This just makes me want to see it more

Funny how things work out: segment of internet looking-for-things-to-get-mad-about-people decide to get mad over Awkwafina’s “blaccent,” citing cultural appropriation, racism, hypocrisy or all of the above; and declare a boycott to Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

I’ve actually never heard of the property Shang-Chi ever, until news of an actual Marvel film featuring Asian people began to emerge.  I have zero clue to the property, whether it features mutants, or supers based on myth, magic or cosmic, or if Shang-Chi ever crossed paths with any X-property, the Avengers, or even had a run-in with Juggernaut since it seems like at some point, everyone has a run in with Juggernaut.

That being said, I kind of wasn’t really that interested in seeing it, because in spite of the equity that the Marvel Studio sand the MCU had built, it was beginning to feel a little bit like a checkbox situation where kind of like how Black Panther lit a fire under the black community, and based on how Crazy Rich Asians performed at the box office, Disney and Marvel decided to take a stab at tapping into the Asian community with a Marvel film, with an Asian-based story.

I wasn’t interested in seeing what I thought was going to be the affirmative action of the MCU, even if it had the legendary Tony Leung in it, making me wonder just how many times if at all, showed up in American film.

But as is often the case, when news like this hits, and I see people on the internet acting like buffoons, all it really serves is to make me want to defy them and see their stupid efforts fail, and therefore go see Shang-Chi.  Not quite to the point where I want to risk my health and go out into a theater, but I definitely have some intention to watch this now, for sure.

I mean seriously, people getting upset over the way Awkwafina speaks?  Because she occasionally uses a black affect when speaking, as if the terms wiggers and chiggers haven’t been a thing for the last 25 years, but is only taboo when a celebrity does it? 

Would Eminem have a career at all, if he showed up in this generation?  He’s white and therefore should not be rapping, because that might be considered cultural appropriation since apparently only black people are allowed to rap and speak in a certain manner.

Anyway, my favorite part of the article was when they cited that this isn’t the first time people had wanted to boycott Awkwafina:

It is worth noting that similar accusations of culture appropriate were lobbied against the Asian American actress when she voiced the dragon Raya in Raya and the Last Dragon, currently available on Disney+ and made 122.7 million USD at the Box Office 

So the SJWs didn’t learn their lesson from Raya and they think they’ll fare much better with Shang-Chi?  Yeah, I look forward to seeing just how much money Shang-Chi is going to bulldoze in when it drops, and see just how effective these so called boycotts are actually going to be.

Let’s not even discuss the thousands of people out in the world that aren’t Asian, but have some sort of Asian text tattooed onto themselves.  I’d wager there’s a substantial overlap of non-Asians with Asian characters tattooed on themselves with those who are pretending to be outraged and claim they’re going to boycott.

It’s okay though.  The internet doesn’t need to find out when these peoples’ friends talk about how decent of a film it might actually be, and whether it’s peer pressure, hypocrisy, or just being full of shit, they’ll still watch it anyway, all the same.

Black Widow: Just because it could be made, doesn’t mean it should be made

Let’s just get this out of the way: Black Widow is probably the worst film in the entire MCU.  Down there with the various Hulk films, but at least still better than other non-MCU turds like Ghost Rider and all attempts at The Fantastic Four.  But that’s not saying that much. 

The point is, Black Widow was not that great of a film, and probably should not have been made.  Its existence serves no benefit to the equity that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built, and has in fact added unnecessary weight to the cash-printing spaceship the MCU franchise has been throughout the last decade, having produced and actually released such a turd.

Needless to say, before I proceed with this post, in the event that any of my zero readers have not been privy to the happenings of the MCU, I will put the rest of this behind the cut, because that’s just the kind of guy I am, act as if the whole world is reading, even if I know that nobody is.

Continue reading “Black Widow: Just because it could be made, doesn’t mean it should be made”

Isn’t it obvious what makes Invincible invincible?

Over the last two weeks or so, my daily routine has gotten to the point where I can afford to watch a little television every night, and chip away at the queue of shows and programs that I’ve wanted to watch over the last year.  Obviously, this will come back to a screeching halt once #2 comes into the picture, but for the time being, I’m trying to enjoy the feeling of a little bit of expendable downtime again, and soaking in all the stories that I’m hearing good about, and getting to experience them myself.

Among the things recently watched would be Amazon’s Invincible; I’m so long out of comics, I had no idea what this property even was, but from what I can tell it’s by Robert Kirkman, the guy who made The Walking Dead, and it seems to be something of a lampooning of lots of popular superhero comic stories, while having its own cohesive storyline.

As a whole, I found season 1 to be pretty enjoyable.  It’s fairly obvious what properties are being emulated in some characters, and there’s something about the general goriness of the series that kind of takes the veil of the sidelines off of traditional superhero stories, because obviously there is such a thing as collateral damage, and whenever any invasion or attack occurs, there are going to be people negatively affected.

But a comprehensive review isn’t the point of this whole post; it’s the answer to the question in the headline of this post, because I think it’s pretty obvious where Invincible’s overall superhuman aspects originate from, and it’s most definitely not because he’s a half-Viltrumite.

Like I said, I went into this as blind as Ray Charles’s long-decomposed remains, so I had no idea that Mark Grayson’s mom was Korean, therefore making Invincible half-Korean in addition to being a Viltrumite.  That said, it becomes clearer than crystal to why Invincible is basically invincible, warranting being a mega super hero worthy of his own comic and television series. 

Frankly, the only thing that gives it away is this little piece of framed artwork in the background of the Grayson’s household.  And then I notice the way Debbie Grayson is drawn, and then the black hair on mother and son makes some sense.  Also, the fact that both characters are voiced by Stephen Yeun and Sandra Oh, actual Koreans, and the animation credits are basically a rollcall of a Shinsaegae employee roster, and it all makes perfect sense to just how inherently of a Korean operation this whole thing is.

Either way, Korean or not, I enjoyed Invincible.  The fact that it’s so very Korean in the roots only makes it that much more enjoyable for me, and I look forward to seeing how the story unfolds in future seasons.

Venom 2: Poor Woody

I saw an ad on theFacebook for a second Venom movie, and my first thought was, surprisingly, whyyyyyyy?  I never saw the first one because I thought it couldn’t possibly be anything but suck, and although from what I read, lots of critics seemed to agree with that assessment, the almighty financial results seemed to prove contrary to that notion, grossing $856 million during its run.

So regardless of if the movie’s story, plot, acting or production sucked, it’s still a success if it rakes in money, and if it rakes in money, a sequel is all but inevitable.  So here we are, on the doorstep of a Venom 2, the sequel to a movie that has everything to do about Spider-Man but somehow doesn’t have a single thing to do with Spider-Man.

Frankly, I could save all zero of my readers the trouble and just say to go back and read the post about the first Venom (above) and just swap out “Tom Hardy” with “Woody Harrelson,” because the sentiment is exactly the same for Woody as I felt for Tom Hardy.  In spite of the star power a guy like Woody can bring to the table, and in spite of all the positive credibility he’s built up over the last decade with stuff like True Detective and getting into the Star Wars universe, he’s pissed his chance to get implemented into Marvel, by tying himself up to a Sony Pictures Marvel film and not a Marvel Studios Marvel film.

By doing so, not only does he follow in the footsteps of a guy like Tom Hardy who blew his shot at getting onto the money printer bus of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s also going to be mentioned in the same breath as the walking STD Jared Leto whom last I heard, was going to be in a Morbius film, which is another Spider-Man sub-property that will try to have a film that has nothing to do with Spider-Man.

Frankly, I’m lukewarm on Tom Hardy, and I couldn’t think any less of Jared Leto, but I actually like Woody Harrelson.  I’m sad for him that his people have steered him into such a stinky detour into the Marvel family, and I figure he could’ve been so much better as a lesser character in the MCU than a pretty high-tier villain in the Sony…verse, because at least he’d have an actual adversary to go up against.

I don’t have any doubts that Woody will probably be able to squeeze a good bit of watchability portraying Cletus Kassady who eventually becomes Carnage, but when the day is over, it’ll be like polishing a turd.  With no fucking SPIDER-MAN to ultimately oppose him, there’s only so much road for he and Venom to actually be able to go down before they run into a brick wall of failure because you can’t really have a bunch of villains going at each other without their origin being seemingly legally forbidden from interacting with them.

Either way, much like the first Venom, I have zero intention of watching the second.  I wouldn’t watch either of them short of being paid to do so, and even then I’d probably demand my professional freelance hourly rate in order to do so, and I’d probably still bitch about wanting my money back afterward.  I shed exactly one tear for Woody’s involvement in this film, and wish that he could’ve been some rando third-tier property in the MCU than to be a first-tier villain under Sony.

We were there first

I think?  Who really knows when this show was actually filmed, and whether or not it happened before my wedding.

Anyway, just finished watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  At first, I thought it was just okay, and that it felt more like a transitional Marvel property show, that helped tie up a lot of loose ends throughout Phase One, as opposed to something that was sowing seeds for future potential phases.  Like WandaVision laid down a lot of groundwork for future plots, and I had expected similarly from the adventures of Sam and Bucky, and what I would expect from most other future Marvel television shows on Disney+.

But then the fifth episode happens, and shit suddenly gets very real, the plots get very deep very quickly, and by the time I finished the sixth and final episode of the series, I’m thinking, damn, this show was really god damn good.

Anyway, if I keep trying to write about the show, I’ll inevitably end up spoiling something, so I’ll refrain from going on about the show, except for the fact that it was really good, I enjoyed it, and it was yet another outstanding edition to Marvel’s screen adaptation equity.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler, but the above image is a scene from one of the episodes, that looked just a teensy-bit familiar to me.  Had to rewind, pause, and summon mythical wife to come take a look too.

But adding to the list of Georgia locations that are filmed and delivered as somewhere else, the Historic DeKalb Courthouse where I got married, was used as, well, a courthouse of some sorts, for a government hearing in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  At least it was actually used as its historic roots once were.  But it tickled me all the same, to see a place I’m quite familiar with, being used in an outstanding piece of television.  Multiple times.

I would like a small Batmobile to curate my lawn pls

You know what I’ve found out to be an extraordinarily harder task than I imagine it would be?

Finding a landscaper.

With baby #2 on the way, and my general limits already pressed past capacity on a regular basis, mythical wife and I decided that perhaps we’re long overdue to just hire landscapers to take care of cutting the grass and making it HOA/NIMBY Karen-proof at the very least.  I had done it for the vast majority of the time we’ve lived here, and it’s never been easy because I have a lot of grass I’m expected to cut, so we’ve decided to bite the bullet and just pay people to take care of the problems that we don’t want to deal with.

I would say that 75% of the homes in my neighborhood have landscapers, but getting any of them to come and service my property has proven to be as frustrating as one of those speedbike levels in Battletoads.  For the landscapers that have actual names, branding or contact information on their company’s vehicles, literally none of them ever return my phone calls or reply to my emails.  For landscapers that people have referred me to, it’s easy to speak to any one of them once, but again, getting any sort of follow-up is pulling teeth.  And then, there are all sorts of landscapers with no identifiable affiliation that are teams of efficient Hispanic men who show up, get the job done, and then gtfo before I can get shoes on and try and stop them to ask for service; those are the types of guys I’d want, but it’s like they’re a shiny Pokémon and hard to catch.

I think I’ve finally gotten someone now, but it’s only been one cut so far, and this guy services one of my neighbors, so the jury’s still out on his affordability, but I have to say that I never would’ve thought it would be such a colossal pain in the ass to get a landscaper, and I hope I don’t have to deal with this again any time soon.

Anyway, because theFacebook is scary and clearly listening in on conversations and/or my general rants about the frustrations of landscaping, I started getting targeted ads for this robotic mower made by Husqvarna, that looks like a miniature Batmobile.  Now there’s a rich guy’s house outside my subdivision, where I’ve driven past, and seen a little robotic mower doing its job at the edge of his property; it looked like a little lawn version of a Roomba.

It also felt a little Black Mirror-ish to me that the idea of robotic mowers exist now in the first place, because it’s one part the pinnacle of human laziness, that robots that cut grass have emerged in the real world, but also to go back to that Black Mirror thought, one step closer to having machines dominate us like Maximum Overdrive

Regardless, something that looks like a Roomba doesn’t seem as insidious or intimidating if they were to go rogue and try to kill humanity, I feel like I could probably stomp on it like a goomba from Super Mario Bros. if one tried to revolt against its makers and snuff out the rebellion.

But one that looks like Husqvarna’s Batmobile?  This little motherfucker looks like it might have some machine guns that will emerge from some hidden compartments and end my life if it chose to.  It basically looks like it was already sprayed with that shit from Transformers that turned a Nokia into a killer robot, except that the Batmobile is just laying dormant in standby mode and not yet ready to kill everything in sight.  It looks like it’s ready to team up with the robot dogs from that one episode of Black Mirror to go on hunting sprees for remaining human life.

All the same, if it didn’t cost $4,000, I think I’d want one.  The idea that this little murder mower would run constantly in order to keep the lawn short always versus landscapers coming weekly/bi-weekly is appealing in that I’d have to interact with nobody ever, and on a long enough timeline, it would probably pay itself off fairly efficiently.  But a $4,000 tab is a tough pill to swallow, when there are several other things that I’d probably want to do with my property to where that would be better spent in a lump sum.

But it would be great at deterring assholes who let their dogs shit on my property, if something that looked like the Batmobile were patrolling my yard, to menacingly threaten people and their pets away.

Can people on the internet just shut the fuck up

I know it’s a rhetorical question with the answer being a very obvious NO, but still, I really really really wish people could just shut the fuck up all the time sometimes.

One of the things that I thought was refreshing about WandaVision was the fact that I was completely blind going into it.  I had no earthly idea on what was going to happen, how it came to be, the general players of the series, and most importantly, zero idea to what the source material(s) was going to be.

As much as I enjoyed large swaths of the MCU Phase 1, everyone knew what the source material was, and everyone basically knew how it was going to end.  Most everyone who read comic books at all during the 90s knew what The Infinity Saga was, and it was always widely available in trade paperbacks, or people could just look on Wikipedia to get straight to the point of how it all played out.  Although MCU took tons of liberties on how things transpired, there was a very basic and inevitable conclusion to the journey, and it was pretty much as expected through and through.

After a little bit of a hiatus, restructuring and Didney engulfing even more properties and licenses, the next phase has been launched, primarily with the Disney+ deployment, and the early installment of the series starts with WandaVision.

It’s weird, I have no idea what’s really going on, but there are hints and glimpses of things to come which all seems pretty interesting.  But I’m also loving the general creativity of the visuals, the entertaining journey through time, and just how everything is so crisply presented.

One thing I noticed early on was that despite the supposed 35-minute run times of each episode, around 7-8 minutes of it is dedicated to the credits; it was pointed out to me that the filming of the show, as well as all other future TV series, were basically filmed like movies, but then broken up into episodes, so it seems apparent that each episode seems to be running the full ending credits for what amounts to a film; it’s kind of annoying, and deceptive to the run time, but after realizing that there’s no mid or post credits scenes, I haven’t bothered sitting through them again.

But that was clearly just me; because I try to practice what I preach, I won’t get into the granular details of what’s already been revealed to me because people on the internet can’t shut the fuck up, and are even worse at blurting out spoiler-y clickbait headlines, but I was scrolling through theFacebook, I noticed this headline about how some particular words used in the lengthy credits for WandaVision give some pretty predominant hints on what is to come, plot-wise, and because of the aforementioned inability to shut the fuck up, they basically go on to name it in the subtext, visible in plain sight, plain as day.

So great, now that I’ve seen that, things kind of make a little more sense, and I can kind of see the wireframes of how the show is going to get to such a narrative.

Because a bunch of nerds have to know what the source material or end game of the series is, they have to ruin it for people like me, who simply want to enjoy the ride, not think too fucking hard about things, and accept things as they’re presented to me.

It’s times like this I loathe the internet and social media especially, but because I don’t want to be an island of a person again, it’s not something that I can just walk away from cold turkey.  But god damn does it infuriate me from time to time, and it’s sad that the world is so dependent on it that we can’t seem to operate without.