Posts Tagged ‘anaylsis’

I’ve been on a Jane the Virgin kick (more like obsession) since my cousin recommended me the show.  I binged all three or four Netflix seasons literally as fast as I could.  It was especially helpful I was also home sick in the middle of the binge for four days, so it was quite optimal binging-netflix conditions.  A little background here: I’ve always been interested in actual telenovelas.  I wanted to learn Spanish better and the first thing I was going to do once I did that – in all seriousness – was watch a telenovela.  I could apply for bilingual jobs, but, of course I would watch a telenovela…

And you know what?  In all honesty, I have no idea why.  They’re just so dramatic and over the top, from what I’ve heard, that the pull is significant.  Even if they appear to be entirely ridiculous, there’s still some comedic value in ridiculousness, even if it’s not intentional.  I think this mild obsession to watch one stems from my Spanish high school teacher, who very much loved the language and the various aspects of the culture along with it.  Maybe it was just so I could say I could watch a Spanish telenovela, I don’t fucking know why I had such a thing with it.  The point is, it hasn’t gone away, and here I was binging Jane The Virgin, in all of it’s occasional insanity, hilarity, and utter ridiculousness.  And, it’s fair to say, I was hooked from the 5th episode.  Lucky for me my graduate school work hadn’t taken off horribly, so I had extra time at my disposal to just binge, and binge, and binge, until I realized the Netflix portion was over and I had to actually watch it on T.V., and wait like a normal goddamn human being.

Regardless, as much as I was falling in love with the show, I was also frequently evolving my emotions on certain characters.  I will try to keep this spoiler free, HOWEVER, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.  SO SPOILERS AHEAD.  

What I can say I love about this show is that your feelings toward a character, or their predicament, is constantly changing.  Everything is fluid and it’s one of those shows where missing an episode really is not an option.  Were I to miss one of the new season, I would not watch the week after.  Past a certain point the narrator can’t even keep up with everything, because he’s slowly cut out Petra’s and Raf’s divorce and entire history.  Or where Rogelio came from.  Because some attitudes in the present, at least of this post, are inexplicable without some context, and that context is no longer being explained by the narrator.  So, you really need to start from the beginning.

And that’s precisely what I will be doing.

My now favorite character, hands down, without a shadow of a doubt, is Petra.  Yes, THE Petra.  The evil villain one.  The master manipulator one.  The one who sleeps with men to get them to agree to her demands.  The one who fakes emotions better than she actually deals with them, and is more convincing she cares when she actually doesn’t – because once she does, she doesn’t know what to do with it.  Yes.  That Petra.

Image result for petra gif jane the virgin shock

You.  Right now.

Here’s the thing: Petra initially starts off as nothing more than the crazy ex-wife.  She literally starts off as nothing more than a trope – the gold-digger sexy blonde who thinks she can just get away with anything she wants, and get anything she wants, because she is a sexy blonde and more importantly, is aware she is a sexy blonde.  If Petra is confident in nothing else, it’s that she’s too sexy for her shirt.  It’s only once she takes in a particular hostage at her mother’s urging that we start to see the real Petra.  Her mother is, as it seems, extremely toxic to Petra – as it stands, she only took in Ivan from what I recall because her mother urged her to.  Then her mother fed him the food he was allergic to in order to either kill him, or make it seem as though they saved him to get him to trust them.  So basically, you might think Petra is the master manipulator, but her mother really is.  Because her mother did, indeed, manipulate her all those times.  If she were as masterful as the viewer might think, she would have no problem with dealing with her mother.  Simply, that’s just not the case.  The only time I remember Petra really, truly, without a plan, it was because of her mother.

And this is where we delve into the rest of Petra’s problems.

We learn that Petra left her native country because of an abusive stalker boyfriend who threw acid at her mother, who she seemed to care about, genuinely.  The problem is, this is where all of her problems lie. Petra cared about her mother, who did nothing more than manipulate her to get what she wanted in the end, even willing to throw Petra under the bus to do so.  So, essentially, she escapes a boyfriend who, stereotypically, is supposed to care about you with her mother, and an incident regarding her mother is what prompts this.  Then her mother plays her own tricks on Petra, who is now left broke (a la the split with Rafael) and clamoring for the same stability – not necessarily love.  Petra had to become someone else to escape her abusive ex, in a war-torn country, in a family without a father.  Even if she did love Rafael, well, that’s not really what she’s after.  She’s not necessarily just after his money – she’s after his stability, and maybe even was after that the whole time during their courtship.  She can’t figure out what she wants – but that’s because she’s never had a chance to be Petra or Natalia.  Natalia was, as previously mentioned, stuck in a war-torn country with an abusive ex-boyfriend after her and a manipulative mother.  Petra is now just the first-world-problems version of Natalia.

Then, to really get things going, Petra’s twin sister Aneska shows up, and forcibly puts Petra in a coma.  Now most people do not have a coma-crazy sibling no matter how bad your siblings may be, but all of this is why I truly adore Petra as a character.  Everyone Petra knows she is supposed to care about is constantly throwing her emotions for a loop – her mother manipulates her, her sister is a bit out of her mind, and even her lover wasn’t really who he said he was.  Regardless if you view those events as ridiculous telenovela events, this speaks to why Petra is the way she is.  She even so much as teams up with her abusive boyfriend from five years ago to determine if he was correct, and see if her mother was lying to her – and if you must know, he pretended to kill her, at that (which is always a possibility in abusive relationships).  Perhaps more than anything else, it is apparent Petra is a woman trying to just do one thing, and that’s look out for herself, in between all of the manipulation and wrongdoing done to her.  After you’ve been through so much, it’s easy to simply remove your feelings from a situation and just sit and smile and pretend you actually give a shit.  Which she does incredibly well… and just about all she does with the exception of a few situations when she’s first introduced.  Even when Petra is nice, she reverts back to being manipulative and angry after nobody realizes SPOILERS Aneska isn’t Petra.  It’s just another way of protecting herself.

Image result for petra gif jane the virgin

One thing I noticed about Petra when she and Jane were trying to get a friendship together was that Petra was really bad with emotions.   We never really saw her and Rafael’s  marriage while it was happy – we simply saw it in snippets – but you can imagine, perhaps, her problems with emotions probably played some part in it’s inevitable downfall.  Petra is more convincing she cares about you and whatever situation is there when she is lying.  The times she was sleeping with Locklan? Convincing.  The times she was playing the hotel owner next door? Also convincing.  Her becoming friends with Jane,  even temporarily,  opened a new door to Petra we never really saw: how hardcore emotional she really is, which is a testament to just how affected she probably was by her mother and her sister. She’s even so much as mean to Jane when Jane is nice to her, probably because she’s a little like “what the hell”.  It is worthy to note she also doesn’t have any friends.

Petra now gains her own real, genuine power by playing the field and obtaining shares of the hotel, initially as a means to get back at Rafael.   The thing is, this is when I truly loved Petra as a character and when I – yes, I’m going to say this – related  to her.  She didn’t want to be a mother,  but out of sheer desperation to keep someone in her life, she made that happen (not that part).  Upon finding her footing in the hotel, I finally feel like I have a Petra that belongs.  I feel like Petra fits in.  It is Petra, not Rafael,  the so-called hotel owner who gets the hotel back on track and she is aware of that.  She is at home in her office,  she’s extremely analytical and even more complicated.  Put simply, this is the exact moment I knew Petra was one of two favorite characters in this show.  She didn’t fit the role of motherhood, she was manipulative our of desperation, and now that her own situation has changed she has all the power – and is finally feeling sure of herself.  She stepped into the role of motherhood and got used to it, but I would definitely say not as much as Jane has.  No – Petra is the badass kind of mother.  She doesn’t fit the usual stereotype anymore, does she?

And that, is in part thanks to Rafael.   When Petra is pregnant,  Rafael becomes less of the former spouse Petra is pining over and more of her life coach.  How to respond to things,  how to handle Jane,  etc.  He encourages her to try her best at motherhood and that she can handle the hotel and kids at the same time.  And she listens.

Teaching us how to take our shirts off.

And this, in the end, benefits her enough that she finds herself.  His absence, both in his hotel and seemingly in Petra’s life, forces her to find who she is and what she wants.  As you learned last episode SPOILERS Petra dumps Rafael after spending so long pining after him.  She already rejected him once already, saying she feels second-best to Jane and always has.  She realizes she will never be anything more than a cheater and a manipulator to Rafael, who threw some shade at her behavior for manipulating men to get what she wants.  And this is when I realized Petra had her own stability and life she created for herself.  We even see a little bit of a sisterhood – albeit very dramatic, pothole-laden one – between she and Jane.  Petra lashed out to Rafael on Jane’s behalf, and Jane did the same for Petra to ensure she wasn’t hurt by Rafael.  And this is a thing women actually do, as a woman: when it comes to a man hurting another woman, we put everything aside, because fuck that. She cares, but she also holds people accountable for their actions, now.

And I think we all have something to learn from both Petra and Jane, who are both extremely different people.  Petra learns how she should be treated and how she should be valued, and clearly she has not found that yet.  There are valuable lessons to learn from their, er, whatever it is at this point., and whatever Rafael is to them both.  In the eyes of them both, Rafael is no longer seen, well, awfully favorably (can’t say I didn’t see that coming – more on that later).  And although their strong attitudes clash and don’t necessarily mesh – as Petra is the no-bullshit woman people fear when she’s angry – and Jane is the forgiving sweetheart who takes a little while to be pushed to the point of anger, when they work together they’re a strong team (as shown by the birth scene and the book scene).

And truly, in the end, we are always stronger together.

Especially when it comes to men.

Because fuck that.

Except Rogelio.

Image result for rogelio de la vega gif

He’s acceptable.

 

 

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IT’S BACK.

Finding Nemo has swam his back into the recent times!

It’s so childish how excited I am for this movie. I don’t know if you know, but I have three fish tanks.  One is 90 gallons, another is 10, and another is ten.  I don’t know if I’ve ever shown them on my blog, but I think it’s time:

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The babies!

I have a ten gallon with a betta also, but that tank is really my show tank (it’s also understocked).  My other ten gallon has baby Pictus catfish.

So.. Finding Dory.

Well, Disney has made it pretty clear they know Millennials have a weakness:  And that weakness is nostalgia.  Millennials love nostalgia.  In fact, as a Millennial, I was reading about how much we love nostalgia last night before bed.  I was searching for the reason why we love it as much as we do.  There is no doubt Disney is riding that train and milking it for what they can – and my generation certainly isn’t protesting.

Onto Finding Dory, now, for real, though.

I really love what Finding Nemo does.  As you can see, I have a fish tank.  As you can see, my tank is well taken care of.  But, in Finding Nemo, if you recall, the fish are placed into a small tank and want to escape.  Well, the thing is, that can actually happen (minus the escaping).  I have a betta fish, which is one of the most abused fish out there.  Betta fish typically need water in the high 70s or low 80s,a filter, and at least 3-5 gallons to swim in.  Fish, too, get bored. My betta resides in his own ten gallon tank, all to himself – he has two filters, rock substrate, gets frozen/freeze dried/pellet food, and tons of plants to explore and hide in. I also bought him his own toys and special floating hiding spots.  I also saved him from death – a child was about to buy him and put him back on the shelf.  I snabbed him the minute they put him back.

But I want to tell you what Finding Nemo does right about fish.

You’re gonna hate me now.

Fish only get loony as they do in Finding Nemo for one reason – the tank is too small.  Yes, I am saying fish can get loony.  If you screw something up, make the tank too small, add too many fish, or add fish that aren’t the appropriate size for the tank (say, you know, goldfish in a bowl.. or ten gallon tank), fish will be batshit crazy.  Fish will not be happy.  Fish will be aggressive, lethargic, and just generally unhappy.  I know because I have kept fish since I was 4.  I have had 20 gallons, 10 gallons, 40 gallons, and 90 gallons (and I hope to get a 125 gallon next).  I have raised fish and given them away, I have kept individual fish for years (5 years on one Tetra, now deceased; I am now raising a 6 inch, 3 year old catfish, who I have had for all 3 years), and I know if they aren’t happy.  I can tell if an altercation is about to begin, I can tell if one fish doesn’t like another, and I can tell if something is bothering them and what that is.

Point being, fish are really fucking complicated, and a bowl is not an adequate living space for a goldfish, betta, or rock, even.  And that’s what I liked about Finding Nemo.  Finding Nemo put them in a small tank and they weren’t happy.  But the problem is, the public took something entirely different away from it.  Like most movies that feature certain dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, the same happened with Finding Nemo.  When a certain movie about a dog is popular, the first thing people do after seeing the movie is go and adopt a dog of that breed – which is asinine.  That happened to Finding Nemo, too.  People went out and bought Hippo Tangs (Dory), Clownfish (Nemo), Moorish idols (Gill), and Yellow Tangs (Bubbles) without actually knowing a thing about fish or what they require because of Finding Nemo.  There is a reason they want to escape the tank.  Fish are living, breathing beings.  They have requirements just like any dog, cat, bird, horse, or lizard.  I liked that the movie highlighted the mistreatment of fish and how they are often crammed into small spaces inappropriate for them to live in – the problem is, it only made the problem worse.  That’s why I’m including this paragraph.  When you see Finding Nemo, or Finding Dory, or any movie about any animal, do not go and buy one because the Pixar or Disney version is cute. 

SPOILERS.

MINOR SPOILER BELOW.

And it seems to hit on this in Finding Dory, according to this still:

Fish need stimulation (Dory’s tank is empty).  Fish need others of their kind (she’s alone).  Fish need an appropriate sized tank (unknown tank size).  Fish need you to take care of them properly.  But for fuck’s sake, please don’t get an octopus.

The trailer, though, starts out with Dory sleeping while apparently dreaming about her origins.  Soon, she swims off.  The next few clips is Dory trying to find her family, and soon, she starts remembering things, which is character development for Dory.  Ultimately, the trailer is about how the story begins.  I know, apparently, there will be new characters.  Particularly Hank the Octopus, Bailey the Beluga, and Destiny the whale shark (source below).  There isn’t a whole lot to say about Finding Dory, other than the lovable Hippo Tang seems to be back in action.  The trailer doesn’t reveal much, which is a good thing.  I can only hope they manage to make the same sort of statements about fish, the ocean, and how we treat them.  The animations look solid, and the soundtrack seems quite exciting.

Overall, whether you have a fish tank or not, you’ll be excited for Dory’s next adventures.

Sadly I applied to Marvel Comics for an internship multiple times, and I never was quite let in.  I constantly debated including my Psychology degree on my resume.  Little did I know the person who created Wonder Woman, was, in fact, a psychologist, and psychology plays a huge role in comic books and how we relate to them.  I was never quite let in to Marvel’s writing areas of the internship (or like, five other areas)… which sucked greatly, since I live in New York City and busted my fucking bum to get it in early.  But, now I can safely say I will include it if I ever apply again (sidenote: I don’t know.)

Holy Sigmund Freud, Batman.

A little story for you first, as I always did:  Psychologically analyzing people is fun.  It’s slightly addictive for the psychology nerds of the world, in my humble opinion.  Psychologically analyzing fictional people is probably even more fun. 

But in all seriousness, there is now a legitimate psychologically therapy called comic book therapy.  I am not lying.  Go to Wikipedia, type it in, and read it.  There are mounds of books published on this.  Literally everyone takes these things seriously.

Now, I’m sorry, S type fans (Superman type), I’m focusing on B-type heroes (which, if you don’t know what that is, it’s heroes without a super-power).  S-types are very much defined by their ability, not what they’ve been through.  Yes, what they’ve been through can be shaped by their circumstances, but I mean purely being affected by something that might have happened to them without a power inducing that situation.

Firstly, and this is pretty cool: They make us comfortable with uncomfortable topics.  They talk about all the taboo shit society avoids.  Death, mass killings, murders, sexual assault, disability (as a technically disabled person I can say society hates talking about it).  And it’s cool, because comic books/comic movies shove it in your face and you’re cool with it.  They shove so much uncomfortable shit at you.  Everything from discrimination to death to disability is in a comic book.  But it makes you wonder why we’re cool with, like, seeing Barbara Gordon be disabled by the Joker and not an actual physically disabled person.  I wouldn’t call it empowering, but I’d say once it seeps into a comic book it’s a step in the right direction.  It’s a way of talking about things we don’t want to talk about, and it’s a way of simply opening up dialogue about things we don’t want to talk about.  Hell, this is so true, that it can be used in therapy sessions to portray something that happened to someone.  If someone doesn’t want to talk about a particular traumatic event, according to Wikipedia, “Comic book therapy is a form of art therapy in which those undergoing rehabilitation express their experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format that enables them to process their memories and emotions.”  It’s still a form of communication, and it’s still a form of talking about things.  According to another article (cited below), a psychologist used superheroes as a means of therapy for kids who had gone through traumatic events.  It got them to talk about things they didn’t want to talk about.  They are literally used to analyze their deepest fears and traumas – and I can’t help but get the feeling every time you watch a movie or pick up a book you are doing the same to yourself for free because that is what these things feature.  We face fears without talking about it.

Only furthering this, I see a lot of people who were relentlessly bullied who take to the haven of comic books. They usually feature a classic underdog story.  It’s like everyone and their mother has been in some situation that they can relate to because of these things.  Like, some guy’s parents did actually die and that’s why Batman is their go-to.  I always find people explaining why a superhero is their favorite is a major league, deeply personal question.  I’m not asking for your social security number, I’m asking why Superman is your man.  It’s almost as if they become woven into the cores of us much like they become woven into the core of pop culture (and as such, that’s why comic con is so fucking crowded).  And maybe our parents didn’t die in an alley because of a guy named Joe Chill, but, maybe they were absent for things.  Maybe they missed your graduation, shit, I don’t know.  We can relate to the psychology of superheroes.  We can relate to their psyche… and maybe that’s why we all have our personal favorites.  We’re emotionally similar to them.  I find The Flash annoying because he’s hyperactive – which I am not.

Now the really morbid part comes.

You know, almost all of them have some kind of thing they want to fix or escape.  And if you tell me you have no regrets in your life, tell me your secrets.

Oh, please.

We all regret something.  And most of the time, a superhero is working off of a regret, an event, or something they wish they could’ve changed.  Isn’t that like, half of the population’s motivation?  Make something better?  Improve something?  Like, people pick certain careers because they want to be better than their experience sometimes.  Sometimes they like what they see and want to make it better.  And we can feel an undying pain of guilt for things we might regret.  They’re super, sure, but they have regrets just like the rest of us.  And we want to run from them, but we’re not a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.  Maybe we want to fix something that happened to us.  And you know what?  You’re completely fucking powerless to fix it most the time.  The guy who sexually harassed you is somewhere in the world, the dying 6 year old is still dying, you still suck at math (I needed to lighten this mood).  Sometimes you can fix it, but sometimes you can’t.  Things stay with us – and things stay with them.  It’s okay to be a little fucked up (coming from someone who is, decidedly, fucked up a little bit).  It’s taboo to admit these things, but in this world?  It’s all good.

And wouldn’t we all like to live in a world where fixing the wrongs of the world was as simple as putting on a suit and knocking out a few teeth.

Citation:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/17/the-rise-of-superhero-therapy-comic-books-as-psychological-treatment.html

So I saw Jurassic World.  As some of you might know, I was cautiously optimistic about it (leaning a bit on the side of negativity).  But I saw it last night and unfortunately couldn’t post sooner due to a day job.  I really, really wanted to write last night because I had such strong emotions following Jurassic World.  The premise of the movie is something everyone knows by now it seems: A working, 21st century version of Jurassic Park is made by Simon Masrani, who bought out InGen from Hammond.

As always, a little story for you first.

Jurassic Park and I have a love-hate relationship.  The fandom can be a bit dramatic, and I’ve truly met some less-than-desirable people while navigating my way through it writing this blog.  If there was one thing I wish for this fandom it would be that everyone shuts the fuck up and gets along.  We have something new, don’t ruin it with unneeded drama.  We have waited for 14 years for this movie.

That ultimately brings me to my next point, here.

How did I even get into this Jurassic Park thing to begin with?

Well, it wasn’t some epically major introduction.  I had been a huge dinosaur nerd while I was a kid (I still have a whole bin full of dinosaur toys I refuse to get rid of much to my parent’s dismay).  My dad was watching it in the living room, and I happened to walk in on the part when Dr. Grant and Ellie Sattler first see the Brachiosaurus for the first time.  I stopped for a minute, and was completely taken aback.  I wish I could make it up that I walked in on that moment, but I actually really did.  So I had a JP Chasmosaurus toy someone gave me, and I always looked at the symbol on the leg wondering what it meant (the J and P together).  It was the only JP toy I had and the only original one I owned.  Finally a few years after wondering what it was, I noticed it in the movie my dad was watching.  I had seen The Lost World and hadn’t realized that movie and the movie my dad watched were related.  Then I saw that it was Jurassic Park.

Dinosaurs in particular got me through some rough times.  During one hard time, I was waiting for someone to arrive and I knew it wouldn’t be fun.  Before they came, I watched a documentary about T. rex.  I always had dinosaur toys, I was teased in school because I liked dinosaurs.  I had no friends in school, and still, I had dinosaur toys.  That’s part of why I liked Jurassic Park.  Dinosaurs led me to Jurassic Park.  The old scaly raptors, the big, lumbering T. rex… they led me to it.

At first I wasn’t a huge JP fan, but it grew on me, mostly because of how prominent T. rex is.

A lot.

So when JW happened, I was skeptical if it should be brought back at all.

It didn’t disappoint.

Spoilers here on out.

From the opening, the link between dinosaurs and birds is made with a crow.  We are linked with the past of dinosaurs through Gray’s little toy thingy that flipped through the drawings and pictures of dinosaurs back when they were thought to be big lumbering dumb beasts.  This scene I loved.  It set just such a great tone and gave a nod to science – something so many people decided to bitch about (by the way, if you want astronomy information, you don’t watch Star Wars).  Then later on with Dr. Wu admitting they may look very different if they were pure dinosaur genetics was another nod to science.  As a self-proclaimed weather nerd, geologist/earth science junkie, dino lover, and psychology person (so many thoughts right now on that) I enjoyed the nods to science.  It was just enough to be recognizable, as there was no reason to get carried away and begin proclaiming science as if it was a GEO 225 course.  Because it’s not.  It’s Hollywood, and it’s a movie, and it worries about artistic message and articulation – not if the T. rex head is slightly bulkier than the real one.  Obviously some research is always good, as well as some explanation in some cases, but not everything can be as it is in the real world.  Because if Hollywood was the real world, most of this wouldn’t be known or be a thing.

We continue on through the movie, seeing bits and pieces of the park.  I will say the beginning felt rushed, as if the directors and writers knew we were expecting a failing park.  But – The park is gorgeous, really – any JP fan was probably overwhelmed by it completely.  The park really seems to embody what Hammond wanted.  There was a lot of turmoil about the fact it’s a new park – and I’m sure there’s still people around who insist it was a bad idea.  But, mind you, the original Jurassic Park happened twenty years ago.  The original book happened even farther away.  Do you really think many people remember the novel and original movie in great detail?  Maybe the movie.  Maybe.  But not The Lost World or even Jurassic Park 3.  They don’t.  Casual fans and general audience don’t remember what Jurassic Park even is.  When I mentioned it to a friend a year or two ago, it was referred to as the movie where dinosaurs eat people.

He learned this the hard way.

So while your idea for a movie about how DX overtakes Isla Sorna (wait, there’s two islands?) and a whole team of researchers need to be assembled by Dr. Wu (wait, he was in the first one?) and like Ludlow’s half brother (who the fuck is Ludlow?) to find stuff on Isla Nublar to cure Isla Sorna and the Costa Rican government and blah blah blah… nobody would care.  People don’t know about DX, people don’t realize there’s two islands, and people don’t realize everything the super-fans do in general.  Which is part of the only reason I was cautiously optimistic at all about the new park plot – I knew if we gunned for some elaborate plot, the general audience wouldn’t know what it was.  Critics would maybe, but you can’t please everyone.  Ultimately, critics aren’t going to make it rake in 100 million on opening weekend.  The general audience, and making dinosaurs cool again (and in the 21st century) will.  I liked that the film nodded to the original JP many, many times, without making it too much.  i liked the old Jeeps (even if I think it’s ridiculous they found an old battery and managed to start it – I considered it unrealistic).  I liked seeing the Visitor’s Center ruins.  It reminded the viewers why they were there, even as the film struggled to explain to us why it was important.

So the new park is fully operational, and Claire, the person in control of the park, knows she must keep interest in the park for it to be successful.  Claire and Wu go on to make the Indominus Rex, a hybrid creature of raptor, cuttlefish, and T. rex.  She needs to ensure the safety of the visitors while preparing Indominus, so Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is called on to inspect the walls.  Claire is initially painted as stiff.  Originally, I thought, oh great, another bitch woman to fulfill stereotype.  Then I realized something.

While conversating with Owen about Indominus, it’s made apparent she knows a thing or two about these animals.  She knows Indominus ate her sibling.  She knows how Indominus acts – saying things like she’ll come out.  She knows how dangerous Indominus is.  But yet we are constantly calling Claire stiff.

Claire is not stiff.  And that moment, when she was talking about the Indominus, did I realize that.  Claire is a woman in a man’s world (seriously, they’re all men except Zara).  She has a position to maintain.  She has a job to keep, which someone may say a man could do just as good if not better than her.  She needs to play her cards correctly.  Perhaps the reason for her stiffness goes well beyond the so called stereotype – I mean, hell, Masrani flies a helicopter without a license yet on an island full of dinosaurs that could kill him or thousands of others should he crash (kind of like, you know, the Aviary).  She has a right to be concerned with his lax attitude – he’s like a kid in a candy store, all while housing extinct creatures that could escape or kill anyone at any moment should something go wrong.  Claire, in my eyes, doesn’t underestimate the creatures she has on the island – she simply tries to keep up with Masrani.  Masrani seems super relaxed about his creatures and his occupants.  Even when Owen suggests to kill the I. rex to save lives, the person who objects is MASRANI – not Claire.  He states it costs millions of dollars to make the I. rex, hence not wanting to kill it.  Claire freaks out when the Indominus escapes, clearly worrying about the park and the people on it – she’s torn.  Owen has nothing on the line.  He could leave Isla Nublar, maybe go to college courtesy of the Navy, find a nice IT job.  No.  Claire has something on the line, she knows her boss does not want the island evacuated.  She knows her boss doesn’t want Indominus to be killed.  In the corporate world, it doesn’t take much to be fired.  All it takes is a little disagreement or a little disobedience.  Should she show she cares about the creatures that much, it could come off as being anti-profit or anti-guest.  Even when Masrani asks her if the dinosaurs are happy: how can she know if she’s in a huge security office every day, running the park, gathering sponsors, and trying to make money?

And she may just not like children, or be too fucking busy to deal with it.  Corporations void people of their humanity, their feelings.  Claire is a victim of it.  That’s why it takes a dead Apatosaurus for her to realize they’re living creatures.

Claire is the brains of Jurassic World.  Not Masrani.  And perhaps, she’s just too busy.

That leads me to my next point: The acting.

Other than some cheesy lines (“What kind of dinosaur they cooked up in that lab”) and some cheesy acting (see Beanie Guy in JW pressing the big red button to release the raptors as if he’s just beat someone on Xbox 360) I was pleasantly surprised by the acting.  Chris Pratt did… good.  Bryce Dallas Howard did.. good.  Ty Simpkins was perhaps a bit too over the top at times, and I really hated Nick Robinson staring at women (seriously what even is that shit?).  That was the only bit of acting that truly bothered me.  He could’ve been the grungy kid without staring at women constantly.  Just because it’s frequently done in culture does not mean it is right.  It would’ve also been nice for the kids to recognize how badass Claire was too for shooting a gun and doing everything she has done to save them.  It wasn’t all Owen.  Regardless, they were perhaps a bit cliched, but I could kind of overlook it because Claire took no shit from Owen.

But both characters had their badass moments.  Owen is the raptor trainer.  They were not kidding about it resembling real, wild animals.  I actually really got into it as a person who is into psychology (and dog training).  Owen was using a clicker.  The raptors must’ve been conditioned to think that the clicker means food, and food means they did something good, which you don’t necessarily need to be near the animal to do.  It’s simply conditioning, as is imprinting.  Imprinting actually makes a lot of sense for dinosaurs.  Now, I am not getting into a scientific debate (because this isn’t a fucking science blog thanks), but birds very much utilize imprinting.  It’s the only reason I can buy imprinting being effective.  These animals aren’t like other animals, and I know John Hammond tried to do conditioning via imprinting on the JP animals but we never really saw it in action.  These raptors are not his pets.  Most intelligent animals can be clicker trained – sharks, crocodiles, goldfish, dogs, cats.  Just about anything with a half functioning brain.  I have actually clicker trained (granted, it was a 40 pound dog) but I was very, very excited to see Owen using a clicker. That also brings me to that Vic dude (and some characters being underdeveloped).

The dude has like an OCD obsession with military.  Okay, I get it both he and Owen are former military guys – but it almost felt like too easy of a plot device.  I mean come on, most people with functioning brains can realize that wild raptors – or any animals – don’t generally function well as militarized animals.  Even if he proposed editing their genetic code, I highly doubt Wu would be able to get the exact qualities.  While in the end it was sort of why the Indominus was killed, it also felt like too easy of a plot device.  In addition to that, he really just ignores Claire’s authority after Masrani’s death.  At first, I didn’t see why they needed to kill Masrani, but now I get it.  Masrani needed to die for Claire to show herself – who she truly is.  She is quite obviously concerned for the families in the control room, but Masrani knows the profits will take a hit.  She quite obviously knows a thing or two about the creatures, but Masrani bogs her down with running the entire park herself practically.  She quite obviously could be up tight because of how chill Masrani is.  With Masrani gone, Claire can release herself.  Her boss is dead.  She can take the action she feels she needs to.  She can see the creatures and realize what they are without being in a control room.  She can let loose.  She can show Owen she can kick ass without the risk of being fired.

And she does.

That’s her badass moment.  Don’t lie to yourself.  This movie is about Claire.  Claire is the main character.  Not Owen, not the kids, not Masrani.  Claire.  I hear a lot of bitching about how she’s wearing heels – let me give you a quick lesson in feminism and realism.  Let’s be real, a lot of action movies with kick ass women do have heels on.  While it’s not the most practical footwear, I won’t bitch about it.

Oh.. oh god, are her shoes raised?

Wait.. maybe I’m missing someone.

… More heels ….

…. Seriously, I’ve had it.

The fact is, men do not generally wear heels but they are more than welcome to.  Claire is wearing heels, big whoop guys.  Women wear heels.  They can wear heels because they want to wear heels.  It is not for you.  In an interview with Colin Trevorrow with a news source, Bryce Dallas Howard insisted on wearing the heels for the scene (I can find it later).

Do you know why?

Because women wear heels.  And they can wear heels because they want to wear heels.  We do need to learn how to walk in those things, you know.  I have actually seen women run in them as well… and beat people up while wearing them. Wearing heels can be a part of being a woman (IF YOU WANT IT TO BE).  We don’t want to be men.  We want to be equal to men, and that includes wearing whatever the fuck we want to lure a T. rex out of a paddock.  If it’s unrealistic, please go ahead and erase all of Hollywood.  Drop a nuke on it (or would that be unrealistic?).  But, do not expect a woman to wear heels.  She needs to do it.  And she needs to want to do it.  It is part of our choices as women.  When you wear heels, you’re not the goddamn secretary anymore.  Of course there’s better footwear.  But if Owen led the rex out of the paddock barefoot and in his fucking pajamas, nobody would say shit and you know it.  Don’t lie to yourself.  She is a woman, she is wearing heels because she WANTS to wear heels.  And she is the one who saved the day.

Not Owen.

And if you think she suddenly wants kids now, the director himself more or less said he had no idea where the audience got that from.  You can be a nice person (ahem, woman) and not want kids.  You can be a person who is drowning in your work, and once you get out of that work, you’re nicer.  Maybe even be friendlier to kids.  But it doesn’t mean you want kids. It just means you’re nicer to the kids.  Still, I thought the ending was sexist, and I hated how Owen used cheesy pick up lines on Claire, which was basically workplace sexual harassment.  It did have sexist undertones.  Everyone being shocked at Claire using a gun was sexist.  Her suddenly loving kids, regardless of the reasons involved, was sexist.  Her sounding like an immature kid to Owen while looking for the kids – also sexist.  Something can be unintentionally sexist.

Overall, it was a fun movie, and I loved how such insignificant things too on big roles.  The Mosasaur at the end put the kabash on the I. rex.  The Dilophosaurus hologram bought our characters more time to escape as they slowly reconciled with each other in a non-creepy way (a theme a few noticed).

It was a good way to reintroduce the franchise, and T. rex.  It was apparent the director and writers were trying to do right by the fandom after JP3. While I didn’t want another dino fight, I think this one was the most appropriate.  The Spinosaurus skeleton was smashed, the T. rex once again comes out on top, and they even scare you a little – you fear that Rexy won’t make it.  But she does.  I need to add, I was so happy seeing my original girl back.  The fight scene, perhaps a bit cheesy, was completely overlooked for the most part by Rexy making an appearance.  She just saved it in every sense of the word.

The score was generally very good, especially with the tidbits that related it to the first few movies.  But I had a few complaints on top of what I already said. The CGI, generally, was okay, with some parts that it wasn’t as good.  Rexy in the beginning didn’t look so great but it got better.  In addition, instinct could have been emphasized more in the final battle – it doesn’t matter that, the raptors and T. rex have never seen anything like the I. rex.  Even digging into their instincts they wouldn’t be able to place the smell.  I didn’t like much the raptors communicating with the I. rex and turning on Owen – I think that could have just been done by the utter confusion of the park going to shit and the raptors associating it with Owen.  Or, perhaps, the fight or flight response – when an animal is scared they can redirect aggression.  The raptors, simply, could have redirected the aggression toward Owen in their fear until he is able to calm them down.  I just don’t consider it plausible for them to be able to communicate.  In general, instincts could have been emphasized more in the final battle. That’s the only reason indominus worked as a rampaging dinosaur who is confused. Instinct or lack thereof.

Still, I’ve never been so happy to see a goat.

Ultimately, the movie had it’s problems, but for a franchise on the brink of extinction, this was a hybrid of the past and the future. I can only hope things keep going as they are.

Because this time, the Kirbys aren’t here.

So I haven’t been updating as much.  A lot of you are probably wondering why.  I have always put something out… whether it was a spotlight post, small review, comic book review, QA.. I always pulled something out of the sky.  What happened?  Did you just get lazy?  Did you just stop caring?  No.  None of the above.  I guess it’s time I came clean, and after a day where it’s appropriate.

Feb. 28th is Rare Disease Day.  Recently, yes, my pets got sick – but that’s largely over now and everyone is better!

If you’re not interested in anything remotely personal, I suggest you stop reading.  Don’t be an asshole, either, because that’s not cool.

Here’s some happy shit before we start.

So, what’s the problem?  Why did I figuratively and literally fall off the face of The Planet? Well it was Rare Disease Day.

(FYI: I’ll go back to full time.  The fact I’m even writing this is amazing enough, and means it’s slowly going back to normal.)

I fit into that category.  I have a rare disease, and that is why I haven’t updated.  While I’m not ready to reveal exactly what it is, I’m going to ask you to not foo-foo rare diseases.  There is a larger point to this post other than me telling you why I haven’t been here and why I haven’t been able to update.  Before you click off in an attempt to save yourself from a state of depression, I’m really actually pretty cool about it and I make it funny (I think?).  Think of it this way – you’ve been reading me this long without knowing a thing about it.  It’s only since it completely KO’d me have you found out anything.  And I didn’t want to tell you.  I didn’t want to tell you I had anything wrong with me.

It’s like I’m in a relationship with my blog.  Facebook status changed.

My pets ended up being okay a few weeks ago. But, the fact is, you know some things about the people you read/watch/hear/etc.  You know maybe they have kids or are in college.  You know circumstances of their lives that will affect their content in other words.  Unfortunately, this is my circumstance that makes a pile of dog shit more attractive than my life at times.  Long story short, I am a superhero.  Yes, you read that right.  I am a superhero.  I am an X-Men. I am the Batman.

Nevermind, I’m getting carried away.

Here’s the deal: I have superpeople powers (oddly, my own character is not superpowered).  I have a connective tissue disease.  I’m uber-flexible to the point where I could join the circus and probably become filthy rich and famous, and I could be on American Horror Story (technically). I can tell the temperature without even looking at a thermometer, and certain normal medication doesn’t work on me because of genetic resistance (in other words, taking Motrin is like eating Skittles).  In fact, I once needed local anesthetics and the doctor would have overdosed me if he gave me any more.  It does not work on me.  Yeah, I felt the entire procedure, because local anesthetics don’t work on me (I could see the look of horror on your face already).  It made for a very uncomfortable procedure and a very freaked out doctor. In all honesty it was hilarious.

I wish I could say I possess super-strength, but I’m working on it.  Yes, this is all a part of that “rare illness” thing I mentioned.  It affects everything. Eating, sleeping, blogging, fish tanks, what I can eat, college, what jobs I can get, etc.

So now that I’ve related it to something you clearly will be able to relate to as a comic book reader, you need to understand the other side of the coin.

For every superpower, there is a downside.  The uber-flexibility means I’m also in pain a lot without much rhyme or reason.  The pain also means I have the attention span of a squirrel when I am in pain. Normally people say attention span of a goldfish, but because I have fish as pets, fish have longer attention spans than you think so I will not diss them!

Most of the time, I’m fine.  But lately, it’s kicking my ass – it’s like as if Superman couldn’t control his super senses for a little bit.  In the process, you couldn’t tell that there is anything wrong with me.  I look completely normal, until I make giant claws come out of my han-… wrong power..

But you know, I’m also telling you because our heroes do have limitations.  Superman was bullied because he had super-senses.  Wolverine can’t go through metal detectors.  Cyclops needs those fancy ass glasses. Even Batman probably could be his own psychology case study, and forget about Captain America, who had a long list of illnesses in The First Avenger.  Granted he’s not sickly now, but they all had limitations.  If you ever wanted to know what being a real life superhero was like, you could interview me – because being uber-bendy has it’s perks.  I’ll probably never break a bone because I’m flexible.  I could prevent slipping better than any person in my immediate (and probably extended) family, possibly better than my cat.  It requires me to exercise a lot, so that also means I have some semblance of super strength involved here.  I could pinpoint the temperature inside or outside because of my hypersensitivity to it – I know if someone raised the heat 1 degree in my house. One.  Degree.

In elementary school – and high school – I was probably the fastest or in the top three of fastest people in the classes because of my flexible legs, and I never have an itch on my back I can’t get to.

^ you.  Itches you can’t get to suck.  Sucker.

So, everyone has their bad times.  Superman, Wolverine, Cyclops, Professor X (seriously I reacted the same way he did almost), Captain America, Magneto… and every other super powered person you could imagine.  The concepts of illnesses isn’t new to comic books and Barbara Gordon brought it even more into the spotlight.  Hell, even Hulk qualifies a little bit, and if you consider Iron Man to be unhealthily conceited, he does too.  You can’t “fix” me just like you can’t “fix” them.

Don’t define my blog by the one reason that I can’t write for a few days.  If it must be in the equation, define it by letting it drive my interest in comic books.  Define it by  “she’s a real superhero” (yep, I’m a she, people). She could be an X-Men.  But know that’s why I haven’t been here – been out saving the world, you know?  Busy…

I will be back full time within the next week or so, and I don’t let it keep me down – if I did, I’d be writing about how much my life sucks.  If I did, I wouldn’t write here or take care of big fish tanks or dogs or cats or cooking my own meals.  If I did, I wouldn’t go to a gym or go to college or do everything else everyone else does.  If I did, I wouldn’t still want to be writing comics or have another job I do now, whether it’s mine or someone else’s character (yeah, I want to write comics, and I am working on my own character book).

Just remember, I’m not any different than the people you read about. I identify with them because people think I’m weird when they hear I’m so stretchy. People have asked what is wrong with me and then stopped me halfway saying they didn’t want to know. People have outwardly asked me if it will kill me in very insensitive ways. An ex-boyfriend left me over it via text message while I was in a doctor’s office trying to figure out what exactly was wrong. The fact is, people have been prejudiced against me because I’m bendy and need some small but significant accommodations sometimes – like being able to move around if I need to. It really is nothing graphic or strange – but people don’t like it. I scare people but I am not scary. Just like the X-Men.

I’ve always identified with Barbara Gordon and the X-Men since my diagnosis, and that’s why we need more characters like her. We need more disabled people talking regardless if you can see their disability or not. My disability is genetic so it was always there even before I knew it was – and I always felt out of place or as if something was wrong with me. Then I found out and I had doctors sitting around debating the course of my illness/life and when I’d need a wheelchair, if I ever did – and if that were to happen, I’d like to think I’d be the real version of Barbara Gordon.
But the comic characters get it.

Do you?

(This post was also meant to raise awareness for Rare Disease Day 2015).