As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

My Week in Pop Culture – Week 17

Posted by Hedwig on April 28, 2012

I want to start with the end this time: I just finished a glorious one-two punch, the first season of Jane Espenson’s HUSBANDS (which sounds more impressive than it is, at only about 20 minutes) followed by THE CELLULOID CLOSET, the former suggested by a podcast interview with Espenson, the latter by a recent conversation with a (film magazine) colleague. They went together very well, with HUSBANDS illustrating both just how far we’ve come and that we still have a while to go in terms of gay rights. Not much in CLOSET was new to me, but it’s wonderful nonetheless, both funny (the BEN-HUR scene, for instance) and very very moving. The most surprising thing? I emerged with a newfound respect for Harry Hamlin. And Tony Curtis looks like he’d be (or, I guess, have been) a ton of fun.

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Speaking of a ton of fun: THE AVENGERS! I meant to do a separate post, but there’s really not that much to say. Is it good? Probably not.  Is it fun? Hell yes. It may not be much storywise, but the banter is top notch, and Whedon is very skilled at introducing his characters succinctly and then coloring within the lines. His choices are fresh but make a lot of sense: of course a bromance would develop between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner! Of course Stark’s cockiness and Cap’s respect for authority would clash! He finds room to investigate geeky questions about what would happen if [insert superhero weapon*] hit [insert other superhero weapon**], there’s fan service for both genders and sexual orientations (Ruffalo chest hair!) and I liked how he expanded and fleshed out the role of Black Widow, who uses sexism and men’s underestimation of her capabilities not just once but twice.

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Another movie I watched this week: MURDERS ON THE RUE MORGUE. I watched it directly after reading last week’s expansive post, and picked it mostly because it was the shortest movie I had queued, but I ended up enjoying it tremendously, from Bela Lugosi’s outsize performance to the clever use of shadows and the elaborate sets.  Sidenote: what was it with the early thirties and bestiality? You have KING KONG, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS,  and now the kidnapping gorilla in this, which actually predates the other two. They’re all apes, too ORIGIN OF SPECIES was published in 1859 already – did it really take that long to trickle down to the public consciousness?

TV remarks: GAME OF THRONES was very hard to watch, to the point of me being slightly nauseated (this is not about the last scene, but two previous ones), but I don’t think I’ll be able to stop following the show. MAD MEN was trippy in the best sense – I wonder if it’ll spark a LSD craze. GIRLS was quite a bit better than the pilot. THE GOOD WIFE was back in top form, showing just how morally compromised everyone’s been getting. I’m still unsure about how to feel about the twist at the end of this episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. And I’ve been bingeing on NEW GIRL, but it feels kind of like junk food.

Finally, I read a rather flimsy YA vampire novel, GLASS HOUSES (the first in a series of 10+ books called “the Morganville vampires”, which I can’t deny I might read), and I didn’t want to keep this snippet from you: upon getting her first kiss, the protagonist says “parts of her – parts she’d only ever warmed up alone – were going full blast”. Sidenote: is it bad that when I go see my notes on the e-book reader, most of them read “hihi :-)” or “teehee!” ? The book does get major props for pointing out one of the things I’ve always found problematic about vampire stories (it’s coded as “geometric progression”, which I found neat).

’til next week

*Thor’s Hammer

** Cap’s shield

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