Articles at The Essential – The Guest


It’s a bug bear of mine that poorly made “male oriented” films such as the Furious franchise are marked up by the 80% male critical audience under the assumption that they are light hearted fun and need not be judged by the usual critical criteria, while female oriented films like Fifty Shades of Gray are judged by standards the film never even pretends to aspire to, simply so that it can be criticised out of existence. The Guest is one of these very poorly made films that currently languishes under a 90% approval rating (50 Shades sits on 25%) that evokes appalling male sterotypes that can’t hide undercooked characterisation, irrational plotting and an hysterical right wing pro war message. It is a truly bad film that needs no political awareness to tear it up with lucidity, and I confess to having been able to write a piece thee times as long on its flaws.

It’s over at The Essential here. I hope you’re able to enjoy it.

The hyper-masculinity depicted by actors such as Al Pacino in the 80s and early 90s looks antiquated to us today, primarily due to an embarrassing seriousness. New, millennial cultural sensibilities find the depiction of gangsters as the ultimate example of pure masculinity naïve and foolish, and contemporary filmgoers are awake to the necessity for transformation of characters like James Bond to court longevity. In the late 80s the tough gangster began to be overshadowed by the macho rogue cop, or the deeper characters depicted in action films by actors such as Tom Cruise who always managed to include a gentle flaw in their depiction of masculine perfection. These men were faithful to their women, good to children they wanted to spend time with and more often than not their spurious “survival instinct” was extended to their families and friends.

Continue reading here.