So bad it’s…bad

Some of the Indigenous folks I follow on Mastodon were very displeased regarding some joke about smallpox blankets or something similar. Was kinda’ glad I didn’t go. Though the real reason is an automatic rejection of toy commercials stretched out to film length. I guess I’d watch if it was pirated, though. That’s how I feel about Polanski, too. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m aware of that and am extremely tolerant. I watch plenty of things I don’t see eye to eye on. I went to Barbie (2023) fully aware I probably wouldn’t like it yet hoping to be surprised. I remain hopeful and still do. The thing is when something isn’t for a particular audience there used to be an attempt to transcend that intent to somewhat appeal to everyone. I didn’t feel that here. It was so all in and if you aren’t already all in it leaves you behind. And on top of that I felt spoken down to and the movie operated on modern comedy dimensions I have increasingly disliked since There’s Something About Mary (1998). It wasn’t my movie but further it wasn’t a lot of people’s movie. Not that it has to be but popular entertainment used to be for everyone not select audiences. Its success proves it found fans and more power to it. I simply am not one of them.

The LEGO Movie really paved the way for the self-aware deconstructionist toy movie genre. Barbie is a part of that and I for one love that such a genre even exists. I liked the LEGO Movie quite a bit more than Barbie but I did like them both. Granted, being a male with no sisters growing up it’s easy to see why I might relate more to one vs. the other but I’m happy that either movie can exist A) with a personality, B) with a genuine sense of humor, and C) without feeling like the whole endeavor is a giant commercial for toys (even if it kinda is, it still feels less like a giant commercial than Mac & Me did).

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It was also nice to have a movie about girls and women and empowerment and patriarchy at a level that wasn’t too intellectual for my daughter to understand and put in a package she would pay attention to.

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It’s a case of quality not theme. Female empowerment and men? So many films did it far more effectively. Roman Holiday (1953), La Strada (1954), It Happened One Night (1934), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Silence of the Lambs (1991) [Hello Patriarchy!!!], Terms of Endearment (1983), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), The Post (2017) [Many of the same themes and not as obvious], Julia (1977) [Ditto with great performances], The Accused (1988) [Ditto], Copycat (1995), Blood Simple (1984), Fargo (1996), Titanic (1997), The Hours (2002), Black Widow (2021) [Nearly identical, better movie], The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Jackie Brown (1997), Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), The Exorcist (1973) [Ellen owns the movie], Rear Window (1954) [She reads what she wants in that final shot and the song is hers], Million Dollar Baby (2004), Changeling (2008), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) [Strong women who stand up to Tracy], The Sound of Music (1965) [Maria is empowered by staying herself], Driving Miss Daisy (1989) [Opinated muscular matriarch], To Catch a Thief (1955), Network (1976) [Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight!!!], Oppenheimer (2023) [Emily Blunt is on fire], As Good As It Gets (1997) [Helen Hunt putting men in their place], Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) [Women are the dominant force], Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) [The Same], Panic Room (2002), Hannibal.(2001), The Piano (1993), Skyfall (2012) [M Surrounded By Men], The Martian (2015) [Jessica Chastain, Kirsten Wiig, Kate Mara, Mackenzie Davis], Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Molly’s Game (2017), The Contender (2000) [Joan Allen holding toe to toe with heavyweights], The Bourne Supremacy (2004) [Allen steals the movie], Captain Marvel (2019 [Larson, Bening, Empowerment Everywhere], Wonder Woman (2017), Avatar (2009), Starship Troopers (1997) [Many strong women], Casino (1995), Johnny Guitar (1954), Dolores Claiborne (1995) [Women are the most interesting characters], The Intern (2015) [A textbook of role inversion, Anne Hathaway dominates], Interstellar (2014) [Hathaway and Chastain save humanity], Halloween (1978) [Jamie Lee Curtis stands up to evil], The Abyss (1989) [Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio rules the roost], Twister (1996) [Hunt is the driving force].

I LOVE all these films. They have great messages. Women take center stage in many of them. And the storytelling is strong and no one feels like a stereotype. My issue is depth, vibrancy of elements, and balance of storytelling. I watch films repeatedly and those that last are the ones that have you at hello. And keep you there. When you lose yourself to the story those I find infinitely better than the ones always telling you about it.

Anyway thank you for being a great dad and caring about your daughter enough to want her to have that message. I guess for me (and your mileage always varies) I found others better at the attempt and better movies as well. We all like what we like. Thanks.

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None of the movies you listed have conversations about patriarchy. Some of the ones you listed also baffle me. Gone With the Wind shows Scarlett happily smiling the morning after Rhett carries her upstairs while she screams for him to stop. There is nothing empowering about that and it’s a terrible lesson to teach.

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Scarlett is too much woman for Rhett and he leaves because he can’t handle her. Scarlett is a force of nature and too strong for her husband. She is the ultimate survivor and survives him. The topic of Patriarchy is lived and visualized in every one of those films in various forms. Either in effect, representation, or plot. It’s there without overtly dominating the narrative with it. If you want that? Go with Barbie (2023). I watch film for stories, absorption, and diversion. When a topic so covers a film, is it storytelling any more? We each have that perspective and that’s what we bring to it. I’m appreciative for your time and thoughts. Sorry for going on.

P.S. Movies from the past may distract us with many things. My thought was on the character of Scarlett not the era she inhabited.

I’m sorry, but you’re calling a movie where a woman submits to sexual assault and enjoys it empowering for women, which suggests to me that you don’t really understand what is empowering.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want my daughter to think “if I lay back and enjoy it when my husband forces me to have sex with him, I’ll be resilient.”

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I was thinking of the final scene and how the film ends with her free and in control. Staring out at Tara and her surroundings. I don’t condone or approve of the scene you mention. Life is “brutish, ugly, and short” and people are complicated accepting things they shouldn’t, not knowing better, or being told to not care by society at the time. None of that is cool. Nor is it acceptable. But it does happen. Unfortunately. I always thoughts the arts were supposed to convey uncomfortable realities and provide a snapshot of our hopeful progression through the heart of darkness of the human soul. Some of these stories are stamped by time and should only be viewed with adult eyes. As a survivor of abuse myself, I sleep at night by carrying on and becoming the best me I can. I hate victimization with a red hot passion. If art can help us carry on, learn, and be better despite their imperfections and mistakes I take note of it. I’ve said enough. Props to you on the conversation.

Providing such uncomfortable realities is fine for an adult. But girls are not women and girls need these lessons too. And put in a language that isn’t too adult and isn’t too scary for them. Which is why movies like this are a benefit for children.

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Fair enough. I can go with that. We need material for the right age. I get that.

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Lastly many of the films I mention but not all should be seen by adult audiences. Sorry for not saying that upfront. I tried to think of more G Rated examples and couldn’t think of them.

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Cheap, Lousy Dirty Movies Less Than An Hour Long Double Feature:

Alice in Acidland (1969)

Narrated throughout, with no recorded dialogue at all, by a stern-voiced man and Alice herself. She goes from innocent to smoking, drinking, using marihuana, and cavorting with both men and women. Forty-five minutes of black-and-white nudie stuff, then ten minutes of full color, arty, LSD trip (still with nudie content) that ends with Alice in a strait-jacket.

‘Necromania’: A Tale of Weird Love! (1971)

Ed Wood, under a phony name, wrote and directed. Young couple shows up at a supposedly spooky house (it looks like a plain old house to me) in hopes of helping the man with his problem. Random sex scenes until the woman who is supposed to help (she’s a necromancer, we’re told) appears in a coffin and the man jumps in there with her.

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Doctor Dracula (1974/1978/1983)

Schlockmeister Al Adamson took footage from something called Lucifer’s Women (1974), added some new footage in 1978, and got it shown on TV in 1983. I think.

The incoherent plot has something to do with the reincarnation of Svengali being mixed up with Satanists who are planning to sacrifice the reincarnation of Trilby to extend their own lives. Meanwhile, a woman tries to find out the cause of her mother’s death. (In the very opening, we already know she was a victim of a vampire/psychiatrist, our Doctor Dracula.) The conflicted Svengali – he literally splits into two people at one point – tries to save Trilby. John Carradine is around as one of the Satanists. Very talky and dull.

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