I just moved my posts from Posterous! Do go though my blog for all the new posts.
Its easy to migrate try JustMigrate
3Crumbs app - Are you the local thrifter we all have been looking for?
I just moved my posts from Posterous! Do go though my blog for all the new posts.
Its easy to migrate try JustMigrate
3Crumbs app - Are you the local thrifter we all have been looking for?
This might sound strange coming from someone who’s not that huge of a movie fanatic in general, but The Bourne Legacy is a movie I’m looking forward to watching in the cinemas when it’s out here.
I love well-tailored action flicks, and the Bourne Trilogy was fairly epic as far as action flicks go; I’m a fan of the Bourne series. But, I’ve seen people complaining about Legacy not having Jason Bourne in it and immideately dismissing the movie before even knowing much about it. Their loss, as far as I’m concerned. The argument that Jeremy Renner is replacing Matt Damon isn’t really all too valid, that’s like saying Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean Luc Picard) replaced William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) in Star Trek. Confused by the analogy here? Read on…
It hasn’t really hit me how much I want to see Legacy until after I saw The Avengers in IMAX and after the movie I saw the Bourne Legacy poster, with the ‘there was never just one’ tagline in their ‘coming soon’ section on the way out and went: “wait, that’s Hawkeye!”
Let’s get one thing straight first though, in full disclosure - initially, I was one of the people who had objections to someone other than Damon being in the Bourne movies, (my obvious bias and a soft spot and appreciation for Jeremy Renner aside). Like many, at first I was under the impression Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne had been re-cast because Damon left the franchise. (thank you SO much, mainstream media!). Glad that wasn’t the case and Jason Bourne is still out there running around doing what he does.
Even Jeremy Renner asked the same question we all do “how do you make a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne?” Turns out it’s totally doable, you just expand the universe. There is, of course, the hatred towards Legacy simply because Damon’s not in it, but c’mon guys, expand your horizons a little before jumping to conclusions.
After some digging around the Internet, and watching the Bourne Legacy trailers, I’m counting down the days until I can watch the movie.
I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of story they’ve weaved around the events of the Bourne Ultimatum and the present, given the trailers and the few short clips I’ve taken the liberty of providing here, the movie looks quite interesting.
Speaking of Jeremy Renner. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to Renner and his acting style. He’s an intense actor (Dahmer, The Hurt Locker, The Town, even Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Avengers, to name a few). He does a lot of it subtly through body language, facial expressions, etc. He’s brilliant with acting without dialogue and is very good at supplementing dialogue with facial expressions to get the point across better, (watch the clip above, when he finds out she doesn’t know his name, that look is typical trademark Renner-style.) If you’ve seen any of his previous work, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
That and if Jeremy Renner takes on a role, you can be pretty sure the character is going to be quite interesting, deep & complicated on a lot of levels. In Jeremy Renner’s own words, from an interview with AskMen “I need to react to a script, to feel strongly about it in some way. And I need it to be a complex character for sure. And also, I think a lot about what kind of audience there is for the film, what they’re looking for and ways to connect with them in the playing of a character”
That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the Bourne Legacy. I like deep and complex characters, plus good scripts/story lines. (oh hai, Whedonverse!)
Besides that, I appreciate actors who do their own stunts in movies. Stunt work isn’t safe, and actors who do their own stunts aren’t afraid to go the extra mile to make their role seem more realistic. When I watch a movie knowing that the actor did his own stunts, it just makes me want to believe the character that much more. As a result the performance itself comes across as more genuine. Even if, at the end of the day, it’s still a movie and the characters are still fictional.
Watch the rooftop chase posted by IGN:
Then have a look at Behind The Bourne Legacy video provided by ET.
Props to all actors who do their own stunts in movies, really. (and it’s good to know Edward Norton, Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz did quite a huge chunk of their own stunts in The Bourne Legacy) Yeah, the actors are getting paid the big bucks, but they’re not phoning in their roles. It’s hard to do that when you’re harnessed-in and leaping off of buildings, or even surfacing from a 45 degree Fahrenhait (that’s about 7.2 Celcius) freezing lake and whatnot.
So what about all that chatter about Renner replacing Damon in the franchise? Never mind that there are rumors of him replacing Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible franchise too. Jeremy Renner is not replacing Matt Damon in the strictest sense of the word; replacing would’ve been if Renner played Jason Bourne (akin to having different actors portray James Bond over the last few decades). At least that’s how I differentiate between these things in my head after doing a bit of thinking on the subject. I’m not overly excited about movies/shows changing actors to play the same character, it seems to break canon to an extent (I mean, the character looks different and to me, that’s weird.)
Matt Damon *is* Jason Bourne, there’s no replacing him. Jason Bourne/Matt Damon isn’t the Bourne universe no less than Captain Kirk isn’t the Star Trek universe, because the universe is so much bigger. Aaron Cross is just an addition to said Bourne universe, building on to the existing canon first introduced in the first trilogy. It’s really no different from having Thor, Iron Man I and II, Incredible Hulk, Captain America as separate movies, they exist in the same Marvel universe but the focus is on different characters in each of those movies.
And the media really needs a slap upside the head for adding to the confusion, by saying Renner is taking over the role, this next quote is from US Magazine: “Universal Pictures released the full trailer for Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy on Thursday and the action is non-stop. Renner, 41, has taken over Matt Damon’s former role and stars as a new CIA operative, Aaron Cross, in the fourth film of the hit espionage franchise.”
I mean, what? Matt Damon did not play Aaron Cross, he played Jason Bourne! If you’ve seen any of the Bourne movies, you’d know that, unfortunately, it’s looking a lot like people writing for entertainent pages of magazines and such haven’t even seen the movie/TV show they’re writing about, and to fans that’s quite annoying and just shows lack of research on the journalist’s/writer’s side. I mean, if you’re writing about a movie, at least hit up IMDB for a list of all actors and the characters they’ve played; at least get the central characters’ names right.
Also, how can Renner take over Damon’s former role AND star as a new operative? Dodgy wording, maybe? He’s not taking over anything except joining the franchise as a new character. (much like he did with Mission Impossible when William Brandt joined Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in Ghost Protocol). Even taking over the Bourne franchise seems like too strong a phrase, but it is more accurate than taking over Damon’s role…since they play two entirely different characters. (Remember, Bourne never wanted to work for a program like this, Cross, on the other hand stepped into it willingly.)
Second of all, the movie is called ‘The Bourne Legacy’ ; legacy being a word that means something handed down by a predecessor. The circumstances Aaron Cross faces are, in a way, Jason Bourne’s legacy because of what Bourne did in Ultimatum. We get to see Jason Bourne in the trailer, and his name is mentioned several times, so chances are, whatever is going on, is tied in heavily to Jason Bourne and the previous trilogy of Bourne movies (Duh! sorry for being Ms Obvious here, but, apparently some folks missed the connection and chose to jump to conclusions instead.) That’s sort of why Cross didn’t get his own monicker in the movie title. It would’ve been weird if it was ‘The Cross Legacy’ or whatever else. The Bourne Legacy just puts the movie in the Bourne universe.
Central point: Bourne’s program wasn’t the ONLY one out there, there were others, and as a result of Bourne’s actions in Ultimatum, those programs are now also in trouble. Frank Marshall, the series’ producer, spoke out about that in an interview, he noted that there are indeed several different programs, all having different kinds of skill sets, so the possibilities are endless for even further expansion down the line. And why not? This is also a smart move to bypass the “central-character-with-same-name-is-being-played-by-different-actors” bit of canon. *cough*James Bond*cough*. Maybe The Bourne universe is the next James Bond ‘verse? Just different programs, different central characters? Who knows, there’s a lot of possibilities.
That said, I would want to see Jeremy Renner and Matt Damon on the big screen in a Bourne movie…. Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne would kick some serious ass. Make it happen, Hollywood, please!
Another interesting tidbit I read in August’s Empire piece is The Bourne Legacy “runs parallel to The Bourne Ultimatum, just as the events of that film are exploding” (pg 69), so it’s not really a sequel as such, it’s a ‘sidequel’, given the movie runs on the side along with the latter part of the Bourne Ultimatum. Sort of like ‘meanwhile…elsewhere….this other stuff happens’ sorta thing. I guess it’s kind of similar to how they did in some of the Star Trek incarnations as well as Stargate SG1/Atlantis episodes. It just adds more to the overall universe. Fleshes it out more.
Also interesting is the Q and A with Tony Gilroy and Jeremy Renner hosted at AMC Theaters in US earlier in July, I caught it live, but here’s a video:
Earlier, Matt Damon spoke out on Jeremy joining the Bourne ‘verse, screenshots and video below:
I think Damon hit the nail on the head there overall.
What’s more, judging by the comments from Twitter and online forums, the Bourne franchise will also gain new fans. Those who previously haven’t heard of the Bourne trilogy at all, will go watch that before they watch The Bourne Legacy this summer. All this awareness is only good for the franchise, right? Some so-called fans have already jumped ship because Matt Damon’s not in this movie; as stated previously, their loss. As a Bourne universe fan, I’m going to go watch Legacy and see for myself whether I like what I see or not. Based on what I’ve seen and read so far, it will work quite nicely, but I’ll reserve further judgement until I actually see the movie.
Guess only time will tell how well Legacy will do at the theaters. Movie opens August 10th in USA, August 13th in UK and later in other countries. I think the UAE gets it on August 23rd. 30th. (Aaaargh! Have to wait another week >.< )
To those who’ve texted/tweeted me wondering where I was and how I was doing; thanks, much appreciated. To those who didn’t even notice I was gone from Twitter, well, that’s fine, I guess. Not like we’re dating or anything. ^_^ I’m not in the habit of complaining, ranting or revealing too much of my personal life over the public medium. Personal is personal, there’s no need to share it out with every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes along the way. But I felt given my absence from most of social media lately, I owe some of you, well the ones who give a rats ass about my wellbeing anyway, some sort of an explanation at least.
I think part of me knew, when I started doing the all-night writing stints a few months ago, that eventually it’ll catch up to me. Not in the sense of a burnout, but in the sense of life pulling something major out and tossing it my way. July’s events did just that, quite well. Bravo! If I were to summarize how July has been for me in just a few words, it’d be these words…wait, I think I can do better. Here’s a gif (and I would be the bloke getting whacked with the cane):
But it’s not to say this is going to be a depressing post where I’m going to complain about how life’s doing my head in. I’ve gone past that stage, behind closed doors, so there’s no need to re-hash the raw feelings towards life out in the open. I’m a private person when it comes to my personal life, so you’re not going to find a candid behind the scenes look into my life here, beyonda glimpse here and there.
I’m glad I didn’t take the summer semester at uni this time, because that would’ve been too much as is. Family is priority, especially when you’re one member down and you’re the only one left with the specific skill set required to get a certain job done. Even some skills you never knew you had, who knew that I’d be the most diplomatic one in our family? I certainly didn’t. I mean, Sagittarians aren’t well known for their diplomacy skills, but perhaps my Scorpio side is balancing some of that out at times. Now anyway
If I wasn’t on the phone, writing letters addressed to bigwigs and the like or stuck in meetings with said bigwigs trying to stay calm and ensure everything doesn’t fall apart; I’m driving to places juggling a phone conversation or a draft for a letter in my head. Certain things in my daily life became distractions, and not the ones where I’d specifically need said distraction. I kind of turned to Tumblr and the writing I do with a friend for those. Not that I did too much of either one. But I managed to float on by (just barely at times, I’ll give you that, but in the end, the end result is what matters) in huge thanks to a really good friend & daily doses of my own “therapy” designed to keep me sane-ish.
I try not to whine or rant too much about my personal life online or in public. That’s part of why I slunk off Twitter, it’s so tempting to go on and leave a rant, then go off again. Other part of staying off is simply, I’ve been busy driving around, writing letters, talking to people, sorting out messes all on from early morning until late at night. Forget sleep, forget food, forget a social life (I haven’t done any Iftars this year yet O.o ), forget anything else beyond family. Because, gosh, there was a lot of drama that directly impacted us in many ways.
Red tape in general - just not going to touch that one with a cattle prod, much less a hammer, however tempting that might be. Did discover that some banks are a bit more useless and unprofessional than others, but I suppose that has something to do with the level of customer service here in UAE in general. Okay, so maybe it’s not that big a discovery. I guess some people aren’t afraid to lose their jobs so they treat their customers however they want. Suffice to say, we’re no longer customers of that one particular bank. If I have to walk into another bank to have a serious meeting with any of the bank managers, I don’t think I’m going to keep my sanity. But at least one huge mess is in the process of getting sorted out. Huge thanks to my bro for starting said mess then dropping it into my lap to sort it out because he’s out of the country. (but hey, at least I’m an aunt now, 3 times over \o/)
Feeling stretched to my limits, I needed to unwind, as my daily attempts at keeping myself calm and centered, weren’t lasting long. So I’ve put everything on hold for just a day and hit up Reel Cinemas to catch The Avengers again; that ended up being a triple-dose; that’s right, 3 times in a row, baby! Bringing up my total viewing count to 15. And a *very* pleasant surprise at the 2015 show. The Bourne Legacy trailer. Yeah, I needed to see that on a big screen. Damn, I want to see that movie soon!
I’m still not sure of what sort of an effect July’s had on my health. At least the left side of my chest stopped hurting and my blood pressure’s down to semi-normal again. (who knew? used to have low blood pressure, then it normalized, events of July sent it sky-high.)
All the stuff about staying positive and whatnot, there’s enough negativity going around, I have no desire to add to it. Looking forward to the next few months though.
Last night, I wrote this up: The Music of The Avengers; today I received this from Amazon:
I love leafing through the booklet that comes with the CD, and this one was no different. First there was a message from Mr Whedon, which, as I read it, just resonated with me on so many levels I decided to share it out there. So here we go:
“I still believe in heroes,” Nick Fury said that…well, he said it in the trailer. It’s not from the film, but making a trailer means boiling down the essence of a film’s meaning, and that’s mine, with this. Heroes. Flawed. Textured. Uncertain, and often unworthy, but come the main event, ready to give everything. For us, for each other, for the greater good. That’s what Superhero stories were about before they were too cool to be about that anymore, and it’s a part of why we’ve been drawn to them since they were on our newsstands, twenty two pages printed in four colors and stapled together. The Avengers movie was my chance to talk about the need for heroes, and the best statement isn’t made with words. It’s made with music.
Music tells us, “this matters.” Defines these extraordinary people: Look how sad they are. Look how tall they are! Look: They’re all together, standing back to back, enemies (and a circular dolly track) all around them, a team at last. That’s a moment that thrilled me twice: once, when I thought of a good enough reason to put it int he movie (because it had to be good enough), and once, much more strongly, when I sat in the room while Alan Silvestri conducted an 80-piece orchestra, playing his Avengers theme over that shot. That’s the moment I turned to Kevin and Jeremy, my producers and friends, and said “I’m experiencing joy. Im feeling it right now, as it’s happening. That’s rare for me, so make note.”
To say that Alan elevated this film would be to undersell his achievement. He understood it, he subverted it, he influenced it, he smoothed some of its rougher edges and bettered its best…he gave the team its identity. For all my attempts to make such displayable characters into a cohesive entity, it was Alan who made it seem as though I’d pulled it off. He crafted (with hilariously little time) a score both unobtrusive and indelible, that walked beside the story like a parent by his child on their first real bike ride: letting them do the work, but always ready to catch them if they tip, and to sound the cheer when they speed off alone. Considering how wobbly I felt on that bike, I’m pretty grateful.
There is a list of composers who have made a true mark on American film, one that changes and advances it. That’s a short list. There are composers who do that and then do it again, and then still live for the thrill of finding a new way to do it once more. That last is in the single digits. There’s guys with all that who are delightful, excited, positive, collaborative, unflappable, who make a guy on his sophomore effort feel as though they had come up together, who don’t have a superior or jaded bone in their bodies. That list is called Alan.
But, if you’re reading this, it’s not because you want to know if Mr Silvestri is a stand-up guy. It’s because this music got to you. Maybe because it evokes the film. Maybe you hated the film, but couldn’t get the sound out of your head. Maybe you just wanted to see what he’d do next, if you listen carefully, you’ll see how much he was doing. And the answer is Much. In an era of what I call room-tone scores, that just repeat the same heightened sense of there-ness (it’s too indistinct to call emotion), Alan has provided a score that is so specific, so narrative-based, but still has the undeniable power and fluidity of those more diffuse accompaniments. You can hear the themes, the moments, but you can spin this disc (what? I’m old) and just bathe in the greatness. But on the subject of themes…
It was Alan’s startling work on Captain America that brought him into Marvel’s clutches, and reminded me of his capacity for non-Zemekis-based greatness. (Zemekis! Share the wealth, Silvestri-hog!) The theme he built for Cap is in here - exactly when it should be - but I was clear up front that I wasn’t going to ask for themes for every hero. That was absurd. And yet…
If I have one favorite element to this tapestry, it’s the Black Widow. I decided (late in the game) that she did need a theme, a calling card, especially since she’s Russian, and we first see her in Russia, and I hate establishing shots. I told Alan he needed to evoke her background and indeitify in her first cue. Which he did. A lonely, plucked, soviet scent to define our girl. I heard it. Then I heard it again, battling against Loki’s theme, as they battled for verbal supremacy on the Helicarrier. And again, rich with doleful strings, as she revealed to her best friend that Loki had touched her more than she’d shown…and then, as she battles onto an alien charier, the same minor refrain blossoms into heroic glory, as galvanizing as the team theme itself.
I only asked for the one.
I think you get the picture. (Alan certainly did) Here’s a piece of trivia to make this all special and put you in the know. “The Avengers”, which you may notice threading through a couple of times before, was an early pitch that Alan threw out, that we all felt was more SHIELD Spy movie than Avengers heroic epic (I referred to it as “James Bond meets Zeppelin’s Kashmir”)…but that none of us could shake (because James Bond should meet Zeppelin, and they should battle! Until they settle their differences and begin a violent Martini-fueled jam session!) We temped it over the end credits for fun - and then had to ask him to establish it ear lier, because it was so damn cool. That’s Alan on an off day.
I Still believe in heroes. Because, every now and then, I get to work with one of mine.
Yeah , Joss, this music got to me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
There’s a whole bunch of stories out there saying that Clint Barton/Hawkeye needs the two arm guards because his archery technique is crap and he keeps slapping his wrist on release of the bowstring. Nevermind that. I’m not focusing on his archery technique as such, he’s Hawkeye, he can shoot however he likes….Talk to me when you can pull a move like this mid-conversation:
No? Okay, back to the armguards. Notice when he whips open his bow early on in the movie, here, he’s got just the one arm guard:
Note that he’s the Evil/Mind-controlled Hawkeye in this one, (if only because Loki did one of the most atrocious things to him and had Clint wear sleeves!) this scene is shortly before they invaded the Helicarrier. Also note that although the quiver there is different, it still uses trick arrows (as we’ve seen when he took on the Helicarrier), but again, the quiver is not the one that’s part of Hawkeye’s costume. It seems that it is, however part of Clint’s SHIELD blackops style gear which he wore whilst under Loki’s control if only because that’s basically how he got nabbed (althugh he had a SHIELD jacket on).
Here’s the closeup of the arm guard he uses whilst infiltrating the Helicarrier:
It’s completely different from the ones he uses later on when he suits up to join Captain America and Black Widow in the fight against Loki. As part of Hawkeye’s costume, he’s got 2 armguards, these look a whole lot sturdier than the one above.
Some people think that’s a continuity error, I don’t believe it. Why?
Remember this scene:
When Hawkeye leaps off the building, and slides down on the grappler, there’s a shot of him using his arm to lead the rope as he slides down and eventually swings at the window:
So I’m thinking maybe THIS is why he’s got two arm guards as part of his Hawkeye outfit. It’s not because he needs both to protect his arm when he’s firing arrows, but because, face it: the rope burn from a move like that is going to hurt like a bitch without protection.
Music has always been a passion of mine, I grew up around Air Force bases, and in music schools (because I hated going to kindergarden, I mean seriously, kindergarden - Child Garden, and all they made us do is sleep? What the frak?) These days, I collect soundtracks from movies and TV shows, because they’re great mood music for writing and I love listening to the instrumental tracks because they bring out quite a bit of emotion on their own. Not that I’m an overly emotional person.
Music is the one language that speaks to all of us, no matter where we come from. And music is a huge part of any movie, if done right. I don’t like watching movies dubbed in other languages for that very reason, it messes with the storytelling process because the soundtrack almost always gets shafted.
During one of my viewings of the Avengers, I focused on the music. Because even music moves the story forward. And Alan Silvestri is very good at what he does.
Let’s start at the beginning and go through a few of them. First up we have Arrival,
The opening scene (post intro with The Other & Loki getting the scepter); we see SHIELD base of operations, Fury and Hill arrive to the base housing the Tesseract. I don’t know about you, but the first time I’ve seen the opening scene, with the helicopter arriving, and a calm Coulson in his shades (at night, what?) Hill (Hey it’s Robin Scherbatski, what is she doing there?) and Fury stepping out of the chopper, I just knew we were in for a ride.
But, possibly one of the best examples of story telling through music though is the Helicarrier lift off scene,
words weren’t needed following Bruce’s “Oh no, this is much worse!” comment as he and Steve backed off; the picture combined with the music told us exactly how majesting the whole thing was. Try listening to this track with your eyes closed (and possibly not a heavily compressed mp3 version), whether you’ve seen the movie or not. I don’t know about you, but first time I’ve seen the shot of the Helicarrier taking off to that music, I got goosebumps, and I was smiling. Grinning even, but then, first time I saw the movie, I was grinning throughout the whole thing from beginning to end.
Another example of great music use is when Loki and Clint Barton are in Stuttgard; the music that plays throughout Loki’s speech, titled ‘Subjugation’ is chilling as hell right from the very beginning. (violins can have that effect on you, y’know…)
But it is especially effective during the whole “Kneel before me. I said… KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.” dialogue. The music is in the background, as Loki speaks, it’s job to basically underline the important bits in the dialogue.
Hats off to Tom Hiddleston on this as well, he’s definitely got Loki down. And when the old man stood up and said “Not to men like you.” with Loki going “There are no men like me” and the old man’s “There are always men like you”…. didn’t that just tug at your heart at least a little bit? Yes, part of that was the acting, but the music itself helped build up to that point. I know, because I’ve watched specifically for the music and how it interacts with the scenes. I enjoy doing things like that.
During the fight at the end, one of the best tracks was titled ‘Assemble’ (ends right as Bruce arrives and punches the huge alien thing out before the rest are sent through)
The build up towards the climax at the end is well worth it.
Avengers theme itself, there are no words to explain that one properly I think. I love.. .that theme!
I lost count how many times I’ve had it play on my iTunes, I’m thinking dusting off my piano just so I can tinker around with the keys and pick out the tune so I can play it. Listening to that track makes me feel good. And the end titles themselves, all CG, were nicely done by the studio, have a look at the title sequence here.
To me, the Avengers soundtrack and score (there’s two albums, and I will be talking about the soundtrack at a later date) are both great additions to my car’s audio system.
Especially when the Avengers theme comes on, I feel the urge to turn up the volume and do this sorta thing:
except y’know, I’m driving…. So there’s that…
So, today is mother’s day. Happy Mother’s day to all mothers out there.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m kind of curious to know why we need 1 day to celebrate our mothers, another one to celebrate our love, etc etc. I’m not a huge fan of those. It seems more like a huge marketing campaign (have you seen how much those cards cost? and the flowers which end up wilting in a few days anyway?)
What is life coming to, when you give a gift for seemingly no reason at all, and the first thing the other person thinks/says is “Oh my God, what did you do?!” / “What do you want from me?” This is the sad state of affairs right now…we’ve been brainwashed to believe gift giving is only for special days pre-determined by someone we don’t know at all. Someone we don’t even question, it’s just there, so we go with the flow, stop being sheep. We’re not here to be subjugated.
Now, I’m not saying don’t celebrate your mother or your father, or your significant other. I’m just saying do it because you really care, not because “oh, it’s the special day, I have to get him/her something!” to me, it makes it more of a chore and isn’t honest enough. I like surprises and I like surprising people, when I can. That’s the archer in me talking, Sagittarians love spontanienty. And I know I probably don’t do it enough.
If life has taught me anything, it’s that we need to appreciate our loved ones as much as we can whilst they’re still here. Yes, I don’t always agree with my mother, or my father, or my brother or any of the relatives. But, I don’t need a special day to tell them I love and appreciate them. I try to hug my mother everyday. My father not so much, he’s not the huggable type, sadly. But most military men aren’t huggable anyway. I appreciate both of my parents for being here, and for supporting me, even if we don’t always agree on things.
Appreciate our loved ones any day, any time, because sometimes they may not live long enough to get to that particular day. I lost someone very dear to me a few years ago, I’m just glad I got the chance to say I love him before Feb 14th came around. Life’s fragile like that. So don’t wait for the “special day” assigned by a disembodied entity. Don’t wait… give thanks, hug a loved one, take them out to dinner, enjoy your time with them. Appreciate them whilst they’re still around, because you never know when your time here is up with them.
Up until I saw the movie, I can’t say I was a huge fan of the Marvel universe, I was more of a casual fan. I’ve read a few comic books, seen all the previous Marvel Movies (Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, Hulk, Captain America). The usual, life goes on stuff.
Then along came The Avengers, helmed by Joss Whedon and….WHOA. It definitely had an effect on me, the good kind. So far, this is the only movie I’ve seen in the cinema more than once. I never thought I’d be one of those people, as I know ones who saw things like Titanic over 20 times at the cinema. I never quite got why people do that. Well, I do now and it took Joss Whedon to make me realize that. So thanks, Joss, for unlocking the cage where my inner fangirl was locked up for reasons unknown (so far…)
And I *never* fangirl over movies or TV shows or the actors…that much. Not even Nathan Fillion. Seriously! I thought I didn’t have any emotions as far as squee-ing and going crazy over actors and such. Okay okay, so there was that ONE moment I got hugged by Luciana Carro at ComicCon…but aside that, nothing. That is until Jeremy Renner who plays Clint Barton/Hawkeye. (as well as Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Chris ….well, actually the whole cast was appealing. lots of arm porn there.) But it goes beyond the looks and all that jazz.
Seeing The Avengers woke something up inside, something I thought I buried a long, long time ago. (no, not hormones! Geez!); still trying to figure it all out. There’s a few things that have clicked into place over the last week alone. Things that were out there somewhere floating beyond my reach, lost in that big picture. More on that in future posts as I’m still discovering things here. I can’t write fast enough to keep up with what’s going on in my head right now. But I’m sure it’ll come out eventually. It sort of already is, i’m just trying to make some sense out of it.
Those of you who know me well, and there’s not that many left out there….alive anyway…er…slightly creepy much? … know that I love TV shows for bigger reasons than actors and the plot. I truly believe writers and directors have reasons behind doing what they do and why they write or shoot things in a certain way. I mean, they essentially create their own universes with the writing and the way shots are framed. I have a whole small library of books talking about different shows and their philosophy, psychology, characters and their motivations, the show universe, and a lot more. I’m watching for what I can learn from the characters as well as the story lines, and whether there’s anything I can apply to my own work. It’s interesting to know stuff like that, and it’s not just silly entertainment; there’s a lot more to it. If you’re on GoodReads, you can see my partial list here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3078015?shelf=tv-series-nonfiction-research
Joss Whedon’s ability to weave a good story with a variety of characters (as big as the Marvel characters involved) is part of the reason why I loved The Avengers. There was never a dull moment in that movie. And the way all the characters were brought together and worked off of each other was nicely done. Yeah, they didn’t all get along right off the bat, and that led to a few great fights between Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America as well as Black Widow and Hawkeye. Joss Whedon definitely proved the skeptics wrong when he pulled this off and the earning figures speak for themselves.
Each character had his/her own moment, even the minor ones. Agent Hill was introduced early on, and immediately thrown headfirst into an action sequence, which told the viewers quite a lot about what sort of a character she is. Of course not all lead characters got equal screen time, Hawkeye in particular only had about 12 minutes of screen time throughout the whole movie, but considering what they did with him, I didn’t complain much (beyond not seeing more of Jeremy Renner onscreen). *grumble* Renner stole every scene he was in, and Hawkeye’s a badass, but that’ll take a whole other post to explain, I’m sure.
It makes sense, though, it was a quicker way to show off Barton’s skills and tell the audience what he’s like without having to drag the main storyline out. He was a bad guy in the comics at first too, so it’s sort of fitting he was Loki’d 3 minutes into the movie. And I disagree with those who say Hawkeye is the most useless of the Avengers, he’s not, here’s http://tdallonsy.posterous.com/a-few-words-to-those-who-say-clint-hawkeye-ba" target="_blank">why. Plus, having one of them compromised early on raises the stakes a bit, Barton was the logical choice for that IMO.
There’s a lot of dialogue and moments in the Avengers that resonated with me on a whole other level, and I hadn’t realized it after watching it for the first time. I just had an urge to watch it again and again. First time you essentially watch for the plot, anything after, you can pick out bits you missed, pick up on the more subtle things. I mean there was A LOT going on in that movie. This is why watching the movie just once isn’t enough. And like I said, I never felt that way about a movie. TV shows, sure, movies, not so much.
And there weren’t any slow moments in The Avengers, each scene moved everything else along until it all came to a major climax at the very end.) The final battle was truly epic and it truly felt like I was reading a comic book instead of watching a movie. I think this was what woke up my inner fangirl. Joss did a nice job in bringing everything together.
I would really like to get my hands on the script for this one. I hope they’ll release an official one.
Some of my favorite scenes (WARNING: spoilers after the pic)
- The first scene, with the music and everything, you can tell the movie is going to be great.
- Loki’s introduction was quite literally smoking!
- Loved the Helicarrier lift off scene, coupled with the score it made it look so great!
- Stark’s “Phil? Uh His first name is Agent!” and the exchange that follows , including the juggling of the drinks and the tech, followed by Coulson standing awkwardly with a glass as Stark and Potts had their moment.
- Stark and Potts arguing over percentage and “I was having 12% of a moment”
- Coulson “on hold” whilst Black Widow beats the crap out of the Russians
- Thor: “Listen well brother” [Iron Man flies in tackling him away] Loki: [deadpan] “I’m listening.”
- Thor and Iron Man fight, joined by the Cap, and the “Are we done here?” after they level the whole forest.
- Thor whacking Hulk with Mjolnir, and Hulk being unable to pick it up.
- Loki’s “mewling quim” comment (surprised that made it through the censors, but even Joss is proud of sneaking that one in.)
- Stark asking Banner what was his secret, “Bongo drums, huge bag of weed?”
- Coulson’s “I watched you sleep” comment and the awkward scene that follows.
- Barton taking out the Helicarrier’s engine with one of his trick arrows. The shot of him with the bay doors open. And after, when he scouted the sky, made his calculations and all before he fired the arrow.
- Stark and Banner exchanging some scientific stuff, Stark going “Finally someone who speaks English” and Steve goes “so that’s what that was!”
- Steve’s “I understood that reference!” bit and Stark rolling his eyes at that in the background.
- Black Widow mindf***ing Loki, that scene was nicely shot.
- Hulk punching Thor for no reason, without even looking that way. Completely random and hilarious.
- Thor: “He’s my brother.” Black Widow: “He’s killed 80 people in 2 days” Thor’s “He’s adopted?” line; the delivery was nice. Chris snuck in a little question mark at the end there. I almost felt like he was going to hang his head in shame or something.
- Loki’s speech in Germany. Chilling! “Kneel before me. I said… KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.” and Tom delivers well.
- Hawkeye firing the arrow at Loki & Loki caught it but then got blown aside into Stark’s building, which lead to one of the best moments of the movie where:
- Loki gets pummeled by Hulk, that was just so random, yet such a typical Joss Whedon move! (plus it was in the comics too) What made it funnier is Hulk tossed Loki around three times, lifted him up by his foot and then tossed him down onto the ground twice more.
- Iron Man’s: “Uh-oh” after he jump started the engine and Cap still hadn’t pulled the lever.
- Barton / Hawkeye to Captain America: “Captain, it would be my genuine pleasure” you can tell he’s determined to make up for all the evil shit Loki had him do earlier.
- Hawkeye: “Yeah? Get in line” comment as he removes the tops from the arrows and puts the arrows back in his quiver. (see he re-uses the arrows, like most archers do! that’s why it took him so long to run out later on.)
- Hawkeye shooting at a target whilst mid-conversation with Stark and not even looking that way. (one of the reasons that makes him a badass IMO)
- Hawkeye leaping off a building (shout out to the Ultimate Hawkeye comic), more badass points there. Although, I can’t quite make out the look on his face as he does it.
I’m not quite sure what he’s thinking there. Like “Holy crap, what am I doing?!” or just one of those desperate times call for desperate measures things? Or ‘oh here we go, I’m jumping off a building again’. That’s the brilliance of Jeremy Renner as an actor too when it comes to his facial expressions, it’s never just one specific expression,
- the whole fight at the very end was really well executed, again, a lot of happening, but Captain America put all the team members to good use. Hawkeye up on the roof as the eyes and ears of the team telling them who’s doing what and where and ensuring their tails are kept clear; Thor and Hulk working together; Iron Man flying all over the place then assisting Captain America; Black Widow doing her thing. Everybody contributed and supported eachother to an extent, whether super powered or mere human.
- Loki grinning up as Hulk’s unleashed on the Helicarrier (and I know people complain about the seeming inconsistency of Banner being able to control the Hulk at the end of the movie whereas he was afraid to unleash it at the beginning. Remember that he’s highly susceptible to the energy in Loki’s scepter, this is why he picked it up in that scene shortly before Hawkeye and co invaded the Helicarrier.)
- Tracking shot of the whole team as they assembled with weapons armed. Seen it in trailers many times, but seeing it in context, with the music, is something else.
- The group shot where they’re all against Loki as he struggles up, followed by “if it’s all the same, I’d like to have that drink now”. (I want that on a t-shirt!)
Tons more, but I’ll stop here, since the whole movie was filled with great moments like that. And I’m not the only one who wants to see it again, there are many who watched it multiple times and are planning on going again. And why shouldn’t they? Avengers is a fun ride, especially if you’re into roller coasters. You know when a movie is great? When you walk out of it wanting to go back in and watch it all over again right away. When you walk out and you feel the adrenaline rush and keep the high for at least a few days. Yeah, like that.
So yeah, I have heart (again). And I’m beginning to feel like I used to back in the days of role playing and writing. Back in the days before my baggage wasn’t a truck load of stuff but just one suitcase and my mind was occupied with a lot of other things. That seemed to have diminished over the last few days. I have been writing a lot more in the last two days alone, that’s a huge accomplishment. I mean, how often do you see me update this thing? Exactly! And even those updates are halfassed, mostly. But it looks like that’s changing, and I’ve been snapped back to my earlier years. I don’t know, maybe I’ve lost some bagage everytime I go watch the Avengers? If that’s the case, I’m definitely going again and again.
But the point is..as Joss Whedon said recently: “All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet — it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.”
Oh I hear it talking back to me. Every. Single. Time. And, you know what? It’s totally cool with me. I could use folks like Loki, Hawkeye, Stark and co as my muses, depending on what I’m doing. It’s great to have that sort of an arsenal, especially given what I do.
And if you think all of this is silly, that’s totally fine by me. :-) Everybody has different experiences and tastes. This is just part of my experience.
You guys are forgetting that Clint Barton is….what that thing called…oh yeah - human (with maybe a hint of a superpower in terms of eyesight). He’s not a soldier on steroids, he’s not a demigod, he’s not a guy with a weapons suit of armor or a guy who can turn into a big green angry dude; Hawkeye is a weapons expert (and a sniper) whose favorite weapon happens to be a recurve bow and a set of trick arrows. Which, to me, makes a lot of sense. Arrows are more accurate (depending on what he wants ‘em to do). We’ve seen him take down one of the Hellicarrier’s engines with one of those, and he took out another engine by scrambling the computer systems with another arrow. Arrows can do more damage than a typical gun. Especially the trick arrows Hawkeye uses. Who needs guns, right? You can do the same amount of damage, possibly more, with guns, but you’d need several different ones (good luck taking down something as big as a Helicarrier). With the trick arrows, it’s more compact and user-friendly. More versatile too.
First time we meet Barton in this movie, he’s watching from up above, you can tell he’s focused, you can see his eyes darting back and forth watching the activity above. That’s the subtlery of Renner’s acting, not everything has to be expressed in words.
When Loki tells Clint he’s got heart (first line Loki says in the movie, by the way), it’s a good shout out to the Hawkeye of the past (he started out as a bad guy, and it’s alluded to in the movie later on when Widow is talking to Loki and he lists all the vicious things she’s done and tells Natasha is “trying to save a man no more virtuous than yourself”
The final fight, Hawkeye had some badass moves on the ground as well as up on the roof. And Cap put him to good use by sending him up to the roof to be the eyes and ears of the team. It’s what Hawkeye does best, he sees better from a distance. He’s a sniper, he works best from up high. Most of the Chitauri didn’t even see him up there until a bit later in the fight. And Hawkeye used the bow and arrows in nifty ways, covering others’ asses and taking out bad guys from above, helping the rest where he could. So what if Loki caught the arrow sent his way, we saw what happened next. So it worked out well. If anything, Hawkeye is a great cockblocker with those arrows. Can you imagine if Hawkeye wasn’t up there calling out who’s where, who needs help and what’s everyone up to and whether there were any civilians caught up somewhere and so on? The team would be screwed and all over the place in so many ways given the size of that battle alone. They needed someone up high, Barton’s their best bet.
So what if Hawkeye’s archery technique is for the birds, and I’m not expert but I’ve used a bow under the guide of an instructor whilst on vacation a few years ago. But the myth of the character is more important than getting the moves all proper-like. You want accurate portrayal, go watch a documentary. This is a movie based on a comic book, a certain level of “unrealism” is to be expected. Actually, unrealism can go take a long walk when you watch a movie about a super soldier, a guy who turns into a green rage monster, a demigod from another world, a genius, billionare, philantropist who flies around in a suit, flying aircraft carriers, and the list goes on.
It was a nice touch for Hawkeye to run out of arrows too, usually that doesn’t happen, so there’s your reality there to an extent; and when he leapt off the building and crashed through the window to land on his back amongst glass, he didn’t get up right away. Although at first I was like “c’mon, get up!” because for a moment, amongst all the badass moves in the fight against the Chitauri, I’d forgotten Clint was a human; then I thought “he’s human, what the frell? Do you expect him to do a little dance right after THAT?” At the very minimum, he’d have been stunned and had the air knocked out of him. Trust me, been there, done that, (not crashing through a window after leaping off a building, mind you) but, I couldn’t move for at least a minute due to the sheer pain of the landing itself. So I can imagine the dude would’ve been quite stunned and in a decent amount of pain to get up right away, so he needed a bit of time to recover.
But the scene where they all assemble to hold up Loki at the end, Hawkeye’s the one in the middle, armed with his bow trained at Loki. That was just brilliantly framed and shot (note the subtle grunt the Hulk emits as Loki asks for a drink). It could’ve been Iron Man, with guns raised, it could’ve been Black Widow with the “glow stick of destiny”, it could’ve been the Cap with the shield, it could’ve been Hulk, it could’ve been Thor with the hammer, but no, it was Hawkeye in the center with his trusty bow and an arrow aimed at Loki.
I saw the movie four times, and at first I didn’t think they’ve uses Hawkeye enough, and I still think they didn’t, but there’s foreshadowing and hints of a tortured past if you watch closely. Out of all the others, he’s the one with least “backstory” introduced, but perhaps that was cut out from the final movie. Because an EW.com interview here when asked about who’s the most messed up of all, they all said Hawkeye. So I’m thinking there’s gotta be more, stuff that got cut out, perhaps. (and Hawkeye needs his own movie!)
So, don’t dismiss the archer just because he’s got a bow and a set of arrows as his weapon of choice. He’s human, and him and BW are way in over their heads in this battle. As Black Widow mentions earlier “this is nothing we were ever trained for” They’re assassins and spies, not superheroes and fighters against monsters and magic. Yet these two held their own next to Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America, given their skills and one other thing - heart. Sometimes when you got heart, everything else just comes together when it’s time. Stark did a selfless act and sent a nuke up through the portal fully aware it was a one way trip.
Clint “Hawkeye” Barton - most useless Avenger? I think not!
Besides, you can’t quite do this with a gun:
Oh sure, you can cock a gun and whatnot, but this is much more awesome. ;-)
If there’s one thing that happens every time I run into an old friend, it’s the “OMG, you’ve lost weight!” comment, sometimes followed by a “What diet are you on?” And that’s the irritating question. I’m not a fan of the diet industry, as such. Now, yes, I’m a vegetarian, but that alone isn’t exactly a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice due to medical reasons from my childhood. Besides, being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically make me healthy, there are other factors to consider.
As far as diets go, my diet plan is simple - stop eating, you fat bastard! Seriously though. it is simple, as simple as cutting down on things like sugar (try it for 30 days and see how you feel, yeah the first few days won’t be easy, but by day 30, it’ll be a different story). There’s no easy way out, you just have to have the self control and the will do stay on the path. Fortunately for me, I’m able to quit certain things cold turkey when my mind’s set right. That’s how I stopped drinking coffee. It took me one day, I went from having 8 venti Starbucks sized cups of black coffee no sugar, to 0. I kid you not, granted I had some personal things going on in those days, so the ‘detox’ may have just been masked with that, but either way. Not I know it’s not something that everybody can do, but I’m just saying, if you put your mind to it, you can do it.
Diets don’t tend to work in the longterm, just over a period of a week or so. Most diets are hard to stick to, because you’re forcing yourself not to eat something (or to eat one particular group of foods). Diets are temporary. Let me ask you this, how many of you ladies went on a diet, lost the weight and got it back (with a bonus couple of KGs) within a month of going off said diet? What further proof do you need that diets don’t work in the longterm?
Let’s look at this handy infographic about the diet industry, maybe it’ll be a bit of an eyeopener.
And there’s somewhere around 400 different diets out there. (including Acai Berry diet, and so on) I call mine the “no crap in my food” diet. sounds charming, no ? Okay, I’m not a marketer, if you can help me market that, jump me on Twitter or here. Kidding. ;)
I used to eat everything with sugar (or sugar with everything? even Spaghetti was topped off with ketchup and then a heavy dosage of sugar , brown sugar that is, i thought that was healthier.) It’s been found that sugar feeds cancers, increases cholesterol, weight and does a lot of whacky things to our cells, see the videos below for more info:
I never took to sweeteners, and rightfully so, most contain aspartame and don’t actually help you lose weight. Be honest ladies, have you lost weight (and kept it off?) with sweeteners in your morning cuppa tea? If you have, I guarantee it wasn’t because of the sweeteners alone. But, you *are* poisoning your body by consuming sweeteners and “diet” drinks. (which contain aspartame as well, so if you think you’re being healthier just by consuming a diet cola instead of regular cola, the joke’s on you).
For that matter, diet foods in general, it’s all just marketing BS. Diet foods are a lot worse than non-diet foods. I don’t know anyone who has lost weight by consuming diet foods. There’s too much sugar and sugar-like ingrideints in there. Salt too. Both of these just add to weight, not remove from it. Read the label.
I was never one for counting calories, either. I think it’s a waste of time and it’s total bullshit designed only to make you feel better about trying to be on a diet, but not actually accomplishing anything with it in the longterm. Further, it loses sight of the more important issue: ingredients of what it is you’re eating. But if it makes you happy to know how many calories you’ve ingested, by all means, be my guest. But, you’re just fooling yourself with this one, I’m afraid.
Based on research (reading multiple books as well as scholarly articles available online) and personal experience, I made a choice not to eat anything with additives (those pesky E-numbers and hard to pronounce names of chemicals), flavor enhancers and chemicals masquerading around as food (and believe me, there’s LOTS of those out there on any given package, especially in the stuff we feed our kids). It’s frustrating at first, because you tend to think “well those are in everything nowadays!” (no they aren’t, you just have to look deeper, it can take a while, but eventually you’ll zero in on the good stuff.) My regular shopping trips to the supermarket are a lot shorter now, because I ignore things that I know have additives and other crap in them.
I also made a choice to try and not to eat any version of sugar (high fructose corn syrup, glucose, etc etc). Read the label folks, it’s a real eye opener when it comes to finding out what it is you’re actually feeding your body. Who knows, you may lose that weight without having to wonder why aren’t you losing that weight as you sip your diet cola after a hard workout. (ever wonder, the diet cola boasts 1 cal/less than 1 cal in it, if they could get ALL those out of there, they couldn’t get that little annoying bugger out too?)
Not sure how to read a label? Here’s a handy guide:
It’s not easy, but it is doable. All you have to do is stop making excuses to yourself. :-) Easier said than done, I know, but that, too, is an excuse. Well, at least that’s my side of things. Not forcing anybody to follow along, just sharing my thoughts.