Itttttttttt (first thoughts)

In brief: I have some notes, but I loved it.

Spoilers, for movie. And book.

the losers

“they all float” by Mark Englert

Creepy enough, Bill Skarsgård was awesome, the kids were amazing, the highlights were the Losers in all of their glory which is as it should be. So yeah, I loved it.

I’m going to go ahead and say that I think I prefer Skarsgård as Pennywise to Tim Curry. I know I’m in the minority but this new version worked better for me. I think it was those little moments where he’d be doing his thing and then something would go off, like when he was laughing way too much with Georgie, or when he’s about to kill Eddie but then Bill sees through his tricks upstairs at Neibolt Street. That was truer to book It than Curry’s version – but I mean. They’re both really good at evil galactic clown, in the end.

Aaaaand so the notes.

Things I’m disappointed by but completely in vain because this is a movie and it can’t do things the way the book does them:

  • I just really wish it had been set in ’58. I get why that would be a terrible choice for the movie but
  • All of the details that got cut or that were breezed over. Obviously there wasn’t room for that here.
  • I wish Stan and Mike got more hero moments. Even Ben got the shaft a bit, which surprised me. Again, that’s time constraints for you.
  • Bowers wasn’t as much of a threat as he was in the book – even in the TV movie he was a more constant, threatening presence. That’s another one that’s probably down to time constraints.

Changes I like:

  • Yaaaaay Hocksetter died early and we never learned any of the horrific details of his past and present
  • Not that I like Mike as a slaughterhouse worker now (I mean come on) but at least we traded the wanton animal cruelty of the Bowers/Hocksetter dream team for “humane slaughter” for meat consumption. I guess.
  • I don’t like that Bev’s dad is an actual rapist in this version but at least that way we don’t have to see an adult physically assaulting a child

Changes I didn’t like:

  • I get it, but having Georgie pulled into the sewers rather than just outright killed in the gutter is a bit of a gruesome change and I prefer it the other way. Poor Georgie.
  • Mike’s parents are dead now. Horrifically. Um. Why. They were the best parents of the group.
  • The movie is a lot more upfront about Bev’s being sexually abused than it is about Bowers being a racist dick towards Mike. The implications are there, and I’m not saying we need Bowers screaming racial slurs at Mike nonstop as he tries to beat him to a pulp the way he does in the book, but I do think there was space to be a little more specific about the racism and the movie (and we all) would have benefited from it.
  • Also Mike was the history buff of the group – I get that making it Ben is an efficient thing to do but I’m really, really hoping that part 2 doesn’t open on Mike the 40-year-old slaughterhouse worker. I need him to be a librarian and amateur historian still.
  • Bill/Bev/Ben was too much of a thing and can we talk about it for a second

I really didn’t like that Bev was pulled into the sewers to be rescued by her friends. It works for the narrative but it makes her a bit of a damsel in distress. The saving grace here may be that she’s the one to figure out not being afraid of Pennywise, but it’s still a big set up for a Sleeping Beauty moment.

I was sitting there in the theatre thinking, “Oh god, she’s going into the deadlights. Just so that Ben can kiss her and wake her up.” And that is literally what happened.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am a huge fan of Bev/Ben.

But.

Why.

Here’s a treat for you: a chunk of It by Stephen King.

Finally, unaware she was going to say it at all (and certainly not because it had any discernible bearing on the situation), Beverly said: “Thank you for the poem, Ben.”

Ben stopped laughing all at once and regarded her gravely, cautiously. He took a dirty handkerchief from his back pocket and wiped his face with it slowly. “Poem?”

“The haiku. The haiku on the postcard. You sent it, didn’t you?”

“No,” Ben said. “I didn’t send you any haiku. Cause if a kid like me – a fat kid like me – did something like that, the girl would probably laugh at him.”

“I didn’t laugh. I thought it was beautiful.”

“I could never write anything beautiful. Bill, maybe. Not me.”

“Bill will write,” she agreed. “But he’ll never write anything as nice as that…”

“How did you know it was me?” he asked finally.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I just did.”

Ben’s throat worked convulsively. He looked down at his hands. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”

She looked at him gravely. “You better not mean that,” she said. “If you do, it’s really going to spoil my day, and let me tell you, it’s going downhill already.”

He continued to look down at his hands and spoke at last in a voice she could barely hear. “Well, I mean I love you, Beverly, but I don’t want it to spoil anything.”

“It won’t,” she said, and hugged him. “I need all the love I can get right now.”

“But you specially like Bill.”

“Maybe I do,” she said, “but that doesn’t matter. If we were grownups, maybe it would, a little. But I like you all specially. You’re the only friends I have. I love you too, Ben.”

“Thank you,” he said. He paused, trying, and brought it out. He was even able to look at her as he said it. “I wrote the poem.”

Annnnnnnd I get that you can’t really do that, at least not easily, especially with kid actors, in a movie. But it’s just so much better and I reserve the right to be annoyed about it.

I also got the feeling that the part of Bill/Bev/Ben that was Bev having a major crush on Bill was kind of sidetracked, which tends to happen in love triangles such as these. There’s never enough focus on what the girl in the middle of the whole thing actually wants, because the movie is more intent on what both dudes want and how they go about getting it and how she responds to their attempts. So if this triangle had to be as front and center as it was, I would have preferred if Bev got to have an actual, relatable crush and wasn’t just responding to the boys’ feelings most of the time. But maybe that’s something that I can go on endlessly about once this comes out on DVD, and I can compare Bev’s crush in the TV version, this new version, and the book version, because that actually sounds like the most fun I’ll have next year.

Siiiiigh. But I liked this movie. Eddie Kaspbrak was the fucking MVP, though. Wow. Didn’t see that one coming.

PS: There was. A lego. Turtle. A lego. Turtle.

Does that mean.

The turtle.

Is going.

To be.

In part 2.

Because.

If so.

Then.

sokka suki 9

❤ erm

Advertisements

Trolls: First Thoughts

 

So I saw Trolls at lunchtime on opening day and I liked it.

Disclaimer: there is, as you know if you’ve seen the trailers, a bit of crude humour in it. It’s DreamWorks. But as usual, unless it’s Shrek or something, it doesn’t take over the movie and is clearly just there to make the kids laugh, so whatever.

And maybe spoilers.

Factors that probably influence my liking it:

  1. The trailer looked bad. And therefore, low expectations.
  2. Pretty. VERY pretty.
  3. Fun music. I wasn’t expecting it to be mostly original songs, so that was a nice surprise. There were some covers too and it ended up being a good mix.
  4. It’s a story about happiness being a choice, or something someone can help you find if need be.
  5. It’s a story about choosing not to eat sentient beings.
  6. It’s a story about finding happiness without exploiting others to get it.
  7. Poppy’s version of an I Want song is pretty fun and her character gets eaten multiple times as she’s singing it and even that doesn’t slow her down. (Which is the joke. But still.)
  8. Branch.
  9. Whatever that worm thing is that James Corden’s character is always holding.
  10. Emphasis on, “I don’t think, I hope” and “I don’t think, I feel.” Thinking is great and all but with Inside Out and this, it’s nice to see emotional intelligence or morality or whatever it is being valued in kids’ films.
  11. Sincerity.
  12. Someone at DreamWorks is clearly a hopeless romantic, and it’s cute.

Final Note: DreamWorks maybe needs a new marketing department. Unless this movie is ultra successful, I suppose.

❤ erm

Queen of the Tearling, and the Problem with Fantasy

Review copy

I (three) don’t say this lightly, but today I’m saying it: Queen of the Tearling is a near-perfect book. In order for me to explain why, I have to start at the beginning – and by that I mean my early childhood.

We were bookworms growing up. Our parents read – our dad read fantasy and thriller, and our mom read romance and contemporary. In our house, you had a book on the go, at all times. Our parents didn’t often judge what we were reading, aside from whether it was below our level or whether we should maybe read a new book instead of picking up the same one for the seventeenth time in a row.

I remember coming home with a Scholastic order form one particular year. Our mom took erm’s and ordered a few things that were out of our ordinary (we were really into Unicorns of Balinor), one of which was Redwall. erm wasn’t thrilled about it. It was a boy book. You could just tell by looking at it. The colour scheme, the concept, the writing style – this was for boys. Continue reading “Queen of the Tearling, and the Problem with Fantasy”

Clarice from It Takes Two Appreciation Post

So It Takes Two was one of those movies that happened. Re-mem-ber?

remember

We, being sisters close in age, were fascinated by this movie exactly until The Parent Trap (the Lindsay Lohan version) came out. But we were still loyal enough to it to pick it up on DVD. Rewatching it we discovered that there really isn’t a reason to watch this when you have access to Parent Trap after all. But we do need to talk about Clarice. Whom we ABSOLUTELY ADOOOOOOOOORE.

Continue reading “Clarice from It Takes Two Appreciation Post”

The Jungle Book

erm saw The Jungle Book this week and has some thoughts! This is a good thing. Watching a movie and not having thoughts is… inadvisable. I maintain that media is not like poisonous food – if you eat poisonous food it will make you sick, or it will make you die. But consuming potentially poisonous media can’t hurt you as long as you’re actively engaging with it instead of just letting it sink into your brain unchallenged.

That ridiculousness that just happened up there makes it seem like I had major problems with this movie – and I certainly don’t. I’m just needlessly self-righteous about my approach to watching movies. And now that it’s said, let’s talk. Continue reading “The Jungle Book”

Lingering Questions about Ice Age

Netflix is not working on our blu ray player, and the DVD in the slot is Ice Age. So we’ve watched it 5 times in the past week, and we have some questions.

  1. Why do animals in Ice Age know that they are in an ice age?
  2. Why are they aware of other phenomena such as extinction and evolution?
  3. Why did this movie portray the dodo extinction as being entirely the dodo’s own fault, and, like, thousands of years before European colonialism?
  4. Why is Sid the giant sloth relatively small?
    ground-sloth-size-comparison
  5. Shouldn’t Diego be a lot bigger than he and the other sabre tooths are in this movie? (And – shouldn’t he actually be smaller than Sid?)
    main-qimg-66cf9df0e12cc94f41cfe2f9ed10d795

But those aren’t the important questions. We have but two of those.

Continue reading “Lingering Questions about Ice Age”

The Ethics of the Sun’s Gift

Disney copy

Don’t ask us for sources, but we have a general recollection of people arguing in defense of Mother Gothel’s actions in Tangled by invoking the “it’s not fair that they took that flower and boiled it just to save a monarch” argument. We thought it might be immense fun to use that as a jumping off point to talk about all of the ethical issues of the Sun’s Gift in Tangled that we could think of. Yeeeeey.

Continue reading “The Ethics of the Sun’s Gift”

Sleeping Beauty vs Maleficent

Disney copy
Last week we compared Disney’s 1950 animated Cinderella to their 2015 live-action Cinderella. This week we’ll look at another – the one that was the first in what will likely be a long line of live-action reimaginings: Maleficent, compared to its source material, Sleeping Beauty (1959).

Now the way we did it last week was to compare each element, but this time it will work better if we look at each film separately before we get into those specifics.

Continue reading “Sleeping Beauty vs Maleficent”

The Swan Princess

This movie is one of the ultimate “what could have been” movies. Like. After a gigantic exposition dump, this is the first real part:

Great, right? I mean, they’d have to build on that a little because the “why” in why they’re suddenly in love needs some plumping up, but otherwise this a great start. Especially because this came out in 1994, the same year as The Lion King, just as chemistry between romantic animated couples was becoming important.

Continue reading “The Swan Princess”

Tale as Old as Time

Disney copy

02161_show_portrait_large

I saw Beauty and the Beast at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

I’m fairly new to the Disney musical scene – aside from Beauty and the Beast, the only other one I’ve seen is The Lion King, and I was way too young for critical analysis at the time.

Still, I was excited about Beauty because I have so. many. complaints about the Disney animated feature. I won’t get into that now, because what I want to talk about is how the show improved on the animated feature – and how it didn’t.

li-beauty-beast Continue reading “Tale as Old as Time”