Throwback Thursday: The Avengers (2012)

There is nothing like a superhero origin story. When done well, it opens the doors to limitless narrative possibilities.

Back in 2012, The Avengers hit theaters.

Following the events of Thor (2011), Earth is invaded by Thor‘s (Chris Hemsworth) adopted brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). His goal is to rule over humanity. Standing in his way is Thor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/ Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clinton Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

The Avengers is so good. The actors are perfectly cast, the balance between the narrative and the action is perfect and it is just so much fun to watch.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Joss Whedon Needs to Grow Up and Apologize

I’ve been a fan of Joss Whedon for more than twenty years. He is one of those writer/director types that is only bound by his imagination and his ability to create a compelling narrative.

Between Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, the 2012 Much Ado About Nothing, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, etc, his career is nothing to sneeze at.

That being said, that does not mean that he has the right to be an asshole.

After multiple accusations of being an all-around jackass on various sets, he threw the blame back on the performers. Speaking of Ray Fisher (Justice League) he claimed that Fisher is a bad actor. If he was so bad, why did he not just fire him and recast the role? It wouldn’t have been the first time and I am sure that it won’t be the last time. The fact that he is making these claims now does not exactly hold water. At least Fisher was the bigger person, which I cannot say about Whedon.

Whedon also claimed that his working relationship with Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot went sour because her native tongue is Hebrew.

“I don’t threaten people. Who does that?” Whedon told New York. “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”

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There are plenty of actors whose second (or third) language is English. That is no excuse for treating anyone on set as if they are an annoying fly needing to be squashed.

The key to any workplace success (regardless of where one works), is the capacity to be professional, even if we don’t get along with everyone we work with. Whedon either lacks this capacity or thinks that he is above it. Either way, he needs to grow up and apologize.

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WandaVision Review

An onscreen or onstage translation of a beloved work of fiction is not as simple as it appears to be. On paper, transforming the narrative and the characters from the page to the screen or the stage seems like a simple process. But the reality is that is difficult task to complete.

WandaVision premiered on Friday on DisneyPlus. Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are newlyweds. Living in the world of classic family television comedies, it looks like their world is perfect. But there is a dark force hidden beneath the surface.

Before I go further, I have to warn that my knowledge of these characters extends only to the movies. I know nothing of the content in the comic books. That being said, this show is fantastic. I love that the creators used classic television shows to juxtapose the danger that is rumbling under Wanda and Vision’s feet.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely?

New episodes of WandaVision are released every Friday on DisneyPlus.

Throwback Thursday-The Avengers (1998)

In the wake of The Cold War and the success of the James Bond films, The Avengers hit our televisions in the 1960’s.

In 1998, the big screen adaptation of The Avengers was introduced to movie audiences. Taking the places of Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg as John Steed and Emma Peel were Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. They have to stop Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery) a villain who plans to use the power of nature to destroy the world.

Before I continue with the review, I have to warn that I have not seen the original television series, so my knowledge of the narrative and the characters is strictly based on the movie and the general pop culture references from the series. Based on what little information I have, the problem I see with this film is that it is a superficial reboot without the substance or style of its predecessor. I have a feeling that fans of the original series would like to forget that this reboot was ever made.

Do I recommend it? No.

Why We Need Planned Parenthood

For many women, Planned Parenthood is a lifeline that is vital to their health and their future. But at the same time, there are many who would savor the day when Planned Parenthood ceases to exist.

Film and movie director Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Avengers) presents a world without Planned Parenthood. Frankly, it is scary and a little too real for me. But it is a dose of reality that we would be facing if some people had their way.

I could go on and on about the reasons that Planned Parenthood is vital and necessary, but I think the video does a pretty good job of doing that for me.

#IstandwithPP

Star Wars And Feminism

Star Wars, despite the appearance of being the standard science fiction boys club, has a strong feminist streak. Even with the lack of female characters, the simple act of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) grabbing the blaster and shooting at the storm troopers in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope forever changed how women are portrayed in the science fiction genre.

Unfortunately, that feminist streak does not extend to all areas of the Star Wars Universe.

Any Star Wars fan knows that with the premiere of the movie comes the plethora of new merchandise. The one question that fans, especially young female fans, were asking was #WheresRey.

Hasbro claimed that they withheld from producing Rey merchandise because they did not want to give away the plot before the film’s premiere.

Pardon my French, but that is b*llshit.

This is not the first time Hasbro has done this.

With the release of the most recent The Avengers film last year, many fans asked the same question with the lack of the Black Widow action figure.

Wake up Hasbro. It is the 21st century. There is absolutely nothing wrong with boys playing with a female action figure. Women are just as loud and proud (and shockingly have money to pay for memorabilia) about their fandoms as men. It’s time they were represented in the toy stores.

In related news, NY Post columnist Kyle Smith called out the fact Carrie Fisher is no longer the younger woman that she was when A New Hope premiered (again, shocking). Her response is brilliant.

News flash, we all get older. Our bodies change.  The figure we had at twenty may not be the figure we have at fifty. Ms. Fisher is also a mother. Having a child forever changes your body.

Kyle Smith, being a man, will never have the experience of being a woman who is judged by her looks and put aside after a certain age because she has gotten older.

Bravo, Carrie Fisher.

Star Wars is 39 this year.

There is no one on the planet who does not know something about the series. It’s legacy of feminism and strong women will live on and continue to inspire women to speak up and fight for what they believe in.

 

 

 

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review

Nothing marks the start of the summer than a superhero movie.

This year, it is Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Tony Stark/Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.) has a dream. He will deploy a legion of robots as peacemakers.

But things go awry when Ultron (voiced by James Spader) comes to life and has his own plans. Now it is up to the Avengers to stop Ultron before he destroys the world.

The Avengers are out in full force. Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are all back and ready to save the world.

Trouble does not just come in the form of Ultron. Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are a pair of twins with unusual abilities. The question is, are they allies or foes?

To be honest, I did  not like this movie as much as I liked the previous Avengers movie. Several scenes felt forced and/or stretched. What I did like was not only cameos from characters who had been in movies with individual Avengers characters, but also we saw some of the back story that had not been shown to audiences previously.  I just wish some scenes had been left for the extras portion on the DVD.

Do I recommend it? If you are a super fan and highly committed to the series, then I say yes. But if your a casual fan, I would say to wait for the DVD to be released.

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