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Let’s talk about the larger implications of this series. Or eggs. I like eggs.

Like pretty much everyone in the galaxy, I’ve been watching The Mandalorian and have really enjoyed it. It was thrilling to see young Luke Skywalker decimate those battledroids at the end of the Season 2 finale, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a mistake.

What was so refreshing about The Mandalorian was that it got away from the previously ingrained ideas that have been present in almost all other Star Wars media. …


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Maybe Sex and the City isn’t a documentary…

A while ago, a male acquaintance of mine asked me “So we’ve seen lots of film examples of toxic masculinity, but what about toxic femininity?”

I couldn’t give him an answer then, but, when I settled down to watch my annual series of cosy Christmas films, I hit paydirt! Bridget Jones’s Diary is all about a woman’s struggle with toxic femininity. I love Bridget Jones’s Diary. It’s funny, sweet, well cast, and surprisingly relevant today, but that relevancy comes from her struggles to align herself with an ideal that she can’t measure up to. Toxic masculinity or femininity is when people feel obligated to follow gender roles and norms they feel are present in society, even when it limits their own freedom and choices. Toxic masculinity has tons of pretty clear examples, such as men feeling like they shouldn’t wear the color pink because it’s coded as feminine. The “feeling” here is really important, since obviously men can physically wear the color pink, men historically have worn the color pink, and some men happily wear pink now. The point is not that men can’t wear men, but certain men feel like they shouldn’t wear pink, even if they like it and would like to wear it, because society’s rules dictate that masculine men don’t wear pink. …


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This essay is born out of the clamor of male viewers who disliked WW84. I read a number of comments, even got into a few arguments, on social media about this film. I’m also pulling from Red Letter Media’s review of WW84, which was quite negative in ways that were confounding. I’m a fan of RLM, but their views seem to be formed without input from anyone who is not a 40s-ish middle class white male, making them, in my eyes, The Gold Standard of White Male Internet User Opinions.

To begin with, I didn’t think this film was a masterpiece, but I thought it was solidly okay and there were some things that resonated with me. Other things were totally bewildering, like having a big part of the conflict set in Egypt, which is not particularly rich in oil, with a sheik-like character whose dress and motivations don’t seem to fit with that country’s history or culture. I’m not going to focus on issues of plotting, like the lack of clarity about how the wishes worked, because those are quite reasonable objections. Instead I’d like to focus on comments and criticism based on the characterization of Wonder Woman and Cheetah/Barbara Mivera characters. …


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“You know, we could talk about this… Oh, fans like lightsaber fights? Action, it is!”

Ah, there’s snow in the air and frost on the windows and… no Star Wars movie in the theaters. Well, we can’t blame that one on COVID because Disney’s visions of near endless Star Wars movies derailed rather horrifically with Solo followed by Rise of Skywalker. So what went wrong? I would argue that the main problem is Disney choices in writing talent. Whether you liked The Last Jedi or not, there’s no denying that that film spawned a huge number of reaction videos, reviews, film analyses, and debates. In Rise of Skywalker, there’s not much to discuss. The film is an amalgam of “good boy!” fan service, dropped threads, needless fixits, incomplete character arcs, and bewildering plot points. But it didn’t need to be this way! I honestly believe that if Rise of Skywalker had been expertly and cleverly written, even the most bitter fans might have reevaluated the entire film series and sold a ton more BB-8 t-shirts. …


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I want to be free from this pain. And have character development. And sell t-shirts at Galaxy’s Edge.

About a year ago, I was buzzing with excitement about Rise of Skywalker. I had tickets for opening night, a buttery bag of popcorn, and a deluxe recline-o seat. When the lights came up after the film, I slunk home, dejected. Why, you ask? I couldn’t wait to see how Kylo Ren was going to be redeemed because everything in the trilogy so far pointed to it.

Instead, we got a blundering scavenger hunt of a film and I’m not even totally sure Kylo was redeemed. Like, he helped kill Palpatine, but he also killed Snoke and remained a bad guy. He threw away his lightsaber and his scar was healed, but was that actually turning to the Light or was that just because he personally didn’t want to be killed? Dunno. I doubt the film knows. YouTuber Jenny Nicholson pointed out that the worst thing a film series can do is make you feel stupid for being excited about it. I feel stupid for being excited about it. I completely expected a full and satisfying redemption arc because of clues laid out in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but I got… like six minutes of Adam Driver’s actual face. …


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When I was a little girl, I looked up to Elvira. When I was a kid, I didn’t know why I looked up to her and I certainly didn’t admit the fact to anyone. But now I’m an adult and I totally understand it and I wear it proudly! Elvira IS a role model. Lemme explain.

Back in the late 80s and 90s, girls were told to look up to the handful of women with “important” or “serious” jobs. Mind you, there weren’t that many (this is back in the era where “Madame” Curie apparently lacked a first name, after all), so people like Sally Ride or Diane Sawyer were recycled endlessly in some kind of weird look-you-don’t-have-to-be-a-mommy loop. Women entertainers were fluff, essentially. But… oh, that lure of Elvira was so strong. Recently, I rewatched Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and the pieces fell into place. …


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You must be the square root of 2 because I feel downright irrational about you!

The first Back to the Future is one of the most influential 1980s movies, but it’s much more of a plot driven rather than a character driven film. It’s essentially a quest movie; Marty McFly and Doc Emmett Brown run around collecting the pieces that they need to ensure that Marty’s parents get together and that Marty can return to 1985 from 1955 in the super powered Delorean time machine. It’s extremely fun and engaging but there’s not too much emphasis on Marty or Doc growing as people and it doesn’t need it. The film is perfect on its own.

I rewatched Back to the Future III recently, the one where Doc is stuck in the Old West of 1885 and Marty goes back to prevent him dying. I do remember seeing this one in the theater as a child and I was struck by the love story in the film at the time. …


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I was super excited to read about Netflix’s new movie version of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca. Du Maurier is, along with Shirley Jackson, a master of horror. Her works are full of atmosphere and complex emotions and characters with motivations both understandable and horrific. The big difference between the great female and male horror writers is that women understand that no one brushes the dirt off their hands and exclaims “Well, thank goodness we solved that ancient burial ground problem! Now to face a bright and beautiful future!” For women, the horror that results from both supernatural and mortal acts linger, affecting the characters for the rest of their lives. Rebecca is a masterfully told story about a heroine never identified by her first name. She marries an older man with a romantically dead first wife whose beauty and charm completely surpasses her own. This twisting jealousy and humiliation brought about in large amount from her husband’s silence and the quiet menace of housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, brings the heroine’s morality and judgement into question. In short, there’s a reason it has never been out of print since it was first published. It’s great. …


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Bad news, Blockhead, the universe is conspiring against you for the amusement of an unknowable audience!

Watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is an October tradition. It’s undoubtedly the best of all the Charlie Brown specials and it tends to get better as you get older. Part of this is the side-splitting notary and restitution jokes, but the best part is complemplating the weird metaphysics at work in the life of Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown might appear to be a normal boy with miserable luck, but watch carefully and you’ll realize that the universe changes its very rules to give him the worst experience possible.

The scene where the gang makes ghost costumes by cutting holes in sheets is a perfect example of reality bending to afflict Charlie Brown. First we see Sally, Charlie’s younger sister cutting eye holes in her sheet. She has multiple scraps of fabric around her feet, suggesting that she’s cut multiple holes. However, when we see her put the sheet on, her ghost costume has only two holes, placed exactly right over her eyes. …


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“I’m going to rip your throat out, but first a defense of the literary canon!”

Let’s get this straight first: I LOVE the 1994 movie Wolf. I watch it every October. However, I don’t love it for the reasons the filmmakers intended. I love it for the absolutely crystalized absurdity of the male mid life crisis metaphor.

The mid life crisis movie was hugely popular in the late 80s and 90s; remember Field of Dreams where the metaphysical world contorts itself so that one Iowan farmer solves his father issues? Blockbuster. The (usually) straight middle-aged white male protagonist has achieved everything he wants in life: wife, children, good job, property ownership, wardrobe of blazers, etc.; but something is missing. He’s thrown a curveball (ha! A baseball pun!) and he do longer feels satisfied in his life because, gosh darn it, he lacks… something. Now to ignore his responsibilities and go on a quest for fulfillment.

About

Honoria Valemon

Maybe I’m overthinking this.

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