Captain Marvel​​: Thought we’d show these boys how we do it. You ready?

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*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS*

It has taken twenty-one films and eleven years, but we finally have a woman headlining a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ever since Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel insignia flashed up on Nick Fury’s pager in the closing seconds of Avengers: Infinity War, we knew we were in for a treat. And she has not arrived quietly.

If you follow me on Twitter and/or are friends, you will know how excited I have been for the release of Captain Marvel. But not everyone has shared my enthusiasm.  Brie Larson kicking ass and looking awesome in the movie’s trailer was met with ridiculous criticisms from men. I read everything from “her voice is too soft” to “why is she so moody?” Most recently, Larson’s calls for more media diversity during her press tour were met with trolling, abuse, and a bewildering determination for this movie to fail before general release. However, all of these aspects have fed into the film’s message, because, essentially, Captain Marvel is about a woman facing the man (or Larson facing the men on the internet) and declaring “I have nothing to prove to you.” And Captain Marvel explores this beautifully.

For six years, “Vers” has been living on Hala as a member of the elite Starforce, defenders of the Kree civilization against their Skrull enemies. Her memory is sketchy; she glimpses her past life as a pilot, and her traumatic childhood, knowing that these are the keys to something more. Trained by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) to control her emotions and photon-blasting hands, he uses her strength as a weapon against her, insisting “control your emotions, emotions are weakness,” a mental shackle to suppress her full potential. In the real world, she would be deemed ‘uncontrollable,’ ‘difficult,’ ‘stubborn,’ and asked to ‘tone it down.’ Belittling powerful women appears to be universal.

The movie steps up in humour after Vers crash lands on C-53 (Earth) and meets a two-eyed Nick Fury. This intergalactic saga becomes a fun buddy comedy set in 1995, complete with grunge and pop soundtrack as more memories of her past life begin to take shape. Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have great chemistry, as do Fury and Goose, a ginger cat/Flerkin who, let’s be honest, steals the movie (I should write a post just on Goose, right?). I loved seeing pilot Carol and wanted more of that, just like I wanted to see more of Carol’s childhood on screen and more of her friendship with Maria Rambeau (the very underused Lashana Lynch). I am hopeful this will be explored and developed further down the line, especially now Carol has recovered her past.

The most powerful moment in the film occurs in the third act. Facing Yon-Rogg, who still addresses her as Vers, she finally shakes off his manipulation, casting off her given identity and telling him “my name is Carol.” It’s a victory for the women who feel they must make themselves smaller, not take up too much space, or are compelled to downplay their personality and abilities.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s spin on Phase One era Marvel takes the MCU, albeit momentarily, away from the more overtly lavish movies of late, while the key message should not be taken for granted. Sure, it did not need to be verbalized quite so much, but its strength cannot be denied. I loved Captain Marvel, and can’t wait to rewatch. And I’ll very likely write more soon.

Additionally, it is very much having a Captain America: The First Avenger effect on me: the more I rewatch and reminisce about TFA the greater my affection grows, and Captain Marvel appears to be going in the same direction. There are striking similarities between both movies, and they both share similar characteristics.

In an interview with Polygon in 2018, comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose groundbreaking 2012 ‘Captain Marvel’ comic book series was the primary source material for the movie, said something that stuck with me for months and, in hindsight, is perfect about the film:

“Carol falls down all the time, but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’”

We see this on screen: Carol throughout the years falling and picking herself back up again. Nothing can keep this woman down. I cannot wait to see what she will do in Avengers: Endgame next month (the thrilling mid-credits scene was A TREAT!!!). Carol Danvers is here to stay, and she is will only soar higher, further, faster, baby.

 

 

 

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New-To-Me Movie Round-Up: February​

I spent February watching fewer movies than in January. Ironically, out of the ones I did watch, many were either re-watches for work-related things, or they starred Melissa McCarthy and were directed by Ben Falcone (there was a season on TV). I intend to up my quota and get back on track during March.

 

Ever Wanted to Save The World?

It’s no secret that I enjoy superhero films. Sometimes, as in the case of my Hollywood visit, I am able to combine all my interests in one trip. I also don’t believe in singular interests. Those who know me well, know that I’m someone with many layers. I’m still not over Infinity War, am counting the days until Captain Marvel, and maintain that the future of the MCU is female.

Case in point, I want to alert some of you to this bit of news happening in London…

On November 29 2018, Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. will open at London’s ExCel. This incredible experience will allow attendees to fully immerse themselves into the the backstories of each members of The Avengers, including:

  • The Thor Observatory – dedicated to Thor Odinson, King of Asgard and son of Odin — visitors are invited to lift Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, view Thor’s outfits and study the universe and its current parameters using NASA’s EYE on the exoplanets program.
  • Also on display will be Captain America’s personnel file, allowing guests to explore the cutting-edge science that made Steve Rogers into Captain America.
  • Iron Man Engineering Bay – allowing trainee agents to get up close and personal with Iron Man’s iconic suits of armour and even experience what simulated flight flight inside the suit would feel like. Yes, you heard correct, SIMULATED FLIGHT.
  • There will also be the chance to explore Bruce Banner’s Lab.

I, for one, am incredibly excited about all of this, especially the world first character displays of Black Panther, The Wasp — yes, THE WASP! — and Thanos.

The exhibition runs from the end of November to March 2019, and you can find out more by visiting this link. 

I’ll be reporting on the event when I visit — so suit up and stay tuned for more!

Do As Nora Charles

 

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Don’t be embarrassed.

We have all experienced a moment, a point in time, of tripping and falling flat on our face. The fall can be physical – a moment of clumsiness or brought on by wearing the wrong shoes – or, most often, the fall is emotional. This is a tricky one because dented pride and emotional scars run deep. It happens to all of us. We make mistakes, we stumble, fail and we experience major wrongs when nothing appears to be going as planned. The most integral thing is not the fall: it’s the recovery.

This occurred to me the other night while re-watching The Thin Man (1934), the unparalleled film series about the sleuthing adventures of Nick and Nora Charles (the divine Williams Powell and Myrna Loy). Nora’s entrance is classic screwball farce. While Nick is dapper and demonstrating the art of how to shake a perfect Martini at the bar, the beautiful and impeccably tailored Nora is dragged in by Asta, the couple’s wire haired terrier. With arms filled with Christmas shopping she looses her footing to take one of the most elegant prat falls in memory, perfectly splaying herself on the floor before being helped up by those around her. Nick does not help as much as watch on with an amused, yet loving, smile.

Yet, as she stands up, she is still perfect with not a hair out of place. She could dwell on her fall but instead the couple launch into their witty repartee for which the show is so adored. So what that she has fallen? She is not embarrassed- why should she be? Instead she points to her husband’s martini and asks “how many drinks have you had?”. When he replies, “this will make six Martinis,” she casually asks the waiter “will you bring me five more Martinis, Leo? Line them right up here”. She carries on as if nothing had happened.

If you fall – for whatever reason – so what? Don’t slink off with your tail between your legs. Remember the mantra: DO AS NORA CHARLES. Her pride is not sore (although her head certainly is the morning after). Don’t fret and wallow on the ground, pick yourself off, stand up straight and down six martinis.

Nora’s entrance