theandrogynous.net

I am so excited to be joining a team of wonderful people over at TheAndrogynous.net. Not only did the website’s name capture my attention, but I was also thrilled to put my degree to use.

I’m now the resident Assistant Copy Editor of the website, and my first (approved) post is about Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent. So head over there and tell me what you think.

Here’s a sizzling picture of Prince Philip (Brenton Thwaites) to motivate you:

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things that are not quite right with disney’s frozen

I have to admit, the first time I watched Frozen, I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it simply because I thought it didn’t live up to its hype.

Then I watched it the second time and really forced myself to watch it, and started falling in love with it. I realized small things like Kristen Bell can actually sing (and is classically trained – and I like her voice better than Menzel’s), Jonathan Groff (voice of Kristoff) is as sexy in real life as his character in Frozen (warning: LINK DEFINITELY NSFW), and that Olaf’s “In Summer” song – although the concept of a character singing happily and obliviously about his demise has been done before – is just so catchy and brilliant.

BuzzFeed has run an article about the fifteen questions in Frozen. Some of the points are valid, so I thought I didn’t have to write about them, but I still kind of want to do it, and I kind of have spare time to do it.

So, let’s get started. Warning: SPOILERS AND NSFW IMAGE.

1. Really? Those men are just going to leave a little kid (and his reindeer) alone in the cold, dark, snowy forest, that’s probably full of predators? 

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2. The King and Queen don’t age (or change their clothes).

Here they are with little Anna.

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And here they are as they’re going to board the ship, many, many years later. Not even a wrinkle, or gray hair. I demand to know who their doctor is! Or their hairdresser!

vlcsnap-2014-03-29-12h50m26s39Also, they wear the same dress when they barge into the room and slam the doors open to find Elsa cradling the unconscious Anna. Okay, so maybe it’s not that late and they haven’t changed into their dressing gowns.

Speaking of fashion choices, Anna sings about dressing up in a gown for the evening of her sister’s “cornoration”, but shows up not in a gown.

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3. No Prime Ministers? No Minister of Trade?

Then who’s doing trades with Weaseltown Weselton? They “closed the gates” but still doing trades? Then what does “closing the gates” mean?

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This also applies to Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. Really? How exactly does Arendelle work? No one actually objects to the idea of this foreigner ruling Arendelle? It would be better if he had some credentials, like he was the son of Arendelle’s recently diseased prime minister, so then everyone believed that he was capable of actually taking care of Arendelle.

Crazy eyes.

Crazy eyes.

I guess my biggest complaint is how Frozen‘s writers make minor characters seem really, really minor. Like this dude. Who keeps appearing and seeming to have a really important part.

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Which explains why these characters (including these soldiers)…

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Don’t react to this…

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When they can actually see what’s happening.

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4. Olaf. And that Snow Golem. 

I don’t care if Elsa can actually turn ice into fashion, fashion that can be worn by people who won’t think it’s too cold. Like these skate boots.

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But Elsa can actually create living, sentient beings? And not only that, but one of them actually knows a great deal of things like bats, summer (although oblivious to the fact that snow melts when it gets too warm), and how to start a fire (and still surprised to feel fire). Oh, and how many rooms does a castle usually have? Lots, right? So how does Olaf figure out which room to enter to find Anna lying there dying?

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Also, where did Elsa and Anna get the twigs and the carrot when they build Olaf in the palace?

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Also, bendy twigs? Really?

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The Snow Golem is actually not that sentient, but it’s still alive. And it’s faaaahbulous.

Tiara!

Tiara!

I guess what really bothers me about this movie is the level of credibility. Brave is largely fictional, yes – it involves magic and witches and will-of-a-wisps, and mothers-turning-into-bears – but the politics of the kingdom, the customs, they are clear. Unlike Frozen. Who mentors Elsa to become the queen? How much time passes between the King and Queen’s death and Elsa’s coronation? And do reindeers act like dogs?

I think if I were a kid, I’d love this movie unconditionally, the way I loved Pocahontas and Hercules and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So, here, have this sexy Kristoff illustration.

Kristoff by David Kawena.

Kristoff by David Kawena.

elysium: of machismo and martyrdom

I love District 9. I must’ve watched it dozens of times (in fact, it’s playing in the background as I’m writing this) and I love how political it is, thus resurrecting science fiction as sociopolitical commentary. That being said, its director, Neil Blomkamp, has denied that his new movie, Elysium, has some sort of political agenda.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, there are some similarities between the movies:

  1. The exosuit in District 9 and the strength enhancing suit that Matt Damon wears in Elysium. They’re both drilled into the wearer’s body. Although in Elysium‘s case, it covers a lot less.
  2. Slum areas. Probably also shot in South Africa? District 9 was shot in Soweto, but the slum area looks a lot smaller compared to the one in Elysium. It’s also probably CGI.
  3. Their sociopolitical commentary. District 9 is about apartheid and events at District Six, while Elysium is obviously about the 99% vs. 1%.
  4. Sharlto Copley, who played his characters to a fucking T in both movies. (Addendum: I watched Elysium for the second time, I think Copley overacts just a teensy bit)
  5. Both Wikus in District 9 and Max in Elysium are struck with some kind of illness that prompts them to do crazy things. I don’t know which one is more morbid, though, Wikus staying alive as a prawn or Max dying.

Elysium opens with childhood memories of little Max (grown-up Max played by buffed and tattooed Matt Damon) and his friendship with little Frey (grown-up Frey played by Alice Braga of Predators). Little Frey teaches little Max how to read in both Spanish and English. They grow attached. Little Max promises little Frey to take her “up” there to Elysium one day (SPOILER: of course he fulfills his promise).

Boys with tattoos

Boys with tattoos

Grown-up Max works at a factory called Armadyne. This factory supplies things like robots and hardware for both Earth and Elysium. Two Robots assault Max as he’s on his way to work so he has to go to the hospital where he finds Alice, now a nurse.

Jodie Foster plays Delacourt, Elysium’s secretary of defense, who zealously protects Elysium with all costs, including hiring a deranged mercenary who goes by the name Kruger (geez, that name, just like Damien, gives me goosebumps) played by Sharlto Copley. Some illegal immigrants try to get to Elysium, and Delacourt orders Kruger to shoot the ships down, destroying two out of three ships. One ship lands. An illegal woman breaks in a house to use the  to cure her daughter’s crippled legs using a special medical device that can magically solve all known disease (oh, the year is 2154). The little girl can walk again, just in time before the two of them are caught by Elysium’s security force.

Secretary of Defense

Jodie Foster as the bilingual Secretary of Defense

Delacourt’s decision causes Elysium’s president to give her the last warning (although I’m unsure if this is based on compassion or publicity, or both). She tries to raise a coup against the president by getting John Carlyle (William Fichtner) the head of Armadyne redo the coding program of Elysium, thus installing her as the president.

Apparently, things get in the way because John Carlyle never makes it back to Elysium because his flight is intercepted by Max and Earth’s team of hackers. By the way, Max now only has five days to live because of fatal radiation exposure, and so he tries to get to Elysium and use the device to get healed. Also, it’s now revealed that Alice’s daughter is dying of leukemia and she’ll do anything she can to get her to Elysium to be healed.

You know, there are some things that don’t sit well with me.

For example, the rich people are up there in Elysium. They don’t live on the same planet or even breathe same air with the poor people down on Earth. So why don’t they just share the technology? Why don’t they just share that heal-all device that looks like a tanning bed? I mean, isn’t that why the poor people rush to Elysium? Also, apparently the Medusa tanning bed (courtesy of Versace) can change people’s looks? And it’s always a woman! Always! As if women are the only ones concerned with their looks!

The healing machine. I think. I took this photo from Facebook.

The healing machine that Frey uses for Matilda. 

Almost everything on earth is pictures as slum. However, Frey, who works as a nurse, apparently has a nice home with her own medical kit for her daughter, who likes to watch cartoons on their huge flat screen television. Seriously, that flat screen TV hit me on the head. It just looked so stark. This makes me question: so the middle class is basically what? Invisible? Do the poor people also have problems with middle/working class people and vice versa? Are there break-ins?

The coup. So, you’re telling me, that just by rebooting the system and putting in different codes that run Elysium, one can be the president? What is this? Jurassic Park?

Addendum: Also, speaking of security, when Spider’s shuttle arrived, security doesn’t make a beep. Take note: this is before all hell breaks loose and Kruger and his henchmen began taking over.

I don't know about sitting in the prime minister's chair, but I'd love to sit on those abs.

I don’t know about sitting in the prime minister’s chair, but I’d love to sit on that face those abs.

SPOILER: I’m actually fine with Delacourt not wanting to be saved by Frey when they’re locked in the same room. Her character may be underdeveloped, but not as underdeveloped as Charlize Theron’s Meredith Vickers (Prometheus).

Finally: machismo and martyrdom.

Kruger is so pissed with Max. In fact he’s so pissed that he wants to kill Max. This is a case of a jilted lover (maybe he’s jealous of the bromance between Max and Julio [played by the gorgeous Diego Luna]?). I don’t know why he’s so angry, though. Because Max destroys his face (which is really gore and cool at the same time)? Or just an act of inexplicable machismo?

Addendum: so I realized that Kruger was possibly trying to stage his own coup?

Badass Sharlto Copley

Badass Sharlto Copley

And as for martyrdom, I should’ve explained this earlier. When the Armadyne guy reprogrammed Elysium, he downloaded the codes into his brain using the option “Lethal”, so in case it’s downloaded without his permission (I don’t know, I don’t really get how this works), the data thief dies. Max doesn’t know this when he uploads the data into his brain. When the time comes to reprogram Elysium (so that everyone, and I mean everyone, even the poorest of the poor on Earth can be citizens of Elysium and thus get access to apparently hundreds of those medical tanning bed units), he has to die. He does so anyway just in time so that the illegals currently on Elysium don’t get arrested and Frey’s daughter can be cured (she breaks into one of the houses to use the device).

I just think there has to be a greater motive of breaking into Elysium than just to borrow the healing device. Okay, let me rephrase that, since I know desperation can cause people to do things. What I’m trying to say is that, I find it hard to believe that the people on Elysium really don’t care about sending some medical droids and machines down to Earth. I mean, they have androids that control the situation on Earth. I’m sure placing healing machines on Earth will solve problems of illegals trying to break into their place.

Oh God, I hope I don’t sound like one of those 1% snobs, because seriously, that’s what I took from the movie’s premise.

turbo: that snail is fast

TurboThis one’s a bit dated (holy hell, I haven’t even reviewed Keanu Reeve’s Man of Tai Chi), but here goes.

Turbo is okay. It’s by DreamWorks. What can you expect? It’s not as high-quality as Pixar’s movies (except for Cars series. I really don’t understand why Cars is so famous. Perhaps I’m just not into that sort of thing, and oh my God, Pixar is releasing Planes, a spin-off of Cars). Honestly, it’s one of the best summer movies I’ve seen this summer. Granted, it’s a cartoon, or more precisely, a 3D animation. Apart from its catchy summer tune (seriously, “That Snail Is Fast”?), it tickled my fancy for a while. Or rather, it slapped my face at the right time.

I didn’t write the quote down, but there was one moment early in the movie when Chet (Turbo’s brother) talked to Turbo (whose real name is Theo) about how Theo’s urges to be fast was unnatural. Hello.

I’m guessing with the subplot of Theo being bullied (by other garden snails, not the racing ones, which are so awesome!), it strikes me as trying reinforce not only that notion that even underdogs can strive for (and succeed at) that one shot that’s make or break, but also about knowing what we really are in life (and by that I mean our urges. And by our urges, I mean, well, you know, our sexuality). So, moral of the story: be gay, people!

That's Los Angeles

That’s Los Angeles

Anyway, Theo got involved in some freak accident that made him fast. Like, superfast. Like, even faster than race cars. Then Chet, ever the skeptic (or probably overprotective of his brother) asked, “What would you do if you woke up to find your powers have disappeared?”

Theo (or Turbo) thought for a moment and said, “That’s why I’m going to use it as much as I can while I still have it.”

SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! And I think I cried.

Well, the quote is somewhere along those lines anyway.

That being said, I know it’s an animation, I know it’s fantasy, I know it’s far-fetched (you’d think a snail that fell into a car’s engine would automatically be barbecued), but here’s what bothers me so much from that movie:

I rollerblade. And holy hell, rollerblading on asphalt is a pain. It destroys the wheels. So how in gay hell can a snail’s undersides not be destroyed when he races 500+mph on asphalt? Seriously? How?

Snail, speeding on asphalt.

Snail, speeding on asphalt.

pacific rim: a melodramatic summer movie

Okay, so, I don’t know where to begin. I had been anticipating this movie so much, then I watched it and I felt duped. I mean, it’s even worse than Prometheus and I hate Prometheus to the core.

Let’s begin. Oh, God. First I need to see Charlie Hunnam’s abs.

Oh yes, you can Pacific Rim me any time.

Oh yes, he can Pacific Rim me any time.

Okay. I’m fine. I’m fine.

Ron Perlman is amazing as the crazy materialistic Hannibal Chau. I mean, those goddamn shoes (did anyone stay after the end credits? Hannibal Chau just pocket-knifes his way out of the baby kaiju and screams, “Where is my goddamn shoe?” Talk about an entrance (or is it an exit? Since it’s the end credits and he’s going out of something?)).

Then when one of the kaijus grabs Gipsy Danger and spreads its wings and fly. Ah, very unexpected and so amazing.

And, that’s about it.

The thing is, Pacific Rim should stick with kaiju-jaeger actions and smooth CGIs. I don’t care at all about the characters and whatever their issues are (one has daddy issues, one lost his brother, one lost her whole family and seeks revenge, one doesn’t want his adopted daughter to fight). Why? Because of their acting. I mean, seriously. Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori) was stellar in Babel and had more lines in that movie than in Pacific Rim (just so you know, Rinko Kikuchi played a deaf-mute in Babel). Maybe it’s what actors do once in a while, like Hilary Swank in The Core.

Did you know that the lights inside the helmet actually have no function than to light the actor's face so the audience can see it? Yeah. It's actually not practical at all.

Did you know that the lights inside the helmet actually have no function than to light the actor’s face so the audience can see it? Yeah. It’s actually not practical at all.

There’s this really, really cheesy scene where Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) stands on top of his jaeger (fighting machine), smiling at little girl Mako Mori, with the freaking sun setting behind freaking Idris Elba and the periwinkle rays and everything. I mean, seriously, del Toro? I usually cry like nobody’s business (Artificial Intelligence and Bicentennial Man. Whooohooo. Tears, tears, tears every where and then the lights went on I scrambled for tissues), but holy shat, I thought that scene was so cheesy that I almost used it for my baked potato and broccoli (yeah, I have a weird sense of humor).

But probably I found it so annoying because of the acting of Mana Ashida, the little girl who played little girl Mako Mori, was so horrible. So, so horrible. I mean, as if she was trying to compensate for the underacting that the other actors were doing in the movie. This kid’s acting was even worse than Dakota Fanning’s in War of the Worlds.

What... What am I doing here? I shouldn't be here! I... I CAN'T EVEN ACT!

What… What am I doing here? I shouldn’t be here! I… I CAN’T EVEN ACT!

Wait, no. I take that back.

Charlie Day should get an award for overacting and therefore creating such an annoying character. The two doctors are so annoying.

Suzuka Ohgo and Zoe Weizenbaum were brilliant in Memoirs of a Geisha and so were Alakina Mann and James Bentley in The Others. I hate children, but James Bentley in The Others… Oh God that kid. So adorable!

I thought Mako Mori would have more importance. Like, she would be the female badass, but apparently not. Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) does all the work. I kept waiting and waiting, and I had high hopes when Pentecost (before sacrificing his life) said, “You can finish this, Mako!” Finish WHAT?

Also, it’s just weird that when Raleigh and Mako are mind-melded, they are still talking to each other to operate the jaeger. Well, it’s mostly Raleigh who does the talking (“Freeze the tail!” (or whatever) or “I think we’d better check for pulse!”).

And then what Pentecost said to Raleigh when they met at the Alaska-California wall project, about choosing whether to die there or in a jaeger. So original. I’m sure Dilon from Alien 3 would be proud.

Mmmhmm... It's like he was POURED into that costume.

Mmmhmm… It’s like he was POURED into that costume.

Also, can we talk about the wall? Really? A wall? Like… not even with laser beams or electricity like in Jurassic Park? Really? A WALL? Did anyone even notice the size of those kaijus?

Finally, the one thing that always irks me with giant robot and monster films (yes, ESPECIALLY Powerpuff Girls) is that the hero does more damage than the monster. Case in point: Gipsy Danger dragging a ship instead of lifting it, to fight a kaiju.

Drag, drag, drag your boat

Drag, drag, drag your boat

Well, at least it’s Gipsy Danger and not Gypsy Danger. Speaking of which, do you know why it’s spelled with an ‘i’ instead of ‘y’? No, I’m not talking about the racial slur.

Okay, here’s Charlie Hunnam again.

Oh yes, you can Pacific Rim me any time.

Mmmhmmm.

Note: I watched Pacific Rim twice in the theater because I thought watching it twice would change my mind for the better, but unfortunately not.

zenne dancer: but is it really belly dance?

I am somehow adverse to gay movies. I don’t watch Queer as Folk, I don’t watch Dante’s Cove (haha, softcore porn, anyone?), I don’t watch Milk, I don’t watch Happy Together, heck, I don’t even watch Brokeback Mountain nor Naked Boys Singing nor Cloud Atlas (although technically it’s not a gay movie) and Boys Don’t Cry bored me to tears. I also don’t watch Glee or Sex in the City and I think Will & Grace is not funny. That being said, I love The Hours and Kinky Boots. And To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. And Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. And RuPaul’s Starrbooty. 

Zenne DancerWhat can I say, I’ve always loved showbiz. And speaking of which, as a small-time belly dancer, this particular Turkish / German movie intrigued me, and ever since news of it came out last year (or in 2011?) I’d been searching for it. A few days ago I finally found it and well, here’s the review.

Zenne is based on a true story of honor killing of one Ahmet Yildiz on a summer night of 2008. The suspect is his own father who cannot accept his son’s homosexuality, and Yildiz’s father is still at large.

Aside from bad acting from Giovanni Arvaneh (who played Daniel Bert the German photographer), everyone else is stellar in this movie. And I love Demir Demirkan’s version of Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no. 1.

I’ve never been to Turkey. A few years ago, when Mom and I planned on going there, two bombs went off in Istanbul. So we visited Italy and Greece instead. Then the uprising happened (and is still happening), so good for them for being fed up with the government but I really, really want to go, so bad for me because the situation is probably unpredictable as of right now.

My point is, I don’t know what Turkey is like, but Zenne is set in Istanbul and many parts are presented in the movie. There are some chic parts of the city and there are some poorer parts. This diversity is also evident in the way different families view homosexuality. The family of Can (the dancer, played by Kerem Can) loves him to death, even the guy who’s having a relationship with Can’s aunt. Well, Can’s brother (played by the oh so sexy Tolga Tekin) is a bully, but that’s probably because he’s burnt out from the war. We’ll discuss this later. Meanwhile, Ahmet’s (played brilliantly by Erkan Avci) parents are portrayed as being unable to accept their gay son while Ahmet’s sister (also played brilliantly by Esme Madra) loves Ahmet.

L-R: Can (the dancer), Ahmet, and Daniel (the photographer).

L-R: Can (the dancer), Ahmet, and Daniel (the photographer).

Can’s father died in the war, and well, his brother has post-war stress. Can’s mother and aunt don’t want him to go to war so he has to stay indoors during day time to avoid ID checks.

Daniel the photographer meets Can at a gay club where Can dances. Daniel wants to photograph Can in costume. Ahmet is present when Daniel meets Can for the second time and then for the third time, and well, love blooms. Daniel, being German (developed country that recognizes homosexual rights) fear for Ahmet’s life and wants to take Ahmet with him to Bavaria. However, both Can and Ahmet have to go to the military post first to claim their homosexuality so they don’t have to be enlisted.

Can and Ahmet, so chic!

Can and Ahmet, so chic!

So how exactly does one claim one’s homosexuality and escape conscription? Easy! Just bring evidence (photos) of being fucked by another guy. Ahmet and Daniel go off to get busy while Can finds someone else. Can waxes Ahmet’s hairy back and dresses him up and puts makeup on him as they go to the military post and tells Ahmet to tell the examiners that he’s also a zenne (dancer). Their plan works, Can and Ahmet don’t have to enlist. 

However, Ahmet left his sex photos in his car, and the private detective paid by Ahmet’s father to stalk him discovers the photos and gives them to Ahmet’s father as proof of Ahmet’s homosexuality. Ahmet says goodbye to Can, then goes to Daniel to leave for Bavaria. Ahmet never arrives. He’s shot to death on the pavement.

Isn’t it scarily amazing how one can escape from one type of death and yet the thing that enables such escape leads one to another type of death?

The thing that really gets me is how Daniel (again, he’s from Germany, a developed nation) forces Ahmet to just tell his parents that he’s gay, repeatedly asking what can possibly go wrong, they are his parents and they love him and will accept him. Oh, Lord. Talk about ignorance. This is why I think people from countries with advanced laws concerning human rights live in glass bubble. I envy them, while at the same time I’m sorry for their ignorance.

Daniel with Ahmet.

Daniel with Ahmet.

At one time, after he’s done photography children in a poor district, Daniel says to Ahmet, “You should’ve seen those children. They’re smiling and laughing. There’s hope in their eyes.”

To which Ahmet replies, “No, they’re smiling and laughing because you give them chocolate.”

That’s right. You don’t know how it is to be stuck in a third-world country where gays are prosecuted and women have minimal rights. You come here for your project, to win prizes and money and then you go home and the people you’ve met become nothing but distant memories and you pray for them for a short while (if you still pray), and then you go on with your life.

At least Daniel wants to bring Ahmet back to Bavaria and give him a better life.

I don't think belly dancers wear this kind of costume. Well, probably some dancers at Tribal Fest do.

I don’t think belly dancers wear this kind of costume. Well, probably some dancers at Total Fuckery Tribal Fest do.

Finally, one thing that bothers me is that this story hinges on the appeal of male belly dancer. I don’t know. I’ve been a belly dance student since 2008 and I don’t think Can does belly dance. When Daniel meets Can for the first time, he says he’s interested in male belly dancer and that he wants to photograph Can in costume. So I assume that’s what people think belly dancing is?

I know, I know, who am I to say what belly dancing is or isn’t? Well, I have a belly dance blog, and I usually review belly dance movies there and there’s a reason I’m not posting my review of Zenne Dancer on my belly dance blog.

Oh and by the way, as usual: here’s a sexy image.

Cihan (Tolga Tekin) showing Ahmet what they do in the military. Mmmhmm. Sign me up!

Cihan (Tolga Tekin) showing Ahmet what they do in the military. Mmmhmm. Sign me up for the next war!

the conjuring: why did the dog have to die and other questions

SPOILER AHEAD! There you’ve been warned.

So my friend dragged me talked me into watching The Conjuring. As we were on the elevator going up to the theater, I asked him if he’d read any spoilers, but he said no. I hadn’t read any spoilers nor reviews, so I was unprepared for anything. I’d seen the trailer (twice, actually) and thought it was going to be an okay movie.

Note about trailers: they lie. All the time. I thought Prometheus was going to be awesome. Then I thought Pacific Rim was going to be awesome. I thought Up was a happy family movie. Lies. All of them. Especially Up.

Also, please excuse me, I have the habit of writing and finding images to support my post, so I may experience brain scatter and my dad is playing his harmonica (it’s almost 10 PM here), but hey, at least he’s not a parent possessed by the spirit of a witch who’s trying to kill the children (or is he? I mean, at least he’s not playing his violin. Now that’s murder). Please excuse my foreshadowing.

The real Annabelle doll. Click here to read her story.

The story of the Warrens (the husband and wife who seek supernatural activities and attempt to stop disturbances) is actually a real one, although the Annabelle doll presented in the movie is too Chucky-ish and not as cute slash creepy as the real one. However, it is not about Annabelle (or is it?). Please excuse my foreshadowing. Again.

It’s about a house that’s haunted by an evil presence. The evil presence turns out to be a witch named Bathsheba, who committed infanticide (her own, to be exact. Seven days old, to be more precise), then committed suicide after telling how much she loved Satan and cursing those who live in the land and the house.

The new family moves into the house, ignorant of the house’s (and the land’s) morbid and murderous past, and of course things get interesting. That’s when the Warrens come in.

NAAWW! I DON'T WANNA SEE THE MOVIE AGAAAIN!!

NAAWW! I DON’T WANNA SEE THE MOVIE AGAAAIN!!

Some screams ensue, then disturbances that involve the inhabitants of the house being thrown around, some sightings (although it’s unclear whether we’re seeing the spirits through Lorraine Warren’s point of view in the movie or not), then the mother gets possessed and goes off to kill her two daughters.

No one dies in the end, so it’s uh… probably the happiest horror movie I’ve seen in years. Well no, Sadie the dog dies, and some birds. And I like dogs better than I like most humans, so the movie is actually really sad. (Addendum: lots of you are asking if/where/how Sadie dies. Well, I think it’s in the same spot where birds fly and hit a window (on the side of the house, perhaps under the window of the parents’ room, where the white sheet is blown by the wind). I couldn’t see anything, but I think Sadie ran around and got strangled by her chain.)

Even Jeremy Renner couldn't save Hansel and Gretel.

Even Jeremy Renner couldn’t save Hansel and Gretel.

Lili Taylor is of course flawless in this movie (then again, it’s a character she plays well), as are other actors, but I just… I lost it when the movie tried to relate it to the witches. I mean, come on. Bathsheba (the witch / evil presence) is said to be related to Mary Easty, who is never found guilty of witchcraft. When this was revealed, the feminist inside me screamed bloody (character) murder. The Conjuring, which is a pretty good (and jumpy (but not scary)) movie stoops as low as MTV’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Now that I’ve got it out of my system, let’s point out some issues I found in the movie.

  1. The Annabelle doll, along with Bathsheba, haunted Judy (daughter of the Warrens’) in the Warrens’ house. Hmm, not exactly sure why Bathsheba had to take Annabelle with her. Addendum: I watched The Conjuring again for the second time and I think Bathsheba used Judy (and the Annabelle doll) to scare the Warrens. I mean, The Annabelle doll was possessed and could move around, and so if it could kill Judy, then perhaps the Warrens would not be able to come to help Carolyn and Roger and family. Therefore, with no Warrens’ interference, Bathsheba (inside Carolyn) could freely kill the children, thus destroying the family. Does this make sense?
  2. Bathsheba just disappeared? Was it Carolyn’s sheer will power (well, along with the exorcism and her husband’s words and Lorraine’s help) that got rid of Bathsheba?
  3. It was Ed Warren’s first time doing exorcism and nothing went wrong. In my creative writing class, we call it missed opportunity (although perhaps that’s what happened, because the story is based on some truth).
I'd conjure that!

Mmmhmm… I could sure use some exxxorcism.

Maybe like all real horror stories, it’s hard to guess the spirit’s motivation. However, I still stand by my opinion: it’s really unfair to throw the witches once again under a burning bus.

The Conjuring has its moments, though, like when Bathsheba (trivia: she’s played by a man) jumps off the top of the wardrobe, then the white sheet blown by the wind, but I have to say, Stephen King’s Rose Red was way scarier than The Conjuring. Or, one of my favorites: The Others. Now that’s hair-raising. The Conjuring doesn’t have a sense of dread that I think is essential in the horror genre. It is classic in a sense that nothing presented is new (there’s a haunted house, vengeful spirit, and exorcism, then there’s the talk of the number three as mocking the Trinity of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit). I think Exorcism of Emily Rose is by far the best exorcism movie out there. Which makes me wonder, what exactly is The Conjuring about and if the family really cared about Sadie the dog after all. I mean, they moved on pretty quickly.

Well, speaking of witches, please excuse me while I go watch Practical Magic.