The Giver (movie) – Review

So, The Giver has been on Netflix for a couple of months and it keeps showing up in my “Top Picks”.  I’ve never read the book so I didn’t have any nostalgia for the story nor did I have any real idea of what the story actually was.  I had seen a trailer before the movie came out and the fan outcry that the movie was in color but that was it.

The story is pretty average for a YA dystopian novel.  After a great war/cataclysm society has been rebuilt around the idea of “sameness” and everyone has forgotten the past and takes daily injections to suppress their emotions.  Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory.  A job that entails receiving memories of the past from The Giver.  There is a minor romance subplot with Jonas’s childhood friend but the main plot concerns how the memories of the past effect Jonas.

Most of the movie is shot in black in white with color added once Jonas begins receiving memories.  This lack of color to express the “sameness” the community was built around was well done.  I liked how color is introduced slowly into Jonas’s pov instead of the movie suddenly wiping to full color like The Wizard of Oz.

There’s nothing really new in the movie.  It shares a lot of tropes with other dystopian movies.  An emotional suppressed populace like in Equilibrium.  Constant surveillance, lack of privacy even in one’s own home, and the erasure of history like in 1984.  I also noticed a stylistic resemblance to Pleasantville with the black and white suburban imagery representing the “ideal” society and color used to show characters “awaking” to some truth.

The Giver is well made and the acting is fine but you’re not missing out if you skip it.

Rating: 2.5/5



Quick thoughts on Roadhouse

So I just watched Roadhouse for the first time(? I might have seen part of the beginning several years ago).  I thought I had seen it before but as I got further and further into the movie I realized no I had not.

The rich guy extorting and controlling the town was not a plot I expected but it unfolded in an enjoyable manner.

The fist fights are almost painfully slow by modern standards with clearly telegraphed punches and kicks.  They are easy to watch since the camera isn’t constantly shaking or cutting to a new angle every second.

There is plenty of nude women as one would expect from a movie of this era.  Swayze also has his share of shirtless scenes and butt shots as well.

Overall I’d say it’s worth watching at least once for 80’s and Swayze nostalgia.


LGBT Movie Night: “Do I Sound Gay?”

I went to a LGBT movie night hosted by the local Unitarian Universalist church.  Quite a few of the regular members are LGBT so it’s a pretty accepting church.  I went for a while but I’m not one for getting up early on my days off when I have Sundays off but I’m still friends with a lot of them and show up to events.

We watched “Do I Sound Gay?” which is about a gay man investigating why some gay men have what most people identify as a gay sounding voice.  Also, throughout the movie he is talking to speech therapists to try to change his voice to sound less “gay”.  I kind of didn’t like how the movie was framed around him not wanting to sound “gay”.  I wish it had just been about what sounding “gay” was and how gay men related to it, instead of framing it as a bad thing from the start.  Besides that it was an entertaining film.

As a trans woman I have a complex relationship with my own voice.  I’ve gone from not caring to hating it to accepting it.  I still have days when I don’t like my voice but I accept that it’s what I sound like.  I’m lucky to not have a super deep voice but I do get sired on the phone.  It’s too much to really unpack in this post.

I would love to see a film called “Do I Sound Like a Woman?” about trans women and how we relate to our own voices.  Not from the point of view of someone trying to change their voice though.  Just interviews or round table discussions about how we have or haven’t changed our voices.

Thoughts on The Turman Show

I just got done watching it and it doesn’t quite hold up.  It’s still a great film but the tone is more comedic than I remember.  In my memory, there was a build up of things going wrong and Truman beginning to notice the patterns of the extras around him leading up to his ‘father’ returning.  At which point the backstory and setting are revealed in the interview with the director.  I know the idea of The Truman Show wasn’t really a reveal but it could have heightened the tension in the beginning if it wasn’t shown right away.

This probably less the movie not being what it could be and more my own views of reality changing over time.  I’m sure the first time I saw the movie I thought it was funny that Truman was living in a manufactured sitcom world.  Now I watch it and I can’t help but feel horror at his situation.  To discover that everyone he knows; his best friend, his wife, his neighbors, his mom, the guy he buys his newspaper from, the woman that passes him on the street; is lying to him is horrific to me.

The Truman Show is a good movie but I would like to a version of it that abandons the tv viewer pov and keeps to Truman’s pov.  The movie often switches to “hidden camera” shots to remind the viewer that Truman is always being watched but I feel like it distances me from Truman.  It’s another layer between me and Truman when I want to be right there next to him.  I want to see him find the cracks in his false world.  I want to see him question his reality. I want to see everyone around him insist he’s crazy.  I want to see him break out of his cage.  And I want to see him pull back the curtain and show us the man pulling the strings of his world.


Every Day (audiobook)

This is not really a review just so thoughts about the book Everyday.

I started listening to to this book Every Day by David Levithan a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it. Every Day is about a person who every day wakes up in someone else’s body. Always someone around their age, never the same person. They call themselves A.

Read the rest here.

This is not really a review just so thoughts about the book Everyday.

I started listening to to this book Every Day by David Levithan a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it.  Every Day is about a person who every day wakes up in someone else’s body.  Always someone around their age, never the same person.  They call themselves A.  A has been hopping from body to body their entire life.  One day A wakes up in Justin’s body and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.  Most of the book is about A revealing themselves to Rhiannon and trying to have a relationship with her despite changing bodies every day.

I’ve been mostly enjoying Every Day.  A is agender and pansexual.  They have no problem with whatever gendered body they wake in.  Through the multiple bodies A inhabits we get glimpses of different lives.  Twin brothers, a suicidal girl, a gay boy, a trans guy, a runner, an alcoholic, a immigrant house cleaner, and more.  I’ve felt like the author showed me these lives, even the flawed ones, fairly with little judgment.  There’s minor digressions about gender that aren’t bad.  It’s not perfect but it doesn’t hit any major sour notes for a while.

And then we got to the Fat Body, three hundred pounds, and there is nothing but judgment.  Suddenly A is disgusted with the body.  It’s too heavy to move, every motion is an effort.  The body is ‘sphere’.  We’re told the owner of the body gave up on being skinny.  A considers implanting a memory of the day that would scare the body’s owner skinny.  Then later the date with Rhiannon is all about how fat A is and Rhiannon “can’t see” A in that body(this has never come up before even when A has been in a girl’s body).  Being fat is presented as the worst thing A has ever been.

Just after the fatphobic chapter, the story take a bit of a turn toward resolving the main plotline of the novel and a couple of minor plotlines.  I honestly wasn’t happy with the ending.  I’ll write more about the ending under a cut for spoilers.

Overall I liked Everyday.  Even through I spent half this post grumbling about what I didn’t like, I did enjoy the majority of the book.  It’s unfortunate that it’s the ending that disappointed me.  If it had just been the fatphobic chapter I might have given the book another listen one day and skipped that chapter but knowing that the ending is unsatisfying, at least to me, kind of kills that desire.

My thoughts on the ending under the cut. Continue reading “Every Day (audiobook)”