HI EVERYBODY EVERYTHING IS INSANE WE’RE MOVING AND AAAAGH IT’S ALL GOING BADLY!

So my husband got a new job in Dublin (yay!) and we found a house to move in to (yay!) and, uh, the moveing van was only big enough to take HALF our stuff (boo!) and we can’t afford to rent another one and so I’m running a nutzoid, “pay what you can, throw it in the hat, in time there will be A NOVEL TO THANK YOU” kind of paypal-based fundraiser thing to try to help cover moving costs.

I’ll be writing a sequel to ROSES IN AMBER, or at least, another fairy tale set in that world, and if you feel the urge to throw a dollar in the hat…then here is a hat!

Everyone who donates will get the eventual novel, and we are ridiculously grateful to you all. ♥

(This is why my blog has been absolutely dead for weeks. The job, the house, the attempt to move, all kind of came out of nowhere, and we’ve been running ragged for…weeks. This is good, it’s positive, but it’s also…WAUGH!)

Marvel Movie Marathon: Dark World: this is much less bad than I remember. Like, if I had to choose between watching it again and watching Iron Man 3 again I’d definitely choose Dark World.

Dark World is the second Marvel movie I hadn’t rewatched, although I’d rewatched parts of it. Going in a second time, I remembered it as half a good movie (the Thor & Loki Road Show) & half a bad movie (everything else), but honestly, it’s not that bad. It’s not *great*, and I think the Space Elvess are probably still just a really bad idea (and I’m sorry, but Doctor Who or not, Christopher Eccleston should not take/be cast in roles he has contempt for), but it’s a lot less awful than I remember it being.

Poor Natalie Portman is mostly not given anything great to do–she’s much more Damsel-y in this than in Thor–although in retrospect she’s apparently made of solid brass balls, because she manages to contain the power of an Infinity Stone for days before having it ripped out of her. And she also gets to deliver the most satisfying slap (punch?) in the MCU, when she decks Loki. And she does get to be funny again, before the Aether gets hold of her and reduces her to Fainting Damsel. And I *want* Natalie Portman to get to be funny, and to be able to loosen up, and do the things that were taken away from her thanks to instant childhood fame. So I appreciate that.

Poor Chris Hemsworth does not get to spend nearly enough time half naked. I mean, come on, he worked so hard for it, surely we should get to appreciate his effort a little longer, right? I’m sure I’m not being selfish here. But he’s actually quite good being the mopeish lovelorn prince, and then the chemistry between him and Tom Hiddleston, well, I mean. *just throws my hands up* You know what I mean, right? I mean, ye gods. But really, I’m impressed at how much maturity Thor’s achieved over the course of his three movies so far. It’s a big change, and it’s cool to watch the character arc.

The whole schtick with the hammer is still really funny. :)

There is no ‘poor’ appended to Tom Hiddleston in this film. He just gets to go straight for the bone and hangs on savagely throughout. Like: in Thor, Loki uses the illusions on him and in Avengers he asks if Thor will ever not fall for that, right? And I was like “hahahaha it paid off!” in Ragnarok, except it turns out it pays off in Dark World, too: “No more illusions, brother!” So Thor *does* see through it, which means in Ragnarok Loki ought to be prepared…but the thing is, of course, Loki’s not really willing to see that Thor has changed, and he’s never been able to see that regardless of what Odin thinks, Thor has always loved him best. “Trust my rage,” is one of his strongest lines, and–I mean, he knows he got Frigga killed. That rage is real.

And speaking of Frigga…I’ll never forgive them for killing her, but the fact that she died in defense of Jane, a woman she’d just met, but mostly importantly, a woman, is pretty good. It’s not very often we get to see women defending other women in film, especially in battle, and we got a lot of it on a lot of levels in this movie. Jane/Darcy, Jane/Frigga, even Jane/Sif, although Sif is SO JEALOUS of Jane. So that’s a real strength of the film, and I appreciate it.

Anyway, yes, so, a lot less bad than I remember, which is a nice surprise! And now with only a month to go before Infinity War, we’re down First Avenger, Iron Man, IM2, Thor, Avengers, IM3, and Dark World. Winter Soldier (which still holds my #1 spot in the MCU) is up next, and then apparently Chronologically Speaking we’re supposed to sideline off to GotG V 1 & 2 before Ultron. Time is growing short, though, and if we have to skip the GotG flicks, I’ll live with that. (No I won’t. We’ll just watch one every night, if we have to, I bet. :))

day two books!

What March did not have was a lot of is blogging. There has been an awful lot of Life going on, much of it positive in nature, but still, there’s been a lot of it.

In March I:

– wrote a 5k proposal chapter
– wrote a short synopsis & 20ish pages of a proposal
– wrote a very tiny bit on the new book

…that is not nearly as much as I would have liked it to be. And I know for a fact that April isn’t going to be as productive as I want it to be, because we have major, major life stuff going on this month, but I suppose I’ll do my best to work around it. We’re down to our last ten or eleven days of 100 days of writing, so I’ve got to manage to get that in every day at least, and I joined Camp Nanowrimo, although that just looks like a disaster in the making, under the circumstances.

Marvel Movie Marathon: Iron Man 3: meeeeeeeeeeeeh.

This is the first of the MCU films I’ve only seen once, out of the 18, and it’s because my original feeling on the film, which apparently matches my rewatch feeling, was, “Meeeeeeeeeh.”

There were many things I liked. I thought dealing with Tony’s PTS was great and important. I liked that a lot. I loved Ben Kingsley. I LOVED SEEING PEPPER IN THE IRON SUIT AND I STILL WANT A RESCUE MOVIE JFC MARVEL JUST SUIT UP AND TAKE MY GODDAMN MONEY ALREADY altho I did notice literally everybody post-Tony who puts on an iron suit seems to instinctively know how to use it (Stane, Rhody, Guy Pearce whose character definitely had a name besides “creepy greasy haired dude”)…except Pepper. Pepper, who lives with Tony, does not know how to use the suit. Which sucks. But let’s put that aside for the other things I didn’t like.

God, I hated the kid. I hated the kid so much. Not the kid himself, he was fine, although he would have been 100% cooler and more agreeable to me if he had been a she which I thought he was in the first moments he was introduced, but the child’s presence at all just…I hated it. I mean, I can see the argument that the kid’s incessant questions forced Tony to deal with his trauma in a way no adult around him would, but I. hated. the kid. I felt like the kid was a cheap trick to earn audience sympathy and bleh bleh bleh cloy ugh agh i hate it. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate. Hate hate hate.

I also haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated that apparently Tony somehow harnessed the Extremis…stuff…at the end to not only cure Pepper but also himself (I’m not sure it’s *said* in the film, but the implication is very, very strong, that that’s what’s happened), which means that he’s essentially created a universal panacea and…nothing is ever done with that. I hate that a lot. Because it’s big and important (and I mentioned this on Twitter a couple nights ago when a discussion of IM3 crossed my timeline seconds after we’d finished watching it, and, unbeknownst to myself, I was responding to someone Far More Famous than I am, and he replied to me (with “comic book science!” which is totally legit in terms of why they do what they do but is still ANNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYING) and anyway for a while my mentions totally blew up and I was kinda O.O, it was funny :) and *mostly* the MCU is very good at following through on things, so dropping that like a hot potato just got right up my nose. She said, mixing metaphors in an actively painful fashion.

Also, this time I noticed there was a blonde woman reporter asking Tony questions and it *wasn’t* Christine Everheart, which makes me really sad, because she totally deserved to be in the third movie.

My favourite moment in the whole movie was, and remains, “Oh my god. That was really violent!” when Pepper went all Extremis Superhero on everybody’s asses, because I thought, “Wow. That was really violent for Pepper!” and I was really grateful and amused that the character recognized it too. :)

But yeah, no. I wanted so much more for Pepper. I want a Rescue movie, simple as that. Give me an all-female Avengers line-up. Gimme Rescue and Widow and Shulkie and Wanda and Wasp and I will be *here* for it, because…I want more, man. Me and goddamn Ariel.

Really, though, out of the…6? Yeah, 6. Out of the 6 MCU movies we’ve watched so far, IM3 is far and away my least favourite.

But that’s okay, because we’ve got Thor: Dark World coming up next… o.O

Marvel Movie Marathon: Avengers: I love this movie.

I would have loved writing this review more if my browser hadn’t eaten it when it was halfway written, but I’ll try to recreate it with as much enthusiasm as the first go had. :p

The truth is I was really not confident about Avengers. I’ve watched a lot of Joss Whedon’s stuff, but I’d never drunk the Kool-Aid, and I was grimly afraid we were going to end up with Magic Widow the Superhero Slayer for this movie. We didn’t, and I’m still both astonished and grateful. I read a while after the film came out that Joss (or someone with enough influence over him) had looked at the early cut and thought “this movie has too much Joss in it” and subsequently left 20 minutes or so on the cutting room floor. If that’s the case, it’s a rare instance where I’ll doff my hat to Joss Whedon, because normally ego would override that kind of decision, and it was to the betterment of the film that it did not.

I don’t love it just because it’s funny, although it is (Cap paying up the $10 to Fury, and his delighted, “I understood that reference!”; Tony poking incessantly at Bruce; Loki’s snarky, “I’m listening!” and his baffled, “This usually works…”; Nat’s irritation at her interrogation being interrupted–“I not give…*everything*..?!”; Coulson’s utterly mortifying, “I watched you while you were sleeping.”; and the unbeatable Harry Dean Stanton line, “Then, son…you got a *condition*.”). And it’s not just the delight of seeing a long build-up pay off in the “meet, fight, bond, battle” arc that happens again and again in the comics, although the joy of watching Cap and Tony and Thor throw down in the forest never gets old.

I think what ultimately makes it work for me so well are the moments of poignancy and connection. I think it’s in Avengers where we start to understand how deeply Thor loves Loki, and how agonizing it is for him to have his brother be the bad guy. Natasha and Clint’s relationship, despite being given literally no screen time before Clint is compromised, is remarkably well wrought. And there’s Coulson’s story, of course, which didn’t rip my heart out THIS time (although I do desperately want to know if his ex-wife in the Framework was The Cellist), but that’s probably the first time it didn’t hit me viscerally. And his last line is a great one. Tony, trying to call Pepper, while Pepper is watching the TV to see what happens to him. There are a lot of really great emotional beats in this movie.

But of course if there’s a single moment that really lifts the whole film, it’s the old man rising to face down Loki. “There are always men like you.” And it’s because that moment isn’t about superheroes and impossible fantasy. It’s simple human courage, doing the right thing against insurmountable odds. He doesn’t know Cap is going to fall out of the sky and save him. He just knows he’s not going to kneel to a monster. And that’s the moment that seizes me by the throat, in Avengers.

Anyway, yeah, I could go through it on a line by line basis and complain that the beginning is a little slow, maybe, or that we could really do with some more women, thanks, but the guts of the matter are that I think Avengers works better than almost every other movie in the MCU. It remains in my top five, and I’m really pleased to have watched it again.