During all of the press surrounding Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson criticised the film in which she made her first MCU appearance. Johansson spoke out about the “hypersexualisation” of her character during the film. Of course, she didn’t have an awful lot to say about Joss Whedon’s decision to focus on her arse as much as possible during Avengers but never mind. It’s not like you can disagree with her. Everything about Nat’s first appearance in this franchise problematic when you look back. First and foremost, the way she looks. It’s her worst look by far and speaks to the male gaze that comes from the comic books. That awful red wig doesn’t really work and makes Johansson look much less beautiful than she really is. Yes, she’s still one of the best looking people on the planet so it’s all relative. Now with all of this talk of Iron Man 2, I decided it was time to go back and rewatch it.
It’s been a long road getting to this Black Widow film. The character first appeared in the MCU way back in 2010 and has been sidelined ever since. Then the news finally hit that she was getting her chance in the spotlight. Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing and Covid put the release date back by over a year. It’s fair to say that Natasha deserved a better deal but at least she’s finally the star of the show. Yes, it’s 4 years after Wonder Woman debuted and we’ve met Captain Marvel already. The fact is, Black Widow is here and we’ve got a lot to celebrate. For one thing, Scarlett Johansson is playing a character with an appropriate ethnic background. But this has always looked like a genuinely good film. The cast looked awesome ad there was plenty of potential to get to know the character from a different point of view.
When I first head about this film I thought it sounded shit. That’s mostly because a friend of mine described it to me and he didn’t do a very good job. It didn’t help that I just associated Will Smith with bad films thanks to the likes of Hitch. So, I didn’t want to watch it. Cut to a few years later and another friend telling me to watch it. This time, I trusted his opinion and gave it a shot. I didn’t hate it but I can’t pretend that it’s a film I’ve thought a lot about since. Until it appeared on my Netflix home screen the other day. Then I got the sudden urge to watch it again. As it’s been a while since my last TBT, I decided it was worth going back to it. Maybe it would make more of an impression this time?
I’m yet to be convinced by Disney’s plan to remake all of its animated film as live-action. At best, they can be described as fine. At worst, they’re pointless. The best by far is The Jungle Book because it was only slightly concerned with the original film. I guess Maleficent worked pretty well but I wonder how much that had to do with Angelina Jolie rather than the actual film. So, I wasn’t exactly hyped when it was announced that Cruella DeVil, first seen in 1961’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians, was getting an origin story. Or that she was going to be played by Emma Stone. Don’t get me wrong, I love Emma Stone but she’s no Glenn Close. The 1996 remake did many things wrong but casting Close as the villain was a genius stroke. I didn’t see how Stone would be able to compete and that was before I heard her dodgy accent.
My last Tuesday blog ended with me saying that I needed to stop watching random animated movies and start watching real films again. Of course, when I said real films what I meant was grown-up films. It’s not that I think animated films aren’t real. So, I guess it could be considered something of a failure that I’m back this week with another animated feature but I think this one’s okay. After all, the latest Pixar release is a far cry from the random stuff that keeps popping up on Netflix these days. I’ve always been a big Pixar fan, so I knew that I had to check this one out as soon as possible.
It takes quite a special film to do something exciting in a runtime of less than 90 minutes. Most likely. any film that doesn’t have enough story to pass the 1 hour 30 mark just won’t have a lot to offer. But, as I’m still off with my schedule when it comes to watching films, any film that doesn’t break 90 is always going to appeal. On Sunday, I once again found myself needing to watch something quickly to review today. Since the pandemic hit, I really have lost my desire to watch films. I need to try and get back into it soon. I’m missing out on so much. Until I do, I guess I’ll just be stuck watching short animated films on Netflix. At least I’m watching things that I wouldn’t have normally seen.
Just like my last TBT film review, this film has found a new lease of life in recent years. There’s something about the internet generation and supposedly underdog films. I never watched this when it was released because I was pretty beyond my Disney phase in 2001. I mean, yes, I still loved the classics of my childhood but would I actively go and see the new releases? Hell no! I was a super mature 13-year-old at that point. I wouldn’t be seen dead at a Disney film. Well, maybe I’d ironically go and watch Monsters Inc with my friend for someone’s birthday and pretend that I didn’t secretly love it. But The Emperor’s New Groove was released during that era of Disney when I wasn’t watching any animated films from the studio. So, why not finally watch it?
I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have watched this film if it wasn’t for its link with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. From the Netflix trailer, it just seemed like any other family animation mixed with every repetitive homicidal AI sci-fi film. Yes, it looked good and there were elements that really interested me. Mostly Olivia Colman. I didn’t think it was gong to be bad but I just wasn’t the market for something so seemingly unoriginal. Then this weekend happened and I hadn’t watched a new film for today’s post. There was only one thing to do. Find the quickest and easiest thing to watch on Netflix.
Shrek is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2021 and, apparently, not everyone is happy about it. In the Guardian this week, Scott Tobias decided to write a diatribe against the animated film that has captured the attention of millennials and beyond. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the film has achieved cult status and is still a very strong component of meme culture. Yet, according to Tobias, it’s not worth it in the slightest. He seemingly has nothing good to say about it. So, we have to ask, how did everyone get it so wrong? Why is he the only one who can see the DreamWorks animation for what is really is? Or rather, we should be asking, what exactly happened to Scott that means he is so against fun? And what exactly was he expecting from a film about an Ogre that’s based on a fairly crude picture book?
After Groundhog Day, I always wondered why people tried to keep making comedy time loop films. Once you’ve found something so perfect what do you expect to add? It’s always the same thing anyway. We see people experience grisly deaths, drink, take wild risks, and fill the time as best they can. It’s not like there’s been an awful lot of originality. That doesn’t seem to stop anyone trying to do something new. Last year, Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti starred in the latest attempt and, in another great example of unoriginality, it centres around a wedding. I knew that the reviews for this had been good but, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed by that concept. Still, Samberg is a great performer. He may not have written this but I had to believe that he wouldn’t sign on to do any old shit.