Am I the only one who cannot stop watching this trailer? Not that I’m, you know, TRYING to stop watching this trailer…
Am I the only one who cannot stop watching this trailer? Not that I’m, you know, TRYING to stop watching this trailer…
From a fangirl’s perspective, Captain America: Civil War is really the gift that keeps giving.
Tempt me not, MCU, for I am weak. And nothing makes us weaker (particularly in the knee department) than the Civil War standout, Anthony Mackie, AKA Falcon.
Cut. The. Check.
With his indomitable charm, on-point delivery, and eyelashes that can generate their own wind currents, Anthony Mackie took this character from chummy to scrummy.
Falcon may not be Captain America’s best friend, but he’s certainly his dishiest.
So we salute you, Anthony Mackie. May your damn fine self be ever present in our Tumblr feeds, and our hearts.
(This post was brought to you by too much time on Fangirly’s hands).
Just to be clear, Fangirly doesn’t shy away from an R rating. Some of our favorite releases this year were deemed unfit for moppets of all ages. Deadpool, Spotlight, Ex Machina, Room. But, to be fair, those are the movie one expects to be hit with an R rating. Made by grown-ups, for grown-ups. And what if the increasing commercial success of R rated movies causes this trend to spill into other genres?
Which brings me to Wolverine 3. We get it. Wolverine is edgy; he smokes and drinks and gets laid and takes bad guys to the cleaners. But thus far, the powers-that-be have been able to tame the characters wild side just enough to squeeze out a PG-13 rating. That was true for 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2013’s The Wolverine. So why now the sudden change in direction? Well, because all the cool kids are doing it.
There is a direct line of causation between the BANANAS success of Deadpool and this new development in the Wolverine franchise. And frankly, if that were the extent of it, I wouldn’t be bothered. But I think we can all agree that superhero movies, from either side of the Marvel-DC partisan line, are getting progressively darker and, much as I hate to use
this word, grittier. To prove my point, let’s look at this summer’s latest cash cow, Captain America: Civil War.
It was amazing right? But can we all agree that with each subsequent film, the Captain America franchise has delved deeper into that dark, self-aware realism that has made the sequels so surprisingly wonderful? As an adult audience member, I’m loving it. But I’m not the only demographic at whom these movies are supposedly aimed.
I’ve got this neighbor. His name is Jack, he’s six, and he has the most extensive collection of superhero costumes I’ve ever seen. Picture a first-grader in full batman armor and you’ve got a good idea of what I see every time I look out my kitchen window. The take-away here is that Jack loves superheroes. Which really sucks for Jack, because there’s only a handful of superhero movies his mom will let him watch.
I can’t say I blame her. Would you let your six year old watch The Dark Knight, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Or, maybe more to the point, should you? These movies are starting to delve into themes and employ levels of violent realism that kids like Jack just aren’t ready for. And yet these movies, and all their must-have merchandise, continue to be marketed to him.
I just worry that one day, there won’t be any good superhero franchises left for younger audiences, who are, arguably, the ones that need these heroes the most. I don’t want to look out my window and not see Jack running around his yard in full spider-man regalia, keeping the neighborhood safe from evil. I want Jack to still have on-screen heroes he can look up to. Easier said than done, when he can’t even watch their movies.
Most superhero movies (actually, most movies in general) are more than willing to do the ethical legwork for you. The bad guys (easily distinguished by facial scars, a dark color pallet, or customary bad attitude) are always wrong, and the good guys (identifiable by their steely-eyed commitment to the greater good and general dishy-ness) are always right. Even those films that dip their toes into moral relativism always eventually find their way to the safer, more solid narrative ground of Righteous Hero v. Dastardly Villain. But what happens when everybody looks like a good guy? What is expected of us as an audience when everyone’s actions, including the guy in spandex we came to see, can be understood as right or wrong? For once, maybe the question of morality is open to our interpretation.
Such is the case with the third Captain America stand alone, Civil War. The film opens like you’d expect: good guys going after bad guys. But when the good guys (here represented by Cap, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon) make a mistake with fatal consequences, there is a global outcry for a little accountability, in the form of UN sanctioned panel that would oversee the Avengers from here on out. Some, like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision, see this as a necessary compromise. Others, namely Cap, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon, see it as an undermining of what the Avengers are supposed to be- a group a super friends with the autonomy needed to keep the world safe from handsome alien conquistadors and shapely, artificially intelligent robots. The result can only be described as a, ahem, civil war.
If you’re worried that this movie sounds too much like a talky political drama, rest easy. Civil War has even more than the usual amount of ass-kicking. But what’s really cool about this movie is how the Russo Brothers managed to take out almost all the cartoonishness of superhero violence. There’s a scene, pretty early in the film, where Captain America falls from a ledge and gets beaten around like a rag doll before making an uncharacteristically graceless landing. And, even more surprising, he doesn’t immediately bounce back. Right away we get the feeling that, in this film at least, violence has consequences. And unlike many other action movies of it’s kind, it feels as though the fight scenes are built around the set pieces, and not the other way around. The characters have to adapt to and use their surroundings in a way that makes the idea of a super-soldier and a guy in a cat-suit going at it feel a little more grounded.
Also, I’d like to take this moment to mention Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and everything I want to say can be summed up in one onamonapia: meow. Seriously, don’t change a thing.
In fact, there isn’t one weak link in this cast. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is predictably wonderful, Robert Downey Jr. is invariably the coolest guy on screen, and Chris Evans
continues to give Captain America a depth and charm that has managed to turned one of Marvel’s most stoic (and frankly, boring) heroes into a surprisingly relatable dude.
In this humble Fangirl’s opinion, Civil War is the best superhero movie we’ve gotten thus far. It’s beautifully made, and asks more of its audience than to simply go along for the ride. You feel obligated to choose a side, and for once, it might not be the same side as the guy with his name on all the posters. Right and wrong is a matter of perspective and actions have far reaching consequences. Does that sound a little familiar?
Have you ever seen a man who looks so good in period clothes that you wonder why men ever stopped wearing cravats and breeches?
Now you have.
James Norton has been a moderately progressive aristocrat in Belle. He’s played a lovelorn suitor in Death Comes to Pemberly. He’s been a laconic bad boy in Happy Valley. But most recently he’s been scorching the small screen as Sydney Chambers, country vicar who just can’t play by the rules, in Grantchester. Ne’re have I seen a dude make a dog collar look quite as Fresh to Death as it does here (I’m issuing a swoon alert on the following picture)-
In the words of the Immortal Bard… damn.
If you’ve allowed this specimen of English manhood go unnoticed, I offer you my magnanimous pardon, as his CV consists almost exclusively of films and shows from the
other side of the pond. But between his increasingly impressive credentials and his perfect hair, a career in Hollywood isn’t inconceivable. If you want to familiarize yourself with his body… of work, you can catch the latest season of Grantchester on your local PBS station. Just be warned that James Norton is going to ruin you for all other tall, blue eyed, square-jawed Brits.
This… sorta speaks for itself.
Between us, Ellen and I have about 50 years of combined life experience. Between Ellen, me, and our DVRs, we’ve racked up close to a millions years worth of knowledge and skill in all kinds of areas, like how best to keep dog hair off your toothbrush, or get rid of the vengeful spirit living in your antique doll, or how to manage your love triangle with two 150-year-old vampire brothers. And since this brand of wisdom was meant to be shared, we’re offering you our semi-solicited advice. These are real questions from real readers. The subsequent advice may be less… on the level.
Dear Whitney and Ellen,
I am writing to you both because I have one of the most common problems riddling any shy girl on the planet. I have a guy that I work with and I can’t tell if he likes me. And OBVIOUSLY I can’t just tell him and be done with it.
He makes me laugh and we have loads of fun talking together. He’s so confusing though and some days it does seem like he likes me and then he’ll do something strange and I can’t tell anymore.
Just the other day we were chatting, quoting Scott Pilgrim as you do (I don’t have to defend my choices. It is one of the greatest, most quotable movies ever made. I will go so far as to call it a cinematic masterpiece) and this happens:
Me: break out the L-word.
Him: I’m in lesbian with you
H: Not you
H: But thats the words
H: That he says
H: In that movie
I KNOW THE QUOTE. I KNOW THAT IT IS A QUOTE. THAT WAS THE WHOLE THING. WE WERE QUOTING THE MOVIE.
So, did he feel the need to clarify because he really doesn’t like me? Or is it because does like me but doesn’t want me to think he does? Or is it something else entirely?
What is a girl to do? I’m entrusting you with my future.
-Unlucky in Lesbians
Dearest, sweetest Lesbians. First, I want to commend you on your excellent taste. Ellen and I were just saying the SPvW is a highly quotable movies that deserves more love than it ever got at the Box Office.
Next, I’ll say that you were right to bring this to us. This is a situation fraught with emotional complexity, and we think that the source of the problem is also where you can find your solution. That’s right. Let’s take at look at the relationship dynamics of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Scott Pilgrim was also embroiled in a complicated romantic fracas.
For Scott and Ramona, their relationship wasn’t so much of a “will they/ won’t they” as a “should they/ shouldn’t they”. The conversation between you and “Him” seems embedded with flirty undertones. Subtext galore. So we’ve got to ask ourselves, assuming he feels the same way you do (a safe assumption, based on the aforementioned exchange), why isn’t he acting on it? I’ve got some ideas.
Maybe, like Ramona, there are other parties involved.
Ask around the office, or ask him directly. Is there someone else in his life? It would be easy to frame this line of questioning as a friend just taking an interest in another friend. Try to find out what is making him drag his feet. If you’re feeling really saucy, use visual cues.
The best advice I can give is, don’t get discouraged.
I know that this phase of relationships can drag out. Try not to feel too frustrated. But if this person is really special, if you hear Beck playing when you two are together, then he’s probably worth waiting for.
I know, Lesbians, I know. This probably feels like the universe is hitting you where it hurts.
But I guarantee that if you just keep being your bad self, “Him” will come around soon. And if he doesn’t, then I can safely say, his loss.
–The Fangirly Girls
As much as you might like the recent string of Disney live-action remakes, I think we can all agree that none of them have improved on the original story. Even if you loved Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, it’s not about to dethrone it’s cartoon predecessor. That being said, if enjoyable but ultimately underwhelming Disney remakes are the rule, the The Jungle Book is the exception. The
story and visuals are so improved that I left the theater, not Jonesing for the original version, but wanting to buy myself another ticket for this one.
It’s surprising that a movie with the combined voice talents of Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley could find a young lead with enough screen presence to balance the screaming star-power of the supporting cast. Luckily Neel Sethi is the living incarnation of Mowgli, right down to the little red jungle shorts. He’s as precious as a little wolf puppy, which, in the context of the movie, is the highest compliment I can give.
It’s worth mentioning that this movie is definitely scarier than the 1967 cartoon you remember. King Louie (Christopher Walken) is genuinely horrifying, as the family who sat behind me in the theater can testify. Likewise, Idris Elba’s Shere Khan is equally impressive; it’s not the first time I’ve been attracted to an anthropomorphized cartoon animal, and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last. Point is… meow. Pun intended.
I originally wasn’t sold on Disney’s plan to capitalize on former cinematic glory by remaking beloved classics. It seemed like a self-aggrandizing re-mix of the company’s
greatest hits. But if the films to come have as much heart and as much charm as The Jungle Book, it’s a stance I may need to reconsider.
I saw my brother for the first time in months this last weekend. As insufferable as we are as individual units, we’re exponentially worse when we get together. Every other word is an inside joke (Sleepy Richard, earning your lunch meat, Pretzel Boy, moving about the house), and all the words in between are movie and TV quotes. This earns us little respect from the people around us. But this sibling shorthand we’ve developed comes from a shared childhood experience: we were raised by TV.
To be clear, we had great parents. We were always clean (ish), well-fed, and adequately loved. But when both of your parents work full time, TV is often used to fill the gaps. And when you come from a family of renowned movie buffs, a certain level of cultural literacy is expected. The problem is, when people learn this about you, you get a very specific look. It’s a look that says, “I’m so sorry for your unfulfilled life”. My response usually reflects my impeccable upbringing and unimpeachable manners.
I appreciate your thinly veiled shade, but it is unnecessary. TV made me who I am, for better or worse. From a early age, I was exposed to movies and shows written by some of the cleverest people in the world.
I learned social graces.
I learned how to carefully formulate a snappy comeback.
I realized that not everyone can be trusted.
Sometimes these stories reflected my own experience.
And sometimes they didn’t.
But without them, I’d never be able to feel another person’s crushing disappointment.
Or mortal terror.
I wouldn’t know how it feels to watch someone you love die.
I’d never understand how it feels to lose everything you have.
Good TV, like a good book, gives us a window into another person’s experience,
and explore realities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
TV made me empathetic, and forced me to experience emotions other than my own.
So don’t be worried that your kids watch TV. Worry about what they watch on TV. Make sure that what they watch reflects the kind of person you want them to be. If it doesn’t…
Make sure their shows are funny and smart.
Make sure that they are gaining experiences beyond their own.
And remind yourself to thank me later. I’ll wait.
Please don’t move, sit right where you’ve sat,
Kick off your boots and untie that cravat
‘Cause I’m dropping a beat ’bout that man among men,
That Highland Hottie, James Fraser, ya’ ken?
For, thanks to his curls and those breeches so tight,
I can’t sleep a wink and I can’t eat a bite
He keeps it so tight, he might rupture a tendon,
He’s the world’s most spectacular Fraser, after Brendan
Not to be crass, and not to be crude,
But some people should never NOT be nude
And though it’s easy to get lost in that Scottish lilt,
He’s a person, so much more than what’s under his kilt
He can do all sorts to earn the love of a wench,
Like say, “Hey girl” in Greek and French
When presented with one so sexy and bold,
One feels compelled to seek out a shower that’s cold
And though my love for Jamie is pure,
Our courtship will surely be rated “M” for Mature
For roses are red, and the Highlands aren’t flat,
So you can bet I’d take a bite outta that
If you read this blog with any sort of regularity, you may know that on Saturday I saw Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman. You may also recall that I thought it was, ahem, flawed. Nothing weird there, right? The film’s 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes suggests I wasn’t alone. What I didn’t expect was the amount of time I’d spend defending a position that, quite frankly, I thought I’d already made pretty clear. So let me try this one more time.
Shall I tell the real reason why I didn’t like BvS? It wasn’t just the sloppy writing, or the less-than-inspired dialogue, or the fact that I’ve seen high school health videos with more emotional complexity. It was the fact that I was expected to enjoy, even connect with, a story that so obviously wasn’t made for me.
As a lifelong fan of the superhero genre, I’ve reached a sort of begrudging acceptance of the way things are; women may not be equally represented in blockbuster tent-poles, but at least the women we do see are invariably spectacular in their own ways. And when the trailer for this latest DC offering was released, I was just as excited as anyone by the prospect of finally getting a Wonder Woman worthy of the name. It wasn’t as though my hopes weren’t realized. In the seven minutes she’s on screen (yes, that is the actual number) Gal Gadot’s iteration of Diana Prince proves herself to be much more savvy, capable, and interesting than either of the titular heroes. Of course, if you blinked at any point during the movie, it’s a performance you probably missed. In fact, there are really only four notable female characters in the entire film, and by “notable” I of course mean “has any kind of speaking part at all”. Lets take a (somewhat spoiler-y) look at how these women were used in the film. It won’t take long; like I said, it’s a short list.
Let’s start with Lois Lane. Smart, independent, award-winning reporter who manages not to choke on lines like, “I’m not a lady, I’m a journalist”. She’s the one person who even attempts to figure out what really happens during a desert shoot-out, for which Superman is blamed (despite the fact that he doesn’t use guns…). An attempt that, by the way, is dismissed as a misguided effort to stand by her man. So much for that. At least there was still something for her to do in the film. She also appears as the prettiest piece of bait you ever saw.
Then there’s Martha Kent (Diane Lane), adopted mother of Superman and purveyor of pithy, home-spun wisdom. She represents Clark’s deepest connection to his own
humanity, a trait that is repeatedly called into question. So you think she’d feature pretty strongly, right? PSYCH. Her husband’s ghost has more lines than she does. Luckily for Martha fans, she does also make a cameo as Hostage #2.
Next let’s look at the most overlooked and tragically underused character of them all. Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) is the only person in this movie who acts with any kind of clear motivation. She’s strong, she’s decisive, and she’s the only person trying to demand accountability in a realistic way. The only problem? We’re not really supposed to like her. Whether by intention or by reflex, Snyder plays her off as a nag; a woman of a certain age who just complicates matters for the men involved. Not only is she a victim of the Capitol Bombing, she’s specifically targeted by the parties responsible. For what? Being too aggressive? Too articulate? I’m not sure what the message is here, but I know I’m not comfortable with it.
Which brings us back around to Diana Prince. That bastion of Badassery. That oasis of empowered womanhood. It is worth noting that the most impressive woman in this movie isn’t allowed to be such without a whip, thigh-high boots, and a tight leather outfit.
So stop asking me why I didn’t like this movie. Stop asking me to explain myself again and again. Gender politics aside, it was an underwhelming movie-going experience. Gender politics included, it’s actively harmful to how women are represented in film, particularly in superhero films. If that’s something you are ok with, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
You wanna know the real difference between Marvel and DC? It’s not just that Marvel has consistently given us funnier, more heart-felt, better written films. (If only it were just that). It’s that I can’t shake the feeling that DC is making movies they think we want to see, while Marvel is making the movies they want to see. Most Marvel films project a sense of joy and exhilaration that I’ve yet to see matched in one of their DC counterparts. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t even try to break that streak. It’s a movie that revels in it’s own joylessness, and like every other Zack Snyder movie yet made, any substance it might have gets overshadowed by it’s own style.
Dawn of Justice opens two years after Man of Steel laid waste to Metropolis and exposed the existence of square-jawed, steely-eyed aliens (Henry Cavill). It’s a new world, and not everyone is rolling with the changes. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) doesn’t trust Superman’s ostensibly good intentions, and makes it his mission to stop him before he can do some real damage. Also trying to put the screws to Superman is Lex Luthor. The Man of Steel’s nemesis is played here by Jessie Eisenberg, who seems to think that the only things required for a compelling bad guy are facial tics and a few schizoid-style loose associations.
For a movie that’s supposedly about the struggle between Idealism and Realism, this movie has little of either. Even for a comic book block buster, there’s a mind-numbing over-reliance on CGI effects, so nothing feels grounded. We never get a sense of the “real” world that Bruce Wayne is trying to preserve. A fact that isn’t helped by the weirdly timed, totally nonsensical dream sequences (seriously, don’t ask). Meanwhile, Clark Kent’s trademark zeal for truth, justice, and the American way is slipping; in fact, Superman spends most of the film wondering whether mankind is worth the trouble of saving. By the end, it’s hard to remember why these good-doing dudes are fighting in the first place. And when they do finally settle their differences the moment has no impact, making their feud feel a little toothless.
It’s not that I’m prejudiced against DC. I just wish that, for once, they would start to measure their films in the depth and honesty of their stories and characters, rather than the number of times they make things go boom.
This blog is already WAY more telling than I would like. So in keeping with the spirit of confession, I’ll admit that, while I can take or leave sports movies as a whole, I have an unnatural and consuming passion for boxing movies. Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, Southpaw, Creed (most recently). But none of these, with the possible exception of Creed (thanks to the many talents of one Michael B. Jordan), are even in the same weight class as the most iconic boxing movie of all time…
Rocky I, specifically.
This is a franchise that has gotten a weird rap. It’s become synonymous with bad 80’s acting-
And still stands as the poster child for the Homoerotic Training Montage.
But the first Rocky (1976) is a film of surprising depth and nuance. It’s two parts indie drama, one part underdog story.
Rocky Balboa is just a young mook from Philly who thinks that opportunity has passed him by. Until world champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers, before he got a stew going) gives him a shot at a the big time.
But the real heart of Rocky isn’t the big fight, or boxing, really. It’s the shockingly tender and grounded love story between Rocky and his main lady, Adrian.
If there’s one thing you should take away from this movie, it’s that Rocky loves Adrian.
But in between the shouting and the showdowns, we’re given the most unintentionally comedic training montage in the history of cinema.
This movie hasn’t resonated much with millennials. Probably because it wan’t directed by Joss Whedon. But if you’re looking for a movie that is unexpectedly sweet, and smart, and subtle, take a chance on the Italian Stallion. I guarantee you’ll eat lightening, and crap thunder.
In case you’ve been living under a literal or metaphorical rock.
Me, when I realized I was the only person over 20 in the theater without children.
Me, when I realized I didn’t care.
Me, after it dawned on me that Zoototpia is the greatest animated film of all time
Me, when the lady next to me wouldn’t SHUT UP.
Me, during the DMV scene.
Me, when I realized that a fox and a bunny can totally be best friends.
Me, when it ended and I had to go home and eat my feels.
If you are like me, then you surely must feel,
There are some who are making the thirst very real
There’s a few so sexy, they’re making us squee,
Though they’ve skin like the bark of a wise old tree
I can think of at least one adorable Braj
From whom I wouldn’t refuse a massage
It’s true, funny guys are well worth the switch
‘Cause, like Bill, they never forget a bitch
And nothing makes a gal more inclined to be naughty
Than a guy who can dazzle with skills in karate
Then there are babes of a different hue,
Especially those that… abs…
And a few that even your grandma will scope
#Blessed with a back like bag full of rope
If you looking for a boff that isn’t a bore,
Find one that can tear up the f#@&ing dance floor
Though, in truth, my lust for all other men counts for naught
‘Cause 2016 is the year of the Bot
In case we haven’t made it clear, Star Wars Withdrawal hasn’t been easy for us. The cross we bear is a heavy one. Sympathy in the form of cash, Star Wars merch, and Oscar Isaac life-sized cardboard cutouts welcome and appreciated.
Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this (safe bet), you should know that I went to see this movie under the falsest of pretenses. See, I thought Deadpool was about a ghost who throws a pool party for his friends. Imagine my surprise! I honestly wasn’t expecting the gratuitous violence and the foul language and the annoyingly brief glimpse of Ryan Reynolds’ junk. Suffice it to say, not my cup of tea. Anyway, I’m now going to launch into a very lengthy dissertation on how Billie Piper is, in many ways, a more well-rounded performer than her American counterpart, Britney Spears. So, you’ll probably want to leave off right here. Bye… love you… go watch Castle for a while…
Now that it’s just us non-AARP subscribers, allow me to say that Deadpool is, as expected, pretty frakking awesome–
Sorry. It was a refreshing change of pace after the onslaught of superhero movies where the fate of the known universe rests in the hands of a few dudes with matching chiseled jawlines. Deadpool is about humble mercinary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) trying to get his life (and face) back after he finds himself on the wrong end of a science experiment gone sideways. He’s gotta get his girl (Morena Baccarin) and put the screws to some bad guys, not necessarily in that order.
Arguably, it’s a little light on story. The movie continually segues between Wade’s life before and after the experiment that made him Deadpool, and not a whole lot happens in between. It’s not unlike any other action movie where a handsome white male kicks ass and takes names–
–sorry– for the sake of love. But it is, you know, a Deadpool film, so there’s plenty of violence and sex jokes and fourth wall breaking to keep you entertained. Luckily for me, I was sitting directly behind a person using a screen reader for the hearing impaired. Trust me when I say that you haven’t lived till you’ve seen the phrase “muppet farts” scroll across a tiny digital screen in a dark movie theater.
I understand that this movie is most definitely not for everyone. Specifically, it’s not for your kids. This is not an Avengers movie, as evidenced by the three minute long, full-frontal sex montage in the first act. Again I stress, don’t bring your children (I’m looking at you, lady sitting next to me with three moppets under the age of ten).
But if you are a mature, consenting adult who doesn’t mind having this image…
bouncing around in your brain-box for the rest of you life, this might be the movie for you.
Fangirly has been blessed with many fascinating, hard-hitting interviews during our run as the internet’s most obsolete entertainment blog. Today, we’re continuing that streak as we chat with one of this years biggest break-out stars, Oscar Isaac!
Oscar, we are so, so excited to sit down with you today.
Um… my name is… um… I know this… Melissa? Sorry, it’ll come back to me.
So, anyway, you’ve had a pretty big year. There’s been so much good buzz about all your performances–
Well, yeah, arguably I haven’t spoken to Jean… Sorry, who’s Jean?
Oh, I’m sorry man…
Do you… do you wanna have a little dance party? Wake you up, maybe?
Wow, I really thought that would take more persuasion…
So now that we’ve successfully brought the funk, you wanna talk about some of your upcoming projects?
… Um, so you’re playing Apocalypse in the new X-Men movie. What drew you to playing a bad guy?
Whoa, hey man! Leave Carla Gugino out of this! You’re Hulking out, dude!
Yep, get it all out…
Cool. So I was hoping we could just talk about Ex Machina and–
Yeah, totally, but can we also just talk about Ex Machina and the gender politics–
Great, yeah, let’s do it!
Oh, are you being philosophical or really asking?
You know, it’s the social and biological differentiation between male and female organisms…
Well, we are unfortunately all out of time! Do you have anything you wanna say before we go? Maybe a shout-out to your Star Wars co-star John Boyega?
Sorry, did you say, “Llewyn is the cat”?
Oh, got it. Thanks so much for being with us today! In case it wasn’t clear, we love you here at Fangirly.
Rumors of an impending film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice
and Zombies started circulating the day the book hit shelves. No surprise. Take one of the most successful novels of all time, dress it up with karate and a trendy horror shtick, and suddenly you’ve got a movie that will, if all goes well, appeal to two rarely intersecting demographics. Moms and fourteen-year-old boys the world over will set aside their petty differences in the hopes of seeing Jane Austen’s vivid work come to life on screen and a lot of gore, respectively. And if that’s all you’re looking for too, then you will enjoy this movie.
Because there are things to enjoy here. The cast is invariably British and beautiful, there are lots of fun fight sequences, the humor is sufficiently tongue in cheek, and the core love story remains (for the most part) intact. Also, I feel safe in saying that Matt Smith’s turn as perpetual-butt-of-the-joke Mr. Collins will never, ever be topped in any past or future P&P adaptations. (His dancing in the Netherfield Ball scene will destroy you. You’ve been warned).
But if you’re expecting the film to have the same satirical self-awareness as the novel, you might be disappointed. One of the things that made PPZ so funny was how the addition of zombies into Regency society didn’t really change things much. The heroines are given moves a Cobra Kai would envy and the finest dojo in all of Hertfordshire, and it still
doesn’t significantly improve their situation in life or offer any freedoms they might not have had otherwise. That was the joke. Just because society is crumbling in the wake of a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you aren’t still beholden to it. And some of the satire
of the book is lost in translation; there are even moments when the movie takes itself just a little too seriously, not totally unlike Seth Grahame-Smith’s last adaptation Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Also, and this is just me being picky, there were some strange nods to the 1995 BBC production of P&P. Including but not limited to, Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) taking an impromptu swim in a handy pond. Sounding familiar?
I can’t tell if the movie is playing with us, or whether there are people in Hollywood who aren’t aware that scene isn’t in the book.
What I’m saying is that the people who made this film took the title very literally. It’s Pride and Prejudice… and zombies. Elizabeth and Jane and Darcy and Bingley all exchange furtive glances while they stave off the End of Days. Bodices are ripped. Bosoms are heaved. Brains are eaten. And, full disclosure, that’s still a movie I’ll absolutely pay to see.