Tag Archives: jordan peele

Make-Up Monday :: the 2018 Oscars and Emerald City Comicon 2018

5 Mar

It was a long-ass weekend and we are only just recovering, honestly. So I’m initiating a new day, Make-Up Monday. That’s for when there are things that would normally go on a different day (Superlative and Sundry Sundays, in this case) but just happened to be written about on Monday because of time and life.

First: the Oscars. We didn’t watch because we honestly didn’t care all that much (and I was reminded of how much I wanted to finally watch Hellboy when I saw Hellboy cosplayers this weekend, which was overall a good choice, I think). But! I am here to give absolute mad props to Jordan Peele for Best Original Screenplay re: Get Out (which deserved a lot more awards than just that, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction and I’m fully prepared to fight the people who complained about it being not an “Oscar movie” [because I bet they didn’t whine about, like, The Dark Knight the same way when they arguably could have]) and Guillermo del Toro for Best Director and Best Picture re: The Shape of Water. Those were two of the best movies of last year and I’m glad that the Academy was willing to recognize them even though neither of them are exactly the usual. That’s different than not being an “Oscar movie” because when people say that, in that certain tone of voice, they mean that it doesn’t meet arbitrary cultural standards of dignity/relevance/high culture/lots of rich white guys everywhere. I just mean that the Academy wouldn’t usually recognize a satirical horror movie about racism or a period drama about a disabled woman who wanted to fuck a fishman.


Second: Emerald City. We did Friday-Saturday-Sunday this year, though not Thursday, and had a relatively easy schedule. Friday (during which we were cosplaying as Matt[ilda] Murdock [myself] and Elektra Natchios [drift partner] since the only way they could be gayer is if they were both actually women and anyway Matt is one of the only white boys we give serious damns about anymore, but we only got a selfie because we forgot to get anyone else to take a picture of us since we were alone most of the day) was largely devoted to walking around, scoping things out (saw lots of lovely art, found myself a Funko Pop of Lafayette from True Blood which is worth bragging about since that series was literally years ago and isn’t made anymore I’m pretty sure), and meeting Billie Piper.

Billie Piper was lovely. As y’all know, I do not Doctor Who. We watched the season with Twelve and Bill because of Bill, as you know, but I’ve never done the rest of it. I know that Billie Piper played Rose, who was a companion to Nine and Ten both; I know that people are bonkers about Rose/Ten; I know that drift partner drastically prefers Nine to Ten as a romantic partner for Rose and as a character (and at this point my only extended exposure to David Tennant is Jessica Jones, so I’m inclined to be wary of Ten as well; David Tennant was also there with a line that was absolutely mad and I’m sure he’s fine but I just couldn’t). Mostly, though, I personally know Billie Piper from Penny Dreadful. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the last episode of that show because I just… can’t, I don’t know. It was a beautiful weird headrush of a program and Billie Piper was one of my favorite parts of it, considering that her plotline, which was in the style of but not directly derived from any one particular known story, was “prostitute dies of consumption or something [I assume consumption because that’s what people die of in the olden days] and is reborn as the Bride of Frankenstein, then meets Dorian Grey and after regaining memory of her time as a prostitute decides to seek vengeance on all of London’s cruel johns, eventually recruiting other London prostitutes to join her in a vengeful and sometimes Sapphic prostitute army” and that is 100% my brand. As a result of this, I made sure to tell Billie Piper (after drift partner discussed her love for Rose and Nine) that I so greatly appreciated the wicked insanity of Penny Dreadful. She seemed to get a kick out of that, largely because I imagine most people had been talking to her about Who throughout the con and it was nice to have a change of pace.

(She also asked the girls in front of us for recommendations for a good curry place nearby, which was insanely charming.)

Here is that selfie of us of Matt[ilda] and Elektra, anyway:


Saturday was when we did Black Widow [drift partner] and Scarlet Witch [me]. My mom upgraded Scarlet Witch since our sojourn to Rose City last September, and I was thrilled to wear it; it’s surprisingly comfortable, if very very warm, and I like the mood it puts me in. The day was more looking and buying, grabbing a couple of writer signatures (Marguerite Bennett of Bombshells fame, who I was absolutely thrilled to meet because oh my god you guys that is my favorite thing, and Kate Leth of Hellcat fame, who we met last year but I wanted to meet again because she’s awesome), and meeting Sean Maher.

Sean Maher, as you know, is Simon on Firefly, aka one of my always boys, aka one of the only male characters I am hardcore about, aka the namesake of one of my parents’ cats, aka half of one of the only m/f ships I still freak out about, aka a lovely real life example of a happy gay person living a good life. He seemed very tired but we got a nice picture of him wearing a vest signed and told him we adored his character and adored his being a lovely example of gay because we too are in that. He then used the word “family” which was sweet.

Here’s a picture of us as Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, taken by a professional (?) photographer who was nice enough to indulge us:


Sunday was my mother’s very first day at Emerald City! She wore her excellent Melisandre and I wore the season 7 Daenerys she just finished for me, which is very nice but oh my god the warmest thing I’ve ever worn at a convention; drift partner wore her excellent Jessica-Jones-as-Jewel after some last-minute changes to our cosplay schedule. I decided the theme was then “women who murder rapists,” because Melisandre has certainly done (albeit maybe accidentally) and Dany definitely does and, well, Jess has also done. Yes. Our first goal of the day was seeing Summer Glau, because while we have before my mom has not. We paid to take a selfie with her, and by selfie I mean picture at the table that someone else took because it’s hard to take a selfie with four people in it, and my mom thanked her for giving her an excellent daughter-in-law (after retelling the story of drift partner’s and my meeting). Summer cooed and gave us hugs and said she was glad to be part of the story.

After that we went to go see Corinne Duyvis, who was hanging out signing books in the vendor hall. We had a very nice talk about how On the Edge of Gone had entered my life soon after I realized I was autistic and its protagonist really struck a chord with me accordingly; drift partner has known longer about autism but she agreed with the overall sentiment. Then we talked about her glasses (which were purple and pink, which matched how she currently had her hair dyed). She was very lovely and I was thrilled to get to meet her because, well, I really had never thought I’d get to because genre YA authors aren’t the people you think about as likely to come to a convention. And after that was a lot of walking around, art-perusing, and my mom and I getting our photos taken by people.

Here’s our “selfie” with Summer:


Overall, good weekend very exhausting.

–your fangirl heroine.



Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on Get Out

2 Apr

Disclaimer: neither of us are black, though one of us is white-passing biracial (Chinese/white), so whatever we have to say about the film will be filtered through a non-black lens, and should not be taken with the same gravity as what black reviewers and audiences have said.

So, I (drift partner) am biracial, much like director/writer Jordan Peele, though since I’m extremely light-skinned and white-passing my experiences with racism and whiteness have been completely difference than Peele’s. While people frequently erase Peele’s experiences having grown up with a white mother, I have had people say to my face that I can’t be Chinese. I’ve had people express disbelief that my Chinese father is related to me, my identity has been used as an excuse to tell racist jokes, and been tasked to explain why the slur “Ch*naman” is racist. I look white, but I’m not. And I’m sure I haven’t experienced half of the racism and microaggressions that Peele has as a black man in the US.

Get Out is a horror/comedy, but most of the comedy is probably going to be lost on white audiences, because the jokes are Peele’s nods to the experiences he and other black people face when (sometimes) well-meaning white people try to engage with them. “You know, I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term.” “I know Tiger Woods. Let’s see your golf stance!” “If you worked out, you’d be a beast!” I lost count of the microaggressions in this film, the little things the white characters said or did that communicated to Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that they definitely saw him as Other. The audience in our screening didn’t seem to be laughing that much, but I was, because I recognized most of these jokes. They’re not really for the white audience members at all – they’re for the black viewers, who have probably had similar experiences and will laugh and nod knowingly and whisper “white people.”

That being said, this movie also doesn’t pull its punches – it’s got a lot of tension that builds from the very first scene, and really knows how to use simple things like a plush lion or a spoon rubbing on the inside of a teacup to unsettle you. I was spoiled for most of the movie going in, but even I didn’t quite guess the final twist, and it’s over-the-top and horrifying in the best way. From the beginning you know something weird is going on, but you’re not sure how deep it goes, and you’ll want to keep watching to find out. I’m sort of a wuss when it comes to horror movies, but I like them like this: creepy and unsettling with lots of moments that give you chills, but not unnecessarily gory, and with explanations for why everything is happening. Every actor is giving perfect performances that are unsettling without tipping over into parody levels – Bradley Whitford has never been scarier to me, and Allison Williams finally seems to have found a job that lets her truly (unnervingly) shine. Daniel Kaluuya is also brilliant and likable and I was rooting for him every step of the way; he’s supposed to be in Black Panther, which thrills me. It’s a real pity that horror movies tend to get passed over by the major awards, because if any genre film ever had performances that merited consideration, it’s this one.

As of today, Get Out has passed The Blair Witch Project as the highest-grossing original screenplay in history. I can’t think of a film that’s more deserving, and I’m so glad it’s managed to get the audience it has. Please do yourself a favor and watch it (just be aware, if you’re white, that it’s laughing at you, not with you).

–your fangirl heroines.


Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Wanderlust

3 Mar

I knew almost nothing about this movie when I sat down for it.  I knew Paul Rudd was there (and I’m always okay with that), and I knew there was something about wacky hippies.  (Are there any other sort in movies?)  What I didn’t realize was that, with obvious different nouns changed, I would be sitting down to watch the exact same fundamental story as seen in Rudd’s other lovable flick, I Love You, Man.  Or the same story as Role Models, or Knocked Up, or Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or… lots of things.

Sure, with Wanderlust there were some small differences.  But really, a lot of adult-centered comedies follow this pattern:

  1. Central couple is/are at a pivotal point in their relationship/lives.  (Here, buying a new place/losing the new place.)
  2. The central couple’s relations/in-laws are dysfunctional.  (Here, it was Ken Marino and Michaela Watkins as Rudd’s nutty brother and sister-in-law.)
  3. Central couple/character decides to try something out of the ordinary.  (Here, living at an “intentional community.”)
  4. One part of the couple is considerably more enthused about this plan.  (Here, it was Rudd’s George.)
  5. In their efforts, they are surrounded by other dysfunctional characters.  (Here, a bunch of the hippies: a nudist novelist/winemaker [Joe Lo Truglio, late of every other comedy Paul Rudd is in], the pretentious d-bag who will turn on everyone [Justin Theroux], the old man who forgets things [Alan Alda], the pretty and free-spirited blonde who also serves as sexual temptation [Malin Akerman], the also pretentious mother [Kerri Kenney-Silver] of a small and wacky child [Ian Patrick], the pretentious bitchy one [Kathryn Hahn, playing almost the same role she did in Our Idiot Brother, with a few minor modifications], the pregnant redhead [Lauren Ambrose] and her African-American lover who often states the obvious in a daze [Jordan Peele], etcetera etcetera.)
  6. Some of the characters make intentionally awkward jokes and intentionally awkward things happen.  (More times than I could count.)
  7. The one that is initially hesitant accidentally discovers that they enjoy this out of the ordinary thing more than they thought.  (Here, it was Jennifer Aniston’s Linda discovering commune life seemed to suit her.)
  8. Something wacky happens.  (Here, it was a drug trip.)
  9. Paul Rudd (sometimes Jason Segal or Seth Rogen) is awkward.  (Here, culminating in a multiple-minute monologue of attempted and terrible dirty talk performed in a mirror.)
  10. There is a conflict, and the central couple parts ways.  (Here, the conflict involved Aniston removing her shirt, the two agreeing to sexual freedom, Linda sleeping with Theroux’s Seth, George deciding that this life just wasn’t going to happen, and then George storming out.)
  11. Paul Rudd (sometimes Jason Segal or Seth Rogen) realizes the error of his ways.  (Self-explanatory.)
  12. Paul Rudd returns to his ladyfriend and gives her a speech that involves the phrases “I’m so sorry” and “I love you and I would do anything for you.”  (Also self-explanatory; Jason Segal partakes in similar actions, Seth Rogen sort of does.)
  13. Wacky things happen and it is wrapped up in a neat, comedic fashion.

There are a lot of things that happen in between, of course, and it’s not like it’s bad, entirely.  These are all humorous movies that I can enjoy somewhat, and the people who show up in all of them are amusing, but I think I just figured out how to write a Judd Apatow-esque movie.

–your fangirl heroine.