Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Things No One Cares About: In a World

I don't often feel compelled to talk about live action movies, I mean I barely talk about anime/manga competently. I guess maybe I'm just waiting for the right movie to talk about and this movie seems to be it. In a World is a horrendous pseudo feminist piece that undermines it's own ideas and crams romance subplots in because women wouldn't want to watch a movie about the struggles of a woman trying to make it in a very male dominated industry. No, we need to know if Demitri Martian gets to stick his boom mike in our lead,Carol. It's insulting in ways that I didn't expect and this is why I was compelled to talk about it: bitterness about having watched this garbage.

I'll start with the good just to prime you for the bile. Up till the end Carol's struggle to make in the very male dominated world of movie voice overs is nicely done. From struggling with having to even break into it after her voice over father,Sam Soto, kicks her out to be treated inferior for simply being a woman in the business. It is shattered at the end where she is picked up for the big movie job over her father and the entitled jerk,Gustav, not for being the best but because her voice sounds good for this weird feminist revolution the director is trying to pull. The work Carol has put in seems to be all for naught,and the straw feminist director comes off as a massive hypocrite. I'll admit, I'm not well versed in feminist theory but I know enough to see that this is complete malarkey that undermines everything the movie was aiming at and weakens the overall product.

The romantic sub plots that pop up could honestly be exorcised from the movie and we'd lose nothing. The first and most prominent focuses on Carol's sister and brother in law, Dani and Moe and Dani cheating on him. The long and short is Dani may or may have not slept with a sexy Irish man,implied that they may have done more than make out as she claims. However she never directly apologizes to Moe about it,just an indirect tape recording Carol composes. So she gets off scot free while Moe has to do the big romantic gesture to get her back. That's like if I killed a man and then his family invited me to Sizzlers to apologize. This really has no bearing on the plot and seems to be here for padding and to get Carol out of the house for her own romantic sub-plot near the end. When your function in a story could be replaced by busted pipes, then it's probably not worth putting in the movie.

This brings us to out lead,Carol, who gets by with being okay. As stated her struggles are very relate able but she her self is not. She's a bit of a free loader and her obsession with different accents is what kicks off the aforementioned romantic plot tumor. She's more a compilation of weird character traits than an actual person. She also sleeps with Gustav despite hating his guts,for no real reason. She seems fascinated by this weird room he has but after the sleep together he's treated as a joke the rest of the movie. There is no hint of foe yay up till that point and none after words. It sort of happens and again has very little plot relevance outside of a minor character moment for Sam later. Outside of that wall banger,she's mostly forgettable just like her love interest.

Louis is meant to be her love interest and honestly it seems mostly one-sided on his part. She does say she likes him but were given little to no hint about this. She just seems to like him because she's in a romantic comedy and she need a guy to fall for. Loius is a big ball of awkward quirks and to be fair Demitri Martin does manages to give the character some funny moments but like Carol is forgettable and characterless. He is unique in that he is one of the few male characters who's not a jerk like Sam and Gustav.

Sam Soto is the only one to get any visible character development and it's mostly a reason you suck speech from his young wife at the end of the film.The wife by the way is treated like crap by Carol and Dani despite caring about them and being very kind. The treatment might have been meant to show how strained their family's relations our but makes the girls come off as petty jerks. Gustav is a bit of a designated villain who's main crimes are being cocky and having consensual sex with Carol. There's not much more too him despite the attempts at hidden depths that make him come off as more snobby than anything else.

When I started watching this movie I was actually enjoying it but as it went on the flaws became more and more apparent. Once the ending rolled around and lost any good will I had for the movie, it became apparent this was a sinking ship the whole time and I was in an icy arctic sea of disappointment. It meanders around avoiding the actual interesting parts,focusing on romance that has little bearing on the main plot,and insulting the audience with a terrible understanding of feminism and bland characters. Also it contains one of the most insulting use of Tears for Fears I've ever seen.

Till Next Time: Stay Positive

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Things No One Cares About: Mr.Flower Bride

I spent an entire month talking about Arina Tanemura so let's move on to someone different,Lily Hoshino. She's been featured here a couple of times before for her yaoi collections and after last months heterosexual extravaganza, I could use a shake up. Mr. Flower Bride is yet again a collection of yaoi stories though the volume neglects to mention the other stories instead focusing on the titular story. I can forgive it though since the other stories are far less interesting and take up space that could have been used for the better main story.

The Mr. Flower Bride chapters focus on Aoi and Shinji as they get swept up in Shinji's family tradition of marrying the youngest son off to a guy to prevent succession disputes among the children. While this could be an interesting jumping off point for dealing with people forced to love a person of a gender they have no interest in,this is never explored. It does however take a short time to show Shinji coming to terms with his attraction to Aoi despite his worry of getting Aoi involved in a tradition that people view as a punishment in someway.

The remaining chapters detail their wedding night and a few other isolated events and it works well to develop their relationship and how it affects others. I wouldn't call the characters fully developed but they work well enough for the short time we see them. Like My Only King there is the starting of something rather interesting here but it fails to follow through. The story right after that is a role reversal of the main couple's archetype and actually lends a little more to building up the setting with more insight into this tradition. Letting this run alongside the main story would actually be interesting as a way to expand the setting. However, my hopes for this story will have to wait for the sequel as it's pushed aside for more one shots.

The other two side stories are just sort of sitting there. One's about a bodyguard who needs protecting and a pretty boy in a brothel finding his true love. It's well trod ground for yaoi and seems to be struggling for a reason to exist outside of fulling a boy sex quota. The latter story breaks the mold that the book set by again putting a girly uke in it. Up till now the manga-ka had stopped drawing her ukes too girly. They were just feminine enough to work and the role reversal chapter works better because of the style. However,here he's back to being a borderline trap,and while not a bad story, it's was done better in The Seabed of Night. On there own these would be okay stories but here they are interrupting a better story and lack the interesting aspects and developments of the main story..

Like Mistress Fortune, the main story is going along with the sillier bits with a wink and a nod. Unlike that however it does try to build a setting that works and examine different facets of this relationship. The more stand alone style of the chapters could form an interesting tale given the time but this was a story shot in the legs and left for dead. Overall not worth it,unless all you want some nicely drawn guy loving.