Category Archives: FILM

FILM: Why the Future of Girl Power Depends on “Wonder Woman” + Sexy New GIFs

LilGripes.com has one message for the DCEU:

Wonder Woman better be as specta-f–king-cular as the trailers make it look… or else.

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Warner Bros. Pictures released the “Official Origins Trailer” for Wonder Woman… and it looks epic, heartbreaking and quirkily humorous all in one gorgeously shot and edited package. We fall in love with star Gal Gadot more and more with each new frame:

Here are some exclusive highlights from the brand-new trailer:

Twee Diana (see Wonder Woman’s origins here) sees her future sword, “The Godkiller” (it can kill gods) for the very first time:

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Her mom, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), tells her “not you.” Bitch, please:

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So little Diana becomes a young woman (relatively…she’s 500ish years old in WWI when this movie was set) and her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright), trains her to fight HAM:

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Diana discovers a unique perk to her fashion accessories:

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(So, do all the Amazons on Themyscira possess Wonder Woman’s famous Gauntlets of Submission, like in the comics?)

Even more famous than her bracelets is Diana’s Lasso of Truth, which is seen being used here to its greatest visual potential:

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That is, of course, after Diana watches London pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash upon the shores of her isolated island and decides to join his global fight against the German plot (possibly being engineered from the shadows by Wonder Woman’s archvillain, Ares, the God of War) to use a weaponized gas that can penetrate enemy gas masks.

Wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves… Here is what we pieced together from the trailer in more GIFs:

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Slaying that mermaid braid, Diana!

A breathtaking shot showcases Diana’s superhuman capabilities as she swiftly dives in to save Steve:

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The inciting incident of the film:

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Several German-marked boats land on the beach of Themyscira and soon after that, a full-on battle ensues between the Amazons and these Jerrys:

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General Antiope and co. ride

We see Diana’s reaction to bullets for the first time in her 500 years of life:

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The shock of seeing one of her own fall by a foreign weapon probably propels Diana to take up arms (literally) and follow Trevor back to London:

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In London, Diana is forced to wear a 1900s petticoat… and girl ain’t having it:

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“How is a woman supposed to fight in this?”

Diana smells the fake flower on her hat, reminding us why Gal Gadot was the perfect choice to lend gravitas to this larger-than-life character:

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How CUTE is Gal??

Meanwhile, people keep trying to kill poor Steve:

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This scene, as brilliantly pointed out by Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican, serves as a direct homage to Christopher Reeves’ Superman blocking a bullet from Lois Lane whilst incognito as Clark Kent, with Gal Gadot even donning Clark-esque glasses in this scene:

This leads us to speculate that Steve Trevor is more than just a military pilot. He clearly discovered a secret, intentionally or not, that the Germans did not want him to… like a gas that can pierce gas masks:

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Which brings us to the identities of the film’s two possible archvillains, Ares and Circe:

This masked woman is rumored to be Circe, a classic Wonder Woman villain. She appears to be in collusion with Danny Huston’s character, a German officer who is most likely Ares in disguise.

(Why? Well, we see him manage to hold his own versus Wonder Woman in hand-to-hand combat later, for one):gs10zau3s5axphxo8mzm.pngNEWCercesBOMB.gif

I see London; I see France; I see Wondie’s underpants (or not? Is there the female equivalent of a jockstrap underneath her armor?)

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Ares’ sword is no match for Wondie’s gauntlets and we see him gasp later in the trailer, “WHAT are you?”

Well… I’m someone who can throw a horse carriage:

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A whole bunch of baddie-asskicking shots like Wonder Woman flipping in the middle of flight and busting through a window like it’s a curtain:

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THIS IS..DIANA!

One of the many, many things we love about Wonder Woman as a superhero is that she’s not bulletproof but due to her agility as a warrior, her gauntlets/shield are sufficient for her to deflect any projectile aimed her way:

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Overall, this trailer has us so psyched with scenes like the above that we are almost worried:

What Has Us Worried…

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So much hinges on this: the future of the DCEU franchise (which already has Justice League, The Flash, The Batman, Aquaman in its lineup), the future of the Wonder Woman franchise, the future of female-led superhero franchises, Gal Gadot’s career, etc. etc. etc. Heck, the future of the concept of “girl power” could hinge on it.

1. DCEU’s track record so far sucks, sucks, sucks.

Please let Wonder Woman be the film that rights this ship. In the name of all that is good, we pray this is true.

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2. Please Don’t Be Femi-Nazi or Preachy.

Can we please have a female-empowering movie that doesn’t simultaneously weaken the men in it just so women can shine? Yes, this is Diana’s/Wonder Woman’s story so it is fair that the male lead is a mere sidekick as well as her love interest, but he doesn’t need to be rendered an object of ridicule for Diana to seem strong. If this were the case, it would only undermine the value of Wonder Woman’s own strength.

When a man is weakened so a woman can be strong, EVERYONE loses.

Why can’t men and women be equally fortified in a movie for once?

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3. Please, Zack Snyder, stay far away from this.

We have already seen a great deal of slow-mo action shots in the trailers, especially highlighting Diana’s super-abilities with handling bullets, her lasso and her power of flight. We hope there isn’t the typical Snyder-esque overuse of this, to the point where the film’s excitement almost hinges on it. Let the film breathe and let Gadot do her thing.

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My On-Air Appearance Talking “Logan” and other top stories #ICYMI

HAPPY FRIDAY TWEET:

I return to air tonight on CosmicGeppetto.com, probably in a bathrobe, to re-gush over Logan and its trifecta of Oscar-worthy performances in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Dafne Keen’s X-23, and Sir Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. First things first, though, let’s summarize for ya our favorite piece of casting news this week: smoldering actress Serinda Swan (Graceland, Smallville) getting tapped as Medusa in the upcoming Marvel network TV series, Inhumans.

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Who is Medusa? What is an Inhuman? Why is this actress perfect for the role? Read all about it on our list of the coolest weapons superheroines possess (in Medusa’s case, she has…super-hair. It’s actually quite sexy).

(For more on the Inhumans show itself, debuting in IMAX theaters for two weeks in September before premiering on network TV, here is Entertainment Weekly’s Exclusive First Look  on the cast list).

Back to Logan and Our Primetime Chat!

We will be on the Cosmic Geppetto show tonight (airing at a later time) to discuss the vaunted superhero film in-depth, raving about the many finer points of the experience like how X-23 comes in the adorable, unassuming package of an 11-year-old with all the wisdom of a thirty-something seared into her eyes. Or how all three stars deserve Oscar nods next year or we riot. ICYMI: Here is our must-read on the film, giving you a primer on the precocious prodigy who stole hearts all over theaters this last week.

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Until We Share the Aired, Edited Version of Our Appearance,

Enjoy Lil’s Prior 2 Appearances on Cosmic Geppetto:

a) We discuss prominent superhero race and gender changes in live-action film and TV roles recently.

Click on image for link:

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b) We discuss being a Cumberbitch and, more specifically, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Marvel’s latest triumphant solo venture by the same name.

Click on image for link:

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FILM: “Logan” – Who is the New Face Behind X-23?

LIL GRIPES DASH

LilGripes.com Returns Confident and Celebrating X-23,  Logan (no spoilers!)’s Tween Weapon

LIL GRIPES DASH

LilGripes.com is back, shedding our wintry writer’s block… and what better way to jumpstart our brand-new confidence, in a brand-new year replete with brand-new looks (see Lil’s Lookbook and Video), than by feting the first superhero event of 2017? Yes, we are talking Marvel/20th Century Fox’s Logan. More specifically, we are talking the li’l wunderkind at the heart of Logan: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)’s daughter-clone, “X-23″/Laura Kinney, portrayed prodigiously by brand-new face Dafne Keen.

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Remember that name. In 10 years, this girl will be wearing the hottest designer dress of 2027 as she accepts her Oscar for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. To be frank, she should also be winning an Academy Award next year for her turn as the conflicted young mutant. An effectively mute character (scroll to bottom for X-23’s backstory), Laura’s personality is expressed through facial expressions and guttural noises for much of the film. What could have been a forgettable mini she-bot was imprinted on the big screen with feral doe-eyes and a simultaneously tender temperament.

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When Keen does speak as Laura, she does so in English and Spanish, with lilts both sad and humorous in both languages. Not to mention, it is simply delightful to watch a 4’2″ girl do literal spins and acrobatic circles around baddies ten-fold her size while skewering them with metallic claws.

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So… Who is this talented little woman of mystery?

1. Ella habla español: Dafne Keen, née Daphne Keen Fernández in Spain to Will Keen, a British actor, and María Fernández Ache, a Spanish actress/theater director, turns 12 this year. Keen split her upbringing between the UK and Madrid, her bilingual nature a huge relief to James Mangold, Logan‘s director, who requested an actress between 11-12 who not only could rattle off both Spanish and English vernacular fluently but also looked of ambiguous Hispanic origin.

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2. She was born to tumble: She was a gifted gymnast at just 10 years old, when she sent in her audition tape to U.K. casting director Priscilla John. According to Vanity Fair, John watched the tape, enraptured as she watched this four-foot child scale a tall bookcase in her living room while casually picking up and fingering different objects around her. On her way down to the ground, she gracefully descended into a tumbling run. Needless to say, most of X-23’s violently acrobatic sequences did not require a double.

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3. She’s a cute eater: The endearing Pringles scene in the extended trailer? It was indubitably based on another part of Keen’s own audition tape where she chomped down crackers without a word while her eyes darted wildly around her. “She was devouring everything in that room,” John recalls. “She had an innocence and a vulnerability, and I said, ‘People are going to fall in love with her.'”

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4. She is a true novice:  If you Google Dafne Keen, there is still very little public info on the rising star. Logan is her big-screen debut and her only other credited work was a role on The Refugees, a short-lived Spanish TV series on which she collaborated with her father (who was also on Netflix’s The Crown).

5. She can hold her own: Based on the audience’s and critics’ reception of X-23, Keen has already accrued a passionate fanbase, good tidings for a potential X-Men franchise mounted on her character. In what is famously Hugh Jackman’s and Sir Patrick Stewart’s last turns as Wolverine and Professor X respectively, Keen still sways the screen every frame in which she appears, her porcelain features either lighting up with animalistic rage or evoking the childlike innocence of a sheltered lab experiment.

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Like Wolverine, Laura/X-23 possesses retractable adamantium claws, instantaneous regeneration/healing, and enhanced strength/senses

That brings us to X-23/Laura Kinney’s long story sorta short:

X-23 is Weapon X‘s 23rd (but first successful) attempt at creating a human mutant with Wolverine’s powers. Created in a lab, birthed by a surrogate mother she will never know and raised in a military facility unsuitable for children, 11-year-old Laura and other mutant youngsters only managed to escape their makers with the help of their nurses when the program decided to terminate these “experiments.” Bleak stuff.

On the run with Logan and Professor X in this film, Laura learns the outside world while Logan learns fatherhood (she is created with his DNA, after all). Armed with two adamantium claws on each hand and one on each foot, as opposed to Wolverine’s three on each hand, she is just similar enough to her violent, volatile yet ultimately virtuous pops to honor his legacy amongst this new generation of mutants.

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Isn’t this how all father-daughter time goes?

Aww…

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P.S. My brief spoiler-free Logan review (I wore yellow and black to rep Wolverine’s original costume):

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TV: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE LEARNED FROM THE 2017 #GoldenGlobes

LIL GRIPES DASH

Meryl Streep aside, the 2017 Golden Globes was Textbook 101 in why award shows without live performances shouldn’t be on television at all.

LIL GRIPES DASH

(TL;DR: Being a public figure calls for a modicum of self-awareness, a trait these award shows and their attendees lack in shovels and spades.)

Why do we watch ceremonies like the Golden Globes in the first place? The 3 G’s: The glitz, the glamor, the gossip.

Some of us watch for what’s apparently on-trend in upcoming fashion seasons, some to see what certain celebrities’ new faces look like, and a marginally few even watch to support their favorite works of art or to bemoan which ones got good ol’ snubs:

What don’t we watch for?

Not one of us watches in hopes that Meryl Streep will share her stunning sociopolitical belief that Hollywood actors are in the marginalized segments of society… or that Clint Eastwood will start stumping for Trump in front of a chair (Right-wing or Left, STFU about your politics at entertainment award shows! It’s not a Nobel; thank your mama and get off the stage. Hold a press conference on your own time!). None of us watch, either, for our personal stake in the movies or shows getting showered with gold (quite literally). These televised ceremonies target viewers who have nil to do with the entertainment industry. All in all… we only watch because it’s a guilty pleasure, much like the Real Housewives of [insert city].

These broadcasts, year and year again, repeatedly show a willful ignorance of this fact. Instead, they opt for self-indulgence, not unlike our buddy King Lion here:

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Tom Hiddleston, is that you? 

3 Compelling Reasons Why the “Award” Part of Award Shows Need Not Be on TV:

1.  The lack of entertainment on a show celebrating entertainment:

We love Jimmy Fallon, but boy, did he fail Sunday at this whole hosting thing. Keeping with the theme of self-indulgence, Fallon opened with, in lieu of a raunchy, satirical monologue like his predecessors, a cutesy cold open that only those who have seen the film La La Land (which is 2% of Golden Globes viewers) will appreciate. The rest of the night was spent with him doing the intermittent ’80s hip-hop parody… because.

As someone who has watched the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, etc. with glee from a very young age, I have only noticed this pattern in adulthood: The shows that invite cynicism from the viewers (mainly due to boredom) are ones that provide little in the way of comedy and/or live performances.

The Oscars, while still managing to be way too long each year, at least sprinkle musical performances throughout the evening. The Tonys are very much a show in that their theatrical skits encapsulate the magic of what the night was meant to celebrate in the first place. Same can be said for the Grammys; each year, people tune in for their favorite artists’ performances of their latest and greatest, capitalizing on the Grammys’ huge production budget.

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Then there are “shows” like the Golden Globes and Emmys, which rely entirely on the talents of the host to eke by, praying for controversial moments that will end up talking points the following week. In the past, Ricky Gervais and the dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have buoyed the Globes with politically incorrect jokes taking direct aim at Hollywood inhabitants in the room, assuming the point of view of those at home. When we the viewers hear Tina and Amy joke about where Leonardo DiCaprio likes his supermodels or a tipsy Ricky Gervais demand Mel Gibson explain what sugar t*ts are, we feel included in the night. A part of the glamor and self-celebration.

2. The insufferably self-important speeches relevant to no one not in the industry:

Ok, Meryl, try to “empathize” with this:

On a show in which every movie star is decked out like a show pony and liquored up to the nines, someone suddenly taking a moment to preach their political views to the masses is not only being tone-deaf, but appearing to hijack the entire night’s spotlight for themselves.

Besides Meryl Streep, Tom Hiddleston also failed to get this memo (or just ignored it in true lack of self-awareness). Accepting his trophy for his role in AMC’s The Night Manager, Hiddleston also took home the win for Biggest Humblebrag of the Night. He told a long story about how, on a trip to South Sudan, a bunch of Doctors Without Borders had approached him and claimed they binge-watched his miniseries while working to lend help to the war-torn region. Hiddleston declared how moved he was by “the idea that we could provide some relief and entertainment for people who are fixing the world in the places where it is broken.”

Essentially, he patted himself on the back for lending entertainment to the people risking their lives helping the less fortunate in Sudan. Scandal star Joshua Malina summed it best when he tweeted:

“Thank you to Tom Hiddleston and all actors who dare to perform in projects that are shown in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.”

3. The Inevitable Technical Malfunctions:

Not all actors are blessed with the gift of improv, which is fine, except when the Teleprompter fails and they have nothing to read.

Every goddamn year, without fail, the Golden Globes has at least one instance of this. This year, it happened as soon as Jimmy Fallon made his way to the stage. What we, the entertain-ees, are left with, is a steaming pile of blushed cheeks and Fallon hemming and hawing. What is it with Dick Clark Productions and uncoordinated tech? Maybe Mariah Carey is onto something. Maybe DC Productions is not trying to purposely sabotage the poor souls on stage, and ruin the viewing experience for all, but one does wonder: Are they comfortably incompetent because they are passively chasing that “moment” in this age of instant viral social media?

The 3 positives from this year’s Globes?

People who still wanted to entertain… and Me:

Sofia Vergara:

Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig:

Blake Lively? She’s Been Slacking since Gossip Girl!

LIL GRIPES DASH

We watch the Golden Globes because it’s a guilty pleasure, much like the Real Housewives of [insert city]… Not one of us watches in hopes that Meryl Streep will share her stunning sociopolitical belief that Hollywood actors are in the marginalized segments of society… or that Clint Eastwood will start stumping for Trump.

LIL GRIPES DASH

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12 Days of Christmas: ON THE 10th DAY: RACIST CASTING OUTRAGE!

LIL GRIPES DASH

Friendly PSA: Adopt, don’t shop, a dog this holiday season.

LIL GRIPES DASH

Speaking of dogs… Hollywood has gone too far this time.

FIRST, they cast an Akita mix for the Jamie Foxx remake of Annie. Instead of the terrier-looking Sandy that has always been the titular orphan’s dog, Hollywood decided to do some progressive casting:

Annie and Sandy in the original movie and Broadway play:

Annie and Sandy and co. in the 2014 film remake:

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An Akita… Typical liberals.

THEN… Emerald City, NBC’s complete reimagining of the classic Wizard of Oz tale (coming in January), decided to throw out the entire rulebook and make Toto, Dorothy’s beloved Cairn Terrier, A GODDAMNED GERMAN SHEPHERD!

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#NotMyToto

A GERMAN SHEPHERD?! WHERE WILL THIS BLASPHEMY END?

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FILM: Why Would Sienna Miller be the Perfect Catwoman to Ben Affleck’s #Batman?

To be perfectly honest and modest, I should be the next Catwoman. But back to reality for a hot sec:

Now that the new DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has a well-received Batman in Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad) a.k.a…. Batfleck, our Dark Knight needs a kitty Cat(woman). Sienna Miller has expressed her interest in portraying the feline anti-hero. There has been no confirmation or denial about a Catwoman role in the upcoming The Batman solo venture (being written by Affleck himself), but aside from me, Sienna Miller is the no-brainer choice for Selina Kyle:

1. She is one of the most seriously underrated actresses in Hollywood, with her tabloid follies unfortunately eclipsing the due respect her thespian talents deserve: Sienna Miller on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Miller in “American Sniper”

After critically acclaimed roles in numerous indies, one supporting villainous role in G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and a few token turns as the “wife” in Oscar-nominated movies like American Sniper and Foxcatcher, THIS would be the big break she deserves.

2. She can rock the catsuit and the goggles…while kicking a–, as seen in G.I. Joe::

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LIL GRIPES DASH

[Sienna Miller is a seriously underrated actress], with her tabloid follies unfortunately eclipsing the due respect her thespian talents deserve.

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3. Blonde, brunette, pixie cut, shaggy bobs and long boho waves with bangs… She looks good in literally any hairstyle or hair color the role might throw at her:

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  • P.S. Cat eyeliner looks ready-made for her: sienna2.png

4. Miller already has history cooking up steam onscreen as Ben Affleck’s lover in the upcoming Prohibition-era crime drama Live by Night (directed by Affleck)… and since Miller’s voiced interest in working with Affleck again, they probably generated genuine chemistry:

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5. She was born to play the cool chick… and who’s the Ultimate Cool Chick if not Catwoman?

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Breasts, Superheroes, and the Contrast between Comic Books and Film/TV

FUN FRIDAY READ, Y’ALL: We all know that, in both comics and film and television, sexy female superheroes love to flaunt what they got.

LIL GRIPES DASH

We have just noticed that the comics sometimes take the sexy to new…buoyant heights? 🙂 See what we did? “Buoyant” because boobs. We are 12. Anyways, have fun:

LIL GRIPES DASH

5  HILARIOUS EXAMPLES OF BOOB OVERKILL: Comics v Film/TV

(click on images to enlarge)

1. Scarlet Witch

Marvel Comics

There have been so many creative iterations of the Scarlet Witch costume in the comics, but they all emphasize one…um, two, things 😉

Film

(Elizabeth Olsen: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War)

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2. Poison Ivy

DC Comics

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Film

(Uma Thurman: Batman & Robin)

The cinematic Poison Ivy, given Thurman’s frame as a former fashion model, chose to emphasize Poison’s psychedelically witchy hair rather than her breasts.

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3. Elektra

(comics v 2003’s Daredevil movie with Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios)

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How can a ninja have such gravity-defying boobs? It’s not optimal for aerodynamics!

Film

(Jennifer Garner: Elektra (left), Daredevil)

Netflix

(Élodie Yung: Daredevil)

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4. Rogue

Marvel Comics

Are her boobs maybe actually muscles?

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Film

(Anna Paquin: X-Men franchise)

5. Black Canary

DC Comics

TV

(Alaina Huffman: Smallville)

(Katie Cassidy: Arrow; The Flash)

We are still waiting for the inimitable Power Girl to be adapted to live-action TV or film:


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