Saturday, April 25, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron

*some spoilers*

It's quite messy

Avengers: Age of Ultron had a plot with as much complexity as one of Shakespeare's plays. And the battle scenes could give me epilepsy (I'm so glad I didn't watch this epic movie in 3D). But I enjoyed it very much (other than the ending).

The film gave a lot of screen time to develop the characters that were in the background in the first movie. Hawkeye in particular became such a relatable character that he's probably my new favourite. The romance between Hulk and Black Widow was interesting at worse but still quite awkward and unconvincing at best.

I'm impressed by how the director gave each hero their moment, and prevented the testosterone trio (Iron Man, Captain and Thor) from dominating and overshadowing the others. The cameos by Vulture, War Machine, and Stan Lee were plenty of fun too.

This movie is really a Marvel reunion. And thought there was a world to save (from themselves), the characters knew how to make fun of themselves in the little moments. The story line is unbelievable to the extent that Hawkeye broke the fourth wall to echo our sentiments: "The city is flying! We're fighting an army of robots! And I have a bow and arrow! None of this makes sense!" In an unfortunate attempt to sum up all the previous 11 Marvel movies and foreshadow the Avengers 3, this movie sacrificed an important element- good storytelling.

What is going on? Explosions probably.

The ridiculously awesome battles compensated for the convoluted plot overdosedwith Easter egg mentions of other Avengers movies. The Hulkbuster battle was epic, as was the final defense of the pylon. But man my eyes hurt.

Brace yourself for some major ranting:

I struggled to get the plot. The conversations were going over my head, as were the American, Russian, Asgardian accents. I got so confused my brain started hurting as much as my eyes. And because the plot was not clear to me, I began to try and figure the movie out. But that is not wise for a movie like this that gets more convoluted when you think about it. For example:

Please explain to be why they didn't take out big Ultron when they had the chance. They attacked him simultaneously with beams of energy and overcame him, but left him damaged but not destroyed? People died because of that mistake.

Why did Ultron locked Black Widow in a cell with a computer, knowing she could always hack the system?

What exactly is Scarlet Witch's power?

And what right do the American Avengers have to attack a base on Russian soil?

Also, why did the Iron Man suit deploy onto Tony Stark when Captain America attacked him, but when Ultron first appeared, Tony had to use a screwdriver to fight?

And I have serious questions about the ending.

How could there be a happily ever after? Tony Stark caused this mess. He levelled a city. Two cities. How come he can just drive away and have a new Avengers base? People died man.

Also, how come the Internet people that handle the missile codes are okay with him walking in and hacking them?

Are these all just setting up the plot for the next movie? Avengers movies should be the sum, not the setting-up of the Marvel movies.

One final thing.

The trailers... You know the first trailer included a scene which was the second last one in the film? Seriously. The smaller climaxes involving the revealing of the new Avenger was also shown in the trailer, taking from the awesomeness of that moment in the movie when it finally arrived. And that was just the first trailer they released.

Marvel released 20 trailers. I don't dare imagine what I would have seen if I had watched them all. The whole movie probably. And the posters had freaking Vision in them. Urgh. Marvel. Stop. I hate you and your spoilers.

The first Avengers was better.

Bechdel Test: Failed

Click here if you didn't get the reference in the last frame.

No. of films seen this year with:
   White man saving the world - 7
   Non-white/male protagonist - 9 

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I reviewed this for my job and you can read that here so I'll just leave a small comment here.

It's a word-for-word modern adaptation of a Shakespearian play. You have been warned.

Bechdel Test: Failed

No. of films seen this year with:
   White man saving the world - 6
   Non-white/male protagonist - 9 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Something Weird Happened on Tinder

We've seen the horrible ways that women get insulted and abused by guys on the dating app Tinder, even if they reject a guy very nicely. Some genius decided to give the guys a taste of their own medicine. 

This person hacked the system to make guys who express interest in the same girl (by swiping right) end up chatting with each other, thinking that they were talking to that girl.

The results were surprising in two counts.

The first was that most of the guys were absolutely oblivious to the fact that they were talking to a guy, even when the other party said things that were obvious indicators of their gender.

Application to be future ex wife? It seems guys don't really listen to everything a "girl" is saying.

Secondly, and this is something no one else had pointed out yet, I'm really surprised that in all the chat screenshots posted there was no fighting going on. Especially with the crude remarks flying around.

This is really unexpected given that guys were almost always the ones being abusive on Tinder. The idea of setting up two ego-filled men sounded like a nuclear disaster waiting to happen, but nothing blew up.

(In fact some even became friends after the truth was revealed)

But why was this the case? I came here just to read the comments, but my faith in humanity got restored?

I think the thing that got most of these conversations started on such a good note was a guy thinking a girl had complimented him. From that point on he was hooked. Here was a "girl" who was forward, very generous with the complements, and responsive to their advances (even the inappropriate ones).

Maybe there's some truth to the saying that men want a girl who has the personality of their best bro friend.

Or maybe guys are only able to listening out for signs that their date is interested in them and not anything more nuanced.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review - Home (DreamWorks)

Warning: Spoilers

This is a movie about an alien named Oh, a misfit village-idiot voiced by Sheldon Cooper (real name Jim Parsons). Oh is part of a cowardly race that peacefully but suddenly colonises Earth to hide from their greatest fear, the planet-eating Galactus Gorg.

The new colonialist rulers forcefully relocate the entire backward ingenuous race (humans) to penal colonies in the deserts of Australia. These camps have a layout that bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Burning Man.

Although the alien race took the time to build theme parks with roller coasters in the hopes of keeping the humans in the colonies happy, they fail to understand the importance of familial relations to humans. Their relocation efforts split up Black families, causing much pain and tears. Young Rihanna gets separated from her mother Jennifer Lopez, and the movie sees her making a journey with the help of Oh to find her mom.

Over time, Oh learns that the Blacks humans are not such an inferior race and begins to learn to appreciate their culture, especially how to dance and appreciate Black music.

Eventually the aliens come to understand what it means to care for others, and realise in their cowardice that humans were not the only race to suffer under them. They make peace with the Gorg, the so-called terrorist race whose entire generation of children they had unwittingly stolen the lives of, which was the real reason why the Gorg were after them.

The movie ends happily ever after with the Whites aliens landing on the moon and dancing to black music, the blacks back in their own homes and welcoming some of the White foreign colonialist to visit, and other intergalactic races are coming to the Earth to settle down and/or party (without the consent of the indigenous humans).

Maybe peace in our time is possible. Maybe the West just needs to return ISIS all their children lost in wars waged by the West.

Maybe not.

A children's introduction to White colonialism.

Bechdel Test: Pass. Mother and daughter. No human male characters with speaking roles in this story. Speaking of which, where are all the fathers these days?

No. of films seen this year with:
     White man saving the world - 5
     Non-white/male protagonist - 9

(I'm going to park this film under the first one because Oh saved the world... even though Oh was the one who caused the world to almost be destroyed in the first place.)