The regular kind of movie (#SFWApro)

Thirty-two miles on the bike today. So I’m not up for anything longer than this (but I did get lots of DVDs watched for the book while recuperating).
EL TOPO (1970) is a surreal Mexican Western in which a bearded gunslinger wanders around shooting people at the drop of a hat before a sexy woman demands he prove himself by killing the four greatest gunslingers in the West, all of whom are even weirder than he is (“The bullets pass through spots in my flesh.”). The creators clearly know what a surreal art film looks like (the imagery, as critic Leonard Maltin says, seems heavily influenced by Luis Buñuel) but they have no idea what to do to make the visuals add up to anything. Not recommended. “When you were seven yards from the corral, my rabbits began to die.”
MALEFICENT (2014) is Disney’s reworking of Sleeping Beauty in which Angelina Jolie’s fae turns out to be more sinned against than sinning, leading to her pronouncing the dread curse only to regret it when she gets to know Aurora. This is a good example of the Likes the Movie theory (flaws only matter if you do like the movie) because I really did enjoy this to the point I could overlook the flaws. Said flaws being:
•The ending really feels off. Either they should have put the action before the dramatic resolution, or cut out the action (I’m not sure).
•They establish early on that iron is kryptonite to fae, but proceed to ignore this for the rest of the film unless it’s convenient to use it. Similarly, Maleficent is supposedly helpless when she’s surrounded by men with iron shields in one scene, but we’ve already seen she can knock down a platoon of knights with wind magic.
•This film spends way too much time gawking at all the cool fairy creatures. For me that was a waste of time: They’re beautifully done but nothing much beyond what Jim Henson showed us in Labyrinth twenty years ago. It’s like world-building—just leaving the effects in the background instead of trying to show off would have worked better.
But despite all that, this was charming enough I give it thumbs up. “That’s why I worded the curse that way—because true love doesn’t exist.”

1 Comment

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One response to “The regular kind of movie (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Time Travel Movies, of course (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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