amari_z: (blue flowers)
So, I went to see the 300 this afternoon. I wanted to like it, I really did. I had tried to check my historical sensibilities at the door and suspended my disbelief, and, especially given the mood I've been in lately, I was all too eager to watch some ass kicking--but you know what? I actually left the theater despising it.

Oh, the visuals were neat, the male bodies nicely sculpted, the fight scenes interestingly staged, but, seriously? Every racist stereotype, every homophobic prejudice taken and run with. It pushed all the wrong buttons, pandered to prejudice, and I'm actually appalled.

(And don't tell me that this is based on reality. Xerxes was likely as white skinned as Leonidas, who, by the way, was one of two kings. Sparta was not a democracy in any modern sense of the word but a society built on slave labor. Historically, Spartans were known as lacking in art, culture, learning and philosophy--and placing no value on such things. So, white men fighting for liberty, rationality, freedom, democracy, civilization, etc. against ethnically monstrous hordes of cowardly exotics enslaved to a false god. Yeah. Sounds just a little familiar.)

I know a lot of people enjoyed this movie, and I really wanted to, but just no fucking way. I can't turn off my brain to that extent. And in the world we unfortunately live in today, I can't write this off as just harmless stupidity in the name of "entertainment."

If you disagree or think I'm overreacting, I'm, despite my vehemence, happy to discuss. So, what did you think?
amari_z: (scully)
I grew up reading a lot of adventure stories, fairy tales and myths, and I was one of those girls who generally identified far more with the male characters than female--because, really, it was the male characters who got to do the fun things. March is Women's History Month, and so here is my random list of fictional females that I grew up loving. Not history you say? Ah, but it's my history, and I am female, ergo . . . .

Okay, some disclaimers/explanations: It's not meant to be any kind of feminist empowerment theory list, but is strictly based on my own personal quirks and exposures. And it's by no means complete, since, well, I'm just forgetful that way. I'm also not including any contemporary works (which is probably far, far richer territory), but stuff that I saw/read in my more formative years--for the most part. In no partiular order:

The list )

Mmm. Sadly, that was a lot harder than I thought, and I'm rather hoping I'm just being really forgetful.

So who are yours?

A little more on point, coming soon (maybe): Historical Women Made of Awesome.
amari_z: (monchrome flowers)
Part of my ongoing attempt not to work at work. I’ve been writing this post for what feels like months and it keeps growing. No attempt at profound analysis here, I just like to keep track of what I’ve been reading and watching.

Movies

Flags of our Fathers and Stranger than Fiction )

Books

Inheritance of Loss, The Places in Between, Icarus Girl, and others )

Television

I don’t normally watch a lot of television, but with the use of DVR, I’m either watching more, or at least I’m watching things I’m deliberately choosing. I’ve started watching Ugly Betty, which I love so far, although I’ve only seen a few episodes (and if anyone watches this show—what is deal with the woman who everyone thinks is dead but has her face wrapped in bandages??). I’ve also watched a few episodes of Brothers and Sisters, which I wouldn’t have thought would appeal to me, but which I’m liking in an emo-porn kind of way.

I'm also still watching Heroes, which I'm loving even more, as well as BSG, with which I have a love-hate relationship. It's rather like a bad child--so much potential, can't help but love it, but all too often a train wreck.

amari_z: (george rolls eyes)
To my great regret I watched the movie Alexander tonight (well, most of it--I got bored a lot so I fast forwarded through various scenes). The first words to come to mind are WTF? I knew it would be bad, but come on.

I'm sure everyone has already complained sufficiently about it, but I have to add that as bad as I expected it to be I didn't expect it to make Alexander into a weak, uncharsmatic little pissant (whose main expression seemed to be one of wide-eyed nervous surprise) or to make Hephaestion into a stand in for a woman.

Okay, not really worth getting too annoyed about. I was warned. But one more thing: eye liner. Really, Oliver, I'm surprised at you.

amari_z: (riverbank in autumn)
In further nurturing of my indignation, I have now watched both the director's cut and the theatrical release of the movie King Arthur. Yes, I know, I will never get those hours of my life back, but I am nothing if not diligent in my outrages. That's admirable, I'm sure.

I'm going to ramble about the director's v. theatrical versions, with spoilers. )
amari_z: (Sir Launcelot and the Witch Hellawes--de)
For some odd reason, I watched the movie King Arthur. I had vowed never to do such a thing. I mean, come on, while I devoured any and all interpretations of the legend when I was younger and a creature of more free time and less impatience, Roman "knights" at Hadrian's wall in the mid-fifth century? Okay, I freely admit I have absolutely no ability to remember dates, but 410 seems to ring a bell somewhere. There are so many things wrong with the plot that I don't know where to begin.

Anyway, for some reason I did watch (maybe because I finally realized that Lancelot was played by Ioan Gruffudd, of Horatio Hornblower, and how could I resist that--I am, to my own constant surprise, shallower than I think) and I was filled with indignation on many fronts. So filled with indigation that I think I'm obsessed. It's like Phantom Menace all over again. So much potential. So totally not used properly. I'm so indignant, I may even have to write fic. Now that's outrage. We shall see if it lasts.

Howl

Jun. 30th, 2005 06:31 pm
amari_z: (fall red trees)
No, not the poem--maybe some other time.

I recently watched Howl's Moving Castle. How cool was that? I have loved DWJ since I was actually the age of her intended audience, and Howl is one of my favorites of her books (along with Power of Three, Archer's Goon and Homeward Bounders--though she's so good, it's hard to pick). I had been waiting and waiting for this to come out in the U.S. Miyazaki animating DWJ--almost too cool to be real.

Okay, so the movie took a lot of liberties--adding in typical Miyazaki themes that weren't in the book and, so they wouldn't break anime law, making sure that there was a cute child character even where no child character existed--and I ordinarily might not have not been pleased about the changes (and some of it, on a very little reflection, didn't make sense)--but I didn't care. It was too beautiful. I can't wait until it comes out on DVD and I can watch it again and hear the Japanese voices--although (shocking for me to say) I didn't mind the English dub.

I loved that, despite making Howl a little more, er, a better of a person than in the book, they included the sliming scene. Best scene ever.
amari_z: (jack)
I loved the Scarlet Pimpernel TV miniseries with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour. I watched it when it came out on TV and I had a really, really bad copy of it on VHS, taped from the fuzzy (no cable for us!) TV. Nevertheless, I watched it many, many times when I was young(er) and inflicted it on other people as well. When I realized it was out on DVD, I had to buy it, but I was a little worried about seeing it again. It had been a long time since I had watched it, and although I still remember most of the lines, I didn't want it to have lost it's cheesy charm. But no worries--on recent rewatching, I loved it just as much as ever (and no commercials to fast forward makes it even better!).

In celebration, I decided I should check out the new version (done by the BBC, I think). Okay, could only stand about an hour of it before it got turned off. (They killed Tony? For no good reason. And he was played by Jamie Bambar? Off it went.) But it wasn't just that. It was flat out boring. SP should be silly and funny and fill you with glee. I had no glee. I think I may have even fallen asleep for a while. Odds Fish!

This bodes ill for Sharpe, which I have been thinking about trying. I read those books in my younger days, and I don't know if I can stand to watch another bad adaption.

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