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...Screws up perfectly-paced charming songs like Condon!

Link to Part I
Link to Part II

We’re back.  Yay.

Please feel free to write your own parody "Gaston" verses.Collapse )

Next time, we’ll get to the Beast and Belle veeee-e-e-e-e-ry slowly growing to like each other, some more needless additions to the story, and what exactly the hell Maurice is doing during all this.  Someday, we might even be done!
Link to Part I

I went to see this thing during a short work trip to Ithaca with two dear friends, who will be referred to as Friend 1 and Friend 2 to protect the innocent.  They went to see the movie because I talked them into it; let their names not be sullied through association.  We sat near the very back, knowing we were going to be assholes who talked through the whole thing and not wanting to ruin the movie for normals.  Two college-age girls did sit down in front of us, but it was okay, because it turned out they were there for the same reason we were.

Look, there she goes, wait, what's the camera doing?Collapse )

PS: Dear Disney, will you please quit casting Kevin Kline in musicals if you aren’t going to let him really sing?
WARNING: All the warnings from my treatment of Maleficent apply.
In which I have opinions on remakes in general, and this remake in particular.Collapse )

PS: I want to get this out of the way before we launch into reviewing the movie: Belle does not have Stockholm Syndrome.  She does not have it in the original story, she does not have it in the 1991 film, she does not have it in this film, and Stockholm Syndrome is questionably a thing in the first place.  That is a lazy, unfounded, irritating criticism of the story that unfairly diminishes the very adult relationship that it portrays, and better critics than I have already explained why it is total bunk.  If you want to hear more, go watch Lindsay Ellis’s video on the subject, or read this.  This is all the space I wish to devote to that topic.
I got into a discussion last night with some of my friends on why I like to watch bad movies.  There are so many good movies in the world, Mandy, they say.  Why do you waste your time watching shitty ones?

It can be a difficult thing for a bad movie aficionada to explain to a non-bad-movie-aficionado, because the NBMA has a point: there are objectively better ways you could be spending your time than watching bad movies.  So I tried to explain it roughly as follows: the right bad movies can be a fascinating exercise in watching the human condition unfold (and unravel) before your eyes.  However, not all bad movies are created equal: only a select few are brought to the level of badness at which they become good once again, and some are brought lower still by terrible people who didn’t know when to stop.

This seemed to satisfy my friends.  But they were still curious: how does one find the golden bullshit in the septic tank that is Bad Moviedom?  How do you know whether the bad movie you are about to watch is a True Bad Movie?  What is it that makes one bad movie charming and appealing, while another bad movie is just chock full of turds?

Well, it depends on the individual movie.  But there is actually a very loose process by which I evaluate bad movies, and while it’s not rigid enough to turn into a formula, it is distinct enough that I can break it down and explain how I go about it.  By my thinking, there are roughly eight semi-distinct categories of bad movies – henceforth, the Bad Movie Types. They are evaluated on the two major general factors that contribute to a movie’s badness:

Premise – what the movie’s Executors are given to work with: the movie’s plot, source material, inspiration, script, and/or storyline.

Execution – how the Premise is handled by the Executors: the direction, acting, editing, cinematography, and technical elements.

In determining a movie’s Badness Type, the Premise and Execution are each rated on the following (highly fluid, highly subjective) scale:

Good – nothing seriously wrong with it.  Might even have some elements to it that are Great.  Something is there to indicate that the people behind the Premise and/or Execution may have known what they were doing.

Flawed – had the potential to be good, but something, somewhere, went awry.  Bad and misguided choices in writing, acting, directing, thinking, or whatever have led to fundamental structural holes that are too big to be overlooked.

Incompetent – beyond simply “flawed” into “composed of nothing but flaws.”  Somewhere along the line, the people responsible for this element of the film came to mistakenly believe that they had talent for it.  Alternately, the people responsible were aiming for the ludicrous, or just didn’t give a damn.  Either way, the results are evident.

Looking at the possible combinations of these elements, I determined that movies that share combinations do, more often than not, occupy roughly the same place on the Sliding Scale of Movie Badness.  Certain combinations lead to a kind of terrible brilliance.  Others lead to something barely adequate, nothing more and nothing less.  Others lead straight into the depths of Movie Hell.

A note before I get started: the examples that I give of these, and my descriptions of the categories, are entirely subjective.  This is not a science.  It’s barely an art.  One man’s Type 4 is another man’s Type 6.  One man’s Type 2 is another man’s Best Picture winner.  More than anything, this is me having fun, and offering some insights into determining the types of bad films that are actually enjoyable to experience.  (If you think Foodfight! is good, though, you’re wrong.)
So, for my fellow connoisseurs of bad films, and for those who would like to see a thoroughly pseudo-scientific approach to evaluating Bad Movies, I present:

The interesting part of the post!Collapse )

Hope you enjoyed that!  As always, thank you very much for your indulgence.
I wrote a thing.  It's very long, kind of rambly, and gets emotional in places.  I was originally just going to sit on it.  Then I received encouragement from multiple sources that I trust to share it with other people.  I also received encouragement, in not so many words, to not be a goddamn coward.  When I spend so much of my time telling people that they have the right to speak out and they should use it, it's more than a little hypocritical of me to hide in the dark when my own opportunity comes up.

If you can make it through the whole thing, I'm always interested in hearing what you think.

Mandy holds you to at least the same standard that she holds her students and humbly requests that you DO read all the way through before offering commentary. Once you have, she will accept questions, comments, concerns, vilifications, insults, and multi-thousand or -million dollar book deals.Collapse )

Maleficent, Part V: Conclusions

Link to Part I
Link to Part II
Link to Part III
Link to Part IV

All right, we’re coming to the end of this train wreck, and then I can go back to actually having a life.  In the meantime, here are my final thoughts for your consideration.  This section, by the way, is relatively free of revealed plot elements.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my semi-coherent review-rant!

ConclusionsCollapse )

To those of you who have been following along, thank you very much for your indulgence.


Link to Part I
Link to Part II
Link to Part III

Well, by popular demand, I have returned to finish spending way too much time dissecting this piece-of-shit movie.  Enjoy Part IV: The Big Damn Snoozefest of a Climax, with Bonus Rage-Filled Tangents!

The New Movie, Act ThreeCollapse )

But wait, there’s more!  I still have paperwork I don’t want to deal with, so there will be one more installment!  Stay tuned for Part V: Conclusions!
Link to Part I
Link to Part II

And now enjoy Part III: The New Movie, Act Two, or: The Part Where Very Little of Any Substance Happens.

The New Movie, Act TwoCollapse )

Stay tuned for Part IV, if you still give a shit after that.


Link to Part I

Enjoy Part II: The New Movie, Act I, or: What Part of "Show, Don't Tell" Did You Not Understand?

Act OneCollapse )

Stay tuned for Part III!

Maleficent, Part I: The Background

WARNING #1: This is not so much going to be a review as it is going to be a rant with review-like elements.

WARNING #2: This review-like rant will contain many revealed plot elements.  If you don't wish to be exposed to revealed plot elements, do not read this review-like rant.

WARNING #3: In order for me to adequately express my feelings and thoughts about Maleficent, it will be necessary for me to utilize the full range of available English vocabulary.  In other words, this review-like rant will contain bad words.  If you don't want to see bad words, do not read this review-like rant.

Are we good?  Excellent.

Fuck this movie.  Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.  Fuck it and fuck everyone who was involved in its inception, and fuck everyone who encouraged it, and fuck everyone who had a hand in its lifeless and insulting production.  And fuck me for believing in it even though I shouldn’t have.  I haven’t seen a movie that made me this angry since the remake of The Wicker Man, and for essentially the same reason: the people who made this took something I love and defaced it, not because there was something wrong with the original, but because the original wasn’t Culturally and/or Politically Relevant Enough.

The BackgroundCollapse )