Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

comments about Captain Marvel

Posted: March 23, 2019 in Movies, quotes, review

SPOILER ALERT: some info here could spoil the surprise(s) if you haven’t seen the film.

* “With her hair like that, Brie Larson reminds me of Marcia Brady. Was that ‘Captain Marvel’ or ‘Captain MARCIA MARCIA MARCIA’?” a recurring thought, while watching the movie XD

* “Hm, there’s that actor. Doesn’t he usually play a bad guy?”
[continues to watch, finally nods to self]
“Ah, yeah, I thought so…”

* It was great to see Agent Coulson again… even if he did have shamefully little screen time.

* Since I’m from the vicinity of Huntsville, Alabama, my inner geek was thrilled to learn that is Nick Fury’s birthplace. [That was actually revealed in the trailer — and it made our local news! I suspected I wasn’t the only one here with an inner geek. 😉 ]

My disdain for the last two Marvel films I watched drove me to avoid the next few installments. Even though I decided to see CM, my expectations were very low.

I found CM a bit formulaic (and a tad self-righteous), so for me it didn’t rise to the level of oh-I-love-it-gotta-see-it-again. But it wasn’t fraught with loathsome, grating characters like Thor: Ragnarok, nor was it the unmitigated disaster of Avengers Infinity War, so I was quite pleased.

In fact, now I’m looking forward — just the tiniest bit — to next month’s Avengers.

“I have nothing to prove to you.” What I’d like to remind haters, shamers and other bullies. (Also, my Facebook friends who want me to repost something to show allegiance to faith, family, country, etc.)


After abandoning broadcast television in favor of re-watching DVDs of beloved shows from the past, spoilers became a non-issue for many years.

When I began to want variety and branched out to DVDs of series I hadn’t seen, I found myself in uncharted territory. My previous experience following a new show on the Internet involved waiting after each airing for some industrious fan to write and post recaps, reviews, etc. Now, extensive episode guides are already available online… and I need them more than ever, because I usually watch with my family, and we tend to miss critical exposition because one of us is talking.

The big disadvantage — as you may have guessed from the theme of this entry — is spoilers. Of course, I know to avoid common sources, such as summaries and commentary for episodes I haven’t seen. But I’ve found spoilers lurking where I never suspected, to the extent that viewing an entire series unspoiled is proving to be quite a challenge.

If you, too, are discovering a show after its original run, be aware that spoilers can pop up in seemingly innocuous places:

  • Fanfiction. When I’m concerned about spoilage, I diligently avoid fanfiction for the topic in question. Fanfic writers are often inspired by key events, and synopses of the fics can be very revealing: “This scene takes place after Jojo’s death at the hands of Zulu.”
  • Fan videos. The montage could contain pivotal scenes, such as the main guy character proposing to the main girl character.
  • Facebook. A double threat, not only from friends’ comments, but also since Facebook might recognize the series as one of my interests and supply commercials for the current season — even though I’m several seasons behind.
  • Overambitious “wiki” episode recaps. In an effort to be thorough, they cross reference to future events: “We see Susie again in season four when we learn she has a long-lost sister.” Even their link designations can share too much. For example, I knew a character’s amnesia wouldn’t last long when my options included, “For the character briefly known as Jezebel, click here.”
  • Google image search. I was looking for a screencap of a fight between three characters, and displayed among the search results was a fan-made graphic of one of them, captioned with “R.I.P.” and the year.
  • Actor biographies. The dossier could reveal the character’s exit or return by providing appearances by year, season, or specific episodes.
  • Articles about the stars. A photo of a smiling couple is captioned “Sylvia out on the town with her TV husband.” But — d’oh! — their characters’ marriage is a very recent development. Hope all of that website’s viewers are caught up on their TiVo!
  • The main page of major news websites. If I watched Game of Thrones, it would be maddening that so many “news headlines” rehash the happenings of the latest episode. (No doubt those sites aim to up their link count using GoT‘s popularity.) Even if they warn of plot talk, very often there’s a telling screencap with the headline.
  • Amazon product reviews. I was about to place an order, and the featured review began with, “This was my least favorite of all the seasons.” Maybe that’s not a true spoiler, but such a verdict might predispose me to dislike it before even I’ve seen the first episode.
  • DVD covers for later seasons. When a would-be cliffhanger has a main character in jeopardy, I’m anything but on edge: “No worries. They’re still pictured with the cast for the final season.” (Okay, I confess. I actually like this bit of foreknowledge. My life’s hard enough without having to fear for the safety of my fave characters!)
  • Episode descriptions on DVD packages. Having written similar summaries myself, I understand how tough it can be to strike a balance between providing details for those who are looking for a specific scene, and ruining key surprises for the rest of us. As a public service to DVD Blurb Writers, here are two examples that, IMHO, land solidly in the latter category:
    (1) “After a failed battle with Xolor…” If the opening scene is a battle, we know how that will end. :thumbsdown:
    (2) “The team falls victim to a smooth-talking con man, and Sam must save the day.” … manages to give away the entire episode in one sentence! :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
  • Forums about other shows. Curious to know what fans of Program A had to say, I ventured to read one short thread, and I spent the next several seasons dreading the series finale of Program B because of one of the comments. Happily, in said finale, the plot twist that commenter condemned played out extremely well, in my opinion. Even more happily, I learned that exposure to TMI doesn’t necessarily negate any future enjoyment… although I’d still prefer not to take any chances.

With my eyes now opened to the plight of the “spoiler-phobic,” I realize that I need to post warnings with the episode information at my various websites. In the meantime, remember that, when it comes to having your viewing surprises spoiled, the only safe search is NO search!

I’ve seen this movie twice in the last ten days, and, with scenes still (happily) swirling around in my head, now seems like as good a time as any to compile my comments.


With Captain America and the Winter Soldier, the writers checked Requisite Bromance off their list of Marvel movie staples.

Natasha Romanoff: Looking over your shoulder should be second nature.
Sam Wilson: Anyone ever tell you you’re a little paranoid?
Natasha Romanoff: Not to my face. Why, did you hear something?

Thumbsup on the continuity, having the leaked Hydra information be what led Zemo to the trigger words/book.

I truly hated that the Avengers were being taken to task for the aftermath of those attacks. The Avengers didn’t unleash other-worldly aliens on New York. The Avengers didn’t crash SHIELD’s flying fortress in DC. The Avengers didn’t choose Sokovia as ground zero in their plan to destroy the world. In all those cases, they tried to help, even though, no, they couldn’t save everyone. I think I hated this line of the plot so much because it plays out so often in real life: people who don’t! do! anything! rush to shame and blame whenever someone else makes an effort.

I also HATED Tony Stark trying so hard (and so uncharacteristically) to appease the secretary of state, Ross. Being so wealthy, Tony certainly has the most to lose if he’s branded a criminal, but I don’t think his motivation for agreeing with Ross is self-preservation. One of the few reviews I read of this movie pointed out that Tony’s faith in himself is shaken after his causing the Ultron fiasco (and feeling responsibility for all the damage from that), not to mention his failure on a personal level with Pepper. I think we’ve all been there: made some bad choices and found ourselves wanting someone else to do the heavy lifting, to make the decisions and tell us what to do next. But most of the time, it’s not that easy. The responsibility remains ours. And that is as it should be. For better or worse, we each have to do our part. As Peter Parker put it, “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen? They happen because of you.”

Ross’s repeated demands to be in charge strike me as a red flag, especially when it seems that the Avengers will have no voice in the decision making: in that light, the neatly-bound Sokovia Accords bear a strong resemblance to a red book with a black star on it. Ross (oh, right, “the panel”) basically wants a team of winter soldiers, but as we see with Barnes, the problem with such tight reins is that someone else can take them. No doubt speaking from recent experience, Cap warns that people have agendas, and Zemo demonstrates the lengths to which some will go for them.

Another line for the drinking game: “A super-person wears a hat/sunglasses/hoodie in an effort to blend in.”

When Barnes was framed, I thought of The Fugitive, except there, someone was framed BY the one-armed man; here, the one armed man WAS framed.

Cap’s the best kind of friend: the kind who believes the best in you when no one else does… Not even you. And he doesn’t just say, “I know he didn’t do it”… then sit there. He moves to help, even at great personal cost.

“Everybody thinks the Winter Soldier goes to their gym.” XD

“Buck, stop!” Cap’s nod to President Truman? Alas, (the) Buck did not stop there.

It’s pretty awesome that the cure for Hydra programming is the same as that for TV show amnesia: being rendered unconscious.

Barnes says later that he remembers all of his victims, but when he comes to after being “triggered,” he asks, “What did I do?” He does seem like he’s a bit high/coming off a drunk. Perhaps coming out of the programming and back to his senses is kind of hazy, like waking up out of an intense dream.

I wasn’t surprised that Barnes could have broken out of their porta-prison; he fights back only when he’s in danger of being returned to a different cage. I think he was complying in an effort to pay his dues. Cap tried to dismiss Barnes’ earlier actions as being controlled by someone else. In Barnes’ case, the extent of his responsibility is debatable, but while some would relish such a pass (“They made me do it!”), Barnes still acknowledges that he was the one who did those things.

“I used to think of myself one way. But after this… I am something else. And still me, I think. But that’s not what everyone else sees.” Wanda’s declaration could also apply to Barnes… and to each of the Avengers, to varying degrees. Except maybe Vision.

It was nice to see even Vision finding a bit of humanity, being distracted by Wanda, when not even he thought it was possible for him to be distracted.

I liked how Barnes and Mackie smile, knowing that kissing Agent Carter is a milestone for Steve.

I also liked how everyone is such a fan of Cap.

“Help me, Wanda.” Barton’s nod to the Beach Boys?

When I first heard that this installment was about “civil war,” I put off seeing it, and when I finally decided to go, I was fully prepared to hate it. But I didn’t, primarily because even as The Avengers started to divide, both sides maintained respect. The attitude was, “I hate that it’s come to this” but each stood their ground. Without that respect, the dividing plot would’ve been intolerable to me.

“I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.” Methinks this is a pointed (albeit good-natured) jab at nearly every comic book fight… including the ones in this movie.

I didn’t like the Peter Parker character being so young and inexperienced, although his fawning and uninhibited observations certainly lightened the atmosphere. Plus, if he was older and experienced, the fight might’ve ended a different way.

“You have the right to remain silent…” Spiderman to Barnes and Mackie XD

“You couldn’t have done that earlier?” “I hate you.” Barnes and Mackie XD XD

“I picture you as a redhead.” “You must be thinking of someone else.” “Must be.” Tony Stark and Friday. Hmm, what redhead might he be thinking of??

Cap confesses knowing that Barnes killed Stark’s parents, but how long had Cap known? It’s logical to assume that Barnes recounted details when he told Sam and Cap of Zemo’s interest in that December mission. But it’s also likely that Cap researched all he could while he was looking for Barnes, so maybe he knew even before the events of this movie.

Shades of Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Angel with the Winter Soldier tormented by memories of all his victims.

“I could do this all day” love the nod to the first C.A. movie

“He’s my friend.” “So was I.” :**(

I watched Prince of Persia again recently, and I was reminded of two scenes that struck me, even though I neglected to elaborate in my previous writings.

As ever, Caution! Spoilers!

Framed for the murder of his father, Dastan is on the run. While trying to seek help, he is discovered by his vengeful brother, Garsiv. In the confrontation, Dastan insists that he is innocent, but Garsiv is unmoved, remaining set on ending Dastan’s life. Dastan escapes, but later Garsiv catches up again. Dastan maintains his innocence, and this time there is evidence to confirm his story, so that, although Garsiv is still angry and skeptical, he pauses to listen. Dastan rattles off his explanation, ending the account of his current predicament with, “Who could I tell?” Garsiv stands for a moment before imploring with a sincere, “Tell me, brother.” Okay, the scene is a bit corny, particularly after Dastan’s quoting their late father’s claim that “the bond between brothers makes their kingdom strong” (or however he said it). But I love the pictures painted here: a changed heart, a restored relationship, not to mention giving hope to Dastan who was out of options.


After time has been reset, it seems as if all of the bad things that happened have been undone: Dastan’s family and best friend are still alive, and Dastan is able to right the previous wrong by revealing his uncle’s treachery. However, as Tus is apologizing for the invasion-under-false-pretenses, when Dastan sees Tamina, it’s clear that something good was undone as well, that is, the growth in the relationship between Dastan and Tamina. Sure, they started out shaky, but in true Disney style they overcame it to find love… except that now it only happened for Dastan. (Hence, my reference to the [i]Angel[/i] episode, “I Will Remember You.”) Fortunately with Tus proposing a marriage between Dastan and Tamina to strengthen their countries’ relationship**, the two are on the road to getting back what they lost. Dastan even comments that he looks forward to the day when they know each other well. (Again.) 😉

** I love Tus’ “remedy,” btw. “So sorry we invaded your city by mistake. You can marry a complete stranger to make up for it!”

* I still find the Hassansins(sp?) scene hysterical, particularly when one guy just spins – really, that’s his deadly skill? LOL – and Dastan’s uncle looks positively giddy just to be there, walking through the midst of it all.

~ * ^ + – ~

* I miss Loki. I guess the guy can’t be in every movie… then again, why not? (As Paul McCartney would say, “What’s wrong with that, I’d like to know.”) I think his absence is what made seeing this film more of an “I’ll get to it sometime” rather than “I’m SO there on opening weekend!”

* While I liked this movie, others have raised the bar pretty high for me, so I’d place A2 way down on the list when ranking my favorite Marvel offerings. After the first Avengers, the early 2000s Spiderman 2 and 1, the year 2000 X-men, the two Thors, Iron Man 1 and 2, the two Captain Americas… So far, A2 ranks somewhere above Iron Man 3 and the two original X-men sequels.

* I intensely disliked the preachy Ultron. An article I read after the first Avengers expressed the theory that, while Loki is by far the best Marvel villain, the writer had high hopes that James Spader’s character would give him a run for the title. That writer praised Spader’s ability to bring a character to life with shades of subtle nuance… but I saw none of that because, despite Whedon’s insistence that Spader would be more than a robot’s voice, that’s essentially what he was. If they indeed modeled Ultron after Spader’s expressions, well, they still failed to capture a single nuance.

* I thought having the opening scene in the midst of a battle was a bit muddled. But one advantage of a sequel is that you can assume viewers know the earlier story, so you can skip right to the kicking of butts and the taking of names. (I’m having trouble recalling exactly, but it seems this follows a standard formula for many Marvel sequels.)

* In the opening battle, LOL at the team charging all together, then hold it! a brief pause as if they’re posing for a group photo.

* LOL! also at the guys trying to lift Thor’s hammer. But GROAN! at the blatant setup, with Thor explaining that they must not be worthy. Then, later, the Vision (significantly) hands Thor the hammer. “Oh, so he can lift the hammer. Oh, so he must be worthy. I see what you did there.” 😐

* It was effectively shocking that the secret Hawkeye was hiding was… a normal life. And how weird did normal look, in the midst of Avenger-land? It seemed too good to be true, and I admit, Tony Stark said what I was thinking when he declared of Barton’s wife, “She’s an agent!” The affectionate displays continued when the kids arrived, but Tony insisted, albeit with much less conviction, “They’re… smaller agents.”

* I’m glad that, despite being out in the open with no defenses whatsoever, Barton’s house truly was a safehouse. I was going to be disappointed if Ultron crashed the scene… or if the wife (and kids) turned out to be agents, just another lie.

* I liked that Barton’s wife looked real – not impossibly perfect – with a few fine lines on her face. How refreshing to find someone age-appropriate in such a role, not some 20-year-old trying to pass as the mother of an 8-to-10-year-old.

* Tony Stark told Captain America that he doesn’t trust someone without a dark side. (I think a lot of people feel that way. Which is kind of… messed up. “He’s good; I don’t trust him! This other guy’s bad, so he’s alright.”)

* But I loved Cap’s response: “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.” Hmm, are they setting up a future storyline? I’d kinda like to see a dark Cap… but then again, I wouldn’t. I like that he’s solidly good. Heck, “dark” is easy! It’s tougher to make the choice – and to keep making the choice – to rise above your dark side and do the right thing.

* I liked that when someone tried to write the twins off as freaks, Captain America defended them, comparing their situation/cause to his own from back in the day.

* Still, the twins’ hand-holding and looking at each other in their first scene was a bit too third-grade boyfriend-girlfriend for me. :shudders:

* I didn’t get the Black Widow’s “lullaby.” Were her fingertips drugged? Has she mastered the ancient art of sleep-touch?

* As I was trying to decide how I feel about the Widow-Hulk affair, I realized that perhaps for director Joss Whedon this is the new Buffy-Angel, from his TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But maybe the Buffy-Angel angle – forbidden love – is why I lean toward liking Widow-Hulk. I especially liked the way the actors portrayed it. Her, being experienced and jaded (likely jaded BY experience) yet being very understated with Banner, with just the right hint of suggestive. Him, completely stupefied by her attention and pushing her away, and yet oh-so-briefly entertaining the hope of “maybe…”

* Natasha was so understated at some times, her attentions were almost child-like. Perhaps this is a nod to her line from the first movie, “Love is for children”?

* Loved that even with all of Bruce Banner’s trying to push Natasha away, he honed right in on Captain America’s comment: “wait, you’ve seen her flirting??”

* Has Thanos put on weight?

* Barton’s advice to Wanda was basically, “It doesn’t matter what you did: it matters what you do.” Words to live by!

~ * ^ + ~

At (very) long last, here are my follow-up, spoiler-laden comments about Thor: The Dark World.

* By far the most compelling relationship in the film is the one between Thor and Loki. Even though that relationship has been strained, and even though Loki’s quick to declare he is not Odin’s son, when Thor and Loki are on their journey, working together, it looks as if deep down, they want their close, brotherly bond back.

* I love how Loki dropped the façade when Thor visited him in prison, not only of what he really looked like, but of how he really felt. “Did she suffer?”

* The scenes where they’re working together are so satisfying, especially the final battle on the dark world. Loki sees the Kursed pounding Thor into the ground, and promptly goes to help.

* Malekith told the Kursed that “no weapon our enemies possess” could stop him. Count on Loki to deduce that the Dark Elves’ oblivion bombs could take out even the Kursed.

* Speaking of Malekith, LOL at him walking in slow motion so much. For that matter, LOL at him in general. After this movie was in theatres, one article claimed that Loki was the best villain in the Marvel universe. That article opined that Malekith had potential to be a great villain, especially since the actor portraying him was a former Dr. Who. (The article’s contention was something along the lines that prosthetics prevented the audience from fully appreciating the actor’s powerful emoting.) Whatever the reason, Malekith generally left me cold. I mean, his single-minded purpose was to darken the universe… and I daresay few of us mere mortals can relate.

* I figured out (okay, just before it was revealed) that Loki and Thor had planned Loki’s “betrayal..” and I love that it wasn’t true. If Loki never truly loved Frigga or any of them, he becomes a boring, one-dimensional character [see: Malekith]. For him to have died fighting alongside Thor, with such honor was a good thing: he found redemption. Still, as my comic-book-loving friend says, “Everyone knows the only comic book deaths that ever lasted were Spiderman’s Uncle Ben and the first Robin.” So, I didn’t believe Loki was actually dead. And, dang it, I’m glad he’s not!

* With the comic-book-death-rule in mind, I expected Frigga to come back. Hey, she still might. 😉

* “Am I not your mother?” “No, you’re not.” Was Loki saying that because he knew he wasn’t actually talking to Frigga? Or was that him sadly realizing – again – that Frigga wasn’t his “real” mother?

* Loki told the Kursed where to go. He played a part in Frigga’s death.

* In my notes, I pondered, “Was Frigga Loki’s last hold to humanity?” But no, I don’t think so. As I said, even though Loki denies it, his brotherly bond with Thor is strong.

Even More Random Thoughts

* Loki in chains! :dreamy sigh:

* Loki protecting Jane twice, including shielding her with his body. :dreamy, dreamy sigh, sigh:

* No, I don’t think Jane’s slap would’ve turned Loki’s head; maybe he was just playing along?

* Poor Jane! Imagine trying to move on to someone else when your ex is a gorgeous demigod.

* I liked that the Dark Elves spoke a non-human language… even if they did have English as a second language.

* Eric’s mention of the aftereffects of having “a god in your head” sends my thoughts to wondering how the Hawk is doing.

* I knew they’d find those keys!

* Only Thor can pick up the hammer, and yet it hangs easily on a simple wooden peg?

* Jane’s face looked almost… hamster-y while the Aether pines for Malekith.

* I didn’t appreciate Sif’s flirting with Thor. No, I don’t blame her for doing so. But in the first movie, she seemed to be just one of the guys. Now that his heart’s elsewhere, she’s trying to get him to notice her?

* What was up with Odin? “Your only BIRTHRIGHT-AH! Was to DIE-YEE!” Is this the same guy who lost the will to live when Loki found out his true parentage and blasted Odin for keeping it from him?

* Thor’s comment to Jane that “my father doesn’t know everything” was not only about Jane not surviving, but also about Thor being “better served” by Sif. I think this declaration is to show that Thor is truly advancing, ready to take his father’s place as king.

* Side note: I hate that phrasing “better served.” Odin really is *such* a jerk here. And note how his levels of wisdom and common sense plummeted as his jerkiness quotient increased. I’d say that’s a great big Lesson Learned for all of us.

* Seriously, though, how DID Jane survive? Why would a dark power like the Aether *not* kill its host? Oh, right. They conveniently tricked Malekith into removing it with no side effects.

* #ThumbsDown for Thor telling Loki to “Shut up.” The highly-advanced Asgaardians have that bit of disrespect, too? SIGH!

* #ThumbsDown #FrownyFace for “We’re Americans” “Is that supposed to make them like us?” I REALLY hate it when someone injects their blatant political jabs into my fun action film. (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia!)

Favorite Quotes – Loki

“You’ll kill me? Evidently, there will be a line.”

“You missed a column.” Loki, being a little brother

“Oh, dear. Is she dead?” Loki, totally unconcerned about Jane

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.” I say this all the time!

“It’s not in my nature to be satisfied.” That makes me sad for him. 😦

“Trust my rage.”

“I didn’t do it for him.”

Favorite Quotes – Other

* “It’s not me.” Thor, when Jane looks to him after the ringtone music starts

* Thor’s larger-than-life self, crammed in that tiny car, insecurely asks, “Who’s Richard?” And Jane’s all, “Really?!”

* After they realize a huge battle is coming, Eric declares that he better get his pants.

* “Are you well?” Thor to Eric, who is wearing no pants

* Eric’s comment about seeing that the world is crazier than he is, and then tossing his meds in the trash.

To my *great* delight, I was able to see Thor: The Dark World on Friday. I had been all but counting down the days until it opened – and yet, actually going to see it, I was concerned. Once this year already I’ve been looking forward to a movie’s release only to be disappointed after seeing it. :cough: Red 2 :cough: And, in this case, I liked both Thor and The Avengers SO MUCH, I just didn’t see how this sequel could even compare.

But – woo hoo – did it ever. As I reported to the fam, it was even better than I could’ve hoped! Oh, yes, I’ll be seeing it multiple times and buying the DVD on its release day.

Imagine my chagrin when I checked out some reviews yesterday. Um, yeah, I diligently avoid reading any reviews before going to the theatre because I don’t want to have preconceived notions. Afterwards, though, I like to compare notes. Except, as in this case, when the batch of reviews I find are from people who think bashing a film makes them look clever. :rollseyes:

“Predictable,” they pout. I’m reminded of how Roger Ebert said that most people choose movies that provide exactly what they expect. And to that I say, “So what?” Life is *full* of things that definitely do not go as I expect, so excuse(!) me(!) if I want to spend just a few hours every once in a while and get a satisfying ending, for a change.

And, you know, I don’t think I’m alone in that! From what I read, The Dark World did as well as they expected, topping the weekend and blowing the competition away.

I did like this article: Decoding the Secret to Marvel’s Success

I would love it if the movie-makers would take a cue (or a clue) from the success of these movies. To them, I would also add: when considering the popularity of these superhero films, do not discount the fact that they are among the most family-friendly options, typically light on language and sexuality. And they’re just plain fun! While that may not count for much with the Roger Eberts of the world, it can be a big selling point with the movie-going public, if ticket sales are any indication.

In the interest of keeping this post spoiler-free, I’ll stop here. But rest assured I am making notes for a lengthy, spoiler-laden post to be completed upon my next viewing. Which should be soon! 😀

On a side note, a brief…

[Public Service Announcement]
If you, like me, have a thing for Loki, to get your fix between films, I recommend watching episodes of the TV show, Wings. I think that Steven Weber, who plays Brian Hackett, looks a lot like Tom Hiddleston, and Brian is like a modern, less violent – albeit smarmier – version of our favorite power-mad trickster.
[/Public Service Announcement]

I saw “Marvel’s The Avengers” again last weekend, and I was inspired to compose a few thoughts.



“Until such time as the world ends, we will continue act as though it intends to spin on.” Nick Fury, with some sound advice for all of us when we’re tempted to let ourselves be overwhelmed by a potentially bad situation

Those That can be harmful.” Nick Fury’s very serious response when someone explains dismissively that the Tesseract gives off a few gamma rays

“I’m having twelve percent of a moment.” Pepper, referring to Tony’s earlier comment about her getting twelve percent of the credit

“What does Fury want me to do? Swallow it?” Bruce Banner, after being shown the Tesseract



* The Russian general’s response when Natasha says that he’s giving her everything during her interrogation. The General pouts like a little kid, “I… not… give… everything.”

* Loved Tony and Pepper together, especially his jealousy when she refers to Agent Coulson as Phil. “His first name is Agent,” Tony corrects her. Then a bit later (revealing that he – the self-proclaimed “Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.” – is still thinking about it), he demands quietly, “Why is he ‘Phil’?”

* Thor, about to say something very important, implores that Loki listen, but Thor is suddenly knocked away by someone else. Left standing in place, Loki quips, “I’m listening…?”

* Whenever Loki calls on their connection as brothers, it’s usually because he wants Thor to let his guard down. Some people might fault Thor for “falling for it” (every time), but it shows that he does possess the conviction that Agent Coulson observed Loki lacks. Despite Loki’s repeated betrayals, Thor truly sees him as a brother, and he keeps believing that the true-ness of that former relationship can reach through Loki’s current feelings and help save him.

* Loki, however, is choosing to believe that knowing his true paternity somehow negates the bond he shared with Thor and his family, so he, in essence, lost his identity. He’s trying to be who he thinks he should… but deep down, he just can’t shake the former connection — in the form of sibling rivalry. Still the jealous younger brother, he wants what Thor has, but he doesn’t want to make the sacrifices required to get it. I think this is what Agent Coulson means when he declares that Loki will lose: when working toward what we want, we have to accept the bad along with the good.

* “Put on the suit.” Captain America growls this several times while arguing with Tony Stark because he wants them to fight, but when their location is attacked, Cap says it in a decisive, call-to-arms sort of way, to which Stark responds, equally urgent, “Right Yeah.”

* The way Natasha’s reverse interrogation works on Loki just as it does on the Russian general. It’s quite believable that people will reveal a lot when they think they have the upper hand.

* I loved the relationship between Hawkeye and Natasha, and that they didn’t try to make it romantic. The two shared a history – and clearly some connection – but they weren’t all doe-eyed at each other. That wouldn’t have fit with their characters.

* However, I didn’t understand why Hawkeye basically asked Nat why she was there. Has she previously run from fights? Not likely, since they battled together in Budapest. Still, when Agent Coulson first interrupts Nat’s interrogation to say SHIELD needed help, she was reluctant to abandon her current project – until he said that Hawkeye had been compromised.

* Loved the scene with the caretaker/janitor man casually talking with the naked man (i.e. Bruce Banner) who just fell out of the sky as a large green monster. After they’d chatted a bit, the janitor asks, almost as an afterthought, “You an alien?” I think the man’s acceptance at this point was important, and certainly his seemingly simple observation (“You were awake when you fell”) was critical in confirming for Dr. Banner that he *can* control “the other guy.”

* Really, though, he should’ve known he could control him. When meeting him, the others were curious as to how he got rid of his anger. In the final battle, he revealed, “That’s my secret. I’m always angry.” So he didn’t get rid of it; he had it under control. (Perhaps he didn’t realize that himself until his talk with the janitor.)

* When Loki ominously tells Tony Stark that the others “will be busy fighting you,” Stark’s face shows his concern as Loki lowers the staff toward Stark’s chest, to turn him as he did others earlier in the film. But this time, there’s a harmless “plink” because Stark’s heart is not quite so accessible. (Loved Loki’s confused, almost apologetic, response, “This usually works…”) The fact that the arc reactor protected Stark here further proved his earlier claim to Bruce Banner, about his condition being a gift that saved him.

* The theatre erupted in cheers at both shows I attended when the Hulk smacks Loki down. When the Hulk starts to attack, Loki tries to stop him with words and attitude, “I am a GOD–” but he doesn’t even get to finish his arrogant little speech because the Hulk recognizes that his power doesn’t match his pomp. The Hulk slams him around like a rag doll, leaving him stunned and clearly in pain. It’s so fitting that the one Loki looked down on as a mindless monster, the one Loki apparently thought he could use against the others is the only one to have such an impact on him. And as if that’s not enough indignity for the mighty Loki, as the Hulk walks away, he taunts, “Puny god.”

* Am I crazy, or was that Agent Coulson walking through the last(?) shot of the SHIELD Flying Fortress Command Center?

* If I may be completely shallow, wowza, there is an abundance of yummy eye candy in this movie; my delighted inner fangirl could hardly decide what to feast upon. Captain America’s fabulous shoulders? Tony Stark’s gorgeous face? Thor’s general, overall fine-ness? Too many choices! Although I do confess that I repeatedly stared, transfixed, at that bad boy, Loki…

* Finally, although roles in action movies, especially superhero movies, are (grossly, shamefully) overlooked by The Academy because they’re not Important (or whatever!) enough, I think everyone in The Avengers did a stellar job, playing their roles just right. They not only brought the characters to life but made them real and relatable.

P.S. Are my quotes/scenes incorrect? Please let me know!

[Edited (strikethroughs) 6/7/12… after my 3rd viewing of the movie.]

I recently watched Iron Man again, and one scene really stuck out to me. Tony Stark is being held prisoner, but the location is hidden, so no one will be able to find and rescue him. Plus, though – thanks to his fellow prisoner – he survived being hit by bomb shrapnel, his long term prognosis isn’t good. At one point, as the dire reality of his situation sets in, he makes his case for not doing anything. His expression revealing that he’s rapidly losing hope, he declares that he’ll probably be dead in a week.

His older and wiser fellow prisoner doesn’t bother to dispute that. He simply replies, “Then this is a very important week for you, isn’t it.”

I hope that when I’m tempted to give up, I think of that line and remember that I should do my part to make the most of whatever opportunities I’m given, even when a certain outcome seems unavoidable.

review: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Although I didn’t like the second movie and I hated the third one, I (finally) saw the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean hoping only to not hate it. Well, I’m glad to report that I actually liked this movie: it’s now my second favorite of the series. My thoughts about it, in random order…

* According to articles I’d read while movie #4 was in the works, the goal was to make the film more like the first one, and I’d say that was accomplished. In a twist on the revenge plot, Barbossa sought revenge on Blackbeard for his lost limb. In another twist, Angelica was the one with a hidden agenda, tricking people into participating in her plan.

* One reviewer said that he was disappointed that there wasn’t even a name-drop of Will Turner and Elizabeth, and at first I agreed, but on second thought, I think it was right to leave them out. This is a new story.

* I loved that Angelica was a strong character, and by no means a damsel. She could hold her own in a fight whether of swords or wits, and she definitely had a mind of her own. But we also got a glimpse of her tender side in her (sadly unrequited) devotion to the father she never knew. I even liked that she got to be the “enigmatic” one with a hidden agenda; when she first told Jack that the ritual required a victim, I was sure that she’d brought him along to play that part.

* Having said that, I thought Angelica’s attempts at not getting left on the island were pretty pathetic. (Although, it did set the stage for his comeback, “I don’t think I’ve ever been *that* drunk,” at her claim she was pregnant with his child: one of the best lines of the series.) He seems to have a keen intuition when it comes to reading people, and her in particular. I don’t think anything she could’ve said would’ve made him change his mind, and I’m a little disappointed that she didn’t see that, and instead, carried on so desperately.

* Her anger raises an interesting question: was Jack wrong to trick Blackbeard into drinking from the deadly cup? Angelica wanted her father to live, and she was willing to sacrifice herself to make that happen. Despite that, I think Jack did the right thing: as he said, he merely helped Blackbeard do what any father should do: save his child.

* I do think that Jack had feelings for Angelica: he even admitted as much to Gibbs. I also think that such feelings scared him. However, I like that he wasn’t mushy with her; that wouldn’t have fit his character.

* Probably my favorite exchange was when one of Blackbeard’s crew was speaking ominously about the mermaids, explaining how they drag a man to the bottom of the sea, have their way with him, and then eat the flesh from his bones. Trying to contribute to the sinister scene being described, another of the crew pipes up, “Or sometimes the other way around!” XD

* One of my favorite scenes was when Jack said that he was the one on watch, to try to spare the one who really was. This really shows a lot about Jack’s character. Some might argue that he knew Blackbeard wouldn’t have killed him because he needed Jack to take him to the fountain. I’m not so sure. This was right after BB said he had to kill someone, or people forget who he is. Jack didn’t hesitate in answering, as if he was trying to force BB to make an example of him.

* It also showed Jack’s character how he lost interest in the fountain when he learned that the highly-hyped ritual required the life of a victim.

* Loved the development of the relationship between Syrena and Philip. I thought it was unexpected, and it was nicely understated: small in comparison to everything that was going on, but monumental in its own right. They are two kindred spirits, finding each other while unwitting participants in someone else’s pursuits. (I loved how Phillip knew her name: I can picture them talking, whispering as he carried her along, him offering words of comfort.)

* Giving Syrena legs on land was a great way to save money on a computer-generated fishtail. More than that it painted a visual picture of how this one that Blackbeard deemed “monster” could pass as human. Certainly, Syrena showed more humanity than the selfish Blackbeard.

* I liked that when it appeared that the mermaids were going to flee into the net trap, they still had other tricks up their sleeves… so to speak.

* Really? Blackbeard ZOMBIE-FIED his taskmasters?? :cough: lame! :cough: