Music Monday :: my thoughts on Love is Dead

4 Jun

Hi, friends. It’s been a weird couple of weeks. A new CHVRCHES is exactly what I need.

“Get Out.” I’ve heard this one already, since it was one of the ones released prior to the album itself. It’s a really solid jam though. “Good intentions never good enough” I feel you Lauren Mayberry. I also like the bit about “you are a kaleidoscope.” That’s just a good word to be in lyrics of songs.

“Deliverance.” “Careful when you’re swimming in the holy water, drowning in your own beliefs.” Awww. I found a song for my Nora dearest… like five years late. This is also just a really useful motif because it’s easily understood but also rife with poetic language.

“My Enemy.” Featuring Matt Berninger, whoever that is. I was prepared to kind of zone out when it started with boyvoice, the aforementioned Matt, but now here’s Lauren joining in and suddenly it falls into the category that much of Every Open Eye falls into: songs that suit, among other things, my pro-Jemma Simmons/anti-Leo Fitz agenda.

“Forever.” The thing about CHVRCHES, or one of the things, is that a lot of their running themes ricochet between very astute and almost (consciously) childish. “The night I told you I would hate you till forever,” for example, is childish. But it’s also something that everyone understands, at least hypothetically, and that makes it a damn good song.

“Never Say Die.” See also, the category I mentioned two songs ago. This is my specific way of describing certain kinds of anti-love songs, primarily; songs about meaningful but ultimately unfulfilling and even destructive relationships. I say that it’s my agenda because, well, SHIELD canon never took it as dark/angry as I feel it could have, but nonetheless it’s there. Obviously this could apply to many many pairings across the board, or real life emotional situations, but that’s what it is for me right now. Anyway this is a beautiful track and it doesn’t reference The Goonies so that’s cool.

“Miracle.” They put a little more dark grunge in this. A little more Fall Out Boy. I’m not complaining, though, it works. I like the contrast of dark grunge and very pure girl voices. A+ good stuff guys.

“Graves.” A-ha! I’ve found one of the anthems of resistance that Lauren Mayberry mentioned that someone criticized for existing and I am here for it!!! This is a big fat cheerful fuck you to all of those all-too-prevalent assholes of modern days, defiantly belted out by a cute girl using her privilege to speak out against bullshit.

“Heaven/Hell.” A theme! I like this theme. “We can raise our glasses, dancing on the ashes as it burns.” It’s probably just Lauren’s accent that made that “burns” sound so damn cool but anyway it sounds damn cool. “Is it right if I’m a perfect actress? Playin’ the princess in distress.” Give it here.

“God’s Plan.” This begins with “you belong with me,” and it’s sung by the boy, and oh my god it’s so creepy? But I think on purpose?? This is fascinating.

“Really Gone.” Oh my freakety gods. Agenda continued. This is hardly even agenda, this is basically just canon. And in a vaguer sense a really interesting reflection on a negative relationship that someone is trying to deal with but also be rid of. Lauren Mayberry is too pure.

“ii.” Ooh an intro track. Piano and spooky low-res talking and good ambiance.

“Wonderland.” Mm, I don’t know what this applies to yet but I like this a lot. I’m always here for a good Alice in Wonderland metaphor, and it’s just catchy and good.

–your fangirl heroine.

underestimate20the20girl

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Fashion Friday :: here is a character.

1 Jun

AluminumSiren

Like I said last week, I don’t have that many feelings about the Sailor Animamates (yet?) but at least Aluminum Siren and Lead Crow were gay.

dressed

It’s a little blue on blue but that’s what I’m working with. Dressed to Frill Ruffled Sleeveless Dress, ModCloth.

glitz

For some contrast. Glitz All Happening Belt in Eggshell, ModCloth.

punctuated

Sure, it’s the same shade of white, allegedly. Punctured With Panache Flat in Eggshell, ModCloth.

solid

Matchy matchy. Solid Decision Tights in Ice Blue, ModCloth.

old school

She wore sunglasses sometimes in her disguise of a real person. Old School Soul Sunglasses, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

didnotneedthat

Fashion Friday :: here goes.

25 May

sailor iron mouse

The season 5 villains, the Sailor Animamates, are… well, I’ve only done their season once, so I don’t know them as well, and none of them jumped out at me particularly, but completion! Starting with Iron Mouse, the tiny sexy… businesswoman?

feedback

It’s got the little bit of black without looking like a swimsuit top that doesn’t fit. Feedback At It Sleeveless Top in Cream, ModCloth.

tandem

Tiny sexy businesswoman on her day off, maybe. Tandem Tour Shorts in Black, ModCloth.

dandy

Sure! Here. Dandy Diamonds Tights, ModCloth.

minimalist

I can’t find any white shoes I like so I’ll go with black instead, but. Minimalist Polish Slingback Flat, ModCloth.

certainly

This seems useful! Certainly Essential Crossbody Bag, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

ijustsaidsomethingmoronicwhoops

Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on season 5 of Agents of SHIELD

21 May

This season of Agents of SHIELD had the great advantage of airing after Inhumans, which would make most anything look good. This season of Agents of SHIELD was good in and of itself, although incredibly draining and at times almost overwhelmingly dark in ways that attacked us, personally, but it’s sort of like how watching Infinity War like a week after we finally watched Justice League helped matters significantly.

So, our usual breakdown shall ensue.

  • Daisy (Chloe Bennet) sort of got her own arc this season! Which is to say, she got the destruction of the world pinned on her because of her powers and she had to fight her way out of a network of creepy blue aliens who used spoopy tech and Ben Wa balls instead of fighting fair. And she also gracefully stepped down from the role that Coulson was encouraging her towards, Director of SHIELD, which is good because even though my girl would be a great Director, she also needs a break really badly.
  • Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) really needs to only go to space when she wants to from now on because she also needs a break. Said creepy blue aliens literally had her enslaved for a few episodes, not to mention deafened to all but the leader’s voice by said spoopy tech, and that was viscerally horrifying (the aliens enslaved people for general reasons and also Inhumans for low-rate gladiatorial purposes, and all of this was horrifying) but she got to do sort of a Princess Leia move and that was good. Then came the compulsory heterosexuality, which was not good. It was not good because romantic FitzSimmons is one of our least favorite things here, and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) himself was literally the worst (again regarding Daisy), and it took up way too much of Jemma’s screentime in the back half of the season especially. Also, you can’t just establish that Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) can pop out of exile to help Fitz with a mission and then not invite him and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) to the abruptly rushed terrible FitzSimmons wedding (honestly our thoughts about episode 100 are not favorable in general but the wedding is cringeworthy), except they did and I call bullshit.
  • Melinda (Ming-Na Wen) kicked her usual amount of ass, had more than her usual amount of UST with Coulson (Clark Gregg), and also had a subplot where she got to be a mom. I am not into the idea of every woman having to be a mother, but we know it’s something Melinda at least used to really want and since Bahrain doubted her capabilities for, so watching her act as a mom to Robin (Lexy Kolker, Ava Kolker, and Willow Hale at respective ages) in the somewhat hypothetical future timeline was unexpectedly heartwrenching. And I guess she and Coulson are finally gonna BOOOOOONE, but hey, we don’t have to watch it, so I’m okay.
  • Elena (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) spent her time in the future mostly working and helping a couple of sad space kids named Flint (Coy Stewart) and Tess (Eve Harlow) and being in love with Mack (Henry Simmons). Then in the midseason finale we found out that a future version of her had been captured by the creepy blue aliens and at some point lost her arms and knew what would happen and gave warnings. Thus, the second half of the season, once they were back in the present, was mostly devoted to trying to get the team to follow her future self’s warnings. And also dealing with the fact that she did in fact get her arms cut off (horrifyingly) and replaced with robot prosthetics (which created some drama but ultimately were useful and good). She and Mack also had a lot of debates about, essentially, morality, which was interesting. They’re very good and gay together.
  • In the first half of the season, our villains were the aforementioned creepy blue aliens. They’re Kree and they all majorly sucked, and sometimes it was funny (like the fact that Sinara [Florence Faivre] literally fought with magical Ben Wa balls, that was funny) and sometimes it was horrifying (Kasius [Dominic Rains] was basically blue Joffrey who didn’t like to get his hands dirty and when he was injured and later murdered I cheered). But they paled in comparison to…
  • In the second half of the season, we were introduced to Ruby (Dove Cameron), who was basically a baby Hydra super soldier, or if you prefer, female Kylo Ren. Her mother, General Hale (played by Catherine Dent – the character doesn’t get a first name because MCU mothers don’t matter I guess), was impregnated with dubious consent by some super creepy Hydra higher-ups and basically Ruby was raised to be the perfect soldier. Except they forgot that when you do that you basically get Kylo Ren, who has zero control over their emotions or interest in being at all reasonable or adhering to anything but their own moral code. Great job, guys. Anyway, she’s basically like if you crossed a snake and Regina George and then gave this creature sharp weapons or maybe like if you actually found one of those lizard aliens and tried to tell them how humans act? It’s an incredible performance, because Cameron is…humanoid but not quite human. There’s weird little head and eye movements she does, weird facial expressions, that make her seem just the slightest bit off. I have no idea if this was intentional or not, but having now seen her also act in Disney’s Descendants series, I have to think it must have been? She is also hilarious because she’s basically Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way from “My Immortal” except slightly more articulate and with more murder.
  • This season also included the most annoying character, Deke (JJ Ward) who we eventually find out is FitzSimmons’ grandson from the hypothetical future they travel to. When he finally tells Daisy this fact her response is, “That makes so much sense! You and Fitz are both such… special people.” Which, same. Deke is a self-serving ass. He sells Daisy into slavery and then thinks that deciding to help the others makes up for it. He also ends up in the present day through a quirk of science fiction nonsense and… just pretty much sucks all the time. The scene where he gets drunk for the first time would be hilarious if it was literally any other character, but alas. He also develops a crush on Daisy and expresses this by leaving a pile of lemons on her bed, because in the future giving people lemons was apparently a prime seduction technique. Daisy, however, wants none of his lemons and repeatedly makes this clear, which is great. Deke also spends a lot of the back half of the season trying to preserve parts of the timeline so FitzSimmons still procreate and produce his mother and therefore she produces him, because he’s afraid that if something goes wrong he’ll just go poof. And then guess what? HE DOES. A Thing happens and we just literally never see him again, with no explanation. It’s kind of a shame because JJ Ward seems like a cool enough dude, but the character just sucked.
  • And hey, remember how we mentioned that Fitz was literally being The Worst? He was. He awkwardly married Jemma literally just at the prompting of a dying Coulson (turns out Ghost Rider made his Tahiti magic go away, or whatever) and it made me think of nothing more than the terrible Jessica/Hoyt wedding at the end of True Blood, which should explain to you why it is bad. Then his evil Framework self resurfaced and did some unforgivable shit to Daisy, and then there was a lot of narrative bullshit where people were willing to brush past it (ugh), and he kind of tried to do better except he kind of just complained all the time and watched Jemma do things. And then… well. Justice has been served.
  • SPACE

–your fangirl heroines.

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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War

20 May

So Infinity War has been happening to the world for about a month now. We went opening weekend, but suffice to say I thought it needed a repeat viewing before we discussed it and said repeat viewing… well, we timed it to follow the SHIELD s5 finale, just in case of something. (We’ll be discussing that tomorrow, and boy howdy, stuff and things, even if it didn’t actually pertain to Infinity War like we were worrying it might.)

Part of the thing about this movie is the official call for No Spoilers. Well, it’s been a month and that’s been broken plenty of times on the internet by now, but just in case you’re my mom and haven’t seen it yet we’ll keep the endgame stuff to ourselves. (Except for to say: it’s comics. Little is permanent.)

Instead, one of our regular lists of things we had opinions about, because overall, it was functional but I was mostly there for details, let’s be real.

  • This movie is, in my (drift partner’s) opinion, much more watchable than Civil War, which I think is a dumb exercise in misery. The main conceit of Civil War is that nerds like it when superheroes fight each other for some reason, so here is a threadbare reason for them to fight each other I guess. Oh, now everyone is mad and sad and half of them are in boat jail (and I, not drift partner, have some Opinions about boat jail that are not good and get stronger whenever I think about it). Infinity War made fandom sad, but in my opinion, prior to the last sequence, the movie understands how to tell a comic book story better AND it understands how to juggle more than five characters at once. Civil War was also very bad at this. Infinity War mixes up some of the character dynamics and throws our favorites and least favorites into new and exciting situations like: what if Thor met the Guardians! What if Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man met… IN SPACE! What is it like when some of our core heroes are in Wakanda, in awe and varyingly out of place and getting shit done! It bounces back and forth between 4-5 different groups and does so with enough variety that you never really have time to get too tired of any one scene. (Unless Doctor Strange is in it. We do not like him.) There are a few groan-worthy moments and some deeply dumb plot contrivances, but I did not feel like my soul was being sucked slowly from my body while watching it, which was at times the case with Civil War.
  • Let’s talk about those three what ifs, shall we? What if Thor met the Guardians! Well, it turns out that if Thor (Chris Hemsworth) met the Guardians it would involve wacky shenanigans. Thor quite literally smacks into the Guardians’ ship as they’re going to answer his (now demolished) ship’s distress call and they bring him aboard, and it goes pretty much exactly like you’d expect. Quill (Chris Pratt) is jealous of Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) favorable impression of Thor and Drax (Dave Bautista) makes a lot of blunt comments that can only be described as the rapid development of a massive crush. Thor ultimately goes off on a mission to get a new hammer, accompanied by Rocket and Groot, and Gamora, Quill, Drax, and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) go off to get one of the Infinity Stones. This is the first rearrangement of people.
  • What if Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man met… IN SPACE! Well. Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) gets shot out of space and down to Earth before the Asgardian ship goes boom and lands in Doctor Strange’s (Benadryl Crinklepants) house to alert him of the danger of Thanos. Then Doctor Strange goes to get Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and they piss on each other for a while before battling some of Thanos’ minions, a battle Spider-Man (Tom Holland) eventually joins. Then Doctor Strange is a large box and Iron Man and Spider-Man are both on the same “flying donut” of a spaceship and wackiness ensues. Doctor Strange and Iron Man pretty much just piss on each other whenever they talk (and this only gets worse when they meet up with Quill et al), but at least once Spider-Man is there he makes things better.
  • What is it like when some of our core heroes are in Wakanda, in awe and varyingly out of place and getting shit done! The group that ends up in Wakanda is: Steve (Chris Evans), Sam (Anthony Mackie), Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Rhodey (Don Cheadle), and Bruce, and of course when they’re there so are T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and a newly rehabilitated Bucky (Sebastian Stan). And pretty much what happens is shit gets done. Shuri does a lot of science, there’s a giant battle, Bruce doesn’t know how to behave around T’Challa, Rhodey and Sam are best buds, Steve and Bucky are boyfriends, Wanda does cool shit… y’know. The usual. But better, because it’s in Wakanda and everything is better there.
  • Ultimately, the standouts to us in this movie were Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth Olsen, and Tom Holland. Zoe Saldana got to show about three times more emotion in this film as in either Guardians film, which was cool, and even though they shoehorned in some needless Gamora/Quill romance to add to the angst or something, she got to shine as an individual and that was so welcome; Gamora’s arc deals with her relationship with Thanos (Josh Brolin) and also to a much lesser extent Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Saldana just gives it her all, performancewise. Elizabeth Olsen comes in with a slight advantage since we both love Wanda to bits and pieces (while acknowledging the flaws with the MCU’s setup of her character, but while also acknowledging that she is our girl) but regardless, there is a scene toward the end of the film that is just a solid 90 seconds of her emoting and I wanted to give her an award immediately; Wanda’s arc deals largely with her relationship with Vision, which let me just say is a lot weirder when Paul Bettany actually looks like Paul Bettany and not a purple robot, and his relationship with the Infinity Stone he carries and the disaster this obviously could create should Thanos get it, but it also gives her a lot of good moments with the team (we’ll discuss this in a minute). Tom Holland…someone told him this was a real movie and he brought it. Spider-Man has been a favorite of mine since I was sixteen and I’ve been waiting since 2009 to see a good Spider-Man again (the last one was Josh Keaton as the animated Spectacular Spider-Man, and prior to that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield both had something just “off” about them in one way or another). Holland brings a charm and sincerity to the role that has been missing, while remembering that Peter is, deep down, kind of a sarcastic little shit. And in this movie he matches the more experienced actors in terms of performance at every turn (and in one particular case, definitely surpasses them – Holland is British, as is Curdledmilk; however, Holland’s American accent is flawless, and Crabapple’s is…not).
  • My standard for this movie was how well-written characters would be when interacting, particularly those who had not previously met. Turns out Thor makes a much more agreeable companion for Rocket and Groot than the other Guardians, even though I still didn’t care about the two of them (there were a couple of throwback jokes regarding Rocket’s penchant for stealing prosthetic body parts, though, and that was sort of funny). Spider-Man is a very good boy and wanted to help all of his new friends in battle, and they were definitely his new friends even if he was afraid they were going to implant him with eggs not ten minutes prior; both times we saw this I flailed joyfully when he sprung forth to make sure Mantis didn’t fall down in a battle. As mentioned, Wanda has some really great little moments and the ones we cared about most were the ones with Natasha: they pick Wanda and Vision up and Natasha promptly scolds them for what amounts to being out past curfew, which is hilarious; there’s a bit in the final sequence that also involves Okoye that’s the most triumphant ladies-supporting-ladies thing I’ve seen in a Marvel movie in a long while (I’m purposely not spoiling the details because I flailed about them, too, in a way I hope some people can still also do).
  • Another highlight of this movie (say, over Civil War) is that there are a lot more amusing things sprinkled throughout. Pretty much everything Mantis says (or does, honestly) is comedy gold, particularly if it involves her scary face. At one point when Quill meets up with the douchebag duo and their scene-saving Spider-Man, he shouts, “Where’s Gamora?” and Iron Man replies “Who’s Gamora?” and Drax, while being stepped on and nearly shot with a laser gun or something, adds, “I’ll do you one better. Why is Gamora?” and this is the funniest thing I don’t even care that is my humor. And then…
  • That brings us to the villains. There’s Thanos, of course, who isn’t funny. He’s just some big asshole who looks, as Quill aptly points out, like Grimace (from McDonalds). But then there’s also the Children of Thanos, the ones who didn’t wise up like Gamora and Nebula. These fuckers are hilarious space garbage. Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is like a weird Gothic skeleton version of the Shape of Water fishman if it in turn bred with Slenderman, and weirdly his maw is not particularly prominent, nor is it ebony. Better still is Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon), who is just the worst. She’s the one who talks the most after Maw, and every word out of her mouth is a hilarious cliche about fighting or war or victory or something to that effect. She’s sort of insinuated to be the most powerful of Thanos’ children, at least of the bunch that appear together (Ebony Maw is usually by himself). But every time she’s onscreen she is impossible to take seriously. Also, her name is Proxima Midnight and that is objectively funny.
  • SPACE

–your fangirl heroines.

you20did20not20just

Fashion Friday :: also this.

11 May

Queen_Badiane

Queen Badiane is kind of nonsense. Not as much nonsense as Emily Ice Tits, but she’s kind of like, Evelyn Bow Tits or something, so that counts.

fancy

As usual I’m rearranging colors, but the thought is there. Fancy Meets Frilly Cutout Ruffle Top in Black, ModCloth.

introducing

Sure! Introducing Interest Cotton A-Line Skirt, ModCloth.

get ready

Bows! Get Ready, Get Fete Heel in Ivory, Ruby Shoo at ModCloth.

look

This seems like a her thing. Look Luxurious Velvet Bag, ModCloth.

for quite

There aren’t any tiaras so just put these on her head. For Quite Sun Time Sunglasses in White, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

yeah20right

Fashion Friday :: how did I forget this??

5 May

kaguya

Princess Snow Kaguya is the most important one-off villain in the world and I can’t believe I forgot to fashion for her. Oh, Emily Ice Tits.

reverie moment

I formally apologize to everyone whose wedding dress this is. The skirt is great, though. Reverie Moment With You Dress, Jenny Yoo at ModCloth.

polished

No, I don’t know why she’s suddenly a glammy businesswoman. Just go with it okay. Polished Twist Blazer in Light Blue, ModCloth.

glamorous plans

Holy shit has anything ever been more Emily Ice Tits. Glamorous Plans Glitter Heel, ModCloth.

whirl

These look like snowflakes, kind of. Whirl of Wonder Beaded Necklace, ModCloth.

sassy

And here is an ice crown or whatever. Sassy Statement Fascinator in Ivory, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

ohdonteven-1