Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Snowpiercer”

Dear Frank,

snowpiercer_posterI have missed you! I have missed this humble blog! And I have also missed watching movies that just cry out for your attention! But I can address these issues to some degree this evening! It’s all thanks to Snowpiercer.

This movie is the best sort of bonkers, Frank. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, a Korean director who also made the really delightful The Host (starring Doona Bae from Cloud Atlas!), it’s pretty easy to distill to its core plotline: It’s the apocalypse and every human still alive now lives on a train.

However, Snowpiecer is also so much more than that. What happens in it? Oh, so much stuff. SO MUCH STUFF. I really don’t want to spoil it for you. But there are a few things YOU NEED TO KNOW. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Why Liz Tells Frank Has Been Pretty Quiet Lately

Dear Frank,

In the many years since I started telling you about stuff, I have had many jobs. They have varied in weirdness and awesomeness, but I have always felt lucky to have them, and also felt lucky for the flexibility and/or regularity they afforded me. When you run a not-for-profit media blog, after all, a day job that is easy on your after-hours is pretty much essential.

However, about a month ago, I started a new job. And this one is not so easy on my after-hours at this moment. It’s a manageable situation that I look forward to fixing in some fashion, but I wanted to inform you (and the other lovely people who stop by this blog and tell me about how because I didn’t like a shitty movie I’m “really hurting”) that I’m working on making work work with the rest of my life.

Because while posting here might continue to be a little slow, FOR HUGH’S SAKE I have written half of a Hook post and I am NOT going to let that fall under the category of wasted effort. DEATH FIRST.

So, more soon. Promise. But, y’know, I might need a little time.

Love,
Liz

“Agents of SHIELD” Season 1: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

agents-of-shield-official-posterOh, Agents of SHIELD — a big thing done… well, not so great. At some point, I may tell Frank in full what happened during the first season of Marvel’s efforts to bring its superhero mega-franchise into prime-time broadcast television. But I started receiving requests for a Skip It/Watch It Guide for this show back in November. Clearly, the people have demands.

Here’s the most important thing about SHIELD — if you don’t have fondness in your heart for Joss Whedon and/or the Marvel Movieverse, you should probably just skip the whole damn thing. This show has potential, and definitely improves as it progresses, but it is an investment that you’d be totally justified in not wanting to make. Even though ABC did agree to continue the show, we’ll all look back on this season as a groundbreaking, but at best troubled, 22 episodes.

In a perfect world, this show would have been 13 episodes long, there would be a lot more make-outs and the hacker chick would have been shot in the head halfway through. This is not a perfect world. But for Whedon fans, superhero fans and those intrigued by what SHIELD might mean for the general media landscape, it will spark some interest. So, here you go. Watch in good health. This guide, I admit, came out as much more generous than anticipated. But that’s life in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Scandal” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

scandal-embed1I still haven’t watched True Detective yet. I know! I don’t have any really good excuses. It’s all available, right there on HBO Go, and I know that it is quality zeitgeist television that will Change My Life or at least Be Intellectually Stimulating.

But instead, while I work and write and keep up with the internet, I’m rewatching Season 2 of Scandal. This is in part because Scandal does not require one’s full attention. But also because ugh, Frank, Scandal is just SO GOOD.

And I say this as someone who has not typically enjoyed the television stylings of one Shonda Rhimes! I mean, mad props to her — I have the utmost respect for how she’s created three television shows and developed many more and worked with young, up-and-coming talent and the whole time remained completely true to her own voice.

But I got really mad at the Grey’s Anatomy pilot when Meredith Grey had an one night stand and OMG that one night stand was her new boss! So I never really watched Grey’s Anatomy, or Private Practice, and was totally ready to write Shonda Rhimes off forever.

And then Scandal happened! Scandal, you beautiful silly complicated slutty minx of a series. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “After Earth”

Dear Frank,

after earth posterAs I write this, let me tell you — I’m not feeling great. Some sort of head/chest congestion thing. It’s way better today than it was on Sunday, thanks to the joys of modern medicine, but it also means that I write this now after having just taken my second dose of DayQuil of the day, and I’m gonna tell you, I feel a little bit loopy.

Which is probably the best possible place from which to approach After Earth.

Yes, Frank, technically I know what I’m getting into. I know this movie is not good. But I need to know JUST HOW BAD.

Because here’s the thing — the question I pose today isn’t “is After Earth a terrible film?” but rather “is After Earth WORSE than Battlefield Earth?” It’s time for the Scientology Metaphor Movie Showdown! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”

Dear Frank,

noah-posterMonday night, about ten minutes before a screening of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, I made the following joke on Twitter:

Do you think I’ll have a hard time understanding “Noah” if I don’t read the book first? (I remember hearing it was based on some book…)

Not exactly groundbreaking, as jokes go. But it happened to be couched in some amount of truth. I would probably consider myself a spiritual person, but that spirituality owes absolutely nothing to the Good Book and any knowledge of the material within is due largely to pop culture’s appropriation of it. Like, I know what Gethsemane is, but only because there’s an X-Files episode called that, you know?

(DAMN IT I almost made it a full 24 hours without referencing The X-Files in some context. Frank, I was doing SO GOOD.)

Point is, I know the basics of the Noah story — God decides to punish Man with flood, one guy builds a really big boat to save the creatures that can’t swim to survive it — and went into Aronofsky’s interpretation assuming that the rest of what happened in the film would be drawn from the original text.

But the next day, when I was talking with people online about what I’d seen, I was surprised to learn that NOPE. Not only is the original text, in one person’s words, “really bare bones” but Aronofsky took some, um, liberties with the source material. And Aronofsky’s version? BONKERS. Read the rest of this entry

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