The story of movie that’s finally coming out, only to be more inaccessible than ever.
Welcome to Unnecessary Reboots, a series in which I write a plot synopsis for a 2020 reboot of a film that doesn’t need one, because I’m a bad person.
Rebooting You’ve Got Mail, a quintessentially 1998 film, may seem insane, until you consider that it’s actually based on a Hungarian play from 1937, and also, that there’s no such thing as sanity or common decency here.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is…well, to be honest, I don’t know if it can be called bad. I have an inherent interest in the wizarding world, and the film rewarded my interest, allowing me to dive into magical 1927 Paris and the intrigues and magics and creatures of that domain. It was a very, very low bar for me to be entertained by this film, and the film hit it, because of course it did. I would actually even go so far to say that I enjoyed it better than the first one. The first one was slow-paced, with uninteresting action and almost no color; The Crimes of Grindelwald is stuffed to the gills, and the action is beautiful and colorful. In short, it has things that make it good. It clears the basic tests it needs to clear.
Sadly, the reason I’m mentioning all these good qualities first is because the film has a lot of problems. A lot of them. Most of it is more spoilery, which I’ll go into after the cut, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, you should know that this film is a lot more aware of the legacy this film has, to tie into the Harry Potter saga and explain how this era led to the next. There’s some really interesting ideas in this film, but, ultimately, they are buried under layers of confusion, presumably because Warner Brothers still has three more movies to fill with this drama. However, it feels less like stage-setting for interesting story than it does someone taking the story threads and knotting them into oblivion. Wherever the story is intended to go, this film does not do a great job of making clear, and you’re going to have a lot of questions that don’t feel like they should be questions at all.
Got that? Let’s discuss the spoilers. Spoilers past this point, guys.
I saw Blade Runner 2049 last night. It was beautiful; it was moving; it was such an inspiring second act to the first one that I feel compelled to re-examine my feelings for that particular film. Neither Blade Runner film feels compelled to make all of its themes explicit, but the thing I found myself thinking the most about after I left the theater was the nature of our stories, how they create our identity, and our ability to retain ownership of those stories.
(There are spoilers for the film beyond this point.)
I am a Jem and the Holograms fan. I’ve dressed up as Jem (see my Twitter icon). I unironically enjoy the almost-too-cringeworthy-to-be-real 1980s cartoon, and so I’ve held off on watching the 2015 reboot film for…a long time. It never marketed itself well, and after it got pulled from theaters after only a few weeks, it wasn’t hard to just avoid seeing it. But the library had it, and I finally thought, why not? It may be so bad, it’s funny.
Swiss Army Man opens with the protagonist, Hank, unable to commit suicide because the dead body that just washed up on the beach won’t stop farting. The movie ends with the main character crying with happiness at farts. Stoner comedies wish they could do farts as well as this movie does, and it reaches far past the ambitions of stoner comedy into pure, crazy brilliance.
If there’s anything women don’t have patience for, it’s men condescending along gender lines. This winter, there’s been a lot of specific feedback about men claiming that Die Hard is their favorite Christmas movie–Dana Schwartz has an excellent article here where she mocks a character performing this role.
|Exhibit A: What people remember about Die Hard.|