Legally Blonde – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 movie Legally Blonde.

Story

This movie takes the usual narrative of the blonde rich girl being a bitch and turns it on its head. Elle is a genuinely sweet person. It has an interesting mix of awkward college movie and legal drama.

The story is great if a little simplistic. It gets its messages across and aged relatively well.

One of the main messages is that you need to love yourself and be with someone who loves the real you. But there’s one scene where Elle pretends to have had a one night stand to make her friend look like he’s good in bed and didn’t call her after. It makes the mean girl the guy was talking to give him a second chance, but feels contrary to everything else in the movie. If she wouldn’t date him and even went as far as insulting him in public, maybe she’s not worth it.

The legal plot was laughably simple with nice coincidences.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Elle, her sorority friends, and most of the characters are really sweet. The “mean” girl and professor guy are the only ones to do much evolution other than Elle.

The characters are mostly good people and that’s great. However that movie is overwhelmingly white and straight. The few LGBTQI+ or POC characters are dated and disturbingly tone death stereotypes, even for 2001.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is very exaggerated for each of the stereotypes and other than a few adorable valley-girl sayings from Elle, it’s all pretty meh. However the body language, especially the amused bemusement of Luke Wilson, is pure awesome.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

I really liked the contrast between the gaudy LA style versus the stuffy Boston law school style. It really made the fish out of water story believable. I also love the evolution of Elle’s wardrobe and how it matches her own character development.

I honestly can’t remember the music at all. I know it was there but I can’t remember it. That means it did it’s job.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This movie rolls together mystery, college, romance, humour, and characters that want to genuinely do good in the world. It’s fun to watch.

Score: 1

Overall

This movie is about empowerment and being yourself, even if it doesn’t fit into the stereotype everyone has for you. It’s about doing something you love for yourself.

It’s got a few cringy scenes (Bend and Snap?) but overall it’s a feel good movie that made me feel better about my current stresses and worries.

Final Score: 3 Stars

Josie and the Pussycats – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats.

Story

Let me start by saying this is the most 2000’s movie ever. This is a movie that predates smartphones, 9/11, and MTV no longer playing music videos.

The plot could have been pulled straight from a comic book from the 90’s, the main message is literally explained, and it can’t seem to decide if it wants to be family friendly or not.

The movie is riddled with sex jokes (I mean really ‘backdoor lover’?), puns (the band ‘Dujour’), and patented 2000’s anti-commercialism (buy stuff to make you unique not to be like everyone else).

This is thoroughly a pre X-men and Spiderman comic book movie. Hammy, fourth wall breaking, and terrified it’s audience won’t get it’s messages.

Score: 0

Characters

After 15 minutes I turned to my wife and said, “Ah the 2000’s where female characters were finally allowed to be 2 stereotypes.”

The three protagonist are: Josie (Rock Star, mechanic), Valerie (Activist best friend), and Melody (Animal loving Ditz).

The rest are pretty much the same, Allan Cummings eats up the scenery as does Parker Posey. They ham so much and seriously make their characters work.

Are they balanced? No. Are they an attempt at social commentary? Maybe… Are they likeable? Yes mostly.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Trite, silly, and downright hilarious. The dialogue in this movie is written to both date it and make it wallow in it’s own silliness. From the code words based off of old rock songs, to the puns, to the line, “I’m here cause I was in the comic” This movie doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to silly dialogue.

Somehow it manages to skirt quotability.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie goes out of its way to push the anti-commercialism by including over 70 brands as product placement. It’s coloured and shot like a comic book and genuinely pretty.

The music is good, if repetitive. I’m sad that none of the cast actually performed the songs.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This movie is a condensed feel of my teen years and brings back good and bad memories. It was a more innocent time and because of that I really enjoyed re-watching this.

There’s a little cringe in there but overall the music and corniness make it a lot of fun.

Score: 1

Conclusion

This movie is a snapshot in time of what the late 1990’s early 2000’s was like. Before the world was changed by 9/11 and everything thing else the 2000’s brought.

It’s fun, but not the greatest movie. I feel the messages and lessons get drowned out by the ham.

Final Score: 2.5

Artificial Gravity

The movie Lucy has me thinking about science and science-fiction. If you haven’t heard about the movie here’s the trailer.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVt32qoyhi0&w=560&h=315]

The premise is flawed. Ridiculously flawed. It got me thinking about other concepts that are flawed or that seem out of place.

Artificial Gravity

This is a normal trope for Science-Fiction space shows but it’s rarely based in science.

Some, like Babylon 5 or 2001 a Space Odyssey, use centrifugal force. (That’s when you spin something to simulate gravity.) However most will hand-wave the technology away and just say they have some sort of way of creating a Gravity Field.

Star Trek has gravity plating in its ships. It creates a gravity field that can be adjusted.

The obvious reason for this trope to exist is simplicity. TV and Movies don’t want to spend millions of dollars creating realistic anti-gravity and audiences want to see their hero’s walking and talking like normal. In stories, it simplifies the storytelling. You don’t have to look into how people and objects would move and it’s less alien to a reader.

But take the concept one step further. If we could control gravitational forces with such ease, why hasn’t anyone applied the tech to something else like weapons, flight tech, or space travel?

A gun or grenade that could control the gravity around an individual would be devastating. Increase the gravity by ten times from 1g to 10g in a second, you’d seriously hurt someone and probably kill them.

The problem with most science-fiction worlds is that Artificial gravity is incongruent with their level of technology. With the artificial gravity of Star Trek, they could easily have created artificial and collapsible black holes. Think how devastating that would have been as a weapon.

In less violent fashions, if they can get the plating to apply in reverse to their ship, they wouldn’t need more than a tiny push to get off planet. They’d be able to nullify the effect of gravity on their ship and float off into space.

 

There are various other pieces of Science-Fiction that are unbelievable or incongruous. What’s your favourite?