The Avengers


So I guess I need to watch some movies before this comes  out:

The film is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that crosses over several Marvel superhero films including Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

I’ve seen the first Iron Man, which was fun I thought, but not the second. It’s on Netflix but I got bored when I tried watching it. Is it worth my time?

The last Hulk I saw was the one that came about before the 2008 version … not sure what year. I hated it. A lot. How is the newer one?

Thor looks good, but I didn’t get to it in theatres. I’m thinking I’ll just rent Captain America also, unless anyone thinks it’s really worth the time and money to see it on the big screen.

The Knights of Badassdom

Okay, this looks great:


It reminds me a little bit of Role Models and the big battle scene at the end of that movie.

Then again, watching the trailer part of me was hoping they would transport themselves into some fantasy world where they’d be emerged in some comic adventure rather than have a demon woman enter their world – but beggars can’t be choosers right? Still, comic horror has had its turn. Comic fantasy is still majorly under-represented.

The Amazing Spider Man

This looks good, but…I keep getting this nagging sense that we just made a bunch of Spider Man movies not that long ago. I’m a little … confused by the reboot. It just feels too soon.


So does anyone know why they’re rebooting this series, beyond simply making a bunch of money?

Hermione Granger and the Deathly Hallows

Via Jason Kottke, Sady Doyle imagines an alternate universe:

So, before she goes away for good, let us sing the praises of Hermione. A generation could not have asked for a better role model. Looking back over the series — from Hermione Granger and the Philosopher’s Stone through to Hermione Granger and the Deathly Hallows — the startling thing about it is how original it is. It’s what inspires your respect for Rowling: She could only have written the Hermione Granger by refusing to take the easy way out.

For starters, she gave us a female lead. As difficult as it is to imagine, Rowling was pressured to revise her initial drafts to make the lead wizard male. "More universal," they said. "Nobody’s going to follow a female character for 4,000 pages," they said. "Girls don’t buy books," they said, "and boys won’t buy books about them." But Rowling proved them wrong. She was even asked to hide her own gender, and to publish her books under a pen name, so that children wouldn’t run screaming at the thought of reading something by a lady. But Joanne Rowling never bowed to the forces of crass commercialism. She will forever be "Joanne Rowling," and the Hermione Granger series will always be Hermione’s show.

The problem, really, is that nobody knew how to pronounce Hermione’s name until the movies came out.

Can anyone think of a young adult fantasy series with a female heroine that’s done remarkably well in recent years?

I can. I can think of other speculative fiction hits with girl leads as well.

Breaking heroes

Alyssa Rosenberg on The Dark Knight Rises and the possibility that Bane will break Batman’s back:

If Nolan does go there, I don’t think he deserves infinite credit — he would, after all, just be replicating the original storyline — but he’d be smarter than past interpreters of Bane. And I think it would be of a piece with Nolan’s extreme skepticism about the long-term viability of the whole superhero project. Ra’s al Ghul isn’t an entirely unsympathetic character in Batman Begins — he’s right that Gotham keeps breeding new and major governance and corruption problems, and neither his genocidal solution nor Batman’s proposal of constant struggle seems terribly appealing. In The Dark Knight, that ongoing struggle isn’t viable unless Batman makes certain ethical compromises that cost him allies — and even then, goodness from unexpected sources helps save the day. And maybe The Dark Knight Rises will be about the fact that no matter how much cool technology you buy, or no matter how far you venture into your own personal heart of darkness, if your strategy for fighting evil is to put yourself between your city and the people who threaten it, you become the target, and someone will come along who can break you. If you just have to flip Harvey Dent, if you just have to put Commissioner Gordon in the hospital, if you just have to put Batman in a wheelchair, that’s a fairly easy goal to concentrate a lot of super-villainous energy towards solving.

This sounds about right to me. Nolan’s Batman is a tragic figure in a sense. The hero is not infallible and his solutions always seem to lead to more violence, more conflict, more misery. The struggle cannot continue indefinitely. It never gets to the root of Gotham’s woes.

Though in movies, as in comics, there is always room for a second coming. Batman’s back is broken by Bane in the comics, but that is not the end of him. He’s back in black in future issues. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll have another Batman franchise down the road, though it will be difficult to top the Nolan films.

Why you should be excited about ‘Brave’

brave-pixar ~

I’m excited about Pixar’s upcoming movie, Brave. I’m almost as excited as Amanda LePergola, but not quite.

She has twenty reasons you should be excited, too:

    1. It’s the first Pixar movie with a female protagonist.
    2. It was written by two women. Progress (for Pixar, anyway)! Keep on swimming, fellow ladies in the arts. Keep on swimming. Especially Brenda Chapman, who, despite co-creating the whole story of Brave and receiving a co-director’s credit, was fired halfway through production for nonelucidated “creative differences.”
    3. The trailer alone is better than all of Cars 2.
    4. The heroine, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), has curly red hair, which will hopefully not be straightened out in a hilarious makeover montage.
    5. The first time we ever see Merida, a princess in a Disney movie, she’s shooting a freaking bear. Yay!
    6. Also atypical of Disney princesses: no indication of a romantic interest. Oh, please let this be the first movie princess to not get paired off with anyone in the end. Please, oh, please, oh, please, oh please…
    7. Cars 2 is crap because Pixar spent all of their creative energy making Brave as brilliant as possible. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
    9. Emma Thompson is voicing a character called Queen Elinor. For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Thompson, she went to college with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, wrote the best version of Sense & Sensibility that ever was and ever will be, and is professionally awesome.
    10. We also have the voices of Mrs. Weasley, Hagrid, Uncle Monty, Mr. Wick, or as I like to call them: “cast of the best cross-over fanfic ever”.
    11. This movie is probably going to be everything you’ve ever wanted from a Renaissance Faire without the worst parts of actually going to a Renaissance Faire.
    12. As of press time, no one at Pixar has confirmed that there will be a dragon…but then, no one at Pixar has not confirmed that there will be a dragon.
    13. And what are those blue glowing things? Are they fairies? If there are fairies in this movie, then all kinds of crazy magical shit is possible. Like dragons. Dragons, please.
    14. Look at it. Just…look at it.
    15. Seriously, the vistas are so gorgeous I can’t stand it. It almost breaks my heart that these magical, misty hills are only computer animated. Why can’t they be real?
    16. Who does not love a Scottish accent? Silly people, that’s whom. Since Braveheart is now officially unwatchable, we need a new movie that lilts with the guttural music of a Highland burr, and Brave promises to be that very movie.
    17. In fact, why don’t we just say that Brave is full-stop Braveheart done right? Just look at Lord MacIntosh. That’s all the Braveheart you need.
    18. Or, we could call it Game of Thrones without the doggy-style.
    19. By the time Brave opens we will have probably forgotten that Cars 2 ever happened.
    20. In fact, as of right now let’s never speak of Cars 2 again.

My only quibble is that Braveheart is not unwatchable. Other than that, I’m onboard. As far as I’m concerned, Pixar never made a sequel to Cars. Actually, I’m content with forgetting about the entire Cars franchise.

And yes, dragons please.

Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Trailer

Okay this looks amazing (via):


Alyssa Rosenberg writes:

More representation for strong girls and women in pop culture is always a good thing, but for Pixar, it’s particularly important. The company’s earned its outstanding track record by putting out movies that beautifully encapsulate universal human values and experience: loneliness, aging, love, ambition. And until now, the person who has always been the vehicle for those universal and powerful human conditions, for that powerful audience response, has been a man or a boy. It’s long overdue to have a woman take on that role. Having her embody courage makes up for that lag a little bit.

Maybe because I’m a guy, but I’ve never even thought about the fact that Pixar has never had a female lead. Then again, many of Disney’s animated films have had female leads, so it’s possible that amidst that larger catalog I simply never thought much about it. Or maybe it’s because they’ve had so many really great female characters in prominent (though not lead) roles.

Either way, a Pixar fantasy set in a Scottish-looking world full of castles and bears and a curly haired, red-headed, bow-wielding adventurer in the lead?