Tag Archive | Avengers

Emerald City Comic Con 2012: The Costumes

My apologies for the Mindy overload here, had to jump in a few pictures with these awesome folks.

Slideshow of the great costumes at Emerald City Comic Con 2012:

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Re-Thinking Captain America: The First Avenger

Tumblr GIFs from the Captain America flick inspired me to some excitement about purchasing the Blu-Ray, DVD + Digital combo yesterday morning (only $20 at Target this week). Proof that fan-girl ¬†is infectious. ūüôā

But after re-watching, my first impressions have been changed quite a bit. Here’s how…

My first and only viewing of this flick up until last night was on a somewhat frazzled Friday evening before a week-long vacation at the beach. I’d been in charge of packing, grocery shopping and about a dozen other things…so mentally I was a bit fried. I will admit to this coloring my perception of the film at the time.

My original opinions were that it relied very extensively on CGI, rushed through so much material (don’t they all?) and borrowed heavily from other genre films in its concepts.

Who didn’t think that motorcycle chase through the woods smacked of the Endor forest scene?

HOWEVER.

Chris Evans turns in a fine performance. He is sympathetic as a skinny Steve, heroic as Captain America in WWII, then tragic as a sacrificing, suspended-animation-for-70-years dude.

The comedic timing is spot on. Especially Tommy Lee Jones – who in my opinion – has all the best one-liners.

The romance between Steve and Peggy isn’t overly weepy. In fact, Peggy Carter (played by the gorgeous and shapely Hayley Atwell from The Pillars of the Earth), while being one of two or three women featured in the film doing something other than dancing or flirting¬†has a hugely prominent role and holds her own with all the dudes pretty well. Despite the Betty Sue nature of her character.

BRIEF RANDOM TANGENT: The whole scene with her punching the soldier WAS a bit far-fetched for me. She’s an intelligent, capable person…she doesn’t have to use her physical capabilities to intimidate dudes. And who really believed she could punch that jerk-wad out? Classic example of male writers confusing strong female characters with being physically STRONG rather than just well written. :\ We shall have to spend some time and effort revising that term…

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull was spot-on, even loved his accent…though it seemed to fluctuate at times between German and Austrian. He was menacing, but not too scary. Perfect for PG-13 but I found myself wishing that it had a bit darker, more Hell Boy-esque vibe. Like the vision of Nazis and the occult favored by Guillermo del Toro.

Not too sure about Hydra though. Where did all those people come from? Why were they so committed to Red Skull’s crazy-ass cause? That logical leap wasn’t very smooth and I remarked both times on it – why is it so easy for him to recruit more people? Hmph.

LOVED the use of the cosmic cube. Loved how everything is tying so neatly together for The Avengers movie in 2012.

I sense a Marvel movie rock-block coming on: 

Read More…

Spreading the Link Love: 6/4/2010

Sorry ya’ll – no Bechdel test entry today.

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COMIC CON DOCUMENTARY: AN UPDATE

We spent last night filming our audition tape for the San Diego Comic Con Documentary. It’s not quite up to snuff, but in the interim you can watch some of the extended scenes which didn’t make the cut.

Sorry if some it is boring and rambly…this is unedited material we decided to throw in there as a bonus. BONUS!

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SHE HAS NO HEAD! AND JEZEBEL

Remember that post I did about She Has No Head! yesterday? Kelly Thompson’s interview with Hope Larson was featured in Jezebel, along with a write-up about the comic book Frenemy of the State co-written by Rashida Jones and published by Oni Press.¬†It’s sort of a Paris-Hilton-meets-James-Bond satire piece. Or something.

Whatever the case may be – lots of great commentary happening by the Jezebel readers regarding many of the issues addressed in the Hope Larson survey and interview.

It’s a shame that while the debate still rages on the article – it seems like no matter what women are saying is their experience a few of the guys are doing everything they can to deny women their opinions. “It’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be” seems to be the general consensus of a few stubbornly clueless fellas in the discussion.

No one’s saying it’s an atrocious crime against humanity – we’re just saying it’s offensive and we’re not buying it (literally). I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about that. We’re also saying what we would like to see change about it.

If you’re up for some deep-soul-searching and epic frustration – I still suggest checking it out. Ben Cohen, Dean and Rene continue to give me hope that some men can resist making sexism a personal attack and see the validity of a woman’s experience. Kudos to these dudes!

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TOO MANY DICKS

Who else finds this video hilarious? Knowing that it comes from a Flight of the Conchords sketch makes me actually want to watch the show. The original video is pretty laughtastical as well.

As a woman who finds myself cycling through some great RPG games at least once or twice a year (as well as first person shooters like Left 4 Dead) – this really hits home. Who says feminists don’t have a sense of humor?

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AVENGERS MOVIE UPDATE

That’s it – I’m sure most of you already know that Jeremy Renner is in “serious” talks to play Hawkeye in the Avengers flick? Well, now you know. Two thumbs + this news = way up.

I’m really liking how this film is pulling together. If they could just throw one more chick in there – someone to play Spider-Woman (perhaps *gasp* even a female of color?) this movie would bump up several notches in my excite-o-meter. What about Rashida Jones in the role? She likes comic books.

At least Scarlet’s still on the roster. Big ups to tokenism! ūüėČ

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If all goes according to plan, I should be able to delve into the stack of TV shows and books I’ve been neglecting this week for all these various and asundry activities. And then, one day – a Bechdel post!!

Spreading the Link Love: 4/08/2010

Not enough for a full article, but important enough to avoid a simple one-liner on Twitter.

1. Painted Ladies: On Tats and Trashiness

Having had a large and highly visible tattoo on my arm for the last two years – I’ve had my fair share of compliments, insults and insults disguised as compliments. These have ranged from burly biker dudes, tween girls and middle-aged women. Specifically in that order.

I get that people are full of opinions, and having prominently displayed body art leaves you vulnerable to hearing said opinions of anyone passing on the street. But terms like “trashy” and “low-class” used as descriptors for people (women especially) are exceedingly classist, and are generally lobbed from people with advanced opportunities and education against those who are not so well-situated in life.

While it’s all fine and good to personally eschew tattoos, piercings, hair dye, eating meat, blowjobs, whatever – thinking you have the right to approach strangers and share your unsolicited opinions is pure and utter bullshit. But that’s part of the territory, and as a body art enthusiast, something I’ve come to love/hate about the permanent¬† change I’ve made to myself. And it’s kinda worth it when sexy Battlestar¬†Galactica¬†actors compliment and touch your arm. Mmmm. ūüėČ

 

2. Chris Claremont Unveils X-Women

While normally I’d reserve my ire until I actually read this 46 page graphic novel…just the few preview pics are enough to make me shake my head in bitter disgust. Whenever I consider how the X-Women might spend their leisure time, or what sort of female bonding they’d do when they have the chance, I automatically think – bikinis and jet skis!

I’m not being sensitive. Truly. Or even over-reacting. This is me completely under-reacting to this news. What else could I possibly say? Pretty sure the art-work by Milo Manara and Claremont’s statements speak for themselves. What they say to me: yeah, we’re totally being sexist dicks¬†and completely disregarding at least 50% of the X-Men fanbase, but WHO CARES? Did you see the Tits and Ass on Rogue? Fuuuuck¬†Yeaaaah!

But in case I misconstrued their statement, here’s the artwork:

And quote:

“We’re speaking primarily to an audience that may not be as religiously familiar with the American canon in terms of characters and the world itself, so you want to create a physical environment that is accessible to the broadest possible collection of readers.”

Speaking for themselves.

 

3. Joss Whedon on Short List to Direct Avengers

¬†That’s the rumor these days kiddies. That, along with Bryan Singer now ONLY producing X-Men: First Class¬†is some of the biggest comic book movie news to hit in the last few weeks. How do we all feel about Joss Whedon putting his rumpled ass in the Director’s seat for one of Marvel’s biggest franchise movies?

Uncertain – at worst. He has proven that he can wield a deft hand with ensemble casts, but he’s always had the fortune of being the one to assemble them (there’s a nerdy Avengers Assemble joke in there somewhere). This cast has been hand-picked by several directors who’ve come before him.

As the DH, Dan Robertson, also pointed out in one of our incredibly nerdy/fan-freak conversations РWhedon would have the task of directing and managing some Actors (with a capital A) that are notoriously difficult to work with in Hollywood. Specifically Edward Norton and Robert Downey Jr. I worry more about Norton, than RDJ. Whedon knows how to mine the comedic for the tragic quite easily, and I feel like he would have no problem coaxing golden performances out of RDJ and Chris Evans.

Also rumored to be in the running – Louis Leterrier¬†(le terrier? Really?) and I’m putting at least some weight behind Jon Favreau, although his helming¬†Ironman is most certainly a nice bid for Whedon. Favreau¬†sort of came out of left field like – WTF, THAT guy? The SWINGERS GUY?

And pulled off one of the more successful Marvel franchise film series. Christopher Nolan also dicks¬†around with smaller independent fare, and has done well with his Batman flicks. So – why not Whedon? Just cause Dollhouse and Firefly? Come on dudes, Buffy, Serenity and Astonishing X-Men. That’s like, three pieces of awesome versus only two bomb TV Shows (which have spastic cult followings of their own).

It’s hard out there for a pimp. All’s we are saying, is give Whedon¬†a chance. Maybe he’ll force them to include at least ONE FUCKING WOMAN in the Avengers. Spider-Woman? Ms. Marvel? She-Hulk?¬†He’s Joss Whedon, champion of awesome women. He’s like the golden ticket for inclusion of female characters. *fingers crossed on that one*

But he could do Runaways instead. Which would fit his M.O. more solidly – it’s got super-powered teen girls kicking ass. And would make my nerd heart cry, cause I know that dramatically decreases the chances of any “strong” female presence on the Avengers team. But, yay him. Dudes got bigger fish to fry outside of some wobbly television series with Fox.

That’s all she wrote…for now…

COMING UP NEXT: Kick-Ass Movie and Graphic Novel Review

Bye Bye Batwoman

My friend Hisham¬†loaned me a couple issues of Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics: Batwoman run, and after reading through, I decided this series might be a¬†gateway into the DC comics superhero world.¬†I actually started scanning the interwebs for news of a series devoted to Kate Kane.

Sadly – this is not to be. At least not a version penned by Greg Rucka.

Many of you might have already heard – Greg Rucka has left DC Comics. Not just the Detective Comics series – he is dropping any books he was writing for them. Here is a post from his website explaining his reasons.

This follows quickly on the heels of my learning last week that the Spider-Woman series will be limited to only seven issues, as Alex Maleev, the artist is unable to continue with the demands of the motion-comic and the physical product. But¬†Bendis assures us¬†she’ll be in Avengers. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and pick up a copy?

Not me. Not really. If my post last week didn’t clarify my reservations about getting into female superhero comics, the blows dealt to heroines in the last month should help reinforce my hesitation. Not only are superheroes complicated investments of time and money, but the¬†female-centric books¬†are cancelled after brief stints, despite popularity, awards, steady sales and accolades heaped on them.

It’s sad to think that women may only fair well as characters in an alternate¬†universe where we have equal standing with men. Perhaps my disillusion with superhero comic books these last few weeks is merely a symptom of my greater disillusionment with gender inequality in society.

It’s hard to blame dudes like Bendis¬†and Rucka for trying¬† to bring fully realized female characters into the spotlight. It’s not their fault they can’t rewrite reality.

But women aren’t asking male comic book writers to magically gift us equality, we’re simply¬†requesting women characters with as much intelligence, strength and intrigue as men.¬†We want women who¬†are strong, like the mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, co-workers, and friends that surround us.

The kind of equality I seek is not in completely abolishing the unique aspects of gender that make men and women different. Those elements help create personality and character depth. What most comic books need is a writer who can create human beings with depth, nuances and character struggles. And then make an equal number of these human beings female.

Lastly it’s up to the artists to clothe them properly.

It’s a simple formula, but one that takes an incredible amount of work. It requires that you respect the experiences and viewpoints of people with whom you do not share the same sex. It might also require more females writing comic books.¬†Sadly, it seems that none of these are things¬†DC or Marvel or many of the smaller publishers want to commit their resources to.

That’s fine – I’ll commit my time and money to those who do.

LINK LOVE:

This dude gets it.

An article about writing strong characters, who also happen to be female.

Girls on Film

This one goes out to all the ladies.

I just read a New York Times article, on the advice from another comic obsessed woman blogger, about the lack of good roles for women in Hollywood movies and Hollywood comic movies. I immediately got on board with the idea presented in the article. It’s something that I only really started to notice mid-way through my HS career.

It happened while reading Siddhartha during my senior year of HS. I was trucking along with the material, and then stumbled upon the passage where the male protagonist up and leaves his wife and children to go off and attain enlightenment.

Why? Because he could.

There was no other reason for it. His wife was left alone to tend to the children and the household while he went off on some completely selfish religious journey. Then, it occurred to me that up until that moment, all the folks I was idolizing (writers, artists, philosophers, religious figures) were men.

So what did that mean for me?

That was the final straw. After spending so much of my time in HS learning about the deeds and exploits of men, and reading their collected works – I was done.

That’s when I realized there were a different set of rules for men to operate with in the world. And as a woman – I would have to try harder to find what would be relevant and resonant for me.

8 years later – and I’m still looking.

So a few questions I have: Where are all the women? Where/How are the people who look like me represented in history books, politics and the cinema?

Here are some answers for you…

And some more answers as well – straight from the mouths of the women who are playing second (or third or fourth) fiddle to the Male Heroes in this summer’s biggest blockbusters.

And while men get the heroic pose covers – these talented, intelligent and engaging women are pictured as meek and playful as kittens.

Here’s something to chew on: I was REALLY excited to see “Baby Mama” because it hosts not one, but TWO well known female comedic leads – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The trailers are hilarious, and guaranteed to get a laugh from me every time. Successful women comedians are rare, and films that brilliantly show-case their talents are just as rare. So, yay right? It seemed like there was nothing that could go wrong…

But then it did. Dan was the first one to notice it as we sat in the darkened theatre, munching on popcorn and red vines. He leaned over and whispered, “there’s something wrong with the projector bulb.” I squinted and then shook my head. “No, there’s not.”

Dan: “Yeah, there is – see how there’s like a soft glow on the screen, and everyone is kinda fuzzy.”

Me: “No – that’s the glow of romantic comedy. There’s nothing wrong with the bulb, that’s the movie.”

And I realized, much to my hearty dismay, that indeed – there was the soft glow of romantic comedy all over Baby Mama. It stank of “rom-com” softness.

Worse than that? The two women sniping at one another over economic and social class differences. This film would have 98% of my Gender, Class and Culture course from last term shrieking obscenities at the screen. *sigh*

I had such high hopes. Can there be a movie tailored to women that does not involve weddings, romance, soft lighting, and jokes about menstruation?

Can there be a film/movie where the woman isn’t seen as the mother, daughter, sister, lover, girlfriend, secretary (uhm, don’t we call them administrative assistants now?), or help-mate of the male lead character. Not this summer, and most likely not this year.

On a different note: I thought it was brave of “Baby Mama” to briefly recognize it’s own stereotypical attitudes towards “white trash,” but it hardly excuses the rest of the insults hurled by the preceeding 3/4’s of the film. I thought Poehler did a lot to really humanize the character she was playing, but all in all – I was turned off by the use of the word white trash, the upper-class-liberal attitude towards children and the lower class, and the deliberate placement of romantic comedy elements in what could have/should have been a film about a woman and her baby mama.

Come on – that concept in and of itself is intriguing.

I’m going to assume that Hollywood “ized” the film towards it’s assumptions of what women would want to see. Whoever cut the trailers was smart enough to leave most of that romantic comedy bullshit on the floor, but it was certainly a kick in the teeth to get to the theatre and realize it was a lot of the same old.

Many men really don’t understand the beef women have with hollywood, comics, and history books.

I can respect that, because they don’t get to see a world (or at least a Hollywood Blockbuster season) that relegates them to less-than-sidekick roles. They’ve never had to preen the history books for the one or two token persons of their gender who’ve possibly invented something clever, led an army, or ruled a kingdom.

It’s easy to brush these supplications off as mere “feminist bullshit.” But I’m tired of having to identify with leading men (yes, even if a token male minority is thrown in for diversity).

I want more WOMEN on film, in film, and making films. And the same goes for the comic industry. I’m tired of having the female body used to sell, sell, sell without any homage being paid to the reality of who women are. We have high pain tolerance, amazing organizational and leadership qualities. We can fly airplanes, hold presidential offices, serve and protect, pump your gas, balance your checkbook, repair your HVAC system, own property, perform your spinal surgery…

But we can’t star in your movies. Not really. Not yet.

And if we do…men won’t come to see us. Unless we’re half naked. Why? Because men don’t like to see strong woman doing the things that men do. Am I wrong? Someone please tell me that I’m wrong about that! Because I would love to be wrong (just this once though, not all the time).

If I didn’t love comic books (and thusly, comic book movies) so much, I would seriously consider boycotting this summer blockbuster season. I really and truly would.

Hollywood really needs to pull it’s act together and get back to what I enjoy most about comic books – team dynamics. There are great books out there (Avengers, X-Factor) and television shows (Lost, Heroes) that show-case strong female characters, without having to subvert the lime-light to men ALL THE TIME.

Well, I mean – for awhile anyway, LOST had that quality going for it. Lately it’s been very male character centric, and decidedly less appealing to me personally.

One of the other film franchises I felt was at least moderately giving women a fair shake, X-Men totally killed off it’s strongest female character (X-Men: The Last Stand) and de-powered the other. Leaving only Storm – whom Halle Berry had already mangled thoroughly.

There’s not much else to say. The status of women in films is especially pitiable at the moment. It seems to fluctuate, with some years being kinder to my gender than others.

I wouldn’t say this is Hollywood’s women-friendliest year, by far.

Much Love, Mindy C