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Peter T Chattaway

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About Peter T Chattaway

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    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.
  • Birthday 10/01/1970

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  1. Peter T Chattaway

    A Quiet Place

    I did think it was interesting that the film *skips over* the beginning of the pregnancy. We have no idea how the sex happened. We have no idea if the child was planned -- perhaps as a "replacement" for the child they lost -- or "accidental". All we know is that they decided to go ahead with having the child. The only other plot point I had some quibbles with was a nail that sticks out of the wood so prominently that I wondered what had happened (silently) to make it stick out like that, and why no one had noticed, and why no one deals with it once they *do* notice it. Overall, though, I loved the film. Some of the scariest moments have little to do with the monsters and everything to do with other stuff, like the corn silo... I love how the film *implies* that one of the characters is deaf before making it really obvious, by having a different kind of silence play over the soundtrack during shots that reflect her point of view. (When a film cuts back and forth between two points of view, you normally hear the same background noise throughout the scene, but in the first scene of *this* film -- when a brother and sister are communicating through sign language -- I found it quite noticeable how the sound changed with each cut, and I assumed it wasn't just a continuity or sound-editing error.) I also shed a tear during a scene near the end that made me want to go home and hug my daughter (which I did). And I agree with Bishop Barron that the scene of the family praying over their meal kind of startled me -- not because anything startling happens during the prayer, but just because the prayer was *there*! Not everyone is impressed, though: - - - The Silently Regressive Politics of “A Quiet Place” The success of “A Quiet Place,” the new horror thriller directed by John Krasinski, is a sign of viewers craving emptiness, of a yearning for some cinematic white noise to drown out troubling thoughts and observations with a potently simple and high-impact countermyth. The noise of “A Quiet Place” is the whitest since the release of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”; as horror films go, it’s the antithesis of “Get Out,” inasmuch as its symbolic realm is both apparently unconscious and conspicuously regressive. . . . The only moment of authentic inner expression, the acknowledgment of any identity at all, arises when, under siege from the creatures, Evelyn challenges Lee when their children are in danger: “Who are we? Who are we if we can’t protect them?” In that moment, “A Quiet Place” disgorges its entire stifled and impacted ideological content. The movie’s survivalist horror-fantasy offers the argument for turning a rustic farmhouse into a virtual fortress, for the video surveillance and the emergency lighting and, above all, the stash of firearms that (along with a bit of high-tech trickery that it’s too good to spoil) is the ultimate game changer, the ultimate and decisive defense against home intruders. In effect, “A Quiet Place” is an oblivious, unself-conscious version of Clint Eastwood’s recent movies, such as “The 15:17 to Paris,” which bring to the fore the idealistic elements of gun culture while dramatizing the tragic implications that inevitably shadow that idealism. The one sole avowed identity of the Abbott parents is as their children’s defenders; their more obvious public identity is as a white rural family. The only other people in the film, who are more vulnerable to the marauding creatures, are white as well. In their enforced silence, these characters are a metaphorical silent—white—majority, one that doesn’t dare to speak freely for fear of being heard by the super-sensitive ears of the dark others. It’s significant that when characters—two white men—commit suicide-by-noisemaking, they do so by howling as if with rage, rather than by screeching or singing or shouting words of love to their families. (Those death bellows are the wordless equivalent of “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”) Whether the Abbotts’ insular, armed way of life might put them into conflict with other American families of other identities is the unacknowledged question hanging over “A Quiet Place,” the silent horror to which the movie doesn’t give voice. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, April 10
  2. Peter T Chattaway

    Birds of Prey (aka Harley Quinn spin-off)

    Cathy Yan to Direct Harley Quinn Spinoff Starring Margot Robbie Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct a DC spinoff movie centered on crazed supervillain Harley Quinn. The girl gang movie will be based on the “Birds of Prey” comic, with Margot Robbie attached to star. . . . Yan, a former Wall St. Journal reporter who made her feature debut with Sundance entry “Dead Pigs,” will be the second female filmmaker to direct a DC film, following Patty Jenkins with “Wonder Woman.” She will also be the first Asian woman to helm a movie from the DC Comics universe. DC previously tapped Ava DuVernay to direct “New Gods,” which is still in development. Christina Hodson, who was recently tapped to pen the “Batgirl” pic, wrote the script. The studio had been weighing several Quinn options, including a “Suicide Squad” sequel with Gavin O’Connor, before picking “Birds of Prey.” Sources add that script is still being worked on, but Yan is likely to take over directing reins once the script is done. Production is expected to start at the end of the year after Robbie finishes shooting Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” for which she is currently in negotiations to play Sharon Tate. . . . Variety, April 17 Cathy Yan Is Warner Bros’ Choice To Direct Margot Robbie In Next Harley Quinn Film EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have chosen Cathy Yan to be the director of an untitled girl gang movie, likely the next superhero film to be graced by Suicide Squad scene-stealer Harley Quinn, in the form of Margot Robbie. A deal has to be completed, but it is expected that Yan will become the third female filmmaker to join the DC club after Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay (for upcoming The New Gods), and the first female Asian director ever tapped to direct a superhero film. Deadline.com, April 17 - - - Re: that last sentence, whether Yan is "the first female Asian director ever tapped to direct a superhero film" would presumably hinge on how you define "Asian". Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander is Palestinian on her father's side, and Palestine is in Asia. West Asia, true, but still Asia (and definitely not Europe or Africa). (When I was growing up, the word "Asian" was almost always used to refer to East Asians -- or so it seemed to me, at any rate -- but over the last decade or two I've noticed how the word is frequently used by British journalists to refer to *South* Asians, e.g. Indians and Pakistanis. And I have since seen people wonder if Hailee Steinfeld, who is part Filipino, might also count as an "Asian" actor in some sense of the word. So.) Variety is more careful to specify that Yan is the first female Asian director of a *DC Comics* film. (The Punisher is a Marvel character.)
  3. Peter T Chattaway

    Ready Player One

    David Ehrlich's review makes me wonder if this is a bug or a feature: - - - For a director who’s never been shy about his autobiographical streak, this period of Spielberg’s career has almost felt like an act of self-portraiture. He may not have freed the slaves or risked his reputation to defend the First Amendment, but he implicitly understands what it is to know that you’re making history. Few storytellers have ever become so monolithic while they were still alive, and even fewer have been able to watch their legacies take shape before their eyes. Judging by “Ready Player One,” Spielberg isn’t thrilled about what he’s seeing. As disjointed and (dazzlingly) inert as anything its director has ever made, “Ready Player One” is a lot of different things — many of them contradictory, and the majority of them dull — but most of all it’s an Ozymandian spectacle by an artist who’s reflecting on his works and despairing over what they’ve wrought. It’s a corporate blockbuster about the corporatization of blockbusters, directed by the man who invented blockbusters; more than that, it’s an inherently derivative studio film about the crisis of originality in today’s studio filmmaking, and a sexless orgy of intellectual property that tries, in its too gentle way, to liberate fans from the franchises and iconography they love a little too much for their own good. With “Ready Player One,” Spielberg is looking at the mainstream movie culture he helped to create, and desperately trying to fix things before it’s too late. Before he’s gone. . . . “Ready Player One” is a movie about a future where Spielberg is missing, and Hollywood’s profit structures haven’t made it possible for anyone to take his place. This is a story in which the bad guy is a corporate overlord who’s just trying to gain control over the geek universe so that he can exploit it more efficiently, and the good guy is an open-mouthed kid whose only fix to the stale addictiveness of the OASIS is to force everyone to log out for two days each week. Like the current state of the film business, it’s a fight between the greed of the studios and the naïveté of their audience, and neither side is worth rooting for (at least not in “Ready Player One,” where both factions are completely daft). Wade just wants to play in his virtual sandbox, and villain Nolan Sorrento just wants to price him out of it. Neither side recognizes the raw potential of the OASIS — the pure joy of creation. Neither side has anything to dream about. Everything they know is just a shadow of something that came before it, their lives an emulator for a system that time and negligence has already rendered obsolete. . . .
  4. Peter T Chattaway

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

  5. Peter T Chattaway

    God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

    Link to the director's website.
  6. Peter T Chattaway

    Thy Kingdom Come (2018)

  7. Peter T Chattaway

    Top-grossing films by female directors

    Just a quick note to say that I have added A Wrinkle in Time to the list, because it inched across the $90 million threshold today and, while it might not make it to $100 million, it will probably get at least as close as Zero Dark Thirty did. Note, though, that A Wrinkle in Time not only underperformed at the North American box office, but it has done *very* badly overseas.
  8. Peter T Chattaway

    Mary Magdalene biopic

    Joel Mayward wrote: : . . . we see Jesus after he's come from the tomb, and he speaks with Mary. The film doesn't portray him post-resurrection with the other disciples however, so one could interpret this appearance in a non-literal way. So it's the opposite of Luke 24 and I Corinthians 15, which list all the men that Jesus appeared to but none of the women! (Aside from women who happened to be with the men when Jesus appeared to large groups, at any rate.) (Matthew 28 has Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene and one other woman, before he appears to anyone else; John 20 has Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene by herself, before he appears to anyone else. (The short version of Mark 16 doesn't have Jesus appearing to *anybody*, and the long version of Mark 16 appears to have been cobbled together from the resurrection appearances in the *other* gospels.) One of the striking, indeed puzzling, things about Luke's gospel is that it shows much more interest in the *female* followers of Jesus -- it's the only one that tells us anything about Mary Magdalene *outside* of the Passion Week narratives (in Luke 8), for example -- and yet it's also the only gospel in which the resurrected Jesus appears to the men first, instead of appearing to the women first.)
  9. Peter T Chattaway

    Ready Player One

    *** SPOILERS FROM THE VERY END OF THE MOVIE *** There comes a moment near the end where I thought -- hoped -- the film was going to go in the direction of telling us that the Oasis shouldn't belong to *one* person, it should belong to *everyone*... but nope, it belongs to one person. And that one person tells us, almost offhandedly, that he decided to shut the Oasis down for two days each week, to force people to deal with the real world (which, for him, means cuddle time with his girlfriend), and I couldn't help but think how outrageous it would be for an entire society to be subject to one person's whims like that. And yes, I wondered how affordable the gear required to enter the Oasis was supposed to be.
  10. Peter T Chattaway

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    phlox wrote: : About the ‘religious’ terrorists, I was thinking mainly of the Pah-wraiths, who carried out attacks on the Prophets; they abducted Kira and tried to assassinate Sisko. Ah, okay. I was actually surprised at how little of the pah-wraiths there was in this series. I had seen the series finale way back in 1999, and I guess I just assumed that, because the pah-wraiths were clearly a huge deal there, they would be a significant deal throughout the series. As it turned out, they are first mentioned in the Season 5 episode in which one of them possesses Keiko, and then they aren't mentioned *that* much after that until around the time Dukat hooks up with them in Season 6. (And then, of course, the series ended with Season 7.) : The Founders/shapeshifters-- who were sometimes referred to as gods-- controlled the Dominion which waged war on the Federation. I thought the devotion of the Vorta to the Founders was pretty fascinating (as was Odo's reluctance to accept being called a "god", even when one of the Vorta defected to the Federation; it neatly paralleled Sisko's initial reluctance to be the "Emissary" for the Bajorans). And I wondered why the Founders had designed the Vorta to be so obsequious if they were just going to keep on pointing out that they didn't care about the Vorta's opinions of them. : Also I didn't mean to imply Obama resembled Sisko as Emissary....more like his tolerance as mediator-- "there is room for all philosophies on this station." Ah. Well, I don't think Obama was all that different from Bush, in that regard. Bush had some preferences that limited the extent of his outreach, sure, but then, so did Obama. And doesn't Sisko say that in the Season 1 episode where the Bajorans (including Kira!) object to the secularized teaching that Keiko is introducing to the Bajoran kids? When I first saw that episode back in 1993 (oops, I lied; I said there were *three* episodes that I had seen when they first aired, but this is the fourth that I can recall, now), I remember disliking the episode's easy equations re: fundamentalists=violence (and repressed sexuality; cf. Quark's comment on how much business the "orthodox" Bajorans give his holosuites) versus liberals=good. But watching it now, I found myself thinking that Bajorans like Kira -- who had just thrown off the Cardassian occupation -- would probably have been very inclined to think of the Federation as *another* occupying or colonizing force, and it seemed to me that the episode was sensitive to that, too. And in the context of all *that*, Sisko's claim that there is room for "all philosophies" on DS9 rang a little hollow, in the way that idealistic principles sometimes do. I mean, Sisko is *angry* with Worf in that Season 4 episode where he learns that Worf was about to kill his brother in a form of Klingon ritual homicide -- a form of homicide that made perfect sense within the Klingon "philosophy" (and was actually requested by the intended victim, because of cultural standards re: honour and shame). Clearly Sisko doesn't *really* believe that there is room for *all* philosophies on DS9. He has his limits. (See also: the alleged Vulcan belief in "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations", which doesn't actually match anything we've seen of Vulcan culture.) : All the DS9 actors were outstanding… just wish Terry Farrell hadn’t left the show. Yeah, she was missed. I didn't *mind* Ezri Dax, but she was strangely different from Jadzia. Where Jadzia happily embraced her dual nature -- part host, part symbiont -- Ezri was constantly distancing herself from Jadzia. Where Jadzia would have said "I" did this and that, when talking about the actions of Curzon etc., Ezri was more prone to saying "he" or "she" did that when talking about Jadzia, Curzon, etc. Or so it seemed to me. Of course, the series kind of sets this up by telling us that Ezri never trained to be a host in the first place; the symbiont was placed inside her (with her consent, I hope!) because it was an emergency situation and the symbiont would have died without her and there were no other potential hosts around. : Kira was portrayed as one of the most spiritually committed characters. I *loved* Kira. Oh, did I love her. Which surprised me, because she's not very likable in the earliest episodes. But I really, really liked the way her character developed over the years (with the possible exception of her relationship with Odo in the final season-and-a-half, which I had trouble "buying" at first, and which most of the subsequent episodes didn't press *too* hard; I am not at all surprised to hear that the actors objected to Kira and Odo becoming a couple, because that didn't really seem to be the direction their characters were going, but apparently the actors lost that argument). One of many reasons why I like Kira is that she felt like the first female character the Star Trek franchise had really gotten "right". TOS and TNG were too deeply infected by Gene Roddenberry's rape-y fantasies (and as you may know, there is widespread speculation that the unnamed "executive" who raped Grace Lee Whitney back in the TOS days was Roddenberry himself; Roddenberry also did weird things like get his mistress to write the TNG episode in which a character played by Roddenberry's wife is kidnapped by the Ferengi for you-know-what reasons). I don't think it's a coincidence that two of the three original female leads in TNG both wanted out of that show by the end of the first season: Denise Crosby's character (who grew up on a planet with "rape gangs" and was *constantly* the object of various guest characters' rape fantasies) was killed, and Gates McFadden simply left the show for a while (and then she came back in Season 3 because one of the producers she found most objectionable had left by then, or so I have read). The one female lead who stuck around for Season 2 of TNG was Marina Sirtis -- and one of the first things that happened to *her* in that season is her character gets knocked up without her knowledge or consent by some presumptuous space alien. Ick, ick, ick all the way around. Kira, thank God, was almost never compromised like that. She was a strong woman who gave as good as she got and made it very clear where the lines were drawn. But she wasn't all toughness; she had passionate relationships with Bareil and Shakaar (and, eventually, Odo), and some of her scenes with Sisko, where she opens up and admits that he isn't just a commanding officer to her -- he is also a religious icon -- are some of the tenderest, most heartfelt moments in the series. And oh, how deeply emotional it was when Kira had to navigate her relationships with Dukat and his daughter Ziyal. The character worked on so, so many levels. One of the few times I felt she had been "compromised", alas, was in that Season 3 episode with Thomas Riker, where *of course* Riker plants a kiss on her just before he's sent off to the Cardassian labour camp, and Kira... does nothing. I wasn't at all surprised that one of the notoriously sleazy Rikers would act like the nearest woman owed him a kiss, but I *was* disappointed that Kira let him get away with it. (DS9 owes its existence to TNG, but good grief, it's amazing how bad DS9 can get sometimes when TNG characters get involved. I refer to *guest* characters here; Worf and the O'Briens are wonderful, of course, and I was always happy to see Gowron. Possibly other characters as well.) : Trekmovie said that Avery Brooks is actually very supportive of the project though he did not contribute interviews. I have heard that there is speculation that Brooks might not be all that well right now (some form of dementia or something). Apparently some fans wondered what was happening after they saw Brooks in that "Captains" documentary that William Shatner made. (I saw the documentary before I heard those rumours, but I don't recall thinking anything was too out of the ordinary there.) : Interesting bit from Ira Behr-- he said DS9 was “being told constantly that it was a dark show with dark themes, but it’s really a show about love and family.” Very true!
  11. Peter T Chattaway

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    phlox wrote: : Thanks for your thoughts…think you’ll enjoy the last few episodes. I've got just two episodes to go now. (Actually, I've arguably got only *one* episode to go, since the last two hours of the series were a two-hour finale.) The third-to-last hour -- the last hour before the two-hour finale -- was an unusually comedic diversion with the Ferengi. (It's not unusual that the *series* have a funny Ferengi episode, but it does feel a bit weird in this final ten-hour stretch of the series, which is focused so heavily on wrapping up the Dominion War.) I remember watching the finale when it first aired back in 1999 -- it was one of only, like, three episodes that I watched when they were brand new (along with the pilot and the Tribbles episode) -- but I haven't seen it since then, so it should be interesting to revisit that episode with the entire series in mind now. : One thing I really appreciated was how DS9 took spiritual themes seriously, developing their potential for both good and evil. Absolutely! And not just with the Bajoran religion, which has been handled so well (oh, how I love Kira), but also with regard to the Klingons and the Ferengi (whose religions come off as *parodies* of religion to one degree or another -- I love the creation myth that gets recited at Klingon weddings -- but still, the point is, prayer and spirituality are all part of the picture). : Looking back, it almost seems that, for the US, Sisko’s leadership anticipated the Obama administration, and the “religious” terrorism foreshadowed the 9-11 attacks by militant extremists. Well, maybe. Sisko is black, and there's a religious aura around him because of the whole 'Emissary' thing (just as many people tended to project quasi-messianic fantasies onto Obama), but Sisko's ruthlessness in the course of fighting the Dominion and the Maquis (and his love of baseball!) arguably has a more Bush-like feel, especially when he essentially permits the illegal forced extraction of memories from that Section 31 guy. It's interesting you'd compare the "religious" terrorism to the 9-11 attacks, though, because the "religious" terrorists in this series are the good guys, right? (I assume you're referring to the Bajorans. The Maquis may have tried to be terrorists, but they weren't religious about it. And the Cardassians end up taking tips from the Bajorans on how to be terrorists, but they're not religious about it either.) : The light-hearted episodes stand out in my mind as well – Sisko’s baseball team, the return of the tribbles, Quark’s mother, Vic Fontaine’s Vegas lounge, etc. The baseball episode was great, though the way the Vulcans and the non-Vulcans talk about each other, it does make you wonder if the Federation really *has* stamped out racism in the future... Speaking of which, I was never entirely sold on the Vic Fontaine stuff, but I was intrigued by the fact that Sisko, a 24th-century man, initially refuses to hang out in the 1960s casino environment because of how black people were treated in 20th-century America. That, and the episode in which Sisko imagines he's a 20th-century sci-fi writer, just might be the *only* times in all of Star Trek where racism *between humans* has been addressed directly. Usually it's allegorical (e.g. the TOS episode 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield') or between species (like when Sisko tells Odo he's not telling the Changeling to do something for "racial" reasons). There's a two-part storyline in Season 3, I think, where Sisko and a few others go back in time to the 2020s (only a few years from now!), which is when the "Bell Riots" took place, but there's no racism in play there -- instead, the social unrest is strictly *class*-based, as we can see members of all races among the upper class *and* the dispossessed. Side note: Last year, during the run-up to Star Trek: Discovery, some doofus wrote that Star Trek had lost its political edge in the 1990s. That person clearly hadn't seen Deep Space Nine (or, if they had, they weren't paying attention). The Bell Riots, the racism stuff, the gender-bending Trill stories, even the transformation of the Ferengi culture away from "free enterprise"... it's all there, even if it isn't as in-your-face "woke" as some millennials would like.
  12. Peter T Chattaway

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    For the search engine: Mary Poppins Returns.
  13. Peter T Chattaway

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    Links to our threads on the original TV series (1966-1969), the original movie series (1979-2002), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005), Star Trek (2009), Star Trek into Darkness (2013), Star Trek Beyond (2016), Star Trek: Discovery (2017-present) and Star Trek 14 (in development). We don't seem to have a thread on Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001). Until a few months ago, I had never seen more than a few episodes of Deep Space Nine. But last year, I spent a couple months on bed rest after my surgery, and I decided to start watching all of the Next Generation episodes -- and once I was finished with *that* series, I decided to check out Deep Space Nine. And my goodness. I'm only four episodes away from finishing the series now, and I love it. Deep Space Nine is easily the best Star Trek series ever. It starts off fairly strong -- unlike all the other shows, every central member of the cast (and even a few of the key supporting characters) were there from the first episode (with the exception of Worf, who was with TNG at the time and did not join DS9 until Season 4) -- and it's got a seriously strong narrative momentum going as it moves towards its conclusion (unlike, say, TNG, which felt like it was twiddling its thumbs for most of its final season, which in hindsight makes the fact that most of the TNG movies were crap less surprising). I've been posting little blurbs about some of the episodes to my Facebook wall; maybe some of them would merit re-posting here. But I really, really like this show. So, I am definitely primed to watch this documentary.
  14. Peter T Chattaway

    Creating Film Critic Circle?

    I'm interested. I did very little writing in 2017 because that was a bad year for me all-around, but this year I've forced myself to write occasional capsule reviews, just to keep my foot in the door (anything longer than a capsule would take too much time and effort, given that I'm basically not getting paid for these reviews) -- and I've written a few newspaper reviews as well (which still tend to have relatively small word-counts, in the 600-word range, so when I post the reviews to my blog they might seem briefer than a blog post could be, but oh well). I'm still a member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, so I wouldn't mind being a member of this proposed circle as well.
  15. Peter T Chattaway

    Unbroken: Path to Redemption

    The vocal fry doesn't feel very period-accurate.