Blech

On a sidenote – I sat on this for 3 days. I’m ummed and aahed and wanted to think about it to see if I was being unfair. I don’t think I was?

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Marvel’s Avengers press tour is turning into a sh*t show of epic proportions.

First Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans called the Black Widow a whore.

At best? Unprofessional. At worst? Misogynistic.

Then they issued apologies.

This one is passable.

We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.

Renner’s however is not.

I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.

You don’t call a woman, fictional or otherwise, a whore. End of.

Has this been blown out of proportion? In my opinion, no. Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to be the biggest movie of the year. Worldwide. (And it is turning into a monster of a movie just as we all thought). Which means Avengers stars are representing the movie on the global stage. This is their audience. This too. Would you tell these little boys it’s ok to call anyone a whore? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Which brings me to the second part of the sorry-not-sorry apology – tedious press tour? Are you f*cking kidding me? No, seriously, are you? You work a couple of months each year and make millions. Which is more than most people make in a lifetime. The press duties are a part of the contract. You get to sit in a nice hotel room a few days in the row, get fed and hydrated regularly and your only duty is to be polite to the reporters.

Tedious? Tell it to a nurse. A teacher. A fireman. Or maybe the film crew that has to put up with your sorry ass and gets paid peanuts in comparison?

This would have been bad enough.

And then Robert Downey Jr. had to go and add a cherry on the top of this steaming pile of bollocks.

The jist of is that Alejandro González Iñárritu made quite an eloquent point about superhero movies:

The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing. I always see them as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and sh*t that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.

Like, the dude actually thought about it.

Robert Downey Jr’s response:

Look, I respect the heck out of him. I think for a man whose native tongue is Spanish, to be able to put together a phrase like ‘cultural genocide’ just speaks to how bright he is.

Hm excuse me?

Because of my nationality I have been on the receiving end of that. Oh you speak good English! Blech. Aren’t I smart? Hm it’s not all that difficult to learn? Now German was freaking difficult. And don’t get me started on Latin. Lest you think I’m an Einstein, I’m not. Languages are obligatory. Being in a possession of a vajayjay also has its own “perks”. Men tend to think the nationality of my region x a few drinks = prostitute. Dude, I can buy my own drinks. And I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole.

It’s demeaning, tasteless and offensive. All of it.

And before someone tells me Robert Downey Jr is just a movie star… yes, he is. And whether he likes it or not, he has a GLOBAL audience. So he should either a) know better or b) be trained better.

And you know what? It’s not our fault we are reacting to this. That we get offended. Offended might be too strong of a word. That we side eye this sh*t?

Today the information travels super fast. And we, the audience, have the means to be more hm vocal about the side eye? Besides they all like the new media and the reporters when it suits them. Not so much when anyone disagrees with them.

So yes, I’ll point back to Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans. And call them misogynistic twats. Robert Downey Jr’s ignorance is showing too.

Check your privilege gentlemen.

Damn. And I really only wanted to enjoy the movie.

Batman vs Superman

So.

Marvel vs DC Comics? We’ve established I don’t have a dog in that fight. In fact, I grew up watching Superman. And Nolan’s Batman was my jam. I will also probably see every single Marvel movie when it hits the theaters. Because they are so bloody fun.

Anyway.

When the trailer for Batman vs Superman was leaked online I was like – oh goodie, let’s see, let’s see! (insert jumpy claps) Man of Steel was hm ok-ish? I mean, if they cut short that battle scene that lasted forfreakingever, it would have been a great movie. Just my opinion, ok?

And they had me. They had me. Come on – Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? And then that shot of Superman’s statue? With False God graffitied all over his chest? Please, that’s some great sh*t. Sure, dark and depressing sh*t, but great sh*t.

Then two things happened.

Ben Affleck got out of the batmobile.

I mean… what the what with that chest? No, seriously? But let’s call that a personal preference what with me a being a shallow, superficial bish and move on. I’m sure Ben Affleck worked very hard on his chest.

Then the second thing happened.

“Tell me, do you bleed? You will.”

And some of this for a good measure.

Come on. COME ON!

What is that?

Unless the follow up is that Superman blows a big fat raspberry and tells Batman he can shove his bat doodahs where the sun don’t shine because he is freaking Superman and them things can’t hurt him…

and yes, I’m not holding my breath that will happen…

WHAT is that?

Lord.

Kingsman

Dear ladies and gents,

have you ever played No One Lives Forever? If you haven’t, lord you have missed out! No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way is one of my favorite games of all time (in fact I just might have to re-play it again soon). It’s about a kick ass spy Cate Archer. She works for UNITY, a secret organization out of UK who fights baddies who all are about twirling their mustache and world dominance (kinda like this guy). It’s part first person shooter, part stealth game, it’s funny, it’s smart and just a great game.*

Why am I withering on about some game?

Please bare with me, there is (some) method to my madness. Over the weekend I finally saw Kingsman (the full title is Kingsman: The Secret Service, but you know – ain’t nobody got time to type that out every.single.time.)

And Kingsman reminded me of No One Lives Forever.

Why, you might ask? Because it was balls out fun. I can’t remember the last time I watched such a fun movie in cinema. Maybe Avengers? But only maybe.

Kingsman is based on a comic book written by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar and it’s about this secret organization that does stealth missions all over the world. Their front? A Savile Row’s tailor. Their agents? Highly skilled, really funny and oh so very dapper.

Kingsman is a perfect combination of action, fun, violence, old school gadgets, cute pups and all sorts of shenanigans.

If I knew that much they’d probably get my money. But when the movie includes the likes of Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson… well. Also starring? Taron Egerton. For the life of me I couldn’t place him immediately and then it came to – the Smoke! (it took me a while because he was sporting a shaved head in the Smoke).

Anyhow yes – Kingsman. Definitely give it a watch.

* On a side note – UGH!

The Company of Wolves (1984) – a Review

Note: This is an old post from a couple of years ago I did for my friend. As I’m quite satisfied with it, I decided to post it here as well.

Thanks to the “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” movie franchises, there’s been a resurgence of the fantasy genre in film over the past decade or so. Among them emerged a distinct subgenre telling darker, edgier versions of well-known fairy tales. Just this year we had “Oz the Great and Powerful”, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “Jack the Giant Killer”. Last time these darker fantasy films were this popular was in mid-1980s and recently I saw one of them: Neil Jordan’s “The Company of Wolves”. Jordan has, throughout his career, made quite a few films dealing with strange and supernatural: beside this one, he also made “Interview With a Vampire”, “Ondine”, “High Spirits” and recently released “Byzantium”.

“The Company of Wolves” turned out to be smarter and more challenging then I’ve expected which was refreshing as similar movies today are mostly formulaic cash-ins that substitute cynicism and action for maturity. Based upon a story by Angela Carter, this modern re-imagining of Red Riding Hood fairy-tale has interestingly convoluted structure: it is a series of stories told by characters existing within a nightmare of a present day teenage girl (Sarah Patterson, who also plays Red Riding Hood). Now, telling stories set in dreams does allow for more fantastic elements to come into play without a need to explain them but it also tempts the storyteller into using the crusty old cliché of “it was all just a dream” as a way of ending the plot. Thankfully, “The Company of Wolves” actually resolves the story before the dream ends.

Within her dream, teenage girl – called Rosaleen – lives in a village surrounded by forest. Exact time and place of the story are uncertain. The forest is dark, fecund and obviously built on a sound stage but this increases our suspension of disbelief instead of lowering it: we’re seeing a kind of forest that a child might imagine. Dreamlike imagery abounds: there are white rabbits, giant mushrooms and snakes crawling everywhere. Through this surreal landscape, Rosaleen’s sister is pursued and killed by wolves who prey upon the villagers and their livestock. Afterwards, Granny (played by Angela Lansbury from “Manchurian Candidate” and what an inspired choice she is!) warns her remaining granddaughter to never stray from the path in the forest, never eat a windfall fruit and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle.

You see, there are two kinds of wolves: those with the hair on the outside and those with the hair on the inside. This other kind is more dangerous: they lurk within forest and hide their beastly self from girls such as Rosaleen while they lure them away from the path. Granny tells a story about an unfortunate woman whose new husband, “a travelling man” turned out to be one such beast. This and her other tales show us that, for a kindly old lady, Granny sure has a morbid hate towards men and women who indulge them. This might explain why she lives alone in the middle of the forest. Also, this film is not really about wolves, is it?

“The Company of Wolves” is made out of stories that characters use to teach and explain their world to each other. Even a hunter staking a wolf has time to tell a short story. It’s a wonderful and appropriate way to portray characters in a fairy tale. Once Rosaleen starts telling her own tales about wolves and men and wolf men, we see she’s developing a different outlook then her Granny, one built not on fear but on sense of her own growing power, one that allows women to match the beast in men.

I hesitate to say I liked “The Company of Wolves”: it deals with uncomfortably personal issues in a dark and eerie way. But I believe it to be a good film, a kind of film that a person sees and then rushes to the Internet to find interpretations of its individual scenes or of its ambivalent ending. Such is the curse of the Internet: with all this free information at our fingertips it’s much easier to google the answers then to try and reach them by ourselves. Which would be a shame here. “The Company of Wolves” set out to tell a allegorical tale using lingering imagery about certain deep fears within us. In this, it succeeded wonderfully.