Back to tv: Warehouse 13

I came to realize something this year which may have been true before but never so clear as now: tv shows are better than movies. I have been very disappointed this year by the lack of really good movies coming out (especially those that ran under the big sail of “blockbuster” were disappointing). So, I turned to tv a lot and that’s where the really good stories were told this year – and, of course, before this year as many of the really great shows this year did not just start. One of those great shows is Warehouse 13.

The warehouse itself is a secret hiding place for artefacts that is protected by a secret society that operates worldwide. Warehouse 13 is situated in South Dakota and Secret Service agents Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) are being recruited to secure artefacts that are being used to create mischief and store them in the warehouse (“snag ’em, bag ’em, tag ’em”). They work under Artie Nielson (Saul Rubinek), an elderly agent with a temper and a past, and with young Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti), who’s a wizz at the keys and has quite a mouth on her. The warehouse’s keeper is Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder), a woman who is closer attached to the warehouse than anyone wants to admit or think about.

One great thing about this show is the fact that we have actually more female than male characters – and yes, this is important because it is such a rare occurance in tv (and movies…). It is an ensemble show and the chemistry is delicious, it’s fun, it’s quirky, and at times silly. The whole show has an undeniable quality of fan-hysteria. You just have to look at the long list of science fiction related guest stars: Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, Lindsay Wagner, Rene Auberjonois to name a few – and you know: here are people who love science fiction.

The light-heartedness is broken by great dramatic story-telling under the helm of a personal favorite: Jane Espenson whose credits cover many a Josh Whedon project, plus Battlestar Galactica, plus Gilmore Girls, etc. No wonder this show is AWESOME.

And then there is subtext, and I don’t mean anything to do with Pete and Myka. Love finds nerdy agent Bering in the second season with villain H.G. Wells (yes, the writer who is coincidentally a woman – her brother provided the mustache). Well, H.G. turns out less the villain and more of someone who is hurting a lot – and really we would forgive Jaime Murray’s lovely face just about anything.

There is a lot to love about the show, and believe you me: I love it all! (There is actually not a single thing I do not like about this show… nothing to rant about… hell, I feel a little bit cheated by the lack of wrong on this show…)

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Book vs. Film – Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go (2010) by Mark Romanek

Yes, I have written about this movie before but now I have also read the novel. And let me tell you: it is just as good. Actually book and movie are not that different. And this is quite an accomplishment if you consider that the book is written by I-narrator Kathy. Ishiguro has written the screenplay together with Alex Garland and they succeed in telling the same bittersweet, touching, and complex story.

Obviously, the novel takes a closer look at the feeling of the narrator, the reader learns more about the issues of the homes and the kids that are to donate.  But Kathy and her peers seem just as naive as they are in the movie. Miss Lucy tells Tommy that things are not explained enough and this holds true even in the novel. Sometimes it gets a little tiresome to have Kathy explain things repeatedly but it works well within the context of the story, Kathy’s wish to preserve memories.

I wrote in my former post that I read some subtext into Ruth’s feelings for Kathy. This also holds true for the novel. Ruth does not seem to care much for anybody, at least not romantically, yet she is bound to Kathy not only by acquaintance, or the coincidence that they grew up together. And one has the feeling that she always fights Kathy more than is necessary…

The book tells us more about Miss Lucy’s story. She is a key character in both versions but the book explores her more thoroughly, is giving her more time with the other characters – especially with Tommy. Tommy’s dilemma with his art and creativity is further elaborated on which is good because this aspect of the movie seemed rather confusing. In all, the novel fills the gaps that the movie cannot fill. It is also well-written. If you find the time, put it on your reading list, it certainly is worth your while.

Back to tv: Battlestar Galactica

Yeah, I know it’s been awhile since this show ran – I don’t even mean the original series but the reboot. But, y’know, I am just discovering it for the first time. And I am more than annoyed that I did not watch it when it aired. Seriously, there is no reason why I shouldn’t have watched it. We watched some of the original series at home when I was a kid, I am also partial to the Star Trek franchise  – but I didn’t watch it. Even when Lucy Lawless joined the cast I refused. I think it has something to do with me not seeing myself as a science-fiction fan. I always denied being a fantasy fan also – I am not sure why that is because my dvd collection clearly belies both these claims… Well, these last few years taught me better than to deny my passions any longer and hence I am free to explore.

I have just ordered the first half of the second season and so I am rewatching season 1. Hell, what a premise:

The twelve colonies of Kobol destroyed, billions dead, and only about 50,000 humans left. And why? Because technology proved its superiority over its master and created – well, mainly those incredible specimen on the left: cylons (Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless, Grace Park). Advanced toaster ovens with the one thought: to destroy mankind. I love when our own creations come back to bite us in the behind. I am also fascinated by the premise of how scared we are of machines taking over. I also watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The same premise, machines are taking over.

But while in Terminator the battle over earth is still on, President Laura Roslin (Mary MacDonnell) explaines slowly to the men who want to go on fighting: “The war is over. And we lost.” And here is one other strength of this show: equality among the genders. Everybody is called “sir” (okay, one could have come up with a less gender-partial nomer than the standard male), everybody is on an equal footing. I like the democratic process within the story telling. And Laura Roslin is one hell of a President!

She is not the only stong female character, though. We have Starbuck, Boomer, and Six to back her up. And even the male characters are not half-baked. Yes, there is some machismo with all the phallic imagery that pervades weaponry but the pheromones are just as widely spread as the testosterone is, so all is good. So far.

I am really looking forward to watching this show (so, no spoilers if you want to comment, please). From what I have seen from the show so far, I can only ask: why only four seasons?

Update: I might have to take some of what I said back. Why? Rape as plot-device. I hate it! I watched the first half of the 2nd season now and the Pegasus-crew seems to feel that raping a cylon-agent is standard operating procedure… and this under the command of a woman! I cannot even fathom how disgusted I am by this plot. And I am amazed that they try to sell it to us… gosh, thank you, dear writers, for destroying another great show with a predictable storyline. I am so saddened by this, I don’t have words.

X-Men: First Class – a coming-out story

X-Men: First Class (2011) by Matthew Vaughn

It has probably the worst title addition ever (surprisingly enough the additional title of First Class and the German one, Erste Entscheidung, are equally silly, that is a first… usually the German title and addition are much worse than the English ones), but that is no reason not to watch it. I think in my life there is actually only one reason I would not watch a film for: if I don’t like any actor/acress in it. What can I say, I am a judgemental bitch (I actually would like to propose boycots on some actors but that would call for actual active and political engagement on my part and I am not that interested, really).

Luckily for me, you don’t need much background information. Since I had watched the first two movies and the Wolverine-movie, I had some of that which means, I remembered Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s characters and that was enough preparation (for those, who hope for an in-depth comparison of comic and film or anything like it: sorry, haven’t read the comics, never will).

Well, it is not a new story: there are mutants, they are different, they are hiding but then the world needs them to prevent a nuclear war (same old, same old). After they have done that the former allies turn on the mutants because they are different. They want to destroy them but that backfires, because… hello!.. THEY ARE MUTANTS! So much for the plot.

Yeah, okay, I oversimplified because there are actually bad mutants and good mutants and there’s also another fight going on between them but, hey, I am a simple kinda… person. So, what with all that hiding and being discriminated against-stuff that is going on, people have suggested that X-Men is really a coming-out story. And, yeah, I mean, great metaphor and all. Do I believe that the mutants are actually all gay? No, but wouldn’t it be fun if they were? Also, I do believe that homos are more evolved than heteros (you just have to look at hetero couples on the street to know that)… we are the next step, people, no wonder everybody is freaking out. So, this part of the story hit home.

Am I being a little sarcastic, here? Yes, so put the stakes away again. I don’t think that any human being is particularly evolved. We are all f**ked up. But I do think that we should all have the same opportunities and rights – but that is just not happening, so it is nice to IMAGINE that we could be better than y’all folks…

And I do think that Emma Frost would be a wonderful addition to our team… Kevin Bacon, well, I love his wife but that’s another story. In all, there is not much to talk about. It is not extraordinary movie-making we are meeting here. I enjoyed the movie, yes, but it falls in line with other forgettable movies. In fact, I have already moved on from watching it last week and can hardly remember anything now. What I remember, is this: it looked good! I love the 60s look of the whole thing and that we get to experience on different continents and to different nationalities. Very nice. Yet, with the 60s looks comes the 60s sexism and no matter how evolved even mutants indulge in that one. Ouch!

Then, I remember the silliest one gesture that a character has accomplished since Picard:

And… Rose Byrne. I don’t even remember where I know her from but has she ever been this hot before?

Also, the German that was being spoken was without grammatical errors which is a rare occasion but everybody supposedly German had a thick accent of some kind… in their German. Just cast German actors next time, maybe?

Just dropping a note: Source Code

Source Code (2011) by Duncan Jones

Another Thursday, another sneak preview. It was exciting, everybody was bouncing in their seats and then the movie began and it was Source Code – and it took me awhile to remember that I had watched a trailer (fortunately, I pretty much watch all trailers on imdb.com on new films… I don’t want to miss anything). And I also remembered that it was not on my list of “to watch” films.

It was entertaining enough: a story about a soldier who is sent into the life of a passenger on a train that has been bombed earlier to find out who bombed the train since that person planned on detonating a dirty bomb somewhere in Chicago later that same day.

It reminds one a little of that Scott Bakula show, no, not Enterprise, Quantum Leap. And yes, I am old enough to remember that show.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead and plays it well, while we see Michelle Monaghan as his love interest Christina for whom he ultimately “saves the world.” But it is Vera Farmiga who leaves one breathless, not just because she looks stunning in a uniform but because she is an awesome actress – you may remember her from Up in the Air, the only movie in which George Clooney was not the sexiest person.

The movie on the whole was okay, though sometimes unintentionally funny. All in all it is a story in which a male hero saves the world a lot – in a train. Quatum Leap meets Die Hard. Next time why not think about a female hero who does all the shit – and saves the girl…?

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go (2010) by Mark Romanek

Unexpectedly, I watched a really good movie this week. Why unexpectedly? Because I watch movies for the strangest of reasons. For Never Let Me Go the reason was that the novel it was based on was written by Kazuo Ishiguro and I remembered that he had also written The Remains of the Day. Not that I have read either novel but I do believe that some novelists write perfect stories for movies and I guess Ishiguro is one of them – all based on the fact that I love The Remains of the Day.

I did not read the short synopsis for the film so I was utterly unprepared for what was to come. The movie catapults us into a strange ultimate universe – without telling us so, after all everything looks just like good ol’ Britain to me – where clones are bred as inventories for human spare parts. The kids that grow up to be donors live in special homes out in the country without interaction with the outside world.

The story follows three of these kids, Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield), whose lives are interwoven as they befriend and fall in love with each other. Ruth turns out to be rather selfish in that love since she pretty much steals Tommy away from Kathy out of – as she later confesses – jealousy. Though she states that she was jealous of the love that grew between Kathy and Tommy there are also indications that she may have been in love with Kathy (I don’t know what the novel says about this but I may yet find out…).

As they grow up their paths devide but will ultimately reunite the three. Ruth makes her confession and Kathy and Tommy try to recapture what they had. But their time is short as they are heading toward their conclusion – which is just a nicer way to say: death.

The story is captivating, the idea of a world where humans breed clones for spare parts is scary but is never really moralized over within the movie, the spectator is to draw their own conclusions as to the question: do clones have souls?

The acting is great. Besides the wonderful three leads (and also the very talented younger selfs – Isobel Meikle-Small, Ella Purnell, Charlie Rowe) we have Charlotte Rampling as Miss Emily who leads the home the three live in, and Sally Hawkins as Miss Lucy, a teacher who critiques the system a little bit too audibly. And let me tell you, Keira Knightley can be quite scary!

This is a great movie and finally an innovative story. Hollywood does not do innovative that much these days so maybe we have to turn to Brititsh movie making to see something good these days…

Star Trek – on DVD

Star Trek (2009) by J.J. Abrams

I am just watching “Star Trek” on dvd (as in right now). This one:

Here’s a few thoughts: George “Pretty Boy” Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) was so cute, they should have made him the baby. I mean, which straight woman would not want to hold him and cuddle him, and blow cutesy nicknames into his ear?

He is way cuter than the little boy who highjacked that car and drove it over the canyon, that was way over the top and I don’t know… the boy does not have a real James T. Kirk feel to it. Maybe it is just me, but I remember a little of the original series and though I mainly like Shatner now as the deliberately off-puting in a wanna-be macho kindaway, but still teddy-beary Danny Crane I think, that the two characters were not that far apart from each other… the too blond boy did not have that feel and what is it with men and their cars, anyway?

And that Vulcan day-care facility… that’s how I imagine a good kindergarten! It’s perfekt. I always loved Spock, he’s got just the right amount of drama in him to be gay.

And then the trouble begins… They have Kirk (Chris Pine) pick up Ohura in a bar? Really? You think that they could have come up with something better than heteronormative standards of our life. For the future, I would have liked something like: “Captain Kirk this is Communication Officer Ohura. She is not only the most qualified person for this job she is obviously even more qualified to do your job…” Something like that?

Nevertheless, I love Ohura (Zoe Saldana)…

… then again, I always loved Ohura (Nichelle Nichols):

Of course, if I keep up with this minutely rant of emotions about the movie to share I will probably not get through it today – not that I have to. Hmmm… Oh, did I mention that seeing Kirk being beaten into pulp was kinda satisfying? That pick up line was just too cheap for a classy woman like Ohura, friend.

Okay, did y’all have a Top Gun-flashback with Kirk on that spacebike he rides? I did, and did he actually DUI? Anywho, I wonder about one thing: why does a hero who looks like a hero also has to be an asshole? I know guys who look like ken dolls and they are not complete doushbags, so why does every American hero (and I mean this in the academic realm of Americanism and hero-ship) have to pull a Wyatt F. Earp when entering the scene? I mean, his name is James T. Kirk, we already know he is the hero. He has proven it for years back in the sixties. Don’t be such a stereotype, Tiberius! And I wonder if maybe he isn’t too pretty…

I am always happy to see familiar faces and, of course, I already knew that Karl Urban was going to be Bones (he may not be a looker like Emily Deschanel but he sure is a welcome sight). Who Urban? Him…

Didn’t think you would get away without the Xena-reference, did you? Nope, not on my watch. He played not only Cupid, but three other characters on Xena: Warrior Princess: Mael, Julius Caesar and some Barbarian and I think he’s a great actor. And then he is a Kiwi, which makes him already the coolest guy on the set.

Who designed those ugly cadett uniforms? Urgh.

Y’know, I watch Navy CIS sometimes, when I am really bored and there is absolutely nothing else on (as in each and every Sunday evening) and there is this one character that gets on my nerves so much if I were the other members of Gibbs’ team I would have shot him ten times over every time he opens his mouth (y’all know who I mean: Tony). Kirk is just about as annoying and incompetent as that dude, and I am wondering – after 35 minutes and 37 seconds of this movie – why am I doing this to myself? Is it just nostalgia? Must be…

It’s the Enterprise, all shiny and new… whoa!

Yeah, happy now. I have a question, though (yeah another, no, I can never shut up when watching a movie, I keep talking to myself inside my head and since you are here now, you have to endure it as I always have): why does the new starfleet vessel only have newbies on board? I mean, I know, why, so that everybody we remember from the original series is there and we can cherish the memory even if the actors we see are so not the people we remember they still bear their names and a little of their attitude. But if we were to imagine that an Enterprise existed and it was going on its first mission to safe Vulcan, wouldn’t the world be happier to know, there are actually people on board of that gazillion dollar thing that knew what they were doing and did not have to be told everything by Spock (Zachary Quinto)? Just a thought…

Now that was it with new and shiny, Sulu (John Cho) made a dent in it… see what I mean?

And we have a winner! You remember red shirts? Well, this one is wearing a red spacesuit (kirk wears a black one and Sulu a golden one), and a cute Irish accent. The ethnic implication put aside, I think we should tell him that he  was doomed the moment he put on that red suit and went on a mission with two of the lead characters…

As Chekov (Anton Yelchin) put it: “Olsen is gone, sir.” Wearing red is not for pussys…

What drops faster: a feather or a hoof? Both drop at the same speed (at least in a vacuum or in a physics classroom). Who drops faster: Sulu or Kirk? Obviously, Kirk does. I mean this was improbable when James Bond did it (back in the days when it was Pierce Brosnan) and it still is not more likely just because Kirk does it. I’m not buying and I do know next to nothing about physics.

Now, do you want to talk about the condition of starfleet parachutes? No, me either. But I guess you don’t need a parachute if you got Chekov.

Okay, I won’t discuss the fact that Spock’s people live inside a rock (or maybe that is their idea of a church and unlogically they don’t fear that huge stone figures could fall onto their heads). But I haven’t said anything about Spock’s mother yet or rather the actress who plays her and that was negligent of me: Winona Ryder. I like her, I’ve always liked her, I will probably always like her. She is so talented and she sometimes plays these wonderfully geeky roles that make me believe that she is a science fiction fan and that is awesome, dude!

Damn it, we just lost the star of the movie. What are we gonna do now?! That’s the look on the other actors’ faces anyhow.

So Vulcan is dead and one may wonder about the logic that is in preserving the elders (who obviously are not able to have children) and let the other six billion vulcans die… Spock says in a log-entry that about 10.000 have survived, though. Hopefully they are more fertile than the elders.

Hmmm, and then something strage happens: Ohura is kissing Spock… No, give yourself a minute to let that sink in. I have to as well. Hmmm… It’s weird but kinda sexy, I guess. I’m just imagining Leonard Nemoy and Nichelle Nichols doing it. In fact, it’s hilarious. Well done, moviemakers! I couldn’t find a picture of it, unfortunately, and this computer won’t let me make screencaps so you will have to live without a visual. But I now, for the first time, have the feeling that it’s worth watching for it’s own sake.

So now we get the story behind all that’s been going on and I just realize that I haven’t told you anything about the plot. Shame on me. Well, Romulus was obviously destroyed in the future and a Romulanian (is that the right name for his people) lost his pregnant wife while starfleet did nothing to help – especially Spock. So he killed the wrong Kirk first, then he destroyed Vulcan and now he wants to destroy all Starfleet planets starting with Earth. Now that’s what I would call revenge… Maybe he is kinda overachieving… I don’t know.

And then they go all Back to the Future on us. Not that I don’t understand: Nero (the bad guy, Eric Bana) has travelled back in time to take revenge and destroyed the ship of Kirk’s daddy and thereby he changed the time continuum and created an alternate reality… so much for the techno babble but I like that everybody puts their five cents of wisdom in the pot.

(I don’t know who the guy in the red shirt is but just imagine him in blue and having pointy ears and you have Spock. Okay, sorry, that is Scotty [Simon Pegg]…)

Hahahahahahahahahahhahah…. oh god, Spock actually did with Kirk what we dreamed Janeway would do with all the incompetend men on her ship: open a door and throw him out. Hahahahahah… that is soooo good! Man, I’m gonna watch this again, it’s hilarious!!! I hope you’ve got a working compass, Kirk…

Even without a compass he finds: Spock (Leonard Nemoy). Okay, it’s getting a little weird. But keep on, I’m intrigued now. Though… coincidence, really people? And it’s Romulan, I am so sorry.

Kirk just asked if he is supposed to emotionally compromise Spock. I wonder how he would have accomplished to do that. Hello, subtext, you seem to be alive and well. Classy, that one.

So then Spock (the younger) and Kirk have a lovers quarrel and Spock almost kills Kirk but for his father. Or in other words, we are heading for the showdown now that Kirk will be instated as Captain. Things seem to work out. The story really is not that innovative and I haven’t even seen every Star Trek movie.

There’s a strange feeling that I have that they put in Ohura as Spock’s love interest so that the subtext would not emerge full force… that’s a little childish, don’t you think? I mean, Kirk and Spock are meant to be. They even met – as unlikable as that seems – on a foreign planet Kirk was just abandoned at while Spock (the elder) was put there to witness the destruction of Vulcan. They are, yes, soulmates (Melissa Etheridge’s I’ve loved you before goes well with the concept, you should play it now).

I guess we have to practice beaming a lot, people.

Scott almost destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge. That is so not cool, moviemakers. DON’T DO THAT!

Oh man, and now we have Kirk cowboy. Do we really need every single hero genre in this one, or is it just that the phasers are kind of cutesy and the Romulan weapon looks like a colt? Are we down to comparing equipment again? Sigh.

Kabooom, Kaboom, Kaboom… and Kirk still almost drove his ship into a black whole… nice to see that he is still just a pretty face.

And because he broke everything and every rule and some of them twice he is made captain. I guess, logic is a foreign concept outside Vulcan. Whatever…

Well, this was it, folks. It was strange, it was some fun, we laughed, we did not cry but still… if we are asked to watch it again, we will politely decline.

Just dropping a note: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) by Edgar Wright

I don’t know if you know days like this but there are days when I crave going to the movies – and there’s nothing on. And even I didn’t want to see ‘Salt’ again (yes, I have watched it and not written about it but I still have the perfect headline for a blog-post: ‘Salt – or was it Bond, ca. 1980’ – can you envision the post from that headline?) so I picked what Germans call ‘das geringste Übel’ – the minor evil (which is not a good translation at all). Well, the least likely to be a total disaster (other than the Heigl-movie) was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I had seen the trailer (which didn’t do it for me at all) and for me it was just another movie about a loser getting a hip girl – so unlikely.

Fortunately, the makers of Scott Pilgrim did not think it any more likely than me and left the trashy grphic novel look about it all which made it more surreal than real. And it is fun, too. At first, of course, you think, wtf but then the dorky character of Scott (Michael Cera) grows on you (much like he did in Juno where the idea of him impregnating Ellen Page is quite disturbing). And not just him. I must say that Kieran Culkin is by far my favorite Culkin and seeing him play gay is even better than watching his brother Macauley in Party Animals.

It was fun watching it, not especially deep or moving or whatever, just fun. It did not make me want to read the comic, and it did not make me want to write a paper about it, which is a good thing since I’ve got far too many papers planned that I will probably never write. It also did not make me want to write a long blog-post which you have probably already gathered since I am rambling.

Bottom line is: Good movie, watch!

Inception

I don’t know about men in the US but in Germany they usually frown at you when you say that you like Leonardo DiCaprio. They seem to only remember him from “Titanic” while he was in some quite successful dick flicks as well. And he is a good actor, everybody who has watched The Basketball Diaries and/or This Boy’s Life knows that. Still, there is resentment on the men’s part. Is it because he is good-looking, or all his girlfriends are supermodels… okay, yeah, I can see it clearly now, it’s just envy.

And he is only one in a list of actors I like or found likable in this movie (a real surprise was Cillian Murphy because I remember him as pretty scary from the The Dark Knight but he’s actually quite beautiful.). Since I usually watch movies because of the female cast-members this was no different and it was because of Ellen Page. She makes this movie about mental thievery a good version of Ocean’s Eleven where women are not only there to distract the men from their jobs and keeps the myth of their heterosexuality alive. She is a serious player in this game, she’s the architect.

To discribe the plot is next to impossible and it is one of the few movies I wish had been in 3D – but maybe that would have been overkill and we would all just have had a stroke. Maybe it was because I was very tired myself but the movie seems like a dream to me (luckily I never fall asleep infront of a screen) and it was incredibly hard to get out of it when it ended. I was actually dizzy for the remainder of the evening. The effects were mindboggling but director Christopher Nolan also created a group of characters who really create the story. Add a very good cast and it is no wonder one is so mesmerized by it.

I am trying to convey the feeling I got from watching it not the plot, ’cause it is too confusing to retell. You should just watch it yourself if you haven’t yet.

On another note, Ellen Page’s wardrobe was criticized for being “a little boy[‘s]” by New York Magazine’s blog “Vulture“. Hmmm. The look works for me but then again, I’m easy. I just think it is sad that some people cannot look beyond the “asexual sidekick” quality of Ellen Page’s character and see her integral part within the plot. And why is a girl not dressing in high-heels and tight jeans recognized as a boy? They could have just said that they think she plays a lesbian instead of beating around the bush… But you can’t say that, can you? Why don’t we just label her “tomboy” and be done with it?

Okay, enough with the stereotypes…

Iron Man 2 – yeah, well…

Iron Man 2 (2010) by Jon Favreau

It’s been a while since I have seen it but I still wanted to write something short about it. It was good – and that’s all one can say about it, I guess. It was as good as the first one but not that much different if I remember correctly.

The thing is: I really like Iron Man / Tony Stark. He does not have super-powers, per se, he is a snob, he is a little like Batman. But (and it is one of those huge BUTs that deem capital letters necessary), so, BUT I never liked Batman. Strange, I only found out that I don’t like him when Christian Bale played him the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked Christian Bale since I first saw him in Henry V but I don’t like Batman… he is too serious, takes himself to serious. Tony Stark on the other hand is a snob and he is constantly mocking himself and everybody around him. He’s snarky and cynical. And of course, Robert Downey jr. is a brilliant actor (so brilliant, in fact, that one has to wonder why he is playing a superhero and not Shakespeare).

The cast is great, too. We have Downey and Paltrow (I am not necessarily a fan of Paltrow’s but there are movies where I can stand her and this is one of them), and Scarlett Johansson (always stunning and a good actress) and Samuel L. Jackson – and to see those two together again after The Spirit is really great, they are an unlikely pairing but a good one (and yes, I am aware that The Spirit is quite a silly movie but who says silly is bad – I loved it… and Eva Mendes!), Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle and Sam Rockwell.

What put me off  a little were the faces of both Mickey Rourke and Garry Shandling. Ouch. Plastic surgery is really a sad admission to one’s vanity and it looks painful. I don’t think that it’s worse with men – or women – I think it is always ill advised. I mean, if you have two noses in your face or are so disfigured you cannot live with yourself, or it is actually affecting your health (women can get serious problems with their back if their boobs are to big and I sympathize) then it is okay but getting older is not something to fret about. We are all getting older – go deal!  And let’s face it there are few women more sexy than Meryl Streep…

Okay, good movie…