Not a movie, but first we have this offering from a Chinese version (of sorts) of Amazon:
The best thing that can be said for these is that they’re significantly less disturbing than the other animal heads on there which look to be made for bizarre Adult Swim bumpers.
The entire time that I was watching this I puzzled over why this movie exists; it’s not as if there’a dearth of live action Cinderella knock-offs. The answer of course is in the movie theater full of cheering women: printing cash for Disney. Women apparently can’t get enough of the “loser babe scores alpha male” story which is refreshing in it’s own way since such sentiments run so counter to PC “mores” and feminism generally. So hooray for Cinderella and the Disney money machine that helps keep lefty extremism at bay despite their own efforts. But as a guy, yeah, I don’t need to see another Cinderella movie again, ever.
The Snow White Murder Case
|Quick: pick out the ugly one, the pretty one, the one that was murdered, and the killer, and some are one and the same. It’s easier than you think.|
This Japanese movie was sold to me by Sally as being a real plot-twister of a murder mystery. Fifteen minutes in though I was reminded of when Memoirs of a Geisha came out ten years ago and there was much consternation over the fact that Japan couldn’t field any decent actresses so Hollywood had to go with Chinese actresses (“All you people look the same to me”). The accusation at the time was that the animated form had stunted the ability of the Japanese to put together live-action productions. I made this remark to Sally and she asked what was wrong with the movie and I said “well, the acting,…the directing, um, the cinematography, the script, and, well, yeah it’s like an over-funded high school movie project”. I can capture the movie’s faults in one screen grab, where, in a rather important scene someone thought that it would be a good idea to put a color-shifting bowl of rotating water, a transparent LED toilet of sorts, in the background:
|It doesn’t help that the bowl is more interesting than the actors|
The movie did have a few strengths. For instance, what was of mild interest, and what the movie should have concentrated more on, is the absolute pettiness that can accompany large groups of women working together. Lots of ‘fun’ was on display such as women putting each other down for their clothes, making efforts to steal the office alpha-male (or what passes for one in a Japanese office), petty thefts, backstabbing, exaggerating stories told in confidence so that they can be crafted into a self esteem killing barbs, etc. Yes it’s all in there and it goes to show that for as much as women may love the workplace, they rarely like working with, or especially for, other women.
It’s a shame that a movie that was so close to succeeding in being a cautionary tale on workplace feminization turned into such a hot, unfocused mess. (Actually the movie could have just been about any one of the four things it tried to be about and it would have been better).
Empresses In The Palace
|The costume drama to end all costume dramas|
While in China I may have mentioned that there was a historical soap opera of sorts that played nonstop on one of the channels. Weighing in at a hefty 76, 45 minute episodes, it is a lot to take in, perhaps…
I bring this up since the series can now be viewed on Netflix in a truncated format: 6, 90 minute episodes. Talk about a hatchet job! How one edits this down without translating the whole thing I don’t know, so I’m unsure what the point of the exercise is. The series is meticulous with their set design and costuming and is filmed on a set which is a recreation of the Forbidden City and is a tourist attraction in its own right.
The problem with the native series, not that I could understand any of it, is that at least 90% of it is women talking back and forth and back and forth and back and forth about palace intrigue BS (the other 10% is women boring men to tears with palace intrigue BS). “No wonder they were always overrun by barbarians”, I thought while watching. Sally complained that the Netflix series doesn’t make sense in its heavily edited format, but I can easily believe that a version of this series could be trimmed down to an even hour for male viewers.