The Legends and the Myths.

Oh my gosh I feel like it’s been weeks since I posted, sorry, I have big college projects swirling around. BU tI am going to take some time to attend to this today!

Can you tell it’s my first time dealing with finals?

Anyway, I have plenty I could write about. The trick will be picking one thing. I’ve been researching superheroes of all things to write a paper on it.

Professors have come a long way; I imagine if 20 or 30 years ago I suggested superheroes as the subject of a research paper, my professor would have given me a look and said “That’s not a real subject.”

But now, it totally works. And with the Infinity War Craze of the past two weeks, and the subsequent Deadpool 2 craze, what more proof do you need that superheroes are relevant?

I haven’t seen either by the way, but look for a review of the first one sometime in the near future.

Though I think I will still prefer the cinematic inferior Justice League to all this glamour of the Avengers. At heart, I still prefer even a partially good DCU flick, to a saturated MCU one.

Enough about that, the point is, superheroes are difinitely in. And those of us who are not in the swim about them maybe should undertake to know at least a little about what fans are crazy about.

Chances are you know someone who is nuts about superheroes. Likely you know someone who is too nuts about them. IF you’re like me, you don’t buy all the merchandise or see every film in theaters, bu you keep up with the comic books world at least enough to know the context of most of the stories.

I read the original Spiderman comics, which hold up even today, and the Silver Age Superman ones, 50s-60s, and of course the 70s Mr. Miracle. I have yet to find a Wonder Woman comic, but I would love to check that out sometime.

Funny story, I remember getting a Wonder Woman comic from the Library back before I could even read. Actually I think my mom got it just because I was looking at the picture. And I started at the words and really wished I knew what they were saying. But all I got twas the vague idea that she was a kid growing up with her mom.

And I can’t believe I didn’t remember that when I read “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, since he had the same experience with Superman.

I’ve always wanted to find that comic, which I now realize had to be the original one, and read it knowing the words. SO in a strange way, comics have been a part of my reading experience almost from the beginning, and Wonder Woman has intrigued my also.

And my mom was not a superhero person, and still is not except by proxy, since she has to listen to us go on and on about it. My mom is smart, she has learned over the years to take at least a mild interest in everything we get obsessed with so that she preserves her sanity.

Superheroes will always be considered somewhat ridiculous, even by the people who love them. Not because they are ridiculous as a characters, but because the idea of one is just odd to us. A caped costumed character is funny. The whole underwear on the outside thing. By the way, did you know that they looked more like that because men used to wear suspenders that kept their pants up higher? When supers were created, that look would have been more normal and wearing nothing over that are would have been indecent. It’s not about underwear at all.

And yes Wonder Woman wore a swimsuit, but even then there were worse ones.

Still, it’s funny to dress in a flag. The pint is, they aren’t meant to be taken seriously.

That’s why we love them. You don’t have to believe they are real in order to get real ideas and emotions from them.

As I have pointed out to others, superheroes are for those who dream. They are a modern mythology. And I would have to acknowledge this even if I hated them, because there is no getting away from it. They are ubiquitous.

I think I love superheroes more than I care to admit on this blog, but I don’t love them just for their flashy fighting and quippy dialogue, though I enjoy that.

I love them because in nowhere else  in our modern world do I find so many characters held up to a real standard for good. And they challenge us to meet that standard. I love the heart behind many of them, the honest look at hardship that many of the creators had to take in writing them out. Mostly, I love myths.

And I’m a dreamer. Without fail, people who dream that I know, they like superheroes.

People who do not dream don’t, or are at best ambiguous.

I’m not kidding, I know people as old as my dad who like superheroes, but they are dreamers; and I know people who think they’re stupid, they aren’t dreamers. And those who are ambiguous also don’t dream.

IS it possible to be a dreamer without liking supers? I am sure it is. But  I do not think it works the other way. What use are superheroes with their outlandish exploits if you do not wish to accomplish things that seem outlandish to you?

Fairy tales will always be mocked by those who do not secretly wish they were true…even those who do. But as Anne of Green Gables has said, the world needs fairies, it cannot do without them.

All that means is not that we need fairies as a fantastical creature to tell stories about, but that we need fantasy. Which fairies famously represent.

We need superheroes in the same way. Whether you are a dreamer or not, you need dreamers. The ones who keep this world afloat.

They are the legends and the myths today, and they keep us linked to older myths and stories. We need that, we need to keep our imaginations alive. And if that looks like a comic spread with some speech bubbles, so be it. I’ll take that over pure realism, that stuff can be soul killing.

Until next time–Natasha.

 

 

The Lion King.

The Lion King. One of the best Disney films ever made. In my opinion.

 

I can’t add much to this film by reviewing it. It’s themes are clear. And everyone knows the story.

But I want to look at the ideology of it, if you will.

I have heard multiple Christians use this film as an illustration of spiritual truths. What interests me is how deliberately the film itself seems to raise that sort of impression.

No one really would argue that it supports some kind of belief in the after life.

And it seems to go out of its way to establish that Mufasa’s reappearance is not just in Simba’s head. Rafiki sees him, and also communicates with him when Simba is not there. WE also see Mufasa as the sun, as well as the stars.

I don’t think anyone would debate that Mufasa is a God-character.

If you’ve never heard that term, or never int his context, it means a character who inspires other characters in the ways we would attribute to God. Typically meaning they give them instructions, seem to know things no one else knows, and give them hope in their darkest hour.

Mufasa fits the bill on all accounts.

Yet he’s totally believable as just a lion trying to be the best king and father he can be. Ultimately laying down his life for his son in an effort to protect him.

What just about killed me was that he never found out that it was Scar who put Simba up to doing those stupid things. (I guess he did once he was up in the sky, but still, closure!)

I don’t know what Simba means, or Mufasa, but Scar’s name, notably one of the only English names in the whole thing (except for Ed) is a giveaway to his character, both his personal issues, and the issues he creates for Simba.

Scar holds a grudge for being put out of succession. He holds a grudge against Mufasa because Mufasa is so much better than him. AT first we think he’s just sour over  being a nobody, but later when Sarabi taunts him, we realize he is secretly aware of how inferior he is to Mufasa and Simba both. Which comes up again when Simba has defeated him.

Scar’s name also relates to who he emotionally scars Simba by his treacherous acts and leaves him crippled for his whole adolescent phase, without a father except for two well meaning but ignoble beasts who just want to relax their life away.

Interestingly enough, Simba’s emotional scars only fade when Scar himself does.

Scar, as the betrayer and the deceiver and the false king, who accuse Simba of his own crimes, makes a fitting devil character. And a formidable villain.

The best lines of the film are all Mufasa’s, I love his speech to Simba when he is a spirit. I also love how in that scene Mufasa becomes more fully realized the longer he is speaking, going from clouds, to a starry shape, to full on color. Symbolic.

He tells Simba “You are more than what you have become.”

It seems odd that Mufasa doesn’t tell him “I love you.” Or something like that. But not when we consider that Simba is laboring under a delusion that he killed him. When he knows, deep down, that Scar is the one to blame. Simba also has just been confronted by Nala about what he needs to do. So this kick in the rear is exactly w at he needs.

He tells Simba further “You have forgotten me.” Simba denies it. “You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me…You must take your place as the one true king. Remember who you are.”

Who did not share Rafikis’ sentiment after the end of that. “Wow! What was that!”

Simba returns home and kicks Scar’s tail, but not without some pitfalls along the way.

But the scenery of the last part of the film is a huge part of the story.

Under an evil ruler , the land has faded. The herds are leaving t o find food, but Scar, like the coward he is, refuses to leave.

I never understood stood this when I was younger, but now I think he was afraid of other lion challengers on the Savannah. He knew he was no match for any healthy young or middle aged lion that wanted a pride. Also that the pride wouldn’t do jack squat to help him if he was challenged. (As they will for a lion they like.)

Scar just want to stay away from any competition that will expose him. So imagine how scared he is when Simba returns.

At first everyone thinks Simba is Mufasa. A resemblance the writer didn’t pretend wasn’t there. Because it’s more potent that it is. Yet when Scar knows it’s him, he think he can manipulate him because he always has before. Otherwise he would have slunk away while he could.

In the end Scar thinks his greater numbers may give him the advantage, and then fights Simba more in desperation than in courage. Then he begs for mercy when he is defeated, Simba gives it, but Scar pulls one more nasty back stabbing trick and then falls as a result. The hyenas, having heard him throw them under the bus, decide they’ve had enough of Scar. All four of them presumably burn to death.

There’s so much biblical resemblance here, it would be hard to deny it if I wanted to.

There’s a little thing I want to explain about what follows:

Simba’s roar is both symbolic as assuming his place as king; and literal, as Male lions do roar to declare their territory. Female lion actually do roar in response to males, so if that part always felt real to you, that’s because it is.

But it is not a magic roar.

I have hard theories on this, but they are ridiculous and here’s why.

When the land goes from desolate to healthy, we see Simba and Nala have a cub. (Everything came full circle.) Lionesses are pregnant for a year. It’s been a whole year. So the land has had time to recover, and the rain had time to work.

You can say the rain was magic and I won’t argue. But the rest is nature.

So, in defiance of modern values, this movie supports living up to you responsibilities. taking someone else;s place, following in someone else’s footsteps, and being what people need  you to be.

And all that could also be your destiny.

I don’t favor the very selfish viewpoint on finding your dream nowadays. Your dream can be what would help other people. And sometimes we have to adjust our priorities.

Even Timon and Pumba take a more noble place beside Simba and prove they are not the cowards they thought themselves.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Circle of Life.

Lyrics of African lyrics:

Here comes a lion father

oh yes it’s a lion

we’re going to conquer

a lion and tiger come to this open place.

 

From the day we arrive on the planet

and blinking step into the sun

There’s more to see than can ever be seen, ‘

more to do than could ever be done

there’s far too much to take in here

much more to find than cane very be found

but the sun rolling high 

in the sapphire sky

keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the circle of life

and it moves us all

through despair and hope

through faith and love

till we find our place

on the path unwinding

It’s the circle, 

the circle of life.

Anyone else get chills when they hear this English part? I used to love this intro.

It’s just so great. I always though it captured the feeling of being in Africa and being one of the animals in the film.

Something about it. IT just suggests wisdom and steadiness with life.

Well, I doubt it surprises anyone that I like the Lion King. Who doesn’t?

Though to be honest, Simba was never my favorite part of it. I like Mufasa, and Nala, and kind of Timon and Pumba.

Well, everyone loves Mufasa.

And I also hated Scar, which most people don’t seem to. Though at the last you almsot feel sorry for him…almost.

Actually to my mind the whole scene where he hyenas kill him while the fire starts burning them is one of the creepiest Disney deaths ever. But poetically just.

Anyway, why one earth would I make this song the subject of a post?

Well, I always thought this song was embodying some tribal philosophy. Don’t take that the wrong way, it just seems like Disney selected an African culture to base the film off of. (Plus Hamlet.)

Now, maybe it is, but if so, now that I know the lyrics, I’m not convinced that philosophy is so bad.

Again, this song just has a rich tone. That’s what really makes it work. The lyrics aren’t spectacular, until you combine them with those awesome vocals and background music.

Then you get something that basically makes you feel like you’re on the African Savannah watching life happen.

The best things about the animation for this film as that everything in it seems royal. It just spells it out for you. Every beast is portrayed majestically and proud, except for the hyenas and Timon and Pumba. But especially in this opening number, you really feel like you’re that young giraffe we see, or Simba himself. Seeing all this for the first time, and being overawed by it all.

You feel the wonder of being young and new to the world.

And that is a good feeling to have. Especially to us older and often more cynical folks.

also I could feel a sort of appreciation all the beasts have for their world.

And that’s another factor of this film, it’s very simple. The circle of life is easy to explain. You are born, you die. Lions eat antelope; but antelope eat grass, which grows from dirt which the lions turn into after dying. The sun moves over the Savannah and provides light to all the animals, enabling the circle to continue.

It gets even more interesting if you start looking further in the the symbolism in the film. It’s no accident that we see a birth, a death, a coming of age, another death, and finally another birth; all in the course of the story. (nor that we see similar things int he sequel. If you’ve watched that.) It’s a circle.

Now I am not one of those who thinks that thinks just progress in a certain way because of some abstract Mother Nature, or some pattern that just proceeds because it has to. OF course I think God established the rhythm of the world. (It has since been tweaked a lot, and not for the better.)

But because I believe that, I don’t find the circle of life idea offensive. I think it’s very true that things proceed in a circular pattern. This has been pointed out in “The Fourth Turning.”

The reason it simple enough. Human nature doesn’t change, and Nature itself has to operate the way it is designed to. So you have events always repeating themselves, though never exactly in the same way.

Mufasa and Simba are not the same. But they have to take the same role in life.

But it should not be lost on the audience that the movie, though showing deatht o be a real and important thing, supports life as the goal and proper state of the world. Showing how Simba restores life and order to his kingdom.

The whole thing with the Sun even in the song lyrics is pointing to life and health and prosperity.

Also, in true Disney fashion (and much like Frozen) the song is foreshadowing the movie’s events.

Through despair and hope, through faith and love, till we find our place, int he path unwinding.

TO be honest, I neer understood those lines, I fully expected the last part to be “to fulfill our dream” or something like that.

It so would be now.

Simba goes through despair, and then hope, he finds faith and then love. Then he finds his place. (The path unwinding part comes more into the sequel.) The landscape of the film mirrors his journey. From the dry canyon and the thorny bramble, to the lush and lazy jungle, back to his home, and ultimately we see that home restored to it’s lush state also.

The beasts and other lions also experience despair at losing their king, then hope when Simba returns, they put their faith in him, and in the end things are right again.

Symbolically, we hear the song again at the close of the film. (You remember that thunderclap sound that  everyone got pumped up after hearing?)

Things come full circle.

That was subtlety, back in the day.

There is so much to unpack from this film, but that’ all I can fit into this post. Until next time–Natasha.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol #2

I held off saying anything about this move until I’d actually seen it, and now I finally have! (celebratory noises.)

I do think it had way more inappropriate humor than necessary and earns that PG-13 rating in full. And it had a lot of gross stuff, more than the first one.

That’s only superficial elements. What was this movie about?

I agree with the other people who reviewed it, it’s about family, parenthood, forgiveness, and how pride gets in the way of really bonding with people.

This film is about how friends can be better than family because it’s not blood that makes loyalty but the choice of the person. There’s actually a verse in Proverbs about it “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs was written by Solomon, who had brothers who wanted to kill him, so his point of view makes sense.

I found Nebula a little disconcerting, something about her is always kind of sadist and psyco and even though you know she’s had a horrible life I don’t think trying to kill your sister is okay, even if they were bad. I also have to say Gomorrah “joking” about killing Nebula didn’t seem in character after the first film in which she made it a point to try to get her on their side.

Am I nitpicking? Maybe.

But by far the biggest concern to me personally is the character of Ego. I’m aware that some people out there probably think he’s supposed to represent God. Or Jesus. Because I’ve seen hints of theories like that, though I have yet to watch or read any.

But now that I’ve seen the film, I do see some similarities (on the surface) between Christ and Ego. Actually, it’s my theory that the movie was parodying the whole trinity. But Christ especially, because Ego is all like “Oh I walked among them and took their form and then I decided I wanted to fill the universe with copies of me.”

A person could make the argument, and I wouldn’t blame them, that this is a lot like what the Bible says Jesus did. He became flesh, dwelt among us, and he wants to make us like him. (Like him, not into him.)

That doesn’t sound at all creepy to me, I was raised hearing it, but the way the movie portrayed it, I suddenly saw how it could seem creepy to someone else. And it should.

Because if that was all there was to the story, I’d be freaked out too.

Ego is all about himself, he doesn’t even really seem to care about being worshipped, except by Peter, though he enjoys the admiration he gets. He just wants everything to be made of the same matter as himself.

He also has killed off all of his children as soon as they let him down, and some would see a parallel to God in this also. (A false one, but still.)

And no, I’m not afraid to bring all this up, and I admit that on the surface, it might look right.

But here’s a Christian’s perspective on this:

You could believe that God is like Ego, but God is way more powerful, and also just. Which Ego is not.

Actually you know who Ego really resembles? Satan.

I’m not kidding. There’s this part of the movie where Ego is going on about how “We will do all this…” and he lists several things. Is sounds eerily like a passage in the Bible where Lucifer is saying “I will be like The Most High.” a.k.a. “I will be like God.”

And you remember when Ego said that he was a small “g” god, at least on days he was feeling as humble as Drax?

The defining characteristic of God is Love. You know what Ego is another word for? Pride. Which is the defining characteristic of Lucifer.

Yep.

And actually, everything Ego did, Christians believe Satan either did or will do. Right down to making biological life forms. It may seem bizarre, but our own scientists are already able to do that, so…

In fact, the similarities to Christ can all be attributed to the fact that The devil will become the antichrist. Which you don’t have to believe is true to acknowledge that it is still biblical.

And in my mind, Ego is that. For he does not love, he rejects love as weak (like the devil;) he wants to remove free will (like the devil) and he wants to destroy all other life save what he can use (like the devil.)

I understand that this is all my own perspective, and some people out there might think I’m conveniently transferring all the clues into a picture I actually like. And maybe I am.

I won’t deny, I do wonder if the director of the movie is trying to mock God, or show contempt for our ideals. But the fact of the matter is, no one can successfully mock God.

The only way people can do that is by inventing things about him to mock. People do this to other people anyway. much more to beings they can’t understand.

Whether James Gunn meant to mock God; meant to show how pride twists all attributes; or just meant to tell an interesting story with a  metaphor; I can’t say. But that he does not know how true that metaphor actually is, I have no doubt.

One thing I do appreciate is how all the characters seemed to sense something was wrong about Ego and his planet, and I certainly got that impression watching it. There was something uncanny about it.

One more point: Ego made matter from himself, but even he was obviously created, because when he came to consciousness there were other life forms in existence. There was other matter. This again fits in with him being like the devil, but it also raise the question, where did all that other matter come from?

I don’t expect Marvel to ever actually admit there’s a God in their films. But I still think the existence of superheroes only makes sense in that context. That could just be me.

Anyway, I hope some of this made sense. Until next time–Natasha.

 

 

 

A continuation…

I thought I’d say a little bit more about Age of Ultron.

Actually, this isn’t isolated just to this movie, its in a lot of stuff now.

But one specific scene that really bothered me was the conversation between Bruce Banner and Natasha (Black Widow.) She shares some more of her dark past, about being sterilized.

Maybe I’m just naive, but the practices of whatever organization she was supposed to being sound more like Granny Goodness’es orphanage than they do a spy school.

Furthermore, if she started being a spy when she was six, like the first movie showed, why would she still be in training in her twenties?

But worst of all, she refers to herself as a monster because of what happened.

Am I the only one that finds that really degrading to the many people who choose to have that operation for various reasons? Not all of them are good, but not all of them are monstrous either.

but aside from that, I have a problem with them referring to Banner and Natasha as monsters to begin with. Then later Tony Stark (who I never liked) says he and Banner are both monsters and they should own it.

This was exactly the problem I had with Ever After High’s occasional confusion of principles. And the whole point of that show initially was that just because you were raised to be evil, and other people think you are, doesn’t mean you should be or have to be.

And it sure as heck doesn’t give these three avengers the excuse to be monsters.

I’ve worried about it myself, most people have. We all act in ways we aren’t proud of, and sometimes we scare ourselves with how messed up we can be. Or how mean. Maybe like Banner we have anger issues, maybe like Natasha we’ve lost all our integrity and want to get it back, maybe we have a huge ego like Tony and don’t use the best judgment.

What do all these things boil down to? Fear.

All three of them are afraid that they will either fail the team just when they are needed most, or will actually be the reason it falls.

That’s why all of us feel this way. I should know. IT defined me for a long time.

At least movies like Frozen are honest about it. Fear is the monster, it has nothing to do with our power or our personality. It’s this weakness in us that makes us prone to fear, and every human being has it.

But that’s no reason to shame ourselves or each other. And in my humble opinion, it was disgraceful for the movie to shame it’s own characters and also every person watching who struggles with their issues. That’s not lifting up a beacon of hope, folks.

And don’t tell me “Well, that’s just the second movie, and their character arcs aren’t finished yet.” That’s no excuse. If I can’t find some truth in every single installment, then it’s not worth watching.

Also, the way the movie portrays people in the military is just wrong. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are only in the army because of a horrible thing that happened to them when they were kids. They want revenge on Stark. So they let themselves be turned into human weapons.

Um…most people do not join the military because of personal loss, there are more noble reasons than revenge to try to do something. I notice just about every agent in these films is in for some personal reason. Which may be okay for them, but sometimes people just sacrifice themselves for the good of mankind, and they don’t need a personal payoff in doing it. And war is no way to redeem one’s character either, it’s too morally debatable to begin with.

I also hated Ultron. His view of humanity is terrible. And Vision, whom I was counting on to be more positive, basically says. “yeah, you’re mostly right, but I’m pro-life.” I’m pro-life of course, but his argument certainly wouldn’t have convinced me if I was wavering.

And what Ultron said about humanity is a lie. Most of what he said is a lie. He quote my least favorite Disney movie several times, (Pinocchio) and I think it’s supposed to symbolize how he view humans as puppets he can manipulate and alter as he wishes, and himself as a real person, the enlightened man.

Ugh.

I notice he reflects all the worst parts of Stark, and magnifies them. He’s arrogant, inconsiderate, and has the same sense of humor. And he denies being like him, just like Tony denies that what he’s doing is insane.

By the by, when Huntress did something similar to what Tony did on the Justice League Unlimited show, she got got kicked out. Just saying.

I’d have to agree with Fury that Tony was a loose cannon. His actions were inexcusable.

And these are the heroes.

It might sound like I’m being too hard on them, but consider what we’re giving our youth and children to look up to.

A lot of them love the Avengers, they love every single movie, no matter how bad it’s message is or how depraved the ideas get. And we aren’t doing anything to stop it.

Because it’s cool.

Gosh, and to think how often that word excuses things that are wrong.

I’m sorry if there’s a marvel fan out there who’s getting really mad at me right now, but I just don’t see where the good in this is coming from. Excitement alone isn’t enough to salvage it.

And if we say it is, then we are disrespecting the very genre itself. Superheros were meant to be looked up to and to inspire kids and adults alike to be heroic and brave and self sacrificial, the superhero craze began right after WWII for crying out loud. America wanted its youth to be like soldiers. Devoted to good and their fellow man at whatever cost.

And what have we let that become?

I don’t care what’s modern and culturally acceptable, it’s still wrong. Id on’t think I’m alone in this conviction either.

And if you saw something in the Age of Ultron movie, or the Avengers movie that I’m missing, please tell me,  because I’m hard put to it to find anything in it to honor.

But I do have some hopes for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Until next time–Natasha.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

I know this movie is old news now, but I saw it for the first time yesterday, SI I thought I’d give my thoughts on it.

I’ve made no secret of my general disinterest in the Avengers, but I like to keep moderately up to date on them. I guess I’m hoping I’ll finally see what everyone else sees in it.

I’ll list the positives first: The character interaction of this film felt way more authentic to me than it did in the first one. You can buy that these people have known each other for awhile now. Clint Barton’s family was a cool part, and how Natasha is basically like their aunt, that’s cool.

Also the action made a bit more sense this time around, it wasn’t as all over the place as the first one felt, at least to me.

Fury was barely in it, but he always makes the plot more confusing so that was actually a good thing. He was in it enough to provide a good element of inspiration.

Finally, Quick Silver was great. I expected to dislike him most of the time but I didn’t. (I did go into it know what happens to him at the end, so that made it easier.) I think he was the best part.

And as a side note, Captain America and the Hammer did look totally like he could have lifted it, I saw it move. And the look on Thor’s face was priceless.

But beyond that, I don’t think this movie held up to the original”s standard, and definitely not my own.

Nice action is great in a superhero flick, but for me it doesn’t make it or break it, so long as the scenes don’t look like a sixties Batman fight, I can tolerate less spectacular fight techniques. And a lot of cool powers isn’t enough to tip the scale either.

Banter gets old unless it’s really good, and cliches and subverted cliches can be equally annoying. (Just because you subverted the cliche doesn’t mean it was a better scene.)

No, what gets me is the heart of a film. It’s why the Incredibles and that Justice League movie about two earths are my favorite superhero films, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

What the heart of Age of Ultron is would be hard to say. Other than Ultron gets his heart ripped out, which was gruesome even if he’s a robot.

I think the heart of it was supposed to be putting the civilians first, and valuing human life instead of just victory over evil.

Did I miss the announcement when a superhero valuing human life ever became something they had to decide in the middle of the film? Uh…that used to be for villains who were finally starting to see the light.

Oh that’s right, superheroes apparently are villains, in a way. (Gag.)

Look, if I have to question the moral choices of my hero, then they aren’t my hero anymore. I can’t look up to someone who is morally inferior to me. That’s stupid.

But I get why it’s popular. So many people identify with this because they are unsure of what their moral standard should be.

A hero should be an inspiration, so why did most of the Avengers spend more time in the film depressing me than they did lifting me up?

If you want to make a morally ambiguous, or philosophically uncertain film, great, but don’t call that a hero film. Heroes are the people who stand up for what’s right, defend the defenseless, and don’t back down from the villain. They are not the people hanging back brooding over whether or not they have the right to even interfere. Yes, the right.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? The Avengers are being accused by Ultron of being the disease of the planet, and they wonder if he’s right.

Well, if he is, it started when they made him.

Up till then, only the Hulk was a threat to society, and he was getting better. If they movie had focused on how the power of love and trust can make people rise to new heights, that would have been a good message.

One many would call cliche and cheesy. But there’s a reason these messages keep being repeated time and again, in every generation. And guess what, the generations that reject them are the ones that crumble in on themselves.

See, the day good things become too boring for the population is the day the population becomes more interested in feeling things strongly then they do in feeling what’s right. It’s like the people who chase erotic love instead of lasting love. The first one is just more of a thrill.

And believe me, I get how these new movies are emotionally seductive, if I may use that term. The stakes are always high, and there are tense moments, and some touching ones that feel very real.

But to what does it all tend?

When I watched The Hunger Games I understood everyone’s fascination with them. I’ve heard snippets of Twilight, and I get why teens were sucked into the series. I get it. Folks, I am not immune to the appeal.

But the appeal is something I despise in myself. Even though it’s there, I know it’s not good.

As a human being, I am as tempted as anyone to sacrifice principal for something that will make me feel all keyed up and pumped, or make me hang on the edge of my seat, or make me sigh and feel all wish- washy. Hey, those aren’t bad feelings.

But pursuing something just to get those feels, that’s either a waste of time, or it’s downright dangerous.

I know this for a fact. I’ve read and watched stuff for all those reasons, that’s how I got addicted to it. And that wasn’t healthy.

Now, it;s become kind of a joke to say you’re addicted to something that people really think is harmless. But addiction is never, ever harmless.

It makes you unhappier in the long run, it can make you depressed. It can make you pull away from the people around you. And it can make you crazily obsessed over something to the point where you neglect real world things.

That’s not a joke. And no one should act like it is.

But most people are unwilling to pull away from their screens long enough to really tell whether or not they have a problem. that’s part of the problem.

As for the Avengers, this movie made them look seriously messed up. Natasha’s whole part just made me sad, but without any hope that she’ll get better. She’s not allowed to, where’d all the conflict come from then, it is the only character development she gets after all…

Yeah, so I didn’t like it. I thought Ultron sucked, not because he wasn’t creepy, but because he made no sense to me. None of it did. I wish they’d decide whether the infinity stones control people or people control them. They can’t make up their minds.

There’s more to be said on this, but it’ll have to wait. Until next time–Natasha.