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Peter T Chattaway

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  1. *** SPOILERS FOR THE FILMS I MENTIONED IN THE FIRST POST *** To be clear, I don't think merely gender-swapping one or more characters fits into this trope. The all-female Ghostbusters wouldn't fit into this trope, for me, any more than, I dunno, The Incredible Shrinking Woman. There has to be something *at the narrative level* about a woman replacing a man *within the story*. The all-female Ghostbusters is a movie about women who bust ghosts, period; it is *not* a movie about women replacing men who used to bust ghosts. Dark Phoenix is a movie in which Mystique openly criticizes Xavier for naming the X-Men after himself, and for calling it X-*Men* and thereby ignoring the contribution made by women like her. By the end of the film, if memory serves, Xavier has renamed the school after one of his former female students. Terminator: Dark Fate literally begins with the murder of John Connor, and then the rest of the movie takes place on a timeline where we are told that the world will *now* be saved not by Connor but by some woman that we've never heard of before. Charlie's Angels does to Bosley what Mission: Impossible did to Jim Phelps -- makes the team leader from the TV series the villain of the movie -- and gives the team-leader job to a new character played by Elizabeth Banks. (The actor who plays the old Bosley, Patrick Stewart, might be new to the franchise, but the film begins with images of him hanging out with the stars of the 1970s TV series *and* the stars of the 2000s movies, so he's basically playing the "same" Bosley that those installments of the franchise had.) What's more, the film "reveals" that Charlie himself was actually a woman all along, who used a machine to make her voice sound masculine. Doctor Sleep doesn't really exist within the same sort of franchise as the others, and on some level it might be more like Logan inasmuch as it's about a man protecting and/or passing the torch to a girl or young woman. Judi Dench as M is an interesting case. When she was first introduced in GoldenEye, both she and Moneypenny made a point of chastising Pierce Brosnan's Bond for his sexist ways. But by the last Brosnan film, Moneypenny was lusting after Bond, and then the Daniel Craig films came along and Dench's M became more of a mother figure. In any case, Dench was not the main character, Bond was -- but now we're hearing that the new Bond film coming out next year will replace Bond with a woman, too. (But the woman won't be Bond, per se; she'll just be the agent who is given his former number 007, if I understand correctly. There is some talk of giving this woman her own spin-off series, but I heard similar rumours when Halle Berry played Jinx in Die Another Day, and *those* rumours came to nothing in the end, so... we'll see.)
  2. It seems like a lot of franchises have been dipping into this trope lately. Not sure what I can say without getting into spoilers, but recent films that arguably fit this label include: Terminator: Dark Fate Charlie's Angels Doctor Sleep (sequel to The Shining) Dark Phoenix (the last X-Men movie) Notably, perhaps, all four of those films have been box-office flops. Some would add the Disney Star Wars trilogy (which *isn't* a box-office flop) to this list, but I dunno. There's an entire generational switch-over happening there. Overlapping with this, perhaps, is the recent Logan / Star Trek: Picard trope where an aging male hero takes a young woman under his wing to protect her, possibly at the cost of his life, etc. Any other examples that one could point to?
  3. kenmorefield wrote: : Mostly, though, the emotional palette seems blunt for a Pixar film. In comparison to Toy Story, Wreck-It-Ralph or even Inside Out . . . Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen II are Disney films, but not Pixar films. (That may be a meaningless distinction in light of how John Lasseter was running the show at *both* studios when these films were greenlit, but still.)
  4. Thanks! I did spend a few days on it, but I think it was worth the effort.
  5. FWIW, my scene-by-scene guide to the film (with clips and scriptural references): https://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2019/05/mary-magdalene-a-scene-guide-with-clips-and-scriptural-references.html
  6. Wasn't a fan of this. I am sympathetic to vjmorton's dismissal of the film for failing to pick a lane and stay in it. I made a point of watching all of Waititi's previous films before seeing this -- the only one I had already seen was Thor: Ragnarok (aka "Lego Thor"), which I really didn't like either of the times that I saw it -- and I was particularly charmed by Eagle vs Shark and amused by What We Do in the Shadows, while appreciating the boy-needs-a-father(-figure) storylines of Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Jojo Rabbit obviously has some of that absentee-dad stuff going on, but, ugh, it's way over on the Thor: Ragnarok end of the spectrum -- which is not a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Edited to add: In the controversy over Martin Scorsese's recent comments about Marvel movies and how they lack "genuine emotional danger", someone on Twitter seriously replied that Scorsese should see Thor: Ragnarok -- a film that goes further than just about any other Marvel movie in undercutting the seriousness of every scene with tone-shifting "humour". Jojo Rabbit has that same glib aesthetic (as I said on Twitter, if you liked Thor: Ragnarok's glib approach to the apocalypse, you'll *love* Jojo Rabbit's glib approach to the Holocaust). This is a movie for the sort of people who think shouting "Fuck you, Hitler!" is deep or something. And yes, I know there's no point in complaining about the lack of "accuracy" in a movie like this, but the real Hitler was an anti-smoking vegetarian, and I have a hard time believing that any child raised in Hitler's Germany would imagine him chowing down on a unicorn or constantly offering a kid cigarettes. (Hitler had racist reasons for hating smoking -- something to do with his attitude towards Native Americans -- but reportedly his vegetarianism was motivated by his distaste for cruelty towards animals, which is of course weird in light of his cruelty towards humans, but those are the sorts of paradoxes that make us what we are.)
  7. Don't we see a poster for Spotlight on the wall in one scene? Or am I thinking of another film I saw recently? I hate to say that this was one of those films that began to burn me out on the festival-going experience this year. It's *very* talky, which means my eyes were constantly bouncing around the bottom of the screen, reading the subtitles, instead of taking in the visuals. And the film is not only long-ish (about 2.5 hours, right?), but it's structurally challenging too, inasmuch as there's one main character for the first hour or so and then suddenly the movie revolves around a completely different character and then another character. (I found myself thinking about some of the Frederick Forsyth novels I used to read as a kid, of all things.) Anyway, yes, I do agree that the film is thoughtful and that it goes out of its way to include the perspectives of those who remain *within* the Catholic church even as they criticize its handling of this issue. And maybe it would play for me better outside of a festival binge-watch.
  8. My interview with Tom Junod, whose 1998 Esquire magazine article 'Can You Say... Hero?' was the basis for the film (and a fictionalized version of whom is played in the film by Matthew Rhys): https://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2019/11/exclusive-mister-rogers-chronicler-tom-junod-on-prayer-minutes-of-silence-and-seeing-a-fictionalized-version-of-his-relationship-with-fred-rogers-in-a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood.html
  9. Just a quick note to say that Hustlers has joined the $100 million club and has thus been added to the list at the top of this thread.
  10. If you'll all forgive a brief note on the film's box-office performance, it turns out the movie dropped only 41.9% in its second weekend, which is very good for a comic-book/superhero movie. So it seems word-of-mouth and repeat viewing are keeping this film afloat beyond the pre-release controversy. These are two tweets from a longer thread on the subject, when the people that estimate these things were estimating that Joker would drop 42.8%. N.B.: The second tweet has the qualifier "this century" because some of the Superman and Batman movies released in the 20th century -- particularly in the '70s and '80s -- had smaller second-weekend drops, but distribution patterns and moviegoing habits were very different back then. Blockbusters tended to have longer "legs" than they do now, etc., etc.
  11. I wrote capsule reviews of Adam and Young Ahmed and then... a couple days later, on my birthday, I got violently ill and didn't return to the festival for a couple days, by which point I had lost some of my momentum, such that I never quite found time to do a proper sit-down-and-write between movies. I did tweet some stuff, though. It didn't help that I just couldn't stop falling asleep for a few minutes here and there, especially at the late-night screenings -- and for some reason a *lot* of the movies I wanted to see were showing only once, and the screenings in question were late at night. So I didn't really feel that I was in a position to comment on those films. *Usually*, if I nodded off, it was for a few minutes during the first half of the movie, so I was able to "recover" and find my bearings and settle in for the second half well enough -- but there were a few cases, like Motherless Brooklyn, where the entire final half-hour (and possibly more?) was ruined by the fact that I kept fighting the urge to nod off, and losing. The fact that I had two-hour commutes home every night, and often didn't get home until 1:30am or 2am on the nights that I *did* catch the late shows, was also an impediment, and eventually, by the end of the festival, I was just skipping the late-night screenings altogether. A few tweets, though, if I may: Some of those tweets have follow-up tweets. Check 'em out if you're interested.
  12. Also, when did the director of Sense & Sensibility and Brokeback Mountain suddenly become an envelope-pushing evangelist for high-tech filmmaking and theatrical exhibition a la Lucas and Cameron?
  13. This was the first movie I saw in the 3D High Frame Rate format since 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and... I still don't like the format. Looks too much like video. Looks cheap. (It even *sounded* like video, to me, like they were using the mic on the home-movie camera or something -- or is that just my brain tweaking the way I hear the sound because I associate that kind of sound with this kind of imagery!?) All that being said, the digital "mask" they created for Young Will Smith was pretty convincing, at least.
  14. Two things: One, the Scorsese stuff is obvious, but I don't see enough discussion out there about the Fight Club parallels. If anything, this movie reminds me of the book version of Fight Club more than the movie version, particularly in its final moments. (The endings are very different between the book and movie versions of Fight Club.) In the Joker movie and the Fight Club book, there is a strong sense that a loser has started a movement that has kinda gotten ahead of him and isn't really under his control any more, even though it still looks up to him. And two, I was dismayed -- intrigued, but dismayed -- by the way the film turns Bruce Wayne's father into a Trump-like bad guy of sorts (he's not merely murdered, he's assassinated -- and he kind of deserves it!). Previous Batman films always held up the Waynes (and their butler Alfred) as people who were trying to make a positive difference in a negative city, but *this* movie can't imagine anyone or anything being truly positive. So that was sad, even if I understand the reasons for taking the character in that direction. Oh, and three: Yet another example of what our very own SDG has called "Shrinking World Syndrome". The 1989 Batman movie already engaged in this by making the Joker and the man who killed Bruce Wayne's parents one and the same person -- but now *this* movie arguably shrinks the world of Gotham City even more (depending on whether or not you believe a certain character's denials, and depending on how much weight you give to a note scrawled on the back of a certain photo).
  15. The 93 films in contention for this year's award (with the ones I have seen in bold): Albania, “The Delegation,” Bujar Alimani, director; Algeria, “Papicha,” Mounia Meddour, director; Argentina, “Heroic Losers,” Sebastián Borensztein, director; Armenia, “Lengthy Night,” Edgar Baghdasaryan, director; Australia, “Buoyancy,” Rodd Rathjen, director; Austria, “Joy,” Sudabeh Mortezai, director; Bangladesh, “Alpha,” Nasiruddin Yousuff, director; Belarus, “Debut,” Anastasiya Miroshnichenko, director; Belgium, “Our Mothers,” César Díaz, director; Bolivia, “I Miss You,” Rodrigo Bellott, director; Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The Son,” Ines Tanovic, director; Brazil, “Invisible Life,” Karim Aïnouz, director; Bulgaria, “Ága,” Milko Lazarov, director; Cambodia, “In the Life of Music,” Caylee So, Sok Visal, directors; Canada, “Antigone,” Sophie Deraspe, director; Chile, “Spider,” Andrés Wood, director; China, “Ne Zha,” Yu Yang, director; Colombia, “Monos,” Alejandro Landes, director; Costa Rica, “The Awakening of the Ants,” Antonella Sudasassi Furniss, director; Croatia, “Mali,” Antonio Nuic, director; Cuba, “A Translator,” Rodrigo Barriuso, Sebastián Barriuso, directors; Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird,” Václav Marhoul, director; Denmark, “Queen of Hearts,” May el-Toukhy, director; Dominican Republic, “The Projectionist,” José María Cabral, director; Ecuador, “The Longest Night,” Gabriela Calvache, director; Egypt, “Poisonous Roses,” Ahmed Fawzi Saleh, director; Estonia, “Truth and Justice,” Tanel Toom, director; Ethiopia, “Running against the Wind,” Jan Philipp Weyl, director; Finland, “Stupid Young Heart,” Selma Vilhunen, director; France, “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly, director; Georgia, “Shindisi,” Dimitri Tsintsadze, director; Germany, “System Crasher,” Nora Fingscheidt, director; Ghana, “Azali,” Kwabena Gyansah, director; Greece, “When Tomatoes Met Wagner,” Marianna Economou, director; Honduras, “Blood, Passion, and Coffee,” Carlos Membreño, director; Hong Kong, “The White Storm 2 Drug Lords,” Herman Yau, director; Hungary, “Those Who Remained,” Barnabás Tóth, director; Iceland, “A White, White Day,” Hlynur Pálmason, director; India, “Gully Boy,” Zoya Akhtar, director; Indonesia, “Memories of My Body,” Garin Nugroho, director; Iran, “Finding Farideh,” Azadeh Moussavi, Kourosh Ataee, directors; Ireland, “Gaza,” Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell, directors; Israel, “Incitement,” Yaron Zilberman, director; Italy, “The Traitor,” Marco Bellocchio, director; Japan, “Weathering with You,” Makoto Shinkai, director; Kazakhstan, “Kazakh Khanate. The Golden Throne,” Rustem Abdrashov, director; Kenya, “Subira,” Ravneet Singh (Sippy) Chadha, director; Kosovo, “Zana,” Antoneta Kastrati, director; Kyrgyzstan, “Aurora,” Bekzat Pirmatov, director; Latvia, “The Mover,” Davis Simanis, director; Lebanon, “1982,” Oualid Mouaness, director; Lithuania, “Bridges of Time,” Audrius Stonys, Kristine Briede, directors; Luxembourg, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” Sameh Zoabi, director; Malaysia, “M for Malaysia,” Dian Lee, Ineza Roussille, directors; Mexico, “The Chambermaid,” Lila Avilés, director; Mongolia, “The Steed,” Erdenebileg Ganbold, director; Montenegro, “Neverending Past,” Andro Martinović, director; Morocco, “Adam,” Maryam Touzani, director; Nepal, “Bulbul,” Binod Paudel, director; Netherlands, “Instinct,” Halina Reijn, director; Nigeria, “Lionheart,” Genevieve Nnaji, director; North Macedonia, “Honeyland,” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, directors; Norway, “Out Stealing Horses,” Hans Petter Moland, director; Pakistan, “Laal Kabootar,” Kamal Khan, director; Palestine, “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman, director; Panama, “Everybody Changes,” Arturo Montenegro, director; Peru, “Retablo,” Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, director; Philippines, “Verdict,” Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, director; Poland, “Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa, director; Portugal, “The Domain,” Tiago Guedes, director; Romania, “The Whistlers,” Corneliu Porumboiu, director; Russia, “Beanpole,” Kantemir Balagov, director; Saudi Arabia, “The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director; Senegal, “Atlantics,” Mati Diop, director; Serbia, “King Petar the First,” Petar Ristovski, director; Singapore, “A Land Imagined,” Yeo Siew Hua, director; Slovakia, “Let There Be Light,” Marko Skop, director; Slovenia, “History of Love,” Sonja Prosenc, director; South Africa, “Knuckle City,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director; South Korea, “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho, director; Spain, “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodóvar, director; Sweden, “And Then We Danced,” Levan Akin, director; Switzerland, “Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa,” Michael Steiner, director; Taiwan, “Dear Ex,” Mag Hsu, Chih-Yen Hsu, directors; Thailand, “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” Sitisiri Mongkolsiri, director; Tunisia, “Dear Son,” Mohamed Ben Attia, director; Turkey, “Commitment Asli,” Semih Kaplanoglu, director; Ukraine, “Homeward,” Nariman Aliev, director; United Kingdom, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Chiwetel Ejiofor, director; Uruguay, “The Moneychanger,” Federico Veiroj, director; Uzbekistan, “Hot Bread,” Umid Khamdamov, director; Venezuela, “Being Impossible,” Patricia Ortega, director; Vietnam, “Furie,” Le Van Kiet, director. The ten-movie shortlist will be announced December 16. The final five nominees will be announced with all the other Oscar nominees on January 13.
  16. Links to our threads on the festivals in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2015. My preview of some of the religion-themed films. My capsule reviews of M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity and Architecture of Infinity. My capsule reviews of The Rabbi Goes West and Buddha in Africa.
  17. Just a quick note to say that Hustlers earned $33.2 million over the weekend, which gives it (i) the 2nd-best opening of any R-rated film directed by a woman (behind Fifty Shades of Grey), (ii) the 10th-best opening of any live-action film (co-)directed by a woman, and (iii) the 16th-best opening of any film (co-)directed by a woman, as far as I can tell. (The live-action films are in bold below.) 2019 Captain Marvel (co-directed) $153.4 million 2017 Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins) $103.3 million 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey (dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson) $85.2 million 2008 Twilight (dir. Catherine Hardwicke) $69.6 million 2012 Pitch Perfect 2 (dir. Elizabeth Banks) $69.2 million 2013 Frozen (co-directed) $67.4 million 2012 Brave (co-directed) $66.3 million 2009 Alvin & the Chipmunks 2 (dir. Betty Thomas) $48.9 million 2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 (dir. Jennifer Yuh Nelson) $47.7 million 2004 Shark Tale (co-directed) $47.4 million 2001 Shrek (co-directed) $42.3 million 2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 (co-directed) $41.3 million 1998 Deep Impact (dir. Mimi Leder) $41.2 million 2009 The Proposal (dir. Anne Fletcher) $33.6 million 2000 What Women Want (dir. Nancy Meyers) $33.6 million 2019 Hustlers (dir. Lorene Scafaria) $33.2 million 2018 A Wrinkle in Time (dir. Ava DuVernay) $33.1 million 2014 Unbroken (dir. Angelina Jolie) $30.6 million 1998 Doctor Dolittle (dir. Betty Thomas) $29.0 million 2008 Mamma Mia! (dir. Phyllida Lloyd) $27.8 million Time will tell if Hustlers ends up joining the $100 million club. Given how it kept surpassing all the estimates before and at the beginning of the weekend, though, I'd say it has the momentum to do so -- for now, at least.
  18. Starting at the 18:25 mark, one of the Red Letter Media guys gets into all the reasons why he thinks The Rise of Skywalker will go the way of Avengers: Endgame and bring on the time travel. (Warning: f-bombs etc.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzeOrA2in1c One thing that *doesn't* come up in this video is that time travel is already "canon" in the Star Wars universe thanks to a February 2018 episode of Rebels.
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