Tag Archives: movies

What Would Make For A Good Christian Movie?

It seems like a lifetime ago that this blog’s editor and yours truly discussed the question “Why is Christian media so bad?”

Because it is.

So bad.

Like there are dirty limericks carved into the side of gas station bathrooms with more artistic and spiritual merit, and for anyone who doubts me I’d challenge you to watch God’s Not Dead 2, which premiered on the first of this month.

As much as you might pray otherwise- no, this is not some elaborate April Fool’s trick. This wretched, pandering slog of garbage is absolutely real, the hellspawn of 2014’s disturbingly popular (and obliviously sacrilegious) God’s Not Dead.

Look, as much as I’d like to pour out seven bowls of wrath upon this nasty, ugly product of a nasty, ugly franchise, I’m not going to. There are people who’ve already done so with more eloquence than I could muster, and I legitimately think I’d have a stroke if I tried to convey my repulsive and rage to this unholy dreck. If you’ve got a shred of artistic judgment or basic morality, you can see what makes this movie bad.

So let me ask this instead:

What would a good Christian movie look like?

Here’re some of my ideas-

That Dark Battle

The God’s Not Dead franchise has a habit of using death and disease to hamfistedly make its points. Is the prideful atheist looking down her Ivy-League nose at these simple, humble Christians? Smite her with cancer! Haha! She’s not so high-and-mighty now that she’s facing a slow and painful death! Thanks, God!

Think that’s a bit cruel?

It’s OK! She converted and has been miraculously cured! Because no God-fearing person has ever died of cancer and no atheist has died of anything else!

I **** you not- that happens in the first God’s Not Dead.

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Mr. David A.R. White- On behalf of everyone who’s ever lost a loved one to cancer, allow me to say a heartfelt “****. You.”

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Jessica Jones Was Good, But It Should Have Been Great

When I saw the trailer for Jessica Jones I immediately decided it was going to be my new favourite show… until I watched it.

A lot of elements in the trailer suggested that it would resemble Netflix’s Daredevil series, which made me really excited. My love for Daredevil was a slow burn. Unlike Evan (who regularly reviews comics, like Ms. Marvel, for the blog), I’m not a comic aficionado. For me to really invest in a comic-based series I have to actually like it as a stand-alone. I’m also not a fan of dark dramas. I get depressed enough from real life, so my first choice for TV is lighthearted comedy. When John (my husband) finally convinced me to watch Daredevil with him it was a really hard sell. I was critical of the lack of diversity, the lack of interesting roles for women (although this got better as the season progressed), and the general lack of lighting in most scenes. What finally won me over was some of the best fight choreography I’ve ever seen on TV, and writing so solid that some monologues actually gave me chills.

When I saw the trailer for Jessica Jones I thought it would only perfect the good thing Netflix had already started with Daredevil. Not only would we have a dark and thoughtful plot, but we would have a much more diverse cast and more nuanced relationships between female characters.

How could anything possibly go wrong?

Apparently several things could, and did, go wrong. I’ve outlined a couple of the most frustrating aspects of the series below.

It had mediocre fight scenes

I get that it’s hard to make things look super realistic when you have a 90 pound woman throwing men around like ragdolls. I also get that choreographing these scenes would have to reflect Jones’ extraordinary strength. But is that really an excuse for scenes to look like something straight out of the 70’s?

Generally speaking, the fight scenes in Jessica Jones felt lazy. There are so many other ways you could demonstrate super strength beyond just throwing people, but for both Jones, and often Luke Cage, throwing seemed to be the primary mode of defence.

I mean, wouldn’t punching them in the face just be easier? Continue reading

3 Reasons You Should Watch Home (According to Kat and Her Nieces)

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to steal a couple of my nieces and bring them home with me. For the last few days, they’ve been busy helping me out with the kids program I run at work, and in the evenings we’ve all been busy showing them around the bustling metropolis of Williams Lake. While I thought about skipping out on this week’s post altogether, I decided instead to write a quick post about the movie we watched last night.

Below, I’ve included 3 reasons why we think you should watch it.

1) The aliens are super cute

This was why my nieces loved this movie so much. The main group of aliens, called the Boov, change colour according to their mood and seem to be made up of a jelly-like consistency.

The main character, Oh, is considerably cuter than I thought he would be. When I first saw the commercial for Home, I assumed that Jim Parsons would play a cartoon version of his well-known character from the Big Bang Theory. It was a pleasant surprise to see him change things up a bit while playing an equally quirky character in Home. Oh, the alien played by Parsons seems considerably more fun to be around than Sheldon.

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Socially Conscious Comedy Part II: Key and Peele on Being Black in America

Seeing how I love to pretend that binge-watching comedy sketches counts as research, I decided to follow up on last week’s post about Amy Schumer with a post about Key and Peele.

I find a lot of Schumer’s work funny because I can relate to it. It’s not quite the same with Key and Peele, since I am neither black, nor male, nor American.

Although sometimes their characters aren’t male either.

Even though I have little in common with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, I do find their work hilarious. They do a variety of flawless impressions and have a much wider range than Schumer, who generally sticks to one (albeit very funny) schtick.

Like Schumer, they also take on some very serious social issues in their comedy. Since they are both half-black, Key and Peele often touch on the way racism affects the lives of black or biracial individuals. Below, I’ve included three racial inequalities that Key and Peele do a great job revealing via their sketches.

1) Racial Profiling and Police Violence

As a Canadian, the prevalence of police violence towards black Americans blows my mind.  Don’t get me wrong, Canada certainly has our own problems when it comes to police violence. That said, our more recent incidents of violence are due to taser-overuse, rather than unnecessary use of a firearm. It’s uncomfortable to watch cases of police violence when they are discussed on American news, since the focus tends to be on whether or not the victim of police violence “deserved it.” Black victims, even twelve-year-olds with pellet guns, are framed as threatening, in order to excuse why a cop discharged their firearm.

Key and Peele often subvert this “threatening black man” trope in their sketches. In “Flash Mob” and “White Zombies” Key and Peele play non-threatening black men who are mistaken as dangerous by the white people (or white zombies) around them.

Similarly, “Solution to Racial Profiling” mocks the racial double-standard that fames black youth in hoodies as “thugs” while their white peers are described as “misunderstood”.

One of their more serious sketches, “Negrotown,” addresses police violence directly, by imagining a world where police violence and racial profiling no longer existed.

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5 Classic Films I’m Going to Force My Kids to Watch

Okay, I realize I don’t have kids yet, but I probably will eventually, so bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way watching movies have changed. When I was a kid everything was on VHS. You owned a few (or a lot) of movies and you watched those over and over until you could pretty much recite them by heart. If you were lucky, on nights when a friend came for a sleepover, you might get to go to the video store, where you would get to spend hours perusing the shelves for the most interesting-looking VHS. Unfortunately, my kids probably won’t have that experience.

I’m basically being the millennial version of this right now.

Even if there are a few video stores kept alive purely on nostalgia (like the one in Victoria, B.C.), John and I aren’t the kind of people who would bother buying a VHS or DVD player when we could just hook up our computer to a TV. So my kids will probably never have to watch the same show twice (unless they want to or I make them). Between Netflix and YouTube, there is an endless world of movies available. However, rather than let them just watch the newest flashiest shows around, I’ve officially decided I’m going to make them watch the classics with me. Here are a few movies that will be at the top of my list (for this particular list, I’ve decided to leave out cartoons to focus on the live-action films that have stayed with me through the years).

The Princess Bride

When I was a kid I LOVED The Princess Bride. The only thing was, I did not pick up on any of the sarcasm. In my little kid brain it was just this magical tale full of adventure, passion, and rodents of unusual size.

As an adult, I get to go back and laugh at the dry humour peppered throughout.

Yet somehow, even though I now know it’s a comedy, and I can laugh almost the whole way through the movie, the ending still gets me. In fact, I think it’s still one of the most poignant revenge plots I’ve seen.

You all should know how this line ends.

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Can You Be a Feminist and Still Love James Bond Films?

A teaser for the new James Bond film has hit and I am more than a little excited.

It also makes me feel conflicted because so many aspects of the Bond franchise fly in the face of much of what I strongly believe as a feminist. Below, I’ve outlined a few issues I have with the Bond movies, and below that some reasons why I haven’t given up on the franchise altogether. At this point I’m required to warn you about spoilers, although I seriously doubt I will reveal anything you don’t already know about the films.

1) Women are constantly objectified in Bond films

It’s no secret that the James Bond franchise is all about eye-candy, from the cars and gadgets to virtually every women who steps foot on set. Not only are these women present to demonstrate Bond’s power of seduction, they are also present to be viewed by the movie-goer.

And if near naked ladies aren’t enough for you, they will throw in some naked lady silhouettes in the opening credits.

One of the only women to not be sexualized in her role was Judi Dench, who played M in the last seven Bond films. Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, she was killed off in the last film.


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Why The Fast and the Furious Franchise Has the Superior “Comic Book” Movie Shared Universe

This isn’t going to be the longest post for two reasons: 1) I made a bet with a friend and am only eating leaves for the entirety of today [this was my breakfast] and am therefore weak in mind, body, and spirit, and 2) this is a very straightforward assessment that two other other writers have already broken ground on already. Let me take a single step back, though, and remind you of what happens in a week’s time and why I’m writing this.

Furious 7 comes out.

I know I used my love of comic books to springboard my post on Flash Boys, the novel Aaron Sorkin refuses to write a screenplay for because “there aren’t any Asian movie stars”, but here we are again. Well, sort of. See, comic books only reach so large an audience. Comic book movies, on the other hand? They find themselves as two out of the top five highest grossing movies of last year [four of the top ten]. Everyone wants to get in on that business, to the point where a shared universe of larger-than-life characters was one of the goals of the truly awful Dracula Untold. Here’s the thing Universal, you already own The Fast and Furious [referred to as FF from this point on] franchise which has been going hard since the early aughts.

Remember at the end of Iron Man when Tony Stark meets Nick Fury for the first time and your nerdy friend gripped your arm so hard you thought they would snap it and whispered directly into your ear that “it’s happening“? The FF movies have been pulling that same move for years without the help of a narrative that’s been ongoing since the 60s. Every one of their reveals is builds on the preceding films,and the fact that they’ve managed to make this viewer drop his jaw is worth mentioning in and of itself.

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