Flip Through

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Green Lantern (no spoilers, because I haven't seen it)

So. I have not yet seen Green Lantern. Maybe this means I should revoke my geek card, but I'm not sure I can be bothered. There are a few reasons for this:

5. I'm out of money at the moment and would prefer to reserve my cash for Captain America. Somewhere my mafriend is snickering because I hate Captain America, actually. BUT...

4. I also hate Hal Jordan. I like Ryan Reynolds, but every time I think about him playing Hal, I just wonder why Marvel didn't snap him up immediately for Deadpool.

3. None of the trailers grabbed me. They all seemed quite scattered, like they didn't know what kind of movie they wanted to be. The Captain America trailers DID grab me, and that's why I'm looking forward to that movie. I have more inherent love for the GLC, but this film just does not look well-made.

2. Blake Lively? Blake Lively? This is coming from a place of love; I love Gossip Girl (or did until this season) and I find myself defending Lively to most people. But really: Blake Lively?


John Stewart is my Green Lantern. I like Kyle Rayner ok too, but Stewart is where it's at. And frankly, I think the movie might've done better had Stewart been its main character. Hal Jordan is not the most famous superhero in the world. Chances are, if you even know what Green Lanterns are, you think John Stewart is the Green Lantern, because you or a nearby small child watches a lot of cartoons.

So like as not, I'll probably wait for Netflix to catch this one. Feel free to persuade me otherwise.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Body Appreciation Sunday: Supertaster buds!

I'm a supertaster. It is, as Professor X might say, a groovy mutation--it means that my tongue has more fungiform pupillae (taste buds, basically) than the average tongue. It means that I taste food more strongly than another person might. I found this out during a biological anthropology lab, when the professor handed out strips of paper and told us to lick them. No, they weren't laced with LSD; they had phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) on them. This is a chemical that only some people can taste: supertasters!

It tastes like ASS, by the way. Damn that stuff is gross. In hindsight it was pretty funny: we all licked our papers very seriously, and then about eight people went AAAAAAAGH and everyone else stared.

At any rate, I like my taste buds. I don't know if they work BETTER than anyone else's, but they're mine and they work wonderfully for me. I like salty food particularly, which is pretty normal among supertasters. And I like pie (I have cherry pie right now. YOU ARE JEALOUS). And watermelon, and sweet potato fries, and guacamole. I like tapioca pudding. I really like egg salad. I like dark beer and strawberries and sometimes I like Oreos. I like food and I'm grateful that my taste buds kick ass.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Like Proust but with music instead of madeleines

No, no silly books-to-films today. Instead I want to talk about auditory flashbacks--you know, when you hear a song and then immediately you're on the bus in fifth-grade and that annoying boy is pulling your hair, or whatever. This happens to me reasonably often. Here are a few of the fun ones:

+"Drops of Jupiter" by Train: and BAM I'm sitting in the front seat of my mom's minivan, freshman year of high school. We're driving on 528 to the library and I have The Scions of Shannara in my lap. I have a crush on Morgan of Leah.

+"Mr Brightside" by The Killers: and BAM I'm sitting in eleventh grade AP English Language, and Shelly Mueth is telling me to watch this music video because it reminds her of Moulin Rouge!. I love Moulin Rouge! but I don't like The Killers (still true).

+"Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry: and BAM I'm in my grandmother's house, aged seven or so, dancing with my mom and aunts. My oldest uncle has had enough beer that he's talkative. My second-oldest uncle has not yet cut his ponytail off.

+"Don't Phunk With My Heart" by The Black-Eyed Peas: and BAM I'm in a French restaurant basement eating flammekuche, the summer before my freshman year of college. Somewhere there's a radio playing this song; my best friend and I can't figure out where it's coming from. Then we realize that across the room, a guy from our group is singing it. He mimics Fergie like a pro.

+"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" by the Backstreet Boys: and BAM I'm in Mr Myers' seventh grade World Cultures class. Sarah Lawrence is leaning across the aisle to hug me because we share a favorite BSB song. Her hair is still long.

Do you have any songs that take you to a specific time and place?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sad panda

So I've got some work-related stress going on here. And nothing much to say. So I will leave you with this image of an earthquake-fearing panda.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Body Appreciation Sunday: Ears

So here we are, my boss and I, sitting in nosebleed seats at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre (and no, I am not joking about the name), rocking out to Heart. Yes--Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson and their dudes, kicking ass onstage like it's 1986. Do note, they sound fucking awesome. As my boss said, This is what can be if you resist doing ALL the drugs. The Wilsons are in their late fifties and they still perform a great live show.

And then Def Leppard comes on. The one and only, my favorite 80s metal group, the mighty Def Leppard. They proceed to play what amounts to a greatest hits set, and I am more than ok with this. I am that lady dancing and air-guitaring in front of her seat while my boss pretends she's with someone else. I'm a little surprised by the fact that I apparently know all the words to all of their notable songs. I'm pleased that they sound awesome. And, not for the first time, I am grateful--so grateful--for my ears.

Ears are great. Ears let you hear things like Def Leppard doing an electric-acoustic mash-up of "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" and your lover telling you why you're awesome and the way the air sounds in the early morning during the summer. Ears are fantastically sensitive and are erogenous zones for lots of folks. Ears look cute with shiny things dangling from them. Ears make basset hound puppies even cuter than they already are. I love ears!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Film Fantasy Friday: The Amber Spyglass

Ok. I know, I know, there was a mostly-fail of a movie made out of The Golden Compass, the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. And actually parts of it weren't so awful (this is why I am reusing some of the main actors). I wish it had done better, because I really wanted to see all of the books committed to film. But that's never going to happen, which is why we have Film Fantasy Fridays, period. So. Yes. The Amber Spyglass ahoy. This book has a FUCKTON of characters; I tried to cut the cast down to the most significant. Note: I'm casting this as though The Golden Compass had been a success, so the actors in question (particularly the young ones) are at their four-years-ago ages.

Lyra Silvertongue: played by Dakota Blue Richards, Lyra journeys into the land of the dead to free the souls trapped there, including those of her friends Roger and Lee Scoresby. Her daemon, Pantalaimon, will be voiced again by Freddie Highmore.

Will Parry: played by Luke Pasqualino, Will accompanies Lyra into the underworld, their journey made possible by his ability to use the Subtle Knife to open doors into other worlds.

Mrs Coulter: played by Cate Blanchett, Mrs. Coulter allies herself with Asriel in an attempt to overthrow the Authority, whom the Magisterium worships.

Lord Asriel: played by Daniel Craig, Asriel and his forces, an army from all worlds, are fixated on destroying the power of the Authority both in heaven and on earth.

Iorek Byrnison: voiced by Ian McKellen, Iorek and his bears fight with Asriel against the Authority.

Metatron: played by Marton Csokas, Metatron is the Authority's Regent. He longs for the power wielded by the Authority and uses Mrs. Coulter to get at it.

Mary Malone: played by Franka Potente, Mary is a scientist and former nun who travels to the world of the mulefa. In her time there she accidentally discovers the true nature of Dust.

Serafina Pekkala: played by Eva Green, Serafina is a witch queen and Lyra's friend.

Xaphania: played by Tilda Swinton, Xaphania is the leader of the rebel angels of heaven and an ally of Lord Asriel.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tunes on the teevee

Ok, so, this is totally a rip-off of geek with curves, but I've been such a pill lately about all the DC stuff, so I figured it was time for something fun and light. Thus, I present Five TV Theme Songs I Never Skip (which are not found on the Curvy Geek's list!).

5. True Blood--"Bad Things" by Jace Everett: these titles sum up the show perfectly: dark, dirty, sexy, and disturbing.

4. Gossip Girl--"Gossip Girl" featuring Kristen Bell: haters best be hatin' on, because I love this garbagey show and its swift, flashy opening sequence.

3. Batman Beyond--"Batman Beyond (Opening Title)" by Kristopher Carter: partly childhood reminiscence, but these credits are actually pretty fantastic (like most other DCAU shows, including Justice League/Unlimited and Gargoyles). Unfortunately un-embeddable, so click here.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer--"Buffy Theme" by Nerf Herder: it's a classic, period.

1. Veronica Mars--"We Used to be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols: I really disliked how they revamped the song for S3, but the theme remains one of the best ever.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Judd Winick on Batman:

"Yes! It’s a very sexy title! It’s a very violent title. For lack of a better word, it’s one of the edgier titles coming out of the DCU. This is a tough, sexy, violent, somewhat over-the-top book, which is everything Batman should be.

And I will tell you right from the jump: This is not Superman. This is not Aquaman.

But I don’t think we’re doing anything inappropriate because, this is Batman! If there’s any character who leads with his sexuality, who leads with his sense of self, it’s Batman. We’re not rewriting the book on him. We’re just telling the story as it should be told about him in 2011. And it’s a little bit sexy.

Think sexy. Think chiropteran, with the wings, the costume. You know? He has a tremendous amount of sex appeal, and none of us want to shy away from that.

But also think intelligent. That’s part of why he’s sexy."

The bishop said, This is what God does not like about you

That cropped head, very improper too edgy
unfeminine; men don't like women with short hair.
And so tall! It would be better
were you petite.
Why do you talk about a career? University
is a last resort for women
whom men don't want.
You should not watch such movies
read such books--
you read too much anyway.
And these stories, fighting and lasers
far-away planets
What's wrong with where you are?
It's clear you had no
male influence in your childhood.
Poor child of a single mother.
She let you run wild, didn't she
she let you wander outside barefoot
and climb trees;
she read you too many books
she took you to meetings of women.
Well my girl, there are no trees in the Celestial Kingdom
you will wear your soft robes and walk in a

Friday, June 10, 2011

Film Fantasy Friday: Daughter of the Forest

Well, it's Friday at last, and it's been a damn shitty week, if you must know (and it isn't over yet, because I have to work tomorrow). I feel the need to salve my wounds with some Juliet Marillier--frothy fairy tale fantasy, beautiful people, immense drama leading to happy ending. Sounds ideal! Daughter of the Forest is not my favorite of the Sevenwaters trilogy, but damn if I've ever been able to cast a proper Liadan, so away we go.

Sorcha: played by Ophelia Lovibond, Sorcha is the only daughter of Sevenwaters, a forest stronghold in Ireland laced with old magic. After her brothers are cursed, she undertakes a vow of silence and a strange, painful task to free them.

Colum of Sevenwaters: played by Ciaran Hinds, Colum is the lord of Sevenwaters and father to Sorcha and her six brothers. Many years after his beloved wife's death, he remarries to the Lady Oonagh.

Conor: played by Rupert Friend, Conor is Sorcha's brother and a Druid scholar.

Hugh "Red" of Harrowfield: played by Chris Hemsworth, Red is the lord of Harrowfield, a British holding. He saves Sorcha from drowning and takes her to Britain with him.

Richard of Northwoods: played by Christopher Eccleston, Richard is Red's uncle. A cunning man, he intends his daughter, Elaine, and Red to be married and for their properties to be joined. He accuses Sorcha of witchcraft and adultery.

Lady Oonagh: played by Cate Blanchett, Oonagh is a beautiful and bewitching woman. Intent on her son inheriting Sevenwaters, she casts a spell on Colum's six sons, turning them into swans.

The Lady (Deirdre of the Forest): played by Eva Green, the Lady is an Old One, member of a magical race of beings inhabiting the forest of Sevenwaters for many ages.

The Lord (The Bright One): played by Michael Fassbender, the Lord is another Old One and the Lady's consort.

Monday, June 06, 2011

You better not make me regret this, DC

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you probably know how I feel about Gail Simone and Barbara Gordon (this is a good indicator if you've forgotten). Put bluntly, I love them both. Barbara is my favorite Bat-family member, and Simone is one of my favorite writers, period, and certainly my favorite comic book writer. Simone writing Barbara is inevitably one of the best titles on the rack at any given time. Birds of Prey is an epically fantastic series.

But this is not Oracle!Babs. This is Bat!Babs. Obviously I have no idea what tack they're planning for this relaunch, but I will say right now: it better be fucking awesome. There is no room for fuck-ups here, DC, no room for well-it-might-get-better. Because the cynic in me says that DC planned this knowing how many female fans Simone has, how many women read her books and how many women read Bat-family books, and how loyal they are to both this creator and this character in particular, and are banking on this, banking on female fans buying Simone's books as surely as a Republican presidential nominee banks on getting the conservative Christian vote. We are the base here, we are the job security, we are the dollars that can be counted on during what will certainly be a trying time for DC's books. Our loyalty and fandom and our femaleness, yes, those female geeks that everyone argues about: these things are being used against us.

We are being used, period.

Because in all fairness, DC shouldn't be getting my money for this title. Not immediately, not right off the bat, not automatically, and chances are if Simone wasn't attached, they wouldn't be getting it at all. But they will be. Because I trust Simone and because I love Gordon, and I hope that those two things will come together to create something else that I can love. I hate that DC is taking away a significant member of its (paltry) diverse cast, especially since the trope of "wheelchair user can walk again" is a hated one in all media, and I hate that DC is apparently jettisoning a fantastic Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), and who knows what will happen to Cassandra Cain, Charlie Gage-Radcliffe, and Tim Drake, since Damian Wayne as Robin and (most likely) Dick Grayson back as Nightwing are confirmed.

But I can't abandon Barbara.

After some consideration, I have come up with a reasonably plausible and palatable reason for why DC might be going down this road. In the current Flashpoint event, Barry Allen theorizes that Reverse-Flash is fucking with him yet again and has rewritten history. Given that Flashpoint leads into the revamped DCU in some way, it is not impossible that, once September comes, we will find that the universe has been snapped back to the way it should be...but isn't quite the way it should be. Ergo, Barbara was never shot, everyone is younger, etc.

This may or may not be what they're planning, but it's the best scenario I've been able to think of. In the most hopeful case, eventually this false universe would ALSO snap back to what it was, or begin to change enough so that characters like Oracle, Cass, and so forth could exist again. But I'm not that hopeful.

X-Men: First Class (spoilers)

So my review of X-Men: First Class was going to go something like, Michael Fassbender is threatening people in French/threatening people in German/threatening people in English/wearing a black turtleneck/wearing a wetsuit/wearing a Panama hat/wearing sweatpants where you can totally see his junk/wearing the classic X-costume/holding a gun/saying "Kinky!"/crying a single tear/wearing the Magneto helmet ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE.

But that's not real interesting, is it? Nah. So. I am going to disagree with Rob Bricken right off the bat and say that I thought January Jones did a good job as Emma Frost. Please note that Emma is my favorite Marvel character and I was quite excited to hear that she was finally going to be on the big screen, and I was pretty pleased from the get-go with Jones' casting. She certainly looks the part to a tee, and I can easily imagine her really bringing Frost into her own in a second film (I hear the maker have the cast signed on, so if this first go does well, I'm hoping for more). Yes, Emma has no business being in a film about the "first class" of Professor X, but the continuity of the X-Men film 'verse is so jacked up that it's hard to care anymore. Yes, there is something a touch unbelievable about the White Queen getting Sebastian Shaw (and oh my Jesus could Kevin Bacon BE more pimp?? Velvet suit, lines in German, the command for some alone time with his nuclear reactor...) more ice for his drink--but on the other hand, Emma Frost is a fucking subtle bitch and I thought it was pretty clear that she was playing everyone around her and biding her time. That she got as much screen time, as many lines, and as many demonstrations of her powers as she did, I was impressed with, because frankly, this film belongs to Erik and Charles.

And that is not a bad thing, either. The "first class" of the title is present, of course, and none of them do a bad job (Lawrence and Hoult are particularly good as Mystique and Beast), but really the people getting their learn on are Erik and Charles. Their relationship was very well developed, realistic, and moving. Magneto was not always a large-as-life-and-twice-as-evil villain and Professor X wasn't always a benevolent god. In fact, X is kind of a dick (portrayed excellently by McAvoy) and Magneto loves his momma (see notes on Fassbender above). This Xavier doesn't have all the answers, and this Lensherr is far less calculating and far more spitfire than the villain he will become...but it's easy to see exactly where both are headed.

The film has issues, of course: the black man (Armando Munoz/Darwin) is the first to die, one ethnic character ("Angel" Salvadore) goes evil at the drop of a pimp hat, and the other (Riptide) does not have a single line. The X-Men are notable for being pretty groundbreaking in terms of race and gender inclusivity--hell, the entire conceit is steeped in the language and pursuits of the Other. It is too bad that this film didn't cash in on the wealth of diverse characters in the X universe.

Overall, X-Men: First Class is another entry into the summer's canon of well-made action films: solid acting all around (excellent on the parts of McAvoy, Lawrence, Hoult, Bacon, and Fassbender), hat-tipping to fans while still being welcoming to newcomers, good CGI and interesting settings. It's definitely shaping up to be Marvel's season; hopefully Captain America delivers as much as Thor and X-Men have.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Body Appreciation Sunday: The Kiss

I saw the new X-Men film yesterday (review tomorrow! Are you sick of reading comic-related topics on this here blogge yet? TOO BAD!), and. Well. Michael Fassbender is extremely hot.

So is Andrew Garfield (who is not in the movie, lest you be confused. TANGENT AHOY). So is Johnny Depp; so is Ewan McGregor; so are Timothy Olyphant and Jacob Pitts and David Tennant and Matt Smith. So are a lot of men, and a lot of women. Watching extremely hot people mack on and do the ditty with other extremely hot people is one of the pleasurable pastimes of being human, especially when there's a coherent plot and some good editing and sweet costume and set design going on too. And yes, Fassbender's character does kiss another character.

There are many kinds of kisses. There is the Jim Sturgess/Evan Rachel Wood kiss in Across the Universe--a jaw-stretching kiss where you can see the, AHEM, temporomandibular joint articulate (I used to be an anthropology student, sometimes I can't help myself_. There are the not-kisses of THE dance scene in Dirty Dancing--you know the one--where lips lots of body parts that aren't other lips. There is the fireworks-in-the-background kiss in Moulin Rouge!, where Satine and Christian melt into each other and somehow her lipstick is not marred; then there's the Hex kiss, which I have gif'd here before, with maximum slow-mo tongue visibility. There are pecks and makeouts and sloppy licks and kisses on the forehead which manage to be chaste and hot at the same time and everything in between.

All are very nice. But the nicest thing about scenes like this is their ability to jostle my body's memory. I watch Baby let her head drop back and Johnny nibble her throat and it translates to my manfriend's lips on my throat. There is scant room in my head for inserting myself into whatever steamy scene is being carried out on the screen. Certainly fantasies are important, but when one is being enacted in front of me, body memory is immediate and imperative. I look at the arch of Arthur Darvill's nose and see my manfriend J's nose instead. It's Fassbender's eyebrows that are quirking, but all I can see is how the same expression would look on J.

I don't know that I'm explaining this adequately. All I know is that ultimately the person I want to kiss the most, despite all my use of adjectives like "smoking" and "unfathomably gorgeous" to describe various famous people, is the guy sitting in the Poang.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Film Fantasy Friday: Birds of Prey

At last, a Friday. Pathetic to be whinging about it finally being the weekend when it was only a four-day work week to begin with, but whatevs, I'm lazy. In the vein of laziness, and also in the vein of me being worried about my favorite DC titles, this week's book-to-film adaptation is a slice of awesome straight from the Birds of Prey pie, peopled with an array of characters I'd love to see all together on the big screen. Haters please use the lefthand evacuation strategy.

Barbara Gordon/Oracle: played by Rachelle LeFevre, Babs is the former Batgirl turned badass information broker and the shadowy leader of the Birds of Prey team.

Helena Bertinelli/Huntress: played by Eva Amurri, Helena is a mob daughter wreaking vengeance on the mafia groups and other lowlifes of Gotham.

Dinah Lance/Black Canary: played by Julie Kedzie, Dinah is Barbara's closest friend and a deadly combatant armed with her fists, feet, and a (literally) piercing sonic shriek.

Zinda Blake/Lady Blackhawk: played by Blake Lively, Zinda is the team's pilot and is always up for a good bar brawl.

Dawn Granger/Dove: played by Miranda Otto, Dove is the avatar of peace. She and Hawk are new additions to the Birds of Prey team.

Hank Hall/Hawk: played by Jason Statham, Hawk is the avatar of war.

Dick Grayson: played by Matt Bomer, the first Robin and former Nightwing is currently filling out the Cowl as Batman. He and Barbara have a conflicted but passionate relationship.

Thomas Blake/Catman: played by Daniel Craig, Catman is a member of the are-they-heroes-or-are-they-villains ragtag team the Secret Six, and happens to have a Thing for Huntress.

Brian Durlin/Savant: played by Alexander Skarsgard, Savant is a rehabilitated villain now allied with Oracle...or is he?

Aleksandr Creote: played by Vincent Cassel, Creote is Savant's second-in-command. A former KGB operative, Creote is in love with Savant, something the latter comes to realize at long last.

Noah Kuttler/Calculator: played by Armin Shimerman, Calculator is the current leader of the Secret Society of Supervillains and obsessed with finding out Oracle's identity.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New shoes

Presumably you fine folks have heard about the DC universe reboot. You can probably also guess how this makes me feel inside.

Yeah, pretty much like that, where Batman is Geoff Johns Dan DiDio Diane Nelson Jim Lee Bob Harras THE MAN and I am, well, I'm Diana. Especially since apparently the Super-Marriage is getting nixed and Clark Kent+Diana Prince is a go (gag me with a forklift). Despite DC's trumpeting of diversity, the Batwoman title I've been waiting for since the zero issue in FEBRUARY has yet to launch, and the new!Justice League core line-up looks oddly like every other incarnation: WW, Supes, Bats, GL, Flash, and look, Cyborg! Newness! Diversity! And collars!

Color me, as it were, extremely unexcite.

ETA: THIS JUST IN--Batgirl/Nightwing rebooted. Oh HELL NO, DC. If this turns out to be true, I don't even know.

Things I do in my free time

Pretty much the only independent bookstores in my area is a place called Mojo Books and Music. It is heftily hip and quite a good place all around: a great selection of books of all genres plus vinyl and CDs, and they just expanded to include a coffee and tea bar. It is one of my favorite places and I give them a reasonable amount of custom, usually in the fantasy and graphic novel areas.

It is this last that concerned me yesterday. Last week the store's owner put out a call for someone to organize their selection of graphic novels and related books in exchange for some store credit, and I volunteered. So on Tuesday afternoon I went in and spent five hours rearranging things. It was...fun. Well, duh. I don't mind shelving and organizing things, and believe me, their collection needed it. It ended up being delineated thus:

+DC and imprints (Vertigo, Wildstorm)
+independents with sizable collections: Dark Horse, Top Cow, Image
+other independents
+cartoons and strips
+retrospectives/history-of-comics titles
+how-tos for art and scripting
+oversized items
+memoirs and oddities

Whew! It was good exercise. Shelving is, especially unwieldy things like trade paperback collections. I also noticed a few things. First, within the collection there were about three times as many Marvel titles as DC or any of the independents; DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm together made up about a shelf and a half, while Marvel took up four shelves. SOMEONE nearby is a Marvel fan (or was). Second, between the two major publishers there was a fractional amount of titles featuring female characters: Marvel had a few Elektra, a She-Hulk, and an Essential Spider-Woman, while DC had some Supergirl (I must've bought their last Wonder Woman trade). Both have teams including female characters (and believe me, there are TONS of X-Men and Justice League/Society trades on Mojo's shelves), but I was interested to see that very few of either publisher's lady-specific titles and teams were present.

I am choosing to be optimistic about this phenomenon and chalk it up to the fact that the people in my area who buy and read things like Heralds and Birds of Prey want to KEEP them, rather than sell or trade them to a used bookstore. To that end, I'll be using some of my store credit to nab the two trades of Gotham Central I spied among the DC offerings.
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