I don’t understand how January and February could be so easy to complete yet March nearly ruined me. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my birthday month or because I’ve just found myself in a bit of a rut. Whatever it is, I was sure that I’d never be able to spell out this simple 5 letter month. It’s not as if the letters are that bad. I had plenty of options for each but that didn’t make it easier. Still, I finished it. Let’s take a look a how.
March hasn’t been the month that I thought it would be. I expected to read way more than I have. The fact that I’m falling behind my target it starting to get me stressed, which is also making it harder to concentrate on reading. It’s a shame. I didn’t manage to finish any of the novels that I’m currently reading for today but, thankfully, I can post a couple of super quick reads. One of them was something I read at the start of the month haven’t been able to get out of my head. The other was one I read on a whim this evening. That’s just how it goes I guess.
I’ve seen a lot of those “Choose Your Quarantine House” things going around Twitter recently and I can’t say any of them have really appealed. There are plenty that just include the names of people I’ve never heard of and there are those that are just too niche for me to care about. Even the bookish ones aren’t really for me. They’re for people who think Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen are the standards we should set for well-written female characters (visualise my doing a massive eye-roll here please). So, I decided to stop waiting around and just pick my own damn quarantine house. I promised myself that it wasn’t just going to be a list of people I’m attracted to because that would clearly be my go-to. I’m actually going to try and think about people I could be okay being in lockdown with. People that I wouldn’t want to kill after about 5 minutes alone with them. Let’s see who makes the cut.
Last weekend was International Women’s Day. The one day a year when all of the pathetic men out there can go on social media and say “er… but when is International Men’s Day?” Yep, you can really see why the patriarchy has thrived for so fucking long, can’t you? It’s such a fun time. Still, the day is always a good excuse to celebrate women and their impact on the world. Reading books by female writers or watching films directed/written by women. This week I’ve been reading the final part in Alexis Marie Chute’s fantasy trilogy. I’ve also been watching some fantastic female superheroes. So, I decided to carry on the comic book theme and discuss some of my top female characters. Most of them will be very obvious because I’m an obvious person and I’ll miss out plenty I’m sure. There are just too many of them!
2019 was definitely the year of Marvel. I know that there were countless great films released last year but Endgame was a movie event like no other. Whatever you think about the film in general, you can’t deny that it was one of the biggest film moments in the last decade. It was the culmination of so many years of work and saw a whole host of characters come together for the biggest superhero film of all time. There’s a reason that I keep crying every time I see the portals scene: all of our favourite characters in one place trying to save the world. It was something that we never thought would work but it did. So, 2020 has a lot to live up to. Can anything next year bring people together in the same way? There are plenty of films coming up next year that I’m really looking forward to so it made sense to discuss them during this week’s Friday Favourites. Obviously, this isn’t all of them but I could have added loads to this list. 10 seemed like a sensible amount.
Do you remember when Ricky Gervais was doing interviews about Special Correspondents and decided to lecture everyone about what comedy is? And then it turned out to be dreadful? Yeah, pretty awkward. Well, this week director Martin Scorsese has decided to use an interview discussing the release of his film The Irishman to deride comic book movies. Actually, he didn’t even do that. He simply dismissed them. In an interview with Empire magazine, Scorsese told them he didn’t bother watching Marvel movies: “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema”. Now, of course, Scorsese is in a much stronger position than Gervais was to tell people what’s what but that’s not to say he deserves the final say on what is and isn’t cinema. After all, what is cinema? According to Google, “the production of films as an art or industry.” The MCU sounds like it’s the exact definition of cinema.
Who knows if there will ever be another film event like Avengers: Endgame. It was a film that had major consequences for fans and for the entire MCU. With half of the people in the universe going MIA for 5 years, we were left with an interesting situation. The people who were left behind had mourned, possibly moved on, and aged since their loved ones disappeared. How were Marvel going to deal with this in their first film after the event? And how exactly has the loss of Iron Man and Captain America had on the world as we knew it? I was excited to find out. Marvel have always dealt with the aftermath pretty well. Iron Man 3 broke the traditional superhero movie mould when it portrayed Tony Stark dealing with PTSD. And then, during the events of Endgame, Tony was coming to terms with seeing Peter Parker get snapped. So, considering how everything went down a few months ago, how is Spider-Man coping after losing his mentor and father figure?
Have you heard? The latest film in the X-Men franchise is also the worst. Which, considering the third and sixth films were both such stinking piles of crap. All of the hate surrounding Dark Phoenix got me so confused that I had to go back and rewatch X-Men: Apocalypse to make sure I wasn’t remembering it wrong. Maybe I’d just imagined that it was kind of disappointing? Maybe I had just loved Days of Future Past so much that I’d been extra harsh? I mean, it had been 3 years since I saw it. Although, in those years comic books movies have only continued to get better. Marvel have really hit their stride in the last 2 or 3 years. It’s highly likely that it’s the reason people are so harsh on Dark Phoenix. It came out months after Endgame and a year after Infinity War and Black Panther dominated the box office. Maybe we’ve just started to expect more from our superhero movies? Maybe we expect something that Fox were never going to be able to give us?
Marvel may have cornered the market for superhero movies but the first two X-Men films are still two of the most influential and well-made comic book movies of the last 20 years. Bryan Singer’s first two mutant-based films changed the game and, arguably, paved the way for the last 11 years of Marvel greatness. But it hasn’t been plain sailing since those early days. As much as we like to forget about it The Last Stand was horrific and only seemed better once X:Men Origins came out 3 years later. The reboot/prequel series that started with X-Men: First Class in 2011 and, for a little while, everything looked okay. Days of Future Past was as fantastic as we all wanted but then Apocalypse. Boy, was that a whole load of nothing. Basically, it’s been difficult being a film fan and a lover of these comics. So, when Disney took over 20th Century Fox recently, it looked as though we might finally get to see the X-Men film that we all deserve. It just might take a really long time. So, if I continue to not count New Mutants, Dark Phoenix is going to be our last real look at these characters in the cinema. Which makes it a massive shame that people seemed determined to ruin it before it even hit cinemas.
Are you getting bored of these Endgame related posts yet? Don’t worry, we’re in the endgame now. I’ve posted my almost impossible to write spoiler-free review on Tuesday and my spoiler-filled musings on Thursday, so what could possibly be left? Well, I wanted to do a quick shout-out to some of favourite small moments in this film. It was so full of great callbacks and blink and you’ll miss them moments. It was a film for the fans and it paid us much service for our 11 years of loyalty. Of course, I had to stop at some point otherwise I’d just have listed everything that happened in the entire film. And neither you nor I have the time to do that. I managed to narrow it down to 12, which I think is a manageable chunk, right? These aren’t really in any particular order because who can pick between them. Also, feel free to let me know what your favourite moments in the film was. Did I miss any great ones? Probably. I spent most of the battle trying to catch a glimpse of Dr Strange. I’ve missed him. I wanted more of him and his face. But I always want more of him and his face. Anyway, on with the list.