First things first: this is the new YouTube channel, which right now is only barely real. I have managed to confirm that I have at least a basic understanding of how everything works and is a test video and a semi-real livestream that no one watched except for my son in the last few minutes, but I natter on to myself throughout it just for the hell of it. I have some calibrating to do on the TV, which is too dark right now; I’m not sure if the actual video is too dark as well because one of the things I don’t know is how precisely YouTube replicates what I have on the screen.

I also need to make some branding decisions; right now the channel is just called Luther Siler, because that’s how YouTube defaulted things; I’m considering adopting an entirely separate identity for this so I can share it here and with my kids if I want to. Or maybe I’ll lose interest next week and you’ll never hear about it again. Who knows? Not me!

If you do happen to watch the video and have any questions or comments– particularly about whether you can actually hear me as I ramble on– definitely let me know. Preferably as a comment on YT which will count as engagement. Also, if you have any clever names for the channel, let me know.

We finally got around to watching Raya and the Last Dragon last night, which you might have guessed from the telltale “Raya and the Last Dragon” graphic at the top of this post. Verdict: I liked it, but not enough to write a full blog post about it? It’s not up there with my absolute favorite Disney movies (Aladdin) or my favorite new-Disney movies (Frozen) or my favorite Pixar movies (Incredibles and Finding Nemo) but it’s a solid second-tier Disney film for me, where I won’t necessarily actively seek it out to watch but I’ll probably end up stumbling over it and watching it again in the future, that sort of thing. The character work and the animation are great (the character work is really great, actually) but the story itself stumbles a little bit, especially since it more or less starts off with the main character having to find the Infinity Stones. You’ve got to be really careful with any story structure outside of a video game where the character has to track down X of something before the story can start, and in this particular case I’m not even convinced that a lot of the conflict was necessary. But I liked it, and it jerks at the heartstrings appropriately, and it’s the only Disney movie I’ve ever seen where I can honestly say that the fight scenes were super cool. Check it out.

I just wrote a review about a book where I kept using the word “delightful” and emphasizing how heartwarming and life-affirming the book was, so naturally my next choice for reading material was Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, which is about the intertwining lives of two women in Kabul during the waning years of the war against the Soviet Union through to the rise of the Taliban.

This is the third of Hosseini’s books that I’ve read, and I think it’s his third actual novel, following The Kite Runner and And The Mountains Echoed, and … like, I love Hosseini’s books; the guy is a brilliant author, but his books aren’t exactly there to be enjoyed? That’s the wrong verb; it’s not what they’re for, and going from the candy-coated big gay happiness pile of The House in the Cerulean Sea to this was whiplash-inducing, to say the least. You already know most of what the story’s going to be like from the words women and Kabul and Taliban, and it’s not going to turn out that the two women are superheroes who beat the hell out of the Taliban or anything like that. Nah, they’re going to have miserable, oppressed lives, and the story ends on a happyish note but only after several decades of horror.

Is that a recommendation? I dunno. Hosseini is a brilliant writer, as I’ve said, but I kinda threw this book into my brain without thinking beforehand about how it would affect me, and I might have put it off for a while longer if I’d thought about it more.

On TJ Klune’s THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA, and the right to write

Let’s start with the review, which isn’t the point: TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea is delightful. It’s a fantasy fable about tradition and love and acceptance and childhood and parenting and fear and found family and taking risks when change is scary, and I described it on Twitter yesterday as the book that Neil Gaiman and Salman Rushdie’s love child would write, if that love child chose to write a book about the love child of Arthur Dent and Bilbo Baggins. I wrote that after reading half of the book, and having finished it I stick by it. Delightful is practically the entire review. It’s not a word I use often, but it is very nearly the perfect word for this book.

(It is also kind of predictable, which is part of why I chose the word “fable” to describe it; by about the 1/3 point in this book you will know exactly where it going and what the major story beats are going to be, and you will be exactly right, and you won’t care when you’re done reading that you were right, because, again: delightful.)

Before I say another word, I want to make something very clear: there are lots and lots of books in the world, and every day the number of books that are in the world increases, and no one anywhere is able to read them all, even if they wanted to try to. I stand one hundred percent behind anyone who decides not to read a book. You can not read a book for any reason you like. It’s absolutely fine. There is no wrong reason to choose not to read a book. I want that clear. No one owes any writer or any book their attention, their time, or their money, period.

This Goodreads review was brought to my attention last night:

There’s more, but I think the first few paragraphs are a reasonable paraphrase, and obviously feel free to click through on the link up there and read through the whole thing, which also includes links to the original article (which is, ironically, what brought the book to my attention in the first place, quite some time ago) that Kas takes issue with, and the podcast, which I have not listened to.

I would like to draw your attention to that first sentence: “I read it, I loved it, the writing was great and everything.” It is only after finding out what the original germ of the story was that Kas turned on the book, accusing Klune of profiting off of the pain of indigenous people and writing a book that tells a story he has no right to tell. And it’s likely more galling than usual to run into this story now, when the horrors of Canada’s residential schools are much more in the news than they usually are.

I am, in general, sympathetic to both of these arguments. I do think that there are stories that white men should, at the very least, think deeply and carefully about before trying to tell, and frankly probably shouldn’t tell at all. A good recent example is Lovecraft Country, which is practically the Platonic ideal of this idea: a book where a white author tries to tell a story about the Black experience in America, with Lovecraftian horror wrapped around it, and where he not only did a bad job but his story got made into an HBO special. So we not only have a white man telling a story that he isn’t equipped to tell, because white men aren’t a useful source for stories about the Black experience in America, but his story sucked up tons of promotional dollars and Hollywood attention when there are similar (better) stories by Black authors out there that are getting ignored.

This, at least in my opinion, is not that.

I just went back and reread the Scalzi interview again, and the really fascinating thing about it is that Klune isn’t even describing the premise of his own book correctly. Because the key difference between Klune’s orphanages, run by DICOMY, the Department In Charge of Magical Youth, is that it’s not a residential school. It’s an orphanage. And the story is not told through the eyes of the children; it’s told through the eyes of Linus Baker, a caseworker for DICOMY. The story’s really not about the pain of the stolen children, first because it isn’t, and second because they aren’t stolen children. The book is four hundred pages long and not one sentence is dedicated to any of these kids missing their parents, or wanting to return home. The magical kids in this book are actually orphans. In one case, they literally don’t know the species of the child, much less who their parents might be, and in another, they know the child’s father but that father is … (dances around spoilers) … uninterested in raising his child. Linus’ focus throughout the book is literally to make sure the children are safe as he inspects these schools. Like, that’s not a euphemism, and he’s not some sort of Oliver Twist headmaster or uncaring bureaucrat, and he’s not saying “safe” but secretly he means “imprisoned.” He legitimately wants them to be safe. He has some ideas about these kids’ lives that he’s disabused of over the course of the story, but he’s never for a second portrayed as an uncaring or unfeeling person, and — and this is a critical difference from the stolen children who were placed in the residential schools — there is no emphasis at all from anyone on making these kids “normal” or denying what they are, when the entire point of residential schools was literally genocide.

One thing that Kas goes to over and over again, including in the numerous comments that follow the review, is how would you feel if someone did this about the Holocaust? And here’s the thing: Klune has, by his own admission, used something horrible as an inspiration to write a story that is mostly about love and hope, and in the process he has created something that is far enough away from its original inspiration that I, at least, have a lot of trouble holding it against the story. And the simple fact is there have been stories explicitly written about the Holocaust that were supposed to be heartwarming; witness Life is Beautiful or the more recent Jojo Rabbit, which, for the record, I haven’t seen. This book isn’t explicitly about residential schools. It has, in fact, gone so far afield from being about residential schools that Kes didn’t catch it, and loved the book on first read. So, yeah, I think I can honestly say that if someone writes a fantasy novel that is so loosely inspired by the Holocaust that I don’t notice it, I’m probably going to be okay with that.

And, now that I think about it, R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War, another series that I absolutely loved for very different reasons, might be a relevant point of comparison, too.

(I’m going to pause here to point out that it’s interesting that Seanan McGuire provided the “very close to perfect” quote on the front of the hardback; McGuire has an entire series about magical children in a boarding school, and Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is considerably darker than Klune’s Marsyas Island Orphanage ever is. Honestly, I prefer the blurb on the paperback version, where V.E. Schwab describes the book as “like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket.”)

But to return to Klune: he has allowed a terrible thing to be the inspiration for a beautiful thing. He has justified and described that inspiration in ways that are, charitably, clumsy. But the thing is, if he hadn’t made those comments, I genuinely don’t think anyone would be reading this book and claiming that it was glorifying residential schools. I just don’t think there’s enough there to justify that argument. Your mileage may vary, and again: if you choose not to read this book, I fully stand behind that decision even if I disagree with it. I am not here to tell anyone how to feel; this piece was written more to sort out my own thinking on the matter than to convince anyone else, particularly people of color. But I loved this book, and I think it will stick with me for a long time.

#Review: African Samurai, by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard

I have talked a couple of times about how recent trends in my video game habit have led to a minor fascination with the Japanese language and Japanese history. Specifically, I have the Nioh games and Ghost of Tsushima to blame for this, both of which hang very fictional video game storylines on top of actual people and actual events in Japanese history. Yasuke, a (real) African who rose to be a samurai in the service of the (real) sixteenth-century warlord Oda Nobunaga is actually someone you fight in both of the Nioh games. The real Yasuke did not have lightning powers or a magical bear spirit that fought with him, but he was a real dude who actually existed.

I’ve gone looking a couple of times for a recent biography of Nobunaga in English, a book that does not seem to actually exist, but during one of those searches I happened upon this book, and it languished on my Amazon wish list for quite a while until it finally came out in paperback a bit ago and I ordered it. And considering what the book turned out to be, it’s really interesting that I only know about Yasuke through heavily fictionalized accounts of parts of his life– because while African Samurai is definitely a history book, it’s not at all like any of the books about historical figures that I have read in the past.

Thomas Lockley, one of this book’s two authors, is an American historian currently living in Japan. Geoffrey Girard, on the other hand, is a novelist, and while I didn’t delve into his background too deeply it doesn’t seem that he has any particular academic training in either history or Japan. While there are contemporary sources that attest to Yasuke’s existence– he is depicted in artwork and there are a handful of letters from a very prolific Jesuit monk who lived in Japan that discuss him, among a small number of other sources– there really isn’t enough information about him out there to fill up a 400+ page book without finding some way to provide more detail. And this book handles that dearth of source material in two ways: one, by making this a book that is nearly as much about Oda Nobunaga as it is Yasuke (which was a treat for me, since that’s what I was originally looking for) and two, by making the book almost more a piece of historical fiction than it is a traditional history. It is clear, in other words, that a novelist had his hand in writing this, and if I had to guess I’d suggest that the majority of the words on the page are Girard’s and not Lockley’s– although, to be clear, I would be guessing.

How is it historical fiction? Because far more of the book is about Yasuke’s thoughts and feelings and day-to-day life than the extant evidence we have about him would ever allow. For example, we know, because the Jesuit monk talked about it, that Nobunaga granted Yasuke a house on the grounds of his home and provided him with a short sword and a couple of servants. That’s factual, or at least as factual as a single secondhand account from five hundred and some-odd years ago can be presumed to be. But that’s all we know, and the two-page scene where Nobunaga summons Yasuke and then surprises him with the house, and Yasuke falling asleep on his new tatami in his home and awakening to find his new servants bowing at his feet, is pure invention. It’s not necessarily unreasonable invention– there was no point in the book where I thought that the authors were going too far in constructing a narrative out of what they had, and they only very rarely go so far as to utilize actual dialogue anywhere, but the simple fact is that that whole sequence is fictionalized, and the book is riddled with things like that. Yasuke is traveling with Nobunaga, and he reflects upon something-or-another that allows the authors to inject a piece of necessary historical background. We know that at one point Yasuke fought with a naginata, and so there’s a paragraph at one point where he’s thinking about buying one. That sort of thing.

So it’s necessary to be aware of what you’re reading while you’ve got this book in front of you– it never quite crosses over to the fabulism of, say, Dutch, Edmund Morris’ “memoir” of Ronald Reagan that actually literally inserted the author into Reagan’s life and pretended he was a witness to events that he wasn’t there for, but it’s absolutely not a straight work of history. (And while I’m comparing African Samurai to other books, I want to mention Ralph Abernathy’s And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, which is another book that is supposed to be about one person and ends up being someone else along the way.) And there are several places where the authors are forced to bow to simple historical uncertainty: we lose track of Yasuke in the historical record at some point, and we don’t know how or where or when he died, so the authors actually mention multiple possibilities about what might have happened to him after the brief Nobunaga era ended; stories about enormous African warriors (Yasuke was 6’2″, and would have been easily a foot taller than anyone around him in Japan) in places where such people usually weren’t found, but they explicitly paint them as possibilities, of varying levels of likelihood, rather than picking one and ending the “story” with it.(*) But once you internalize that lightly-fictionalized aspect of the book, it’s a hell of an entertaining and informative read on a whole bunch of levels, and I’m really glad I ended up picking it up. I don’t know how big of a group of people I’m talking to when I say something like If you’ve ever wanted to know anything about sixteenth-century Japan, pick this up, but … yeah. Go do that.

(*) I wish they’d gotten more deeply into his name rather than relegating it to a footnote, but as you might have guessed, “Yasuke” almost certainly wasn’t his actual name; it’s likely that “Yasuke” is “Isaac” filtered through Japanese pronunciation, and “Isaac” almost certainly wouldn’t have been his African birth name either, for obvious reasons. So just because we see a story of a similarly large and skilled African warrior somewhere near Japan in the right time frame, knowing that other person’s name doesn’t automatically exclude it from being Yasuke, because Yasuke wasn’t Yasuke, and might have abandoned that name after leaving Japan.

#REVIEW: A Promised Land, by Barack Obama

This one sat on my shelf for a lot longer than I expected it to. Amazon tells me it arrived at my house on February 6, so it took almost exactly four months for me to actually read it once I had it. There are reasons, I suppose; the fact that the damn book is two inches thick and 700-pages-plus-endnotes long certainly had something to do with it, but the simple fact is that while I wanted to hear what Barack Obama had to say about his presidency, I didn’t really feel like I was ready for it. Frankly, I was angry with him, and not really for any good reason; the last four years were not his fault, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t really ready to remind myself of a time where I not only liked the president but was reasonably happy to be living in America. And while I feel like Joe Biden has had an enormously consequential first 100 days, it remains to be seen whether we’ll be right back neck-deep in shit in a couple of years.

On Sunday, unwilling to take yet another Unread Shelf picture with this damn book in it, I begrudgingly picked it up and started it. The entire idea of wading through it made me tired, frankly, and I was fully prepared to force myself through a hundred pages and then put it down, convincing myself that I’d tried and it’s not like I can’t pick it back up later. I wasn’t going to burn the thing or anything, but I definitely wasn’t looking forward to it.

Well, it’s the 3rd, and I probably read the last 300 pages of the thing today– which turned out to only be volume one of Obama’s memoirs, ending with the night they killed Osama bin Laden– so apparently I got over that. Obama has always been an engaging author (I have both of his previous books) and that is on full display here. There is also something about reading what is essentially a history book about a time that I remember. I have said this before, but let me remind you: not only have I voted for Obama nearly every time he has run for public office (I moved into his district in 1998; he became an Illinois state Senator in 1997) but my life intersected with his in a lot of ways. I know exactly where his home in Hyde Park was. His first kiss with Michelle was at a Baskin-Robbins that was literally across the street from my first apartment in Chicago; there’s a plaque there now. I had several classes with Bill Ayers in graduate school, and Ayers was very nearly my Ph.D advisor. And I’ve met Jeremiah Wright, his pastor. I am one of those people who was telling everyone that he was going to be our first Black President, although I figured it would be 2012 or 2016 before he ran. Honestly, I wasn’t terribly happy with his decision to run in 2008, thinking he was too young and inexperienced; his campaign convinced me I was wrong about that. Obama was my President in a way that no other President has been, and unless Pete Buttigieg actually succeeds in gaining the White House at some point in the future, it’s hard to imagine that any such thing will happen again.

tl;dr I barely put the damn book down for four days, and even took it to work on Tuesday. It’s exactly as good as Barack Obama’s memoirs ought to be, and it shouldn’t be especially surprising that I enjoyed it. Honestly, I feel dumb that it surprised me; I let myself get too caught up in my head over the whole thing and forgot that being reminded of a time where even if I didn’t agree with everything the guy in the White House did (he made terrible choices on education, which was the worst thing about his presidency, or at least his domestic policy) I at least trusted him to think. And there’s something to be said about voting for someone who you are absolutely certain is smarter than you. I wish I could do it more often, honestly.

(Before you say anything: Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris are both smarter than me. I’m not convinced that Biden is, but he’s absolutely a better President than I could be.)

Anyway, go read the book. Even if you don’t tear through it like I did, it’s engaging and interesting, and while I can imagine someone who finds it a little dry (did you find Obama too professorial? You will feel the same way about the book. He gets into the weeds.) I am absolutely not that person. Maybe wait for paperback, as the list price of the hardcover is $45, but go read it.

#REVIEW: Army of the Dead

I have a weird relationship with Zack Snyder. Typically, if I don’t like a director, it’s because I’ve seen several of their movies and decided, for whatever reason, that their movies aren’t for me. Sometimes it’s because of the way they direct, like, say, Michael Bay, and sometimes it’s because they consistently pick stories that don’t work out for me. Like that one dude, who made that one movie whose name I won’t say any more.

Zack Snyder is the only director I can think of who I am, effectively, boycotting. I haven’t disliked his movies so much as judged them illegitimate from the start. I have had a chip on my shoulder about DC’s film output for, oh, nearly my entire life; look at the reviews that will no doubt crop up in links below for additional details if you like. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you already know the gist; this man does not understand or care about the superheroes he makes movies about in any way and I refuse to spend money to find out I was right about something sucking.

That said: while I haven’t rewatched it in probably fifteen years, I enjoyed his remake of Dawn of the Dead, from way back in 2004 or so, which was before I knew who Zack Snyder even was, and my wife really wanted to watch Army of the Dead, and even a shitty zombie movie is still a zombie movie, and if you’d shown me the trailer without the words “Zack Snyder” appearing on them I’d have shrugged and handed over my no money, because this was showing up on Netflix and I pay for Netflix (actually, my wife does, so this isn’t even my no money) anyway.

So yeah tl;dr this is a really shitty movie. And I mean that it’s a shitty movie when judged on a “zombie movies” scale, and it’s shitty in a way that can be laid directly at the feet of the director, and it honestly kind of makes me mad that I disliked it as much as I did.

Spoilers an’ shit.

That said, let’s start with what I liked, which is the first 20 minutes or so: this movie starts off in a hurry, and gets the initial setup out of the way quickly– there’s a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, triggered by some Military Thing that isn’t explored because it really doesn’t have to be, and several of the characters get brief introductory vignettes as they’re killing zombies and rescuing people and seeing family members or friends killed, and by the end of the credits (which are playing over the introduction) Vegas is surrounded by a wall made of shipping crates, which sounds like it shouldn’t be all that secure but whatever, and the government is discussing simply nuking the place. Then there’s another 20 minutes or so of setting up the big heist that’s central to the plot and putting the team together and everyone’s stake in the mission being for progressively smaller amounts of money (which is understated and honestly kind of hilarious) and we’re off to the races.

There’s a zombie tiger and a zombie horse, but apparently there were no other nonhuman mammals anywhere in Vegas during the zombie apocalypse. The zombie tiger is kinda cool. And most of the time when shooting zombies is happening, it’s pretty cool.

That’s … about it, as far as stuff that I liked.

My first problem, and this one can be laid directly at Snyder’s feet: this entire damn movie looks like it was shot on an iPhone with portrait mode turned on. At any given time half of the screen is wildly out of focus– not just at a “look at this part of the screen” sort of way, but wildly and ridiculously out of focus, and Snyder is constantly trying to raise tension by keeping even the thing the camera is pointed at blurry as shit until he wants to reveal it. It’s obnoxious as hell and it never stops. There’s basically a bokeh effect laid over the entire damn movie, and it sucks. It absolutely sucks. So right away Snyder is guilty of making directorial choices that come very close to making every frame of the film annoying.

One of the more unique details about the way this movie handles its zombies is that it breaks them into, basically, two separate races. The king zombie (whose name is apparently, I shit thee not, Zeus, a word that is never spoken in the film, which is good because it’s dumb) is presented as practically invulnerable in the initial parts of the film (and will later don a metal, completely bulletproof helmet) (and more on this later) and is fast and reasonably smart, although he can’t talk. He has a queen zombie. Any zombies he creates personally are also faster and smarter although they appear to die just as easily as anyone else, and it’s implied that any zombies those zombies, called Alphas, create is your typical undead shambler.

Queen Zombie gets her head cut off partway through the movie and her death is used as a motivation for King Zombie, as is the death of her– wait for it– unborn zombie child, who he actually claws out of her womb. Let that one roll around in your head a bit. When you toss in the fact that Dave Bautista’s character is also motivated by having had to kill his zombified wife this means that two different women got fridged to motivate the men.

So, yeah, long story short: Dave Bautista is the emotional center of the film.

Dave fucking Bautista is the emotional center of the film.

Just, again, let that roll around.

(Wait. Shit. This happens three times, because there is a scene toward the end where one of the women members of the team Declares her Love for Dave Bautista, and When We Get Out of This Let’s Make Babies, and then immediately afterwards King Zombie shows up and breaks her neck. Immediately afterwards. So there are three women in this movie who are killed as character development for the men.)

(Wait! No! It’s even worse than that! Later, two other women will basically kill themselves— one right after the other— so that Dave Bautista can live. So that’s five. Holy shit, movie!)

There was apparently a controversy where one of the actors in the movie was revealed to be a rapey dickhead, and he was basically edited out of the movie and digitally replaced by a whole different actress? And my wife told me about this going in, so I’m not sure how distracting this would have been or if I’d have noticed it if I hadn’t known that, but once you realize that there are no other actors in probably 90% of the shots with the replacement actress in them, it becomes hilarious very quickly.

There’s this whole subplot where there are zombie refugee camps, which are … something about quarantine, and lots of temperature checks, but any time anybody turns it happens immediately, so this is kind of incoherent– but anyway, this woman leaves her kids behind to go … explore the ruins of Vegas, to try and steal shit, and she gets led in by someone they honest-to-God call a Coyote, and then abandoned in there? And Dave Bautista’s estranged daughter insists on going in there to find her, because Dave Bautista’s daughter is so unable to face the idea of having to either abandon or raise this woman’s apparently really shitty kids that she insists on risking her own life to find her. She actually emotionally blackmails her dad into bringing her (untrained, useless) ass along so that she can risk everyone else’s lives by insisting on finding this one person in this entire enormous city full of hotels so that she doesn’t have to deal with her kids.

At the end of the movie, they find the woman alive, because of course they do, and Bautista and his daughter and this woman board a helicopter to evacuate the city before the nuke hits, and other than two brief shots of her looking out of the window this lady is never mentioned again and never gets a word of dialogue. The helicopter crashes, because that’s what happens when you detonate a nuke near a helicopter, and apparently she dies in the crash, because Bautista’s daughter is utterly unconcerned about finding her afterwards and we never see a body. It’s as if the screenwriters completely forgot about her.

This also means that the daughter’s insane rescue plan (“I’ll make my dad take me into the super dangerous place to find the needle in the haystack, then run away, and then we’ll all die!”) was not only for nothing, because this woman died, which would have happened anyway, but the movie didn’t think it was important enough to make it explicit what happened to her, or ever mention her apparently-terrible kids again.

King Zombie is invulnerable at the beginning of the film, shrugging off an awful lot of close-range machine-gunnery. At the end of the film, when it is necessary for him to die so the movie can end, he is dispatched with a single pistol shot.

You find out there’s a double-cross at the end of the movie, and instead of wanting 200 million dollars the Mysterious Rich Benefactor actually wanted this other thing, but the problem with that is there wasn’t any need to lie about it. If you think you can make unlimited money from This Thing and you’re a Mysterious Rich Benefactor, then just offer a million bucks per Thing You Want and set the team loose, maybe also pointing out that hey, there’s $200 million in this vault if you want to try and get that too, and then it’s the same movie but it’s less dumb.

And I can hear some of y’all, and your point that hey, it’s a zombie movie, it doesn’t have to be smart is heard and understood, but you also don’t have to make movies deliberately stupid! Sometimes I reflect on how much movies cost and how many people are needed to work on them, and the fact that we still have movies this stupid is kind of amazing. Most of the time, making a movie smart instead of stupid isn’t even more expensive! Just, like, think about your plot for a second during the early stages, and … like, adjust things, to be less dumb.

I promise this is possible. I promise it. But making a stupid movie is a choice– no movie is accidentally stupid– and that choice means I get to criticize you for it, especially when being less stupid wouldn’t have been harder.

(EDIT: Well, that’s hilarious. WordPress’ link robots appear to have decided this post is about feminism.)