The Greatest Cinematic Moments On My TV This Year

(Even If Some of Them Were Not Movies)

Rather than do the typical Best of or Top Ten Movies of the Year list I’ve decided to talk about some of the greatest images that graced my TV this year (because I didn’t go to the movies much this year).

If you are a film and TV fanatic like me, then by the time you’re my age you will have amassed a ton of images that will sit with you and affect you for your entire life. I can’t list the number of movie and television scenes and images that have emotionally affected me in ways I’m still assessing today, and this year added another bunch of images that made me laugh, brought me to tears, terrified me, changed my thinking about the world and the people in it, or were sometimes just plain fun!

Last year, my mother (a devoted Horror movie fanatic) passed away in hospice at the age of 71. Every image of every movie that she carried with her is gone but I can still feel close to her through the movies she watched. I have always used stories (in books, movies, and songs), as therapy and this past year was exceptionally therapeutic for me in dealing with my grief. What I was going through didn’t feel quite so bad because I didn’t feel as if I was going through some singular event that other people had not experienced. I was able to process my feelings while watching some pretty intense cinema or alleviate my anxiety with laughter, and I was able to share these feelings with you guys by writing about them in this space.

This year was an incredible year of cinematic (and musical) healing for me.

May the next year be even better!

Keep Moving Forward

1.Moon Knight (Season 1: Episode 6)

This is my all-time favorite television series for this year (with Interview with the Vampire being almost a tie). This series is full of some great moments that are just plain fun, like the moment when Stephen, having stumbled upon his own version of being the Moon Knight gets into a final battle with the show’s primary antagonist. Stephen’s clueless version of Moon Knight wears an actual 3 piece suit. In the middle of the final boss fight, Stephen and Mark are expertly switching control of their shared body between them. Stephen gets knocked down, immediately hops back up, and brushes the dirt off his still immaculately white suit!

That there is what’s known as “swag”, or “attitude”.

I identified with Mark and Stephen’s journey of personal unification because I’ve been on that journey myself. When I was little, being on the autism spectrum meant there was a clear division between my intellect and my emotions. Like Mark and Stephen, I’ve spent my life attempting to unify the two sides of my personality, to join them together to work for each other. This is not a journey I’m ever going to finish, I think, but I have made enormous headway, and one of the greatest cathartic moments in the series was when Mark and Stephen finally did so, thus proving that the whole really is greater than the parts.

All of the fight scenes in this show are fire, and change and evolve as the relationship between Mark and Stephen evolves, to reflect their characters. I can fault Disney for a lot of things, but stinting on Action scenes isn’t one of them. I can always count on the MCU to bring me the very best ultra-violence. The choreography for their shows and movies is insane and watching heroes kick ass (and doing so with style) has always been a cathartic experience for me. I can identify with the hero and express my badassery in a perfectly safe environment while in my bunny slippers, and this series was awesome for that.

2.Everything Everywhere All At Once

I can’t say watching this was a mistake because I had no idea what I was getting into when I first watched it. EEAAO is very one of the most profoundly moving, touching, and hilarious movies in a year full of great films. It stars Michelle Yeoh, so I suspected there might be some Kung Fu, but the movie has a wealth of lovely surprises. It is about the frayed relationship between an overworked first-generation immigrant named Evelyn, who runs a dry cleaner with her annoyingly upbeat husband Waymond, and their nihilistic disaffected daughter Joy, all while undergoing a tax audit, planning a work party, and hosting her disapproving father.

One of the greatest treats of this movie was the re-emergence of Ke Huy Quan, from his decades-long retirement from acting, and who I fondly remember as Short Round from the second Indiana Jones movie (and Data from The Goonies). I don’t even begin to understand why but Short Round was always one of my favorite childhood characters and his name just stuck with me over the years until eventually, it became a nickname for my Mom, who was a whole inch shorter than me, which made me obnoxiously smug. I cannot explain why I had so much joy at seeing him alive and well, and being happy about this role.

That said, despite identifying with all the characters, my absolute favorite is Ke Huy Quan’s Waymond, and it is his philosophy of life that neatly cleaved my brain because he explains so much about how I try to approach the world, and why, despite this being one of those mother/daughter relationship movies you would think I’d be overcome by (and I was) it is Waymond who most easily resonates with me. Where Joy has fallen into despair and wants to end it all, it is Waymond’s philosophy, the exact opposite, that ends up saving Joy and the rest of the world from the annihilation that is the Everything Bagel:

 Waymond: When I choose to see the good side of things, I’m not being naive. It is strategic and necessary. It’s how I’ve learned to survive through everything.

This is a philosophy I adopted because, like Joy, I’ve seen the opposite end of that spectrum and it’s not a philosophy that’s survivable. There were a lot of moments in this movie that made me cry because they just happened to hit me at the right time to affect me, like the conversations between Evelyn and Joy, but it was Evelyn’s conversation with an alternate universe Waymond that opened the floodgates and allowed me to mourn in a way I had not been able to in the wake of my mother’s death, (because I was still mostly in shock). This movie just showed up when I needed it.

Like all good mothers, my mom never liked seeing her children in distress, and I think she would be proud of how well I’m doing right now.

This is one of those movies that changes or reaffirms your thinking about the world, the people around you, and how you approach life.

Yeah, it’s one of those.

3.Men

I think a lot of people avoided watching this movie because of the title, but things are not as they seem. The title is provocative, but the movie isn’t about castigating men. It’s about one woman (Harper Marlowe) dealing with the particularly harrowing loss of just one man, and I’m convinced that most of it takes place solely within her own mind. In other words, the movie is a lot deeper than it looks.

One of the most interesting images is the only other actor in the movie, Rory Kinnear, has his face creepily (and sometimes unconvincingly) superimposed onto the bodies of all the other men in the movie, signifying that what’s being critiqued here are certain types of men and their behavior. That at base all of their behavior comes from one source, and are really just different manifestations of only one issue – misogyny.

There’s the husband who threatens suicide if she divorces him, and then hits her, the priest who blames her for his death, then makes a pass at her, the child who calls her a stupid bitch when she refuses what he wants, the cop who dismisses her concerns and later tries to assault her, and there’s the naked man who is symbolic of natural masculinity in the form of the mythic Green Man, who keeps trying to get into her house to do…what exactly? All of this is tied into images of the Green Man, the Earth Mother, Christianity, the cycles of nature, and the lies patriarchy has created about women.

My favorite scene however is just a touching and beautiful moment about a woman literally discovering her voice. Harper takes a walk in the countryside and comes to a large open tunnel. She spends a minute or two singing into the tunnel and listening as her voice boomerangs back to her. Her voice is high and pure and she takes an almost childlike delight in just making as much noise as she wants, in a public place, in a free and uninhibited manner. It just looked like she was having so muchf un, and every time I watch that scene I feel the urge to sing along with her.

The entire movie stops to accommodate this moment and I was as thoroughly delighted by it as Harper!

4.Thor: Love and Thunder

Sometimes, I love movies that everyone else likes to hate on, and you know what? I’m good with that. I love what I love for my own reasons, not theirs, and I stand by and will back up my reasons why I do, even though sometimes my reasons are just because I do. I know a lot of people hated this movie. I do not particularly care if they did or why because this movie just brought out the feels and the kid in me, and I needed that. I’ve watched this on Disney + multiple times and it brings out both the pathos and delight in me each time.

One of the more interesting aspects of this phase of the MCU is that much of it deals with mourning the deaths of loved ones and people’s response to mourning. From dealing with death badly in WandaVision, to how humanity dealt with the aftermath of The Blip in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, to the aftermath of Tony Stark’s death in Spiderman No Way Home to the death of Chadwick Boseman in Wakanda Forever, to this: Thor, mourning the loss of his entire family and homeworld and finding new love and purpose, against an antagonist who dealt with his loss through anger and revenge. Thor and Gor the Godslayer are mirror images of one another and each of them deals with loss in a way that heals or harms other people. Thor chooses to love while Gor chooses to kill.

But my favorite scene has nothing to do with that part of the plot, and it was difficult choosing between this scene and any scene that involved Thor’s screaming goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. There’s a scene in the movie where Thor is able to pass his powers to a group of frightened children to help them defeat the shadow enemies invoked by Gor, and that entire scene just gave me life! My favorite of all the children turned out to be the young Black boy who happens to be the son of Heimdall, The Bifrost Guardian. He has at least some of his father’s powers, but what was most admirable to me was his ability to step into a leadership role for the other children in the absence of the adults. I’m not normally into watching little kids engaging in acts of ultra-violence but Taika Waititi has a knack for making things that seem mildly subversive look like a great deal of fun. It doesn’t hurt that all the kids in the movie were the children of the staff on the set!

Oh, and the little girl with the laser-eye death bunny is the mood I’m carrying into 2023!

5. Interview With the Vampire (Season 1: Episode 7; The Thing Lay Still)

Interview with the Vampire was just voted by Vanity Fair as one of the best series on TV this year and I am here for it. This also showed up on my favorite TV series list too, because the show is simply wild. It’s crazy and beautiful, and sexy, and campy, gory, bloody, and brutal, but also deeply hilarious. Just when we thought the year was ending and there were no more high notes to be had, AMC handed us this beautiful gem of a series and we are all smitten.

Yes, they race-swapped Louis De Pont Du Lac from the books. He is now being played by Jacob Anderson (Greyworm in Game of Thrones), and he is (literally) killing it in this role. Anne Rice signed off on all this before she passed and her son Christopher (who is openly gay) also signed off on the rest, and those gay sensibilities show in the plot and themes. By changing the race of the character and making his sexuality explicit the writers have deepened the story considerably. Even moving the timeline to the early 1900s has made certain elements of the plot more interesting, since it’s now set during the Jazz age of the Jim Crow South. Also, changing Louis’s race has seemingly attracted a few straight Black male fans, which is not the demographic I first thought of when I heard this was getting made. They seem to really be enjoying the show too and good for them.

Sam Reid is also literally killing it as Lestat. In fact, he is so good he almost makes me forget the Tom Cruise version from the 1994 film. Almost. Reid so embodies this character though that fans are saying he is possessed by the spirit of Lestat, and when he and Jacob are onscreen together it’s like lightning, their chemistry is just that good. (It doesn’t hurt that they’re friends in real life.) Bailey Bass is an aged-up Claudia, and all those people who thought an older version of Claudia wouldn’t carry the same dramatic weight as someone much younger (in the books Claudia is about 6, which would be a logistical nightmare to film) well, those people were wrong. Claudia brings all the drama and hysteria of a teenage vampire to this role and she is great in it. And let’s not forget the award-winning playwright Eric Bogosian as Daniel, an older, less patient, and curmudgeonly version of the Daniel from the books, since this series is set 50 years after his first interview with Louis, which was never published.

For all the things that were changed, some things remain the same and that is the tumultuous relationship between Louis and Lestat. I’d say my favorite episode was the very first one in which the very closeted Louis meets and is successfully seduced by Lestat into becoming a vampire, but my favorite scene is the culmination of Louis’ season-long character arc in the final episode. He goes from being a deeply closeted gay Black man, unwilling to acknowledge it even to himself, to an out and proud gay Black man, and Lestat’s lover, at a grand New Orleans Ball, sharing a passionate kiss after inviting Lestat to a waltz, and something which thoroughly scandalizes their guests. It is one of the most beautiful scenes of the entire season, followed by one of the nastiest, goriest bloodbaths of the season.

This show was renewed for a second season before the first episode even aired, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do until it starts. The show is just really juicy and you have some idea of what’s coming in the future if you’ve read the books. The writers are doing everything right here. The writing is messy and florid and overdramatic, just like Anne Rice’s writing, and a lot of the dialogue is kept intact from her books. I hope the series lasts at least as long as Buffy, and it will be a miracle if it lasts as long as The Walking Dead, and I want to be right there until the end.

6. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is one of the few Horror/Superhero movies out there and I loved it, especially since it’s directed by one of my all-time favorite directors, Sam Raimi, who included more than a few moments of sheer terror in his Spiderman trilogy of ten years ago. He kept that same energy here and there are more than a few of his favorite Horror movie tropes included in the imagery of this film, including a scene of The Scarlet Witch climbing out of a mirror, a multi-handed zombie version of Doctor Strange, and a scene where two wizards attack each other using musical notes. (Sam Raimi loves musicals so you know there was going to be a musical scene in here).

But above is one of my favorite scenes of Doctor Strange along with the young girl he’s trying to save getting blasted through multiple portals through other universes, paralleling a scene from the first movie where Strange gets blasted through different universes by the previous Sorceror Supreme, all of which look compellingly fun or nightmarish depending on which suit your fancy. There’s a world of dinosaurs, giant human bones, and cartoons, but the prettiest one is a world made of liquid crayons, I guess. ( And in a callback to something a character once said on Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think one of those universes was full of shrimp!)

Disney is finally starting to make movies that feel different from one another and include other genres, and this movie is a great parallel to Disney’s introduction of Horror themes and Supernatural creatures into the MCU this year in shows like Werewolf by Night and Moon Knight. I’m still going to call this the first MCU Horror movie because all of the tropes are right there. There are zombies, specters, jump scares, blood and gore (within reason), chase scenes from red-eyed phantoms, giant eyeball creatures, and a child in danger! If you liked the first Spiderman trilogy, and the Evil Dead movies, then check this out.

7. Love Death and Robots Season 3: Episode 4 (Tiny Zombie Apocalypse): Night of the Living Mini-Dead

This year’s Love Death and Robots season 3 was really strong this year, with some absolutely gorgeous animation based on Scifi Horror stories from my favorite writers, like Neal Asher, Michael Swanwick, Alan Baxter, and John Scalzi, in stories that range from poetic nightmares like Bad Traveling to comedies like Mason’s Rats, to tragically beautiful stories of conquest like Jibaro. I had several favorite episodes this year.

This one episode though is, hands down, one of the most hilarious zombie apocalypses I have ever seen. Yes, it’s even funnier than Shaun of the Dead, not just because it takes place in speeded-up miniature, but because of the incredible attention to detail in its homages to Night of the Living Dead, the Dawn of the Dead remake, Train to Busan’s and Peninsula’s fast zombies and Mad Max vehicles, an Attack on Titan shoutout, and Resident Evil mutated zombies. But my all-time favorite scene is the one with the tiny monks Kung fu-ing zombie ass at a mountaintop Shaolin Temple, echoing a scene from the book World War Z. In fact, I would watch an entire full-length movie that included all the scenes from this short.

It’s truly the attention to tiny details that had me rolling though, from the opening scene of the desecration at the cemetery (and how it sounds) which awakens the zombies, to the jogger who pushes her friend at the zombies only to be eaten and revived herself, to the Popemobile spewing gunfire while donuting outside The Vatican. And I love how the zombie apocalypse just goes from bad to worse with irradiated and mutated zombies spewing green fire.

Good lord! This needs to be a full-length film! I’d watch 90 minutes of this utter mayhem!

8. The Northman

The single biggest factor in people’s attraction to this movie was the trailer and the scene where a scantily clad Alexander Skarsgard reaches up, catches a thrown spear, and lobs it back to hit the thrower. I’m not gonna lie, that was what originally attracted me to the film as well, and thankfully, the movie proved to have as much substance as style. See! Not everything I watched this year was frivolous!

The Northman is based on the Scandinavian story which inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Amleth watches as his father, a man he idolizes, is murdered by his uncle. His mother is seemingly kidnapped and he vows to avenge his father save his mother, and kill his uncle in that order. Amleth grows to adulthood, learns of his uncle’s location, and decides to implement this plan, while the audience heckles the screen to suggest that he could maybe let it go.

The movie is also about fate and destiny, and how that figures into the choices a person makes. Amleth is told several times by psychics that it is his destiny to avenge the destruction of his family but he is also challenged to give up his vendetta and settle down with his wife and children. He chooses his vendetta and although the motivation for his choice isn’t exactly wrong, at any point along his journey of revenge, he could have stopped and let his uncle live out his life in relative peace.

This movie turned out to have a surprising amount of depth. Surprising because I was expecting more flash than story, and I was expecting more of a Hamlet retread, and what I got was an exploration of the concepts of fate and destiny, and how much of a choice we have in what happens in our lives and the lives of others.

9. Nope

What can I say? This movie had all of my favorite things. ufos. blood, gore, excellent horsemanship, and two incredible lead characters, the brother and sister duo of Emerald and OJ Haywood, but my all-time favorite moment was when Emerald does this particular bike maneuver, called The Akira Slide. Since it was first seen in Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime film Akira this moment has been imitated and recreated in almost every animated series worth watching since!

The idea of a live-action Akira has been bruted around for over three decades and this scene is as close as we’ve come outside a few concept videos. In fact, Jordan Peele himself was slated to direct a live-action version but that fell through when he decided to devote his energy to his own projects. He said that an homage to the project he dropped seemed in order, though.

That’s it! Just a fun nostalgic moment in a great Horror movie that had me kicking up my bunny slippers!

(Note: I do not actually own a pair of bunny slippers.)

10. The Batman

I would not call this movie fun but I did enjoy it, and that kind of surprised me. I didn’t think anything was going to come close to being as good as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy but this was a nice try and I liked it. I think this is a baby Batman in his first few years in Gotham and you can kind of see that in his fighting style, but this scene is the one that I found the most compelling. This is the audience’s first sight of The Batman and I loved the sound design of this scene.

The music, the ominous sound of his footsteps just before he fades out of the shadows, and the sound of rain in the background. The whole movie sounds great, which is not something I usually pay a whole lot of attention to, but I’ve started to pay attention since Villaneuve’s Dune did it so well. This was a superb introduction to this version of Batman, who has yet to learn that it’s not enough for him to just scare Gotham’s predators. He needs to protect the innocent too, something he begins to understand during the course of the movie.

Honorable Mentions

11. Wednesday Season 1: Episode 4 – Woe What a Night

I think this particular scene is definitely going to go down in history as iconic. For context, this is Wednesday Addams getting down on the dance floor at the new High School she was exiled to after she released predatory fish into the swimming pool at her last one. There was blood. I have always liked this particular character, especially the movie versions since she always represented things I have either actually said to people (I know right?!!) or wanted to say to people. I even liked the 1960s baby-girl version of her, and if you look really close you can see Jenna reproduce baby Wednesday’s iconic dance moves from the earlier TV series. Wednesday dances like she’s challenging her partner to a duel.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this series. I was cautiously excited about it because it’s Tim Burton, who has made it clear that he feels about Black people the way I feel about finding a worm in my apple, and its teenagers being teenagers in a TV show. I’m not normally attracted to shows about teens but I will, on occasion, try them out and I actually liked this. It’s not a great show, but it is a lot of fun, not too deep, and worth a watch. The best thing about it is Jenna Ortega’s performance as Wednesday and her relationship with her bubbly roommate, Enid. From her demeanor, there is also the implication that Wednesday may also be queer, in which case people are already shipping her with Enid, and I’m cool with that. I did enjoy watching their friendship develop, since Wednesday is heavily, (and I do mean heavily), coded as autistic. She is touch averse, sensitive to bright colors, single-minded, and extremely focused, with a pronounced flattened affect, and I kind of liked that, since Autistic girls and women are rarely shown onscreen. There were a couple of times when something she said about how she sees the world resonated pretty sharply with me, and I had to pause and reflect.

But mostly the show was just good fun. I was initially put off that the only two Black characters in the series were assholes, but they were redeemed by the end of the season and turned out to be two of Wednesday’s strongest allies. I didn’t especially care for the drama between Wednesday and her mother (or the side plot that showed some of her parent’s history at the school) although I understand why it was added. Parental mismanagement of their children is a recurring theme in the series, although Luis Guzman was excellent as Gomez and the series does play up Wednesday’s Latino heritage a little bit. My favorite episode was the one where Uncle Fester comes for a visit. He is played by Fred Armisen and while he is never going to be in Christopher Lloyd’s league as Fester, he gives it a very good try. Christina Ricci also shows up as one of Wednesday’s teachers and her role is good, but not all that surprising.

This was a fun watch and I’m willing to check out the next season, especially if there is more weird dancing scenes!

The Eternals – There were so many great moments in this movie, although ultimately I feel it fell flat of what it was trying to do, I still enjoyed a lot of it. My favorite characters were, of course, Kingo and his personal valet, Karun. All of the characters had great chemistry with each other but I especially enjoyed watching these two. (Okay, The Eternals was, technically, released in 2021, but I didn’t watch it until 2022, so this counts in my book.)

Umbrella Academy – The opening dance number (The Footloose Dance Off) was one of its great highlights. I love a good dance battle! I love that the series continues this level of ridiculousness for the entire season. Another great scene was Victor coming out to his family as transgender and announcing his pronouns, and his brother’s quite unsurprised/semi-surprised reaction to having another brother.

Prey – The fight scenes in this movie were incredible. This movie was awesome, setting the Predator down in 1800s America among the Comanche People.

Black Adam – I’m an old-school Hawkman and Doctor Fate fan. I expected to like Hawkman and didn’t expect to like Pierce Brosnan’s version of this character, but he was most excellent (he predates Doctor Strange by twenty years y’all) and I hope to see more of him in some sort of prequel. I remember reading Doctor Fate’s books as a kid and I didn’t know I wanted to see this character onscreen so much until, of course, I got to see him!

The Woman King – The entire movie is simply gorgeous. The fight scenes are rigorously excellent.

Sandman – It was really hard to pick one scene from this series. Every episode had some truly gorgeous and meaningful scenes. Here, The Sandman (Dream) gets to find out what a day in the life of Death is like…

Here’s What I Watched in March:

Now, these are not the only things I watched, these are just the most notable movies and shows, the ones that haunted me afterward, or just wouldn’t go away after seeing them. It does not necessarily mean the movie was any good (I enjoyed all of these, btw), it just means that after several days I’m still thinking very deeply about them. The most recent stuff I watched was: the first three episodes of Vikings: Valhalla, the fourth season of Star Trek Discovery, The Book of Boba Fett, the movie Reno 911: The Search for QAnon, and the Japanese series Kotaro Lives Alone, which I watched on a whim. I’m currently watching Moon Knight, and since it only lasts six episodes, I’ll wait until the finale to fully discuss that one (but I really, really liked the first episode, and I’m looking forward to the rest, mostly on the acting strength of Oscar Isaac.)

Here are some of the series/movies I enjoyed in the past two months,

The Power of the Dog

This was an emotionally devastating film. I have generally paid little attention to the films of Jane Campion outside of The Piano, which is one of my favorite films of the 90s. I both love and hate this film. I don’t normally like watching films where people get bullied, so I was reluctant to watch it, but I kept hearing about how good it was, and it was available on Netflix. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but I have to give major commendations to Kody Smit-McPhee, who was excellent in the vampire remake Let Me In, as once again, a child being bullied. There’s something about his delicate features and quiet demeanor that seems to call for him to play these roles.

One of my moderately favorite actors, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a character (Phil) that’s sort of against type, as a manly-masculine cowboy, who is insecure enough that he needs to constantly prove it by denigrating and mocking Kody’s character, (Peter), who is the son of his sister-in-law, Rose, played by Kirsten Dunst. Phil has contempt for everyone, including Rose and his brother George, but only because he’s trying to cover up a long-held secret. He drives Rose to drink, and Peter, who is very protective of his mother and has a special relationship with her, makes it his responsibility to alleviate her misery. That’s as much of the plot as I’m willing to tell, because I didn’t see what happened coming, and I should have because while it’s not exactly a twist, I did get sidetracked by all the other things in the plot, and wasn’t paying close enough attention.

Jane Campion is one of the few directors that can make you sympathize with all of the characters in her movies, no matter how reprehensibly they behave. She makes all of the character’s motivations understandable and believable and that’s what is so devastating about it. I wasn’t expecting to care so much about Phil, and I wasn’t expecting to hate Peter. I was totally caught up, which is what the best movies do so that when the ending comes, you need to readjust to reality. Campion’s Oscar is well deserved.

Old Henry

This is another movie set in the old West and covers one of my favorite themes in Westerns. The old grizzled gunslinger, filled with regret, trying to leave the lifestyle that comes back to haunt him. Tim Blake Nelson, who played Looking Glass in the Watchmen television series, stars as Henry, a farmer with a mysterious past, who must protect his son and home from a group of vigilantes hunting an outlaw he rescued, named Curry. The movie wasn’t as emotionally entangling as The Power of the Dog, but it was still very good, with the usual tropes covered pretty well, and a typically melancholy ending.

I remember being frustrated at Henry’s son, Wyatt, constantly belittling the father who was trying to protect him from becoming entangled in a life he’s been avoiding for a while. Wyatt has no gunmanship skills, but still thinks that’s an exciting road to head down, while his father doesn’t make a lot of effort to dissuade him from that kind of thinking because he’s afraid/ashamed of his secret past. So no one in the cast is looking too great as far as their character.

Stephen Dorff also stars in this movie, and I am definitely not a fan of his, but his acting here is alright. I think the reason I didn’t get as emotionally caught up in this movie is that this is an unknown director who is simply mediocre. They’re not bad but the movie lacks the layers it would have possessed if the directing had been better. It’s not a bad film, (it’s actually pretty good), but the plot, direction, and acting are very straightforward and therefore unremarkable. It’s a good solid Western with some competent gunfighting scenes. I don’t normally like to number films but if I had to I’d give it an 8/10.

Old Enough

OMG! This is quite possibly one of the funniest, most nerve-wracking television series to ever exist. It really had me clutching my pearls and talking to my TV screen, although I suspect that’s because I’m American. The premise of the show is a Japanese children’s ritual where kids as young as 2 are sent out on their first errand alone. They are given one, two, or sometimes multiple tasks to perform, like going to the store to pick up some curry, going to a neighbor’s house to drop off a hat, or going home from the rice fields, to make some orange juice and bring it back to their parents.

See, I live in the US, but I can get the sending kids on an errand thing alone because my Mom did this with me and my younger brother. Only we started at about 7 and 8 years old after she was certain we understood about paying attention, crossing streets, not talking to strangers, and getting back to the house in a timely manner. This was something we did only after putting in many, many, hours of successfully walking to school, several blocks away. Truthfully, the distances the kids have to walk aren’t really that far, although they seemed pretty far to me. It’s just the age of the kids that’s giving me palpitations.

To be fair, the kids are not entirely alone. There are multiple cameramen nearby, and there are adults in and around the event as passersby who are there to keep a close eye on the babies, help them reach for something in the store, or help them cross the street. This is kind of what my mom did too. She had several lady friends in the neighborhood who would watch our progress and report back to her. We were given instructions (sometimes written), and a specific amount of money, although unlike these little kids we were given a time limit. One little girl took until dark to get home because she misunderstood her instructions. My brother and I, our primary tasks were to stay focused, follow the instructions on the list and do that in a timely manner. Seriously y’all, watching this show brought back all kinds of memories, although my brother and I pretty much still behave like this today!

In the first episode, a two-year-old boy is given money and the task of going to the store to get some flowers for grandma’s shrine and a package of curry for dinner. I’m telling ya’, watching this little baby navigate the streets of his suburban neighborhood was some of the most tension-filled, nerve-wracking viewing I’ve had in the past few months! Even after I understood he was never in any real danger and adults would’ve been there for him if he asked for help or ran into trouble. And this was even with my understanding that Japan’s streets are safe enough to do things like this and this is a daily ritual in that culture. He actually successfully completed the task with only a minor hitch. (He almost forgot the curry.)

The absolutely funniest one is the little 4-6-year-old boy who is told to go back to the house from his family’s rice fields to make some refreshing orange juice and bring it back to the workers. He took two hours to make orange juice because he spent at least an hour trying to catch the family dog with a fishing net, playing with his trucks, and eating a leftover seaweed roll he found in the fridge. Oh, he definitely made the orange juice, and he made it correctly, but the boy was totally lacking in focus. His momma had to call the house multiple times to check if he was gonna come back.

An interesting story: My mom made me stop our car in traffic once, so she could save a little baby that she saw wandering too near the street. We were on a main thoroughfare, with cars zipping past at 40+ miles per hour and I was sort of farting along at 35 when my mom yelled at me to stop the car. She’d spotted this baby, he was walking but couldn’t have been more than two, and in a diaper, standing very close to the little devil’s strip of grass next to the sidewalk. I think he just got away from his mom and wandered out of the fenced-in yard. I stopped the car, and my mom, at 70 years old, sprang out of the vehicle, grabbed up this kid, and carried him to his front door where the father was looking for him.

My mom absolutely loved kids and I don’t know how many kid’s lives she saved in her life, and that includes my own life at least twice. She would have absolutely loved this series though, and probably would have been screaming at her TV too.

Turning Red

I genuinely really enjoyed this movie which is streaming on the Disney app right now. I’d heard good things about it, liked the trailer, and decided to try it out, although I have not been watching most of the kid’s movies released there.

You might or might not have heard of the little brouhaha surrounding a white male critic on the CinemaBlend website, panning the movie because he couldn’t relate, and thought that because it was about a little Asian-Canadian tween girl, it was not a universal story. I’ve said before that I give white male critics short shrift when it comes to reviewing movies that they are not in the center of. Many of them make the classic mistake of giving bad reviews to movies simply because they were not to their tastes or weren’t about subjects that were of interest to them.

It’s okay to not like something but to determine a movie was bad simply because it wasn’t made with your tastes in mind, or didn’t suit you personally is, I feel, a hole you want to avoid falling into. There are layers of misogyny and racism to his critique that I’ve talked about in other posts. I’m not even mad at the guy because all he did was say the quiet part out loud, as I long suspected this kind of behavior. Youtube is full of such men whining about how some movie wasn’t made for them, so therefore the movie sucks.

No, my question is why did he watch it in the first place? I mean, it’s Disney, the trailers are pretty obvious that the movie is aimed at teenage girls who love boy bands. What was he expecting it to be like? Was he expecting car chases, explosions, and titties? The review of course has since been removed and the creators and actresses had to come out in support of the film. I will probably talk about this more later because there are many layers to unwrap here.

Anyway, I loved the movie, but then I’m a woman who has gone through puberty. I don’t think the movie resonated in a certain way with me because I didn’t really see myself in any of the little girls, as my life was pretty different from theirs, but it’s a perfectly funny and enjoyable film. I enjoyed the relationship between Mei and her Mom because I understood what Mei was going through and why her mom acted the way she did, and we got some giant Panda Kaiju, which I totally was not expecting at all. I laughed a lot and even cried a little bit. Also, red pandas are some of the cutest bear-like creatures on the planet! I had to pause the movie at the boy band concert because I was just laughing too damn hard. I totally remember my girlfriends acting like this over New Edition. I mean I didn’t because I was not interested but I always got a kick out of watching them act like total fools.

I loved the relationships between the little girls and how lovely and supportive they were to Mei. There’s no unnecessary drama between them, just to have drama, and their friendship was really sweet. My favorite character was Priya, because she always looked like she was so over whatever was happening, and because Abby was just waaay too much for me. Although truthfully, Abby would have been the kind of girl who would have adopted me as her friend entirely against my will. (Having the most popular girl in class latch on to me and become my bestie, whether I wanted it or not, was actually a thing that happened to me pretty often!)

But my ultimate appraisal is for The Aunties! I loved the Aunties. The movie did resonate with me in that one way at least. I too grew up with a whole pack of Aunties, whose homes I lived in as much as my own, and whose personalities were as wild, and wildly divergent, as the women here. And I am now officially an auntie too! Seeing them was especially bittersweet, because due to age, I’ve lost at least half my aunties along with my Mom, and I felt some kind of way about seeing them reflected in this movie. So although I didn’t particularly resonate with Mei as a character, I was still able to emotionally connect to this movie in other ways.

Kotaro Lives Alone

This is another children’s series that is tangentially related to the other Netflix series I talked about, Old Enough. I watched this completely on a whim as part of my ongoing task of watching more anime. It wasn’t really recommended to me by the Netflix algorithm, but I decided to check it out because I thought Kotaro was really cute, and I was deeply curious about why, at the ripe old age of about four or five years old, he was renting an apartment all alone. I have not actually encountered the episode that talks about why he is alone, but there are some small flashbacks that hint that his parents may have simply neglected him.

A lot of the plot of the show is rooted in the Japanese cultural ideas of community aid and support just like the show Old Enough, in which small children are pushed to be very independent, but at the same time, they are looked after and carefully watched by all the other adults in their vicinity. As I said, Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world, but that doesn’t mean Japanese parents don’t worry about their kids, and I was puzzled as to where Kotaro’s parents were, if they knew what he was doing, and if they are they looking for him.

Anyway, Kotaro shows up at an apartment complex all alone, but soon develops relationships with at least three of his neighbors. His next-door neighbor, a disaffected young man who won some cartoonists awards but is now experiencing writer’s block, a young lady who works as a bar hostess who Kotaro develops a little boy crush on, and the downstairs number who has decided to adopt Kotaro as his own because he reminds him of the son he can no longer interact with. It’s a surprisingly sweet show. I was expecting it to be a little darker, but it has a great deal of wholesomeness that I found refreshing.

Kotaro, like a lot of imaginative young boys, thinks he’s on a grand adventure. He actually is pretty lonely but wants to seem grown up and independent, so is reluctant to sometimes ask for help. I’m not sure where his money comes from but he buys a tiny sword that he is constantly challenging his neighbor to duels with because the young man insists on accompanying him on his errands and outings (for safety reasons, he says). Kotaro insists he doesn’t want to be treated like a baby but after a while, he accepts the care and attention of his neighbors and develops a crush on his lady neighbor, the hostess, visiting her at her job for a date, after he spends the night in her apartment because he got scared.

I haven’t finished the series, so I don’t yet know how it ends, but if after the episode where I watched his neighbors all show up on his first day of kindergarten, for father/son day, and he doesn’t end up formally adopted by them, I’m gonna feel some kinda way about that.

Our Flag IMeans Death

This show was produced and starred in by none other than Taika Waittit, a director whom I have grown to love since he helped to create one of the best vampire movies of the past decade, What We Do in the Shadows, and one of the finest and funniest MCU films, Thor Ragnarok! I trust Taika to deliver the funny without passive-aggressive meanness, and/or the ritual humiliation of his characters.

I’m a big pirate movie fan, (no, I have not yet watched Black Sails), but I do know most of the tropes, and here Taika parodies and neatly turns over most of them, in this ridiculous comedy series about a well to do man, forced to marry a woman he didn’t love, who dreams about becoming a pirate. So he buys a ship and sets sail with a delightfully silly crew (who keep unexpectedly making various well thought out points about life and love) and his major domo, who is semi-openly gay. They are all very bad at pirating, and Stede becomes the laughingstock of his social class.

Even though some of his men are bloodthirsty enough to be good pirates, Stede, their Captain isn’t. He is a polite, high society man who meets his idol in Blackbeard, played by Taika. The two of them become close friends and Blackbeard, aka Edward, teaches Stede how to be a pirate, but finds his own temperament being influenced by Stede’s gentility. (And yes, they eventually fall in love!)

One of my favorite characters is Spanish Jackie, played by comedian Leslie Jones, whose name is not Jackie, nor is she Spanish, and who has 20…no 18 husbands because she was betrayed by one of Stede’s crew, a character who was raised by nuns to be an assassin. One of my favorite scenes was the Pirate Flag creation scene where the crew is tasked to create the best flag, but Stede can’t pick one and just chooses all of them, so now there are multiple flags flying on the mast. That’s a scene that is never shown but you deduce it because of a later shot. Blackbeard himself is played by Taika, and he gives a warm and sensitive performance of a man who likes pretty things, is dissatisfied with his reputation as a menacing killer, and longs to experience a finer life outside of simply being a pirate. (Plus Taika looks fine as hell in black leather!)

There is a little blood and gore, a little bit of killing, and lots of adventures involving revenge narratives and fake identities but the show is actually pretty wholesome, and most if not all the characters are really likable. Taika often uses comedy to make pointed statements about the relationships between men as he did in Thor, in What We Do…, and here he uses the characters to comment on male friendship, loneliness, love, and loyalty.

Yet to be watched:

Raising Dion Season 2

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Batman

What I Watched In September

I haven’t been very diligent in my television viewing the past few weeks. These shows are what I was able to get through in September. What with the glut of  genre programming, I’ve gotten a lot pickier about what I watch the past few years. There are some shows, I thought I’d be interested in, but after watching a bit,, I lost interest. There are a few I barely got thirty minutes into, before getting tired of the premise, like The Dark Crystal. This was a show I was initially excited about, but once it came time to sit down and watch it, I just didn’t fee like making the emotional investment, no matter how shallow. Of the shows below, I at least managed to get through an entire episode.

 

Carnival Row

Image result for carnival row gifs

Well, first  of all, the show is gorgeous, but ultimately, I probably will not finish the show because I got really tired of looking at the lead actress’ face looking all sad. She just glowers through the entire show, and we spend far too much time looking at the same facial expression, sometimes for minutes at a time. You know what would be radical? If she smiled. But I don’t believe that actress knows how to do that, because I have never seen her do it. Ever!

On the other hand , it’s fascinating to watch Legolas be a human detective. He glowers a lot too, but he looks more handsome doing it, and he has the exxcuse of looking at mangled bodies all the time. The show does have some other bothersome shit in it, like the fact that there is one, light skinned, woman of color in the show, and she is a one of the Fae, and a sex worker. There is one Black man in the show, and he is a rich,  aristocratic, Fae, who has decided to woo a regular human/White woman, who is a kind of fairy bigot.

Its’ obvious that the Fae are stand-ins for people of color, and the situation on the show is an echo of our current immigration system. For the record, this show takes place in an alternate universe, where certain things in history didn’t happen, like slavery (I think), and magic works, and multiverse travel is a thing. The Fae in the show are all from a parallel universe, which is at war with  some human looking invaders. They are flooding into the current universe as refugees, along with some type of monster, that’s preying on Fae homeless and streetwalkers, while Detective Legolas is on the case.

There’s also a frustrated romance,  which I wasn’t too interested in, between Legolas and the lead character, but I will tolerate it, I guess, but just wasn’t buying the relationship. The two actors have no chemistry at all, and all their drama was unconvincing, but then I haven’t seen anyone that that particular actress (I think her name is Carla Delevigne) has ever had chemistry with. Maybe she’s just a bad actress? I don’t know. I want to like her ,and she is very pretty, but I’ve never liked her in anything I’ve watched her in. What she does have is intensity, and gravity ,and I wish she would choose the kind of roles that better highlight those qualities.

There are parts of the show which are fascinating, like the worldbuilding. I’ve also been told by a friend of mine, that I trust, that the show does get better as the season moves forward. And let me say it again, the show is absolutely gorgeous, to look at. I want to dislike the show, but I can’t, because I’m a ‘ho for a pretty show. I don;t know. Maybe I will finish it.

 

 

Titans

Related image

I started the first episode of season two, and it took a minute for me to be impressed. The last episode, Raven brought her father, the demon Trigon, to Earth and asked him to resurrect Garth, in exchange for her soul or something. Outside her house, the rest of the team were trying to figure out a way to get inside and save her, and they do manage to get inside, but one by one, they all succumb to the worst part of their egos, and Trigon takes over their bodies, or something, and they turn all black-eyed and evil. Trigon gets defeated by Raven, and she absorbs his powers or something, and that frees the others from his influence. Or something. Honestly, I really don’t care about the plot,  which is pretty pedestrian for these types of shows.

But I am interested in the individual characters, and their  relationships to one another, because I find them fascinating, for different reasons. This is one of the reasons behind my love of ensemble shows and movies. Last season, it was the relationships I saw developing between Garth and Raven, and Dick and Kory, that captured my attention. Donna Troy, also known as Wonder Girl (Wonder Woman’s little sister) was introduced at the tail end of the season, and I like the relationship I see developing between her and Kory/ Both of them are close friends of Dick Grayson, and I  wonder how that works. There’s still never enough Garth, who turned out to be my absolute favorite of last season. I’m still indifferent to Raven, even though I loved her in the comic books.

I’m still not a fan of Hawk and Dove. I just think they are the two least interesting characters in the entire show, and I wish so much time was not devoted to them. On the other hand, I would love to see more of Jason Todd’s bratty Robin, and his conflict with the elder Robin, now Nightwing. Bruce Wayne makes a cameo too, but I don’t know that actor, and I found it difficult to wrap my head around the idea that that was Batman.

I plan to finish up the rest of the season, in time, because there will be lots of nice cameos, including Cyborg, who is now starring in Doom Patrol. New shows air on Thursdays, on the DCEU streaming app.

 

 

American Horror Story 1984

Related image

This season is built on a number of slasher movie tropes, all of which should be instantly familiar to anyone who watches Horror movies. A lot of slasher movies get referenced, like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Cabin in the Woods. It contains the usual cast of characters that make up such movies, where the basic plot is introducing a group of unlikable people to an environment they can’t escape, and dropping a monster into it. But the show also interposes real life serial killer Richard Ramirez into the plot in a big way.

Brooke is the virginal/ good girl, who meets the slut archetype, named Montana or Monique, or something, in aerobics class, along with the handsome pretty boy, the dumb and angry jock, and the token negro, named, naturally, Ray. Those were the only names I got out of this episode. I will be watching more of this show because it does seem like the season will be fun, and since this is Ryan Murphy, I know that its going to get more and more batshit as the season progresses. It certainly seems like more fun then the rather gloomy last season. Perhaps I will actually remember some names by the third episode.

This group of barely likable/unlikable people (I have decided that I like Brook) decide to become camp counselors for the Summer, to get away from  Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker, who went on a house invasion/killing spree of  the women in LA at that time, for …Satan. I guess.

The night before they are set to leave, Brooke is actually attacked by him, and survives, although he threatens to get her later. On their way to the camp they hit a traveler on the road, and take the severely injured man to the camp with them. I do have an objection to the addition of Ramirez to the show because I think it glorifies, real life killers, and his deeds, which were truly atrocious. He shot, bludgeoned, and  even macheted his victims. I feel like the show will run into the same problems, with this character, that Netflix did when it showcased Ted Bundy, in a couple of dramatic documentaries. But then that seems to be the risk anytime television references serial killers. There will be a contingent of people who glorify and empathize with the killers.

Image result for ahs 1984 gifs

Once they get there, the camp owner turns out to be a deeply religious evangelistic woman, who expects them all to abstain from sex. It turns out, like Brooke, she is the survivor of a serial killer massacre, at the camp, when she was a child. Her survival is the reason behind her religious fervor. The guy who killed her camp mates, (named Mr. Jingles), escapes from the asylum, where he was kept, and hheads to the camp too. So you’ve got a head on collision of various killers, an injured stranger, religious extremism, and horny young people.

I know I was a little dubious about watching this because the fashions and music are every bit as annoying as I remember, (even though I generally like 80s Pop culture). However, it was nice to hear Salt N Pepa, or some Whitney Houston, because usually, when White people remember any pop culture after the 70s. they never seem to remember the existence of Black culture, and/or music of that time. I mean how the hell do you forget the existence of Prince? At least I think I heard this music, and if I did, then its a bit anachronistic, since neither one of them produced albums until 1988, and 1985, and I thought the show was only referencing music from 1984.

Anyway, the second episode has already aired, and it looks like fun. I’m not necessarily a fan of serial killer movies, but I have watched my share of them, and I do have at least a couple of favorites, so I’m looking forward to seeing references to them, at some point in the season. Also, I remember studying Ramirez in college. (By studying, I mean that I read a lot of books about serial killers and profiling, because apparently, that’s a phase that a lot of autodidacts go through.)

 

 

Prodigal Son

Image result for prodigal son series gifs

Speaking of serial killers, there’s this thing. I’m not exactly sure what to call it, since it wants to be a whole lot of different shows. I want to like this  because  of the vibes I’m getting off the actors, but its hard, because everyone acts like they are all in a different show, and there is an unusual comedy aspect that keeps cropping up at odd moments. The show cannot seem to make up its mind if it wants to be a comedy, a drama, a detective show, or a buddy cop show, but is only doing one of those things well. Guess which one.

The show stars Michael Sheen (Woohoo!!!!) as a serial killer who has been caught and jailed. He has a strong relationship with his son, played by Tom Payne, who looks vaguely familiar (He played Jesus in The Walking Dead. I’m glad to see hie’s still working.) and yeah, he’s kinda cute. The lead character’s family was torn apart when his father was discovered to be a serial killer, after which he decided to study serial killers as an agent of the FBI, while using his father as a resource. The two of them eventually have a falling out (which we don’t get to see in this episode) and he doesn’t see his father for ten years. After being fired from the FBI, for being reckless, he becomes  a New York city detective, and he has to see his father, to solve a case where the killer is copying his father’s crimes.

Image result for prodigal son series gifs

Now, I really want to like the show for the characters, but like I said, they all act like they are in different shows. The lead character has a mother and a sister. His mother is essentially useless, as a character who thinks she is in a soap opera, while his sister thinks she’s in a teen dramedy, even though she is not a teenager. The coroner, a cute, and  tiny, older Asian woman, acts like she is in a completely different, yet zanier, comedy, and she is obviously attracted to the lead character. There’s a very young Black woman detective, who is obviously supposed to be a future love interest, and who acts like she is in a police procedural, and Lou Diamond Phillips is also present, but thinks he is in a buddy cop movie.  You know what the show could do to change things up a bit, have a romance develop between the older woman coroner, and the lead character. I happen to like that pairing, and they  actually seem to  have chemistry. It could also tone down some of the comedic aspects too. Michael Sheen should be the only funny person on the show.

This show caught me by surprise. It wasn’t on my list and I caught it by accident. I was  intrigued because of the dynamic of a father who is a serial killer, who intensely loves his son. Michael Sheen is superb in the role of course, appearing to be warm and genial, while giving off just enough off-kilter vibes, to seem menacing. Plus there are  the Hannibal the series vibes I’m getting, as both shows are about the intense relationships that develop between a serial killer, and another man, close to him, whose trying not to get roped into madness. I think I’m gonna stick around for a little bit and see where this goes. I generally don’t watch cop shows, or network broadcast television, but it is Michael Sheen, and Tom Payne is just really, really, cute.

 

 

Treadstone (Preview)

Image result for treadstone gifs

One of the creators of this show is Tim Kring, and I trust him with this show because he at least has some experience working with an ensemble cast, on a global scale, having been one of the creators on the series, Heroes. This show is based on the Bourne franchise, which is based on the Bourne books, and is about the clandestine organization that created Jason.

In the first episode, we ‘re mostly just meeting the primary characters, three sleeper assassins, called Cicadas in the show, who awaken to their special skills with no knowledge of their former selves. Some White guy in Alaska, another White man, being held hostage by the Russians, and a Korean piano teacher. We also meet a Black woman journalist, who is set on uncovering the  purpose behind Treadstone and the Cicadas, by a Korean defector.

I really enjoyed the action scenes, which are smart and well shot. These are people who know how to shoot acceptable action scenes. The show follows the protocol of the movies, by respecting the female characters, and giving them plenty to do. They are smart, capable, and know how to kick ass as well as any of the men, giving as good as they get. One of the major set pieces of the episode is the Korean piano teacher, duking it out with the Korean defector. It’s not simply a good action scene, it has a story in it, with suspenseful moments. There are a few things that seem farfetched but I’m willing to let those things slide because the Bourne franchise has moments like that too.

I think I’ll stick around for this show, which doesn’t actually air until October 15th, because this was a free preview. It’s not too emotionally heavy, and it has just enough intrigue and action to be interesting.

 

PS: Sunday Night was the final episode for the Preacher series. I’ve been watching this crazy-as-shit show, off and on, for about three seasons, so I’ll be reviewing the finale sometime in October.

Iron Fist Season One

I’m a long time martial arts movie fan. I have clocked a lot of hours watching people fake punching and kicking each other. If you’re that level of fan of martial arts, it’s okay. You can skip this show. There is waaaay too damn much talking in this show.

On the other hand, it’s not an awful show. It’s not half as awful as the critics would have everybody believe. It certainly could be a better show, and it doesn’t live up to any of the expectations of the trailers, as bad as they were. Let’s just say all the action you saw in the trailers, is most of the action in the show. My guess is they knew they couldn’t hook us in by showing the many, many hours of people snarking at each other in offices,and  wearing nice clothes, so decided to go with inelegant fight scenes. Think the show Suits, but with worst dialogue, and sometimes somebody gets punched.

The plot is as stated. Danny Rand flees a mystical Asian land called Kun Lun, where he is the legendary Iron Fist.He comes to NY and gets involved with Colleen, Claire Temple, and the Hand. We spend most of the show running around with this trio, from place to place, jostling with Ms. Gao, and the Hand, macking on Colleen like a creepy stalker, and trying  to avenge his parents deaths, which involves the corporation his father used to run, his father’s old partner, and that man’s children, the Meachums.

My special advice is to watch the show on your tablet or phone ,and every time you see people talking in an office, fast forward through that. I fast forwarded through almost all of that part and was still able to keep up with most of the details of the plot. I would also advise you not to listen too hard to the dialogue because you will go to sleep. Unless Claire’s on screen. She’s awesome. As always.

I was going to give some type of in depth review, but I’m not interested enough to invest that much work into the characters and plots and shit. So here. Have some links and articles that carefully explain what went wrong with this show.

Iron Fist was inspired by 1970s kung fu movies, but no one seriously expected Finn Jones to become the next Bruce Lee. The show focuses on plot over action, so it makes more sense to compare it to Daredevil. And that comparison makes Iron Fist look like total garbage.

Daredevil‘s hallway fight was praised for its stylish choreography and camera work. There’s a real weight and brutality to Daredevil’s blows, and the scene uses a long tracking shot so you can see all the necessary action.

Iron Fist paid tribute with its own hallway fight scene, utilizing a very different style of filmmaking.

 

In Iron Fist, the camera constantly cuts away before the blows connect. The editor chopped Danny’s choreography into two or three shots per move, so you don’t catch the full impact of his actions. It’s like trying to follow a ballet performance through a dozen tiny windows around the stage.

Once the fight reaches the elevator, we get a completely unnecessary split-screen view of Danny disarming an opponent. At 1:35 in the above video, the split screen actually makes it harder to see what he’s doing.

[READ MORE]

*I’m going to go one step further here. This weekend was the second season premiere of Into the Badlands. This show is everything that Iron Fist should have been. Into the Badlands is full of action and every one of its fight scenes is given the love and dedication that it should receive for an action show. Contrast this fight scene with the one from Iron Fist:

 

Oh, and here is the fight scene between Zhou Cheng and Iron Fist. Zhou Cheng is being played by Lewis Tan, an actor and model  who is half White, and was one of the most prominent contenders for AA Iron Fist.Btw, this is one of the best fights in the entire series.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/20/14988036/lewis-tan-iron-fist-casting-marvel-netflix-asian-representation

@
@

*This critique lays out the five major criticisms of the show:

 Monday, March 20, 2017

Five Comments on Iron Fist

Marvel and Netflix’s latest series dropped this past weekend, a week and a half after the pre-air reviews pretty much savaged it, calling it the partnership’s (if not the MCU’s) first complete dud.  What I found particularly damning about Iron Fist‘s reviews was their uniformity.  When one reviewer gives you a pan, you can blame the reviewer.  When a dozen reviewers give you pans that all make exactly the same criticisms–a dull and unsympathetic lead performance, an increasing emphasis on an unappealing villain, storylines that focus too much on boardroom shenanigans, lousy fight scenes–you’ve probably got a turkey on your hands.  Having watched the entire first season of Iron Fist, my only quibble with the reviewers is that most of the flaws they ascribe to the show were also present in the second season of Daredevil, which received generally favorable notices.  In fact, it’s not so much that Iron Fist is worse than Daredevil‘s second season, as that it is more boring (it lacks, for example, a magnetic central performance in the vein of Jon Bernthal’s Punisher), and this makes it easier to notice flaws that have been present in all of the Defenders shows, albeit taken to far greater extremes here.  The boring part means that the show doesn’t really deserve a full review, but there are a few points about it that I thought were worth discussing.
http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2017/03/five-comments-on-iron-fist.html

Continue reading “Iron Fist Season One”

On Tumblr

 *On a lighter note, heres a lot of silly shit that ended up in my Tumblr feed. Be sure to scroll down to the Church’s Chicken protesters.

*First up, any posts in praise of my precious cinnamon bun, John Boyega, and by attachment, Finn, is always going to give me a happy.

Why Finn is the Best Character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

*The through line under this heading is that you could disagree but you’d be wrong. I am in full agreement with that statement.

Also, this person goes in depth on analyzing Finn’s fighting style. 

Finn’s lightsaber form?

force-2187:

I’ve been wondering about what type of combat form Finn would employ as a Jedi.

We know he’s very adept at a blaster, so I imagine Finn would a damn pro at deflecting blaster bolts back to their source. Like, that would be his signature move. So, for defence, I see him using Shien. In fact, I firmly believe that Finn holds his lightsaber in the reverse grip a la Galen Marek.

As for offensive … Finn’s style is quite aggressive and determined. We can see he puts a lot of strength behind his attacks, he only lacks the proper training. Like the times he put in hits, they were quite powerful and had a great effect (impaling Stormtrooper; slashing Ren’s shoulder). He just has trouble defending himself in lightsaber fights, so Shien would help him a lot there. I see him using Djem So, giving out attacks with brute strength. He even uses the Falling Avalancheattack while fighting Kylo Ren:

According to the wikiThe characteristic Djem So attack was dubbed the “Falling Avalanche,”[9]an overhand power blow that crashed down upon an opponent with exceptional force.

In fact, when Kylo dodges this, Finn falls over from the sheer strength of his attack. That alone shows us the brute power he has, whether that’s Force enhanced or not.

Here is Finn attempting a strong jab at FN-2199, singlehandedly. Finn has a certain grace with the lightsaber weapon. While he has not mastered it yet, nor is he exactly comfortable with it (it’s much lighter than the baton he is used to), it’s evident that he is confident with it. The lightsaber is not an ill-fitting or uncomfortable weapon in his hand. There is no doubt in my mind that he is Force Sensitive.

Finn uses the Falling Avalanche again, with considerable success:

image

Another similarity between Finn and Anakin’s styles is that both seek to gain distance between their opponent, and then go to land the first powerful strike to put them off-balance. Anakin does this by kicking his opponent away and then advancing, while Finn moves away himself after parrying attacks, assesses his opponent, and then runs towards them to land a blow. Now that I think of it, Finn would be a Master at Djem So!

Because Finn is so firmly on the Light Side and is obviously hard to seduce to the Dark (I mean, years of brainwashing couldn’t) it’s safe to assume he has a lot of self control. I believe that after intense training, and mastery of the Force, Finn would be amazing at Vaapad. His style already is aggressive and powerful, and he has a lot of self-reflection and empathy skills, so I can imagine him easily accepting and understanding the Darkness of his opponent and conducting it to feed his own power. Finn has his own Darkness, as we see in his rage-fuelled fight in the forest, but he can control it and won’t fall to the Dark as easily.

I think Finn will become a very powerful Jedi. I don’t care if he lost all his fights in TFA. Luke did, too, before he became one of the most powerful Jedi ever. The only reason people underestimate Finn now is because they’ve seen Rey defeat Kylo, when Rey has had to fight with her staff (same weight as lightsaber) all the time while growing up, and uses the same techniques with the lightsaber as well. I definitely think she’ll use either Niman or Juyo, and you’ll have to prise double-bladed lightsaber Rey out of my cold, dead hands. Besides, Rey has a clear parallel with Obi-Wan in his fight with Darth Maul: after their loved one has been struck down, they fight the bad guy as revenge and in anger and win. However, Finn has parallels with Luke and Anakin: he loses his first fight against the primary antagonist, who actually works under a bigger antagonist, but still shows exceptional skill. There is a strong Finn/Luke parallel in TFA/ESB. This also leads me to believe that it will be Finn vs. Kylo Ren in the final battle, and then Rey vs. Snoke.

What do y’all think?

(you guys seemed interested, so I’m taggin you: @anhamirak @kyloandfinnren @boyega-john@luminousfinn @errrbodylovesfinn @spacefinns )

@

@

* How you gonna tell someone that honoring or celebrating their culture is divisive? You can try it, but the next time you see me, I’m going to be wearing an Afro, one of those Black Power hair picks, a daishiki over a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, and a red black and green headband, with matching coffee mug. I’m gonna be the blackest Black person you have ever seen.

As soon as the word “Divisive” flies out of a white person’s mouth my brain goes into hybernation mode. Nothing they can say after that is valid and shit before that will be rendered invalid.

@
@

*For some reason, this parody of racism in fandom just gave me the giggles, for the rest of the day. “White demon” definitely reminds me of Hannibal Lecter.

A black character: * has those grey morals white people are always nutting over, has Deep Issues and enough Tiny Expressions to fill a book*

the yts: :/ wow he’s :/ he’s really toxic and violent, isn’t he? i :/ i’m very uncomfortable with how he raised his voice to my pure, white angel uwu

A white demon: *is an actual demon, kills people, blinked once*

the yts: !! this ! he’s so pure! did you see how he blinked ? ohmygod give this man an oscar already! look at how his eyes closed for one second and opened the next!! do you know!! do you know what that means!!

Source:

@
@

*On the other hand, The Ascension can only occur anyway after the release of The Black Panther movie, in 2018, so the hell with Han Solo, cuz Black people won’t be here for it.

@
@

The people on Tumblr love to parody  Benedict Cumberbatch’s name. I know its wrong to mock  someone’s  name but I can’t help it. Some of these names are so ridiculous, you can’t help but laugh. I’ve even found an entire website with nothing but name parodies for Mr. Cumberbatch:

I’m pretty sure his name is pronounced Benadryl Combustible

i’m pretty sure they mean Benzene Carbonmonoxide

Benedict Cucumberbitch

Bumbershoot Crumblebread

Bicycle Crashandfall

Bettyboop cabbagepatch

Burgerking Custardbath

bentdick cumberbumble

Bendydirt cumberbutt

Battletoad Pimplerash

@

@

*Well, this makes perfect sense.

helimir:

I think the reason why Tolkien keeps referring to “the bow of Legolas” and “the voice of Legolas” and “the arrows of Legolas” is that he doesn’t want to write “Legolas’s”

@
@

*I would say this is an accurate definition. Well, obviously we don’t need a Black Widow movie, if ScarJo can just keep stealing roles from WoC. What’s she gonna do next? Foxxy Brown? 

attentiondonor:

white feminism is scarlett johansson being offended by misogynistic interview questions, but staying silent when depriving an asian american actress’ opportunity to play a Japanese character.

@
@

*The next time someone comes in your mentions arguing about the Historical accuracy of some Fantasy film, just think of this post, and have a good laugh.

copperbadge: “ hansbekhart: “ astronema-princess-of-all-evil: “ atlas-pt: “ southernsideofme: “ Historical footage of the last T-Rex serving his country in WWl. ” But isn’t that a Jeep? And the T-Rex is holding a…Browning M2? Which wasn’t used until...

Source: southernsideofme

Historical footage of the last T-Rex serving his country in WWl.

But isn’t that a Jeep? And the T-Rex is holding a…Browning M2? Which wasn’t used until 1933…

So I think this footage is actually of WW2.

I’m living for this historical accuracy

Historical accuracy is so important you guys

I agree that it’s WWII, because aside from the Browning and the Jeep, that’s much too small to be one of the last true T-Rexes, which were definitively wiped out in the battle of the Somme.

It’s probably a Nanuqsaurus Hoglundi – they’re similar but smaller so it’s easy to make the mistake. N. Hoglundi, known to soldiers as Hogs, were used for light artillery up through 1954, when PETA (Paleontologists for the Ethical Treatment of Anachronisms, no relation) got on the military’s case about it. The last Hog to serve in the military died in the Brookfield Zoo in something like 1979, I think?

@
@

*Who put this on the internet? And why?
nobigotzone: “ It made me laugh. ”

@
@

*I’ve actually done some of these things. That coffee cup thing actually works. People think you’re a responsible grownup with a job and everything.

unpretty:

ways i have tricked people into thinking i am competent:

  • bought a really nice looking fountain pen
  • that sounds like a joke but fountain pens are cheap as shit and when you use one people look at you like you’re a fucking wizard
    • this hero 901 cost me $3 on ebay and i don’t know why people assume that this is a pen for intelligent people but they do
    • it works better when i am using a nice notebook and not the avengers notebook that makes it look like the hulk is grabbing my sweet pen
    • i write in code which for some reason leads everyone to assume that i am some kind of da vinci motherfucker, instead of the reality, which is that i am writing about dicks and don’t want anyone to know
    • it looks like i am constantly taking notes on everything which is both intimidating and inaccurate, just the way i like it
    • i bought a usb clicker/laser pointer for $11 and now it seems like i’ve got this shit on lock, like i am so pro at giving presentations i even own accessories
    • holding a clicker makes you seem at least 10% more like you know what you’re talking about i’m pretty sure
    • i check the weekly freebies on creativemarket every monday so now i have a huge folder of pro-looking website themes and powerpoint templates and fill-in-the-blank resumes (also a lot of autumnal clipart and watercolor flowers and script fonts but that is less relevant)
    • i bought a ceramic coffee mug at world market years ago and it makes me look like a productive coffee-drinker because no one knows it’s full of hot cocoa
    • i don’t know why drinking coffee makes you look busy it just does even though i’m pretty sure it statistically reduces productivity
      • bonus: not only does no one know i’m just drinking Depression Chocolate but they think i am being Environmentally Conscious rather than Poor As Shit
      • extra bonus: i can take a sip whenever it looks like someone is going to ask a question and then they ask someone else
      • i almost never have to answer questions and i leave the room a lot because i have to pee constantly so double extra bonus
      • “That’s a very good question, and one that deserves an in-depth answer, so if you’d like to leave me your card I’d be happy to discuss it with you later one-on-one” aka “how DARE you suggest i waste everyone’s time answering this question right now” aka “lmfao i have no fucking clue what you just said please let me secretly google that okay”
      • bonus: now it seems like you are a sophisticated grownup who assumes everyone has A Card and if they have to settle for writing their email on a scrap of paper you can feel smug about it even though in your heart you know that you are no better
      • i’ve got anxiety and poor impulse control and anxiety about my poor impulse control so i generally say jack shit about shit and this constant silence is often misinterpreted as aloof observation
      • no one knows that my air of mystery is actually a bad case of the shy and i am too shy to correct them so it works out
      • when i’m on my laptop and i don’t want anyone to notice how much i’m dicking around i turn the brightness way down so they can’t snoop without being obvious
      • at least one window of notepad++ with some random html page or css stylesheet in it makes randos assume you are some kind of genius doing some genius shit, unless they are CS major randos, in which case i guess find an intimidating looking excel spreadsheet and hope for the best
      Source: unpretty

      @
      @

      *True fax!

    • @
      @
  • And general good news as The Queen, The Goddess, Michelle Yeoh, gets picked up for the new Star Trek TV show, and Pacific Rim has a fairly large Chinese cast, headed by a Black dude, John Boyega. I’m just giving my money away next 

‘Pacific Rim 2’ adds Chinese action star Zhang Jin to its roster

Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, starring Star Wars’ John Boyega, has added another actor to the cast list, rounding out a fairly sizable Chinese cast.

*Michelle Yeoh will appear in ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ according to producer

Random Tumblr Antics 2

*This person hit the nail right on the head. I had been wondering why out of all the female Ghostbusters, that it was Leslie who got attacked. This man is right in that the a**holes who came after her, thought they could get away with attacking, what they thought, was the weakest link, the one person that no one would defend or care about. They didn’t plan that Black women would stan for Leslie, the way we  did. Their mistake was in thinking no one would have each her back, because they perceive the rift between Black and White women to be a rift between ALL women. I’m so proud of black women for doing this.

@

@

*I laughed too hard at this one. Its so true, but  its still a little confusing how I would die, as a member of several different fandoms

iprayforangels

Fandoms by how they’d die in a zombie Apocalypse

In The Flesh: first to go, tried to befriend the zombies

Welcome to Nightvale: second to go, purposefully became zombies

Sherlock: got fed to zombies by other fandoms for being a know it all prick all the time

Doctor Who: caught and eaten by the Hannibal fandom during an argument among themselves

Torchwood: died avenging Doctor Who fandom’s death

Hannibal: mistaken for zombies while eating someone and killed by Supernatural fandom

Marvel: dies being unnecessarily heroic

DC: dies trying to prove they could survive the thing Marvel died doing

Homestuck: sacrificed to hoard as a distraction

Star Wars: killed by Star Trek in the midst of peace negotiations

Star Trek: killed by one of their own, sick of how much everyone hates Voyager

Harry Potter: eaten by zombie after they attempted to defend themselves with a spell

Supernatural: almost survived the whole thing before sacrificing themselves under the belief they’d come back

Walking Dead: survived the whole thing

@
@

*What happens with a shallow reading of Civil War is that Tony looks like a sympathetic character.

He isn’t.

Once you look  beneath the surface of the movie you understand that Tony comes across as a first-class dick.

These guys looked beneath the surface. And what catalyzed them apparently, was that scene I mentioned in a similar post, where Tony strikes out at my boy Sam, for Vision’s mistake. They caught a little bit more than I did, because at no point afterward does Tony chastise Vision for what happened to Rhodey, (I was expecting that, too.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still crazy about Civil War but Tony is not the good guy in this movie and is gettin’ no love from me. I liked him alright in Iron Man 3, but in Civil War, Tony is one of is a bad guy.

mcufandomhatespeopleofcolor queerlaurabarton

desiree-rodriguez:

lexrambeau:

It’s been months and I’m still not over tony blasting sam when he was just trying to help after rhodey fell, but giving vision no type of slack for being the one to miss his shot. rhodey is paralyzed because vision wasn’t paying any fucking attention to what he was doing. in the hospital scene tony doesn’t even look like he’s mad at vision and in the end of the movie we don’t even get to see rhodey show any emotions about his new condition like the narrative still tries to make us feel bad for tony even though rhodey is sitting there fucking paralyzed.

This was a fundemental problem with the movie. Rhodey wasn’t a character in that moment, he was a plot device to further make the audience feel bad for Tony (similar to how he recent death in Civil War II was a plot device to instigate the “war” between Carol and Tony). Tony’s story in Civil War, I feel, can be summed up as “please feel bad for him” so that the audience wouldn’t turn on him for opposing Steve in his own movie. Rhodey suffered because of this.

He was reduced to a shock value moment where he was shot down and paralyzed so that the audience would have yet another reason to feel bad for Tony Stark. There’s next to no follow up for this except for Tony’s perspective on the course of events and the fact he doesn’t even hold the person responsible (Vision) responsible for it because the movie is so concerned with half developing the romance between Wanda and Vision and didn’t want to make Vision the bad guy.

So Sam pays the price (by getting shot out of the blue by Tony for doing nothing wrong) to showcase just how upset Tony is, and Rhodey pays the price to provide one more thing for the audience to pity Tony for. It’s extremely frustrating that two good and under utilized black characters were essentially used to further the emotional story of a white character.

Source: lexrambeau
@
@
*I spoke about Nadiya’s win,  in the British Baking Show, in an earlier post. I love this woman. She is so charming and talented. She has moved on, since then, to writing cookbooks for adults and children, and she is soon to have her own television show called, get this: “The Chronicles of Nadiya”!
Isn’t that cute? 
I’m so proud of her.
 mediumlysocial: “A hijab-wearing Muslimah headlining a show in a primetime slot on BBC One is so so bloody awesome. Such a warm, genuine and lovely woman too. Chronicles of Nadiya is only the best comfort-viewing ever. Pumpkin cake and all. – is now...

mediumlysocial:

A hijab-wearing Muslimah headlining a show in a primetime slot on BBC One is so so bloody awesome. Such a warm, genuine and lovely woman too. Chronicles of Nadiya is only the best comfort-viewing ever. Pumpkin cake and all.

– is now unavailable Wednesday nights –

@
@

 Just funny pictures from Tumblr. The irony of Obama blaming himself for his  own easily solved cookie problem …
image

 

Yeah, this…

 

*Here, have some more Obama: The caption for this would be, Representation Matters!

the-movemnt:

In other words: representation f*cking matters. Michelle went on to name the one TV show that changed her world view as a child.

follow @the-movemnt

@
@

On a related note about representation:

reverseracism kingdomheartsddd

kingdomheartsddd:

White people act like people of color made themselves into stereotypes, as if they didn’t fabricate, spread these lies, and sabotage groups of people to make these lies “true” lmao. Disprove stereotypes my ass. They’re never been proven. They’re based on lies. Maybe y’all should stop being gullible pieces of crap just to make yourselves feel superior.

We shouldn’t have to tip toe around, pretend to be something we’re not, or teach our children to act a certain way just because y’all are liars, and on top of that, won’t let go of your willfully ignorant views.

@
@

Bigsky is now my new favorite poster. When you have other White people coming for ya’, ya’ know you need to fix your shit.

bigskydreaming

Attention fellow white people.

Members of another race feeling empowered by a flag or other symbol that doesn’t include us isn’t racism.

Us acting like there’s something wrong with anything that does not by default include us is, in fact, racism.

Stop being butthurt every time the world doesn’t revolve around us, that is LITERALLY the entire problem.

bigskydreaming
stephanemiroux

thatdiabolicalfeminist:

Telling oppressed people they can’t hate their oppressors is tantamount to saying they can’t be angry about their oppression or have an emotional reaction to their trauma.

It’s an insistence that they never require accountability from those perpetuating oppression.

It’s a stark demand that they centre the feelings of the oppressor group above their own emotional needs.

Stop telling victims not to hate their bullies and start telling bullies to back off. Because when you tell the victims that they need to respect the bully’s feelings more than their own? You become a bully too.

@
@

 *This has been this way since before the Civil War, when rich White men created White supremacy to keep other White people in line. White supremacy wasn’t necessarily created to keep slaves in line (that was just one of its many purposes), we were already where rich people wanted us to be: enslaved.  But the wealthy also needed a way to keep from being overpowered by poor whites who had left their home countries, fleeing the wealthy people who kept them down there, and who might decide to team up with the slaves to overturn the status quo, here.

One way to hold off the rebellions, that occurred in other countries, was to get poor White people to do the work of keeping themselves down, by taking  the wealthy White men’s side, against people they considered  lower on the totem pole than them: Blacks, Natives, and Mexicans.

@
@

 People from impoverished countries have enough of an incentive to succeed in the world : Not wanting to be poor!

And the final commentor makes a Hell of a point.

theonlyleftydesk:

onyourtongue:

a-tribe-called-tress:

thingstolovefor:

White girls realizing white isn’t supreme after all. #Love it!

The fact that she basically said that they look like men…😒😒😒

They thought way too highly of themselves and finally stepped out of their mediocre environments to realise they’re not all that good.. So they end up blaming their poor performance on 3 amazing and hardworking African athletes.

Step your pussy up.

It’s ironic how white people have literally held black people back for so long that they really convinced themselves they’re naturally better than us, and they STILL hold us back at every chance and cheat us and give themselves unfair advantages

And we–even after all the stumbling blocks and unnecessary hurdles they put in front of us–we are STILL as good as they are

And without those hurdles we are BETTER because we always have to try harder just to get ANYTHING.

(This is what happens when you don’t let your competitors enter the race AT ALL for years, and you get complacent and convince yourself you MUST BE the best. And then the training wheels come off and you have to face someone who has had to work ten times as hard to get to where you are and you CANNOT COPE.)

Let’s repeat that last one:

(This is what happens when you don’t let your competitors enter the race AT ALL for years, and you get complacent and convince yourself you MUST BE the best. And then the training wheels come off and you have to face someone who has had to work ten times as hard to get to where you are and you CANNOT COPE.)

 

@
@

*Here’s some Misty Knight fax:

ART IMITATING (BLACK WOMEN IN) LIFE: MISTY KNIGHT’S GLOW UP AND BLACK LOVE ON TOP

Lkeke’s Fall Lineup (TV)

Television

I will review the first episode of season three of The Strain this weekend. Hopefully it won’t turn into a hate-review and this season will be better put together than last season. There’s still going to be plenty of snarking on it though. I have never in my life hate-watched a show, but I really believed in the show, because its such a great idea and  the books were pretty good, and I kept hoping the show would get better.

It didn’t.

Last season had some truly awful plot points, characters, and whole episodes. I always go into these endeavors with a sense of optimism, though. I’ll try to do the same for this show as I do for all the other shows.

I will be reviewing as many of the new pilots as I can, and based on my reactions to those, I will add or subtract them to the list of weekly reviews, but my time is limited. I may not review one of your favorites. There are some shows that I’m definitely waiting to review, on a regular basis as soon as they return, like Into the Badlands (TBD/2017), and Shadowhunters, which looks silly and fun,  and The Magicians. I don’t think these will be released until next year. In the meantime, here is the list of shows I will definitely give weekly reviews for.

American Horror Story(9/14) – I have no idea what this season is about. Nobody does. The creators are keeping it a secret which is very frustrating to a lot of people who are used to knowing the entire plots of movies before they’re even released. I don’t mind the surprise, though. I do know that whatever the creators give us will be batshit crazy, so I’m expectant.

Luke Cage (9/30) – I’m so looking forward to this. it looks like its going to be fun. I will be watching for how the characters are treated, especially, the WoC, as Marvel doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to such things.I wonder if Iron Fist will get a mention, and if we’ll get to hear Luke’s catchphrase from the comic books.

Supernatural (10/13) – The show that never ends will be in its twelfth season.  Like I told you guys, I’m gonna be here to the end of the line.  I always go into every  new season with a positive outlook, and I’ll decide how I feel about a season when its over. As usual, my reviews will first be posted on https://samanddeanbrothersinarms.wordpress.com/      and then reblogged here.

The Walking Dead (10/23) – I’ve mostly avoided talking about this show all Summer. I feel really good about this season despite the presence of Negan and the absence of his victim, which I know is really gonna hurt, no matter who it is. I refuse to speculate as to who it will be.

I may or may not review From Dusk Til Dawn (9/6) and Aftermath (9/27) on the Syfy channel. Also coming up is the second season of Ash vs. The Evil Dead (10/2), which I may not review because I didn’t like how the one black woman in the entire show got treated in the narrative. I’m still pissed off about the writers fridging her  (in the   most horrible manner they could think of), just to provide some minor manpain for Ash.

There’s some intriguing new shows coming to the Syfy network , that I have no idea what to think about them, like Falling Water (10/13), and Channel Zero (9/27), which looks pretty scary and weird. I’ll review the pilots if I remember to program them into the DVR.

I still have not watched The Get Down on Netflix, and had no plans to watch Mr. Robot or Gomorrah.

 The pilots I’ll be reviewing are:

Atlanta (9/6) – this looks like a lot of fun. It has an all Black cast, and I’m casting around for a new comedy that’s as good as Black-ish and Brooklyn 99, and I like Donald Glover.

Pitch (/22) – I don’t normally watch anything that’s sports related outside of The Olympics. I definitely do not watch anything involving Baseball, but this looks so good, I’m getting kinda excited for it. I may never watch beyond the pilot but I hope it does well. Its about the first female pitcher in major league baseball, and she’s a black woman, so I hope the writers get the subjects of racism, misogyny, and feminism right.

Versailles (10/1) – I love historical shows about 17th and 18th century France. (Mostly because I love the clothes.) I’m going to check it out because its different from anything else I’m watching and will tide me over til Vikings (TBD/2017) is back on. I always have to watch at least one or two shows that totally don’t fit the aesthetic of anything else I’m watching. I like a little variety, sometimes.

Still Star Crossed (TBD/2017) – This is another historically themed show based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and starring a large Black cast. It looks gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see it.  I just came off  of Coriolanus,  and Macbeth, on Amazon. I’m no expert, and generally not into romances, though. I don’t study the hell out of his plays, or recite them line by line, but I know enough to get by.

Aftermath (9/27) – SyFy needs to hype its new shows more. I barely paid attention to this one but from the trailer it looks interesting. I don’t know if I’m going to tune in on a week by week basis, because The Walking Dead is enough apocalyptic TV for anyone. But this looks like one of those End of the World Christian millenialist type deals and I’m not gonna get all het up about this if I’m also watching the Exorcist.

Channel Zero (9/27) – There’s a horrible looking tooth-monster in the trailer. That’s all I got because Syfy is trying real hard to be mysterious about the creepy shows its going to be airing this Fall. I’m okay with that approach. It just means I’ll tune in to find out what the hell was going on in the trailer.

Midnight Texas (TBD/2017) – From the writer of True Blood (Charlaine Harris) and it may even star a few characters who made cameos on there. This is on NBC, which brought us Hannibal, but I’m not getting my hopes up ,that the show is going to be too wild. I think Hannibal was maybe a fluke or something.

Westworld (10/2) – I generally try to avoid HBO’s shows as they tend to rely a great deal on female violation to titillate male viewers. I’ve already read a bad review of the pilot for Westworld. On the other hand, I enjoyed Deadwood,  Carnivale, and Oz, and  I have memories of the original movie. I want to know how it stacks up.

Mascots (Netflix 10/13) – This is a comedy from the creator of Best in Show,  which is one of my favorite mockumentary films. Its about the world of sports team mascots. I expect it to be as lowkey hilarious as the movies Christopher Guest writes.

Falling Water (10/13) – I got nothing! Looks intriguing. I know nothing about it. I’m not especially impressed by the trailer and that doesn’t bode well.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (10/22) – I remember reading this book in High School. The trailer looks suitably zany and Frodo is starring in it, and I like him, so I’m going to check it out and see what’s up. There’s also a BBC version of this series, which I have not seen but the trailer looks as zany as this one.

The Crown (Netflix/TBD) – Another historical series on Netflix. I’m not especially impressed with this but I may watch it.

The Exorcist (9/23) – There’s no way this is as good as the original movie but I have to watch it to find out if that’s true.

There’s a bunch of returning shows that I will probably watch but only give a barebones review for. I prefer to leave such reviews up to those who’ve been more devoted to those shows than I have been. Nevertheless I am giddy about a few of the returning shows, like:

Teen Wolf (Season 6 -11/16)

Brooklyn 99 (Season 4 – 9/20)

Agents of Shield (9/20) 

Okay, lets try this again. I haven’t been watching this show because I dislike Chloe Bennett. She’s just highly annoying to me, for some reason, although I like everybody else, with my fave being Melinda, naturally. This season is helped by having one of my all-time favorite characters joining the show Ghostrider. I read these comics as a teen, and even watched those shitty movies, starring a totally miscast Nicholas Cage, for the special effects.

Legends of Tomorrow (Season 2 – 10/13)

I kinda like this show. I cant stand to watch most of the other superhero shows on the Cw but I get through this one just fine. I’m not devoted, but I am intrigued, mostly by Firestorm, whose comic I used to read the hell out of.

From Dusk Til Dawn (Season 3)

I missed some parts of season tweo but i watched enough to know what’s going on and to look forward to season three. This show still looks great but some of the acting is a little cheesy, and the plot is all over the place, by the middle of the season. Nevertheless, where else am I going to see lots of bad-ass, Mexican vampires.

Yeah…NO!

I have no intention of looking at these shows although some of you guys might get a kick out of them.

Conviction starring Hayley Atwell –  She’s a great actress but she’s made  the horrible choice of picking a bland lawyer show to star in next and I don’t watch those.

Lethal Weapon – I refuse to relive mediocre eighties action movies, in the form of mediocre television shows.

Sleepy Hollow – C’mon! You know why!

The DC superhero shows on the CW, I don’t dislike these shows exactly, but I’m never gonna be a Supergirl fan, I don’t care who is on that show. Arrow simply wasn’t compelling enough for me and The Flash felt like it was aimed at kids, although I really like the characters.

I like the look of Gotham and I hope its improved since the second season, when I last watched it, but it wasn’t compelling enough for me, even with the addition of Jada Smith.The show looks gorgeous but its stil la show with cops in it and I’m avoiding those right now.

Lucifer has some interesting looking characters, but I’m waiting for an especially compelling trailer or something becasue so far its just not capturing me, even though it stars DB Woodside, on of my fave Black actors.

Training Day seems like a grittier version of Lethal Weapon. I’m not watching any cop shows, so this one is out.

Van Helsing – I watched the pilot. I was thoroughly unimpressed. No.

Wolf Creek – I’m not sure how I feel about this one yet. Its one of those serial killer movies, so maybe no.

Next up Movies and Books to look forward to.

The Precious Cinnamon Buns of Crime

 

*This post is a reblog from daughterofmulan. This is stated so perfectly, that I don’t have anything to add, except this also ties into how fandom does the same thing. Woobifying and playing down the criminality of White villains in the primary narrative, as simply preciously misunderstood, while vilifying PoC characters for committing the same actions.

This is exactly what I mean when I say people need to critically assess the media they consume. We’ve been fed this particular narrative for decades, and most of us have never thought about it, or how this narrative plays out in the real world, with Black people being coded as hopeless thugs from birth, while White criminals get treated as “good guys gone bad”, by the Criminal Justice System.

Its not just a television phenomenon. Media stereotypes have real world consequences for PoC.

 

Please visit hir blog on Tumblr for more on this topics.

Media and the Real World – Addendum

This is from a previous post, elaborating on the idea of Utilitarianism in the Media. I’ve stated these ideas many times, but they do need to be repeated and kept in mind, because vigilance against reproducing the dominant narrative is the key to undermining it, not just awareness.

jorj-cardas:

gap-var-ginnunga:

siriustachi:

siriustachi:

silversarcasm:

bloodblonde89:

fluttersheep:

silversarcasm:

the idea of people having to be ‘useful’ is just so gross, like people do not exist to be used

having to produce something and have a use is a capitalist ideal and not an intrinsic part of humanity

just by being alive you are human and you are worth something and you can never be useless

this applies to animals as well

“Having to like DO THINGS is SO OPPRESSIVE. No one had to like DO THINGS before evil capitalism. In ancient times food, water, and shelter just existed and everything was taken care of for me”

Guess what happened to people who didn’t do things before capitalism? They died. Cause if you weren’t hunting, gathering, or useful in some aspect of nature. You were killed, died or starvation, dehydration, or exposure.

Being useful is literally part of our biology. Fucking moron. You pull some idea out of your ass because you literally don’t want to get off your ass.

I’m not saying nobody should ever do things ever, I’m saying people don;t have to produce to an arbitrary standard in order to prove their right to live

And if you really think disabled people deserve to die if we can’t ‘contribute’ or be useful in a way you approve of then congrats youre a fucking monster

actually there’s significant evidence in terms of Neolithic burials that disabled people who would not have been able to hunt for themselves (the archaeological evidence mostly shows mobility disabilities because it’s visible in the bone record) were well fed and cared for by their communities

so the “people like you would have been left to die” argument isn’t just cruel and violently ableist, it’s extremely historically inaccurate and based off of projecting modern prejudice on prehistoric cultures

sources because I’m on my laptop now!

note: in the neolithic era, a person in their 40s or 50s would be considered elderly

12,000-year-old burial of a woman about 45 with mobility disabilities both congenital and acquired

burial of a 40-50 year old Neanderthal man who had survived to old age with a deformed right arm and a long-healed head injury that would have made him blind in one eye

neolithic burial of a man in his 50s who lost the use of his left arm in adolescence

neolithic burial of a man in his 40s with evidence of a significant mobility disability caused by an injured hip and leg, some time in adulthood but long before his death

neolithic Asian burial of a man in his 20s with a congenital disorder which would have made him a quadriplegic around age 14. He survived for 10-15 years after that.

5th century burial of child with Down Syndrome

i read somewhere that you can measure the worth of a society by how it treats it’s helpless, elderly and sick and i think that’s totally on to something. this also ties in with the whole “survival of the fittest” garbage that people (mostly violent machismo men) spew without knowing what it actually means.

the inherent idea of productivity = worth IS a product of a culture based off of industrialization and capitalism, anyone who says otherwise is blinded by bias and needs to read some anthropology.

Animals do this, too. There’s a ten year old orca named Tumbo with severe scoliosis. He’s slower than the rest of his pod, but his mother and brother stay with him and help him hunt. He’s a transient, too, which means he travels great distances daily with his pod, and hunts dangerous prey like seals and sharks. Yet despite his disability, his pod takes care of him, and his pod thrives, even with the care they show him.

As someone said above me, a society can be judged by how it treats the sick, elderly and disabled. If animals can show such compassion, what’s a human’s excuse for lacking the same compassion for a fellow human being?

Source: silversarcasm
@
@

*To elaborate on my contribution to this post: and tie all these posts together. Trust me! There is a theme here and that is “utilitarianism”. The usefulness of other human beings to the narrative. Fandom is nothing more than an extension of ideas given (to them) by Hollywood. Fanfiction, for example, is nothing more than fantasies being written about fantasies, and as a result, all that most Fandom can do, is reiterate the specific dynamics they’ve been taught by Hollywood films, for the past seventy plus years.

The only narratives (and justifications) Hollywood has given the public for having any marginalized person in a movie, is if that person is useful to the white lead characters. This goes for everyone who is not white, straight, cis, and male. For decades most white women could only be in movies unless they served the purposes of the male protagonist.  We even have special words for it: Women in Refrigerators, The Sexy Floor Lamp, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Their purpose in a movie is not to affect the plot, but to affect the men, who affect the plot.

The same is true for people with disabilities, most often used as “inspiration porn”, to  make the protagonist of the story, or sometimes even the audience, feel good about themselves. Almost the only time you see people with disabilities get cast at all, is in horror movies, as the monsters, or to inspire the main characters and audience to live better lives.

 The same is true for LGBTQ people, which is how we got the term, “the Gay Best Friend”. Usually, they only exist in the plot to give support, and sympathy to the straight characters, or prop up their love lives somehow. In thrillers and horror movies, they exist to be killed, so as to alert the protagonist that the villains are getting close, or to indicate to the protagonist that they are in a Horror movie.

And PoC, serve all these purposes, The Black Best Friend, The Caddie, The Maid, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, The Black Guy Dies First. The only narrative that most white people have seen PoC perform for the past seventy years is that of being useful to the main characters, who are white. Yes, there are movies that exist outside that dynamic but most white people don’t, or won’t go see those films.

It’s the reason why fandom can’t see PoC in fantasy narratives that include fantastical creatures like elves and orcs, and why Finn, from Star Wars can never be seen as anything other than Rey’s friend, rather than a possible  love interest. Its the reason people speculate that Michonne should die at Negan’s hands next season, to illustrate Rick’s whitemanpain. It’s the reason white Fandom doesn’t know what to do with T’Challa, other than make him Bucky’s Sugar Daddy,  and the Dore Milaje who challenged their white fave, Black Widow, gets vilified for being a big ol’ meaniepants, when she was merely doing her job of protecting her possible future husband. And its the reason why Nick Fury gets vilified, and Tony Stark gets woobified in fanfiction, for committing much the same types of behavior.

The only narratives most white people have to work from are marginalized people as servants and slaves, counselors, helpers, and  mentors to the white protagonist. And when not cast in  helping roles, then they are infantilized, or erased from their own narratives, so that the White Saviors can look good taking care of whatever problems they can’t solve for themselves.

Hollywood  has insisted on reproducing these  dynamics in film, after film, after film, since its inception. We should not be at all surprised at all the racism and bigotry we have seen  in the Fandom. Is it any wonder that there is a dearth of imagination, and a complete inability to see marginalized people outside of the boxes  in which Hollywood has kept us. They are merely reproducing the only kind of  stories they’ve been given. The fault isn’t entirely on the fandom. A large part of the fault lies with Hollywood.

This also ties into my earlier posts about how insidious racism and bigotry are. You have to remain vigilant and constantly examine what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, if you don’t want to end up simply reproducing the racist, ableist, homophobic,  and sexist narratives we’ve all been ingesting since we were children. Its even worse when you  reproduce the mainstream narratives, while believing that you’re being progressive.

 

 

Random Tumblr Talk

 

Tumblr is also good for random internet silliness and geeking out too, its not all teen angst over celebrities being problematic.

Speaking of Chadwick did you guys see he reposted that T’Challa album cover on his IG yesterday I’m in tears

  • – —

Tumblr is still the best place for dragging dumbasses and/or bigots,though.

 Be careful what ya wish for Becky

Source:
 –
 Just random geekiness:
 –
 –
I totally did not notice this until it was pointed out to me. This is what I mean by different marginalized groups speaking up for their own needs. They can’t rely on other people to see what it is that’s bothering them. I knew about appropriation, just not from this particular angle. :

Black Men Enlighten “Out” Magazine on The Origins of Gay Slang

Let’s be honest – gay media lacks representation of people of color. Not only that, they don’t want to acknowledge the origins of mainstream gay trends. On May 9, Out magazine published an article about how straight people steal slang and other trends from gay people, but did not bother to educate themselves on the true origins of those trends first. Needless to say the article sparked some outrage on the Internet. Hopefully that’ll teach Out a lesson, because if you want to support minorities, you can’t just pick out one, you have to support them all!

#BlackLivesMatter

*Why representation mattters:

black superhero movement

Important. Super important.

Wanted to add another character to this

Originally posted by monasax

Keep it growing.

Feels

Source:
 –
 –
 Random geekery:

Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Star in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

Lupita Nyong’o is in talks to play the love interest of Chadwick Boseman’s superhero in Marvel’s “TheBlack Panther,” sources confirmed to Variety.

“Creed” helmer Ryan Coogler is on board to direct the pic. Kevin Feige is producing the movie, which stars Boseman as T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda, who must take over the mantel after his father’s murder. Marvel unveiled the character in “Captain America: Civil War” before the standalone film hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Nyong’o’s exact character is unknown at this time.

Joe Robert Cole is co-penning the script with Coogler.

The Oscar winner was most recently seen in “Star Wars: the Force Awakens,” where she voiced the character Maz Kanata, and also lent her voice to Disney’s “The Jungle Book.” She can be seen next in Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” opposite David Oyelowo and is also attached to star in DreamWorks’ “Intelligent Life.”

Source: VARIETY

 –
 –
 Get your Black Panther 101 here:

Marvel’s King of Wakanda, an African nation with strong roots to their ancient traditions mixed with the most cutting edge technology on Earth. T’Challa isn’t just the political ruler of his people, he’s their protector, a fierce warrior, and an Avenger. Not only that, he’s one of the richest and most intelligent people in the Marvel U on top of being a complete badass. Black Panther was the first black superhero published at Marvel and has a long comic history. Though he has only been in a few solo titles since his creation, serving mainly in team books, I’m going to give you a few places to jump into his story! And check out the rest of the BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MARVEL COMICS series.


What you need to know: T’Challa earned his position as Black Panther, the political ruler of Wakanda through his skills as a warrior and his vast intellect. He has a PhD in physics from Oxford and is considered one of the eight greatest geniuses on Earth. He’s dedicated to his role as an Avenger, but has put the needs of his people before some of the more questionable activities the Avengers have supported. He was at one time married to Storm from the X-Men, though the marriage has since been annulled. At one time, he stepped down from his role of king to allow his younger sister Shuri to rule Wakanda as the Black Panther while he focused on the Avengers, but with her recent death, has stepped back into his leadership responsibilities.

Powers: The title of Black Panther is closely tied to both traditional magical and spiritual beliefs of the Wakandan people and high tech weaponry. When T’Challa became the Black Panther, he was allowed to eat the “heart shaped herb” which granted him enhanced speed, senses, strength, healing, agility, and endurance along with a connection to the Wakandan Panther God. He also has a connection to the dead, control over spirits, and the combined knowledge of all past Black Panthers. His weapons include a suit (and claws) made out of Vibranium, which is only found in Wakanda.


Solo Titles

Black Panther vol 4 #1-41 (2005) – If you’re starting things around Civil War, this is a good point to pick up T’Challa’s solo title. This volume gives some backstory on Black Panther before picking up with his modern adventures and takes you up through Civil War and his relationship with Storm.

Black Panther vol 5 #1-12 (2008) – Set during Dark Reign, this story arc deals with T’Challa stepping down and his sister Shuri’s rise as the Black Panther.

Black Panther vol 6 #1-2 (2016-Current) – A brand new series that picks up after Shuri’s death in Secret War where T’Challa has to return to the throne of Wakanda. This is an ongoing series, so PLEASE BUY to keep it being published.


Additional Titles

Black Panther vol 1 #1-15 (1977)Black Panther vol 2 #1-4 (1988), and Black Panther vol 3 #1-62 (1998) – If you’re looking to do the deep dive on all the Black Panther solo titles, here’s the entire collection!

The New Avengers vol 3 #1-33 (2013) – This team is made up of the elite, the most powerful, richest, brightest superheroes who have to make some truly awful and morally ambiguous secret decisions to save the universe.

Avengers vs X-Men (Event) #0-12 (2012) – Black Panther features prominently in this event which pits him in his role as an Avenger against his X-Man wife Storm and results in the end of their marriage.

Secret Wars (Event) #1-8 (2015) – T’Challa has another major role in Secret War in his fight against Dr. Doom to restore order to the fractured multiverse.

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513-529 (2011) – After an event called Shadowlands which saw Daredevil leave to take over a criminal organization, T’Challa stepped in as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen in his absence. The numbering system is the same as the old Daredevil books since this is a continuation of his story, but I haven’t been able to find copies online. To pick this up, look for the three collected editions on Amazon or Comixology: Black Panther: The Man Without Fear (#513-518), Black Panther: The Man Without Fear – Fear Itself (#519-524), and Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive (#525-529)

Source:
 –
 Random geekery:
 
 
 
Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV

Decipher City

Good Urbanism > New Urbanism

johnrieber

Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!

woolandgraceblog.wordpress.com/

knitting, needlepoint & blogging in Summit, NJ

The Afictionado

Pop culture ponderings and associated geekery

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

tin can knits

joyful seamless knitting patterns

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Media Diversified

Foregrounding marginalised voices

The Middle Spaces

Comics. Music. Culture.

Stitch's Media Mix

A critical Stitch.

A Blog devoted to J2 and Friends!

This blog is dedicated to all the cast of Supernatural, who are NOW working on other projects.

Late to the Theater

Florida women take on culture and stuff.

The Illustrated Page

Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Reviews

%d bloggers like this: