Quotes: How There’s Still Any Hesitancy to Front Women Characters in [Movie] Franchises

Among John Scalzi’s thoughts on the Wonder Woman movie are these observations:

“[…] it’s worth noting that only one other film has outgrossed Wonder Woman domestically so far this year, and that’s Beauty and the Beast, another woman-focused film, and the one film remaining on the theatrical schedule this year that will outgross it will be The Last Jedi, which also has a woman as the protagonist […]

”The real issue here, to my mind, is how there’s still any hesitancy to front women characters in franchises, superhero or otherwise. There’s pretty clearly no significant financial penalty for doing so if your franchise is already up and running and your marketing is focused; honestly, at this point there’s only upside, if you manage to make the film better than its male-focused franchise siblings. That upside is perceptual in the short run, as it largely was here with Wonder Woman. But in the long run it’s likely going to add to your franchise financial bottom line. [original emphasis]”

– John Scalzi

Hear, hear. Although, I find I’m absent-mindedly wondering whether Scalzi’s conclusion would hold over the past few years’ worth of movies as well as for 2017. In the end, though, I’m much more interested in the movies themselves.

Scalzi, John. “Wonder Woman: A Smash, Possibly in Different Ways Than You Think.” Whatever, August 03, 2017.

Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.

Black Panther Poster & Trailer

A little more news on the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Black Panther trickled out from San Diego Comic-Con. At this writing, the SDCC trailer hasn’t been released outside the con yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be out soon.

Meanwhile, we have this gorgeous poster to tide us over:

Tor com BPPoster

And, since apparently I didn’t post this before, here’s the teaser trailer:

Black Panther Teaser Trailer [HD] from Marvel Entertainment

It looks so amazing! Good thing February 2018 is just six and a half months away.

Image: Marvel Studios via Tor.com

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Texts from Wonder Woman: Weaknesses

One of the brilliant takes among The Best Wonder Woman Texts From Superheroes (No Movie Spoilers):

Texts from Wonder Woman Weaknesses

  • Batman: So what are your weaknesses?
  • Wonder Woman: What do you mean?
  • Batman: I’m just making a list. Green Lantern can’t affect yellow, Superman is hurt by Kryptonite, Flash is bad with cold. What about you?
  • Wonder Woman: Put down nothing.
  • Batman: You’re saying you don’t have any weaknesses?
  • Wonder Woman: I’m saying if I did I wouldn’t be dumb enough to tell people what they are.

Go and read more!

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Some Random Thoughts on Logan

Random thoughts on Logan in no particular order. Spoilers ahead.

Logan Promo Poster Silhouetted Sunset

  • The movie was an interesting take on westerns. I know very little about that genre, but even I could thell the homage was there.
  • As expected, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman were phenomenal.
  • It was very, very bleak, bleaker than I thought, and I went in expecting a certain amount of bleak.
  • The “Logan and his peeps” story was touching, but the “evil corporate types are evil” story I found cliched, boring, and corny. Those two facets of the plot didn’t really mesh well in my opinion. And speaking of evil corporate types: what’s with the mechanical hand attachments that so many of the evil army types sported? Their version of a goon uniform?? It was odd.
  • I was left wanting an explanation of what it was that Professor X did in Westchester that traumatized him so. (I may have missed it if it was there, since we didn’t see Logan subtitled.)
  • It was great to see something of the midwestern states (instead of the ever-present New York City, for example). For one thing, I had no idea Oklahoma City was so big.

Image via Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Quotes: Today’s Young People Are Proud to Be Smart and Curious

“What’s remarkable is the way ‘nerd’ is such a badge of honor now. Growing up, I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who read Spider-Man comics and learned how to do the Vulcan salute, but it wasn’t like it is today. I get the sense that today’s young people are proud to be smart and curious, to design new things, and tackle big problems in unexpected ways. I think America’s a nerdier country than it was when I was a kid—and that’s a good thing!”

– President Barack Obama

Smart and curious people designing new things and tackling big problems is exactly what’s needed at the moment. Proud of my fellow geeks and nerds!

Ransom, Cliff. “President Barack Obama on How to Win the Future: Questions and Answers with Popular Science.” Popular Science

Crossposted from the Playfully Grownup Home blog.

Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer

It’s six months till (yet another) Spider-Man reboot drops. The first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming has been out for a few weeks, and it’s looking cool:

FIRST OFFICIAL Trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming via Jimmy Kimmel Live

Very MCU! There’s one thing that I very much hope: that Tony Stark will only be making a cameo. I’m so, so thoroughly done with that character already. Instead, I’d love to see other faces get more attention now, kthxbye.

So, I’m still not entirely sure whether I want to see it, because Spidey’s never been that interesting to me and there’s the possibility of Stark overload. I guess it’ll depend on how movie-deprived I’m feeling come July.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Doctor Strange Trailers

It’s now just over a week until Doctor Strange opens. (Gosh, November is so close!) There are a bunch of trailers on the InterTubes, for instance the official ones by Marvel:

Marvel’s Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer by Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Strange Official Trailer 2 by Marvel Entertainment

The tv spot from the end of September, however, is my favorite:

Doctor Strange TV Spot by Marvel Entertainment

Kaecilius: “Mister…?”

Strange: “Doctor.”

Kaecilius: “Mister Doctor.”

Strange: “It’s Strange.”

Kaecilius: “Maybe. Who am I to judge?”

Harf! 🙂

I have to say I know next to nothing about Doctor Strange. The character was referred to from time to time in the translated X-Men I read in my youth in Finland, but “odd name” and “magic user of some sort” was pretty much what I got out of them.

The cast is something to look forward to. I loved Chiwetel Ejiofor in Serenity and The Martian, and Benedict Cumberbatch should be marvelous (I’d listen to him pretty much just reading a phone book). Mads Mikkelsen looks like the quintessential bad guy. Perhaps too much so; I fear I might find his character too corny, but we’ll see.

Tilda Swinton I’m conflicted over. I’ve enjoyed her past performances. Her character in this movie, The Ancient One, has been gender-swapped, which is really cool. However, apparently the role is whitewashed. I guess we’ll see.

I also know nothing of the director Scott Derrickson; again, we’ll see. It’s been such a slow latter half of the year, movie-wise, that I’m looking forward to Doctor Strange even if I’m not sure whether it’s exactly my cup of tea.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Fan Video: Marvel Cinematic Universe with Glitter & Gold

YouTube users Grable424 and djcprod collaborated to bring us this awesome Marvel Cinematic Universe music video / mashup:

MARVEL || Glitter & Gold (collab w/ djcprod) by Grable424

They’ve skillfully intercut clips from Iron Man and Captain America movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man, among others; the Doctor Strange trailer also features, even if the movie wasn’t out yet. The song is “Glitter & Gold” by new-to-me artist Barns Courtney, and very catchy. Love it!

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Some Random Thoughts on X-Men: Apocalypse

Random thoughts in no particular order. Spoilers ahead.

  1. The ancient Egypt crowd scene looked appropriately brown. In a story that pings on some of the racialist elements of dynastic race theory and ancient aliens it’s good to see (ancient) Egyptians acting with initiative. It would be nice if we saw some modern Egyptians who weren’t bit-part cultists.160607Apocalypse
  2. Speaking of characters with initiative, it’s also good to see a lot of female characters taking charge and being the ones people look to in a crisis. Not to mention Charles Xavier being the damsel in distress, for variety.
  3. On the other hand, two fridged women for the price of one to get Magneto back in the game. *Sigh*
  4. Apparently Apocalypse’s superpower is… fashion design?
  5. This movie was worth the price of admission just to watch Quicksilver rescuing everyone from the exploding mansion. I could just watch that scene on a loop for a good long while.
  6. You know, maybe they should try making an X-Men movie without Wolverine some time, just for giggles.
  7. I still don’t get the point of launching the whole world’s nuclear weapons into space. How was that relevant to Apocalypse’s plan? It’s not like they were a threat to him and since his plan is basically “blow up the world” anyway, why waste the nukes?
  8. On the whole, this movie reminded me a lot of Age of Ultron. The same grand ambitions, the same dizzyingly large cast, the same lack of narrative chewing after too big a bite of individual character arcs.
  9. Did I really just use the phrase “narrative chewing?” Yes. Yes, I did.

Responses to Erik’s thoughts and additional randomness by Eppu

  1. Looked appropriately brown to me, too, but maybe not black enough…? Not my era, area, nor expertise; would be nice to hear from someone more knowledgeable. But: Definitely too few women in that initial Apocalypse-worship scene. We existed in ancient times, too, and would’ve been interested in a spectacle.
  2. Agreed. One notable exception being Jean Grey / Phoenix. There’s a lot to her arc, but we only saw the barest of bare minimums.
  3. Not enough facepalm in the world for that. *frustration!*
  4. Apocalypse needs to hand in his supervillain club card. Can you say milquetoast? What I reaaaaally enjoyed, though, was the slow buildup. It’s not that usual in an action-genre film. Unfortunately, the end flopped.
  5. That was an epic scene! But I have to say I liked Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver better in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s a shame that the movie rights are so entangled that we’re likely not to see MCU superheroes and mutants in the same flicks.
  6. Agreed. They did go to Canada, though; I always enjoy seeing northerly locations get screen time.
  7. And speaking of plot oddities, how is it a workable plan for Charles Xavier to exhort Jean Grey to just let go? On the other hand, I suppose it’s a change to see a deus ex machina of a woman asked to release her pent-up feelings and whatnot.
  8. Agreed. Going in with low expectations helped. As I said to someone else, it was less bad than I thought. Of course, that doesn’t make it good, per se. Overall it feels like no-one really knows exactly what to do with the mutant movies so they end up all over the place, whereas there’s at least some oversight or long-term planning for the MCU properties.

Other thoughts:

  • There were several introductory scenes (e.g. of Angel & Nightcrawler) that worked quite well. Too bad that stringing them together doesn’t make a movie.
  • I didn’t like Angel’s metal wings, but eh; not the end of the world.
  • I do like James McAvoy as Professor Xavier. If only someone would do more of Patrick Stewart’s and McAvoy’s Xavier in the same story.
  • I can’t say I remember Psylocke from my X-Men reading days, but I liked Olivia Munn. I might have to check out what else she’s been in.
  • Storm suffers from the same lack of attention as Jean Grey. There would’ve been a lot to delve into.
  • The screen version of Mystique’s skin is horrible. (Scales and/or raised nodules? Really? Mostly naked? REALLY?!?) Fortunately we saw less of it in this movie.
  • What a way to hand-wave Havok off the story. He never was a special character to me, but doesn’t he deserve better? Disappointing with a capital d.
  • Others have said this, too, but I’ll repeat: Oscar Isaac’s skills were wasted under all that makeup.

Image: Detail of still from X-Men: Apocalypse via IMDb

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.