Category: Unabashed Geekery

5 Types of Horror Villains That Don’t Disappoint

The undead are notoriously difficult to manage. It’s why they’re such tempting subjects to explore creatively.

There are tons of horror movies — many depicting creatures from other worlds, but most focusing on our own dead, back to harm us.

The sad thing about all these movies is that most of them are fucking terrible.

Read More 5 Types of Horror Villains That Don’t Disappoint

5 (Non-Spoiler) Thoughts I Had While Watching Split

I don’t want to post any spoilers, but I am happy to announce that M Night Shyamalan has finally released a film that isn’t crap.

Which is awesome, because I feel like Shyamalan has so many great ideas… that never quite pan out in real-movie plot situations. I want Shymalan to succeed. He just… usually doesn’t for me.

Split stars James McAvoy (Professor X in the X-Men prequels) as a man with multiple personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls. Can they escape?

As I was watching this movie, I had the following 5 (non-spoiler) thoughts:

1. Apparently there’s nothing that can keep me from crushing on James McAvoy.

His character’s personalities include a pederast with OCD, a 9-year-old-boy, a gay fashion designer, and a very prim woman (above).

As each horror the character committed unfolded — and he’s definitely the antagonist — I thought “is this the final straw?”

It was never the final straw. The final straw may not exist.

2. Is Split Personality Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder) really a thing?

I couldn’t remember. Turns out no one’s 100% sure, and it’s, for the most part, not taken very seriously. This article does a nice job of talking about it. [Above graphic by Diana Dihaze.]

3. Teenage girls are the worst.

The protagonist (foreground) spends time locked in a room with two girls from her class (background). Their stupidity is profoundly well-written. They have this chipper “we can fix it!” gung-ho attitude toward their abduction that feels like an Oprah episode. Don’t worry: the main character tells them to stuff a sock in it.

4. Was The Happening really a thing?

It’s a movie about plants emitting a deadly toxin — then abruptly stopping for no reason.

How could the same writer/director make such varying films?

5. What’s the consensus on Shyamalan now? Am I going to get judged for liking this movie?

Split was interesting, surprising, and oddly funny. Definitely my favorite of his movies since 6th Sense — which was almost 2 decades ago.

Is he setting me up for more disappointment, or has he gotten his groove back?

Did any of you see the movie, Internet?

5 Movies I’m Looking Forward To This Year, Chronologically

I almost never miss $5 Movie Night.

Because this special runs at my theater every Tuesday, I watch a lot of filler movies. Action flicks like Tarzan and Underworld: Blood Wars. Horror flicks like Don’t Breathe and Lights Out. And basically every cartoon about animals.

In between total rubbish, I enjoy plenty of good films. Here’s what’s on my docket for Tuesdays in 2017.

^ Lego Batman movie (February 10th). When you think about it, what Bruce Wayne really needs is some therapy. If he can’t have that, we’ll just have to settle for giggling at him in Lego form.

^ A Cure for Wellness (February 17th). Is there an evil secret lurking in this fancy spa? Probably, otherwise they wouldn’t make a movie about it. Oooh, I hope the secret is something really heinous.

^ The Circle (April 28th). Imagine if Google and Facebook merged into one super-company with a fondness for complete surveillance of everyone, all the time. Emma Watson is playing the protagonist, if that helps stoke your enthusiasm. Read the book or hit up the trailer.

Read More 5 Movies I’m Looking Forward To This Year, Chronologically

5 Nerdy Dream Vacations

I’m loving this week’s Five Fandom Friday prompt. 5 places to visit before I die? Sounds like a fun thing to write about! Let’s hope I don’t die any time soon, because this is a pretty far-reaching list.

^ A museum road trip across North America.

This would either start with the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine. Then we’d somehow also cover: Ventriloquist Museum (Kentucky), The Glore Psychiatric Museum (Missouri), Museum of Osteology (Oklahoma City), Mexican Mummy Museum, Belhaven Memorial Museum (North Carolina), Museum of Death (LA & New Orleans), House of the Rock (Wisconsin), Museum of the Paranormal (Connecticut), International Museum of Surgical Science (Chicago), and Voodoo Museum (New Orleans).

^ Egypt.

I want to see all the ruins and study all the heiroglyphs.

Mostly I want to team up with Brendan Fraser to bring a mummy back from the dead, because that would be a rollicking good story.

Read More 5 Nerdy Dream Vacations

Jewish Wizards & Inclusiveness in Jo Rowling & Tim Burton’s worlds

The new Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, has a character named Porpentina Goldstein with brown eyes, thick brows, and curly hair hair.

We never see Goldstein go to synagogue, or eat challah, or drop Yiddish. But we have a pretty good idea of what demographic this girl probably represents.

And you know what it felt like to see her on screen? For lack of a better word: magical. She has my hair and my eyebrows. She acts like me. For once, I get to be part of the wizarding world.

racebendinghp

This, I hope/imagine, is what it felt like to people of color when they cast a black woman as Hermione in The Cursed Child. A feeling of finally getting to join the wizards.

Of course, anyone can identify with anyone on screen. I identify with male characters, people of color, cartoons, etc, on-screen all the time.

But it’s not the same as seeing someone who looks like you. Especially if you never see people who look like you up there. It can be lonely.

The recent casting choices are a huge leap forward.

jo-hermionecomment

I just wish Rowling didn’t try to take credit for them as something she’d meant all along. “Well, I never said she was white,” is a bit silly, seeing as she had a huge hand in the creation & casting of the movies.

If she wanted a black Hermione from the beginning, she should have led her illustrator and casting director in that direction back in 2000 when they were making the first movie (released in 2001). The movies are, at this point, just as much “canon” as the books.

Which is why I’m a little miffed about the “Dumbledore is gay!” revelation. He’s not gay in the books or the movies. If she meant for him to be gay, maybe it should have been in the work itself.

She has an opportunity, in the prequels, to actually depict him as a well-rounded gay man, and I hope she does so. Because then it’s canon, and not just empty words about gayness.

burton

Tim Burton, in contrast to Jo Rowling’s half-hearted ret-con, doesn’t even try at inclusivity in the slightest. His most recent film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, has one black character — who’s the villain.

Burton could have said something like “well, I prefer to cast Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter exclusively in literally everything, and they happen to be white,” and left it.

It could have even maybe been his excuse for casting Johnny Depp as a Native American character. (Ugh.)

tonto

Nope. Burton didn’t take that approach. He said he prefers not to get “all politically correct“:

“I remember back when I was a child watching ‘The Brady Bunch’ and they started to get all politically correct,” he said. “Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that than just… I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

He doesn’t seem to see the difference between a family looking alike and an orphanage of people from various backgrounds looking alike.

peregrins-gallery9-gallery-image

That magic of seeing someone on-screen who looks like you will never happen in a Tim Burton movie. Unless you’re white. Very, very white. And Johnny Depp and/or Helena Bonham Carter.

I’m casting my lot with the wizards. At least they’re trying.