Ghostbusters 2016: A provocation


The new Ghostbusters premiered this July and received a very negative welcome. After many years of waiting for a third Ghostbusters, the fandom gets it, but it’s not a sequel as expected, instead they decided to make a reboot of the movie. The cast is a brand new one, there are cameo appearances of the original actors here and there, but this Ghostbusters tells the story of different people.

The plot is pretty much the same, from hunting ghosts to saving the world, it’s still comical, it’s still an adventure, it’s still about ghostbusters, so why did it get so much hate? The new ghostbusters are all women, the movie has a female lead and that’s the real difference from the original.

Personally I didn’t really like the movie. I’m a fan of the original one, but I’ve never been obsessed with it, I haven’t watched Ghostbusters II because I think Ghostbusters is one of those movies that shouldn’t have sequels, it’s good and funny on its own, but making a sequel is overdoing – I think pretty much the same of Star Wars, I like the original trilogy, but not the prequel and surely not the sequel they have started this year. Same goes for Ghostbusters: it was a nice, funny movie, I always like to rewatch it, but I was never interested in watching the sequel. I also wasn’t going to watch this new reboot, but the really bad criticism got me curious. My friends and acquaintances were devided, the “feminists” were excited and talked about it as the best movie of the year, the more close-minded boys were even angry about it, the smarter ones were indifferent and just commented that it wasn’t bad, but we didn’t need it.

After watching it I stand with the guys in the middle: it’s not that bad, but we could do without. It fails to equal the original – but that’s not odd considering few reboots manage to best the originals (the only remake I really enjoyed is that of Nightmare, for the mere reason that it’s terrible and completely fails to be scary, which is awesome for me because I get to watch the movie without worrying about how I’ll sleep at night). I didn’t enjoy the acting too much, but I really appreciated it as a crack movie. I like the role reversed for which the girls got the “stereotyped role for males”and viceversa. The women get to be the cool guys and the dude is the cute face only there to be looked at. It’s good to show this role reversal, for the sake of people seeing how stupid gender roles are. There probably are too many fart jokes, but it’s not like the original movie was smarter on the comical side, so overall it can be funny.

I call it an average movie I could have done without watching. But after seeing the angry mob of brainless sexist boys (and men) claiming that female ghostbusters ruin their childhood, I’m inclined to reconsider my idea: maybe we did need this movie. Even if just as a provocation.

Originally, I thought I’d watch the movie, write a mostly negative review and be done with it. Now, though, I want to address the reaction of the web. When people start insulting a movie because it has a female lead where there originally was a male lead, it’s not about the movie anymore.

If before I thought they should have avoided making this reboot, now I believe it was the right choice. It might not be successful as a film, but it certainly is as a provocation.

Though I still think that in order to fill the lack of representation on screen we should make new movies, not retell known ones. We shouldn’t suddenly change the colour of Hermione’s skin, we should write a new dark-skinned character as powerful as Hermione. But that’s harder and lately TV fails to be original.

This new Ghostbusters is a needed provocation, if not a funny film.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. : another Marvel’s show


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an American television series that airs on the ABC channel.

The famous organization S.H.I.E.L.D. that appears in many movies of the Marvel (see The Avengers), is the protagonist in this TV show. The main characters are the new team assembled for Agent Coulson, together they will face alien threats and fight Hydra, the long-term enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The team is originally meant to include Agent Philip Coulson, the team leader who is seen dying in The Avengers, Agent Melinda May, the stoic pilot called “the Cavalry”, Agent Grant Ward, the “I work alone” guy, and Agents Fitzsimmons: Leo Fitz, engineer and Jemma Simmons, biochemist. Skye joins the team in the first episode, she is a hacker they encounter on the mission and she has a lot of trust to earn to fit in with the team.

As the storyline goes, it’s all pretty basic: spies, secret agents, big bad guys, new technologies, cool planes and weapons, friendships and betrayals. Nothing new, yet a good spy show/movie can always be appreciated, but it needs a good acting and some good stuff in the story. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely lacks a good acting – and I can tell you, having to watch a few episodes in Italian was pure torture because it gets even worse with the dubbing, it’s painful to watch.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of those shows you watch in a lazy afternoon when you’re chilling on the couch, nothing on your mind, your brain happily dozing off. Surely it’s not a series you can actively follow, although I tried for the sake of it. I caught the first (second, really) episode by mistake, I was at my father’s – I’ve got nothing to do when I’m there – and I had just enjoyed a long, late lunch, my stomach was full and my brain taking a nap; the episode didn’t look so bad if we pass over the acting.

Reasons to watch it:
1) Skye, Jemma and Fitz are very cute;
2) May is kinda bad ass;
3) you’ve got nothing else to do.

Reasons not to watch it:
1) the acting is very poor;
2) the storyline is lacking as well;
3) you’ve heard it all before;
4) the characters are really not that interesting;
5) you have better things to do.

Once Upon A Time: The fairy soap opera

 

Once Upon A Time is an American television series about fairy tales and drama.

The main characters come from the most known fairy tales, at the beginning of the first season they all are in Storybrooke, trapped in town by a curse cast by the Evil Queen, Regina Mills, who’s now the mayor of the small town in Maine.

The curse is destined to be broken by Emma Swan, Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter; when that happens everyone will remember who they are, for the curse made them forget their story and created new memories for everyone who was transported in Storybrooke.

Henry is the one who brings Emma in town to break the curse, he is Regina’s adopted son and Emma’s biological son.

The complicated relationships between the characters soon turn the show into a soap opera with a fairy tale storyline.

 

Regina Mills is the Evil Queen, she is Henry’s adoptive mother and her love for him is what will bring her to change a lot through the seasons.

Emma Swan is the Savior, she’s Henry’s biological mother and she’s destined to break the curse and help everybody get their happy ending.

Mary Margaret Blanchard is Snow White, she sent Emma to the real world to save her from the curse.

David Nolan is Prince Charming, he is Snow’s side kick husband and appears to serve no other purpose than to be a loving and heroic partner at her side.

Henry Mills is Regina and Emma’s son, he is the true believer.

Mr. Gold is Rumplestiltskin, he’s the one who gave Regina the curse, believing it could be his way to find his son.

Other story tale characters are Belle from The Beauty and the Beast, who is in love with Mr. Gold (who represents all Rumplestiltskin, the Crocodile and the Beast), August/Pinocchio, Ruby/Red Riding Hood, Captain Killian Hook Jones, Robin Hood and Zelena/Wicked Witch of the West, Mulan, Aurora, Maleficent, Crudelia…

 

The idea of making a family show gathering all the fairy tales could have been a good one – “could” being the key word. The acting is poor, the only ones who give a good performance are Lana Parilla as Regina/Evil Queen and Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin, the storyline becomes boring very quickly, the plot twists are not as spectacular as they want to seem. The characters have no real depth, the insight they flaunt is trivial and obvious and doesn’t surprise one bit.

One good thing about the show is that I think they portrayed the characters well from a stereotyped point of view, meaning each character has the traits you would imagine from the stereotype of the fairy tale, luckily that’s not all that makes the character. It’s just nice to watch actors play those characters as they were animations like the Disney originals. The costumes are good too, which is always nice in a show.

If you have time to waste, want to have a laugh or are really bored to death, watch it. Otherwise, do find something better to occupy your time with.

 

Maleficent: the lost wings of Disney

It has been some years now since Disney has started producing new movies retelling the stories from their animated film. I have been mostly disappointed with those, but Maleficent stands proud among the others.

The idea of showing Maleficent as a hero rather than a villain is a nice one, it is nice to see the story from a completely different prospective. And Angelina Jolie’s performance was simply stunning.

Maleficent is a good fairy at the beginning, she foolishly trusts the boy she fell for and is betrayed by him. At first her crime is only defending her home, but after the horrible betrayal she seeks revenge and her magic turns dark.

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The Shannara Chronicles: find the chemistry


The Shannara Chronicles is an American fantasy drama television series based on The sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks, it premiered on MTV at the beginning of 2016 and a second season has already been confirmed.

Human civilization has been destroyed thousands of years ago, Elves are now the dominant race and demons are starting to return after being banished from the world, locked in the Ellcry tree, that is now dying.

The task to save the world falls upon the last Chosen, who just happens to also be the Elven princess Amberle. She has to go on a journey – because the good guys never manage to keep what they need to fight evil close and they always end up walking for a long time while the world is being destroyed – and her companions are Will, a half-human half-elf, and Eretria, a human and a rover.

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Blue is the warmest colour: worst lesbian movie?

Unfortunately I went to see Blue is the warmest colour to the cinema. All my friends were enthusiastic of it and my best friend at that time told me it was her favourite movie of the year. If she liked it so much, I told myself, I must go and see it on the big screen.

 I wish I hadn’t. I was disgusted and honestly a bit insulted by this movie everyone declared the icon of lesbian love. I saw very little love and a lot of unrealistic sex. They acclaimed the actresses for their performance but I’ve seen better acting watching the Italian actress Monica Bellucci in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

 Blue is the warmest colour is based on a graphic novel of the same name, which people say is much better than the film adaptation. I haven’t read it, so I couldn’t tell, but I guess it’s difficult to do worse than the movie.

The story is about a young girl who finds out she’s attracted to girls and begins to discover her sexuality. She falls in love with an artist and drama happens. A lot of drama. So much useless drama that it’s unrealistic even for a lesbian movie (lesbian movies are known to be always full of drama).

The sex scene was the most criticised part, and although I hated it, I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m glad that the director tried to do something new and challenging by letting it be explicit and without any censorship. But he didn’t manage to do a good job. It’s not a love scene, it’s porn. I agree that we should show love more freely, I agree that we shouldn’t care about scandalizing people, but porn is not love-making.

My impression of it was that of a movie directed by a man for men. The sex scene is obscene and likely similar to what a man’s fantasy about lesbians could be.

Viola di Mare: Italian LGBT movie

 

 Surprise surprise! We have an original Italian lesbian movie! Viola di mare (Purple sea) is a love story between two women in sexist times, in a land (Sicily) where is hard to be different.

 Sara and Angela are childhood friends, but it’s when Sara comes back after years away that they actually fall in love. That is when the sparkle finally gives birth to a fire and they cannot run from those feelings.

 But people don’t forgive being weird, women have to marry men and carry children, that is their worth, that is their only purpose. And so one of them has to change, one of them has to look like a man, so that they can be together.

 Angela dies, a delicate boy taking her place in Sara’s arms.

 Viola di mare is a story of no easy love, it’s a story of happiness and pain, grief and hiding. It’s the story of a lesbian couple from the south in the 19th Century.

 It’s not among my favourite LGBT movies, but it’s a nice one. There aren’t many Italian LGBT movies and this is among the good ones.