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Elizabeth: The Golden Age is one of the stupider films I've sat through in a while. Why did I sit through it? Because Clive Owen was in it, that was why. I didn't learn from the first film, with its exceedingly oversimplified Essex Rebellion or misplaced speeches. (Yeah, the really good one about how Elizabeth has the body of a woman but the heart of a king? It's in her drawing room in the first one. Not on horse in armor as the Armida attacks, like it should have been.)

Elizabeth walks about with a pinched face because she's a monarch and can't get any. She's in a romantic triangle with her favorite lady-in-waiting and Sir Raleigh. She whimpers and whines when she has to kill Mary.

Y'know what the Real Elizabeth (TM) did? Had a portrait painted of the bitch's head on a pillow and kept it around, that's what she did. (It's still in the Tower. It's pretty creepifying.)

The destruction of the Spanish Armada is at best an afterthought. An expensive afterthought that would have been cooler if we hadn't already had cool ship battles in Master and Commander four years ago. I'm glad the pretty white horsie makes it out of there, though. (Symbolism? Hell if I know.)

The Inquisition huffs and puffs about. They might be plotting or they might have really bad indigestion, it's hard to say. The Spaniards come off as rather hysterical, and since they are always in black, rather like goth clubbers who got kicked out for being too annoying. You can't ever feel remotely worried about them, let alone horrified at the Inquisition. Frankly, everyone expects the Spanish Inquisition and are only worried about the actual mathematics of defeating them. (There's a lot of math talk in this one, especially when advisors pass around notes in study hall, I mean reports.)

Mostly I wonder why the hell popular culture is so intent on dumbing down kickass women. The Cleopatra of Rome was, shall we say, squirrelly at best. The Boudicca of the titular BBC film was also on the weak and whiny side, and for gods' sakes, she was the one who crucified whole Roman settlements! If I was in a very argumentative mood, I would note down some Hillary dissections, but as it is I'm just too cranky right now.

Grr. Argh.

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