3/29/12

Why I Can't Wait for The Black Widow in This Summer's "The Avengers"

Okay, aside from the fact that Joss Whedon is the master of cast chemistry and clever writing, aside from the fact that it means I get to see Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man grace the screen again and aside from the fact that I'm a monumental sucker for a superhero-filled summer blockbuster, there's another reason why I can't wait for "The Avengers". (Yes...marvel at the gigantic leading sentence. Marvel I say! See what I did there?)

I cannot wait to see Scarlett Johannson's portrayal of The Black Widow.

Everyone knows I have action heroine fever. (Don't look it up, it's not a diagnosable condition, just a raving fangirl obsession mode.) But I'm fickle. The portrayal of an action heroine, especially one that I know and love from a comic, has to be done just so.  It has to be respectful of the print character, though I don't demand that it sticks to it precisely. After all, comic books themselves are a genre that allows multiple universes and versions of any given character, so I go into a movie expecting variation. But there has to be a level of commitment from the actress to the director and it all has to flow from the writing.

If I sense for even a moment that they're just prancing a character out as eye candy for the male members of an audience, my eyes are rolling so far around in my head that it's painful.

In the last Iron Man movie, Johannson played The Black Widow exactly as I expected her to be. Tough. Human. And always slightly irritated at having to pretend that she's less awesome than she is. You know, it's easier to blend when you keep a lid on your sweet self-defense movies and knowledge of multiple languages. There wasn't enough of her as a character, but that's just one of the reasons why I can't wait to see her again in "The Avengers."

So here are my reasons why I can't wait to see this character back in action...

1. You have to respect her lack of superpowers. In the goosebump-inducing trailer, the camera circles the Avengers at one point and we see them all showing off their special skills. The Hulk rages, Captain America raises his shield, Iron Man preps his elite weapons and Thor wields his God's hammer. What does she do? She LOADS A HANDGUN. That's all she has. Fighting skills and a gun. She's the Batman of this team, lacking any kind of superpowers and still able to run with the big boys.

2. She's the only woman on the team. As if it weren't enough that she's the only one without some kind of extra special ability, she's also the only chick. Awesome.

3. The curves! One of the many reasons why I love this casting is that they chose a shorter woman known for her voluptuous figure. Though sometimes I laugh when people talk about her "curves", but I'm glad they chose an actress with a distinctly feminine silhouette. She's absolutely teeny tiny of course. I'm pretty sure she would look like an action figure if she stood next to me. But I'll take the womanly shape over the brittle boned-look of an actress starving herself to death any day of the week.

 I miss the Amazonian woman in the landscape of film and TV. Buffy was amazing, but tiny. (Not that there's anything wrong with that! But body shapes tend to go in and out of style, just like clothing or hairstyles. In the nineties, rail thin models like Kate Moss rules the world.)

In the comic world, it's not unusual to see a bulky lass running around and saving lives. You've got She-Hulk, you've got Wonder Woman. They're all svelte, but there's so much more wiggle room for body shape in comics. (Don't get me started on gratuitous cleavage...) There are so many body types in real life. And the teeny tiny skinny women of the world deserve to be represented too. But we all know there's not as many average to large sized women portrayed in the media as there should be. Again, I would hardly call Johannson's figure "average". She's absolutely stunning. I'm just saying...am I spending too much time talking about this? I am. Just, hooray for curves. That's all.

What gets you pumped up for The Avengers?




3/6/12

How to Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary, the Universal Orlando Way

I guess most couples want a romantic getaway for their wedding anniversary. They want to lounge on a beach or get away from it all. Camping, perhaps.

My husband and I decided to spend the entire day at Universal Orlando. Sure...we both work in theme park media. Sure, we only live twenty minutes away. But for these former Park Geeks, nothing says love like a day at the park. This is how we spent it....


I went running right to Marilyn after crossing those turnstiles. And as it turns out....


I really DO love Lucy. 

We hopped on the surprisingly peaceful E.T. Adventure, then the Men in Black ride. After that we headed to Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue. At which, Beetlejuice immediately picked me out of the audience and proceeded to sass and engage me through the whole show! I'm assuming this is a normal part of the show and that my mother's "how to get noticed in a theme park" technique paid off. 

Her technique? Wear really bright colors and big accessories. So I guess my fluorescent red dress and my Charles Nelson Reilly sunglasses finally paid off! 



All of the performers killed it that day...sorry. Bad pun. The Bride of Frankenstein in particular gave me goosebumps when she did a sweet rendition of "I Will Survive". 



This is my "I caught a shot of Sasquatch" picture of Beetlejuice during one of the many times he visited my husband and I. This is after he made Jake get up and leave so he could sit next to me...good times. Good times.


Then Jake was briefly distracted by this super awesome Wolf Man poster. 

Immediately after leaving Beetlejuice, we accidentally stumbled onto a Blues Brothers street show that was AMAZING. I may or may not have testified (You know, when you have to throw your hand up in the air and wave it back and forth like one of the gospel singers from "Hercules".) when the woman playing Mrs. Murphy started in with Aretha's "Think". Jake and I were so moved that we actually did the twist at one point. White people were dancing in the street everywhere you looked! It was mayhem...almost as bad as the time we cruised through Celebration on rented Segways. 


Nerds! And they're on Segways! Anyway...



Now, all of the theme parks in Orlando treat their guests really well. But we got some extra special treatment because of this shirt that Heather (guest blogger here and sister extraordinaire) bought for Jake. Everywhere we went, people would say, "Love your shirt." or "The Dude Abides man..." Dudeists of the world unite.


And of course, it wouldn't be a true blog without a "We tried to take this picture ourselves so the framing is kind of off" photo in front of Hogwarts. After which, there was a shared butterbeer, a trip through Jurassic Park, some rides in Suess Land and then the long, slow, arduous journey to the car.

And that's how you celebrate a wedding anniversary at Universal Orlando.