Rocky: It’s Way Better Than You Think

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…

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Rocky.

Rocky I, specifically.

This is a franchise that has gotten a weird rap. It’s become synonymous with bad 80’s acting-

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And still stands as the poster child for the Homoerotic Training Montage.

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But the first Rocky (1976) is a film of surprising depth and nuance. It’s two parts indie drama, one part underdog story.

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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.

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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.

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If there’s one thing you should take away from this movie, it’s that Rocky loves Adrian.

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Love.

But in between the shouting and the showdowns, we’re given the most unintentionally comedic training montage in the history of cinema.

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use this one

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.

-Whitney Weldon

 

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Fangirl Poetry: A Crazy Crush Compilation

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

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I can think of at least one adorable Braj

From whom I wouldn’t refuse a massage

 

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It’s true, funny guys are well worth the switch

‘Cause, like Bill, they never forget a bitch

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And nothing makes a gal more inclined to be naughty

Than a guy who can dazzle with skills in karate

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Then there are babes of a different hue,

Especially those that… abs…

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And a few that even your grandma will scope

#Blessed with a back like bag full of rope

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If you looking for a boff that isn’t a bore,

Find one that can tear up the f#@&ing dance floor

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Though, in truth, my lust for all other men counts for naught

‘Cause 2016 is the year of the Bot

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Whitney Weldon

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Whitney’s Official 2016 Oscar Snubs

There are plenty to choose from, right? Ridley Scott, Star Wars, Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba. The list of Oscar snubs, as it does every year, goes on. My diplomatic response would be that the Academy simply can’t accommodate and acknowledge all the great work that was churned out this year. My unfiltered Fangirl answer would be, did The Revenant and Fury Road really, really deserve 12 and 10 nominations, respectively? It’s a subject that’s certainly up for debate. But I’m not here to talk about the Academy’s apparent inability to spread the love. No, I would instead like to focus on the few specific snubs that really bring out the Troll in me.

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3) Crimson Peak for Best Cinematography

It’s pretty obvious that this movie wasn’t for everyone. But no matter what you thought about this Guillermo Del Toro horror set in a repressive, Victorian hell-scape, you must admit that it was beautiful to look at. As a genre, though, horror rarely gets any props at the Oscars, mad or otherwise, so this snub wasn’t at all surprising.  I had hoped, however, for some kind of honorable mention. Something like “Best Use of Tom Hiddleston’s Shapely Hind-Parts in a Drama”. Just a suggestion.

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2) JJ Abrams for Best Director

This is mostly wishful thinking. I just hoped that after all  the garbage that has been slung at this genuinely wonderful movie, it might have been recognized with a nom somewhat more meaningful than “Best Film Editing”. JJ Abrams gave us a Star Wars that was steeped in action and humor and nostalgia and feminism, and in return received a whole lot of internet bitching and a truck-load of broken box office records. We audiences are nothing if not inconsistent.

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1) Charlize Theron for Best Actress 

You would think that at least one of the ten nominations doled out to Fury Road would have gone to the performance that made the movie what it was. Theron’s Furiosa was easily the most moving and complex performance in an action movie, well, ever. I bet this pointed snub has left her pretty inconsolable right now.

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See what I mean?

Whitney Weldon

The Reviews are In: Fantastic Four

194149It would be too easy to join the Fantastic Four pile-on. I will be the first to admit that the amount of vitriol being slung at this movie is beyond excessive; an 8% percent on rotten tomatoes should be reserved for Indiana Jones sequels and Michael Bay movies. HOWEVER, this movie is pretty bad, and I’m ready to tell you how, as tactfully as the crappiness of this film will allow. First, though, lets start with what I liked about Fantastic Four.

The first half of the film is, in a lot of ways, pretty good. Reed Richard (Miles Teller) is a Boy Genius who gets recruited to join a prestigious research institute by Franklin Storm and his daughter Sue (Kate Mara). Reed and Sue, joined by Sue’s brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan *swoon*) and resident vengeful science nerd Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), try to crack inter dimensional travel. This is by far the most engaging part of Fantastic Four, watching these five really smart people work to 90287accomplish a common goal. We see friendships form and budding romances emerge. Then… they get superpowers.

I’m not going to give you the rundown on the plot of FF, because we’ve seen three of these things already and everybody knows the drill. Through a series of mishaps the titular foursome are endowed with powers they cannot hope to control. This is the point where the film grinds to a halt. The energy of the first act is lost and we are left with four characters who don’t know how to handle each other or themselves.

It’s really not fair to compare this team to the one that preceded it, but I’m going to anyway. The first FF movies were far from perfect, but at least they interacted with one another in a way that was fun to watch. Chris Evans and Jessica Alba bickered like brothers and sisters should; Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd bro-ed out; Gruffudd and Alba exchanged furtive glances; Chiklis and Evans verbally eviscerate each other. We just don’t get that from this new team. Sue and FourbarReed’s romance stalls out as quickly as it starts. Johnny and Sue act like two people who’ve never met before but tacitly agree to pretend to be siblings anyway. Johnny and Ben (Jamie Bell) don’t really exchange any dialogue at all until the last thirty seconds of the movie, and the audiences miss out on the antagonistic banter that made their predecessors at least watchable. In the end, what should have brought them together (superpowers) seems to only drive them apart, and they never feel like much of a team.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem to matter how bad this movie was because it’s likely that Marvel’s First Family will get a chance to redeem themselves in a sequel. Because that worked out so well the last time.

-Whitney

Early Reviews for Fantastic Four are in…

fantastic-four-kate-mara-invisible-woman…And it’s pretty much just as I expected. Reviews have been mixed, but most critics say the reboot hasn’t significantly improved or innovated the franchise. Even before it hit most theaters, the movie garnered a measly 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. A. O. Scott of the New York Times said:

“‘Fantastic Four’, despite the dogged efforts of its talented young cast, has nothing. The special effects are at about the level of the early “Harry Potter” movies — lots of glowing green clouds and ice-blue bolts and force fields. The human drama is meager. Once again, the only real pathos belongs to Mr. Bell’s Ben, who finds himself trapped in a stony new body and weaponized by a ruthless government. Mr. Teller stretches, not as an actor but as a digitally enhanced body. Mr. Jordan burns in the same way, and Ms. Mara disappears. Her character also has the power to make other things vanish. I would say she should have exercised it on this movie, but in a week or two that should take care of itself.”

(Ouch. Here’s a link to the full review in case you enjoy a good crucifixion).

Even though I fully expected to be underwhelmed by this movie, I’m still disappointed. Mostly, I just hope that filmmakers screen_shot_2015-01-27_at_9.32.47_amwho plan to tackle the superhero genre will take something from this: a story doesn’t necessarily need to be dark and gritty to be complex and momentous. Taking this goofy coterie of heroes and simply mixing in some post-adolescent angst is lazy film-making and, from what I can tell, not very true to the source material. These characters- a stretchy professor, invisible lady, human matchstick, and rock monster- are just too whimsical to be taken so seriously. That’s at least something that the first FF movies, despite their many flaws, understood pretty well.

A full Fangirly review is forthcoming, but in the meantime, tell us what you think in our comment section, on Twitter @fangirly2, or email us at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Whitney

Fangirly Presents Who Wore it Better: Summer Reboots

This summer gave us more sequels and reboots than we knew what to do with. Scratch that, we know exactly what to do with them. The Fangirly Fashion Police are standing by to determine who’s hot and who’s not from some of the biggest summer blockbusters, then and now.

Mad Max:

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Tom Hardy v. Mel Gibson

I guess this one boils down to preference; do you want your Max dressed like A Guy on a Buffalo or  Dystopian Edward Scissorhands? Mel surely gets points for showing us that road warrior couture didn’t need to sacrifice form for function, but I think this one goes to Tom. At least Hardy Boy’s outfit didn’t make me wonder about the chaffing potential of a full leather jumpsuit in a post-apocalyptic desertscape.

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Fantastic Four:

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Michael B. Jordan v. Chris Evans

This was very close. I wasn’t a dyed in the wool fan of the original Fantastic Four franchise, and I’ve got some reservations about the upcoming reboot. Artistic merit aside, I think I’m going to give this one to Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm. My bias is well-documented, and I like my superhero costumes to look as flamboyant and impractical as can be; Michael B. Jordan’s look is a little too utilitarian for my taste. I mean, look at all that ventilation. A hero should be ready and willing to sweat it out for the sake of fashion. Score Evans!

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Poltergeist:

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Kennedi Clements v. Heather O’ Rourke

Uh, both? Neither? I’m not sure whether to judge based on respective cuteness or creepiness. Obviously, both of these women know how to work a look. Clements and O’Rourke successfully took these outfits from jammy to whammy, and never have banana bangs looked so on-point.  Unfortunately, Heather O’Rourke’s full-length sleepwear is nothing short of iconic, so this one goes to Carol Anne. It’s an ensamble that really says, “I’m hereeeeeeee”.giphy (3)Whitney