Jul. 20th, 2008

heron61: (Angry Dragon)
I went with [livejournal.com profile] teaotter& [livejournal.com profile] xtricks to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and we were all deeply unimpressed. In some ways (very bad ways) it reminded me of Wanted, which had some of the same faults. I very much enjoyed the first Hellboy film, but this one was very different indeed.

Ugly: in the conflict between the elves & humans, the humans were clearly at fault, and this never changed. The elves were trying to survive, but Prince Nuada was doing a rather idiotic job of it. In any case, other than the baby Hellboy saves, non-paranormal humans were depicted as generally without worth and in a larger sense as the cause of the problems. And yet, we are supposed to cheer for our heroes defending humanity (and above all, defending the status quo). Also, clearly a fight between two men is the only way to solve any problem and problems that can't be solved in this fashion simply aren't important. Ugh.

Offensive: Both Liz and Nuala were plot devices – Liz's objections to her life with Hellboy were all simply chalked up to her being moody because she was pregnant, and by the end of the film all these simply objections vanish when her man triumphs. Meanwhile, Nuala manages to do almost nothing useful other than give Abe an excuse to fall in love, get drunk, and then grieve. Also, the obvious choice of the person to challenge Nuada would be Nuala since any victory he'd win against her would be impressively pyrrhic, except this is another film where female characters can't do anything. I've seen an impressive amount of sexism in recent films, and this one was no exception.

Stupid: Krauss is by the book, until he inexplicably isn't. Rather than killing herself, Nuala could simply have warned Hellboy. Abe gives Nuada the piece of the crown to "save" Nuala from the one person who you can guarantee won't kill or even seriously harm her, since Nuada would suffer the same fate. In addition to being pointlessly grim and impressively sexist, the last half hour makes remarkably little sense. Characters act w/o any motivation whatsoever and everyone is universally stupid.

This is an absolutely gorgeous film with a multitude of excellent visuals and a few wonderful scenes, but is sufficiently bad that I'd suggest downloading screen caps or renting the DVD when it comes out, and both doing screencaps and watching it with the sound turned off.

I'm hoping that The Incredible Hulk is better, and I'm guessing that The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor will be impressively light but largely inoffensive. From what I've heard, The Dark Knight avoids being stupid, but manages to be almost as offensive and misogynist. Iron Man was a gem and Hancock was well worth seeing, but so far the other summer action films have been deeply horrid.

It's odd, with well-done shows like Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Burn Notice, and In Plain Sight, I'm seeing a fair amount of well done TV that is doing relatively well, and there have also been a number of well-done ratings failures like the brilliant but canceled show Journeyman and the well done Dresden Files show. In all of these, I've seen a decrease in sexism and also an increase in quality compared to the past 5 years (which was admittedly a period of serious regression compared to the ground-breaking TV of the late 90s). Once again, we see movies lag behind television, and I'm definitely hoping that action movies catch up to action TV.
heron61: (Default)
On Monday, we have movers and a truck and are moving most of our stuff to the new place. Monday night we will live there. I'm used to looking forward to moving someplace - there is absolutely nothing for me to look forward to in this move. I'm much further from Aaron and Daire (37 blocks instead of 5, in a neighborhood I dislike, and at least 15 blocks from any good grocery stores (instead of merely 2), in an apartment that is smaller and with only two bedrooms. The only good thing is that it is possible, and perhaps likely that over the holidays, [livejournal.com profile] teaotter and I will be able to convince my parents to buy all three of us a house or condo. I'll hold out for one in the neighborhood I like with enough space.

In addition to all this, I'll miss my garden. Becca and I grew tomato plants, basil, and other things on the right side of this house. However, the left side was mine. I planted a rosemary plant shortly after I arrived and it didn't grow much at all, the next year we discovered that the reason was the bed was sufficiently close to the house that the eaves completely shielded it from rain and so the entire garden bed got almost no water. When we moved in it consisted of some dusty and barely surviving hen & chicks. I've watered and added things to the soil and it is now doing vastly better. In front was a clematis vine that during the first year flowered from June to August. Then, we discovered that by watering it, since it too was partly shielded from rain that it would continue to bloom and thrive until October. I can take none of that with me and will miss it fiercely. For the next year or two, at least I can be certain that [livejournal.com profile] lupabitch & [livejournal.com profile] teriel (who live upstairs) will water and care for these plants. After they move, they will likely go back to being sad and neglected. If we end up owning a condo or house, I hope it has a garden. If so, I will plant my own clematis vine and my own hen & chicks and care for them. Before living here, I had not gardened before, and much like I enjoy making food for and helping the people that I love, I enjoy caring for and helping plants under my care. Here are some pictures: click here for the pics, click each image twice to see a larger and more detailed version )

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