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Everything posted by Ravenya003

  1. Just saw it yesterday, sorry if I repeat anything that's been mentioned already. Interesting ideas, but oddly little Wonder Woman. The first movie was special because Diana was front-and-centre, and she was truly wondrous to watch. Not just her beauty or athleticism, but the fact that she made goodness INTERESTING. That's such a rare thing in fiction (to quote Simone Weil: "“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” The first movie managed to make the goodness of Diana romantic and exciting: her joy at seeing a baby, her steadiness of character, the way she said: "who will sing for us?" to Charlie, the way she always chose to do the right thing and had the power to see it through... Here she was just not really there at all. She felt like a supporting character in her own movie. Maxwell, Cheetah and Steve. You could have had TWO of these characters. TWO. Not three. There just wasn't time to do any of them justice, and oddly it seemed to be Maxwell, the character who had the least relevance to Diana's personal story, that got the most screen-time. Ironically the best parts were the very beginning and the very end: little Diana in the Amazon Olympics, and Lynda Carter's cameo at the end. I really hope the third movie goes back to Themyscira. When Maxwell's kid wished: "to be great like you, dad" I thought that this meant all the power of the wishing rock would pass into him, and that Diana would be faced with the moral crisis of potentially having to kill a kid in order to save the world (foreshadowed by all the kid-saving she did in this movie). And then that... didn't happen.
  2. Though Kathryn Winnick clocked in the most episodes at seventy-one. Gustaf Skarsgård came second with sixty-eight.
  3. Well, that was an ending. Perhaps a little underwhelming, but what saved it from being outright bad was that Hirst was respectful to the characters (unlike Game of Thrones) and had coherent arcs plotted out from the get-go (unlike Rise of Skywalker). I wasn't blown away, but everything felt right, if that makes sense. My only real complaint was that Ivar got taken out by some terrified-looking kid. He and Alfred have long-since been set up as rivals, and it would have worked better with the "Christianity takes over" theme if Athelstan's son was the one to deal the killing blow to the world's most famous Viking. I get subverting expectations and "biggest bad gets taken out by a random nobody" is popular these days, but it really hasn't worked since Lorne killed Lindsay in "Angel". The guy who killed someone for the sake of gold in America was profoundly stupid (dude, where do you plan to SPEND this gold?) but it was part of the theme that there's always going to be greed and violence in the world; a new land won't change that. Also, that in order to survive, the Vikings now have to change and adapt to new cultures. Hvitserk... yeah, he was always a follower, so I'm not surprised he converted. I kind of wish we finished with Rus way sooner in order to give more room to Wessex and more cat-and-mousing between Ivar and Alfred. But I'm glad the latter maintained his integrity and has clearly become the good ruler he's so renowned for. So Ingrid becomes Queen of Kattegat. If you had told me that at the beginning of the season, I wouldn't have believed you, but good for her! Still bewildered that this fairly minor side character rose to such a height (along with a slave woman we were literally introduced to in the previous episode) but I'll take it. I bet Gunnhild is kicking herself in Valhalla. Girl, all you had to do was wait for Harald to go get himself killed in Wessex, and the throne was yours! I'm kind of disappointed we didn't get some cameos from the original cast members: Ragnar, Lagertha, Athelstan, Rollo, Bjorn (I mean, we saw HALFDAN again for goodness sakes, but not the others?) but I supposed the actors have long since moved on. Honestly though: imagine a scene in which we see them all rocking out in Valhalla. Glad Torvi made it, but did they really have to kill off her daughter? And of course, extremely fitting that it all ended with Ubbe (Ragnar's best son) and Floki (his oldest friend, and last remaining original cast member). Laughed my head off at the two of them sitting there in those ponchos. It's been fun guys. I don't think anything matched the excellence of the early seasons, culminating in Ragnar's long-con in defeating King Horik, and from season three onwards Hirst had a frustrating tendency to introduce new characters and almost immediately kill them off (Yidu, Heahmund, Magnus, Astrid...) but obviously something kept drawing me back. I guess we'll meet again in the spin-off.
  4. Penultimate episode!! So I really love the conceit of Ubbe and company making it to America, becoming aware of the people already living there, and then doing what the Good Side of Ragnar would have done: leave presents and peacefully integrate themselves. After all the violence and bloodshed of this show in its entirety, I almost shed a tear at the fact that, actually, sometimes human beings can do the right thing. It wasn't until the first glimpse of the carvings on the trees that I realized Floki was the "crazy man", though I obviously should have twigged the moment that phrase came up. That sequence was beautifully done, with the carvings of Ragnar and Kattegat on the tree trunks, and the beautifully constructed house in the trees. I wasn't even that big a fan of Floki, but I'm glad he's clearly found a sense of peace. As for Harald's death, it was somehow both overwhelming and undeserved. He gets taken out by some random Wessex bishop? I'll never understand why Gunnhild didn't get that honour, or why such a loathsome murderer/rapist (albeit one played by a very charismatic actor) gets to see the brother that he killed in his final moments. Ah well, I guess they just had a different system of morality than I do. Another odd choice was that a random slave woman took out Erik the Red - not that he didn't deserve it by that stage. Again, I know Ingrid isn't popular - but what exactly is her crime here? She blinded and killed a man that strong-armed himself into her bed, who at one point captured and sold her into slavery (loved that Erik felt the other woman's brand on her neck before he died) and there's been no indication that she's a bad queen. The way she handled the jarls and captains in getting higher taxes to build a defense wall was pretty masterful. Also, this was awesome: One more episode to go, I hope they make it. Alfred is on the backfoot, right on cue for his big comeback in the finale.
  5. I feel like such a doofus; it's taken me this long to realize Ubbe and company were going to end up in America. Love that Alfred still has his chess piece, and that we saw those old shots of him playing with Ivar. Hirst has clearly been planning this particular story arc for a long time: Ragnar's son versus Athelstan's son, each with their own disabilities and nay-sayers. I don't know why but I hope Ingrid makes it out alive. She probably won't though.
  6. Nice lead-up to the Alfred reveal. He's a good physical match for the child of Judith and Athelstan. I hate that Elsewith is being depicted as a nagging wife, not least because she actually makes a good point: the Vikings attack, Alfred makes terms with them, and it's only a matter of time before the Vikings attack again. At some point you have to stop giving people second chances. But of course, Alfred has to be the voice of reason, and Elsewith must be hushed. Ingrid: not entirely sure what you're up to, but go for it. Extremely thankful that the boat trip from hell is over. The chess match between Ivar and Alfred resumes,,,
  7. Well, Ivar certainly won the crowd over pretty easily. It's not like he terrorized everyone and killed all their family members and announced himself as a god to be worshipped or anything. As soon as the Oracle said that the answer was in Ivar's pocket, I yelled: "the chess piece!" at the television. And it was the chess piece!! I love being right. So glad we're heading back to Wessex. The sex goddess was a bit random though.
  8. Seriously, Gunnhild? You're just gonna give up? Sigh. This show has never been great with female characters that weren't Lagertha, so I don't know why I expected that to change this close to the finish line. I guess there's something vaguely amusing in a woman deciding to drown herself rather than marry Harald, but I was looking forward to the women finishing him off and agreeing to a joint-queenship. And seriously Hirst, you have Gunnhild make a promise that she'll slit Harald's throat if given the chance, then show her hiding a small dagger in her clothing and then... not follow through on that? Oh Kjetill, you're not King of Greenland, just King of a Dead Whale. Thank God that plot is over with. I'm also not sorry to see the end of Rus. Glad that Igor finally took Oleg out: like most self-pitying fools he compares himself to Jesus and then expects everyone to play nice with him as soon as they've got the upper hand. Since I'm sick of redemption arcs I'm glad they just dealt with him quickly. So I guess Katia's resemblance to Freydis really was just in Ivar's head? I half expected them to switch her out with another actress as they said goodbye, just to drive the point home.
  9. Urgh, why hasn't anyone killed Kjetill yet? He doesn't seem to be contributing anything, he's a pain in the ass to be around, and he seems addicted to pissing everyone else off. Seriously, sometimes you just gotta get rid of the bad egg. I liked that Ingrid was allowed to verbalize the situation she's in: she has no choices and is (possibly) carrying her rapist's baby. I'm still waiting for the women to conceive an assassination plan together and just take power for themselves though. Surely Erik is still up to something. Why be head bodyguard when you can be the queen's consort? Harald was holding a tooth earring that he threw in the fire. Was that Astrid's? Man this guy is the king of self-delusion.
  10. Oh Harald, why you gotta be such a douche? I loved hearing his revisionist history regarding his relationship with Bjorn (he stabbed him in the back every chance he got) and Lagertha (she essentially raped him while he was chained up). Major creep vibes with the way he behaved towards the women: I hope to Hirst that Gunnhild gets to keep her promise to Ingrid and slit his throat, and the women take the obvious option and team up with each other to rule. That's probably not going to be the case though, for it seems yet another female character is going down the crazy path (remember Margrethe?) I always love it when characters tell the stories of their gods; in this case Torvi and the tale of Jormungandr. It's incredible that they're still told and passed on today. But... she's lost another kid?? Man, Hirst really loves killing off children. I guess we're not getting any sort of reaction from Ingrid about her father's death, though I suspect Hirst has already forgotten that she was Olaf's daughter. It would seem that Katia is indeed all-in on Ivar's plan - for the kid's sake I hope they make it out alive.
  11. Freydis betrayed Ivar, which makes me think that Katia is genuine about wanting to overthrow Oleg. Otherwise, why just repeat the same storyline? On that note, are we ever going to get an explanation as to why the two women are identical? Maybe they just liked the actress and wanted to keep her around, or maybe it's some kind of spell (would they go that deep into the supernatural?) Perhaps it's just in Ivar's mind as he pointed out the resemblance to Hvitserk and he didn't notice anything. Whatever the case, I have serious hat/coat envy when it comes to Katia. Poor Prince Igor is having such a bad childhood - it's hard to believe that Ivar is the sane parent in that household. It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out: in a fairy tale Igor would become a great king for having seen the cruelty of Oleg; in the real world he would just be too traumatized and fucked up to be anything but a basket case. This close to the finish line, perhaps he'll get a happy ending. Erik the Red: I know he's an important historical figure, but I don't find him that compelling. I like that he advocates for Gunnhild as queen, but there are clearly some mercenary motivations in there, and you could SEE the wheels in his head start turning on discovering Ingrid is pregnant. An interesting parallel in the way Erik and Ubbe are seemingly pitting two other contenders to the throne/power against one another. It's a pity the Ingrid/Gunnhild solidarity didn't last long, though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. In a better world, Gunnhild would take the throne and promise to make Ingrid's child her heir in exchange for loyalty. I suppose it could still happen if Erik is found untrustworthy, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
  12. I've been dipping in and out of this forum since season three, but since it's the last hurrah I'm going to make the effort to comment on every episode. It's been (mostly) fun guys! I should have known better than to believe the fake-out that was Bjorn just dying in his bedchamber. I can't say I liked him that much, but in the Viking spirit he certainly deserved a bombastic death. Not sure what the deal was with his tomb though. How did they position his body like that? And on his horse no less? I had the bizarre thought that it was a wax sculpture before remembering what time period we were in. Good job Alexander Ludwig, and I hope you shaved off that beard post-haste. I'm not hugely interested in Ubbe's plot beyond the fact that I'm glad at least ONE of Ragnar's son has his shit together. Interesting comment he made that Odin and the Christian God were one and the same. There's certainly some eerie similarities between Norse mythology and Christianity, from the three days Odin spent hanging on a tree, to the correlations between Loki and Lucifer. I've heard that this is a theme that's explored throughout the season, so I'm looking forward to that. For all his tediousness, Olaf also went out like a boss - though has there been any indication that he was a Christian before? That he didn't scream in agony or even look particularly afraid was an interesting choice, though I noticed that Oleg was NOT impressed when that little prince looked around to get Ivar's permission to light the fire. He's definitely realized that they're in cahoots. I'm not as down on Ingrid as most people are - if memory serves, there was a scene in the first half of this season that revealed she was Olaf's daughter, and had seduced Bjorn on HIS instructions, and I definitely got the sense that she just doesn't want to be there (but has nowhere else to go). I liked her conversation with Gunnhild, and Gunnhild's promise that she would slit Harald's throat for what he did to Ingrid. Fingers crossed that she gets to keep that promise. It reminds me of Lagertha and Aslaug back in the day, before the (IMO) character assassination went down . I just like moments of female solidarity, even if the two women are rivals. You have to admit, that was a pretty cool visual of the two women on the thrones. If Gunnhild has ideas about going to join Bjorn in the afterlife, I hope Ingrid can talk her off the ledge. Also, are we going to see the Wessex crew this season? Ivar and Alfred have unfinished business.
  13. "Dear father, enjoying Jedi Camp I am not. There's this creepy emo kid who keeps glaring at me and adjusting his lightsabre when he thinks I'm not looking. I have a bad feeling about this." (Too soon?)
  14. Edit: sorry, talking about future. Was anyone else reminded of the ROTJ scene in which Vader asks Luke to take off his helmet so he could "see you with my own eyes"? Din taking off his helmet for Grogu was the Light Side version of that, just as Luke's arrival/Ahsoka's intro seemed to be the Light Side version of Darth's massacre in Rogue One.
  15. That's true. These days anything can happen. (I just wish it would stop happening due to on-line fan campaigns. Man, I miss the fourth wall!)
  16. I think shippers can ship what they like, and bloggers can make giant meta commentaries that delve into Jungian symbolism and thematic resonance and minute details to their heart's content if that's what they enjoy, but there's no way the Duffer Brothers are changing course from Eleven/Mike as the show's OTP. Not after three seasons of setup, and after making their relationship the heart of the whole show. I do however think that Will will get a "coming out of the closet" arc sooner or later. Is it just me, but is the whole shipping phenomena within fandom is getting out of hand lately? I'll give the OP you linked to the benefit of the doubt and assume she's just having fun with the material, but so often these days shippers get completely carried away with their theories and endgame predictions and subsequent meltdowns when things inevitably don't go their way. Zutarians, Johnlocks, Destials, Reylos, Merthurs, Klances, Bellarkes... if they make a loud enough on-line noise, the rest of us will inevitably have to suffer through tedious fanservice designed to appease them, but it never works out for them in the long run. In this case, the Duffer Brothers clearly have their eye on what fandom is saying/doing, and makes slight calibrations in order to cater to popular opinion, but I definitely don't think they'll remove something as central as Mike/Eleven.
  17. "Rebecca" is sadly one of many works of fiction that have been so thoroughly misread over the years that the original purpose and meaning of them has been swept away by cultural osmosis. This adaptation seems to honestly be under the illusion that Maxim is a good guy, that the second Miss de Winter's story is one of empowerment (so then why not give her a NAME while you're at it?) and that they share a beautiful love story. The final speech has Lily James actually say: "I know I have made the right decision. To save the one thing worth walking through flames for. Love." Wow. Just wow. Here's a good breakdown of the whole thing, particularly these passages: But the most egregious choice made by the new Rebecca is the one to “empower” its heroine. I’ll say this again: the new adaptation of Rebecca, a novel that is all about its narrator’s meekness and weak character, has decided that what the story really needed was a heroine who is plucky and adventurous, who dreams of traveling abroad, and possesses esoteric knowledge on such topics as botany, forensics, and medicine. This isn’t feminism—the new version does nothing to change the story beat in which the heroine handwaves the fact that her husband murdered his first wife, and helps him evade justice. It’s some executive’s ham-handed idea of wokeness, a panicked reaction against the possibility that people might not like the second Mrs. de Winter. Well, no shit, Sherlock. We’re not supposed to like her! This is a freaking horror story! It’s quite something to watch someone pour millions of dollars trying to “fix” a story that not only wasn’t broken, but whose point they have clearly failed to comprehend. It’s particularly galling because there are no shortage of ways of empowering the second Mrs. de Winter, if that’s what you want to do (and again, you don’t have to; the original story is perfect just as it is). But all of them require you to acknowledge that her relationship with Maxim is no love story, and that she needs to leave it behind. The new Rebecca fails to realize this so completely that it even bastardizes the novel’s famous opening line into a love-conquers-all message intended to convince us that helping your husband get away with murder is the perfect way to bring spice into your marriage. It's just so depressing to see such a dark and psychologically complex book be read by idiots who take everything about it at face value and try to "improve" on the "dated" elements (they don't think Daphne du Maurier knew EXACTLY what she was doing??) I recently discovered E.L. James's latest book (of Fifty Shades of Grey fame) also has a guy called "Maxim" as its creepy, abusive, emotionally stunted romantic hero (though in her case, these qualities are what's meant to make him so appealing), but it's honestly the logical endpoint of our collective lack of reading comprehension, and the bizarre assumption that we're supposed to find relationships between controlling, violent men and vulnerable, rather stupid women desirable instead of terrifying. Here at least is an interesting article about how there's been a certain shift in how romance novels are being written, and the massive wake-up call many women writers got after the #metoo movement. I feel like that mentality might have been behind this adaptation, but in entirely the wrong direction.
  18. I imagine the same thing happens when aging actresses get the call to play the Evil Stepmother in various Snow White and Cinderella remakes. Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Diana Rigg, Miranda Richardson - there's no clearer of indicator of being a "beauty past her prime" than playing the evil stepmother. Getting back to The Witches, the original film is notorious in our extended family, as my second cousin was taken to see it as a child and was so legitimately traumatized that she started having panic attacks whenever she saw elderly women; so convinced was she that they were witches. Eventually her parents had to take her to therapy, where she was given a "high-tech witch repelling charm" (there's no point telling a kid that what they fear isn't real, they need to have a tangible tool in order to fight it). Needless to say, I was not allowed to watch this movie as a child, so I'll be interested to see if this tones down the horror elements in any way. And of course: the changed ending, which Roald Dahl famously hated, even though his conclusion was severely depressing the more you think about it.
  19. Also, for anyone unaware, Edith Garrud was a real person who did indeed teach young women (specifically suffragettes) how to defend themselves with jujitsu. She lived all the way to 1971, dying at age 99. So when the inevitable "it's political correctness gone mad!" moaning starts (though I'm sure it has already) here are the receipts...
  20. I loved it on the train after she realized Tewskbury was in danger, heard her mother's voice telling her not to get involved, and then holds up her finger to the audience as if to say "just wait a second" before heading back to do what she knew she had to. Just brilliant timing and communication. Also when Tewskbury gets to her lodging house and follows her up the stairs and she looks at us, like: "OMG, there's a boy in my room!" If we get a sequel, it will entirely be down to the charm of this performance. This is the advantage of children/YA films being based on pre-existing books. It's not a complete failsafe obviously, but children's writers usually know what they're doing and deliver simple-but-strong stories which adaptations can elaborate/modernize as they see fit, with the underlying plot and characterization as a solid base upon which to build. Of course it's when the screenwriters start thinking that they know BETTER that the trouble starts (*cough*Artemis Fowl*cough*)
  21. That was cute, though definitely took its inspiration from the Guy Ritchie films (running down a narrow street while explosives go off - I almost expected to see Robert Downey Jr in there somewhere). I'm envious of Millie Bobby Brown's ability to seemingly have complete control over her life at such a young age, and she looked like she was having a great time throughout. Hopefully this means the rest of the books will be adapted in time. So nice to have a Sherlock story without the specter of Moriarty (or Irene Adler, for that matter - two characters who barely figured into the canonical stories) and always fun to play "spot the British B-listers". Mr Collins from Pride and Prejudice! Madame Maxime from Harry Potter! Caroline from Killing Eve! I haven't read the book, but the whole "every vote counts" plot-point seemed particularly pertinent in this day and age.
  22. I mean, if there was ever an excuse to have a gross age difference between leading man and leading woman... this was it. But NOW Netflix executives decide to grow a conscience and have only three years between the two leads? The entire point of this relationship is that Maxim wants a meek, timid, young and malleable little wife - the audience/reader knows she's completely out of her depth, but the girl in question has an almost god-like reverence for her much older father-husband. Probably not helping is the fact that I recently watched Hitchcock's film, which completely nailed the casting. Joan Fontaine embodied Mrs de Winter #2 in a way that blew me away; a perfect marriage of character and performance. Lily James reminds me of Kiera Knightley - every character they've ever played is performed in exactly the same way: same mannerisms, same speech patterns, same expressions. I've never seen either of them disappear into a character, which is fine for fluff like Pirates of the Carribean or Cinderella, but the second Mrs de Winter is one of the most psychologically complex female characters of all time. Half the plot takes place entirely in her head. There is one reason for this remake to exist, and that's the pesky Hayes Code not getting in the way of the twist. Hopefully they can work with that: violent undercurrents to hide an even weaker constitution in Maxim is something Hitchcock wasn't able to get away with and which Armie Hammer can probably pull off. (But don't make him a broody Gothic hero. He's essentially a weak man, not a tortured one). And for the love of God, please resist the urge to depict Rebecca on-screen. She's like the portrait of Dorian Grey - no matter how tempting it is, do NOT show us her face.
  23. This looks like loads of fun; hopefully it'll do well enough to greenlight the next five books in the series.
  24. Ravenya003

    Disney Films

    The criticism of Merida in Brave always bugged me, because when you get down to it, what exactly is she railing against? Oh right, she doesn't want to be married off to a complete stranger (with all that entails). As soon as all the obnoxious loser suitors show up, I want to grab Elinor's ear and say: "really? You want to give away your lovely daughter away to one of THESE duds?" I feel that the movie wanted to do a "both sides were wrong/both sides had a point" sort of story, but as soon as you step back and look at what Merida objected to, then the argument is over. Forcing anyone to marry against their will is bad; always has been, always will be (I know the response to this is "that's how it was back then", but c'mon, it's a DISNEY movie. No one would have respected Merida if she'd meekly given herself up to one of those losers, and I feel like the script deliberately made Merida more bratty than she needed to be in order to garner sympathy for Elinor). It's a pity, since the entire thing would have worked better if Merida was fighting against becoming a future leader/queen/heir to the throne because she was too wrapped up in her own interests and refused to take the responsibility before her. That would have been something I could sympathize with Elinor over, since we've all gotta grow up sometime. And it's worth pointing out that Merida had no idea the cake was going to turn her mother into a bear; she believed it would simply let her see Merida's side of the situation, which is not at all unreasonable. I also think that Tiana (not Merida) deserves SO MUCH credit for introducing the concept of a princess who had a very discernible FLAW that worked against her. In Tiana's case, it was her determination to run herself ragged in pursuit of a goal to the detriment of her own health and happiness, which very much paved the way for the personality flaws found in Merida, Rapunzel and Elsa, whose stories are just as much about overcoming their own internal obstacles as their external ones. That wasn't possible until Tiana came along.
  25. I have never been bothered by a bad wig in films/TV, in fact most of the times I don't even notice it. (Apparent examples of bad wigs: Mera and Atalana in Aquaman, Cersei and Daenerys in Game of Thrones, Storm in X-Men. I honestly didn't notice or care).
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