I haven’t posted in a while, because I’ve been buried under work. I certainly don’t lack for contracts to fill my spare time, but I’ve also been busy preparing my house for a kitchen remodel; I’m significantly handicapped, so that’s even more trouble than it might otherwise sound. I just haven’t had the energy for blogging.
However, today is Marvel Day. No, really; it’s not just that it’s when Captain America: Civil War is out in theaters, it’s also the day that I seem to have seen several MCU movies over the years. Not just the weekend, but the day, May 6th. Not sure how that’s happened, but it’s what my Facebook memory feed shows today. The coincidence gets eyebrow-raising with the fact that I didn’t even realize this when I’d made the decision to take today off.
But taking the day off also means that I have the time to write up my thoughts on this movie — spoiler-free, I might add. Continue reading
No, that’s not all one topic (though it sounds like it would make an interesting discussion). I’m just giving you an update on some things over at my other site that you might be interested in. Continue reading
The first season of Agent Carter met with a lot of mixed press, mainly focused on whether it was misandrist messagefic. In the end, those issues were resolved, but as I described in my take on the first three episodes, it could have been avoided and still presented the same situation (that is, the unthinking sexism of that era) to the audience. What with articles heralding the show’s second season as a feminist masterpiece, I saw several people assuming things would get even worse. I even got a bit of activity on my previous articles on the subject.
I took a more cautious approach. As I said last year, the show was excellent, in spite of the heavy-handed approach. I thought the first season ended on a very high note, propelling Carter’s World War II character into a Cold War setting, and having mostly traded in the poor attempts to portray the cultural difference for techniques that actually worked. I felt there was a good chance that we’d get an even better season this time around.
Well, the first two episodes came out last week, and over the snowed-in weekend I not only watched them, I enjoyed them. Peggy Carter is back, and better than ever. Continue reading
It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Agents of SHIELD, a show I had high hopes for which turned into something I abandoned, continued with again because of a friend’s insistence, and then would have abandoned again if it weren’t for how it gives me stuff to blog about. (When I remember to update the blog, that is.)
I rarely try to suck up every single bit of information about shows that I can. Part of it is because I don’t have a regular TV-watching schedule, and so sometimes I wind up taking in several episodes at a time and would prefer to avoid spoilers. Sometimes I just don’t care. Sometimes it’s just that I’d rather take it in as the story itself, as it was meant to be viewed. It’s somewhat of a treat for me to do that, actually; well, if it’s a good story, that is. I honestly should write a blog post on an editor’s perspective of stories both published and in draft form, but suffice for now to say that it’s hard to not feel like I’m working.
With Agents of SHIELD, even when it stopped sucking, I was still working. Even when it was good enough that I could enjoy it, it was still short of something I could sit back and enjoy on its own, without being an editor the whole way through. That’s probably why I wrote so many articles about Agents, but not about Flash or Arrow.
Last night, the season premiere of Agents aired, and I enjoyed myself. I had to remember to pause to take notes every so often. Last season, I cautiously opined that this was starting to live up to the hype when the show was first announced; now, it is the show that they announced. And apparently all they had to do was say “Hey, X-Men is a cool story.”
Oops, I need one of those spoiler banners before I say stuff like that, right? It’s been all summer. I’m rusty.
If you haven’t seen it already, Netflix released a teaser for Jessica Jones over the weekend. It is a thing of beauty.
As my friend and fellow blogger (over at The Catholic Geeks) Andy Hauge observed, it sums up the tone of the show perfectly. Continue reading
In my review of Ant-Man, I mentioned how the movie couldn’t make up its mind as to whether it was a caper film or a superhero origin story. I laid out the reasons why those two types of stories are, if not incompatible, then at least problematic to mix together. I also mentioned I might do a post on how I might have adjusted the movie if, for some strange reason, they came asking for my advice.
So how would I have done the movie differently?
This is actually a more dangerous question than it might appear. I’m a prose editor. I’m a pretty good one. I’m also pretty good at analysis, developmental/structural rewriting, and closing plot holes. None of that means that I’m good at scriptwriting. Visual media is a very different ballgame. I know just enough about the differences to talk about them, and not enough to actually put them into practice. I’m a professional editor, but I’m an armchair amateur when it comes to script-doctoring. I know my limits and I’m not going to pretend that expertise in one form of fiction extends to another.
So, disclaimers aside, here’s my armchair amateur opinion about what I’d have done if I’d been asked to give a developmental edit (also called structural editing) on the film.
I went and saw Man of Steel today. Better than expected. Best treatment of Superman’s origin I’ve seen, which is a pretty low bar to cross to begin with. Best portrayal of Lois Lane I’ve encountered live, animated, or in print, which is a higher bar. (Perfect blend of helpless human and capable female.)
I’m not a Superman fan. By far. I just don’t like him. I don’t like his character, I don’t like his powers, I almost never like his stories. (In fact, the only good ones I’ve seen have Batman in them.)
It is, however, not a good Superman film. That climax . . . no. Sorry, no.