Archive for January, 2015

Delays.

Posted: January 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello.  The last week or so has been very trying.  I have had a corrupt C drive (resulting in staying up until 6 AM to fix it), a death of a friend’s family member (thus I attended services), two family emergencies, three viruses to remove, a dead catfish AND a broken laptop hinge to top it all off.  I’m not sure if I’m forgetting anything. I can’t actually remember, currently.

It’s sort of like the 12 Days of Horrible Events.
I will be back to reviewing shortly.

I will be writing something tomorrow night.

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Sorry I didn’t do this sooner.  I was also supposed to do the Ant-Man trailer, but I’m just not excited for Ant-Man.  I didn’t do the Ultron trailer because I’m going to do a big post just before the movie comes out, so stay tuned.

So Agent Carter’s next episode grounded the series further.  Not only do we get serious but funny situations (The beginning of the show, where the man is looking for his girlfriend), but we see the chemistry between Peggy and Jarvis deepen.  As the story goes on, Jarvis – still very serious about miniscule things – and Peggy begin to clash a bit, until they realize just how much they do need each other when Jarvis is taken in for interrogation, and Peggy picks a crappy hiding spot.  Peggy realizes Jarvis is hiding something, and then the SSR shows up at Jarvis’ (or Howard’s) door.  After this, we see the two clashing personalities finally come together a bit.

Jarvis is finally forced to reveal a part of himself to Peggy.  After the interrogation – which did his character some justice – he and Peggy talk about his past.  The interrogation showed Jarvis is more than a bumbling yet sophisticated butler.  It showed how fiercely loyal he is, and possibly how fiercely loyal he may become to Peggy.  He, too, is also a bit capable of getting snarky.  Finally, though, those men get fleshed out a bit.  We learn Peggy thinks Souza is a just barely decent person.  Dooley and Thompson get angry at Peggy for compromising the earlier interrogation with Jarvis, and we start to see that “small feeling”.  I will elaborate on that – I am a woman, and I almost felt what Peggy felt like as she was getting yelled at.  I swear, I could relate to that moment so much it hurt.

In the beginning, though, it seemed as though he was just doing it for Stark, but now, we do really see them work as a team, and the chemistry finally melds.  As I said before, Jarvis makes himself feel vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about his wife and how they met.  It’s pretty apparent during this scene that it is almost as if they are equals in a time where women were not equals – Peggy is listening to Jarvis speak, and it’s pretty clear she is blatantly in control of the situation.  It is at this moment, for me, Peggy really seems like a 21st century woman stuck in a time when women were not equals.  All that “girl power” assertion people complained about paid off, and it manifested in this moment.  Jarvis is the one making himself vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about he and his wife and their marriages’ genesis.  She is not pining over her love for Captain America – Jarvis, though, is pining over his love for his wife.

But then, my point about them working together really came together at this moment.  They realize Stark’s technology was stolen, and found the ship.

A thug shows up, though, compromising everything just a bit.

SHE’S WEARING PANTS. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

I have to say, after learning about the Hawkeye Initiative, I realize her attire was not entirely appropriate for fighting big thugs, but the general comic book alternative (aka basically not having clothes on) is not terribly appropriate either.

But Jarvis and Peggy really work as a team now, and Peggy does most of the fighting – Not Jarvis.  After Jarvis taps into his inner spy and calls the SSR (Peggy is rubbing off, I see) they flee as the men are on the way while the thug is on the floor after Peggy uses one of Stark’s gadgets.  Finally, that “small” feeling has left me as Peggy kicks ass once again. The men are becoming suspicious, and you’re on the edge of your seat – you don’t want Peggy to be found out.  You just don’t.  She’s so likeable much like Captain America.  I want to elaborate on that.

All the people currently saying she is flawless: While her flaws may not be glaring at you – she does have them.  Not only that, though, but I thought about that more.  Peggy and Captain America are like the perfect couple.  She’s a badass, and he’s honorable.  Captain America doesn’t exactly have glaring consistent flaws.  They both have their moments (like kissing another girl in TFA… for shame, Cap), but nothing is relatively consistent.  They are both like perfect people – not just Peggy.  Considering Captain America is practically America’s superhero rep, and Peggy seems to be America’s spy and woman rep, it’s hard to hate on them for that.  They’re also both so much in the public spotlight that they must know by now to try to be as flawless as possible.  (imagine seeing the headline:  Captain America, arrested for driving drunk, speeding, on freeway.. yeah, I don’t think so).

The threats finally hit home, though, as one of the SSR workers (Krzeminski) is taken out by Leviathan.  This is a good touch, though.  It finally makes you feel some remorse for the incredibly-sexist-men.  It’s easy to hate them, but we need to remember they’re also products of their time.  They do feel emotions like the rest of us and like Peggy, who shows her soft side after learning of the death.  This is also a good time to put another rumor to rest: Peggy is not a man hater.  She is sad for a man who objectified her.  She cries.  (Sidenote:  I wasn’t terribly surprised he was the one, because of how awful of a character he was).  It reminds us the threat is growing. She speaks about it to Angie, who, for some reason, I inherently don’t trust.  I’m suspicious of her or Dottie – I feel one of them is going to betray Peggy, and I don’t know why.

Overall, Peggy is very well rounded out, and I expect the crotch kicking to go up in the next episode ten fold.  I think next episode we’re going to see the true wrath of Peggy.  I think instead of Captain America protecting her as would be stereotype – we are going to see how deeply they love each other and how pissed off Peggy is capable of becoming, even toward the people she works with.

No longer feeling so small.

But regarding my earlier “small feeling” comment.  Maybe it’s just my terrible experiences kicking in (not all of my experiences are bad, so do not label me a man hater), but when Peggy was getting yelled at, I had that small feeling coming back.  I hope it was present for everyone, and not just me.  How a strong woman was reduced to seeming child like.  How an adult woman was standing there, virtually unable to defend herself, listening to a man run his mouth on how what she did was so awful.  I hope you felt how small Peggy felt during that moment, because that scene really spoke to me.  It brought me down from the high that was Peggy being able to do things a woman in the 40s could not do.  Boys have done that to me, even now, in 2015 (because I’m not fucking calling them men).  I have been Peggy.  I have felt small because of a man speaking to me as they spoke to Peggy. That small feeling I felt during the scene – I hope you felt it, too.  I hope it gave you a window into some of the issues of sexism on both sides (as in MEN and WOMEN stereotype) going on right now.  I hope it gave you a window into how to treat people of any gender.

Like an equal.

Don’t be small.  Be Peggy Carter.

Where do I start?

I’m a woman in comics.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Let me start by saying it is wonderful that girls have something to relate to.  I love male characters as much as the next guy (or girl).  But really, the fact is, its so different when the lead is a female – at least for me.  It’s different when it’s set in a time when sexism is glaring – Because you and I both know comics and traditionally male topics went through that stage.  I refuse to air my opinion on if it still has a hint of sexist, but man, Peggy took some major steps in the right direction.

How is this different for Black Widow for me?
If you read my blog you know I love Black Widow.  Black Widow was different because Captain America and Falcon were involved (mostly cap).  And there were a good few moments she didn’t feel like an equal or she didn’t quite come off as the same caliber as Captain.  And that’s okay to some extent – I mean, the name of the film is Captain America.  She shouldn’t be the main star of the show.

So why do I love Agent Carter?

Simply put, sexism is glaring and she’s the only one who is being put down.  Also, truthfully, originally I had the notion in my head that there was a significant chance that Agent Carter would just be touting a constant “girl power” schtick.  But then, I realized a few things – significant things (I’m just laying some groundwork for a larger point):

(Spoilers)

– Peggy Carter is, quite literally, a woman in a man’s land.  It’s easy to say her constantly punching people and throwing people out of windows is really just making the girl power schtick go too far.  But the fact is, back in the ’40s, a woman probably couldn’t punch a man without getting the crap beat out of her herself.  I totally understand the notion that it’s too much or too far, but she couldn’t casually walk into the room asking for a meeting when she wanted to find the bomb (the glowing orange thing – the name evades me).  He would’ve told her go home sweetheart, this work is for a man.

–  At first, I understood it when people said, “All the males are sexist”.  Google 1940s advertisements.  Have you seen that shit?  Also, like I said before, it might also be done to highlight Steve Rogers and his qualities, putting emphasis on their relationship – he is decidedly not sexist.  If a Good Not Sexist Guy shows up, we might be rooting for Peggy to date him, who knows.

– I’ve seen the argument be used that she makes men out to be stupid (not true), and I’ve seen the argument be used that it takes away from the overall message for the makers to use her as a sexy blonde and using lipstick to get someone to pass out.  Herein lies the problem: While today we don’t need to do that and we *can* ask for a meeting or just kick ass to begin with like Black Widow does, odds are the men consider her to be too stupid to pull off that kind of thing.  They blatantly call her stupid more than once.  They don’t expect her to use her brain and con them out of things via their own sexist desires – it’s not that they’re stupid.  It’s their blatant underestimation and own expectations that lead to that result.  You wouldn’t at all be puzzled over a blonde woman in a low cut dress suddenly appearing in your office?  Well, you would be – turns out they’re not puzzled by it.  They’re that good.  That desirable (Yuck).

– People are saying if it’s a powerful tv show for women – there should be more women.  Except, it’s the 1940s, and they call her a secretary.  It’s hard enough for her to be there and it’d take away from her character.  Also, maybe how this is received will pave the way for other non-ridiculous public relations pitches.  Maybe we can get a Black Widow movie out of this. Maybe we can get Poison Ivy her own comics.  Peggy Carter is, in a way, paving a way, even if she’s in such a sexist 1940s land.

So I still haven’t answered the question:  How has Agent Carter changed things for me?

Focusing on her gender might have a good result in the end.  It might eventually result in us having more female-led comics.  More female-led movies.  More female led anything (sidenote:  exactly 1 grown woman in Ant Man’s trailer if I remember correctly). Things like that are a problem.  I thoroughly enjoy the male leads.  I thoroughly enjoy their acting ability.  But I can only relate to them so much – it reaches a point where I can’t relate to them because they’re guys aside from being superheroes.  It’s hard enough to relate to super soldiers and giant green people, but now you’re changing the gender on me. Agent Carter nips that in the butt for me.  I can relate to her.  I can say I want to be like Peggy Carter.  I can say I want to be Peggy Carter for Halloween (and if I were 12, I would be).  It also appears the next episode is going to let her personality blossom, and yes, she does have flaws (she forgot leaving her tracks behind?).

Not only is she not a superhero, but she’s also one of the characters who used to be put in refrigerators – the killed love interests to rile up the superheroes, or to get revenge.  She is a love interest, but I don’t suggest you try to fridge her – she shot at him, and she’ll shoot at you, too.

Overall,  Agent Carter took one big step in the right direction – in a big, red, high heel.

So I love this show..

Um..

End of review.

Not really, but you should know where this is going.  I will be doing episode 1 and 2 together.  FYI: I knew I would love this show.  I love Peggy.  I loved Peggy in The First Avenger.  Girl is kick ass.

First of all, and probably the best thing about it was the tie ins with Captain America, but not to the point where it feels like all we’re doing is learning about Captain America and Peggy can’t hold her own.  It’s made pretty apparent that Peggy is not a damsel in distress despite her love for America’s hero and we are reminded of that through parts shown of the movie itself.  She moves on but doesn’t forget.  She is a woman who is strong, but is so overlooked nonetheless.  Part of that is because of the Captain himself, but we can’t forget that’s why we know Peggy.  It let’s us know we are smack dab in between the two movies, and sort of forget The Winter Soldier even ever happened yet because it is so immersive.  The time frame is done amazingly – we are reminded she is a woman in a time where man literally thought this about women:

Nope, this isn’t a prop.

The time frame works amazingly, and it lets Peggy shine.  The amount of sexism could get anyone cringing, but the fact is it’s almost necessary for Peggy to ram people with staplers (by the way, that was awesome).  It’d be hard to justify the amount of punching and epic moments she has if she were not in that time frame. Without that time frame, she wouldn’t be able to do some of what she does either – because she’s a woman, they assume she’s innocent and cutesy, but then she’s casually breaking into a drawer.  And that is decidedly awesome.  The time frame and the sexism does something else, though: Everyone else who’s sexist highlight why Peggy won’t date anyone else – good guy Cap doesn’t quite act that way, now does he?  In addition to basically being necessary, it highlights the qualities of not only Peggy, but Captain America, too.

You know what else is awesome?

The dynamic between Jarvis and Peggy.  You know, with Howard Stark basically being why this is happening, I actually wondered where he’d run off to… and then he ran off, literally, and we are stuck with two people with the same accent might I add (good touch!) that defy each other.  They work well together but only because they clash to the point where its hard for them to understand each other’s motives in the beginning.  Jarvis doesn’t get it – why the urgency?  He uses fancy words, talks calm even when it’s appropriate to be cursing like a trucker, and then you have Peggy who is casually throwing people out of windows in the kitchen.  If Peggy needed to have a partner in crime, nobody works better than Jarvis, simply because of how oddly detached he is from it.  I mean, he is Stark’s butler, you would think he’d be a little bit more… fired up over this.  But no, he casually asks where to drive as everything is going to blow up.  The humor between them seems to be perfect – a good balance between serious and joking, enough to get something done but make you wonder how they will do it in the process.  Probably what I love about Jarvis, though, is that he’s not overtly sexist.  He does have sexist qualities, though: some of his comments really come off terribly sexist.  He highlights a problem even in present society:  Sexism without even realizing it.

Probably what’s best about Howard Stark, though, is that it does tie into the Iron Man movies with the mention of Roxxon and also (apparently) the showing of Doctor Vanko.  It appears everything that isn’t Captain America is subtle – but it’s there.  Personally, I view those a bit like eggs.  Like, you know, you don’t fundamentally need it to understand the show, but if you understand it it just makes everything a little more awesome.  And, if you learn, you can always re-watch and find out something new.  Finding out something new during a re-watch is just about as good as it gets, for me, because I find very little reason to rewatch basically anything.

But… the villains might have me re-watching it.

I was frequently getting confused on who was who in the beginning.  Who was Peggy’s company, who was the rival agents, etc.  Society is overall something Peggy needs to overcome – it’s a villain in and of itself.  Sometimes they do come off a bit unclear, though, as to who’s who and who’s doing what – but I can imagine that’s because it’s the first two episodes, and if they told you, well, it’d be that they told you too quickly.  There’s just a lot of names to catch and a lot of faces to remember – some without names.  They should develop her co-workers more – not just the necessary ones.  Why is Sousa so nice to her, for one?  Do any of them have ulterior motives? I’m sure that’s next.

The other thing I loved, though, was the radio show.  It was a nice touch, once again making us feel immersed in the time without making us feel like we were bored without the glam of the 21st century.  It seemed to directly contradict events and Peggy’s personality itself – it also makes me wonder how well she can handle constant reminders of her lover, especially as she finds things of his or reminiscences occasionally – things like his file, or things like at the end of the second episode.  Despite her love for Steve Rogers, it doesn’t make her vulnerable.  Her mission itself makes her vulnerable – leaving some tracks behind remind us she is not infallible – they have the license plate.  They saw her foot tracks.  Even the best agent can’t think of everything – and it leads us to root for her.

The teaser for the next episode leads us to question everyone – and clutch our pom poms in anxiety.

Also, kids, when I grow up, I want to be like Peggy Carter.

So I’m doing a comic book story arc today so I can review Agent Carter later (because I love Peggy, so, so, so, much… just letting you know) and there is absolutely no way I am missing the 2 hour premiere.  So without further adieu:

I had been planning on reviewing this, it’s just been a hard week or so.  The thing about holidays is that they’re supposed to be fun but they really just become completely exhausting.  Couple that with having no life during the school semester – and suddenly wanting to have a life if not for a week or two – and you have a complete exhaustive disaster.

Now the premise of the story is that Catwoman – Selina Kyle – heads to Rome to find her roots in the mafia, and brings along The Riddler who actually isn’t as honest as he says.  Then they find this blonde guy hitman and he helps them.  More or less, that is the synopsis.

But actually, I wasn’t as impressed with When In Rome as I thought I would be.  It felt a little bit like a maze but then at the end of it, it was like, cheese?  That’s it?  It felt actually kind of predictable to me.  I didn’t actually like how Selina Kyle was portrayed this time around all that much – she kinda just came off as a total bitch, as opposed to a strong woman with an occasional bitchy attitude with something always up her sleeve.  She kinda just felt one dimensional to me.  You can tell me I’m way off here, I just didn’t like her this time around.  I just… I just didn’t.  Selina also reminded me of Wonder Woman; she didn’t feel sleek, she felt like thunder thighs. I mean, sometimes it was funny, but, really, most of the time it just felt a little ridiculous and kinda overdone with some parts that were meant to be humorous. I liked the aspect of her wanting to avoid Batman at all costs so she could do her thing, but then the other guy is constantly showing up and saving her ass.. and it’s like, this is why we didn’t want Batman around, and then we just get… a Batman… without the batsuit… Not named Bruce.. Um..

I found the ending kinda anti-climatic.  I expected the whole thing with (spoilers now) Louisa to be intriguing, but it really just dove after that for me.  I couldn’t actually find The Riddler’s actions remotely surprising in the end, either.  Some things about it were surprising (like his motive  – or the fight that ensued with a certain someone’s ice gun), but he’s the Riddler, people.  You couldn’t have honestly expected anything different from him; “riddle” is in the guy’s nickname, what makes you think he’s honest?  There were parts that got me thinking, but as I said, the ending was like,  that’s it?  Just cheese?  It wraps up nicely with what it has, but I just think it could’ve used better wrapping paper.  It does give you a glimpse into the window of Catwoman, but by no means do I consider this the entire window.  I like her constant self-battle over being involved with Batman romantically/her nightmares, just because I consider that a part of Catwoman and Batman both.

And Catwoman’s suit.. I’m sorry, but, that just wasn’t it for me.  It looked kind of ridiculous.  I know both Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are kind of big people and this might be a big deal that I’m criticizing them both, but… really, it was not it for me.  Those ears make you wonder if she was receiving satellite dish tv or something, especially with the accompanying whiskers.  Some of the anatomy drove me fucking crazy, and I kept looking at Catwoman’s legs and wondering why they were hyperextending.  The art was good, the coloring was good, but some of the anatomy – YES I KNOW IT’S A COMIC BOOK! – drove me to Rome.

Overall, if I were to tell you a comic book that embodied Catwoman to me:  As of now, it wouldn’t be this.  It’d be Hush.

Special:  Agent Carter review tomorrow.

What do I look forward to in 2015?

Simply put.  Sorry I’ve been a little irregular lately, and also not terribly active on Twitter.  I’m sick (again, but different type of sickness this time). However, I went places and did things… probably too much so, resulting in my head cold that I am trying to get rid of.

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Yes:  I went to FAO Schwarz.  However, my Manhattan excursions for this year are now over, and if I didn’t decide that, I’m sick, so I’m forced to decide that.  Tom Hanks, though.  I want to watch Big so terribly bad, now.  yes, I bought a stuffed animal.  It was obligatory.  Everyone thought I was a tourist, anyway (sidenote:  New Yorkers normally hate being mistaken for tourists in the city they live in).

So in terms of movies, what do I look forward to?  Looking over a list, I’m going to tell you.  Right now.

January:

I keep seeing commercials for Blackhat, and I sort of want to see it if I don’t even know what it’s about.  I can’t tell you much more than that because I don’t actually know about it.  I’ve just gotten bombarded with commercials.

Another movie on the list is Selma.  I have a particular fascination with history-related movies, particularly semi-modern history movies.

Perhaps my guilty pleasure will be Taken 3, though.  Yes, I realize critically they bomb.  I realize it has a cult following.  I see the flaws with the Taken franchise, but I still love it nonetheless.  The characters are the epitome of stereotype, but that’s okay, because we get to see Liam Neeson kick ass.  And who doesn’t like a good Liam Neeson ass kicking?  To be fair, if someone was going to kick my ass who is famous, I’d want Neeson to hands down.  He’s good at a nice ass kicking if you need one.  Therefore, while I fully understand why the Taken franchise is nothing but a cult following, I understand why the followers follow it.

You see this? This is why I’m rambling.

I want to see Agent Carter in January as well.

February:

In this month, I will probably find a way to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, even if it’s another movie I don’t know that much about.  I know it’s comic related, so why not?  (I also know Samuel L. Jackson is in it).

Nothing in February really jumps out at me.  Spongebob movie, maybe?  Jupiter Ascending, perhaps?  Probably Jupiter Ascending.  I’m telling you right now, though: I don’t look forward to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Will I review it?  I don’t know yet.

… I mean, maybe if it’s wildly popular or really good, but I really just don’t want to.  I will if it’s popular, in the end, which it probably would be.

March and April:

Nothing really pops out here.  I see Mall Cop 2 listed, another Paranomal Activity, and Cinderella.  Sidenote:  I am not seeing Chappie.

May:

Now the big kahunas are starting.  Yes, no duh I am excited for Age of Ultron.  I’d say most comic fans are. They’ve built the hype enough for it.  I think it’s safe to say this movie is shaping up to be a good one.  I mean, I sort of already gave my thoughts for Ultron in my Avengers review, so if it’s a bit lacking, that would explain it.  I look forward to Ultron, I look forward to building our Cap VS. Iron Man feud, I look forward to seeing a not-so-lighthearted Avengers film.

June:

Perhaps the most controversial of all.

Jurassic World.

I guess I’m excited, but not really because I have hope it’ll be a good movie.  I’m excited mainly because I’m finally seeing a JP movie in a theater, even if it doesn’t feature Sam Neill.  From a critical standpoint, I’m really pretty hesitant because of stuff like this:

Yeah….

The fact is, they’re going to have a hard sell with this and with the D. rex.  I get where they’re going, but they’re going to need to juggle corny and story and making statements, which is generally a hard balance to get.  I understand they want to make a statement that humans are bored of the natural world and no matter how much we get, we just keep on taking – but the fact is, they’re going to need to effectively juggle that efficiently.

Also, Ted 2 comes out here.  Seth McFarlane, so I’d expect it to be a comedy.  Again, don’t know very much.

July:

Terminator: Genisys comes out, which as far as I can tell is a gimmick considering they purposely spelled Genisys wrong.  From what I know, this movie is just going to piss off a lot of people.  The movie Minions comes out, which are from Despicable Me.  I’ll definitely be watching this, and considering the internet’s mild obsession with minions, I don’t expect this to have too many problems with drawing people.  Another movie on the slate is Ant Man, which I don’t actually know the general consensus for.  It seems split, last I checked.  Honestly, I’m a comic fan who doesn’t know that much about Ant Man.

August:

Goosebumps and The Fantastic Four.  I’m having an incredibly difficult time taking F4 seriously, and Goosebumps is a long-running book series turned movie, so I’m presuming this is going to be geared toward children.

September and October:

The Intern, which I’ve heard a lot about, comes out.  Myself personally I am not terribly excited for this movie, but it might show me otherwise.  The Jungle Book comes out in October, along with an untitled Tom Hanks movie focusing on the Cold War.  The second movie, of course, has peaked my interest.

November and December:

The Peanuts movie!  Yes, perhaps a bit childish, but I do want to see it.  I remember being a kid and always watching the Peanuts around holidays so excuse me if I consider this a must.  The Good Dinosaur seems kiddish but cute, and of course The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 is in this.

December is probably what everyone is waiting for with the release of Star Wars The Force Awakens.  I had someone else write my Trailer SW post, so I’ll let you know in 12 months… I have some catching up to do..

Not going to watch Star Wars movies, or anything.

I’m sorry this is short and sweet, but..

I’m sleeping.