“I have memories, and then I don’t.” The Judge Steadies Us

The Judge

I went to go see The Judge on Friday night. I was looking forward to this movie in a big way and almost talked myself out of going a couple of times. (I wound up committing myself in a not so small way…but forget that at the moment.)

This is a well written movie about fathers, sons, brothers and the law, kind of? This is a terrifically acted movie by three very different masters of the craft.

There’s almost no link between the captivating screen presences of Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr. and Vincent D’Onofrio.

Duvall is one of those great 70’s leading men from the time in movies that is talked about in film critic and buff circles in hushed tones. He creates nuanced and beautiful and full characters. He inhabits them and gives them dignity and gravitas.

RDJ is, well, he’s RDJ, he’s one of those movie stars who has ceased to be a star. He is a movie supernova. He’s living the biggest second act in the history of Hollywood. Someday, I’d like to go to heaven and seen RDJ walked up to F. Scott Fitzgerald and say, “No second acts? NO SECOND ACTS! Screw you, Scott, screw you hard!” Can’t we all hear that it his voice can’t we see him, with a mineral water, and a stunned foppish Fitzgerald, with a martini. Ugh, it’s going to be beautiful.

I was discussing D’Onfrio with a family friend on Saturday and we couldn’t even find words. He’s so absurdly talented and in this role his quiet intensity makes the schlubby older brother/eternal good son role, that could have been really cliché and made it something special.

The story of the The Judge isn’t new or special, middle son of the Palmer clan Hank (Downey) comes home after the death of his mother. His stern judge father James (Duvall), and his brothers one of whom is mentally handicapped don’t exactly welcome him, and as his days at home drag on, his wrecked marriage gets pulled out of the shadows. The real story begins when James is accused of killing a released murderer in a hit and run and Hank takes on the challenge of Jame’s case.

The movie meanders down several paths it doesn’t need to, resulting in it being about 20 minutes too long, but it’s three lead performances and some really beautifully crafted scenes more than make up for that. It’s a good movie, bolstered from mediocre by some really transcendent performances.

Also, while I had a nice experience, maybe don’t go to see it on a first date. I was way more “intense and philosophical” and dinner afterwards, rather than, “sparkling and witty” which is obviously how I want someone I’m dating to see me at least at first. (I must have not been terribly bad, because we’re going out again YAY! But oof…yeah…)

RANKINGS!

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

Trailers:

I didn’t know much about Big Eyes, but I’m psyched to see Tim Burton take on something more reality based again. Big Fish is my favorite work of his and this looks similar.

I actually don’t remember any of the other trailers, except Into The Woods, again, and sadly, I did get a weird look from my date for singing along, especially since there’s no singing in the trailer. But when you whisper, “more than moon,” under your breath with someone you just met…look, I’m just saying I have a good feeling!

Sailor Moon Check In: That’s What I’m Talking About

So Sunday morning I decide to get all caught up on my Sailor Moon. I did so begrudgingly and mostly because I couldn’t find my remote to go into my DVR and watch Doctor Who. (I did find it. I did eventually watch Doctor Who…) and well, I have some crow to eat.

Not Phobos and Deimos, but still, crow.

Sailor Moon

Manga

Still no. I’ve been reading a lot of Neil Gaiman, sooo, yeah. Not so much with the Sailor Moon short story collection.

Anime

GUYS! Remember that plot development that I wanted? Did I ever get it. The 4 episodes that I had to watch this weekend were the wrap up of all of this Legendary Silver Crystal nonsense, which involved Sailor Moon fully becoming Princess Serenity after the rest of the Senshi and Tuxedo Mask are killed by a giant tentacle monster. So, yeah, that happens. But powered by the love and memory of her friends, Princess Serenity defeats Queen Beryl and resets the timeline, so that they can all live nice normal lives, with no memories of each other. If this had been the end of Sailor Moon altogether, it would have been lovely and bittersweet, but of course it wasn’t. Quite quickly, in the episodes I watched last night, Usagi caught on to the fact that the new bad guys are around and that she has to stop them and became Sailor Moon again. She decides to spare her friends, which leads to several very funny interactions, including accosting Mamoru on the street. Then they have to awaken the others because without the Senshi or her Moonstick, there’s not a lot she can do. So this is going to be fun.

Crystal

GUYS! Minako! So badass. So NOT THE MOON PRINCESS! But frankly, this episode of Crystal had some really great stuff. Minako, who is now Sailor Venus, and pretending to be the Moon Princess to trick the Dark Kingdom away from Usagi, shows up and tries to do things on her own. The other four are kind of not having it and show up to help her anyway. Meanwhile Momaru is very conflicted because he loves Usagi like so much, you guys, you don’t even know, and he can’t protect her, and also turns out his destiny is to be with this other girl? Of course during the big fight they takes hits for each other and in a fun bit of genre based gender subversion, Usagi tells Mamoru that this is too dangerous and kisses him and sends him packing.

It’s a really great moment and once again I can’t stress enough how great it is that being in love is part of what gives Sailor Moon her strength. It’s so great. I can’t even deal with how much I loved this scene. So, so, so, so, so great!

So that’s our Sailor Moon check in! Hooray!

Time To Say Goodbye

Blood of Olympus

The thing about Blood of Olympus, 

No, the thing about Percy Jackson,

NO wait, the thing about Jason Grace

That’s not right either, the thing about Annabeth Chase,

The thing about Leo Valdez, Hazel Leveseque, Piper McLean, Frank Zhang,

The thing about Nico DiAngelo…

Is that they’re all my favorite character.

I can pick a favorite Harry Potter character, easy. That’s McGonnigal. I can pick a favorite Superhero, Batman on the DC side, Captain America on the Marvel. I can pick a favorite Disney Princess, it’s Cinderella. A favorite Sailor Scout, it’s Mars. But I can’t pick a favorite demi god.

Because that would mean choosing between Percy and Jason as to who bears the burden of being a leader better, choosing whether Annabeth or Piper can execute a side mission best. Whether Nico or Leo handles their crushing sadness and loneliness better. And I can’t make that choice.

I took longer than I should to finish Blood of Olympus, partially because of Comic Con catch up and partially because I really didn’t want this series to end. I knew that there would be death, and I didn’t want to see any of my favorite characters die.

No one died.

Well, Leo died, but he got better.

Here are things that did happen.

Percy and Annabeth made out on top of the Acropolis in Athens, but they also got cut so they woke up Gaea.

Jason decided to build shrines to every god at both Camp Half Blood and Camp Jupiter (this way he maintains his Roman roots and still be with Piper.)

Piper charm spoke Gaea back to sleep. Which is the coolest and most badass thing in the entire world.

Leo called Percy “Aquaman.”

Leo came back to life because Piper and Jason believed in him, and he flew Festus to rescue Calypso and they ran away together AND THAT WAS THE END OF THE WHOLE BOOK AND IT WAS PERFECT.

But the best was when Nico realized that he and Will Sollace are perfect for each other and then he came out to Percy and Annabeth and Percy was super confused and Annabeth gave him a high five. It was such a great way to do that moment.

Reflecting on this series is weird for me. I really love it, and it’s been such a huge part of my fandom vocab, that I’m not really sure where to go next. I mean, this world is clearly not going anywhere. Announced on the last page of The Blood Of Olympus is the new series, which is going to be about Norse Mythology.

Which is cool, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I mean, if you like adaptations of those stories…that take place in a modern setting.

For like a comic book.

Or a movie.

Or an epic amazing novel.

I mean, like, if you’re into Thor, or Loki, or American Gods, you might like a story about Annabeth’s cousin Magnus and his relationship to the gods of Asgard.

Maybe.

OMGOMGOMG ISTHISREALLLYHAPPENING? WHATSGOINGON?

Quick Note: You’ll notice no more comics write ups. I realized that it was putting me on too strict a reading schedule and keeping me on a sort of “comics only” path. I like reading comics. I like it a lot. But it can’t be the only thing I read. So I’m cutting back on a lot of monthly books and waiting for trades, I’m reading when I get to it and feel like, rather than every week as soon as I pick up. Rather than speeding through my comics this weekend, I finished Blood of Olympus, and finally finished Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys and started (and got mostly through) Neverwhere. After all it’s October, no better time for reading Neil Gaiman. Also Jim Gaffigan has a new book coming out, there’s a new Veronica Mars book coming out and I watch too much TV. My reading time has to be split. It’s just the way it goes. When something really clicks, I’m still going to write about it. It’s just going to be a little bit more loose, giving myself more space.

 

The Basic Geek Girl

Earlier in the week I posted an article about the term “basic bitch” and how it’s use is casually misogynistic. And it got me thinking about niche “basic” girls, specifically, what does the “Basic Geek Girl” look like? I think I’ve nailed her (and I might share several characteristics with her)

  • She loves the MCU. It was probably one of her big nerd gateways. She’ll more than likely will tell you that Loki is her favorite character and definitely ships Black Widow/Hawkeye. She is obsessed with figuring out exactly what happened in Budapest.
  • She’s a Whovian, but probably only Nu Who. 10 is her Doctor, but she cosplays as Amy Pond.
  • If you bring up Sherlock, she will declare that she is a Cumberbitch.
  • She loved Twilight. She will deny it. But she definitely did.
  •  She went bonkers of over Batgirl #35
  • She owns at least one piece of jewelry with The Deathly Hollows on it, and may have “I solemnly swear I am up to no good,” tatooed on her someplace.
  • She loves Donald Glover. She probably has Childish Gambino stuff on her phone, even though she doesn’t really listen to rap.
  • She’s on Tumblr
  • If she goes to conventions, she always carves out time for the Women of Marvel panel
  • Christian Bale is her Batman
  • She owns at least one “Keep Calm” tee shirt.
  • She lives and dies by her ships. LIVES AND DIES.
  • She watched Firefly, maybe Buffy, probably not Angel or Dollhouse.
  • She plays Wii, and definitely played games as a kid, but probably didn’t keep up on hardcore gaming.
  • She has a crush on Chris Hardwick. And Chris Hemsworth. And Chris Evans. And Chris Pratt. LOOK if his name is Chris and he’s prominent in geek culture, she likes him.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell made her cry and she’ll tell you all about it.
  • She’ll tell you all about her house, be it at Hogwarts or in Westeros.
  • Her pets are named after book characters
  • She owns many books. She’s read most of them. Some of them were gifts or bought aspirationally.
  • She identifies deeply with Jessica Day, Liz Lemmon and Leslie Knope.
  • Her bookmarks include, Cracked & The Mary Sue
  • She probably had a crush on Jon Stewart at some point in her life.
  • Don’t bring up Neil Gaiman around her. Trust me.
  • She went through a “goth” phase that mostly consisted of wearing black eyeliner and watching Tim Burton movies.

So those are the characteristics that I landed on. I’ve met these girls. I am these girls in a lot of ways. But if you run in geeky circles you know exactly what I’m talking about. What are some other ones that you can think of?

Wonder Woman

If you thought that I’d let this pass y’all haven’t been paying attention.

In 2017 we’re getting a Wonder Woman solo movie.

This is happening people. This is real.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

Look at her all badass and ready to take over the world!

Look at her all badass and ready to take over the world!

No more excuses, no more, “she’s too complicated,” no more…well, OK, we don’t know much about it, really.  But we do know that some time in 2017, we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie.

Wanna bet within a few weeks we find out where Black Widow and Captain Marvel fit into the 10 year plan? Wonder Woman is a huge move in the studio verse studio arms race. I’m looking forward to see how things go from here.

This one is a big Girl Power win. A BIG one.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: New TV Season Edition

Hey All! I was going to write about The Flash, but then, too much wine. So um, instead we’re doing a things I’m obsessed with, which I am perfectly capable of writing after having had a tad too much to drink.

  1. The Flash. It’s everything I wanted it to be and more. Fun, funny, action packed, referency to the comics without being beholden to the comics. Features both Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanaugh beautifully.
  2. Selfie. So much cuter than it has any right to be, but I’m not sure I can possibly explain how much I adore watching Karen Gillan and John Cho navigate various social difficulties together. Also, as Karen Gillan is literally the master of platonic flirting it’s giving the show the best possible vibe.
  3. Parenthood’s final season. Amber is pregnant! Zeke is probably dying! Crosby crashes his motorcycle. Max has a crush on a girl! Hattie is a lesbian! Hank’s ex wife doesn’t want their daughter around Sarah! Julia is sleeping with some dude while Joel continues to be a perfect example of everything a human being should be! Sydney is girl bullying, which frankly, anyone who watches the show could have seen coming, but Joel and Julie seem to think is “out of character” because they did not previously spot that their daughter is a nightmare! I CRY EVERY EPISODE!
  4. Trying to justify continuing to watch Gotham, which as someone who watched Smallville until season 8, means that I will watch it forever.
  5. Kelly Sue DeConnick. She has nothing to do with the new TV season, I just love her a lot. I want to be her. CAROL CORPS FOREVER!
  6. Crazy Mellie on Scandal, I still haven’t watched last week’s ep, but I loved her wandering around the white house in her jammies eating cereal out of the box.
  7. Mary and Joe are hooked on Scandal! Hooray! More people to talk about how bonkers great the show is.
  8. Black-ish. I like black centered sit coms, I kind of always have. Seriously, I watched The Hughleys religiously. I’m not saying that Black-ish is like The Hughleys, it’s a million times better, I’m just saying that, I don’t know, this one got away from me. I guess I like comedies written with the voice of a strong African American Father Figure. (See also, The Cosby Show Everybody Hates Chris) How can I phrase this without sounding like I’m being racist? I bet Neal Brennan could do it. (I’m not as funny or smart as Neal Brennan)
  9. Emily failing spectacularly at being a vigilante justice seeker as her new identity on Revenge. Really, she’s bad at it.
  10. Romantic Comedy pilots going out the butt. Some of them are stinkers, and others are Selfie and Marry Me.
  11. Once Upon A Time, I’m AGAIN a week behind, but I love what they’ve done with this season so far.
  12. Figuring out Mulaney. Do I like it? Do I just like John Mulaney and Martin Short? Is it good? What is good when applied to a 3 camera sitcom these days? I laugh at least twice an episode so I guess that counts as “good.”
  13. That it’s new TV season! I can’t help it I really, really like television. I like it a lot more than is probably healthy and so I’m always, always happy when it comes back.

And that’s where we are now.

Sailor Moon Check In: Mamo-Chan & Usako

Hey all! I missed the check in last week due to Comic Con.

So I’m trying to catch up. I can’t even remember if I’m up to date on the anime. Seriously, I do not remember if I watched last week’s episodes. I think I may have. But anyway…

MAKE UP!

MAKE UP!

Manga

I need to buy the short stories. And after this weekend I will. Seriously. I was giggly over a lot of it.

Crystal

USAKO AND MAMO-CHAN! They said each other’s nick names for the first time and it was glorious. Also she slept over for the first time (but really not the last, right?) So there’s that. It was a really lovely episode and while I would have liked to have seen more of Sailor Venus, when she showed up at the end it was such a cool reveal and also, I was thrilled to see a whole episode about Usagi and Mamoru’s love for one another. And that that love gave them the power to defeat their enemies. Because, and I can’t say this enough, this is one of the best things about Sailor Moon as a narrative. Feelings particularly good lovey happy ones are powerful in this story and that’s such a wonderful and refreshing thing. It’s not rage or grief or vengeance that powers the senshi, it’s love and joy and friendship and moon sparkles.

Original Anime

Like I said, I don’t even know with this anymore. I’m so bored by the recent run of episodes. I need it to pick up plot wise. Blah blah blah rainbow crystals. Blah bloh blah Brainwashed Endymion/Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru. Kunzite still can’t figure out that USAGI IS OBVIOUSLY SAILOR MOON. I’ll keep watching because I want to see everything, but I’m really behind on my DVR because of Con, and I just can’t bring myself to skip getting caught up on Parenthood to watch Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask stare at each other in incomprehension for an hour. I’m just not going to do. GIVE ME SOME PLOT DEVELOPMENT!

Other

Whoo, baby, am I glad that I decided not to cosplay Sailor Mars this weekend. I saw plenty of truly incredible Sailor Moon cosplay and mine would have looked pretty sad, my friends. I also bought Babs Tarr’s amazing print of the punk rock, biker sailor senshi. I also bought an adorable tee shirt with the girls all around Batman. Because even though I have a rule that I’m not allowed to buy anymore Batman tee shirts, this one was so cute, I couldn’t help myself. However, I now own more tee shirts featuring Batman than there are days in the week. So, that’s fun. I did almost buy a tiny figure of Rei, but she didn’t have a price, and the others were around $50, so I passed. But I did require a lot of reigning in. I wanted to buy all of the Sailor Moon stuff that I saw.