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Oscars Retrospective 2017: Florence Foster Jenkins

The inspirational biopic is, at this point, a subgenre riddled with cliches, tropes and tired redundancies even when compared to other formulaic cinematic genres. Why? Because it always does the same: it takes a real story, follows it loosely and cajoles it into fitting the standards and usual structure of these types of movies. And, unfortunately, Florence Foster Jenkins falls exactly into that category.
This is a paint by numbers movie. It goes exactly where you think it's going to go after watching the trailer, it brings no surprises, nor any sort of interesting thought and it sits back and relies on the performances of admittedly great actors to keep the boat afloat.
And yes, we can't deny that this is a somewhat competent movie made by a competent director, but it's otherwise completely unremarkable. It's mathematically designed to be a crowd-pleaser and this creates more problems than anything, particularly in regards to the story, as it just doesn't seem to…
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The Hunger Games and Codified Villainy

Within our current media landscape, heavily populated by Young Adult novels and their inevitable adaptations, there is one YA novel that stands above the others. Not because it's necessarily better, but because it's the mother of them all and has, at this point, spawned a thousand rip offs and copycats. We are talking, evidently, about The Hunger Games.
The 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins (and its 2012 movie adaptation) could actually be blamed for the dystopian obsession in media that has dominated the movie/book industry for the last years. And, whilst dystopia can be a very clever tool for pointing out real problems in our society, it needs to be careful not to oversimplify those problems and therefore, trivialize them.
But what does this have to do with Costume Design? Sometimes, the visual choices taken in this type of media can actually come to reveal even more problems with our social worldview than the creators originally intended.
In this particular case, the very spec…

Burning Question: What's wrong with Belle's gown?

Since the first promotional pictures of Disney's new Live-Action remake of Beauty and the Beast hit the internet, there has been a lot of discussion around Belle's iconic ball gown. And, even months after its release in cinemas, there still continues to be a lot of buzz around it. Why? Mainly, because a lot of people feel that it is just doesn't look that good.
The thing is, Belle's animated yellow ball gown is, at this point, an iconic staple of animated cinema. Everybody knows it and everybody loves it. And, as a result, everybody can see the new one and say "this is not the costume I know". Therefore, everyone can compare it down to the smallest detail and see that it just doesn't quite look right.
Today, our goal will be to try and dissect the design in order to answer the burning question everyone has been asking themselves: what's so wrong with the "new" dress? Or, to put it bluntly, why is it so incredibly underwhelming?

This might n…

Oscars Retrospective 2017: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first of the planned spin-off/prequel series of the Harry Potter Saga and the screenwriting debut of J.K.Rowling, the mind behind the Harry Potter Books.
This new installment is an ambitious attempt, both in scale and in narrative, as it tries to tell both a brand new story with brand new characters and also be linked to the original saga through the character of Grindelwald.
The problem is that this juggling act forces the movie to fit in together two stories that have little to do with each other. On the one hand, there's Grindenwald and the Obscurial's story and on the other, the bizarre adventures of Newt Scamander as he tries to fetch back his creatures. Separately, these two stories, could have made for two entertaining movies, but the problem is that, together, they just don't mix  very well. On top of that, the radical changes in tone throughout the movie only manage to drag the final product further down.

But, despite…

Oscars Retrospective 2017: Allied

Allied is a World War II romance with an old Hollywood flair. This newest Zemeckis' movie is definitely trying to be the next Casablanca or the next Notorious. And, while that is a good goal for a movie to have, it's not as good when if fails to actually get there. The sad truth is that Allied lacks the passion, driving force and creativity to be either of those movies.
Still, despite its most glaring flaws, Allied certainly has not a lack of ambition. Quite the contrary; it attempts to be a triumphal fanfare that both pays homage and injects new life into the great war movies of the 30's and 40's.
Unfortunately, despite their efforts, it hardly amounts to a shallow imitation that it's lucky enough to be entertaining enough at certain points of its story.

But, this movie's greatest fault is not its lack of spark or originality. Its worst crime is to contain two radically different movies in tone within its two hour run-time. What do we mean by that? The spy-thr…