Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

It has been longer than I care to admit than I have been here.  I’ve gotten more health problems, more life problems, more problems in general.  But I felt the need to publish this on my blog.  I thought I was going to submit to another platform I’ve been writing for, but I changed my mind and decided to submit it to my blog instead, since it’s one of my better pieces that I think deserves a larger audience.

Jimmy Kimmel has reaffirmed his place as my favorite late-night talk show host, for the very same reasons you probably don’t like him right now. That’s right – Jimmy Kimmel has been on an entire new plane of respect ever since his monologues about the Cassidy-Graham healthcare bill. Regardless of your political views, whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, or the Rent is Too Damn High Party (it’s real), Jimmy Kimmel is doing something important and it’s about time you looked at it directly in the eyes.  He gave an emotional monologue back in May when his child was born with a heart disease that can only be fixed through many expensive surgeries.  It’s a congenital heart condition that often requires lifelong care, and what better way to spread awareness for a problem than to use your A-list fame?

Now, it seems, he’s taken it one step further, literally picking a fight with Senators and other political talking heads because of what happened to his son.  He’s making America look at this problem right in the eye, not as a politician, but as a father.  Jimmy Kimmel, in essence, has become the face of worried family and friends when someone is diagnosed with a life-altering disorder, that often times never go away.  And some of us, at least, are happy he is.  Politics are an issue people avoid – it ruins Thanksgiving Day dinner, it causes fights on Facebook, and ultimately is just never a fun topic for people to engage in.  The problem is, the very issues you’re arguing over with Aunt Tilly living in Idaho is the very issue that is going to affect somebody in a very real way – and Jimmy’s child is just one example of that.

Being disabled in America is inherently political, as much as you’d like to stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not.  Let me clarify:  It shouldn’t be political, but it is.  Nobody, really, wants to kill a disabled person. After all, we’re told we are inspiring and amazing and all of this romanticized crap about what it’s like to wake up with pain every day.  Except, it’s all romanticized.

And Jimmy Kimmel is reminding you of that.

He’s showing you how your inability to have a dialogue about a problem is affecting real people and how your romanticized view is nothing more than a feel-good story you made up in your head while ignoring the very real struggles someone experiences.  Critics will say he’s politicizing his son’s health problems. And anyone who is sick, or has a sick child, knows being sick is political, not inspirational.  After all, we needed an actual bill to win rights for disabled people.  If it wasn’t political, we wouldn’t need to have the Americans with Disabilities Act to ​literally be treated decently.

Sorry to be the one to break the news.

Aside from that, it’s also a highly underrepresented group of people who even within liberal circles are often forgotten to exist.  I’ve been surrounded by numerous talks regarding groups of people that are in the minority, and it often took a very long time for disabled to be mentioned.  In fact, disabled people are often forgotten entirely whenever I attended such a talk.  The only people who always included them were, well, disabled people.  It’s well known LGBT people, people of different races, people of certain religions, etc., are in minority groups.  But the problem is that “disabled” is often not a qualifier that is remembered.  

Someone who has a life changing or rare disorder does not have the luxury of sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring a bill like the Graham-Cassidy bill.  Because the passage of such a bill could literally mean life or death, and your sick friends want you to know that.  I tend to avoid political conversation, but wanting to kill me is generally where I draw the line (pretty fair, don’t you think?).

They want you to pay attention to these bills that are attempted to be passed, because we don’t have the luxury of calling it political hosh-kosh and saying how difficult healthcare is to resolve.  We don’t have the luxury of analyzing the details of how kinda-sorta pre-existing conditions might be covered, mostly because we will definitely wake up the next day feeling our pains, attending our treatments, and being scared about our futures.  We have to pay attention.

This isn’t about Democrat vs Republican.  This isn’t about the fine details of Obamacare and whether it’s good or bad or neutral or apocalyptic.  This is about pre-existing conditions.  This is about lifetime caps.  This is about that I didn’t want to get an official diagnosis because I knew that insurance companies wouldn’t want to insure me.  This is about peoples lives, which is inherently political, because it involves all of that.  However, there is another side to this.

It’s time to start remembering that nothing is complicated about not allowing insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions (such as raising premiums).  It’s time to start remembering nothing is complicated about giving a person a life cap and subsequently letting them die at 35 if they’re not rich.  It’s time to remember that you probably have a pre-existing condition, or will get one in your lifetime. Nothing about any of that is inherently political.  Taxes are political, not whether or not a cancer survivor can be priced out of insurance, or the 15 year old can get heart surgery.  It’s only political because it’s made to be.

And the sickest of people, currently, are fighting your battle. The people I see paying attention to this bill are the sickest of people I know, or people who are very politically savvy.  It’s not like when there were protests in the streets for rights for other groups of people.  People I know and people you know aren’t paying attention, unless this bill can end their lives.

Still, we are forgotten in mainstream dialogue.

Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for attempting to change that, and becoming the face of parents with chronically sick children, and the face of the worries, stress, and sleepless nights we experience as adults.  Thank you for becoming the face of the fear of being chronically sick and unable to work and the face of a scary treatment.  Thank you for trying to get people to pay attention.

Because until now, nobody else has.

Unless they’re calling us inspirational, of course.

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I have a friend who is an extreme movie-goer.  Loves movies.  Loves reviewing them.  Does not have a blog.  One of his common complaints is that there’s just too many superhero movies, and too many of them are flops for the “genre” to still be considered legitimate and not beaten to a pulp.  He says, what gives?  Suicide Squad was maybe decent at best.  Batman VS Superman is something we don’t talk about (literally never going to review that movie), the X-Men movies are slowly deteriorating, etc.  Now, this is his argument – it is not mine.  The last few Spider-Man movies had split personalities, with some people adoring them and some others wanting to puncture their eardrums, although I don’t remember them getting particularly high reviews.  I fall into the latter category to the extent where I also wanted to gouge my eyes out.

So, why do we need so many of them? If you don’t like even a slight mention of politics, look away now.  Move your mouse, have it hover the X button, press it, and get up and walk away.  Don’t have No Chill.  Although I hate to tell you – superhero movies very often get political.  X-Men can be (mutant registry, hello?).  Captain America can be.  America as in *AMERICA* (THE COUNTRY, AMERICA).  Batman can be.  The comics can be even more so.

Image result for captain america punching hitler

Real subtle.

Superheroes show us that (^), even when it’s not deliberate.  Superheroes show us Captain America punching Hitler.  Superheroes show us the X-Men fighting to not be put on a “list of mutants” type deal.  Superheroes show us alien Superman isn’t all that different except he’s really buff.  In the current divisive political climate, regardless  of what you think, superheroes show us that their situations aren’t actually all that different from ours.  And you know what?  We need to see that.  We need to be reminded to be everyday heroes.  We need to be reminded how the struggles truly are similar in some respects, and what we can do about it.  Sure, we aren’t rich and have a personal butler, and we don’t have superhuman serum, but we have something.  We have the power to organize, to fight back, and to argue with those in power.  We have the power to resist, even if it ends without a success.

With American politics being so shitty, my advice is to take solace in the fictional who undoubtedly harbor more power than we do.  Each movie, each comic, each character – has a statement to bring to the table.  Comic books are also a medium that do not shy from political commentary.  That’s why we still need superhero movies.  They can say things to a mass group of people, masked in a playful cloth.  They can comment – hell, their actors can also comment – unapologetically and brutally, but just subtle enough to not alienate.  We need them because, despite all this, they still bring people together.  But, they make them talk, too.

But why superheroes?  Can’t we just make a CIA movie?

No.  Superheroes give people hope.  Superheroes are people we look up to.  Superheroes are something bigger than all of us and everything we know if they were real.  You can fire a CIA agent.  A cop.  An FBI agent.  A masked vigilante can’t be fired.  They’re controlled by their morals and their power.  Since when did you look at a CIA agent and feel a sense of hope?

My advice is to harness that power for what you believe in.

But, just like divisive superhero movies – another takeaway – don’t forget who your friends are, even if you disagree with them.  Speak softly and carry a big stick.

But now, more than ever, we should be looking to them.

I hope you like superhero movies.  I mean, I hope you really really really like them.

Because you are about to get bombarded with them, but you already knew that.

Because if I didn’t do this, it’d be a wall of text.

So instead of writing a post for DC and a post for Marvel, I decided to grab this by the horns and do both, since they’ve both made it pretty apparent they’re in direct contest with each other (you think?).

I just wonder after this how much longer DC and Marvel can ride the superhero movie train before it gets old, but we’re not there yet.  But, for now, this is what we have and we can only speculate that.

Marvel has already given us a taste of their movies, and that’s why I’m not particularly surprised the greater majority of their movies is sequels or sequences.  Thor, Cap, Avengers are all movies the general audience is pretty familiar with.  Even if you don’t exactly know everything about them, you still probably know who they are (and if you don’t, Halloween just happened, so a 5 year old might’ve introduced you to them). As for the sequels, you can only hope their luck continues, and it certainly appears to be.

Luckily, nothing is taking the route Iron Man did, at least at first glance.

Iron Man 1 kept the bar high.  Iron Man 2 sort of kept it, but made it a little lower, and then Iron Man 3 just broke the bar.  No more bar.  It just broke the standard set for the franchise.  It seems like Marvel learned from their Iron Mistakes.

Thor: Ragnarok is restoring Thor to his rightful fame and respect and I consider him an incredibly underrated character.  Thor, for me, is right up there with Captain America and Iron Man for my favorite male Avengers (because I love Black Widow).  I love the Asgardian hero and I want to see him do well; I feel as though his movies have something different to bring to the table as opposed to Iron Man or Captain America or any earthly hero.  He is so different you have to love it, even if they occasionally mess it up.  Avengers: Age of Ultron is shaping up to be absolutely epic and dark (already gave my thoughts on that), and it appears as though people are drooling over Captain America: Civil War.  The only thing I am wondering with Civil War is Cap’s involvement, and how much of a lead he will have in the end because of how many characters they’re involving, and obviously Iron Man’s involvement (which is of course refreshing after Iron Man 3) and whatever happened to The Winter Soldier.  I think Civil War also works because of the obvious tension between Captain America and Iron Man we see in Avengers.  I feel as though it’s playing on it and the friendly jabs at each other turns into serious shit regardless if the storylines are at all related.

I bet he’s wishing he never pulled that lever now to prevent Iron Man from getting shredded.

 Guardians I am left wondering over because it’s not mainstream (the hell?  talking trees?), but the first Guardians did so well; they set their own bar for that movie, and they need to maintain it.  They made seriously bizarre characters become loved; we are talking a violent raccoon and a tree that can speak.  Frankly, even I thought Guardians was a little bizarre in the beginning, but then I realized it was a pretty lovable and hilarious movie.  Ultimately, their sequels and Black Panther are going to be the money makers because people have been calling for a Black Panther movie forever.  I have been one of those people, and at every mention of Black Panther I have been saying “They need a Black Panther movie”.  Well, they are finally making it and getting more diverse as some people want, and everyone I know will finally hear me shut up. But that brings me to the next part – new characters.

As you obviously are aware, Marvel is pretty established in the cinema scene.  There are a few things I am curious about with this list existing.  I’m curious about Inhumans and who they are, since I admittedly don’t know very much about them, and it doesn’t seem like anyone does.  It’s definitely not one of the heroes or hero groups I thought they would be adapting to the big screen anytime soon, and that appears to be the general consensus.  It does feel like a bid to get more Marvel characters into the mainstream or possibly compete with FOX and X-Men (even though they make money off of that indirectly).    Marvel is taking a little bit of a gamble with Ant-Man since it’s not true to the comic books (so I’ve heard.. then you had all that drama with the director going on), if you ask me, but they admitted already that they were going to keep adding new characters. Doctor Strange appears to be split, and some people seem to doubt their ability with a magical superhero like Strange.  There’s some iffyness for fans regarding the casting, and I’m wondering how Doctor Strange is going to pan out in the end: positive or negative.  I don’t have as much confidence, but I am interested.

But perhaps the movie that sticks out the most is Captain Marvel.  It’s one of the first female-led superhero movies (aside from Wonder Woman and whatever SONY is doing, I don’t want to pay attention).  And that worries me, just a little.  If DC and SONY happen to mess up those films, Marvel is going to have a tough time selling that movie.  Or, the opposite could happen, where if those movies bomb, Captain Marvel could pick up the pieces and prove that a female-led superhero movie is worth giving a second look at.  The only thing I wish was happening was a Black Widow movie, but ignore me because I love her so much.

But another thing sticking out is Infinity Wars.  Age of Ultron is shaping up to be amazing.  Age of Ultron is feeling like The Avengers’ “The Dark Knight”.  But, Infinity Wars needs to keep the bar, and it’s sort of a crossover I’m hearing (correct me if I am wrong).  I’m iffy on crossovers, I am not particularly crazy over them, but I like they are splitting it into two.  They are keeping your interest.

Basically, I think Marvel learned a lot from Iron Man and what happened there, but I have more to say about DC.  It’s shorter, yes, but more analytical.

DC movies, with the exception of The Dark Knight trilogy, are relatively new to us all.  There are very few sequels to be had, yet.

And I’m wondering if DC will look at Iron Man and learn from the mistakes Marvel made.

DC is introducing us to their movies, unlike Marvel.  Marvel knows you know who they are.  I’m genuinely curious about the direction of Aquaman and if they can make the strongest DC superhero work since he is so often regarded as a joke.  I want to see Aquaman work, but I am honestly curious how they will do it.  He is so powerful and is generally known, but it seems as though nobody can take him seriously – myself included.  But even the more known characters are leaving me guessing.

Batman V. Superman, for me, is shaping up to be crowded. I will still watch it and probably enjoy it to some extent, but it feels crowded, and I don’t want to see Wonder Woman become overshadowed in her big screen debut.  It feels like Bats VS Supes is going to either build up Wonder Woman or tear her down for her future movie.  If they mess it up, it could spell disaster for the first female-led superhero movie.  But, at least, for DC, they are playing on something people have always talked about – what would happen if Batman and Superman fought?

Well, I guess we’ll find out.  But, we’re going to find some other characters, too.

I’m happy DC is building upon the Flash TV show to finally bring us a Flash movie, which feels long overdue because of how utterly popular The Flash is and how lighthearted he is in comparison to Batman (who is probably the most famous DC character ever).  It feels like DC is finding their lighter side, and a Flash movie would undoubtedly equate to a lot of fun especially since he has a TV show, even if he isn’t your preferred DC character. The mainstream was already familiar with him and he was one of those characters who has deserved a movie.

Overall, a lot of the DC movies feel new, and they will feel new to the mainstream moviegoers.  Cyborg, Suicide Squad, and Shazam will feel new.  Unlike Batman and Superman, they’re not terribly famous outside the circle of people who like comic books.  Based on my little knowledge of Cyborg, I’m not terribly excited for it and am not terribly excited for Shazam (Frankly, Shazam sounds like a Billy Mays product, but I know nothing aside from the name and that he’s had some drama in his life as Captain Marvel).

The admission for the movie is only 19.95.

I realize he’s a character with a lot of history, but the general public still needs selling on him.

But I will tell you I am super excited to see Green Lantern back and hopefully a lot better because DC hopefully learned from their Green Lantern mistakes.. hopefully.  I consider Green Lantern one of the most respectable DC characters, and it only feels right GL get’s a better movie after that other disaster happened.  It’s a character, I feel, if done right, could be a smash of a movie.  I also am excited to see a Justice League movie (also two parts, to keep your interest), finally, but am also curious to see if all these movies will stay up to the The Dark Knight Trilogy bar Warner Bros set or the Avengers bar.  I also wonder if it being two parts from the getgo will help or hurt it, since Avengers built itself up so effectively.

The two movies that stick out the most, though, are Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad is going to be the first movie to focus on villains and probably even make you feel a little bit sorry for them.  DC is really picking a political topic by doing Suicide Squad, and if you’ve read my past posts you know I love movies with a message that isn’t necessarily clear cut good or bad, or movies that can be seen in more than one perspective.  Suicide Squad is that movie, and it’s different because it’s villains; I expected Suicide Squad to be “The Winter Soldier” level political, which is setting a high bar for it (DC, don’t disappoint).  I have high hopes for that movie.  It’s inherently political and I am excited for it and what topics it will bring to the table.  I touched on Wonder Woman earlier, and I really hope DC and Gal Gadot can give Wonder Woman justice and earn her the movie she deserves.  They’re already building the anticipation for the Wonder Woman movie by releasing little tidbits (when it takes place), and I can only hope they keep the momentum.  A Wonder Woman movie and a female-led superhero movie are long overdue.  On that note, I’m a little disappointed they aren’t doing a Catwoman movie after the Halle Berry disaster, but, I could understand why they’re not.  Wonder Woman is simply more famous, and is clearly defined as a good character for women to relate to.  Catwoman muddles that line, especially with certain costumes she’s had in the past perpetuating the sexual stereotype.

But, of course, there’s other movies happening not from Marvel and DC.

FOX:

  •  Fantastic 4 (FOX, 2015)
  • Deadpool (FOX, 2016)
  • X-Men Apocalypse (FOX, 2016)
  • Untitled Wolverine Film (FOX, 2017)
  • Fantastic Four 2 (2017)
  • Gambit (FOX, ????)

FOX, you just rocked my world.

What do you think, reader?  Do you agree?  Well I hope so.

Yes, I am excited over Deadpool.  Yes, I love him and I think he’s hilarious while having a dark undertone.  Although I fully expect this movie to be rated R five times over, oh well.

I am so excited for this movie and it’s almost like blind faith.  I really hope they do this right, especially since everyone has said to do a Deadpool movie and they haven’t done it yet.  Well, they finally are.  I think he brings something unique to the table if they can do it correctly and manage to give him a decent plot in between breaking the 4th wall and remaining comedic, but I will admit it sounds easier said than done.  Either way, FOX, do not fuck this up.

But on the other side of the coin, FOX has X-Men, and after Days of Future Past, everyone is basically excited for Apocalypse.  I personally love the young versions of Magneto and Professor X, so it’s not exactly a turn off it’s not set in present day again as awesome as Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are.  I love Fassbender’s Magneto’s intensity.  I love the different characters we meet because it is set in another time.  The next Wolverine film is leaving me wondering because some people are sick of Wolverine.  I am not sick of him just yet – but they should really try to integrate the other X-Men while he is still here.

But FOX does have some work to do.

Fantastic Four.

I cannot even take the Four seriously at this point in time, and I can only hope FOX gets things more serious.  The last Fantastic Four movie seemed forgettable.  But it seems like the reboot is going somewhere and going in a better direction.  Let’s just hope they can hold it.

Misc.

  • Big Hero 6 (Disney, 2014)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (Paramount, 2016)
  • The Sinister Six (SONY, 2016)
  • LEGO Batman (Warner Bros, 2017)
  • Untitled Female Spider-Man movie (SONY, 2017)
  • Possible Venom movie (SONY, 2017?)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 3? (SONY, 2018)

This is everything else.