Tag: Avengers

My Thoughts on AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Once should have been enough because twice was too much. If someone asked me to, I’d go see it a third time. Yes, I’m talking about AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

This post contains my review. It includes spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film, stop reading right now.

I don’t want to ruin the experience for you. The story is intense, and it starts in the middle of the action right where THOR: RAGNAROK ends.

***SPOILERS BEGIN NOW*** Consider yourself doubly-warned.

There will be the death of two people in that first scene. You might mourn them. You might not. But no matter what happens with the Time Stone, I think these individuals aren’t coming back.

Image belongs to digital spy UK

Time Stone, did I say? Yes, this is the glowing green thing Dr. Strange wears around his neck. The thing he’s sworn to protect at any cost.
I recommend watching that movie if you want to get more back story. It might just make you want to pop his head like an irritating pimple.

Image belongs to pop inquirer

“Why doesn’t he use the Time Stone?” I’m sure I thought this several times.

What I Liked
One of the things I love is the repartee of dialog between the characters. Even though Iron Man is far from my favorite, I enjoy the byplay he has with all the other characters. And Spiderman is funny too.

I enjoyed the constant action. We learned what the stakes were at the very beginning and every scene showed either the villain or the Avengers moving toward completing or stopping the collection of the infinity stones.

The story was well-executed. I was engaged and on the edge of my seat from the very first scene.
What I Disliked (and could have been handled differently)
Thanos isn’t a true villain.
Oh, he is driven and determined and maybe a little warped, but he believes in his cause as much as the Avengers believe in theirs.

I’m not a fan of relatable and sympathetic villains. I know they’re the “in” thing, but I want to hate the bad guy. I want to see them get justice in the end.

Thanos still had some things against him:

  • Gomorrah hated him. If she had been with him for more than half her life and she didn’t believe he loved her, how was he supposed to convince me he did by shedding some tears when he has to sacrifice her? Was she the unreliable narrator?
  • Thanos never convinced ME that his cause was right. What spurred him to promote himself to the position of God and decide that half the people in the universe needed to die? Because Titan didn’t listen to him and it perished?

I’m sorry, but that is NOT a reason to believe you should murder half the people in the universe and proclaim yourself their savior. That’s taking things to the extreme.

“You’ll never be a god,” Loki tells Thanos.

But Thanos believes he already is. A self-made god. And why not? No one can keep him from what he wants.
And how did he learn about the infinity stones? How did he know to put them into a gauntlet?

What I Disliked – But was Necessary

People died in the first scene.

One of them was someone I learned to really like in THOR: RAGNAROK. This is war, so I knew there would be casualties.
I didn’t like that the team had to be separated for most of the movie (and Stark’s little group for all of it). I know it’s a big universe and things were happening everywhere, since somehow Thanos could transport himself where he wanted in a near instant (what stone helped him do that?)
Cap had a beard. Yes, he’s been in hiding for two years, but he could have shaved once he faced the Secretary. He wasn’t on the run anymore, then.
That Dr. Strange had the time stone and he could have turned back time as easily as Thanos did when Wanda destroyed the mind stone. But he didn’t.


All I can say, is that whatever single future he saw where the Avengers won must have involved him turning the stone over to Thanos. Or Stark saving the day (and I hope it’s not that one). That’s the only thing that makes sense. Will we even discover why he made that dumb move?

What Made Me Cry (the first time)

Gomorrah’s death, which surprised me since I didn’t really connect very much with the Guardians crew. Those movies were very “blah” and “meh” for me. Although the soundtracks were rocking.

Vision’s death. Let’s face it, the trailer shows him practically losing the mind stone, so I was sure he was going to die. But they made him last for so long. It might have been that Wanda had to destroy the stone that made it the hardest.

What I Hope Happens Next

For the Avengers to take the gauntlet and bring everyone back. I’m not sure when they should turn time back to, maybe just to that moment Peter Quill lost it and ruined the plan to get the glove from Thanos.

That would still leave a few people dead. Is that a price I can accept?

Apparently, there’s a new hero in the wings. She’s going to be the one who saves the day.

I prefer a team effort. That’s one of the reasons the Avengers appeals to me (and I was hoping Justice League might as well).

No matter how strong you are on your own, you’re always stronger with someone else fighting beside you. This is one of my favorite themes.

I’m still a little stunned at all the ash that filled the big screen. It feels like the Avengers have been defeated, and they lost more than half their team in the process.

This is why I can’t say I liked the film. I enjoyed it. I will watch it again and will add it to my DVD collection when the time comes.

But I look forward to all this destruction being reversed. Why not turn time back and let Thanos save Titan? Why didn’t he just go for the time stone so he could do that in the first place?
Let him have his happily ever after and strand him on his planet so he lets us have ours, too.
Did you like the movie? What things didn’t you like about it? What do you hope happens next?

Why don’t Immortals have Immortality?

By rights, immortals should possess immortality. Instead, those ”immortals” portrayed in literature and film appear to have conditional immortality.

Immortality means living forever, not able to die and not possessing mortality. By definition, an immortal is not liable or subject to death.

But in books and movies, immortals are killed. Regularly and with gory, indiscriminate relish. This confuses my sensibilities. It’s a contradiction. An impossibility, if the meaning of immortality is to be unscathed.

My husband’s answer to this conundrum: They’re immortal until someone kills them.

Highlander

This is the first example that comes to mind even though I have not seen this movie for many years.

A Highlander was immortal and would live perpetually throughout time. Unless someone cut off his head.

If another Highlander did this, he would inherit the power. What power? A larger target on his back for other “immortals” who wanted it for themselves?

If you will live forever, what else could you want?

You will accumulate wealth and possessions. You might be worshiped as a deity (since the dictionary defines an immortal as one of the gods of mythology).

To what end? If you can be killed, do you sleep with one eye open? Or do you get sick of the endlessness of life and seek out someone to curse with the “gift” of outliving anyone you might love or befriend? Unless they are also immortal.

This is false immortality. If you have unending life, no one and nothing can end it. Duh, it wouldn’t be unending if anything could end it.

Christianity

One reason this contradiction bothers me (other than the word doesn’t seem to actually mean what we say/think it does) is that it muddies the waters of theology. Most religions offer up a version of immortality to its followers.

I ascribe to the doctrines of Christianity (as presented in the King James Version of the Bible, not those taught by organized religions who claim the name of Christianity).

According to the Holy Bible, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die a substitutionary death for all mortals born on Earth. If these mortals, accepted this blood price through confessing and repenting of their natural unrighteous tendencies and believed this death could pay their blood debt,debts will be granted eternal life.

Immortality would be a gift from the pre-existing, all-sufficient Creator of their universe. Namely the Source of life would extend life to them

It’s understood that this immortality isn’t for the mortal flesh but for the eternal soul and consciousness of the believer. This flesh is cursed (as is the Earth), but once the timeline for the body is completed, the believer’s spiritual half steps through the curtain of death and inhabits a new, immortal (undying and unkillable) body that isn’t affected by the original curse.

With all the conflicting reports of immortals dying and immortality being conditional, the clear waters of God’s promised “everlasting life” is tainted, misunderstood and cheapened.

And that’s sad. Because this promise is the foundational hope of faith.

My Perplexity

In this era when new words are invented and accepted into the English language annually, why doesn’t someone construct a work that more accurately reflects the conditional mortality presented as immortality in the genre of fantasy?

Semimortal would work. This means they are half prone to death and half undying. Isn’t this the case for the “immortal” Highlanders, elves, Roman-Greco deities and the like? If allowed to live out their normal lifespan, they will live forever. The only way they can die is through murder or purposeful wounding.

Quasi-immortal is another possibility. It seems like they will live forever. They have the potential to never die. But they’re perfectly killable—whether by specific mystical means or only with certain weapons or on certain days.

In a fantasy series I wrote four years ago, I had immortal elves and dragons. In the second book, I killed an elf. So he wasn’t truly immortal, right?

Wrong. His mortal body was killed. Once his essence was transported back to Astrya (the first realm and homeland of the Creator and Sustainer deities), his body would be regenerated. He would live again, carrying memories of his physical death but not of his time as pure life essence.

It seems to me this may be the same sort of death those afflicted by the Infinity Gauntlet in the recent AVENGERS film may have experienced. If someone else wields the gauntlet, it could be used to reverse the destruction of one-third of all living things in the universe.

What is your thought on the misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the purest definition of immortality?

INFINITY WAR Aftershock

This girl is an Avengers fan (as far as the Marvel movie universe goes, anyway). So, I’ve been counting down the days until I could see the latest film.

Some people I know and love went to see it on opening night. Two of them were actually going to the movies with me and my husband when we saw it two days later.

But I can’t blame people for being excited. I did the same thing with the Wonder Woman film last summer.

Here’s some non-spoiler things they said about the movie:

SON: Have you seen THOR RAGNAROK?

ME: Yep. Twice. Cracks me up every time.

SON: It starts right where that one left off (if you stayed to watch the after-credits scene).

ME: I know some people are going to die.

DAUGHTER: Yeah, I even cried.

ME: (Gulps) As long as Cap doesn’t die…

DAUGHTER: Yeah. You’re not going to like it.

WHAT! I was totally worried they were going to kill off Captain America after that tidbit.

A later conversation with someone who hadn’t seen the movie yet. He just happens to be a comic book reader (more power to him, but comic books give me a headache.) I want words. Or I want pictures.

ME: So what happens in the comic book.

NEPHEW: Thanos wins.

ME: Well, that’s not right. What about the Avengers?

NEPHEW: Everybody dies.

HELP! I’m drowning in suspenseful dread at this point.

Just to confirm that I wouldn’t throw something in the theater or leave screaming, I had another conversation with my kids who’d already seen the story.

ME: Is there at least a complete story?

SON: *pauses to think* Yeah. It’s not a cliffhanger ending, but you know there has to be more coming.

ME: Then whose story is it.

DAUGHTER: Everyone’s.

ME: No. That’s not the way it works. If you had to pick someone, whose story would it be.

SON: Thanos

ME: (inside my head) ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’M NOT PAYING TO GO SEE SOME VILLAIN’S STORY.

DAUGHTER: Yeah, but it’s kind of Thor’s story, too.

ME: (sighs in relief)

And then we showed up at the theater at 6:30 pm on Sunday for our 7:00 showing of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

I was ready for this. I’d been counting down the days. There’s no way I was going to let a few cryptic remarks get me down.

After 20 minutes of previews ( I wish I was joking about this), I’m about ready to march up to the tech booth (or whatever it’s called) and force the movie to start.

After watching the movie, there are still TWO I don’t get.

Two hours later, I’m speechless. Shocked. Stunned. Unsure how to even comprehend what the Marvel writers were thinking.

It’s the morning after now. I’m still contemplating the ramifications of this film. 

A review will come on this very blog later. But first, I need to watch the movie again and decide if I like it or not.

Have you seen it? Did you like it? Only non-spoiler comments in response to these questions please–and thank you.

Wonder Woman Stops Terrorists

Our world needs superheroes. Instead, we’re plagued with villains. If Wonder Woman were here, she would stop terrorists in their tracks.

Since this is an election year, every little thing that happens in America gets used as propaganda. For this campaign or against that one.

And when the big things happen? You know, like a hundred people getting shot in a night club? The politicians are crass enough to use that as a stepping stone for their platform.

Terror and Terrorism

I’ve been in a car accident. I’ve been in several almost accidents. What I felt in those moments that stretched into endlessness? Terror.

And it wasn’t very pleasant.

Maybe some of you get an adrenaline rush from it.

And I understand the rush that accompanies being dropped from a hundred feet above the ground only to be snapped back at seemingly the last moment. I’ve done it. It’s called Geronimo.

You know why that sort of terror is okay? Because I chose to inflict it on myself.

A terrorist on the other hand never asks permission. Or forgiveness for that matter.

Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes (according to dictionary.com)

Wonder Woman stops violence in its tracks. Her bracelets send bullets back at the shooters. Her lasso forces the truth out of them.

In short, there’s no intimidating her. And that’s what we need in this day and age.

Vote Wonder Woman

I avoid all things political. This is something WW and I have in common.

But enough is enough.

We could use someone dedicated to fighting for right in the current political climate. Someone who doesn’t shudder and hide when a violent act of terror is rained on innocent people. Someone whose motives serve others rather than themselves.

She won’t stand up and push to pass new laws that infringe on the rights of citizens. No call to ban guns (although she doesn’t need them to fight crime – lucky her) from WW. It’s not in her nature to look at the victims and make some statement about their guilt or innocence.

We’re all guilty of something. No one deserves to be gunned down in the middle of a night out.

It would be nice to have a leader who stood up and said, “This has to stop.”

If only we could dial up the Justice League or The Avengers.

But then the media would scream about vigilante justice.

But where is the justice for these terrorists? Who will stop them from spreading terror?

I vote Wonder Woman.

If only she weren’t just a fictional character.

What do you think?

Why Superheroes need to conceal their identity

Superheroes might live among us. Your mail carrier could be one. Or maybe it’s the nerdy IT guy.

After all, many famous comic superheroes have alter egos. This identity conceals their true abilities and after-dark pursuit of justice.

If they didn’t live double lives, they would be considered vigilantes. Even the men and women of the Avengers who saved Earth from alien domination on two separate occasions were seen as vigilantes by some.

Because they worked outside the law to apprehend criminals.

But they always brought them to the authorities for prosecution (if they lived). Just like the A-team of 80s television, the Avengers never planned to use deadly force. Would they? Sure, if the criminals pushed them into it.

The Avengers were a special task force. And while they answered to a government agency (SHIELD), this was acceptable. Once that agency disappeared, people in power started feeling threatened.

It’s about Controlling the Power

There’s a fine line between being powerful and having control.

The Lamborghini is powerful. The driver leashes that power with a steering wheel and brakes. But what if the little plastic line carrying the fluid to those systems is cut? The power is out of control.

In the newest Captain America film, the governments of the world don’t like the idea that a powerful group of trained soldiers can fight crime and terrorism without paying homage to the local authorities.

Secretary of State says, “Where are Thor and the Hulk? If I misplaced two 30 megaton warheads, you can bet there’d be an investigation.”

So Thor and the Hulk are weapons of mass destruction? Wanda is even called that by her own team member. They aren’t people anymore. Only resources to be used by the powers that be.

And those in power are determined to control them. Were the Avengers out of control? Had they overstepped their mission?

No.

Civilians perished. It was tragic. In the process, a terrifying biological agent was kept from the hands of terrorists who would have used it to kill thousands, or even millions.

But no one’s talking about that.

In past movies, the Avengers kept each other in check. They answered to the team collective.

The Avengers were visible. Everyone knew who to blame if things went awry during the display of superhuman abilities. This visibility acted as accountability.

But that wasn’t enough. Politicians saw them only as a weapon, a tactical force to be deployed. Governments wanted a say in where they would go and who they would dispatch.

Hero_or_vigilante

It’s all in the Media Spin

The media spins the stories in our world (and the comic realities). One day they’re hailing the hero who stopped an insane murderer. The next they scream about stopping the vigilantes who are taking the law into their own hands.

In many places, the government controls the media. They can put the spin on the story so it reads like they want. Focus on the few innocents killed in a bad situation rather the thousands saved from something worse.

Superman, Spider-Man and Batman saw their heroic persona degraded and maligned. Is this why they hid behind Clark Kent, Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne? As long as no one knows who the man behind the mask is, media can only speculate and criticize.

Did they watch the news with the same hurt as Wanda and Cap? Did the fact they weren’t named keep them from feeling responsible when bystanders got hurt?

The writers make it sound like they keep their secrets to protect those they love from retribution. But is that the only reason? Is there ever only ONE reason?

After seeing the way media hype caused problems for the Avengers, it seems obvious that there are other reasons. Having a secret identity keeps them from being controlled by the powers that be.

Image from Marvel-movies
Image from Marvel-movies

Should they answer to someone? Most of these superheroes do have contacts on the police force. The masked men and women see themselves as a “special operative.” They must. Why else would they leave those they apprehend trussed up and ready for a reading of Miranda rights?

It’s not super to be a hero in our world. People are threatened by the unselfish pursuit of justice. The media is concerned about twisting things into a story that gets attention.

My hero, Captain America, would’ve been better off flying under the radar. Hard to do when the government creates you specifically to wear the face of their ideal soldier.

There’s no going back now. Cap can’t hide in anonymity.

The real losers in the situation are all the innocents he can’t protect.

Five Motivators for Getting Unstuck during NaNo

If you’ve been writing long, you’ve heard it all. You tell someone you’ve got writer’s block and they pronounce some cure.

Writers everywhere have heard it a million times. We’ve all gotten advice about ways to get unstuck

1. Make a list

2. Fill up an index card (because it’s less daunting than a page)

3. Take a break to do something else – walking is always good

4. Write from a different perspective (I personally like to write a journal entry in first person from the perspective of the narrator of my current scene to get me inside his/her head

That’s not what this post is about.

The question I’m answering for you is “Why should I bother getting unstuck?”

Here are five reasons you should want to get past your “writer’s block” during National Novel Writing Month.

1. You Want to Win

Okay, everyone wants to win, right?

I mean, we say things like, “Everyone can’t be a winner.” Or “It’s not about winning but how you played the game.”

And we might even want to believe those things.

But you signed up to write a novel in thirty days. If you write 50,000 words, the NaNoWriMo organizers will call you a winner. They’ll give you some cool prizes.

You want to win. You know it’s true.

2. You have a Story

Maybe it’s been churning inside you for years. Maybe it’s been chewing its way out bit by bit for months.

There is a story inside you. It wants to be told. You can tell it. Right now.

Better yet, no one ever has to read what you write. Sometimes the thought of anyone seeing what our soul bled onto the page terrifies us.

If that’s your hang up, bury that baby.

Seriously. No one will read the words you paste into the verification window on November 30th.

You don’t have to let anyone read what you’re writing.

But your story wants to be told. So let that puppy out.

3. It’s Professional Writing Pace

Hundreds of writers churn out a few thousand words every day of their life. We call those people professional writers.

Sure, they get paid for their work. Possibly less than you think.

The point is, if you want to “do this writing thing” for real some day, now is the time to prove to yourself you can handle it. You can sit your rear in the chair and churn out thousands of words.

4. People are watching you

Not that you have to prove anything to those naysayers. It’s none of their business if you win this challenge or not.

Who are you kidding?

It will feel glorious to wave your fist in their face and say, “I wrote a novel in November.”

You can wave the winner’s certificate NaNoWriMo provides right under those stuck-up, know-it-all noses.

It will feel delightfully wonderful to finally show them up. And shut them up. For a few days anyway.

5. You aren’t a novelist until you FINISH a novel

Do you want to be one of those people who’s going to write a novel someday?

Or would you rather be that person who can claim “I wrote a novel”?

If you finish it, you will be a novelist.

Chant it to yourself, “I can finish this.”

Now stop reading this post and get back to writing that novel.

Only you can tell that story. And typing the last sentence is more rewarding than I could ever explain.