My faith in the Justice League movie just increased

Here’s yet another trailer released by DC at San Diego Comic-Con: Justice League part 1. One of my biggest gripes with Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was how oppressively bleak and dour it was. It was as if Zack Snyder sucked all the joy…all the fun…all the excitement out of the characters (and all the color for that matter; just look at the color palette for the film). It was just dark and dreary throughout. I was worried that his Justice League films would follow suit. Well, if this Justice League trailer is any indication, things might be looking up for this film. Dare I hope to actually *enjoy* the movie? We’ll see.

(edit: it would be more accurate to state that this is footage assembled in the fashion of a trailer, rather than the official Justice League trailer)

My faith in the Justice League movie just increased
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The Wonder Woman trailer is here!

San Diego Comic-Con is currently going on and USAmerican comic book companies are revealing all manner of information about future material in the comics, as well as discussing casting decisions for ongoing television series, and most importantly for this post, showing trailers for upcoming movies. DC has released the trailer for the 6/23/17 debuting Wonder Woman, which sees Gal Gadot reprise her role as the Amazing Amazon (she first appeared in the dismal Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice flick earlier this year). Watching the trailer, it’s apparent that the filmmakers have gotten down an otherworldly feel to Diana, as well as her fighting skills and great power. The only thing I worry about is whether they will develop her beyond ‘warrior woman’. For me, Wonder Woman is best as a character who is a compassionate, empathetic, diplomatic warrior. Some of that might seem contradictory, but under the pen of writers like Gail Simone and Greg Rucka, Wonder Woman shines as someone with tremendous compassion for living beings (not just humans). She’s also someone who was raised in an all-female culture of immortals who mastered numerous fighting styles, but is also well read and highly intelligent. She’s a skilled diplomat who always strives to resolve conflicts without violence unless absolutely necessary. Which makes sense, bc she respects and values life. She doesn’t want to bring pain to anyone if she doesn’t have to. And at times, she’ll almost bend over backwards to avoid fighting. But when it comes down to it and a battle seems inevitable, the warrior in her will rise, and she becomes a relentless fighting machine. Trained. Skilled. Nearly unstoppable. She’ll fight to resolve the conflict at hand using every tool at her disposal (including diplomacy; she’s been known to continue trying to deescalate a situation in the middle of a fight), up to and including lethal force if her opponent(s) presents sufficient danger to others or herself. It is this combination of character traits that draws me to Wonder Woman, and is the thing I’m most worried about being accurately depicted in the movie. The trailer doesn’t appear to touch on any diplomatic skills, but it does show her as a warrior. Here’s hoping the finished product will present a much more rounded Wonder Woman, as it is time for this character to shine on the big screen and show the world how wonderful she truly is.

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The Wonder Woman trailer is here!

A Bad Feminist is coming to Marvel Comics

If you’re a comic book fan, you might have heard that Marvel Comics’ Black Panther is poised for some very big things over the next year or two. Several months ago, Marvel’s first black superhero made his live-action debut in the so-completely-awesome-I-saw-it-two-times (and supremely better than the bleak n’ dreary mess that was Batman vs Superman) Captain America: Civil War.  In the film, Chadwick Boseman plays the king of the fictional and technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda. Boseman brought a gravitas to the role that thoroughly impressed me (I was also impressed that he was given a satisfying character arc in the film). Meanwhile, in the comics, one of the most critically acclaimed contemporary writers on race issues in the US, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has been writing the new Black Panther series since April (you didn’t know?! Well hie thee to a comic book store or Comixology). Then there’s the much-anticipated 2018 live-action Black Panther film, which sees Boseman reprise his role as the African ruler in a movie that may well position the character as a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a role he very much deserves). That’s not the only cool news involving the character though, as a recent panel at the San Diego Comic-Con revealed. November sees the release of a companion title to the Coates series, titled Black Panther: World of Wakanda. The book will be co-written by Coates, the Bad Feminist herself, Roxane Gay, and poet Yona Harvey:

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A Bad Feminist is coming to Marvel Comics

It doesn’t really matter what her patients think of her hair

A few years ago, I worked at a resort in Pensacola. Really nice place on Pensacola Beach (if you’ve never been to Pensacola Beach, you should go. It’s really quite beautiful if you like beaches). The resort had five ginormous towers with hundreds of rooms. They had an activity center with two restaurants, two bars, two tennis courts, three swimming pools (two outdoor and one indoor), a spa, a gym, boat rentals, and all manner of planned activities for families and children. The place was also not what I’d call cheap. It wasn’t pricey like you’d see in larger cities, but for Pensacola, it was pricey. To go along with the image the owner wanted to maintain at the resort, no employee could have visible tattoos, exotic or unnatural hair colors, or visible piercings (aside from women being allowed to have one earring in one ear). This always bugged me bc I had a feeling I knew what the owner was saying without him saying it. He was saying there was something wrong with tattoos, piercings, and alternate hair colors. I think he felt that these expressions of individuality clashed with the environment and experience he wanted his guests to partake of. IOW, I believe on some level, that he was of the mindset that having tats, piercings, or alternate hair colors wasn’t “classy”. There’s an association in the minds of many that people with tattoos, piercings, and “unnatural” hair colors are lower class, unsavory individuals. And tattoos are often viewed as a sign of immorality or criminality by many people. To me, the owner wanted to keep such elements out of the resort so that his guests wouldn’t run screaming and never return bc they saw a tattoo of a heart on a scantily clad lifeguard or an eye-piercing on the tennis instructor (thinking about this makes me realize that he was probably trying to maintain a ‘safe space’ for his guests; ironic, as I’m pretty sure he was a conservative). I remember being at the resort shortly after I got hired and hearing the above guidelines on appearance, and thinking how all of that was so damned judgemental and superficial. As if having a tattoo has any bearing on your character. The ability to do one’s job is not hindered in any way by having  a piercing in your tongue or ear. And hair color? Lawdy. It is so damn hard to pour drinks with red hair (though what would I know, since I shave my head). Now, obviously, he’s the owner of the place and can do whatever he pleases. He is free to run the resort in the manner he likes, to please the guests in the way that he feels is best. I’m not criticizing that. No, I’m criticizing what I think is the mindset behind “no visible tattoos”, “no piercings”, and “no alternate hair colors”. It’s the same type of mindset that is apparent in this story of a nurse being shamed by a cashier all because she dyed her hair in an array of colors:

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It doesn’t really matter what her patients think of her hair

Police Behaving Badly 7.12.16

More than 800,000 people serve as local and state law enforcement officials in the United States. These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. Here are five examples of

Police behaving badly

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Police Behaving Badly 7.12.16

The Week in Racism 7/5-7/12

White supremacy is a complex social phenomenon comprising actions, beliefs, and habits that enforce an artificial hierarchy of racial order that places white people at the apex, and all other races beneath them. One of the primary manifestations of white supremacy is racism-a system of oppression that concentrates the overwhelming majority of social, political, and economic power in the hands of white people and simultaneously enforces cultural norms and economic policies that disenfranchise, marginalize, and oppress People of Color while also downplaying, dismissing, or outright erasing their achievements and accomplishments. The roots of white supremacy and racism in the United States can be traced back to the brutal invasion of this country, the genocide of the Indigenous peoples, the enslavement of Africans, and the establishment of a nation designed to benefit Europeans at the expense of everyone else.  Today, white supremacy and racism continue to be firmly enmeshed in USAmerican society, with no corner of our culture immune to their pernicious effects. Here are some of the links and articles I’ve read in the past week, with subject matter ranging from stories about the effects of the twin ills of white supremacy and racism on politics and culture to tales of their victims or the beneficiaries:

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The Week in Racism 7/5-7/12

Frivolous Friday-Horror movies have been around that long?!

Well this is a cool video. Horror movies have changed a lot in the past 122 years (hell, I didn’t know film has been around that long). Brazilian film critic and editor Diego Carrera has created a fascinating visualization of that evolution by creating a video with a short clip of one horror movie from every year starting in 1895 and ending in 2016. I was glad to see Halloween make the cut in this video, as it’s my all-time favorite horror movie. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the film, but one thing remains the same no matter how often I see it: I still get scared shitless. I know exactly when Michael is going to strike. How he’s going to kill his victims. That he’s a sadistic asshole with a perverse sense of humor (seriously, he kills Bob and then pretends to be him in a ghost costume to fool his girlfriend Lynda whom he goes on to kill). It’s pretty amazing to think that Carpenter helped usher in the slasher genre by creating the movie on a shoestring budget. More, it’s a testament to the strength of his directorial ability that the movie largely holds up over the decades. Sure, certain aesthetics are different today (landlines with those damn cords that always get tangled up; fashion; vehicles, etc), but it wouldn’t take much tweaking of the movie to make it fit into the 21st century. Even the dialogue wouldn’t need much changing. Of course it wouldn’t fit well with today’s approach to horror movies since there was no blood, and filmmakers today love their blood spatter. I wish modern movie makers would take a few notes from the movies of yesteryear. Don’t know about anyone else, but I could do with less gore and blood and more tension and suspense in my scary movies.

Frivolous Friday-Horror movies have been around that long?!