Posted in TV

Katherine Ryan’s “In Trouble”

I set low expectations when I sat down to watch Katherine Ryan’s In Trouble. I am a student of the genre and I like to think I’m open minded, but there’s a quiet sexism that’s embedded in us all. Still, I like to give everyone a chance, and especially the few women who find success in such a male dominated industry. The thing is, In Trouble doesn’t need my condescension. It’s brilliant, maybe the best performance I’ve seen out this year.

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There isn’t a flat moment in the whole special, but Ryan’s clear strength is in story -telling, and form. She connects all of the threads of her story, working her jokes in with grace and dexterity. Her delivery is spot on, and her crowd work is the best I’ve seen in years. I saw a similar attempt in Michael Che’s Michael Che Matters last year, but like a lot of comics, Che used the audience to bounce jokes off of. That’s fine, and it works. But Ryan, ahhh. Her crowd work is a conversation, with the audience and the viewer. It makes her stories more vibrant, she brings us into her vision of that moment. The moments when she talks to the audience, listens and then responds to them, are some of the best in the hour.

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Ryan doesn’t overshare, her personal details are relevant and funny, and her description of her family is a winning bit. Ryan describes her family with a degree of empathy, and manages to describe their peculiarities with a tone of semi-tolerance. She manages almost the impossible, acting authentic in some places and exaggerated in others. Her racial humor is hilarious, without offending this Jew, and her jokes about Canada and America were spot on. When Ryan talks about the women from her hometown who tormented her when they were young, you see them. You know these women, they’re from your hometown too. Her description of her relationship with her sister is sweet, and funny. Their closeness leaves plenty of room for comedy and jokes about the middle child, which were everything.

If you’re a fan of comedy, watch this. If you’re a fan of women, watch this. If you’re a fan of humans, watch this. Just watch this. It’s available on Netflix, and it’s worth your time.

Posted in TV

Finding Carter: “Half Baked”

This episode probably picks up the day after Carter’s big choice- because it was a choice. It could be argued that she gave the key and the phone to her dad because she couldn’t make the choice, but in giving it to him, she chose her blood kin. She severed all ties to her mother, and gave David the opportunity to incarcerate Lori, if he and Elizabeth had chosen to. To be fair to Carter, she did chose that course of action at the end of an emotionally exhausting day, having spent months being exposed only to people who really hated Lori (with good reason). So, I’m curious to see the emotional fallout in this episode, especially given what we saw in the preview.

So the episode opens on a meeting with Lori that David set up for Carter. This already feels suspect. Lori doesn’t show, and David’s speech to his daughter sounds way too rehearsed. How would he have even contacted Lori after he hung up? She said the phone was only good for one call. I’m guessing that David made up the whole meeting thing to get Carter to move on.

Fashion side note: Okay, I’ve been lenient before about making exposed bra straps a thing again, but I count one racer back lace bra, a magenta camisole and a black camisole. Seriously, Carter. You barely need a bra to begin with, let alone two. I’m going to start counting the bra straps I see in every episode, with each set of straps counting as one and including the ones in the intro song.

“I hate you!” Wow, Grant. Harsh. But he’s just a kid, not even a teenager yet. No matter how independent he’s had to be, he isn’t able to handle this. But seriously, what kind of mother lets her son talk to her like that? Also, David being nice. That totally means he’s up to something.

Max watering plants, because he’s perfect and loves the earth. Also, his diatribe on the carbon cycle is amazing. And wow, everyone knows about mommy’s dirty little secret in pretty quick succession. gotta say, so far, my favorite reaction is Carter’s. Though Grant’s little comment about the doughnuts is adorable. And mom’s been having said affair for three years! Hot damn. And Gabe’s mom was dying of cancer. Well, that explains where she is, and his issues with attachment to women. Also, wow. That must have been a sucky adolesence. I can’t see this confrontation ending well, although I also didn’t think it would escalate this quickly. Supportive Max is supportive.

Also, they both look crazy uncomfortable. Like, they said, let’s cross our arms. Oh, never mind, we shouldn’t. Oh damn, they’re here, cross your arms. Wow, more brand names. Adidas must have given them way less money than Macy’s. Also, the girls keep their arms crossed.

Lol, “Carter did most of the talking, and she’s really good at that.” XD Taylor knows what’s up. I love that Taylor speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back on telling her mother how she feels, because she seems like she tries to spare other people’s feelings a lot, and she’s been way bolder lately. “I’m so not used to this family drama.” Girl where you been the last few months?

Why does Carter suddenly care about going to school on time? She never actually goes to class.”Nobody’s going to get lost in the system.” What is this now, foster care? They’re all skipping school to day-drink at Max’s apartment? And smoking weed. Well, why the hell not? They’re already truant, let’s add to it by consuming an illegal substance.

Max being respectful of Taylor even when she says she wants him, but he knows her judgement is impaired is top notch. Awesome boyfriending!

Ugh, I knew they wouldn’t be on time to pick up Grant. Shame on them.

Also, Taylor is a follower. Lol, Elizabeth is observant. And where has David been all this time? Does he not understand that he’s gotta pick up the parenting slack if he kicks his wife out?

Ooh, I’ve figured it out. David needs to manipulate Carter into telling him it’s okay to publish the book about her, and thus keep his relationship with his daughter intact, hang on to his wife, publish his book, and make some money. Obviously, he’d rather not be in the situation in the first place, but if he had to be, best get something out of it. It’s sad that I’m beginning to understand David’s twisted mind.

Huh, a motel? Well, that explains where she’s been staying. My guess is that she doesn’t have a lot of friends with a couch she can crash on. Also, has she broken up with Gabe’s dad yet? She probably hasn’t been to work, so is she just avoiding him and hoping he’ll take the hint?

Wow, David is a really good actor. Also, really manipulative, and kind of a bad dad. Wonder if Elizabeth is in on her husband’s emotional manipulation of their daughter? Well, he didn’t get everything he wanted, I guess. His relationship with his daughter looks kind of damaged from here. She figured out that he lied about making a meeting with Lori. She looks pretty upset.

Okay, I counted 9 bra straps in this episode. We’ll see how that stacks up with the next one. Time for the secrets rundown!

David and Elizabeth know that they are in foreclosure, but the kids aren’t in the loop. Also, they just used their daughters to get money from her parents. Also, David got a huge check from his publisher, but his agent took it back so that Elizabeth won’t get half when they separate. But now that they’re working on their marriage, perhaps they’ll get the check now after all.

Dad started to write the book about Carter secretly, even though he promised he would not. He then manipulated her into allowing him to write the book, though on her terms.

Carter and Dad are the only ones who know that Carter nearly got caught with Crash in a stolen car.

Carter appears to be the only one who knows that someone abused Bird. We’ll probably hear more about this later.

Carter is dating Crash. She has kissed pretty much every other guy on the show, except Ofie. They seem to be happy, but he’s starting to kind of creep me out. He played average supportive boyfriend in this episode, which was a bit out of character.

Gabe used to be into Carter, but then he wanted Taylor, but they mutually decided that they’re more like family. So now he’s kind of in love limbo. But he also seems to be jealous of everyone. It’s now apparent that he probably developed emotional attachment problems due to his mother’s slow death due to cancer and his father’s subsequent detachment from reality.

Taylor wants Max, and used to want Gabe, but she got over him. She and Max are together now, and are adorable.

Bird screwed Crash in her closet, and appears to be a bit jealous of Carter and him. Plus she has that mysterious abuser in her past that we don’t know much about yet.

Crash is now dating Carter. He seems to fully reciprocate her feelings, but is starting to freak me our a bit and act a little cray cray.

Posted in TV

Finding Carter: Midseason Trailer Analysis

After the bombshell that was episode seven of Finding Carter, a pretty great episode following an iffy few, we got this great mid-season trailer to give us an idea of what’s to come. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here.

Okay, the beginning of the trailer (the first few seconds) covers everyone being grateful for Carter’s decision. Then, with everyone all cheery and bright-eyed, Grant drops the bombshell about Elizabeth’s affair. As a result, apparently, Elizabeth doesn’t want her marriage to end and wants to make things good with David? Despite the fact that until the end of episode seven she’s been on the verge of leaving him for a while now, at least a year, given her “anniversary” with her boyfriend, Gabe’s dad. This will probably complicate their relationship further, as we see his sad face for like one frame.

It also seems like, in happier news, Taylor and Max may consummate their relationship. He didn’t get to be her first kiss, so this should make Max happy. I’m in support of this plot point, because Taylor has really grown on me, and Max is awesome, definitely my favorite character. If they can just be happy for a few episodes, I’ll be glad. Maxflower forever! I mean, probably not. Max is sweet for a first love, but he’s not the long-term type. I just really ship them right now.

It appears that Bird is a shoplifter? Probably got a five finger discount on that fancy bracelet she gave Carter as a goodbye present. Hopefully she’ll come clean instead of letting her friend take the fall. I’m really conflicted about Bird. I’m pretty sure she’s actually bipolar, her character is so inconsistent.

We get a second of Carter yelling at Elizabeth, possibly related to her affair, or David’s book, which it is implied that she finds out about.David coming clean about the book would make me like him way more. His character initially gave me the impression of a good guy in a bad place, but now with his possible relationship to Lori, writing Finding Carter secretly, and manipulating his guilty wife, I’m getting more of a sinister vibe from him.

Carter and Max argue, possibly related to Crash, whom he doesn’t seem to like, or because she is talking about running away again. It’s probable that after Elizabeth and David’s secrets come out, that Carter will regret her choice. She placed her trust in them, or at least in her father, and they both lied to her unrepentantly and repeatedly. So she’ll probably have a lot to say about that.

Crash appears to be on the decline, which I was kind of expecting. Things got so serious with Carter so fast, and he seems really impulsive so it would figure he’s a basket case. I have no idea how to explain the blood or the gun at the end, but I guess we’ll see soon.

Can’t wait to see the next episode, hopefully with less product placement! Read my review of episode seven here in the mean time.

Posted in TV

Finding Carter: Throw Momma From the Train

So we left Carter literally holding a new life in her hands. She has been ripped away from all she knows once already, but now she has the chance to take her life into her own hands, and make the choice to be with her mom, or stay with her family.

And we start with a sweet morning wake-up call by the fam for their birthdays. It’s kind of a sin of convenience that their birthday falls on the day Lori has proposed to run away, but I’ll let it slide, since it appears to be working.

I love the silent communication between Carter and Taytay. They have bonded pretty well, despite having been separate most of their lives, and the way they act together now feels way more natural than in earlier episodes. 

Okay, the family in this scene is actually perfect. Gammie and Grandad both are great. Grant does his thing perfectly. Macy’s product placement! I also love how well Gammie knows her girls- “Something without holes in it.” and “Slinky, sexy.” 

Also Sassy Gammie is my new fave. “unload this loser” “Please tell me you’re seeing someone else.” Kind of a rich parents disapprove of their daughter’s husband cliche, but whatever. 

Oh, Carter’s birthday is obviously the day Lori took her. And how many of them are drinking mimosas? The girls are only seventeen!

Ooh, Taylor inherited the sassy genes from Gammie.

Fashion side note: When did Tay pick up her sister’s exposed bra straps thing? Also, what is with these girls and sleeping in their bras? There’s this thing called comfort.

MACY’S PRODUCT PLACEMENT!

Sassy Taylor is on point this episode! I love that eyeliner on her. Also, they both actually pull the dress off pretty well. Similar body types.

“I can’t remember the last time I was this happy.” Really, about to break up her marriage catastrophically? Elizabeth seriously has low standards for happiness.

LOL Max. In every scene, Max is the best ever. “That’s a trick sentence.” Also, “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to Taylor.” I swear, Max is the best, I freaking love him. I also love the way he acts around Taylor. While he and she call Carter out on her BS, he also has so much respect for Taylor, which I really love about him. 

Okay, this party looks very adult friendly, which means it can’t possibly be any fun. Also, poor Grant taking coats.

Not exactly graceful going down the stairs, but eh. It’s a party. Also, sweet moment between Crarter- I’m starting to warm up to them, but they still seem like crazy rushed and more than a little forced on Carter’s side. She also appears to be becoming less and less sure about her decision though.

Also, asides with Bird and Ofie. they are the rosencrantz and guildenstern of Finding Carter. 

Nothing is more awkward that your girlfriend’s husband being overly polite and welcoming to you.

And more awkwardness appears to run in the family, with Gabe having a brief moment of Maxflower jealousy. I thought you guys had a mutual agreement! Dude, make some decisions. Also, Max remains fabulous. 

Poor Grant! Being the replacement child’s gotta be hard when the original is getting so much attention. Seriously, Gammie, cut the little dude some slack.

Also, Crash is so clearly in love with Carter, and she just wants him to chill a little. I get why he’d want to run away from his shit life, but it’s a bit overboard. Okay, this moment where Crash suggests that he and Lori could be everything for Carter is so weird. No one can be everything for someone- she has all of this family now, how could they possibly be that for her? Also, does no one notice that two out of three of the Wilson children are missing from the party? 

Okay, Gabe. You have no right to feel bad for yourself. You pursued both sisters pretty half-assed, so just chill out and go mack on Bird. Okay, sweet moment with Gabe and Grant followed by them shutting themselves in a closet together. That’s not weird. 

Okay, Bird is acting OOC, by being a supportive friend. Also, Ofie, a Bop It is way more entertaining that diamonds. Seriously, Bop It is a girl’s best friend. Also, Sassy Ofie is sassy.

And Sassy David is sassy. Rawr. Okay, let’s just say that no one noticed him grab her and drag her up the stairs. Ooh, the Grant & Gabe cheese puff extravaganza was just a ploy to get them both somewhere they could secretly overhear their parents loudly discussing their extramarital affair. #sin of convenience

Poor Grant, he feels so on the outside. At least Gabe is there to make him feel a bit less alone. In a darkened, tiny closet.       

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.34.07 AMMore product placement! Macy’s must have given them a crapload of money. Also, Lori is looking crazier and crazier.

Thing is, in a twisted way, I get what Lori did. Lying to Carter, calling the day she took her a birthday. I mean, the kidnapping is completely inexcusable. Who just does that and expects a normal kid? But she appears to really love Carter, and lying to her about their past is something she had to do. Still, the jokey hospital scene is like, okay. Not a red flag? Well fine then.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.46.00 AMAnd David is up late into the night typing his contraband. It actually shows which parent Carter feels trusting towards and connects with best, because she brought all of this to her Dad. Also, this is why you don’t kidnap people. They get f’ed up in the head. It’s good that David’s all there for her and stuff, but I’m really not sure what he’s going to do about it.

Oh, poor Grant. Suffering under the weight of secrets concerning his mother’s sex life. That kind of beat most of the stuff everyone else is dealing with. Except for maybe Carter and Lori. NO CARTER. YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS INFO. DO NOT LET IT SLIDE. YOUR YOUNGER BROTHER IS CLEARLY TROUBLED. BE A FUCKING SISTER.

Oh, man. This is actually a pretty good scene with Elizabeth and David. Elizabeth is a little more human, David is a little more cryptic. Seems likely that he and Lori had an affair or something way back when, and maybe she took Carter for revenge? Okay, also, weirdest foreplay ever.  

And that’s the end! Wow, okay.

Mom has had an affair with her old partner, who is also Gabe’s dad. She ended it, but now it’s back on and she said that it’s over between her and her husband. Daddy David actually has known about it this whole time, he was planning to divorce her, now he seems to be unsure, because he kind of confronted his wife’s boyfriend, and now they seem to be doing it again. But Gabe and Grant overheard his dad and Elizabeth arguing, so they might actually blow the lid off the big secret.

David and Elizabeth know that they are in foreclosure, but the kids aren’t in the loop. Also, they just used their daughters to get money from her parents. Also, David got a huge check from his publisher, but his agent took it back so that Elizabeth won’t get half when they separate. But now that seems to be kind of up in the air.

Dad is secretly writing the book about Carter, though he promised her he wouldn’t. That’s where he got the big bucks. Seems like she may find out pretty soon though.

Carter and Dad are the only ones who know that Carter nearly got caught with Crash in a stolen car.

Carter appears to be the only one who knows that someone abused Bird. We’ll probably hear more about this later.

And now the complicated romantic entanglements!

Carter is dating Crash. She has kissed pretty much every other guy on the show, except Ofie. They seem to be happy, but he’s starting to kind of creep me out.

Gabe used to be into Carter, but then he wanted Taylor, but they mutually decided that they’re more like family. So now he’s kind of in love limbo. But he also seems to be jealous of everyone.

Taylor wants Max, and used to want Gabe, but she got over him. She and Max are together now.

Bird screwed Crash in her closet, and appears to be a bit jealous of Carter and him. Plus she has that mysterious abuser in her past that we don’t know much about yet.

Crash is now dating Carter. He seems to fully reciprocate her feelings, but is starting to freak me our a bit and act a little cray cray.

I’ll also be doing an analysis on the mid season trailer, so I’ll post a link to that here once it’s up. This episode was actually pretty good, it exceeded my expectations. A-, because of all the suspension of disbelief due to the whole convenience of the entire episode.  

Posted in TV

Teen Wolf: “Muted”

Before watching this episode, I watched the preview on MTV’s website. Can I just say, when did MTV stop doing music and start making three of those horrible Teen Mom shows?

Greys Anatomy Guess What Im About To Do animated GIF
Not cool. Seriously, MTV. I’m liking the look of Finding Carter. But seriously.

But anyway, just watching the preview, it seems like the show is bringing back a bit of season one’s lightheartedness. The entire sixty second preview is about lacrosse. Lacrosse! Remember when there were whole episodes about lacrosse? Because they’re introducing a whole new class of Teen Wolf players, I guess they have to go back to basics, at least a little bit. Maybe everyone will actually go to school for a change! Sometimes I wonder if any of them are actually going to graduate. I mean, obviously Lydia will be just fine. Lydia’s probably fricking valedictorian, no matter how many dead bodies she stumbles over.

Lydia Martin Notes animated GIF 

 Okay, just for starters, being in a huge, empty scary house calling out to an unseen relative can’t be a good sign. Guessing this is the fourth season’s answer to Jackson? Side note: Is Stiles the only character on this show who sleeps fully clothed? Not complaining, just an observation. Side note two: Smart kid jumping out the window. Maybe this episode won’t be as lighthearted as I thought it might be, considering the first thing we see is the mass murder of almost an entire family.

Also, it did take them four seasons to get the title sequence right, but it does look really good.

A little small-talk at the hospital, with cute Doctor guy. Mmmm, maybe Mama McCall needs to hit that. I mean, I’m always and forever a Mellinsky shipper, but with McCall Sr. hanging around, that seems to be dampened. Why is Papa McCall still hanging around in the area? I get that Beacon Hills is probably the murder capital of California since Sunnydale cratered, but it’s still weird. Where’s the show taking him?

Ooh, but scene with cute doctor guy is immediately followed by Papa Stilinsky being adorable and protective. I love the partnership between these two single parents who have so much riding on them. They really are amazing parents. No one should have to deal with the pressures that they do, but they go above and beyond. They manage to keep honest, open dialogues (mostly) with their sons, while trying to keep the town safe from the natural and the supernatural. I kind of wish that they would start a committee of the adults with Peter and Derek, just to see the ensuing hilarity.

In math class: This school has the sassiest teachers! Hope this one doesn’t get murdered or turn out to be evil. But why is Malia in class with everyone else? She should really be taking remedial classes and doing makeups like crazy! She was out of commission learning wise for half her life! Should she even be in high school? Hello, placement tests? Do any of the adults in this town have brains?

Stiles is stumped by the lack of interest in a grisly murder. Also, Lydia didn’t find the bodies. How specific is her gift, anyhow? That would be a nice conversation to have NOT about boys. Oh, it’s this fresh-faced deputy. And there’s Lydia. I don’t know how I feel about these two hanging out and solving crimes together. That’s kind of Stydia’s thing. Also, she’s a minor and a civilian! He should totally kick her out of the MURDER SCENE, not stare at her ass. This guy is definitely shifty.

Back to lacrosse! Also, Scott wasn’t bothered about the whole cheating thing in the first season. Scott has like EVERY RESPONSIBILITY in the whole fricking town, let him use his wolf powers in a school sport. Maybe it would be different in the Olympics. But this is basic. So fuck cheating, it would be different if he were listening with super hearing to Lydia muttering answers under her breath, but he’s not cheating off someone else, he’s using the power that’s inside of him.

I like how they spent a bit of this episode on Kira, because I want to like her, but we don’t really know her that well yet. She and Lydia seem to be getting along well, but other than the fact that she’s pretty, and, like every pretty girl, wants to make out with Scott, plus is a kitsune, we have very little information about her. This episode fails the bechdel test completely. The only conversation between two female characters is about Scott. Added to that, while this conversation about Kira’s insecurities in her relationship was with Malia, we heard nearly the same conversation in the last episode with Kira and Lydia. While it is interesting to hear the way the two characters respond to the same topic, it highlights one of the issues with Kira’s character development. Maybe being the first girl on the lacrosse team will help? And maybe spending time building deeper relationships with her female friends.

Malia does not care for authority figures. But damn does she have sass. I can’t explain it, but the writers really hit the nail on the head with Malia. She’s sassy and fun, and while she’s clueless in the human world, she can still connect with every character. She’s a totally scene stealing presence, and I’m even warming to Stalia. The cute scene with the highlighters was a good touch. I’m obviously still on the Stydia train, it’s one of my favorites, but they’re end game, and this show could easily go another two seasons. The tension Stiles feels about not telling her that he has had this thing for Lydia since he was nine, plus not telling her that Peter is her father, is definitely going to test them, but I feel that this relationship could last the rest of the season, possibly into the next.

Random Thoughts

– I’ve missed Coach so much, he is literally the best teacher character. “Those boys are like sons to me.” Yes.

– Wow, trying to get Derek Hale to trust a beautiful woman? Not gonna happen lady.

– How many spare deputies can they have in this town? Probably spread about as thin as the nurse staff.

– Oh, cute doctor is the step dad.

– WTF SEAN DOING WITH THE DEPUTY?

– Okay, that was creepy. But nice save Scott, even if they guy kinda seems like a dick. Too bad about Sean, since I actually remembered his name.

Season Projections

I was just thinking about what we can expect over the next nine episodes, just from this episode and the last two, and I have some solid expectations for em.

– More lacrosse. Obvs. I can’t wait to see Kira on the team, because the writers gave her really low self esteem, and I really want to get to know her better. She can’t be just a replacement for a bright female character, she has to be her own dynamic character.

– Seeing them more in school, just because the New Kids on the Block are probably not getting an open invitation into the pack right away, and we’ve got to see them interacting with the Pack.

– More Stalia. No matter how weird and messed up I think it is, and no matter how much chemistry Stydia has EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT IN THE SAME ROOM, the writers want us to like Malia. Of course, Stiles still seems to be deciding how he feels about her, but she’s obviously very devoted to him. I really love Malia, and Stiles is one of my favorite characters, so hopefully, this ship will sink before serious damage can be done to either party.

Posted in Movies

REWIND: Superman: The Movie (1978)

I’ve always loved super hero movies, mostly for the moral certainty that they provide. While our world is complicated, full of shades of grey morality-wise, super hero movies typically have an Evil Villain and a Great Hero. Our Hero does the Right Thing, and stops the Villain from his antagonistic actions, usually against innocent people and cute little girls. Do not take from any of this that I dislike these movies. I kinda resent the fact that Wonder Woman hasn’t had her own screen time since the late seventies, and we’ve had approximately seven billion Batman, Spiderman and Superman reboots since, plus the latest developments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I love super hero movies. So I thought I’d watch an oldie but a goody, and I pulled out the original Superman movie, starring Christopher Reeve.

Here we go.

Zod & Co being arraigned.
Zod & Co being arraigned.

Firstly, after approximately seven minutes of credits, our first look at Zod & Co. has them imprisoned by weird magnetic Hula-Hoops? The criminal prosecutor (who happens to be Jor-El) also sounds a bit British, which has me wondering if that’s just how Kryptonians sound, or if it’s an affectation.

Honestly, aside from possibly starving to death (which obviously can’t happen, they’re basically invulnerable) this seems like a lame punishment. They’re basically just bored and trapped. Unless they all actually hate each other and an eternity in space would just be interminably awkward. Sentence for plotting to overthrow the government, being an unreasonable brute, hating children and being a feminist: trapped through the looking glass.

“I will abide by the council’s decision. Neither my wife nor I will leave Kyrpton.”

Annoyed Eye Roll animated GIF

Annnnd you all see the loophole here, he didn’t promise not to evacuate his newborn son.

The council forgot that tiny loophole.

This whole thing looks very child-safe, they definitely baby-proofed their rocket.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.41.59 PM

Doctor Who Karen Gillan animated GIF

Parenting! Everyone complained about how long the Krypton introductory sequence took in Man of Steel, but in this movie it takes over twenty minutes for the planet to explode. Both movies, incidentally, have the same running time, 143 minutes.

Martha: How I've prayed for a child!
Martha: How I’ve prayed for a child!
Jonathan: Hand me a rag?
Jonathan: Hand me a rag?

 

 

 

 

 

This exchange where Martha thanks God for finally sending her a baby (although not the traditional way) and Jonathan deflects is much funnier now than when I was ten. Of course, it is swiftly followed by some heart attack foreshadowing.

Benedict Cumberbatch Not Okay animated GIF

Then, off to build the Fortress of Solitude! Which is apparently located in the polar bear exhibit at the Chicago Zoo.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.49.42 PM

Encountering the Jor-Elgram, Clark proceeds to A Brief Study of the Universe by Dad, which somehow takes only twelve years? These pass in half a minute.

Christopher Reeve Comics animated GIF
Look at that face!
So, while many disparaged Man of Steel for too much exposition, this movie has 45 minutes of Krypton, Kansas, and Kal-El education before we actually get to Metropolis and The Daily Planet. We finally meet the delightfully awkward adult Clark Kent, and the apparently spelling impaired Lois Lane, and he is immediately interesting to her, which is adorable and funny.
Bieber Weed Duh animated GIF
We see a bit of Lex Luthor and his comic relief (or, the other function they serve, inept side-kicks), but only enough to ascertain that his crime du jour will be real-estate related, and he has daddy issues.

 

Then, Lois blows off Clark to do a journalist thing because she’s super career driven, and gets into a bit of an accident with a helicopter, giving Superman the perfect opportunity to save her.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.55.12 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.55.51 PM

Of course, she promptly faints, having just falling out of a helicopter and being saved by a flying man in quick succession.  We get a cool scene where Superman adds another power to his list: quip machine. He stops a criminal climbing up the side of a glass building, which, in retrospect, seems pretty easy to catch. He foils a few more petty crimes, and saves a cat from a tree. He hands the ugly cat off to its young, pigtailed owner, who responds with the usual “Gee, thanks mister.” And he flies off. The girl is then slapped by her mother off-screen for “telling lies” about a big flying man. Hehe! Classic comedy with the domestic abuse.

He saves a few more broken flying things, then we cut to Lex Luthor and his minions swimming in the sewers.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.57.00 PM
Gross.

Back to the romance of the century!

Superman invites himself over to Lois’ place, they talk, it’s adorably awkward on her end, for a change.

Lois: How big are you?
Lois: How big are you?

This, for the curious viewer, brings the total of dick jokes to two. Pretty subtle ones, but definitely dick jokes. Read into that what you will.

Lois and Clark go on a flying date, with a lot of meaningful looks and some Lois voice-over. She says her goodbyes to him in a daze, only to be awoken by loud knocking on her door. Clark is here to pick her up for a date!

Note the comic amount of locks on Lois' door.
Note the comic amount of locks on Lois’ door.

 

Meanwhile, Dumb, Dumb and Dumber, figure out Superman’s legendary weakness. Double L lures Superman down to his sewer hideout by pretending to be about to murder a ton of people. And then proceeds to explain his plan to murder a ton of people in an entirely different way.

 

Superman does not deal with minions. This look is all sass.
Superman does not deal with minions. This look is all sass.

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Lex tricks him into opening a lead box with Kryptonite in it, and throws him in the pool. You know, just to add insult to injury. Of course, before leaving Superman to drown, Lex makes a terrible pun. Lex’s minion (the female one) helps Superman get free, and he flies off to SAAAAVE THE DAY!

Bill Nye Bowtie animated GIF
He saves a bunch of school kids and somehow keeps the crust of the earth from falling in?
He also turns back time to save Lois’ life, and throws Lex and the accomplice who didn’t help him escape in prison. Then he does the usual flying in space with a smile ending, followed by ten minutes of credits. Fin.

While the new movie is good, and Henry Cavill is dreamy, there’s something to be said for the classics. I love the over-the-top villainy, the weird outfits, and every expression on Christopher Reeve’s face, ever. He is Superman.

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