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Blogger’s Note: This is a revision/amalgamation of two previous blog posts I made elseweb, entitled “#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend” and “The Trouble With Agent 13” respectively. Expanded my thoughts on both after rewatching Civil War, and reading Ed Brubaker’s The Winter Soldier. For *ahem* “research.”

It’s been eight years since the first official MCU movie came out--Iron Man in 2008.

Do you guys realize how long ago that was? Obama was in the process of moving into the White House. Heath Ledger had just died, and the dark, gritty, realistic Christopher Nolan-verse Batman movies were the exception, not the norm. David Tennant was still playing The Doctor. Okay, eight years isn’t really an astronomically long time. BUT the MCU has churned out thirteen two-hour-plus episodes of their staggeringly successful franchise on a regular basis since it started. And we are still waiting for one--Just one!--canonically LGBT character.

HI THERE!

It is Bisexual Awareness Week, and if you didn’t know this, I am not straight. I’m bisexual more or less, although a more apt description is “panromantic demisexual” (words which aren’t recognized even by my spellchecker, but I encourage you to Google them), and I’ll answer to both.

What you probably do know is I watch lots of superhero movies and read fewer but still lots of comic books. That doesn’t really set me apart. And I’d like to see more awesome action movies with characters that reflect my POV/orientation just a little bit. Which . . . also doesn’t set me apart, because I think everyone wants that. Who *wouldn’t* want to be a superhero, at least in a power fantasy kind of way? However, when you’re not a straight, white dude between the ages of 18 and 35, it’s a little trickier to split the difference.

I’m here to talk about Bucky Barnes.

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Review: The Killing Joke (Movie)

Earlier this year, there was a special theatrical release of the animated adaptation of the classic Alan Moore graphic novel. It’s a short, controversial volume that includes the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a Joker origin story. It also codified some of the nastier tropes associated with comics--sexualized violence, fridging, all those awful things we’re trying to get away from by bringing in more diverse writers and content creators instead of leaving the industry as a Boys Club. This is the story in which Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl in this particular timeline, gets brutalized and paralyzed from the waist down--all in service of the Joker trying to prove a point. And the way the Joker does this is utterly revolting.

So I’m aware that my feminist street cred will likely plummet when I tell you: it is my favorite graphic novel of all time. And this movie is the most perfect version of it we’ll ever see. Let’s talk about why.



There were these two guys in a lunatic asylum. . .Collapse )
Happy September, folks!

I haven’t blogged in a little while. That’s mostly on me, being elseweb and not taking the time to review things as quickly as I mean to. It can happen. Also, I had some *ahem* Computer Issues that needed solving. Those of you who have been on the receiving end of my rants, you know what happened. The rest of you: I have a Mac now, and everything is OK again. That is all you need to know.

HOWEVER.

Here’s something that will need addressing one way or another whether you have a decent machine and accompanying software or not: backing up your stuff. Never ever EVER forget to back up your stuff. Rather, don’t go, “Meh, I’ll just do it later,” and then NOT back up your stuff if you get to thinking it’ll just, y’know, be there when you decide you can be bothered to back it up. Don’t do that.

A short list of the stuff I lost in between drop-kicking my old Asus out a window* and acquiring my shiny new Macbook Air:

--> The last chapter of the WiP (“Cave Draconem,” those of you who beta’d for it), about 2000 words and change
--> The first chapter of a new WiP I had just finished typing up from my notebook, more than 2000 words (but the notebook survived)
--> At least a dozen unfinished blog posts
--> Four chapters worth of in-progress fanfiction
--> Screen captures from the following movies: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Witch, Crimson Peak, Twixt, and possibly more that I just haven’t remembered yet
--> ALL of the wallpapers, icons, and other graphix I hadn’t uploaded anywhere yet

*I did not actually do this. The Asus is still in my briefcase wondering what it did wrong. Bless its heart.

My backup system consists of: a handful of flash drives that I really ought to organize better than I do (one’s mainly for work, the blogs I write for the library, but that’s the only “organization” I have on there); projects consisting of multiple parts (inspiration photos, playlists, query letter, synopses & sample chapters in addition to the actual full-length manuscript) which I export as ZIP files and email to myself and/or my beta reader(s); printed versions of whatever manuscript I’m submitting at the time, the most recent version, depending on whether I have the budget for that sort of thing when I start sending it.

It’s an imperfect system, as most of them are. But it’s what I’m used to and it works well enough most of the time.

TL;DR - back up your stuff. As often and in as many ways as possible.

Ghostbusters: Part 2

Just got back! I'll try to avoid spoilers. Short version: Loved it! My face hurts from laughing so hard, and I'm sure I missed quite a bit of dialogue for the same reason, so I'm down for seeing it again. Only next time, I'll spring for 3D. There aren't many movies that make me want to spring for 3D. This is one of them.



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Ghostbusters: Part 1

So I'm going to see Ghostbusters this weekend. And honestly? While I was somewhere between "Meh" and "Please don't suck" when I first heard of this reboot, the more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up too much. There are way too many people out there who made up their minds as to whether an all-female Ghostbusters reboot even warranted existing before a single promotional photo hit the 'net. I'm glad my little blog here isn't widespread enough to garner attention beyond the people whose tastes are somewhat similar to mine anyway. Because that's kinda why I write these things: to share my opinion on the thing, and give you an idea of whether it's worth your time as well.

In order to do that, I'm doing a mini-retrospective on the 1984 movie, and then coming back with a review of the new one on Sunday.


"Aim for the flat-top!"


This is what happens when you cross the streams.Collapse )

Cross-posted on rhoda_rants.

YA Adaptations: Vampire Academy

As anyone who's known me for a reasonable period of time knows: If there are vampires in it, I have seen it. If I haven't seen it, I at least know it exists, and it is on my list. So it was only a matter of time before Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy came into my life. I've only read the first two so far, but I love them.


Book Cover via Goodreads


As the title suggests, we're in a boarding school for vampires. Not just any vampires, but an elite group of teens separated into the Moroi (full-blooded vamps with magical powers associated with different elements), and the Dhampir (half-human vamps with supernatural strength who act as bodyguards). There's a third group, called Strigoi, who are evil blood-thirsty monsters who no longer resemble the people they once were--basically your more traditional vampires.

In the first book, the main character, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutsch) and her best friend Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) have run away from the school. They're tracked down after about a year, but in the meantime a few changes have taken place: Lissa is no longer the popular Queen Bee type at the school, despite being next in line for the throne. A new Dhampir training specialist, Dimitri, has been assigned to whip Rose into shape and keep an eye on her, in case she gets any ideas about running away again. Also, dead animals have begun to turn up at the school--usually just in time for Lissa to find and mysteriously heal them.

Read more. . .Collapse )
Let's see if I can do this without spoilers.

SHORT VERSION: Good times! Fight scenes! Character development! Lots of characters--like, LOTS! Man, this franchise is getting crowded. Didn't feel as overstuffed as it could have though. Everyone has their role, and that's good. Oh, and for the record, I'm Team Captain America. Seeing the movie didn't change that.



Less short version. . .Collapse )

Review: The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)

Just got back! Trailer!



First things first: This is not a prequel. I thought it was a prequel. It starts prior to Snow White and the Huntsman, when Chris Hemsworth's character (who now has a name--it's Eric!) first gets taken by Queen Freya (Emily Blunt's Ice Queen is called Freya) to train in her army. But then it skips forward like 7 years and it's after Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron's Evil Queen from the first movie) has been defeated by Snow White (Kristen Stewart was not invited back), and supposedly everything is okay now. Until it isn't.

Really it's an expansion of the first movie, an opportunity to explore Eric's relationship with his first love, Sara (Jessica Chastain's definitely-not-inspired-by-Katniss ace archer), and how that all went down before Ravenna's minions picked him up in a tavern all depressed and mopey. It brings in new characters like Freya and Sara who are both a joy to watch, and whose characters arcs are more similar than they realize. The story is a basic quest adventure, with the quest object (the mirror) being the Sealed Evil In a Can variety, and I did enjoy seeing it come into play in the end. But I didn't love it as much as I wanted to. I have two main talking points here. Just two.

Spoilers here.Collapse )

*All GIFs via Giphy.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, both the book by Brian Selznick and the movie (called simply Hugo) directed by Martin Scorcese, is about this kid who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. He keeps all the clocks in the station running, routinely pinches food from the shops to survive, and sometimes clockwork toys from the toy shop for parts. You see, he's trying to repair an automaton--a mechanical man who can write. The automaton is his last connection to his father, who died in a fire at the museum where he worked, and Hugo is sure that when he can get it working, the automaton will give him a message from his father.


Book Cover via GoodReads


Now, in order to get into the real meat of this story, I am going to have to spoil a mid-point plot twist--namely what Hugo actually finds when the automaton comes to life. I went into the movie completely cold and found myself spellbound, and I wouldn't want to rob anyone of that experience if you haven't seen / read it yet. So if you don't want to know any more, this is the place to stop reading.

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YA Adaptations: The Maze Runner

James Dashner's The Maze Runner series has four books, including the prequel that was published last, and movie adaptations for the first two, The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials. I've seen both, and while I certainly have a lot to say about both, for the purposes of keeping things relatively spoiler-free (and also not testing my blood pressure any more than absolutely necessary) I'm gonna stick with the first one.


Book cover via Goodreads


I don't like them.

Rather, I like the idea of this story, and I rather liked the movie by comparison--which is unusual, as I tend to like the book better than the movie--more than its execution. Certainly there have been worse things to happen to the YA Dystopia sub-genre in the wake of The Hunger Games, but this one bothers me for a very specific reason that I haven't seen in any other YA Dystopia so far.

Read more. . .Collapse )

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jean gray
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