A Celebration of Characters: Villains Week

It’s week one of that idea I mentioned yesterday! Surprise, it’s all about villains. Fret not, lovers of do-gooders and champions of justice, as the Heroes Week will follow with just as much attention and love as this one. I’m aware that’s shocking stuff, so don’t let that cause too much stress.

However, enough about heroes. This week is all about villains, and I’ve picked specific villainous types for each day from Monday through Saturday. I could explain it, but I took a picture of my notes earlier as a teaser and, really, that’s the easiest way to handle this. If we’ve not yet established my capacity for being supremely lazy, this is a great time to do so.

It's official because I wrote in a notebook.

It’s official because I wrote in a notebook.

The plan for each day is to define each type of villain mentioned above, giving specific examples in popular culture, and then discussing the pros and cons of their use. I’ll also be focusing on how they can, in their own way, be the heroes of their own narratives (even when they are causing chaos and destruction all around them). There are some exceptions to that last bit, as Friday and Saturday’s options don’t really leave a whole lot of room for arguing that they’re just misguided and trying to do what’s best. Old Gods and Liches are usually just forces of pure, ancient evil, after all, and so they’re typically convinced the best possible plan of action is laying waste to everything.

I’m especially excited for the Lich entry, but I’ve saved the best for last.

Brace yourselves, folks. This week’s about to get awfully evil.

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Technical Difficulties Tuesday

Today’s intended post isn’t meant to happen, it seems, as my laptop seems to be having…some issues. Here’s some small bit of peace I treated myself to today, despite the awful weather and how bad last month was.

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On Scott Pilgrim and character flaws

Once upon a time, back when I was still attending college at Edinboro, a movie titled Scott Pilgrim vs the World came out. At this point I had never heard of, let alone read, Scott Pilgrim. In my defense, which is difficult to say I suppose given how much other nerd culture I readily gravitated towards, I hadn’t really started branching out with what comics I consumed. Read that last bit as “I only read the Joker-related Batman graphic novels and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac at this point” and it’ll make more sense. Everyone I knew at the time happened to be rabidly frothing at their mouths about how the movie adaptation of these beloved graphic novels was the best thing ever. There was much outrage regarding the fact I’d not seen it. How dare I?

I did something I was very good at doing at that time; I deliberately avoided all and any possibility of seeing Scott Pilgrim vs The World for as long as I could. This plan served me well, or at least it did until I found myself in a particularly unpleasant mood. One trip to Walmart and a sudden treat-myself-purchase later, and I had the Blu-ray copy. There was probably some motivation there outside of just having an up-and-down experience at Edinboro, but that has since gotten lost with time. What I do remember is that I invited people over to my apartment, which had gotten to a point where it felt large and empty and very lonely at most times, and I watched this movie. Continue reading

Lady Ghostbusters won’t actually ruin your childhood

Good evening, readers. And people who happened to click a link to this post while trying to scroll on smart phones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices designed for such misclicks. Welcome to the first of undoubtedly many Throwdown Thursdays, which is a thing I came up with instead of making Throwback Thursday happen on my blog. I avoid posting old pictures of myself because they’ve been known to cause irreversible blindness, but if I were into that sort of thing I would post them on whatever day of the damn week I want.

The purpose of Throwdown Thursday posts is to pick a topic–preferably a relatively relevant one–and…basically rant a bit. I can’t justify dolling up the point of these posts when they’re actually just therapeutic venting with a chance someone else might read it.

I’ll admit that I was really torn on tonight’s subject. Commenting on how people being shocked by snow in January is actually the most shocking part of winter was a close front-runner. That changed when I saw the reactions to the cast reveal for the Ghostbusters reboot. It’s like someone filled a garbage bag with highly concentrated crazy, held it over the Internet, and tore it open in response to the news of who would be the leading ladies of this brave new version of a Hollywood treasure. Before I even dare leap into the bulk of me losing my mind over just how ridiculous this non-issue is, let’s take a look at what the problem is. What group of B-list, no-named losers did Paul Feig cobble together for this terrible, sad knock-off again? Continue reading

Something alliterative involving Tuesday

I haven’t even written a Tuesday post and I already changed my mind on what Tuesday’s posts are going to involve. That sounds like a strong indication of how quickly this misadventure is going to devolve into shenanigans.

To settle this problem, while giving myself enough room to turn Tuesday into a blend of whatever-I-want posts, I’m going to call Tuesday posts Topical Humor Tuesdays for now. Make a note of that for when I invariably change it to something different next week. And the week after. Moving on.

A note added after the post was finished: it turned out more like Tirade Tuesday, but I’m not admitting defeat just yet because there is some topical humor involved (damn it).

Any of you who follow me on Twitter (Anyone? No? Ah well.) are familiar with my tendency to live-tweet things. Sometimes while also some degree of intoxicated. There’s nothing, I’ve found, more enjoyable to drunk live-tweet along with than awards shows, and there’s no award show more fun to drunkenly live-tweet alongside than The Academy Awards (aka The Oscars aka The Awards Show for People Who Can’t Pronounce Names). It’s a huge night for the who’s who of Hollywood, presumably after many weeks of actors and actresses practicing their best I-can’t-believe-I-won faces in the mirror.

No offense meant to Kristen Wiig, a comedy treasure. This just happened to be one of the first results for "surprised celebrity".

No offense meant to Kristen Wiig, a comedy treasure (who, thankfully, will never see this post). This just happened to be one of the first results for “surprised celebrity”.

Continue reading

Jump scares are the absolute worst

Obligatory warning message: there will be a video clip that features jump scares. If anyone tries saying they were shocked, surprised, or not expecting such things from this point forward, I reserve every right to call bullshit on such claims.

It’s a month of celebrating all things that would, under most normal circumstances, leave people safely tucked away in an impenetrable, supernaturally-warded bunker until the screaming of less fortunate people stops. I enjoy horror slightly less than the next guy, unless the next guy happens to be someone who openly weeps at the slightest indication things are about to get scary; that guy and I are close to on the same level. I attempt to endure scary movies and video games, and the results don’t typically involve me retaining a whole lot of my dignity. Continue reading

Ultron seems delightfully evil

All right, folks. Confession time. My comics knowledge is pretty limited, and my Marvel comics knowledge is especially limited (my DC comics knowledge is largely based around Batman with a particular focus on Joker-related graphic novels). I came to appreciate different characters as they were portrayed in the Marvel Comics Universe movies, but I’m that guy when it comes to really having any clue about how those characters were before they made their way to the big screen.

The point I’m dancing around here is I had no idea who the Hell Ultron was, much less why there would be an entire age dedicated to him/her/it. I’d heard of Thanos before, somehow, and Loki…Well, let’s just say I’ve had my fill of Loki for the next century or so. Sorry, fan-people; Tom Hiddleston seems charming enough, and he’s certainly easy on the eyes, but I am thoroughly bored of seeing super-damaged Asgardian antics and I’m especially tired of people trying to justify Loki being a great big bag of dicks by saying how he just needs to be loved/get a hug/whatever. No. He’s just really twisted. But that’s also not the point.

One of the big selling points of comics-turned-movies for me is the villain. The bigger, the badder, and the more insurmountable an obstacle for the heroes a villain is, as far as I’m concerned, the better they are for the movie. I could have quite easily looked up Ultron, but for a baddie who was sandwiched between Loki in the first Avengers movie and the promise of Thanos in Avengers 3, which I’ve heard may be two movies (DAMN YOU, HOLLYWOOD)…Well, this villain I’d never heard of just didn’t seem to matter much. A palate-cleanser between one major nutcase and the next. And then I saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer and found out Ultron is voiced by James Spader. I’m simultaneously ready and not ready for May of 2015. Before I continue, for those of you haven’t seen this yet, here’s the trailer in question.

Aside from being extremely creepy, this teaser trailer made me wish I had a time machine all while making me grateful I don’t have such a device as I wouldn’t be able to really talk about how amazing (or bad, but I hope that the former is the way this will go) this movie is. Ultron seems like the kind of villain I can really get into, if only because I have strong biases 1) in favor of James Spader ever since I started watching The Blacklist and 2) in favor of sinister, self-aware artificial intelligences.

What are you folks looking forward to most in Avengers: Age of Ultron?