Slaying the Dragon (1988) + Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded (2011)

Slaying the Dragon
Director: Deborah Gee
Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded
Director: Elaine Kim
Seen on: 14.4.2021

“Plot”:
Slaying the Dragon looks at how stereotypes about Asians, especially Asian women, shaped their portrayal in Hollywood movies and vice versa. Trying to outline the major tropes, female and male actors are interviewed and films examined.
23 years later, Slaying the Dragon updates that documentary and looks at how films have – and have not – changed in the meantime.

Both documentaries are insightful, making clear statements about representation and how movies affect the world beyond the screen as well. They’re an excellent primer to recognize problematic characterizations and offer a succinct explanation of why they’re problematic.

The film poster of Slaying the Dragon Reloaded showing a drawn female figure holding a long reel of film that shows stills from various films, all with Asians.
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Wuthering Heights (2011)

Wuthering Heights
Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer: Andrea Arnold, Olivia Hetreed
Based on: Emily Brontë’s novel
Cast: James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, Kaya Scodelario, Paul Hilton, Simone Jackson, Steve Evets, Lee Shaw, James Northcote, Nichola Burley
Seen on: 27.3.2021

Plot:
When Mr Earnshaw (Paul Hilton) brings home an orphaned Black boy who he calls Heathcliff (Solomon Glave), his daughter Catherine (Shannon Beer) is at first taken aback. But then the two become inseperable. But in their harsh surroundings, their relationship also becomes one of harshness. When they grow up (James Howson, Kaya Scodelario), it turns to bitterness, especially when the rich neighbor Edgar (James Northcote) starts courting Catherine.

Wuthering Heights does not have an easy start with me. I absolutely hated the novel. But I was hoping that Arnold would still manage to turn the story into something I’d care for. Unfortunately, my hopes were disappointed in that regard.

The film poster showing Heathcliff (James Howson) in a close-up and Catherine (Kaya Scodelario) walking away in two separate images.
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Re-Watch: Something Borrowed (2011)

Something Borrowed
Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer: Jennie Snyder
Based on: Emily Giffin‘s book
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski, Steve Howey, Ashley Williams
Seen on: 30.12.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) have been best friends since about forever. Darcy is an extroverted party girl, while Rachel is pretty comfortable in Darcy’s shadow. But after a drunken night Rachel sleeps with Darcy’s fiancé Dex (Colin Egglesfield) who she’s been in love with since about forever. What starts as a single mistake soon ends up an affair that puts most of Rachel’s values in question.

It’s been almost ten years that I saw the film for the first time, and to be fair, when I decided to watch it again, I wasn’t even sure anymore if I had seen it. But I liked the film back then, and I liked it a lot again now.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film.
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Intruders (2011)

Intruders
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writer: Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques
Cast: Clive Owen, Ella Purnell, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala, Izán Corchero, Kerry Fox
Seen on: 22.12.2019

Plot:
Juan (Izán Corchero) lives with his mother Luisa (Pilar López de Ayala) in Madrid. Juan starts seeing a shrouded, faceless figure who comes for him at night. Luisa grows increasingly frantic and asks Father Antonio (Daniel Brühl) for help. In London, Mia (Ella Purnell) finds a book with stories about Hollowface in a tree at her grandparents’ place. When she starts to see Hollowface herself, it’s only her father John (Clive Owen) who believes that there actually is an intruder.

I stumbled upon Intruders quite by chance and was surprised that I never actually heard about it. I assumed it disappeared because it sucked, despite the excellent cast, but wanted to see it anyway. Thankfully it turns out, it’s actually quite good.

The film poster showing a man without eyes or a mouth.

[SPOILERS]

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Scarlet Road (2011)

Scarlet Road
Director: Catherine Scott
Seen on: 8.6.2017

“Plot”:
Rachel Wotton is a sex worker who specialized in working with (physically) disabled clients. At this intersection of taboos – sex work and seeing disabled people as sexual beings – she became an activist who is fighting for the rights of sex workers and the rights of disabled people.

Scarlet Road is an interesting look at a topic that’s usually not talked about. It – rightly – centers the perspective of the people at the heart of the matter, that is: disabled people and sex workers and shows what the topic means to them, making it very insightful, especially when you’re neither a sex worker, nor disabled.

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Meine Schwester [My Sister] (2011)

Meine Schwester
Director: Sascha Bigler
Writer: Sascha Bigler, Axel Götz
Cast: Christiane Hörbiger, Maresa Hörbiger, August Zirner, Simon Schwarz, Cornelius Obonya, August Schmölzer, Edita Malovcic, Stella Butz
Seen on: 16.5.2017

Plot:
Katharina Wallner (Christiane Hörbiger) owns a small shop. Much to the chagrin of her landlord Heinz Ortner (August Schmölzer) she has a contract for life. He would rather have her gone, so he can rent out the shop on better conditions. It’s just when he starts to put increasingly more pressure on Katharina that Katharina’s long lost sister Hannah Laval (Maresa Hörbiger) returns to Vienna. And Hannah isn’t as nice as Katharina, not by a long shot.

I stumbled into the film and since the cast wasn’t bad, I stuck around. It’s a rather solid TV production, but it’s really not a must see film.

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Fucking Different XXX (2011)

Fucking Different XXX
Part of: Transition Festival
Seen on: 14.11.2016

Fucking Different XXX is a queer porn anthology where the lesbian directors tackle the gay sex and the gay directors the lesbian sex.

I liked the idea of this anthology, but unfortunately the result wasn’t really my thing. Apart from a few moments, I didn’t really enjoy it. Also, for an anthology that is all about switching and queering things up, it felt pretty tame. There was only one segment, Offing Jack, that features a nonbinary person and a fat guy, that really manages to break through the mold of usual, if mostly homosexual sex.

After the jump, I’ll talk about each segment separately.

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Re-Watch: The Deep Blue Sea (2011)

The Deep Blue Sea
Director: Terence Davies
Writer: Terence Davies
Based on: Terence Rattigan‘s play
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale, Barbara Jefford
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Hester (Rachel Weisz) is married to William (Simon Russell Beale), but left him because she fell in love with Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). Now the two of them are kind of living together, but actually it’s more like they are continuously tearing themselves apart. It gets so bad that Hester tries to kill herself, which leads the three of them to finally confront the situation they find themselves in.

I already liked the film the first time round, but it was even better to watch it a second time. It’s fascinating to see myself reacting differently to the film again (it’s not been that long that I saw it for the first time) and to see the film again with new eyes.

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A Second Chance (2011)

A Second Chance
Director: Clay Glen
Writer: Clay Glen
Cast: Emily Morris, Nina Pearce, Adam Tuominen, Carmel JohnsonAmy Handley, Lilly Blacker, Julie Kay Lumasag
Seen on: 16.9.2016

Plot:
Maddy (Emily Norris) loves nothing more than doing gymnastics and she is pretty good at it, though she lacks confidence. When their old trainer Beverly (Carmel Johnson) becomes ill, Kate (Nina Pearce) takes over the team to train. But at their first competition together, things don’t go well for them. Head of the jury is Sally (Amy Handley) who shares a long history with Kate – and it’s not a positive one. And Sally uses that against Maddy and her team. Both Kate and Maddy are ready to give up, but Beverly suggests that they should get the help of Shane (Adam Tuominen), the boys’ coach, and give it another go.

Good grief, people. It is actually embarrassing that this is a professionally made film, proving that people more often than not just don’t give a shit about quality if it’s a film made for kids. And – since I watched it only because it was my niece’s favorite film at the time – that kids often don’t care, either.

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What’s Your Number? (2011)

What’s Your Number?
Director: Mark Mylod
Writer: Gabrielle AllanJennifer Crittenden
Based on: Karyn Bosnak‘s novel
Cast: Anna FarisChris EvansAri GraynorBlythe DannerEd Begley Jr.Joel McHaleChris PrattZachary QuintoMartin FreemanAndy Samberg, Anthony MackieAziz Ansari
Seen on: 4.9.2016

Plot:
Ally (Anna Faris) has been dating for a while but so far she wasn’t very lucky. But then two things happen that makes her tackle the issue more aggressively: she gets fired from her job and needs to re-orient herself and she reads an article that says that women who sleep with more than 20 men usually don’t get married. After a quick count, Ally realizes that she slept with 19 men so far – and so she decides to look up all her old boyfriends to re-date them and not add to the list. To track all of them down, Ally gets help from her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) who in turn gets Ally’s help to get rid of the girls he brings home all the time.

What’s Your Number? does pretty much everything wrong that a RomCom could possibly do wrong (apart from getting Chris Evans naked a lot, that’s excellent), but at least Ally and Colin are surprisingly likeable. But when that’s the best thing you can say about a film, it’s probably clear that the film really doesn’t need to be seen.

whatsyournumber

[Slight SPOILERS]

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