Picoreview: Inhumans: not *as* bad as the reviews said. To further illuminate that comment, I also went to see Rough Night this week, and of the two, Inhumans is not the one I wanted to walk out of.
That said, you should not in any way mistake it for *good*.
I went because I was sort of horrifiedly fascinated to see just how bad it was, after all the scathing reviews. The result may be that my expectations were SO LOW that I could not actually be disappointed. Also, there were only four people in the entire Imax theatre (I was the only woman), so I sat in the back row and livetweeted the whole thing, which may have added considerably to my enjoyment of the whole thing, because, I mean, it was awful, but I genuinely had a good time.
The inhuman special effects are unforgiveably bad. Medusa’s hair is embarrassing and her costume is dreadful. Gorgon is wearing plush boots with hooves glued to the bottoms and they must have told him “just walk on your toes, it’ll be fine.” Lockjaw–okay, actually, Lockjaw’s teleportation looks pretty cool, so presumably that’s where they spent all the budget. Although it doesn’t look like an expensive effect.
The writing is *appalling*, especially in the first twenty minutes. I mean, my *God*, it’s bad. Iwan Rheon is not only saddled with truly awful lines throughout, but is also, I think, badly miscast as Maximus, which is saying something, because the writing is so terrible for everyone that it’d be pretty easy to feel that the entire show was badly miscast. But he really stood out. *None* of it is well-written, though. Somebody somewhere said “Inhumans should have been treated as a family drama like The Tudors, only with superpowers,” and that really is what they should have done and instead they…have done this awful stilted thing with a painfully tropey creepy charmless bad guy and…I mean, honestly, I don’t even know how they made it this bad.
Ken Leung, playing Karnak (whose name I never caught in the show, and whom I referred to as Tattooed Attitude), was trying really hard with really bad material. (So was Crystal’s hair. Crystal, played by Isabelle Cornish herself seemed…pretty Crystal-like, really. Not good, but I thought she had potential.) Serinda Swan’s Medusa was…*sigh* Yeah. Anson Mount managed to be utterly awful without having to say a word as Black Bolt, and then he got a little better and I thought perhaps he could pull it off with time and practice, and by the end he’d won me over and I was really enjoying him.
(As an aside, though, these people have *moronic* communications systems for a people with a silent king. I mean, Black Bolt ACTUALLY USES SIGN LANGUAGE in this film. Which is AWESOME, because silent king! Except…Medusa…is the only person…in the entire Inhumans family…who has bothered to learn it, and thus is the only person who actually knows for sure what Bolt is saying. WHAT KIND OF DUMBASSERY IS THAT?! And also they have a, you know, like, Star Trek communicators system, WHICH THE KING CAN’T USE. BECAUSE THEY’RE MORONS. I mean, for God’s sake, if nothing else they’ve been watching Earth for ages, HASN’T SOMEBODY NOTICED HUMANS USE PHONES TO TEXT NOW? Do the Inhumans not have a writing system which THEIR KING could communicate with? OMFG!!!!)
Ahem. Back to the main post:
Gorgon is WONDERFUL. Despite the plush boots and bad writing, Eme Ikwuakor *radiates* charm and presence, and dominated the screen whenever he was on it. I loved him and I want him to have awesome SFX instead of humiliating ones.
There were three twists I didn’t expect in the show, two of which improved their characters (one improved the affected character so dramatically that I completely reassessed the performer’s ability) and one of which made me go OH YAY. And my final verdict?
I’ll watch more. It’s not good, but it’s not as bad as I expected from the reviews. I think its most unforgiveable flaw is that it’s not much *fun*, but honestly I do not think it’s noticeably worse than the first 2/3rds of season one Agents of Shield, which I thought was really grimly bad but watched all of. It’s not worse than Legends of Tomorrow, except Legends knew it was bonkers from the outset and just ran with it, which gave it a higher feet-kicking outrageous entertainment value. But ultimately, yeah, I’ll give Inhumans a chance.
Picoreview: Jessica Jones
Picoreview: Jessica Jones: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
I had a concerned rant about Jessica Jones after the first trailer was released, and I am very very glad to say that my concerns were unfounded. The story was not, as it seemed from that trailer, “the girl is a victim but now she’s Fighting Back.” It was considerably more “the girl’s abuser returns and she fucks his shit up,” only vastly more awesome. It also wasn’t a *horror* vibe so much as a noir one (some of the CAMERA WORK, OMG!), which was a huge relief to me because I don’t actually like horror, as I find it, you know. Frightening.
Aesthetically holy crap what a great show. The look was straight out of the Alias comics to a far more dramatic degree than any of the other MCU stuff I’ve seen: the lighting, the makeup, the clothes, everything. Just wonderful.
Emotionally holy crap what an intense show. I can see where it would be very hard for some people to watch, because it deals pretty damn unflinchingly with abuse and recovery, on a whole bunch of different levels, a whole bunch of different characters, and in a whole bunch of different presentations of abuse. It’s *astounding*, in that regard. I’ve literally never seen anything like it.
Girl power holy crap possibly an unprecedented show. As one friend said, “Jessica Jones takes her pants off and I realize: this show has no male gaze.” This is true. There are no lingering loving T&A shots. The only people wandering around mostly naked, despite quite a number of sex scenes, are the men. Some guy on Twitter said words to the effect of “WTF JESSICA JONES ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE WOMEN THE MEN ARE EITHER BAD OR EYE CANDooooh. Oh. Ah. So *that’s* what that feels like…” Jessica Jones is literally a Strong Female Character, but much more importantly she’s also a brittle, fragile, clever, funny, stupid, powerful, frightened, brave, heroic, calm, crazy, gentle female character. She is, in other words, well-rounded and very human. Which is what we’re actually asking for when we say Strong Female Character.
Body count holy crap. At one point our house guest said, “I think this has a higher relative body count than Game of Thrones…” It’s a violent show, sometimes shockingly violent, and sometimes horrifyingly graphic, which I’m not that keen on. OTOH, it apparently never crossed the “I don’t even want to watch this” barrier that Daredevil basically hit with the first episode, though I don’t know if that was the grimdark or the actual violence in Daredevil.
Overall: holy crap! And my favourite line is behind the cut, not that it’s actually spoilery. :)
MCU & Jessica Jones
I’ve watched the Jessica Jones trailer, which is not particularly usual for me, and I’m profoundly torn on it.
On one hand, FINALLY we get a female-led superhero story. Jessica Jones is a good character, long varied comic book history, popular following, etc: all of that is good. Like every character who’s had a showcase of (up until now, his) own, the Jessica Jones trailer has clearly got its own vibe: it’s pretty horror-movie-feeling, which isn’t a direction any of the others have gone. So that’s all to the good. And they appear to be using a major part of her early comic book story line as the plot for the first season, which is high-quality fan service, of which I approve.
On the other hand, the back story they’ve taken from the comic, and the direction they’re taking with it, is very difficult to read as anything other than, “She’s been a victim, but now she’s fighting back.”
And I really, really wish that the first female-led Marvel Cinematic Universe showcase was not based around “the girl is a victim.”
Especially, especially because the only other well-established, long-term female superhero–Black Widow–is also from a hideously victimized background. I am not saying Black Widow is, as presented, a victim; she’s not. But her history is *horribly* abusive, deliberately, Machiavellianly so, and she’s already done the Rise Above/Reject Her Past storyline, albeit off screen.
(I did not see Ant-Man, because fuck them, that movie should have been The Wasp, and I gather Evangeline Lily as Hope van Dyne was pretty terrific, but she is also, from what I understand, forbidden by the male figures in her life to go out and be a hero because her mother the superhero had died in an accident, and her overprotective father doesn’t want her to BECOME A VICTIM LIKE JANET WAS. So 1. fuck them, and 2. female victims, whee.)
Anyway, so I’m really torn about Jessica Jones. I’m going to watch it, or at least the first parts of it, and I hope I’ll be so won over that I’ll happily forgive the “the girl is a victim” setup. Because honestly, I really, really want the show to rock. I want to love it. I want Marvel to do well by their first female lead, and I want, for all that is holy and merciful, for to succeed wildly and kill the stupid goddamned “women can’t open a show” thing forever and ever.
#sigh Anyway, to end on a happier note, my friend Lithera posted this cover of Uncanny Avengers #5
and said, “Oooh, pretty! Of course, that card should be the Queen of Hearts. Not that anybody besides me and Catie care…,” which led me to be happy that she understands both me and the importance of little details like that. :)