Elli in the MCU? @ChrisHemsworth @TaikaWaititi @MarvelStudios #MythologyMonday #MCU

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I found this image on Facebook. I have no idea who the author is.

The person that posted it suggested that Bette White play Old Age. Wouldn’t that be something? Who else in her demographic could pull off that comedic scene?

Actually, I believe “Elli” is the correct spelling.

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Just How “Strongest Avenger” Is Thor? @chrishemsworth #Thor #Avenger #MCU

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Almost a year ago, I made the argument for why Thor is the strongest Avenger. I stand by that argument but must admit I didn’t complete it. I needed to quantify exactly how much more powerful he is. I think this does it.

Honestly, that’s being a bit generous to the other Avengers. In any case, you must admit he had the most powerful individual entrance.

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Was Yondu a Child Abuser? @RookerOnline @KarenGillan @RobertDowneyJr @VancityReynolds @twhiddleston #MCU #Yondu #movie

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Recently, I’ve been posting some angry comments on Facebook about child abuse, which were in turn exacerbated by my viewing of Allen vs. Farrow on HBO. I’m not going to discuss any of that on a goofy blog like this. This shouldn’t be where you come for that sort of heavy conversation. (I won’t even discuss sports on this blog.) However, a Facebook friend made a related comment on a topic that’s very much a subject of this blog:

Stop celebrating MCU Yondu as an model father, he was a child abuser.

First, I don’t know of anyone that has celebrated him as a model father. Everyone whose comments I’ve heard or read is more than willing to acknowledge his faults, so that comment isn’t fair to any of us that discuss Yondu. However, it’s not even fair to the character of Yondu.

I’ve discussed in the context of Nebula why this is (sort of) an unfair criticism. TL;DR, in the real world, Nebula’s crimes shouldn’t and wouldn’t be swept away because she suddenly realized that she loved her sister. But this isn’t the real world; this is cinema. In cinema, sometimes the only way to get a story of redemption across to the average viewer is to do so through a kind of hyperbole. It won’t have the emotional impact intended unless you go from one extreme or the other. Tony Stark committed all sorts of computer crimes while testifying before Congress in Iron Man 2, and we all laughed about it because the corporate villain of the story was made to look like a fool. Darth Vader — the same guy that murdered younglings — was forgiven because he suddenly prioritized his repressed love for his son. Ryan Reynolds plays a pretty bad guy in Deadpool, but it’s okay because he’s funny and loves his wife. Loki tried to violently take over the Earth, then, against all odds, valiantly sacrificed his life to try to stop Thanos. There are countless examples of this, and not just in the fantasy genre, though I’m having trouble coming up with more meaningful, heartwarming stories of redemption than Vader, Yondu, and of course the best perhaps in cinematic history, Nebula. That’s probably because the fantasy genre allows you to go beyond the limits of logic with the horror and wonder it provides as the vehicle for that redemption.

Now, because we live in the real world, it’s certainly fair to use art to address these issues. I encourage it, especially with a topic like this that might otherwise be difficult to discuss (e.g., child abuse). Art is great for that sort of thing whether the filmmaker agrees with your point of view or not. Art is in the eye of the beholder.

My point is simply that context matters. The MCU is a fantasy world presented on film. The swing from villain to hero requires extreme circumstances in order for the audience to appreciate the redemption arc. That’s the context, and within that context, we can see that Yondu actually loved Peter and, in his own twisted way, tried to do right by him. We never saw him cause Peter physical harm, and in the end, he literally saved him from his irredeemable, biological father. So, maybe cut Yondu some slack. The real world needs more people that can shed their cognitive dissonance and admit when they’ve screwed up. In that (narrow) sense, Yondu is a role model.

Just don’t try this at home, parents.

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What Was Nebula’s Crime in Avengers: Endgame? @karengillan @Russo_Brothers @MarvelStudios #MCU #Nebula #Avengers #Endgame

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Ah, Endgame. The movie that keeps on giving. To lawyers. I watched it again earlier this week, and had yet another thought. As I and many others have discussed before elsewhere, the Thanos Snap and Hulk Snap opened up a lot of legal questions. Here’s one suitable for a pedant like me.

When 2019 Nebula killed 2014 Nebula, what crime did she commit? Note: Self defense (really, defense of others) is an affirmative defense that comes into play only if a crime is committed, so it’s a valid question. She certainly killed a sentient being, so there must have been a crime to add to her litany of malfeasance (which is okay!). But what should we call it? The MCU has once again required legal analysis!

Remember. This is goofy pedantry at work. Just roll with it.

Homicide is killing a homo sapiens. Patricide is killing your father. Matricide is killing your mother. Suicide is killing yourself. Nebula didn’t really kill herself in Endgame. That was another Nebula from another reality. Also, I’m not a comics reader, but I don’t think she was ever a homo sapiens, and even if she were, she barely is one now. What kind of -cide did she commit then?

Sororicide doesn’t quite work either. She isn’t her own sister. In fact, despite what a DNA test would likely show, they aren’t even related, so even parricide (close relative) doesn’t work. Besides, even if you claim that similar DNA means they are related, parricide isn’t as precise as it could be. I demand precision!

No, we need a new term. Here are my suggestions.

  • Mirrocide
  • Clonocide
  • Robocide
  • Dimensiocide
  • Temporacide (“killing time”?)
  • Alterocide
  • Attornicide (tempting, eh?)

Okay, parricide it is, unless you’ve got a better idea. Though perhaps it’s best not to think too hard about this.

Yes, I’m a goofball.

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Relevant Watch: The Next Karate Kid @CobraKaiSeries @McSchlossberg @healdrules @jonhurwitz @ralphmacchio @WilliamZabka @MartinKove @Xolo_Mariduena @marymmouser @KarateKidMovie @netflix #netflix #GoodWatch

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Cobra Kai inspired me to watch the often-maligned Next Karate Kid, which I recently learned is on Netflix. It wasn’t Highlander 2 bad, but it was bad, and I was happy when the final credits rolled. I just wanted it to be over. The writing was garbage, but you could still tell that Hilary Swank was going to become a good actor. I love when movies connect (perhaps explaining my obsession with the MCU), so despite its weaknesses, it would be great to see her in a future season of Cobra Kai. The primary villain, Michael Cavalieri, could return, as could Michael Ironside (who really sucked in this) and Jim Ishida. Ishida is the one still-living actor that played a monk. Hell, Walter Goggins could return. Walter Goggins! Despite all its flaws, I’d love to see this movie recognized in Cobra Kai.

After all, it’s not as if Karate Kid III deserved any awards, but we all want to see Terry Silver and Mike Barnes, right? As always, YMMV.

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Nerd Limericks #StarTrek #MCU #StarWars #DCEU

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Today it’s my own work, but it’s work I’ve already done. I went a little nuts today, creating my own, ridiculous spin on a Facebook post. I posted a handful of nerdy limericks, referencing Star Trek, Star Wars, the MCU, the DCEU, and Lord of the Rings. Each one has a Twitter hashtag of #NerdLimericks, so you can just click here to see them all. If I, or anyone else, adds more, they show up using that same link. The complete URL is: https://twitter.com/hashtag/NerdLimerick?src=hashtag_click.

Just for good measure, here are direct links to just a few of them. Retweet them all and share your own!

A la ….
I love this movie.

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Swapping Kirks via Deepfake @WilliamShatner #StarTrek #Deepfake

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Today, it’s using Deepfake to swap the Original Series actors into 2009+ Star Trek.

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“Slow Burn” Watch: Bloodline @lindacardellini @JacindaBarrett @NorbertLButz @OfficialChloeS @Netflix #GoodWatch

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As I recently mentioned, Bloodline was a suggestion from an internet article to fans of Ozark. I’ve learned not to take those suggestions (or ones directly from Netflix) seriously, but some further research disclosed an incredible cast. I had to give it a watch.

First off, Ben Mendelsohn gets better every time I see him. Rogue One is my favorite Star Wars movie, but Director Orson Krennic was fairly straightforward; dare I say one-dimensional. His portrayal of Danny Rayburn stole the show and won him an Emmy. Mendelsohn wasn’t the only actor to put on a memorable performance. Linda Cardellini, Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Jacinda Barrett, Sam Shepard, Norbert Leo Butz, and Chloë Sevigny all put in solid (or better) performances.

My problem with the show is, as I explained yesterday, that there was too much content within the season. When I binge a show, I’m looking to get through it fairly quickly; otherwise, I’d be watching network TV (which, of course, I still do). When the first season is 13 episodes of at least 50 minutes each, that drags for me. The more I’m forced to watch, the more I identify certain scenes as disposable, making it even worse. This doesn’t seem like a fair criticism. The creators are trying to give me my money’s worth, which I appreciate, but it just doesn’t work for me under the circumstances. Season one ended with a cliffhanger that isn’t enough of a hook to get me to keep watching. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but there are many other shows I want to watch, so this has slid to the bottom of my list of priorities.

Ultimately, it was a good show often with great acting; just one that doesn’t motivate me to keep watching. As always, YMMV.

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Neat Watch: Brave New World @peacockTV #GoodWatch

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NBC Peacock offered their original series, Brave New World, free of charge last weekend. I liked it a lot. The episodes are between 40-50 minutes long, and there are nine of them. From the Peacock website:

In a utopia whose perfection hinges upon control of monogamy and privacy, members of the collective begin to question the rules, putting their regimented society on a collision course with forbidden love and revolution.

In a sense, it was a horror movie for me, but I don’t expect everyone to feel that way. This is probably best described as science-fiction, though it’s also referred to as Utopian or Dystopian. I think of it as trying to achieve the same sort of vibe as Westworld. It’s a different story, and they carve their own path, so I’m not accusing them of doing anything wrong. Among the show’s stars are three actors with whom I’m familiar: Alden Ehrenreich, Hannah John-Kamen, and Demi Moore.

There’s a scene near the end of episode 4 that really hits me. I’m not sure if this is the intention, but it basically says (to me) that you don’t need soma (their mood-improving drug) because there’s music in the world. I doubt that was the precise intent, especially in light of a scene in episode 5, but that’s at least close (or part of) what they’re trying to say.

Is it good? Yes. I liked it a lot and will watch subsequent seasons. However, there’s too much good stuff on Peacock, as well as the other streaming services for which I’m already paying, for me to add another bill. I’ll probably join for a month and spend a weekend watching season 2 and a couple of other shows.

Unfortunately, if you want to watch it now, you’ll have to subscribe to Peacock’s pay service. As always, YMMV.

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