I’ve finally gotten around to starting to catch up to the legion of Marvel films and shows after around the time of like, Ms. Marvel or She Hulk.  Over the last few days, I’ve managed to get through Thor: Love & Thunder, Black Panther 2, and one that I’d earmarked as a source for a future brog post, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

With Secret Invasion out, I didn’t want to fall further behind, to the point where I’d abandon ship and not watch any of these things for a few years, and then fall completely out of the loop for when some of the more interesting Marvel properties start releasing, and I’ll have missed out on some backstory from required prerequisite viewing.  Sometimes I hate the feeling of obligation to have to watch some things, but at the same time, I am a Marvel fan, and I often times take enjoyment out of watching all these shows and movies in spite of the general sense of superhero media fatigue the internet likes to claim there is.

But as I alluded to, Quantumania was one that I had specifically earmarked, because one, I like Paul Rudd, his portrayal of Ant-Man, and I thought the movie would be entertaining, regardless of how much the internet seemed to shit all over it not long after it had released.  I take internet reviews with not even the metaphorical grain of salt, and they simply hold zero weight at all when it comes to judging most things, and Ant-Man 3 would be no exception.

But two, also not long after the film had released, it was revealed that the guy playing Kang the Conqueror, Jonathan Majors, had some dirty laundry aired out, with the revelation that he was basically an abuser of women.  And in this day and age, as well as Marvel/Disney always trying to maintain their image, it’s safe to assume that we’ve probably seen the last of Jonathan Majors in the MCU.

The problem is, Majors’ role as Kang is quite large, as he’s basically the next Thanos when it comes to being the big bad that all of the current phase(s) of Marvel film and television are building up towards.  So despite it being the correct and appropriate call to 86 the guy for being an abusive asshole, it’s still egg on Marvel/Disney’s face that they have to figure out what to do to replace him in the future.

Really, it shouldn’t be that difficult, because in the era of the Multiverse where just about anything and everything can be retconned and reimagined at a moment’s notice, replacing a character probably isn’t the most difficult thing to accomplish, and I’m sure that by the time the Kang Dynasty storyline begins wrapping up, most people will have forgotten that Jonathan Majors was even the guy first introduced as the character.

However, and to the point of this whole post, I proposed a much more blunt and easier option: just fucking flat out recast the role.  Just like when Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle for the role of James Rhodes, nobody said shit, there were no sneaky clever jokes, Iron Man 2 just picked right up with Cheadle playing War Machine like he was there the entire time, and not a single soul sold it at all.  Do the same thing with Kang, and despite the fact that he’s already appeared in Loki, and his face was plastered all over Quantumania, just straight up replace the guy and don’t bother with any re-writes or try to reinvent the wheel at this point.

Continue reading “CHIDI FOR KANG”

Dad Brog (#111): An offense so grand

The nightly routine goes as follows: 6:30pm, it’s upstairs for bath time.  Then comes the night routine of lotions and pajamas, and then it’s story time and then bed time for both the girls.

Tonight however, things took a turn for the explosive worst, when the pajamas I selected for #1 were the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings pajamas that mythical wife picked up on clearance because my kids are toddlers and girls have a way easier time getting away with wearing boys-designated clothing than the other way around.

When she saw the pajamas that I was about to put on her, I might as well have declared war on the Jews, bombed Pearl Harbor, and released the Bubonic plague all at the same time.  She went absolutely ballistic and outright refused to wear the pajamas.  I tried to coax them onto her, and was met with a fucking Liu Kang bicycle kick for my troubles. 

I did eventually get them onto her, hoping that she’d chill out and resign to the clothes that she would just be sleeping in, and changing out of in the morning, but no, it was screaming and snot and tears and waterworks, and I’m trying my hardest not to die laughing over the fact that it was just a pair of fucking Shang-Chi pajamas that was triggering this meltdown.

Eventually, it became apparent that she wasn’t going to lose this argument.  We went into her room for story time and lights out and the meltdown was still on.  And because my house is kept cold through the night, I didn’t want her to strip down as soon as I left the room, so I acquiesced and changed her pajamas to something that wasn’t as offensive as screaming the N-word at the top of my lungs in College Park.

Lesson learned today: #1 most definitely isn’t a fan of Shang-Chi.  Better avoid that one when eventually going through the Marvel movies timeline in the future.

I’ll tell you how I’m going to become rich

My sister made a recommendation to our family group chat about a film she saw; Happy Cleaners on Amazon Prime Video.  Just from the title alone and given the context of my very Korean family, I knew that this was definitely going to be about the Korean Story, and that it was going to fuck with my emotions.  I watched the trailer and yup, it was about the Korean Story and the trailer alone did succeed at fucking with my emotions.

Make no mistake, in spite of the title of the film, this was going to be anything but happy.  I anticipated that like so many Korean stories, this was going to be depressing, thought-provoking, probably relatable and leave me feeling like I’ll probably want to cry from having my emotional heartstrings yanked around.  Sounds like a great idea to watch right?

But because I’m a sucker for my nationality, I went ahead and watched it anyway, in spite of all the red flags of getting aboard an emotional roller coaster.

And of course, Happy Cleaners was everything I anticipated it would be, and I ended the film in a lower emotional state than which I started at.  Not only was it about an entirely too relatable Korean family much like my own, the plot of the film doesn’t really have much lateral movement, and unsurprisingly starts depressing, and ends in a more depressing state than the beginning.

To make matters worse, there’s a character in the film who’s named Danny, and he’s a Korean-American who has the weight of the world on his shoulders to the point where he can’t achieve any objectives and is working two menial jobs in order to survive.  He’s a classic underachiever, and I’m triggered because after just watching Beef, whose main character is also an underachieving struggling Korean-American named Danny, I feel like the world is trying to tell me something unpleasant.

Frankly, as much as I want to support Asians and specifically Korean or Korean-American filmmakers and storytellers, I’m just kind of over everyone’s rendition of the Korean Story.  Yes, Korean immigrants have historically had it really poor throughout the passage of time, but in most cases in everywhere in the world, when people immigrate to other countries, they’re usually going to struggle unless they learn the native language and/or get the education of the country they’re moving to. 

In most cases of the Korean Story, Korean immigrants get straight to work after arrival, seldom really try to become fluent in English, don’t bother getting an American education, and put all of their eggs and pressure onto their kids to succeed, and there just ain’t that much need for one million Korean doctors or lawyers and there aren’t that many scholarships to be had at all of the Ivy League schools combined.  Instead we’ve got hundreds to thousands of Korean storytellers all telling the same stories of their family’s struggles of surviving in America, with minimal variation.

So I’ll tell you all how I’m going to make my fortune: by writing the Korean story that isn’t the Korean Story.  Even if it’s fictitious and unrelatable to the 1.7 million Koreans in America, maybe it can just be a good exercise in escapism for all of us instead of needing yet another film of book or television special about how Korean lives suck in America.  It won’t be as exploitatively parodying like fucking Kim’s Convenience, and it wouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Happy Cleaners or Beef.

It can just be a story about a Korean family that succeeds at coming to America, embarking on and succeeding at achieving their American dream.  By learning English, re-learning an American education, and breaking out of the mold of working at liquor stores or dry cleaners or shitty food franchises, they become contributing members of society not completely insulated in their cultural silo.  Their kids grow up without the pressures of their entire bloodline on their shoulders, and they too become successful adults who are both well-cultured and well-educated and succeed in life.

Surely this narrative has happened somewhere in the culture, but without the angst of feeling cursed by the Korean Story, those that live it probably just haven’t gotten around to writing it out to where it could become a piece of Korean media that doesn’t make me want to jump off a bridge.

So I should just do it myself.  I’m sure I’d become filthy rich from all the Koreans who want to seek that escapism, and I’ll know I really made it if I could then get all the white guilters to get on board with it and ingest my story so that they can seem tolerant of foreigners, and then the rest will follow suite like dominoes.

Just got to have time away from parenting to get right on that though, so I guess in about 5-6 years I can pursue my destiny, hopefully.

The DeVanzo Shift lives

Brilliant: the Boston Red Sox employ a new defensive strategy that’s basically the shift, but still falls within the rules that were altered to attempt to kill the shift

When MLB banned the shift after the 2022 season, the baseball internet had all sorts of jokes about the players who were ripe and prime to breakout, with infielders being neutered to where they could position themselves to neutralize low-skill, pull-happy batters.

The one name that emerged the most was first baseman, Joey Gallo, who was about the most predictable hitter in history, seemingly completely incapable of hitting the ball to anywhere on the left half of the field.

Over the years, opposing teams have employed the most ridiculous shifts on Gallo, going so far as to having just one left fielder to be the sole safety blanket in case he had a bad pregame meal, and was all gassy and clenched and accidentally tapped something to left, while every other single player on the field shifted hard to the right.

This is a tactic called the DeVanzo Shift, named after the new defensive strategy employed by Manganelli’s slow pitch softball team in Artie Lance’s Beer League.

Joey Gallo is not a particularly smart fellow who doesn’t seem to realize that a bunt to right is an automatic double, or just not really that good at baseball, had been victimized for years by the shift, and his numbers and general employability have dwindled throughout the years.

And because there are lots of other guys like Gallo who can’t/won’t practice and learn to hit it the other way, they all collectively bitched and moaned to the MLB player’s union to where they managed to get the tactic outlawed.

The problem is, they were too granular with their explanation of the rules, and teams filled with smart guys like the Boston Red Sox have already figured out ways to exploit the loopholes in the rules, and just like that, when Joey Gallo walked into to spring training expecting to have a monster spring and not having to look at the teeth of the shift again, bam, is suddenly facing the shift again. 

Except it’s not the third baseman who’s wandering way the fuck out of position, it’s the left fielder who’s wandering even way more the fuck out of position, to help keep the DeVanzo Shift alive for at least one more season, to push oafs like Joey Gallo closer to madness and/or early retirement.  The rules state that infielders can’t go out of position or leave the infield dirt, but ain’t nobody said anything about the outfielders.

So owned, Joey Gallo, and long live the DeVanzo Shift!

When being a Yes Man has its drawbacks

When Jim Carrey’s Yes Man was released back in 2008, I remember liking the film a lot.  Beyond just myself, I think it really kind of helped paint the picture of just how many people and much of the world were just a whole lot of cynical shut-ins, quick to say no to everything that comes in their direction.  Aside from the big crush I had on Zooey Deschanel back then, I really enjoyed the film, and it low-key inspired me to want to be more open minded and willing to say yes to things, even if I knew they might put me out of my comfort zone.

At first, things went about as well as things did in the film, with getting into swing dancing, and I found it somewhat liberating to try something new and experience growing and developing a new skill.  But just in general, I told myself to be more open minded, and say yes to things, and have faith and trust that other people might steer me in the right direction.

However, all these years later, sometimes I think that I’m too much of a yes man in my life, and that being open too much is putting me in a position in my life where I’m not particularly thrilled to be in, namely in a financial sense.  Sure, there’s an allegory about kids and the cost of raising children, but I’ve always been pretty financially conservative, wanting to save, liking cushions and becoming anxious when certain thresholds are below lines I don’t like being under, but these days I feel like I’m drowning, and that no matter what I do, or what cuts I try to implement, I just can’t make any headway or gain any sort of progress in the direction I want to be headed.

Yes I know that there are millions of people in the world who have it worse than I do, seeing as how I have gainful employment, as does mythical wife, but I feel like our lifestyle occasionally exceeds our means at times, and it’s in these periods in which I wish that I could be more of a NO man and just say no to everything that encroaches on my personal state of being, because being agreeable and wanting to please and remain flexible doesn’t seem to be fucking anyone over but me, and I think it’s an unhealthy dynamic I’m in when my mood goes sour and my world grows dark.

I feel like I’m living almost entirely in other peoples’ worlds and almost never in my own.  Not just in a financial sense, but also with time.  I give so much myself to my family and kids and my job, and there’s so little time for myself, and when I do have any I’m fretting about finances and dreading tomorrow’s responsibilities.  Relaxation truly is a skill that I do not possess.

The bottom line is that as much as I wish it wouldn’t dictate my well-being, I’m not feeling very financially secure currently, and it makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed to admit.  I’m 40 years old and I look around at the rest of my family and it feels like they all had their shit together better than I do at a similar age and I hate feeling so bothered by money, and had some actionable and tangible plans to gain some improvement.  Maybe saying no to more things might help me feel like I’m gaining a measure of control in my own life’s path again, but we’ll see what happens when a query is lobbed in my direction and I don’t want to feel like the bad guy.

Michelle Yeohwned

All hail: Michelle Yeoh wins Golden Globe for Best Actress, tells pianist to shut up when event tries to play her off the stage

I obviously don’t pay much attention to the world outside of my little bubble, and I’m very reliant on headlines to even attempt to get my finger on the pulse of the happenings around the world.  Rarely, there will be headlines that are pretty succinct and get to the point and they’re stories that I just know I’m going to like when I click on them.

A headline of Michelle Yeoh winning a Golden Globe is appealing enough as it is, as the woman is a legend in the film industry, in both Asia as well as the United States at this point, and it’s about fucking time that Hollywhite give her the recognition that she so justly deserves.  But then to also hear that she told the event’s pianist to “shut up,” and that she “could beat you up,” and my jaw lowers and it goes from a story that’s nice to know, to oh shit I need details, and video if it’s available pls.

And it delivers everything as advertised.  For a woman that just turned 60, she’s still stunning, and still gives off the mythical oriental aura of someone who could still whoop your ass.  Her English is flawless and she speaks with confidence and context, and her speech as a whole was powerful and so very satisfying to all Asians.  And of course, the best part was when she not only told the event pianist to shut up and that she could beat them up, is the fact that the show didn’t really waste any time in yielding the stage to her to let her finish.

It’s hard to find the right words to describe just how incredible it was of her to do such.  Calling her a queen is so white or so black, whatever demo loves to use that cliché.  But it really was a genuine queen moment, because that really is what the Best Actress award really is, but I just think Michelle Yeoh deserves better than a cheap American euphemism.  She’s really like a badass sifu of Hollywood in doing such, and anyone who tries to do this themselves in future award shows is just being cheap imitators.

And because I don’t feel like writing another post to dedicate to the topic, big ups also goes to Ke Huy Quan for winning Best Supporting Actor in the same film, to which this is the perfect opportunity to reference the fact that Jeff Cohen AKA Chunk was his lawyer that negotiated the deal for the role which is just absolutely classic that over three decades later, Data and Chunk are still working together and that even over three decades isn’t enough time for Cohen to be able to shake the name Chunk.

I never saw Everything Everywhere at Once, regardless from how much praise I’ve heard about it from everyone who had seen it.  I’m sure it’s a great flick, and I will eventually get to it, but my opinion of it is already positive, solely based on Michelle Yeoh, Data and Chunk, and all the positive buzz it’s giving for Asians.

Looks like someone else forgot to carry a one

Something to mull over in pound-me-in-the-ass federal prison: Zulily employee attempts similar scheme from Office Space to similar results, but isn’t bailed out by an arsonist

Ultimately, the best part about this whole story is that it’s just a great excuse for everyone to make Office Space references all over again.  Like, people don’t realize just how timeless of a film Office Space really is, and that it was so perfectly created that it could very easily be watched in any decade with minimal age cringe, and still be relatable.

I just like how there were people out there who actually thought 20 years was sufficient time past the release of the film to think that they could actually get away with trying to enact the same plan as from the movie.  But then they somehow manage to make the same critical error in their program, and basically come to the exact same result as in the film, which was roughly around $300,000.

I mean, if fictional Initech were going to notice $300k, then a real company like Zulily was definitely going to notice $300k.  I don’t know if this guy and his team forgot to carry a one over somewhere in their code, or more likely just weren’t particularly bright, but it’s hilarious to think that they thought they would get away with this.

Worst part about the changing of the times is that companies like Zulily are largely virtual and decentralized now, so even if they did have an arsonist in place to be their contingency plan, all their data was probably all cloud-based anyway, so short of knowing what server farm in what continent it was running off of, the likelihood of them burning down the right one probably wouldn’t have been very high.

All the same, thanks to this story, Office Space is back in the forefront again, and perhaps the worthless kids of today can watch it and get a glimpse of what waits for them in the future, and bring them back down to earth a peg or two.