Less Alchemy, More Harley

And now… as previously promised, Bird of Prey! First off, let me just be the one to say that I fucking knew it. Every reviewer, critic, and WatchMojo video said that this would be a pile of utter shit and THEY WERE WRONG.

Normally, I try not to let politics seep into my viewing of film because its one of the few avenues I have left that is a safe haven from academia. Law and Order SVU, Spartacus, and various other movies and shows have been ruined for me due to the fact that I am a stickler for historical and/or procedural accuracy. And that doesn’t even include my distaste for the many racial, gender, and sexual preference biases that seep their way into the mainstream media… which infuriates me to no end.

But if we’re being honest, the critics who have actually seen Birds of Prey and hated it were… men. Of course they were! And I can understand why their fragile egos the size of giant Eggo Waffles were burnt to a crisp (lets say those giant waffles are about 10 feet tall if we want to set any type of record). It starts off innocuous enough as a funny, colorful romp about Harley Quinn getting over a bad breakup and running from gangsters. Then it takes a turn as an all out epic battle between the main villain’s goons and Harley’s ragtag group of girl power.

But the thing is, the villain isn’t even really someone you hate. He’s a buffoon, sure, but not overly so because McGregor knows how to play it perfectly.  You also don’t realize just how stupid his character is until the fun house Battle Royale… yes, you read that right, I said fun house Battle Royale because it’s just kitchsy fun. And not to mention, the amazingly stunning Jurnee Smollett-Bell… there’s even a meta-moment of commentary on her very revealing, very uncomfortable looking costume, which just adds to the fun. It’s a moment that asks, “what kind of sorcery is this…”

And speaking of Sorcery, I’m sure many people who consider The Alchemist to be the ever oxymoronic “instant classic,”probably think I was a tad too harsh on the book. I’ll admit, I was on a deadline to finish my One Book a Week for the entire year challenge. And as we all have experienced personally in 12th grade English, mandatory reading is never fun. Even if it is on audio.

It’s good literature, but the plot seems a little circular to the point of being nonsensical. It’s almost a “wherever you go there you are,” kind of thing. But I can appreciate the 17th century YOLO of it all. I couldn’t help but think that that poor shepherd kid didn’t deserve the crap he got. But maybe if he would’ve looked under the pile of rubble at the church he was sleeping at in the first scene of the book and dug a few feet, he wouldn’t have almost been pirate food.

In summation of Harley Quinn; breakfast sandwiches, smeared makeup, glass-breaking voices, and diamonds… sounds like a good time to me.  My opinion of the movie hasn’t really changed in the past few days. Birds of Prey: 4.5 + 4.6 / 2 = 4.55

And my final take on The Alchemist; Desert oases, smart aleck back-talking wind storms, stained glass, and pyramids… also has not changed much. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: 4.2 + 4.3 / 2 = 4.25

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