Colette: The Trailer is Better than the Movie

One of the rare times I watch a non fantasy/sci-fi movie, I was really excited for Colette.

Based on the life of a French novelist in the 20th century, Colette follows an independent-minded woman who marries an author–or at least, the man who puts his name on the books. Her husband is more of an editor/manager, with the actual labor done by ghostwriters. Writing a story for him that turns into a huge hit, Colette evolves into someone who wants control of her creativity and credit for her work.

The movie is decent, but kind of a letdown after the absolutely fantastic trailer. Continue reading “Colette: The Trailer is Better than the Movie”

Advertisements

Mythica: A Disabled Female Protagonist in a Classical Sword and Sorcery Setting

I enjoyed this story. It hits that lighthearted sword and sorcery B-movie spot.

This is a not-too-serious adventure with a classical fantasy feel—orcs, adventurers taking jobs in a tavern, a wizard-rogue-warrior-healer party makeup. It plays to those kinds of tropes pretty faithfully, with one major exception that makes the story pretty refreshing: the main protagonist is a woman with a disability.

I was plenty surprised to find that the main character was female, let alone disabled. (I mean, yes, it was made in 2014 and funded by Kickstarter rather than a studio, which probably explains it. And maybe there have been others like this that I’ve missed. But still. I’ve watched a lot of B fantasy movies back when Syfy was Sci-Fi, and seeing one that isn’t the standard man-goes-from-no-one-to-great-warrior-and-gets-the-girl story feels really new.)

Continue reading “Mythica: A Disabled Female Protagonist in a Classical Sword and Sorcery Setting”

Beauty and the Beast: This is the Wrong Story for Belle and the Beast

Belle and the Beast stand in front of a winter landscape, Belle holding a rose. The text reads "Disney, Beauty and the Beast."
Image: Disney

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling

Synopsis: A prince is cursed to become a beast for an act of unkindness. He can only be redeemed if someone falls in love with him. Enter Belle, an educated young woman unsatisfied with her life, and willing to do anything to save her father–from the beast who’s imprisoned him.

Verdict: This adaptation is genuinely charming in its execution, but it’s quite faithful to the Disney version, and fixes none of the major flaws of its predecessor. If you liked Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you’ll probably like this one—it’s not that different. Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast: This is the Wrong Story for Belle and the Beast”

Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility

This was a great movie that paired Marvel’s style of adventure and humor with a fresh feeling. The setting and costumes were absolutely gorgeous, blending a futuristic/sci-fi feel and inspiration from numerous African cultures for its aesthetic–from the Maasai people in East Africa, to the Zulu people in Southern Africa, to the Akan people of West Africa. (Waris @diasporicblues details several in a Twitter thread; Lynsey Chutel and Yomi Kazeem wrote Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a broad mix of African cultures—here are some of them for Quartz Africa, which I was super excited to see mention Dahomey’s historical female warriors.) Black Panther is quite feminist as well, including black women as both major characters and a substantial chunk of the background characters. Continue reading “Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility”

Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy

Two people's faces, above an image of a ship in space. The words read "Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Passengers."
Image: Sony Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Synopsis: Jim and Aurora are passengers on a starship, kept in stasis inside hibernation pods during the journey. When they arrive at their destination, a good century would have passed, and they’d have reached a distant world. Except they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Without the ability to put themselves back to sleep, they’re looking at the rest of their lives spent alone, aboard the ship… Continue reading “Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy”

Wonder Woman: Refreshing and Emotionally Powerful

Wonder Woman stands on a battlefield, deflecting a bullet with her gauntlet.
Image: Warner Bros via Wikipedia

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: Diana has grown up in a land of Amazons, isolated from the rest of the world. They are the keepers of a weapon that can defeat Ares, the god of War, waiting for the time when he returns to wreck chaos and slaughter. Then World War I intrudes onto her island, and Diana takes this as a sign that Ares had arrived. She sets off on a mission to kill him, believing that without him, the war would end and the world would know peace. Continue reading “Wonder Woman: Refreshing and Emotionally Powerful”

Terminator: Genisys Reboots the Franchise for the 21st Century

A picture of a man with parts of his skin wounded enough to reveal metal underneath, holding a smoking shotgun, in front of a black font with some fog. The words "Terminator Genisys" are written over him.
Image: Skydance via Den of Geek

Genre: Action/Sci-fi

Synopsis: John Connor is the leader of the resistance in a world where humanity is being obliterated by Skynet, a self-aware artificial intelligence. Without him, humanity stands no chance. In the original Terminator movie from 1984, Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to kill John’s mother Sarah before he can be born. John sends back a trusted colleague, Kyle Reese, to protect his mother. However, in Terminator: Genisys, this has already happened. Continue reading “Terminator: Genisys Reboots the Franchise for the 21st Century”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Less Powerful Though Still Good Closing of the Franchise

 

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-poster
Borrowed from thetorchentertainmentguide.com

Genre: Dystopian/Sci-fi

Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen  is the face of the revolution against the Capitol, after the destruction of her district. And now it’s time for the final showdown. But complicating things is the rescue of Peeta, who’s been psychologically reprogrammed through a combination of torture and drugs to believe that Katniss is a monster who needs to be killed. And now Katniss, accompanied by her friends and a struggling Peeta, needs to end things, once and for all. And decide what the future is going to be. Continue reading “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Less Powerful Though Still Good Closing of the Franchise”