I Like This Chick, She Has Rage Issues

As y’all know, I get emotional at certain things. I can usually see it coming. I didn’t expect any tears during Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn, and they came in one moment. My heart skipped a beat and I burst right into tears when Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) finally let loose and we got a Canary Cry on the big screen.

That made me cry.

Anyway, on to the rest of the movie. It is an incredible triumph. It’s joyously funny, in a great silly way. Feminist without pandering or neutering itself. (Turns out just by centering women and making your villain a misogynist you can make a pretty feminist film even without posturing. Who knew? Oh, every woman ever, that’s right.)

Trying to explain the movie is beside the point for me, here, but it underperformed this weekend so GO SEE IT. Anyway, more thoughts, it’s framed around Harley Quinn trying to figure out what her life is going to look like post Joker. At first, she’s keeping the breakup on the DL, as she knows she’s crossed a lot of people in her career. But she finally snaps and blows up ACE Chemical (and then there’s a whole thing with a Bacon Egg And Cheese sandwich) and all hell breaks loose.

Harley finds herself in the crosshairs of Roman Sionus, AKA Black Mask, played deliciously by Ewan McGregor. Roman employs Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell, perfect) as a singer and enforcer, and Victor Szasz (Chris Messina) is his right hand man. She’s also being pursued by Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) They’re all looking for young pick pocket Cassandra Caine (Ella Jay Basco) who’s gotten her hands on the priceless Bertenelli Diamond, which holds the key to the vast fortune of an executed mob family.

Gotham’s underworld is also being cleansed by a mysterious Cross Bow Killer, who prefers Huntress, thank you. (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and in the end, in order to survive, all the women band together to protect Cass.

There’s hijinks galore in between, fantastic action, plenty of swears. (The R rating is entirely for the use of the F word and some real bone crunching violence. It’s great) The movie is a brightly colored fever dream in places and totally perfect. Margot Robbie is a dream, the rest of the cast follows suits. (I have to admit hearing Rosie Perez’s actual Brooklyn accent next to Robbie’s exaggerated Quinn voice is hilarious.)

Seriously, this movie is so special. I’m thrilled with how DC movies have turned around in the past year. Aquaman was so fun! Shazam was miraculous, Joker uhhh, well Joaquin won an Oscar! And Birds Of Prey is so much fun. This gets me super psyched for Wonder Woman 1984, and also, as I realized Black Widow. 

All the super hero movies I’m looking forward to this year are about women. That’s incredible, given that a few years ago, no one even knew if Wonder Woman was going to ever happen.

Crisis Management: “Crisis On Infinite Earths: Parts 4 & 5”

Shut up, you’re crying.

And I mean a lot. While not quite as fun as it’s rising action, the climax and Epilogue to Crisis On Infinite Earths are both quite good in their own ways, and I think we’d be happiest if we just dig into things.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Arrow Season 8, Episode 8)

After this there are only two episodes of Arrow left, and one of them is the backdoor pilot for Green Arrow And The Canaries, which means really, there’s just one. I’m glad I made the decision to catch up for the final season, despite the show never really resonating with me after season 4.

Anyway, we open in The Vanishing Point and it’s been a minute. We know this because Ryan Choi now has a beard and also he tells us in a helpful voice over. Thanks Ryan. Everyone’s a little stir crazy and they sure hate Lex and Barry is missing! OH NO! Barry shows up again, super confused and then we flash to Purgatory where Corrigan is training Oliver to be the best Spectre he can be. HE then goes to The Vanishing Point and tells Barry he has to go to the Speed Force again or something. Basically everyone gets scattered into the Speed Force and needs to learn something about themselves.

The best (and most secret) cameo comes first, Barry confronts, Barry? But Barry as played by Ezra Miller and the whole scene is a damn delight. Anyway, Barry then has a conversation with Oliver/Spectre about finding everyone. Then Kate learns about Trust from watching Ray and Oliver bicker in the past, J’onn learns about teamwork from watching Oliver and Kara bicker in the past.

Meanwhile, Kara, Lex and Ryan are on Mor Nobu’s planet in the past trying to convince him not to go back in time and create the anti monitor. They succeed, but also don’t?

Anyway, they all go back to the dawn of time and fight The Anti Monitor and Oliver dies (for REALS this time you guys.) to restart everything and it seems to work. Hooray! Sara and Barry meanwhile are very sad about it, because of course they are.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 1)

The worlds have been merged! And Kara for one, is delighted, as is a random dude on the street who approaches Kara and Barry for an autograph. (It’s Marv Wolfman!Hooray!) Sara meanwhile, is still pretty sad because even though most everyone is now back Oliver now isn’t.

She points out that Oliver was the last person who knew who she was before and this is a difficult loss for her. This is, well, incredibly profound, actually. Sara has lost a lot. (But then I realized, uh, Thea’s still alive right? Thea was young but she knew Sara…) Barry reminds her that Oliver died for all of them but before they can really get it together and giant Beebo attacks Star City.

Hello Legends! Sara calls Eva and Nate to check in about it and they moan about being sucked into another cross over. However, they note there is another Legend besides her and Ray in town.

Mick’s got a book signing and goes to fight Beebo for ruining it. Turns out the Beebo is just an illusion and as they celebrate their victory, everyone is attacked by shadow demons. OH NO!

One last stand off with the anti monitor where Supergirl and Ray save the day stops it. In a quiet moment, the world mourns Oliver Queen, and then Barry, Sara, Jefferson, Kara, Clark and Kate light an eternal flame in his memory. Barry also reveals a round table and the empty warehouse is revealed to be THE HALL OF FUCKING JUSTICE (Well, not Fucking Justice, this isn’t Titans, they’re still on their own world. More’s the pity for my dreams of watching Kate and Kara interact with that version of Dick.)

I look forward to the further bonkers shenanigans of this world, now without unnecessary dimension jumping. (Though Stargirl will still be on it’s own Earth? Good thing The Monitor gave Cisco his powers back?)

Observations

  • The Ezra Miller cameo was such a wonderful surprise I actually fell off the couch. Seriously, such a delight.
  • Lex rewrote things so that the whole world thinks he’s great. He wins the Nobel Peace Prize and everything. Kara is furious. Anyway glad Jon Cryer will be sticking around, he’s a wonderful presence on the show
  • In keeping with Legends being Legends half the episode is just people looking at computer monitors and Sara doesn’t suit up.
  • Kate chills with Alex and Kara at Kara’s apartment, and I’m so happy they’re all in the same world now. I hope Alex and Kate bond over motorcycles and awesome gay lady haircuts.
  • Sara Diggle is back! Hooray! Also, now Lois and Clark have two kids, which will be fun for their upcoming pilot.
  • Things I was hoping for but didn’t get: Digg getting a Green Lantern ring. We did see the Lantern Corp, which I’m assuming is from the upcoming HBOMax show. (I’m going to get HBOMax, purely because of The West Wing so we shall see how that one pans out) Felicity, at all. I know they wanted to save Emily Bett Ricakard’s return for the Arrow finale, but still.
  • While in all reality I want Diggle on The Waverider so we don’t have to say goodbye to Diggle, Rene’s reaction to Beebo (complete confusion) and then interaction with Rory (pouring him champagne) also makes him a good candidate.
  • I mostly cried at the montage of all the superheroes, but especially Routh!Superman flying away and winking at the camera.
  • Best Teamup Of The Crossover: Jefferson Pierce, Killer Frost and Mick Rory. Close second: Nash Wells, Ryan Choi & Ray Palmer (FOR SCIENCE)
  • I’m soaking in every moment of Brandon Routh and still can’t believe we’re losing him after this season.

Overall, I enjoyed the Crisis, the cameos and Easter Eggs were super fun, and I’d rank it third for the big Crossovers (Earth-X, Elseworlds, Infinite Earths, Heroes Vs Aliens, Whatever the Hawkpeople one was) Moving forward I’m going to do my best to keep up and write these check ins. But I’m also trying to watch less TV in general so maybe not. I don’t know yet.

 

Crisis Management: Batwoman & Supergirl Week 6, Black Lightning Week 5

The Flash And Arrow had the week off, so we’re publishing early! Also, I’m changing the schedule anyway. “Crisis Management” is moving to Thursdays for now, so “Fangirl Loves Star Wars” coverage of The Mandolorian can go on Mondays. (I enjoyed the pilot very much, but the show is normally going to drop on Saturday, so Mondays), but this week, with no Flash or Arrow we can do Wednesday.

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 6: “I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury”

We’ve entered, the “wait who knows who the hero is?” stage of Berlanti-verse season 1. I think at this point, Luke, Alice and Sophie are the only ones who know that Kate is Batwoman. Which is fine, I just hope Mary doesn’t get left off in Lena/Iris- land being the last to know for no discern-able narrative reason. (OK, it’s paying off with Lena this year.)

Speaking of Mary, the fandom seem to have latched on to her as a favorite and I totally get it. It also really really reminds me of Felicity in the early days of Arrow, in the best way. Mary is super competent but she’s also oodles of fun, which given how dark and dour the rest of the show is why she’s become so popular. This week, she’s treating Sophie, and trying to hold her, once she realizes Sophie knows who Batwoman is.

Kate meanwhile, is fighting The Executioner, a former executioner who has decided to take Gotham’s corrupt justice system into his own hands, eliminating the cops and judges who turned him into a murderer for executing people who were actually innocent.

It’s a really really good Bat-villain model. Also, one of those The Executioner is out to exonerate, is the guy convicted of killing Lucious Fox, so Luke is understandably perturbed at Kate for ruining his closure.

Alice and Mouse get into a fight about Kate, and how Mouse feels Alice wants to replace him with her. But no, Alice just wants Kate to join them, and possibly control her? I’m not sure what her plan is.

Jake promises Kate that they’ll get Beth back, and also he’s hunting Batwoman. I am fine with Jake not knowing Kate is Batwoman. I know in the comics he does and is her tech guy, but we have Luke here, we don’t need that.

Supergirl Season 5, Episode 6: “Confidence Woman”

Like Barry going on vacation on The Flash last week, this week’s Supergirl focuses on Lena and Andrea’s friendship to give Melissa Benoist her time to film Crisis. (Kara only appears in a few scenes and only one as Supergirl)

The theme of this week’s episode is “POWERSUITS” (not really, but there are a lot of them.) Lena reflects on her long history with Andrea, who befriended her at boarding school shortly after her mother’s death. Theses two women, crushed by familial expectations and united by genius and drive, make a great team. As young women they go on an adventure to find a legendary amulet that might help Lena reign Lex in. (Jon Cryer makes a quick reappearance and is delightful.)

Andrea finds it and uses it to help her suicidal father rather than handing it over to Lena, and as such, sells her soul to Leviathan. (She’s the mysterious shadow assassin. TWIST!) When Lena finds out it ruins their friendship, and Lena runs away to National City. We also get some time with Kara showing Lena opening herself up to people again, but the episode gives us context for both Lena and Andrea and their motivations.

In the end, they team up again, though Lena is still playing her cards close to the vest. (You really can’t blame her.)

The flashbacks aren’t as strong as the last year’s Young Kara and Alex episode, but it’s still good. (Lena and Andrea don’t have the foundation that Kara and Alex have).

Black Lightning Season3, Episode 5: 

I realized that I’ve been complaining about a lack of actual Black Lightning on Black Lightning in the recent weeks because of course, like the other shows, Cress Williams had to be shooting Crisis, so needed the break. Even more so since Black Lightning shoots in Atlanta rather than Vancouver.

Anyway, he’s still sidelined this week, although Jefferson gets a good moment here, standing up to the ASA team that is trying to put down a student protest on the school steps. He wins up beaten and Jen tries to rush in and save him, only to have adorable new kids Randy stop her, absorbing her powers. (He also lends her a jacket which gives off some static that jump starts her earlier. I’m formulating a theory but I don’t dare to hope.)

Khalil meanwhile, fights some guards. I continue to worry about him, but the show gave me one less kid to worry about by killing off Tavon. WTF show? The Chief gets the Reverend and a few others together and they decide to organize their resitance efforts. Jen goes back to work for Odell, who continues to be suspicious of Anissa.

Anissa leaves Grace with Gambi and it’s adorable. Grace is doing better, but not all the way better and Anissa is starting to chafe against the leadership of the free zone. Lynn has a long talk with Tobias who has definitely figured out the deal with the Pierce family but you know…she continues to deny it.

In Crisis connection, I hope that, in other world travellers tradition, Jeff notes that a certain John Diggle reminds him of someone…his brother in law…also named John…perhaps?

OK, so we’ll talk again next Thursday. Crisis is creeping up fast, and with Disney+, I think we’re going to have a bunch of Nerd Homework in the next few months. (I’m already knee deep in Gargoyles but we’ll talk about it soon.) Whether I keep covering the DC Shows after Crisis is still up in the air.

In The Face Of Adaptation: Watchmen

Alan Moore wrote Watchmen to be unadaptable.

This is the common wisdom and it’s probably true, since Alan Moore has notoriously hated every adaptation of his work save the Justice League Unlimited take on Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (He’s right, it’s both a fantastic episode and a great adaptation. It’s also my favorite thing he wrote, but I’ve never read Swamp Thing…)

I read Watchmen in college, as a burgeoning closeted comics geek, it was an acceptable starting point. Watchmen wasn’t a comic book, (the horror!) it was literature. 

I didn’t get it. I saw the movie. I liked that fine. But still, didn’t get it.

I read Watchmen again a few years ago, after diving headlong into comics and superhero fandom.

I got it that time.

It’s a brilliant work.

I still don’t quite get the movie.

Also, while recognizing Watchmen’s greatness and even liking the book itself, the way the comics industry learned all the wrong lessons from it continues to piss me off. Not everything needs to be Watchmen. 

Anyway, why revisit this graphic novel that I’ve always appreciated more than I actually liked? Because HBO is airing a TV show based on it obviously!

Rather than adapt that which cannot be adapted (how does one show all of time happening to Doctor Manhattan at once on film? ONE CANNOT!) Damon Lindelof has opted to further explore the deeply interesting world that Moore created.

Watchmen the show, takes place in an alternate 2019, the 2019 of the Watchmen, where a culture shaped by masked vigilantes and accelerated technology and President Robert Redford. Of course bits of our history still happened, so the world is both alien and familiar.

And I was wary. Being not crazy about Watchmen, and even more nervous at attempts to do more with it, I didn’t know what to expect going in.

It’s good. It’s damn good. It’s thoughtful and darkly funny, and opaque, and uses TV the way the novel uses comics.

Also Regina King is the shit.

Anyway, I’m curious how the whole thing ends up, but I’m super intrigued with how things are going. Now that Adrian Veidt and Laurie Blake are in the mix, I’m even more excited for how things are going to progress. Doctor Manhattan’s appearance feels imminent. Or not, an anticlimax of  that sort would be both very in the spirit of Watchmen and Lindelof’s pedigree.

We’ll see.

They Don’t Care About People Like Me

There’s a moment at the end of Joker where I literally burst into uncontrollable giggles.

I was pretty sure going in I wasn’t going to enjoy the film. I hate when movies feel the need to apologize for what it is. And Joker feels like this Batman fellow sure is ridiculous and we’re sorry we have to reference him at all in this story about a murder clown, but AH, Superhero flicks are the only thing that get greenlighted anymore even though they aren’t real cinema.

Anyway, that moment is during the riot that’s being caused by Arthur Fleck, AKA Joker’s murder of talk show host Murray played by Robert DeNiro, we zoom in on a movie marquee, and it reads simply, “Zorro: The Gay Blade.” I glanced at my friend Margarita who was sitting beside me and we both shrugged and started laughing.

Sure enough, Bruce, Thomas and Martha Wayne emerged from the theater, and are forced by the crowds into an alley. One of the rioters follows them calls them out and shoots. The pearls go flying, Bruce weeps over the bodies of his parents.

Because heaven forbid we don’t see the Wayne’s die a millionth time.

Anyway, that’s just one thing about Joker which is a messy, unfocused, derivative flick, that think it’s deeper than it is, and has some showy acting that’s cool to watch but not enough to make it sing.

Believe the hype about Joaquin Phoenix here, he’s very good. The movie isn’t but his performance is quite impressive, eerie and off putting from jump, not a version of the character I’d ever come back for more from (I prefer my Joker on the zanier side of menacing) but interesting and stunning.

Amusingly the only scenes that I found remotely interesting were the ones that involved Bruce Wayne. Due to some plot stuff that barely matters because this is a garbage movie with a script that makes no sense at all, Arthur becomes convinced that Thomas Wayne is his father. (He also might be? But Unreliable Narrators abound in this flick. And not in a fun interesting Fight Club or Gatsby way.) So he shows up to Stately Wayne Manor, and does clown tricks at a baffled Bruce by the gate. (I think I said out loud, “Why doesn’t Bruce just punch him in the face?”) Eventually Alfred comes out (he is not identified as such, but he is a middle aged British man and protecting Bruce, so you know, Alfred.) and basically tells Fleck to take a hike and also that he’s a deranged weirdo. Arthur doesn’t like that at all, so he later stalks Thomas to a gala fundraiser to watch Modern Times which you should definitely watch instead of this movie because it is excellent. When Arthur confronts him, Thomas punches him in the face, which is of course, the start of a wonderful family tradition. (I don’t know of a specific instance, but I’m sure Damian and Helena have both punched Joker in the face several times.

Anyway, in summary, movie bad, Phoenix, pretty great in it, Batman parts, ridiculously hamfisted and deeply enjoyable if you are like me, and will take your Batman content wherever it is offered. (I was also the only person on planet earth who stopped watching Gotham because, “I would like this show to focus on preteen Bruce Wayne staring into the middle distance.”)

Rankings

  1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. Rocketman
  5. Detective Pikachu
  6. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  7. Downton Abbey
  8. Joker

Trailers:

My disappointment at Birds Of Prey not being here was quite large.

The Rise Of Skywalker: That John Williams music is basically an emotional grenade for me. My God, I can’t believe how soon this is coming up.

Doctor Sleep: I swear I’m going to read and review the book soon. The movie looks excellent though, and I love Ewan.

Richard Jewell: I remember the bombings (We were in Atlanta for the games) but I don’t remember any of this. (Being 9, I didn’t really follow the story, just was glad that my family didn’t get blown up.) This looks interesting though.

 

 

 

Even In Death I’m The Hero

Kevin Feige, may his name be praised to the Nerd Heavens, So Say We All, stated that Spider-Man: Far From Home would serve more as a Coda to MCU: Phase Four, than an opening chapter to Phase 5.

That’s all well and good, and making Spider-Man, Peter Parker, as played by the relentlessly adorable Tom Holland the new centerpiece of this enterprise, is probably the best call anyone could have made. But Far From Home functions as a very good film all on it’s own. I’ve made no secret to how much I love Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was is probably the post Ultron MCU movie I’ve watched the most, and in a reconsidered ranking, the winner of a movie season that was easily my favorite since I started the experiment. Far From Home is world’s better than Homecoming. Peter’s more sure of himself in some ways and more uneasy in others, and just genuinely trying to do the right thing.

The school trip to Europe that takes Peter away from New York, is a great way to set him off kilter to begin with, and to show the impact that Tony Stark’s death has had on the world, and on Peter, who is being pressured by Nick Fury and Maria Hill to step up and be the public face of superheroes now that Tony’s gone. (Excuse me, but what’s going with Sam Wilson, or LITERAL KING T’Challa, that they can’t do it? Why does this fall on the kid?) He also kind of wants to catch his breath and tell MJ that he likes her.

Naturally none of that happens. European cities are being attacked by mysterious “Elementals” and new comer Mysterio is helping SHIELD take on the threat. Peter’s helping too, and of course, if you know how stories work, Mysterio is not what he seems.

Jake Gyllenhall’s Mysterio is the best part of this movie, especially as a kind of road not taken, since he was likely up for Spidey back in the day. (And frankly might have been better, but Maguire was great too.) He fills this fake hero actual villain with humor, charisma and perfection.

The action sequences move quickly and feel more comic-booky than anything before. See it on the big screen if you can.

Rankings:

  1. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. Rocketman
  4. Detective Pikachu

POST CREDITS:

 

The mid credit scene features Peter and MJ swinging through Manhattan (SWOON) they land in Time’s Square and a large screen projects “The Daily Bugle.com” hosted by J. Jonah Jameson. PLAYED BY JK SIMMONS. I mean, we’ve all always said that the MCU’s biggest strength is casting, and you can’t improve on perfection. Then he reveals Peter’s identity. OH NO!

 

Then there’s the post credits. Where we learn that the Fury and Hill in this movie, weren’t Fury and Hill at all but Telos and another Skrull! Fury’s been taking some time off in space. What will happen next?

Trailers:

I missed the trailers. Sorry gang!

Movie Season 2018: Whatever It Takes

Hey All! So on Friday, it all begins. Aless, Kristi and I will be kicking off Movie Season 2019 with Avengers: Endgame, and I will be navigating through what may be the most climactic and traumatic movie season of them all. (Seriously folks, I’m trying very hard to not get anxiety over several big bad endings that have grounded this blog that are coming…something new will present itself, it always does, but it’s still hard.)

Anyway! Movie season! Let’s do this!

April 26:

Avengers: Endgame

So it ends. And begins. This blog started with The Avengers, you might recall, and I’m more than a little nervous about how this is going to turn out, and who’s going to come out the other side. We’ll have more to say on Saturday, but for now, I’m braced.

May 3:

The Long Shot

I like both Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen quite a bit. I’m sure this movie will be quite charming. If it weren’t for AMC A-List I probably wouldn’t make the effort to see it in theaters.

May 10:

Detective Pikachu

I’m looking forward to this. The Pokemon designs are cute, the cast seems game, and Ryan Reynolds is a delight most of the time.

The Hustle

GIVE ANNE HATHEWAY WHATEVER SHE WANTS. What did she do to you Hollywood? Oh right, turned 30, and was honestly proud of herself for nailing “I Dreamed A Dream.”

Tolkien

Any and all excuses to pick up The Hobbit again, honestly. It’s been a few years since I read it and I have a feeling this movie will do it.

May 17

John Wick 3

Keanu being great. I actually never saw 2, but I’ll remedy that before this comes out.

May 24

Aladdin

It doesn’t look great. I probably won’t rush to see it, but I’ll get to it.

Book Smart

Boy howdy, this looks fun! Girl Superbad is a good, good thing.

May 31

Godzilla: King Of Monsters

This cast is sooo good. But Americans are verry very bad at making Godzilla movies. But on the other hand Kyle Chandler and Bradley Whitford.

Rocket Man

I’m calling my shot on this one and thinking that this is going to hold the top spot for a long long time. (Oh no no no…) It looks fantastic, (and the brown dirt cowboy) and I love Elton John.

June 7

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Sophie Turner deserves better. Jean Grey deserves better. WE deserve better. Maybe it will actually be good, but nothing looks particularly promising about this movie.

Late Night

ON THE OTHER HAND. Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling in a comedy about how women need to make themselves “likable” in the public eye? Did I dream this movie up?

June 14

Men In Black

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson were great together in Ragnorok, and Men In Black is kind of an evergreen concept. I hope it’s good, because the original Men In Black is wonderful, the second one is dog poop, and the third one is OK.

Shaft

Shut yo mouth. Three Shafts in one movie. Excellent.

The Dead Don’t Die

Zombies. Yes please.

June 21

Toy Story 4

Shut up. You’re crying.

June 28

Yesterday

What a fun idea for a movie! If you woke up one day and were the only person who remembered The Beatles! What a delight!

July 5

Spider-Man: Far From Home

The final movie in Phase 3, apparently? I would watch Tom Holland’s take on Peter Parker pretty much infinity, plus I think Zendaya is going to have a bit more to do this time. So, should be fun.

July 19

The Lion King

I am not sure I will like this movie. I will certainly like certain performances of the songs. “Hakuna Matata” is going to kick many butts, as will “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”

July 26

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

I haven’t loved a Tarantino movie since Inglorious Basterds, but I’ll be damned if I’m missing his take on the Manson Murders. It’s surely going to be tasteless, bloody and goddamned fun. And the soundtrack, y’all, think of the soundtrack.

August 2

Hobbs & Shaw

It is a miracle that the presence of The Rock, Jason Statham and Idris Elba in a movie didn’t cause some kind of collapse in the sexy time continuum, but it didn’t and this movie is gonna be fun!

New Mutants

Maisie Williams deserves better. The X-Men deserve better. We deserve better.

August 9

Artemis Fowl & Where’d You Go Bernadette

I think I have to read both of these books. I know people that absolutely love them both.

August 16

Good Boys

MORE TEEN SEX COMEDY FUN! I’m so glad Blockers did well (and was funny) and is reminding people of the potential of this genre. We’re getting two this summer.

September 6

It: Chapter 2

This time, they’re grownups. It is way less fun.

September 13

The Goldfinch

Again, I need to read this. People fricking love this book…

September  20

Downton Abbey

I get my mom to the movies once a year. I know that this year it’s going to be for this. I can’t wait. I hope Edith is OK. I hope she has a baby.

Rambo V

I didn’t know this was happening. But it makes sense, when he needed to backing for it, Sly would have just been nominated for Creed.

September 27

Judy

Judy Garland biopic. I’m here for it. Lady lead an interesting life.

October 6

Joker

I’m withholding judgement. I’m sure it will be worth talking about no matter what. It certainly looks interesting.

October 11

Zombieland: Double Tap

YYYYAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

October 18

Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil

Man, the first movie let me down so bad. I doubt this will be better, but I mean, whatever. Good for Angelina, she seems to really like being Maleficent.

The Addams Family

The designs look FAB, and Oscar Isaac voicing Gomez is some straight genius, although, he could also play the part in real life.

November 1

Terminator: Dark Fate

*Sigh* At least Linda Hamilton is back this time. But I think we need to stop trying to make more Terminator movies work.

November 8

Doctor Sleep

It’s the sequel to The Shining, which rules. I haven’t read Doctor Sleep yet, but I will by November. Plus Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance all grown up. I can dig on that.

Sonic The Hedghog

I don’t actually care about the movie, but I’m glad Ben Scwartz gets to add another “90’s Blue Cartoon Character” to his list. (He’s Dewey on Ducktales and Leonardo on Ninja Turtles.)

November 15

Charlie’s Angels

I genuinely didn’t know this was happening, but again kinda an evergreen concept that will be at least watchable.

November 22

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Tom Hanks as Mr. Rodgers. You know, for when you’re feeling sad.

Frozen 2

They gave Anna a sword. THEY GAVE ANNA A SWORD. Also, Elsa testing her powers by freezing and running up waves. I will cry.

December 20

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

I was so stunned by the trailer. I love the subtitle. I think we’re going to be happy. I hope so. I’ve missed Star Wars, I cut a lot of it out of my life in the last year, kind of on purpose, and I want it back. I want it back now.

So that’s where we’re at. It’ll move around I’m sure, and as the Oscar Movies get their dates expand a bit!

Ready For Endgame: Black Panther

What is Black Panther?

Is it a boilerplate superhero blockbuster? Is it an important film about colonialism and black diasporan identity? Is it another cog in a corporate machine designed to take our money? Is it an important moment in social discourse?

Yes.

Black Panther is all of these things, and also just a rocking good time of a movie. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been only a little bit over a year since it came out and the world exploded around it.

I’m the kind of idiot who sits around with her loved ones and identifies, “the next *fill in the blank*” depending on what we’re talking about. I like tracking where things place in history, and it’s always fun to see how people react to things. So at Christmas when I said I was pretty sure that Ryan Coogler was the next Spielberg (capable of both deeply felt personal art, like Fruitvale Station and crowd pleasing spectacle like Black Panther and Creed.) I didn’t expect everyone to agree with me.

Black Panther cemented Coogler as a blockbuster guy. (Creed cleared the brush away.) and it also made Michael B. Jordan into a certified movie star, reminded people that Angela Basset should be Queen Of Us All, let Lupita N’Yongo and Danai Guirara do their thing and intro’d us all to Laetitia Wright.

And that’s before we even talk about the way Chadwick Boseman’s poised and coiled T’Challa holds all these moving parts in place around him. Black Panther is a masterful example of the superhero medium, and the fact that people don’t talk more about what Boseman does in this movie is criminal. It’s a calm collected and altogether wonderful performance, than grounds the whole enterprise emotionally.

There’s of course a million angles to take when talking about Black Panther because there is a lot going on here. That’s part of why it resonated so hard, and got nominated for Best Picture. (The first superhero movie to do so! SUCK IT THE DARK KNIGHT! Incidentally, I don’t know why I feel the need to tear down the The Dark Night over and over again in this series of posts, it’s a great movie, that I like a lot.)

Black Panther 2 is coming and I’m deeply looking forward to it. I think there’s also a Dora Milaje film in the works. That could be very cool. But the way that this film connected with audiences was so special, and I was so grateful to be a part of it.

Next week, we talk about Avengers: Infinity War, and likely detail all of the reasons that I am not OK even a year later.

What’s The Sitch?: Kim Possible 2019 D-COM

It’s been just over three years since I rewatched Kim Possible, the seminal (to me at least!) Disney Channel cartoon about a teenage superhero, her friends, and their beloved Naked Mole Rat pal. Kim meant a lot to me as a teenager, and I came to really love what the show did as I rewatched it, and I was super eager to see how Disney Channel brought her into a new generation with this movie.

KP Movie

The movie was delightful. It executed Kim perfectly. She’s here in all her butt kicking, overly confident, but insecure when it counts, good friend, heart stopping glory. We also get fun takes on Shego and Drakken, and a slightly minimized roles for Ron and Wade at the expense of a new character.

Kim’s been working as a superhero for a few years as she prepares to start her first year of high school. The opening mission is Kim and Ron rescuing a kidnapped scientist from Proffesor Dementor. (Patton Oswalt! He voiced Dementor as well. This sparked joy!) It’s followed up by Kim running for the bus, after her mom, played by Alyson Hannigan! talks to her about high school. Kim’s got it on lock, though because OF COURSE SHE DOES.

She doesn’t. Barkin rearranged the school, Bonnie informs her that cheer squad isn’t the cool thing anymore, and no one knows her from her adventures.

Not Baddical, y’all, not baddical at all.

Shego breaks Drakken out of prison and he decides he’s going to enact a plan to destroy Kim.

Meanwhile, Kim and Ron meet and befriend a hapless new girl named Athena, and takie her to Bueno Nacho, and then on a mission. (I should note that this was around when I realized we were pretty deep into things and hadn’t met Rufus and I started to get pissed. (He showed up like two scenes later. And it was perfect.)

The mission, which involves Shego taking an energy source from a a museum, goes well, because Athena is a great fighter. Kim gets insecure, Athena becomes a big deal, turns out Athena is a robot programmed to make Kim insecure and steal her essence?

(This plan was an episode, btw. But it’s a good rough outline, so I’ll allow it.)

In the end, Kim learns to be a better friend, Athena joins the team, and Drakken is shrunk down to a middle schooler and enrolls at Middleton, setting us up for a sequel.

Boo-Ya’s And Nacos

  • I really really enjoyed the cast, Sadie Stanley and Sean Giambrone bring Kim and Ron to life with such joy and precision. Giambrone doesn’t get quite enough to do, and while de-aged Drakken is a decent set up for a part 2, I think a stronger choice would be Monkey Fist, which would give Ron a solid B story. Taylor Ortega was also great as Shego, and the rest of the cast followed suit.
  • Christy Carlson-Romano played a pop star who owed Kim a favor and gave her a lift to the mission, Nancy Cartwright stayed on as Rufus. Will Friedle was not to be found. (Yet another reason for Monkey Fist…just sayin.)
  • Nana Possible, Bonnie, Barkin, The Dr’s P, and the Tweebs all made appearances. And Drakken name drops Duff Killigen and Senor Senior Senior. The lack of Monique, Brick and Josh Mankey is a bummer, but understandable given the time constraints.
  • One of the big things I took away from the movie is how tight a concept Kim Possible is and how charming the best DCOMs are. The good ones always had oodles of charm, usually centered around their humor and strong casting.
  • In conclusion, the movie was good, but there was something very important missing:

Monkey Fist.gif

60 Books In 2018 #3: Crisis On Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

OK so, I picked this up so that I would have a basis of comparison for when the Arrowverse version coming next fall.

Also, just because as I get back into superheroes (not that I was ever not into them, but you know what I mean!) and back into reading superhero comics this seemed a good place to start. (Seriously, last year the only superhero book I read was Grayson.) Like all it’s later immitators, Crisis On Infinite Earths is both wonderful and befuddling, and delightful and dull, all at once.

Wolfman’s story meant to forever simplify the DC Universe by streamlining it’s many alternate worlds into one, but only served to show the company that big crossovers will sell books and also that killing a Flash from time to time is to be expected, is given a huge leg up but Perez’s art. Seriously, I’m not even big into that era of comic book art, (I came to comics post Image and the glossy style of Jim Lee & Co really shaped my taste.) but Perez just so so good.

The story, though, well, let’s talk about that. The Monitor and Anti-Monitor are battling for the universe, and The Monitor calls the greatest heroes from across the multiverse to his side. Two Supermen, Supergirl, The Flash, Captain Marvel and many others, join in the battle, which in the end destroys worlds, and everyone forgets and the DC Universe spins on, but simpler, until it isn’t.

What Crisis really represents is a the last gasp of a certain time in comics. It was published in 1985, just before the earth shaking forces of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns changed everything. Crisis was trying to simplify a status quo that was about to be obliterated anyway, but on it’s own, it’s a fun exciting superhero story.

When it comes to The Arrowverse, my guess is that it’s going to end with Kara Zor-El’s world merging with those of Barry Allen and Oliver Queen.

But by this time next year, we’ll know.

Up next is The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker. I’ve joined the book club at my library and this is the book this month, so I’ve gotta get it read.