Richard Armitage tangentially related, mammoth edition, part 2

So, here’s the rest. Wow. Finally I feel like I know what’s going on again. Obviously for some some of this will be ICYMI.

Brain on Fire (out on Netflix a few days ago):

Ocean’s 8:

Castlevania 2:

  • Forbes calls the choice of Armitage “inspired”.

The Bloody Chamber:

Collateral attractions:

Fan art:

  • I thought this was supercute.

Industry issues:

~ by Servetus on June 24, 2018.

15 Responses to “Richard Armitage tangentially related, mammoth edition, part 2”

  1. ugh. I watched Brain on Fire this weekend, and saw Ocean’s 8 last weekend. Were they the best films I ever saw? No, but they weren’t the worst either. Are critics just looking for things to criticize? (I know, that sounds redundant). Can’t we just appreciate a film as entertainment without looking for anything more? (I’m particularly hacked off by the whole “are Bullock’s and Blanchett’s characters meant to be gay?” Who cares?) Sorry to rant, Serv! Hope all is well with you and your dad

    Liked by 3 people

    • I do think there is a role for thinking critically or pedagogically about things that are “just entertainment.” However, I think part of the current problem is that there used to be this field or genre of writing, “film criticism.” It was relatively disciplined and it had rules. The internet has had the effect democratizing reviews, but also introducing a lot of people as both authors and readers of film criticism who either don’t do it very well or don’t know what it is they are reading. Too many professional critics have gone over just to listing factors why one should see or not see a film, but not thinking about what the purpose of criticism is, which is to tell us what is interesting and successful about the film (and what is not, for the sake of improvement). Another prime task of criticism is to tell the reader who should see the film. In the age of these blockbusters there seems to be an audience demand that every film meet the needs of every audience member, and that is just not possible.

      IMO, Brain on Fire was pretty not good. Ocean’s 8 was excellent for what it was, which was light entertainment. That said, Ocean’s 8 profited from the whole current wave of discussion about women’s situation in Hollywood, so it’s not surprising that it would get a lot of snarky reviews on that level.

      re: who cares about whether the characters are gay? I think if you’re a member of a minority that isn’t often seen on mainstream screens in positive ways, you might be eager to see that theme discussed openly rather than in a hidden way. Does it matter to me if they were lovers? Not really, but I don’t see myself (speaking as a straight white middle class female) underrepresented in those senses in the films I see.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Stimme dir absolut zu, ganz besonders in Bezug auf den letzten Abschnitt. Es ist leicht zu sagen, dass das doch alles völlig unerheblich ist, wenn man zu denen gehört, die in den Medien ganz selbstverständlich (auch) positiv repräsentiert werden. Heterosexuelle Gefühlsanwandlungen werden gezeigt, ob sie für den Handlungsverlauf von Bedeutung sind oder nicht. Alle anderen Liebesvarianten werden allerhöchstens angedeutet, weil sie (für die Handlung) angeblich unerheblich sind oder sie enden tragisch. Ich finde es nicht schwer, die Frustration über die fehlende Repräsentation zu verstehen und wundere/ärgere mich über die Haltung der Medienschaffenden in der “freien Welt”.
        Hoffentlich geht es mit deinem Vater weiterhin aufwärts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good points on the use of criticism. I totally agree.

        And my point about gay characters in the movie isn’t so much about them being gay, it was more about critics (and others) searching for meaning or themes in film when the creators didn’t intend that meaning to be in there. If Ocean’s 8 wanted to present a gay relationship, that would be awesome. As you say, it would have represented a minority in a positive way and would in no way have impacted my enjoyment of the film. If that were the intent of the filmmakers then i wish they would have been more overt about it instead of leaving viewers to speculate.

        I’m sounding very cranky this weekend. I think it’s because I did some research yesterday on the 2018 and 2020 elections here in the US and I just got depressed. Maybe RA will do a new photo shoot or something and cheer us all up!

        Liked by 1 person

        • At the risk of alienating you: so imagine if for however long, a century, your entire life, you’d always had to either accept that mainstream media were not portraying “your kind” of relationship, or else use that media in your own way in order to get what you needed from it. This is akin to girls who identify with male heroes of children’s books (which is really common) or even something like Bagginshield. It’s pretty clear, I think, that canonical Tolkien would have no room for queer Thorin / Bilbo, and also that the film showed nothing of that. In Tolkin’s own age, men had very close friendships that were not romantic in the way that a gay relationship might be today. But still I read many people saying at the time with regard to the scene with the acorn that the filmmakers and actors had thought very much about Bagginshield and were hinting in that direction. In other words: if you never see those things on the screen and the potential is there, you may read it that way because it’s a way to make the film your own.

          To me, Ocean’s 8 is more ambiguous than The Hobbit. There’s a statement when Debbie and Tammy are talking about why they are setting up Claude that suggests a deeper relationship (“Lou and I were going through a rough patch’), whether romantic or not, and this is reinforced in the scene where Lou and Debbie are righting about whether to try to take Claude down. I personally did not notic those things on first view, or on second view take those moments as indicative of lesbian themes (I have issues with equating every kind of very close relationship with a sexual or a romantic one), and Bullock and Blanchett are on record as saying no, that was not intended. But i am a straight white woman. I can totally see why someone else might think that such a relationship was being implied — not least because that is exactly how such relationships have been portrayed on film for decades and decades: as implications and innuendos.

          I agree it would have been great / fine with me for any such relationship to be out in the open. The likelihood that that would happen with a broad appeal film like this approached zero, though — again reproducing this situation where people who want to see those films in their media read them into mainstream media because they don’t have any other options.

          I agree the 2018 and 2020 prospects are depressing / devastating.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ich glaube auch, dass weder Tolkien selbst, noch die Filme Bagginshield nahelegen. Selber bin ich nie auch nur ansatzweise auf die Idee gekommen und habe erst durch Fanvideos und Fanfiction davon erfahren. (Bei “Sherlock” bin ich auch nie auf die Idee gekommen, finde sie aber im Nachhinein sehr plausibel.)
            Aber wie du sagst, wenn es Möglichkeiten gäbe, sich selbst variantenreich genug in Filmen wiederzuerkennen, dann müssten Menschen, die nicht “weiß und heterosexuell” sind, sich nicht auf jeden noch so kleinen Hinweis stürzen.
            Dass es geht, hat Star Trek “Beyond” gezeigt, wo der Steuermann
            Lt. Sulu ganz selbstverständlich und ohne weitere Erklärung von Mann und Tochter abgeholt wird, als die Crew auf Urlaub geht und mit seinem Mann auch eine Party für Capt. Kirk besucht. Dass die Fans gerne Spock und Capt. Kirk zusammen sähen, steht auf einem anderen Blatt… 😉
            Bis die männlichen Hauptcharaktere in einem solchen Blockbuster romantisch verwickelt sein können/dürfen, muss ich wohl noch viel älter werden.

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s inconceivable to me that the Sherlock authors weren’t signaling in that direction. If in fact they weren’t, then they were queerbaiting, which is really reprehensible. But I am not a huge fan of the show or either of its leads, so my perspective is a different one.


  2. I watched Brain on Fire and I thought it was good. I also thought chloe did a good performance. Mr. Richard Armitage and Ms. moss were great. I haven’t seen ocean’s 8 yet because the theater in my town was destroyed by a hurricane so I have to wait for Netflix or on demand, but I did see the previews and read the comments about it and it seems like it is going to be a very good movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Brain on Fire — and wow, the theater was destroyed. That’s depressing in all kinds of ways.


  3. No alienation at all! Like I said, I’m just cranky.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I take Jamie East’s review in The Sun (dreadful rag) with a pinch of salt. He follows Dana Whatshername on Twitter, got involved in the nastiness on the thread and was very uncomplimentary when RA tweeted his reply. His remarks in the review just seemed personal and bitchy to me.


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