagon] documents are full of statements where they are targeting children to be future recruits,” says journalist David Robb, whose seminal book Operation Hollywood examined the ties between movies and the armed forces. “The children and the people who see these films don’t know this is an advertisement for the military.”

Enjoyed this piece about the modern history of pro-military and pro-war propaganda in Hollywood productions.

Last night I went, with Viv and my sister, to the Astor Theatre to see Full Metal Jacket. I actually liked it more than I thought I was going to. The violence was heavily rationed, and the focus was much more on the characterisation. Now I know why it’s seen as a classic 🥲

closed curtains in a historic cinema. projected onto the curtains is a military helmet with the words “BORN TO KILL” written on it and a peace button attached

How Eurovision Breaks Up Families

I’ve been debating with myself whether I even want to post this entry because it is a little petty, but it’s been playing on my mind and I just can’t resist. As the title suggests, this is a tale about how the Eurovision Song Contest destroys families, at least for a few minutes when two sisters who rarely agree on anything anyway cannot agree on how they judge different …

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This Indian movie RRR sounds pretty cool (see ABC review(external link)). It’s described as …a fictionalised account of two real-life Indian revolutionaries who fought against the British Raj. Apparently it was the second-highest grossing film in Australia last week (behind only The Batman), which is super impressive for a non-English language production!

I watched the second Fantastic Beasts movie (Crimes of Grindelwald) tonight, because it was on free-to-air. I was so disappointed by the first movie that I hadn’t gone out of my way to watch this one, and now that I have, I’m perplexed. There were a lot more tantalising whiffs of story compared to movie #1, and most of the individual scenes in isolation were quite good, but it just never came together as a cohesive whole. There were like four major groups of characters and every time the film moved away from one you wouldn’t see them again for half an hour. Plus, I can’t pretend the movie had my undivided attention the entire time, but I’m still confused about some things, like why the F Credence is so important, and also what Dumbledore was even really doing in the movie. (Also hated the inclusion of McGonagall – not only is it a continuity error because she wasn’t born yet, but they included her just to be a dick for some comic relief.) I mean look, I think this is better than the fatal flaw the first film had for me of being boring, but I can’t help scratching my head 🤔

Movie Adaptions

When my folks visited on the weekend, we channel-surfed a bit and ended up watching portions of two movies that were adaptions of older, much-loved TV shows: the last 70% or so of Get Smart (2008) and the first half-hour of Star Trek Beyond (2016). It got us talking about the nature of movie adaptions in general, which I feel like are usually a bit disappointing.

The whole reason most of us …

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A Short Review of Every Harry Potter Movie

On Saturday, Vivian and I completed a goal that at one point he didn’t think we’d ever achieve: we have now watched every single Harry Potter movie together. (The eight original ones, that is.) I’ve mentioned before that the Harry Potter book series was a huuuuge part of my childhood, but Vivian could hardly be more opposite in that regard. He’s a few years older than me …

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a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.