Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Please Don't Hold it Against Me But When I Was 16 I Really Liked...

................... Twilight.

There, I've admitted it! I used to like Twilight when I was but a young, impressionable teenager. Well okay, let's be specific and say that I liked the first book in the series. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was sad and dorky (like every other person going through adolescence, huh? So stop all this moping) and just wanted a guy to like me, and it gave me hope that maybe teenage romance and all that can actually happen. If not in a vampiric way that is.

But you know what? I don't think it's bad that I can admit that I used to like this, simply because the key phrase here is "used to".
Even in the initial reading of the series I was starting to turn on it, and by the time Breaking Dawn came around, I really really hated the whole story. I won't get into that now.
Also, don't get me started on the Twilight movies and the constipated acting there within (though I would say Robert Pattinson doesn't seem all that bad in films outside of this franchise).

But let's be honest with ourselves: All teenagers like some weird and sub-quality things in popular culture. Why do you think certain boybands are/were so popular? And frankly, all teenagers are stupid and do stupid things and like stupid things. Even the amazing-- however, fictional-- Miss Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games reminds us how annoying and idiotic teens can be, hence the falling apart of the last novel of the series.

At least I grew out of this phase of my silly teenage life and can now look at Twilight and acknowledge how silly it all is. We all have our slips in taste, after all. I mean, even when I liked these terrible books I was also reading stuff like Ray Bradbury and Joseph Heller, so it's not like it dominated my literary likings, you know?

All I know is that looking back on yourself and cringing at how silly and dumb you used to be is a part of growing up. If you can't look back and laugh at the idiotic things you did, liked, or said, then maybe you haven't grown up, because you are probably still just like your younger self. 
Hey, it's not about hating who you used to be, it's about realizing how you have grown, and that maybe not everything you thought about life and the world back then was all that correct.
Though yes, I'll admit that sometimes teenagers aren't so naive and can be very awesome... It's just very rare, is all.

Learning and growing and being "Sooo changeable!" It is a weakness of us as humans, to be fickle little things. But to be fair to ourselves, it is only one of our 17 803 329 weaknesses...

Monday, July 16, 2012

To Some Shame is a Stranger: Colin Firth Loves "Mamma Mia!" and Doesn't Care Who Knows It

Every actor has had their share of movie flops and bad films, especially when starting out, it seems. It is likely an actors way to work their way to the top of the casting pile, but hey, what do I know about all that?
Even well established actors need to work, and nowadays with the countless actors and actresses out there vying for jobs, it's easy to see why someone might just snap up some fun, but not necessarily profound work.

As I always say, the quality of an actor is not based on the amount of crappy movies he has been in: it is based on how well he performs within these aforementioned crappy films.

But more to the point: What I love about Colin Firth is that he constantly brings up in interviews the fact that he was in Mamma Mia! which many considered to be a terrible and campy piece of cinema (even with the goddess Meryl Streep singing up a storm in it!). It makes him seem humble, and like he has no shame in being in stinkers of films every now and again because we all know what a fantastic actor he is. It just goes to show that anyone can have ups and downs in their career performances.
It's obvious that Colin Firth had fun making this film and wants people to know that. And don't get me wrong, it may have been cheesy to the nines, but I actually really enjoy Mamma Mia!. Yes, I said it. Indulgences, indulgences.

I just kind of hate when actors scorn work that they have been in in the past, especially those roles that they had to do in order to get to where they are now. Some people get to where they are by using some pretty silly things as stepping stones, but when you examine that, it seems like pretty much everyone in the acting business has had to do that to work their way up. It just seems wrong to spit on the work you did when you were a "nobody," just because you are a "somebody" now. 

So thank you, Colin Firth, for being such a charming gentleman, with no shame in your work, and for making it seem like you love every second of it. It really makes me want to love it too.
Also Will Smith, really embraces his "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" roots, and I think that's wonderful! So good on you lads. 

Sometimes, making shame your stranger really can be a positive thing.
Keyword: Sometimes, but that's another story altogether.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Like You With Meat On Your Bones So I Know I Won't Break Your Bones: And Ode to the Strong Action-Female

Oh yes, we all know that Hollywood is a superficial business that likes to collect pretty people for us to look at. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing, in different respects. However, it also seems to stipulate that only one type of body is wanted when it comes to female stars, and that is the super-thin type. It appears to be inherent in pretty much all roles. And alright, so I don’t want to make this some bleeding-heart, everyone is beautiful, love all body-types post (though I really do believe that, don't get me wrong), since I have talked about the superficiality of casting before, but when it comes to female actions stars, I think we should get rid of the stick-bugs.

That’s right, you heard me: I don’t buy your 100 pound action woman. Did you see Angelina Jolie’s frail-looking arms at the Oscars? And yet we are to believe that she could be a master killer in Salt, as well as some of her other films?
What about Zoe Saldana in Columbiana? Now, if you know me, you know that I adore Zoe Saldana, especially as a dancer, but that? Well, it was slightly unbelievable.
And furthermore, you see this Kate Bosworth trying to be threatening in The Warrior’s Way? The only thing intimidating about that is the knife, and frankly I would still take her on and snap her in half. All 4 feet 11 inches of me to be exact.

I’m not saying that this isn’t an issue in other genres of film as well. Did you see Christina Aguilera in Burlesque? She was such a waif she was almost unrecognizable, even though she is a total curvy fox in her real life outside of the film too! So yes, it is also a topic of thought for me when it comes to movies and casting in general, but regardless: I’m just saying that I ‘m not buying the stick-thin action woman.

Do you know what often happens when you do cast a healthy, buff girl in a role like that? She is called “fat” by many people, just like Jennifer Lawrence was when she was cast as Katniss in The Hunger Games
Really? You people think that that healthy, strong girl is "fat"? Well okay, so maybe she was to be playing a starving young lady in the films, but isn’t it good to see a girl with a natural, healthy beauty out there in the lead role of this franchise for the younger generation? You know, to instill positive body images in the young ladies of today? She is fantastic and I love her for her talent and her looks just the way she is.

Anyways, I got a little off track there. But when all is said and done, I just wanted to give a shout out to the gorgeous, strong action women out there: The believable ones. 
The ones I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley and make angry, because frankly, they seem like they really could kick me to pieces.

And so I give you: And Ode to the Strong Woman
(With a few lovely ladies of my personal recognition, in no particular order)

Jennifer Lawrence
For taking hits like a champ in Winter’s Bone, and destroying the competition in The Hunger Games.

Noomi Rapace
For showing her strength against alien invasion (Prometheus), Victorians (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), and the scumbags of modern society, (The Millennium Trilogy).

Scarlett Johansson
Some of the Avengers don’t have powers, you know, but that doesn’t matter to Natasha Romanov, due to all of Scarlett’s training in martial arts and the likes for the role.

Sigourney Weaver
Don’t mess with Ripley, my alien friends, and that’s all there is to it.

Rutina Wesley
When she broke out of Russel Edginton’s house in "True Blood", she looked like she could be a real, intense track runner, and those arms of hers are just incredible.

Hilary Swank
Albeit, sometimes she looks a little rakishly thin, but you can’t deny that she worked hard to become a genuinely believable boxer in Million Dollar Baby.

Gemma Arterton
So maybe Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia weren’t great films, but I reckon I saw some pretty buff moves on her part in them. Also I’m kind of interested in how she rocks it in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Gina Carano
Originally on "American Gladiators", it’s no wonder she was able to squeeze Michael Fassbender to death with only her thighs in Haywire.

Michelle Rodriguez

Say what you will about typecasting and how extreme she is in all her movies, this is one woman I wouldn’t mess with. And frankly, I think she likes it that way.

Paula Patton
Do you know how loud my reaction was when she administered that deadly kick in Mission Imposible: Ghost Protocol? Can you see how amazing she looks in that dress?

With that , I shall leave you all for now, as I have some beefing up to do if I ever want to take on any of these fabulous women.