Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On why I prefer Elementary to Sherlock

Last night, I wrote a Facebook status that seems to have hit a nerve for quite a few people. That status? "Can we talk about how fabulous Elementary is? Because seriously. Sherlock ain't got nothing on this piece of amazingness."


It's an opinion that seems to be unpopular on the internet no matter where you go. Sherlock - by default of being a BBC production and arriving on the scene two years earlier - is seen as the superior show. In many cases, the person claiming that hasn't even watched Elementary, because "Ew, American version. Bound to be shit. Won't bother."

But in adopting such an attitude, people are depriving themselves of something wonderful. Personally, I prefer Elementary, due in large part to the writing on Sherlock, which I was unable to get past. So I totally understand having a preference for one or the other. I just wanted to put down on paper (pixels?!) some of the reasons WHY I feel the way I do, rather than just making a sweeping statement and not backing it up with evidence.

For a lot of people, it seems like their major problem is that Elementary strays from canon. It uses the names and natures of the characters, and puts them into new scenarios in a new location. While the essential core characters - Holmes, Watson, Mrs Hudson, Irene Adler and Moriarty - remain, the other recurring characters are new.

To me, however, this is where the show finds life. It's difficult to take a series of 120-ish year old short stories and dump them directly into the modern world. Sherlock itself proves that - while each episode may be based on a story taken from Doyle's canon, the plots are changed to fit the modern world. The Sherlock episode 'The Hounds of Baskerville', for example, features a drug created on a military base that leads people to hallucinate giant dogs. The original novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, in contrast, features a large dog that's been covered in phosphorus to make it look all creepy, and which is used to scare people to death. So while the basic concept may be canon, it does not automatically follow that the eventual episode is.
Hounds of Baskerville hallucination. Source

Elementary, by distancing itself from Doyle's canon stories, can explore new territory with ease. It can deal with subjects that simply weren't discussed in Doyle's time - rape, human trafficking, assassins for hire. Despite the American setting, not every case comes down to confronting the suspect at the point of a gun.

Where Elementary really shines, however, is the characters and their relationships. The show is nothing but character development from the get go. Sherlock - perhaps not surprisingly, given Steven Moffat as showrunner - features a limited number of characters who are female or people of colour. When it does, they tend to be stereotypes. Similarly, the relationship between Sherlock and Watson is guilty of constant queerbaiting - long, lingering looks between characters and jokes about how they're definitely absolutely not gay in any way, designed to play on the interests of fangirls when the showrunners have no intention of going anywhere near the development of a homosexual relationship.

Elementary is commonly criticised for the genderbent role of Joan Watson, with claims that "the Americans did this so they can introduce a sexual relationship easily!". If you watch the show, however, you'll see that nothing could be further from the truth. Sherlock and Joan start out in a client/practitioner relationship, and gradually move towards friendship. They are a literal broTP. Similarly, the genderbend allows for the introduction of a competent female character, who is Sherlock's equal in many ways.

I have yet to see a stereotype in Elementary. While Joan's mother is still the Asian mother who wants what is best for her daughter, she is far from the "you will do what I tell you" stereotype that is seen far too often. Detective Bell's race is never mentioned. Alfredo and Detective Bell's brother demonstrate that people are not what they first appear, that anyone can redeem themselves given time and motivation. And Ms. Hudson's biological gender is barely even noteworthy. Neither Sherlock or Joan are bothered. It is simply accepted without a second glance, without any "Oh God, what pronoun do we use?!" or "Wait, a BOYFRIEND?".
Detective Bell. Source

The acting in both shows is phenomenal, but what sells it for me is Jonny Lee Miller. He's brilliant as the recovering drug addict, pouring himself into his work. He brings emotion, wit, and depth to the role. Miller's Sherlock is able to admit that he's wrong, that others may know more than him. The mannerisms he brings - bouncing on his toes when mulling over a case, running his fingers over his thumb in a style reminiscent of violin fingering when putting forth a hypothesis, making decisions that seem logical to him but bizarre to other characters - take the character to the next level, creating a real person. Elementary's Sherlock is flawed, which allows the other characters to play a significant role, filling in key details that he - tunnel-visioned as Holmes tends to be throughout canon and all adaptations - can't see.

At the end of the day, though, it doesn't matter. Because the die hard Sherlock fans will never watch Elementary, deeming it a rip-off and not worthy of their BAFTA winning attention. And in doing so, they're depriving themselves of a treat. Because - despite appearances - the two shows are dramatically different and can't really be compared. Because despite the apparent war between the two shows - which are notoriously polarising - it is possible to watch and enjoy both.

Have you seen Elementary? Have you seen Sherlock? Which did you prefer and why?

K xx

Monday, July 29, 2013

Movie Monday: Bridesmaids

Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't cover this months ago. Because it's freaking awesome and I could quite possibly watch it once a week for the rest of my lifetime without getting bored.

Reasons why Bridesmaids is awesome:
1. Kristen Wiig. She's phenomenal.
2. The flight to Las Vegas.
3. The friendships. They're amazingly real.
4. Melissa McCarthy
5. The trip to the bridal shop.
6. Trying to get Rhodes' attention by driving past a hundred times.
7. Maya Rudolph.
8. The awful dresses.
9. The completely and utterly ridiculous bridal shower.
10. Rose Byrne. She's not usually a comic actress, but she does a pretty spectacular job.
11. Free puppies. I would kill to go to a bridal shower that came with free puppies.
12. Climbing over Ted's front gate.
13. Sort of attending bootcamp.
14. Chris O'Dowd.
15. Cupcakes.
16. Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas.
17. Awkward engagement party speeches.
18. Don Hamm. He does douchebag so well.
19. Fights with teenage girls.
20. Megan's attempts at getting Annie out of her funk.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "This is so awkward. I really want you to leave, but I don't know how to say it without sounding like a dick."
- "You read my diary?" "At first I did not know it was your diary. I thought it was a very sad handwritten book."
- "I'm glad he's single. Because I'm going to climb that like a tree."
- "Oh, you live in Milwaukee? Oh, I'm sorry."
- "Help me, I'm poor."
- "This is such a stone-cold pack of weirdos, and I'm so proud."
- "I've seen better tennis playing in a tampon commercial."
- "Why are you smiling, Annie?" "It's the first time I've ever seen you look ugly. And that makes me kinda happy."
- "He was really sweet and nice and cute, so naturally I ran out as fast as I could."
- "I cracked a blanket in half."
- "I think I overcommitted with the whole dog thing..."
- "You have three seconds to get back to your seat." "You can't get anywhere in three seconds, you're setting me up for failure."
- "You're, like, the maid of dishonour."
- "We'd like to invite you to no longer live with us any more."
- "Shit, that is fresh."
- "Look at that fucking cookie!"
- "Why can't you just be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?!"
- "I'll fix you a tuna fish sandwich." "Mom, it's eight in the morning..." "You can put syrup on it!"
- "It's a good tub. I slept in there on my 30th birthday."
- "I am NOT paying for this shit."
- "You are more beautiful than Cinderella! You smell like pine needles and you have a face like sunshine."

So. Do you over-relate to this movie too? Or is that just me??

K xx

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Comfort zones and being outside them

So part of the reason why I started doing my 101 in 1001 list all those years ago was to try and force myself out of my comfort zone a little bit. And given that a decent chunk of the stuff left on the list requires money (given that I wrote it before I decided to go back to university and all...), and I currently don't really have any on account of having been a student for the past year and a half, I've hit something of a brick wall in regards to crossing things off the list. And as a result, my comfort zone has gotten increasingly more comfortable of late.

So when I saw Sweeney tweeting yesterday about something I've seen her participate in a bunch of times before, I figured that maybe - even though the idea kind of freaks me out a little bit - I should join in and get out of my comfort zone again.

That's right, kids. I'm going to attempt VEDA! (Vlog Every Day in August, for those of you not down with the acronym lingo)

It's definitely going to get me out of my comfort zone, because while I've made quite a few vlogs this year, I tend to spend days agonising over the filming and the editing and only recording when I'm in the middle of a very good hair day. With VEDA, I won't have that luxury. But with any luck, I'll get better at making shorter videos, and getting them edited and up online quickly!

So for the month of August, there will (barring any complications) be a new video up on my Youtube channel every day. As a result, I'll probably be posting here a bit less often, given that I'll be making a video every day, as well as posting on Snark Squad four times a week. But don't worry - I'm not going anywhere, and if you want to witness all the awkward, you can always subscribe on Youtube.

Hell, if you really want to, join in the fun yourself - you can sign up for VEDA here!

So here's to a month of getting out of my comfort zone, and of Youtube delivering me all the awful thumbnail options it possibly can. And hopefully a few little autocaption gems like this one:

K xx

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A tale of two TV shows

So you guys know by now that I'm all about marathoning old TV shows and telling you what I think about them (see: Dawson's Creek, Dark Angel, The X-Files, Alias, and - eventually, when I get around to finishing it - Sliders). And last week, I finally started two more. Although this time they were two shows I hadn't seen before. And I had completely different - and somewhat surprising - reactions to them.

Show the first? Veronica Mars.
I'm not quite sure how I missed this the first time around, because I loves me a TV show featuring a girl with a secret identity (see also: Buffy, Dark Angel, Alias, Orphan Black). I guess it never really got that much publicity here so I had no idea what it was about?? Anyway, 10 minutes into the first episode, I was totally on board. I mean, Amanda Seyfried as a murder victim? AMAZING. Plus, Veronica is the queen of sassy land. Although I must admit it makes me very uncomfortable that she doesn't put a lens cap on her camera...

I'm currently one disc in and impatiently awaiting more. Like the kind of impatient where you start looking up how much it would cost you to buy the entire show on DVD and save yourself the waiting ($68.97 plus postage, as it turns out). I watched the trailer that aired at Comic Con over the weekend, and despite only being one disc in, I'm still hella excited about it.

Show the second: Dollhouse.
By all accounts, I should have loved this. It's Joss Whedon, starring a billion and one Whedon alumni, along with one Neighbours alumnus, which is just a little bit weird. It's a secret identity-ish thing that dumps the main character into a million different scenarios that she has to BAMF her way out of.

But by the end of the first episode, I wasn't sold. The second episode was more of the same, with a dose of added WTF-ery. By the end of the first disc, I'd removed the remainder of the show from my Quickflix queue, because a) Eliza Dushku didn't quite have the acting chops to carry the show, b) the concept seemed far too much like exploitation, and c) the entire show seemed like a vague excuse to have Eliza Dushku walk around in a lot of really skimpy clothing. In short, NOPE.

Based on reviews I've seen around the internet, the show is a slow burner that doesn't pick up until near the end of the first season, and doesn't get really good until the second season. Even knowing that - and knowing that Alan Tudyk turns up at some point - wasn't enough to convince me to keep watching...

So Dollhouse has been thrown on the great scrapheap of shows I don't care enough to keep watching, along with Sherlock and Mad Men. Sorry not sorry.

Have you seen either of these? What did you think?

K xx

Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie Monday: Much Ado About Nothing

So on Saturday afternoon, I met up with a couple of friends for lunch, far too many macarons and a trip to see Joss Whedon's latest piece of genius, Much Ado About Nothing. I'm not going to do a full in-depth analysis of it on account of a) it's still in cinemas so y'all can go see it for yourself, and b) it's Shakespeare, so everyone knows the deal.

Ten reasons why you should see Much Ado About Nothing:
1. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker as Benedick and Beatrice. They're both absolutely FANTASTIC, having worked together before on Angel. They've got chemistry in spades, and they're surprisingly good at the comedic side of the story.
2. It was filmed at Joss Whedon's house, which is absolutely gorgeous. And all the actors wore their own clothes.
3. The swimming pool scene. Priceless.
4. Pretty much every single actor involved has worked with Whedon several times before.
5. Nathan Fillion as Dogberry. Hilarious. Same goes for Tom Lenk.
6. The whole thing was filmed in twelve days when Joss Whedon had some time off during The Avengers.
7. Clark Gregg as Leonato. I'm a little sad that Anthony Stewart Head couldn't get the time off to play the role, but Clark Gregg is a fabulous replacement.
8. The black and white works brilliantly.
9. The scene in which Benedick overhears Leonato, Claudio and Don Pedro talking about how Beatrice is in love with him. One of the most phenomenal things I've seen in a long time.
10. It never once feels rushed or amateur, despite most of the actors having little experience in Shakespeare, and having been filmed so quickly.

I totally lied, because here's reason 11: Sean Maher as Don John. He's a surprisingly excellent villain. One who likes cupcakes.

So. Have you seen it? If not, are you planning to? Because you really should.

K xx

Friday, July 19, 2013

Challenge accepted

So you may have seen on Twitter that I have a new guilty pleasure of late - The Great Australian Bake-Off. I'm not usually a fan of reality shows (with the exception of Farmer Wants a Wife, because it's hilariously awful and kind of adorable), but one that's exclusively about baking? YES PLEASE. In the first week of the show, the contestants had to make a chequerboard cake. And for many of them, it was something of a disaster.

Obviously, I immediately tweeted Deidre to say that we should try and make a chequerboard cake. Yesterday, on our tenth Dessert Day (eleven, if you include our macaron making course), we did just that. It was equal parts terrifying and incredible.

We didn't use the recipe listed on the Great Australian Bake-Off website, because it requires you to make four cakes, and that seemed like way too much effort. Instead, we used this recipe, with a few minor changes. Instead of making it green and gold, we added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa to one half of the cake batter, and the zest of two oranges and a little bit of food colouring to the other. We made two cakes and split them in half instead of the four individual cakes the recipe suggests. And we made a truckload of dark chocolate ganache instead of the white chocolate and Milo ganaches recommended in the recipe.

But who cares about the baking part? It's the assembly that's where the fun/terror starts!!

I think we were most impressed about the fact that we managed to cut the cakes and get the outer most layer in place without breaking it! 

 Layer one? Complete.

Layer two? Complete. Not pictured: smothering the top of layer one in ganache to hold them together.

Apparently I neglected to photograph layer 3, so here's the finished cake. Things got a little dicey in places towards the end - we had to do some cutting to make the top layer sit properly, and then use the cut bits to plug a gap, as you may be able to see.

The real fun came with smothering it in a million layers of ganache:

Mmmmmm, chocolatey goodness...

Finally, we got to the real test - would it hold together when we cut it, or would it all fall apart in a heap?

There may have been some dancing around the kitchen when it actually worked. Sure, our layers may not be perfectly lined up in all cases, and they're not exactly even. But considering it was our first attempt at such a thing, I think we did a pretty good job of it!

AND it was completely delicious. The chocolate cake wasn't particularly chocolate-y tasting (we didn't add as much cocoa as would normally be in a chocolate cake because we were afraid of the mixture being too thick), but the mountains of ganache involved meant that it didn't really make a difference! The orange flavour really shone through though.

We also hit up the savoury side of baking, with this cauliflower pizza crust. And it was actually not as weird/gross as I would have thought. Although there is a terrifying amount of cheese in it. We cut right back on both the cheeses, so it was more like 1/3 cup of each rather than 1/2 cup. And we decided in the end that you could probably use two cups of cauliflower to the same amount of cheese and end up with much the same result.

In summary: it was tasty, but I'm not sure I'd call it pizza crust. It was more like some kind of quiche-y, frittata-y thing, and I think it was only the herbs (we didn't have Italian seasoning, so used a mixture of basil, oregano and mixed herbs instead) that made it seem pizza-y.

That said, it was naturally gluten free, and really easy to make, so I'm still putting it in the win column!

What challenges have you accepted lately?

K xx

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Who wants to go on a roadtrip?

It's a surprisingly short roadtrip - it'll only take you four minutes!

Other things that happened in Canberra?

  • Little Miss A looked at a picture of Dame Edna and yelled "Hey, it's Lady Gaga!!"
  • Clapton decided that I was her favourite person of ever and spent a decent chunk of the time I was in Canberra demanding that I pick her up.
  • I ate my body weight in zucchini puffs, because it's obligatory.
  • Little Miss A tried a bite of my dessert, and decided it was hers. RUDE.
  • I caught up with LB, which was most excellent.
  • Em and I decided that Scarlett O'Hara is the actual worst and had no redeeming features at all. (Discuss.)
  • Matt beat the pants off us all at Trivial Pursuit. Again. 
  • I ate a lot of cake, and it was excellent. Diet schmiet.
What's news with you guys?

K xx

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Biscuits and burgers

Oh, hey. Bet you thought I'd forgotten about this, didn't you? But NO. I was just slacking busy okay fine, slacking. That's right, kids. It's finally time for the very last installment of "Kirsti tells you about her trip to America which happened six months ago"! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Previously, Gina and I went hot air ballooning and got judgey looks from a bunch of old people.

My flight out of Phoenix wasn't until 3.30 in the afternoon, so the morning was taken up with packing, eating tres leches cake, and concerned questions from Gina's kids about what things I would be putting in my suitcase. Example:

Kid #2: Are you going to take the balloons???
Me: No, kiddo. They wouldn't fit in my suitcase, for starters!
Kid #2: You can't take the balloons.
Me: They're your balloons, I'm not going to take them.
Kid #2: *suspicious look*

He checked on me at least three times to make sure I hadn't packed the balloons.

As it got closer to lunchtime, Gina decided it was a travesty that I'd never had biscuits in all the times I've visited the US, and decided that Red Lobster was the best way to fix the problem. But we weren't sure how they'd feel about us rocking up and being all "Hey, can we get a serve of biscuits and literally nothing else? And can we get that to take away?", on account of how the biscuits are usually free. So we phoned them. And they were a little confused at first, but apparently it was a slow day and it kept them busy for ten minutes, so they were all "Sure, whatever!".

And so we loaded the kids into the car and drove half way across Phoenix to get biscuits. They were pretty damned great.
Mmm, biscuits. Also, source.

From there, we headed to the airport where I bid a sad farewell to Gina, checked in without issue, and then spent the time until my flight perusing various bookstores. The flight to Los Angeles was pretty painless, and I took advantage of having a millionty hours to kill by walking from Terminal 6 to Terminal 3. Check in went smoothly, and I procured an aisle seat without any problems.

Then I sat outside and played Spot the American Who's Flying to Australia and Doesn't Know About Our Hand Luggage Limits while I waited for Sweeney. Fun fact? The longer you spend away from Australia, the more bogan the Australian accent sounds. After a month in the US, every single Aussie that walked past sounded like they'd just stepped off the set of Crocodile Dundee.

Luckily, Sweeney turned up before I went completely insane, and we headed off for dinner.

Sweeney: So when was the last time you saw anything other than the airport in Los Angeles?
Me: 1989? 1990? One of those.
Sweeney: Holy shit. Okay. I'm starving, so we're going to eat at In-n-Out Burger, and then I'm taking you to Santa Monica.

And that's what we did. Plus, you know, a good hour or so in LA traffic jams, because no visit to Los Angeles is complete without being stuck in traffic for a millionty years!
If In-n-Out could bring their shakes to Australia, that'd be great.
After dinner, we drove down to Santa Monica and wandered along the pier, catching up on all manner of things, planning all the plans, and adding yet more things to the "Someday, we should cover that on Snark Squad" list, otherwise known as the Spreadsheet of Dreams.

I neglected to take any proper photos on account of we were too busy catching up, but I was highly amused by the police ute at the end of the pier that had a surf board strapped to the roof. You know, for all those times when you have to chase a criminal down while catching a wave...
I didn't want to use the flash in case I got arrested...

Alas, all too quickly it was time to head back to the airport, but I'm eternally grateful to Sweeney for driving across LA in crazy traffic to save me from spending six hours at LAX on my own. I MISS YOUR FACE, SWEENS. COME VISIT ME <3

Luckily for all concerned, my flight home was rather less eventful than last time. The plane was nowhere near full, the food didn't suck, and I got about seven hours of sleep. And from a 14.5 hour flight, that's about all you can ask, really!

K xx

Monday, July 15, 2013

Movie Monday: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

When I went to see Man of Steel last week, they showed the trailer for The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug, and I fangirl flailed so hard that everyone thought I was insane. You know, just for a change. So when I was at Target yesterday and they had An Unexpected Journey on DVD for $10, I figured that it was the perfect opportunity to revisit the first part of the series. (Just don't revisit it at 10pm because you will be there FOREVER...)

Reasons why The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey is awesome:
1. Dwarfmitage. You guys know I loves me some Richard Armitage, and Nikki and I were insanely excited when we found out that he was playing Thorin. He's pretty fabulous though.
2. Martin Freeman.
3. The plates scene, especially Kili and Fili.
4. The Misty Mountains Cold.

5. The dwarves OMFG.
6. Gollum.
7. The first drawing of young Bilbo, which is half Ian Holm, half Martin Freeman. Awesomeness.
8. Ian McKellan.
9. Sneak peeks of Smaug.
10. It puts the events of LOTR into perspective.
11. The soundtrack.
12. Erebor.
13. I swear to God, Elijah Wood hasn't aged at ALL.
14. Fainting Bilbo.
15. Bilbo running to catch up with the dwarves.
16. Oaken shields.
17. Rabbit sleighs.
18. Sylvester McCoy. He's pretty great.
19. The trolls.
20. The scenery.
21. Stone giants.
22. Bofur's hat.
23. The riddle competition.
24. Gandalf's sudden appearance in Goblin Town. Awesomeness.
25. Bilbo saving Thorin.
26. The eagles. Okay, so they totally could have dropped them off CLOSER TO THE LONELY MOUNTAIN. But it's still pretty awesome.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "It's just the usual; summary of out-of-pocket expenses, time required, remuneration, funeral arrangements, so forth." "Funeral arrangements? Oh, up to but not exceeding one fourteenth total profit if any. Seems fair. Present company shall not be liable for injuries including but not limited to laceration, evisceration... incineration?" "Oh, aye. He'll melt the flesh off your bones in the blink of an eye." "You all right, laddie?" "Yeah, I'll be. Feel a bit faint." "Think furnace, with wings." "Yeah, I-I-I need air..." "Flash of light, searing pain, then poof, you're nothing more than a pile of ash!" "...No. [faints]"
- "Is he a great wizard, or is he more like you?"
- "I don't like green food." "Where's the meat?" "Have they got any chips?"
- "If Baggins loses, we eats it whole." "...Fair enough."
- "All good stories deserve embellishment."
- "I'm going on an adventure!"
- "I've got parasites as big as me arm!"
- "Do not speak to me of Radagast the Brown. He is a foolish fellow." "Well, he's odd, I'll grant you. He lives a solitary life..." "It's not that. It's his excessive consumption of mushrooms!"
- "Well, that could have been worse!" [Great Goblin falls on them] "Oh, you've GOT to be joking!"
- "Forgive me for doubting you." "No, it's fine. I would have doubted me too."
- "Is he lost?" "Yes, yes, and I want to get unlost...as soon as possible!" "Oh! We knows! We knows safe paths for hobbitses! Safe paths in the dark... SHUT UP!" "I didn't say anything..." "Wasn't talking to you!"
- "I would take each and every one of these dwarves over the mightiest army."

So. On a scale of one to Bofur when he successfully throws an egg into Bombur's mouth, how excited are you about The Desolation of Smaug coming out in December?

K xx

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Marvel movies trump DC movies

So last night I went to see Man of Steel. In Gold Class, nonetheless, because I'm fancy like that. And I enjoyed it, despite the fact that it nearly made my ear drums explode. But today? The more I think about it, the more I have problems with it. Because there were so many things that just DIDN'T. MAKE. SENSE. And, after talking about various things with Kim via email, I figured that I'd try and put some of my thoughts into a blog post.

Warning: remainder of post may contain spoilers.

So y'all know that I loves me a superhero movie. I will watch pretty much any superhero movie, including Green Lantern. But without exception, I love the Marvel movies about a thousand times more than any DC movie. And I think what it boils down to is this: Marvel has embraced the fact that superhero movies are inherently silly in many ways. I mean, radioactive spider bites or magical hammers or gamma radiation poisoning giving you superpowers are pretty dumb when you think about it. Marvel has embraced the fact that the concepts are a bit silly, and they ensure that the scripts contain elements of that silliness.

And the thing about this is that it adds a sense of realism. Life isn't all serious all the time, no matter how dire the circumstances. And it's these moments of silliness that give the Marvel movies their heart, and that help the audience relate to the characters. Sure, not everyone is a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist (sorry, Kim. I know how much you hate that line now), but everyone can join the dots on Tony calling Hawkeye "Legolas" or saying "I'm a huge fan of the way you turn into an enormous green rage monster". Even when they're characters with huge responsibilities, they're still human and still entertaining to watch.

In contrast, the DC movies are all about the seriousness, all flash and no depth. While Henry Cavill may be all kinds of hot, the script writing in Man of Steel is such that there's nothing to make the character of Superman (or Clark Kent/Kal-El, if you will) appealing to the audience. He constantly talks about being a citizen of earth, but his actions don't reflect it. In fact, there seemed to be numerous moments where they were comparing Superman to Jesus, and that was just bizarre.
I kept thinking of Edna in The Incredibles: "NO CAPES". Also, source.

Much like in The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, the final battle of Man of Steel takes place in the city centre. Unlike the aforementioned Marvel movies, Superman's role is to defend mankind, not Metropolis. So having the fight continue in Metropolis after a certain point is ridiculous. The entire fight was painful to watch, because Superman shows no regard for the damage he's causing, no acknowledgement of the fact that thousands of people are dying as a direct result of his actions.

Instead, we get the destruction of the better part of the entire city centre and Superman causing damage to multiple buildings while flying along pummelling the crap out of his enemy, only to end with a death that could have taken place much earlier in the piece. And when he lands, the people emerge from the rubble of Metropolis to be all "OMG, Superman totally saved us! Well, some of us at least."

The only human he raises a finger to save is Lois Lane. Even Jonathan Kent dies in a way that Superman/Clark could have prevented. A way, I should add, that trumps even Dawson's Creek to win the title of "Worst Death Ever".

Similarly, Batman displays little interest in the people of Gotham or the destruction he causes in the course of defeating his various foes, despite Bruce Wayne's philanthropic works. Perhaps as a businessman, he instead focuses on the fact that any damage caused will likely lead to new projects for Wayne Enterprises? Watchmen was built almost entirely around Doctor Manhattan and his giant blue wiener. And Green Lantern was more interested in showing off than anything else for a large proportion of the film.
Just get on with it, Hal. Also, source.

In contrast, the people of New York rally behind Spiderman to help him defeat Lizard. The Avengers - while they do destroy a decent chunk of New York in the process of fighting off the Chitauri - ensure that a perimeter is established, limiting the damage as much as possible. They also work to evacuate as many civilians as possible minimising the injuries and casualties. Similar things can be said of almost all the recent Marvel movies - the majority of the major fight scenes take place in such a way that civilian casualties and damage are kept to a minimum. The heroes are all flawed, despite their powers. There's witty banter throughout the fight scenes, and constant character development throughout the course of the films.

Plus, Superman's latest outfit bears a striking resemblance to bubble wrap. At least he's not wearing his undies on the outside any more??

Have you seen Man of Steel? What did you think of the final battle? What's your take on the Marvel movies versus the DC movies? And - perhaps most importantly - am I the only one who thinks his outfit looks like it's made of bubble wrap??????

K xx

Monday, July 8, 2013

Entire lack of Movie Monday

Hey guys,
I'm currently sick and in Canberra and blogging on my phone (so if this post is wonky, that's why) and generally brain dead so there's not going to be a Movie Monday today.

Instead, you can find me over on Emmy's blog talking about why you should watch Supernatural. Check it out!!

K xx

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Send puppies. And chocolate.

It's kind of a well established fact that I'm the crier in the family. My dad and my brother do the whole stoic Australian "men don't cry" thing. My mum doesn't cry very often, and when she does, it's usually over in five minutes. But me? I'm an ugly crier. And I cry a LOT. Something sad happens in a movie? I cry. Someone else is crying? I tear up. I cry when I'm frustrated. I cry when I'm angry, which gets incredibly annoying because then no one takes you seriously... Plus, we've already established that I'm completely useless in an emergency because I just start crying and can't stop.

In the past year, I've cried over the following books: The Fault in Our Stars, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, A Monster Calls, Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Eleanor & Park, and the last installment of the Buffy season 8 comics (tears of anger due to how completely awful it was). And don't even get me STARTED on my ability to cry over television shows. Two minutes into Doomsday, and I'm sobbing. Supernatural turns me into a wreck on a regular basis. Hell, even How I Met Your Mother made me cry when Marshall's dad died. Fun fact - I can actually date my crying over TV shows back to a very specific incident:

1998 Kirsti:
Mum: "....................??????"
1998 Kirsti: "alskjfkaslfjkshdfjkshdgjshgjk!!!!!!"
Mum: "Stop crying, I can't understand you..."
Mum: "...Seriously?"

So yeah. That happened...


I've been ugly crying off and on over the past 48 hours, but at least this time I had a good reason for it. Because today, we dropped my little brother C at the airport for his flight to London. He'll be back in January for a mate's wedding, but that's like FOREVER AWAY. So I bawled my eyes out yesterday afternoon. And then I cried in the shower this morning. And then I cried again at the airport, and sniffled my way through the car trip home.

In short, I'm a barrel of laughs to be around at the moment. If someone wants to send me a puppy to cuddle, I'd be incredibly appreciative. In the meantime, I'm going to go and drown my feelings in the large quantities of ice cream that Paulie brought over last night. There are definite perks to having an almost sibling who works in the ice cream industry...

BRB, ugly crying,

K xx

Monday, July 1, 2013

Movie Monday: The "2013 to date" edition

Real life went ahead and rudely (except not really because it involved family, good friends, and amazing food) got in the way this past weekend, meaning I didn't have time to watch a movie for today. So I figured that seeing as how we're now half way through the year, I'd pick out the best five movies I saw in the first half of this year in the order in which I saw them.

Daniel Day-Lewis was ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL. It was one of the very rare times that I forgot I was watching an actor play a character and got completely caught up in the story. He totally deserved that Oscar. In addition to that, the whole movie was beautifully cast and shot and SO FREAKING GOOD.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Okay, so I know this came out last year. But I saw it on the plane to Los Angeles back in January, and pretty much loved every second of it. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are fabulous, and I liked that Spidey wasn't completely indestructible. He was just a kid who worked out a way to help his city.

Another one I saw on the plane. And it was brilliant. It's totally adorable and the casting was fantastic. Don't even get me started on how incredible the animation is!

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Sure, it's completely over the top and ridiculous and generally stupid. But it was also hilarious, and EMBRACED the fact that it was completely over the top and ridiculous and generally stupid. Add in Jeremy Renner, and it's a winner in my book.

Iron Man 3
By far the best of the three from my perspective. There's acknowledgement that Tony's not even remotely okay after the events of The Avengers, there's a villain who's not what you think, and there's Tony proving that even without his suits he's still Iron Man.

What are your favourite movies so far this year?

K xx
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