Saturday, April 19, 2008
I also don't know if what happens in the time jump between the second and third films is covered by any of the game series. But it's weird as an interested viewer and, I suppose, fan of the first two, to have the resolution of the cliffhanger ending of the second blow past you.
It may not have been the most creative of setups--omigod, what have they done to poor Alice?--but it deserved more payoff than a couple lines of dialogue.
Still...after three movies (and the budget seems to have gone down with each)--I sorta can't believe I'm saying this--I was surprisingly impressed with Resident Evil: Extinction. I'm actually looking forward to the fourth, if there is one.
To me, this series is part of a genre that I call "stoopid." Not stupid, "stoopid." It's a fine line. Die Hard 2 is "stoopid." Hard to Kill with Steven Seagal is stupid (don't get me started). The Warriors is ...no, actually The Warriors is better than stoopid. But you get the idea.
A "stoopid" movie isn't going to make you think too hard (if at all), but it isn't going to rub your face in how idiotic it is, and it's going to give you, as they say, "bang for your buck."
A stupid movie just wants to shit in your mouth and tell you it's ice cream.
The RE franchise reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean in a way, and not just because I liked the third one best. In fact in some ways I like the RE series better than Pirates because it has fewer pretensions of "weight." The Pirates movies are awfully heavy for films based on a theme park ride.
But what the series most have in common is that they both center on model-pretty stars: Milla Jovovich and Johnny Depp, respectively, and both depend on those stars to save the films from being utterly average.
I'm aware many--perhaps most--would feel the RE series hasn't escaped that fate. And I'd question my judgment on this--like, maybe the antidepressants have fucked with my critical faculties? But until I start taking MST3K'd movies like Manos seriously, I think I'm safe.
You might also suggest that I'd watch Milla Jovovich doing just about anything. Yes, a lot of it's about Milla for me--She may be higher than Towlie when she chooses most of her film projects, but the camera loves her.
Still, it takes more than just having such a beautiful girl playing a powerfully tough chick to make a film a pleasure for me. You ever see Ultraviolet?
Or in this movie, Ali Larter just can't compete, despite being a lovely woman in her own right.
She's basically a faded copy of Linda Hamilton in T2 here.
To win my affection, it probably also doesn't hurt that the director was Russell Mulcahy, he of the Buggles, Duran Duran, Elton John and Ultravox videos.
But I think this is actually the first big-screen film of his I ever saw (and I didn't even see it on a big screen). No, not even Highlander. As the '80s videomeisters turned directors go, Julien Temple has a higher place on my honor roll.
So, if it isn't me being drugged, and it isn't the fact that I get off on Jovovich (well...it isn't just that), and it isn't the director, what do I like about these films?
Good god, could it be the story and the characters, specifically Alice? Why yes, yes I think it is. I just know that if I ever do become famous in my own right somebody is going to dig up this post to discredit me.
So I might as well run at the wall headfirst and say without apology that there is a loosely pro-feminist vibe to the whole series (the image above is from the first sequel) as I see it.
It is, literally, about a woman who has control of her body forcibly taken away from her by men who are always pawing at her. Men who claim to be fighting for the future of life but have no problem dealing out death, and who control, seemingly, everything.
The whole series starts with the woman saying "no," to those men, and meaning it. In the end her mind is too strong for them; she reclaims her control.
Then she gets angry.
She helps other women leaders and workers to escape, then with her "sisters" (if you see the movie, you'll understand the quote marks) decides to take the fight to the men.
One man stands above her and roars "I am the future!"
And she replies: "No. You're just another asshole."
Now, I'm not kidding myself that this series will be/should be viewed in Women's Studies classes or anything, though stranger things have happened. Heck, for all I know, maybe they already are.
It does have a saving grace that some other "feminism championing" shows do not, however.
You probably don't need me to tell you what I'm thinking of...but it's a show Ashanti also guest-starred in, come to think of it.
That saving grace is, there's no big, strapping man riding in to save a "woman in peril," who is allowed to be tough--but not too tough. Alice is tough as nails.
She’s also not without heart, but the filmmakers don't seem to have felt they needed to weaken her to show it.
Dunno who this is. Don't care.
Or "The LZ Word."
Yes, they're serious...and so am I. You should probably take what I say next with a grain or two of salt. The original LedZep is never going to make my top 20 of favorite bands or anywhere near it (I'm an Erasure fan, for crying out loud).
But though I admit, what turned my head about the girls was the look and the hook...
...damned if they don't pull it off.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Dita Von Teese used to be married to Marilyn Manson, but he wasn't man enough to keep her satisfied. Or Rose McGowan before her. I'm assuming most of you reading this know what Dita Von Teese looks like (if not, scroll down this blog...she's the hot-ass chick in the car).
But, this is what McGowan looked like when she was Manson's girlfriend:
Manson's girlfriend of the past year or so is performer Evan Rachel Wood of Across the Universe.
This is what she looked like around, I believe, the time of that movie...and this is what she looks like as of this month.
For the love of god, can nobody stop that man?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
...I see myself as Zorro, a romantic and mysterious highwayman-and the women I desire see me as...
...you get her to dress and wear her hair like a 1980's pop star, of course.
And just so we all understand how big are the stars in my eyes when I look at '80s fashion...I'm looking at her hair.
ETA: And here's a little item showing why hating the military is not the same as hating our soldiers (and the military is doing a fine job of that on their own, it seems):
Sole surviving son denied health benefits post-Iraq
More this afternoon, I'm sure.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
...and I like the way she handles herself.
I'm not saying either is why I hope to be voting for her husband in Nov...I'm just making the observation.
At first I couldn't figure out why--because she left it on the "foxes" post, which didn't have anything to do with LLV --although I certainly could have included Elisabeth Shue (O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties...)
Then I realized she must've done a "Yahoo" search or somethin' for the title, and wound up at this blog (the film is listed in my profile).
As I think most of you know, Leaving Las Vegas is one of my favorite films. I consider it a beautifully sad movie about slow death (or, "what Roger Ebert said").
I know a little about the man who wrote the novel on which it was based (which I have read), the late John O'Brien, but not everything.
I do know that the lyrics of Sheryl Crow's hit of the same name were written, according to most reports, by David Baewald drawing from friend O'Brien's novel.
Something Crow has choosen not to mention on more than one occasion, in favor of some vague palaver about how Vegas in the song is a metaphor for L.A.
But anyway: Ms. O'Brien is John O'Brien's sister. Her story is a good memory piece, a short excerpt of which follows:
JOHN'S LIFE was peppered with periods of sobriety. Sometimes he would talk about the delirium tremens, which posed unimaginable horror for him. He muses at length on this topic in The Assault on Tony's, in scenes and exposition based on John's own DT episodes. He once recounted one of them to our mother: during the last moments before he surfaced from the live-action nightmare, everything stopped at once. Then an angelic female voice pierced the blackness, crystalline and sweet.
"We've lost you," she lilted, "but we'll get you back."
Angelina Jolie (allegedly). Whoever she is, she's nice to look at.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
...the bill, which would dramatically increase educational compensation for American troops, has run into some unexpected resistance, both at the Pentagon and now from McCain, who has remained silent on the issue, saying he had not studied the bill close enough.
...the reason for the opposition is especially ridiculous. Bush administration officials, and apparently McCain, "worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college."
Just last week, Wesley Clark and Jon Soltz highlighted why this is nonsense: "[I]t is morally reprehensible to fix the system so that civilian life is unappealing to service members, in an attempt to force them to re-up. Education assistance is not a handout, it is a sacred promise that we have made for generations in return for service."
― Steve Benen in Salon.
Seriously: Is John McCain crazy? I mean it, is he insane?
Oh right, this is why more decorated, served-in-uniform soldiers have played leading roles in my political party than his. And we're the ones who are supposed to have spit in the faces of our returning veterans.
John McCain. What a "maverick."
Michelle Obama says her husband is no elitist, and he's got the personal history to prove it.
Democratic candidate Barack Obama's mother was "an 18-year-old single white woman raising a black child in the 60s," who sometimes relied on food stamps to feed her family, his wife told a crowd here this afternoon.
And second, I've now seen more than a handful of polls and other news items that say the "bitter" comment has had little or no effect on the Pennsylvania race.
Yet of course to hear the news tell it, you'd think it was "rocking" his campaign. As one or two of you may remember, a similar disconnect is one of the things that made me craziest about the Clinton/ Lewinsky scandal.
Poll after poll after poll after poll kept saying the American people didn't care. Or they did, but only inasmuch as they thought it was a dumb, woefully lacking in self-control thing for him to have done--but not impeachable.
But you turned on the TV, and it was a feeding frenzy.
So: First and foremost, obviously, this blog can only be a reflection of things I care about. I'd also like to think it reflects some understanding of what most Americans care about.
And as someone whose mother used food stamps when I was growing up, I really don't care when anyone on MSNBC says how I should feel about the word "bitter."
That is all.
Your Score: Salt
You scored 50% intoxication, 50% hotness, 50% complexity, and 50% craziness!
You are Salt! You may be bland, but life just wouldn't be the same without you. You're plentiful and you come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. You bring out the flavour in whatever you touch and have been the world's best preservative for millennia. You rock.
|Link: The Which Spice Are You Test written by jodiesattva on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
View My Profile(jodiesattva)
But am I worth it?
On the other hand, I do go well with lime...
Once again, I'm so torn. On the one hand, I'm genuinely a fan of Kristen Bell's talent and want her to do well. On the other, every time I see her like this, I die a little for Veronica inside.
Never mind, it's my issue, I'll have to deal with it...
Monday, April 14, 2008
--says Obama (an' by extension all his supporters) are Communists.
He has, in my view, an ability to make tempered and intellectually honest arguments. (As opposed to, oh, say, Limbaugh.) And, as he once demonstrated on the Conan show with Laura Prepon (lucky Robert), he's a crazy-good dancer.
But anyway, I say all this as preamble, or lead-in, to this post from Reich's blog: Obama, Bitterness, Meet the Press, and the Old Politics.
Political consultants are paid huge sums to help politicians spin words and avoid real talk. They’re part of the problem. And what do Russert and these four consultants talk about? The potential damage to Barack Obama from saying that lots of people in Pennsylvania are bitter that the economy has left them behind; about HRC’s spin on Obama’s words (he’s an “elitist,” she said); and John McCain’s similarly puerile attack.
Bitter? You ain’t seen nothing yet. And as much as people like Russert, Carville, Matalin, Schrum, and Murphy want to divert our attention from what’s really happening; as much as HRC and McCain seek to make political hay out of choices of words that can be spun cynically by the mindless spinners of the old politics; as much as demagogues on the right and left continue to try to channel the cumulative frustrations of Americans into a politics of resentment – all these attempts will, I hope, prove futile. Eighty percent of Americans know the nation is on the wrong track. The old politics, and the old media that feeds it, are irrelevant now.