Jupiter Ascending is a Gorgeous, Amazing Disaster of a Movie

jupiter ascending posterWhen I reviewed the trailer for this movie a couple of months ago, I was massively optimistic about how excellent this movie was going to be. Now that I’ve finally watched it, I have to concede: Jupiter Ascending was by no means excellent, but it was rad as hell. Spoilers after the jump!

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Trailer Tuesdays: Jupiter Ascending

I’ve been seeing tidbits about this movie here and there for months, but I only just took the time to check out the trailer. To my surprise, it actually looks like promising sci-fi fare—although I guess since it’s coming from the Wachowski sibs, I shouldn’t be surprised.

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The Book of Life… The Día de los Muertos Fiesta We Didn’t Need

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos! It’s November 2nd, known commonly in Christian liturgical calendars as All Souls’ Day, and frequently in Hispanic countries as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) or Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased). Festivals to honor the ancestors are a universal cultural phenomenon, but the expression of “Day of the Dead” in the popular imagination with its characteristic trappings is a confluence of folk Catholicism and pre-Christian Mesoamerican (Aztec in particular) indigenous traditions from parts of Mexico. The 2014 American film The Book of Life, which just opened a few weeks ago, is a rollicking romp set with this backdrop of Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, directed and co-written by Mexican animator and creator Jorge Gutiérrez. Though I am of a different Hispanic descent (Ecuadorian to be exact), I was excited to see a children’s movie celebrating any Latin American culture when the vast majority have backdrops of European folklore. I went in hoping for a lot, and left disappointed and offended.

The-Book-of-LifeSpoilers after the jump.

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Theatre Thursdays: Magic Mike… the Musical?

So I don’t think this movie is even out in theaters yet (I have a hefty contingent of female friends waiting to see it with me when it’s released) but hey, the people at Rotten Tomatoes think it’s gonna be pretty good.

What does this have to do with theatre, you say? Well, before the first carload of folks attracted to a bunch of traditionally hot male figures has even piled into their local cinema, the people behind this move are in talks to make a Magic Mike the musical.

It wouldn’t the first time a show about naked guys has made it to the Great White Way—Naked Boys Singing has been Off-Broadway for ages, and The Full Monty has the honor of preceding Mike as a movie-turned-musical about male stripping. As one website I found put it, it’s less a matter of getting an audience and more of a matter of how many repeat audiences they’ll have.

Besides it being about a musical and therefore tangentially qualifying it for the theatre-themed post, what is the relevance of this news to a blog about feminism? Well, there are a couple things I wanna talk about.

First, although it might be slow and a bit hackneyed at first, this movie is somewhat of a breakthrough in terms of gaze—in that is it shot from and clearly marketed to a female gaze rather than the male gaze.  (What is the male gaze, you ask? Think about when you are shown a ‘sexy’ female in a movie, how the camera scans her body in the same way a heterosexual male viewer would.)

This, I think, is part of the market finally coming to terms with something women have known a long time: women are sexual creatures, too. Call it the only good thing to come out of 50 Shades of Grey; call it whatever you like. But there it is. Sure, we like sweet romance. But sometimes we like to go watch hot guys romp around while undressing, and that’s totally okay. America is finally coming to terms with female desire, and that’s a good thing. So hopefully this movie is a breakaway success, and we can all go see them do that some more in New York while also singing.