Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Spidey and Me

I love Spiderman comics for the following reasons:
  • They taught me about the importance of justice
  • Peter Parker was the first fictional character I ever wished was real (and wanted to marry)
  • They feature some of the best villains in comic book history
  • The artwork is fantastic and iconic and wonderful
  • Stan Lee is one of a pair of writers who provided me with an imagination and a moral compass (also noteworthy: J.K Rowling.)
There are a lot of other reasons, but this is a blog, not my life story.

Anyway, naturally, being a fan of the comics and being one of those kids who enjoyed having their face painted as Spiderman as often as possible (fuck you, gender normative society.) I pretty much flipped my shit when Sam Raimi's first film was released in 2002.

But although Raimi's films were brilliant entertainment and I enjoyed them, I was always inwardly disappointed with them. For me, the Spiderman 'verse on screen just didn't match the one that I had crafted in my head.

  • Where is Gwen Stacy, who was Peter Parker's first true love and who is the basis for so much of the content of his character?
  • Where are Spidey's homemade web-slingers?
  • Why is this guy so happy-go-lucky?
  • Where's his sarcastic sense of humour and clever wit?
  • Where are those god-awful and hilarious catchphrases that littered Stan Lee's pages?

If I separate the Spiderman films from The Amazing Spider-Man comics, they stand up well enough, but surely if you're making a film based on an iconic comic book character, it should be more accurate?

While Spiderman 1 & 2 were good films, Spiderman 3 was massively substandard. If I start talking about it in-depth, I'll never get to my point, but to me it's basically kind of like how X-men and X-men 2 and 3 were pretty decent films, but then along came Wolverine Origins and nothing made sense in relation to the original 'verse and it was a fuckery.


Imagine my excitement when I heard that Marc Webb was making a film titled 'The Amazing Spider-Man'.

Imagine my ridiculous facial expression when I saw the cast listing and discovered that this film would feature Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.

Imagine the inhuman noises I made when I saw that Andrew Garfield was listed to play Spidey.

Once again, just like my 9 year old self all those years ago, I was flipping. shit.

Then I logged onto my computer and saw all the rubbish people were talking about it, and I got angry.

For some reason, people were acting like Webb was attempting to remake the first films, and doing a piss-poor job at it.

People continued to believe this after TAS promo pictures were released, even though they clearly showed the difference between the new Spidey film and the old.

Even when the trailer for TAS was released (actually, even now, four months after its release) people were still fucking complaining about how Sony were 'replacing the real Spiderman' and how they were fucking up the storyline and 'Who the fuck is Andrew Garfield, anyway?' as if he wasn't a fantastically talented actor, and damn well suited to the role.

I'm sorry, does accuracy bother you?


Later, of course, I realised that like the audiences of so many adaptation films before this one, it was highly likely that none of the aforementioned people, or 'fucking idiots' as I lovingly refer to them, had bothered to open a comic and find out what the fuck was going on.

Still, though. That's no excuse, because this film looks fucking fantastic.

Peter Parker is given a backstory, at last.

Gwen Stacy is actually relevant and not just some random chick that's thrown in completely out of context for five minutes in a shitty threequel.


And it's probably going to be cuttingly funny, in the true spirit of the character.

People really need to wake up. This is not a remake of a film with a condensed plot and limited characters. This is a retelling of the original fucking comic book story and it deserves to at least be given a chance, even if you're not a comic book fangirl/boy and only have the first films for reference.

Basically, what I'm getting at is that, with great power comes great responsibility, and if someone's going to make a Spiderman movie, they need to do it with fairly significant reference to the original comic book canon.

Marc Webb is using his power in the way an original fan would, and he gets all of my respect for doing so. Even if the film doesn't impress everyone on its release, believe me, it's already impressed millions of people, just by staying true to canon.

Friday, November 04, 2011

WARNING: The following post contains 'feelings'

I don't actually enjoy blogging about how I feel unless its like, political or religious or something because hey! Unpopular opinions and obnoxious proclamations are what the internet's for, right?


But then I was like 'Oh. I'm actually happy for no identifiable reason and it feels pretty good.' And it reminded me of this poem I really like by Wendy Cope (who was born just down the road from me, don'cha know!) called 'The Orange' which I think is apt because it's entirely lovely and made me realise, once upon a time, not to take things for granted.

Anyway, I'm putting it on here so that we can have some niceness on the internet because I wish we could all just get along like we used to in middle school.

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave-
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.

Now. Wasn't that just heartwarming?

You can buy more of Wendy Cope's writing here and I would strongly suggest that you do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Really, this is a Public Service Announcement.

Okay, so I'm guessing that most people (providing that most people pay attention to films or at least watched this year's Oscars) know who Ryan Gosling is.

This is who Ryan Gosling is.
I enjoy being able to use this photo.

What you might not know, is that he has a singing voice that feels like it's slapping you in the face and hugging you all at the same time.

In 2008 Ryan teamed up with a guy called Zach Shields, who I am eternally grateful for, and they started a band called Dead Man's Bones that is really really good.

Like, if we were to put Dead Man's Bones on a scale that measured actors' legitimate talent when they branch out into music (highly talented - hello, Zooey Deschanel - or just high - ahem, Lindsay Lohan), DMB fall somewhere around 'oh my god is this real life?'

Part of me is wondering why I haven't blogged about them sooner, but in reality I probably would have forgotten to mention them at all if I wasn't overcome earlier today with disgust at how few people (or well, how few people I know) have listened to them.

Who cares that they sing songs about ghosts when the songs are so good?!

Anyway, their album is self-titled and you can get it from iTunes here and from Amazon here and you DEFINITELY SHOULD.

Here is a clip of them performing 'In The Room Where You Sleep' live with the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music Children's Choir (who feature heavily on the album and are very good.)

I am 85% sure you were not expecting that noise to come out of that man's mouth.

You're welcome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

'I am a beta theatre kid' or 'I can't sing or act but I sure am enthusiastic!

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that my old secondary school formed a glee club, and I was quietly furious because HELLO! Where was this club three years ago when I could have been a damn valuable asset to it?!

Then I remembered that I can't sing. (That's not me being self-deprecating in a 'Well I am quite good but I'm also modest' way. I am genuinely terrible at singing.) In spite of this painfully obvious setback, there is still a part of me that honestly believes I would be awesome on a Broadway stage.

I have a playlist on my iPod that I listen to when I clean my house which is specifically dedicated to musical theatre. It features mostly well-known productions with a couple of obscure tunes thrown in, but really, it's nothing too noteworthy.

What probably is noteworthy is the effect this playlist has on me - an effect which is now so prominent that I can't clean when there are other people in my house because they will all hate me.

I turn into the characters I am singing along with. This is not an exaggeration.

One minute I'm Tracy Turnblad and I'm so damned excited to welcome my mother to the sixties that I've forgotten to rinse the dishes and the next I'm Moritz Stiefel and whilst I most definitely don't do sadness, I do happily use my sweeping brush as a microphone stand and stamp my feet a lot.

For a while, I was entirely embarrassed by my tendency to cross genders and/or historical periods.

Keya, do not let people find out that for the short time it takes you to clean your kitchen floor you're a rebellious teenager who went off to see the world after a failed abduction-come-matchmaking and returned only to fall in love with your next-door neighbour.
(Ten points and my eternal love go to anyone that catches that reference)

Then I thought, fuck it.

Isn't the entire point of theatre arts to make an impact on people?

Doesn't the fact that one song from Wicked can still make me tear up two years after I saw it sung live just prove that it's relative? Doesn't the fact that I have lines from Spring Awakening memorised speak volumes for the quality and prominence of its script?

Doesn't the fact that I dance like my life depends on it when I hear 'Don't Rain On My Parade' just confirm that it's a damn catchy song?

Musical theatre makes me genuinely happy and mock me all you want, but I will most definitely be breaking into song at random intervals for the foreseeable future. Regardless of my terrible voice and sub-par dance skills.

NB: In case anyone cares to delve into the playbill world, Liza Minnelli is my girl and also co-queen of musical theatre alongside Barbara Streisand and so you should begin your education there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I quite like David Fincher (the art of understating)

David Fincher is one of my favourite people ever.

He is also tied at first place with Woody Allen on the 'My Favourite Directors' list that I compiled in my head on the bus one day last year.

Here are some things that make me love him:


"For me, the scariest thing about a serial killer is that there’s somebody who lives next door to you, running power tools late into the night, and you don’t know he has a refrigerator full of penises."

"I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but somebody has to."

"If you have a fucking clue and a passion, people will get out of your way because people want someone to follow"

I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me I’m always interested in movies that scar. The thing I love about “Jaws” is that I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean again.

"I wrote the necrophilia line just because I like to get the word “necrophilia” into PG-13 movies whenever possible.”


The Films of David Fincher:

A bunch of technical talking heads about 'Zodiac':

Fight Club Philosophy and Theoretics:




I love him.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

My faith is not hurting you.

Religion as a concept is incapable of being bigoted or sexist or murderous. Those things are caused by people who interpret religion negatively.

I've never been a person that will deny someone the right or opportunity to have and express their opinion, because I believe that the only way to develop my own views is to consider those of others.

In the same way, I'm a very liberal person - if we learn from each other, why is there a mentality that we have the right to stop others from doing what they want to do?

The only time I have an issue with an opinion is when it hurts someone else. Even in that circumstance, it doesn't irritate me simply because I don't agree with whatever is expressed, but because if the expression of a view transforms into the action of restricting someone else's ability to feel free to be who they are and believe in what they choose to believe in, then it isn't simply an opinion - it's oppressive.

This is where I have an issue with debates about religion.

There seem to be a massive amount of people who will defend to the death their right to NOT believe, but have no issue attacking those who do.

Personally, I have a very 'live and let live' view of the world. I pride myself in the fact that I have in the past, and will continue to, stand up for those who are being told by others that the way they live is unacceptable; that the way they look is wrong or that they are in love with the wrong person.

Who am I to judge?

I have no right to pass any kind of judgement on another person, because I have not experienced all the things they have, and I certainly haven't experienced those things with the same level of emotion that they have; with the same cultural significance.

I'm Catholic, but that doesn't make me ignorant. It doesn't make me racist or homophobic or superior to anybody else.

It just makes me who I am.

Generalisations, often on the part of non-believers, that everyone who believes in God or takes part in organised religion has some kind of grudge against the world are hurtful.

They're hurtful to me, personally, when I read them and I know they're hurtful to other religious people who are accepting of people from all walks of life.

What I'm getting at here is that if someone doesn't believe in God, or doesn't agree with the idea of organised religion, or takes issue with some piece of scripture from some holy text, they have a right to that opinion; but it doesn't mean that people should then generalise from that issue.

And if someone does do that, aren't they then just as bad as the people they are judging?

If you attack all of the members of a religion and accuse them of being racist or sexist or homophobic, aren't you ostracising them in the very same way that you are accusing them of ostracising a minority?

Religion is subjective.

Just because I believe in God doesn't mean I agree with every single piece of scripture that has ever come from my religion.

The way a person interprets spirituality and religion and scripture is dependent on that person's character.

When I go to church, I take away things that I think will make a positive impact on me and the people around me.

Things like:

Loving your neighbour
Leaving judgement up to god
Treating others as you want to be treated
That having faith in yourself is key, and faith in God will come later
The importance of forgiveness
The importance of acceptance and tolerance

So I'm afraid, even if it is your opinion that all religions are oppressive and discriminatory, I will never be able to agree with you.

A religion is made up of the people that follow it, and I don't believe that the majority of people are spurred on by hate. I have more faith in the human race than to believe that.

The very essence of any religion is to have faith.

What, exactly, justifies dictating that those who have faith are ignorant?

The majority of religious people don't condemn those who don't believe.

Human beings need faith whether it be religious, placed in a family member, in a friend or in science or simply faith in ourselves.

Sometimes, regardless of how hard you try to forgive, it's difficult to have faith in people that attack you because of your beliefs - judging someone based on a religious generalisation makes you guilty of the same behaviour you accuse them of.

So, in case anyone was wondering, I'm not racist, or sexist, or homophobic. I don't hate you for not believing in God. I don't believe that every single word that has ever been written in scripture is fact. I will not condemn you to hell because you believe in sex before marriage. I don't think I'm better than you. I don't want to convert you. I don't agree with extremists and I do believe in total equality.

What I would quite like, is to be left alone to believe in what I choose to.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Okay, I'm not gonna jump around the subject, if you follow my blog, you know how much love I have for Jesse Eisenberg.
I am not ashamed, because sometimes I can't even fathom his existence.

Besides the fact that, yeah, he's actually really good looking and is this amazing person who fosters cats and reads to children and listens to musical theatre and basically is everything that most women I know would like their future husband to be, he's funny.

And yes, I have proof.

Said proof lies on the website McSweeney's. It's always been a pretty interesting and relatively amusing website, (Mike Lacher's posts are very good, I suggest you visit it) but Jesse's features are hysterical.



Hey, how’s it going? Mind if I sidle up? I saw you over here sitting alone and I thought, that’s fine. A woman should be able to self-sustain. In fact a lot of women are choosing to stay alone, what with advances in salary equitability and maternity extensions, and I think it’s an important and compelling trend.

I noticed that you were about to finish your drink and I was wondering if I could possibly watch you purchase another one. And, at the risk of being forward, if you could possibly purchase one for me.


A Marxist-Socialist walks into a bar and asks the bartender if he’s unionized.


Knock knock.

Who’s there?

A Marxist-Socialist.

A Marxist-Socialist who?

A Marxist-Socialist who wants to give you a pamphlet about class struggle.


What did one Marxist-Socialist say to another?

Like you, I also advocate a proletarian revolution culminating in collective ownership.

Just, please. Someone explain to me how it is fair that people like this exist, and yet the guys that I meet think playing beer pong and watching Jackass are worthwhile ways to spend their time?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Loosely curled fists.

I recommend that the entire world and universe read the following:

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Crush by Richard Siken


My emotions are currently turbulent because of life in general and also because of Harry Potter. To cheer myself up, I watched Woody Allen's amazing film 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' (I am jealous of that man's wife.) It worked and I was in a wonderful mood and doing that thing where I laugh about dialogue three hours after I hear it, because it resonates so much.

All was well.

Then, because I am apparently both an idiot and a masochist, I read Giovanni's Room and my soul cried. After I recovered from that, I read Crush; probably for the same reasons as above - don't worry, I'll have that checked out - and now I have to blog otherwise I'll die of empathy.

I'm not exactly in a state where I can coherently explain to you how these pieces are so good or exactly why you should read them, but what I do want to do is leave a quote from each here on this post, so that you can see the writing style and the elegance with which both men write and how beautifully they convey emotion and the human condition.

So here:

1. Giovanni's Room

“I do not know if his hair has been cut or is long – I should think it would have been cut. I wonder if he is shaven. And now a million details, proof and fruit of intimacy, flood my mind. I wonder, for example, if he feels the need to go to the bathroom, if he has been able to eat today, if he is sweating, or dry. I wonder if anyone has made love to him in prison. And then something shakes me, I feel shaken hard and dry, like some dead thing in the desert, and I know that I am hoping that Giovanni is being sheltered in someone’s arms tonight.”

2. Crush

"You're in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won't tell you that he loves
you, but he loves you. And you feel like you've done something terr-
ible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself
a grave in the dirt, and you're tired. You're in a car with a beautiful boy,
and you're trying not to tell him that you love him, and you're trying to
choke down the feeling, and you're trembling, but he reaches over and
he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your
heart taking root in your body, like you've discovered something you
don't even have a name for."

Really, it's just the kind of literature that makes you think that maybe love is worth the trouble, and that is phenomenal.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

'New' Music.

Okay, I've listened to some fairly ridiculous music in my time, as I'm sure a lot of people have.

But I'm sure it's not just my imagination when I listen to new bands and new music and think that it just isn't good.
I guess it's a kind of 'In my day, we had real music!' thing, but just because something's trite, doesn't make it any less true.

It's just a bit disconcerting to turn on music television and watch as four different bands and videos play but sound exactly the same.
There is too much new music. I feel like these people think that it's easier to be in a band than it is to try and get their 'messages' across in any other way.

Really, when you consider it, there's only so much ground that can be covered before everything starts sounding and looking the same.

Take for example my niece's favourite band, Black Veil Brides. They're just...I can't even...I don't know what the point of them is.
The thing about Black Veil Brides is that their music is kind of alright (if you don't mind music that sounds like children impersonating Def Leppard and Bring Me The Horizon), but they look completely ridiculous. This is not 70s glam rock, guys. You are not KISS.
Also, it's all well and good being friends with Motley Crue, but if you're fronting a completely different band, do not call yourself AndySixx. Just don't do it.
The truth is, they try to convey quite a positive message to kids; it's just difficult to take them seriously.

I don't want to sound like a musical purist; really it's impossible for me to sound like that considering some of the music I listen to and my penchant for 90s boybands.

My point is that I think that people should start appreciating the decent music that already exists and actually taking time to appreciate classic artists instead of writing off established artists in favour of looking for the newest band just for the sake of being hipster.

"My favourite band? Oh. they're this underground nu-metal/electro-rock hybrid called 'The Point of my Existence' you've probably never heard of them."
Please. Just please. Go away.

There is nothing wrong with liking a band that already has a massive fanbase. If anything, it's proof that they are genuinely talented and not just a replica of the latest indie-rock or screamo outfit that have had their faces plastered on the front of Kerrang! magazine.

This isn't to say that those people have no talent; this is to say that those people need to hone their creative output so that it's actually their creative output.

If you are one of these exclusive new music fans, I am now openly inviting you to meet some wonderful people. (Note how none of these songs sound the same.)

The Who


Jimi Hendrix

Def Leppard

Monday, June 27, 2011

Girls Who Read.

I just came across this amazing passage by Rosemarie Urquico and I felt the need to share.

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

Is it ridiculous to say that this moved me to tears? It probably is, but in all honesty, I don't care.
There is nothing in the world that I connect to more than language; more than words.

My entire childhood was crafted by my imagination; by the words somebody else had laid out in front of me that let me create a place that I felt comfortable in. I will always be grateful to the people that pushed me to make real things that I never thought would exist outside of my imagination.

I'm not a 'Grammar Nazi' and I'm not a pedant. I value the structure and the sound and the elegance of language and I value the impact that it can have on people.

So I'm going to stop gushing on the internet about how much I love it and instead I'm going to finish my writing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

In which I gush about a two minute scene from a film.

Okay, so the other day I was talking to a friend of mine and having a bit of a fangirl attack (In my defense, it was about 1am) and I realised that I have about six files on my computer that are just me discussing clips from films that i've never shown anybody because I didn't think anyone would care.

Then said friend reminded me that that's what blogs are for.

So here is my overly-emotional, fangirly, poorly-worded breakdown of the confrontation scene in The Social Network which can be seen here:
(it wasn't on youtube in full or in HQ. bah humbug.)

I feel like this whole scene is a fireball, instant representation of Mark and Eduardo's entire relationship. Like, the whole struggle between them and the months of miscommunication and longing just come to a head in this perfect way where you can see every feeling between them rise to the surface.

When you look at Eduardo you see so much anger, and then as he turns to look at Mark the anguish in his voice and the pain in his eyes just scream "You are my best friend, and you’ve just broken my heart, my spirit and my entire career apart, and all I ever did was love you and help you, what did I do to deserve this?" and it's right there in the dialogue that Eduardo is searching for reasons, looking for things he did wrong and for explanations for Mark's behaviour - to work out how long he's been in a one-sided relationship, and the initial reaction is to hate Mark; to feel everything that Eduardo is feeling and project it onto Mark, and onto Sean who is basically the Yoko to their John and Paul.

But then we see Mark and we see how his face transforms from the "You made a bad business deal with your own company" harshness and supposed lack of feeling into this picture of torment and regret and I feel like as Eduardo walks away, Mark finally realises that he’s lost more than he bargained for. I don’t think Mark ever realised that losing his CFO would equal losing his best friend. To him, he was cutting Eduardo out of the company but not out of his life and he didn't understand that Eduardo would see it as anything other than a business deal.

To Mark it was all black and white, Wardo was his best friend and Eduardo was his CFO and he thought that he could have one without the other and in the moment when Eduardo says to him "I’m coming back for everything" its like you see on his face that he finally realises that he’s ruined this relationship with this person that he loves on a level that he wasn't even consciously aware of. You can see him realise what he’s done and you can see it dawn on him, as he spins back around in his chair that even if Eduardo comes back for the entire company, he wont care, because none of it matters if he hasn't got his best friend.


The acting in this film cannot be adequately described in words.

...and neither can my love for it.

I guess this is kind of a rant?

It really pisses me off when homophobes try to use ‘nature’ as a basis for their beliefs.
Like when people say ‘The only natural way to reproduce is through being in a heterosexual relationship.’ or ‘It’s unnatural for two men or two women to be together because the purpose of life is procreation’ or ‘God put Adam and Eve in the garden, not Adam and Steve.’ (the latter being a sentence that makes me cringe beyond belief.)

There are so many flaws in those ‘arguments’ that I can’t even bring myself to fully dissect them.
In the same way, it’s aggravating when one person decides that if another person is gay, it’s their choice and is a conscious decision they’ve made.

If you truly believe that couples shouldn’t be allowed to have children if they haven’t done so ‘naturally’ then shouldn’t the same argument apply to all people who are unable to conceive with their partner?

I’d like to see the people that believe this stand up and present their pathetic excuse for logic to a room full of straight women who are unable to have children.

‘Excuse me, miss, but your inability to have children with your husband is unnatural. Obviously, you have made a conscious choice to be infertile and defy the wishes of God and therefore you will be damned to hell.’

Double standards make me feel ill.

Live and let live. This level of ignorance is disgusting.

(This is the thing that made me write this:

N.B: my next post will be full of happiness and unicorns. I promise. :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

So bad they're good.

Okay, so I know i'm supposed to be a rational and sensible media student and have valid and intelligent views when it comes to film and the impact of cinema and blah blah blah.
But seriously, awful films are one of my favourite things in the world.

Not awful films as in films that are just generally bad, like Spiderman 3 or the Blade trilogy, but films that are so bad, they're good.


Anyway, I compiled a list of my personal Top 5 'So-bad-it's-good' films, and here they are.

1. The Faculty

A film about blood-hungry alien teachers at a high school in Middle America, wherein the only hope for survival is a group of misfit, angst-ridden, bitchy teenagers. (featuring Josh Hartnett. ofc.)
Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. But what else would you expect from the writers of 'Scream'?

The acting is terrible, the special effects are hilarious and the whole thing culminates in the hunting of the 'Queen' alien in a school gym, but seriously, this is worth the wasted time. Totally a film you'd love to hate. Plus it features a teenage Elijah Wood, and who can really deny wanting to watch that?

My advice: watch with popcorn and friends that don't take themselves very seriously.

2. Cursed

Okay, this is directed by Wes Craven, and I have a lot of love for 'The Crow', so when I first watched 'Cursed', I was slightly defensive of it, but really, do not expect much.

A Werewolf attack leaves Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg with the 'mark of the beast' and a mission to kill the creature that started it all...yeah, that's basically it.

Hilarious, (intentionally so, this film does not take itself seriously as a slasher or a supernatural thriller) some good acting, a cameo from Bowling for Soup and a Were-dog (no, i'm not joking.).

My advice: look out for a confession scene between characters Bo and Jimmy, and try not to die laughing.

3. Get Over It

Oh come on! Everybody loves a cheesy romcom, and this one has Sisquo in it. BONUS POINTS.

Socially average high-school guy joins the cast of his school's musical adaptation (yes, musical) of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in order to try and win back his ex-girlfriend and show-up the new guy.

Features a young Kirsten Dunst, some very catchy tunes and some genuine laugh out loud moments, which, when combined, kind of overshadow the whole bad-acting and an awful attempt at an English accent by Shane West.

My advice: watch alone or with close friends to avoid damage to your reputation as a serious cinema-goer. Try not to get the irritatingly catchy show-tunes and soundtrack stuck in your head. No really, I dare you.

4. The Love Guru

White Indian guru schools American hockey player in the ways of love in order to win back his wife.
Theres literally nothing else.

Cheap jokes? yep. Innuendo-ridden place names? yep. Verne Troyer? Oh please, it's a Mike Myers movie.

This film is base, predictable and ridiculous, but genuinely fun to watch. Features Jessica Alba as typical-female-role-filler and Justin Timberlake in a Speedo, which, let's be fair, is reason enough to watch it.

My advice: Learn to love the relentless innuendo this film throws at you. Don't watch with pedants or people who hated Austin Powers more than Hitler.

5. Lesbian Vampire Killers

Two friends' lives turn rubbish, so they decide to go hiking...through a remote village in the English countryside where all the women happen to be under a curse whereby they are lesbian vampires.

Judge me if you must, but this film genuinely made me laugh. Features James Corden and Mathew Horne (of Gavin and Stacey fame), some quite good writing, and a couple of English in-jokes that aren't so 'in' that our friends across the clearlylargerthanapond will still be able to chuckle at.

My advice: Don't watch with over-sensitive friends (come now, I can be a feminist with the best of them, but this film is not to be taken seriously.). do watch with a lot of junk food and prepare yourself for the unashamedly forthright ways in which aforementioned lesbian vampires are killed.

Honorable Mention:

White Chicks

Just go and watch it. If you don't laugh at least once, I'm not gonna eat my hat, but you can if you'd like.

Look out for: Vanessa Carlton's absurdly catchy song, incessant poking-of-fun at the hoi-polloy of California, the Wayans Brothers being...well, the Wayans Brothers.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Opinions shouldn't be barriers.

Yesterday, I had a politics lesson that wasn't really going anywhere due to the teacher not being in and it being a monday morning.

Just as a bit of background info, there are seven girls in my class, including myself, and four guys.

Apparantly, a football team that 3/4 of the boys supported had lost a game the night before, and that meant the end of said boys' happy lives (football isn't my thing and I find it tedious, but I'm aware that LOT of people were disappointed by the result of said game, so I kind of just let them get on with it.).

I wasn't paying much attention, opting to doodle on my notes and figure out what I wanted to eat when I got home, but when I looked up again, the class were arguing about the relevance of football.
Some girls in the class argued that it was ridiculous to be so upset about a game that had no major influence on the world, and that was intended as entertainment; whilst the boys argued that they had developed a love for their team and wanted them to win in order to feel the sense of unity and community created amongst fans after a victory.

I went back to my doodling, pondering the arguments I'd heard.

Then someone said something that bypassed irritating me, and sent me into a silent rage:

"I'm not being funny, but you're a girl. I don't expect you to understand the importance of football, you don't know anything about it. It's just typical of women to say that loving your team is ridiculous, when you all love stupid things like shoes and gossip."


Having not previously been part of the conversation, I didn't immediately speak out, but as I listened to the other girls' rebuttles I was basically disgusted to hear that they weren't standing up for themselves, or indeed womankind, but instead were continuing to say that football was 'stupid.'

The thing running through my head at this point was 'sweet baby Jesus, someone needs to tell these people how ridiculous they are.'

So I calmed myself and joined in with the conversation, stating that whilst football was intended for entertainment, it's probably a good thing that it encourages a sense of community in fans; but that the dismissal of women's views regarding it was disgusting.

Then i may have been a bit rude and referenced that this boy's claim that 'women don't understand men's stuff' was clearly founded on ignorance and arrogance, considering that politics itself is male-dominated but that there were more women than men in our class, and that he as an individual isn't amazing at the subject.

I don't fully remember his response, but it was something to do with football being a man's game and me being rude and offensive for dismissing their love of the game and their want to talk about it. At which point I laughed.

My counter-argument went off point, something that irks me but that I can't do anything about, and I told him that considering the bigger picture, the fact that there is a revolution in Libya, has been an earthquake in NZ and are apparantly tornadoes headed for Australia, I have no qualms in being unenthralled by his tales of football woe, and that surely he could understand my lack of sympathy for his 'plight'

I'm not going to give a full rundown of the rest of the conversation, which went on to discuss sex and university and was, quite frankly, infuriating; but the point I wanted to make was that whilst it's absolutely fine to be interested and empassioned by things like sports, film, music etc, our passion shouldn't act as a barrier to rational thought and the consideration of others' position in society.

The ignorance of my generation toward the current situation in the middle east and the fact that women still earn less than men for doing the same jobs are prime examples of this, proving that people nowadays are interested in current affairs and the suffering of others only until those affairs aren't directly linked to their own life anymore, forgetting that the universe does not stop and start at their request.

In short, since I've gone on a football flavoured tangent in a post originally intended to be about equality and fairness, go ahead and get excited and emotional over whatever you choose to get excited and emotional over, just don't forget that whether it's the girl sitting across from you or the man on the other side of the world that just lost his family in a war, people have feelings and the world is bigger than your opinion.

Monday, February 28, 2011

On the subject of The Academy Awards.

Just because I know that I've been like a machine going on about Oscar noms etc for the past couple of weeks/months.

Putting aside the fact that The Social Network appeals to me personally because of David Fincher (who I love) and Aaron Sorkin (who is a genius), I genuinely think that it deserved more awards from the Academy.

Likewise, 127 Hours, which was enthralling and astoundingly well produced, should have gotten more recognition last night.

The long and short of the situation, in my opinion, is that The King's Speech was kind of a safe choice.
I understand Colin Firth getting the award for best actor, but although his performance in TKS was brilliant, I can't help but feel like the academy were making up for robbing him of the same award last year for his performance in 'A Single Man' (which was, incidentally, pretty much flawless and a film that I would definitely recommend).

I'm just getting sick of the Academy Awards being so predictable. Watching last night, it was difficult to become engrossed in what was happening, because I felt like everyone watching knew where it was going.

I'm not going to get started on the Best Director category result, because it fills me with rage; I will say though, that I think the academy did make a few good decisions.

Christian Bale was brilliant in The Fighter and fully deserved the award for Best Supporting Actor, in the same way that Natalie Portman did for Best Actress. Inception was credited for it's sound production and The Social Network was rewarded for editing and score, and it was good to see that work that could have easily gone unnoticed was thrust into the limelight.

All in all, because I'm aware that I'm ranting again, I'm fairly disappointed that the Academy still haven't found the backbone to go completely out on a limb and challenge the conventions of previous winners. Fingers crossed that next year's contenders push some limits.

Also, so that I can shut up about it, my feelings about The Social Network are, I feel, justified, in this explanation that I came across earlier today:

A snippet:
A movie about Harvard that isn’t filmed at Harvard. A movie about Facebook that isn’t about Facebook. How do you explain the Social Network to people? It doesn’t fit into any box neatly; it isn’t a formula that sets you up to know a familiar story, to see something you’ve seen a hundred times. People who aren’t moved by films that show anything less than idealized versions of humanity have a hard time with it; they don’t admire the Zuckerberg, the Facebook. And the cruel way Zuckerberg moves his chess pieces in order to get out in front of the Winklevoss twins and any potentially competitive dot com turns people off. But those of us that revel in themes like this and humor so blackened you could almost paint the walls with it find the film endlessly fascinating. It’s really the way it defines the way many of us live and our notions of community now, the irony of the person who invented it, how he invented it and how we now think about “friends.”

Anyways, rant over and congratulations to all the winners and blah blah blah etc.

N.B - Aaron Sorkin for King of everything.