The Fandoms That Shaped Me

It all started with one line: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number Four Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much,” and it was over. Or rather, it had only just begun. The first “fandom” I ever joined was Harry Potter. I’ve been reading the books since I could read. I have every single book in hardback. I used to have the movies until my siblings scratched them all, so I have to get them again. I even have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Tales from Beedle the Bard, both softback copies and illustrated copies. My goal is to get all the released books so far in illustrated form. Harry Potter has been an essential part of my life and continues to be. I may disagree with what J.K. Rowling does or says, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a part of the fandom. On my podcast with my BFF, Caroline, we discussed how you could love the work but not the creator. And honestly, after all these years, I don’t think Harry Potter belongs to Rowling anymore. It belongs to us. 

The fans.

For me, and many others, Harry Potter and other fandoms or nerdom (the “nerd culture” if you will) is a form of escape. It’s a way to get out of our heads and into other worlds because sometimes the world is crap, and you’d rather be a witch, a Jedi, a bender, a vampire, a companion, or a Shadowhunter than be your regular normal self. 

The Dursleys may have wanted to be perfectly normal, but I wanted to be extraordinary. Fandoms give people an escape, an opportunity to imagine another place, to be well extraordinary, even if it’s just a chapter or two. Or for an episode or two (or eight).

I can tell you that all of my friends know their Hogwarts Houses.

That the debate on Aang and Katara being a couple is still discussed. Most of us are hardcore Katara and Zuko fans. We still despise that live-action movie.

Just as we despise the live-action Eragon. (Seriously, don’t even get me started on it.)

We all have our favorite Doctors and our favorite companions.

We all lament over the letdown of the Percy Jackson movies and are eager yet wary of the Disney Plus show.

And even though most of us won’t admit it, we all had a Twilight phase, whether we loved the series or hated it.

More recently, we all bonded over The Umbrella Academy (FUCK YOU ALLISON HARGREEVES and if you’ve watched season three then you know why I. am. salty),

The Witcher (Henry Cavill and his ability to grunt and say everything, like what even is this),

and Stranger Things (men should apologize for not being Steve Harrington, just saying).

We found ourselves shocked that we enjoyed Bridgerton. And you know what? We are all still extremely salty at the last season of Game of Thrones

Fandoms bring people together, and yes, they can also be toxic. Fans can be toxic. There have been Star wars actors that fans have cruelly hounded. There are other fans for other shows that have been unnecessarily hateful. They can be mean and cruel to each other, to the creators, and to actors. But for the most part, it’s a fun community. 

After all, without fans, Doctor Who might’ve not been brought back. Star Trek may not have been rebooted. Sense8 on Netflix would’ve been kept on a cliffhanger. But the fans brought them back.

People connect over shared favorite characters, headcanons, and theories. We discuss what we think will happen in the next season or the next book. (I have all the theories on season five of Stranger Things.) We may not be right, but it’s fun to discuss. If people don’t like how a fandom ended, then they hop on fanfiction.net or Archive Of Our Own, and they write the ending they want, or if they aren’t a writer, they find a fanfiction to ease their minds because sometimes the ending sucks and characters die and you just need a happy ending. 

During the pandemic, everyone watched Tiger King and blasted social media at the sheer absurdity of it. You either watched it, or you didn’t, yet it still brought people together. We were in a shitty situation with the pandemic, and the outrageousness of the Tiger King made us realize that, well, it could be worse. 

Fandoms have affected me so much that I have tattoos from them. My first tattoo was the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. I have a Captain America shield on my left arm, a Batman symbol on my right arm, and the anti-possession symbol from Supernatural on my right ankle. Supernatural ended after 15 seasons in 2020, and I had to get a tattoo commemorating the show that had been in my life for 15 years.

More fandoms will be forever embossed on my skin because they have shaped me somehow. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or in a funk, I pull out Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and start reading. It’s my favorite Harry Potter book and movie. Or I flip on Supernatural or Doctor Who. I know how those series end, how those books end, and it brings me comfort. Sometimes it’s Criminal Minds or, lately, it’s been the original Charmed. (I still say the sixth season is the best season ever.) My mom and I recently watched all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all five of Angel.

Fandoms are the reason why I want to be a writer and a filmmaker because I want to create something that touches someone’s life, as so many fandoms have touched me. Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but it’s important to me. 

So yeah, I can’t tell you my blood type, which is probably a bad thing. But what I can tell you is my Hogwarts House and Ilvermorny House.

I am a proud Slytherin. Slytherins are known for being ambitious, resourceful, determined, and clever. Most don’t believe I am a Slytherin, but I can see it, honestly. Here I am, finishing up one master’s in spring 2023, then returning for another master’s in fall 2023. I am resourceful because I grew up in a broken home, so I had to figure out my own way. I am determined because nothing was going to stand in my way of getting a degree.

My Ilvermorny House is a Pukwudgie. It’s based on a creature in the Harry Potter universe. They are known for being wickedly smart and independent. Pukwudgies represent the heart and favor healers. And again, due to my history, I’m fiercely independent. I try to do everything myself (it’s both a good and a bad thing). As for the heart and healer bit, I am going into social work because I want to work with at-risk teenagers who come from broken homes, as I did. Because I can relate to them.

So it might seem silly to some how invested I get into my many fandoms, but for me, and others like me, it’s not. It’s who we are, and I will not apologize for that. 

-K

I Choked on These Pomegranate Seeds (Midnight Sun Review)

It has taken me two years, but I have finally finished Midnight Sun. And, no, that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve been reading this book for two years. It’s been sitting on (in?) my Kindle library taunting me with the like 10% read it was on three weeks ago. That is a truth, not my usual dramatics. Well, nearly two years. Midnight Sun was released August 4th, 2020, so mid-pandemic. It is now July 2022, so yeah, two years next month.

When Stephenie Meyer suddenly announced in May of 2020 that she was releasing Midnight Sun, Twitter totally blew up. Everything blew up, really. I mean, it was like it was we were back in the 2000s with another Stephenie Meyer book.

17 Hilarious Tweets About Stephenie Meyer Releasing “Midnight Sun”

Vampires were suddenly cool again. (Mind you, they had never stopped being cool. Even if Twilight had nearly destroyed the vampire’s reputation. I love vampires. One of my goals in life is to read every single vampire book every written. Will I succeed? No idea, but it’s a nice goal.) Now, you may not know this but Meyer actually had the first like 12 or so chapters of Midnight Sun on her website. I’ve read those unedited pages (trust me, it took all of me to resist the urge to edit the grammar errors and the typos, hello, I’m a writing major). After the entire book was leaked, she decided not to publish. I can’t blame her there. I’d be salty too if my book got leaked. But I guess with all the shit happening in 2020, she thought to herself, “Now is the time for Midnight Sun.” The point is, it’s taken me this long to finish this book.

There are several reasons for that.

I’m not a slow reader, I’m not. I devoured the hell out of Carrie. I read fast, especially if I like the book. The more I like it, the faster I read. Which is why it took me so damn long to read Midnight Sun.

Now you might be asking yourself: Keely, why finish a book that you clearly don’t like? Well, because I’m a determined little shit and I wasn’t going to let this damn book beat me. That’s why. Also, I recently bought Salem’s Lot and couldn’t start a new book when I hadn’t finished the one on my Kindle yet. It’s a thing. So, today, we are going to talk about Midnight Sun.

19 Of The Funniest Tweets About “Midnight Sun” That Even Rosalie Would Laugh At

Stephenie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun” Is Here And So Are The Memes

Let’s get this show on the road.

“My life was an unending, unchanging midnight. It must, by necessity, always be midnight for me. So how was it possible that the sun was rising now, in the middle of my midnight?”

-Edward Cullen, Midnight Sun

Here’s the thing about the Twilight saga, you either love it, or you love to hate it. Everyone had their Twilight phase. Everyone. You can deny it all you want, but you (probably) had a Twilight phase. Now I, like stated in previous blog posts, read Twilight because peer pressure. I didn’t like the book, but I faked it because all my friends were into it and I thought I had to be into it as well. Once the other books came out, I couldn’t not read it. I couldn’t leave the series unfinished. again, it’s a thing. So yes, I’ve read all the Twilight books, even Life & Death: Twilight Reimagined, and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

Now, here’s the thing, I thought reading Twilight was bad. I was so wrong. Midnight Sun was worse. Not only was it 658 pages of the same exact story, but it was 658 pages of Edward being an emo angsty oh-my-god I’m such an evil vampire and like I can’t even with this. That’s what made it so hard to read. The angst was awful. Okay, just awful. I like me some angst, don’t get me wrong. Hello, half of the fanfictions I read are just angst with some hurt/comfort thrown in and well, smut. (Don’t judge me.) Midnight Sun however, took the angst to another level. The sheer just, I hate my very existence in this novel? It was hard to swallow. Incredibly hard. And it’s not like it was broken up with like action or something other than angst.

No.

It was angst.

Angst.

ANGST.

Every single word, every single line, every single page. The entire damn book. A pile of angst. *shudders* It was a mess.

I can’t even with this bullshit. Jeez. How much angst can one person have? Mind you this person is a 100 year old repressed vampire in the body of a horny seventeen year old boy, so yeah. I guess that checks out. I guess. Maybe.

Edward seeing Bella for the first time. Totally sexy.

We already know the story. It’s not like we really learned anything new in this novel. I mean you kind of did. . .but didn’t at the same time? It was weird. How can you learn nothing and everything at the same? I don’t know. Ask Meyer.

The parts I liked were when we got more insight into Edward. His “rebel” years as he called it. He hunted the scum of the earth, murderers, rapists, the like, and he killed them. He was like a vigilante, cleaning up the bad guys one city (which is a bit hilarious when you think about the fact that Robert Pattinson is now Batman) at a time. Honestly, if this book was 658 pages of Edward’s rebel years, that would’ve been so much better.

Maybe.

I mean, he would probably swing between serial-killer-vampire-blood-good and then back to emo-angst-monster-blood-bad. But I’d take him killing the scum of the earth over him fawning over Bella and being all “I hate my very existence” and “I am a monster.” Sure Edward’s rebellious stage was only five years long before the guilt got to him, but it would’ve been better than a retelling of Twilight. Just saying, Meyer. Missed opportunity there.

“Though I hated her, I was absolutely aware that my hatred was unjust. I knew that what I really hated was myself. And I would hate us both so much more when she was dead.”

-Edward Cullen, Midnight Sun

The funny thing is, we actually learn more about Bella in Midnight Sun that we do in her book Twilight. Even then, it’s still, well, she’s still bland. Edward sprouts on and on about how she’s not like other girls. Newsflash, Eddie, Bella is like the others.

Which makes me wonder. If Edward could read her mind, would he be as interested in her? Or would he ignore her? Just food for thought. Like her blood calls him, yeah, but he can ignore that. If he could read her mind and see that she was just as shallow and bland like the other teenage girls, would he even be interested? I mean, that’s the only reason why he was so interested in her in the first place. You know, besides the whole I-want-to-drain-you-dry-like-a-Caprisun thing. Bella is boring. Okay, she’s boring. She’s like a sixty year old woman in a seventeen year old’s body. She’s bland and boring. She’s oatmeal. She’s got about as much personality as a rock. But if you want to read more about my thoughts on Bella Swan, see here.

The point is, he was only interested in the first place because he couldn’t read her mind, and it’s very clear in Midnight Sun that that was the reason. Just saying.

Edward and Bella in biology.

Also, we should give Robert Pattinson a break. He read the assignment and he understood it. Yes, Edward really was that awkward and dorky. He’s like “keep it light” and yeah, he doesn’t. To Bella he comes off as you know, cute and charming but meanwhile us readers are like “???” and like “Bro, creepy.” He even says that her coming into her room at night is stalkery! Like, way to be meta, Meyer. Your own character admitted it was creepy. What the hell.

Edward is an eternal seventeen year old man-child who has no idea how to interact with a girl he’s attracted too. My god, he can barely say the word sex, let alone think it. In Twilight, Bella thinks he’s all suave and like, he’s totally not.

Sorry, Eddie. You’re not. You’re a dork. You have no idea what the word “light” means. You should Google the definition. You are the opposite of light.

Also how can he be so unaware and aware at the same time? He doesn’t know what those lustful feelings are? Eddie, darling, that would be a boner. You live with Rosalie and Emmett for Christ’s sake, shouldn’t you be aware of you know, physical attraction? At all? No? Not to mention, you are a telepath and go to high school! Does no one recall that one scene in the restaurant? Where Bella asks what people are thinking. And Edward is like “Sex, money, sex. . . .cat.” No? It was great and horrible all at once.

The point is, how can he be so oblivious? How can Bella be so oblivious? It’s a bit ridiculous. Yes, yes, I know this is a young adult fiction. I know the whole YA is pretty much based on being utterly ridiculous but this is taking it a bit far. It’s a stretch. To have two characters who are so oblivious to physical attraction and having a crush. It’s just. . .wow. I can’t get these minutes spent reading this book.

Back on track.

So we find out a bit more about Eddie’s “Rebel Years.” We find out that Bella is still as bland as oatmeal. She reads a lot, basically raised herself, has no goals for her future, etc. You know, the stuff we kind of already knew. More than kind of.

Edward basically spouts how amazing she is, how selfless, how he taints her with his presence, and y’all, I thought Bella’s utter simping over Edward was bad, but she ain’t got shit on Edward. Seriously. It’s so much. Bella can do no wrong. She is on this pedestal. She’s better than all the other teenage girls.

“There was a bit of Jane Eyre in her, a portion of Scout Finch and Jo March, a measure of Elinor Dashwood, and Lucy Pevensie.”

-Edward Cullen, Midnight Sun

I don’t know what world Edward lives in but I would never compare Bella Swan to Jo March. Jo was my favorite March sister. Just, what, Edward? Smh.

I also find it funny how both of them are like “I’m not good enough for her/him.” It’s ridiculous.

I feel like I’ve said that word a lot in this, and like I need a different word. (Apparently I’m channeling my inner Valley Girl today, sorry.)

This book is basically 658 pages of mostly angst “I am a monster,” with some “She’s the most perfect woman” thrown in and a dash of something interesting. Not even a dash. A sprinkle. A single sprinkle. That might be a bit harsh but oh well. Read it and weep, y’all.

“For the first time in a hundred years, I was grateful to be what I was. Every aspect of being a vampire – all but the danger to her – was suddenly acceptable to me, because it was what had let me live long enough to find Bella.”

-Edward Cullen, Midnight Sun

I think I might have vomited in my mouth a little.

Basically, I wasted my life reading this entire book and I should’ve just read this post on Buzzfeed to save myself some time.

I Read Stephenie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun” So You Don’t Have To

I think I enjoyed reading Life & Death: Twilight Reimagined more than this. You know, the gender-bent version of Twilight. And it was just as blah. At least it was less angsty. Beau Swan was a lot more tolerable than Bella Swan. Maybe because he had more of a personality? I mean, barely, but Beau still had more of a personality than Bella, I felt. Barely. A smidgen. I think honestly the whole gender-bent thing was a bit lazy and done only for money. It was the same story just gender bent. Though it did end differently with Beau becoming a vampire and the Cullens having to leave Forks because the treaty was broken. Something like that. I felt bad for Charlie. (Charlie and Renee were the ones not gender-bent.) I liked how that ended. But yeah, Midnight Sun, eh. I should’ve left it unread in my Kindle library. Oh well.

Here are my random thoughts about Midnight Sun, in no particular order.

  • The whole Hades and Persephone, pomegranate thing got really contrived. Seriously. I swear Edward mentioned it so many times. In every chapter, in every page. We get it, you’re Hades and she’s Persephone. You gave Bella the seeds, just, shut up about it already. We get it. It got annoying after the third time it was mentioned. It didn’t need to be in every. single. moment. It could have been a lot more subtle. But I guess Edward doesn’t know what “subtle” means.

“Suddenly, as she ate, a strange comparison entered my head. For just a second I saw Persephone, pomegranate in hand. Dooming herself to the underworld. Is that who I was? Hades himself, coveting springtime, stealing it, condemning it to endless night. I tried unsuccessfully to shake the impression.”

-Edward Cullen, Midnight Sun
  • An entire chapter dedicated to him writing her lullaby. Are you fucking shitting me? I can’t even. That was so cringeworthy. Just wow. Of all the things to dedicate a chapter to, you chose that? Why not more on his rebel years? I’d be so down for that. But no. Lullaby. *eyeroll*
  • Edward being jealous of Mike Newton was hilarious.
  • Edward is pretty judgy. Which I guess makes sense. he can read minds so he’s got a better idea of what a person is like, but still. He wasn’t exactly fair to Jessica or Mike or Renee.
  • Edward states a vampire is meant to draw in their prey, hence the beautiful features, but at the same time he doesn’t understand why Bella loses her train of thought? Of why Jessica does? Ms. Cope? Come on, dude. You said it yourself! Smh. He’s a dummy.
  • I was very disappointed to see that they once again glossed over Alice’s story. Like we know James saw her and wanted her but he was prevented by an older vampire who felt bad for Alice at the asylum. But like, it’s so vague? I need more detail than this.
  • We found out a lot sooner about the Volturi and Jasper’s backstory. Also, exactly how powerful Jasper’s power is (weird sentence, whatever) like basically making James think that Jasper (who is probably the most dangerous Cullen, imo) seem not dangerous. How Jasper made Bella feel or seem like a vampire just by projecting those feelings. They really underplayed his abilities. A lot.
  • The whole long ass vision of Alice and how she was going to cover up the whole thing with James and why Bella’s hurt was exhausting. I didn’t really know it was a vision at first, then it just got convoluted. It felt totally unnecessary. Like skip the vision and go to after? Why that long thing?
  • Emmett flings a car into traffic. HA. Also, cars are stolen and a woman is drugged to steal said car and that whole part where they’re trying to get to Bella and the before of that where they are chasing James is interesting. If not drawn out too much. It needed a lot more action. Like fighting.
  • The fact that way before Bella got hurt by James, Edward was planning on leaving her is very telling and sets up New Moon. (Please, Meyer, for the love of all that’s holy. . . .WE DO NOT NEED NEW MOON IN HIS PERSPECTIVE. God please. Never. That’d be awful.)

Those are my thoughts on Midnight Sun. I can’t believe I finished it. Now to begin Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I know he won’t let me down. I’m reading all of Stephen king’s books, going in publication date order. So Carrie was first. Though I really need a good vampire book so maybe I’ll read Lestat by Anne Rice. I’m not saying all vampires are sex, drugs, blood and rock n’roll. . .Okay, I am saying that. I need some of those vampires. Especially after this disappointment.

What’s your favorite vampire book? Tell me in the comments!

-K

I Used to be an Anime Girl (Until I Grew Up)

My first experience in anime was at my grandparents’ house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My cousin Paul and I used to sit in front of the television and watch Inuyasha. We watched it all the time when we were there. At home, we never had cable so instead, I’d peruse YouTube and find the episodes. Usually, one episode was broken up into at least ten videos that were between 4 to 5 minutes long. Sometimes, I couldn’t find an episode so I’d have to skip to the next one. Sometimes I couldn’t find it dubbed or subbed so I’d watch the episode in Japanese.

Inuyasha wasn’t the only anime I did this for.

From the age of maybe 12 to 15, I watched my anime on YouTube. I’d watch Inuyasha, Vampire Knight, Bleach, Fushigi Yuugi, Ranma 1/2, Hellsing, Peach Girl, Aishiteruze Baby, Chibi Vampire, Chobits, Naruto, and many others. I’d get my manga from my middle school, Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We had this small section of manga, tucked away and hidden like it was something to be ashamed of. I read every single manga we had there. Most of the time, the manga wasn’t complete. I’d go from volume one to volume five, etc. At the school, they had Inuyasha, Fruits Basket, and many others. None complete, of course. I went to the library so much that the librarian would tell me when she got more manga in.

At some point, I had a subscription to one of those manga magazines which was a huge collection of the most popular series at the time. Up until the age of 15, I was all about anime and manga. I was obsessed. I’d stay up for hours watching it on YouTube, and when we had cable, I’d watch Adult Swim when all the anime came on. My friend and I would stay up late at her house and watch anime together. Ranma 1/2 was one of our favorites. So was Fushigi Yuugi. My brother Tristan got really in Peach Girl and Aishiteruze Baby and got so mad at me one weekend when I went ahead and watched episodes without him.

Now that I’m older, I have to be in the right mood for anime. And I haven’t read manga since I was probably 15 years old. Honestly, if I tried to read manga now, I’d probably have to Google how to read it. It’s been that long.

There are quite a few anime that people have been telling me to watch such as The Seven Deadly Sins, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Soul Eater, Fairytale, and Castlevania but I haven’t really gotten to watching them. I’m not sure why I can’t watch anime anymore. Why is it that I can sit down and watch Criminal Minds over and over and over again, or watch Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I can’t watch anime anymore? Is it because I am older? Can I no longer relate to the anime I watch? Does this mean that I need to find anime that appeals to my 27-year-old self rather than my 12-year-old self?

That’s not to say I haven’t tried. I’ve watched a few episodes of Soul Eater and Fairytale. I couldn’t get into either of them. They are a bit too like Ranma 1/2 and by that I mean, they aren’t very serious. They’re a bit too silly for me. Now I did watch some of Sword Art Online (SOA) and I found it fascinating (though apparently, the second season is trash according to some of my friends).

The anime that I really got into the past few years is RWBY. My baby cousin Pagan begged me to watch it. Trust me, she had to work for it. The first season’s animation was not good. It’s hard to get past it. But now the story. Now that was well worth it. It was new and interesting. It’s about a place called Remnant where these creatures known as Grimm run amuck. Huntresses or Huntsmen well, hunt these creatures. What I find so awesome is that like every character, just about, is based off characters in fairytales or mythology. It’s just cool. But we’re not going to talk about RWBY today. If you haven’t watched RWBY, I heavily recommend it.

We’re going to talk (write, read, whatever) about my favorite animes when I was a kid.

Let’s get started.

Inuyasha

Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippo, Miroku and Sango

Recently, I watched the first three Inuyasha movies. I was randomly in the mood to watch it, and in fact, I might watch the show from the beginning.

Admittedly, this anime has not aged well. Watching it now, it’s a bit cringeworthy. I watch it because, well, nostalgia. It’s still one of my favorite animes, and it’s still like what got me into anime.

Inuyasha follows a modern girl (Kagome) who follows in the well at her family’s shrine and ends up in Feudal Japan. There she meets a half-demon (Inuyasha) and after a bit of complications, they end up on a journey to search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel. There’s a bad guy (Naruku) who wants the Jewel all for himself and that’s more or less it.

As always there are fillers between the searching for the shards of the jewels. Those fillers get a bit tedious at times, not going to lie. (But nothing compares to the fillers of Bleach and Naruto, we’ll get to that a bit later though.) Inuyasha is one of those animes where I don’t like the main characters (there’s a few on my list like that). Kagome gets on my nerves. but also, so does Kikyo.

Now, Kagome gets better. You have to remember that she is a 16 year old girl. Inuyasha gets better too. He grows as a character. Trust me, if you compare the Inuyasha of the first episode to the last episode, there’s a huge difference. Kikyo, however, is just so full of bitterness and rage for something that Kagome had no control over, in fact, was not involved in. Like why treat this girl like shit when it wasn’t her fault? It was Naraku’s. Get over your damn self, seriously.

Some of the best characters are the side characters.

Like Sango, the badass demon slayer whose brother Kohaku killed their entire village thanks to Naraku.

Miroku, the pervy monk who was cursed with a Wind Tunnel. (If you have watched this show then you totally heard that in Miroku’s voice. Totally.) He was cursed thanks to Naraku. (Basically, Naraku fucked up a lot of people’s lives. More or less.)

Shippo, the kid fox-demon who ends up tagging along after some wolf demons kill his entire village basically.

Then there’s Sesshomaru, my favorite character. He’s all cool and confident, controlled. He hates humans but then he meets Rin, a young girl who tends to his wounds even though he snarls at her. He finds someone to protect, and though it is subtle, he does change because of this human girl. Some of my favorite episodes are with Sesshomaru and Rin.

Recently, they released a sequel to Inuyasha called Yashahime: Princess Half Demon. This anime follows the twin sisters, Towa and Setsuna, daughters of Sesshomaru and Rin. Towa somehow ended up in modern times and was raised by Kagome’s brother. The twins join with Moroha, Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter to find answers to their missing past. I haven’t watched it yet. It’s received mixed reviews. But I do plan on watching it at some point.

Vampire Knight

Kaname, Yuuki, and Zero

This show would be so much better without the main character, Yuki. Seriously. Compared to her love interests and the other side characters, she’s so. . .blah. She’s always getting in the way and fucking things up. She’s a crybaby and I can’t stand her.

Vampire Knight takes place at Cross Academy where there is a Day Class and a Night Class. I mean, it should be obvious what the Night Class is. Vampires. Duh. Yuki was found by Kaname Kuran who saved her from a rogue vampire. She has no memory of who she is. Kaien Cross, the Headmaster of Cross Academy takes Yuki in. Eventually, he also takes in Zero Kiryu, the only (or so we think at least) surviving member of his Hunter family.

Zero hates vampires, which hey, makes sense. A vampire did slaughter his entire family and uh, turn him into a vampire. More on that in a bit. Yuki is very naïve, thinking that all vampires are like her precious Kaname, when really, he’s just as cruel and vicious as the rest of them.

Now in this universe, vampires are born. They are just a subspecies of humans. There’s no reason given as to where vampires came to be, not that I recall at least. Purebloods are those who do not have a single human relative in their family tree. Nobles are under them. Now, humans can become vampires if bitten by a pureblood vampire. However, they turn into what they call Level D and Es, which means they go crazy with thirst. They are eventually put down by Hunters or other vampires to ensure that they (vampires that is) remain a secret.

Zero is a Level D, a step above a Level E, so he’s not quite lost it yet, and he starts feeding on Yuki whose blood is like crack for some reason. I won’t ruin the entire thing. It’s a good show. Though it does get a bit. . .weird and complicated. It’s confusing. (Which is why I said fuck it and went to a fanfiction instead because it was less weird. . Of course said fanfiction is a slash with Kaname and Zero as the main pairing)

If you can get past Yuki, you will love the other side characters besides Kaname and Zero.

Such as:

Hanabusa Aidou or “Idol” by the Day Class girls who is like every girl’s crush. He’s very protective of Kaname and lowkey, totally think he’s in love with Kaname. He is always getting smacked. He seems almost like a goofball but he has a deeper side.

Senri Shiki who is very distantly related to Kaname. He makes Zero looks expressive. The interesting things about him happen later and boy do you feel bad for him.

Kain Akatsuki has no time for anyone’s bullshit. He’s pretty carefree and totally in love with Ruka Souen, who is in love with Kaname. . .who wants nothing to do with her. Kaname is kind of a jerk, honestly, but you kind of think he’s not. He wears a lot of masks.

Takuma Ichijou is the most human vampire of the bunch. Seriously. He’s probably my favorite. He and Kaname are childhood friends. In fact, pretty sure, Takuma was Kaname’s only friend growing up.

If you can get past Yuki, you’ll like this show. If you can’t, then well, fanfiction? No, seriously, there’s this fantastic Vampire Knight fanfiction, it’s got like four pieces and it’s well. . .*coughs* Zero x Kaname slash. Ahem. But it is SO good. It’s beautifully written and completely in character. Honestly, I haven’t even finished this show or the manga. I went to fanfiction. Lol. (I’m not even kidding on that.)

(Note: I hope y’all get cool with incest real quick, like Game of Thrones level incest, because (SPOILERS) Kaname and Yuki. . .yeah. . .they are brother and sister. Their parents were brother and sister too. Also, Yuki has a kid with Kaname and a kid with Zero, and these half-siblings are. . .attracted to each other.

We seem to just forget that tidbit. But yeah, it’s a thing.)

But if you get over that and the really obnoxious and awful main character, it’s not a bad show.

Fushigi Yuugi

Miaka with the Seven Warriors of Suzaku

You know how in Inuyasha Kagome falls into a well and ends up in Feudal Japan? Well in this one, the main girl, Miaka, gets sucked into a book. Or a scroll, I guess, whatever and into like Feudal Japan. Oh and her friend Yui is the priestess of Seiryu and is going up against Miaka because she blames Miaka for her (Yui that is) treatment when she first came into the scroll world. Poor Yui gets attacked and the way they gloss over her sexual assault and her trauma is not okay. Now, that’s not on Miaka so it seems a bit of a weak reason for a friend to betray another? But also this bad guy Nakago totally feeds into Yui’s emotions and turns her against Miaka. Fuck Nakago.

Surprise, surprise, I don’t Miaka. Her entire purpose is to be rescued by these seven warriors who are ALL in love with her. That’s it. That’s the show. Or rather, that’s her story in the show. Her purpose is to unite the warriors. Basically, unite the seven warriors and then the god Suzaku will grant three wishes, or something like that. Again, it’s been a while.

Per usual the side characters are the best.

Take Tamahome for example, one of the seven warriors of Suzaku. Tamahome comes off initially as a bad guy jokester type but then you find out he’s just trying to take care of his family. You have Hotohori who is a king or something like that, but he’s like a genuine good guy (who Miaka first thinks is a woman because he’s like ridiculously pretty). Hotohori and Tamahome are the two main love interests for Miaka, but let’s be real, once you see her and Tamahome together, it’s done.

There’s also the very interesting character of Nuriko whom everyone assumes is a woman. And for Nuriko, she is. As usual, they don’t handle that well and she’s constantly being misgendered. Also, Nuriko and Miaka had such great chemistry. I could never tell if it was romantic or not, but either way, Nuriko and Miaka. ❤ Basically.

it’s an interesting show. Though only watch the first season. The second and third are trash. Keep in mind that it isn’t always a serious show so it does have some major cringe moments.

Bleach

Ichigo

Oh my god! A main character in an anime I like! Seriously, I love Ichigo. He’s my favorite. And I’m pretty sure he remains my favorite. He’s an angry 15 year who can see ghosts and helps them move on and he loves his sisters and his dad. He’s just a great character. He gets thrown into this life as a Soul Reaper. Then it gets so damn complicated.

I think at some point he also becomes a Quincy? And like half-Hollow? It’s a mess, basically.

Either way, I always like Ichigo. He doesn’t always make the right decisions, and yeah, he’s a total hot head, but at the end of the day, he just wants to help. Now I don’t like his love interest, Rukia. She blames him for this whole mess but. . .and correct me if I’m wrong. . .isn’t it, her fault?? Just saying.

There are as always some great side characters. Like Orihime who is just so sweet and everything thinks she’s dumb. I think there’s this strong guy type named Chad? There’s so many characters that it’s honestly hard to keep track of at times. Which brings me to my next point. . .

I have never finished this show. Do you know why? My problem with this show, or rather everyone’s problem is. . .SO MUCH DAMN FILLER.

Seriously. I think I read something that said Bleach has the most filler of any anime. Like ever. There is so much filler that at times, you forget what the larger plot of the show is. It’s fucking ridiculous. There’s no need for that much filler. Some? Sure. But that much. Jesus. No.

Might be easier to just read the manga to finish this show, tbh. I’ll have to remember how to read a manga. I haven’t read manga since I was like 15 years old.

Naruto

Let me tell you something.

Before Shippudeun came out, I hated every single character in Naruto other than Kakashi. Seriously. All of them. They were all awful. They were a bunch of stupid kids. Sakura had no purpose other than being obsessed with Sasuke who was a total dick to her. Naruto was obnoxious to the point where it was too much to bear. It took me ages to get through Naruto so I could watch Shippudeun.

Then we have Shippudeun and I’m like, wow. Okay. I like Sakura and Naruto. (Okay, I always liked Sasuke, admittedly. Come on, angsty bad boy? Don’t y’all know by now that is my type? (Not in real life though, in real life, I like the nerdy types.)) I never thought I would like Sakura but man, she becomes a straight up badass. I love it. I’m here for some badass women, (if you know, they’re done correctly. No one likes an arrogant badass woman *coughs* Ahem. Captain Marvel. Arrogance used to be something we’d like as stupid kids, whether it was an arrogant man or an arrogant woman, but now that I’m older? Yeah, it’s a turn off. Thanks.) Naruto becomes more than some stupid, obnoxious goofball. He really grows as a character. They all do and that’s so important.

Also, we get Gaara, who could be like a member of My Chemical Romance.

Thus concludes our journey into my 15 year old viewing pleasures. It certainly has changed since then.

Here are some other animes I watched as well.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Peach Girl
  • Aishiteruze Baby
  • Chibi Vampire
  • Ranma 1/2
  • Chobits
  • Hellsing
  • Fruits Basket
  • Rurouni Kenshin

Until next time! (Whenever that is. Lol.)

-K

P.S. Featured image is me as Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls from Halloween 2019. I also dressed as her when we went to Arkansas Comic Con 2019 as well.

When Franchises Re-Cast Characters (The Secrets of Dumbledore)

Now we have all watched a movie or a show and a character had been re-cast. The reasons they are re-cast are multiple. Arguments with directors, money disputes, etc. Sometimes, it’s a fail. Sometimes it works. Personally, I love Don Cheadle as Rhodey. I preferred his Rhodey to Terrence Howard’s. I might be an outlier thinking that though. The transition was jarring between the second and third Harry Potter movies where Richard Harris was replaced by Michael Gambon. Gambon was much different than Harris, which wasn’t a bad thing, but it worked. I got over it because it still felt like Dumbledore, just a harder, different version of his. It was like the difference between Nine and Ten. I had to adjust. Then th ere’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor where Maria Bello replaced Rachel Weisz as the titular female protagonist Evy O’Connell. As much as I love Maria Bello, and she’s a phenomenal actress and doesn’t get the credit she deserves, she’s not Evy. It didn’t work for me. I can’t watch that movie. Just like I can’t watch Return to Halloweentown because Sara Paxton is not Marnie Piper, Kimberly J. Brown is. There are plenty of others, shows and movies, that I’ve watched where the re-casting has been good/bad. I’ve watched all of them and judged them. But what do you do when a character is re-cast and it makes you not want to see the movie? To not even give it a chance?

I am talking about Fantastic Beasts and the Secrets of Dumbledore and the decision to re-cast Grindelwald. I’m sure most of you know what’s been going on between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. It’s been big news for a few years now.

Here’s a full timeline of their dispute for the past two or so years.

The basic gist of it is that Heard accused Depp of being physical and verbally abusive. Depp denied the claims and sued her for defamation. Since this entire thing started in I believe 2019, there has been a lot of questions. Some have taken Heard’s side. Others have taken Depp’s. Personally, considering that there is audio proof of Heard admitting she hit Depp, I’m on Depp’s side. I think that Heard is a liar. I also think that because she is a woman, of course she’s the one who is abused. Or at least that’s what everyone is going to think. Men can’t be abused in society’s eyes, which is a major problem.

For more on this, check out the following articles:

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard $100M lawsuit: Elon Musk, James Franco among celebs to testify

Johnny Depp meets with legal team ahead of televised court battle with Amber Heard

There was even a petition to get Heard out of Aquaman 2, but of course, that didn’t pan out. She’s still in the movie. Meanwhile, Depp has taken a major career hit. Not only will he not be returning as Captain Jack Sparrow anytime soon (currently, could change maybe). He resigned from Fantastic Beasts before Warner Bros could fire him. He did this in November of 2020. It’s not a surprise that he resigned. After all, Warner Bros. produced both Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts. They had clearly already made the decision that Heard was innocent and Depp was not when they didn’t fired Heard. After that, the franchise was in a stalemate. We had no idea who was going to play Grindelwald. The obvious choice was Collin Farrell who played a disguised Grindelwald in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but he was busy with The Batman.

Instead, Mads Mikkelsen was cast. You probably know him as Hannibal Lector in NBC’s Hannibal. I personally haven’t watched the show, but I’ve heard it’s good.

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal

He also plays Kaecilius from Doctor Strange who serves Dormammu. You know, this guy with the extra makeup.

Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius

Oh and he plays this guy from The Three Musketeers (2011). (Did anyone else forget that Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich and Orlando Bloom where also in this movie? It’s been so long since I’ve watched it that I’ve forgotten. Of course I also forget that Charlie Sheen plays Aramis in the 1993 version of The Three Musketeers. But let’s be real, Luke Evans as Aramis is probably so much better.)

Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort

Basically, Mikkelsen plays a lot of bad guys. Since I can’t remember him in The Three Musketeers and I’ve never seen Hannibal, I’m judging him off Doctor Strange. He was. . . .okay, as Kaecilius. I mean I understood him. Kaecilius was angry that the Ancient One was abusing magic when he was told he couldn’t use it to save his family. He didn’t like the hypocrisy. But otherwise, his character was. . .blah. I mean, he was there. That’s it.

I would love to give him a chance as Mikkelsen, I would but. . .I can’t. I’m not sure I can. I know I’m not seeing the movie in theatres and I doubt I’ll even watch it. But there is a problem when you re-cast a character, and the audience can’t tell who that character is. Let’s just take a look at some trailers.

So this is Depp’s Grindelwald. As per Depp, he’s weird. He’s got blonde hair and mismatched eyes. But he’s charismatic, no small part insane, but he’s got that charming. Like the devil but butter melts in his mouth thing going for him. Right?

Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald is completely different. For a lack of a better phrase, he looks like a business man. I didn’t even know he was Grindelwald when I watched this trailer. Not until the end and I went, “OH.” I thought he was some random wizard who was apart of Grindelwald’s army. They (and I say that generally) didn’t even try to keep any part of Depp’s Grindelwald. They went a different route entirely. I think that’s going to be a problem. Yes, Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore was different than Richard Harris’ but you could still recognize that it was Dumbledore, The beard, the robes. We’ve had Depp’s Grindelwald for two movies, more or less. He has a distinctive look. We’ve gotten used to it. And now we have this new actor who completely changes the look. So much that it wasn’t immediate clear that he was Grindelwald.

Taking the whole Johnny Depp and Amber Heard debacle out of the equation, I still won’t see this movie in theatres, and it’s up in the air if I’ll see it when it’s streaming. Eliminating the debacle, I still am not exactly pleased with the direction they are going with Grindelwald. It doesn’t feel like him and I think that’s going to negatively impact the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

I could be wrong, who knows. I guess we’ll have to see.

Which re-cast in either movies or shows worked for you? Which didn’t? Let me know!

-K

I Am Vengeance (The Batman Review)

Now, I don’t know if you know this, but like, I love Batman. If I had to choose, I’d say I’m more of a DC girl. Not that I don’t love Marvel but there’s something about DC that gets me. Batman is awesome. Who doesn’t love him? I have a Batman tattoo for goodness sakes. (See below.) I’ve seen every single live-action Batman movie and nearly all of the animated Batman movies. I share this love of Batman with my twelve year old brother, Camron. Now, he loves Batman so much that when he was like four, I walked into his room. He was sleeptalking. He said “No, Batman! It’s a trap. Joker!” For real. He also used to sleepwalk. I kind of thought he’d grow out of his obsession with Batman. You know, like kids do. But he hasn’t. Last week, he spent the entire week here in Arkansas (he lives in Oklahoma) and we took him to see The Batman. Below is the trailer for the movie.

Camron, my cousin Paul and I saw it in theatres last Tuesday, and I wasn’t disappointed. That’s not to say that it was a perfect Batman movie, but I enjoyed it.

Let’s discuss what I liked about it.

As cheesy and cringeworthy as the older Batman movies are (the less said about Jim Carrey’s Riddler or Arnold’s Mr. Freeze the better), I liked the style of them. I liked their Gotham. The gothic, grittiness. I mean it’s called Gotham for goodness sake. I felt like the Christopher Nolan missed on that. It was a bit too real. That Gotham was a usual city. I wanted that gothic, grittiness. I always pictured Gotham as like New York City or Chicago, a big city but cloaked with this perpetual darkness. And for some reason, I always imagined it was always raining in Gotham. Sunny days were rare. The city probably smelled gross too, to be honest.

Batman (1989) Gotham City

I liked this. And you know what, The Batman brought back this. Modernized it, of course. But the city is dark and rainy. It feels like Gotham, rather than New York City 2.0 or Chicago 2.0. Instead this Gotham is a beautiful but dark city. Or a dark but beautiful. I liked how it was filmed with the low lightings. In some scenes you can hear the fighting but you can’t quite see it. I liked that.

Robert Pattinson as Batman

We get to see Detective Batman! I feel like he’s never really been a detective in any of the live-action movies. In this movie, he’s at the crime scene, looking for clues. He has to solve riddles. He’s interacting with the cops who don’t like him and Gordon who has his back. We need more Detective Batman. He’s not just a vigilante who beats up street thugs. He works on cases that could take days or even months to close. Also, people tend to forget that Batman isn’t all brawn. He’s smart as hell and that’s barely shown in live-action. Here we see his smarts and I love it.

I think that honestly, rather than a movie, our boy Robert Pattinson deserves a show. I think his Batman could benefit from a show where he’s working cases, You know, like a procedural cop show but like, Batman. That would be awesome. I’d watch the hell out of that.

Speaking of Robert Pattinson, let’s talk about his Batman. First, everyone gives him so much shit because of Twilight. *hisses the name* Here’s the thing, he’s not a bad actor. I liked him as Cedric Diggory and the other movies whose names I’ve forgotten. He’s a good actor. But because of one franchise everyone gives him shit. He did the best he could with the trash he was giving. That’s not on him. That’s on the material and the director. (More more on that, check out this blog post on Twilight – The Movies.) I like Robert Pattinson’s Batman more than Ben Affleck’s. And again, that’s not Affleck’s fault. He needed a solo movie so we could connect to him. We couldn’t really connect to him in the other movies he’s been in, Batman v. Superman and Justice League. He was outshined by the other characters such as Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Could Affleck had been a good Batman? Maybe. But now we won’t know since we won’t be seeing him again. Pattinson’s Batman had the smarts. The angst. The kind of sadness that clings to Batman. The fact he wants to do this insane thing for justice and vengeance. He feels he has too. That’s the job and the mission. He has no room for anything else. I got that from Robert Pattinson’s Batman. Also, his Batman is a bit…awkward. I don’t know why I like that, but I do. He’s awkward. And it’s a bit adorable.

We didn’t see a lot of Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne but I’m not too upset about that. It wasn’t about Bruce Wayne. It’s about Batman. Hopefully we’ll see his Bruce Wayne, and how navigates being a billionaire playboy by day and a vigilante by night. I really hope we see that.

Now, let’s discuss about the things I wasn’t too fond of.

Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle

I like Zoë Kravitz. She’s wonderful as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts. I connected to her character. But in The Batman? Honestly, they underutilized the hell out of her. She didn’t really. . .do anything? Not towards the end at least. That’s how I felt anyways. The best scenes were when she was with Batman, and I don’t want that for her. I want her to be able to stand on her own. She’s a strong, independent woman and we didn’t see that. I feel like they weren’t too sure what to do with Catwoman in the movie and that was clear. I hope we see her again. She’s got the acting chops. They just need to figure out what to do with her. (Does anyone else want some Gotham City Sirens? Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn? Yes, please!)

Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth

They underutilized Alfred, played by Andy Serkis, too. Now, I did like that Alfred was helping solve the crypts Riddler sent. I liked that a lot. I wanted more of that, but they blew him up and he was sidelined. I wanted more of his relationship with Bruce too. I am iffy on Andy Serkis’ Alfred. Do I like him? I’m not sure. It’s certainly a different role for him. I mean, he plays Ulysses Klaue in the MCU and he’s like nuts. I’m still trying to decide if I like his Alfred. That is TBD. We’ll see in the next movie if my thoughts are more solidified.

Collin Farrell as Penguin

Collin Farrell plays Penguin, but like. . . .I didn’t even know it was Penguin until someone called him by his name. He didn’t look like Penguin to me. At all. So eh, on him. He did nothing really either. Does this (above) feel like Penguin to you? To me it’s like he’s trying to be that one dude from The Godfather or something. I don’t know.

John Turturro as Carmine Falcone

The actor they got to play Carmine Falcone was interesting. John Turturro. You probably know him from Transformers. The crazy agent that gets stripped to his boxers by Meaghan Fox. That guy. His Carmine Falcone was somehow almost a caricature but also scary at the same time. He comes off as this easy going guy but there’s just something off about him. And I liked that. It worked for him, I think. Also there’s a twist that involves him and Selina Kyle and it works. I was like “Oh!”

Paul Dano as Riddler

Let’s talk about the Riddler. We’re ending with him because I both like and don’t like him. I got issues. This Riddler played Paul Dano, is batshit insane (see what I did there). He’s insane and smart. Definitely a narcissistic. And honestly, a bit scary and creepy. Riddler isn’t a Batman villain that you think as “scary.” He wants Gotham to pay. About typical for him, tbh. “No more lies” he proclaims. The legacy of Gotham, especially those of Thomas and Martha Wayne is built on lies. He wants to expose that. But like, this doesn’t read Riddler Riddler. This reads more like Riddler Hush. So calling him Riddler feels off? He doesn’t look like Riddler. He’s Hush. So call him Hush, thanks.

At the end there’s a scene where Paul, Camron and I argued about if the next villain is Two-Face or Joker. It wasn’t very clear. Either way the guy is telling Riddler, hey good job. (I think it’s been confirmed that it’s Joker but I could be wrong on that.)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Batman. It perfectly blends the realism of Nolan but takes us back to the grittiness of Burton, and gives us a fresh take on Batman. If you haven’t seen it, you should do so.

P.S. The soundtrack is awesome!

Here’s some other posts on The Batman:

Robert Pattinson in ‘The Batman’: Film Review

The Batman

The surprisingly hopeful note of The Batman

Now, to end this blog post, here’s my Batman tattoo.

My cousin Paige and I took Camron to the NWA Comic Con in Rogers, Arkansas. We all dressed up. Here’s us when we first arrived to the con.

(Left to Right) Me as Starfire, Camron as Robin, and Paige as Raven

And that’s all!

-K

Failure to Emerge (Eternals Review)

I am going to say what we all are thinking. . . .Avengers: Endgame royally screwed up the timeline. Sure, yes, that screwed-up timeline gave us the gem called Loki. (Great show so far. Need to finish. Of course, I need to finish a lot of shows. Such as WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and so much more.) That doesn’t change the fact that the MCU timeline is all sorts of out of whack. (Not to mention killing our queen and savior Natasha Romanoff and the I Love You 3000 Tony Stark. Those were two big mistakes.) The timeline is fucked. There I said it. Don’t @ me. We all know it’s true. Let me just sum up how it screwed up the timeline. Are you ready for this? No, I don’t think you are. Let me break this down for you.

Okay. Let’s just start with 2012, you know, the first Avengers movie.

A) Loki ran off with the Tesseract, i.e., that’s why we get the show Loki. This is 2012 Loki who hasn’t had the growth that his older now dead counterpart has. You know, the Loki that Thanos choked out and killed. So that’s a problem. Clearly. I’m sure the Tesseract being MIA in 2012 can cause other problems too but I can’t think of them at this moment.

B) Captain America was told by himself (though he thought it was Loki fucking with him) that Bucky is alive. I don’t know about you, but 2012 Cap is not about to let that go. He might think it’s a trick but it’s gonna nag at him until he finally caves and does some digging. Once he does, hello. SHIELD is going to be exposed as HYDRA way sooner. There goes like all of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also, probably the whole thing with Bucky being framed for T’Challa’s death. Who knows? Either way, that changes some shit. Just saying.

Now, let’s get to the big thing that definitely fucks up the timeline. . . .

STEVE GOING BACK TO THE 40’S TO BE WITH PEGGY CARTER.

First, just. . .what even. I can’t say more than that without ranting. The point is, him going back changes things. Sure, they can say that he was always Peggy’s husband but like, no. Just no. Also, do you know what that means? It means that Steve Rogers KISSED HIS NIECE. I get he didn’t know but still. I mean, who kisses the niece of the woman you loved for like a century??? Like. . .what? Either way, yeah, that’s a new timeline, and it messes up everything.

That being said, I have no idea where the movie we are talking today about takes place. According to the timeline, it should be after Avengers: Endgame, but you see, I have problems with this.

So without further adieu, let’s get to the meat of this blog post. We are going to talk about Eternals.

From here on out, well, River Song, take it away.

Eternals was released in theatres on November 5th, 2021 in the United States. When I saw the trailer, I knew that it was not going to be a movie I’d want to see in theatres. (Unlike Spider-Man: No Way Home which I still haven’t seen. Damn pandemic.)

Check out the final trailer below.

Now when I saw the trailer, I did go. “Robb Stark, is that you?” It was like a mini Game of Thrones reunion since Kit Harrington aka you-know-nothing Jon Snow is in the movie too. Briefly. Also, I got super excited to see the woman who plays Connie in The Walking Dead, Lauren Ridloff. She is a phenomenal actress. Seriously, check out the clip of her below.

*chef’s kiss* One of the best damn episodes of The Walking Dead to date.

I am kind of glad that I didn’t see Eternals in theatres because we are being honest. . .I would’ve fallen asleep. It was kind of a boring movie. It felt like a lot of exposition and not enough action.

My friend Caroline and I talked, or rather, messaged back and forth via Messenger, and we both agreed that it felt like two different movies. It felt like they had one movie which was the introduction of the Eternals, their time on Earth, and interacting with humanity. Then the band breaks up and they all go their own ways. Something like that would’ve worked better as a series, rather than a two-hour movie (Yo, Netflix, get on that, won’t you?), I feel. We only got a glimpse of the Eternals interacting with humanity throughout history, but that’s it. Only little pieces. It’s like, you were getting the cake but you really wanted the frosting too, basically. You know, because the frosting is the best part of the cake.

Then the other part of the movie was this Emergence and Deviants thing. The head honcho gets killed and the band gets back together. They realize that this Emergence is not a good thing. In fact, it’s a bad thing. Basically, the Emergence is not the utopia they thought. It means that it is time for a new Celestial to be born. How are they born?

By destroying the entire planet and emerging from the destruction.

Because you know, that makes sense.

The Eternals split up into teams.

Team Let’s Kill Millions of People for a New Celestial to be Born and Team Let’s Try and Kill a Celestial and Save Humanity.

Now, if you don’t read the comics or obsessively Google like I do, you probably have no idea what a Celestial is. Let alone an Eternal.

We’ve seen Celestials before. In Guardians of the Galaxy, the planet Knowhere is really the severed head of a Celestial from like billions of years ago. (See below.)

Yeah, that thing. You probably forgot about that. They did gloss over it in Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, I feel like most people, whether they are from Earth or another planet, treat Celestials like a legend. Most don’t think they are real.

In Guardians of the Galaxy 2, we meet Ego the Living Planet, who is Peter Quill’s father, and surprise, surprise, he’s a Celestial. Or is he? Ego wanted to expand, planting his seeds all over the universe and basically, how the Celestial was going to destroy Earth to be born. Created? Whatever, you know what I mean. Is Ego another Celestial? A rogue one? Or is he something else? I have no idea.

Here’s this great theory on Ego.

This also begs the question. . .

Is Peter Quill still a ‘Celestial?’ Even if Ego wasn’t a Celestial, he had to be something pretty damn powerful considering his son held an Infinity Stone in his hand and didn’t die. Thanos had to wear a gauntlet to funnel the Infinity Stones powers and it still weakened him drastically. So if Ego was not a Celestial, what is he?

So there’s what we kind of know about Celestials. . .which really is nothing, honestly. Let’s get back to the Eternals.

Before Eternals came out, I had no idea what or who the Eternals were. According to the movie, they were created by the Celestial, synthetic superheroes, to protect Earth and other planets from Deviants.

What is a deviant? Well, that’s hard to explain because I’m still confused about what they are. Apparently, the Celestials also created the Deviants who are predators and help to make a planet create intelligent life forms. Or something like that. But Deviants don’t like to follow the rules, and thus the Eternals had to be created to prevent them from getting too out of hand and affecting history.

(Not to be confused with “variants” from Loki. In that show, Variants are those who stepped out of their path. They didn’t follow their fate line or what have you. Due to this, the Time Variance Authority (TVA) was created to put these “variants” on the right path or just, get rid of them. Such as the case with 2012 Loki. I still need to finish that show, and see how the whole “variants” thing work. Also, who created the TVA. There’s so much going on, basically. How does all this connect? I have no clue.)

Let’s meet the teams: Team Let’s Kill Millions of People for a New Celestial to be Born and Team Let’s Try and Kill a Celestial and Save Humanity

Team Let’s Kill Millions of People for a New Celestial to be Born

First up we have this guy.

Ikaris. (Yes, that’s like Icarus from Greek mythology. All of the Eternals are apparently named after mythology characters because of their impact on history.)

Ikaris (Richard Madden)

Ajak, the leader of the Eternals who dies like not even an hour in, told Ikaris about what the Emergence really was centuries ago. She’s played by the lovely Salem Hayek, and like a lot of the characters in this movie, her character is completely underutilized. Her powers are well, healing herself and others, and communicating with the Celestials. But she’s not really important. Like I said, she dies.

Ajak (Salem Hayek)

Ikaris obviously doesn’t care about humanity and is all for destroying an entire planet and killing billions of people. Also, his powers are basically Superman’s. He can fly, shoots lasers out of his eyes and I think has superstrength. (Someone confirm that, thanks.) Oh, and he has a thing for Sersi. (So many damn names.) Ikaris was so loyal to the Celestial who starts with an A, that he attacked his fellow Eternals. Shame on him. Just no.

Up next we have Kingo.

Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani)

Kingo actually became a famous Bollywood star after the band broke up. While he has a connection through humanity, he still agrees with Ikaris. He doesn’t feel like an Eternal he has the right to protest the birth of a Celestial. He also thinks that it’s an honor for Earth to be chosen. Rather than fight his fellow Eternals however, he chooses to leave. I find that cowardly and a cop-out. His powers are throwing glowing projectiles. So, eh. He seems like a pretty easy-going guy. But he needs to grow a pair.

Up next, we have Sprite.

Sprite (Lia McHugh)

Sprite does illusions. She also looks like a 15-year-old and does not. Due to this, she has grown bitter. She can’t have what the other Eternals have because she always looks like a kid. She teams up with Ikaris because she doesn’t think humanity is worth saving and she also is in love with him.

Now for Team Let’s Try and Kill a Celestial and Save Humanity

First up, we have Sersi.

Sersi (Gemma Chan)

Sersi is probably the sweetest Eternal. She loves humans. Over a thousand plus years, she’s really become a part of their society. It’s no wonder she wants to save them from the Emergence. Sersi can manipulate matter. Think like turning a bus into flowers. It’s actually a nifty little power. Ajak chooses her to lead because she knows that Sersi loves humans, and she (Sersi) will want to save them. This causes some strife because Sprite and Kingo believe that Ikaris should’ve been chosen as the leader.

(Also, Sersi and Ikaris have a thing. Sersi is now dating Jon Snow. I mean Dane Whitman who is the Black Knight. . .I have no idea who the Black Knight is, just saying. But he’s a big deal. I guess?)

Up next we have the tech guy, Phastos.

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry)

Phastos is the tech wizard. He can build anything. This has caused some problems because humans being well human, and flawed, have used his weapons to kill each other.

Phastos initially didn’t want to take part in preventing the whole birth of a Celestial thing but his husband and son convinced him. He actually is a major part of the plan to prevent the Celestial from being born because of his technology wizardry. So, go him, basically.

Up next we have (A)Thena. Like I said, a lot of them have names from those in mythology.

Thena (Angelina Jolie)

Now Thena suffers from this psychological condition and it drives her crazy. You see, whenever an Emergence happens, the Eternals’ memories are wiped and they start over. Thena actually remembers those previous Emergences. She knows what it means and she isn’t going to let that happen to Earth. Also, she has a badass power. She can create weapons. It’s so cool. I’d definitely want her power, just saying.

We have Druig.

He can control people’s minds. He and Ajak got into it because she wouldn’t let him control the humans so they’d stop fighting. He didn’t want the humans to destroy themselves. He wanted them to live, but at the same time, by controlling their minds, he was taking away their freedom. He had to understand that, and eventually, he did. He and the next Eternal on Team Let’s Try and Kill a Celestial and Save Humanity, have a very adorable relationship.

Mikkari, played by the wonderful Lauren Ridloff.

Makkari (Lauren Ridloff)

She doesn’t show up until the end of the movie so you really don’t get to know her character. She’s stayed on the ship all these years. She can run super fast. Also, she and Druig are kind of cute. That’s all we know about her. But she helps them to stop Ikaris and the birth of the Celestial.

(Ajak is actually a part of this team as well, but since she died early on, then I’m not counting her. Also, I feel like Gilgamesh would also be a part of this team as well but he died too. He’s below. He and Thena had a sweet relationship.)

Gilgamesh (Don Lee) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

So they win, obviously. Sersi defeats the Celestial by freezing it. Yay, them. Ikaris flies into the sun like the dramatic ass he is. Sersi uses the last bit of power she has from the Celestial to turn Sprite into a human. . . even though Sprite stabbed Sersi literally in the back. Well, okay. I guess. Then the Celestial who sent them to Earth arrives and kidnaps them, saying that Earth will be judged and they’re in trouble, basically.

There are two end credit scenes. One shows Dane Whitman. Actually, we’ll just call him Jon Snow since you probably have no idea who that is. Anyways, Jon Snow 2.0 opens a box showing a sword. There’s a voice offscreen that is Blade. Then another cut scene (that I didn’t even care to watch) that shows Harry Styles as Eros or Starfox or whatever. Who I guess is Thanos’ brother? Like what?

Now, here are the problems with this movie. It’s not a bad movie. It’s okay. It’s not a Marvel movie that I’d rewatch. The problem with it, as I mentioned earlier is that it was trying to A) introduce these characters and then B) have these characters save the world. The Avengers worked because we already knew these characters, perhaps some more than others, but even then, they are popular characters. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Hulk are popular. Nearly everyone, even if they hadn’t read a comic book, knows the basic gist of these characters.

The Eternals are not popular comic characters. Unless you read the comics, you might not have an idea who they are. There’s nothing wrong with introducing obscure characters and bringing them to the big screen. The problem is they didn’t do it well. We have no connection to these characters. We don’t care about them because we don’t even know who they are. It’s hard to care about a character if you don’t know who they are. What I would’ve done is do a series like they’ve done with Loki, Hawkeye, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. A show would’ve allowed Marvel (or Disney rather) to really show us who these characters are. We could know them. That would make us more interested and invested in their story.

Then after the show, do a movie where the band has to get together. That’s how I would’ve done it. Instead, we get this movie where we don’t know the characters, and thus, we don’t care about the characters.

Honestly, this movie felt like more of a prequel. It’s a movie that is setting up other movies and that’s the only purpose, which is a definite problem. Having a movie that is really just a set-up for the next movies in the franchise is not a movie that necessarily I want to see.

Due to how that is, it made watching the movie difficult. Like I said, I was bored. It also left me with a lot of questions. The Eternals were meant to protect the Earth, right? Well, what about Thanos? The answer to that question was so weak and I couldn’t buy it.

Also, I feel like they got big names such as Angelina Jolie and Salem Hayek in order to sell tickets, and then totally underutilized them, which is stupid because they are great actresses. I’m not okay with that.

I’m not saying don’t watch the movie, I mean, it’s an okay movie. Just be prepared to be let down.

Here’s a bunch of articles I found from Screenrant. Enjoy!

Eternals Proves Avengers: Endgame Was An Anomaly In The MCU

Eternals Has The Opposite Problem To Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Eternals Was Made Worse By Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame

Why Each Eternal Betrayed Or Stayed Loyal To Arishem’s Mission

Eternals’ Post-Credits Are Good For The MCU’s Future But They’re Not Earned

Stay tuned for another blog next week!

-K

We Don’t Blog About Bruno (Encanto Review)

Happy New Year! Yes, I know, I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve been busy being artsy and cuddling with my dogs. What do you want from me. Now in 2021 I only had around 28 blog posts. Eek. that’s like, what, 2 blog posts per month? I mean, not bad, but come on. I can do better than that! I know I always say I’m going to blog every week, well this time I mean it. So be prepared for the year of a blog a week. It’s going to be awesome! Considering I have four drafts plus this post right here, that means I’m pretty set for the next five weeks. Just saying. It’ll probably be on Fridays. Who knows? Still figuring that out.

Classes started this week. I am taking three classes: grant writing, healing & writing, and seminar for social equity. I am super excited about all of them, and will more than likely give updates on here about them. But enough about that, let’s get to the real point of this blog.

Oh, Disney, you’ve done it again. And by that, I mean, create a movie that made me cry and have feelings, which trust me. If you know me, you know it takes a lot to make me cry during movies. Coco, Moana, and A Dog’s Purpose are a few right off the top of my head that make me full-blown, ugly cry.

Now while this movie didn’t make me cry per se, it did make me tear up and then have deep feelings, it’s still worth mentioning and talking about because it is a beautiful movie with hidden depths.

Today, we are going to talk about Encanto.

Encanto was released in theatres on November 24th, 2021. (Holy shit, it’s 2022. Did anyone else forget that?) I didn’t see it in theatres. In fact, I saw it on Disney Plus last Thursday while I was watching my boyfriend’s son. I don’t tend to see animated films in theatres, other than well Frozen II but hey, it was a great movie!

The style of Encanto reminds me of Coco with the bright colors, and the cultural aspect of it. Coco is one of my favorite movies, and like Coco, Encanto is all about family.

Encanto follows the Madrigal family who lives in a hidden town in Colombia. Like fifty years before, Alma Madrigal and her husband, Pedro, had to leave their home due to war. She and Pedro fled with their triplets (Julieta, Pepa, and Bruno), but Pedro died and she was left alone. Somehow, though it’s not very clear (we’ll get to that in a moment), there was magic, an eternal flame, an enchanted house that had a mind of its own, and later her three children and their children after them received a gift from the eternally burning candle.

All except one.

Mirabel, the youngest daughter of Julieta, did not receive a gift at five. Due to this, Alma, or Abuela as we’ll call her now, shunned Mirabel. Ten years later, it’s time for another Madrigal child to receive their gift. This time it is Antonio’s turn, Mirabel’s younger cousin. He receives the gift to speak to animals. But alas, all is not as it seems. Mirabel starts to notice that Casita, the very much alive house that they live in, starts to have cracks. It seems the magic of the Madrigal family is dying for a reason no one can explain.

Mirabel takes it upon herself to find out the reason why. She is simply a girl, perhaps an ordinary girl to her family, especially her Abuela, who loves her family very much. She wants to help. She goes on this journey without ever leaving her town, which is different, all things considered. Most leave home to have a journey, yet Mirabel doesn’t. I liked that. Anyways, Mirabel discovers things she didn’t know about her sisters, and ultimately, about herself.

She finds out that the estranged Bruno, the third triplet of her Abuela’s, never left home. That he stayed in Casita. Bruno was gifted the power to see the future but the future isn’t always clear. He saw a vision of Mirabel in front of the Casita that would change from her healing the magic to her destroying the magic. Bruno, like Mirabel, was shunned, because he had visions but he didn’t understand them all the time. When something went wrong, it was automatically Bruno’s fault.

Also, he has an entire song dedicated to him. It’s perfect.

Through some magic mumbo, Mirabel finds out that she needs to make up with her older sister, Isabela. So they do. Mirabel finds out that Isabela or Isa, doesn’t like to be perfect all the time, but it’s expected of her. Of course, she has to perfect. What else can she be? She must make perfect, beautiful flowers. Every hair in place. Be graceful. Be posed. That is what everyone expects.

Just like with Luisa, Mirabel’s other sister, Mirabel connects to Isa for the first time. She learns something she didn’t know about her: that Isa doesn’t want to be perfect all the time.

Luisa doesn’t want to be the strong one all the time. She gives this great musical number, explaining the pressure she feels she is always in. Her gift is to be supernaturally strong. The burden is literally always on her. She can’t show weakness. As someone who is the oldest sister, I get that.

I can relate to both Isa and Luisa. I get having to be perfect all the time. If I did one thing wrong growing up, it was like the world ended. Yet if one of my siblings did something worse, they got away with it. It wasn’t fair. I grew up in a broken home. It wasn’t ideal. It was rough at times. But I couldn’t show weakness. I had to stand firm and keep face because if I didn’t, if my siblings saw that I was breaking, then they’d break too. I didn’t want them to know we didn’t have food in the pantry or that the electricity was about to be cut off. That wasn’t their burden to bear. Like Isa, I had to be the perfect good girl daughter. And like Luisa, I had to be the strong dependable daughter.

Mirabel assumed that Isa enjoyed being the center of attention and Luisa liked being the one you could count on. But, she finds out that that isn’t true. She finds the deeper meaning, gets to expose her sisters, and reconnects with them. She listens, she empathizes. She may not understand, but she tries to. She tells them they don’t always have to be perfect or strong all the time. Mirabel is the healer of the family, though unlike her mother, she doesn’t do it through food, she does it through words, and I think that’s even more powerful than any other gift she could have.

Abuela sees that Isa is not perfect and that Luisa is weaker. She blames Mirabel and tells her that she has broken this family. That it is all her fault. Mirabel delivers this heartbreaking speech to her Abuela.

Family can build you up and break you down. Encanto shows how expectations, such as the expectations Abuela places on her family, can cause harm. It can make them feel as if they have to try harder, do better, in order to fit those expectations.

In a way, Abuela is the villain in Encanto because of her trauma, her past, she put all this pressure on her family. So much pressure that her son Bruno “left” because he felt like he was the cause of all the bad things. So much pressure that her daughter Pepa has to always be in control and never have a cloud. Abuela shunned her granddaughter Mirabel because she didn’t have a gift and couldn’t, in Abuela’s eyes, contribute to keeping the family and the town safe. She didn’t have a gift and thus wasn’t special and had no purpose to keep the family going.

Abuela was so terrified of losing her home, losing her family, that she lost herself. She lost her family. That is wasn’t about the magic or even the home. It was about them. It was about being together and loving each other. And I think that’s a beautiful message. It’s not about the magic. It’s about knowing that you have each and that is more than enough. The rest is just gravy.

When Abuela realizes that, she realizes that she is the reason the family is broken, she apologies, which takes a lot of strength. Parents, or grandparents, in this case, don’t often know that their actions are having a negative impact on their family. Abuela takes that step towards healing, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

Mirabel realizes that she didn’t need a gift. She is the gift, because sees more than her family’s gifts. She sees them. She is special. She is the foundation and the heart of the family. That’s why she communicates with the Casita. She’s the home.

Encanto, like a lot of Disney movies, is about family. What it means to be a family, and how to be one. Whether it’s the family you were born into or the family you choose. Encanto is about accepting yourself as you are, that it’s not your gift that’s the miracle, that’s what’s special about you, that seeing that you are the miracle. Because you’re here, and you’re still fighting. And that’s more than enough.

I think that’s beautiful.

If you haven’t watched Encanto, you should.

Here’s some articles on the movie once you watch it.

27 Facts About The Songs From “Encanto” That’ll Change The Way You Watch And Listen To It

Why therapists ARE talking about Bruno — and all the other ‘Encanto’ characters

Encanto Subtly Revealed Its Mirabel Power Twist At The Beginning

-K

The Day The Music Died (Black Widow Review)

Have I mentioned that COVID ruins everything? Well, it does. Thanks to COVID, we didn’t get to see Black Widow in theatres for a year. Black Widow was originally supposed to be released May 1st, 2020, so really it was over a year after its original release. Then we were supposed to get released May 7th, 2021 but then it got delayed again to July 9th, 2021. The point is, I’ve been dying to see this movie for over a year. Dying. to. see. it. I’ve had to wait so long. Black Widow is my favorite character. (Well, besides Bucky Barnes, of course.) Should we have had this movie like a decade ago? Oh yeah, definitely. But we still have it. It is here. It is beautiful and (mostly) perfect. And all of that is to say. . .

I don’t care what all the reviewers say.

My cousin Paul doesn’t want to see it because Taskmaster is a (SPOILERS) a female. And like. . . .I don’t care. Plus, I never got the whole reason why people get up in arms when a character is gender-swapped? Like does it truly affect the character’s backstory? Take Mar Vel in Captain Marvel for instance. A lot of people were pissed that it was a female pilot. But consider this, Mar Vel is an alien. Perhaps the writers changed Mar Vel from a male pilot to a female pilot because Carol Danvers was A) a female and B) a pilot. It might have made the mentorship more believable. I feel the same way–depending on the story–about race-swapping. If a character is originally white and they make them a minority, is that a bad thing? Like, we could use more minority superheroes, honestly. However, if a character is originally a minority, and they make them white, that is a problem. Such as in Doctor Strange where instead of the Ancient One being an older Asian man, it was Tilda Swinton, an older white woman, which nothing against her, she’s a goddess. However, why did they do that? What was the point?

The point of this ramble is that I don’t care what the reviewers say. Not really. Considering I feel like a lot of the movie critics are a bunch of old white men, they’re not really unbiased, now are they? It’s why I never read movie or TV show reviews before I watch something. I don’t want to go in biased before I give the movie or TV show a chance. I also ignore what others say about the movie. Again, I don’t want to be biased. I want to go in. And then I’ll form my own opinion.

Before we get to her debut solo movie, let’s discuss where we first meet Natasha Romanoff, and what we know about her from the other MCU movies she’s been in.

We meet her in Iron Man 2. (See movie clip below.)

Now, she goes by Natalie Rushman in this until later when you find out her name is Natasha Romanoff. If you’re like me and you Google like, everything, then you know that Natasha Romanoff is Black Widow. So in Iron Man 2 though she doesn’t have a huge part, you’re like “Oh my god, they’re bringing in Black Widow.” I may have done a happy dance when I realized who she was.

Natasha Romanoff, using the code name “Black Widow” first appeared in the comic “Tales of Suspense #52” in April 1964. Here’s a great breakdown of her comic book history.

Now, we’ve seen ScarJo, as she’s called, in other projects before Iron Man 2. Such as: Eight-Legged Freaks, We Bought a Zoo, The Perfect Score, The Nanny Diaries, and The Spirit, to name a few. Decent, okay-ish movies that really didn’t get big. I mean, they got big, but she wasn’t the big star in them. Iron Man 2 was really her break-out role.

The second time we see Natasha Romanoff is in The Avengers.

Now, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (though they recast Bruce Banner), Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, all set up the first Avengers movie. The first time all these people team up to save the world. Or rather, save Manhattan in The Avengers. In this movie, you get to see them all interact for the first time. Other than Tony and Natasha who already know each other. This set of movies are known as “Phase One.”

So in The Avengers, we get to see Iron Man snark with Captain America, Black Widow try to convince Bruce Banner to join the team, Hawkeye get mind-controlled. It’s fun to see them all interact. They’re all vastly different characters. This movie is really like, a base. you really see more of the team dynamic in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the other movies. The Avengers is when they’re just getting to know each other and established as a team. So as you can imagine, there’s a lot of distrust.

The third time we see Natasha is in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is my favorite Marvel movie. To date. It is a brilliant movie. The choreography with the fight scenes is amazing. Seriously. The elevator scene alone. Seriously. Watch it below.

In The Winter Soldier, we get to see the dynamic between Natasha and Steve Rogers. You know, Captain America. Duh. Natasha is a spy. Steve is a soldier. (Obviously). They shouldn’t work together, yet they do. They have a very interesting dynamic. Steve is all Mr. Serious and Natasha has a sense of humor. Honestly, they’re cute together, and I really do understand why they’re a popular ship on AO3 (Archive of Our Own).

I think one of the reasons why I like this movie so much (besides you know, Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier) is because you actually get to know more about Natasha and her personality. You get to know her better. You see how she interacts with Steve and Fury. How she reacts to knowing that she’s been working for HYDRA all along, when she thought she was working with SHIELD and clearing all the red on her ledger. Just her devastation at knowing that the missions she went on, thinking that it was benefitting SHIELD and the world in a good way, was really HYDRA all along. That had to suck. A lot. More than a lot. At the end of the movie, she leaks all of the information SHIELD, or rather HYDRA has. This includes information on about how she was a part of the KGB and how she defected. This puts her at risk of being arrested because of her crimes against the United States. Yet, she does it, because she wants HYDRA exposed for who they really are. And that is the moment we begin to realize what Natasha will do to protect people.

The fourth time we see Natasha Romanoff is in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Admittedly not one of the most received MCU movies. It’s not my favorite, and honestly, I don’t even have much to say on it. Basically Tony and Bruce are dummies and create a murder bot that thinks the Avengers are the problem, not the solution. How do they create this thing? By using an Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone to be exact. Because you know, that’s always a great idea to use a cosmic stone you don’t understand. They also create Vision. We get to meet the Maximoff twins, Pietro and Wanda. Pietro dies. Hawkeye adopts Wanda. The team is a bit messed up after the whole Ultron mess. Bruce Banner disappears.

One thing that everyone hated in this movie was the romance between Natasha and Bruce. Me? I didn’t hate it. I liked it. I just didn’t like how it was done. It came out of the blue, but I could see it. I like their dynamic. They’re awkwardly adorable, and I kind of dig that, ngl. It could’ve had a lot of potential, if we had seen more of it. But it was like introduced but then never really addressed again.

The next time we see Natasha is in Captain America: Civil War. Which really should’ve been named Avengers: Civil War since the only two who were missing were Thor and Hulk. Either way this movie wrecked me.

On the other hand, we did get this beautiful scene with Bucky. Watch it.

ICONIC.

Who knew a guy stealing a motorcycle and doing a cool flip thing could be so hot? (Might be biased. I do love me some Bucky Barnes.)

Either way, Civil War destroyed me. The team disagrees on the Sokovia Accords, there’s a huge misunderstanding about Bucky killing T’Challa’s father, and poor Tony finds out HYDRA killed his family. The Sokovia Accords splits up the teams into two groups: those that agree and those that oppose.

The Sokovia Accords. Approved by 117 countries, it states that the Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they’ll operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary.

Meanwhile, Natasha says she agrees but really, she doesn’t. She just wants the team to be together. She’s not dumb. She doesn’t trust Thaddeus Ross or the Accords. She ends up betraying Team Accords to protect Steve and his team. Thus she, Steve, and Sam go on the run. Bucky goes into the deep freeze. Hawkeye and Ant-Man go on house arrest. And the Avengers are officially broken up.

This is one of those MCU movies that I can’t rewatch. It hurts me too much.

(Note: Black Widow directly follows Captain America: Civil War.)

Her next appearance is in Avengers: Infinity War. It has been two years since the airport fight that split up the Avengers. Natasha has spent those two years on the run with Sam and Bucky doing who knows what. We really don’t know what they do. She comes with a new blonde ‘do that I kind of dig. We don’t really need to hash out what happens in Infinity War, you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, then why are you here?

We see our girl again Avengers: Endgame. She has taken up the mantle of leading what’s left of the Avengers and running things, talking to Rocket the Raccoon and Carol Danvers, the folks in Wakanda, and generally being a badass.

Now, again, if you haven’t seen this movie, why are you here? But SPOILERS.

Natasha Romanoff dies. She gives her life to get the Soul Stone so that Clint and everyone else can get the ones they love back from being Dusted.

I won’t lie.

I cried. I was bawling as I watched this scene.

We all knew that someone was going to die but I didn’t expect it to be her. I had finally stopped crying over her death when we lost Tony Stark and I was like what the fuck. Thank you for destroying my soul, Disney.

Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark made the ultimate sacrifices. They grew so much. From being a billionaire who didn’t care about anyone but himself to an ex-brainwashed assassin who was forced to kill people. They grew and we will always miss them.

I won’t deny that I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t get a funeral scene for Natasha like we did for Tony. She deserved that too. But either way, RIP Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark.

Now, without further adieu, let’s talk about Black Widow. As stated previously, Black Widow takes place after Captain America: Civil War.

We start the movie in Ohio, 1995 where some young girls, one with blue hair, the other with blonde are playing. It kind of starts out as a typical like Hallmark movie with the two girls and the parents. But the, oh, the parents have secrets. We find out that the parents are Russians spies who were sent here undercover three years to get information. And by “get” I mean “steal.”

So the girls, who we find out are Natasha and her sister, Yelena, have to leave their Ohio home and they end up back in the Red Room.

Honestly, though, I don’t want to run through this entire movie. It’s been out a while and people have already done reviews about it.

What I will say is that I was a bit disappointed in what we learned about the Red Room. Which is to say, nothing at all. When I think “origin story” I really wanted to see like baby Nat when she first started in the Red Room. We got to see her as a teenager with some fabulous blue hair, but it was only in the first like maybe twenty or so minutes.

We get this montage in the opening credits. It’s a great montage, don’t get me wrong. Beautifully done. As a film major, I can appreciate it. The music, the images, the videos. It’s all perfect. It almost reads like a propo for a war. Kind of like what they did in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Take a look below at a scene from the movie and I think you’ll see what I mean.

It felt new, raw, and real. However, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that that’s not exactly what I was expecting in this movie. The montage is like a summary of what the Red Room is. When what we wanted was a deep delve into the Red Room. In the comics, Natasha Romanoff and the other Widows were trained by the Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes. Bucky and Natasha even had a relationship. The intel Alexei and the one chick who also played in The Mummy movies, the intel they got was from the Winter Soldier program.

We also didn’t get Hawkeye aka Clint Barton, going after Black Widow. How did she really defect? We know he had something to do with it, but what?

Also what happened to all the other Widows? They are free now, yes? But where did they go? Do they go find all the other women? Were the Widows a part of HYDRA? Is the Red Room truly over?

Black Widow was a good movie. I liked it a lot. I liked that we got to focus on Natasha Romanoff. It did have problems though. Like the ones I mentioned. Also, this movie should’ve happened during Phase Two. It felt like a Phase Two movie, not a Phase Four movie.

I also feel like the after credits scene where Yelena visits Natasha’s grave was an afterthought. I’m curious as to what happens with her and Clint in Hawkeye. We’ll have to see how that goes.

However let’s not focus on all that. Let’s just talk about my favorite parts.

  • Yelena and Natasha’s relationship is seriously the cutest thing in the world. Their dynamic is perfect. Natasha is the exasperated older sister and Yelena is the annoying little sister. Yelena is a gem of a human. How she has remained so optimistic and full of life after all the shit she’s been through, I have no idea.
  • Alexei. Ohmygod. David Harbour, who is also in Stranger Things, is just. . .He’s a caricature Like he has no idea how ridiculous he sounds. I don’t know a lot about the Red Guardian, but like, is he like that in the comics too?
  • Yelena’s Vest. Enough said.
  • Poser. Just. Omg. Way to be meta in a movie by making fun of superhero poses. Especially female superhero poses that *clears throat* accentuates their assets.

All in all, I enjoyed Black Widow. I wish we had it sooner, but I enjoyed it and I am more or less satisfied. If you havne’t seen it, you should

R.I.P. Natasha Romanoff.

-K