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:
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.
He also plays Kaecilius from Doctor Strange who serves Dormammu. You know, this guy with the extra makeup.
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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 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.
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!”
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.
Do you remember being thirteen years old? I know I do, though I definitely try not to remember. Let’s be real here. Even if now you’re some hotshot CEO or a popstar or a NASA astronaut, at some point, you were an awkward 13 year old. Don’t deny it. You might me smooth and cool now, but let me tell you, nobody was cool at thirteen. No one. At thirteen, you are hitting puberty and trust me, it’s dreadful. Your emotions are all over the place. If you’re a girl, you suddenly get this thing called a period and you don’t understand why it’s a taboo. Boys voices crack and they get hair in strange places. Basically, thirteen year olds are hot messes. They are walking disasters. In their minds they consider themselves a “young adult” but you know, most of them still have their baby fat. Thirteen is that awkward strange of not being a kid but not quite being a teenager yet either. You want to be taken seriously but you aren’t even sure who the hell you are.
Who was I at thirteen? Fuck, if I knew. I was trying to figure that out. I had braces, so you know I got called “Brace Face.” (I know, I know, so original.) I also had glasses so you know “Four Eyes” as well. I believe I was in 7th grade. That’s when I really started to figure out who I was. Who I wanted to be. I used to wear whatever my mother wanted me to wear, which was pink and girly and just not me. In 7th grad I was like, nope. No more. I wore a lot of black and fingerless gloves and probably the first time I dyed my hair red. I wasn’t quite popular but I wasn’t an outcast either. I was something in-between. I made decent grades. I was in choir and art. I hung out with those folks. But also with the skaters and the ones who didn’t quite fit in with the other cliques of middle school. Think like The Breakfast Club.
That was my friends and I, basically. Some hodge-podge, mismatched motley crew of people who probably shouldn’t mesh but we did. I’ve always hung out with people like that.
In 7th grade you want to stand out but not too much. You want to be cool but not a snob. You want to blend in. You want so many different things. And there are lots of shows and movies that show the teenage years. But let me tell you, this movie perfectly captures the sheer awkward, cringeworthy of being a thirteen year old.
Seriously. I got secondhand embarrassment from this movie.
Now I’m not going to tell the whole movie, because well, I want you to watch it. But here are the basic details and my thoughts.
Turning Red is a Pixar film released February 21st, 2022. It follows a Chinese-Canadian girl named Mei who is trying to be the perfect, good daughter while also trying to be herself. This gets a bit more complicated when Mei finds out that in her family, the women turn into giant red pandas once they turn 13 and hit puberty. She can control the panda if she controls her emotions.
This movie talks about the messiness of being a teenager. It’s about school crushes. It’s about puberty. It’s about identity. It’s about how women are told to control themselves. To smile. To be perfect. To not show their anger or their sadness. That’s what the red panda is a metaphor for. Not just a metaphor for puberty, but the repressed emotions women have. That strain that society has put on them. It’s about the pressure that family can put on you (much like Encanto. I discuss intergenerational trauma in my blog post on Encanto too). Like the pressure Mei’s mother, Ming puts on her daughter. That was learned. Ming learned that from her own mother.
But you know what? It’s also about friendship. It’s about the friends you make that sometimes you keep forever. The friends who have your back. The friends who do silly things to try and make you feel better. Mei’s friends accepted her. All of that. And I think that’s beautiful. I know that without my friends in middle and high school, I don’t think I’d be here. My friends saved me, and in a way, Mei’s friends saved her too.
So, check out Turning Red. You’ll cry. You’ll get secondhand embarrassment, but trust me, it’s worth it. It’s a movie that I feel like everyone can relate too.
I am going to say what we all are thinking. . . .Avengers: Endgameroyally 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.
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.)
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.)
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!
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. Ofcourse, 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.
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.
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
Books that turn are turned into movies or TV shows are always a hit or miss. It’s just a fact. (Please don’t even get me started on Eragon, Vampire Academy or Maximum Ride. Those are all horrible movies.) You read a book, you find out it’s going to be a movie or a TV show and you can’t help but be excited. I mean you’ve read the books, you have imagined how the characters look and everything. But what about the movies or shows that you watch and you didn’t know it was a book?
Take Mortal Engines for example. We watched it on Sling one day. It was. . .well, we were already past the dystopian young adult movies, so really, it came out at the wrong time. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and the Divergent series had already been released and over and done with. (Not that the Divergent series went anywhere compared to The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner. Or you know, that the last book even got turned into a movie. Instead they just kind of left you standing there like “That’s it?” But of course I didn’t like the Divergent movies because they were boring as hell.)
Check out the trailer for Mortal Engines below.
The problem with Mortal Engines, besides it being released after the dystopian rage, was that it left you with too many questions that never got answered, and frankly, it was boring. Not even Hugo Weaving could save that move. And it’s Hugo. Weaving. You know the guy who has played Agent Smith in The Matrix, Megatron in the Transformers franchise, and you know Elrond in The Lord of the Rings. And due to how boring it was — seriously, there was no sense of urgency or like any connection to the characters — I now don’t want to read the book. Eventually, I’ll probably get to it. But today we aren’t discussing the movies or TV shows that made me not want to read the book. Instead, we are going to discuss a show that made me want to read the books. Today we are going to talk about True Blood.
True Blood was an HBO show that ran from September 7, 2008 to August 24, 2014. Much like with The Vampire Diaries, I actually watched a few episodes in high school but never watched it from the beginning. (Stay tuned for a blog post comparing True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Maybe. Eventually. If I get to it. I have a massive list.) We’d play it on the background while playing cards games and getting high. You know, the way high school students did.
The scene that I most vividly remember from True Blood is in the first season where Jason Stackhouse goes to the hospital and has to have his dick drained of blood because he stupidly took too much V (vampire blood which is like a drug in this universe) and they uh, did this by. . .stabbing his dick with a huge ass fucking needle.
Yeah, a scene like that would definitely stick with you, I imagine.
Around two years or so ago, I actually watched the entire show from start to finish. After I finished the show, I found out that it was based off The Southern Vampire Mysteries series. So fall 2018 while I was in Washington D.C. for an internship, I read all thirteen books while on my commute to and from my internship. And wow. Let me just say, HBO missed out by not following the books to the T.
Now here’s the thing.
The show isn’t bad. It’s not. I liked it. Sure, it totally lost me with the Billith thing in like season six and what even was that season finale for season seven. But it’s not a bad show. The problem is. . . .well a few things.
When it comes to True Blood, you aren’t in it for the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin (who also played Rogue in the X-Men movies but my comments on her Rogue is best left unsaid. The whole if you have nothing nice to say thing. Though really, it’s not her fault as it’s the directors for that horrible depiction of my favorite X-Men.) Sookie, frankly, is annoying in the show. She’s grating, always needs saving and most of the time, causes more problems than she helps. In the books, she’s slightly more tolerable because she actually does something instead of just getting in everyone’s way. But again, only slightly.
You’re also not there for her love interest, Bill Compton played by Stephen Moyer (who is actually married to Anna Paquin and they have kids). Stephen Moyer also played the dad, Reed Strucker, in the short-lived show (which was tragic because it’s great), The Gifted which was about mutants. How funny is it that his wife played a mutant and he ended up playing one too?
The point is that when you compare Bill fucking Compton to Eric fucking Northman. . .there really is no competition. Bill is boring. He’s Boring Bill. Seriously. No woman in her right mind would choose Bill Compton over Eric Northman. (Or you know Bill Compton over Alcide Herveaux but we’ll get to him in a minute.) And this isn’t just because he’s played by Alexander Skarsgard (known for The Legend of Tarzan, Big Little Lies, The Stand and a Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” video. Seriously, he’s in it. Who are we more jealous of? Lady Gaga or Alexander Skarsgard? Probably both.) Okay. That’s a lie. Maybe a little bit (a lot), but watch the show and tell me that you wouldn’t chose Eric Northman. Even in the books, Eric is so superior to Bill Compton.
Compare the two below.
See what I mean?
And it’s not just their looks, I promise.
Bill is so. . .I already said boring. He’s that but I need another word. He’s like. . .cardboard. He’s a cardboard cutout. He has no use. No purpose. He’s just there, and you kind of hope there will be more to him but you dig and dig and dig so more but. . . .there’s. . . . Yeah, I was trying to think of something that Boring Bill brings, but I got nothing. There’s nothing to him. Nothing but boring, bland cardboard cutout-ness. Not to mention a dash of creepy. Okay. More than a dash. He’s creepy from the get go, come on. Because he’s not just boring and bland, oh no.
He’s a creeper.
He’s a creeper stalker type. He intentionally lets Sookie get attacked by the Rats so he has to give her his blood. He’s all “Sookeh! I must protect you!” But also. . .he’s so controlling and demanding. He treats her like she’s stupid, And yeah, okay, sometimes she is, but while I don’t necessarily like her character all that much, she can more or less take care of herself. My theory is that Bill is used to the women he grew up with when he was human during the Civil War era. You know, the perfect wives who did everything their husbands told them to do. And like. . .that’s so not Sookie? She does what she wants, and when she wants. Which is why I never got the whole so in love thing with Bill Compton. Like, ew. No.
Also, what is up with the main chick going for the creepy stalker dude? Like why? No, baby, no. That is not a healthy relationship, and yes, I get it’s fiction, but come on. Show some reality here. (*coughs* Twilight. But that is another blog post.)
Bill Compton came to Bon Temps to seduce Sookie because his Queen, Sophie Ann wanted a telepath. There’s also the manner of Sookie being part fairy which gives her magical powers and blood that is like crack to vampires. It can make a vampire a Daylighter for like a few hours but then it fades. Everything Bill does is because he’s trying to earn Sookie’s trust. He wants to be her knight in shining armor. How does he do that? By lying and manipulating her. Then he claims to love her. Like no, dude. No. Fuck you.
That’s not to say Sookie’s other love interest is like the best guy for her, because honestly, he’s not. (We’ll get to who the like best guy is in a moment.) And really, Eric Northman, though definitely better than Boring Bill, probably wouldn’t make the best boyfriend. But at least he’s honest.
More or less.
He finds out Sookie is a telepath and he uses her, yes, but at least he’s honest about it, you know. Which I can appreciate it. Eric doesn’t try to be anything he’s not, and I like that in a man. (Apparently. Read: Damon Salvatore. Oh god, I have a type. In fictional guys at least. When it comes to in real life guys, I date gamers.)
Now, look, I love me some Eric Northman. Eric is an all around badass. Seriously, he gets you from the first time you see him. Even before you hear him talk, and you only see him, I swear your eyebrows go way, way, way up and you’re like “Oh, heellllloooo. Who are you?” Sure, Eric does a lot of bad things, let’s not sugarcoat it. I wouldn’t say he was a ‘good’ guy. (I mean, neither is Bill, honestly.) He does what he wants that hopefully benefit him and the people he cares about. He does a lot of horrible things. Such as: dismember a human in front of Lafayette, torture Lafayette, (just. . .poor Lafayette), uses Sookie because of her telepathy, lets Russell Edington drink from Sookie to get his (Eric’s) revenge, buys Sookie’s house in a stalker-y way because he wants her, and the list goes on. And on.
But here’s the thing (I swear that’s my catch phrase. Like Kim Possible’s “What’s the stitch?”), Eric at least respects Sookie, more or less. Yes, he wants to keep her safe. . .after he starts to care about her and eventually love her. He does. Eric is loyal. Completely. For like eternity. Once he’s in, he’s in, even if he’s being petulant and says he’s done.
In the books, unlike in the show, Eric and Sookie actually date for a while. In fact, they sort of get married. Now, yes, Eric in the books does some heavy-handed bullshit so she will marry him. But he did it to keep her safe. You’re totally routing for Eric and Sookie. But then his damn Maker, Ocella (not Godric, like in the show) arranges a marriage to the Queen of Oklahoma for Eric and since that’s his Maker, Eric can’t say no. (Ocella is a fucking creep. He basically turned Eric because he thought Eric was pretty then used him that whole time as his own personal sex toy. I hate Ocella.) Then Sookie uses this thing called a cluviel dor which is like some fairy object thing that grants wishes. Anyways, she uses it to bring back Sam Merlotte after his bitch of a girlfriend kills him. Due to that, the Sookie and the Eric in the books end up breaking up and that’s that.
Speaking of fairies, they are way more involved in the books. That Billith and tainted True Blood and Warlow bullshit does not happen. The fairies are not weaklings. Nah, man, they are badasses. They get Sookie into more trouble than the vampires do, which is saying something.
Sookie has other love interests as well. Such as Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf whom I actually like better in the show than in the books. In the book, he’s very controlling and thinks he knows best. Then like Bill he does some shady stuff that gets Sookie into trouble. He lies to her, and she’s not into that lying thing. Sookie does not end up with Eric, Bill or Alcide in the show nor the books. In the show she ends up with some off-the-wall guy that you see briefly and don’t even know his name. In the books, she ends up with Sam Merlotte. But yeah, we’ll explain Sam Merlotte later. I like his character way better in the books, just saying.
But in the show. Alcide Herveaux is the winner. Like he is the best. He is loyal, kind, brave. He’s simply a really good guy, and he remains as such. Even when he becomes Alpha, he’s still oh so good and leaves because he realizes that the pack life ain’t for him. Also he’s played by this guy.
Casting choice was damn near perfect for Alcide Herveaux. Seriously, in the books he’s described as a tall man with an olive complexion, an aquiline nose, green eyes, and thick, tousled hair. Hello, casting. Damn. Two thumbs way way up for this casting choice.
Unlike in the show, in the books Sookie and Alcide never actually get together. In the show, they date for a bit and are super cute and we love them. You think everything is all perfectly fine. . . .until he dies in like the first episode of season seven along with Tara Thornton. Both of their deaths were pointless. They did nothing for the show. Also, considering who Sookie ends up with in the show (a random dude we see maybe once and know nothing about), the showrunners never should’ve killed off Alcide. If Sookie wasn’t going to end up with Eric or I guess, Bill (yuck) then she should’ve ended up with Alcide.
In the books, Sookie ends up with Sam Merlotte, which admittedly, was a twist. I did not see that coming. I hoped that Sookie in the books would end up with either Eric or Quinn.
It’s kind of like this.
Guy A (Bill) first love, blah, blah, blah.
Guy B (Eric) bad boy, don’t want to love him but you totally do.
Guy C (Alcide) mostly steady guy, has issues, could be a thing but never is a thing
Guy D (Quinn) came out of nowhere and you’re like wait what there’s a fourth choice
Guy E (Sam) best dude friend, never thought he was an option (until he was).
So you think okay, she’s not gonna end up with Guy A. But maybe she’ll end up with Guy B, you know, how typical things go (such as The Vampire Diaries. Stefan would be Guy A and Damon Guy B. Elena ended up with Damon in the end).
Now Quinn is a character that we never see on True Blood. Quinn is a tall huge man with a bald head. . . .that happens to be a weretiger. One of the last weretigers. He runs a business for supernatural parties, weddings, etc. It’s a cute job. He and Sookie meet and it’s like sparks fly.
Quinn, most of the time, is a great guy. He has issues with vampires but that could be because vampires tortured his mother so she’s crazy and he was forced to fight in like gladiator fights. He and Sookie argue the most about well, his crazy mother and his sister, who are always getting him in trouble. Sookie ends up getting in trouble and hurt because of Quinn’s family, and due to that, he and Sookie end things. Quinn is always going to put his family first, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, honorable even, but his family gets him in danger which then puts Sookie in danger, and she can’t handle that.
I understand that.
As much as I loved Quinn (other than his blatant hatred of vampires which put him and Sookie at odds but they got over that), his family was always going to cause problems for him. That’s a fact of life. Is it honorable that he loves his family that much? Yes, I can appreciate that. So can Sookie. But the fact of the matter is, his mother and sister indirectly cause Sookie to get kidnapped and she gets hurt. She’s done with that. However, they parted ways more or less amicably.
Quinn is never mentioned in the show. Weretigers don’t exist. There are werepanthers, of course, and they are more or less the same in the books as in the show. Though in the books they aren’t crackheads (I think?). Is there incest? Yes. To keep the blood pure. Oh, and Calvin Norris is a gentle old panther who has the hots for Sookie and wanted her to be his breeding mare. (There’s also the thing were Jason actually does become a werepanther, sort of, but not a ‘pure’ one. Like a werepanther-man thing. He marries Crystal who gets pregnant and she’s then murdered by someone something in other.) I guess he’d be Guy F. Not that he had a chance in hell with Sookie. Sookie ain’t about to sit on a couch eating bon-bons and popping out kids every ten months. Just saying. That’s not her.
Instead she marries some random guy
I think HBO missed out by not following the books to the T. Seriously, there was so much content, and honestly, had they followed the books more and not the first like three books, the show would’ve been much better. That’s not to say the show isn’t worth watch. Just keep in mind that you aren’t in it for Sookie or Bill. The side characters such as Eric, Pam, Tara, etc., that’s who you’re there for.
I’d like to challenge you to watch all of True Blood. Then read the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. You’ll see what I mean.
Yes, we are back. Here’s part seven where we talk about the best dad ever, Charlie Swan.
As stated previously in part six, Charlie is wonderful. I really don’t understand why Bella is so like against him. Like this man traveled to Arizona to be with her. Took time off and everything to see her and she’s like, so ungrateful towards him? She moves to Forks and he buys her a car! Bella doesn’t ask, nothing. He gets her a car and wants her to feel welcome there! This man is so excited to have his daughter living with him and she doesn’t care! The whole town knows because Charlie is the Chief of the police department and he’s probably been telling his buddies “My daughter’s coming to live with me!” Hell, I bet he pulls out a picture of her from his wallet.
And I don’t know, maybe I’m projecting. I’ve never had a decent father figure in my life. Like ever. Or maybe rather I’ve never had a consistent decent father figure in my life. Charlie, he’s decent and good and genuinely loves his daughter. He wants the best for her. That’s all he wants. Bella is so ungrateful towards him and it infuriates me!
During the whole James thing. She needs to leave, right, to protect him. Okay, whatever. But she intentionally uses the same words her mother used when she left. It made Charlie stop dead and be like oh so she hates Forks too. Like her mother. She never wanted to be there. Like ouch? Poor Charlie.
And you know what, Charlie is a pretty chill dad. I don’t think Bella even has a curfew because he knows that she’s a responsible adult.
When does Bella get a curfew? Oh, I don’t know. AFTER SHE FUCKING LEAVES FOR ITALY AND DOESN’T TELL HER DAD WHERE SHE’S GOING.
(Honestly? Her getting a curfew is more than fair.)
I’m telling you right now, if I was 17 and I fucked off to another country to go after a boy who dumped my ass in the woods (not that that would happen but whatever), my mom would kick. My. ass. I would be dead. I wouldn’t have to worry about the Volturi. I’d be dead. Bella is lucky that she even gets to see Edward. Because if it was my mom or hell me, bitch you would never see that boy again!
Charlie is a lot nicer than I feel like other parents would be. I mean, his daughter fucks off to Italy with no explanation. He gets home and she’s gone. No note. Bed empty. (Said in my Mrs. Molly Weasley voice). Also, Charlie is a police officer. He sees all this and he’s probably thinking the absolute worst scenarios. She’s been kidnapped. She went off to the woods to commit suicide. He is kicking himself for not being a better dad andfreaking the fuck out. Bella did that to him. Like just, why?
Bella gets back and she lies to him and is all like “Yeah so Edward and I are back together and it’s so wonderful!” (Said in a Malibu Barbie voice.) Charlie isn’t dumb. I know she thinks he’s dumb, but come on. He’s not. He may not know what’s going on but he knows there is more to the story. Edward is damn lucky Charlie has self-control or Edward could’ve ended up getting shot. That is the boy who left Charlie’s daughter in the woods and then she’s spent the last four months being a zombie because of said boy. Motherfucker, please. I bet Charlie was like Please, please give me a reason to shoot you, Edmund whatever, I’ll fucking do it. Try. Me.
Oh, and it should be noted. That Edward can’t really read Charlie’s mind either. He can get the occasional thought but most of the time, it’s feelings, emotions. Of course, we don’t find that out until we read Midnight Sun because Bella sucks.
Now all I’m picturing is Charlie pulling out his shotgun and shooting Edward with it. I think I cackled, ngl.
In Eclipse, Charlie tries to get Bella to be involved with people other than Edward. You know, a reasonable thing. Charlie doesn’t like Edward. I can’t blame him there. Bella doesn’t think about Charlie. Sure, she wants him to be safe. But she’s so focused on Edward that she doesn’t care or notice what her actions do to Charlie. Bella wants to be a vampire so bad that she doesn’t think about what that’d do to Charlie. Her “death” would do to him. Her mom has her husband. But Charlie? He doesn’t have anything. Bella dying would devastate him. Bella is all “Oh, he’ll get over it.”
Charlie deserves better.
When he does find out the truth, he takes it quite well, I always thought. All things considered. He rolls with the punches. He gets to have his daughter and sure, she looks. . .vastly different. That’s a bit jarring. But she’s alive. Oh, and he gets to have a cute granddaughter (though he’s still confused about that and is like what the fuck).
Either way, Charlie is awesome. Bella sucks.
Book Charlie I don’t remember so much. He was chill and he was there. And he was good. Not perfect, but solid.
And then Movie Charlie absolutely fucking rocked that part so hard that Charlie became my low-key favorite character. That should have won an Oscar lol. Absolutely astounding A++ work. Well done. Billy Burke. Fuckin’ killin’ it, man. Good job.
Charlie went from being a dad you kinda notice sorta (book) to a master of dry wit and snark (movie) and I love it so much.
Now, I will say, there was a moment that I wasn’t a huge fan of Charlie and that was when he reacted to his daughter being assaulted by congratulating the assaulter. Cannot emphasize enough how bad that is.
Other than that, Charlie is great and wonderful and hilarious. And really nice in that “oh shit how do nice people talk to people? Whatever I’ll just say some words” kind of way.
And that moment where Bella leaves in Twilight? “I’ll end up stuck here like Mom”? Rip my fuckin’ heart out whydon’tcha? Fucking owwwww. And sobs. (Most of the time I have to hit fast forward and skip that part because I over-empathize and it kills me.)
Then he’s worried about her all the time in New Moon, which, can’t blame the guy. She was an absolute wreck. Practically in a vegetative state except for when she would have screaming nightmares. And after all that, she bails to go to another country.
To bring you back to that moment with context:
One of his best friends was recently deceased.
His daughter had been beyond distraught for months. I can guarantee you he was worried she was a danger to herself. And then she’s missing.
That’s what he gets to come home to after planning his friend’s funeral.
Bad day for Charlie.
So, yeah. When Bella comes back, of course she’s grounded. And of course Charlie hates Edward. He has no reason to trust this brat with his daughter. As far as Charlie is concerned, Edward is the teenaged prick who dumped his daughter for months and then came back like nothing had ever happened.
Yeah. No. Not gonna fly.
Lastly, in Breaking Dawn when Jacob reveals himself as a werewolf. (Yes, Keely, I said werewolf. Suck it.)
That scene in the movie was stellar. Gotta give it up for the director. And once again, Billy Burke holdin’ it down. And Charlie is chill with that and goes “well hey, it’s weird but if it means I get to see my daughter, I’m in.” Which makes me feel all kind of warm fuzzies because it always makes me sad in eternal being fiction when the eternal being has to say goodbye to a loving family. And, yeah, Bella isn’t gonna see much of her mom ever again, but she still has her dad.
That’s a weird thing to end on, I feel like I’m supposed to say something profound or at least something that wraps this up with a nice little bow.