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I am officially tired of being asked to sympathize with men in movies

20 hours ago

Updated! A motif that I noticed recurring during the just-wrapped London Film Festival has inspired me to add two more kinds of men whom I am tired of being asked to sympathize with:

men suffering for their art

men making other people suffer for their art

(Please note that my tiredness with how often these types of men appear in stories that ask us to feel for them does not automatically mean that I cannot feel for them, or that I didn’t end up enjoying their stories. It means only that I wish we would see as many stories about women doing these things whom male moviegoers would be expected to sympathize with.)

I was already on edge before last night’s Oscars, when a recent viewing of The Great Beauty, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, infuriated me with its pretentious bullshit. Pretentious bullshit is always bad enough, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Listen Up Philip movie review (London Film Festival)

20 hours ago

A celebration of male arrogance that pretends to be a condemnation. Because who wouldn’t love to spend 108 minutes with an insufferable egotistical “genius”? I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Hipster novelist Philip Lewis Friedman is an“insufferable piece of shit” who is “incapable of finding happiness” and is “crippled with anxiety.” There, you no longer need to sit through the insufferable piece of shit that is Listen Up Philip. I’ve spoiled nothing for you: Philip is thusly pegged for us within the opening moments of the film, primarily via the Narrator (Eric Bogosian [Blade: Trinity], who does not appear and is not a character), and we are never offered even the slightest of reasons why we might want to spend 108 minutes (though it feels much, much longer) with such a spectacular asshole. Especially not when »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & streaming releases, Us/Can/UK, from Oct 20-21

22 hours ago

A simple listing, duplicated from the homepage, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails.

new Us/Can Oct 21    streaming only Begin Again Camp X-ray How to Train Your Dragon 2 Hercules Step Up All In (aka Step Up 5: All In) Deliver Us from Evil Jersey Boys Listen Up Philip    dvd/streaming The Purge: Anarchy Siddharth Snowpiercer Earth to Echo Sex Tape Aftermath Life After Beth new UK Oct 20    streaming only Chef Godzilla Particle Fever X-Men: Days of Future Past    dvd/streaming Belle 20,000 Days on Earth Welcome to New York Cold in July Oculus Bad Milo Escape from Tomorrow Grand Piano Maleficent 3 Days to Kill The Single Moms Club Two Days, One Night Walking on Sunshine

more recent releases Us/Can    streaming only Advanced Style Belle Beyond the Edge Coherence The »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Fury movie review (London Film Festival)

20 October 2014 9:30 AM, PDT

A particularly ugly iteration of “war is hell”… and I mean that as a compliment. This is a film that is deeply unpleasant and near genius. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m a big fan of David Ayer

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Basically, war turns even the most decent of men into monsters. It’s not a theme that hasn’t been explored before, but David Ayer’s Fury is a particularly ugly iteration of it… and I mean that as a compliment. Skies are gray, the ground is muddy — this might be the muddiest movie I’ve ever seen — and everywhere is blood, pain, and desperation. There’s not much of a story, just an episodic series of nasty, brutal engagements for the crew of a U.S. Army tank nicknamed Fury and commanded by Sergeant Don »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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