Category Archives: Random Musings
I finally saw the First Look Trailer for Supergirl.
I was horrified.
I felt insulted, and it is not just because it is practically a shot by shot recreation of the SNL Black Widow Series parody. (Though that certainly doesn’t help.)
We start out OK with Kara leaving Krypton… and then the bad pop music kicks in and the recreation begins. Kara Zor-El is barely making her way down a street juggling her boss’s coffee and whatnot while talking on her cell-phone to make arrangements for some event for work. I can take bumbling – Clark always bumbled his way through things to hide his abilities. I’m distressed by the music choice (it’s so HARD to be Supergirl in LA!) but we aren’t unwatchable yet. Oh, and clearly Kara’s co-worker (don’t know his name) is an important character who has a crush on her that she completely doesn’t see. This would be OK if what happens later doesn’t happen – but we’ll get there.
Enter Kat Grant. I have nothing against Callista Flockhart in general – what I have an issue with is that before she even steps into the room we know that she is an anti-social stark raving bitch of the highest order. Apparently the only way for a woman to rise to a position of power in the business world is to behave like everyone around her is a fly to be trapped in her web having every last dream sucked out of them and their souls crushed.
Then we meet “Oh. My. God!” Jimmy Olsen… Sorry I mean James Olsen. Apparently Jimmy is too undignified a name for a grown man.
The rest of that scene is watchable, good even, and what follows with the sister and the plane is fine. I can even deal with the couch squee. (though by this point I’m cringing a bit what with the terrible music choices and sterotypical boss-bitch etc)
Then we find out that Kat Grant has dubbed this savior of the people on the plane #Supergirl. That’s the character’s name, and I don’t have a problem with that. What I DO have a problem with is the fact that this name comes from a horrible human being who clearly meant it to be demeaning and insulting. After all, demeaning and insulting are the only ways that Kat Grant is capable of interacting with the world, and this super being is stealing her thunder, right? Kat Grant explaining why it’s OK to be called Supergirl and not Superwoman could have been a great, empowering speech. It should have a been a great, empowering speech. So many of the right words are there! You just have to leave out all of the words around them, and the person who is saying them, and the way that they are being said, because the words are delivered in this snarling ‘I don’t care what you think. You’re nothing. I’m more important than you and I’ve decided that she’s Supergirl so you can put up and shut up or be replaced’ manner that actually makes it EVEN MORE DEMEANING. This is not empowering. This is excusing petty, shallow, jealous behavior because you have enough money and power to get away with it, and if somebody else who just happens to be your employee (be sure to point out that you’re the boss and Kara is nothing!) doesn’t like it you’ll fire them.
Explain to me how that is empowering?
And then it somehow manages to get worse.
We move to the rooftop, where Kara is about to tell her coworker, who clearly wants to go out with her despite being absolutely friend-zoned, that she is Supergirl. He doesn’t know that’s what she’s going to tell him, but it’s obvious that whatever she’s about to say is very important to her. It’s important enough to take him up to the roof where no one else will hear it. She’s stammering. She’s nervous. She’s trying to tell him something that is huge and deeply personal, and he’s apparently like her best friend or something. So of course he is supportive and listens to what this woman he allegedly cares about has to say – because he cares about her, and this is painfully obviously important to her.
Or he interrupts her and decides what she’s trying to tell him for her. To wit: “Oh my God you’re a lesbian. Oh Kara, that’s why you’re not into me! This is… this is… this is great news!”
Who thought that was OK? Who? Honestly, I want to know precisely who thought that was OK.
At this point, I am beyond horrified.
And not only does she NOT kick him to the curb, she proceeds to let him tell her how to dress, and what crimes to attend to, and basically run her life. Because, you know, she needs a man to do that for her.
We’re just about 5 minutes into the trailer and we find out there are actual real threats with 90ish seconds to go. OK, maybe there is something redeeming here.
10 seconds later she gets told that she can’t play with the boys’ toys and “if you want to help, go back to getting someone’s coffee.” Which of course leads to a good cry. The only thing missing is the fluffy slippers and the pint of ice cream, but in fairness they may have simply not been visible in the shot.
The remaining minute isn’t completely terrible, but by this point you’ve lost me. I’m gone.
And the real pity is that a new trailer dropped today, and THAT trailer is for a show I could have been excited about! Unfortunately I’ve already seen the leaking break lines and the busted rails ahead and I just don’t think I can look. They removed the most egregious things I saw from the original trailer (which whittles the trailer down from 6.5 minutes to less than 2) and added some additional footage of Supergirl being Supergirl – which was good stuff!
The problem is that Kat Grant is still going to be yet another vision of women only being able to be the boss if they treat everyone around them like dirt.
The problem is that it’s undignified to call a profession adult male ‘Jimmy’ so we’re changing the character’s name to James, but it’s perfectly OK to call Kara ‘Supergirl’.
The problem is that it’s perfectly OK that the name ‘Supergirl’ was given to her by someone who we have made it painfully obvious is a petty, shallow, vindictive, awful bitch who is likely acting out of jealousy and probably came up with the name out of spite as these are the only emotional states Kat Grant seems to be capable of.
The problem is that the ’empowering’ speech from Kat Grant to Kara about the name Supergirl that follows is where she informs Kara that she’s the boss and if Kara doesn’t like it then Kara can be replaced.
The problem is Kara’s apparent best friend and confidant being a complete jerk who leaps to conclusions about what she’s about to say instead of actually listening to her when she is clearly trying to tell him something that is important to her, and simultaneously thinking that the only way a girl he wants could possibly not like him is if she’s a lesbian, is still something she’s cool with and qualities she looks for when choosing a man to run her life for her. (And, you know, that she apparently needs a man to run her life for her.)
The problem is that unless they are going to rewrite and reshoot the entire first season all of that is still there, and I’m still not OK with it.
If you were sitting down for an interview, on solid level ground that is not moving, and you were to be not moving for the entirety of the interview, and the camera person was to be not moving for the entirety of the interview, and whoever is filming this interview showed up with no steady-cam or tripod… you would backhand that person across the face while yelling “Where is the tripod you fool?!”, wouldn’t you?
I get it – found footage is neato! It’s the flavor of the month. It’s awesometastic! It makes you feel like YOU’RE THERE! One movie did it, NOW WE ALL HAVE TO DO IT!! Because if we’re not lemmings well then what are we?
I get it. I do.
The problem is that your entire film should not look like it was shot by this guy:
Why? I’ll tell you why.
And I’m being super serious here: when the shaky-cam makes your audience run out of the theater to vomit before the action starts there is a problem.
“As Above So Below” (and, for the record, ‘Paranormal Activity 5: The Marked Ones” – I’m looking at you, too.) I wanted to love you. Truly I did. I suspect that you had some cool things going on, but sadly I couldn’t watch any of them.
There is a segment pretty close to the beginning of the film, and this isn’t really a spoiler so no worries, where the lead character (a female archaeologist) is doing a little before I made the find of a lifetime I was just this humble archaeologist searching for the truth interview. She is sitting down outside of a building. It is a bright and sunny day. You would hope that the person she hired to film this would be capable of holding a camera steadier than I can when neither he nor the subject is moving, and yet the entire segment looked like it was filmed here:
Now you may be asking yourself why I’m using still images to convey how motion sick I was. It’s a valid question, and the answer is that it felt like a valid proof of concept. I was able to make you understand how the camera (and the contents of my stomach with it) was pitching and swaying and why I was still sick the day after seeing this movie without actually inducing motion sickness.
The catacombs under Paris are such a fantastically creepy location that I can’t understand why there aren’t more movies filmed there.
What a pity I was too sick to be able to watch the movie before they even decided to go there. It was actually the interview with the university bobbing up and down in the background that did me in.
How sad is that?
I was able to hear the movie, and it sounded like I would have enjoyed it if I could have watched it, or if it had a narrator like an old school radio drama for those of us trying to not be asked never to return to this theater again.
So Hollywood, in closing, please stop with the 100% shaky-cam movies. Shaky-cam needs to be done in moderation to accent the frantic parts of the movie. If you do it throughout then at best your movie has no range. The palette has only one color (and only one shade of that color). There is no contrast. There is no false sense of security before shit gets real. There is no sense of urgency to the shaky-cam when every moment of the film is shot that way.
At worst, your audience winds up praying to the porcelain gods before the action even starts.
So please, please just stop. I like horror movies, and I want to support the genre, but I’m not sure I can justify continuing to pay theater prices for a film that I can’t actually watch.