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Too Many Spiders

I’m not sure if you’re as big of a comic book geek as I am. If not, you might not have heard the news that Spider-Man is going to officially be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Rejoice! Sony (who own the rights to Spider-Man) and Marvel (who own the rights to the Avengers and everyone on the team) came to an agreement. For a massive hunk of money Sony’s going to stop the string of terrible decisions they’ve made over the past couple of years and let Spider-Man in on the MCU fun. At some point in the future we’ll see good ol’ Webhead flipping around with Captain America, annoying the heck out of the Hulk, and poking fun at the megalomaniac that is Tony Stark.

All good news, right? That’s what I thought. Until I realized the ripple effect this new development has sent through the MCU. There’s a lot already going on and Marvel had previously announced their movie schedule from now all the way until 2019. Plans had been laid. Wheels had started turning. And I was thrilled with upcoming events.

Then this itsy bitsy spider came and messed everything up. Several films have been bumped back just to get the “new” Spider-Man to debut in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie in 2016 which will in turn set him up for a solo movie in 2017.

Among the movies that got bumped were two movies that I believe a lot of people were getting very excited for because of what they represented. One of them, Black Panther, is going to (eventually) be the first Marvel movie headlined by an African-American. Captain Marvel, also getting pushed for more than half a year, is going to (eventually) be the first Marvel movie headlined by a female superhero. Sort of big steps and ones I think we could really use more of in the movies.  And quite frankly (and selfishly), these were two superhero movies I really wanted to see. Not to mention the others that were delayed (Thor: Ragnarok and The Inhumans, among others).

So I’m a little confused. All of these groundbreaking movies that have already been well in the works for quite a while are getting delayed so we can see Peter Parker get bit by a spider. Again. For the third time in 15 years (with 5 movies under its franchise belt). Gee, I wonder what happens.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Spider-Man and I like that he’s going to be a part of the MCU. I’m just getting tired of having the same movie/superhero redone/rebooted ad nauseam while there are all these great original themes to put out there.

Of course I’m hoping Marvel does well and produces a worthwhile Spider-Man solo outing, but as of right now I can’t get enthused knowing that fun, awesome, exciting characters I’ve never seen on-screen are getting de-prioritized for a character that’s a very well-worn road by now.

Marvel Miss

With the head honcho of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) giving a bunch of interviews lately in support of the upcoming movie Ant-Man (which I’m definitely going to go see) there’s been a lot of excitement in my life as I think about the upcoming slate of superhero movies. My eyes and ears in eager anticipation.

Being a consumer of this fine entertainment is quite exciting. But I sort of think that being the creators of said entertainment might be even more exhilarating. That’s why in the middle of all this activity I’m quite disappointed to know that Marvel Universe characters won’t be attending the San Diego Comic Con.

If you’re not familiar with the SDCC, saying that Marvel superheros won’t be attending is like saying that the Pope won’t be going to church on Easter Sunday.

Oh, they’ll have panels with writers, executives, animators and such. I think the Agents of Shield (t.v. show) cast is due to appear. But none of the characters from the movies will be in attendance as they’ve been in the past.

I understand scheduling conflicts, sure. Celebrities are busy and can’t make it to everything they’re invited to, but Marvel’s choice to forego the mecca of comic book geekdom is on par with a rock band that doesn’t put on concerts. Even though spokespeople for Marvel have said it’s not a sign of disrespect, I feel like not sending someone is thumbing the nose at us fans. Well, not me personally since I can’t even begin to afford a ticket, but I’d still like to know that I could see Loki’s smile in person if I did have the expendable income to go.

In this article, the writer says this about Marvel’s decision:

Also it came down to money as well. The studios spend thousands of dollars to go and there was no need to force the issue if there wasn’t an immediate benefit according to one executive.”

Marvel’s nickel and diming us? Really? They have to worry about paying their water bill? Marvel has more money than Scrooge McDuck. “Thousands of dollars” to them is like laundry change for us.

Marvel, if you’re listening, do the right thing. Put Robert Downey Jr. in one of your Iron Man suits and fly his butt down to sunny San Diego for 36 hours. Too big of a star? I’d be happy with a Mark Ruffalo, too. Or Star-Lord. Or Captain America. Or any number of heroes you happen to have around. It’s not as if you have a shortage.

Although seriously. Just send Tom Hiddleston. Given his past Comic Con performance, Loki would do it for us all.

Quote Challenge – Day 3

Once again, my thanks go out to The Ugly Duckling’s Life for including me in the Quote Challenge. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out her blog. It’s an eclectic bit of writing that is well, well worth it. Although she is killing me with the recipes that she sometimes posts…simply killing me.  I’m sad to see this challenge end, it’s been really interesting to think about the quotes and choose which ones to use. I may continue to do an entry once in a while on those topic.

Everyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time knows that I am somewhat taken with Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe as it plays out on the big screen. So it should come as no surprise that I would attempt to sneak in a quote from one of the characters into this challenge. I could’ve chosen the delightful Deadpool who, goodness knows, has come up with some doozies or the ever sassy Tony Stark who has spouted off some definite noteworthy quotes in his day. But no. For this, I must refer to my favorite, Loki of Asgard.   So for my third quote, I give you:

“I am Loki, of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” ~ Loki of Asgard (Avengers)

Now, now, before you roll your eyes at me, yes, I realize that Loki was on a mission of destruction at the time he made this declaration.  However, taking simply the quote and not its intent…or rather Loki’s intent…aren’t we all burdened with glorious purpose?  Or shouldn’t we be?  If this quote were spoken by say, Tony Robbins or Stephen Covey (rest his soul), wouldn’t it be met with an entirely different view? Albeit, neither of those gentlemen was ever attempting to take over the Earth…at least as far I know. But can we ever really know another person?  I digress.

However, my point remains the same. We all have a glorious purpose in life and we should strive to meet it head on…fulfill it, whatever it might be. So long as Earth domination is not key to the plan.

 

And here are the rules for the Quote Challenge:

  1. Post your three favorite quotes, one on each day, for three consecutive days. The quote can be from any book, author, or your own quote.
  2. Tag three other bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Along with other bloggers I’ve seen though who have done this challenge, I’ve decided to ignore rule #2. No one likes to be ignored at the party (and quite frankly, all of the blogs I follow are amazing, which is why I follow them), so I’m extending an open invitation to this challenge for anyone who reads this and would like to participate.  So – have at it!

Quote Challenge – Day 2

So I want to thank The Ugly Duckling’s Life again for including me in the Quote Challenge.  You should check out her blog, it’s really very interesting and cool.

So, here is my second quote, this one from a movie…I have yet to read the book the movie was based on, though I have it on my bookshelf and keep meaning to.  I’ve always thought it would be exciting to strike out and start a “new life” doing something as unique and challenging as running a zoo (though the family’s circumstances that led them to it were sad) or beginning life anew a la “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I’d like to think I’d be brave enough to go out into the world if the opportunity presented itself.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”  ~Benjamin Mee (We Bought a Zoo)

 

And here are the rules for the Quote Challenge:

  1. Post your three favorite quotes, one on each day, for three consecutive days. The quote can be from any book, author, or your own quote.
  2. Tag three other bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Along with other bloggers I’ve seen though who have done this challenge, I’ve decided to ignore rule #2. No one likes to be ignored at the party (and quite frankly, all of the blogs I follow are amazing, which is why I follow them), so I’m extending an open invitation to this challenge for anyone who reads this and would like to participate.  So – have at it!

Quote Challenge – Day 1

I want to thank The Ugly Duckling’s Life for including me in the Quote Challenge. You should check out her blog at https://theuglyducklingslife.wordpress.com/, it’s really cool. I mentally accepted the challenge when she first posted it a couple of days ago, but waited to like her post and mention it until I could actually start.

So, here is my first quote – while my life does not echo that of Gilda Radner (the magnificently creative and gifted soul who died way too young), this nonetheless strikes a definite chord with me.

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  ~ Gilda Radner

 

And here are the rules for the Quote Challenge:

  1. Post your three favorite quotes, one on each day, for three consecutive days. The quote can be from any book, author, or your own quote.
  2. Tag three other bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Along with other bloggers I’ve seen though who have done this challenge, I’ve decided to ignore rule #2. No one likes to be ignored at the party (and quite frankly, all of the blogs I follow are amazing, which is why I follow them), so I’m extending an open invitation to this challenge for anyone who reads this and would like to participate.  So – have at it!

Oh, to be Auntie Mame

I love my cable provider.  I know not too many people say that…and while I hate paying for it (who doesn’t, right?), I like the channel line-up I’ve got going.  I can always count on Turner Classic Movies to replay my favorites.  My absolute favorite of all time is Auntie Mame. The one with Rosalind Russell from 1958.  It’s the only one as far as I’m concerned.  Rosalind Russell nailed it.  (As a side-note, Rosalind Russell also starred in the original Broadway play.)

auntie mame title

Auntie Mame is definitely a classic, at least in my eyes, and it’s always going to rank as #1 on my personal list. If you haven’t seen it, you really should.  It’s done in the style of a play….with gorgeous costumes and in your face characters and each scene fading out to black on a dramatic note.  There’s an excellent cast of actors with each one perfectly portraying their character.  Please tell me if you hate Babcock as much as I do or if you cringe each time you hear Gloria speak!  Trust me, if you want some good clean fun and laughs, it’s definitely worth your while to watch this movie.

One primary reason I love this movie so much is because the titular character is the type of woman who I’d love to see more of (or hell, even be), yet when I watch today’s movies these strong, yet eccentric, female characters simply don’t exist. Auntie Mame is a shining example of how to be outspoken, caring, loyal to friends, accepting of different lifestyles (and how!), independent, and strong; all qualities I think that are imperative for today’s young girls to know.

auntie mame 3

If you’re not familiar with the movie here’s a brief synopsis that will hopefully show why Auntie Mame is a laudable silver screen icon. Right from the start she’s friends with a rogue’s gallery of characters. Elitists of the time would have called them “beatniks” or “bohemians.” Nowadays perhaps they’d be called “hipsters” or referred to as some sort other alternative and eclectic subset of the caste system. Auntie Mame just calls them friends. And they take care of each other. While she does eventually fall in love with Beauregard Burnside (deliciously played by Forrest Tucker), she never loses her vibrant sense of self in the process. That tends to happen a lot in movies. The girl needs “saving” and suddenly a knight in shining armor appears, swoops in to do the saving, and the girl dutifully surrenders her life to better serve his. Bullshit.

Auntie Mame retains her uniqueness and shows that it is possible to let someone else into your life without transforming into something else entirely. At first, she does try really hard to fit in with Beauregard’s family, even trying to learn how to ride in a hunt although she’s never been on a horse in her life.  However, she fails miserably and then she realizes that it’s just not worth it….it’s not who she is.  As it turns out, Beauregard is a one of a kind guy who loves her independence and quirkiness. I think her failing like that can even be viewed as a “moral to the story” kind of statement – in other words, this is what happens when you try to be something you’re not.  You fail.

mame and beau

What’s interesting too is that, as unlikely as it may seem, Mame, in all of her madcap glory, is the freaky glue that binds her friends into a solid familial hodgepodge.  She’s magnificently sophisticated and glamorous, yet she insists on being kind and taking in the odd stray friend here and there, and she does her absolute best to spread good wherever and whenever she can.  As crazy as it sounds, she’s definitely a character worth emulating.

The best bit….and I guess I should’ve started with this – because this is how the movie started – Mame’s nephew Patrick (who eventually wrote the book this movie was based on) lost his parents when he was a small child at which time he was summarily dropped kit and caboodle at Mame’s Manhattan party shack….umm….I mean brownstone.  Well.  It was love at first sight.  And a completely non-maternal, cocktail swigging bohemian suddenly became a mother….a good one.  Albeit still bohemian.  But more than being just a financial support or providing the basics, she imparts on Patrick the heart-felt lessons of how to remain open-minded, to be kind, to truly love life, enjoy experiences, and be tolerant of all types of people.  She instills in him a sense of wonder and a sense of joy, encouraging him to make the most of life, and to embrace everything life may throw at you.

Auntie Mame_2

I could really get used to seeing more women like this lifted up as an example to our impressionable teens and tweens out there. I’m looking at you Hollywood. Where did all the Auntie Mames go?

Auntie Mame