Marvel & Margaritas

One of my quarantine goals is to perfect the cocktails that I love, since I can’t go out and get them. (Total Wine having pre order is helping me in this goal.) I haven’t attempted my beloved Vodka Martinis with a twist yet, because I inevitably put too much vermouth in them, but I did get The Lemon Drop down, and on Monday, I decided to try a classic margarita. I usually just buy mix, but this time, I made it for real, ordering some tequila and tripel sec, and squeezing limes.

The drink came out well, and I was happy, but as I mixed it, I had a memory and decided to watch Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. For one thing, if I hadn’t already decided I wasn’t going to do Movie Season this year, I think COVID-19 had declared it so. (Black Widow isn’t opening on time, and that would have been the kick off) But back in the old days, before we got grown up jobs and apartments, Aless and I used to meet at Lucy’s, a terrifically mediocre and outrageously overprived Mexican restaurant on 34th Street before seeing movies. We would drink margaritas and eat tortas and nachos and put up with the indifferent service from cute waitresses in Hawaiian shirts.

Our movie going strategy switched when one time we couldn’t get decent seats at the 34th street theater so went for Lincoln Square instead. We went to PJ Clarke’s pre show and had a lovely time, and a few weeks later went back, and the bartenders remembered our names, orders and that we’d been going to the movies the last time.

Four years of Lucy’s and that had never happened, so we changed it up. It was more convenient as a meeting spot, and the food and service were better. But there’s still something about a classic, from the shaker margarita that makes me want to watch superheros. Then eat pancakes, we would go for margaritas, see the movie and then adjourn to the Tick Tock diner, also overpriced and mediocre YAY MIDTOWN, to discuss the movies. Important discussion were had there, like, “Is Cap a virgin?” and “Was Ryan Reynolds bred in a lab to play Deadpool?” and “Do we think Anna Faris would be a good Captain Marvel, because I kinda ship her and Star Lord?” (That last one hasn’t aged well.)

So I decided to watch those last two Avengers movies on Monday while I tried to make myself a margarita. The drink came out ok, the movies remain great. I also read Bob Iger’s auto biography The Ride Of A Lifetime this weekend, so I was in a Disney acquisition headspace. He’s really proud of The MCU, although that book is way less braggy and than it could be, and way more thoughtful than I expected. (He’s more fair to George Lucas than I would have been, “MOTHER FUCKER I GAVE YOU 5 BILLION DOLLARS AND APPOINTED YOUR ANOINTED SUCCESSOR AND YOU COMPARE IT TO SELLING YOUR CHILD INTO SLAVERY?” would have been my reaction. This might be part of why Iger got to run Disney for 14 years, and I write this blog.) (He’s still a coward for killing Stormpilot.)

This post may seem rambly, that’s because I wrote it while I was drinking margaritas and watching Avengers: Infinity war.

I continue to urge you all to stay home and safe. I’m working on some fun stuff here, I promise. I’m reading a whole bunch, binging Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (how long has it been since I reported on some Nerd Homework?) I’m sending as much love as I can out into the world, supporting local businesses and cooking hearty meals. Hope you’re all doing well, and when this is all over, I intend to make cocktails for everyone.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 7: Episode 6

Ahsoka’s new friend Trace, really wants to be a pilot, and the two of them are working on her ship, “The Silver Angel,” both Ahsoka and Trace’s sister, Rafa, think it’s stupid name, but they all get the ship going and then Rafa declares they’ve got a job and off they fly.

They barely get off Corruscant when they get into some trouble, Trace gets into the military lane instead of the general transport lane. Trace also doesn’t have a liscense and Ahsoka really doesn’t want to be dealing with the republic. Luckily, the official who wants to pull them over is on a destroyer with Anakin who feels Ahsoka’s presence and lets them pass.

I sob.

Moving on, it turns out the job that Rafa took is running spice, which Ahsoka objects to both on a moral level and a personal danger level. She talks the sisters into unloading the spice to people that will use it for medicine, not drugs and then they’re all in a tight spot because the Gangster clan they’re supposed to deliver to, needs it too.

Rafa doesn’t trust Ahsoka, and Ahsoka is being really evasive about who she is and how she got there. Trace trusts her more, and it’s interesting because it does seem an awful lot like Rafa and Ahsoka have a good deal more in common, at least personality wise. They’re both big daredevils and really really stubborn. It’s the kind of thing that worked well for Ahsoka when she was a Commander in the Clone War but isn’t great for making friends in the outside world and definitely isn’t great trying to stay under the radar.

She knows this but unfortunately can’t be anything but herself.

I’m enjoying this arc more. (More Ashsoka? More character stuff? I’m just into the rhythm. I don’t know.)

Magical Movies Tour: Peter Pan

BIG HONKING NOTE: The middle portion of Peter Pan is really, really, SUPER DUPER racist. I will not be talking about “What Makes The Red Man Red” in this review, because it is ICK. Also, it could be completely excised from the film and you’d lose almost nothing. Just putting it upfront here. So racist. Is bad. Do not like. 

OK, so with that unpleasantness disposed of, I’m going to talk about how much I really love Peter Pan. It’s at least a little bit because of some nostalgia with my own lost boys. My cousins Jake, Tom, and Bobby, the little brothers of my heart, loved Peter Pan when they were little. Being a whole 6, 8 and 12 years older than them, I’ve always considered myself their Wendy. (This is perhaps a bit presumptuous of me, but I think that’s a very Wendy like trait.) So I can’t help but look at the heightened imagination of Neverland with the affection of watching my boys play pirates.

I also love this music, especially the first half, “The Second Star To The Right” and “You Can Fly” are both Disney Standards worthy of the name, and “The Life Of A Pirate,” also fits in beautifully. I love this animation, which fits in well with Cinderella and Alice In Wonderland. Captain Hook fits in with The Queen Of Hearts as menacing but not scary, making him the perfect play pretend bad guy. With the exception of that scene (and it is really, really bad) Peter Pan is nearly perfectly pitched for fun and adventure.

I like Wendy a lot too. She’s a bit stuck up, but she’s earned it. She just wants to stay a child for another night, have one last adventure before she has to grow up. Not to mention she stole Peter Pan’s shadow, which is no small feat. Tinkerbell is fun too, with her flittering and angry looks. In general I was excited to get to this one, if only because of how homey it feels.

Next week we’ll talk about Lady And The Tramp, which, given my reaction to watching Bambi again, I think I’m going to like a lot.

Fangirl Love Star Wars Trek?: Picard

Like every version of Star Trek I’ve pushed myself into, it took me a little while, though shorter than usual to like Star Trek: Picard, part of that is because the pilot, where Jean-Luc Picard decides it’s time to get back in the game and puts his new team together lasts three episodes. For a show that was only getting 10 episodes to begin with that is a lot of real estate for the set up.

Additionally, the first half of the show is really grim, full of portentious Romulan prophecies, a lot of death and violence and the confirmation that Admiral Picard has alzheimers. I like my Trek a little lighter, kind of silly and plenty of humanist optimism, which luckily kicks in not long after we meet the team. (Courtesy of a meet up with Seven of Nine, I’m now determined to push through DS9 which is not really my speed, at all so that I can get to voyager and get to know her better.)

And what a team it is. Allison Pill as Dr. Agnes Giardi, a brilliant scientist with an interest in synthetic life (which, despite Bruce Maddox and Picard lobbying is illegal due to a synth revolt on a martian colony), Evan Evagora as Elnor some kind of Romulan ninja who knew Picard when he was little, Michelle Herd as Raffi Musiker, a former Star Fleet officer drummed out for over indulging in conspiracy theories about Romulan infiltration (SHE WAS RIGHT!) and Santiago Cabrera as Chris Rios another former Star Fleet, who has a ship where the AI has taken on his appearance. Cabrera was my favorite part of the show that wasn’t directly from TNG. 

They’re looking for Soji, a synth girl developed from Data’s programming, who’s twin sister was killed by said infiltrating Romulans. She’s working as a scientist on a Borg Cube, helping to reclaim those who had been assimilated, lead by Hugh, who learned of humanity from Jordi. A super secret Romulan order is hunting her too, because they believe the rise of synthetic consciousness will bring about Armageddon.

WHOO.

Anyway, once all of that gets out of the way, the fun begins, jumping around to planets, Picard in an eye patch pretending to be a gambler, Troi and Riker living in the wood making pizza with their adorable daughter, a planet of synths ruled over by the son of Noonian Soong, who just so happens to be played Brent Spiner.

There’s a lot going on, but I really enjoyed the back half. The set up was just a little bit longer than I would have preferred. But once we got to the space adventures, lectures about the sanctity of life and what we owe the world with our lives.

It came together really well and without spoilers, there’s a lovely and emotional resolution the even provides Patrick Stewart the opportunity to recite some Shakespeare. (Have you been watching him read the sonnets during quarantine? I do recommend.)

I’m excited to see what season 2 of this show brings, I know Whoopi Goldberg is planning on coming back, and I’m interested in what Guinan has been doing during all of this. And you know, the ending proved interesting.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I might never love a Star Wars novel because of the mandated third person present tense driving me bonkers?

Such is the power of Poe Dameron my friends because I have found a Star Wars novel I love. Resistance Reborn is fabulous, silly, interested in its characters, tells a rollicking adventure story and even brings back some old favorites. 

Oh, right and it’s basically got three chapters that are just Poe and Finn flirting including a scene where POE TEACHES FINN HOW TO TIE A TIE BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING UNDERCOVER AT A FANCY FIRST ORDER PARTY AND FINN CHOOSES ALIAS’S FOR THEM THAT ARE ACTUALLY THE STAR WARS VERSIONS OF SUPERHEROS AND OMG WHY WASN’T THIS THE OPENING ACT OF THE RISE OF SKYWALKER? (Also they’re in love and Abrams, Kennedy and Iger are cowards. Roanhouse is clearly a Stormpilot shipper because she goes OUT OF HER WAY to have Poe flirt with Finn, Finn grin about it, Finn assure Poe that Rey and Rose are “just his friends” and have Poe be super happy about that.) 

I really very much enjoyed this book, where Poe, and the rest of Black Squadron take Leia’s words of hope and decide to do whatever they need to to rebuild the Resistance. Snap and Kare head to pull Wedge and Norra out of retirement. They are not difficult to sway on this one, although Wedge is allowed a moment of hopelessness when he learns of Luke’s death. Leia and Rey are around in the periphery both knowing something else is coming but unsure what that something else is. Meanwhile, Poe, Suralinda, Finn and a new friend from Ryloth all head to Corellia to get a list of First Order defectors and known critics. (This is where the fancy party and tie tying come in.)

And I love it, y’all, I love it so much. I love the capers and the banter and the Stormpilot of it all. Rebecca Roanhorse’s tone suits my taste almost perfectly and did I mention SO MUCH STORMPILOT, and also more time with Black Squadron.

Just in general it’s great. I liked it a lot. We’ll be touching base next week obviously, with Clone Wars and with Resistance Season 2, which is now on Disney+, and as for Star Wars reading goes, I have the Darth Vader comics from the library and since the library is closed, I’m going to be relying on Kindle & Comixology once I get through my reading pile. I’m not sure what I’m going to read but it will probably be Prequel era. I’ve been eyeing Master & Apprentice, I could use some Obi-Wan in my life right now. 

I also might do an “Anatomy Of A Favorite Post” for Poe. I’ve done these before for Dick Grayson and Ahsoka, started one for Obi-Wan that never got where I wanted and I think Poe has earned it. 

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7: “Gone With A Trace”

It was a big day for Ahsoka on Friday so this is going to be a longish entry.

First we get the newsreel, reminding us of Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Jedi order (As if we could forget!) We then get a thrilling free fall, as the engine on her speeder bike, brings her to the lower levels of Corruscant. She quickly meets a new mechanic named Trace and they become fast friends because who wouldn’t want to be friends with Ahsoka?

Trace and her sister are trying to scrape by in the lower levels and the war makes that tough. Ahsoka is still knee jerk defending the Jedi and the war, but her protestations don’t have the heat they used to. Trace’s sister has made a dangerous deal to build some droids and the three girls do so, even though it goes wrong. Ahsoka feels uneasy about the whole situation but helps anyway. (OF COURSE SHE DOES.)

I’d missed Ahsoka, so I was happy to see her back, finally, and doing what she does best, participating in barely controlled mayhem while offering compassionate help to people that really need it. This set up reminded me a lot of the novel Ahsoka where she winds up in a similar entanglement. (I’m sure that’s where they got the idea for this storyline.)

In other Ahsoka news, our girl is coming to The Mandolorian! And she’s going to be played by Rosario Dawson. Now, y’all know how I feel about Rosario, I think she’s great! And I do feel like she’ll do an exceptional job as Ahsoka. (Man, I can’t wait for her to call Baby Yoda “Little One!”) I do know that my nerd rage is going to bubble when people meet her for the first time here and it’s not Ashley Eckstein doing the work. She’s been Ahsoka’s voice, heart and protector for the past decade. Also she’s a kind and lovely person who’s been very nice to me over the years and who makes stylish clothing I like quite a bit.

But part of fandom, especially long running, multi author fandom like Star Wars is seeing new interpretations of the things you love. If I stamp my foot and whine that Rosario Dawson isn’t “the real Ahsoka,” aren’t I just as bad as all those fanboys who go crazy every time we get a new Batman? I’m sure she’ll be wonderful and Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will write her very well. This will be Ahsoka The White, remember, who has passed through time and space at Mallus and been hunting for Ezra for five years, after all. She’s different. She will be different.

Can’t wait to see what next week brings. Again, I hope you all are keeping safe. STAY HOME if you can. Drink drinks, eat food, video chat, watch Star Wars, the Force will be with us during this.

Magical Movies Tour: Alice In Wonderland

I was ready to dismiss Alice In Wonderland, it’s never been one of my favorites but I think the thing I’ve enjoyed the most with this project is finding so much enjoyment in movies I’d overlooked in the past.

Alice In Wonderland is beautiful. The animation and designs are so creative and lovely, Alice herself is a sweet POV character and the songs are jolly and fun. You’d think after 30 years I’d get tired of saying that my sister Mary was right about something. (Alice has always been her favorite.) But I’m happy to give her this one. I was delighted watching it.

I’ve always been a fan of the poetry in Lewis Carroll’s books, and this movie does a wonderful job of capturing that, as well as the sheer confusion of trying to navigate a world that operates on it’s own logic, rather than the kind you’ve learned your whole life.

And the characters are truly wonderful. The White Rabbit in his hectic neurosis, The March Hair and Mad Hatter’s hyper madness, The Queen Of Heart’s overwrought menace, much sillier than it ever was scary. Not to mention the Caterpillar, Flowers and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. A gang to be remembered, each and every one of them.

Also, I’m going to have, “We’re Painting The Roses Red,” stuck in my head for quite some time, I think. It’s so much fun.

Next week, I indulge my own motherly nostalgia for a group of little boys, by watching Peter Pan again. (All my love to Jake, Tom and Bobby.)