Friday, June 3, 2011

quick takes on Marvel's latest movies, plus a bit of egoboo

Thor: Though I now have to add Natalie Portman to the list of actors who make completely unconvincing scientists, I enjoyed this heaps, maybe because I didn't expect much. Nerdboy surprised himself by how much he grooved on the Kirbyesque Asgard. Loki was grand. Only Odin's wife got slighted; her bit of defending her man should've been a full fight scene in itself. Trying to be objective, I give it a B+, but for me, it was an A-.

X-men: First Class: I would cut a couple of lines of dialogue where the theme is made too explicit, and they didn't think enough about the problem of the Token Black Guy, and their vision of the '60s slides all over the decade, but their take on the Cuba Missile Crisis was actually more accurate than I expected (the US did threaten the USSR first by putting missiles in Turkey), and all the performances are fine, and Magneto was grand (yes, who doesn't love a villain with a little complexity?). I give it an A.

Note: Neither of these movies transcend their genre. If you don't like the metaphor of super-powered folks who reluctantly use violence to solve problems, deduct at least one grade level.

Some egoboo from The New Trend In Faeries | ThinkProgress: "If people are looking for works to adapt, they might consider the Borderlands series, which I’ve always found interesting for reasons of process as well as content. The series is written collaboratively by a bunch of different authors, usually in short story collections, and they deal with what it would be like if you had a rough-and-tumble, Old-West-but-steampunk-and-magic city at the dividing line between the human and faery realms. The answer, apparently, is that you get fantastic bookstores and pizza, as well as a lot of class conflict. I’m especially fond of Will Shetterly’s two novels, Elsewhere and Nevernever, which deal beautifully with everything from suicide, to disability, to drug addiction, to the challenges of losing your virginity after a vengeful faerie turns you into a werewolf (turns out you get to sing in a band called Sargent Furry and His Howling Commandos, though, so there are compensations)."