Friday, July 8, 2016

My Reactions to the Announcement About Sulu in Star Trek Beyond

My thoughts on hearing the announcement that Sulu will be revealed to be gay in Star Trek Beyond, in the order that they occurred:

1) I wish I had seen that in the movie first. That would have been a nice moment and heartwarming revelation. Oh well.

2) Well it's about damn time. Star Trek, pushing the boundaries of inclusion and boldly going where Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Archie Comics have gone before. And maybe some others I can't remember, since having an LGBT character has become so commonplace I don't even think about it when it happens any more.

3) Why Sulu? Do they not realize that just because George Takei is gay that doesn't mean that Sulu was? Ohhh, they did it as a tribute for all George has done for the LGBT community! Okay, that's pretty cool.

4) Wait, Uncle George is unhappy about it? Why? ...Oh, because he'd rather it had been a new character. Yeah, that was my first choice too, I get where he's coming from. (Although I do disagree with him about it being a change to the way Gene created the character, because this is Kelvin Timeline Sulu, an alternate universe version. Roddenberry's version of Sulu remains unchanged.)

5) Oh wait, Simon Pegg pointed out that making a new character gay would have been tokeninsm, and this way it's just revealing something about a character that's already been accepted. That is an amazing point. Go, Simon!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Note: I just discovered that this was left unpublished as a draft. I suspect I wanted to expand on the things that I liked about it to make it a more even review. But I don't really have anything to add to it, so I'm publishing it now as is. - Fer in 2016

Okay, this is kind of hard for me to explain, so bear with me.

After the movie ended I said to my buddy Dave that I felt like I had just read a big crossover comic event, but I couldn't figure out why. Discussing it with other buddy Rich the next day I was able to nail it down.

After Dave saw the first Avengers, he said how each hero's parts felt like a continuation from their solo films, leading to them all meeting up and their stories naturally flowing into one another to become one common narrative.

Age of Ultron felt like the opposite of that-- when we last saw Tony Stark, he had lost his internal power source, destroyed all his armor and was talking about giving up being Iron Man. When we last saw Rhodey he had now become Iron Patriot. And Thor was using a different means of getting to and from Asgard in Avengers, since the Bifrost Bridge had been destroyed (at least that's how it seemed to me). And the Avengers itself ended with the team going their separate ways and Fury being asked "What if we need them again?"

So Age of Ultron starts and not only is everyone back together already, they've obviously been back together for quite a while. Stark is Iron Man again. Rhodey is War Machine again. The bifrost bridge is working again. And the Falcon has added his costume colors to his wings (which I really liked, by the way). And everytime one of these things came up, part of my brain was saying "But I thought..."

So the approach for Age of Ultron is that each character's story has kept going off-camera. They've all managed to restore their status quo, we just didn't see how.

And that's *why* it felt like a crossover to me. I felt like everyone else's comics had kept publishing but I had only been reading Agents of SHIELD, so I was out of the loop on all of these developments. The only difference being that when it happens in comic crossover events it's because I chose to not buy the other comics every month, whereas here I had no say in the matter.

So that's what bugged me. And since it kept happening from the first scene to the last, it kept bugging me over and over again, and left me feeling disappointed when the movie was over. Maybe now that I realize it and know what happened to everyone, I'll be able to enjoy it more on its own next time.

Which is not to say that I think it's a bad movie. There was a lot in here that I enjoyed. The Vision was awesome. I liked the many different Ultrons giving nods to his various comic book looks. And the character interaction in general were all wonderful. I had a good time, and that's what counts.