Inside Llewyn Davis

MV5BMjAxNjcyNDQxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzU2NDA0MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Inside Llewyn Davis

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Key Actors: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis: Inside Llewyn Davis a follows folk singer by the name of the title of the film in 1961 New York City. Davis struggles to make it as a musician as well as to maintain friendships. Other than that, there is not much of a plot. There are, however, a few cute cats (I love cats) and a brief appearance by Bob Dylan.

Overall Rating: 1/2 Star

I guarantee many (most) people will argue me on this, but Inside Llewyn Davis is a horrible movie. There is no point to this movie. It is two hours of angry people being angry at the world and each other, saying horrible things to each other. There is no recognizable story. There is no central conflict. (Leading a difficult life does not a central conflict make in a story.) I think this is going to be one of those movies everyone loves outwardly, but mostly only because it has the stamp of The Coen Brothers and people would feel “uncool” for not liking it. Is that rude? Probably. But there are movies/books/TV shows like that–media that don’t deserve the attention or appreciation they receive but garner it because for some inexplicable reason people “have” to like it. In fact, I saw this movie with my family and as we left the theatre we discussed the film and I was reminded of this scene from 500 Days of Summer:

I think “grasping at straws” is the phrase that applies here.

Also, I read on the giant poster outside the theater that this movie (or was it the poster?) was based on the cover of Bob Dylan’s album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. To use a Millennial colloquialism: Just no.

Here is how I feel about “artsy” films: Artsy films are great. I love artsy films. But there still has to be a point and a plot, etc.

Bechdel: Fail, fail, fail. There are two female characters in this movie. But they never even enter the same room let alone speak to each other. Just another vision of women in film only existing for the men.

Treatment of women: Where do I begin? How about with that Carey Mulligan’s character seemed only to exist for sex? By the end of the film you know of at least three men who have had sex with her character. And that is the only “value” her character provides. As a woman, it is beyond tiresome to watch movie after movie include women merely as sex objects, sex characters, or objects of desire. Seriously, what world do these male writers live in that they think women are only for sex?

And that is not to mention that Mulligan’s character is an accomplished singer but as she performs other characters don’t comment on her ability, but instead on how much they’d like to have sex with her. This movie is a serious fail for women.

And finally, a different female performer sings while the main character shouts obscenities at her and asks to see her panties. Do I need to go on? It isn’t enough that this movie has no plot, is painful to watch, and made me wish I had the ability to fall asleep in theaters. It also had to contain obscene sexism.

Maybe I should reduce my half star to zero stars? The acting is good. And the music is excellent. Do those two things warrant half a star when the rest is despicable? I guess I can throw this film a bone and include the half star. But it is grudgingly.


Thor: The Dark World

THURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddThor: The Dark World

Directors: Alan Taylor, James Gunn

Key Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: Some time after the Avengers’ battle in New York, and two years after the happenings in the first Thor movie, this story depicts Thor’s return to planet earth in order to protect Jane, who found herself crossing worlds through a scientific jibber-jabber I was not clear on (sorry). Thor faces Malekith who wants the power of the aether, a mythological substance that would give him absolute power over the nine realms.

Overall Rating: 1 1/2 – 2 Stars

Honestly, I only went to Thor 2 because Christopher Eccleston is in it. Though I was pleasantly surprised (even with Christopher Eccleston I expected this film to be mostly drudgery) it is still merely “meh.” You see, I have this thing against sequels. And when there are a gazillion (actual count) sequels for male superheroes while there is not even one movie dedicated to Wonder Woman, Storm, Black Widow/Natalia Romanova, or a decent rendition of Cat Woman, my exasperation with sequels merely compounds. And there really wasn’t enough Christopher Eccleston in this movie. He was the main antagonist! Why wasn’t there more Eccleston? That guy is truly a marvel (ha ha, get it?) and it seemed to me that there were more shots of his stunt double than there were of Eccleston.

However, Loki is incredible. He really made the movie. Loki is the only reason I rated this film 1 1/2 – 2 stars instead of only 1 1/2 stars. Tom Hiddleston. Well, geez he’s great. Loki is so evil and by far the best character (not just because he’s evil). He’s clever, manipulative. You never really know what he’s thinking. Can Thor really trust him? You just don’t know! It’s great! And to think, F. Scott Fitzgerald playing an evil master of illusion. Loki is reason enough to see this movie.

Bechdel: I have to admit, I was surprised this movie passed the Bechdel Test. I think most superhero movies fail completely. However, Jane’s intern Darcy (played by Kat Dennings) is full of spunk and they discuss science (What??? Female characters discussing science? Now way!) among other things. In addition, Thor’s mother Frigga (Rene Russo) and Jane converse about self-defense. To sum up, this movie had three whole female characters with names who talked to each other about something (anything!) besides men. Quite unusual for superhero movies.

However, despite passing the Bechdel Test, it is quite apparent that Jane’s life is pretty much about Thor. Sure, she’s a brilliant scientist. But she pretty much cried for two years while Thor was away. Do male writers really think that’s what women do when the men we love go away? Spend years crying? Sorry. That’s just not how it works.

Thor: The Dark World really is just “meh,” even despite Tom Hiddleston. I just found it overall boring, thus am late posting this review. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review it because I found it so overall dull. The real question is, is it dull because it is actually dull? Or is it dull because superhero movies are far too common anymore, especially sequels, and I have lost interest (except, apparently, in Loki. Can Loki have his own movie?)? And then there was the scene where Jane was floating in the air and I thought, “Wait. Did I somehow stumble into the movie version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?” (Harry Potter fans, think cursed necklace.)

This movie wasn’t without its good bits, however. Stellan Skarsgard is quite hilarious. His portrayal of Erik Selvig is fun and great. Example: He thinks better when he’s not wearing pants.

And here’s a parting shot of Loki.