And look! Her stupid mask is removable! You would not believe how long it took me to discover this information. In a spectacular failure of communication, both the Hot Toys official site and the Sideshow Toys official site [= official US dealer for Hot Toys] showed the doll only with her mask on and no indication whatsoever of whether the damn thing was permanently attached to her face. No one wants a doll with something permanently attached to its face [well, unless it's Bane -- that's okay because we never see him without his mask]. That just reduces the versatility of the fig drastically.
P.S. The movie was all right, but there were only 2 female characters, Selina Kyle and Thalia Al-Ghul. Otherwise, Gotham was made up entirely of men. How boring, not to mention unrealistic. I also could have gone for at least 15 minutes more of Anne Hathaway. The screen lit up whenever she appeared!
EDIT: The picture I got was not actually of the doll. Still not sure if her stoooooopid mask comes off. Have asked Sideshow Toy.
For a Lifetime Xmas movie, The Road to Xmas was surprisingly tolerable. This is probably because the movie itself was a road-trip romance that happened to occur arround Xmas, rather than a film in which Xmas plays a starring role as the holiday of cliched and enforced happiness for all.
Because I could watch Road to Xmas without gagging on holiday cheer, its problematic elements stood out all the more strongly: 1) homophobia and 2) domestic violence.
You see...the photographer's fiance wasn't just having an affair with some random woman...he was sexing it up with the male wedding planner. After unbelievable excuses, the fiance protests that he really wanted the wedding between him and the photographer to work out, which makes him seem like not only a cheater, but a cheater deluded enough to think that a straight marriage would somehow keep both parties happy when one party is secretly gay. After an entirely heteronormative movie, two gay characters appear only to provide a devastating [yet convenient] end to the photographer and fiance's relationship, thus reinforcing the idea that gay people are selfish homewreckers.
I also objected to the domestic violence at the end of the film. When she discovered that her fiance was gay, the photographer swung her fists at him, slapping him and pounding him in the chest. He said something like, "Please don't hit me!" or "Why are you hitting me?" Her response was something like, "It's the only thing I can think to do, and it feels good." The photographer's blows against her fiance were shown to be ineffectual and comic, but just make the assailant a man and the victim a woman to see how chilling this exchange truly is. Can you imagine a male character justifying violence against a female character by saying, "It feels good"? Most people would recognize such a situation as the abusive behavior it is. When the assailant is female, however, and the victim male, the situation is minimized, diminished and played for comic relief so that the violence seems more palatable, even acceptable and dismissable! Vomitorious.
2. Despite Dorothy's fervent proclamation that "There's no place like home," her home pales in comparison to Oz. Let's see -- at home, Miss Gulch tries to kill Toto; her guardians, Em and Henry, dismiss her constantly and talk over her; even the hired hands pay no real attention to her. To top it all off, the place is in boring sepia and infested with tornadoes. No fun at all. By contrast, Oz contains Technicolor glory, magic and Dorothy's acclamation as a hero just for being the rather nice, forthright, polite, unassuming girl that she is. No one in Kansas accepts Dorothy for who she is, but, in Oz, everyone valorizes her character. Why does she wish to return to a place that's so actively hostile toward her?
3. Wow, that movie version is looooong. Takes about 50 minutes to collect all 4 companions together. I'm sure it could have been done in half the time, but many of the songs, if not all, would have to be cut.
I had never watched Die Hard (1988), with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman [yay!], before, so I watched it streaming last night. ‘Tis a silly film – are we really supposed to believe that Willis’ character, John McClane, routs the baddies while not wearing any shoes? Come on now!
I also noticed that Die Hard seems to share with Fatal Attraction a reactive misogynist hatred of the independent woman. The specter of independence raised by Holly, John’s estranged wife, who dares to use her maiden name and separate from her husband for her career, is ultimately subsumed into the patriarchal family mode. In fact, the whole movie sets up a situation wherein the wealth and success of the Nakitomi Company, where Holly works, brings the terrorist attack upon itself. Therefore, we can see Hans Gruber [Alan Rickman, yay!] and co. as narrative punishment for Holly’s proto-feminist attitude. She’s so uppity, being a successful career woman and having a Rolex, that she deserves to be smote with the degradation of victimhood at the hands of the terrorists. But she learns her lesson; by the end, she’s using her married name again, happily signifying that she belongs to the manly-man action hero of John McClane. What a load of sexist crap.
Also this weekend I watched a weird three-part miniseries, Tin Man, the SyFy Channel’s story inspired by The Wizard of Oz. I really liked looking at the world, a combination of majestic Vancouver forests and glitzy, vaguely 1930s cities where everyone wears weird hats. Grey machinery mixed with verdant landscape in a cross between steampunky dystopia and wildlands utopia. However, I felt that the pace was rather draggy, especially in the middle episode [middle episodes of trilogies almost always suffer from sluggishness]. I liked the fact that a sisterly bond between the Dorothy equivalent and the Wicked Witch equivalent redeemed the Witch equivalent’s character, but I disliked the fact that monkey bats came out of the Witch equivalent’s heaving cleavage. That was just SILLY.
To get an idea of what I'm talking about with compensatory gifts, look at a few characters from comics and movies. The X-Men's Professor Xavier, who has mobility impairments requiring the use of an electric wheelchair, "compensates" by having a mutation that allows him to basically move mentally among all the mutants on the globe. Another comic superhero, Daredevil, gets blinded by radioactive waste, but conveniently compensates by developing his non-sight senses to superhuman levels. Another character with blindness, from the movies this time, is Ivy, protagonist of M. Night Shyamalan's 2004 movie The Village, who is blind, but somehow sees the goodness in people instead. As you can see, in each of these cases, the characters' super abilities are directly tied to their disabilities. In fact, their super abilities all offer workarounds for their disabilities, effectively canceling out the characters' disabilities.
In an especially egregious example of compensatory endowment, Daphne from Heroes has the power of superspeed. Somehow her zippiness "compensates for" and overrides her cerebral palsy, which is a disability so shameful that, when she loses her speed and has to go back to wearing leg braces [THE HORROR!] and using crutches [OH WOE!] in 3.10, "The Eclipse, Part I," she hides from the entire world in ignominy. In Heroes, Daphne's CP is equated with tragedy, limitation, reclusivity, sadness and rejection. Her compensatory gift, super speed, provides her with glamour, adventure, riches and happiness. Yet, though she may seem to have some interesting contrast between her past, disabled self and her current, speedy self, she really doesn't. Heroes, like all other lazy pieces of pop culture artwork that use the trope of compensatory strengths, shows no interest in exploring the psychological flux that might realistically go along with great strengths in one area and great deficits in another. Nope, Heroes just wants to make a dramatically compelling character, so it gives Daphne a tragically crippled [I'm using this word because you can see the show thinking it] past. Wow. That's so deep.
What the lazy shorthand of compensatory endowment ignores is the simple reality of actual people with actual disabilities, to wit: Amazingly enough, people with disabilities don't necessarily go around bemoaning the fact that they have disabilities. In fact, people with disabilities are much more likely to bemoan the ignorance, stupidity and inaccessibility of people and institutions. Some people with disabilities even accept that they have disabilities and, instead of "overcoming" them or "compensating" for them, accept their disabilities as a fact of life and go on about their business. And, stupendously enough, when you take a look at the types of lives that people with disabilities are living, they're not, at base, fundamentally different from the lives of people without disabilities [although people with disabilities do daily battle with ableist people and institutions that may not be apparent to people without disabilities].
Ya know -- sometimes characters with disabilities are just your average, normal, run-of-the-mill people who DON'T feel the need for pity-based super-endowments given to them by lazy, paternalistic, condescending creators to soothe the supposed horrid angst that characters with disabilities have over not being people without disabilities. Newsflash to dipshits: Creating a disabled character with a "compensatory" ability is not inspiring, unusual, original or desirable. By making a character's notable traits the narrative inverse of his or her disability, you still end up defining the character by his or her disability, and that is a dehumanizing, reductionist simplification demonstrating only your limited, shallow imagination and your inability to see people with disabilities as people first.
Do you know why it will be horrible? Well, first of all, the presence of both SMG and her husband Freddy Prinze Jr. tells you that it will tank. Despite possessing talent, the two have no business and career acumen, as evidenced by their previous collaborations Scooby Doo I and II. [In fact, SMG's entire movie career, like Tim Curry's, is pretty much a string of disappointments, and I think they both need really smart agents to get them in showcases for their special gifts, but I digress.]
Second of all, the producers of Shrek are behind this one. Now, for all that I laughed when I saw Shrek I [not II or III so much], I don't think that it was as attractive or subversive as people claim. The franchise tries too hard to be clever, but it just ends up reinforcing stupid gender and sexual stereotypes. I smell the same problem emanating from Happily N'Ever After, particularly in its problematic recycling of characters from Shrek. That purple cat thing in HNA looks like Donkey, while the blond prince in HNA looks like the blond prince in Shrek, and even Ella in HNA reminds me of Fiona. Such uncreative recycling cannot be saved even by the flamboyant evil genius of Sigourney Weaver and any acting talent SMG may happen to evince.
I feel sad for SMG. BTVS provided such a star vehicle and showcase for her, but her brainless career choices since then slide her further into disrepute. I respect her acting talent, but I can't respect her as a person because she's really not that smart. She strikes me as someone with talents who doesn't know how to use them, rather than an artist that has knowledge and craft of his or her art. She stands in opposition to David Bowie, who [besides having way more experience than she does] just emanates wit, intelligence, insight and a dry sense of humor in relation to his art. He would be a perfect example of an exemplary celebrity, except that he smokes.
Where can you find a girl that nurses a unicorn, a dragon that speaks like a stereotyped Chinese and an evil guy named [just in case you missed that he was evil] Coeur de Noir or Blackheart? It's all in the early draft of Legend, that overstuffed 1984 fantasy train wreck in which Tim Curry is the best thing and, shuddersomely enough, Tom Cruise without pants is NOT the worst.
The Loremistress has so obligingly given me a link to my favorite draft script of all time, that of 1984's Legend.