You’re Not Alone

A few weeks ago, Captain America: Civil War pulled off the really difficult feat of creating an ensemble superhero movie, giving all of it’s multitude of players the right amount of time and still centering around it’s main hero.

Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse, had s different magic trick to pull off. Unlike Captain America, there isn’t a central figure of the X-Men movies, certainly not with a pull back from Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. (Who does show up here, though in a completely brief appearance.) Apocalypse feels more like a sequel to X-Men: First Class (my favorite of the series) than Days Of Future Past (which I like a lot less), which is great. The new kids are exceptionally fun, especially seeing Sophie Turner as Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers.

There were not many things I was as excited about this movie season as I was for seeing Olivia Munn as Psylocke, and she did a good job jumping off of things and slashing at people with her sword. She was appropriately badass.

The thing that I was happiest about in this movie was the shift in focus slips back around to James Macavoy’s Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, who are just so good. We also get a hammy fun performance from my boyfriend Oscar Isaac. (And a whole pre blueing out, shirtless…bless you Brian Singer), a reunion for Charles and Rose Byrne’s Moira McTaggart and a comics appropriate intro for Storm.

I walked out of the movie smiling, which is more than I expected, honestly. So it’s got that going for it.

 

Oh, and the post credit scene teased X-23. So, you know. WHAT THE HELL? YESSSSSSS!!!!

Rankings

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. X-Men: Apocalypse
  3. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Trailers

I waited too long to write this up, so I don’t remember most of the trailers. But I think there was Ninja Turtles, which, I am unreasonably

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Game Of Thrones Winner: “Blood Of My Blood”

It took a lot of thinking before I landed on this winner, although I’m not sure why. Table setting episodes can be tough calls but in the end, well, this is the best I could think of.

Sam won this week.

Samwell_Tarly

Sam went home, in hopes of keeping Gilly and Little Sam safe, but in having to deal with his douche of a father, he remembers that he’s kind of a bad ass, and he and Gilly and the baby take off, and steal his family’s Valerian Steel sword Heartsbane, because you know what you do with Valerian steel?

You kill mother fucking White Walkers!

Runner up is Benjen Stark, for being alive and saving Bran and Meera from those Wights. Mostly the being alive part though. Guys, we have so many Starks now. Just so many. Also, I think it’s interesting that Benjen was reanimated with the same magic that made the Night’s King.

Missandei and Grey Worm Watch

They weren’t around this week, but in other shipping news, Gilly got a pretty dress. So we’ll talk about that.

GOT_MP_091715_EP606-26931-810x539

Sam’s sister gave it to her and I love the puffy princess sleeves. (Sam’s mother and sister had those too, so I guess that’s a fashion thing in that area. Anyway, that’s all.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

No Sansa this week. But next week she’s all, “I did what I had to do, but I was always a Stark.” I love her.

Arya Bad Ass Watch

Arya didn’t kill the actress! She chose the name Mercy! She reclaimed Needle! She’s going to have to fight The Waif and it’s gonna be ballin! (As I said, this was mostly table setting, not a lot happened.) But it’s time for our Wolf Girl to come home and help her brothers and sister take back the North. And kill Cersei, she should absolutely kill Cersei.

Bran Stark’s Excellent Adventure

This week, Bran basically recapped the series, and caught glimpses of King Aerys Targaryen shouting “Burn Them All!” Which as we know, is the incident that caused Jaime to stick a sword in his back, and start a whole lot of messes.

King Tommen The Adorable

Tommen and Margaery join with the High Sparrow, which is less “adorable” and more “probably a really dumb idea,” but he also spares Jaime and sends him to the Riverlands, which means that Jaime and Brienne will soon be right near each other.

Seriously, you all keep your Brienne and Tormund Crackship. I will be ride or die Jaime/Brienne. This ship will sink with me on it and I stomp my feet and curse the Many-Faced God, and Rh’llor, and The Seven, and The Old Gods, because they are the one true ship.

I have opinions about this…

6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

through the looking glass

Special Movie Season Saturday Post!

Before I full on review Alice Through The Looking Glass, I need to make it clear, Mia Wasikowska is a treasure, and we, the consumers of genre cinema, do not deserve her. We must strive to deserve her by all admitting that Crimson Peak is the best, and that she’s the one who holds this whole Alice business together and it has very little to do with Johnny Depp.

With that out of the way, Alice Through The Looking Glass is pretty good. It has a couple of conceits that are irresistable to me, time travel and punching the patriarchy in the dick, so you know, I was going to like it.

Alice has returned to England after exploring China as a ship’s captain, on The Wonder, which she inherited from her father. Once home she learns that her mother has sold her shares in her father’s company and they’re going to have to sell the boat to keep their house.

Because this is a stressful situation, Alice does that thing where she goes to Wonderland, or Underland as it’s called here. She then learns that The Mad Hatter is not doing well, due to realizing that his family, who he thought long dead, might not be after all, and this messing with his sense of self.

Alice steals a time machine from Time Himself (Sacha Baron Cohen, the best I’ve ever seen him.) and goes back, learns the origin of the conflict between the two queens and saves the Hatter’s family and then goes home and starts a new business with her mother, while laughing at the various bearded obnoxious men who try to stop them.

The movie is visually great, the performances are steady and the plot simple enough that the flights of fancy seem organic. Alice Through The Looking Glass isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s a nice pleasant glow. And that’s worth something.

Rankings!

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Trailers:

Nine Lives: Nope. I will not be seeing this.

Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life: This I might see, on a slow weekend. It looks super cute. And it has a butt load of my favorite sitcom actors as the teachers.

Sing: Again, looks real cute.

Me Before You: It looks pandering and kind of annoying, but stars Khaleesi, Clara Oswald and Mr. Bates, so, I think I’m like required to see it. Also, I’m pretty sure Emilia Clarke smiles more in that trailer than she has in six years of Game of Thrones. 

Pete’s Dragon: *sings* I’ll be your candle on the water…my love for you will always burn…

I was disappointed that we didn’t get Beauty and The Beast, as I’d held off watching it on a computer to watch it on the big screen, I’ve now watched it. It’s perfect, it’s beyond perfect. It’s everything it possible could or should be. Just wow. Way to go.

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Destruction and Power Up

Sailor Moon Crystal 3

So now that everything is out in the open, with the outer senshi, and a battle that stops everyone from trying to hurt each other, the end of the Witches 5 and the birth of a the guardian of destruction as well as an explanation of the outer senshi’s reluctance to embrace their inner sisters.

A lot happens in this episode, but it’s also really talky. We get like seven flashbacks, including one where Chibi-Usa talks to her mother about Sailor Moon just being THE BEST, and Neo-Queen Serenity, basically is all, “There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait, just you wait.”

Which is my weird theater geek way of saying, it’s time for Super Sailor Moon, who’s absolutely beautiful, and the transformation, which comes from the rest of the Senshi lending her their power, it’s really beautiful.

Meanwhile, we get the whole, “Saturn Awakened and destroyed what was left of the world after the fall of The Silver Millenium” flashback, which is important, as well, and beautifully done. We also get the “Hotaru becomes a cyborg” flashback as well as her transformation into the Saturn Black Lady (I don’t remember her name…and I don’t feel like googling it.)

I understand the need for this episode, to get the pieces into place and all, it’s just hard to recap this episode because, well, nothing really happens.

So, that’s why I don’t have a lot to say. Looking forward to what comes next week. (I’m actually going to be ahead of everything next week, because Memorial Day gives me time off, and I’m seeing 2 movies this weekend! YAY!)

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 4: Episodes 11-15

We’re into the back half of season 4. Which is the fun half, even though it’s basically basketball free and that’s usually the kiss of death to One Tree Hill. But this one time, it actually works, and it’s pretty awesome.

One_Tree_Hill_-_Season_4_-_DVD

Season 4: Episode 11: “Everything In It’s Right Place”

So Peyton and Lucas are a couple but she’s nervous about it. Because Peyton fully understands the way this show works and that the minute anyone is happy, that happiness gets snatched away from them in horrifying fashion. Lucas assures her that they’re not going anywhere and she smooches him. But during one of these conversations, she does let go my favorite One Tree Hill line of all, “I think dreams are like, email for ghosts.” Once upon a time Mark Schwan and JJ Abrams were working on a pilot together. I bet that show would have had all the ghosts.

Anyway, Nathan tells Haley the truth about how he probably killed Daunte. She moves into Karen and Lucas’s because she’s afraid she can’t trust him. Nathan mopes until he gives her speech and then she takes him back.

Brooke and Rachel break into the school in a pair of fabulous catsuits to steal Brooke’s calculus test, but when they get caught wind up having to join Clean Teens, which is the best. Because it leads to things.

Dan is in jail for “killing” Daunte, but he’s considering it for Keith really. But in the end he gets out because it turns out that Daunte died before the beating. Also Deb breaks out of rehab. Did I mention Deb was in rehab? Whatever, it’s the worst. Dan comes home to Karen and a collage calling him  murderer. The adult storyline is getting interesting again, which is good.

Also, the show is entering a happy period and this time, no one gets shot to end it. Which is why I like season 4 better than season 3.

Season 4: Episode 12: “Resolve”

So much happy. Seriously, on any other kind of show I would hate this run of episodes, because not a lot happens, but on this show those are my favorite kinds of episode. In this one, Lucas and Peyton make cookies, Nathan, Mouth and Skills win a stripping contest. Haley worries about being to fat for prom and Brooke goes on a date.

There’s not much there and yet there’s everything there. I love it so much.

Oh also, Deb tries to commit suicide, but that’s adult storyline, which is still really slow at this point. Honestly, without Keith, the adult story lines are really not worth much even with Dan trying to make up with Karen, which is vaguely interesting but since he killed her fiance and the father of her child, there isn’t much of a chance for it to actually go anywhere.

But we do get to see Shelly and Mouth meet. (Shelly and Mouth!) And we meet Chace and he and Brooke go on their first date and it’s magical and we MEET CHACE. When I think about latter day OTH and Chace is an absolute bright spot and I love his and Brooke’s relationship and I’m really excited to be starting it.

Season 4: Episode 13: “Pictures of You”

This is my favorite episode. In seasons 2 and 3, I mentioned loving the excuse for the cast to simply speak to the camera episodes, but “Pictures Of You” is better than that. It creates character interactions, interesting scenes and lets us into the way these characters are thinking right at this point in their story, when things are quiet (well, relatively) and good for them.

Haley and Skills talk about their fears for the future. Peyton and Nathan reflect on their shared past and their repeated patterns. Brooke reveals her insecurities to Chace. Bevin schools Rachel. Mouth and Shelly connect over their misunderstood reputations. And Lucas gives Glenda the first draft of An Unkindness Of Ravens. His memoir. The show always calls it a novel and this always bothers me. Lucas did not write a novel, as far as we can understand it. He wrote a memoir. So, moving forward, I will refer to An Unkindness of Ravens as a memoir. I hope everyone is on board.

But really this is my favorite episode because it gives me my favorite episode from the show.

ONE TREE HILL

I love this image of Brooke, for all the reasons that I love Brooke. She’s a symbol of everything good about teenage girls. All the innocence and bravery and brazeness. And here she is, standing in defiance of all the things that teenage girls are told about themselves and it’s perfect.

Season 4: Episode 14: “Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers”

The bomb is about to go off, but at least it’s an emotional one this time. It’s time for the fairly small and personal plots that have been building to hit the fan in a big way, and like I said, I guess that needed to happen. It really is exceptional how tight the story telling is in this arc, I kind of love it.

Anyway, Deb is getting out of rehab and asks Nathan and Haley to move in with her. They decide to do it, but before she comes home they throw a party in the big house and that’s where most of the action goes down. Because Rachel switched calculus tests with Brooke, she’s about to get expelled and Haley gets fired from the tutoring center. So Haley slaps her and throws her out of the party.

Mouth and Shelly have sex and she breaks up with him. It’s all really dramatic and lovely and I LOVE them, not quite as much as Mouth and Rachel, but a lot. Lucas and Peyton also decide to have sex for the first time, but it gets interrupted by the most emotional of all bombshells.

THE NATHAN AND BROOKE SEX TAPE!!!!!

Season 4: Episode 15: “Prom Night At Hater High” 

Oh Prom, that magical night senior year when your friends all get together and have a really fun time. Or, if you go to Tree Hill High, no one is talking to each other because of a sex tape.

Nathan is doing an apology tour, first he goes to Haley, who isn’t having it and asks him ot make a list of the girls he’s had sex with. So that’s pretty fun. Then he goes to Brooke, who shrugs it off. He’s changed since then, they’re all good. Next is Lucas, who basically says the same thing, but is much more concerned about Haley. Finally there’s Peyton, who’s basically trying to play it cool by how hurt she is by all of this. And by cool I mean, COLD, like she doesn’t care, but it’s clear that she’s very very angry.

Especially since she tells Lucas as much and then winds up beating the snot out of Brooke and crying. Then she tells Lucas that she’s not going to prom and he’s pretty disappointed about it, but tells her that he’ll come get her no matter what.

Meanwhile, Peyton has painted the word “Whore” on Brooke’s prom dress so it shows up in black light. Brooke is thrilled because this means that Peyton cares. Also Rachel leaves town, after being expelled for the test stealing thing. Haley and Nathan make up, and she reveals that she doesn’t need her boot anymore. It’s kind of the best thing ever.

When Peyton decides to go to the prom after all and answers the door expecting Lucas, it’s actually Psycho Derek.

BUM BUM BUMMMM!

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

Seriously, I love this one. I mean, it ends with soapy goodness, the return of Peyton’s stalker and the explosion of the Brooke and Nathan sex tape, but until then, it’s just all really good character stuff, and that’s the stuff I like the best from One Tree Hill, it is in fact, what OTH has over it’s peers. I love The OC’s sense of humor, Gossip Girl has better style and suds, but OTH has the strongest characters and character relationships, and that really shines in this arc. It’s smallness highlights how wonderful it is.

“Specimen”: Beauitful Men, The MCU and Female Fantasy

As I try to grow as a woman and a feminist and a writer, one of the things that I’ve been trying to pay some attention to is gendered language. I read an essay a while back that talked about the way that we discuss women’s looks verse the way we talk about men’s. Words like “beautiful” as opposed to words like “handsome.” Because of this I’ve tried really hard to use specific words when it comes to describing someone’s attractiveness whenever possible.

And lately I’ve been thinking about men who I describe as beautiful.

Not all the men I find myself attracted to would fit this descriptor. I’d say even a traditionally attractive man, like say, George Clooney is still more handsome than beautiful. The Boston Boys, as I’ve called them many time (Wahlberg, Affleck and Damon) also fit that bill. But I do kind of have a thing for pretty boys.

Specifically here, I want to talk about The MCU, though and how those men, in particular are just, beautiful. It’s a specific brand of gorgeous, they just glow, and while they’re certainly representing a male power fantasy, as nearly all superheroes do, there’s something feminine in the fantasy of these men. One of my very first posts here was about how The Avengers presents archetypes for several different fantasies for those so inclined.

Obviously, “The Chrises” are the best example of this Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and later Chris Pratt are all beautiful, if in a simple specific, WASPY way, but when you place them as Captain America, Thor and Star Lord, you’re creating three specific types, The All American Good Boy, The God and The Roguish Man Child. They are specific fantasies.

What got me thinking about this recently was of course Civil War, but specifically Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in Civil War. I knew from 42 that Boseman was a good looking guy, but as I watched him on the big screen as T’Challa, I grabbed Aless’s arm and gasped, “He’s just so beautiful!” (Her response, a nice little pat and “yeah, hon, I know, but…movie…” Aless is a much more rational human than I am.)

black-panther-chadwick-boseman

Sooo, beautiful….

So what does this have to do with feminism? Well, allowing for female sexual fantasy is a big part feminism, and allowing men to be seen as aesthetically beautiful is also a good gender parity thing. But I’m not the first person to talk about the female gaze and the Marvel movies, but it’s an important aspect that I think doesn’t get talked about enough. But I talk about this a lot in my everyday life and now I want to talk about it here too.

Because I think talking about beautiful men is important. And also fun. So that’s, that. YAY!

Game of Thrones Winner: The Door

I had to think a lot about this week’s winner, because unlike the past few weeks there wasn’t a clear winner.

I mean, I guess, Euron Greyjoy won, because of Kingsmoot! But when I really thought about it, I decided to give the win to a bit of an underdog.

Meera Reed!

Meera

Even though Hodor’s fate can be a little bit blamed on her. (Though mostly on Bran, being a ninkompoop about Past Warging) She also put a speer through the heart of that white walker and it was totally bad ass. Like, totally badass.

Runner up goes to Jorah, who finally told Dany how he felt, and then got a royal order to go seek out a cure for his greyscale. (Wept through that the whole time, by the way.) It was really a lovely scene. But also, our girl is on her way home, to a peaceful (ish) city. But without her bear body guard. And it’s very sad. But also cathartic.

Missandei and Grey Worm Watch

Didn’t do much, but they sat around while Varys and Tyrion made their “recruit the red priests and prestesses” plan. That Varys also doesn’t seem to like much. But turns out that something else happened the night that Varys got cut, and it’s kind of weird.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

So Sansa told Little Finger off and it was glorious. She’s also just totally all set to take back the North. She also sends Brienne to Riverrun, and I don’t see that ending well, because, I mean, could it be possible, after all of this time, might we see…could there possibly be Lady Stoneheart?????? Anyway, Sansa is just running around with all the agency this season. I really appreciate it.

Arya Bad Ass Watch

Arya gets her new assignment, to kill an actress who is currently performing as Cersei in a play about the events surrounding her father’s death. As Arya watches the play you see her getting disturbed and it’s actually quite the scene. But anyway, she accepts the assignment, but I think that Arya is still more Arya than a girl, because she’s questioning it.

KINGSMOOT!

Yara comes this close to winning the Iron Islands, with Theon supporting her, but then Euron shows up and ruins everything. He wins by saying that he’s going to go to Mereen and get Danerys and I somehow don’t see that working out, except that Dany does need ships…it’s awfully complicated though