Posts Tagged ‘fury

13
Dec
19

Venting Colbert Report, 12-13-2019

***

That’s right. It’s called Venting Colbert Report, like the cable-TV show the suit once hosted “in character.” So, set your VCRs to “not stunned” at what I’m about to say; it’s nothing new but needs to be said.

I just want to take a little time to let off some steam about a certain late-night talk-show host who has been the silver-tongued court jester, grilling the current US president ever since the big businessman and his gorgeous (first) daughter (and the rest of the family) stepped into office.

pointout-donaldtrumpandkids_lovelyivanka-2

Colbert may have the best personality and face to show at those hours. But, he’s wasting his breath and making me ill more often than he can make me laugh.

I’m so tired of so many things in this world; my memory isn’t entirely sure…but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time I’ve written about him/this. I don’t even watch the show regularly, anymore. And yet, there comes a point when you hear and see enough, with family input, to make you want to scream. Rather than scream or throw things, I choose to type out my fury and need to vomit in a more “rational coping” way.

Ehem.

Disclaimer. If you have a beef with the current US president and/or are a die-hard Democrat and/or Colbert fan, do not take anything I have to say as Republican or any negative attitude/force against all that is good. If you do, you might be on the path to becoming a bully or troll…like this guy (who I am about to point at with my steely index finger and try not to make an obnoxious sound). And, some band of hobbits or other mythical folks will come along to smite you.

MEANWHILE!!!…Mr. Stephen J. Tolkien Colberenstein Bearson spins lyrics after lyrics about the big cheese and anyone who crosses paths with the guy, calling everyone names–occasionally funny names–and dancing around the stage like…well…a court jester. He’s so busy doing it, he doesn’t have time to wipe all the seemingly intellectual crap he’s spewing from his Charmin behind. Yep. You may say he has a silver tongue. But, his tongue doth only look silverish because-eth he hast spent countless years polishing it, bent over a writing desk, trying to turn ravens into wood. He has been working with other writers on other shows that try to make other people look amusing and worked his way to the front of the stage. And, unlike his late-night cohorts, who are choking on his exhaust fumes, trying to keep up, he has excelled and fed on applause like a vampire sucks your blood (or raids the ice chest of a hospital). Turn the lights down a little, and you’ll find him curled up in a corner, reading about hobbits and dwarves and ready to cast fake spells at you if you disturb him. The other guys in bad suits sweat frozen burritos and cough up last night’s dinner while Mr. Frank Lloyd Copy-n-Write Webber Grill greases the competition, leaving a flaming oil slick on the race track.

[I’d compare him to the stocky Jimmy…well, the dark-haired one…the one with a Hispanic sidekick…the one who likes to leech onto basketball games for extra air time, because they both excel at calling people names and little else. But, I’d hate for the two to team up and start dishing out wedgies at schools.]

Who was once a refreshingly smooth-talking guy, trying to best the freckled Irishman (who worked his way up from one half of a sinister geek duo to solo string-dancing superstar, Conan O’Brien, who was slighted a better broadcast slot), dazzling the crowd and featuring some nifty special-effects segments about a variety of things, insisting he was not going to be the political menace he was on non-broadcast TV, when he was “in character,” has turned the hypocritical heel and become the Burger King of hashing out politico fries. All he needs is a paper hat and a stained apron.

Colbert has beaten the dead darkhorse, broken the record and made the guy holding the starting pistol point the barrel at his own head. If he’s going to flash that Captain America shield wherever he goes, I cannot be a Captain America fan. I am struggling to be an America fan, already. He’s not helping.

Turning another light on this subject, trying a different angle, there’s a point when funny becomes badgering, when a witty remark becomes, “Hey, basketball head, want me to dribble you all the way home and tell your mommy to call you Wilson?” If you get people to laugh about the foolishness someone has done, good for your fifteen minutes in the spotlight. But, Idina Menzel, man. Let it go! You can’t be those other late-night guys trying the same jokes twice, just in case people don’t watch every night. You can’t expect me to turn off my TV for a month, come back and enjoy more of what I heard last time as if you were a newborn smartmouth waiting to be baptized into geekdom.

[Switching to interview mode…]

But, Mr. Colbert Cheese on Bleh, I know; you probably don’t write all of this stuff, yourself. You…probably have a disorganized team of writers at your side, pitching ideas, feeding you lines. You just read the cards. You’re the figurehead of…well…your own government? Hmm. Who does that sound like?…like a certain orange-faced businessman who looks like he’s in charge but also part of a three-branch government who can handle itself just fine without you turning countless American minds into computer-phone scrolling gelatin-heads who’d rather vote for you than an actual candidate or take your word for a reason to vote or not to vote. Does it matter who we vote for? Are we voting in anticipation of Mr. Late Night putting the winner on the hot seat?

[Now, back to talking-to-someone-else mode…]

Yet, I’ll still say Colbert must have a brain; he doth read a lot of imaginative works. He must have some magic in that old top hat he found. And, when he puts it on his head, he is sure to dance around. [Have you heard that song?] Perhaps, this is all a strategic move. Perhaps, getting the competition to try and follow his dance steps is Colbert’s way of staying on top. He plays the pied-piper flute, gets the other guys to chuckle nervously and sweat buckets; and, soon, he’s the only one still standing.

[And then back to interview mode…]

Bravo, Mr. Showmancer. And, yet, your British spy-apprentice doth have another magic in his pocket, where he keeps one hand to grope himself and cope with the thoughts running through his head when a “hunky” “delicious” male guest is on his show, before he mentions his wife and kids. He would seem to be a true wizard at getting people bigger contracts and other business. He turns the new turd on the street into streaming gold, when he’s not processing pot with his Showtime-Pizza-Place band (including one beautiful bass-guitar player) and partying like Dionysus. [Sadly, his smaller ragged band sounds better than yours, too. Ouch. But…you just keep staying…eh, human.] He has even seduced a lovely blonde songstress I admire into playing cat-and-cat with him.

MEANWHILE!!!…you continue wrenching those eyebrows and trying to figure out what to do with your hands every night. How is a raven like a Conan O’Brien or a running Letterman, sir? I’d ask the raven. But, he’s too busy dancing and picking on the same bloated corpse to answer.

So…I’m going to go, now, and try to wash that tripe right out of my hair, again, try to forget what got me all worked up in the first place…because…you’re not worth it. You’ve spent, what, three years now? hounding this guy and all who cross his path; I’d have a hard time looking at you when–this–is all over and not replaying your previous grilling in my mind. You go so far to tease–no, harass and harangue–the man about what’s in his pants, night after night.

Are you going to be as outspoken with the next president? Are you going to keep the political grill-train going for as long as you stand on stage? Don’t you have more to contribute? Or, are you too much of a geek to talk about it? There’s no king to send you to any number of death-dealing service providers, but that doesn’t mean you should dance and pitch the same crap every day.

Even Tolkien would be turning in his grave, mumbling, “Dude. If I had a plus-five Sword of Mercy, I’d use it to end this madness. Screw your vital roll, sir. You’ve said too much and wasted your turn. I take my ring of power and disappear from this world you’ve sullied.” [Or, that’s just what I imagine he would say if he was a DnD geek.]

Don’t be just another twit doing impersonations of a tweeter.

StephenColbert_candidheadshot-November2016-1

You’re a wit, sir. Now, use it, properly.

12
Dec
19

Special Days and Family Animosity

***

Who cares about special days, anyway?  Why get worked up about celebrating anything, when family is there to rain crap on your parade?  Hmm?

I mean, it’s just stupid to continually get your hopes up even a small measure when you know someone or something stupid and unkind is going to appear.  If it’s not the lousy weather, it’s family…which, for me, can be like a hurricane or tornado of misery.

But, that’s life.  That’s what this lucky guy has been given.  I live it.  And, then, at some point, hopefully when I’m still sane, I’ll die.  God(s) help me.  Where is this life going?  What is my calling?  ‘Still unclear on that one.

Why DO I clash with my family so much?  Why can’t I tolerate my brother, anymore?  Why does he just have to be in the room for me to turn bitter and raise my scorpion tail?

I’m sick of getting upset, sick to my stomach with disapproval and feeling like my body is going to combust at any moment with my heart racing, my eyelids fluttering and my teeth wearing away.

And, when I seek answers from someone I thought I liked, someone who isn’t part of the current battle, the best I get is a silly offer to take drugs or see a therapist.  Nice.  I could have gotten that answer from a commercial or poster somewhere.  Maybe you have a manual on how to live I can read.

And, breathe.

No mas, ‘kay?

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.

05
Jan
16

When Bookworms Write Erroneous Sentences…

I feel the urge to bang my head against a table…

and then grab the bookworm’s head and slam it against a wall, hoping to dislodge whatever causes their malfunction to write properly. 

I mean…COME ON!  You claim to read hundreds of books every year!  Learn to use the proper verb!  There ARE tons of books you want to read.  There IS a long list.  You ARE not aware of your written mistakes.  There IS someone getting irked by it…especially if you ever end up on a list for writing awards.

Grrr-AH!




Archives