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Here, in a nutshell, is the moral of The Tale of Despereaux:
Pretty is always Good and always Right. If, inconceivably, Pretty is somehow Wrong, you are obliged to forgive Pretty. Because Pretty is always Good and Right and Pretty being Wrong must have somehow been your own fault. By the same token, Ugly is always Bad and Wrong. Even if Ugly isn't actually Bad right now, eventually they will do something that proves their inherent Badness. Because Goodness and Badness are not character traits that vary from individual to individual, they are unassailable, intrinsic truths about Pretty and Ugly.
Hogfather, 1996, Terry Pratchett That's certainly an...interesting artistic interpretation of Susan. (I forewent my annual re-reading of this book this year in favor of rereading the witch books. I'm more in a Nanny Ogg mood.)
"Say, Jay, what happened to Joan? Weren't you supposed to be bringing her?" "Well, I certainly didn't vibrate her atoms into a wall because she threatened to tell you and Ted about my premature ejaculation problem, if that's what you're implying Alan." "What?" "Nothing." "Did someone say ejaculation?" "Not now, Ted."
"Hey, Clark, I ever tell you about the time I tricked a female astronaut into thinking the Earth had been destroyed and we had to recreate the human species on an alien planet?" "Yes, Bruce. You have. Many times. That's exactly the sort of behavior that I'm sure makes your parents proud of you." "...Screw you, Clark." "What, do I look like an astronaut to you?"
"*sob* They just didn't know...how much it hurt...to be Superboy, Bruce." "What, am I your therapist now, Clark?" "I'm sorry, Bruce, I just thought, you know, seeing your parents gunned down in front of you might make you more sensitive to the pain of child-hood."
Pay Full Price Star Trek: I honestly never expected to find myself looking forward to a Star Trek movie. It helps, tremendously, that this actually looks a bit like the anti-Trek. A Trek in name only. In other words, the fact that everything about this film is pissing the holy hell out of the people whose fascination with the show turned it from an actual pop culture thing into the most convenient short-hand possible for "obsessive weirdo loners you don't want to hang around more than necessary" gives me great hope that we might actually get a watchable science-fiction action film.
Push: I am, perhaps, too willing to overlook potential problems with a movie just because they cast Chris Evans in it. And the vague Jumper-ish vibe I get off this "super-powered young adults fight the government" piece suggests that may be the case here. Still, as long as it's better than the second Fantastic Four film (which, honestly, won't be hard), I'll probably be happy.
The Spirit: I don't care what anyone says; I think it looks like a hoot. Like a live-action version of All-Star Batman.
The Unborn: It's like every contemporary horror film cliche rolled into one, but it still looks strangely compelling. Plus, both David S. Goyer and Gary Oldman have earned the benefit of the doubt on stuff like this, so a certain baseline of quality is probably going to be there.
Timecrimes: Whoah, wait...a time-travel movie that isn't about big explodey effects and actually has a unique approach to the genre, namely trying to prevent your past (or future) self from committing murder? I...I can't believe someone made something like that. Oh, it's not American? Well, that explains it.
Netflix-able Chandni Chowk to China: I literally sat dumb-founded through this. A mash up of every Bollywood and martial arts cliche actually got filmed and released. It's like some strange, pomo, post-colonial chimera, and I'm finding the concept intriguing.
Inkheart: I see that film studios are still searching for their post-Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter fantasy-film meal-ticket. This doesn't look as if there's anything particularly wrong with it...but it doesn't look like there's anything remarkable about it, either.
Watchmen: While I'm still not finding myself exactly favorably inclined towards the film, I'm not exactly finding myself hostile to it either. I'm enough of a contrarian to be amused by the folks who are outraged that the name of the hero group has been changed to "Watchmen" from "Minutemen". But in general I'm just seeing it as an ambitious failure. I'm suspecting that Snyder has his heart in the right place, and he seems to get the original materials in a way that previous adapters of Moore comics didn't, but I don't think the complexities of the source material can translate to film, and the marketing truly seems to be selling the movie as an action film starring Rorshach. If that's not what Snyder delivers, I think the general audience is going to reject the movie. But, at the very least, the film's imminent release finally got DC to change that god-awful cover for the collected edition, with the extreme close-up of a blood drop that only made sense to people who had already read the comic.
The Lodger: I kind of dig this approach to a remake. The story of a landlord who begins to suspect his tenant is Jack the Ripper becomes a story of a landlord who suspects her tenant is a serial killer imitating Jack the Ripper. That it's got a pretty decent cast is a plus, especially to someone like me, who will sit through some pretty dreadful serial killer films just because it's late and I'm bored.
Let the Right One In: I hear really good things about this, but the mere fact that it's a vampire movie gives me an incredible amount of skeptical resistance that the film needs to overcome. My loathing and hatred of the vampire genre may be utterly irrational, but man, when shit like Twilight actually makes money, can you blame me for thinking vampires are fucking stupid?
Gran Torino: Cranky codger Clint Eastwood as a cranky codger with a gun fighting gangs. It's almost beautiful in its simplicity as a film concept.
Splinter: What looks like more disposable torture-porn about drifters kidnapping the happy young white couple actually turns out to be a movie about people trapped by a...satanic porcupine? The swerve alone perked my interest.
Duplicity: This gives every impression of being a bouncy, tongue-in-cheek caper film. In fact, it looks good enough that I'm willing to overlook the presence of Paul Giamatti.
Angels & Demons: About the only positive thing there is to say about the last film version of a Dan Brown book is that at least the movie was better than the book. It's going to be a gloriously over-indulgent train-wreck of a film, but I feel compelled to see it, if only to see just how awful it ends up being.
The Uninvited: Ah, another movie about a teenage girl being menaced by vaguely defined ghosts. The "step-mom is a serial killer" angle is a nice touch, though. Gives it just enough spin on the core concept.
Defiance: I don't usually have the patience for war movies, but it's nice to see a film about Jewish resistance fighters, instead of the usual "yay, here come the Americans to solve everyone's problems" approach.
The Haunting in Connecticut: My loathing for "based on a true story" horror films is duking it out with my love of haunted house movies. As a rental, at least, I can always turn it off if, as I suspect, it does turn out to be sub-Amityville level plotting and scares.
Prometheus Had It Easy Fired Up: I was willing to just shrug this off as yet another stupid teen sex comedy starring actors in their thirties, and then right smack at the end, a fag joke. So the people involved with this can go die in a fire.
Delgo: Just because you have the funding to make a film, that doesn't mean you should.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Every new trailer they come up with for this film just makes it look creepier and creepier and creepier. I honestly can't tell who the intended audience for this film could possibly be; nothing about it looks appealing. I guess, maybe, it's for the Fitzgerald fans?
The Day the Earth Stood Still: It's fun watching Keanu attempt to emote. I'd like to see him and Tobey Maguire attempt to do a serious drama together...
Marley & Me: I love doggie movies. To a point that may be unhealthy. I won't see this. Solely because it stars the two most obnoxious celebrities in the world.
2012: The Mayans couldn't think of a practical use for the wheel, but conspiracy theorists would have you believe that they knew when the world would end. Yeah, no, this is skippable. I'll put up with some stupid bullshit in my movies, but not this crap.
Friday the 13th: So, we've gone from remaking the good horror movies, to remaking the shitty horror films that were rip-offs of the good ones in the first place. At this rate, I fully expect someone to be remaking April Fool's Day or My Bloody Valentine any day now...
Paul Blart: Mall Cop: A Christmas movie that doesn't come out until January? Yeah, that ain't a good sign.
Valkyrie: Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise in "The Good Nazi, Who We Will Be Pretending Wasn't Complicit in the Murder of Over Six Million People Until He Realized That Hitler Was Kind Of an Asshole."
"I don't get it, Clark. I can do twelve backflips from a standing position, know a dozen ways to cripple a man with my pinkie, but I can't hit a damn baseball." "Well, Bruce, I know when I was a kid, my dad took me out to the fields every day and practiced throwing and hitting a ball with me. It's just a question of muscle memory." "..." "Oh, right, sorry. I forgot." "Screw you, Clark."
An ongoing point of discussion with several of my friends and I is: which group of people is more prone to an over-developed sense of entitlement and the kind of narcissistic rage that can only come from an excess of privilege, video game fans or comic book fans? I mean, on the one hand, I've never seen comic book fans actually complain about publishers and artists actually expect to be paid for their work, and yet I see video game fans constantly complain that add-ons for video games should be free. But then, on the other hand, I've never seen video game fans complain that Nintendo is being disrespectful to them by ignoring their fan-fiction in which Mario is fucking Link.
So I was greatly amused when I found this in an article about the upcoming Watchmen game:
"Noble antihero"? Well, of course he is! If there's one thing (one thing?) that video game and comic book fans have in common, it's the inability to recognize that a protagonist may not necessarily be intended as a figure of admiration. That Rorschach is deeply mentally disturbed just makes him even more "bad ass."