February movie wrap-up 2

As promised, another wrap-up of movies I have seen in February. They're very different, which is fun. 

I saw Deadpool in the cinema, and I was very hyped, and it was so exciting, and Goddamn it was so good.
I haven’t ever really read Deadpool, and the only frame of reference I had was tumblr and the first Wolverine movie, which was not great. But I really like Ryan Reynolds. Not really for any of his movies, at least none I can remember off the top of my head. But I always loved Two Guys and a Girl, which is an excellent show. Excellent might be stretching it, but I always loved it, and Ryan Reynolds was a big reason for that. Anyway, what I had seen of Deadpool, and Ryan Reynolds, made me excited.
Deadpool is about Wade Wilson, a mercenary who lives in New York and goes around roughing up creepy dudes who stalk, and bother girls. He meets a prostitute, Vanessa, falls for her and they move in together, and they love each other. Then he gets diagnosed with cancer. It has spread to everywhere, and he can’t be cured. Then he’s approached by a shady-ass company who say they can cure him by triggering his mutant-y powers. He says yes, is cured, and is severely deformed. So he doesn’t go back to Vanessa, instead he goes on a killing spree to find the man who made him deformed, the man who he believes can cure him. He can now heal from pretty much everything, and he’s all super-hero-y. Except not heroic really.
It’s awesome. I feel like this was the role Ryan Reynolds was made to play, this is the role he was born for. He’s snarky, he’s funny, he’s self-deprecating, and he’s just really cool. And Reynolds is surprisingly good at being sensitive and sad. The movie is full of references to Ryan Reynolds’ life. He refers to his Green Lantern performance, and straight up says; do you think Ryan Reynolds got by on talent? He breaks the fourth wall constantly, at one point breaking the fourth wall while he’s breaking the fourth wall. He refers to the Marvel Universe/X-men issues, which is friggin’ hilarious.
I loved the female characters. Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin is incredibly awesome. She’s so strong and powerful, and so sure of herself. She is a complete equal in her relationship with Wade. She does sort of fall apart to an extent when Wade walks out. She also saves herself when she’s captured.
The other main female character, I guess, is Negasonic Teenage Warhead, an X-men trainee, who doesn’t talk much. She just snarks, and chews gum and rolls her eyes, and is awesome. She’s a teenager who can throw out these badass sonic pulses. She’s strong, she’s tough, and even if she’s snarky as hell she helps out Wade, and she’s a total badass.
The third female character who is a complete badass is the comic relief, Blind Al, the old, blind woman who lives with Deadpool. She keeps snarking him, she has a weird subplot where she keeps building IKEA furniture, which was hilarious.
I loved how unapologetic it was. And how self-aware it was. And how sex positive it was. And it was just; I loved it so much. I loved it. It had flaws, and it’s not perfect, but good god it was so good.

Only Lovers Left Alive
I completely forget this movie’s title whenever I think about it. So I have googled: “Tom Hiddleston Vampire movie” more times than I can count.
It is about Adam and Eve. They are both vampires, Eve seems to have lived for like millennia, and Adam has been around for 3-4 centuries. They’re married, but in the beginning they don’t live together. Eve is walking gracefully around Tangiers, hanging out with her friend Christopher Marlowe, yes, that one, turns out he’s a vampire. Marlowe is her blood supplier. It’s important that they drink clean blood, and they live in a world where all our human blood is all contaminated by the world.
Adam lives in Detroit and is a musician. He writes and composes and he sells his music, so that it gets out there. He is a recluse. He has used the ideas of Tesla to make himself completely self-sufficient. He goes to a hospital, or lab, to get blood, and tries to stay out of the public. He only really has contact with Ivan, the guy who buys him guitars and equipment. Adam is disillusioned and wants to die, so Eve goes to him to cheer him up.
It is so beautiful. It’s so incredibly beautiful. Probably because Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are the most beautiful creatures on earth. Adam is constantly dressed in black, his hair is black, and Tilda Swinton is dressed in beige and white, and her hair is white, so they are a great contrast to each other.
It’s sort of oddly put together when it comes to sound. A lot of Adam’s character is built around music. He’s a composer and music writer and it’s what he spends his eternity doing. So there is quite often a lot of music playing. And then a lot of the time it’s completely quiet, there’s just the ambient sound, which I thought was really beautiful. There’s a lot of quiet, which is very odd, and very beautiful.
I found Ava slightly odd. Ava is Eve’s sister. She is also a vampire, but while Eve and Adam are these ethereal, quiet, eternal creatures Ava feels really modern. She has the most severe case of Arrested Development ever. Because she’s about 20, and at the same time, she’s like 1000s of years old, but she acts like a teenager. She laughs, and scoffs at Adam, and acts very childishly and on impulse. It’s almost like she’s rebelling against being this eternal being. Because Adam and Eve feel very eternal, otherworldly, and different, Ava is very present and down-to-earth. Adam is very disillusioned, which I think is a common vampire fiction trope. Ava seems to take her being immortal as an opportunity to party forever. It also makes her more destructive. Adam and Eve seem to just subsist on as little blood as they can to stay alive. Ava is just consuming as much as she can all the time. It’s fascinating to see how different they are.
In summation, it was incredibly beautiful, and magical, and weird, and Tilda Swinton is like a Unicorn, or something.  

What Happened, Miss Simone?
What happened, Miss Simone is a documentary about Nina Simone. Nina Simone was born in the South in the 30s, and was a musical prodigy. She wanted to be the first black professional classical pianist. She moved to the North so she could work on this dream. Her whole family moved with her, and she worked in clubs to make money. She wasn’t allowed to just play in the clubs, she had to sing too, and so the legend of Nina Simone was born.
The documentary is based around Nina Simone’s diaries, some interviews she’s done, her daughter, her husband, and her friends talking about her. I found it fascinating, because I love Nina Simone. She’s just so incredible. Nina Simone was a straight up musical genius. And she was a big fighter for civil rights. She spent time with Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. and so on. She wasn’t really too into the non-violent ideals. She wanted to fight and be violent to achieve the goal, but she also played at a lot of rallies. And she was incredible.
I loved watching her play, and sing, and to see the things she did. And it was fascinating to see how she became aware of the racism she faced. Basically when she lived in the South she was given piano lessons by two white ladies in her home town and she would play in the church. When she was like 7 her parents weren’t allowed to sit in the front of the church to listen to her, and she straight up refused to play until they were allowed to sit in front. She recounts how she wasn’t accepted to the university she wanted to attend even if she was just as good as everyone else, and it took her a long time to realize that the reason she didn’t get in was because she was black and it made her angry and sad, and it made her want to fight.
It’s a bit… scary the way this was done, because her husband/manager speaks a lot about her. Obviously her husband/manager would be an interesting source for knowledge about Nina Simone. The thing is, her husband was very abusive. He would hit her, he would push her to work even though she wanted to stay home with her daughter. There’s a story from her daughter where they’re driving and he leans over out of nowhere it seems, and he just smacks her in the face, and she bleeds, because he’s cut her with his ring. People say that when Stroud (the husband) stepped out of his car in New York while he was a cop, people would run away, because they were terrified of him. And he gets to sit there and talk about her, and just say; yeah, I would hit her, and she would get all mouthy, and she would do this and that. And he got to do it completely unchallenged. His daughter didn’t take his side, but she wasn’t necessarily very sympathetic towards her mother on the abuse. I realize that Lisa (the daughter) was also living in an abusive household and she was allegedly beaten by her mother, but it was a bit upsetting that Nina Simone wasn’t able to answer for any of it, or give her side of how she handled Stroud beating her. Because people kept talking about her as difficult and bad, and she can’t say anything. If Nina beat her daughter, that’s not okay, obviously, but I feel like the long-term effects of the abuse she suffered wasn’t discussed particularly well.

I thought it was beautiful, and her music is obviously weaved through it, and it is interesting to see what she did during the civil rights era. I love her music, and I love her genius and how beautifully she sang, and the beautiful things she did. I had some problems with it, but it was also very beautiful.