Slandering Others Anonymously

All things movies – news, reviews, and podcasts

Monthly Archives: May 2010

State of the blog address

First of all, if you’ve been following this blog on Blogspot (aka Blogger), hello and welcome to our classier digs here on WordPress!

It’s been a fun time doing these reviews. It started out as something I just had to do for a class, then expanded into something I did more in my own free time. And I plan to continue on.

Initially, one of the goals of the blog was to review films from all different eras. This goal remains, even though I’ve been leaning heavily on newer releases lately. There are so many blogs that look at new releases, but a smaller number seem to focus on older films. I want to help point people who are interested in seeing older films toward stuff that’s worth watching.

On to administrative stuff… The look of the site will probably be evolving in the next little while. WordPress has about a billion themes (possibly an exaggeration), so I’m still browsing. I may also be purchasing a domain (same one as now, but without the “wordpress”). I’m also thinking about starting up a podcast, but I’m still mulling over what sort of format it might use.

And last on my list of grandiose ideas, I may start covering film news. That one’s maybe the least likely. So many places do it already, so it’s not like I’d be breaking any news. It’d really just be another facet of the site separate from movie reviews where I’d have a chance to offer up my thoughts.

The biggest enemy of this site right now is everything else in my life. Right now I’m at school, so that’s killing me. After that, I’ll be working (god knows where). I want to try to keep updating regularly, but keep in mind that I make no money from doing this, so updates may be sporadic, depending on the other demands in my life.

Hang in there and keep reading, I’ll do my best to keep writing.

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 is a mixed bag, saddled with an overcrowded plot and some uneven dialogue, but thanks to a few great performances and decent action scenes, it’s ultimately a successful sequel.

One of the film’s biggest issues stems from the timing of its release. An Avengers movie is on the horizon. This necessitates shoehorning in scenes with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and some barely there hints about Captain America. These help act as a set up for The Avengers, but they also distract from the main plotline here. Johansson and Jackson are reduced down to cameos (although Johansson does get some fun fight scenes), and they aren’t helped by the weak dialogue they’re given. The characters simply aren’t given time to develop, and don’t feel organic to the story.

The acting is generally good. Robert Downey Jr. is again perfect as Tony Stark, and Gwyneth Paltrow does a great job as Pepper Potts. The changing dynamic in the relationship between these two was one of my favourite elements of the film. The exchanges between them also contain the film’s best writing. That said, I was slightly crushed to see my favourite line from the trailer (the callback to Jerry Maguire) did not appear in the theatrical version of the film.

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Iron Man 2 and the death of film criticism

Iron Man 2 has been out for a few weeks now, so this is rather old news. But I’ve only just managed to find time to see it, so here we are.

My own review of the film will be coming shortly, but first I had to talk about something else.

Naturally, the first thing I did upon returning home from the Iron Man 2 screening tonight was to look for the most negative review I could find from a reasonably mainstream source. In this case, it turned out to be Liam Lacey’s write up for The Globe and Mail.

Let me start out by saying this is an awful review. Not because I disagree with it (and I do), but because of its almost shocking laziness. Please read the review now, if you haven’t already, then we’ll get down to brass tacks.

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Racebending in Hollywood: new films attract controversy

Chris Lee’s article in the LA Times makes some good points about racebending in Hollywood.

Recently, fans of both Prince Of Persia and Avatar: The Last Airbender have been raising concerns about the main characters in these stories (non-whites in the source material) being portrayed by white actors. On the face of it, the intent of the studios behind the films seems clear: replace “foreign-looking” actors with comforting white faces, placating the xenophobes in the audience. Lee says, “the movie industry can still seem woefully behind the times when it comes to matters of race.”

But he goes on to make several points to counter this notion. He quotes Jerry Bruckheimer’s assertion Persians were light-skinned in the 6th century, when Prince Of Persia is set. He also points out actors from Mickey Rooney to John Wayne to Peter Sellers who’ve played a character of another race (my personal favourite example, though, was Charleton Heston’s turn as a Mexican in Orson Welles’ Touch Of Evil).

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No spoilers!

With the Lost finale coming up tonight, it seems like now is a good time for a discussion about spoilers.

No, not the fins you see on the backs of cars, designed to improve aerodynamics (or in some cases, simply to look cool). I’m talking about intricate plot details of movies and television shows. For some, nothing is more irritating than having a much-anticipated viewing experience ruined by blabbermouths who give away plot details.

The Toronto Star has an article up about this very issue. It details the way people literally isolate themselves from their co-workers and friends in an effort to remain “unspoiled”. Fortunately for me, I’m not a devotee of Lost, so I’m not affected.

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