Archive Page 2

17
Apr
19

Digital Art Explosion, April ’19, Stage 2

*****
Okay, now that I got that first tremor off my chest, I will let loose two less creative samples of…well, two people that have been currently on my mind.  ‘Just putting it out there into the universe.  Vision-board it.

 

This is just a warning of what’s to come…let that sink into your heads.  Like I previously said, I went full costume-party mode.

Refer to previous posts about these people for more explanation to what led to this.

cuteyhoney-anime-manga-fusion-writingbolt-me-silhouette-cutouts_ap-CSPP-1000sq-17Wcuteyhoney-anime-manga-fusion-writingbolt-me-silhouette-cutouts_ap-CSPP-1000sq-21Wforthoseabouttorock-cannonsalute-silhouetteart_ap-CSPP-1900sq-1

The previous image, though remotely related to the previous and some to come, is just me getting fired up.

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17
Apr
19

Get Ready for a Digital-Art Explosion

*****

I’ve been consumed with spontaneous…well, obsessive daydreams.  And, rather than finishing my latest book project, I have been…well, mixing potions in a currently non-traveling show.  I suspect that doesn’t make much sense.  But, just go with it.

Anyway, a large portion of what’s to come is, sigh, once again, inspired by the lovely Taylor Alison Swift.  I went full costume-party mode (which I haven’t done in years).  Something is poking me, telling me time is short and I need to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.  Which translates into a volcano about to blow up my blog space.

But, I’ve been working on other concepts, too, concepts inspired by cartoons of my youth and related book projects I aim to complete in my future.  I’ve been dabbling with digital painting (sparing me the task of acquiring actual paints, canvas and other tools to compose actual paintings that are not so easy to correct if I become unhappy with my “abstract exploration.”  But, art is supposed to be cathartic, and I will, hopefully, get there–to making actual paintings on canvas–one day.

I’ll start this avalanche with one sampling and soon follow this post with another as I warm up to sharing my latest “Tay Fever episode.”

I’m going to spare you the detailed descriptions of technique and inspiration, for now.  But, if you have any questions, feel free to ask…you know, if you actually stop to look closely at this stuff and not just add it to the impulse-find (LIKE) pile.  What do YOU see in the more abstract images?  Can you guess what sort of message or concept I am trying to convey in each?  Share your thoughts.

 

 

applemangotango-yin-yang-gradients-onwhite_ap-CSPP-864x1296-reduced-tagged-sample-1-2michelebranch-lyric-umbrella-angel-findingyou-beneath-misty-muddy-treetops-raining_sample-ap-CSPP-12x18in-1MB-2freedom-furious-prisonwoman-roar-tearoutofoveralls-nonwatercolor-layeredsilhouette_ap-CSPP-8x10-tagged-sample-1B-2abstract-rosywaterywatercolorbrush-leapinto-L-O-V-E-curves-shedinnocence_ap-CSPP-12x18-tagged-sample-74-2

 

 

sample-jem-lyrics-couple-fireworks-misty-starrynight-rainbow-roadster-3-misfits-2-singermoon-3_ap-CSPP-12x18in-1180JEM24-2

The above image includes a variety of the key words used in the 1980s Jem cartoon’s theme song, most in colors that correspond with certain characters.

 

17
Apr
19

Modern (Cellphone) Chivalry Gone Mad!

***

Can I charge your what?!

Bumping cellphones?

Getting App-y with it?

Have you seen the commercial where pairs of people meet and, without more than a few words mumbled so softly that I could not tell what the freak they were doing, connect wireless devices and pass along a little battery juice, not unlike the new-fangled system of tossing something to someone with the swipe of a finger on the screen, like payments for just about anything imaginable. I thought it was some odd new way to exchange phone numbers without using one’s voice; heaven forbid you have to speak up and ask with real words these anti-social, wireless-technology-infused days. But, I would be wrong.

I hate to be the party crasher, one more time, but what sense does this make?

How is touching wireless devices to transfer battery power any smarter or better than the “old days” of offering to light someone’s cigarette with a book of matches or lighter you opted to carry just in case you had the chance to play Mr. Chivalry and potentially score points with some woman (or man, if you were the type of woman to boldy carry the flame-maker)?

Here’s the catch, though. Back then? Lighting a cigarette or cigar opened the door to real conversation. You know; that antiquated thing two or more people do when they look at each other, speak with their gullets and hopefully, actually listen to what the other people have to say. You didn’t light the cigarette and then ignore the person unless you were just passing through/by the scene and, likely, scoring points with whoever you accompanied, who thought how nice you are to do that for a stranger.

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s like finding someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or no gas in their car. You just give them a lift.

Except, this lift comes at a high technological and personal risk, most likely, even if you think you’re protected. [Because, honestly? These days, I don’t know who is protected; not even the people creating the forms of protection because they’re still human and thus fallible. And, replacing people with machines is just as stupid because humans build the machines…unless there is some mechanical deity out there itching to replace humanity.] But, even the person stuck on the side of the road can turn into a hazardous situation; sometimes the situation can be a trick/trap. I guess you just take your chances (or look away because you “can’t trust anyone”)?

When you share an umbrella to escort someone to their car in the rain, you don’t hold your wallet and all of your personal account info in the same hands. Maybe if we just used the wireless electronic device for one thing, like making phone calls or checking our heart rate while we excercise, this wouldn’t be a concern. But, what good is a watch if it doesn’t also tap into your favorite video feeds, activate every electrical device in your home, track every move everyone you’ve ever met makes via “social media,” start your car and allow you to pay for dinner?

If your device runs out of battery power and needs to be charged, getting a small (or however big of a) charge from another is only going to encourage you to spend more time ignoring others and your surroundings (if you’re the inept type who runs into walls, crashes their car from being distracted, etc.). Granted, lighting a cigarette for someone was also inviting them to chug down more harmful chemicals into their lungs with a greater chance of suffering some tragic fate. But, at least, the smokers were, usually, social. You don’t light a cigarette and then tune out the rest of the world as if you put on one of those “ultra-modern” goggle systems that transports you to some virtual reality.

But, while the device is charging, you’re free to talk with the person giving you the boost, some will argue. And, if that charging time only lasts a few seconds? Nice five-second chat you just had. I bet you, um, er, uh, *clear my throat*…really learned a lot about the other person.

But, maybe you’re done with your device and can recharge when you get home. So, why not give up the juice to someone who seems to need it right now? Well, why don’t I just drop my pants for the person who hasn’t had sex in three weeks and is moaning about it? Can we get more instant-gratification withdrawal?

Why do parents put timers and “child locks” on kids’ devices? To limit their use of said devices for whatever reason. It could be because the kid is too easily addicted to the device and not being responsible (not taking care of homework and chores). Or, it could be because the kid has a curious mind and the adult world at their fingertips, unlike the generation of my youth, and might tap into some very…questionable content.

Well, I think adults could benefit from locking themselves down, too. Though, it seems, when you put a lock in an adult’s face, they try to pick it, anyway. [Better to not let them know there is a lock, at all. Don’t tell the mortals there’s a tree of wisdom they can’t touch.]

How does offering to sacrifice some of your device’s battery supply to another, just because their device decides to run out of juice, help any situation other than some rare instance when some APP or other feature on a particular device is needed (because your device doesn’t have the same feature/APP)? Only in those seemingly small instances might this be some kind of valuable courtesy. Otherwise…

Well, here’s what I foresee in the near “transparent” future…

“Hi. It looks like you’re about to die, there.” [Looking down at the other person’s device.] “Can I give you a charge?” [Why does that sound like the abductor saying, “Can I give you a lift?”]

“What?” [I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my tiny glowing screen. Who are you? Oh. You’re offering me some battery time.] “Oh. S-Sure. Here.”

[Two wireless devices get intimate with each other on some scummy surface. Was it good for you, Android? Ol’ Iphony needs an E-cigarette.]

“There you go.”

“Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. Have a nice night.” [Wink. ‘Got your personal info. Hack you, later.]

Am I wrong? AM I WRONG? When people have to be concerned about what’s in their wallet or what the wallet is made of lest someone scan their pockets? When you can shop in an actual store without taking your money or credit card out to scan it, just walk past some scanning gizmo which sends the bill to your mailbox?

Honestly, you’d think people would see this stuff coming. [And, I bet some do…while salivating in their sleep.] But, I guess, if you’re dumb enough to just nod when the commercials show people needing to replace their “phone” every time they trip and drop it in a sewer grate, I guess you’re gonna think this is cool and normal.

[Oh, how I miss the days when buying a new telephone meant you wanted something new to look appealing on your countertop or desk and didn’t need to be replaced for as long as you chose to use it. The landline never needed to be replaced unless something actually damaged the wires, which usually required a mistreated cat or some foul weather.]

How long is this teasing game of “Put everything into your computing device.” and “Aren’t you going to buy protection for yourself?” going to continue? Is this the new insurance scam? How long before we offer cellphone protection other than a little person shaped like a padlock? What if said insurance service is just the Prudential rock that starts the snowball to (heck) rolling? Just keep turning people into scared cattle. Shake them pockets til you’re bleeding green with laughter. Oh the promises of get-rich-quick business. Make it bigger and faster, and screw better; that’s just the lie you keep selling.

[Or, is making all of this so effortless and open to crime exactly how we break the crime spree, sort of like disarming the bully by denying him/her an emotional response (or, in this case, having everyone respond emotionally so he/she cannot tell who is the victim)? If everything is within grasp and free to take, where’s the thrill in stealing? Is that the logic? So, if we stop wearing underwear and other clothes, we can stop worrying about stains and certain odors?]

So, have fun storming the castles without firewalls. You get one stinking badge of stupidity for being Ignoro Mondoso. Prepare to have your finances die with your wireless device if you drink this poison. And, enjoy living in glass houses; because, soon enough, I fear, walls may have no meaning.

Kudos to all the adult-education facilities racking up student-loan debts and passing out degrees for tech’ jobs so everyone can have a means of tapping into whatever and whoever they want at any time. So what if your cell-madness factory takes out some farmland that could produce healthy food for millions, replacing that with a handful of temporary jobs to make countless replacement parts for something turning people into mindless microwave ovens, soon replaced with dozens of machines and a handful of supervising technicians who just “take the call” when something goes wrong at the robotic plant.

Pretty soon, you won’t have STDs, anymore; at least, not the kind that requires a medical procedure. You’ll pay a visit to your “computer guy” and, if he/she can’t fix the problem, you’ll just get a new “part,” anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t have to call it prostitution or rape. You’ll just excuse me while I bump my device against yours and have myself a good time. How much is a Virgin Mobile worth on the geisha market? If a cherry pops in someone’s pants, does the owner make a sound?

“No problem. Have a nice night.”

09
Apr
19

Fashions Signaling The World’s End?

***

When Target commercials are worse than Old Navy commercials, I fear the world (of fashion) coming to an end.  Seriously, I don’t expect much from a retailer like Target.  I know they are not a “high-end” clothing store, but they used to have options I…well, liked.  But, some years after they began airing ads with trendy songs-of-the-summer and montages of jagged shifting imagery, and years after certain feature fashion designers started boasting their lines at the stores, Target seem to have lost their money-lovin’ minds.  I used to say the same about Old Navy.  I used to think Target put Old Navy on the endangered shopping list.  Now, it seems things have shifted.   And, that really scares me.  A place with OLD in its name showing clothes better than what you can get at what used to be a favored department store.  Sad times, indeed.

What am I talking about?  What is so bad at Target?  Let me put it as clearly as I can, in my personal opinion, mind you.  I don’t like pastels.  I detest melon orange and shades of aqua-marine/sea foam/turquoise, even if the last one is said to be lucky for Sagittarius.  I am tired of the same old striped crap that looks like the bottom of the wallpaper or card stock barrel.  I am tired of pants too tight for my man parts, apparently designed by gay folks looking to score some action in the rear…just sayin’.  And, in general, as I say again and again, I am astounded there aren’t more options and that, it seems, no one cares to design or make quality men’s clothing that isn’t cheaply screen-printed tees and sloppy pants or costly suit-and-tie combos that do nothing outside of an elitist boardroom or convention event.  It seems I will have to scrounge around the shady import websites, these “pop-up” outlet malls of the Far and Middle east, and pay ridiculous shipping, no doubt, to get anything more appealing to my artistic and heterosexual senses.

As if shopping for men’s clothes isn’t bad enough, these days.

Vent complete.

02
Apr
19

Thank You, Christina Applegate

*****

Have you ever had a thought escape your mind when someone decides to interrupt or distract you while you’re thinking of something? And, have you struggled to hang onto that thought or trace it back to its source only to forget what you were trying to say or do in the first place? Have you ever felt like letting whatever thought that was go and saying, “Goodbye, Garfield.”

If you have, then you, like me, remember a very brief moment in TV history, when Christina Applegate played Kelly Bundy on a slimy, groan-worthy yet periodically amusing TV show called Married with Children. There was one special episode when Kelly had to appear on a game show and answer some trivia questions. She complained about having limited memory capacity. When anyone–especially her dad–tried to cram new thoughts into her head, she forgot something. And, at a precious moment, she says goodbye to her memory of Garfield, the cartoon/comic strip cat.

[Apparently, it’s impossible to find this episode/clip online? Is it because she uses the name Garfield? Really, Jim Davis?]

I tend to refer back to that moment whenever my mind forgets what it was trying to say, which is often enough due to the interruptions that come my way. Too often I cannot complete my thoughts when accompanied by just about anyone. It doesn’t matter if its kids or adults. It’s like I can hold my breath for five minutes, but I only have 2 minutes to breathe before someone else takes the air or jabs me in the gut.

Anyway, I’d just like to take a moment to thank Christina Applegate for getting lodged in my memory as an example of the sad condition I and others I know have been facing for a number of years, now. I know her character was just supposed to be especially dumb for some juvenile reason. And, I’m not exactly losing critical childhood memories every time I learn something new…not that I know of, anyway. And, back when I first saw that episode, I didn’t think much of it other than laughing at Garfield leaving her head. But, now, it seems so relevant.

So, again, thank you, Christina.

And, thank you, Garfield, for being one my first inspirations to take up drawing cartoons/comic strips. I once took a tour of a newspaper (office building) and received sample strips for Garfield and Marvin. I don’t know what happened to those. But, I remember holding them.

Ah, memories.

…What was I saying a minute ago? Before the bit about how I had a comic strip proof in my hands? I was just talking about… Ah… Nope. Forget it. It’s gone. Goodbye, Garfield.

thankyou-christinaapplegate-kellybundy-marriedwithchildren-gameshow-episode-garfield-memoryloss_ap-cspp-2

02
Apr
19

Writingbolt’s Foreign Scribble Breakdown #1: Love

****

Providing you with the kindness of my own personal explanation of foreign language symbols.  I’m not exactly learning or teaching anything passed down/on to me.  This is more of a fun exercise in using my imagination.  But, it may be of some amusement and benefit to your understanding.

Today’s lesson is about LOVE.  [More lessons will follow.  More if there is any genuine interest from an audience.]

love-kanji-explanation_writingbolt-wordpress-humor-13002350-1

 

18
Mar
19

Captain Marvel, 2019 Movie Review

****

Brie Larson is a dazzling and very youthful ball of fire in the latest installment in the Avengers franchise, Captain Marvel, a story that takes place some time before the previously launched films (since 2008), winking at a variety of nostalgia, including Blockbuster video rental stores, pagers and the infancy of the 1990s’ dial-up internet, as well as nods to movies like Rambo (1982-) and Top Gun (1986). [And, if I am not mistaken, Octopussy, a 1983? film.] Men in Black (1997-) wasn’t explicitly featured, but the whole Agents-of-SHIELD-discovering-aliens-on-Earth concept pretty much touched all of the same bases.

If I just weighed you down with more words about movie history than the stars and highlights of the film, that’s just what my brain was doing. I kept finding myself drifting off–similar to Carol Danvers (Larson) grasping at distorted fragments of memories–thinking about where I might have seen something before, thinking about a particular song and video game of *that time,* wondering why certain enemies were so obvious while others were…not enemies? This is a rather nostalgic movie, like a two-plus hour trip around a flea market with timely songs blaring from tabletop radios on a hot summer day.

Holy Mother Brain, true believers! Can we say live-action Samus Aran? The only thing missing from this Metroid-wannabe was Captain Mar-Vel turning into a ball and bouncing off walls. There is an original GameBoy portable game system in plain sight. And, there is a scene early in the film when “Veers” (a very clever break from Danvers, by the way) is fighting off some Skrulls with some sort of tube-like restraints over her forearms…and they glow just like the varia suit’s blaster-arm-thingy. Not to mention, Brie is practically the perfect young blonde to play Samus…AND the whole story of how she is molded into the Captain Marvel character screams Samus Aran’s origin story. [You might say Brie Larson has “the right stuff” to star in a Metroid movie.]

And, have you ever compared the black-and-yellow Ms. Marvel/Warbird costume with some Samus imagery from Super Metroid? The lightning bolt on the former has a strong resemblance to the S associated with and flashed at the end of the game. [If someone can make a decent-looking Pokemon film that isn’t purely anime, we can make an epic Metroid movie! I’m also itching to work on a Ninja Gaiden movie. Seriously, Nintendo. Get on this. And, sign me up if you want this gaming artist and super fan’s input.]

Kudos to another Stan Lee cameo, but this one was rather sad. I am fairly certain that was just a CG ghost, some…person with dots attached to their face before Stan’s likeness was molded over it (sort of like a Skrull impersonating someone…hmm), with a broken record of a voice clipping. I *did,* however like the opening Stan Lee tribute, the barrage of cameo shots, instead of the usual Marvel-Disney movie opener. As I was watching Stan appear in military uniform, I said to myself, “Now, that’s the real Captain Marvel.”

As a kid, back when a Micronaut named Marionette had plucked the strings of my young heart, I remember looking at the back of some comic book that featured a male Captain Marvel standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a blonde heroine in the same costume; and I wondered who she was. When I found out…and I am pretty sure she was called Ms. Marvel at the time…I was instantly infatuated. [And, wasn’t there a black woman called Captain Marvel who wore a white costume with a golden star on the front?] Years later, I learned she had somehow crossed paths with the X-Men and become a fiery being called Binary, after Rogue had supposedly taken her powers and Carol went through some kind of coma/trauma. When Ms. Marvel adopted the black costume, I was still drawn to her. [Ha.] But, the name Warbird rubbed me the wrong way. I never associated Carol Danvers with any airforce/military unit (didn’t know that history); I just saw her as a beautiful blonde woman who magically donned a superheroine costume that surpassed the whole Krypton family and the DC favorite of so many fans, Wonder Woman (who may have a great figure and glorious dark hair but lacks in costume design, other than working the American imagery into some sort of feminine apparel). [‘Love the mask, long gloves and boots.] So, when Coca-Cola created the Supermom commercials a few years back, you can imagine what came to mind…or who came to mind and what went through my infatuated mind.

Okay, now back to the real, core movie of this review.

The story is nothing new, in terms of superhero origins and alien-invasion tales; aliens walk among us humans, hidden from plain sight. There’s a secret policing group constantly shifting to address, control and/or attack the invaders. And, by some stroke of cosmic luck, one chosen human is blasted into super-stardom, taking out anyone she feels like blasting while we listen to a karaoke bar favorite (before she blasts the jukebox).

Let’s talk about the “bad,” first.

You see a pattern there? A lot of blasting? I totally get the makers of this film were putting all of their marbles into portraying a petite-yet-fierce young woman who can take on the universe. But, there was a fair amount of shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later, not the most intelligent “guardian of the galaxy.” But, maybe we can excuse this, due to her messed-up brain not knowing who to call the enemy.

And, yet, when there is another opportunity to show-off, the heroine chooses to display her ability to heat water. That wrinkled my brow a bit. Why couldn’t she have spared the jukebox and just heated a cup of water to prove her power/point? [Which, by the way, is a lame reason to claim she isn’t an enemy, when the naive Nicholas Fury has no clue what anyone not from Earth could do, anyway.] Why I am concerned about a jukebox? I don’t know. But, so many movies do stupid things to earn “blockbuster” status; it’s as if they fear people won’t laugh or cheer unless you destroy X-number of vehicles and commit Y-amount of property damage, even if you have to drag the women you’re now trying to elevate into the messes. [While some found it amusing to see the Hulk randomly hit his fellow heroes in the first Avengers movie, I thought that was stupid humor.]

Another brow-wrinkler was this Marvel-movie trend’s latest attempt to modernize everything, taking the heroine out of Earth’s picture for a mere six years while giving the SHIELD agents a sort of 1970s appearance/feel to them, as if they were working the Roswell alien case. It’s hard to gauge how emotional people should be after what–to me–feels like a short departure. I don’t know much about Captain/Ms. Marvel (aka Warbird aka Binary), but I would have figured she would be missing, at least, a decade to have any sort of separation tension/confusion upon returning. Friends not seeing each other for six years is like going to different colleges and then meeting up in New York to catch up. It’s not quite the same as Captain America being separated from his beloved Agent Carter by a wartime deep freeze. [I’m just glad they didn’t try to place Captain America’s latest origin story in the Gulf War.] I also wasn’t sure how to feel about “Veers” shifting between being very alien to “planet C-53” one minute and then talking “chummy” with SHIELD agents and a former airforce buddy the next. [Couldn’t she have asked to use a “payphone” or “walkie talkie” or to speak with some former CO if she was only gone a few years? Yet, she can hotwire a video game system to call her team in deep space, like E.T. (1982) phoning home.]

And–spoiler alert–why does “Nicholas Fury” not have a clue sooner about his boss? How can he work with this guy for so long and then suddenly be thrown when the boss calls him a different name in the elevator? [Or, did I miss a body swap somewhere? And, if so, where/when does the real boss disappear?]

Also, Danvers (Larson) brings a hint of a childlike “Disney magic” (which is probably why they cast and molded her into this role, like a Kree) to her part, practically dancing and humming to herself as she flits from scene to scene. She even has a kid help her pick a “new” costume the touch of a button (maaagic). [Her youth is one reason I was skeptical of seeing this movie; I’ve come to know a more seasoned, weathered, alcoholic Carol Danvers from my limited exposure to her in comic books. But, I totally get attracting a younger audience and the potential for starting the story when Carol is still “fresh out of the package.”] If she’s not kicking butt, she’s waltzing around threats. The way she learns to fly seems a tad lame and senseless, when she could have figured it out sooner and/or under different conditions; it’s as if the movie makers just drew the moment out to make people gasp. In short, everything comes a tad easy to one given such cosmic power (not unlike just about any member of the Skywalker family taking out large portions of an enemy army/race). What she chooses to do with the “responsibility” of that power is a bit of a gray area.

[And, as I write this, I am having another one of my strong bouts with deja vu…]

Probably the biggest stink of the film is a combination of its predictability and gray areas. [I had a similar issue with Ant Man and the Wasp, not knowing how to classify the “villain” and, thus, not knowing how to feel about the heroics.] If this was just a reproduction of the genuine origin story, I am okay with that; I’d rather see a comic book come to life than have someone warp the story entirely and have fans wondering what happened to their beloved heroine. But, other than some questionable actions taken, the “gray” villains and one small…er, big…creature feature, I kinda saw what was coming, even without knowing all of the origin story’s details.

I wasn’t as dazzled by the fight scenes and big explosions as I was by Brie’s lovely, glowing face. [And, she doesn’t need cosmic power or CG fire in her already fiery eyes to glow, either. Me-Yow.] There was no one who could truly stand up to Captain Marvel; “they” tried to restrain her, but that fell flat/short before there was nothing but fluffy fireworks. [There’s no Red Skull to counter the Captain. Or, if there is, he’s no Red Skull. Heh.]

While, yes, there was a slight surprise regarding who to call the enemy (when I think about who has been an enemy in a number of Marvel Comics projects), one particular actor–whose name I won’t mention though he is PERPETUALLY cast as the sneaky villain–could not hide his true intentions/nature from the start. And, that is a casting shame. I don’t like seeing actors pigeon-holed (type-cast) this way. But, honestly, casting agency, try a little harder when picking someone who masks his allegiance. The guy might be willing to take every gig he can get; but come on!

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–if Carol’s history only needed to be a photograph–but…was there any airforce content other than images of pilots in various outfits and that repeating boot camp scene? I am asking this solely because I saw some promotional snippet that featured Brie riding in a fighter jet, as if she was doing some serious character research. But, now I am thinking that was just Marilyn Monroe visiting the boys at the air base. There was more airforce content in the 2008 Iron Man film. I don’t recall even an ounce of pilot terminology; I might have blacked out when they were playing the recording from the “black box.” So…was this some subtle promotion for women to enlist in the armed forces? Yvan eht nioj? [I tend to look at these things the way Carol looks at Maria’s neighbor in the movie.]

And, the good?

I think the best part of this movie is a combination of artistry and Brie’s fiery expressions (her “heart”). [Though, I felt she could have benefitted from a few more ounces of emotional “oomph.” Sure, people messed with her head and put restraints on her; but she wasn’t a slave. I never saw her take any serious punishment. All of her “struggle” was kind of a brief blur.]

This is a well-composed film, in terms of costume/wardrobe, music, special effects and background (back story). The Captain Marvel costume–aside from the odd mohawk factor they tried to salvage from the comic’s history…and the do-everything-including-short-circuiting wrist computer–was stylish and not so far-fetched that you had to wonder how it came to be. And, “grunge”/”Top Gun” fighter pilot Carol Danvers isn’t hard on the eyes, either. [She’s like Elisabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting (1987).] There was a decent story for most aspects of the main character, including her name…er, namesss. [The dog-tag bits were especially slick.] The overall feel of the movie’s nostalgia and composition is good, similar to how I felt about Black Panther’s soundtrack keeping me grooving throughout the movie…and how the second Guardians of the Galaxy made me want to dig out an old audio cassette player and dance to disco music.

[One costume detail I somewhat missed was the Ms. Marvel scarf/sash (though I realize there is a new Middle Eastern and teenage Miss Marvel now who has a very clever ethnic scarf as part of her costume). And, seeing the little girl give a pilot jacket back to Carol, I was thinking…why couldn’t the girl give Carol a scarf she made for good luck and have that be the origin of the scarf/sash. Or, the scarf could have belonged to Annette Bening’s character.]

There’s a good amount of sci-fi action. But, this is not a Jack Kirby epic, a man known for putting the “wallop” in cosmic superhero comics like Thor and Silver Surfer. Certain camera angles/shots could have been more dynamic. A few more shots of nebulas, stars and planets might have brought the artistry up a notch and impressed me the way the rainbow bridges did in the first Thor film.

So, while, looking back, I feel the deck is stacked against this film…and I am slightly toting a grudge against Disney for having anything to do with Marvel Comics…I cannot say Captain Marvel is a bad addition to the current string of S.L.J. (Samuel L. Jackson as Fury) movies. I would watch it, again, but, probably, just because I am so partial to Brie Larson. [It’s a crutch.]

A major–minor spoiler alert–question: Why is Earth where the Kree think they can create a machine to stop a war? [Was the time-and-space cube-thingy, the “tesseract,” already on Earth when the Kree first landed; did they come expecting to find/use it? And, refresh my memory, how many “infinity stones” have been found on Earth…and why all on one planet we know? And, what is the origin of the tesseract (which contains a secret from another movie in this series); how did it become a cube?]

Captain Marvel doesn’t wow or amuse me as much as Robert Downey, Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man, but is it any worse than seeing “Pepper” escape an exploding reactor as Iron Man faces his nemesis? No. [Or, wait, is the current audience too young to remember 2008? Ya never know, these days.]

On that note, DO NOT show little ones this film. This may be made by Disney (and what’s left of Marvel Studios)…and it may be light on responsibility… but…well…you know what some say about watching Bambi. I had some tots in the audience with me, and they could not contain their emotions during a few brief intense moments, as if they knew the violence was/felt wrong. You need to be, at least, a teenager to go on this ride. And, even a teenager is likely to feel lost unless an adult who has lived the 1990s can fill them in on some details. It’s crazy to me when I try to think of explaining the 1990s the way I’d want my grandparents to explain the WWI and/or WWII days.

I give Captain Marvel (2019) 3 out of 5 stars and will let it slide as a rental because there isn’t anything that requires the big screen (unless there are small details that might have otherwise been…that I might have…missed). [I don’t care what Jimmy Fallon says about every film released in 3D; it’s clearly not worth it in this one.] It doesn’t grab me like Spider-Man swinging across New York City to save M.J. (back when MJ was a vibrant redhead who purred when she called Peter Parker “Tiger”); but it’s enough to keep me buzzing and smiling…most of the time. Two of those three stars go to Brie Larson’s eyes…or, rather, they were always there. The third is on her costume.

If you feel like taking a leisurely (versus engrossing) road trip through the 1980s and 1990s…or if you’re only happy when it rains…give Captain Marvel a try. And, if Brie can’t put a smile on your face, blame the film makers.




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