A Time of Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of my blog friends have been listing some sort of “favorite Thanksgiving episodes” of things and I was going to do the same and then I realized that there was absolutely nothing like the greatest Thanksgiving episode of anything ever.

The West Wing “Shibboleth”

This is the best, best, best, Thanksgiving episode of anything ever, and is in the top 2 of my favorite West Wing episodes. (And Surely It’s To Their Credit is #1) It’s full of moments of greatness. Some worth mentioning:

  • Sam trying to convince Toby that they should procrastinate on writing the President’s Thanksgiving Proclamation by writing an action adventure series about Pilgrim Detectives. “With the big hats.”
  • C.J. and The Turkeys. This whole subplot. It’s pure Sorkin Greatness
CJ and Turkeys

CJ and Turkeys

  • The President gives Charlie the carving knife that Paul Revere made for the Bartlett family. Because Charlie is his son. It’s time to cry.
  • “I’m going to begin the singing and lute playing!” “Whatever.”
  • “We’ve been working really hard and we’d rather watch football than listen to a lecture about the yam in Latin.”
  • “Oh the President could give a damn what you guys are doing tomorrow Toby!”
  • “Did my sister put you up to this?” “No” “I’m shocked.” “It was my idea.” “I’m less shocked.”
  • Donna being completely baffled that CJ doesn’t know all of the Thanksgiving Traditions so CJ just starts shouting all of her various academic achievements
  • “We do not strut ever!” Leo’s speech to his sister is one of his absolute best and possibly the best that isn’t to the President himself.
  • Oh right, all of this happens as everyone is trying to figure out how to keep a bunch of Chinese refugees from being sent back to China, in a nice little parallel to the first Thanksgiving.

This episode was followed up by the equally delightful but not quite as high quality Indians in The Lobby, which does have the subplot of The President calling the butterball hotline while pretending to be a regular Joe from Fargo, North Dakota and shouting, “J’accuse ma petite fromage,” at the first lady, but it’s just not as strong an episode all around.

And there are no turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Are You, Are You Coming To The Tree?

Mockingjay

I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out how to talk about Mockingjay: Part 1, which I saw with my dad on Sunday afternoon.  Basically the word that we took away from it is “intense,” this was an intense movie.

Most of this review is filtered through the fact that I have read the books, so if you haven’t

It wasn’t intense from an action perspective. Most of the action in Mockingjay takes place in it’s second half. No, Mockingjay Part 1 is an emotionally intense movie, that follows Katniss Everdeen as she tries to recover from the events of Catching Fire, the destruction of her home, the abandonment of her lover, and well, just all of her trauma.

She does not do well at this, and Peeta is being tortured, something that only Katniss and Haymitch seem to be able to perceive. (I will NEVER get over Gale calling Peeta a coward, regardless of Liam’s beautiful Hemsworth face. I just can’t do it!)

Look, there’s a lot of things about The Hunger Games that I have trouble expressing, but generally, I really like these movies. I tend to get overwhelmed by all of the J-Law love but Jennifer Lawrence does exceptional work in these movies and this one especially she does amazing things.

Elizabeth Banks has never been better than she is as Effie here, her whole “political refugee” schtick is really endearing, Woody Harrelson continues to play a role he was born for and Julianne Moore as President Coin is spectacular and Donald Southerland continues to be a welcome creepy and wonderful presence as President Snow.

Natalie Dormer is now in these movies as Cressida and if I haven’t mentioned it I LOVE HER! Also Elden Henson is Pollux. FULTON! FULTON REED! In The Hunger Games. Before he is in Daredevil.

Sorry, fangirl moment over.

There’s a lot of poignancy given to Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch and some of it is probably projected because of he shot these scenes so soon before his death, but there is a reason why this man was the best.

Overall, it’s hard to critique this movie since it’s only half of a movie, but it was a very enjoyable half of a movie, and I really enjoyed that half and the bravery of making a movie this claustrophobic in a series that’s always been praised for it’s larger world building.

I also have had that damn song in my head for days!

Rankings!

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. Mockingjay: Part 1
  4. Interstellar
  5. Godzilla
  6. Chef
  7. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  8. The 100 Foot Journey
  9. The Judge
  10. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  11. Lucy
  12. The Boxtrolls
  13. Jersey Boys
  14. Maleficent
  15. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Trailers:

Pitch Perfect 2: My God the squees! Just a large intake of breath, from every teenage girl in the room. This made me smile and feel warm inside.

The Interview: “That actually looks pretty funny.” – A Ringing Endorsement from Dad

Kids Who Die, by Langston Hughes

Reenie:

Yeah, let’s all be as eloquent as Langston Hughes on this one.

Originally posted on Infinitefreetime.com:

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers

View original 177 more words

Batman Eternal  30-33

IMG_0601

Hey guys! There was less plot in these issues, and absolutely no scenes where the Bat-kids flirted with each other.

Which, is pretty lame. I’ve come to expect at least one issue of Batkid flirting. There wasn’t even Harper and Tim!

Weak Sauce.

There was a lot of cool action though.

So The Spectre and Batwing managed to stop Deacon Blackfire from rising, which is good? I guess. But Arkham still blew up, because you know, Arkham Manor is a thing that’s very important to End Game.

You know how on Scandal, in the early seasons, Olivia and Cyrus used to say, “All roads lead to Fitz,” when they had to give up something important to them in order to help Fitz? I feel like that’s what all of the Batbooks are doing with End Game these days. All roads lead to End Game. Except maybe Grayson, I’m still not sure where that’s going. Except hopefully, away. (As long as we get Nightwing back when it goes away.)

Anyway, Alfred and Bane fight their way out of the Arkham rubble together, which is ten kinds of bad ass. Stephanie almost gets herself killed by Hush, but Batman stops him, and then he saves Batwing.

Also, Hush gets access to all of Batman’s weapons caches and blows one of them up and then winds up face to face with Julia.

This month really belonged to the covers which were except for 30 by Rafael Albuquerque, and completely gorgeous. They look like oil paintings and made me very happy.

My Felicity Problem

Last night on Arrow, Felicity Smoak kissed Ray Palmer.

90s Sitcom Laugh Track: WOOOOO!!!!

90s Sitcom Laugh Track: WOOOOO!!!!

As played by Superman.

Sorry, Brandon Routh is doing a really good job with that character, it’s just really hard to not see, you know, Superman, when watching the guy who played Superman on a superhero TV show.

UGH.

Anyway, today over on The AV Club, they have a piece about how Felicity needs to rise above her role of simply being Oliver’s tech support, and that such characters (pretty girl hackers) should maybeee not be quite so overused.

This is a fair point, but deputizing Willow into your argument is not a great idea, since Willow’s arc is amazing. Off topic, time to focus.

I’m noticing another disturbing pattern when it comes to Felicity.

Barry Allen

Oliver Queen

Ray Palmer

Felicity is becoming a superhero groupie and that’s a really bad look for a character that I really, really, like. And it annoys me because it’s something that we’ve seen before.

Oh hey Lois. What's up?

Oh hey Lois. What’s up?

Smallville did some really cool and interesting stuff with Lois Lane. She was a breath of fresh air when she came in at the top of season 4 (5? Whatever, somewhere in the middle), linked her to the cast by making her Chloe’s cousin and developed a really fun bantering relationship with Clark during the height of the Clark/Lana “good relationship” stuff. And the Clark/Lana break up stuff. And the Lana/Lex awesome stuff. And sad Clark because of Lana/Lex. She and Chloe were often off doing their own thing that was waaaayyyy more interesting than the main action.

She also hooked up with Aquaman and Green Arrow during that time. And I get it, to an extent. Lois had to end up with Clark. Regardless of how it happened, in the end, they had to be together. It was one of the few cases of their inevitability working well. So having her mark time with other Superheroes, specifically Oliver Queen (never more of a cut rate Bruce Wayne than he was here) who was working so closely with Clark, was a good way to do that without losing her to side plots.

Oh HEY Smallville Green Arrow. (Not pertinent, just nice to look at occasionally)

Oh HEY Smallville Green Arrow. (Not pertinent, just nice to look at occasionally)

But it also seemed kind of weird and unnecessary.

I liked the Oliver/Lois relationship and I’m already on board for Felicity/Ray, (even if it means the death of Felicity/Barry! WHHHYYYY????) but it represents an overall pattern of not knowing what to do with female characters besides pair them up! I like pairing people up and I do it all the time. But also, it doesn’t need to happen. I refer, as ever, to my beloved Revenge.

Emily has relationships. She has guys, but this season, she’s not with anyone. The romance ship has long ago sunk with Jack (thank God) and Daniel is a moron, and her fiancé Aidan is dead. So no romance for Emily and it’s not distracting because she’s doing other things. If Felicity was running Queen Consolidated (now Palmer Technologies) and working in that world, and not having a guy thing happening, she’d still probably be compelling and fun.

That said, we saw Brandon Routh shirtless last night. And it was nice.

Thanks CW, never change.

Sailor Moon Check In: What EXACTLY is happening here?

Oh, hey guys. It’s Sailor Moon Crystal week so it’s time to check in on what’s going on with my head and these characters. Hooray!

Sailor Moon

Manga

Gah! NO, still not Manga. Leave me alone already, self.

Original Anime

I’m going to miss this arc when it’s gone. It’s so silly. Ail and An are so vain and petty and stupid, but not like totally incompetent like someone I could name. (Kunzite.) Mamoru and Usagi babysat a kid while his mom was in a coma and we got to see that Mamoru is like, a super good dad. (Which of course will come to be important very soon, I’m guessing.) And of course there’s a weird run about Makoto’s boobs and being cast in Snow White. Made me uncomfortable. Also, Rei wants to be a pop star? Which, I mean, I thought that was Minako? And speaking of Minako…

Crystal

Ugh, what is with her here? She knows everything but isn’t telling anyone anything. Luckily that’s all dispensed with because Queen Serenity finally explained it to them when they all went to the Moon. (How cool was it when they went to the moon?) Of course, now we have brainwashed Mamoru to deal with. At least here it will probably only last an episode or two not like a million years like in the original. Oh, right, and The Four Kings of Heaven and The Inner Senshi were in love.

Because Shipping.

Yay!

In a less sarcastic way? This doesn’t mean too much to me, but I do love the image of the four and four staring at one another across a field in a memory of a past life. Here’s a question…why back in Silver Millenium did Serenity get a pretty dress and the Senshi still dress like Sailors? That seems, incongruous?

Other Stuff

No other stuff to report, really. Considering a Princess Serenity cosplay, since I actually have a dress that might work for it. But I’d have to buy the wig and make props. So, maybe not. Also, I’m considering illegally watching the original dub. I’m curious to see just how awful it is. (I’ve heard nothing but terrible things and I’m honestly super curious…) That’s going to depend on how much time I have going into the holidays!

It’s Happening!: A Gotham Check In

Gotham Logo

So, Gotham still isn’t what it could be, what with it’s perfect cast and interesting atmosphere and all, but it’s certainly gone from “confusing and terrible,” to “watchable and often quite good.” Gordon and Bullock have settled in as partners. The gang war almost happened and it was pretty glorious. We met Tommy Elliot and saw him recontextualized from a kid who was friendly with but always jealous of Bruce, to Bruce’s childhood bully.

But that’s not what I’m talking about at all.

That’s not what’s happening.

I mean, those things are happening, certainly, but what I’m talking about is last night’s episode “Harvey Dent.”

We met it’s title character and he’s smarmy, young, confident and good looking and full of rage and kind of perfect, but it’s nothing to the image of Selina balancing a Ming Vase in her hand while Bruce awkwardly introduces himself to her and she notes that he can get a replica in Chinatown for 5 bucks.

THIS MOMENT WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE!!!!!

And as the episode moves forward he continues to be awkward and she continues to try to be a badass and it’s perfect and awesome. There are puppy eyes and accidentally hurt feelings and OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! THEY ARE GOING TO FALL IN LOVE AND HAVE A BABY SOME DAY!

Selina lies about her family and they both know she’s lying. She offers to kiss him. He is unbearably awkward about it.

They have their first chase, throwing pastries at one another.

I repeat THE FIRST TIME BRUCE WAYNE CHASES SELINA KYLE IT’S AROUND HIS LIVING ROOM AS THEY THROW PASTRIES AT EACH OTHER! Knowing their destiny (some version of it anyway) just makes this whole thing all the more adorable.

Camron Bicandova and David Mazouz sell it pretty well, and I was disappointed to miss this one live, although my tweet stream would have been along the OMG OMG OMG SQUEEEE lines.

It’s happening people.

To use the language of my people: I ship it.

But to be more specific, a few months ago, Crystan, Aless and I talked about how fangirls should run TV. I’m entirely convinced that Gotham is pulled 90% from Batman fanfic, because I mean, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle chased each other around Wayne Manor throwing pastries.

I cannot stress enough that this is a thing that happened in a canon version of a Batman story.

It’s a wonderful time to be alive people.