As the eldest sibling in the family, I’m the caregiver when need be. Lately I’ve been helping my father take care of my younger sister. Since she’s six, I’ve had to open my horizons due to what kind of shows she likes to watch. It feels weird to admit, but some of these shows aren’t bad. As I found myself watching these shows week to week, I was rather surprised about what kind of decisions the writers and directors made for them. Sometimes these shows covered mature topics, and not always in a subtle way. They touch on racial issues, supporting female protagonists, and family issues. One day I sat down and re-watched Frozen, and I thought about its flaws and what the movie does right. The more I thought about it, the more I realized these kid shows are pushing past tropes better than modern Disney movies are!
As a director, I appreciate his aesthetic far more than any other director I could name off the top of my head. As a person, I find his sense of humor resonates with my own, and honestly I haven’t watched a single one of his films that I haven’t enjoyed or seen a cameo of his that I haven’t smiled at. However, I am not a fan of Grease. “Whoa Rin,” you may be saying right now. “Chill out with the non sequiturs, you’re not even a hundred words into this thing.” Hear me out.
Now, I’m not the only person on this blog who harbors a special kind of loathing for this musical—the kind of loathing that only comes after loving something for so long, then realizing how problematic it is and not being able to ignore said problematic things. I’m sure most of us have been there. Grease’s sexism is inexcusable and, though Rizzo is still my girl, the worst thing I could do would be to write off these problems simply because of a catchy tune. Yet in cutting this musical out of my life, where am I going to get my fill of light-hearted 50’s style Americana? Enter John Waters with his musical Cry-Baby.
Who’s excited for another Ghibli movie? I am! After being not incredibly intrigued about The Wind Rises, I’ll admit, I kind of stopped keeping an ear out for Ghibli news; however, the internet is going wild over their newest animated feature.
It was only a few years ago that my local Blockbuster was having their “going out of business” sale. I was taking the chance to buy a few movies with what little money I had, when I stumbled upon the film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The case art alone was interesting. It showed four men in white suits surrounding a mirror that showed a landscape resembling Candy Land. On the back of the box, it mentioned that the movie showed Heath Ledger in his last film role. Considering the movie was only $3, I didn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t buy it. To this day it stands as one of my favorite movies, not because of the movie itself, but for the potential the story had.
Coffee by JackVelvet is a fic I read back in the day at the height of the Nolanverse Batman craze. I was obsessed with the pairing Jonathan Crane/Bruce Wayne (aka Scarecrow/Batman), which was, unsurprisingly, a rare pairing. It is just like me to get hooked on a pairing almost no one is writing about. And when I did find any Wayne/Crane fic, a lot of it was just smut. No lengthy fic, no plot, no character development; it was boring. There were maybe two other lengthy, well-written Wayne/Crane fics out there, and I had already read them both. And then, dearest JackVelvet (admittedly a friend of mine from my LiveJournal days) wrote Coffee, and blew me away.
I mean look at all the chemistry they have! And their names rhyme! Seriously there should be more fic for these two.
Not only is this pairing a rare one, but both Batman and Scarecrow hate each other. And while many fanfic authors would idly brush that hatred aside in favor of sex and romance, JackVelvet takes the time to build a believable setting in which these two characters would grow to fall in love with each other.
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve adored musicals. If this is the case, you may be wondering to yourself, “well Rin, how come you haven’t written any Theatre Thursday posts?” My answer to that it is that while I love them, I tend to watch the same ones over and over again, so my amassed knowledge really isn’t all that impressive. And, when it comes to the musicals I have seen, I’m an unrepentant snob. (Don’t even talk to me about the 2007 release of Sweeney Todd.) However, as attached as I am to the musicals I’ve seen, I don’t like to completely write off re-makes until I’ve actually seen them for myself, and after Lady Saika wrote a post on the bubbly musical Hairspray, I figured it was about time that I finally sat down and watched it.
Hairspray, at least the 1988 John Waters film, has been one of my favorite films for a long while, beautiful in its kitschy glory and tongue-in-cheek look back on small town America during the 1960’s. (The plot is mostly the same as the musical’s, so I’m not going to go over it. If you want to know more, take a look at Saika’s post.) Yet I wouldn’t call the source material a musical, not really: it’s more of a dance-ical. There are songs—a whole album’s worth of songs—but there’s no singing involved, only small interludes of dancing. This already gives the musical adaptation an interesting challenge. And after watching it, I have to admit they handled it pretty well, even if some of my favorite scenes didn’t make it in. Unfortunately, I don’t have many other kind words for the musical. When comparing the two, I found that they actually removed a lot of the empowering moments from the original movie in addition to removing the agency from some of the major characters.