Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

18 October 2016

The Evil Queen's Not-Quite-So-Evil Frozen Sister

Once upon a time...

Actually it was four years ago. My dear friend Julie and I got drunk and watched Snow White and the Huntsman. We watched it because we like to watch bad movies together, but ended up really loving some of the film's aspects.

Obviously this meant we needed to watch the sequel. So, here is our conversation while watching The Huntsman: Winter's War.
* * * * *

Aaron: Who is doing this narration? Is this Liam Neeson? Why is Aslan in this film?
Julie: What is this gold ball? That is not a mirror.
Aaron: Julie, what are you drinking? Priorities.
Julie: I would like to note that I am not drinking. So this is either going to be the best or the worst time we've ever done this. (I am not pregnant.)
Aaron: Ok. I might get really drunk on this rosé.
Julie: I support you. I had three beers earlier and I am too old to have any more.


Aaron: How is Charlize already murdering people?
Julie: That is what a woman does. She is a witch, obviously. (That is Liam Neeson. Love him.)
Aaron: These costumes are going to be just as good as the last ones.
Julie: That headpiece!! Stunning.
Aaron: Stunning.

Julie: I know I'm not drunk, but who is Emily in relation to Charlize? I wasn't listening.
Aaron: She is her sister, Freya, apparently. Why is Emily Blunt in this?
Julie: Because Emily appreciates camp as much as Charlize.
Aaron: Ok. Fair. Like, I want to be Charlize, too. That seems like a good goal for Emily Blunt.
Julie: I would like to note that this is written and directed by men. This movie full of women. Let's see how this goes.
Aaron: We know how that usually goes. Who are the other women in this?
Julie: Jessica!
One more of this headdress.
Aaron: K-Stew is not, right? Oh my god, is this child burned up like a cinder?
Julie: Correct. OMG she’s Elsa!
Aaron: Oooo Emily Blunt is totally Elsa.
Julie: She just froze that shit!
Aaron: I told you this was going to be about Frozen.
Julie: And her hair turned white!
Aaron: Let it gooooo, Julie.

Julie: Ugh. I am over it. We always fear what's different, blah blah.
Aaron: Is Aslan going to narrate this whole film?
Julie: A barren woman is a dangerous woman, blah blah.
Aaron: "If she could not raise a child, then she would raise an army." Shut the fuck up.
Julie: Jesus, this is legit The Snow Queen. AHHHHH ICE QUEEEEEEEEN.
Aaron: The art direction is a lot better in this one.
Julie: You remember the other one that well? Lies.
Aaron: Who wrote that Snow Queen? Andersen?
Julie: Yessir.
Aaron: She is fabulous!
Julie: Neat gown! Does Emily sing? It's time for a power ballad. [Note: She does sing.]

Julie: A child of color! We are already doing better than the last film. Do you think they read our critique of its racism?
Aaron: If the Snow Queen learns how to love by the end of this movie I will be so mad.
Julie: Love is a sin, A-ron. She will not commit sin.
Aaron: This is why snow exists, when women no longer believe in love.
Julie: There is another person of color! I'm keeping count.
Aaron: There is a fucking animatronic owl! I am loving my life.
Julie: I think you are loving rosé.
Aaron: Is this little redhead going to grow up to be Jessica Chastain? And the little pugnacious boy will be the Hemsworth? And there will, apparently be a grown-ass black man as well?
Julie: Yes, that is mini-Jess.

Aaron: Emily has a great wig. But if this is going to be about Emily Blunt and not Charlize, then I am going to be sad.
Julie: There will be one adult man of color according to iMDB. I think Charlize is passing on the crown, so to speak.
Aaron: This is a shame.
Julie: There he is! The one black man.
Aaron: Already an improvement on the last film. Jessica Chastain is seriously in this? What in the hell.
Julie: I legit don't understand the timeline for this film. When are we in relation to K-Stew's character?
Aaron: My ex-boyfriend said that this is a prequel and a sequel. So maybe it is happening simultaneously?
Julie: So, like, Charlize is Anna, and Emily is Elsa? And we just didn't see Elsa the last time?
Aaron: Yeah, I guess so. Anna but, like, a murderous one.
Julie: This is dumb. Then who is Jess? Olaf?
Aaron: I think I don't remember Frozen as well as you do, Julie.
Julie: Olaf is the snowman, A-ron. Best part of the film.

Aaron: So far the problem is that we are spending time with the good guys instead of with Charlize eating the hearts of dead birds. I don't care about these white people making out.
Julie: No one cares about white people making out. Oooo that dress! It's like chain mail!!
Aaron: Didn't Sarah Palin wear that dress to endorse Trump? Emily Blunt doesn't know how to do this part. Why is she having so many feelings. Be the ice queen!
Julie: She's letting it go. It's a process.
Aaron: Haha.
Julie: The ice is not as fun as the black, oily goo from the last film.
Aaron: Not at all.
Julie: Oh noooooo! J-Chas!!!!!
Aaron: Oh my god, wait. Is J-Chas already dead? It's barely been 20 minutes. Jessica, we hardly knew ye!
Julie: Also, did they just make the one man of color the bad guy? Liam says love cannot last. He is correct.
Aaron: The one man of color will get his redemption.
Julie: I hope so.
Aaron: Oh now we've jumped forward to after the other movie.
Julie: Back to Charlize?!?
Aaron: Well no, now Charlize is dead, right? Because Snow White is queen now. I need more rosé. This is stupid.
Julie: Jesus, none of this make sense.
Aaron: Do they think we remember that movie?
Julie: Apparently they do. He just killed your animatronic owl.
Aaron: This owl that watches him is fun. I am sorry it just got killed. I love owls.
Julie: There'll be more where he came from, I'm sure.
Aaron: This dwarf comedy bit is not good.
Julie: No. Using them for comic relief is not cute. Nor is it funny.
Aaron: This bit is straight out of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Julie: I will take your word for it. Does that dwarf have a man bun?
Aaron: The other one has a mohawk.
Julie: And the other has a mohawk. What is happening?
Aaron: Julie, nothing's happening.
Julie: ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. At least you are drinking.

Aaron: Wait, can Chris Hemsworth, like, sense the auras of dead people?
Julie: According to this film, yes.
Aaron: Now this movie is a mystery movie. It is jumping genre a bit too fast for me.
Julie: The only mystery is why we're watching it.
Aaron: Nothing is happening! What is this?
Julie: Where are the women? They killed off two at the start and now Emily is MIA. This sucks. I don't care about Chris and his dwarves.
Aaron: Maybe I'd be a little more interested in this fight sequence if I had any idea what the sides were. Like, who are these soldiers? And whose side is Chris Hemsworth on?
Julie: They are huntsmen. I don't understand the stakes. Or the plot, for that matter.
Aaron: Maybe Jessica Chastain is really alive.
Julie: J-Chas?!?!? Please for the love of Jesus let it be her.
Aaron: That legitimately makes no sense, but I hope it is true.
Julie: Nothing about this makes sense. Yay I win!

Aaron: Ok this makes sense now. But it is just as boring as before. This is just tired sentiment.
Julie: Let her have the mirror then. At least things would be interesting then.
Aaron: This shit is so slow.
Julie: That's because this stupid movie is about "love". ZzzzZzzzzzz.
Aaron: And literally the plot is: will this man and this woman get back together? Like, fucking duh. How are we supposed to get invested in something so obvious?
Julie: I miss K-Stew.

Julie: Remember how the first film didn't have a sense of humor? I miss that.
Aaron: Goblins!
Julie: We are only halfway through this shit. OMG.
Aaron: I wish there were more to make fun of. But this is just sentimental schlock.
Julie: I legit might fall asleep.
Aaron: Where is Aslan? Liam Neeson's narration could speed us right through this.
Julie: I wish he would enter the movie, all Taken-style. That would spice things up.
Aaron: The goblins! Maybe they'll have cool make-up? Let's do the rest of our chat in pirate voices. I'm gonna finish this bottle of wine and hope this gets better.
Julie: Hahaha how? Just put "argh" after everything? There's the blasted mirror.
Aaron: Arrrr. I think Charlize might be coming back! Oooo!!!!This goblin is badass!
Julie: Is that a goblin?!
Aaron: Maybe not…? Maybe he is, like, from the mirror itself.
Julie: He looks like he belongs in the Planet of the Apes movies.
Aaron: I love him. He’s the best this film has offered us so far. Aside from Charlize's headdress.
Julie: That is not a goblin. Is it? Look at that Matrix flip he just did!
Aaron: This is the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring when Boromir dies. I think he's a goblin. Yeah, here's some more of them.
Julie: He's a freakin' ape.
Aaron: They're mean guys. Look at that river of molten gold! I want it. This director loves Peter Jackson a lot. Goblin blood is pyrotechnic or something? This aspect of goblin lore was unknown to me.

Hemsworth wonders why we're still watching.
Aaron: See, and here is another bullshit scene. It is impossible to cry about someone dying when it is manifestly obvious that he is not dead.
Julie: These effects suck.
Aaron: The last movie's effects got an Oscar nomination, Julie.
Julie: They did. This one will not receive that distinction.
Aaron: No it will not.
Julie: And there's Tinker Bell. WTF.
Aaron: But there are tortoises covered in moss behind these fools.
Julie: I thought that was a porcupine.
Aaron: There was one of those, too.
Julie: This is terrible.
Aaron: I know. I have no idea why I should care or what we are fighting about.
Julie: Why is she angry? I do not understand what's going on.
Aaron: Well, like, she thought he left her. And so she has been hating him for 7 years.
Julie: She needs to
Aaron: But, who cares? She's gonna get over it in like 10 seconds and take his clothes off as quickly as possible. And.... now they're having sex. But ten bucks says that mirror is gone.

Julie: OMG is Charlize whispering through the mirror? Why the fuck would she be true to him when she thought he left her? That is some patriarchal shit.
Aaron: Look! It is the ice army!
Julie: Aw shit. She's a badass.
Aaron: Jessica Chastain don't care; she's in a tank top. Emily Blunt is riding a  … giant arctic wolf?
Julie: Haha it looks like it.
Aaron: It's just like in The Hobbit. When all of those characters rode on weird animals.
Julie: Correct.
Aaron: Jessica Chastain is having feelings.
Julie: Naw. She's cold as ice, just like Em.
Aaron: Did that fucking arrow hit the necklace he always wears? "She never misses." Predicted it.
Julie: I wish he had died.
Aaron: I do too. This is so bad. And now, like in a Peter Jackson film, these fools are going to ride on giant elk. To the North Kingdoms or wherever Emily Blunt is. I wish you were drinking, but I can't say that alcohol is making this any better.
Julie: I hate this. I want Charlize back!!!!!! Nothing could make this better.
Aaron: Peter Jackson shot! I need to stop taking note of things that are exactly like Peter Jackson.
Julie: This whole movie is a rip-off of every fantasy film ever made.

Aaron: Can Charlize come out of this mirror? I pray that happens.
Julie: I hope she eats someone's heart. Like her big sis. Yayayayaya the mirror goo!
Aaron: Now those are cool effects.
Julie: Well, Terminator did it first, let's recall.

But then the goo turns IN to Charlize!
Julie: Bitch is BACK. Thank you baby Jesus.
Aaron: Praise be. This makeup is flawless.
Julie: Death doesn't matter to Charlize. She is forever. Her whole ensemble is amaze-balls. And her nail claws! YASS.
Aaron: I love everything about this. Thank goodness for this film's third act.

Julie: But now we're back with the dwarves. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.
Aaron: Nope. Charlize is back.
Julie: She's changed outfits!
Aaron: With a new crown. And a new gown. This one is fabulous too.
Julie: The girls are out. That braided/snaky hair is fantastic.
Aaron: She is flawless. Julie. This movie is redeemed for me.
Julie: That is the rosé talking.
Aaron: Well maybe not redeemed. I need more rosé.
Julie: Yes. You do. You're drinking for two, after all.
Aaron: Just like any good mother-to-be. More Peter Jackson imagery. For those keeping score.
Julie: I hope there are flying monkeys. This feels a little Wizard of Oz-ending to me. By the way, what happened to our actor of color?
Aaron: He's still around. I saw him when J-Chas came back.
Julie: She is sad about being childless. I hate this trope.
Aaron: Charlize in yet another outfit. All is right with the world.
Julie: Ooooo Charlize energizes this shit. And she has wings, to boot.
Aaron: She's just so much better than everyone in this movie.
Julie: Yes. She's the only one who realizes how to make this not suck. Everyone else is playing it straight. That is a mistake.
Aaron: So true. They're all doing some kind of emotional truth. And Charlize is just being badass. It's really magnificent to watch.
Julie: Well, she has no feelings. She is dead, after all.
Aaron: Her shoes! She just said that too. "I've been dead before."
Julie: I missed the shoes. I'm sad about it.
Aaron: Ok, Julie, but why is it that we can see what makes this movie good, but the filmmaker has no idea what is good about this movie. Man of color. Redemption. What did I tell you? The black oil is back!!!
Julie: Well he didn't know about the last one either, but Charlize was in the entire thing, so it sucked less. Yay, effects!
Aaron: This is amazing.
Julie: That goddamn ice needs to go. It is boring.

Aaron: I am a little sorry that we won't get to see another costume change.
Julie: Is this movie telling us that women are pathetic because they have feelings? I'm not sure of the messaging here.
Aaron: It was Charlize who killed the baby.
Julie: That cape is badass though.
Aaron: I think the message here is that women need to love more. They should be less cold-hearted.
Julie: Men don't like powerful women. They don't have feelings. They don't smile. They are too ambitious. They are Hillary Clinton.
Aaron: This is cool now.
Julie: Sorry. I am getting excited. Powerful women are evil, they ruin everything, blah blah. We must thaw their cold, cold hearts.
Aaron: Charlize gave this movie life. All hail to this evil queen. She also hates "cheap sentiment"! Me too, Charlize! And we got a costume change after all. She was literal gold to this movie. But yes, as you say, this movie sees women just like everyone else does. They are too ambitious. They are too cold. They are too busy not being mothers.
Julie: Fuck, the dwarves are back.
Aaron: This is the last few minutes of this, though. I await Liam Neeson's narration.
Julie: Liam!
Aaron: Even buried under ice and snow, love survives.
Julie: Ugh. Love. Zzzzz. Fuck Liam Neeson for saying that. "None ever truly end." There is going to be a sequel. But without Charlize?
Aaron: Bad grammar. None ever truly ends.
Julie: I mean, I guess we have proven that she can be dead and still be in the movie. I hope they were all paid really well for this.
Aaron: No. Charlize definitely comes back. That's what that gold bird was for.

One more of Charlize before we go!
Aaron: So this song over the credits is all about girl power and how an old man is on a throne saying "I shouldn't be so mean". It's kind of great.
Julie: Oh really? I wasn't listening. Nice.
Aaron: But the film doesn't seem to believe its own message.
Julie: Any parting words?
Aaron: My parting words are that Hollywood is too sentimental for its own good. If it would only just give in to loving evil, it could really succeed.
Julie: No, this film doesn't think much of women. They are either sentimental or evil. There is nothing else.
Aaron: Not true. The movie knows that the reason to watch is Charlize. It just thinks we should all be embarrassed by or ashamed of that. Well I am not.
Julie: Well, that is not true. If it was, she would be in more than twenty minutes of it. I think this would make a neat musical: The Evil Queen starring Charlize. With really fun stage effects. Who is going to make that happen? And by 'this' I don't mean this movie. Obviously. Just the character.
Aaron: Obviously. And the answer is Julie Taymor. Last question. Does this film get a costume nomination?
Julie: I don't think Charlize('s costumes) were in enough of the film. Also, it was so early in the year. So unless it's a dry season: No.
Aaron: I think you're right. Although it may well turn out to be a dry season. I have begun pregaming, for the record, and so I saw The Dressmaker with Kate Winslet (for the costume category) and it was horrifically bad. Be glad you're not pregaming as in days of yore.
Julie: I am glad. I feel so free. Too many men. Too many white men. I would not survive another Oscar season.
Aaron: Let's do this again soon with something more fun.
Julie: Yes. We need another Tonto. Or whatever that mess was. I will keep an eye out. I do so love really awful movies. Thank you for keeping me company tonight. Sleep well. Dream of dead people's auras. G'night!
Aaron: Night!
Sleep well!