Media Update 3/22/18

The Breadwinner

Unfortunately, I did not hear about this movie until it was nominated for an Oscar up against the brilliant Coco. What struck me first was the beautiful traditional 2D animation. The story follows a young girl in Afghanistan under the Taliban who must pose as male to provide for her family. The first thing that made me smile is the reverence for stories. These are stories that I am unfamiliar with since they come from a land far, far away that people in my country have been taught to hate by warmongers. These are stories of people who have a history much longer than my culture. These stories are told in different styles of animation to set them apart from the rest of the film. The world of the movie, Afghanistan, was so foreign to me that it was intensely interesting. It was also infuriating as I watched religion cause people to treat women like cattle, a problem that is still a big deal the world over. I felt so scared for these women who were put into a world where it was physically dangerous to try and do things I take for granted. It was a really touching film with a lot of heartbreaking but hopeful messages. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Hemlock Grove

As anybody who knows me for any length of time knows, I am a huge fan of Halloween and I am automatically interested in anything based on the classic supernatural monsters. I like werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, and all sorts of things. This has led me to actually like a lot of stuff I probably would have not cared for without the supernatural element. Hemlock Grove is probably another thing like that. The show follows a gypsy werewolf and a rich boy vampire who, instead of remaining enemies, get bound together to resolve some sort of mystery. It is one part Twin Peaks, one part original Dark Shadows, and one part Vampire Diaries (all of which I liked). The cast of characters does a great job of interacting with each other, stirring up a lasting chemistry. The world-building starts the moment the show begins and it is a tiny corner of the world where people already know about and accept the supernatural (to a certain extent). So far, the best acting comes from Famke Jannsen who plays a morally questionable (possibly evil?) vampire lady. Her son is one of the leads and the other lead is a scruffy Romany werewolf. Like Twin Peaks, the show has an offbeat feel at times which help give it an otherworldly feel. The show also keeps a tight lid on its bigger mysteries, making me very curious. I definitely recommend it if you like supernatural stuff like I do.

Monsters vs. Aliens

I am a big Disney/Pixar fanboy so I have not seen nearly as many Dreamworks movies. It does not help that Dreamworks puts out movies that I have little to no interest in (i.e. Boss Baby). However, there are still a few acclaimed Dreamworks animated movies that I still want to see and, on a whim, I decided to watch this one. To start with, it has an attractive cast. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Stephen Colbert just to name the main cast. The movie follows a bunch of monsters fighting invading aliens (duh). The monsters are all tributes to older horror and science fiction monsters like Attack of the 50ft Woman, The Fly, Mothra, The Blob, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. While it is not the most complicated or fleshed out animated movie, it did surprise me in how good it is. It subverts gender stereotypes over and over but not in a way that I felt like it was hammering me over the head. There was a lot of silly comedy but there was quite a bit of clever comedy thrown in as well. It was much better than I was expecting it to be. There will likely never be a sequel because Reese does not really like to do sequels (like Jim Carrey). I recommend it for lovers of animation and people who like a little bit of girl power.

Music of the Week:
Run the Jewels – Oh Mama

Eumir Deodata – Space Dust, Sherlock

Ivy Levan – Hot Damn

Arsonists Get All The Girls – The 42nd Ego

f(x) – Electric Shock

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Unexpected Heroes”
– I finished watching Jessica Jones Season 2
– I continued watching The Joel McHale Show
– I continued watching iZombie Season 4
– I continued watching Fate/Apocrypha
– I continued watching Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I continued watching Freaks and Geeks
– I continued watching Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I continued watching Gurren Lagann


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