500 Reasons Why There Should Be a Black Widow Solo Film

black widow1) As Scarlett Johansson rightly stated, Black Widow’s history is rich, and steeped with great stories to tell. As a spy, she has been involved in so many organisations, and this has been touched on by the MCU, which uses her as a bridge to connect HYDRA and the Red Programme, The Winter Soldier and SHIELD. Exploring her past in a more comprehensive manner would have the advantage of revealing her associations to each, as well as weaving a complex web of relations.

2) Natasha Romanoff is a Russian woman. To have her star as a protagonist would be a huge leap for Marvel, as characters of non-American ethnicity, when featured, are generally played as villains or thugs, rather than with heroic story arcs. This is superbly illustrated by the fact that the woman that Marvel has picked up to title the first solo superheroine film is Carol Danvers, a white American woman with a military background, despite Natasha’s pre-existence as a popular MCU character.

3) The Black Widow is very popular (and the lone Marvel superheroine). She has an avid and dedicated following, who would be more than willing to watch and applaud a solo film, as seen from demonstrations, tweets and general comments made since Natasha Romanoff first appeared on the big screen. Furthermore, there is no disagreement from higher levels such as Kevin Feige. It would be a very easy sell.

4) There are already fanmade title sequences and trailers of the film! Beautifully made, one has tricked many an unsuspecting Marvel fan that a Black Widow film was on the table. In fact, given the quality of the trailer, if the film was made, it might outstrip the rest of Marvel’s creations so far. Additionally, there’s no shortage of actor, writer and director enthusiasm – a treatment of the film was written back in 2010, and many celebrities have been quoted as saying that they’d be on board with the enterprise.

black widow

This is, along with the top-most image, is a screenshot from a superb title track you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhR6eZWOMeU

5) If a movie were to be made, it would give audiences the added pleasure of potentially delving into Hawkeye and Bucky Barnes’ histories as well, uncovering more backstory and spy shenanigans.

Reasons 6-500) Natasha Romanoff is one badass lady, and on top of that, she is a chameleon. She evolves, constantly. Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch those metamorphoses on screen? (the answer is a resounding YES).

Mon Capitan: Steve Rogers in Cap 2

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Then I read some reviews, discussed it with friends, babbled about it for about 6,000 words. Then I swore that I would tidy things up and post some reviews.

The next instalment is now up! (oh, only 6 months later, no biggie)

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Falcon, click HERE!

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Winter Soldier, click HERE!

Cap’s earnest look begs you to reconsider and watch the film first, if you haven’t done so. Spoilers abound!

Okay. I have to confess: at first, I was completely confused by Steve and Natasha. Utterly bamboozled. They spoke differently (seriously, Scarlett Johansson drops register completely), and it seemed that they had undergone a complete character shift, especially Natasha. Now, here, I have to admit something. It’s been a while since I watched the film Marvel Phase 1 films, so my characterisations might be a bit muddled. But upon research, I immediately encountered comments and interviews and responses which showed me that there had been adjustments made to both characters, so at least I wasn’t delusional 🙂

This review deals with my thoughts on Steve.
Steve, after some consideration, began to make sense. The violence – especially that stabbing of the bad guy’s hand at the start – was displayed by Steve, became more justified (although that particular moment still doesn’t sit well with me), especially after I found out that the film takes place a year after Avengers does, (which I hadn’t known going in, somehow). That development already took place in Captain America: The First Avenger, as was pointed out to me (thanks, capsicleironman!). At the beginning of the film Steve says “I don’t want to kill anyone. I just don’t like bullies” but after Bucky ‘dies’, he says he wants to take out and “kill” as many Hydra agents as possible. This is simply a continuation of the desperate and broken man who has just lost his best friend, which for Steve happened last year, not 70 years ago.

Here, I really agree with hellotailor, the author of a series of intelligent responses to Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which you can find here); this film depicts a Steve that is fine physically – his healing factor is as efficient as ever and he’s processed the technological and mechanical  advances well – but isn’t coping mentally. He’s all alone – as he jokingly says to Natasha, everyone he knows is dead or really old (oh, that heartbreaking scene with Peggy that will be discussed later) and he has no one to lean his back on. Because in Avengers, Tony Stark and he rubbed the wrong way, Bruce Banner has probably disappeared (and seems to be very introspective and private in any case), Thor isn’t on Earth, who the hell knows where Clint is holed up after his shot period of mind-control, and Natasha and he, well – you see in Captain America: the Winter Soldier that while they might be okay in battle, and they’re fine with the camaraderie of a joking front, their friendship isn’t deep enough yet to allow Steve to display any vulnerability. In addition to the lack of true integration of the members of the Avengers as a team is Steve’s psychological isolation; he is constantly aware that he is 70 years out of time; that his army friends are mostly dead, that his old flame Peggy moved on and married and is now an old woman suffering from dementia.  I think it should also be pointed out that for Steve, this loss is achingly recent; fresh out of WWII, he simply hasn’t had the time to mourn his comrades; definitely not enough to move on. More importantly, Bucky – the person who’s ALWAYS  been there to support him – isn’t, and that’s left a huge hole in his life. He clearly wasn’t dealing well with Bucky’s ‘death’ at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, doing reckless things like flying planes over the Arctic, and since then it has just been one world-threatening situation after the next, leaving him with no time to internalise or accept his grief.

In a nod to comic-verse, Captain America battles Batroc the Leaper, who thankfully doesn’t have such an atrocious French accent in the film 😀

Thus Steve is depicted as lonely and cut-off, expressing a lot of nostalgia towards his time in the 1940s not because of the old-fashioned tech and attitudes, but because of the sense of belonging he had with the Howling Commandos and his certainty in the moral boundary between right and wrong. Watching Captain America: The First Avenger in order to experience Steve’s transformation is so important to understanding why he is angrier, and no longer as cheerfully genuine and earnest – he is still that, but it’s been shoved to the background and overtaken by new bitterness and doubts as a result of working for a year in a greyscale, modern world in an organisation built upon espionage and killing and, apparently, corruption. Steve’s ideal of ‘good and bad’ was broken down; as he told Peggy, he just wanted to do what was right and “I don’t know what that is anymore“. I think we started with a character who, reasonably given the era he lived in and the experiences he had, inhabited a world of binary opposites. When you were fighting Nazis, you had a very clear enemy that was almost universally acknowledged (except by the Nazi themselves, and their erstwhile allies), as the ‘bad guys’. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it was harder to figure out who exactly that bad guy was, and that’s a much better representation of our morally ambiguous age and the character arc Steve is developing.

I love the woah moment. That emotionally climactic scene that is chock-full of symbolism and catch-phrases. It was well-executed indeed. Steve, who never knew how to back down from a fight, who fought against the odds ever since he was wee little Steve Rogers, who fights until the end, be it his own or the enemies – throws down his shield and gives up. He doesn’t swim, has to be pulled out, because he cannot fight his best friend when it literally doesn’t depend on the world surviving.There’s a gif set somewhere that shows the number of times Steve has said that he’d fight, and then one at the end where he surrenders to Bucky. It’s a pretty powerful thing. The absolute loyalty towards his friend; “I’m with you till the end of the line” was very clearly highlighting Steve’s priorities, and the importance he placed in Bucky, especially since by giving up after the world was saved (and I don’t see why, if Hill had the activation codes and everything, blowing up the helicarriers couldn’t have waited for the battle to end, and for them to fly somewhere that didn’t create to much destruction. Or why they couldn’t be re-purposed), he was saying, basically, I can’t live in a world where Bucky does not know me. Or, that’s how I interpreted it. I’d be really interested in other’s point of view on this pivotal scene, though!!

The one aspect that I’m still confused about is Steve’s healing factor – he seems to be completely fine, showing no bruising or wounds or anything – just keeps going … until the last scene with Bucky, when suddenly he needs hospitalisation and is almost incapable of moving, and moreover, wakes up still bruised. So I’m not sure how the continuity people figure his healing factor into battles, but there were moments that didn’t fit, for me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and apologise for the continuing delay, but I hope that you enjoy my discussion and come away with new things to think about 🙂

-Let’s call me Lily

Resolutely Not Sleeping

I left Auckland at 9:30AM NZ time, on Saturday. I flew to Brisbane, during which time the crew forgot to feed me for some reason. I heard a child say to their mother “next time, can we go by boat?”. In Brisbane, I waited for approximately 3 hours as my connection was slightly delayed. Then I flew to Singapore, after which I flew to Abu Dhabi, after which I finally reached my destination; Dublin. Three transits, each for only about 2 hours or so – I couldn’t travel around the airport, and I just got more and more icky and tired.

I slept an amazing 3 hours during this time. I also watched 10 movies, seeing as I couldn’t sleep, as well as finished a book. Now, I am in Ireland, having spent a day doing things, and trying not to sleep before a vaguely decent hour. It feels like it’s been at least 2 days, but in reality, due to time-shifts, it’s probably much less.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of the movies I saw:

1) Veronica Mars (like the film of a bad Nancy Drew comic; I think I needed to have watched the show, as it didn’t really stand alone well, and what the hell happened to the boyfriend who she was so devoted to?? Hmmph. Nancy Drew is better)

2) Most of Gravity – the flight stopped with 31 minutes to go, and it wasn’t on any of the other flight, go figure. It was okay. It wasn’t anything spectacular yet.

3) Her; a movie with Scarlett Johansson playing an artificial intelligence who is in a relationship with a mortal man, and then develops and decides to leave the physical realm. I wasn’t too sure of the ending, it was a bit…meh.

4)The Monuments Men – that one was fairly good – about a group of arts men; sculptors and curators etc, who become a team of soldiers tasked with protecting and saving artworks. Based on a true story. And – there were some funny parts too!

5) The Grand Budapest Hotel – that one was slightly wacko. And had Ralph Fiennes in it, and Jude Law – double bonus! I think it by far the best from my selection.

6) Philomena – this is an Irish drama about a woman who had an illegitimate baby and they were separated and there are evil nuns and yeah, it’s based on a book that was based on a true story, and not really my type of thing. What can I say, I gave it a try.

7) The Dallas Buyers Club – When I start hitting based on true stories, you can tell that I’m getting desperate for options. Nonetheless, I think it did quite a good job at portraying the characters as not to be sympathised with completely, nor romanticised their actions.

8) Divergent – I was pretty damn tired by this time. Yeah, it’s an okay movie. Shallow plot that was utterly predictable. Reminded me quite a bit of the Cold Awakening Trilogy by Robin Wasserman for some reason, and was overall better than I was expecting. Maybe that’s what I needed at this stage of the flight.

9) Vaterfreuden (that was a German comedy, it was quite good, I had it in subtitles. There were funny parts. Although the plot was, yeah, rather predictable again.)

10) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (yep, well, I was running out of options there, and I didn’t feel like Rio 2), making it the second time I’d seen the movie. There is a huge plothole that I don’t get. Why the hell does Hill have to shoot the heli-carrier down?? They were no longer controlled by HYDRA – they could have been gently landed and taken apart for pieces, or helped with the clean-up, or even destroyed at a later date, after Steve was off of it. Why the urgency?

There were no Agents of SHIELD episodes!!!! And no Sherlock!! Or Doctor Who!!! I was disappointed 😦 Hopefully, there’ll be a selection of movies to my liking – that I haven’t already seen – on the way back.

Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes, a.k.a. Bucky, codename: The Winter Soldier.

My second instalment in a series of reviews of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Don’t despair, more will come…eventually.

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Falcon, click HERE!

For a look at my reaction to the development of Captain America, click HERE!

Be careful, guys, this here is your warning that you are entering SPOILER territory. Does Bucky look vengeful enough to dissuade you? Honestly, watch the movie first, then come back. If you want to come back, that is :)
Be careful, guys, this here is your warning that you are entering SPOILER territory. Does Bucky look vengeful enough to dissuade you? Honestly, watch the film first, then come back. If you want to come back, that is 🙂

Goodness, Sebastian Stan can pack his acting punches! Having read at least some comics, I am vaguely familiar with the Winter Soldier storyline, and definitely knew that he’d been mind-wiped multiple times and had his personality basically erased (probably through fanfic, if I’m being honest). So I am really curious what someone who didn’t know about Bucky being the Winter Soldier, or even didn’t know that he was being mind-wiped by HYDRA, got out of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, especially given that he didn’t actually have a lot of screen time for the titular character. In fact, what I really want to know was if someone who didn’t know the history of the Winter Soldier, picked up that Bucky was being continuously mind-wiped between missions in that short scene with Pierce and Bucky after he encounters and fails to kill Steve. Because to me, even though no one said it, it seemed so clear. And that was due to Stan’s acting.

I love Bucky’s characterisation so far; I, for one, am so glad that he’s not 12 years old. Or Steve’s sidekick. Although the newer strands of comics, which I’m a tad more familiar with, do portray him more like the MCU version. The power and emotions behind Steve and Bucky’s story comes across much better with Bucky and Steve as best friends since childhood, instead of a leader/follower dynamic; it puts them on the same level and gives more depth to their relationship. The fact that Bucky was once bigger and stronger than Steve, the person who always cared about and took care of Steve even after Steve’s transformation into Captain America and was saving everybody else. This is really important, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows how much Steve needs that – a friend who will back him up and offer the support that he requires; to believe in him, so that he believes that what he’s doing is the right thing. It also, I think, lends more credit to Steve’s reaction at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as Steve, knowing that he has been taken care of for years, wants to do the same for Bucky now, partly to repay him, and partly because of the deep and abiding loyalty and love that he has for him. It wouldn’t have worked if Bucky was just Captain America’s 12-year-old sidekick.

Yep, it was a Batman and Robin scenario going on there...

Yep, there was a Batman and Robin scenario going on there….

Something that I really love about Marvel is their character continuity, wherein they cast an actor in a role, and, for the majority of the time, that actor will stay in their role (a few exceptions are Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, who were recast, but both were markedly well-suited for the job, more than the original choices, in my opinion) for their entire duration in the MCU. I mean, can you imagine a different Tony Stark for each film? In this way, the actors in some ways canonicalise their characters through their stylised performance, as well as depict the development of their characters in a much clearer arc. This is really evident in The Winter Soldier, because we have the strong foundation of Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger as Steve’s oldest and dearest friend; someone whom Steve loves deeply and looks up to in some ways, as well as a stubborn, charismatic soldier whose abilities are superb and who attracts the dames with his cocky smirk. This makes the change from Bucky Barnes into the Winter Soldier even more dramatic, because the audience recognises Bucky’s face and some of his movements in the Winter Soldier, but his entire attitude to life, the core of his being, has been erased, resulting in a vastly different depiction of character. But, and I stress this point, because that is what makes it such a breathtaking portrayal, there isn’t a ‘new’ character to take Bucky’s place. It is still recognisably Bucky underneath all the brainwashes and torture and experimentation that he has undergone, and it’s all conveyed without words, just the emotion that Stan carries in his eyes. Marvel made the marvellous (:P) decision to make the Winter Soldier powerful, strong, yes, but not in control (a bit like Clint Barton under Loki’s power), and in some respects, not aware of the destruction he has wrought because that is a consequence of his mind-wipes; that he is not aware of what he has done and who he has been. The Winter Soldier is a puppet; a broken toy to be used and abused as HYDRA and Pierce wished. This quality was so clear in Bucky’s plaintive, childlike protestation of “but I know him …” and pout, the resignation in his eyes as he prepared to be wiped again, accepting the mouth guard, knowing the pain was coming, but knowing he had no choice. Bucky wasn’t making choices for himself any more; wasn’t his own person, and that was what made Stan’s performance so heartbreakingly devastating.

…. yeah, Sebastian Stan made me feel like Bucky needed a hug.

Run, Bucky! Out of the fire, and into Steve's arms :P
Run, Bucky! Out of the fire of the war, and into the ice of the cryogenic chamber.

The Winter Soldier’s costume design was another point in Marvel’s favour. I really loved the way that the cybernetic arm was so smoothly crafted, a fine networking of interlocking parts that could lock together and provide him with a superhuman grip, as well as the way it just fitted onto him – not clunky, but a dangerous weapon that was intricately bound to Bucky and was now an integral physical part of him. Additionally, I always appreciate a comic shout-out, even if I’m not particularly knowledgeable, just because it’s nice to see where concepts are coming from. So while I don’t think that long hair on anybody involved in combat is a very practical idea, it did echo the Winter Soldier’s look, as did the black costume and assortment of weapons. One thing I will ask is: what is up with the smudged eyes? Because in comic-verse, this is one of those flimsy skin-tight masks that totally means that they can’t be identified (cue the suspension of belief), but in the film, it looked like smudged raccoon eyes? I’m not sure if it’s a side-effect because of his goggles or what; I’d really like to know.

Raccoon eyes :)
Raccoon eyes 🙂

However, in saying all of that. I am really disappointed in the lack of back-story of Bucky meeting with Natasha in the Red Room; that has always been a vital part of their story (and relationship, because the Black Widow and the Winter Solider are an item for quite a long time in most versions), and I was really interested in seeing that modernised and negotiated by Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov. I knew it wouldn’t be explored in depth in this film, but I did want at least a hint that Marvel was going to use it, because 1) it’s in practically every version of Marvel as far as I know, 2) it provides a great link between Natasha and Steve, as it gives them a shared motivation: wanting to snap Bucky out of it (otherwise, as we saw, Natasha would think that Steve is just wasting his time, because she knows intimately that second chances are a risky business) and 3) it was a genuinely interesting back-story that could have led to an origins-type film with Natasha and Bucky negotiating the Red Room, and how Natasha got out of that environment alive. Instead, it wasn’t mentioned at all. In fact, they made up a new story and acted like it didn’t happen – here, Bucky was simply another antagonist that Natasha had faced, albeit one that was more skilled than anyone she’d encountered before. There is a theory going round which tries to assert that as Natasha is an unreliable narrator, she’s covering up her emotional past with this story of being shot and not telling Steve the whole story, which is possible, but a bit unlikely in my opinion, simply because I don’t think that Marvel would want to confuse viewers that much.

One last quibble about the Winter Soldier himself; throughout the film he is described as a ghost, someone who slips past systems and kills and then disappears completely. Well, we don’t really see much of that at all, do we? Instead, we see daylight confrontations, gunfights and dozens of civilian witnesses! I know that this is because such things create more oomph and impact as action sequences, but it would have been nice to see the spectre-like qualities of the sniper in the Winter Soldier – his primary role in comic-verse – to shine through, Maybe it will be covered in the next film in which Bucky is part of? As Sebastian Stan told several interviewers, including here (which offers a very comprehensive look at Stan’s views on the film and his character and the future of Bucky), he didn’t find out that he would be the Winter Soldier until a year ago, and didn’t even know the title of Captain America: The Winter Soldier until it was announced at Comic Con by Marvel; so it stands to reason that Marvel is just keeping as much under wraps as possible.

Sebastian Stan’s acting is incredible 😀 I’m looking forward to seeing more of him. In the seven films that he is still contracted to make with Marvel. I was completely taken aback by that; that Stan had agreed to a nine film contract with Marvel. That’s going to keep him busy for, what, the next decade at least? I hope Marvel makes it interesting, both for his sake and ours.

Sam Wilson, the Fresh-Faced Falcon in the Sky

Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Or, CA:TWS, as people have logically been labelling it (for some reason, this makes me think about cat food, though, so I’ll just stick to the full name 🙂 )

I went to watch the newest Marvel offering with two friends, and the one on my left (“on your left!”) hated it, and the one on my right loved it. Now, after loads of brainstorming, I feel ready to attempt the colossus thing that will be my very spoilerific series of reviews.

So. This is how things will work: I shall be splitting this up into different parts, because otherwise the word-length of this thing will be awful, and I’ll jump all over the place and nothing will make sense. I’ll be linking my posts to each other for ease of access, and also, that way you can read the parts that you want to, without wading through masses of words you don’t care enough about to read.

Disclaimer: in the desire for all honesty, I just want to remind you all that when I’ve written about something here, especially in review context, it’s usually an opinion that has been revised and discussed with other people, as well as influenced by the reviews of others which I have read. Please keep that in mind 🙂

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Winter Soldier, click HERE!

For a look at my response to the development of Captain America, click HERE!

If you don't want to be SPOILED, fly away, birdie!!!

If you don’t want to be SPOILED, fly away, birdie!!!

I really admire Marvel in their adaptation of Sam Wilson’s character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sam (codename: The Falcon) is a former USAF pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack, whose best friend died in battle. Played by Anthony Mackie, Sam is something of a cross between the ‘buddy’ in the buddy cop film (sharing that role with Natasha Romanov, codename: The Black Widow) as well as the more supportive and emotionally stable role of the ‘love interest’ (which is not to say that he is the love interest – he simply has some of the attributes commonly associated with the role, especially for superhero films). I enjoyed his quips, which were great for the necessary moments of comic relief, but he also has a more serious side and seems pretty well-rounded for a new face on set; a pleasant surprise, seeing that ‘funny characters’ are often sidelined and serve no purpose apart from their humour. He was comedic, but he was also heroic, a good friend, compassionate and helpful. He also contributed quite lot in the climactic sequence and saved the day together with Steve and Natasha. As Mackie describes in an interview, Sam has “more of a working relationship [with Captain America], a respect relationship as opposed to a leader and follower. The three of us [Steve, Sam and Natasha] work really well together.

falconncap

He’s also an empathetic character who gives us insight about PTSD in a vastly different way to Tony Stark’s civilian take on it in Iron Man 3I was especially happy to see PTSD being covered in a film about soldiers. This is such an important issue that rarely ever gets the attention it deserves in our society. Most films glance over the traumatic effects of war, and the long-lasting impacts that it has on people’s lives, and focus more on the action, so to have the support group scene was a big step forward, in my opinion, and this was emphasised by Marvel’s take on it. Instead of emasculating Sam for caring about the emotional welfare of other people, or Steve and the other members in the group for wanting or needing that type of support, Marvel showed it as a regular course of action for people; something to be sought out on a soldier’s return and recognised as an important part of readjustment to life. The scene is also vital for the development of Wilson’s characterisation, as it gives Marvel a supportive male figure, whereas this role has normally remained within the domain of women.

The Falcon hails from one of the most iconic of Marvel’s African-American superheroes, preceding many of DC’s creations and being perhaps most notable for being the first hero without the qualifier “Black” in his superhero name. It was great to see that Marvel kept this aspect in the MCU, as well as choosing a really great actor to play him – I believe Anthony Mackie is well-deserved in the positive reviews that he has received for his performance as Wilson. It’s also nice to note that he recognises how this will affect the lives of viewers, stating in an interview that the biggest thing for me, the most exciting thing for me, is to come out on Halloween and see all the little black kids dressed up like the Falcon. There are so many parts of our society that are not catered to or represented fully and this will give a new generation of our society someone to look up to and identify with. That’s why I am so intensely focused on bringing the character to life in a special way.” The dedication which is apparent on the screen shows that Mackie’s desire to portray Sam Wilson as a way to give children the opportunity to have a role model to look up to in the MCU and honour the tradition of the character is clear from his performance, creating a character with true integrity and, even better, emitting a quiet self-confidence and aura of trustworthiness.

falconcatws

Sam’s ‘piloting’ is a cool twist, and a nice modernisation – I just hope that we get to see more of his comic-character shining through, because bird telepathy was really an integral part of his skill-set. Although, Marvel so far have either science or magic (which Jane reveals is just advanced, science in Thor: The Dark World, anyway), rather than actual supernatural stuff, which the telepathic ability kinda falls under (that or mutation, which is strictly not part of the MCU, because of copyright reasons), and thus I feel MCU isn’t going to do that, simply because they’re trying to make everything more believable. For example, everyone’s suits are more “real world” and not skin-tight outfits in bright colours, something that I will forever be thankful for. However, maybe MCU will surprise me and make another clever parallel in some way!

Simply put, Sam Wilson is a man, who, despite his retirement from the military after the death of his best friend in action, and how much it must have cost him to regain a sense of normalcy and routine, sacrifices a civilian life, takes in Cap and follows him till the end of the road, putting his trust in a relative stranger and highlighting his skills and humbleness in the simple statement; ” Don’t look at me – I do what he does, only slower“, that encapsulates his steady attitude towards life. I am proud that he’s joined the MCU cast.

Avengers 2 Pay Negotiation Situation

WHAT??? I had absolutely no idea that the pay gap was so enormous!
Good on Downey Jr., because from my perspective, there was no lead role in the Avengers, it was a superhero group film, which means that all the main actors and actresses should have been paid the same.

What do you think of this situation?
Personally, I don’t believe that Marvel can afford to re-cast someone apart from Downey Jr. as Iron Man, because the public outrage would be spectacular, especially after they’ve read this. So, hopefully they’ll reconsider the pay cheques, because Avengers was a beautifully cast film.

Let’s call me Lily

Metro

Joss Whedon has revealed that he has ‘no intention’ of making Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr.

Downey Jr is currently in negotiations to return as Tony Stark and his superhero alter ego Iron Man in Avengers 2 and 3 with director Whedon keen for him to get back in the suit.

He told Daily Beast: ‘He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond.

‘I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that.’

Downey Jr is reportedly campaigning for his Avengers co-stars to get a pay rise for the sequel.

The Iron Man 3 star, who received a staggering $50 million pay cheque for the first film, is fighting for his co-stars – who only got a paltry $200,000 – to get a cash boost, accordng to Deadline.

The…

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You Must Be Mr Palmer?

My family has a Tuesday habit, because on Tuesdays, the video store has a $1 a movie day…which is why it’s always packed on that day. Back in primary school, when I didn’t have so much homework (and wasn’t so invested in it either), almost every week we’d go out and choose a couple of movies. As my dad doesn’t like horror, and my parents don’t generally watch Superhero movies, I haven’t seen those, but stuff like Disney?? My first words in English were at the age of, say 2-ish?, and they were “move out” (P.S. Watch Mulan if you don’t know what this means. WATCH MULAN!!!) I named our first two cats Move Out, and Move Out 2. So, I am quite well versed in some areas, but not so much in others (just like the way I read…hmm).

Anyway, I’m not quite sure how it happened, but somehow during those visits we picked out and I watched Stardust, and Mirrormask, and I really LOVED Stardust, and I thought that MirrorMask was very interesting, with absolutely awesome-weird-intriguing art in it, and that was it…

Then, I think I realised that it (Stardust) was a movie based on a book, and so I read Stardust. And I really really liked it very much. I think that the next book I read was The Graveyard Book, and then I saw Coraline (without my dad) and read that, and then read Crazy Hair to my little sister and enjoyed it and (as at the time my hair was very long and constantly tangled, though not as long and tangled as the girl’s in the book) commiserated with it, and then I came across part of The Graveyard book in a short story anthology called “Dark Alchemy”, which lists all the author’s other notable works, and things kind of rolled on from there.

Or maybe my good friend introduced him to me in intermediate?

I just don’t remember.

But the point is, at some stage of my life, I read something that Neil Gaiman wrote. And I thought it was great. And so I read some more.

Now, when I’ve read almost all his books and am currently avidly drowning myself in The Sandman (which is not that sandman that is a villain/hero person who turns to sand in the DC comics like I thought for ages and ages (years). He is Murphy, Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, one of the Endless…he has many names, but he is not that guy!) while eating breakfast while trying not to burn the toast and miss the bus, because internal assignments suck, I feel justified in squizzing at his blog now and then. I enjoy reading about the authors of books that I like – knowing the context which the author feels necessary and/or something they want to pass on about why/how they wrote the book attracts me…probably because I always read the foreword and prologue author’s notes and the “about the author” back flap which is sometimes boring but usually witty and slightly strange, like Terry Pratchett’s, and all those other additional notes and bits and pieces. So, then, if what I’ve read interested me (which is why I knew about how Ursula Le Guin made most of her books about dark-skinned people because the majority of the population is dark skinned which is why most of her books don’t have people on the cover illustrations, and Anne McAffrey, who first started writing to change the way females in science fiction were depicted, even before I decided to study them for English, or possibly because I knew I chose them) I look them up an read a bit more about them. But I don’t like intruding into personal spaces, especially of people whom I admire/whose works I admire, even if they post it to the world, because sometimes what you post to the world is more private than what you don’t. So I try not to – I don’t have twitter for that reason.

Also, I have a couple of friends who, in my opinion, can take it rather too far, and I really don’t want to become like them in that respect, because while enjoying a book/artwork/group/author is fine, and sharing that interest is definitely great and encouraged, if you ‘fangirl’ enough, to such extents, that people literally do not want to talk to you at all about that subject, and leave when you start harping on/screeching excitedly/etc, etc, it means that the limit has been reached and passed.

But I do like knowing things. So I read bits, and look people up every once in a while and check what I’ve missed. Which is how I came across these two things:

Firstly, Neil Gaiman is doing a new Project with Blackberry Keep Moving, called “A Calendar of Tales”, the first part of which was to get twitterers (so yes, I do miss out on things 😦 But still, the cons outway the pros) to answer questions about each month and for Gaiman to create a story about each month using an answer given…to create a calendar of tales. That part is done, and there is a free link to download his twelve stories, here.

The next part is open to everyone – we get to create art, take a photo of it/scan it and post it up on the site, and in the end, some artworks will be chosen to create a real calendar, which will I think then be sold/given out with Blackberry’s new product (something will happen to it). Which is SO COOL!! There is some amazing stuff up there already.

Secondly, Neil Gaiman has a wife. Her name is Amanda Palmer. Apparently, she is a legend among some people – I only discovered what it is she actually is/does about an hour ago. Gaiman posted a clip of her very recent TED presentation, which is really fantastic and talks about very pertinent things in our lives, like asking, and about the music industry.

The Art of Asking

Posted by Neil Gaiman at 4:59 AM

 “In a day and a half over half a million people have watched this talk, at the TED website and on YouTube.”
(the title is a direct quote taken from this post as well)
Which I watched, and thought was very poignant (I also tried to place her voice, as it sounded very familiar, and finally figured that she reminds me of the actress Scarlett Johanson, for some reason).
Of course, then I went and checked out some of her music – this is the first song that came out, and I like her style, and her tune, and her lyrics.

 

Then I found Amanda Palmer’s blog which is also quite spectacular in and of itself, seeing as she’s had it for over 10 years. And firstly I was struck by how different the style between her blog posts and Neil’s blog posts are.

And then I decided to post about this.

(Now, I’m going to do that damn assignment and get it out of my life)