Wayward Sisters – An Anthology of Monstrous Women (Ed. by Allison O’Toole)

Wayward Sisters is a comic anthology edited by Allison O’Toole.
Finished on: 31.3.2018
[I got a review copy of this anthology. You can get it here.]

After the beautiful cover by Alise Gluškova and a nice, short foreword by Faith Erin Hicks, Wayward Sisters gives us a collection of wonderful short comics, created exclusively by female and gender non-conforming artists and featuring almost exclusively female monsters. As usual with anthologies, not every story will hit you hard, but I found that Wayward Sisters was one of the most consistently strong anthologies I’ve ever read. It features stories as different in tone as in art style and there should be something there for everyone. For me, there were several somethings that hit me in various sweet spots.

After the jump, there’s more about each of the stories separately.

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Handsome Devil (2016)

Handsome Devil
Director: John Butler
Writer: John Butler
Cast: Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott, Ardal O’Hanlon, Amy Huberman,
Ruairi O’Connor, Dick O’Leary, Mark Doherty, Michael McElhatton
Seen on: 4.1.2018
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Plot:
Ned (Fionn O’Shea) and Conor (Nicholas Galitzine) attend the same boarding school and are forced to share a room. But other than that they really have nothing in common. Ned is a shy social outcast who can’t even be bothered to pretend to like rugby, while Conor is a star rugby player at their rugby-centered school. Against all odds, they start bonding though. But their friendship doesn’t go uncommented

Handsome Devil is a sweet film that takes on a different direction from what I thought it would. It’s not a fantastic film, but it is an all-around good watch.

[Slight SPOILERS follow]

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The Perfect Score (2004)

The Perfect Score
Director: Brian Robbins
Writer: Mark Schwahn, Marc Hyman, Jon Zack
Cast: Erika Christensen, Chris Evans, Bryan Greenberg, Scarlett Johansson, Darius Miles, Leonardo Nam, Tyra Ferrell, Matthew Lillard
Seen on: 2.1.2018
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Plot:
Kyle (Chris Evans) really wants to study architecture, but his SAT score just isn’t good enough. And he isn’t the only one who needs to up their score – by any means necessary. It’s lucky then that Francesca (Scarlett Johansson) has connections to the building where the SAT is made. Teaming up with an unlikely group of more or less struggling students, Kyle gets ready to pull off a heist to increase all of their scores.

The Perfect Score could have been nice but unfortunately they chose a sexist narrator and tried to go for a moral ending that just didn’t fit the rest of the film. So the film misses its mark and becomes mostly boring.

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Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck
Director: Norman Jewison
Writer: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney, Louis Guss
Seen on: 30.12.2017
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Plot:
Loretta (Cher) is a bookkeeper who lives with her parents (Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis). Her boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello) is slightly boring, but definitely dependable. And he just proposed to Loretta. Loretta agrees to marry him but insists on following the old traditions because she is sure that her first husband died because they didn’t stick to traditions. Johnny agrees, but has to leave to go to Sicily to tend to his dying mother. In the meantime, he asks Loretta to see his brother Ronnie (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to the wedding. Loretta does so and finds a passionate, hot-headed man who turns all her plans upside down.

I can imagine that Moonstruck came across as charming when it came out, but I don’t think it aged very well. I didn’t get into it in any case.

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Re-Watch: Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Two Weeks Notice
Director: Marc Lawrence
Writer: Marc Lawrence
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Alicia Witt, Dana Ivey, Robert Klein, Heather Burns, David Haig, Dorian Missick, Katheryn Winnick
Seen on: 29.12.2017
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Plot:
Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lawyer – a good one – with a passion for social activism. That activism has put her at odds with the Wade Corporation on several occasions. When she meets George Wade (Hugh Grant) of said corporation, she is not taken with his charm as the women he ususally surrounds himself with are. Nevertheless when he offers her a job as his lawyer, she accepts, hoping that she can affect change from the inside. But soon Lucy is pretty much responsible for everything in George’s life – and that is more than she signed on for.

Two Weeks Notice is an absolutely pleasant film. It’s light and fluffy and cuddly and utterly inconsequential. There are many worse things a RomCom can be.

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Laggies (2014)

Laggies
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Andrea Seigel
Cast: Keira KnightleyChloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper
Seen on: 28.12.2017
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Plot:
Megan (Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend Andrew (Mark Webber) have been together since high school. In fact, nothing much has changed for Megan since high school even though she’s approaching 30. Then Andrew proposes and Megan is shocked by something so adult encroaching in her life. Chance lets her meet teenaged Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is intrigued by the older woman who behaves so little like an adult. Megan, too, is drawn by Annika’s teenager life and it doesn’t take long for her to move in with her and Annika’s dad Craig (Sam Rockwell) while she mulls over Andrew’s proposal.

Laggies may not be my favorite of Shelton’s film but it is sensitive, fun and sweet – just the right fare for a cozy Sunday.

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The Bad Batch (2016)

The Bad Batch
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jayda Fink, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Yolonda Ross, Aye Hasegawa, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna
Seen on: 28.12.2017
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Plot:
Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is released into the Texan desert, a wasteland where all of the undesirables are sent to and have to weather not only the harsh climate but also each other to survive. It doesn’t take long and Arlen is captured by cannibals led by Miami Man (Jason Momoa). But even though she doesn’t escape unharmed, Arlen does manage to escape and find her way in this cruel world.

I wasn’t a big fan of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Amirpour’s first film. But The Bad Batch, her second film, was really bad: racist, ableist and boring.

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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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The Rebound (2009)

The Rebound
Director: Bart Freundlich
Writer: Bart Freundlich
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Andrew Cherry, Kelly Gould, Lynn Whitfield, Kate Jennings Grant, Rob Kerkovich, Sam Robards, John Schneider, Joanna Gleason, Art Garfunkel
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Sandy’s (Catherine Zeta-Jones) live fell apart after she discovered that her husband of many years cheated on her. Now she’s living in a new apartment above a coffee shop with her kids and tries to get a fresh start in life. Aram (Justin Bartha) who is a barista in said coffee shop may be much younger than Sandy, but his life is at a low point as well. Having just got out of a relationship that turned out to be a green card scam, he doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life. When Sandy ends up hiring him as a babysitter, they become closer and even start dating. But are they really just rebounds for each other?

I liked the idea of The Rebound, what with the older woman dating a younger man and it not being portrayed as cougar-like predatory behavior. Or at least that’s what I expected. But The Rebound is so quintessentially male in its perspective, I could barely stand it.

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Ferdinand (2017)

Ferdinand
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Writer: Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle, Brad Copeland
Based on: Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson‘s children’s book The Story of Ferdinand
Cast: John CenaKate McKinnon, Jeremy Sisto, Bobby Cannavale, Raúl Esparza, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Flula Borg, Sally Phillips [I saw the German language version, so I can’t speak to their performances.]
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) is the son of a famous fighting bull and is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Or rather hoofsteps. But nothing could be further from Ferdinand’s mind: he is more interested in smelling the flowers, bringing him the scorn from the other young bulls. Ferdinand grows up (John Cena) into a formidable bull and as luck would have it, he gets stung by a bee, causing him to go on a rampage that brings him directly to the matador academy to train as a fighting bull.

Ferdinand is a sweet film that works hard to dismantle toxic masculinity in a way that makes sense for kids – and it does so quite admirably.

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