Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - The Parents

The presence of Peter Parker's parents in these movies has completely baffled me from the beginning. There isn't anything that these people add to the script, nor do they really have anything to contribute to plot or character development. I suspect, and hope, that with this second movie, they realized what a misstep it was to include them in the first movie, and strove to prevent them from reoccurring in future movies.

Let's start with the beginning. The very first scene in this movie has Richard and Mary Parker flying in a private jet. They are already on the lam, and fearful of their lives. The logical place for them to hide out from Oscorp is in their private jet, which was probably owned by Oscorp, and staffed with Oscorp pilots. I can't even begin to explain how dumb this is. Unless it's your own private plane and you're flying, do not get on a private plane if you're running away from an evil corporation. I thought this Richard Parker guy was supposed to be genius?

As if this wasn't stupid enough, the scene gets even worse. I guess Richard Parker needs to upload some important documents to somewhere. It makes you wonder why he didn't do that literally at any other point before now, if the files were so important. Like, maybe while you're waiting for take-off in the airport in that private jet you're in. But, ok, files are important, couldn't have uploaded it before you're in the air. Whatever. Then the dumbest assassin in the world shows up.

So the copilot, who knows exactly who Richard Parker is, walks out of the cockpit with blood on his hands. I still have a mark on my forehead from when I started banging my head against the seat in front of me after seeing this scene. If you knew you were going to kill the pilot, why not bring a poison with you and put it in his drink? Or strangle him? Or literally fucking any other thing that does require you making a bloody mess? And if you absolutely have to make him bleed, bring a fucking wet napkin? Shit is literally less than 3 dollars at Wal-Mart.

So Richard Parker is uploading this file WHAT COULD IT BE when the dumbest fight scene in the movie happens. Assassin pulls a gun and then there's a struggle, and somewhere in there, the dead pilot slumps over in his chair and pushes the plane into a nosedive. Hey, Assassin, what was your plan here dude? I guess he was going to parachute out of the plane at some point, but didn't he take any steps to ensure that the dead pilot didn't inadvertently crash the plane before he could kill the Parkers and put his chute on, which is exactly what fucking happens? WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN? It goes: scientist first, wife second, pilot last.

Ugh. So the wife gets shot and bleeds out, Richard Parker shoots open a window, and then some shit happens and somehow the assassin gets outside of the plane, minus the parachute he should have put on a long fucking time ago, and it's a race against time for Parker to open up his laptop and make sure this file gets uploaded. Almost, almost, almost....COMPLETED. Oh thank god. What a tense movie.

살다 - 쿠로사와의 영화 3부

요새 쿠로사와의 영화에 대한 글을 쓰고 있어요.
1부 - 
2부 -

어제 란의 줄거리 소개했고, 오늘 분석 좀 할 것이다. 셰익스피어의 <리어 왕>각색<>에 등장하는 캐릭터들 완전 나쁘거나 착한 스테레오 타입이 아니라, 실제의 사람 같은 을 지니고 있다. 그렇지만 “리어 왕”처럼 란 또한 비극이기 때문에 인물 한 명이 큰 실수를 하고 재앙이 닥친다. 우리 관객들 목표는 쿠로사와의 소재를 찾아본다.

란의 비극이라면 누가 잘못을 했고 재앙을 받습니까? 막내 아들은 사랑으로 아버지 비판고 사랑으로 아버지를 살리는 중에 죽었으니까 아무 나쁜 행동을 안 했다. 그래서 비극의 초점은 왕에 있다. 왕이 막내 아들을 외면하고 추방했을 때 큰 실수했고 아빠 눈 앞에서 막내 아들이 죽을 때 벌칙을 얻다.

그런데, 이것은 쿠로사의 소재일까요? 단지 “솔직한 말을 들어야 한다”? 아니라면, “아들을 사랑해야 한다” ? 단순히 가족사이의 감정들 뿐만 아니라, 이 영화에는 다른 메세지가 더 있을 것이다.

다음 번에 “혈통의 왕좌”로 가족과 야망에 대해 생각해볼 것이다.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Flash and JJJ

Have you ever wondered why some superheroes endure despite being totally uncool? Captain America is a character that premiered in the 1940s, over 70 years ago, and he's a character that looks like he's from the the 40s. He is exactly as hokey as everything that came out back then. Hawkeye is another good example of a character that shoots a bow and arrow in a world where Tony Stark has a billion lasers shooting out of his hands. But these characters have stuck around because there's ideas behind them. Hawkeye was raised and subsequently orphaned by an alcoholic father before running away and training so much with a bow and arrow and with so much discipline that he became a goddamn superhero. Despite his name, Captain America stands for ideals over blind loyalty. These are the reasons that these superheroes endure in our culture -- It's not because bows are awesome (they are not) or that wearing the American flag as a suit is cool (it is not.)

This is of course open for interpretation. Maybe you look at Iron Man and think that he personifies the cocky playboy type. Or maybe you see someone struggling with addiction while attempting to maintain outward appearances. There is no answer that is fully right or wrong, but there are some answers that are righter than others. And that's why a Spider-Man movie without Flash Thompson and J Jonah Jameson is not really a Spider-Man movie, but more like, Spider-Themed-Guy.

Spider-Man, or more appropriately, Peter Parker, is a character defined by his relationships with his supporting cast. He is a superhero determined by the aunt that takes care of him, the uncle who died, the friends who are eternally patient with him. He represents heroism in the face of great personal adversity. It is one thing to want to be a hero when you think it might make you popular or get you laid; It is quite another when you know that doing so with consistently disappoint the ones you love and leave you alone and hated. And Peter Parker has enough problems as it is, he has two bullies who make his life miserable, often regardless of which persona he's using. I mean, the dude is not starving in Africa or anything, but his life certainly isn't any great thing. Regardless of the personal stress he has, or how much it may mess up his personal life, Spider-Man always puts on the red suit.

I'm blaming the script and not Andrew Garfield when I say that the Spider-Man seen in these rebooted movies is not very good at personifying this. The Spider-Man in the Amazing Spider-Man movies is this tall, good-looking guy who skateboards and seems to be cool and affable, without any sense of responsibility at all. Maguire's Peter Parker is genuinely very fucking concerned when his aunt is bankrupt. Garfield doesn't seem too worried about it. "Hey Aunt May, I could get a full-time job while going to school so you, being elderly as shit, won't have to learn a brand new skill at 900 years old."

Aunt May is barely a presence in this movie, as is Uncle Ben, who is mentioned only in passing and without any reference to being responsible for anything or attempting to be heroic. The main  forces in Peter Parker's life keeping him down -- the bully at school, the ruthless boss / relentless antagonizing PR nightmare -- don't even make an appearance in this movie. Peter Parker is handsome and cool, life is worry-free and grand.

살다 - 쿠로사와의 영화 2부

요새 쿠로사와의 영화에 대한 글을 고 있어요
1부 -

저번에 내가 쿠로사와를 소개했을때 가장 중요한 것이 무엇이냐고 물어봤다. "우리 삶에서 제일 중요한 것 뭐예요?" 몇 명이 "가족"이라고 대답을 해서 좀 다행이다. 첫번 영화인 "란"의 주제는 주요하게 가족이다.

1985년에 개봉했던 "란"은 왕이랑 아들 3명에 대한 이야기를 펼친다. 왕은 강하긴 하지만 늙어 힘이 약해지면서 왕권의 부담을 포기하고 싶어한다. 다만 왕자들과 함께 지내고 싶어한다. 그래서 땅을 3부분으로 나누고 그것을 아들 3명에게 나누어 주는 계획을 만든다. 왕자들에게 이 계획을 설명하는 중에 아빠를 많이 사랑하는 막내 아들은 문제를 솔직히 제기한다. 막내 아들의 생각에 의하면 가족의 신뢰가 충분하지 않아서 형들이 서로 싸우고 아버지인 왕을 불신 하게 될 것이다. 막내 아들은 너무 진솔한 이의를 제기한 후 추방된다.

물론, 막내 아들의 예측대로, 형제 2명이 아버지를 면하면서 전쟁을 시작하고 서로 죽인다. 이 위기 탓에 왕이 미쳐버렸고 보호없이 떠돌아다닌다. 아버지의 고생에 대해서 듣자마자 막내 아들은 바로 아버지를 살리기위해 나선다. 그런데 아버지를 살리려는 중에 화살을 맞고 죽다. 아버지는 막내의 사랑을 그제서야 알게된다.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Green Goblin

In what will probably be a series of rambling posts spanning several days, Imma talk bout Spider-Man.

There was actually more things to like in this movie than I was expecting. The biggest and most pleasant surprise was how the Green Goblin was handled, for the most part. (I have to add in the phrase "for the most part" for about 90% of things that I say about this movie because there's 23 different subplots going on here. Something that works in one place can totally fail in another. So, for the sake of simplicity, just mentally add the phrase "for the most part" after every sentence you read here.)

The entirety of Harry/Green Goblin is a great metaphor for the entire movie, by the way. The Green Goblin looks amazing. I dug the suit, the skin, the changes to his face and teeth when he goblins looked really cool. I just didn't grasp his plan for most of the movie, and most of the plot revolving around him is contrived. The things that I did like I didn't get enough of, and the things that didn't make any sense were too numerous.

Harry's subplot's problems start from the moment he gets introduced (and again, very indicative of the problems this movie has). His very first scene has him confront his dying father (whom we've never seen before, but is very important) and he is told that the shakes he's been having are part of a genetic disease that will someday kill him. Throughout the entire movie, we never actually see the effects of this disease on Harry physically. There may have been one or two scenes where his hand moves a little uncontrollably, but he's not withering away before our eyes or anything. Show, don't tell, movie. Plus, his dad dies when he's at least 50 years old, so it's not like he's going to die tomorrow or anything.

We do get to see the psychological effect of knowing that he has an uncurable genetic disease, which gives his character more than anything else in this fucking movie some actual, understandable motivation. The psychological effects are largely the more important, I guess, but watching Harry walk around and skip stones have a great little man-date with Peter don't really lend much gravitas to the "dead man walking" thing.

And his relationship with Peter. Apparently they were best friends when they were 10 or so years old. (The movie's timeline gets a bit confusing.) I suppose they stopped being friends when Harry's dad sends him away to a boarding school in the 1800s where phones and computers, so they haven't spoken for 8 years. We are, again, told that they are good friends though.

I get that it's hard to bring so many things together, but why not have them meet in this movie and become good friends. Isn't that possible? We have movies where people meet and fall in love; Wouldn't meeting and becoming good friends be even easier? But nope, just take our word for it audience: They are friends.

살다 - 쿠로사와의 영화 1부

한달 전에 저는 콘사토시의 영화에 대해 고찰해 본 적이 있어요. 그 때는 영화감독 일생의 일을 볼수록 스타일과 주제를 다 이해할 수 있어라고 표현했어요. 오늘부터는 제가 제일 좋아하는 감독인 쿠로사와 아키라의 영화를 가지고 그의 작품세계에 있어서 중요한 주제에 관해 재조명을 해 볼거예요. 코 사토시의 경우는 관객, 감독, 배우 사이를 살펴보았는데 쿠로사와 비교하면 쿠로사와는 현실주의를 보요. 그니깐 제 일기 시리즈 이름은 "살다" (To Live)이고 우리는 함께 "삶"에 대해고려해 볼거예요.

다음번은 "란" (Ran) 소개할것이고 그 다음에 "Throne of Blood", "7인의 사무라이" (Seven Samurai), "라쇼몽" (Rashomon), 얘기할것이고, 시간 있으면 "Ugetsu monogatari"랑 비교해보고, 마무리로 "이키루" (Ikiru)에서 정점을 찍을 겁니다. 제 재능이 충분하다면 쿠로사와의 생각을 잘 설명할 수 있겠죠?

일단 "란" 을 소개하기 전에 한 가지 질문을 드릴게요. 우리 삶에서 제일 중요한 것은 뭐라고 생각하시나요? 가능한 대답이 엄청 많죠? 가족, 사랑, 영광, 존중, 돈...여러분은 어떻게 생각하시요?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pre-Spider-Man Spider-Man Talk

Before I see it this Sunday, I wanted to provide a few initial thoughts on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from what I know about the movie and the trailer. Spoiler Alert! It will probably be no more than decent.

I know that some people are upset with the radical changes they made with Electro and the Rhino. I talked about this a little bit while discussing the Avengers, and I feel that now is the time to enshrine this principle into law: It's ok for movies to take liberties with the storylines and characters from the comics provided that the changes they make are equal to or better than the comics. The example I used in the past was having Captain America punch something when he was upset (or bored? Once again, hack writing makes it unclear what his punch motivation was.) This is not only a departure from the comics, where Cap is a much more introspective and artistic type of guy -- and would probably be painting instead of punching -- but a less interesting change.

Electro from the comic books is quite possibly the lowest common denominator in the Spider-Man comics. He is a guy that gets struck by lightning or gets electrocuted or some shit like that, and then becomes a criminal. There is nowhere to go but up from here, so the decision to turn Electro into a nerdy-type guy who just wants to be noticed is an improvement. It is not a particularly good improvement, but it is an improvement nonetheless, so, alright, I'm in. I also find the look of the new Electro to be vastly superior to the green-and-yellow costume from the comics, so there's that.

Rhino's a different story though. In the movies, it looks like Rhino will have a mechanical suit, which is a cool idea, if nothing else. See, in the comic books, Rhino's powers come from what is basically a skin graft, making him stronger and impervious to feeling anything. Now, it's yet to be revealed what's going on with Rhino in this movie, but so far, I like the original storyline better. There's a lot of things you can do with an origin like "can't feel shit", and there's a lot of frustration for someone in that position, especially someone with enough power to destroy everything he comes in contact with. However, we won't get to see any of that because the suit is mechanical, apparently, and because Marc Webb has stated that Rhino will only appear for, like, five minutes.

Which brings up the next issue. It has been said that there are too many villains in this movie, at three. That's probably not going to be a problem if Rhino isn't in it too much, but that number would still be better if it were "one". I suspect Rhino is going to be an "establishing fight" where we get reminded of Spider-Man's abilities and personalities. It brings us back into the situation, reminds of the stakes, and comparatively, makes the other, badder guys seem like more of a threat. No, instead, the problem is not the number of villains, but this "world-building" thing they're trying to do, which is the topic for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Not Much to Talk About

You know, when I started writing on this blog again, my intent was to write just a little bit every day, to make sure my writing ability didn't get stale. However, I...just don't have enough to say about things.

Back when I had enough time to watch movies and read comics, I could cover those pretty extensively. But now, I've only seen 4 movies in the past month and two were The Hunger Games and Winter Soldier, and I turned both of those into 5 posts total, so, good job, Kevin?

The other two were Charlie Chaplin films. I recently decided that I wanted to go through the IMDb Top 250 in chronological order, just to, I don't know, see what happens. So far, the beginning is (and I'm not going to dance around saying this bluntly) the most boring part of this venture. My thoughts about Charlie Chaplin are essentially the same as my thoughts about Hitchcock -- Very influential and groundbreaking when it first came out; Not so valuable today. And there are silent films and films from the twenties that I think really do stand out even today.

And I understand that the reason Charlie Chaplin didn't age well is that his routines and jokes were copied so much that they're stale to today's audiences, but still, very, very boring to watch and not much to say about either of them. (They were The Gold Rush and The Kid, by the way.)

It's strange too, because I loved Duck Soup, and I thought that was way funnier than either of these two movies. I know these films were made during different eras, but my point is, older movies can still be funny.

I have three more Chaplin films on this trip through the IMDb Top 250, and I hope they're not as painful to sit through as the first two. (It is interesting though; Charlie Chaplin represents 2% of all of the best movies in the world. That's pretty cool.)

So, there you go. I turned two movies into five posts, and two other movies into half a post. Sometimes there's just not much to say about a guy falling down for comedic effect.

I almost wrote a full post about the Days of Future Past trailers, but there's also not much to talk about here. It looks ambitious, and it looks like it's going to work. I suspect they're not overly attaching themselves to any of the "Old/Future X-Men" characters, which is a great idea. There will be a sense of urgency going on when we see Storm, Colossus and Iceman get killed. The disaster of the future will be on full display (an idea I talked about before...somewhere on this blog. I'm too lazy to find it now.) Seeing how bad things might become gives our heroes greater motivation to prevent the world from becoming so bad.

Also, Blink looks fucking awesome. I almost wrote a full post about how awesome Blink is. (Well, comparing characters that are "just cool" (Blinks), with characters that maybe are not as cool, but have a greater narrative presence (Kitties).) Every time I watch these trailers (and it's been a lot) I'm just thinking "Blink Blink Blink" in my head. She's that fucking cool.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

읽을 만한 만화 5부

이번주도 다양한 만화를 소개하고 있어요.
1부 :
오늘의 추천은 여기 있습니다:

오늘은 추천하는 만화가 2권밖에 없어서 편하게 다 읽을 수 있어요. 근데 Kamala Khan이랑 비교하면 Magneto의 역사가 훨씬 더 길어요. Magneto가 1960년대에 초연했을 때부터 때때로 악당과 영웅을 오고 갔어요. 몇 달 전까지 X-Men이랑 같이 영웅처럼 하고 있지만 이 시리즈부터 악한 것을 다시 시작했어요.

그런데 Magneto가 악한 것을 하고 있는데도 관객들이 Magneto의 마음을 이해해요. 이 책에는 액션장면이 거의 없고 주로 Magneto의 생각에 초점이 맞춰져 있어요. Magneto의 번뇌와 고뇌가 파악돼요.

만화책의 악당 캐릭터들은 보통 간단해요. 자기를 위해서 그냥 나쁜 것을 해요. "Magneto"의 주인공이 악당이지만, 오히려 독자들이 그를 공감해줘요.

꼭 읽어라!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

읽을 만한 만화 4부

이번주도 다양한 만화를 소개하고 있어요.
1부 :
오늘의 추천이 여기 있습니다:

오늘은 Hawkeye에 대한 글을 쓰는 계획했지만 출근 전 이 비디오를 봤어요: . 그래서 오늘 Ms. Marvel에 대한 글을 하고 싶어요.

새로운 Ms. Marvel에 대한 글을 하면 먼저 원래 Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers을 소개해야 해요. 첫번 1960년대 초연했던 Ms. Marvel은 금발머리 있고 키가 크고 가슴이 좀...그냥 보세요.

아시다시피, 제가 이것 비슷한 것 엄청 싫어요:

가족의 문화랑 미국의 문화랑 차이가 있고 학교에 인기가 없으니까 Kamala가 Carol Danvers같은 영웅이 되고 싶어요. 어느 날에 우연히 변신 슈퍼 파워를 받아요.

현재는 Kamala같은 캐릭터들이 중요해요. 처음에는 세계 만화 중에 무슬림 주인공이 거의 없어요. Kamala는 미국에 있고 젊은 무슬림 청소년을 대표하고 있어요. 또, Kamala가 영웅이 되자마자 Carol Danvers같은 영웅이 됐지만 불편해 해요.  또, 다른 사람을 살아남고 모습이 중요하지 않다가 내내 생각해요.

이제, 만화책 2권만 있어서 쉽게 다 읽을 수 있어요.꼭 읽어라!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

읽을 만한 만화 3부

이번주는 다양한 만화를 소개하고 있어요.
1부 :
오늘의 추천이 여기 있습니다:

먼저 극적인 줄거리 있는 Black Widow를 소개했고, 다음으로 웃긴 The Superior Foes of Spider-Man을 소개했어요.  오늘은 다시 한번 극적인 이야기, The Walking Dead을 소개해요.

이번주 추천할 만화들 중에는 2개는 이내에 6개월 출간 된 것이고 2개 3년 안에출간된건데 The Walking Dead 10년 전에 나왔고 계속하고 있어요. 등장인물의 심리에 초점을 두고, 좀비사태의 위기 후 살아남은 사람들을 집중적으로 그린 작품이에요. 좀비 사태 탓에 시설이 다 파괴됐고 사회는 사라졌어요. 좀비들이 많긴 하지만 제일 위험한 것은 인간이에요. 좀비들 오직 식인만 지만, 인간들 거짓말, 배신, 속임도 할 수 있어요.

그림은 간결한 흑백 그림이에요. 채색없이 뚜렷한 외곽선만 표현해서 애니메이션이랑 특별한 스타일을 만들었어요. 이런것이 보는사람으로 하여금 비참적인 그림을 참을 수 있게해요.

유치한 것나 영웅이 나오는 것 같은 만화를 싫어하거나 Walking Dead TV시리즈를 좋아하면 Walking Dead 만화를 좋아할 텐데요.

꼭 읽어라!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Captain America: Winter Soldier - Part 3

Alright, we need to wrap this Winter Soldier bullshit up.

I suppose there must be a few things about this movie I didn't like, so, fuck it. Let's nitpick.

The actor playing the Winter Soldier does not look good with long hair. He looks way too pretty and young, and completely ruins any intimidating effect he might have had.

Poor Chris Evans is getting sick of playing these parts. I feel bad encouraging people to see this movie when I know it's just going to prolong his torment.

There's a scene where Steve Rogers whips out a notebook where he's keeping a list of everything he needs to get caught up on from the past 70 years. This list changes depending on which country you see this movie in. Although this doesn't really influence anything, it's pandering crap, and you know I hate that.

There is unnecessary Black Widow side boob towards the end of the movie, and an unnecessary ass wiggle shot towards the beginning. Again, pandering crap, and maybe in both cases the studios pressured the directors to include this.

I really liked how the Falcon is introduced to this movie. Namely, that he just kinda shows up. It is somewhat contrived that this guy with an awesome flight suit happens to be Steve Rogers' best friend, but in the grander scheme of things, this keeps the plot moving along nicely, and, in a world with superpowered people running around, it doesn't seem too strange to anybody that he has this flight suit. However, the thing that I didn't like about him is that he ends up being the plucky, black sidekick to Captain America. In the comics, he's less of a comedic relief and more of a moral center for Steve. Sam Wilson is there to remind Cap to do the right thing, not crack jokes. This is not an issue of "It's not the same in the comics, so I hate it," this is a case of seeing the same, exact funny black sidekick character a billion times and starting to hate it.

And, this is literally the only bad things I can say about this movie.

1) Well made? - Yes, just about everything.
2) Contributed?  - I think the more smart comic book movies we start seeing, the less we'll start considering them an aberration. In a world where The Dark Knight took in a $533,316,061 domestic gross, and action schlock like Man of Steel and 300:Rise of an Empire didn't make that much combined, I feel pretty good about the comic book movie perception slowly changing for the better.
3) Good time? - Oh yes. It starts to feel its length (about 135 minutes) towards the end, and there is one superfluous fight scene, but besides that, great from start to finish.
4) Watch again? - I already have, and it has even come out in America yet.
5) Worth it?  - Alone, this movie would be great enough to recommend. Considering that it will alter the world of the Marvel cinematic universe in the subsequent films, I'd say that makes it much more essential than Thor: The Dark World.
6) Who should watch this? - Any fan of superhero movies, and maybe fans of political thrillers or conspiracy movies as well. Also, pretty much anyone wanting to see some good action.

읽는 만한 만화 2부

이번주는 다양한 만화를 소개하고 있어요.
1부 :
어제, 제가 Black Widow을 소개했지만 살 수 있는 곳을 안 알렸어요. 여기 있습니다:
오늘 추천이 여기 있습니다:
1부 :

오늘도 좋은 만화를 소개 할 거예요. 어제 미술적인 그림이 있고 극적인 줄거리가 있는 Black Widow에 대한 글을 썼어요. 오늘은 유치한 그림이 있는 코미디 만화, The Superior Foes of Spider-Man을 소개해요.

Superior Foes에서는 Spider-Man의 적 5명이 강도팀을 이루고 있어요. 근데 이 악당들이 다 멍청한 겁쟁이이라서 계속 계속 실패해요. 얼마나 불쌍한지 작가에게 독자들이 주인공 Fred을 잘 봐달라고 부탁해요. Fred은 욕심 많고 친구들에게 거짓말 하고 전혀 영웅답지 안지만 Fred의 성공을 보고 싶어요.

또, 그림이 좀 유치하죠? 이런것이 심각하지 않고 더 웃긴 느낌을 만들어요.

Black Widow보다 외국어를 배우는 사람에게 더 좋아해요. Superior Foes이 코미디라서 비속어를 더 해요. 그뿐만 아니라 영웅의 적인는데도 평범한 모습을 많이 보여주며 자연스러운 영어를 많이 써요.

꼭 읽어라!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Captain America: Winter Soldier - Part 2

In addition to having really good action, Winter Soldier keeps the story grounded in typical "comic book morality" and plot.

One thing that really separates good comic movies from action schlock is the ability of the writers and directors to figure out what's at the core of the character. Now, we consider the X-Men to present a pretty solid metaphor for homophobia and racism, but that is largely due to Bryan Singer's work on the X-Men series. At the core of X-Men is this general prejudice and hatred, and tapping into that was key to making a good movie. This is the reason why X-Men 3 and the Wolverine movies just aren't as good and don't connect with audiences as well. In a similar vein, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 understood that the appeal to the character was watching his life slip through his fingers for his borderline pathological obsession with being Spider-Man.

The first Captain America movie touched on this subject in the beginning, but very quickly lost its ground. Here, we see the little Steve Rogers try to take on a bully twice or maybe even three times his size. Despite the fact that he has no chance of winning, still tries to do the right thing.

The second Captain America starts off with this core element of Steve Rogers' character and wisely calls it into question. The issue is that of "preemptively striking down" threates before they become actualized, a strategy to which Steve finds himself opposed. Not only does this make for a tense movie and an interesting situation for Steve to find himself in, but brings up the larger question that the audience has to ask itself, "Is that actually the right thing to do?" Is the morality of Captain America outdated at best and dangerous at worst, risking lives by waiting until a terrorist strikes to pursue them? Or do these authorities have too much control and power over people it has deemed, without any kind of trial and based on electronic records, free to execute? Regardless of how you personally feel about this issue, and regardless of how the movie wishes to handle it, it is commendable that it even raises this question.

Either way, every movie must eventually, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, come down on one side or the other for the issues it raises. (Imagine how many slasher flicks have endorsed teenage virginity by keeping its sexually-abstaining protagonists alive while their more promiscuous friends wind up dead.) After my first viewing, I was afraid that maybe they skirted around this, but they do indeed come down on one specific side of things. Not only was this the right message to send to the audience, in my opinion, but from a film-watching experience standpoint was also the smart choice.

Again, think about those promiscuous teenagers (or, don't. Perverts.) Trying to find a middle ground here would confuse the plot of the movie. They can't say, "Hey, we're going to have sex, but use protection and we're getting married and deeply in love, so this is ok." That makes for a shitty, confusing plot. Winter Soldier brings this questions in, and definitively answers them, while still acknowledging the other side of things.

읽는 만한 만화 1부

안녕하세요~ 지난 주말 제가 캡틴아메리카:윈터솔저를 2번 봐서 지금 만화에 대한 생각을 많이 하고 있어요. 그래서, 지금 좋은 만화를 여러분께 추천하고 싶어요.

그런데 만화책을 많이 읽는 편인 사람이나 만화에 대해 관심있는 사람들이 별로 없나 봐요. 왜죠? 외국어를 배우기 위해서 만화를 읽는 것은 편하고 유용해요. 비속어와 의성어를 더 쉽게 배울 수 있고 단어 몇개를 잘 이해하지 못해도 그림을 보며 뜻을 파악할 수 있어요.

오늘은 Black Widow을 소개할 거예요. 제 생각에는 만화 중에 여자가 주인공인 경우가 거의 없어서 여자 주인공이 등장하는 문화가 더 필요한 것 같아요. 또, 이 책은 야한 것이 아니라 Black Widow의 인생을 보여줘요. 특히 미술은 완벽해요. 그냥 예쁠 뿐만 아니라 페인팅같은 그림이 있어서 엄청 멋있어요.

꼭 읽어라!