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07 October 2012 @ 04:19 pm
Merlin Placeholder  
The latest season of Merlin has begun! I have the first episode but am holding onto it until the 2nd part of the two parter airs next week. So no review for me this week for the premiere.

In other random news, I saw Looper which proved to be immensely disappointing. It had all the elements of being the sort of film I love (Time travel! Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Confronting fate!) but it went in a direction in the last half that just killed the story. I really liked Rian Johnson's Brick despite its flaws and thought at the time of viewing that he was someone to watch because I assumed he'd grow as director. Well, two movies later it seems like everything that was bad about Brick just got magnified in Looper.
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Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: SPN_IDon'tUnderstandThatReferenceguardian_chaos on October 7th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
I don't watch Merlin, but Tumblr looks excited and pleased about it, so I think you'll be happy when you see it!

I find myself disappointed about Looper, which I haven't seen either, but was expecting a good story from. Plus, well, Joesh Gordon-Levitt is flawless. Ah well. Time travel stuff is difficult to get written right.

Here's to Merlin washing out the ill flavor of Looper! Whoo!
formerly lifeinsomniac: HorriblyWrongjoonscribble on October 7th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Ah well. Time travel stuff is difficult to get written right.

It wasn't even the time travel stuff. That part was actually totally fine. It was this random story element they put in during the last half of the film that ruined a lot. Plus, just the flow of the narrative was pretty bad.

Plus, well, Joesh Gordon-Levitt is flawless.

He IS flawless. But not even he could make two hours of hanging out at farm interesting. Still, his acting was pretty good for what he got to work with. And Bruce Willis as well.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BL_FlamingoInCrowdguardian_chaos on October 7th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
I think Bruce Willis is a cool guy, but I think also that his movies are starting to feel stilted in general now that they seem dead-set on emphasizing "macho man" traits. I loved him in The Sixth Sense as a compassionate, understanding, sensible man. But now he seems to be getting far more of the gun-toter, "age doesn't mean squat!" sort of stereotypical roles. Those can feel pretty forced, as roles, and I was worried Looper would hit that obstacle as well...

He IS flawless. But not even he could make two hours of hanging out at farm interesting.

HAHAHA! I'm picturing him trying. Maybe if he brought his iPhone and a Netflix subscription with him, or Twister. Or a marching band. Or pie. Hey, he could so make it work. Look at all these great ideas I'm having here! Heh.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 7th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
But now he seems to be getting far more of the gun-toter, "age doesn't mean squat!" sort of stereotypical roles.

The one thing I can say for this movie is that they did do that for Bruce Willis but it made sense in the context of his character's journey. They played a lot with the idea of how much a person can learn and escape their own hubris and I thought having Willis play up his gun-toting act ended up working.

There were ways in which Looper could have been really good. I liked the idea of the past and future selves meeting and some of the more Oedipal stuff the movie went for. But it threw in a plot point halfway through that just ruined the entire story.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: ST_Captain'sChairguardian_chaos on October 7th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Hmm, this is true, such characterization is not always bad and can add a lot to a story. I suppose my gripe about it is that American movies are so in love with it as an ideal! I like seeing the stories of wise, older men characters, but it seems so many actors instead grow up and suddenly feel compelled to over-masculinize themselves through VIOLENCE all over the place. Strength is defined so strangely in the media. Especially the strength of people who are older.

Anyway. *coughs* Sorry, I think my gender studies textbook is leaking into my online life. Yeep.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 8th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
I like seeing the stories of wise, older men characters

Yeah, if anything this entire movie is about how growing older does not make you wiser. Even if the older thinks he's gotten wiser. He really, REALLY hasn't. Although, the time travel thing was used as a tool of irony for how Old Joe (that's the character's name) never learned a damn thing in this entire life but by going into the past Young Joe learned the most valuable lesson of all.

Sorry, I think my gender studies textbook is leaking into my online life. Yeep.

SO OKAY because I'm starting to think my ultimate dissertation will be about masculinity and Asian American men.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.guardian_chaos on October 8th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
Although, the time travel thing was used as a tool of irony for how Old Joe (that's the character's name) never learned a damn thing in this entire life but by going into the past Young Joe learned the most valuable lesson of all.

Ah...HAHAHAAAAA. Ah. My brain hurts now.

SO OKAY because I'm starting to think my ultimate dissertation will be about masculinity and Asian American men.

Ohh!! *puts chin on hands* That sounds fascinating. Do you care to elaborate a little? :)

Also, I have a meme on my journal that I'm dying to write something for. Just throwing that out there. :D
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 8th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
Do you care to elaborate a little? :)

Well, I'm still in the midst of reading the HUGE volume of past literature on it. But I'm interested in looking at how Asian American men feel about masculinity as a personal construct but how it's affected by what they believe others feel masculinity is and how Asian men fit into that construct.

There's a large history of Asian men being emasculated and portrayed as either sexual deviants or sexless creatures in media. But I don't know if that's the case anymore given the cultural shift in American and the growing number of Asian Americans. I'd need to do a more qualitative, pilot research to see if a lot of the former stereotypes still hold true.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: YGO_WorthItguardian_chaos on October 8th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
Stereotypes really suck. They're unfair by their very nature, not just for those supposedly having to live up to those stereotypes, but also to the societal consequences of not living up to them. People can be so cruel to those who aren't acting according to expected norms. Ugh.

That said, your dissertation seems like it's going to be good! I haven't looked into the literature on this topic myself, but I imagine there's quite a lot out there to research. That in itself is sad, since it speaks to how long-lasting and pervasive such stereotypes can be...

But yes, I suppose the potential for change is always there, and hopefully things will shift towards the better someday. I feel like I'm such a pacifist... I just want people to get along and stop assuming things about each other, though nothing happens overnight. Maybe someday.
quickyfant: core energy surgequickyfant on October 13th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
I still havent finished watching last season of Merlin! :S I really want to! I was peaking into information about this season, but then didnt want to be spoiled, and still have all the episodes of last season! Maybe I can catch up and start talking about it again with other people in actual release time! :)