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Free Fire (2016)
flat-lining, sparse action flop with no scene changes
Nine people with terrible aim shoot at concrete without expressing emotion for 90 minutes. You might call this an arthaus gore shootout but with too much john Denver. Mind-numbingly boring cinematography and editing, and as far as I can tell the only lens they used was mid-century misogyny. Great cast, but bad enough to be a cult classic in 10 years maybe?
Just eye candy for sapiophiles?
Great movie but it's not really *about* Hypatia. As in, the protagonist is not Hypatia. We switch between experiencing the three lead male characters' reactions to her and feelings about her. Rarely are the scenes and interactions about understanding Hypatia's mind or views or feelings; just understanding how her personality and actions effect the mind and feelings of the men around her. Her character is actually sort of just a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
It's a shame that the best movie about the first well-known female scientist can still fail the Bechdel Test. I'm not sure if there was even a single other female character in this film (other than extras).
And while this movie is a remarkably accurate depiction of the historic events of Byzantine Alexandria, of the Christian population gaining influence and forcing women out of the aristocracy, this film's protagonists and target audience are men, and female viewers have little to relate to in the interactions of the characters.
Star Trek: Voyager: State of Flux (1995)
The Seska episode
Another murder-mystery-style episode with Tuvok as a featured sleuth.
The most awkward fight scene in the history of Voyager, involving two Kazon guys, and a Tuvok and a Janeway.
But this is made up for by some quality, intense Janeway-decision-making scenes, and Chakotay's first remotely romantic scene in the series.
And in spite of whatever we might thing of Seska, she makes a kind of actually really compelling argument to Janeway in one of the final scenes.
As usual, best embodiment and delivery come from Janeway and Torres, with Seska's and Carey's deliveries being sometimes painful.
Star Trek: Voyager: The Gift (1997)
One of the most genuinely emotional episodes
This is an awesome episode that adds an extra layer of humanity to Voyager's characters, for three reasons:
The sarcastic humorous tension between the doctor and Tuvak hits it right on the nail in this episode. Check out minutes 6-10 to see what I mean.
And Seven O'Nine performs several of Voyager's most intense emotional scenes as she realizes that she's been severed from her Borg family. (And the audience questions the fairness of Janeway's decision to forbid Seven from trying to return.)
And then we see what's probably Kate Mulgrew's and Jennifer Lien's real-life emotions transfered into the intense conversation Janeway and Kes have at the end of episode. No spoilers; you should watch it yourself.
a quick review of Duplicity
I don't watch many crime thrillers, because they usually turn out to be not remotely believable or personal, but Duplicity was a pleasant departure from the stereotype. It was really more of a romantic comedy (-ish dramedy, even) within the structure of a crime thriller. The two lead characters were actually pretty believable, aside from their supernatural cockiness that you kind of have to expect from spies in a spy movie (although I was sad that we got so little background or history on either character). Their troubles definitely weren't common, but they were easy to sympathize with, somehow. On top of that, it was delightful and kind of thrilling to see how their relationship was built. (The movie put together their history piece by piece, rather than giving it to us chronologically, which I generally think is a more fun way of witnessing a story.) The other big part of what made this movie so fun was that the objects of our spies' investigation was a couple of skincare corporations! Finally, we get to see tactical drama surrounding something other than a casino, a bank, or a government. Something like a cosmetics company is mundane enough that it becomes fun to play with in the context of large-scale crime drama. Even our favorite CEO's nerdy remarks ("Well, it's a common misconception that "lotion" and "cream" are the same thing") are kind of endearing and bring you back to the fact that this could be an actual corporation run by actual business nerds. So yes, safe to say that this movie was worth watching, and had me walking out of the theater wishing I was a spy. Go watch it.