Friday, 26 June 2015

So Fetch Friday: Revisiting Movies

It's mostly been a quiet week without much going on outside of a few exceptions. I did volunteer with the Female Eye Film Festival during which I did get to see one interesting short film: A Short History of Madness. This was a French Canadian film about how mental illness was treated at different periods of Quebec's history all done through carefully choreographed dancing. I know, I was a little skeptical about it at first myself but it turned out to be a lot better than you'd expect. Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot else there that seemed worthwhile. I saw some of the other movies and shorts that were playing but I could never really get into any of them.

I finally got a chance to see Kingsman: The Secret Service. That was quite the movie and lots of action and humor. I could definitely see a lot of influence from various iconic espionage thrillers, most notably the various subversion and twists on classic clich├ęs from old Bond movies ("This ain't that kind of movie"). There was also the character of Merlin who seemed to be very unsubtle based on the various incarnations of Q. Of course, in addition to that there were some of the more bizarre jokes (Galahad and Valentine sitting down to an elegant dinner of fancy wine and... McDonald's?) that were quite amusing. Of course there was also the strong female lead which was a nice touch.

Outside of that, I haven't had much time for movies, though I did get a chance to revisit Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. One thing I will say about that one: most people say The Road Warrior is the best (at least out of the original three, Fury Road is offering some competition) but I personally think Beyond Thunderdome is a far more entertaining movie. Sure, it gets a bit weird at times and the title is a bit of a misnomer because Thunderdome is only a very brief (though important and memorable) part of the film (of course, the same could be said about the original Mad Max, since Max is only actually mad for the last fifteen minutes) but it's still a lot of fun.

One interesting thing I've noticed about the Mad Max series recently: you ever notice the changing gender dynamics over the entire series? In the first Mad Max, the only major female character was Max's wife Jessie, and for the most part she didn't have much of a role in the action and served mainly as a motivation for the male protagonist. In The Road Warrior, the focus is still primarily on the men but there are some supporting female roles given slightly more depth. Of course the one tough girl who gets any particularly notable role doesn't even get a name, but she is established to be a relatively competent with a compound bow.

Beyond Thunderdome then goes and introduces Tina Turner as the central villain, but it also has a teenage girl named Savannah saving Max's life and going on to become a leader to the other children as well as spending much of the rest of the film helping Max in his... adventures. Looking at this progression, going from next to no female characters to some small but notable female supporting roles to a female villain plus a female sidekick, it only makes sense that eventually we'd get to the point of having a female co-protagonist or, as ended up being the case for Fury Road, a female protagonist taking center stage while Max himself ends up being more like a sidekick.

I did manage to revisit one film I remember seeing once as a kid, The Pacifier; the weird Disney film where Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL who has to protect a group of kids from North Korean terrorists. I barely remembered anything of this movie outside of the "Red Baby" joke and the scene where Vin Diesel shows off his skills at the school gym. Surprisingly it's actually a lot of fun, though it made a lot more sense now that I actually watched it knowing what a "Navy SEAL" is, which meant a lot of the military jokes had more impact.

I finally finished The Killing and I'm not sure it was the best conclusion. I guess I could be glad that it didn't end on a cliffhanger but I didn't feel like the solution to the mystery was very clearly explained. In fact the last episode actually begins with the resolution and then went on to become what felt like an overly-long denouement. Admittedly it was at first a pleasant surprise to see Richmond make a cameo after being forgotten about for the last three seasons but I wasn't sure about his actions. His cameo appearance consisted of him trying to convince Linden to cover up the fact that her boss was a serial killer because that would cause damage to the public or something.

It didn't seem to be very well explained and the fact that he was trying to suppress facts for his own ends seemed a bit out of character (the entire driving force of his character in seasons 1 and 2 was that he was a politician trying to do the right thing). This seemed more like something Mayor Lesley Adams would have done, Richmond seems more like the kind of guy who would have wanted the public to know what happened so that measures can be taken to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

I guess now that I'm done with The Killing, I've got to find a new show to watch. Doctor Who will probably be back soon but I should see what else I can find in the meantime. I'll probably have to comb Netflix or HBO On Demand to see what I can find. I don't suppose anyone would like to offer up any suggestions?

Stuff From Other Bloggers

  • Jenna and Allie review Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Wendell Ottley reviews Nighcrawler. You already know my thoughts on that movie but he did offer a bit of insight on what it might have been that wasn't working for me.
  • Fisti shares a treatment he wrote for a screenplay adaptation of We're Going on a Bear Hunt. I've only read part of it so far but it's certainly an... unusual take on the famous children's story, turning into more of an art film about the relationship between a father and his children with the actual "bear hunt" being conveyed through the various games they play. At least that's the impression I got from the portion I read.


  1. The Mad Max progression feels appropriate. Hopefully this marks the start of something more consistent in Hollywood. I still need to see the Mad Max films, since I've seen none (not even Fury Road).

    And thank you so much for the link and for sharing your take on my take on the prose. I hope you get a chance to finish it, as I'd love to hear all your thoughts.

  2. Thanks for the link John :)
    I'm really glad you got to see Kingsman: The Secret Service. I only watched it recently too but I'm so glad that I did!
    - Allie

  3. Strangely, Beyond Thunderdome is the only Mad Max movie I've seen and I didn't like it. However, that was thirty or so years ago. I planning on seeing them all soon, especially after all the love the new is getting. Thanks for the link!

  4. Thanks for participating, John! I've heard so many great things about Kingsman. It's on my to-watch list of movies from this year.