Shorthand in Lara Croft II

It took me halfway through the film before I realized that the villain, Jonathan Reiss, was German. Part of that is due to my association with the actor portraying him, Ciarán Hinds, with very British costume dramas.

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When I went back and re-watched the scenes where Reiss appears, I realized that in the beginning of the film his accent is definitely present, but light.  The scene where he confronts Croft in his lab, at about 1:05 in the movie, starts out with his accent being the strongest it is in the film, and then over the course of the scene slightly recedes.

Lara Croft II follows so many of action genre conventions (and plays against them in the unconventional last confrontation). As with Continue reading

Mama Africa

The introduction to Mama Africa shows Queen Latifah, surrounded by (presumably) African artifacts in an art gallery, expounding on the influence of the idea of a strong, caring Mother Africa and its strong, maternal women. The Queen presents herself as a personification of this idea, something she has done throughout her musical career. In this representation, Africa is anthropomorphized and feminized as Continue reading