Batman vs Superman: Yawn of Justice

Batman vs Superman is actually the story of two dudes who can’t communicate at all.

The biggest problem in the plot of this mildly spoiler review is that both Batman and Superman are 10000000% guilty of hubris and neither of them admit it.
I went into Batman vs Superman (or vice versa) Dawn of Justice with the same level of meh as I approach most things that have been spoiled in every trailer, preview and sneak peek that a major movie can offer…which is to say I was passive aggressive teenage girl ambivalent to everything going on.
giphy
The movie opens recreating the events of Man of Steel where instead of seeing handsome Henry Cavill we see WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne driving through Metropolis with his woes (and the apocalypse raining down on him and his brand friendly Jeep). From that moment, 18 months ago, Bruceman er Batman is completely team “Fuck this guy”. For reasons not one person on the writing team for this movie can explain or cared to explore, Batman is reactivated across town in Gotham and wages a one man war, tearing through the streets of Gotham like a toddler mid temper trantrum. He doesn’t cause chaos in Metropolis, where the problem ACTUALLY is, but instead just beats mercilessly on petty thugs and crooks. The Daily Planet runs a piece on some asshole with a branding fetish leaving bat brands on the low lives of Gotham in thinly explained attempts to suss out the kinda racist sounding White Portuguese drug cartel and this is how you want to introduce the two leads? I end it with a question mark because I wasn’t even sure if this was an episode of The Wire, Breaking Bad or something else involved drug runners with cool names and thusly confused as to why Batwayne was so obsessed with figuring out who WP was/is because meanwhile here’s Superman doing Superman things like bailing cats out of trees, rescuing Russian Cosmonauts from explosions and otherwise being a god on Earth. Batwayne is every flavor of salty because he immediately zeroes in on SuperKent to figure out why he’s so hunky and dreamy. I mean…why he writes puff pieces on assholes in longjohns.
206636171_0021c26a2e_m

 

Cut to bizarre party somewhere in wherever where Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (she’s in the movie, did I forget to mention this?) are at a party but the punchline is the dialogue is garbage.
The dialogue is bad.
It’s REALLY a screenwriting 101 script written by casual Wikipedia enthusiast that was then passed off to someone else to polish and instead of actually proofing, they just post-it noted lines in before handing it to someone else and the only things that were filmed were the post-it scenes. The GLUE of a Post-It is what’s holding this mess together and even that isn’t doing much of anything.
Batwayne gets one upped by Wonder whatever her name is and he’s all beguiled and sad. SuperKent is confused because he only has heart boners for Lois Lane who’s given even LESS than Wonder Woman to work with the in terms of whatever post-it plots they came up with for this movie.
gallerychar_1900x900_justiceleague_52ab8e54d0a6f0-42170553
The movie works best if we’re talking about the actual assembly of the JLA versus the grumbling mumbling hulking bros who just can’t get their shit together. The idea that Batman would actively want to beat the shit out of Superman because of damages and loss sustained during Man of Steel is cool and one man doing it is also cool but if he felt he was such a major threat, watching Batman recruit a batch other -snicker- metahumans to understand them and get them on the side of good would be a much more engaging movie than the one we wound up with.
Anyway more talking happens and some fun cameos occur that actually riled up the crowd I was with (we my have been drinking) and that made me want THAT movie, the one I made up with all my action figures and in my head that I hoped Hollywood would rip off. It never happens and that’s where the burden of what DC is doing becomes apparent. The writers (I’m being a savage and saying it was atleast ten people trying their best to mansplain years of nerd lore) tried to do what Marvel has done with four movies in one movie and it shows, good GOD does it show. It’s most apparent with how they’ve glossed over the rest of the league, wink and nods to each member in what is tantamount to a Veronica Mars tribute scene.
can8qhs
The third act is cobbled together as complete 100% fan service to those poor fools who still think DC as a brand and entity respects them and I for one low key am pleased before I realize that I honestly could give a flying fuck about who wins the Batman vs Superman debate; the one who loses is the rest of us. How?! Man of Steel. We all lost by seeing that grim piece of shit overthought hunk of shit. We got a fantastic opportunity to tell the tale of a man stuck with being a god and spent it grim darkly trying to understand Kal-El’s beef with the world. Superman is an alien, an immigrant and we never in any permutation of him felt that loneliness and need to belong, to be respected; we have only ever gotten his god amongst men perspective. Conversely, Bruce Wayne is the little orphan shitshow that could. They are men burdened with being men who want to save a broken world but on their terms. In short, there’s not real risk choosing Batman or Superman; they’re not the dudes you want but the options you have. It’s basically like the 2016 elections so…
giphy1
Then, there’s Wonder Woman.
In the Synderverse she’s every humorless woman any basic fuckboy has told to smile; she hates everyone and would gladly squeeze the last breath from their lungs if it meant one less useless cretin in the world.

rs_634x778-151121115003-634-gal-gadot-wonder-woman-112115

So basically I’m in love.
She’s actually the reason to see this. With almost no dialogue, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is probably the best part of this 2 hour therapy session. She stares a lot, analyses and disappears. When she appears, the theater erupts. I look forward to the one time I pay for this movie to experience that euphoria. The masses demand a woman who doesn’t give a fuck; that solves a problem and shrugs when everyone else is completely flummoxed.
Remember in IronMan 2 when Black Widow was completely down played? Same problem. Many a think piece is being written about how women in these movies are completely bypassed (merchandise and actual focal point) so really, it’s done and over with but honestly…
ud7_2n3s
The final sequence happens exactly as you would expect a video game or a great weed fueled story to go. Fast, mad cut scenes, bright lights, fan service and of course hero shit. There are no stakes raised, no sense of loss or gain in this as you watch it, just a lot of “cool” or “they should’ve cleaned that up more in post” and “that’s it?!” There’s no sense of ramped up world building that follows movies like this, just the simple nod and “I saw that it was ok” and then onto the next one.
tumblr_n1pzgxvlsr1sgv18jo1_500
When the movie ended, my nerd cohorts all puzzled over where to go and if we should keep drinking; no one was bothered by the movie, there was a sad sense of acceptance. We knew it would blow but we didn’t expect to ALL be devastated by how truly bland a movie it was. It just washes over you in a wave of sad feelings.
As I walked out and had a drink with a coworker we spent more time arguing how good Marvel was at these movies than DC and a MAJOR conclusion was met; DC banks heavily on the name recognition while Marvel wants to seduce into their world and keep you there for as long as possible. Superman vs Batman only holds the door open long enough for you to walk in, have your ass smacked by the swinging door and by then you’ve already lost time and money to whatever is happening.
There’s no investment in your delight or engagement, just simple shrugging and plot holes. It’s terrible that the Snyderverse/Nolanverse is grim tones and too much reality for people to handle; the joy of these properties is that there is someone out there watching for us and protecting us from ourselves and the things that endanger us all. There’s no mirth or joy in this universe which is why it’s funny to think the heroes are so dark while the team on Suicide Squad clearly snorted alot of cocaine in Scarface’s Miami and candy coated the most violent batch of lunatics. Juxtaposing these two worlds adds to the other issue that weighs down this movie; neither the villains or the heroes seem to be aware of either’s existence. That’s terrible. You’re telling me that Superman was unaware of the Joker gang running the streets of Gotham before the Batman finished him? Superman had to know there was fuckery abounding. For your audience to walk out completely wigging out and confused by what they just watched…that kind of reaction can spell the end times for comic book properties as audiences reach a sympathy level of nope when it comes to how much you can ask a non comic book reader to suspend their belief in things.

Truth be told, the movie will make a shit ton of money and for that, we should be sad because there’s no reason for subpar movies to make that kind of bank and still be considered good. We deserve much better than what we’re getting with this second round of Bat/Sup movies but ultimately the fandom will split; they’ll pick another comic book franchise to get behind that won’t treat them like they’re stupid.

tumblr_nycx55hs9f1qaoek2o1_r2_540

 

I hope that Marvel, still humbled by missteps, take this into account when it comes to Captain America: Civil War as that movie hinges entirely on the fandom in both the MCU and comic book universe to really think about who they’ve aligned themselves with because that’s the real problem; Team Cap or Team Iron.

Agent Carter: The Best Show You’re Not Watching

Despite having been a key player in the creation of a covert government agency that easily recruits an all star superhero roster, there are no superheroes in the eight episode mid-season series Agent Carter because SHE is the superhero.

my baby shot me dead

Taking place a year after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, and following the Iron-Man 3 one shot, ABC’s Agent Carter follows Peggy as she navigates a post World War II work force, continuing her work with the SSR but at a smaller capacity.

Like getting lunch orders.

She’s a really athletically gifted coffee girl.

Taking a page from the world built by Mad Men (predating it by a decade) this world explores how difficult it has been for women to have given their all in the war effort only to be asked to return to their proper stations as homemakers. Peggy, in continuing her work, challenges the leadership at every turn, cracking cases before her fellow agents can even open up a notepad to jot a few leads down. Episode one has her contacted by Howard Stark (Tony Stark’s father. Yes. Iron-Man’s dad) to assist with getting to the bottom of a mysterious grand theft of some of his dangerous inventions. Peggy hesitantly agrees to help, seeing as she’s pretty much over being ignored in the work place and she becomes a double agent.

It’s been nearly ten years since the last female led spy series aired on ABC (Alias) and about two years since the last episode of the Maggie Q lead spy series reboot Nikita (which also starred Lyndsy Fonseca currently playing Angie Martinelli) and while shows like Scandal and The Good Wife give us kick ass, cerebral women, it also bogs them down with the trappings of romance as a plot device. The leads are buried by their romantic triangle of the season more often than the crime of the week. For example, in one episode of Scandal Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope will have traded more barbs with an ex faster than she would trade blows; she verbosely batters her foes with whip smart dialogue, you immediately wish you’d paid more attention in English class. It’s wonderful, really, but sometimes viewers just want a girl who’ll happily bludgeon you with her heel instead of speaking to you because you’re stupid. A character like Pope can work in a world like Peggy’s easily; honestly, I WANT them to have some insane crossover where Olivia uncovers old SSR documents and…wait…back off, that’s my script.

Hey girl, you’re strong and powerful up until a dude charms you a little bit by saying he’s not intimated by how powerful you are.

 

While it’s great to have smart, sexually confident women on television, it’s much better to have a woman who isn’t trapped within the confines of a relationship that potentially defines her almost every week. Watching someone like Peggy punch a man into unconsciousness is pleasing. Watching her use objects around her for the same effect is also pleasing. This show is pleasing. Hayley Atwell is pleasing.

Bye Felipe

 

Atwell shines as the title character, dropping dudes as easily as she drops one-liners. Debuting in the aforementioned Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter was that girl; the one  you immediately wanted to be friends with, the one who took no shit and the one with flawless lipstick game. Peggy, despite the smaller piece of the larger puzzle, has a knack for seeing the things that ultimately shape her destiny. She saw the potential for Steve Rodgers’ candidacy before the rest of the scientists did; she saw in him something, because of her gender, made him a bigger asset than she was to the cause. Just imagine if the team saw in her what everyone saw in Steve and she became a super soldier. HEY GET AWAY FROM MY SCRIPT.

While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (that’s a pain in the ass to type) struggled in the first half of the series to establish characters worth caring about (I care mightily for Agent May and Agent Coulson) and to find it’s footing as it launched in the wake of The Avengers and Captain America, Agent Carter immediately gave viewers a reason for investment; it was the backstory TO AoS that was designed to use Carter and her Amanda Waller type of influence in the creation of the Marvelverse as a whole.

If Marvel does this right, Agent Peggy Carter could be the backdrop introduction (albeit limited considering) to the early negotiations for more Vibranium with Wakanda (Black Panther) the research into cosmic defense with Dr. Steven Strange, ultimately recruiting a young Natasha Romanov  from the KGB once the Cold War is over. Peggy makes up for over 70 years of easy to cover story lines to bridge the comics, movies, Netflix series….she’s the Highlander. The One. Her work could be the nexus for everything in the Marvelspace and when you step back and look at the bigger picture, Marvel and ABC has to have the one nerd screaming in the halls about this very concept. We see her in The Winter Soldier and there are things said, things that make you have feelings.

Operation S.I.N, a mini series launched by Marvel January this year follows the further adventuring hijinks of Peggy Carter and science bro Howard Stark set in Europe. There are aliens.

And a bear getting punched.

What it looks like in my head all the time

 

Peggy, for the Marvelverse, is who Wonder Woman SHOULD be for DC. The nexus for good, a beacon of hope and the absolute measure by which the women who wind up in the various organizations hold themselves up to. Imagine young Jean Grey (I’m thinking silver age Marvel here but it also works for the Ultimate X-Men and various reboots etc) finding an old article about Peggy Carter while cleaning out a space in Xavier’s mansion. America Chavez (Young Avengers) wanting to be every bit the hero Peggy would’ve been had she been Captain America. I’m picturing Maria Hill’s goal in life was to helm a team as prolific as the Howling Commandos. Before she met lousy Ted Mosby.

Kids, in the summer of 2012 I met your mother

Kids, in the summer of 2012 I met your mother

Mockingbird on AoS

Mockingbird on AoS

Agent May on AoS

 

There’s a world of female heroes that can trace their ability to work in the comic book world back to Agent Carter.

Or Lady Sif.

Because you can’t pretend Sif wasn’t first.

Lady Sif in Thor: The Dark World

 

 

It’s also important to note that Agent Thirteen, Sharon Carter is……I can’t tell you that.

 

Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

As the show closed out it’s first season run, there was a bit of a glimmer of hope for it’s fate. With any good Marvel title, there is always that closing credits scene and (SPOILER KIDS)

 

 

Dr. Zola welcomes Dr. Faust to a jailhouse Hydra party.

 

 

SO.

 

My theory and hope is that Season 2 will revolve around Peggy’s growing ability to be taken seriously in the office (I mean, as serious as someone will take a woman in the office who punches like thunder) and the discovery of the Winter Soldier program. Consider that Peggy’s era for change would be at the height of the Cold War, during which time the shocking discovery of Bucky Barnes’ MIA status being upgraded to that of WE HAVE BUCKY WE’RE GONNA TURN HIM INTO A SUPER SOLDIER HAHAHA would more than likely be at the forefront of any engaging story. You can easily introduce a cadre of scientists that have actively shaped the Marvelverse being thwarted by Peggy, or even causing waves in other properties linked to their respective histories. I can see Peggy rolling her eyes at Dr. Strange all the while, hoping he can protect their current dimension. I can see Peggy watching the space program develop (completely, unfortunately, ignoring the Fantastic Four because..yeah…) but still being mindful of the ramifications of space exploration; she could have an entire research division that ultimately taps into Rhodes and Danvers’ space pilot program….

If given the chance to grow, Agent Carter could be one of the few shows on television with the foresight (and money) to successfully mine from their comic book resources, connect the MCU to the books and vice versa; Peggy as the earliest Director of SHIELD essentially creates the world we love now.

Don’t you see kids?!

Peggy motherfuckin Carter is comic books badass grandma.

I’m sorry Aunt May…

 

Nobody fresher than my clique