Marvel’s Civil War: A review

You know who I hate, who deserves everything coming to them, as in horrible and gruesome deaths possibly by the hordes of shape-shifting aliens attacking their planet: The people of the Marvel Universe.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the superheroes, although there are certainly some jerky ones out there, but I’ll get to them later. No I’m talking about the every day people, the crowd that gathers around the many, many disasters and fights that happen in that world. So why, you may be asking, am I so hateful to a fictional group of people who as a whole don’t have enough personality to fill a small paper cup, well the answer can be found very easily, by flicking through the pages of Civil War.

Ah ‘Civil War’81rk5UPa7IL one of Marvel’s big crossover events, a mini series with numerous tie-in comics  and lasting effects for the Marvel world as a whole. Well, I say lasting… A collection of comic books so hated by many a fan that they’ve been know to wish it never existed. But oh it did, it did, and let me tell you it’s infamy for bad writing, some quite frankly shoddy artwork, at least where  faces were concerned, a ridiculous premise and the inability to convey any likability in the person we were supposed to be routing for, are all well earned.

Okay so there’s a lot of stupid-ness to go over, so we might as well start with the beginning. So how does this travesty of comic proportions begin?Well, like most bad things in the world, with reality TV. Right, so the short of it is, these assholes playing at superhero are shooting this reality TV show about, well I assume being a superhero. To get ratings up they decided to do a raid on this house where a bunch of super villains are holed up. Just as it looks like they might come out on top one of the villains blows up a school, thus provoking the government to create the superhero registration act. I repeat: one of the Villains blows up a school. Why, you ask, am I emphasizing villains? Because that’s never really addressed in the comic.

Yeah the public just jump straight on the band wagon of ‘let’s blame the heroes’. Not just those specific heroes, no all heroes. I wouldn’t mind so much, because the heroes involved weren’t blameless, they should have tried harder to get the villain away from the bystanders…but the fact that there even was a villain there in the first place is just glanced over. Tony Stark  makes some off hand remark about him hitching a ride out of town, and then that’s it…never brought up again. Or at least not in the main mini series, I heard somewhere that Wolverine goes after him, but it doesn’t make it into the main story-line and the regular population as a whole still refuses to acknowledge his part in it all .

So all and all the reason behind the registration action ends up looking like a great big fat excuse. Which I wouldn’t mind so much, if it was intentional! But no, we’re supposed to see this as a reasonable reaction, supposed to be completely on the side of people who let’s face it basically start up a superhero witch-hunt and we’re not even giving a legitimate reason to agree with them. And you know what really bugs me about this, almost as much as a condoned witch-hunt in the pages of my comic-book? It could have been very easy to fix, all they’d have to do would be to make one tiny change to the beginning: have one of the heroes blow up the school. Not deliberately of course, just a simple misfire and *clicks fingers* 700 lives are extinguished and your story just got a little bit better.

Why Xander is so Annoying

*Looks up and then back* Yes I’m aware it’s not my most creative title, but to be fair it get’s it’s point across fairly well. Xander is very annoying, and I’ve only recently figured out exactly why he is so spectacularly annoying… he isn’t a real character.

Confused? Well I’ll try to explain… hmm where to start? Well I suppose the very beginning, all the other characters had a real point. They had a role to play, Buffy was the plucky Heroine, Giles was the wise mentor, Willow was the foil and Xander… well he evened up the genders.

Think about it, if Buffy only had girl friends then the show would have been too… girly. I know it’s not very feminist to say that but it’s true, if the only male main character is your surrogate father figure you’ve got a show directed at girls. So I can understand they didn’t want to ostracize half their demographic.

But then again that’s also the problem, Xander wasn’t put in to fill a role in the narrative like the others, he was put in to fill a role in the marketing. Of course this is a theory of my own design and I’ve never read any thing confirming it, but it really makes sense.

He’s not giving as much character development as the others because he really doesn’t have a proper place in the story, he didn’t really have a place to start from. All the others as the seasons progressed struggled, questioned and even attempted to rebel against the roles they were assigned at the start of the series.

Buffy struggles with her role as the hero and paragon that the others force upon her  while coping with her *would be down right depressing if this wasn’t a show about vampires* personal life. *Ooh sorry your mother’s just dropped dead of a brain tumor and you now have custody of your  traumatized and annoying teenage sister Buffy, but your boyfriend’s been kinda cheating on you because  he felt neglected. And if you don’t instantly forgive him you’re a horrible person.*

Willow’s Foil aspects of her personality  seemed to fall by the road side as she grows more comfortable with her self, her magic, her new sexual identity, and relationship with Girlfriend Tara.

Giles struggles with inadequacy with his role as mentor as Buffy and Willow both start to surpass him in both wisdom and knowledge. Season 4 especially delves into his feelings of uselessness as he is seemly replaced by Maggie Walsh. In fact it’s only Buffy herself who is able to reassure him.

Xander’s original role was well… to have a penis. That’s not something you really struggle against, well unless you’re a transsexual. That would have made the show so much better, but ah lass for the sake of this post we must remain in the land of reality.

Perhaps that is why the character seems so embittered to the rest, deep with in his very core he knows that his entire worth as an entity rides on control groups. He’s not a character, he’s a demographic.



A Formula one Masterpiece

It was once said by a wise person *I can’t quite remember who* every story has the same plot, someone wants something, if it’s commercial fiction they get it if it’s Literary they don’t. But just imagination for a seconded that you combined the two, can’t be done you say Magpie has finally gone off her rocket. Au contrair mon ami, for you see just days ago I witnessed such a phenomena in a little film by the name of Rush. *It’s still out in the cinema so you’ll forgive me if there isn’t a link for it yet*

Set around the world of 1970′s formula one racing *which believe you me if you’ve been raised in the noughties really is a different world* the film tells the story of the legendary *well I say legendary but this is the first time I’ve herd of it* rivalry between James Hunt  and Niki Lauda.

Seeing as how the Grand Prix is at it’s very essence a race their can be only one winner. If the film had chosen  to just follow one of them, IE giving only one point of view and one story line to be invested in, it wouldn’t have been an  awful film by any means. Mainly because the writing was fantastic and Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl *I know that’s spelled wrong but I’m not sure how to put dots over the u so this will have to suffice at least for now.* were sensational as Hunt and Lauda respectively.

However upon saying that nor would it have been one of the best films I’ve ever seen. * and yes I will go to my grave saying that* Alone they are good stories but twisted together in a hot mess of anger and sweat *and yes I know what that sounds like I can assure you it was quite deliberate* they transcendent into a true greatness upheld by very few…God I’m so good sometimes I scare myself!

I’d tell you a blow by blow account on what happened in this masterpiece of a film, but I believe even my unbelievably awesome prose *does that sound too self satisfied?…Ah, who cares it’s completely true* would be unable to truly capture the true magistracy of this wondrous piece of cinema. * Am I being a tad over dramatic? Well kind of but my point still stands*


The Supposed Comedy

What defines a film as a comedy? If I was being cliche I might say that the dictionary defines it as, but this is 2013 and no one does that anymore so… Wikipedia defines a comedic film as

 a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humor.

Well that certainly clears up something for me , the film I watched last night, The Joneses claiming to be a dark comedy  was in fact lying. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad film by any means, in fact it was a very good film; full of good acting, writing and an intriguing plot, it’s just it was clearly not a comedy!

Sure there were bits that made me laugh, there should be in every film, but the fact was that it wasn’t the emphasis. This isn’t the first time I’ve been lied to in this fashion, a while a go two other films did something similar if not exactly the same thing.

Rather like the Joneses The Kids Are All Right and Spanglish are very clever films with great actors, strong characters and again intriguing ideas for their plots. However like before for something that claims to be a comedy *not even a dark comedy, which can get away with slightly edgier stuff then just plain comedies can*  the balance of both films *one of which actually has Adam Sander* in general really isn’t on the comedic side.

Was this the filmmakers intention the whole time? If so why call them comedies in the first place?  Well honestly *if it was deliberate at all* I think  it  had a lot to do with marketing. Of course this theory is based on what made me more keen to see these films in the first place, which is my love of humor and my believe that it’s a vital  if unappreciated academically part of any good piece of fiction. * I’d have still have watched them if they’d been  honest, just with a lot more kicking and screaming.*

Perhaps the reasoning was that people *meaning the general public* are more likely to watch these films if their hidden behind a lair of comedy. But on saying that, that raises the question on why they didn’t just make it into a comedy in the first place?

Not every comedic possibility has to be Adam Sander esc slapstick there are other types of humor. A lot of comedies mange to do the exact same thing with out sacrificing the actual comedy!

For what they are these films are all fantastic and if * emphasis on the if ’cause if  I promise to do a blog post on something I usually end up not doing it.* I was to do another Magpie’s top films list they’d most likely be on it. So yeah I don’t hate these films and I can even understand the route they took them in, because it worked for the stories they were trying to tell…It’s just that I really *eye twitches” really HATE being lied to.



The injustace of a sock

We’ve have just arrived back from the most magical, the most extraordinary, the most out standing place in the whole entire world…Asda. Feeling slightly disappointed , well tuff I spend most of my life writing so any other free time is pretty boring. Trust me this was the most exiting trip thing that’s happened in months.

Anyway not really the point of the story, so what is the point you may be asking? Well really, it’s socks. Or more accurately the coolest of the men’s socks compared to the women’s socks. In fact men generally have cooler clothes then women!

Now before you misunderstand me, I’m not taking about the cut or the style all those of quite fine with, no what I’m talking about are the merchandise clothes. You know clothes with a fictional charter or symbol on them, the kind marketing people sell to hope you’ll buy their original product as well.

Women do have that as well, it’s just men’s one’s are so much better. Let’s see take for instance the socks I spoke of earlier. In the woman’s section we had a pink SpongeBob *it was raising money for breast cancer research* and in the men they had also SpongeBob , Muppets, Avengers, Ninja Turtles and I think that’s about it. It was a smallish shop, but I believe my point still stands.

I can’t even begin to fathom why this would be, but then I was just as confused at the myth that only men read comic books. That only men like superheroes. Have you seen superheroes? Trust me men aren’t the only one’s who like them. The Avengers did not become so successful with just a male audience. You don’t have to adapt crappy Anita Blake books to attract more women to comic books because they’re all ready reading them!!!




The Last Air Sucker

Yesterday we watched The Last Airbender and I got to say I feel kind of dirty. I mean if you put aside the fact that the original cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender was a masterpiece of Storytelling, animation and acting this an awful film.

I’d say there was too much expatiation and not enough of well any other kind of storytelling but that would be a bit of an understatement. Not only does this thing *for a quake at the thought of calling it an actual film* commit the deadly sin of showing rather then telling to what some people might call an excess, but it repeats things it’s already told you.

Yes I already know that Aang ran away when he found out he was the avatar, I don’t need you to tell fifty different times. The Real Avatar was able to show it much better with one simple exchange.

Katara: Why didn’t you tell us you were the Avatar

Anng: Because I didn’t want to be

In that one line you get more understanding and more emotional depth then in the entire of the film

Look I realize that making a film is a completely different thing to making an animated TV show and with the limited running time they would have to squeeze a lot in… There was some kind of other point I was trying to make but I think I just hit the nail on the head. It would be impossible for anyone to fit a world as complex and as big as Avatar’s into a at most two hour film. Could it have been done any better? Yes, but if you really want to experience the true world in all it’s glory stop pointlessly whining and watch the original.

The innocent Demon

I’m on a roll! Yesterday I found the secret behind Jeeves true feelings for one Bertie Wooster and today I find the secret behind The Omen
! Do want to know what it is? Lean closer then… *leans forward and whispers* Damien isn’t actually the Antichrist.

Yes, yes I know the whole story rides on the fact that this innocent little child or rather I should say innocent looking little child is in fact the Antichrist. But come on, where’s the actual proof?

All we have is a bunch of slightly insane people saying he’s the Antichrist, no where in the film do we actually see Damien do anything of an evil nature. Or for that matter anything of a mildly unpleasant nature. For all intense of purposes he’s simpley a well behiaved, quite little boy.

He does have that slightly creepy stare throughout the film but remember in the beginning of it he sees his nanny hang herself. Yeah, everyone goes on and on about how traumatized the mother and the other children at the party were but no one even asks about the closests person  to the dececesed.

That’s the hidden plot, this isn’t about a little boy who turns out to be the Anti Christ it’s about a little boy who is surrounded by insane adults. No I take that back, he’s surrounded by insane selfish adults All the mother can do is think about herself, the father rejects him because he’s not his real son, despite the fact that the great oaf was always aware that Damien was adopted *yeah great advertisement for adoption there movie!*

Oh and who could forget our dear old professor Lupin masquerading as a muggle photographer, who tries to convince a father to kill his only child so he himself *mean Lupin* will not die. Yeah I think we can all agree choosing competent teachers for his school isn’t exactly one of Dumbledore’s strong points.