Infinity Wars–2

There will still be spoilers, but if you read the last post,  you probably don’t care or you’ve already seen it, so we should be good.

So clearly there were a lot of deaths to talk about in this movie. My first question is if they were all necessary?

thr heartbreaking ones wee definitely Gamorrah’s, Spiderman’s, and Vision’s. Even if like me you never liked Vision, it was still pretty sad to see Scarlett Witch first kill him and then watch him die again  thanks to Thanos. That does make it seem meaningless.

But Thanos sacrificing Gamorra in order to get the soul stone that was both repulsive and emotional. Though personally, I don’t think she’s dead. I think she’s in a coma, because a fall like that shouldn’t have killed someone so enhanced, plus the whole thing felt like a cop-out of sorts. And there was that vision of her he had at the end, I think the Soul Stone has Gamorra in some sort of suspended animation. (Ask your nerd friends if you don’t know what that is, it’s a comic thing.)

Gamorra is so coming back, so it wasn’t so bad with her. And Spiderman too. Vision, probably.

But do their deaths add anything to this movie?

Spiderman’s? Not really. It adds to Tony Stark’s many issues to watch his yong protegee dissolve,a long with a bunch of other people. But it doesn’t have a lot to do with the movie’s themes.

But with the other two I have more to say. An ongoing theme in this movie was sacrifice. Thanos wants to sacrifice half of all the life in the universe just so the other half can go on to survive and thrive. he claims that when he did this, with Gamorra’s help, the planets went on to be lush and people no longer starved.

I guess Thanos has never heard that we actually have enough food for everyone on this planet, we just do not distribute it. Killing half the people is more likely to make that worse, not better. Collapsing civilization as we know it will cause more starvation as people struggle to put their systems back together. I don’t know what fantasy world Thanos is living in…one of his own device it seems. Since he can alter reality.

however, if he could alter reality, why not turn all the garbage dumps in the universe inot farms? Why not make the landscapes more fertile? Get rid of the Sahara? That’s just on Earth, but you can imagine in this world it would apply to all the inhabited planets.

Thanos is gong to live forever anyway, if he was so benevolent, he could have worked something out that wouldn’t have thrown off the balance of the universe.

It’s laughable that he blames his won planet for rejecting him, sure Thanos, that’s why the gravity and orbit was off, it had nothing to do with messing with the forces of nature. Just keep telling yourself that.

Now it doesn’t take much thinking to see the inherent problems with Thanos’es solution, but my beef with  this movie was that it’s more thinking than any of the good guys did.

In what is becoming the predictable Marvel fashion, no one in this movie had a good counter argument for Thanos. Gamorra clearly thinks what he is doing is wrong, but she only calls it murder, she does not go farther into it. Are we just meant to assume that murder makes it wrong?

And I would agree that murder is wrong, and this kind of genocide is insanely evil, but I would not just say that. I would have a reason for it.

I only know Murder is wrong becuase I know that God is life, I know that we are made in His Image, and that he forbids murder and it is never a good idea to disobey God. Because His rules govern the universe. That would be what I would say to Thanos.

But when Thanos is laying out his whole twisted philosophy, all our supposedly brilliant heroes can do is stare stupidly at him in horror, and then say they’re going to stop him. Well great, but why? So far we see no reason to think he’s wrong…other than it seems an overly complicated solutions compared to just rearranging things so there would be more resources.

Thanos’es philosophy matches that of many people in the real world, which as I said to my family, is the really carry thing about him. That he’s big purple, and powerful isn’t a problem, its that he represents real ideology.

Even scarier is that lots of people think that we are over populated. They don’t even question it. It’s not actually true. Our cities are over crowded, but the world itself still has plenty of room. Plus people are dying everyday, all the time. We kill each other so much, we don’t need some big bad guy to do it for us. We have enough of those already.

Vision tells Ultron he is on the side of life, and that is all the Avengers can seem to come up with in this movie. Never, ever, let people die.

Ironically, Vision is the first to realize that death can be necessary. Thanos is right about that, but murder is not. Self Sacrifice is not the same thing at all, to lay down your life for your friends or the greater good, that’s a noble thing to do. No one should disparage that. Gamorra tries to do this, and to his credit, Peter Quill was going to do as she asked and kill her before Thanos got the information out of her, but Thanos stopped him.

Captain America is so hesitant to let anyone die, at least since the Winter Soldier, or Ultron. Which is silly. He’s a soldier, he should understand the necessity of sacrifice to stop evil.

Then Gamorra herself fails when she sees Nebula being tortured. Now, I give her a bit more leeway since it’s just terrible to watch that, worse than a quick death scene. But then Quill later blows their chance to depower Thanos when he finds out Gamorra is dead…and Nebula didn’t whack him over the head because…?

yeah, there are some issues I have. Thanos makes his sacrifice, I agree that he didn’t really love Gamorra, but he thought he did. What he considers love, of course it was never going to be her if it came before her and the stone.

The Dr. Strange says he will sacrifice Tony ad Spiderman to protect the stone, and he doesn’t. Perhaps he has his own reasons for that, but it seems the movie is saying that the Avengers cannot let people die or else they would not be the Avengers.

That’s…stupid.

You have go consider stakes. It is not evil to let someone sacrifice themselves in a war, especially not if the whole galaxy is at stake and they can help.

There is simply no point in risking your lives as often as the Avengers do if you are not prepared to let someone lose it if they have to. You cannot live dangerously and fear death.

I am not saying we should be heartless and not care. I think on the contrary we care more when someone goes out nobly, and there is some meaning in it. Better that then the pointless carnage at the end of this film.

See, if three, or four people had laid down their lives willingly, half of the population would have been spared. Think about that.

Yet again we wonder who our real heroes are, if they cannot even make that kind of sacrifice.

Whosoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, an whoever loses it for My Sake and the Kingdom’s shall find it.

Jesus said that. And I think it fits. Int eh end if a few good guys had died for the sake of all, then more good guys would have survived.

Hopefully the second movie will clear all this up. Because life does not have true value unless it valued but  not so much that it cannot be given up.

Until next time–Natasha.

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Infinity Wars!

It’s finally time! I have it in writing that I have been anticipating this since before Justice League came out. (See Expectations for the New Justice League.)

 

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                                Infinity Wars!

Spoiler Warning. Seriously. Do not read further if you are planning to see it.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk.

I would like to preface this by saying I still prefer Justice League, but that is completely my own bias and I am not saying it was a better movie, I am also not saying it wasn’t. You’ll have to figure it out.

So, the Avengers movie where people finally died, right? (You were warned.)

Not that I believe for a second that any of them are staying dead. My bet is that they will all come back, and then some of them will die again just so Marvel writers can say there were lasting consequences. I mean some of these people don’t have their quota of three movies in yet, so we know they’re coming back.

But if you walked in not knowing what to expect, unlike me, since I saw spoilers, which I regret now, then the death toll of this movie would have knocked your socks off and not in a pleasant way.

I actually almost choked up when Gomorrah and Peter Parker died. I don’t like Peter so much in this new version, but he was 15, and it’s just hard to watch a 15 year old dissolve into ash even when it’s a movie.

You might wonder if I think that these deaths added stakes to it? Yes and no. I think it guaranteed we would all come back to see the sequel. Of course now we want to know what happens.

I guess MArvel has the right to market what they know will sell.

Forgive my cynicism, but I still can’t believe it really happened or that it will last. Especially with such a serious out.

But you might want a little more detail. If you aren’t going to see it, here’s the plot in a nutshell.

After Thor Ragnarok, Thanos shows up, slaughters all the Asgardian we spent the whole of that movie trying to save–including Valkyrie we presume–and then kills Loki off like a sucker and sends Thor floating into deep space, where he is later rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Whoa t first aren’t sure what to make of him. but as soon as he explains about Thanos, Gormorrah is all set to do whatever it takes to keep Thanos away from the remaining Infinity stones. Thanos has two, thanks to Loki. The purple one and the blue one if I remember correctly.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange has called Tony Stark in to tell him of their impending doom. Strange has the Green Time Stone, and he says he must keep it away form Thanos, he’ll need help, and Tony needs to assemble the Avengers. Of course since the whole mess from Civil war, Tony isn’t on speaking terms with half of them. And naturally his typical selfish behavior is to hesitate because he’s afraid to call them up. Just when he’s going to finally dial Cap’s number, Thanos’es five horsemen of the Apocalypse show up. Only, it’s just two of them for now. (Yeah, they aren’t really explained any better in the movie, they are just there, and they’re despicable.)

They fight, Spiderman hears the commotion, and dives out his bus window to get in on the action, much to Iron Man’s consternation. I was a little sad that Zendaya didn’t get even a cameo int his, but I figured she wouldn’t have been in it long enough to make it worth paying her.

Anyway, Doctor Strange gets taken by Squidworth (As Iron man dubs one of the buddies) and out into this weird acupuncture trap. Iron man goes after him, Spiderman follows, kind of by accident. Then Iron man gives him his Iron Spider suit to protect him from the atmospheric conditions. Once he realizes he’s stuck with Spiderman he says “Congratulations kid, you’re an Avenger now.” Nobody cheered by the way. Even Peter just looks happy for second then you can tell he realizes this may not be a good thing at the moment.

To make a long story short, they go to Thanos’es planet, upon Iron Mans suggestion, to face him. Eventually they are joined by half of the Guardians of the Galaxy. After getting their rear ends handed to them by Thanos and losing Gomorrah, the Guardians cam there to find him, I guess. I’m not sure they even said why.

Then back on Earth, Vision and Wanda have finally started their relationship. Not married of course, though they should be to be comically accurate. And yes, it was as out of left field as Black Widow’s and Hulk’s. But at least it had a basis in the comics first. Then the horsemen of the apocalypse show up to take Vision’s Infinity stone. The other Avengers show up, Cap, Natasha, Falcon, and they kick their rear ends. Then they all go join Rhodes, or War Machine if you prefer, to go to Wakanda and try to get the stone removed from Visions forehead without destroying him.

And if you think you’re confused, imagine watching it.

The horsemen show up in Wakanda with an army of alien drone dogs things, we find out Thanos was behind the Chitarri invasion of earth, and he’s been in Iron Man’s head for years, and presumably Loki’s too. Everyone put s up one heck of a fight. Thor shows up after a trip to a magical forge guarded by peter Dinklage (sorry, a giant space dwarf. Their words, not mine.) He’s got his ax now, and some people know he had an ax in some renditions, including the old animated movies of the Avengers, so that was a bit of eye candy for us geeks.

Rocket and Groot helped him, by the way, so now they’re on earth. I will say, when they all showed up and Thor blasted the bad guys, everyone in the theater started to slow clap. I think my family began it, but we all couldn’t help it. Thor really is awesome.

Then Thanos shows up and kills half of them. The end.

Not really, but you’ll have to read the net installment to get the rest of my take on it.

See what I did there?

Natasha will return in Infinity Wars part 2.Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Loki, War Machine, Vision, Scarlett Witch, Falcon, Bucky, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-man, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Teenage Groot, Mantis, Nebula, 4K

 

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

Who’s excited about Infinity Wars?

I am not as enthused as I was, Marvel is burning me out. I am a DC person at heart.

With that in mind this week I checked yet another Marvel movie, and another DC movie off my “yet to see” list.

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

They could not be more different stories. One refusing to take anything seriously, the other taking itself perhaps a bit too seriously. No one in Man of Steel developed a sense of humor till the last few minutes of the film. Which proves how desperately the franchise needed the Flash. You go Barry, save the DCU.

Comic relief doesn’t have to be as plentiful as in Marvel, but it is a staple of superhero movies and for a good reason The franchise cannot be taken too seriously, or it falls apart, people nitpick. With the advent of the Dark Knight, and Iron Man, fans have gone to a whole new level of criticizing or worshiping their heroes, but the disappearance of real humor is a telltale sign that we may be forgetting these are just stories.

I know I know, this coming from the person who wrote about relationship goals based on superheros.

Well that’s the point, only a fictional relationship could possible be evaluated without the humanity of he two people getting in the way. They might have flaws, but it will never bug you as much if the person isn’t real, and you can look past it. Learning to do that with your real spouse/significant other is a lot harder, but it’s important.

With that said, did I then love Deadpool?

Heck no. I kept an open mind, I’d heard it was awesome. And though the R-rated material was not enjoyable to me, it wasn’t what killed it.

Fans, you may not want to read the following:

Deadpool was lazy. The writing was lazy. Cussing can be used creatively to emphasize someone’s personality, or the kind of stress they are under, but Deadpool substituted cussing fr a  personality.

I know nothing about what this guy likes or dislikes beyond a few superficial facts But all Marvel characters (except Spiderman and Antman and Thor) suffer from that syndrome, so it wouldn’t ruin him, I suppose.

I also love Ryan Reynolds, for the record, and there were a few moments when his natural comedic gifting came out, but only a few.

Deadpool is vulgar, gross, sick, but not without some good qualities as a person. He really loves his girl, for whatever reason, I guess they are two of a kind. He really tries to do what’s best for her.

The movie was turning into Beastly for a while. Then we go back to R-rated violence and humor.

But Deadpool is still a weak character. Though he makes fun of Marvel tropes, he relies on them for us to even like him. Otherwise, why would we? Remove the Fourth wall breaking, and naughty mouth that makes us all feel like big boys for watching, and you are left with the most average or even sub-par superhuman I’ve ever seen. (Maybe Titan from Megamind has him beat.) I mean, what does he even do that makes him likable? He saves his girlfriend, but if I want to watch gun-slinging violent damsel in distress movie, there’s a few dozen westerns that would beat this out, especially for dialogue.

No, I’m sorry, saving the girl can’t justify everything.

Most of our superheroes are getting high kill rates, and Deadpool embracing that is not helping anything. It’s not a good thing.

Let me tackle Man of Steel now.

I admit I liked this movie okay. It was better than Deadpool. It is chronically serious. All DC movies have been except for Suicide Squad. It’s their style, love it or hate it. I don’t love it exactly, I need to laugh every now and then Superman, but I do appreciate DC trying to put some real morality in it. And that they do not treat moral decisions as something to joke about.

Because right and wrong is not a joke, and cannot be settled on a joke.

I won’t be saying anything new if I say that Superman seeking religious advice is unique, and humble. Superman has always been a humble and they kept that in the movie. They also kept Lois Lane’s conscience, which was nice. I miss her sarcasm but Amy Addams has never been the type of actress to sell that character, so I guess it can’t be helped. She still did a good job of nailing Lois’es reckless, meddling side.

Pa Kent was the worst part though. Ugh. Talk about the anti Uncle Ben. And Pa Kent used to be more likable.

Krypton was never something I cared to see more of, in the comics I got tired of gong back to it. It was too idealized. Too perfect.

The movie touched on the arrogance of such a world, but the thing about planned parenthood, was unnecessary and felt too much like the Matrix. (Yet another lesson about messing with DNA, geneticists, I hope you’re listening.)

But in the end Superman is a sympathetic character. We feel bad for him. True the guy tends to make the same face most of the time, but I think it’s the script’s fault. Most of his scenes are serious, he kind of has to make that face. And he does lighten up a few times.

The comparison of superman to god is a running theme. but Superman himself knows he’d not a god. To have god-like powers without god-like wisdom is to be only a monster. Like Zod. Unless you humbly submit to the higher call of Good, and then you are a hero.

So as imperfect as Superman is, at least he gets that. he’s learning. DC characters all seem to be learning and rowing. And I am looking forward tow hat they come up with in the future. But Deadpool and the rest of the snappy but empty characters, they might get people laughing, but will they ever get them thinking?

I can’t say, but I don’t see it so far, so here’s to the Flawed but Learning people!

–Natasha.

Justice League!

I finally saw it. Back when I wrote my Expectations (For the New Justice League) post, this is what I said about it:

So what I think the new film needs is not to progress further into the dark, gritty and melodramatic world that the genre has become, but to regress into more human terms.

I have nothing against climatic events and galaxy sized stakes, but it should never be about that. Making the problem with the world the main focus of any movie risks making it too vague. What the film needs to be about is what problems humans deal with on a human level. With something like the Justice League, there’s a wide range of subjects that could be covered, that’s why it worked so well as a show. Narrowing down each member’s own personal struggles in the span of one film is a difficult and almost impossible task

But my concern is that none of them will be followed through in a satisfying way.

I am happy to say that the film makers obviously read my post, because this movie was not the disaster I was afraid it was going to be.

Best of all, they took my suggestion about Diana laying it on Batman.

But this movie had some problems that I want to briefly address.

I do not think the villain should ever be the most important part of a movie, but I do think making them on the level of a video game is a little too far in the other direction. Steppenwolf has to be the most ridiculous villain I’ve seen since…Well he reminded me most of Ego from the Guardians of the Galaxy vol#2.  Complete with the weird egg-shaped plasma globes. And the bizarre god-complex.

However the reason this whack job does not ruin the movie is because he’s not really the point, and he was obviously just a precursor to Darkseid, who’s name is dropped pretty early on; and who will make a more potent of a villain. He serves as a Ronin to DCU’s Thanos, in other words.

So, he’s goofy, but whatever. The real thing we’re here for is the League.

I like Diana naturally, but I never have liked this new Batman, mostly I just can’t buy him as anything but a weird old guy who’s mentally unstable but trying to save the world.

Ben Afleck, probably through no fault of his own, is the weakest link in this new League. Arguably Batman always was the weak link in the League because he wouldn’t commit to it fully since he loved his independence too much. So the issue in this movie is predictably that Batman does not know how to play with the other kids, and though he’s not particularly pushy, he feels unnatural with them. And once the crisis is over I have to wonder if that’s gonna blow up big time.

But again, that doesn’t ruin the film. Batman is antisocial anyway, and to it’s credit the movie is upfront about it. In fact a big theme of this movie is that no one is all put together, but that you work with the good in people and that’s how they get better.

I think the writers are starting to see how they ruined the franchise in the first place by making it depressing and hopeless, and now they are slowly climbing out of it. This movie was not as positive as Wonder Woman, but it was better than Dawn of Justice.

And that’s where I get to the good things about it.

The biggest surprise for me was that I bought the League as a team in their very first fight scene. I expected to feel like they were out of it until the climax, and then hopefully believe it, but I almost immediately felt like they had team chemistry. What tied it together for me was them saving each other. Flash helping Diana when she lost her sword, and Batman helping Flash get away after he was hurt. Flash’es more human weaknesses were a great balance to everyone else, who are often just too powerful to evoke sympathy.

Even though they spend a good deal oft his movie arguing or giving forced exposition, it wasn’t without real moments. Diana’s conversation with Cyborg was cliche, but I believed it anyway. Diana and Bruce’s fight and subsequent make up felt pretty real. And her calling him out was just my personal victory.

And I liked Aquaman more than I thought I would. He wasn’t the selfish jerk he’d been set up to be by this new and darker version. He ended up being kind of a softie, and that rope of truth gag was pretty funny.

Flash as always was one of my favorite parts, he’s a little more ADD then the show Flash, but that makes perfect sense with his powers, and it works fine with the others to balance him out. He still had the humanity and heart factor going for him. And Batman’s advice to save one person was actually solid advice. When you fight crime or rescue people as a career, it has to be about saving one person at a time sometimes. I welcomed the reminder that even one person is important. Which is something superheroes movies have not been emphasizing enough in my opinion.

Cyborg…I could take or leave his backstory. It’s sad, but hard to relate to. As a character, I was glad that he did not waste half the movie refusing to help out of self doubt, but was willing to try anyway after what Diana said to him. Proving he was better than the dark and brooding fellow he’d become.

In conclusion, DC movies are inferior to Marvel in production, they just are. The CGI is worse and the dialogue suffers from pretentiousness a lot of the time. But, dialogue and special effects are not all that make a movie work.

The dialogues is improving by the way, only some of the lines made me want to roll my eyes, as opposed to Dawn of Justice. And special effects are what they are.

What DC has that I’ve yet to see in Marvel, expect for Guardians, Ant Man, and Ragnarok, is heart. The stories are not written as seamlessly as Marvel, but there’s real feeling behind them. There’s more raw and real emotion behind these imperfect characters then I’ve ever felt watching Captain America, or Iron Man, or anyone but the ones I mentioned.

I wince at some of the production errors in judgment, but I forgive them for it because their movies have made me think. The problems they bring up are not always well executed, but they are real. And the characters are getting more self aware of it too.’

A Justice League movie that finally deals with Batman’s issues, while shipping him with Wonder Woman is not all bad, folks.

I understand why many people were disappointed in this movie. It was not the epic showdown we thought, but in retrospect, I always said that was just too much to expect. My wish was that they would make the characters more human, and not dark. And that’s what they did. Even Superman has gone back to being more like his old self. It’s true that was the worst part of this movie, but whatever, it was a mess no matter what way you slice it and at least he didn’t join forces with the bad guy. What a cliche that would have been…Bucky Barnes!

Anyway, DC fans get it. MCU people probably never will understand what makes these movies deeper to us despite their flaws.

But let’s be real, Justice League’s whole point is that we all have hang ups. It knew it wasn’t gong to be a prefect movie, but if we work with what was good about it, I’m confident the franchise will continue to improve.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Spiderman Homecoming.

Did the title make you groan or was it intrigueing?

Or maybe both?

Yes, in keeping with my record off seeing movies months after they come out, I’ve finally given this one a watch. Now I wasn’t feeling too well at the time (and I’m still not actually) so perhaps that affected my impression of it, but I doubt it.

Because I don’t think it sucked, per sec.

If you thought it did, I completely understand, but also if you thought it didn’t.

Normally I would pick a side, but this movie really defied you to do that.

I’ll be upfront, this was not Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman in any way, shape, or form.

That is a negative for me, though it won’t be for everyone. I love the profoundness and even the occasional campy-ness of the old trilogy, and the strong moral themes. I think the casting was perfect. And for a nineties trilogy (or whenever it was) the special effects aren’t half bad.

If there’s a downside to that series I don’t know it, but it doesn’t follow that any break from style would be a negative.

One thing I miss from the trilogy, though I wouldn’t chalk it up to a negative, is the wisecracking Spiderman I loved in the old comics. And this new movie…does not have that.

Sorry, this Spiderman is a lot of things, but he’s not good at the quips. His repartoire had the wittiness of a VLOG…because it usually was a VLOG. As a VLOG (that’s making video logs of your life for you none YouTubers) it was okay. Not the worst thing I’d ever see on the internet. But as superhero quips, Hulk has had it better.

But there is more to Spiderman than wise cracks, there’s also emotional depth.

And the movie….doesn’t have that until about halfway through, and then in small amounts that don’t really seem to last.

I mean, sure Peter gets chewed out by Tony Stark and almost cries; and gets his suit taken away; and can’t be Spiderman anymore; but except for when it gives you painful flashbacks to getting chewed out by your parent or teacher when you were in high-school, the most emotion you feel is “What a wuss.”

And this Peter is, sadly, a wuss. He’s not the biggest wuss ever, I mean, compared to a lot of guys, he’s pretty cool…in a nerdy, annoying way. He spends the first chunk of the movie annoying both Tony and the audience with his hormonal energy and bouncing around and not following instructions and basically just sucking at being Spiderman.

If you’ve seen Maguire’s version, you just shake your head or roll your eyes watching this dork.

And I have nothing against the actor, Tom Holland is not bad, and he’s kind of cute some of the time, I blame the script.

And my other complaint is that for a movie with so much young talent, like Zendaya, who is not my favorite actress or anything but I know she has comedic talent, it wasted it. Zendaya was perfect for this more ironic form of MJ (who I don’t mind because this Peter is not the sensitive type and the old MJ wouldn’t suit him at all) and she had like six lines. Six! What a waste.

So you may wonder why I am so ambiguous about whether this movie is good or not if I disliked so much.

Well, it is inferior to the old trilogy in almost every way. But it’s an okay film, maybe even a good one if you’re into teen action films.

Because that’s what this is, it’s Avengers for young teenagers. I mean 13-15 year olds who may not be as up on the darker side of the adult Avengers, (and that’s a maybe.) The language unfortunately rules it out for anyone younger than 13 otherwise I’d say this was a good movie for your preteens who are into the Marvel hype.

I want to say that I don’t think teen action flicks are bad movies. I’ve seen plenty and I’ve like most of them. I even saw a Ninja Turtles movies once, that I thought was pretty cool, and I’ve watched weirder ones than that. (Aliens in the attic was my favorite for awhile. I was young.)

And this movie felt like Ninja Turtles with Spiderman. Replace the warthog or whatever he is with Tony Stark and Happy as the serious-yet-still-humorous mentor character, combine four slightly different teenage turtle personalities into one character who varies from sort of serious; to completely goofy; to whiny; to incautious and reckless.

Add in the comedic quality of one of those movies, which have funny moments but are mostly slapstick/awkward situational comedy.

And you have Homecoming.

It’s like a Junior Marvel film.

If Marvel is going to start making junior spin offs to their own movies, I’m cool with that, they aren’t hurting anybody. But I would prefer they use less famous superheroes as the teens, because the ones who already have better, more profound movies are too good to throw away on B-quality films.

I should touch on the message:

The message is that you should not try to grow up too fast. That it’s okay to stay at the level you can handle until you’re more mature.

And while I agree with that message in some ways, it goes against the grain for me to tell teens to underachieve.

While I think no teen should have to go through what Peter Parker went through, the sad truth is many of them do. Teens who have no lost people close to them, or been betrayed terribly by friends or family are the exception, not the rule.

Peter is clearly a better person deep down then the movie would make him out to be at first, I saw sparks of a noble character in their. In a very annoying package.

But mos teens are an un-tempered, annoying, package of good potential. I can’t fault a film for being honest; but that version of teens is not the whole truth, because it’s a recent development. Teens used to be young adults, and that it was Maguire’s Spiderman was. It helps that in his first movie he goes from high-school to college, and frankly if he hadn’t, the maturity he achieved would have been harder to believe.

But it’s attainable.

I don’t think I would tell my kid to be like this Spiderman, and that’s the biggest test of any young hero. Even though they often are reckless and immature, some are better at learning from their mistakes.

Peter does learn, and I won’t say he made the wrong decision at the end of the film. I would question what we were supposed to take away from a two hour film showing all the reasons why being a superhero is just too hard for some people.

Okay, yeah, we get it. But how does that help us? Did it make a more enjoyable movie?

Still, for what it is, it’s fine. I won’t begrudge you your liking of it if you liked it. But if you like the old trilogy and don’t like seeing superheros changed, and if you like profound meaning in your films, then don’t watch this.

That’s all I have to say about it, until next time–Natasha.

P. S. ( DCU fans keep an eye out for Justice League, that should be next on my list.)

 

X-Men: Apocalypse

I never intended to watch this one, but my curiosity was aroused by the reviews.

And it was not so terrible. It seems to have gotten a lot of hate from the fans, but it had its good points.

I’ll list the negative things first: This movie had inconsistencies, it was unrealistic in many ways, notably when some idiot shot Magneto’s wife and daughter with the same arrow when he wasn’t even trying to. I’ve taken archery folks, unless it’s a loaded crossbow, if you aren’t trying to fire, there’s no way you’ll be pulling back on a regular bow hard enough to shoot clear through a child. It would be hard for most people to do that on purpose. Let alone enough to kill someone else at the same time. Give me a break.

Yeah, so I had a problem with that, and I’m so over Magneto changing sides (sort of) and then changing back. I love redemption, but the man has blown every chance he’s had in all previous films, he is consistently bad, and worse, he’s a mass murderer, I think they need to cut their losses, sorry.

Aside from that, the biggest flaw to me was Apocalypse’s whole back story. There’s no way he was the first thing to evolve, that makes no sense in terms of mutant context. (He had to be lying, I figure,) and being reborn all the time…really? Even if I allowed for that, he seemed kind of dull. He was more of a mind controller then an active villain.

And are you seriously telling me that Storm, Angel, and whoever the other girl was, would not bat an eyelash at destroying the whole world? Really? Their lives were so terrible?

However, I do get how it played into the movies central theme, which was also its best theme. After decades of movies convincing us that mutations are only dangerous when they are not controlled, and that powers need to be accepted, we finally get a reality check about the other side of having power. Power corrupts.

We always saw the difference between the older Professor X and Magneto, The Professor is humble and kind with is powers, while Magneto is cruel and sadistic. Then we went back and saw what made them that way.

yet we know that Charles will suffer a lot of the same things Erik suffered later in life, and he will remain the same. Why is Magneto so different?

There’s a myriad of reasons Erik became the way he did. But one of the best moments he had in this movie was when he yelled at God asking “Is this what you want from me?”

We know Magneto later called himself a god among ants (though I suppose that was erased in the previous film) but no one ever gets tot heat point without firs coming to hate and reject God Himself, either as an idea or as a reality. (Both usually.)

This time Erik has given normal life a try, and still found it taken away, this time by accident on the human’s part, though he still hates them, we see now that he really hates God for letting them do this to him.

Since Erik is Jewish, it makes sense that he would find it baffling that God would let any of what happened happen. It’s a question that’s hard for us to answer.

And later Magneto asks Apocalypse “Where were you when my family died?” This question is one of the many points in the movie where Apocalypse seems to be equated with God. Yet the movie gives several instances where it’s clear that Apocalypse is not God as we would define Him. He is not omnipresent. He is not all powerful. he is at best a cheap imitation. Most of us would think him more like the devil then like God. What with him being evil and power mad and all.

Especially since Apocalypses goal is to acquire ultimate power, notice he doe snot already have it. God would already have all power.

It’s almost as old as time that people want to acquire ultimate power to become gods. And that’s why this theme is important in the movie. Magneto and the other evil mutants don’t just hat humans, they desire to shed their humanity, which is still part of them, and become god-like.

Though any real examination of their powers reveals that they are all limited, and I thought Apocalypse magnification of Magneto’s power bordered on the ridiculous.

God is not limited, (except by choice,) is what I’m saying, or He is not God. It’s as simple as that.

A limited god is not worth much to any of us.

Charles gets it, his message that power corrupts and that great power is given to the strong so that they can protect the weaker is profound though it is glossed over. Mystique sort of echoes it when she tells Erik he has the power to save his remaining family for once.

I am a firm believer that we are given gifts sot hat we can use them for others. They benefit us, it is true, and it’s not wrong that they do, but that should never be the only reason we use them. Magneto’s consistent flaw was his selfishness. He refused to deal with it, to try to be different.

Charles greatest strength was his selflessness.

Though this movie still continues the theme about embracing your power, it makes a point of saying you should embrace it for the sake of other people. Disregarding humanity is not that answer.

The reason I like X-men is because it actually faces the prevalent issue of superhero movies head on: that supers could come to despise humanity for its stubbornness and weakness.

And sure, they could, some have. some brilliant people in real life do. But X-Men is always trying to remind us that even the gifted people are human too, and they need to keep their compassion if they would keep themselves intact.

So, despite its faults, this latest X-men movie is worth checking out.

Until next time–Natasha.

Zombies and Redemption.

So, I have a confession, I actually dared to watch a movie featuring zombies. I doubt any of you are really shocked, what do you know about my tastes, that’s pretty normal now.

Well it’s not for me, but I gave this one a pass because the zombies in it aren’t brain-eating monsters…except for ten seconds.

This movie was a Disney Channel Original, this movie was their average, not terrible, but not good.

Zombies, which is the full title, is about a post-post apocalyptic world, where in a very Divergent fashion, humans are split into two groups, those who are normal, and those who are infected with some virus that made them into zombies…because someone spilled lime soda on some electric device.

Yeah, WordGirl Levels of sense.

But this movie is for kids and younger teens, so I’ll let the silliness slide. The last thing I need is for horror movies to be a DCOM thing.

The story is about a boy zombie, named Zed, and a normal girl, who of course fall in love and unite to overturn cultural expectations. Since zombies are stigmatized and ostracized.

The whole thing is an obvious metaphor for privileged whites keeping down blacks and Hispanics. The zombies get all the worse jobs, they go to separate schools until the integration act that kicks off this movie.

The movie has one interesting turn. Zed uses his zombie powers to become good at football, but he is endangering himself and everyone else in the process because the only thing keeping him stable is a special watch that sends calming signals to their brain. So there’s that.

When Zed convinces his friend Eliza to help him override his watch slightly so he can win the games, people start to accept the zombies, but unfortunately the anti-zombie kids hijack the signal and send Zed, Eliza, and their other friend into full on zombie death mode. Though Zed seems to resist it briefly.

For awhile things start to go terribly wrong, but then the girl Zed likes fixes everything by having he zombies and cheerleaders unite to win the cheer champions ship…which they don’t, but they do end up bring humans into zombie territory and end with a happy song and dance number.

It was stupid; but the elements of the movie do call for some closer examination, not because the movie is brilliant but because the way it was made reflects a lot about what the writers think teens are into and what they think we should be concerned about.

The biggest problem with this movie is that is mishandled the zombie thing entirely. It made it a metaphor for race, but the zombie virus is a way closer metaphor for mental or social disabilities.

Comparing it to Autism would have been smarter. Like the zombies, autistic people can have triggers that make them go ballistic, they could hurt people. So can other special needs kids. And they can’t help it, necessarily.

It’s a pertinent question to ask how much special needs kids should be allowed to mingle with “normal” ones. There are real dangers to both us and them if they lose it, or get bullied, but is there a greater danger if we don’t learn to understand each other? I think there is.

That’s a worthwhile conversation to have, but this movie doesn’t have it. The cheerleaders who mess up the special watches just to get the zombies to go nuts are never caught, the zombies never even bring it up to them, at the end of the movie they are all cool. Even though the brats could easily have gotten someone killed. They almost did, in fact. There’s no lasting impact from that very serious problem.

All we get is Eliza whining about how they took all the blame.

In all fairness if Eliza hadn’t been screwing with the watches to begin with, the cheerleaders couldn’t have done it. Eliza shows no remorse or horror for what she did, Zed admits it was wrong, but he lingers no longer on it. The girl he likes doesn’t chew him out. Nothing.

It’s no use, in a story like this, to pretend that Zombies aren’t different. The age old problem “Should we blame them for what happened before they were born?” presents itself. Should we punish people for something that is not their fault?

And yet whether we like it or not, in real life kids do get punished for what isn’t their fault. They bear the brunt of other people’s mistakes.

We all have to choose what we will do about the problems we face, but it doesn’t follow that we’ll all make good choices.

This movie slightly touches on that when Eliza wants to sabotage the cheer championship, but it deflates almost instantly. She’s talked out of it in twenty seconds. Zed brings up the point that if they behave that way then they are the monsters everyone thinks they are.

Which  is a good point, but it wasn’t fleshed out to really mean much.

And is it problematic to use zombies at all? They are monsters, they do bad things, and we’d be justified in killing them if they were real. They aren’t human, strictly speaking. Though the movie uses it differently, still it leaves the brain-eating nastiness in there (I thought that was a mistake) then we do have to wonder, why should the humans want them around?

I have a problem with making monsters “relatable” the only reason I might have gone with it for this movie is because monster can be a metaphor, and a powerful one. Just not this time.

That’s an okay way to illustrate, I’ve used the example of zombies myself to teach kids in Sunday school what being spiritually dead might look like. It can work.

Comparing zombies to a certain race isn’t going to work because having a different skin color doesn’t make you a monster prone to eating people.

Making that cool isn’t good. It misses the point. When you admit that there’s something wrong with you, you can be helped. There can be redemption. Forgiveness.

But the more we try to justify our issues, the more ridiculous the situation becomes. The most grotesque things become acceptable.

The idea is to be removed from all that, set apart, cleansed. That’s the idea of holiness the bible talks about.

We’re all, you might say, infected with the virus of sin. We all try to control it, much like with the watches, some of us try to harness it, ultimately we end up hurting people because sin hurts. The wage of sin is death.

It’s not our fault we’re born into it, but we constantly make choices that make us weaker to it, and that is our fault. (See the parallels?)

I think the movie reflects our attitude toward perfection. We think that if we as a species can work together we might overcome our differences and dangers.

Wonder Woman is wiser, she knows that each of us has our own darkness we have to face, and love is what will make us able to do it.

So, that was a lot of thought for such a dumb movie, but sometimes figuring out what went wrong can be more work.

Until next time–Natasha.

The Callous Conduct.

This essay is authored by my sister and is not my work in any way–Natasha.

Thoughts from reading “The Bad Beginning.”

Upon this perusal of the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, one thing in particular stuck out to me (in fact, the only thing that really stuck out to me), and that was anger.  More specifically, righteous anger. It was not something that was featured in this series so much as the overwhelming sense of sadness and hopelessness that sticks out in every book.  The very word “unfortunate” speaks of remorse and regret, rather than such an emotion as anger.  Righteous anger really only seems to be felt by one character in this book, and that is Klaus, the middle Baudilaire orphan.  His and his siblings’ parents have been cruelly taken from them, they have not a penny to spend at the moment, and they have been deposited, like so much unwanted luggage, upon the dirty doorstep of Count Olaf.  This alleged relative is cruel and unreasonable; he has taken advantage of their helpless state and thinks of nothing except how he may gain their fortune. Why, indeed, should Klaus not be angry?  The more pertinent question may be, why is he the only one?  Where do the helpless have to turn if no one has righteous anger?  The book, The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket, is, I believe, an example of how the idea of different “truths” and “realities” for each person affects the more vulnerable people in society.

These children are being abused and mistreated.  Of all people who plead for the law’s protection, surely they are the most deserving of it.  Why has no one helped them?  Why does nobody listen when they try to explain their situation?  Why are even those who care what happens to them rendered ineffectual?  These are questions that occupy the reader’s mind for the whole of the series, and it gets very frustrating to have to witness over and over.

It is not logical or realistic that every single time the Baudilaires are in danger, no adult can or will help them, and the only ones who really seem to notice or mind this are the children themselves.  True, it is

  Gardner 2

kind of this series’ thing, but one must admit that if something like this happened today there would be outrage.  There would not be a snowball’s chance in hell of Count Olaf escaping the long arm of the law.  The public would despise him and offer pity and support to the three orphans.  Mr. Poe would be fired.

Yet it is not so in this book’s world.  Our heroes just can’t get ahead.  They are friendless, penniless, and helpless.  The only people they can rely on are themselves.  Why is that? Because the books do not follow the rules of logic and reality, and because every  single adult is incurably Stupid.

Each one has a nonsensical idea of what they think life is which they adamantly refuse to give up in favour of the reality the children are actually facing.  Mr. Poe doesn’t believe anything is wrong with Count Olaf.  He chooses to believe that it is merely the children’s grief or petulance that causes their discontentment.  Count Olaf and his theatre cronies refuse to see themselves as bad and evil, instead labeling the children as the nasty and unpleasant characters of the story.  And everyone absolutely will not see how it is completely illegal for a guardian to marry his 14-year-old charge.  Except for the orphans themselves, each person believes what is most convenient for the sake of himself, herself, or the plot.  Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are the only characters who have even a remotely firm grasp on reality and justice.

This is  a literary example of one of the downsides the belief in different realities for

different people can have.  It brings to center stage the utter helplessness of those who depend on justice to save them, when no one around them “sees things” the same way they do.  They have nobody to fight for them, nobody to get angry for them.

We see that they are being treated unfairly, but in the book’s world, who knows?  Perhaps that’s only how they see it.  Perhaps what is outrage to an obvious injustice to them really is only an overreaction to Mr. Poe.  Maybe Count Olaf really is a devilishly handsome hero, just trying to obtain his just desserts.  Who’s really right?  Yet we cannot help but root for the orphans.  We see that they are good-natured, heroic, and resourceful people.   It defies our sense of right and wrong to think otherwise.

 

  Gardner 3

What would it look like if reality and absolute truth were subjective to each individual–if people only saw what they wanted to see?  There would be those, just like the three children, who slip through the cracks, who get abused and mistreated because no one can or will stand up for them in righteous anger.

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Finally! I can give a more informed opinion on this franchise upsetting piece of work.

Disclaimer, I have only seen the theatrical version and I hear the Ultimate Edition is much better, if you’ve seen that and I don’t address something that was in it, my apologies.

The big question is: Did it suck?

Well, no.

Unlike most folks who cared enough to see this movie when it came out or at least in the same year it did, I didn’t. So my knowledge of it was based on mostly negative reviews, plus one positive one. Maybe two.

I was predisposed to fine the idea of two of my favorite DC guys fighting to the death a terrible experience.

With that somewhat unique perspective, watching this movie was not the fresh take on the characters that it seemed to be to others. And I’ve seen so much dark and gritty from superheroes now that it wasn’t so big a shock.

This movie tuns one of the most beloved superheros, if not the most, into a bad guy. Who murders and makes irrational decisions. It also turns Superman, who is normally confident and cheerful, into a troubled and uncertain hero.

But this Superman is a lot newer to crime fighting then his previous versions, so maybe I can excuse that. And honestly his perpetual frown didn’t bother me, since every scene he was in there was something depressing happening, I wouldn’t be smiling either. He’s never been the wise-cracking kid of super who never gets down.

I could forgive Batman a lot less readily. But upon seeing it for myself, I actually don’t think Batman was acting entirely on his own initiative.

It may be grasping at straws but I felt like all Batman’s nightmares and oddly rage-filled actions seemed a lot more like they were pointing to mind control then to just him. It sound convenient, but being a DC animated series watcher, I can tell you it’s just the sort of thing that they would do. So why not in a movie. (Actually the whole dream-mind control thing has been done before. It was pretty terrifying.)

Even if you don’t buy that an alien force (hint: Darkseid) could be twisting people’s minds (and I’m not the only one who thinks Luthor was acting like he was being influenced by Darkseid) I think it’s not too big a stretch to say that everyone had a darkness they have to face. Wonder Woman said that in her movie.

So with that in mind, I’ll analyze the movie.

I won’t talk about cinematography or acting, or the Martha line as it relates to good story telling; you can get that a dozen other places. I’m going to talk about what I think the story actually means if you just look at it as a story. An analogy. Which is what all superhero movies really are and always have been.

The first thing this movie introduces us to is Batman/ Bruce’s fear of bats and of superman. Which appear to be connected. The bats aren’t literal, they represent the batman side of Bruce, and how he fears it taking control of him. The reason he fears it is because deep down he knows he’s going down a dark path. With the branding and all. I think his disturbing dreams indicated that several times.

For Bruce that fear is still subconscious, and he blames Superman for the sense of danger he keeps having, of helplessness, Alfred tries to warn him about this, but he doesn’t get the hint.

So over a two year period Bruce’s resentment of Superman grows, for no real reason that we can see since Superman doesn’t destroy any ore cities and often prioritizes saving people over catching up to other people he’s suspicious of. But Bruce isn’t going to be bother with facts, since it’s the possibilities that concern him and he doesn’t realize that we can’t base our decisions on all the possible outcomes of something.

Superman is compared to God a lot. But it’s also pointed out that he should answer to God. Superman doesn’t seem to believe this himself, but the comparison bugs him. As it should. Still, he rightly thinks that Batman’s actual Brutality is a top priority over Superman’s possible damage. I mean, one is a fact and the other is a hypothesis right?

But Bruce is having none of that logic crud when Clark Kent tries to point this out to him. Instead he keeps brooding over Superman and finally decides to get rid of him by making a bunch of Kryptonite weapons. After first meeting Wonder Woman a. k. a. Diana Prince. Whom he eventually figures out the identity of.

What we are seeing with Bruce, in my opinion, is the darkness o f fear and hate clouding the judgment. Fear breeds hate anyway. And Luthor is an example of the same thing. Although his is definitely more unstable and out of control (I say more because Batman is the same way) Luthor hates God and blames Superman the way he blames God, because Superman has enough power for one to say “He could save more, but he choose not to. He could destroy us all.” Of course Superman has no wish to do that, but what he intends doesn’t matter anymore These people hate him irrationally.

So Batman tries to kill him, and seems completely shut off to any logic or decency as Superman tries to talk to him and then fights him when Batman refuses to listen. Then that infamous  Martha moment.

I don’ think the idea behind it was terrible, I just found the build up unsatisfactory, but ignoring that, I think it’s true that something as small as a name could trigger the humanity in a person. There are true stories of it happening. And I think all of us can remember moments in our life when our perspective shifted because of one sentence someone said to us.

The idea is that love is the key. Bruce still had love for his mother, even when he’d shut himself off to almost everyone else. And the moment strangely parallels one of the Justice League show episodes in which an alternate Superman had taken over the world, along with the rest of the League, and our Batman convince the other Batman to help him by asking “Mom and Dad, they would be proud of what you did?” and that’s all. But the other Batman realizes the truth.

The truth being that if we love people, then we need to love what they valued also. Provided it was good. Bruce’s parents were clearly good people who would want peace and mercy to be apart of his life.

And since Superman’s mom represents the same a sort of compassion for him as Bruce’s does, the moment does make sense.

I get why people think it’s stupid, but I don’t find it so. In fact I don’t really see how it was much different from Darth Vader changing sides because his son ended up being alive and was almost killed by the emperor.

Anyway, the point is, love conquers fear and hate. Diana tells us in her movie that only love can save the world. And Bruce is showing us how true that is. Because he was actually becoming the greatest threat to the world by trying to kill superman.

I have to say with all it’s faults I like the point DC has been making. That love is the only answer to the fear and hatred and evil we inflict upon each other and the world. Only love will change someone like Batman from a maniac to a man again. And only love can keep someone on the right path.

Love is what convinces Superman to make Earth his new home. Because of the people in it he loves and who love him. Love is what sets Diana on her path of preserving humanity. Love is what opens Batman’s eyes to what he’d become.

And love is all that will make us able to forgive each other for the terrible mistakes we make. Which to his credit Superman does pretty quickly forgive Batman for almost killing him.

So, was this movie perfect? No. Did I like all of it? No, I actually didn’t like most of it. I don’t think I was supposed to enjoy it honestly.

But it is not without its lesson, and the lesson isn’t a total flop. It makes sense. And for setting up the Justice League this movie serves the purpose well enough.

It always could be better, and I think it should have been, but it also didn’t fail completely at what it was trying to do. At least in terms of Batman’s arc. So I’d say it’s worth seeing at least once.

Until next time–Natasha.

Reaction to The Incredibles 2 trailer.

The Incredibles, the best superhero movie I know of. And after 14 years, the movie in the new trailers is the best they could come up with?

I think anyone who really liked the Incredibles will see why I’m upset, but for those of you who might not ever have been that into it, or even watched it, here’s my objections to the ideas in the new trailer:

  1.  Role reversal done wrong: Am I expected to believe that Mrs. Incredible, supermom, is going to decide to pursue a career as a superhero while leaving her children to be guided by their often clueless father. Am I seriously supposed to buy that her mindset will completely change in the span of a few months? That she would feel like it was right to do that? That she would wold become the one pushing for superheros to be a part of the world again at the cost of getting to watch her family grow up…Please.   And am I supposed to believe Mr. Incredible would not want to be a part of the bigger picture, whether or not anyone asked him to be. This is what he believes in, down with mediocrity! Yeah! Tell the kids to embrace what makes them special.
  2. The incompetent male twist: Am I also the only one who remembers that Mr. Incredible is a very adept spy. He hacked into a supergenius’es computer, tricked a probe, knew  a bomb was going to go off by listening to a wall beeping, has a self driving car, and figured out single handedly how to defeat the robot. Remember that, Disney? He was the one who figured it out. Oh, and he defeated the darn thing by himself before it got upgraded. he also got Syndrome monologueing and almost took him out. He is Mr. Incredible for crying out loud! Yet I am supposed to buy the stupid dad cliche? He never had any trouble connecting with is kids, or believing int hem, or handling them. and suddenly Jack-jack is going to be too much fro this resourceful, intelligent, experienced man….?
  3.  The demon baby cliche: If I have to watch one more “baby is too smart for adults” movie I’ll…obviously do nothing, but I’ll be very disappointed in it. Boss Baby was probably the funniest and least gag worthy presentation oft hat, and even then it only worked some oft he time, but when it’s not Alec Baldwin pretending to be a baby and an actual baby being a little unstoppable force, then…seriously? Furthermore, Jack-Jack was never a mean baby. He was very sunny tempered until Syndrome took him away. Now if you wanted to play the angle that that traumatized him (though it didn’t seem to) at least that would be interesting but I don’t give the movie that much credit. I don’t buy the idea that Jack-Jack would enter the terrible twos while still an infant who can’t even walk. His personality is completely changed. Also, why would he even be eating cookies? If he’s not toilet trained, he’s definitely not needing sugar and chocolate. He was still on freaking baby food a few months ago.
  4. The uncreativity: My siblings ad I could come up with three different plots that would have been way more interesting than what the trailers show. We had hoped the movie would be set ten ears into the future, but even for the immediate pick back up we had better ideas for who the whole issue of superheroes cold be handled. Why not do an X-men like story? The Incredibles are already ripping off the Justice League, why not Marvel? (Oh right, Jack-Jack’s become the incredible hulk. Ha!) The Croods was more original then the idea behind this trailer. It seems just like Despicable Me.
  5. What about the kids?: When I saw the trailer show Mr. and Mrs. Incredible run off to defeat the Underminer, leaving the kids to warch, I was like “What the heck? Didn’t we see all of them suit up at the end of the first movie?” The parents were finally willing to let the kids be superheroes too, it was “in their blood” as I recall. And the kids were good at it. Also, I recall that Violet flat out refused to be left out of the fray. Am I supposed to believe the parents are going right back to keeping them out of it and telling them to hide under a bushel. By all means, let’s play the cliche “mom and day won’t let me be me” card. It’s such a nice change for the unusual “parents encourage their kids to be exceptional” vibe of the first movie.

I guess you get the picture.

You know, I don’t hate the idea of a superhero movie that tackles the balance of fatherhood and letting your wife do great things, and teaching your kids not to let one gift define their personality. That’s fine.

But it has nothing to do with the Incredibles. The Incredibles was much more than that. It tackled hard subjects with such apparent ease, such grace, that it made its points without even seeming to try.

And does anyone argue with how it ended? Whether the world agrees or not, you should use your gifts to help people. To save them. End of story.

Embracing your whole self, Violet shows us, will make you confident. Even if no one else knows why, you know what you’re capable of.

not flaunting your powers but using them when necessary is what Dash learns, and he puts it into practice, while his mom lets him still be good at something that other people can see. Because it’s not wrong to be exceptional.

Letting your talents keep you from your family is a mistake, as is lying to them, but also you need to let them help you bear the weight of the job you have to do, that’s what Mr. Incredible teaches us.

And Mrs. Incredible learns that keeping your family safe often means letting them learn how to protect themselves, and sometimes you have to bring out your dangerous side again to be the best mom and wife you can be. Also, she remembers that she’s a super with or without her husband, but she chooses to be with him.

Jack Jack doesn’t really learn anything, because he’s a baby.

Now, is it just me, or did I just cover all the problems the trailer sets up for the sequel, that the first movie already solved. There’s nothing new here.

Well, I  hope I’m wrong, but we’ll always have the first one at least. Until next time–Natasha.