Oz the Great and Powerful

This movie was a monumental disappointment.  Its plot was so devoid of any substance it can be summarized spoiler-free, simply by reciting a list of gender offensive stereotypes:

-Blonde girls are good, dark haired ones are bad.

-Women who show initiative and take charge are evil, those who wait around for a man to come and take charge are good.

-Any sexual impurities utterly ruin the female’s character for the rest of her life, while the male party has no need to acknowledge responsibility or take part in shame, but on the contrary has his personality confirmed as good and he is awarded the “good,” pure girl.

-Little white girls are saviors who refine character, particularly when they’re in pain.

-Everything with women comes down to looks.

 

So much for what the plot entailed.  What it did not contain also harmed it, as it failed to answer any questions or add any unpredictable story layers to its cannon.  There is no mention of ruby slippers or where they came from, no explanation for why water is the Wicked Witch of the West’s kryptonite, no description of the flying monkey’s relationship with people…..nothing interesting.

 

Even from a visual standpoint, “Oz the Great and Powerful” disappointed.  In a world littered with iconic visuals like the chilling appearance of the Wicked Witch in the Emerald City and the first time Dorothy sees Oz’s projection, this movie offered: bright colors, a stunning visual of China Town they put onscreen for all of 10 seconds, and visually interesting opening credits.  That’s it.  Even the costumes were decidedly unmemorable, except for what color they were.

 

In short, “Oz the Great and Powerful” contains absolutely nothing worth seeing, let alone paying for.

Once Upon a Time 2×6 “Tallahasee”

Otherwise known as “We’re Bringing Flashbacks Back!”

Spoilers:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have some notes.

First, if Neal turns out to be Baelfire I will have to stop watching.  Granted, if Baelfire turns out to be anyone without a decent reason for staying young for hundreds of years, I will have to stop watching.  I do not understand all these people claiming time can move differently-the curse happened, time froze for 28 years in both Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke.  Ergo, time moves the same.  Also, magic beans claim to be world jumping, not time jumping.  Otherwise we’d have to worry about syncing up with Hook’s Neverland time, etc., and that’s just not going to fly.  Also, the world jumping power of wood, said to work like the beans, spat Emma and Pinocchio out at the same time, Emma came out after the same number of minutes that had passed since Pinocchio went through the wardrobe, etc.  As far as I can tell, there’s lots of evidence to say that time moves the same in Fairy Tale Land-which is also physically UNDER Storybrooke, making it harder to defy laws of space and time, and absolutely no evidence that time might move differently between them.  Acceptable solutions from Baelfire still being alive are: Rumple, with the Dark One’s power over time, charmed his son to stay forever young, Baelfire became a Lost Boy and therefore did not grow up (most advisable, seeing as it will give Hook interesting leverage with Rumple and make that plotline thicker), or Baelfire came across another world-traveler like the Wizard of Oz and got something to keep him going.

Second, I’m impressed August actually did manage to track her down in those circumstances.  I’m sticking with my idea that there’s a connection between August, Neal, and Pleasure Island, and that the box held some magical proof August had been there.  If Neal had been there too he would recognize it and be forced to admit that yes, he had experienced magic.  Alternatively, the White Rabbit possibility has gained watches.  Perhaps August came across something Wonderlandish somehow.  About how he sent Neal the postcard-I feel the show covered this.  August explained he needed magic because he was turning into wood.  Ergo, when magic returned, it made Pinocchio’s woodiness no longer a problem and he could therefore send postcards.  On the issue of August’s high-handedness, well-Pinocchio was never very smart, was he?  It’s true that if Emma was happy in the real world she probably wouldn’t want or need to go looking for another, more magical one.  The end.

 

Third, the writers put no thought whatsoever into that giant story.

1.Turning Jack and the Beanstalk  into Jack the Giant Killer is simply switching tales.

2. Indicating that wars happen with one totally good side and one totally bad one is always overly simplistic, and the details of this one make it absurd.  The giants did have the magic beans, and they do have a lot of treasure.  Are we to not believe they were plundering the worlds?  Perhaps they did it peacefully, perhaps they considered it their right, perhaps they had legal trading rights, but surely they were gathering wealth from the worlds.  Sure, this means FTL probably fought them in order to get the treasure more than anything else, but then-that’s the giants’ motivation too, right?

3. Also, why would the humans want the beans destroyed?  Any way you look at it, that makes no sense.  All around more likely that the giants did destroy them themselves when they were losing-in a just war or not.  Also, they’d be the ones who’d know how to make the beans non-functional but still present.

4. Speaking of which, there’s a way to make the beans non-functional even though they’re physically present?  Those things make less sense all the time.

5.How does giant Hurley eat?  There didn’t seem to be any livestock or agriculture up there, he doesn’t seem like a cooking type, and he doesn’t even have beans anymore.  Does he just spout the magic number and it sustains his life?

6.The cage with the trip wire was giant-sized.  Were there other giants who tried to get Hurley’s treasure back in the day?

7. In what world is it believable that the cage could hold down giant Hurley?  That whole section was ridiculous-the giant had no reason to be afraid or or talk to Emma other than to move the story along.

8. Emma couldn’t ask Mulan how long the poppy powder would keep the giant out?

9. Hurley just left the body of Jack the Giant Killer in the middle of his house until it turned into a skeleton?  If Hurley’d even eaten Jack he wouldn’t still have held his sword like that.  Is that a reminder that humans are killers?  If so, why do you also need to wear a bean-that’s the best reminder right there.  Also, why in the middle of the floor?  Do you never actually look through your treasure?

10. Engraving sword blades is reserved for the name of the SWORD, notes about what the sword entitles its owner to do, and possibly a riddle or instruction.  That is it.  It is NOT for engraving the name of the sword’s wielder.  That’s just ridiculous.  Granted, Jack could’ve  named his blade Jack, but that indicates that he’s vain, unimaginative, and/or extremely fond of bad wordplay jokes.  None of those options make me like this guy no matter what the real story of the Giant wars was.  Am glad he’s dead.

11. Not to mention, leaving sharp, bloodless blades (in spite of the fact it was still held by the skeleton of a long dead man and apparently not moved-perhaps Hurley got Jack cause the vain idiot just had to clean his sword?  Fits the character of someone who’d engrave their own name like that.) lying around in the middle of your room, does leave you somewhat open to attacks by said blades.  Giant Hurley should probably just wake up.  Or maybe get that kraken pet to keep him on his toes.

12. How do people know what these giants have in their collection if everybody’s dead or a ridiculous giant living alone and barely speaking, therefore not spreading rumors about their stash?

I can’t talk about that anymore.  Let’s move on to Hook.

1. You can’t simultaneously sell a character on being a charming rake AND an anguished bereft lover at the same time.  You can arc from one to the other in an actual story, but you can’t just take the same guy and switch him back and forth.  No.

2. He is the most inefficient person yet.  We want the giant out-hey, I’ll yell at him and hope you have decent aim, assuming he bends over enough for you to conceivably hit him in the face with that magic!  We need to find the compass before the giant wakes up-perfect time to meander about, daydream over random gold, and hit on the girl!  THAT’S the guy you want on your team.  Yep.

3. Guy does not have a decent pickup line in him.

4. I really believe he’s just there so the writers can force him to say more painfully shoehorned references like “Tick-tock.”

5. If he heard Emma’s negotiating with the giant, which he seems to seeing as he’s complimenting her on it as she pulls him from the rocks, then how did he miss her arrangements with Hurley over him?  It’s not like they were whispering.

6. Also, Emma?  Ever heard of keeping your enemies closer?  I’m pretty sure that’d be a good idea here.  Also, he’s the one who knows where Cora is and all-that could be pertinent information that I didn’t see anyone prise out of him.  Plus, what’s your obsession with 10 hours?  Couldn’t make it 12 or like, a day?

Oh, and about this compass:

1. Since when do you need that to find worlds?  Bae didn’t need it, Hook didn’t need it before….this is very confusing and inconsistent.

2. I am disappointed by the lack of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Perhaps Hook will fall down the beanstalk and start moving like Captain Jack Sparrow.  Best possible thing that could happen to the character all around, really.

On Aurora and Henry’s nightmare: well done, the best thing this episode.  There are too many wonderful possibilities to expound on here.  Just don’t let me down.

That is all.

Signed,

wheresmytower

Once Upon a Time 2×1 “Broken”

SPOILERS

1. The reunion between Emma and her parents was every bit as awkward as anticipated.  I suspect a lot of the resentments about Emma’s upbringing were immediately thrown in there mainly to distract everyone from the sheer awkwardness of their age discrepancies.  David’s interaction with Henry made me quite irritated with him-he’s only interested in using him bolster his own self-image and determination by impressing them on Henry-probably subconsciously as he clearly means well, but that’s all I saw.  Of everyone in his family YOU do not know this kid-you could talk to him, ask him what he thinks, thank him for believing in you (I think Mary mentioned things like this to him) or pushing Emma to save everyone?  No?  I cannot be behind this as a proper family meeting.

2. I have many feelings about Rumplestiltskin.  After the last episode I had a lot of questions for him, and the answers don’t really alter my need to sit him down and have a chat.  As far as why Belle knows he’ll be able to canoodle with Belle after magic is brought to Storybrooke, I suppose the whole “magic works differently here”, already covering a multitude of sins, can also manage to cover for Rumple’s ability to look normal and kiss Belle.  My criticism that as a looks-conscious man Rumple should’ve leaped to redress Belle did get addressed.  I was both glad to see Rumple talking fashion with Belle and sad that it came up mainly as an excuse to be alone instead of the sincere thing it should’ve been.  It did seem that everyone else was too busy reuniting and getting angry mobbish that Rumple’s store was safe, but still-I would expect people to be trying to get back their objects anytime now.  The dagger, though…he’s really still going with leaving it in the woods, where these people run around regularly, knowing that Ruby’s got wolf powers for finding objects and that he’s actually shown Pinochio (who may not be dead and if he was I don’t think Rumple necessarily knew it) where its hiding spot is?  That seems like the height of stupidity and I expect more of him.

3. I was happy with the show’s take on Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom “sleeping for years” along with her.  Phillip is clearly the dashing hero I want him to be.  Unfortunately, the love triangle with Mulan meant that their feminine-stereotype fight, which might have led to really awesome feminist breakthroughs or at least a shattering of said stereotypes, led only to a love-triangle.  This is not okay.

4. Our clues for the new guy are: he’s in a big city, he’s got a postcard, there’s a significant pigeon.  Right now the strongest possibilities of the ones I’ve seen seem to be the White Rabbit or Peter Pan, as both of those had the ability to traverse worlds.  My personal theory is that he’s the boy who befriended Pinochio on Pleasure Island.  Pinochio may well have confided in his best friend his mission, his conversation with the Blue Fairy may have been about the sending of this postcard to an address at a ‘certain time’, or Pinochio may have survived and sent it himself.  Further evidence comes from the pigeon-in Disney’s Pinochio he found out where Gepetto went because of a message dropped to him by some birds that resembled doves or pigeons.  Hence, the significant pigeon points this way.  Also, this version of Pleasure Island IS a part of the normal world, so of course he would be there.

5. Dr Whale is unknown by David.  And possibly Regina, though was an integral person who collaborated with her, which argues she is lying.  He is a doctor.  He is a womanizer.  Is he Smee?  Smee performed caretaking duties, is tied to the sea, and could be imagined as a womanizer pirate like the others.  I like the idea that he’s the wizard from Wizard of Oz-he could have ballooned in from FTL, or passed through there, which would explain how he got there-but he would be unknown.  The wizard performed ‘operations’ on heads, hearts, etc., so could easily become a doctor.  The wizard is  a natural collaborator, explaining his switch from cooperating so well with Regina to hating her so much.  He’s manipulative, which could lead to lying and womanizing.  Also, perhaps his balloon was named or shaped or bore the image of a whale.  It could totally work.

6. Where is Jefferson???  He is needed here.

“Once Upon a Time” musings

So, I am now officially caught up on the TV show “Once Upon a Time” after a long absence following Rumplestiltskin’s transformation to the Dark One.  I have several (spoilery and speculatory) thoughts:

On Rumplestiltskin:-I know it’s sweet that Rumpletstiltskin created the Dark Curse to find his son, but….goddammit, anyway, I prefer my version!  From the instant I saw his backstory, I assumed Rumplestiltskin had spent years learning about magic’s price, deciding that all magic was evil.  After all, at that point the people we’d seen him destroy were who?  A fairy with a very powerful wand, Archie’s maliciously “magical” sleight-of-hand parents…I was sure he had created the curse as a way of eliminating all magic-which he considered the greatest curse of all.  This would explain why he needed the curse in place, but still wanted to break it.  He’d want it broken so everyone could go home and be happy, just without the dangers and evils of all that magic lying around.  Clearly, this theory is now gone, but I mourn it.  It’d would’ve been so interesting.

On The Stableboy:-This story was well done and incredibly acted by Lana, but…wow, is it a cliche.  This is precisely the stereotypical backstory I was expecting the writers to avoid.  It certainly works, but after all that buildup and suspense, I was expecting something we couldn’t have seen coming a million miles away.

On August:-I really wish that paperweight donkey hadn’t been pointed out as a clue.  That donkey does point pretty clearly to the Pinocchio story.  I hate the idea of him as Pinocchio, especially since a lot of the stated reasons for believing this are that he is somehow turning back into wood.  If Graham can walk around with no heart inside his chest for years, I fail to see why a wooden history should cause problems.  Besides which, we saw Gepetto’s parents sitting around still being puppets, so I expect that Pinocchio would be either fully human or fully wood in this world-not dying from limbo.

-On the other hand, the Pinocchio story has other characters directly connected to Pleasure Island-I wonder why no one is discussing them?  Honest John comes to mind, the character who lures Pinocchio down his dark paths in the first place, and the second one to donkeyhood.  Significantly, he calls himself “Honest John”, while still twisting the truth all the time…just like “August W. Booth.”  Also, his sidekick was mute in the Disney movie-and I cannot think the line “Well, even a mute can draw a picture!” is not a clue.

-Also, so long as I’m talking here, my original theory was that August was a version of the Fisher King/Grail hunger legends.  If FairyTaleLand has King Midas, why not Arthurian characters?  August’s profound veneration for water plays into this, as well as the fact that til this week the time when his legs acted up was when he got close to the water.  He needs it, but he needs it to be magical.  The scene where they cause him pain elsewhere scuttles part of that, but he still clearly pays attention to water and it’s properties.  Again, I don’t know why no one else is focusing on this.  Not to mention that the Fisher King is traditionally dying and in great need of magical intervention.

-My non-Pinocchio theory still in play has to do with the Wizard of Oz.  It’s been noted that his motorcycle has Kansas plates.  I submit that the white scar around his neck mirrors the drawstring holding the Scarecrow’s head on.  Given that the Mad Hatter’s neck-line was still red, in spite of spending a long time in Wonderland, leads me to believe that August’s neck marking has to do with something other than the Red Queen-like being the scarecrow.  Clearly, he prides himself on his brains-going into detail about how Emma’s mind will be tortured by not knowing what’s in his box, fooling Mr. Gold, etc.  This theory also uses his focus on water-he’s seen water melt down the Wicked Witch of the West.  Also, if he regained(?) human form after being stuffed, particularly since the flying monkeys “rearranged” that stuffing rather roughly, it makes sense that his legs might not have enough mass/muscle/form to work without being painful.  The Scarecrow also has the best shot of being someone out of Storybrooke, because he could have traveled with Dorothy via her red slippers.  The fairy who told him of the dagger could’ve been Glinda-I’m betting that when the Blue Fairy said she knew no other way to travel, she spoke the truth.  Also, this means the person on the phone could’ve been the wizard or, my favorite idea, Dorothy.  If only that donkey weren’t there….oh well, I still want him to turn out to be the Scarecrow.  After all, he never did actually answer Gold’s question about coming from the same land as him-he just pointed out Gold already thought he had the answer.  He could still totally be from elsewhere to begin with.

On themes: I find it really interesting how we’re beginning to branch out into the men now.  Originally, the tales focused on women’s evil, how various women become villains or nearly follow other women down the wrong path-which it still does.  But it’s only in these last few episodes that we’re getting to see what the same forces of love, loss, and self-recrimination can do to the men.  In this light, Archie and Gold become doppelgangers.  After Jiminy’s impulsive deed creating a gulf of guilt and loss, he had the boy Gepetto to focus on and make amends to.  After Rumplestiltskin loses Bae, he has no one to make amends to-only characters who scold him in his time of despair (right or not, that was not well played or kind) and who he can only see focusing on to vent his anger and power.  It could have gone the other way for them as easily as things could have been for Regina and Snow.  I like that.  The genie also shows how a twisted love can change the life of men as easily as women.  I can’t wait to see more of this-I hope Jafar still gets a spot sometime.