Kindly avoid getting anything twisted—I fucking love The Hobbit. When I was a little girl, my dad (WHO DIED, okay, so this sentimentality is HARDCORE) read The Hobbit and/or Lord of the Rings and/or the Chronz of Narnia out loud to me every night before bed. I remember him nodding off in the chair, his pace and pitch winding down like he was running out of batteries—Bifur, Bofur, Bommmmbuuurrrrrrrrrrrrr. It was the best. So at this point, no matter the context, if someone even mentions riding a barrel down the Celduin to Lake-town at the gates of Erebor, The Lonely Mountain (even if they're just talking about spring break!), I collapse in a heap of sniffles.
I am the target audience for The Hobbit. I just want to make that clear. Because The Hobbit...is terrible.
It's the kind of terrible where I love it, and the kind of terrible where I will probably watch it 700 more times before I die of rickets because I haven't left my hobbit hole in nine years (for this is what I must do with all wizard-related materials), but it is TARRAHHBUUULLLLLL nonetheless. Here are the reasons why, in chronological order according to how soon in the movie they annoyed me.
If you're on the fence about The Carrie Diaries (and/or if you've been snoozing on it and you'd like to catch up), I've put together a thorough mega-recap of the entire first season so far.
Being something of a professional Sex and the City-eviscerator, I fully planned to watch the premiere of The Carrie Diaries and offer hella bon mots about peplum skirts and Samantha's future-vulva. But then, you know, life and not-caring got in the way, and now we're four episodes in and there are already rumblings about cancellation! And I haven't even figured out yet whether or not I should care! As ratings have been rather dismal, it seems as though most of you haven't figured it out yet either. But don't worry. I'm on it. Below, you'll get the dirt on everything that has happened so far.
I Fucking Love LincolnShow Show
As the opening titles appeared solemnly on the screen—LINCOLN—my friend whispered, "It'd be better if it had an exclamation point at the end." Ha ha, we laughed. Ha ha.
EXCEPT TRUUUUUUUUTH. It's not that Lincoln! (my column, I punctuate HOW I WANT) is the best movie ever, or even a particularly great movie, or even the most enjoyable movie I've ever seen, or even the best movie featuring a fake Abraham Lincoln (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, doy), but it just might be my favorite movie of all time at this exact moment right now—at least until my post-election glow wears off. Lincoln! is democracy porn trussed up in Spielbergian schmaltz. I fucking loved it.
I don't remember a lot of specifics about watching Titanic in theaters in 1997, but I was 15 years old, which means my two biggest concerns were 1) locating romance, and 2) not dying in a nautical catastrophe. So I think we can safely assume that I fucking loved that movie. I watched Titanic again on TV with my sister a few years later, making sure to switch it off right before that whole stressful iceberg thingy—a strategy that turns the movie into a pleasant romp about two teenagers who take a perfectly safe boat ride and then bang in a jalopy. The end. Charming! Watching Titanic for a third time this weekend—in advance of Wednesday's big 3D reopening—I cannot imagine what I was thinking that second time around. I could not wait to get to the second half and watch all these motherfuckers drown.
Lindy West Goes Deep NerdShow Show
Well, it's over, you guys. Seven books, eight movies, however many horcruxes, hella snogging, buckets of nerd tears, one gay Dumbledore, one million nonsense words about "wandlore," one billion dollars in J. K. Rowling's bank account, one trillion hilarious wizarding jokes by me ("Muggle, please"), and Harry has his mother's eyes and you can't apparate into or out of Hogwarts and Hermione is STILL the only person who fucking bothered to read Hogwarts: A History (HONESTLY, RON). I'm going to miss it all. So much.
That is, I mean, until the Great Harry Potter Movie Franchise Reboot of 2031 (I'm being generous with that date—they're probably starting on it as we speak), starring Hugh Grant as Dumbledore (he'll be 70!) and Zac Efron as Gilderoy Lockhart (he'll be 43!) and the kid who plays Neville Longbottom in a hilarious cameo as Florean Fortescue, the guy who sells wizard ice cream (RIP). But until then, all we have to keep us warm at night are seven books, eight movies, however many horcruxes, one gay Dumbledore, etc. (See paragraph one, above.) So in honor of the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, I decided to take a look back at everything we've been through together. Join me.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
This movie is notable/interesting/good for almost zero reasons (I'm sorry, but is director Chris Columbus a worse person than the actual Christopher Columbus?), besides the fact that it introduced us to the adorable actor-children that we'd be saddled with for the subsequent fucking decade no matter what kinds of weird shapes their heads grew into. It also introduced perhaps the greatest character in the entire Harry Potter universe: the witch who runs the snack trolley on the Hogwarts Express. Hey, lady. HOW SHITTY OF A WITCH DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GET STUCK RUNNING A SNACK TROLLEY ON A TRAIN FOR CHILDREN!? For that matter, does the Hogwarts Express do anything besides take kids to and from Hogwarts twice a year? How is that a responsible allocation of funds? And who built it? Who laid the tracks? Where did they get the steel? Did they buy it from Muggle steel distributors? These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
This is the one with Kenneth Branagh and the big underground snake. Chris Columbus returned to direct, and to infect the local centaur population with smallpox. Dick.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
The only legitimately good Harry Potter movie, Azkaban was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who is an actual movie director instead of an overturned bucket with eyebrows and "big ideas."
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Okay. Logistics question. So if the entire Tri-Wizard tournament—this entire year of school—was just a long con set up by Voldemort to get Harry to eventually touch a portkey and be transported to that stupid graveyard, then why didn't Mad-Eye Moody just say to Harry ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, "Oh hey, Harry, could you just hold this quill for me for one second—" BAM!!! Portkeyed. Done. Slice 'n' dice. Did Barty Crouch Jr. just really really like grading papers? Seriously, J. K. Seriously.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
AND WHILE WE'RE ASKING QUESTIONS, WHY DOES FUCKING SLYTHERIN EVEN EXIST!? Even the Sorting Hat's like, "Ohhhh, if you're brave like a lion, you can be in Gryffindor/And if you're boring and a nerd, it's Ravenclaw for you/And the rest of the people just go in Hufflepuff, because whatever/And for the evil fucks, let me direct you to our dark wizard factory in the basement called Slytheriiiiiiin!" It makes no sense.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Uhhhh, I'm running out of space. Snape kills Dumbledore.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
We're almost done, y'all. Here's what I wrote when this one came out: "Oh, dude, shit is going DOWN. V-mort is totally taking over the Ministry of Magic. Hermione just obliviated her parents' brainz. Snape is wearing more eyeliner than ever. Ron drank too much Muscle Milk and Hedwig is dead and wandlore is confusing and Dobby is gross and I sincerely hope you read the book because otherwise I'm basically Gary Busey speaking Esperanto right now. You're fucked." It's true. You are.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
And here we are!!! The final movie. If you still haven't read the books, go ahead and take the amount of fucked that you were in the last movie, multiply it by double-fucked, feed it to Gary Busey, wait two hours, fish it out of his bidet, and fuck it. Because you aren't going to understand a word. That said, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is slightly awesome. Director David Yates does something smart here: Rather than attempt loyalty to the book, he skims valiantly through the opening Gringotts set piece and goblin exposition (zzzzz) so that he can actually settle in, take his time with the Battle of Hogwarts, and build to an actual climax. The battle is the movie—slobbering giants, whispering horcruxes, embarrassing steampunk werewolves, the Snape-didn't-do-it montage, that horrible red baby, Kingsley Shacklebolt's stupid fucking hat, Voldemort's Nehru collar of doom (all rendered in outrageously pointless 3-D). See you in 2031, nerds. Hopefully, Chris Columbus will be dead by then.
(Originally published here.)Show
A Review of The Game PlanShow Show
Back in the salad days of the early-to-mid-to-late 19th or 20th century sometime, one bitchy suffragette (let's call her Susan B. Anthony) was on her period, as usual. "I tire of childcare!" she screeched, "Why can a man not care for a child? Surely a mister can be a mom! A cop can manage a kindergarten! Three men can scrape feces from the buttocks of a baby, and a fat uncle can cook a very, very large pancake, and these things are not beyond the ken of a just and decent society! Also, hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt." Then she died.
Now, when the president of Hollywood (let's call him Louis B. Mayer) heard Susan B. Anthony's idea, he leaned back in his chair and cracked his knuckles. "$$$$$$$$$," he said to no one in particular, "$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$ $$$$$$." And lo, the mother-man genre of cinema was born.
Sometimes we, the public, are forced to endure three-month stretches without the intoxicating wackiness of a Big Daddy or a The Pacifier. Those are dark days. But it's time to stop crying, people, and take a big old sniff of what Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is cooking. Because guess what? It's baby poop, and it smells hilarious.
In The Game Plan, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is Joe Kingman, a self-obsessed football player who is simultaneously known as "The King," "Never Say No Joe," and "#1 on the Field and #1 in Your Hearts." When an annoying 7-year-old named Peyton appears, claiming to be his daughter, Joe finds himself in a genuine pickle. "Sorry, annoying child," he tells her, "I cannot care for you. You see, I am a man, and my apartment is full to capacity with trophies, catchphrases, megabucks, protein shakes, wet muscles, and my penis." Two hours pass, and they do ballet together, and Peyton exclaims, "Daddy, you won the championship!" and Daddy replies, "Aw, Peyton! I won much more than that!" and they hug, and you and I are two hours closer to the grave.
(Originally published in The Stranger.)Show
I Watched 146 Minutes of Sex and the City 2 and All I Got Was This Religious FundamentalismShow Show
We've been thinking it for two long years. All of us. Gnawing our cheeks at night, clutching at sweaty sheets, our faces hollow and gray, our once-bright eyes dimmed by the pain of too many questions. Sometimes we cry out, en masse, to a faceless god and a cold, indifferent universe that holds its secrets close. What... rasps the death rattle of our collective sanity. What is the lubrication level of Samantha Jones's 52-year-old vagina? Has the change of life dulled its sparkle? Do its aged and withered depths finally chafe from the endless pounding, pounding, pounding—cruel phallic penance demanded by the emotionally barren sexual compulsive from which it hangs? If I do not receive an update on the deep, gray caverns of Jones, I shall surely die!
Please don't die. The answer is... fine. Samantha's vagina is doing fine. She rubs yams on it, okay? She takes 48 vagina vitamins a day. It accepts unlimited male penises with the greatest of ease. Now let us never speak of it again.
Sex and the City 2 makes Phyllis Schlafly look like Andrea Dworkin. Or that super-masculine version of Cynthia Nixon that Cynthia Nixon dates. Or, like, Ralph Nader (wait, bad example—Schlafly totally does look like Ralph Nader in a granny wig). SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled cunt like it's my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car. It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls. But I digress. Let us start with the "plot."
Carrie Bradshaw: At the end of the first SATC movie (2008)—after eleventy decades of chasing his emotionally abusive jowls through the streets of Manhattan—Carrie finally marries Mr. Big, the man of her shallow, self-obsessed dreams. It has now been two years since their nuptials. Carrie already hates it. She hates that he sits on the couch. She hates that he eats noodles out of a take-out box. She hates that he wants to spend quality time with her in their incredibly expensive and gaudy apartment. She hates that he bought her an enormous television. When Big suggests that they spend a couple of days a week in separate apartments (they own TWO apartments, because life is hard!), Carrie screeches, "Is this because I'm a bitch wife who nags you?" Congratulations. You have answered your own question.
Miranda Redhairlawyerface: Miranda is a lawyer who has red hair. She also has a child. As a working woman, Miranda is forced to miss every single one of her child's incessant science fairs (as though children know anything of science!). Also, her lawyer boss is a cartoon dick. Miranda quits her job, and everyone is much happier. This is because women should not work. It is terrible for the children.
Charlotte Goldsteinjewyjewsomethingsomethingblatt: Life for Charlotte is unbelievably difficult. As a wealthy stay-at-home mom with two children and a live-in, full-time nanny, she sometimes has to bake cupcakes! Also, one time her little child got finger paint on a piece of vintage cloth. Therefore, Charlotte cannot stop crying. "How do the women without help do it?" Charlotte (crying) asks Miranda. "I have no fucking idea," Miranda replies. Then they toast their disgusting glasses of pink syrup. To "them." To the "women without help." "If I wasn't rich, I'd definitely just kill myself right away with a knife!" says everyone in this movie without having to actually say it. Clink!
Samantha Jones: I told you we are never to speak of this.
In order to escape their various imaginary problems, our intrepid foursome traipses off to dark, exotic Abu Dhabi ("I've always been fascinated by the Middle East—desert moons, Scheherazade, magic carpets!"). When they arrive, Carrie, because she is a professional writer, announces, "Oh, Toto—I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!" Each woman is immediately assigned an extra from Disney's Aladdin to spoon-feed her warm cinnamon milk in their $22,000-per-night hotel suite. Things seem to be going great. But very quickly, the SATC brain trust notices that it's not all swarthy man-slaves and flying carpets in Abu Dhabi! In fact, Abu Dhabi is crawling with Muslim women—and not one of them is dressed like a super-liberated diamond-encrusted fucking clown!!! Oppression! OPPRESSION!!!
This will not stand. Samantha, being the
prostitute sexual revolutionary that she is, rages against the machine by publicly grabbing the engorged penis of a man she dubs "Lawrence of My-Labia." When the locals complain (having repeatedly asked Samantha to cover her nipples and mons pubis in the way of local custom), Samantha removes most of her clothes in the middle of the spice bazaar, throws condoms in the faces of the angry and bewildered crowd, and screams, "I AM A WOMAN! I HAVE SEX!" Thus, traditional Middle Eastern sexual mores are upended and sexism is stoned to death in the town square.
At sexism's funeral (which takes place in a mysterious, incense-shrouded chamber of international sisterhood), the women of Abu Dhabi remove their black robes and veils to reveal—this is not a joke—the same hideous, disposable, criminally expensive shreds of cloth and feathers that hang from Carrie et al.'s emaciated goblin shoulders. Muslim women: Under those craaaaaaay-zy robes, they're just as vapid and obsessed with physical beauty and meaningless material concerns as us! Feminism! Fuck yeah!
If this is what modern womanhood means, then just fucking veil me and sew up all my holes. Good night.
(Originally published in The Stranger.)Show