The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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I think a major problem with Jurassic World isn't so much that there was "nothing new" so much as what new stuff there is on offer isn't good even on the relatively simple level at which a movie like this is supposed to operate.
Again, I don't get what newness people were expecting exactly. The only "new" thing I was expecting to see were some dinosaur species that hadn't been shown in the previous films and of course the Indominus Rex. I knew that the story and the characters would be very similar to the original. The movie is just as much a remake as it is a sequel, which is exactly what I figured it would be going in the first time.

A major point of contention was that this was the first Jurassic movie to actually kill off a female character, which had the result of making her get what might just be the most drawn-out and absurdly brutal death in the series
That was a major point of contention? Just because she's a woman? That's just stupid. Minor characters often get brutal deaths in films because the audience doesn't have any real attachment to them. I don't see why it should make any difference that she's female.

(which is thrown into even sharper relief by the fact that the genuinely despicable human villain dies a swift off-screen death, whereas the worst this woman does is lose track of some kids for an instant).
So are you saying that the brutality of the demise of characters should always reflect their level of morality? Why?

I wasn't bothered by the off-screen death of Hoskins. I think lingering on him would've interrupted the pace of that sequence. In any case, he never struck me as being the film's real "villain" anyway. He's despicable, sure, but the villain to me was always the Indominus, which killed things because it liked killing things.

Though really if you want to put blame on the a human character, then you should be lamenting the fact that the truly despicable one in this story - Dr. Wu - keeps surviving and creating more monstrosities despite having seen the tragic consequences.

The attempts to offer empty replications of old characters (e.g. the two kids) not only function as empty call-backs (as do the various references to the old park)
I liked the references to the old park.

But don't even offer any interesting variations to make them into decent characters even by the relatively low standards of the previous films. The kids' parents are getting a divorce? Who cares. The down-and-dirty raptor guy has tension-laced banter with the uptight female executive? Groundbreaking.
I felt a little bit of sympathy for the kid when the divorce was revealed and I rather liked the "tension-laced banter." I watched it with Funny Face the first two times and she felt the same.

I'm positing that it's hard to care about effects-driven spectacle in a vacuum. It'd be one thing if these characters were just flat, but their treatment within the film goes past flat and into bad, which makes it hard to care about who lives or dies (even the most genuinely tragic death in the film has multiple asterisks attached to it).
I liked the characters well enough and I cared about their fates - though I admit that I was more interested in the fates of dinos than the humans (but hey, as long as I'm invested in something, I'm happy).

There's got to be at least a little worthwhile substance in place and Jurassic World - a film that takes easy pot shots at bland corporate products even though it is one - is so lacking in it that even the effects do little to paper over the gaping cracks.
It felt pretty tongue in cheek to me.



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Again, I don't get what newness people were expecting exactly. The only "new" thing I was expecting to see were some dinosaur species that hadn't been shown in the previous films and of course the Indominus Rex. I knew that the story and the characters would be very similar to the original. The movie is just as much a remake as it is a sequel, which is exactly what I figured it would be going in the first time.
You're right, this is on me for thinking that this movie might actually do something different. Fury Road got too many of my hopes up when it came to 2015 soft reboots.

That was a major point of contention? Just because she's a woman? That's just stupid. Minor characters often get brutal deaths in films because the audience doesn't have any real attachment to them. I don't see why it should make any difference that she's female.
As far as trying to do something new with the franchise goes, it's shamelessly methodical, as if they scanned the IMDb trivia page for ideas on how to up the ante. It'd be one thing if it was just a random character, but to have it be the one whose most (only?) significant action in the film was to lose the boys suggests an even greater degree of overkill for a rather minor misdeed and only makes the villain's comeuppance seem anticlimactic in return (which is not good when it's happening during the actual climax).

So are you saying that the brutality of the demise of characters should always reflect their level of morality? Why?
Why not? It's kind of like the whole bomb under a table thing - if it's a sudden occurrence then you get an immediate shock, but taking the time to build up to the occurrence is what makes its worth it. Having this "bomb" go off early with Zara's death is a shock, but it also sets up an expectation for the next one - if they're going to give an innocent person this kind of treatment, imagine what's going to happen to the actual villain? Escalating action is a pretty simple principle when it comes to narratives, yet the movie opts to disregard it in order to skip to the bit where Good Dinosaurs fight the Bad Dinosaur - they already used the most excessively brutal kill they could think of on a bystander so why bother trying when it comes to the actual human villain?

I wasn't bothered by the off-screen death of Hoskins. I think lingering on him would've interrupted the pace of that sequence. In any case, he never struck me as being the film's real "villain" anyway. He's despicable, sure, but the villain to me was always the Indominus, which killed things because it liked killing things.

Though really if you want to put blame on the a human character, then you should be lamenting the fact that the truly despicable one in this story - Dr. Wu - keeps surviving and creating more monstrosities despite having seen the tragic consequences.
Even in that context, It practically seems like an after-thought as if the makers went "oh yeah we gotta kill this guy too, let's do it between dino-battles". I reckon the humans have more right to be considered villainous than the dinosaurs - the dinosaurs have always just been animals who follow their instincts, and even the Indominus only has its bloodlust because of human interference. In this context, Dr. Wu is only part of the park's machine and he even justifies his actions by saying that he was following orders - I could even suggest that Claire can be held accountable to some degree, which does clash with her status as the film's heroine.

Suit yourself. Virtually none of that worked for me.
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A major point of contention was that this was the first Jurassic movie to actually kill off a female character, which had the result of making her get what might just be the most drawn-out and absurdly brutal death in the series (which is thrown into even sharper relief by the fact that the genuinely despicable human villain dies a swift off-screen death, whereas the worst this woman does is lose track of some kids for an instant).
In Jurassic Park the T-Rex kill's the man in the porto toilet in quite violent fashion too. Does it matter if the character was male or female?.
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In this context, Dr. Wu is only part of the park's machine and he even justifies his actions by saying that he was following orders - I could even suggest that Claire can be held accountable to some degree, which does clash with her status as the film's heroine.
Hoskins justifies his actions by saying that if the project succeeds and the raptors can be used as a weapon, it'll greatly reduce the number of casualties during war. Both men justify the awful things they do, but the reality is that they do it because they enjoy it.


Suit yourself. Virtually none of that worked for me.
Yes, well we so often agree anyway.





Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/28/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Trying to finalize the order of my next personal top 100
Rewatch: Yes

Possible Spoilers Ahead

Jim Carey gives what I believe is the best performance of his career as Joel Barish - a deeply damaged and painfully shy man reeling from the dissolution of his two-year relationship with Clementine Kruczynski, an impulsive and outspoken woman played by Kate Winslet. After discovering that Clementine has had her memories of him erased and is now dating a younger man, Joel goes to the doctor who did the procedure and demands to have his memories erased as well. As the procedure is being performed on a sedated, sleeping Joel, we are immersed into his memories. We begin with the most recent – distance, bitter fights and resentment, then we progress to a sweet, genuine romance between two messed up people, and then to their fateful meeting.

But it’s not a slow or peaceful progression. Very quickly, Joel decides he doesn’t want the procedure anymore, but is powerless to compel his body to voice his objections and make it stop. So instead he drags Clementine from one memory to the next, desperately fleeing the technology that will take away what he has left of the only thing that brought him any real happiness.

However, the thing that really makes the movie to me is what happens when Joel wakes. When his mind compels him to act on what he believes is merely impulse and he and Clementine are brought together for what they think is the first time only to discover the truth the next morning when each receives a mysterious package.

Without a doubt, this is one the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen – not just in the way it looks, but in the story it has to tell and in the way it perfectly captures the bittersweet emotions of its characters. Though it toes the line of fantasy, this is a film that is deeply rooted in reality and in a genuine understanding of what it is to be human.




So when is the next top 100
Soon. I've got my 100 picked out, it's just a matter of finalizing the order and figuring out what I want to say about each one.



I'm not much of a fan of Eternal Sunshine.
That's because you suck.

Still, not one of the images on this page show up for me.
That's because the site where I host them is down at the moment.



That site is pretty pathetic right now then!
It's down for upgrades and will probably have outages off and on for the next few days. Oh well.



Welcome to the human race...
In Jurassic Park the T-Rex kill's the man in the porto toilet in quite violent fashion too. Does it matter if the character was male or female?.
The difference is in the details. A man getting quickly chomped in half by a T-Rex after he had already abandoned his own boss's kids at the first sign of danger is not the same as a woman whose boss's kids run away at the first opportunity getting subjected to a prolonged attack involving near-drowning and not one but three separate dinosaurs. The first one is appropriately karmic yet swift, whereas the second one seems grossly disproportionate (and, as noted, doesn't work that well within a greater context).

Hoskins justifies his actions by saying that if the project succeeds and the raptors can be used as a weapon, it'll greatly reduce the number of casualties during war. Both men justify the awful things they do, but the reality is that they do it because they enjoy it.
Fair point.

Yes, well we so often agree anyway.
Exactly.





Ernest & Celestine (Ernest et Célestine) (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, 2012)
Imdb

Date Watched:10/28/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I just felt like watching something fun
Rewatch: Yes

I first discovered this delightful little film two years ago when I was preparing for the MoFo Animation Countdown. I loved it immediately and it made my ballot but sadly failed to make the cut.

Based on a series of children's books, Ernest & Celestine is a sweet tale of an unlikely friendship between two social misfits. Ernest is a grouchy bear just awoken from winter hibernation, he's poor and hungry. Celestine is a young mouse tasked with the chore of collecting bear teeth to be used to replace the lost teeth of the mice in her colony (a fundamentally flawed concept, if you're at all familiar with rodent dentition, but that doesn't detract from the movie) and is being raised to be a dentist. When her attempt to collect the lost tooth of a bear cub goes awry, she finds herself trapped in a garbage can, where she is found by Ernest who at first tries to eat her.

A series of somewhat darkly funny events results in the pair taking shelter in Ernest's remote cabin, where they hide out from the law. It is here that the two bond over a love of the arts. Ernest is a musician, Celestine a painter. Neither had any interest in pursuing the careers others had chosen for them. They are kindred spirits.

I've only ever watched the English dub of this film and not the original French (tsk, tsk, I know) but I really enjoy the voicework of Forest Whitaker and Mackenzie Foy as the titular characters. Whitaker's gruff voice makes for a perfect bear and Foy is wonderful as the precocious Celestine.

But there's more to the film's charm than just solid performances and a fun story. Hand drawn and painted in gorgeous watercolor, the look of this film is quite different from the highly polished, computer generated output of studios like Pixar and Dreamworks. The artwork is simple, even a little crude in design, but works so perfectly with the film's tone.

I really can't recommend this film enough to lovers of animation and, at only 80 minutes, it's a breeze to watch. I think I may have to check out the books at some point.

+



Seriously, does that picture work for everyone else?

Are you seeing it okay? I uploaded the Ernest & Celestine gif directly to MoFo since the other site is still down.



Are you seeing it okay? I uploaded the Ernest & Celestine gif directly to MoFo since the other site is still down.
It's my internet/laptops fault then. It is coming up as a broken image; so was the last page.



Well the other images will keep showing up as broken until the other site is back up. I just checked this thread on my kindle and the image is working on it, so it's not just in my desktop's cache.