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Entries in The Avengers (58)

Friday
May232014

Good Reads: Superheroine Edition

With various X-Men smearing their mutant DNA all of your movie screens this weekend, it's become painfully obvious that movie studios are still terrifed of superheroes with vaginas. Storm continues to be the single most-wasted ineptly-transferred great character from the comics but Kitty Pryde has an even sadder story. "X-Men Days of Future Past," one of the most famous and influential comic arcs of all time, originally granted the phasing young mutant (played by Ellen Page in the movies) the starring role. We all knew they would find a way to sideline her.

I lurve Hugh Jackman but one of my biggest disappointments about the X-Men movies continues to be the way the team aspects are muted in order to make it all about the charismatic clawed one. The Avengers figured out a way to balance multiple headliners but the X-Men movies haven't been that inspired. So here are two excellent reads from Slate if you care about the ladies and gender inequities within this genre.

"Why is Wolverine Doing All The Things I Did?"
Kitty Pryde herself (via Stephen Burt) writes a letter to the filmmakers about her suddenly sidelined heroics. Why is that exactly?

"David Goyer’s Comments About She-Hulk Make People Very, Very Angry"
The title is too utilitarian to get excited about but there a lot of great points raised in this article about origin stories and comic book sexism. This article was in response to screenwriter David S. Goyer's (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) comments about the character of She-Hulk on a podcast we linked to yesterday. One of the two podcast hosts Craig Mazin, who used the word "slut" in the discussion, has since published an apology/clarification of what he meant. But the conversation basically treated her as a Bride of Frankenstein sex fantasy creation for Hulk -- missing the point that she was created as a female empowerment fantasy and is Bruce Banner's cousin. (Not the kissin' kind.) I suppose it's no accident that Goyer is involved with Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice which already controversially cast a 110 lbs underwear model as the most famous amazon superheroine of all time (that'd be Wonder Woman). 

The takeaway is that we're never going to get female superheroes done right until...

Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)

a) more actressexual directors get involved. Joss Whedon is a great start and our best hope at the moment - look how he rescued the Black Widow from her Iron Man 2 decorative-nothingness. Can we hope that he'll also exceed expectations with The Scarlet Witch?

b) the people in charge of shepherding this genre to the screen are more evolved than Frank T.J. Mackey and don't immediately think "great tits!" first when confronted with the idea of a superheroine. There's nothing wrong with great boobs -- We fully support them and thank Scarlet Johansson for hers at least weekly --  but boobs do not a heroine make. 

You wouldn't think those two things would be such tall hurdles to clear... 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Channing "Gambit" Tatum and Your Favorite Superheroes

I've been quite blocked today (apologies) so I'd like to turn the time over to you for an open discussion. With news coming that Channing Tatum would love to play Gambit in a movie (poor Taylor Kitsch. It's not his fault everyone has tried to scrub X-Men Origins: Wolverine from their memory) Fox will surely be jumping all over that to make it happen.

Though the superhero movie boom will surely die out as all movie trends do eventually, we have no idea how long it will last so we'll just try to enjoy it while it does rather than bristle against it.

The other day on Facebook Stan Lee posted a 'name your five favorite superheroes' thread and I answered more quickly than I knew I could. Without thinking about it five names popped right into mind: Nightcrawler, The Human Torch, Storm, Spider-Man, and The Scarlet Witch. Other than Sam Raimi's perfect Spider-Man 2 I haven't had much luck getting my favorite characters translated to my taste on the screen though, so I've tended to enjoy characters I didn't much at all care for in the comics the most onscreen. Like Captain America. Speaking of... my eyes bugged out seeing a brief glimpse of The Scarlet Witch in that film and I'll be curious to see how Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen dramatize her in The Avengers: Age of Ulton. But still, I hate those post-movie tags which are the heighth of pandering narrative inelegance. They're very much like "next week on..." TV tags

But I'm curious. Name your five favorite superheroes in the comments.  I perused through some answers on Facebook and was surprised to see that very few people chose heroes beyond the truly iconic household name ones - batman, superman, spider-man, and wolverine were constantly name-checked.

Monday
Mar312014

Beauty vs. Beast - Black Widow vs. The Hulk

I can't tell you how proud I am to be hosting JA's weekly series "Beauty vs. Beast". I feel like a giddy reader each Monday just wondering which amusing sophie's choice he'll pose. But he's in Italy this week so I'm your substitute pollster.

I wanted a poll where I wouldn't know who would win. I caught up with Thor: The Dark World recently (for reasonszzz) and I'm about to leave for a screening of Captain America: Winter Soldier so Loki & Black Widow are both on the brain. Remember that great tense scene in The Avengers where the Hulk is after The Black Widow? Remember how they both stole that whole movie via outsmarting or smashing Loki? It's a literal Beauty vs. Beast this week

 

 

Voting Continues!
Both this poll and the Talented Mr Ripley "Tom vs. Dickie" poll are open until Sunday when JA returns from Italy.

 

 

Friday
Mar282014

Superheroes Have Birthdays, Too

Batman
Did you know that May marks Batman's 75th birthday? The billionaire in the cowl was introduced in Detective Comics #27 May 1939 edition (a comic that sold a few years ago for over a million dollars). He's aged well but trust funds will help that way. And Bruce Wayne had more money than God even before Batman was a cultural icon and DC and Warner Bros figured out how to make billions from trotting him out consistently. Warner Bros is planning a year-long celebration as well they should since their ownership of DC's superheroes on screen probably accounts for a nice sliver percentage of their profits. 

I'd suggest a theme week here but after the past 25 years of movie blockbusters featuring the caped crusader, maybe I need a break. What say ye? Celebrate or Ignore? Or somewhere inbetween?

Quicksilver
One of the sexiest of superheroes (saith I), Magneto's son, the sometimes evil sometimes good super speed silver haired young fox turns 50 this very month. He's never been visualized onscreen but due to complicated rights issues we'll get him twice over in the fourteen months with Fox's X-Men Days of Future Past (played by Evan Peters in a terrible wig in 2014) and Marvel Studio's Avengers: Age of Ultron (Aaron Johnson with silver hair despite earlier awful suggestions he'd stay brunette in 2015). [Long story short: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as spawn of Magneto are connected to The X-Men mythology but more often connected to The Avengers in terms of regular appearances so both studios can use them provided they never mention their other heroic connections.]

Next month Daredevil and The Black Widow both turn 50. They were once lovers in the comics but due to rights issues they aren't really in each other's orbits onscreen.

The Black Widow is back very very quickly in Captain America: Winter Soldier and the latest incarnation of Daredevil will arrive whenever Netflix gets around to their planned series. That one is certain to be the most satisfying simply because it can't be worse than the movie version. I only pray they make him a redhead this time like he's supposed to be. Male gingers deserve their proxy heroes, too.

Namor turns 75 in April, the Green Goblin turns 50 in Julym, Scott Pilgrim (not really a superhero I know) turns 10 in 2004, and Hawkeye turns 50 in September

Friday
Feb072014

Link Vision

Clothes on Film on the suits of The Wolf of Wall Street
The Playlist Snowpiercer directors cut will come to the US in limited release
Vulture guess the Mean Girls line quiz. I scored 12/12 and I only had to use a hint once. 
Variety six college students chosen to deliver Oscars to presenters as "Team Oscar" - Channing Tatum helped handpick them. If this had happened to me in college I would have died of joy. Possibly before the ceremony thereby robbing me of the experience. I hope they survive and love every second of it. 

Jimmy Kimmel Live celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves. My favorites are Sarah Silverman, Tim Robbins, Bob Balaban, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett
Empire Lots of Captain American Winter Soldier character posters
Coming Soon Johnny Depp and probably Tom Hardy for Black Mass, a true story organized crime drama. That worked terrifically (Donnie Brasco) and fine but not great (Public Enemies) for Depp in the past but at least it's not another cartoon character.  
Bent Philip Seymour Hoffman's key gay roles. I really thought he was awful inFlawless but good clip choice
Peter Knegt shares an awesome press conference moment with Greta Gerwig. Oscar fanatics will need to watch  

I made this and it's remarkably easy to transpose Bettany's face onto The Vision

And Finally...
Some superhero casting news I can actually get behind for a change. It looks like Paul Bettany will be The Vision to Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch in The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Too bad about Aaron Johnson as Quicksilver (although at least he's better than the looks-to-be ghastly interpretation of the character over in X-Men: Days of Future Past)  but one excellent choice, one fine choice and one questionable but better than it could have been choice in a trio of famous characters is a pretty good ratio for superhero casting! So well done Joss Whedon and team. 

P.S. for those who are unaware The Vision is the android husband of The Scarlet Witch (don't ask) who is the sister of Quicksilver who are the children of Magneto. At least that's what they were saying when I read comic books (but they love to rewrite histories).]