I, Tonya (2017)

For a lot of biopics, my main problem is that because it’s restrained by sticking to reality, it occasionally hampers its creativity. This definitely isn’t the case here. This takes the same approach to reality as “The Big Short” did (Wait a minute, that film also featured Margot Robbie speaking directly to the camera, hmmm, interesting) and is all the better for it. By that I mean it admits that human recollection is flawed, so some scenes/revelations are completely contradictory. Sometimes this happens mid-scene. At one point Margot’s character just turns towards the camera and says “I never did this”. I liked this approach to The Big Short, and I loved it here. Before this film, the only thing I knew about Tonya Harding was The Incident. I actually assumed she was a lot more involved in the incident than she actually was, so I was kind of annoyed when the film was announced as it seemed like they were glorifying someone who didn’t deserve it. Yeah, I was wrong. I mean, she was not exactly the nicest person in the world, but she was not the villain that popular culture has made her out to be. I also knew that after that she was a boxer, and there’s a sex tape of her available. This film touches upon two of those things, which I like. It shows us the effect the incident had on her life as well, it’s good to know that the film-makers had the bravery to do that as most wouldn’t. The fight itself is actually pretty well done as well, not on “Creed” level, but then again few fights are.

The skating itself was really well done as well, to the point where you completely forgot you were watching actors doing it, and instead focused on the scenes themselves. A lot of that is obviously due to Margot Robbie’s performance, she’s just phenomenal in this (would explain the Academy Award nomination), as is the rest of the cast. Whilst we’re on the subject can I just point out how strange it is that Sebastian Stan, who is best known to a lot of people for his role as the Winter Soldier in the Marvel films, is in a film written by someone called Steve Rogers? Am I the only one who finds that funny? Yeah, probably, but meh.

I mentioned earlier how I liked how it played with truth and reality, there’s one exception, one where it made me feel kind of uneasy. Most of the characters are portrayed as somewhat sympathetic, with one exception. Most of the characters are portrayed as somewhat intelligent, with one exception. Most of the characters are portrayed as being slightly blameless, with one exception. And it’s all the same exception: Shawn Eckhardt, who is played BRILLIANTLY by Paul Walter Hauser by the way. I mean, truly brilliant, he adds a lot of character tics that make him really stand out. Anyway, so back on track. Why did I feel slightly uneasy about this character being the main idiot, the main villain really? Because he’s the only one of the main characters who is dead. That feels a bit weird to me. Now, this might be a case of reality being unrealistic. Maybe it was all his fault and he was the dumbest person alive, and a massive prick. But considering how the film itself admits the lies that a lot of the main people involved tell, it feels a bit weird that they seem focused on attacking the one guy who can’t defend himself. It’s very easy to make Jeff Gillooly out to be the idiot villain, I mean he’s been arrested for driving under the influence, and sold his honeymoon sex tape. Although he did save the life of an 81-year woman, so he’s not all bad. That’s the main message of this film; people are complex and truth is subjective. Also, telling a group of judges “suck my dick” is never not funny. Go see this whilst you have the chance.

Musings On Marvel: Day 9 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Directors: Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Arrested Development pilot, Community pilot)

Budget: $170million

Box Office: $714million

  • Why does Captain America need to jog? Isn’t his strength and fitness derived from the serum so he doesn’t need to exercise at all. Unless he’s just bored, in which case, go fight bad guys or something.
  • Wait, he’s got “Thai food” on the list of things to research? Dude, just go eat Thai Food. Done.
  • And Sean Connery? Not a list of films he’s in, or anything like that. Just Sean Connery in general?
  • The Captain America plan to getting into a building:
    1. Stealthy stealthy stealthy
    2. Flippy flippy flippy
    3. Loud noise! Throw shield into room so everyone knows you’re there.
  • Isn’t Captain super strong etc? I mean, he went toe to toe with Iron Man in Avengers, now a regular bearded dude troubles him?
  • “last time I trusted someone I lost an eye”, I know, people always say “I’ll tap your head a second before” but they never do.
  • “agent Romanov is comfortable with everything”, so that’s why you make her wear that skintight costume.
  • Fury gives a detailed nostalgic history of himself, he’s going to get shot.
  • “greatest generation, you guys did some nasty stuff” “for freedom!”. Random fact: the Nazi party got their influence for their eugenics programme from a programme in California. U S A! U S A! U S A!
  • Why does his friend have his own exhibit at the museum? There’s nothing about Churchill’s bff at the war museum.
  • How did he find out where she lived?
  • “I thought I could throw myself back in, serve in the army again”. You barely served in the Army. You spent most of your time doing theatre.
  • “you saved the world”. I mean, yeah, it’s a shame that Captain America doesn’t exist in real life so Germany won the war and the world has been destroyed. That sucked when the world was destroyed. I hadn’t even finished paying off my sofa.
  • Why holograms? Why not just skype? This is literally just technological dick measuring. And just as messy.
  • This film continues the MCU tradition of hoping that merely mentioning the other Marvel characters will stop us wondering why they never turn up to help each other.
  • “he has to socialise”. You want Iron Man to socialise at a kids birthday party? He’ll probably try to fuck the mother and get the kid drunk.
  • Holograms on the car window now? That’s not just pointless, that’s also highly distracting and possibly illegal.
  • I would question how they think they could stage a police attack then remembered that Nick Fury is black so they’d just need to say he littered so they had to shoot him.
  • “to build a better world we need to destroy the old one”. Wow, I wonder if this guy’s evil.
  • This fight would be over in about 5 seconds if they used the paralysing technology from Iron Man 1.
  • F*ck off can he fall that far and be okay. Super soldier or not, he still has to obey the laws of physics.
  • “he refused to share information” so you kill him? Surely one of the people working there realises that’s unfair justice.
  • “two dozen assassinations in over 50 years” That’s really not many at all. That’s like one every two years. That’s nowhere near enough to have that big a file. I mean, if I get a few more I’ve beaten that record.
  • Oh please. As if Captain America knows about function overrides on computers.
  • “if you guys need anything. I’ve been Aaron” so who are you now?
  • He didn’t eject it properly! That flash drive is going to crash.
  • That just says which buttons are pressed. Not in which order.
  • Wait, he’s seen War Games but not Star Wars or any of the Rocky albums?
  • Wait, so THIS is the guy they decide to save his brain? He’s quite useless.
  • “if you try to take freedom, they resist”. Really?  No shit.
  • How did they get such high-quality footage on a green and black monitor? This would be like watching TV on an old Game Boy. Which you can’t do.
  • So the lesson is, don’t trust Swiss people?
  • So they blew that building up, and all that data, just to kill two people?
  • “seem pretty chipper for a guy who died for nothing”. Well, you know, except Nazi’s.
  • Oh, so we can’t get Iron Man or anything, but don’t worry, we’ve got the senator from Iron Man 2 in here.
  • So Falcon has never been seen in any of these films? He wasn’t called to save the president in Iron Man 3, or to save New York in Avengers?
  • Rolling out of a car at that speed would cut your skin up so you looked like a kebab.
  • For two super cool assassins, their aim sure is terrible.
  • Winter soldier destroys a strangers car. More like Winter So-D’ya Have To Be So Rude?
  • Superhero landing!
  • They keep shooting at his shield instead of his legs.
  • Surprise! Except it’s totally not a surprise. It’s really obvious so why did they leave it so long?
  • By the way, this scene should totally have an 80’s power ballad playing over it.
  • How did they decide to use this a hiding space? “We need to think of a hiding space, any idea where?” “damn” “perfect!”
  • “about damn time”. Yeah, you should have got shot earlier, damn you ScarJo.
  • Wait, I’m fairly certain Zola was on the same train that Bucky fell off, and was captured almost immediately after. So he could not have been there when he woke up. No, no, no, nothing about this makes sense at all, and horses can’t talk!.
  • Wait, first Aldrich loses his arm in a battle in Iron Man 3, then Loki chops off Thors arm in The Dark World, now Bucky last an arm too? Marvel hates arms.
  • Awesome, a scene to show a friendship we already knew existed. Great.
  • People think that Chris Evans transformation to Captain America was well done, but Sebastian Stans transformation from Bucky to the Winter Soldier is a lot better. He’s almost unrecognisable.
  • Hey it’s Abed. Hey Abed.
  • That actually makes sense, the directors for this were hired due to their work on the paintball episodes of Community. That’s the good thing about the MCU, they’ve taken risks with new directors from different genres. Doctor Strange is being directed by Scott Derrickson, who’s known mainly for horror. They’re not sticking with established directors, in fact, the most well known one they had was Kenneth Branagh. And even that was a risk.
  • “what if Pakistan invaded Mumbai and you knew they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium”. Football! Not soccer. That’s probably the most evil thing he’s done.
  • They never use this disguise technology again.
  • “are you sure you’re ready for the world to see you as you really are?” with how tight her clothes are, we already know.
  • They fired like 8 missiles at one person. No wonder the US military spend so much with that kind of wastage.
  • Even Michael Bay thinks these explosions are “a bit much”
  • “it’s trending”. Wait, I pretty much used that exact line the year before in a film. Bastards!
  • “unless you want a hole in your sternum”. 1) that’s not where the sternum is. 2) couldn’t you have done that earlier when she was hitting people?
  • “order only comes through pain” kinky.
  • Does Captain America really need to attempt to sacrifice himself? HYDRA has been exposed,  and the missiles aren’t aimed at cities anymore so everyone’s safe. And we’ve already seen he can jump from great heights and be completely okay for some reason.
  • Captain drops his one of a kind shield out of the flying vehicle, yet somehow you know he’ll find it again.
  • “there’s nothing more horrifying than a miracle” I dunno, genocide?
  • Are supposed to be surprised Bucky is alive? I mean, we saw him walk away, this scene literally serves no purpose.