Identity can be a difficult thing to handle. It’s not something that I’ve ever had much trouble with; being a straight white man who likes comic books can provide a nice certainty to your life. But for immigrants, or LGBTs, or Brooklynites, defining your identity can be a much more difficult, or awkward, or funny struggle, and Appropriate Behavior captures all of those elements quite well. The debut feature from writer/director/star Desiree Akhaven establishes a smart, sharp and subtle voice that is funny and direct and carries that feeling of authenticity that I can never be sure of myself (not being a bisexual Persian pseudo-hipster) but that grounds the entire story into relatable emotional terms for everyone.
Today, comics writer Jim Zub started the Twitter hashtag #fourcomics, where he asked anyone and everyone to post four covers from comics they were influenced by or loved as they were growing up. Being a longtime comics reader myself, I couldn’t help but fall into this beautiful nostalgia trap, and the end result is the post below, which ended up being a nice cross-section of my core fandom when it was all said and done. Follow me after the jump and enjoy!
Yeah, I know I’m a little late on this, but with my anniversary coming up gift preparation came first. But I’m sure you all saw the Oscar nominations the other day, and I hope that you are just as stuck between stunned and resigned as I am. Once again, the Oscars have operated on their own bizarre wavelength of logic and taste, resulting in some ridiculous snubs and a ton of boring final choices. From The Lego Movie to Jessica Chastain to Channing Tatum to Ralph Fiennes to Gillian Flynn, there are a ton of great films and nominees being buried under much more boring and uninteresting choices (Robert Duvall really needed to get nominated for The Judge? Really?). But in the end, perhaps the perfect summation of why the Oscars are an absolute crock comes down to the contrasting fates of two films: Foxcatcher and Selma.
With the third episode of Agent Carter down, I think it’s safe to say that this is a good TV show that I will be happy to keep watching. Unlike the subject of my last Recap series, The Strain, Agent Carter has so far maintained a steady and consistent pace and escalation that is so essential to any longform serialized story. Driven by two great performances from Hayley Atwell & James d’Arcy and some great direction and writing, Agent Carter has started this year in television off right.
While I remain an unabashed fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all of its exciting storytelling and worldbuilding, I feel like the television side of that universe has yet to really prove itself. Agents of SHIELD couldn’t get me to watch past the pilot, and while I’ve heard it’s picked up major steam post-Winter Soldier, particularly in Season 2, I’ve yet to find out for myself. So with Marvel’s Netflix meta-series a few months from kicking off (in April with Daredevil), the aspirations of Marvel TV fall to Agent Carter. And damn if she didn’t get off to a great start. Read the rest of this entry »
A few years ago, as 2015’s tentpole schedule came into focus, there was an odd panic/excitement going around the film community. Badass Digest, for example, started adding “2015 Deathwatch” to the title of any story about blockbuster release dates, and the phrase “geek apocalypse” began to pop up regularly. The concern was that the sheer tonnage of major geek-friendly releases slated for this year would be too much, and that many movies would fail just because there wouldn’t be enough audience to go around. And on some level, they’re probably right. This year brings us Star Wars, Mad Max, Jurassic World, Avengers, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four, James Bond, two Pixars, Fast & Furious, Terminator, Hunger Games and I’m out of breath now. So yeah, there’s a lot of geek-friendly material out there, or at the very least a lot of marquee brands out there, and I for one am absurdly excited, because this is just the beginning of what seems like Hollywood’s total obsession with trying to make me personally happy.
One of the topics that I’ve broached before on this blog is the question of filmmakers sticking to their own original ideas versus contributing their talents to a previously-established franchise. It’s a conflicted issue for me, as a fan of both big blockbuster sagas and original, auteurist work. I mean, I love Darren Aronofsky’s filmography so far, but would I have enjoyed his Batman Year One or Wolverine more than The Fountain and Noah? And yet, when it comes to the thought of District 9 director Neill Blomkamp making an Alien movie, my first reaction is absolute excitement, whether it will ever happen or not.