Tag Archives: superhero

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.

GAL DANCING AS WW GIF.gif

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:

NEWBabyDiana.gif

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

NEWDianaStepsUp.gif

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:

DianaTrains.gif

DianaTrains1.gif

Diana discovers a unique perk to her fashion accessories:

tumblr_ommctihiqU1uorz8zo2_r1_540.gif

tumblr_ommctihiqU1uorz8zo4_540.gif

NEWtrainingGauntlets.gifOh.

(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:

NEWlassowhip.gif

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:

Diana Watches Steve Crash.gif
Slaying that mermaid braid, Diana!

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

Diana Dives in easily to save STeve.gif

The inciting incident of the film:

Germans land chasing Steve after he discovers something.gif

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:

General Antiope rides.gif
General Antiope and co. ride

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

diana shocked at bullet

duck

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:

NEWDianaGearsUp.gif

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

DianaPetticoat1.gif
“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:

Diana Petticoat Smells Fake FLower.gif

sword.gif
How CUTE is Gal??

Meanwhile, people keep trying to kill poor Steve:

protecting Steve from gun

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:

A gas that can pierce gas masks.gif

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?)

NEWARESKickShowingISeeLondonIseeFrance.gif

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:

Diana throws horse carriage.gif

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:

NEWFancyFlying.gif

Smashes through Window.gif

THIS...IS..DIAANNAAA!.gif
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:

Protecting Steve from Gun PART 2.gif

NEWShieldBullet.gif

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

What Has Us Worried…

NEWGauntlets.gif

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.

wonder-woman-gal-gadot-photo-229093

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?

Steve is Diana's sidekick.gif

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.

Diana sheds her coat to reveal sexy back of costume.gif

img_7347-3

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.

untitled.png

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.

17076462_1877859492430324_1521079693128761344_n.jpg

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:

14448988_10154519144782790_2177122069517351451_n

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:

IMG_4484.JPG

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.

logan11.gif

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.

untitled.png

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.

source.gif

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.

dafne-keen.jpg

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.

5503104-7475642057-oct-2.gif

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.'”

Logan-1.jpg

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.

x-23-s-brutal-origin-is-revealed-in-logan.jpg

x-23-logan.gif
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.

410ec5c834f5620dd7e0deedf202477c596535a8_hq.gif
Isn’t this how all father-daughter time goes?

Aww…

logan-x-23-first-look-1022-206283.jpg

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

img_7347-3

The Coolest Weapons Female Superheroes Have

Boys love their toys, a time-honored adage to which all superhero mythology can attest.

Batman is literally a walking vigilante-toy store, what between the Batmobile and his Utility Belt. Green Lantern has a magical ring, Thor has that unpronounceable hammer of his, and Captain America’s got an indestructible shield. For all their ass-kicking powers, most prominent superheroines don’t get to play with as many fun gadgets and gizmos.

Captain Boomerang and Green Arrow are named for their famously nifty weapons, after all (to be fair, so is Katana). SuperGirl is 100 (1,000?) armies onto herself (if those armies had heat vision and indestructibility), Jean Grey moves things with her mind, and Scarlet Witch, well, can do anything (we mean, anything) with her mind.

Harley Quinn carries a mallet/baseball bat as pretty and crazy as she and Gamora of Guardians of the Galaxy packs as many knives as her assassin-friendly leather outfit will allow. But with the following extremely cool exceptions, it only takes a cursory look of the comics and their live-action TV/movie adaptations to realize female superheroes don’t get the geek-lusty toys the boys do:

1. ALL of Wonder Woman’s Accessories

Lasso of Truth? Invisible Plane? Bracelets of Submission? A sword called GOD KILLER? !  So… what do they all do?

Lasso of Truth: This golden, glowing Lasso compels whomever it’s bound around to tell the truth and obey the will of its wielder.

IMG_3152.PNG

3063588-8099718216-ww25p.jpg

LIL GRIPES DASH

Fun Fact: Originally belonging to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, the Lasso was intended by its creator, William Moulton Marston, as an allegory for the feminine wiles.

LIL GRIPES DASH

God Killer: Capable of killing the immortal, God Killer comes in handy especially to Wonder Woman as some of her biggest foes (Hades, Ares, etc.) are of the deity variety. A pretty standard stabby-looking sword, God Killer also possesses some measure of self-consciousness, to the point where it can alter its physical form to better suit its user’s needs. (e.g. It can grow heavier to faster move the wielder’s hand toward its victim)

Dress Sword.gif

wonderwoman-220210.jpg

Bracelets of Submission: Completely indestructible, they can absorb or deflect all kinds of projectile weaponry and what a badass name! Sure, a whole suit made of the same material may be even more useful but then Wonder Woman can’t do cool-looking moves like these:

wwnew.gif

IMG_8205.PNG

Invisible Plane: Way more practical than it sounds, Wondie’s invisible jet is actually an incredibly effectual advantage over enemies. Although Wonder Woman herself can fly, the jet provides protective shelter, unique onboard equipment (i.e. weaponry), and, obviously, invisibility for Wonder Woman and itself as they move silently in stealth mode.

untitled.png
This drawing is misleading, as Wonder Woman herself would be invisible to anyone outside the plane.

Fun fact most people don’t know about the plane: It is psychically connected to Wonder Woman and her tiara. She can remotely control/pilot the plane through her tiara, rendering the headdress another weapon in her extensive arsenal.

untitled456.png

2. Black Widow’s Gauntlets

BWHeader.jpg

After Wonder Woman, any other super-female’s weapons are going to pale in comparison, but they still rank high on the badassery scale, like Black Widow’s gauntlets. Criminally underused in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), these gauntlets pack the exact technology that lends Black Widow her code name… She’s known for her sting. Their full capacities in the comics:

  • Widow’s Line – Retractable grappling hook and cable connected to the gauntlets, mostly used for rooftop gliding, rappelling and climbing up steep cliffs and hills.
  • Widow’s Kiss – An aerosol instant knock-out drug, pioneered by Russian Spetsnaz. When used, it appears to be purplish pink fumes that can knock out a person for more than twenty hours.
  • Widow’s Bite – A high-frequency electrostatic charge that also act as percussive energy blasts, the effects of which can be felt for at least a month. It can deliver charges up to 30,000 volts. The “Bite” can be set to deliver minor shocks with stunning or lethal high voltage currents.

This is most similar to what we see with the MCU Black Widow:

tumblr_inline_o5ld8uzwhn1th0da0_500

Black_Widow_01.gif

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw her use batons mimicking the gauntlets’ bite:

5298211-mcu+aou+black+widow+draws+her+electrified+sticks.gif

  • Explosives – Explosives like grenades are stored in the gauntlet.
  • Tear Gas Pellets – There is also tear in the gauntlet that can cause blindness when released. It can also render the opponent unconscious.
  • Radio Transmitter – This enables Widow to lock onto a target and track its every move. If placed on a moving vehicle like a car or bike, it enables Widow to track down its location.

It is too bad that, in the MCU, her gauntlets just deliver electrocuting shocks. I know, just electrocuting shocks. Meh! At least she also has her guns, pepper spray… and an incredibly lethal body:

tumblrinlinene699timig1r36c5t1457875385843.gif

5107901-5463061125-50674.gif

3. Medusa’s Hair

3.jpg

Yes, hair as a weapon. Believe it or not, the ability to mentally manipulate one’s hair at will is called something: Trichokinesis. Medusalith Amaquelin-Boltagon, Queen of the Inhuman Royal Family, can control the rate of growth and movement of each strand of her tougher-than-steel hair individually. Each strand of her hair has far greater tensile strength, elasticity and durability than an iron wire of the same thickness. Among the ways she can weaponize her hair:

  • Snap it like a whip at a rate faster than the speed of sound
  • Bind enemies or objects as if it were rope or to lift them (The weight is supported by the psionic force coursing through her hair, not by her skull, neck, or scalp. Hence, why Medusa’s hair is more an accessory than a part of her body)
  • Rotate it in a fan-like manner
  • Pick locks, type or write with a pen if her hands aren’t free, etc.

86531069739ea54a98ea1b3efce992de.jpg

She maintains control over her hair even if it is cut from her head. Also, due to all hair’s lack of nerves, Medusa cannot be harmed by attacks on her hair but she can “feel” sensations on it through its psionic field.

3330801-medusa002.jpg
Medusa ties up the Fantastic Four

OK… that’s a lot of sci-fi geeking out.

4. Psylocke’s sword

Wq1FI1K.gif

Psylocke’s katana looks just like any other katana, except it is 100% psychically conjured. See, Psylocke, being a powerful telepath, can kill or harm her enemies in a vast variety of creative ways but ever since swapping bodies with a Japanese ninja, she chooses to fight up-close with a conjured blade.

x-men-apocalypse-1778x1000-psylocke-katana-best-movies-10899.jpg

257n13p.gif

5. Witchblade

06myh7c3m5a4hyc0.jpg

A list of the greatest female-wielded super-weapons would be remiss if it didn’t include The Witchblade. An offspring of the “primal forces in the universe,” The Darkness and The Angelus, it usually manifests as a metal gauntlet and, being male in nature, apparently only seeks out female hosts. Most famous among the hosts was the live-action adaptation of Sara Pezzini, a NYPD homicide detective. Armed with the Witchblade, it allowed her to:

  • transform the gauntlet into a bladed weapon, chain, hook, shield or full-body suit of armor if need be or a discreet bracelet when inert
  • generate wings so she can fly
  • shoot energy blasts
  • fire projectile darts or whip-like grapples to attack or to climb
  • heal wounds on her own, including mortal ones
  • reanimate the dead
  • empathically show her scenes of great trauma and relive the experiences of past wielders as dreams
  • damage incorporeal beings
  • slay other-dimensional entities and deities

Which of these (sets of) weapons would you most want to rock?

img_7347-3

 

 

 

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.

AS-FP-0171[1].jpg
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::

khpQRuTaYYQVuTL_pcRvl_241.gif

LIL GRIPES DASH

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

LIL GRIPES DASH

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:

screen-shot-2016-03-22-at-21-46-52

  • 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:

ben-sienna-kissing-27nov15-01.jpg

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

giphy.gif

2b867f18b93890a430a88b19009feec6.gif

tumblr_inline_nb7yoo1Y3d1r6xb6e.gif

34b977d360aad84c198410820f10ef7f.gif

 

img_7347-3

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)

SW4.jpg

2. Poison Ivy

DC Comics

p16

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.

pi2

pi

3. Elektra

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

Marvel Comics

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)

elektragif

4. Rogue

Marvel Comics

Are her boobs maybe actually muscles?

2016-12-02 (2).png

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:


powergirl

img_7347-3

 

 

VIDEO: “PUDDIN…” My Harley Quinn Impressions

LIL GRIPES DASH

I finally watched “Suicide Squad”… and I caught the acting bug… well, to play one character: Harley Quinn a.k.a. Harleen Frances Quinzel (guess the MD suffix no longer is valid). LIL GRIPES DASH

Margot Robbie was, forgive the redundancy, ROBBED of her due screen-time. Harley Quinn is not a stoic supervillain. Harley Quinn chews the scenery. Harley Quinn is the show.

Now, all I need is bleach-blonde hair and some pink and blue lowlights.

AND that “Lucky You” tattoo above her… happy place. 😉

PJEV8645.jpg

img_7347-3

 

WHO WORE IT BEST? The 3 Best and Worst Movie/TV Superheroine Costumes

*click to enlarge collage images

1. Wonder Woman

BEST: GAL GADOT, Batman v Superman (2016), Wonder Woman (2017)

Even the sad skinny-shamers who feared Gal Gadot would not fulfill the buxom legacy of Lynda Carter given her lithe and lanky frame were blown away by her ferociously sensuous poses in her full WW armor. Diana/Wonder Woman’s specific brand of sexy is defined not by cup size, but by her statuesque frame (√) , angelic facial features befitting those of a princess (√), and jet-black mane of perfectly tussled loose curls (√). Oh, and her supernatural combat skills (√√√). The naysayers shut themselves up once they saw Gadot in action sequences like these:

WORST: ADRIANNE PALICKI, Wonder Woman (2011)

Thank ZEUS this unholy mix of latex and primary colors never made it past a pilot episode. True, it almost exactly resembles recent DC Comics’ artwork of Wonder Woman, but:

A) an armored breastplate and a sword/shield combo slung over WW’s shoulder is better-suited than cheap-looking rubber for a warrior princess (yes, Gadot’s WW costume looks very similar to that Xena’s. So what? They are both female warriors with stories tied deeply to ancient Greek mythology.)

and B) … does Superman run around in red underwear anymore? Answer: not since Dean Cain in 1993. Does Batman’s suit have nipples? Answer: Not since…let’s never bring it up again. How are we supposed to take Wonder Woman, one of the mightiest protagonists in the comics, seriously when her lasso looks like it’s made of tinsel and her corset seems to be a leftover top from someone’s “Slutty Nurse” Halloween costume? And, oh, her boots… They look like ones you would find at Payless upon which someone spray-painted a tarty layer of firetruck red.

LIL GRIPES DASH

“Thank ZEUS this unholy mix of latex and primary colors never made it past a pilot episode.”

Shame on you, the fashion-school dropouts behind Adrianne Palicki’s costume… The character and the actress both deserved better.

LIL GRIPES DASH

2. Catwoman

BEST: ANNE HATHAWAY, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

By the final film of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, we as moviegoers have learned to trust his creative judgment when it came to the DC-verse. That trust was reinforced stronger than ever by Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman costume. Catwoman’s costume has always been inherently seductive, with the all-black palette and requisitely skintight silhouette. We have seen many iterations of this facet in the comics and on the big and small screens, but Hathaway’s was the first in live-action to not only be sexy but extremely utile.

Her cat ears? They’re actually CONVERTIBLE GOGGLES! Protective glasses for when she’s racing that SICK ride of hers, along with a sensibly windproof leather jumper, utility belt and moto boots:

The Next-Gen bike for Catwoman is also not a random accessory tossed in to accentuate how high this film’s budget sat ($230 million, to be exact). Her new thrill ride enabled Selina Kyle the added bonus of luxuriating in a feline-on-all-fours stance often and very prominently. Hathaway (and her stunt double)’s backside and long legs were thus filmed to subtly play upon the character’s innate catlike qualities… without her having to make hissing noises every five minutes:

selina-cycle-323anne-hathaway-catwoman-batman-the-dark-knight-rises-selina-kyle-720p-wallpaper

Honorable Mentions go to the 3 Catwomen of Batman, the 1960s Adam West small-screen vehicle:

For the time’s limitations, these three looks nailed the sex appeal of Catwoman without committing overkill:

099dc2f4c118e2d0f0aabd6bd2a820ff.jpg

For my Cat-and-Dog ensemble costume this Halloween with my poodle, I was instantly inspired by Julie Newmar (far left). Her ears. Her jumpsuit’s cowl neck. All it took for me to feel like her Catwoman was a pair of black leggings, a sleek Max Azria turtleneck and a homemade cat-ear headband:

WORST: HALLE BERRY, Catwoman (2008)

Catwoman_(Halle_Berry)_3.jpg

The photos speak for themselves. Halle Berry’s standalone venture displayed a complete lack of regard for its source material and a general lack of respect for direction as a motion picture. This main flaw was evident down to the catsuit. According to the film’s Oscar-winning costume designer, Catwoman’s wardrobe was intentionally cut down to dramatic shreds to juxtapose the protagonist’s “demure and repressed” past life with her sexually awakened “warrior goddess” existence after her supernatural encounter.

Okay… It doesn’t take a movie connoisseur to realize cinematic symbolism requires more than taking scissors to a character’s shirt and pants. Also, none of what Halle wears in “Catwoman mode” was even foreshadowed beforehand in the movie. Nor does any of it make sense. Sure, it kinda does if you suddenly had the urge to look like a human cat.

Why the shreds on her pants? Why open-toed heels? Why the weird X-belt contraption across her naked belly??? We appreciate artistic license and all, but a superhero’s costume is integral to the origin story and, therefore, must follow some set of logic.

Yes, she gets a random whip to accessorize.

LIL GRIPES DASH

“We appreciate artistic license, but a superhero’s costume is integral to the origin story and, therefore, must follow some set of logic.”

LIL GRIPES DASH

3. Storm

BEST: ALEXANDRA SHIPP, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

It is too often the sad truth that we naturally do better on the second try. It is also a sad coincidence that we are bashing poor Halle Berry’s clothes for the second time in a row. Shipp’s Storm costume and hairdo simply embraced the fieriness and regality of the Ororo Munroe character much better than her predecessor’s did. tumblr_o46ro9fu5z1tt6s82o5_540.gif

The X-Men movies, including Apocalypse, never did the Storm character justice, but out of the two live-action adaptations, Shipp’s came closest. Lest we forget, Storm was the daughter of a Kenyan tribal princess. As a member of the X-Men, she was depicting wearing a tiara and a costume with a ruby and lightning bolt motif.

Shipp’s side-swept Mohawk mimics the tiara effect and the silver streaks down the front of her corset resemble lightning bolts. She also rocks the same gauntlets along her bare arms the way Storm did on comic book pages.

stormxmen-148464

X-Men-Apocalypse-Storm.jpgstormbar.jpg

WORST: HALLE BERRY, all the other X-Men movies (starting in 2000)

Was Halle Berry auditioning to be the fourth (fifth?) member of Destiny’s Child in these movies? (Remember, it was the early 00’s). With an orange spray-tan and an unflatteringly silvery-white wig with lowlights to (un)match throughout the movies, she seemed less dressed to imitate a potent, regal mutant and more to rejuvenate Berry’s appearance in front of the Britney-crazed teeny-bopper moviegoers running rampant at the time.

9075282_1280x720.jpg
Berry’s Storm look only began resembling hers in the comics in X-Men: Days of Future Past (far right)… a.k.a. spoiler… the one in which she dies.

Even compared to her fellow female X-Men in the casts, she always looked like the one pre-packaged most to look like a pop star rather than a superhero:dd5185ece2449e36e324cedea582e1cf.jpg

LIL GRIPES DASH“Was Halle Berry auditioning to be the fourth (fifth?) member of Destiny’s Child in the X-Men movies?”

LIL GRIPES DASH

img_7347-3


VIDEO: Lil Asks “Can Captain America become morbidly obese?” and other Qs

LIL GRIPES DASH

Via submitted fan videos (…from Lil), Lil asks underrated questions about DC’s The Flash, Marvel’s Captain America and AMC’s/Image Comics’ The Walking Dead.

LIL GRIPES DASH

We saw an older Flash played by John Wesley Shipp on last season’s The Flash finale. That made me wonder: Would an older speedster like a 70 year-old Jay Garrick be necessarily slower and/or weaker than a 25 year-old Barry Allen?

Do speedsters age? Obviously, they do in the Greg Berlanti DC-verse because John Wesley Shipp was meant to look his age–a very handsome 61! If so, how much slower than normal humans do speedsters age, if they age differently at all?

LIL GRIPES DASH

RUN ON THAT.

LIL GRIPES DASH

Captain America is just a regular human being at the peak of human regenerative, athletic, and physical capabilities. Causal movie-goers may not know this very important detail but he is, in fact, not a “super”-hero, not technically. So yes, Cap CAN get super-super chunky if he chose to give up crime-fighting and just binge Netflix for a living while exclusively eating Chipotle for the rest of his life.

The question is: How long would that take?

  1. How long would it take Captain America to lose his six-pack (or twelve-pack, really) and acquire a dad body?
  2. And how long before his incredible metabolic rate can’t prevent him from tipping the scales toward a verdict of “morbidly obese”?

LIL GRIPES DASH

“How long would it take Captain America to acquire a Dad Body?”

LIL GRIPES DASH

Which pop and/or movie stars do you think survived the Walker Apocalypse in the universe of “The Walking Dead?”

When I say “stars,” I don’t mean celebrities like Bear Grylls or Dave Salmoni. I mean specifically singers and actors like Beyoncé, Eminem, Tom Cruise, and Jamie Foxx. The artists.

Still, let’s keep in mind that a lot of these superstars came from humble and often-rough beginnings. It might not take as long for them to revert back to basic survivalist instincts as you would think for someone with so-called “champagne problems.”

img_7347-3

Superhero Race and Gender Changes: The Un-Whitewashing Of Geek Culture

*SIGH* Let me begin by stating that I so wish people weren’t this obsessed with race. We don’t need to inject race into discussions where it doesn’t belong, but nevertheless, racial controversy has bled over into conversations about nerd-centric movies and TV shows. This applies to gender in equal measure. So… let’s do this.

INSTEAD OF throwing a collective hissy fit when a Hollywood star who happens to be Caucasian is cast in the role of a canonically non-white character, we should be acknowledging and cheering on the increasingly diverse casting that is happening in Superhero (and general Geek Culture)-Land as of late. Progress is happening, but people have a tendency to focus on the negative and controversial rather than all the good.

McWfvZbXn54l.jpg
Lucy Liu’s v Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson

For example, when Tilda Swinton was cast as the Tibetan sorcerer Ancient One in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, people flipped out. For every “Ancient One casting,” however, there seems to be double the instance of reverse whitewashing (colorwashing? brown-washing?) and gender-reversing (see: 2016’s Ghostbusters) going around…

LIL GRIPES DASH

“Progress is happening, but people focus on the negative rather than all the good.”

LIL GRIPES DASH

Let’s roll the reel, shall we?

15 Recent High-Profile Examples:

1. The Ancient One (portrayed by Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange, 2016)

CHANGE: Asian Male White Female

650x650_a03e728f7ccaa4cc83840649b13ce19277edfcbce77a3ac9b2c77796.jpg

Yes, let’s start here. Everyone complains about white male hegemony (a.k.a. “The Man”) but the fact that they cast Tilda Swinton, an actress acclaimed for her daringly androgynous roles, as a powerful male sorcerer is actually quite forward-thinking. Tilda may be “white,” but the Ancient One is one of the most powerful entities in Marvel comics. He is a teacher to many fellow superheroes and without him, Stephen Strange would not have become the Sorcerer Supreme. They chose to endow his skill set and title upon a female. Funny how this is never brought up amidst the controversial cloud that looms over this casting choice, but that is incredibly socially inclusive and progressive.

2. Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot (portrayed by Will Smith in Suicide Squad, 2016)

CHANGE: White MaleBlack Male

3. Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake (portrayed by Chloe Bennet on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 2013-present)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒  Asian Female

4712006-skyequake

This is not a colorblind case of a minority actress being repackaged as an all-white character. Actress Chloe Bennet is half-Chinese and half-Caucasian in real life, but Daisy Johnson is 100% white in the comics. They rewrote her character for the TV adaptation so that the actress’ Chinese lineage played a major factor in Daisy’s own identity. As the earthshaking superhero, her powers apparently originate from her Inhuman Chinese mother, who was a major villain in the second half of season 3.

4. Elektra Natchios (portrayed by Élodie Yung and Lily Chee in Daredevil, 2016)

CHANGE: White Female  Asian Female

Elektra%20Casting%2001

Young Elektra (Lily Chee) on the show:

One of the most iconic female anti-heroes in Marvel Comics history, Elektra Natchios, the main love interest of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, has always been closely affiliated with her Greek lineage. Well, in the Netflix adaptation of Daredevil, they finally switched her character’s heritage up. This time, she’s a woman of indeterminate Asiatic descent who was adopted by a Greek diplomat at a young age. One can’t help but think this change was to accommodate the actress’ actual half-Cambodian ethnic makeup.

5. Iris and Joe West (portrayed by Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin respectively on The Flash, 2014-present)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

Comics ‘ Iris West v The CW’s Iris West

Comics’ Joe West v The CW’s Joe West

Many were initially shocked at the momentous casting of Barry Allen/The Flash’s love interest and her father/his foster father as African-Americans. While race had little-to-no impact on their characters’ context, this was major cause for celebration of racial inclusion because of Iris’ major role in Barry’s life. She is his Lois Lane and she has never been depicted or portrayed as anything but Caucasian before this version. Even the most cynical of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) should be loudly applauding this moment in pop culture history.

6. Iris West (portrayed by Kiersey Clemons in Justice League [2017] and The Flash [2018])

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

So nice they did it twice! While Warner Bros. turned their back on Grant Gustin from the CW’s The Flash for the titular speedster big-screen role, they adopted the TV adaptation’s idea of casting Iris West as a young black woman.

The CW’s Iris West and the DCEU’s Iris West:

hqdefault

7. Perry White (portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in Man of Steel [2013] and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016])

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

tumblr_lpcl34GAaR1qbujox
Perry White through the years, from inception to present

8. Johnny Storm a.k.a. The Human Torch (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan in FANT4STIC, 2015)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

Michael-B-Jordan-
Michael B. Jordan cast as the classically blonde superhero
12224286_1095252203820835_1048902631_n
Chris Evans as Johnny in 2004 v Michael B. Jordan in 2015

9. Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man [2008], Iron Man 2 [2010], Captain America: The First Avenger [2011], The Avengers [2012], Captain America: Winter Soldier [2014], Avengers: Age of Ultron [2015],  and on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [2013-present])

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

People forget this part of David Hasseloff’s career but he played Nick Fury in 1998’s Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

when-will-marvel-fans-get-a-nick-fury-stand-alone-origin-movie-775688

As the mean-mugging, no-bullshit director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and creator of the Avengers Initiative, Nick has been quite the prolific glorified superhero babysitter ;-P

10. Jimmy Olsen (portrayed by Mechad Brooks on Supergirl, 2015-present)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

brooksasolsen_header

jimmyolsentitle-141684
Jimmy Olsen in live-action chronological order, past-present

Not only is this the first non-white Jimmy Olsen, it’s also the first time we’ve seen Superman’s photographer BFF look like a buff leading man instead of a scrawny, goofy sidekick.

Again, SJWs, not only did they change an iconic protagonist from white to black, they made him pinup-worthy… and Supergirl’s love interest. In fact, the actor’s second-billed on IMDB as the leading man to Melissa Benoist’s Kara Zor-El.

11. Dr. John (now Joan) Watson (portrayed by Lucy Liu on Elementary, 2012-present)

CHANGE: White Male ⇒ Asian Female

tumblr_mcyew5hyHm1r6mt8go2_500.png
Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson on Elementary and Jude Law/Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson

The classic “Elementary, My dear Watson” line now refers to an Asian-American female instead of a British male war veteran. The fact that the show has been a continued hit for CBS for four years now and little raucous has been raised over this double-identity swap suggests the public is readier than most think for gender and race-bending entertainment.

12. Nikita (portrayed by Maggie Q on Nikita, 2010-2013)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Asian Female

Maggie Q as Nikita, the first Asian lead ever on a broadcast drama series:

Three previous incarnations of Nikita before the CW series:

La Femme Nikita has been a story told many times and many ways with many different starlets. The CW took a big-but-calculated risk casting this screen icon as anything other than Caucasian for the first time. Despite a decidedly shitty timeslot (Fridays at primetime), it amassed a huge cult following and excellent critical raves for its four seasons. Moreover, it made Maggie Q, previously known for being a model-turned-action star in Asia, an easily recognizable name and face in the American conscious.

13. Mercedes Graves (portrayed by Tao Okamoto in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Asian Female

IMG_7338
Various animated and live-action versions of Mercedes Graves

This change may feel merely ornamental at first blush. However, Mercedes (“Mercy” as Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor fondly called her) is canonically not just a cog in Luthor’s evil entourage, but his most trusted advisor and personal assistant (and sometimes bodyguard/chauffeur). Mercy has caused Superman and Lois Lane a lot of grief due to her unwavering loyalty to Lex. The appearance of Mercedes in the film was a delightful Easter Egg find for comics fans and having her look Asian is majorly indicative of mass media’s increasing acceptance of all.

14. Valkyrie (portrayed by Tessa Thompson in Thor: Raganorak, 2017)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

untitledTessa-Thompson-Valkyrie

An iconic superheroine based in Norse mythology is being played by an African-American actress? Her character also will be playing Thor’s new love interest (He’s ditched little Ms. Natalie Portman apparently). What a great time to be alive! Run the streets streaking in pure ecstasy!

15. Mary Jane Watson (portrayed by Zendaya Coleman in Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

ZendayaMaryJane-696x371

This is, perhaps, the biggest race swap in geek film and TV history. Spider-Man is Marvel Comics’ most popular superhero by far and Mary Jane one of its most endearing love interests. Mary Jane’s race is not integral at all to her character, but devoted fans may take umbrage with the discrepancy between the image of her in their minds and their beloved comics and the one on the big screen.

NEzqnWwuhHxWDD_2_b

LIL GRIPES DASH

They’ll go along for the ride, though, and accept the change that has come… Because change has come. Significant progress has been made in diversity in La La Land and it would be foolish to complain about a few perceived slights and not proudly laud the bold steps Hollywood has taken forward. It’s a brave new world, folks. Accept it. Love it…

CELEBRATE PROGRESS WHEN IT HAPPENS.

LIL GRIPES DASH

img_7347-3