Category Archives: Movie (or TV) Mondays

Movie (or TV) Monday: Shark Lake

Oh my god, you guys.  I stumbled upon the trailer for this movie while looking for something else and man am I happy that I did, because it is just so WONDERFULLY stupid.  It’s actually PERFECT in its stupidity.  Every dumb aspect of it is so beautifully executed, I don’t even have words for it.  It’s like stupid ballet.  Highlights: the anonymous phone call to the police to help them narrow down their search for the lake killer: “Your killer’s definitely not a bear.”  (HA!)  The grizzled sheriff pointing out the obvious: “Who’s ever heard of a shark in a lake?”  (AmIright???)  And my personal favorite – what feels like about a million shots of people firing guns into a lake.

In fact, before we go any further, just please watch it for yourself and get back here to discuss!

HAHAHAHA.  So, okay, I don’t know how on earth this movie was greenlit.  Maybe everyone was riding high on that sweet, sweet Sharknado wave, maybe someone wasn’t fully paying attention when using the Yes, Let’s Spend Millions Of Dollars on This stamp, or maybe, just maybe, it went a little something like this:

INT. STUDIO EXEC’S OFFICE

A nervous young screenwriter/director sweats profusely while standing in front of a bored looking executive.  He’s been waiting his whole life for this chance.  Stumbling slightly over his words, he begins his pitch.

WRITER/DIRECTOR

So, my story is about a single mom who starts putting

herself through night school, and-

The studio exec jolts himself out of a daze.

STUDIO EXEC

Sorry, I fell asleep there for a

second. Got any other ideas?

WRITER/DIRECTOR

Uh, of course!

Absolutely panicked, he looks around the room, desperate for inspiration.  He sees a picture of a vicious looking shark hanging on the wall.

WRITER/DIRECTOR

Yeah, I’ve got a great one called Shark…

He looks frantically to his computer, desperate to finish the sentence and sees the serene lake of his screen saver.

WRITER/DIRECTOR

Lake!  Shark Lake!  No wait, that doesn’t make any-

STUDIO EXEC

It’s perfect!  We’ll buy it!  See my girl on your way out and

she’ll get you your check for a million dollars.*

END SCENE

Anyway, regardless of how it got made, Shark Lake is here, baby, and only time (and people watching it on Netflix while drinking heavily) will determine if it’s a So Stupid Its Entertaining type of movie or a So Stupid, but Not in a Fun Way, type of movie.  Either way, I am excited about this addition to the list of films with Shark in the title! Now with the Sharknado franchise and Shark Lake, I think we could see an entire subgenre of silly shark gore movies developing here.  What could be next?  Sharks on a Plane?  (No, too complicated, too “done.”)  What about Sharks Gone Wild?  It would be about going on a murder spree during Spring Break!

…wait, is that actually a great/awesome/$$$$ idea????  Stop reading this!  Get me my agent!  (Okay, I do not have an agent.)  Anyway, go watch Shark Lake and tell me what you think!  (And also please forget about reading the concept for my unstoppable money making blockbuster, Sharks Gone Wild.)  Thanks!

*I may not exactly know how Hollywood works.

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Movie (or TV) Monday: I Guess I’m Gonna Watch A Star Wars Movie???

Not to go two weeks in a row exploring the theme of what Maureen is reluctantly watching, but tonight I found myself uncharacteristically interested in Star Wars!  The new trailer came out and it looks… really fun, right?

Now, full disclosure: I never saw Star Wars as a child or a young adult, so I do not have the nostalgia or adoration or all consuming obsession that some of my friends do.  And, even though I went to several of my film school classes at USC in the Lucas building, I actually didn’t even get around to watching Star Wars until after I had graduated.  (I’M SORRY, GEORGE LUCAS.)  And then once I saw them, I thought they were, I guess, I don’t know… fine.  (AGAIN, I’M SORRY, GEORGE LUCAS.)  But I think it’s like Goonies – if you see it for the first time as an adult, you are just not going to love it as much as people who adored it as kids.  (And yes, I’m admitting I also didn’t see and have no real love for the Goonies, so I guess I have firmly established myself as some kind of a heartless, soulless monster!)

But anyway, I think I will give this new Star Wars a chance!  (Maybe, after learning from my experience of viewing Goonies in a theater full of die hard fans yelling things I didn’t understand at the screen, I will give it a chance at home, on Netflix.)  But still!  Exciting news, on the Maybe I’ll Finally Be A Part of this Cultural Phenomenon front!

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Movie (or TV) Mondays: God Damn It, Michael Fassbender

stevejobsposter

Sigh.  So, I’m going to see that freaking Steve Jobs movie.  I don’t want to!  I don’t want to at all!  I am not an Apple fan girl, I have never had any interest in Steve Jobs or his life, and honestly *hesitates to admit this publicly* I don’t really love Aaron Sorkin’s writing.  I mean, I like it okay!  But it’s not 100% my thing.  (I’m sure he is reading this at home right now, maybe working his way through a bag of Cheetos, feeling suddenly and acutely betrayed.  Sorry, Aars.  If it makes you feel better, I am in the minority and like, 5 people read this blog anyway.)

Also, in other Why I Don’t Want to See This Movie news, the Steve Jobs targeted trailer that has been incessantly popping up in my instragram feed is so fucking sexist it is hilarious to me.  In case you are not a woman and have been spared this trailer, it’s the one where they 100% cut out anything related to computers or technology and have a weeping Kate Winslet talk about how the most important aspect of Steve Jobs was his fathering.  Because everyone knows that’s why Steve Jobs has a movie made about him in the first place!  Cause he was a kick ass dad!  Duh!

But anyway, I’m seeing the damn movie!  Why?  WHY?  Because of stupid sexy Flanders. I mean stupid, sexy Michael Fassbender.

twinsiestwo

I mean… twinsies, am I right???

A while back, I joked on Facebook that if the universe thought it was going to trick me into seeing a movie about Steve Jobs by casting Michael Fassbender then… well, maybe it was right.  And now, weeks later, after being bombarded by his annoyingly gorgeous face in trailer after trailer and posters the size of buildings, FINE, UNIVERSE, GOD DAMN IT.  YOU ARE RIGHT.  I WILL SEE THE STUPID STEVE JOBS MOVIE.  I WILL SEE HOW HE WAS A GENIUS EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T TECHNICALLY BUILD ANYTHING.  AND HOW HE PLAYED THE ORCHESTRA AND NOT LIKE, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.  AND HOW HE CREATED A COMPANY THAT MAKES AWESOME PHONES THAT LAST ABOUT TWO YEARS.  FINE.

But honestly, this decision leaves me concerned because it sets a disturbing precedent.  What WON’T I see Michael Fassbender in?  I’m seeing a movie about Steve Jobs, hell, I’ve already seen him as a monstrous slave owner in 12 Years A Slave, where will my stupid crush lead me next?  Hitler: Staring Michael Fassbender?  The Jeffrey Dahlmer Story, But Somehow Sexy?  A movie about baseball?????  So help me Jesus Christ, if I find myself buying tickets to some boring ass film that features Michael Fassbender as a shortstop or some shit like that, please just kill me.  Because obviously at this point, I don’t think an intervention would work.

Anyway, see you opening night, Michael Fassbender!  You bewitching siren that I will apparently follow anywhere!

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Movie (or TV) Mondays: A Journey Into the Punknown

The HBO television series 'Sex and the City' received an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Series as nominations were announced in Los Angeles, July 12, 2001. Cast members shown (L-R) are Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker. The Emmy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles September 16. REUTERS/Nigel Parry/HBO/Handout

So, I’m coming up on my 35th birthday and, as I was browsing my free Amazon prime streaming selections, I couldn’t help but wonder… did I ever give Sex and the City a fair chance?  I watched it, or some of it, a million years ago while in college and I decided it was not my thing.  From what I very vaguely remember, I thought the use of puns on the show was unbearable, I thought Mr. Big was a total ass, and I was (and remain) appalled by paying $400 for a pair of shoes.

However, as a woman preparing to give birth to a little girl, I started wondering if I was being closed minded as a feminist.  Sex and the City was a huge show that struck a major chord with tons of women.  Why didn’t I like it?  Was I limiting myself to liking only certain types of women in my entertainment choices?  I mean, one of the most important things about feminism (other than the fact that, for now, we don’t have to die while getting coat hanger abortions) is to recognize that there is no one right way to be a woman – that, whether you’re a career minded CEO, or a stay at home mom, or a weird artist who paint with her vagina, all of those choices are valid and should be treated with dignity and equality.  Not to be overly serious about my TV and movie watching, but I wondered if my choices in entertainment lived up to my feminist ideals of supporting different types of women.

I went to film school with mostly nerdy boys (and some nerdy girls), and found it was way more socially acceptable to enjoy Star Wars or every Martin Scorsese movie than anything remotely girly.  Admittedly, though I never much cared for Star Wars (SORRY, NEARLY EVERYONE IN FILM SCHOOL), my tastes naturally leaned away from rom coms and girly things anyway.  But… was it actually natural?  Or was it social conditioning?  Did I write off all super girly movies and TV because I really didn’t like them, or because I realized by saying I liked them it would make me seem less smart, talented or cool?

It is a pretty well documented fact that entertainment created for (or by) women is largely derided.  From chick lit, to chick flicks to mommy blogs, it seems that if you center something in the world of women and the things that may interest them you’re gonna be labeled in an annoyingly cutesy and infantilizing way, and people aren’t going to take you seriously.  (Even though we all live in a world where fantasy football is somehow considered a legitimate activity for adult males to participate in, instead of something we make fun of all day, every day because it is RIDICULOUS.)

Anyway!  Back to my point and my concerns – I mean, there are some kind of girly things I like.  I adore 30 Rock, I love the movie Sense and Sensibility (which is a literally perfect film and I god damn DARE you to find a flaw with it.)  But really, it’s a pretty short list.  Short enough to make me wonder if I could actually be part of the problem with lack of equality in media.  Do I write off too much “chick” entertainment because I sincerely don’t care for it?  Or am I being…well, sexist?  Am I naturally identifying with female characters I like in a healthy way (your Liz Lemons, your Elinors from Sense and Sensibility, etc.) or am I being closed minded? Most importantly, am I ignoring the types of women I don’t naturally identify with, and therefore missing out other, just as interesting, just as valid and just as worthy expressions of being a woman?

Or am I thinking WAY too hard about this Sex and the City rewatch?  Possibly!

But I’m gonna do it anyway, just to make sure I’m not missing out on something great and, even if I end up still disliking it on rewatch, reminding myself to keep and open mind and remember to give all types of women an equal shot at my TV watching eyeballs.  Once I’m done, I may write some recaps by season, a giant recap for the whole series, or a skip it, watch it guide, depending on how long this takes, how much I like it, etc.  But stay tuned!  At the very least, we will FINALLY determine whether I’m a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda.

Or, like my beloved Liz Lemon, maybe I am the Lady At Home Who Watches It!

30rocksatc

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Movie (or TV) Mondays: I Want to Watch Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Talk Show

dratch2

Okay, technically Rachel Dratch doesn’t HAVE a late night talk show (yet), but she was one of 37 female comics interviewed by Vulture on the topic, in the wake of the Vanity Fair sausage fest photo of the current crop of late night hosts.  (And the corresponding hubbub about how insane it is that there isn’t a single woman in the bunch.)

Anyway, turns out some female comedians who were interviewed do not dream of wearing a suit while interviewing stars about their latest movies, clothing lines or Vitamin Water flavor, but, of those who were interested, Rachel Dratch’s vision for what her show would be like was basically the best thing I’ve ever heard proposed for late night:

“Sure, I would do that! But I would have to be on some weird network. I don’t think I’d fly on, like, a major network. I would host my late-night show on some weird ladies channel, and I’d get a big following. I would do a late-night Lifetime Movie Network ladies chat show, yes. It would be really stereotypical: just chicks drinking rosé, sitting in comfortable chairs. Alcoholic Pumpkin Spice Lattes for fall, easy recipes! This is a horrible show!”

It is a horrible show!  An AWESOME horrible show that I would watch the crap out of!  I have never even HAD a pumpkin spice latte, but if Rachel Dratch is whippin up some spiked versions and discussing Lifetime movies with her inimitable Dratchian humor, I would be watching and drinking along with my at home version of a hard PSL.  (Pumpkin Spice Latte – keep up.)  IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE – Why is themed, at home drinking not a thing for every show???

Anyway, as delightful as the Rachel Dratch show could be, there were a number of other intriguing ideas pitched by female comedians.  The runners up for my favorite concept from the Vulture article were, first, the delightful Michaela Watkins…

“Yes. It would be somewhere between Daily Show and Between Two Ferns. (Editor’s note – ALREADY SOLD.)  I would try to get my celeb guests to talk about their feelings on politics, religion, and any hot-button issue, and if I smelled bullshit, very silly things would happen to them, like on a Nickelodeon show. Bucket of green slop dumped on them, etc. The 50-person audience would be a person from each state. Side note: I would love any show that involved psychics and mediums, but that’s just ’cause — ghosts!”

No duh, I would absolutely watch a hybrid of the Daily Show, Between Two Ferns, any Nickelodeon show where they dump slime on people, and the Long Island Medium.  GET ON MY TELEVISION, THIS SHOW.  I am already in love with you!

Anyway, the final runner up in terms of my fave idea was Sara Benincasa.  First, for her spot on inclusion of the sexism any female late night talk show will inevitably face in such a male dominated arena, and second for her belief (which I share) that one tit out is fine for anyone’s consumption, but both tits?  That is just for my husband, okay?  Call me (and Sara) old fashioned:

“Of course! Assuming it comes with a steady, fat paycheck that will soothe the sting of the inevitable-for-lady-celebrities complaints about my physical appearance, romantic choices, sexual history, and comedic ability, sure! I’d love to have my own late-night talk show. Bring it the fuck on. My show would be called ‘Sara Hangs Out,’ and it would be just 22 minutes of me sitting in a hot tub with a tit out, erasing years of feminist progress with my insatiable need to show off my amazing size 12 body. Not both tits, because that’s for my future husband. Just one. I would generally only interview women and genderqueer people, and occasionally, men I deemed worthy. Mostly I’d just ask Amy Sedaris to eat hush puppies with me and drink scuppernong wine.”

At least all of these ideas are better than Bill Mahr!  (Who, last I heard, was busy being wrong and stupid about something yet again.)  Good luck and godspeed, ladies.  Hope to see you on my late night television soon!

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Movie (or TV) Monday: If You Like Blindspot…

blindspot

…then you’re gonna LOVE my new show: Tramp Stamp Investigator.

Like, Blindspot (the Memento-esque NBC pilot being described as preposterous but entertaining or simply preposterous), Tramp Stamp Investigator also delves into the cool world of tattoos, amnesia and hot ladies!  But in TSI our detective, John McWeatheredbuthandsome, spends each episode helping some freshly sobered up person figure out why the hell she woke up with a tattoo of Tweety Bird on the small of her back.

Was it some sort of conspiracy?  Some sick bastard who kidnaps his victims and forces them to get ridiculous tattoos?

No, generally the answer is tequila.  Sometimes vodka.  Occasionally several gallons of white wine spritzers at an ex boyfriend’s wedding.  But no matter what the answer, Tramp Stamp Investigator is going to take you on QUITE the ride!  (A ride that mostly includes bars, tattoo parlors and going over credit card receipts.)

For some super weird reason, no network has currently expressed interest in Tramp Stamp Detective.  (I know, I am as shocked as you are!)  But in the meantime, all this talk of tramp stamps has reminded me of the delightful 30 Rock episode “Floyd,” where Liz’s ex boyfriend returns, freshly engaged to a hot blonde, gets drunk on fish, and goes on a bender which ends in, yes that’s right, a tramp stamp!  (And also several hours of him harassing the hosts of the Today Show.)

drunk-salmon

So, I’m going to re-watch that episode while I wait for the phone to ring!  G’night!

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Movie (or TV) Monday – Carol

I’m not ordinarily a romantic drama person, per se.  I believe you can only watch a couple be brutally torn apart by extenuating circumstances (generally war, one of them is married or one of them is dying) so many times before it starts to seem like an episode of HGTV’s Buying and Selling – EXACTLY THE GOD DAMN SAME EVERY DAMN TIME.  (But with, you know, more Oscars.)  However, I happened upon the trailer for Carol and was intrigued.  First, I must admit, I was drawn in by the fact it’s just so pretty.  I mean, it’s is a beautiful looking film full of gorgeous costumes and make up, and the fact it was shot in 16mm (my sentimental fave from film school days) excited the latent film nerd in me.

But second and obviously much more importantly, this particular tragic love story, is not about a heterosexual couple, which in and of itself makes it rare for mainstream cinema.  In fact, as I was thinking about the very few great gay, lesbian and/or trans love stories I’ve seen on the silver screen I was honestly kind of shocked that since, say, the 2000’s we haven’t picked up the pace on making more non straight romantic dramas.  I mean, the entire point of a romantic drama is that there has to be an obstacle to the Great Love.  Why then would we be neglecting the obviously romantic and tragic love stories that certainly flourished in the giant swath of human history during which gay and lesbian relationships were either literally illegal or would otherwise ruin your life if you loved in a public manner?  Not to mention you still obviously have the old standbys of romantic dramas (war, marriage, death) readily available in gay stories too, just with another added layer of necessary secrecy from society during the most repressed times and places for gay and lesbian people.  (And guys, everyone knows that secrecy and repression makes romantic dramas WAY HOTTER.)

Anyway, enough preamble, let’s get to the trailer for Carol:

As you can see, Carol is one of those neglected non straight love stories that I feel like we should be seeing so much more of in mainstream cinema.  It’s full of the life blood of romantic drama – longing, pain, conflicted desires, and really, really attractive people falling in love and probably doing it. And hopefully due of its overwhelmingly positive reception thus far, Carol will have strong box office numbers and help open the floodgates for many more GLBTQ love stories on the big screen.

And can I just say (of course I can, this is my blog) as much as people complain about millennials and political correctness, I am so fucking glad to live in an era where people are really pushing back against the nearly all white and all straight canon of mainstream film and television and demanding that others stories and other characters have their moment in the spotlight as well.  Because honestly, it’s way past time.  And just selfishly, as a film and television enthusiast, by limiting our movies and television to the mostly straight and white, we have been missing out on so many interesting stories.

Anyway, if you feel similarly (or if you were simply bewitched by this gorgeous trailer) but your money where your mouth is and support Carol when it comes out in theaters November 20th.

PS – In addition to the obviously gorgeous Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, there is bonus Kyle Chandler period clothes/style hotness for anyone interested in such.  Like me.  Like me A LOT.

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