The new installment of the Ocean’s franchise follows Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) immediately upon her release from jail. Her target? A multimillion dollar necklace, placed on a starlet attending the Met Gala, and she hires a team of women to help her do it, because who better to go unnoticed than women serving and cleaning up after a room full of elites?
All in all, I have to say the movie was entertaining. I did feel the beginning dragged a bit, but it is a problem with the caper flick genre as a whole, especially ones that have to introduce a host of characters. However, I’m probably not the person to review this movie as an instalment in the franchise, since I only watched the original Ocean’s 11 back in 2004 and didn’t find it compelling enough to warrant following the same plot twice more. I watched simply as a movie-goer, and one who ought to appreciate any movie franchise hijacked from previously all-male casts to all female casts.
First, the strengths of this film lie in the characters. Debbie’s motivations are complex and revealed throughout the movie.
This time of year, we’re inundated with holiday classic films like Home Alone and A Christmas Story as well as a plethora of made-for-TV (and now Netflix) selections. In fact, the Hallmark Channel has become so successful with its Christmas marketing campaing and its 21 Christmas films this year that other networks like Lifetime and Ion are trying to catch up. Of course they would, as Hallmark makes 30% or more of its ad revenue during the Christmas season alone. However, the problem, even if Fox News (as usual) seems obtuse about it is that Hallmark-style movies (Brad Jones, the Cinema Snob, pointed out that its become its own shorthand for small budget WASP cis-heterosexual Christmas films despite the network it appears on) exclude most of the population and, at worst, want us to regress back to the 1960s. At best, even the knock offs on Netflix, like the famous A Christmas Prince, only bring us up to about 1995 with represenation. This has to change.
Television shows are homophobic. Water is wet.
Unfortunately, if our favorite shows allow LGBT characters a long and healthy life, they often still constantly make homophobic and transphobic jokes. It’s depressing and disheartening, especially when otherwise, it’s a show you dearly loved.
Below is a list of several shows that have captured our hearts… But then, they proceed to break them as the writers yuck it up at our expense.
Excluded from this list are gems like Glee (because I just don’t have the energy to list all of its flaws, although Kurt still owns my heart KURTSTAN4LYFE) and The Hundred and The Walking Dead (because you lose your place as favorite when your lesbians exist only to further the plot with their brutal deaths).
It’s a myth that fondness for musicals is a trait for gay boys only. Not so! I’m a sucker for adding songs to anything. We could Once More With Feeling any show out there, and I would be down for it. I straight up own Chicago and both the movie version and the live recording of Rent. I watched Glee for far longer than was healthy for me.
Long story short, to make me happy: Put a song on it.
While I could just put a link to Cartoon Network if you wanted Sapphic characters singing and have you indulge in the optimism of Steven Universe, instead I’ll include short reviews here of some movies that you could watch with your girlfriend. Each of the following have featured in my movie nights with Ivy Quinn.
And away we go!
In the near future, humankind has finally found life in the universe! And we are TERRIFIED. In response, the government creates a dome called SafeSky to protect us from extraterrestrial life and have used this fear as an excuse to create a fascist, controlled society. As you do. Or as humans do, anyway. Shock Doctrine engage! Power up the giant gun on the moon!
Pictured: Fledgling by a bottle of Poison Girl, with dark purple flowers.
My love for Octavia Butler is deep and all consuming. I’m closing in on reading her entire oeuvre as soon as I nail down the Patternmaster series. She has stories about gene trading aliens, pregnant men, the destruction of America under a demagogic leader, among other thought experiments. She does with sci fi what should be done with sci fi: Explore social phenomenon and test the boundaries of human social expectations.
Fledgling (2005) is no different in this regard. It isn’t my favorite book of hers by any means (that award goes to Parable of the Talents), but it’s just so darn interesting that I’ve returned to it many times. The story follows a young vampire named Shori, who wakes in agonizing pain, nearly burned to death, and blinded, in a cave. As she heals and makes her way out into the world, she has to solve the murder of her family and try to navigate a society she has no memory of in order to get justice or her people.
Fledgling was supposed to be Butler’s “fun” vampire novel, and it was the book she wrote just before she died. (Too soon!) In spite of that, the novel continues to explore the concept of power in hierarchical societies, as well as biological interdependence through a completely original imagining of how vampires and their humans may interact. While some of this novel’s prose isn’t as polished as Butler’s other novels, the conceptual development is more than worth the read.
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Pictured: Three women standing in a huge galley. Erica the Captain, Kotoha the otaku engineer, and Sara the only person reacting to this situation normally.
Title: Blossoms Bloom BrightestPlatform: Steam
Medium/Genre: Visual Novel/Sci Fi
Blossoms Bloom Brightest is a visual novel about three sapphics in space. They wake up from stasis, with two of the characters, the perky engineer Kotoha (basically an otaku who reminds me of a high school friend of mine) and the justifiably suspicious Sara (who is much more interesting imo, but comes with some serious baggage), as your potential love interests. You guide the actions of the captain, Erica, who mysteriously won’t tell her tiny crew what their mission is or why they’ve been chosen for it.
This is a cute, entertaining little game that takes about an hour to complete for one storyline. Thus, it’s pretty short, although considering the price, you could do worse. The concept behind the plotline is pretty standard sci fi and worth exploration. What the game lacks mostly is development; of plot, of characters, of romantic relationships, you get what you pay for. However, if you enjoy the game, Reine Works and Dharker Studios will be releasing a rebooted version with new artwork, another love interest, and longer gameplay September 15th under the title Galaxy Angels.
I wasn’t sure how to start this review. So I’m just going to say, I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.
I genuinely like Charlize Theron. I’m not a superfan to the point that I watch everything she comes out with, or treat her as my “exception” the way my straight friends do. But she is a bonus for any movie. Unfortunately, like another highly anticipated action movie that Charlize stars in, Aeon Flux, this film both falls short and doesn’t really do justice to the source material.
Atomic Blonde doesn’t fail because of its titular character, though. Problems like this tend to stem from writing, direction, and editing. Since the movie has been out for some time at the writing of this review, I’m just going to tag SPOILERS here, so I can break down the movie on a macro level.