Hail, Caesar!: this is pretty much just the Coen brothers throwing together a bunch of jokes about Golden Age Hollywood, and ... I mean, I loved it, but I am one hundred percent the target audience. Is there any substance to the film whatosever? Absolutely not! But Channing Tatum tap-dances, and Tilda Swinton plays identical twin gossip columnists, and someone gets herself caught in a 16mm film projector which honestly is a fear I have lived with ever since I learned how to work with film and survives it, so, like. For me, it was a fantastic way to spend two hours, absolutely zero complaints.
The Mermaid: so this is movie about a bunch of mermaids embarking on a murderous plot to kill the billionaire who's polluting the ocean. It was screening in Boston for all of a weekend, and as soon as I realized that seeing it in theaters was possible I was like WE NEED TO GO, WE NEED TO GO IMMEDIATELY. See it for the weirdly charming love story in which a mermaid assassin Falls For The Mark; see it for the hordes of murder mermaid aunties with hatchets; see it for all the random surreality; see it for angry Uncle Octopus:
Rudramadevi: This is a Hindi film about Historical Cross-Dressing Warrior Queen Rudramadevi, which means it is a film aimed directly at a target audience of me.
I made shati and her roommate Becky watch it with me; we were mildly stymied by the fact that the English subtitlers frequently decided we didn't need to know what was happening in certain scenes that looked as if they might have been ... a little important ... We were also a little confused by the Marco Polo frame story, which did not seem DEEPLY relevant to the biopic of a Kakatiya warrior queen raised as a boy.
However despite this, it was a delightful viewing experience. Highlights include:
- Rudramadevi tames an elephant! Which later becomes her LOYAL ELEPHANT COMPANION and helps her save the kingdom!
- Rudramadevi marries a nice young princess, then eventually confesses to her that she's secretly a woman, after which the princess explains that no, she knew all the time and it's TOTALLY COOL, REALLY, IT'S FINE >:D
- every single appearance of Rudramadevi's secret prince bandit nemesis Gona Ganna Reddy, a man with one of the finest senses of drama I have ever seen in a film.
Gona Ganna Reddy is set up from the beginning as The Only Man Who Can Rival Rudramadevi In A Fight, and also, I mean, he's a secret prince bandit, so we were convinced he was destined to be her heterosexual love interest. In fact, Rudramadevi's actual heterosexual love interest is her right-hand man who cannot EVEN compete with her in a fight and, after a very minor bout of sulking when he finds out The Crossdressing Truth, loyally declares that she should go out and save the kingdom and he will provide backup in whatever way is helpful. We appreciated his supportiveness!
...this did not stop Becky from whispering 'THEY'RE GONNA BANG SOMEDAY' as Gona Ganna Reddy rode dramatically off after dramatically revealing his loyalty and dramatically fighting side-by-side with Rudramadevi at the end of the film. Anyway, well worth the experience.
Act of Violence: Part One of a noir double feature I saw with sovay last month, this is quite a dark film about the repercussions of WWII driving one veteran to attempt to murder his former commanding officer. Notable for the psychological examination of guilt and trauma, but also for all the women who spend the film being like "maybe .... don't follow the path of revenge? THE PATH OF REVENGE IS STUPID. LET'S NOT." The murderous soldier's girlfriend is introduced about a third of the way through, and I was like 'well, wouldn't it be great if she got to meet and team up with the commanding officer's innocent young wife? But that won't happen.' Except then it did! sovay has a much more thorough write-up over here.
Crack-Up: The second part of the noir double feature, this was an enjoyable but really very deeply silly movie about a museum curator who accidentally gets caught up in an Art Conspiracy and proceeds to spend the rest of the movie Avoiding The Police And Investigating around with Great Determination while his girlfriend (an extremely practical magazine writer with a great face) is like "um, I have a detective friend right over here who's investigating the art fraud, totally believes your story and wants to help clear your name? I'm not sure why you're not ... OKAY run out the window instead of talking to us, that's ... fine too ....."
In case you're wondering: the detective totally solves the crime, entirely offstage, like halfway through the movie. The actual protagonist kind of flails around uselessly and almost gets himself and his girlfriend killed, but does get in quite a lot of good exercise along the way! Many calories burned, Actual Protagonist. I'm glad you had fun.
Zootopia: I saw this with aquamirage last week and at this point I'm out of words to talk about movies with. But, like, was I charmed by determinator police bunny Leslie Knope and Fox Con Artist With A Heart Of Gold and by the worldbuilding of 'how do you fit five zillion different species of animated mammal in one city, logistically speaking, I mean, let's take a moment to talk about building codes?' Yes, yes I absolutely was. Is there plenty of stuff to say about the movie it's trying to be in re: racism metaphors that both do and wildly don't succeed? Sure, but I don't feel any need at this time to be the person to say it!
This entry is cross-posted at Livejournal from http://skygiants.dreamwidth.org/435301.html. Please feel free to comment here or there! There are currently comments on Dreamwidth.