In case you missed it, a couple of days ago your friend and mine, John Ross, stopped by to tell me what happened in the recent young adult adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Aside from delighting us all with tales of Lena Headey kicking the shit out of things and maybe-incest, he reminded me that I’ve never gotten around to telling you what happens in the young adult novel/soon-to-be major motion picture Divergent.
Divergent, let’s be clear, is very much of the post-Hunger Games publishing craze — which is to say that without Katniss Everdeen, there is no Tris Prior, and without Suzanne Collins, there is no Veronica Roth on my Kindle.
But to Divergent‘s credit, it was a relatively early entry in said craze, making it almost not feel like pure bandwagon-hopping. And given the recent release of a teaser trailer, and the fact that Kate Winslet (!!!!!) is in it, Divergent seems like something you should at least have a passing familiarity with. Especially because this book be WEIRD, yo. Read the rest of this entry
You and I have been through this already, the whole thing where I don’t love zombie stories as a rule. BUT! That rule has plenty of exceptions, including the times when those zombie stories go post-modern.
Which is to say that yes, Frank, I am one of those people who has read Max “Son of Mel” Brooks’s (wonderful!) World War Z. It’s a really cool book! I mean, I read it years ago, but I have noble intentions of rereading it soon, and appreciating its intelligence in approaching the idea of a zombie outbreak post-facto.
I have also read a draft of J.M. Stracynski’s attempt to turn Brooks’s book into a screenplay that would then become a movie. And I have read so many of the articles about how making this movie was a major kerfuffle.
::SARCASM VOICE:: Oh, you mean attempting an intellectual approach to a classically low-brow genre wasn’t warmly embraced by a major motion picture studio? I AM SHOCKED. ::END OF SARCASM VOICE::
My point is: I saw World War Z with the lowest of expectations… Read the rest of this entry
When my brother and I were growing up, we LOVED the movie Independence Day, directed by Roland Emmerich. LOVED it. We had it on VHS, and we would just watch it over and over again, chanting along with our favorite lines of dialogue — we could even re-enact Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum’s final escape from the alien ship word for word, one of us taking Will Smith’s lines and the other playing Jeff Goldblum. (I forget who would play which more. I think, because I was a nice older sister, I let him be Will Smith the most.)
Then, you know, things happened and watching buildings explode stopped being fun for a few years — however, Roland Emmerich appears to have never lost his taste for ending the world. Which would be fine, except for this one time when, to destroy destroy the planet (especially Los Angeles), he fucked up a real disaster instead of using a fictional one.
The Day After Tomorrow is one of the stupider movies I’ve ever seen, Frank (and remember that time I watched Zardoz?). This is largely because it takes the issue of climate change and instead of raising real awareness about how badly we’re fucking up the planet, makes it seem as real as a giant lizard that breathes fire.
It’s taken me more than a few years to understand why (despite being a total slut for any sort of fantasy or sci-fi narrative) I don’t really like zombie stories: They make for very hopeless storytelling. I can get on board with post-apocalypse narratives; I can get on board with horror. But zombie stories combine the two, often in a dark gruesome way, and goddamn if I’ve always failed to really engage with them.
The exception, though, happens because of love. Always because of love.
Let’s start with The Walking Dead. If I had been single in the year 2010, I would never have finished watching the first season; I didn’t hate it, but I found it awfully bleak for regular viewing.
However, I was not single in 2010, and the guy liked the show and didn’t have cable, so we watched it at my place — when Season 2 premiered a year later, after my relationship status had changed, I realized that on the bright side, I wouldn’t have to continue watching it. Read the rest of this entry
So I should have written this post sometime during 2011, as it was heavily requested during the last round of open calls for what I should tell you about. It didn’t happen. You know why, Frank? I really didn’t want to watch this movie! But I got called out, and god forbid I quaver at the feet of any challenge. Even the challenge of a 1987 post-apocalyptic pseudo-comedy starring Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Thus, here’s this movie! The backstory: Apocalypse, of the nuclear kind. And there are dudes who make frog noises and they’re not allowed to have guns? I’m guessing they’re the titular frogs? I am mentally preparing myself for a great deal of literalness. Because, lest you think the title was some sort of fancypants metaphor thing, we establish right away that Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character is named Sam Hell. I bet at some point, he comes to Frogtown!
But first, he’s in jail, getting a bottle broken over his head for some sort of grievious offense against a dude’s daughter — I’m guessing it’s a SEXY offense? Oh, it totally is, because it’s just been revealed that the guy’s daughter is pregnant, which is a miracle in these barren apocalypse-y days, and is thus very interesting to the ladies of Med-Tech, some sort of government organization devoted to making more babies, because doing it naturally isn’t working out so well. This is delivered with all the subtlety and wit that you’d expect from a movie about giant mutated frog people, just so we’re clear. Read the rest of this entry