Friday, May 27, 2016

Let's Talk: Captain America: Civil War

Hello all!

So, I'm not sure if anyone's heard, but earlier this week Marvel announced a new series that's starting about how good ol' American boy, Steve Rogers aka Captain America, has really been a Hydra agent this whole time. (For more info on that, check out this Time article here.)

After I got over my world turing upside-down, I realized that I never actually put up my thoughts on the new Cap movie. So, that's what I'm gonna do!

As much as I love movies, I kinda sorta hate going to the movies. I think it's because I just can't spend $20 on a ticket when I could just wait a few months and watch the DVD in the comforts of my own bed. Also, because I'm lazy. So, the fact that I went multiple times to see Civil War, should just tell you that I loved it.

I was fairly familiar with the premise of Civil War from the comics, but to see it unfold on screen was so much better that I could've expected. Honestly, I think this is probably one of the best films that Marvel has brought out so far. Every other film seems to focus on the heroes fighting the good fight and beating the bad guys, but this one really touches on that "collateral damage" aspect of what they do, and I'm not just talking about how many buildings they take out, but how many lives get lost in the cross hairs.

I love how Tony Stark is so adamant about them all signing the Sokovia Accords and having a higher government power to answer to, because he seems like the one who would never want to answer to anyone, but it's the total opposite. Instead of being a selfish egomaniac, he's thinking about all the people who suffer at the hands of what the Avengers have done, and really tries to convince his fellow teammates into doing what he feels is the best course of action. It's really Cap who has such a hard time falling in line, which is funny since he's the soldier, he's the one who you would think would just salute and take orders. The whole sha-bang obviously draws a huge line in the sand between the team, and instead of standing up to defeat a big bad together, they're instead fighting amongst themselves. Which, if you've ever had a fight with a friend, you know that's the worst type of fight there is.

There were a ton of elements in the film that I loved. One of which was that I felt like every character got just the right amount of attention while still maintaing a coherent plot line. I loved watching Scarlet Witch struggle with the consequences of her powers; Vision trying to understand humanity; Black Widow not being able to fully chose a side; Cap desperately trying to do the right thing by Bucky and Tony just not understanding his choice; and last but definitely not least, Black Panther. Lemme just say that again- BLAAAAAAACK PAAAAAANTHER. Oh my God. How dope was he?! Even just the suit was mind blowing to me, and his moves? That part when he's fighting Bucky and his legs go all over the place like an action figure? It's a wrap. So good.

Of course the action was great, but that's no surprise. I loved the huge showdown at the airport where you got to really see both teams go at it. Not to mention, how adorable was Tom Holland as Spider-Man? I had heard a few people say he was really good in the role, and I have to say I was pleased. I know it's kind've hard to breathe fresh life into a roll that's been so overly done, but I think he'll bring an awkward little quirk to Peter Parker. I also like all the one-liners he had throughout the fight because let's be real, you know dang well if you're a teenage kid who just got thrown in with the Avengers, you'd be freaking out the whole time too. Oh, and Paul Rudd. Just, Paul Rudd.

Just like every other Marvel movie, you can't have action without a little heartbreak. Watching Rhody falling through the sky after Vision accidentally hits him with a blast and then crash landing in a big crater was like a knife to the heart. Then, as if that wasn't enough, Tony finding out Bucky killed his parents when he was the brainwashed Winter Soldier was just the little twist to finish ya off.

Also, for those not familiar with the prison that Wanda, Clint, Sam and Scott were thrown in to- that's the Raft. It's the super-villain prison, it's for the likes of Killgrave (ya know, David Tennant for those Jessica Jones fans) and Juggernaut, not for the Avengers. Putting them in there is absurd and such a slap in the face, and I was super happy when Steve busted them out in the end.

Basically, just to reiterate, I absolutely loved Civil War. The managed to make the heroes we've grown to know and love and root for, become both protagonist and antagonist and go against each other in the biggest show down thus far. The story was great, the characters were great, the action was great, and I can't wait to see what's in store next.

Have you all seen it? What'dya think? Lemme know!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Top 5: Twilight Zone episodes

Hello all!

So, this past Wednesday marked the 54th anniversary of Rod Serling transporting viewers into the depths of science and the strange with the classic The Twilight Zone. I've aways been a big fan of The Twilight Zone; everyone knows my favorite part of New Years eve/day is the TZ marathon that SyFy always plays. Ever since I was young, I would ring the new year in with both that and The Honeymooners marathons.

In honor of this great programs anniversary, here are 5 of my favorite episodes. Enjoy!

1. The Masks: I think this is where my fear of wearing masks stems from (also that Goosebumps episode, you know the one). Basically, this episode was about Jason, a millionaire on his deathbed who invites his family members over and tells them that in order for them to receive anything from his estate, they must each go the whole night wearing masks that represent how he sees them -- a coward, a buffoon, etc. The family, of course, treats him horribly throughout the night, and once Jason passes, they take their masks off only to find that their faces have all twisted and stayed in the same grotesque shapes, forever reminding them that their outsides now mirror the ugliness inside them.

2. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: So, not only did TZ make me terrified to wear a mask, I'm pretty sure this is where my fear of flying came into play as well. While on a plane trip, Bob Wilson (played by some dude named William Shatner, maybe you've heard of him) is convinced that there's some sort of gremlin monster out on the wing. Since dear ol' Bob is getting over a nervous breakdown, no one on the plane, not even his own wife, believes him. They all think he's gone coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Of course, this just makes Bob's stress and tension levels run even higher, desperately trying to get them to believe that the gremlin's trying to make the plane crash, which then leads him to almost killing himself when he takes a cop's gun and tries to shoot the gremlin off the wing himself. Now, you can't watch this and not think he's absolutely outta his bird, until the plane lands and he's taken away in a straightjacket and you see the damaged wing, and then you feel like a fool cause Captain Kirk was right all along.

3. The Living Doll: "My name's Talky Tina, and you'd better be nice to me." Gah. No dolls ever, burn them all.

4. Time Enough at Last: Out of all the episodes that deal with loneliness and solitude, none do it better than this one. I felt for the socially awkward bookwork Henry because I saw a little bit of myself in him; I, too, would rather sit and read book after book instead of going about my actual daily life activities. Then one day, he decides to eat his lunch in the vault of the bank he works at and whatdya know? An H-bomb wipes out all humanity. When he finds himself truly alone in the world, he contemplates suicide, but then he stumbles upon his heaven on Earth-- an abandon library bursting with books. He can finally do what he's always wanted to, just sit and read undisturbed for the rest of his days. Sounds like the best time ever, right? *Buzzer sound* Wrong. Just as he goes to pick up his first book, he trips and breaks his glasses leaving him pretty much blind. Now, as someone who can't see two inches in front of them without glasses, my heart just breaks along with Henry and how he's to live out the rest of his days surrounded by everything he's ever loved without the ability to even enjoy it.

5. To Serve Man: Ah, here we have a seemingly peaceful race of alien space travelers called the Kanamits who come down to Earth eager to help us end war and hunger. Too good to be true, right? Well initially, there are quite a few skeptics (can you blame them?), but once the Kanamits start sharing their advanced technology and even agree to taking a lie detector test, people start falling in line. Only no one knows until it's too late, that the Kanamits manifesto "To Serve Man" isn't a helpful How-to guide on how to make man better, it's a cookbook on how to make'em more tasty.

Anyone have a favorite Twilight Zone episode? Lemme know!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the 4th Be With You!

Hello all!

I figured today was a great day to talk about one of my favorite things: Star Wars!

I still remember the very first time I ever saw Star Wars. I was 5 years old and my dad took my brother and I to a 10 year anniversary showing of Return of the Jedi a local movie theater was having. Unlike my brother, I hadn't seen any of the movies and barely even knew what they were about, I just went because I needed to do everything that my brother did. Little did I know that my tiny little 5 year old mind was about to be blown.

I remember sitting on the edge of my seat with my mouth hung open in awe the entire time, and leaving the theater at the end thinking that I had just seen the greatest thing in the world. From that moment on, I was hooked. I religiously watched all our VHS' to the point where I probably ruined them from overuse, spent my time daydreaming over which planet I would want to live on (Endor or Alderaan, pre-Death Star destruction, of course), arguing with anyone who thought that Greedo shot first and hoarding any collectible/memorabilia I could get my hands on.

Now, I don't know if I was setting myself up for this, or if kids really do just go through a mean streak, but I started getting made fun of in school for my love (ok, obsession) for Star Wars and I remember I would try to hide it because it wasn't the "cool thing," especially for a girl, to love Star Wars. Then when I was in middle school, the prequels started coming out and the same people who ragged on me were now the "biggest fans" of the franchise, and I couldn't for the life of my figure out why I was letting the opinions of such fair-weather people affect me so much. I had been cruisin' around the galaxy far, far away since I was a babe, and thought to myself that Leia wouldn't quiet herself over what other people thought (especially those who were just jumping on the trend), and dangit, neither would I! I have been displaying my love, proudly and unapologetically, ever since.

Along with my love, came a ton of collectibles. Anything Star Wars related was fair game-- be it toys, clothing, baking accessories, you name it. If it had something to do with Star Wars either I bought it or someone I know bought it for me. I even have a "weapon wall" which just consists of two lightsabers and Han's blaster. I'm pretty sure I could almost be eligible for my own Hoarders episode at this point. There was a time in high school when I started making my own clothing, and I would make countless Star Wars related things. I even made a bag out of little boy bed sheets and used it to carry my school books in. I didn't stop at crafts though, I made every username for every online account "HeatherSkywalkr" and once I got old enough, started showing off my love in tattoo version.

As I got older, I started getting into the expanded universe and the graphic novels, as well. I loved that there were whole other worlds to explore and characters to met outside of the ones we knew so well from the films. I loved reading more about what happens to Luke, Leia and Han and the different adventures they get into, and following along as their families expanded and all the joy and heartbreak that led to. I love finding new characters to relate to, too. Star Wars is one of those things that no matter who you are, or what you're going through, there's a character that you can identify with; someone who makes you feel like you're not alone.

Star Wars is a movie that I hold on a whole other level. It's got action, adventure, romance, strong females and not to mention, a young Harrison Ford who is the babliest of babes. It also teaches you a lot about friendship and fighting for what you believe in even if it's hard. Every few months, I'll spend a weekend just power marathoning all the Episodes and everyone always asks me if I ever get tired of it, and truthfully, no. These movies have been with me since I was 5 years old. That's almost 23 years. In all that time, these characters have seen me through tough times and great times, it really is such a comfort movie to me. I can't even fully hate on the prequels, because even though they had their moments, they're still Star Wars movies and no matter what I'm going to love it.

Everyone I know always jokes about how anything Star Wars related makes them think of me, or how I love Star Wars more than I love some of my own friends/family members, and I get so giddy about that. I'm always down to talk for hours about anything related to it and that's something I don't think I'll ever stop. I will always feel a sense of childlike wonder when it comes to Star Wars and I'm so grateful for what these movies have done for me over the years and how they've made me feel. So, the way I see it, there are worse things to be known for than the "Star Wars girl."

Now, with all this talk I think it's time to go binge watch it. May the Force be with you!