Thursday, January 30, 2014

Off-Topic: Girl Power/Female Empowerment Feature Films Hollywood Should Make

So I'm trying to put off writing an entry on Bendis' X-23 usage.  Not that I find it bad, in fact there are spots already that I adore, but there are spots that raise some red flags to me as well.  I'm trying to figure out how I want to balance that entry still.  So instead I want to focus on something else real quick!  Here has always been a place I wanted to use to focus on female empowerment and cover many topics associated since that does have a tendency to fall on the line of both genders.  One topic that's rarely discussed is the other intellectual properties out there that could do just that.  Hunger Games has already proven female protagonists are box office smashes if the story is there and it's handled with care to make a great movie, so let's discuss what other properties are out there that could break the mold as well.

Donna Troy/Troia

So kicking off this discussion, is the recent announcement that Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman contract is a multi-picture deal.  One of which is outright a Wonder Woman solo film!  Now granted this discussion should go over characters that have yet to be or are not currently planned for film but it should be discussed that with Diana comes her own history from Themyscira.  Besides Diana, there is also room for characters like Artemis, Donna Troy, Cassie Sandsmark, and more!  Donna Troy in particular I think would do well to be featured as a cameo in a Wonder Woman solo film.  Her character history with some mild tweaks could be quite interesting on screen for how it portrays an orphan taken to the island and raised among these women who grows into her own hero with her own name.  She also provides an interesting spin on the normal heroine romantic angle as she eventually married a mortal normal human man.  This provides interesting potential as a counter-balance to the Clark Kent Lois Lane dynamic where he eventually did the same.  It has interesting potential to show that yes, guys do love strong women that have ambitions and capabilities unmatched by any and will support them even if that guy is only human in comparison.

Maybe I'm just biased when it comes to Donna Troy, but many of her costumes and redesigns have always had that reaching for the stars touch to them and she was also one of the earliest members of the Teen Titans themselves.

She has a long history with Wonder Woman media forays since she was created in 1965.  In 1967 she appeared in the  Aquaman Superman Hour of Adventure cartoon show.  Then later in 1976 she also appeared in a slightly altered form within the classic Wonder Woman live action TV show.  She was the first sidekick that Wonder Woman ever had, creating the mantle of Wonder Girl that eventually faded off of her and led her to becoming her own hero in her own right under her own set of powers.  The mantle of Wonder Girl was then passed on to another much like Batman's sidekick Robin has been.  Granted, this go round her origin should be kept simplified as intended, and with the film forays of Wonder Woman this could happen.  The orphan story was an amazing story device as would be some form of story device means of granting her the Amazon like abilities after years of growing up on the island and training under them would allow.  This relatively simplified back story and added piece of Paradise Island folklore of bestowing Amazon powers to a human could play amazing well to audiences.  It would show women everywhere that any of them could become Wonder Woman and they are not limited from it by not being born on Paradise Island.

Finding a way to mix all the elements of her modern interpretations could also provide for some interesting design elements among DC's New 52 lineup as would be sure to happen after her appearing in any of the Wonder Woman feature films.  This allows Cassie Sandsmark to maintain the Wonder Girl title they've currently started with, and allows Troia to make her return again without having been underneath anyone's shadow.  She'll simply be a strong female protagonist with an interesting subtle back story and ready for the big leagues.  Thanks to her media exposure and fans, alongside her rich history with Diana herself, there is a strong possibility she may cameo at some point.  One could only hope that WB does bite at this chance to bring her to the big screen and have her make a big splash with her presence among DC's line of comics.  The fans miss Donna Troy.  Among all the other redesigns and fresh starts other heroes have gotten, she's one that could shine bright among the stars once again for all she represents and what should be corrected from her previous overly-convoluted character history.

As for full on feature films though?  Oh my list is much more open ended to be free standing as their own properties.

Tomb Raider

Of course, right off the bat I have to mention Lara Croft.  I know, I know.  Angelina Jolie already portrayed the infamous character from Tomb Raider in the classic video game adapted movie and sequel.  Lara Croft though has received her own kind of face lift and rebranding rather recently in video game form.  Of course I'm speaking of the 2011 game from Squaresoft and Crystal Dynamics.  That Tomb Raider game acted as an origin story for the character and dove into her early years of how she became who she is with her first adventure.  The game was magnificently handled and elevated the genre to new heights in how it was approached.  Maybe it's time for movie Lara Croft to get the same treatment with her own origin feature film that could do the same and cover the themes that game presented.

It could be a full on standalone feature or be marketed as a prequel.  Either works.  With the right director and emotional impact to the story, it could easily break the box office and expectations.  Casting seems quite apparent too with only needing a starlet that's capable of doing a british accent and is looking to fill out the action film side of their filmography.  It is a story that has a focal point on a proverbial underdog.  One lone woman using her wits to survive and save her friends.

Black Rock Shooter

Black Rock Shooter is a character and growing property from Japan created by illustrator Ryohei Huke.  She had started off as a simple Miku Miku Dance model and song, but has grown to so much more.  She has been featured in several manga, has had her own video games, and even two forays into anime.  One was a standalone direct to video(web streamed too!) 50 minute feature and the second provided her first foray onto TV screens as a full on series.  This property has often been one to focus heavily on the power of friendship alongside the trials it can entail.  It's also had a heavy focus on natural human emotion, growth, and showing the strength within to do what's right and stand up for others.  She's a character that has already influenced the world in many ways with the dynamic action presented in both game and animation form, but she's also a character with very strong positive messages hidden underneath.  If a live movie were to be adapted of her, it could pull on multiple sources of influence and become a cult classic comparative to Sucker Punch, Assault Girls, or similar albeit without the hindrances many of those properties have tossed their way.  While there may be a few hindrances in the design barring how the story is approached, there is much room to use here as female empowerment piece.

Personally my view if it ever were to be adapted, is that it should lean either on the game's dystopian future story of an attack that wiped out humanity, or possibly heavily onto the another world developments that the anime uses.  It's highly dependent on the type of story that could be told, and both sides really have strong potential.  There are many ways to spin such a creation to still entail heavy visual action pieces of any setup while within the confines of the growth of relationships among friends at any age of the spectrum from high school to even self-referential method of the friendships being tested and built while such a film itself was being developed within itself.  These set pieces allow for a visual feast as well as symbolic exposition of what's occurring on the normal "earth" side.  It also allows for commentary within itself over various aspects of the visual side that could range from everything about casting to costuming, or even character design elements of such genres.  An art piece that could be a film that'd make you think as well as make your eyes go wide.  There are many directions that could be taken or commentaries that could be made within from overactive imaginations to much much more.  The conflicts, bridges built and burnt, or even misunderstandings are something that plague all walks of life and industries.

Gunsmith Cats

Gunsmith Cats is a property created by Kenichi Sonada.  As a manga in the 90s it reached up to 9 volumes and a straight to video 3 episode anime release.  Then thanks to how beloved and well received it was, much later it had a 5 volume follow up continuing on the story.  Gunsmith Cats itself is the story of a gun shop run by two women.  They aren't only the owners of this shop though.  They are also bounty hunters in Chicago where their shop is located.  The story covers many aspects of gender stereotypes as well as shows the strong bond these women have for each other and their friends.  It contains much situational humor to their lifestyle as well as has fast cars and action packed stories that show truly how badass these women are.  Rally Vincent and Minnie Mae are icons within the anime fandom outright.  Whether it's from how Rally outwits the macho man incarnate of Riding Bean, or takes down full on drug cartels headed by former KGB, these characters outright show that women can do anything and are capable of being the scariest women alive, but also have ethics, morals, and a warmth all of their own.  The dynamic between Rally and Minnie Mae has yet to be fully explored onscreen in cinemas.  The questions and commentary it could raise within audiences about the character histories are explored in playful jabs and commentary between the characters themselves.

This duo is one that could surprise all.  With the Transporter series having done as well as it has and how much the original Riding Bean anime that birthed Gunsmith Cats itself is reminiscent of, maybe it's time this duo had their fair shot too in a feature film to prove they could be even more successful.

Bubblegum Crisis

Of course any entry talking about empowerment and girl power would not be complete without mentioning the Knight Sabers.  Bubblegum Crisis started off as an 8 episode direct to video anime release, but spawned a 3 episode direct to video follow up called Bubblegum Crash as well as a prequel spin off series that focused on the A.D. Police.  Much later BGC also received a 26 episode anime TV series and again the A.D. Police themselves gained another 12 episode TV series prequel.  Fans are still hungry for more.  Nene, Priss, Sylia, and Linna are anime icons of strong women from all walks of life that handle what the police of the future can't.  They take down threats on levels that even this future police task force can't and often times even have to clean up this task force's mess from being ill-prepared.  The themes covered and the stories told are all rich with potential, symbolism and world commentary even to this day.  Having been a series that was heavily influenced from Blade Runner, the pedigree of this scifi property is well in place and ready to become the next landmark serial blockbuster fest.  That's assuming of course if the action is handled well, and the Knight Saber armor suits are kept moderately to their iconic selves of at least the TV series initial versions.

The property is essentially a girl power form of Iron Man, but with more on burst jet propelled acrobatics than actual flight.  If you take the Pepper Potts action piece finale of Iron Man 3 and multiply it by about 50 times, you'd start to get somewhere around where the Knight Sabers are at.  That Gwyneth Paltrow scene would be considered a slow day for them.

Of course on this list should include X-23 herself, but KP will be coming back to that topic about a movie for her soon!  There's much that could be discussed still on the prospects and directions it could take!  For now though, what properties would you like to see on the big screen that have strong focuses and influences of female empowerment or girl power?  What are your thoughts on the ones suggested?  Personally I left off Battle Angel Alita since James Cameron has talked about bringing her to the big screen eventually.  That was a hard call to make though since it is a property that goes hand in hand with many of the ones mentioned.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Preview: All-New X-Men 22.Now

CBR has the preview up for All-New X-Men which hits comic shops and news stands January 22nd.  It will be kicking off the Trial of Jean Grey story arc.

More to follow soon, as the panel with X-23 and the previous issues all raise a valid concern that should be voiced.  (Alongside much to highlight for praise!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reminder: All-New X-Men Issue 21

All-New X-Men issue 21 hits comic shops tomorrow, January 15th.  It'll be picking up from where it last left off with the team captured by the Purifiers.  Be sure to check out the issue as it's sure to have quite a few twists and turns for Laura and could be what starts to fashion all to come with Bendis' usage of the character within the title.

Random January 2014 News Bites

So this came up awhile ago and it's worth repeating again.

The Hunger Games franchise has a new record on its hands from 2013.  The newest film in the franchise, Catching Fire, is not only the highest domestic grossing film of 2013 by surpassing Ironman 3, it's also the highest grossing film with a female lead which hasn't happened since 1973's The Exorcist.   Showing once again that female leads can have audience drawing power and break the box office.  This is the first film with a clear female protagonist, which excludes films like Titanic from the debate, to have done this in 40 years!  It reflects a tide turning in how Hollywood looks at franchise films.  As it shows outright that a female-led film of high quality can indeed maintain it's own franchise, and even be a heavy-weight box office contender.  Such record breaking acts like this could start to pave the way for more.  If Hunger Games can do it, just imagine what Marvel or DC may be able to do with cohesive well handled scripts for solo female properties.  Could a solo film Black Widow or X-23 be far behind?  We already are potentially getting a slow build up for a solo Wonder Woman feature later on down the line from Warner Brothers.

In other news, it's starting to become quite annoying about how the gossip rags treat forms of abuse other than physical, along with the fandoms that eat it up confused that it's love thanks to film franchises like Twilight and the soon to be 50 Shades of Gray.  For example, recently a rumor was spread about Selena Gomez camping with Bieber in Chris Brown's RV.  Of course Ms. Gomez's people denied this as they should, but I'm rather surprised it wasn't more verbose and direct in it's disregard of said event ever occurring. They stated: "This did not happen. There is absolutely not one ounce of truth to anything in this."

Let's look at this for a second.  Chris Brown who has anger issues he's trying to resolve now finally after court enforced therapy.  The man who had abused Rihanna, a woman Ms. Gomez looks up to as a musical influence, let Bieber use his RV to go camping.  The fact that fans ate this up thinking that a woman of Ms. Gomez's caliber who has spent an entire year trying to uplift women and show that it's both men and women's choices that matter.  Spent an entire year to show how she's grown and become her own woman who wants to inspire others into being the best they can be.  A woman who has adamantly spoken against bullies and spoken up to stop fans from doing harmful things to themselves in her name.  That no one should take advantage of such occurrences of inebriation on anyone. (And on said note, this also means don't take advantage of anyone while inebriated as even if someone may be touchy feely while intoxicated, that doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage. Do you really want the only reason someone did anything with you being because they were drunk or drugged into complacency?  You do know what that's called right?)  That even she could be the one that ends up sleeping on someone's couch after a night of enjoying the company of friends and deserves that respect to be left alone, has been linked to a camping trip using an abuser's RV.  An abuser who struck a woman she considers one of her influences.  Am I the only one that sees the gaping flaw in logic here?  It's outright disgusting that anyone could ever believe it was true.

Thankfully of course her people denied it as they should if it's false, but it's a sad state of affairs when people are so caught up in trying to force a toxic match that they look past details that you would think show how absurd it is.  Of course this also isn't counting other acts that can be considered forms of abuse via the instigating of fans to do dirty work based on lyrical content of an album that can be considered itself one long form of emotional and verbal abuse towards her and her friends or other acts and attempts to harm her reputation and hide his own drug abuse and immaturity.  Acts of using her as a prop and object without any regard to her feelings, safety, or reputation.  The public is letting it happen, and she has yet to speak on these matters directly.  I hope she does soon, as she has built herself up to be an inspiration to help uplift women, and it's sickening to see how others would try to tear that down by lies, half-truths, and twisting of facts or pushing her towards a known drug addict with a history of unsafe behaviors and attitudes when she's trying to grow and become the woman she wants to be that can help others stand on their own feet and show the spotlight can be handled responsibly. (When I mentioned hindrances before, this is what I was referring to.  How her name is dragged through the mud for no reason than to try and hold her down when she's done absolutely nothing wrong.  Even going so far as to smile and try to laugh it off when she should start becoming vocal on it as no one deserves to go through or be used like this.  Though it also might make a role like X-23 become cathartic for her as a means to vent through a film piece.  This could make that film role even more satisfying for her and make her performance even more hypnotic.)

It seems the world takes steps forwards, but also takes giant leaps backwards.  Women are dominating the music charts, and now the box office, yet people are still stuck in mentalities without being able to quantify or recognize various forms of abuse perpetuated.  The world has long strides yet to go in equality, recognition of bullies, abuse, and the overall treatment of their fellow humans.  (I didn't feel like listing all the incidents across the board this time from all outlets because I really don't want to depress even myself.  2014 has begun, can we start trying to make things better already by using our heads and thinking before speaking and acting first?  Seriously, it's time to start teaching people what responsibility means and not excusing it.  Excusing it only makes it worse and them thinking that degradation and abuse is okay.)

In other rather awesome news, the Juicy J Twerking scholarship has come to a close.  The winner?  A college student by the name of Zaire Holmes with a video that didn't even have twerking in it!  Congrats to her and her pursuit of becoming a doctor!  It's nice to see good surprises like these still happening.  Last year when the contest started, it had received a large amount of flack for endorsing questionable behavior of selling sex & objectifying women.  It spurred at least two entries of no twerking that instead talked about betterment for themselves and others.  It's nice to see that one of those won and also is an interesting commentary on perceptions of the world.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fan Casting For X-23: The Wide World of Choices

So for this entry, I gave myself one stipulation.  I cannot choose my default choice.  Nope not for this entry.  Cannot praise her vast amounts of charity work and how dedicated she has been to trying to uplift her fans.  Can't talk about how I wonder what kind of shelf or mantle she uses to hold all those awards that it doesn't break, and can't go on and on about how amazingly perfect she could be in the role to define it for a decade to come.  Nope can't do it.  Not in this entry.  Not one word about her depth of talent nor her smile that can light up and soften any situation or eyes that could hauntingly portray Laura unlike any other.  Nope, not one word.  Not one iota for this entry.  Not even one bit about how her inspirational role-model status can help further this character to new heights!  Not even a mention of how she's developing a filmography as diverse and well rounded as Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, or even Jennifer Lopez.  Nope.  It's not allowed for this entry.  Also can't go into any hindrances either.

For this entry, I'm forcing myself to look at what other actress choices are out there that can fit the role of Laura Kinney.  This list was not done in any particular order.  In fact, it wasn't even written in order!

Lucy Hale
Lucy Hale is an actress with a wide filmography and decent world wide exposure.  While currently she's one of the stars of the much beloved Pretty Little Liars and is now kicking off her dream of a music career (Go check out her new solo country single You sound good to me!), she also has many geek show connections that could play in her favor for this kind of role.  She portrayed the little sister in the relatively recent 2007 Bionic Woman reboot, and even had a guest spot on Wizards of Waverly Place.  Seemingly she's used to filming TV thrillers as the show Pretty Little Liars focuses on being, but she's also done film work for sequels of cult classics such as Scream 4.  Psychological thrillers aren't new to her filmography either with a film like Fear Island, and she's also well rounded in having featured in family comedies about trust, life, friendship, and legacies as shown in Sorority Wars.  Her career is diverse to reflect a skill set that can handle almost anything thrown her way and can flip even direct to DVD sequels like Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2 and A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song from what's normally sequel cliche pandering to becoming on par if not better than their previous films from the acting having a natural onscreen charm to it that makes the characters come alive as real and genuine.  She also has that piece of country soul that often gets connected to Laura Kinney that could help make the character pop on screen.  All around she is a potentially heavy contender for the role with the wide aptitude of talents she's displayed on screen.  Personally by all accounts, she's almost tied with my first choice for the role due to the ease of softness to furious she can portray alongside her genuine and down to earth manner to which she holds herself.  Also doesn't hurt that the 2007 Bionic Woman reboot had a "haven't seen the moon in 1,023 days" line in it from another modern geek iconic actor.  (I'm a sucker for coincidences, what can I say?)

Julia Goldani Telles
One of the stars of the much loved but sadly canceled Bunheads, Telles is an actress that has a wide range and history in ballet.  She shares similar traits that have been proven to be successful in a transition to a role like Laura Kinney as Summer Glau had shown with her ballet history to transition into River Tam of Firefly.  Her acting range has yet to be fully defined, and with being mostly an unknown still yields strong possibilities for this to be her breakout movie stardom role.  Being one of the youngest actresses on this list, she also presents potential for character portrayal scattered across many sequels by at least three years longer.  Having no real action film previous experience may be a hindrance, but again as shown with Summer Glau, the transition from dance choreography to action choreography can often go in quite poetic and surprising swings.  With having only begun her career rather recently, she is entirely a wild card slot that does not as yet have a filmography to draw on for reference.

India Eisley
She's displayed an aptitude to action roles in similar forays outright.  Between Kite and Underworld Awakening both, she has become a fan favorite for the role of Laura Kinney.  Many fans have made artwork depicting as such with her being their personal choice.  Underworld Awakening gave the fans a chance to see at least half the range that would be needed for the role of X-23.  Kite looks like it may yield the other half with the everyday girl expression range.  With having these action heavy blockbusters at her backing, it's easy to see why she would be their choice.  Both films have shown she has effects and stunt training on par to what would be needed for the role, as well as potentially being capable of  evoking the kind of presence needed to portray such a character.  With her filmography already becoming quite action heavy though, the question would be does she fear of being typecast by continuing on in these roles, or is it deliberate because she wants to become one of the future female badasses of film with names such as Michelle Rodriguez. Gal Gadot, Milla Jovovich, and her fellow Underworld Awakening co-star, Kate Beckinsale.

Saiorse Ronan
While not predominately an action star, the film Hanna did give the fans an interesting look into the potential of her as Laura Kinney.  She's a well versed and talented actress that brings all her roles to life as believable characters.  Whether it's her portrayal of a girl still finding herself as in How I live now or even her earlier work with Atonement, she is a star that has a wide range of unique talents that could be a perfect fit for X-23.  On top of the wide spectrum of roles she's conveyed, she's often been praised for having an ear for accents to help deliver foreign language dialogue with an unmatched ease.  She can seemingly slip in and out of various tongues that sound natural to the region she's attempting to evoke.  This is a skill that could play in favor of the X-23 role as Laura is a character that within her own origin tale bounces between three languages with natural ease and seamlessly perfect accents.

All 5 of these actresses present strong potential for the role of Laura Kinney if she were ever depicted on film.  So who would you like to see take on the role?

Preview: All-New X-Men 21

The lettered preview for All-New X-Men #21 has surfaced courtesy of Newsarama.  It hits comic store shelves on January 15th.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

X-23: Her Healing Factor

X-23's mutant genes are derived from Wolverine.  Because of this, she shares much of his innate healing ability.  Logan's mutant gene was specifically isolated to be reproduced in X-23 to exhibit the same characteristics, albeit with differences pertaining to her gender and the mild random effects of claw distribution based on conception as well as environmental needs due to the cause of her powers awakening.  The process and manner used caused her claws to manifest in the best manner to suit the duress she was under as a natural response to combat it.  Where Wolverine's claws were manifested first initially under a combat/anger scenario, X-23's first manifested in both offense and defense manners that allow her to use both her arms and legs as tools to protect herself.

Her inherited healing factor though is the point of discussion for today!

Rate of growth for her hair:
Her hair should grow at a rate that corresponds to the amount of cellular regeneration she undergoes.  Essentially her healing factor regenerates her cell structure at an accelerated rate of a normal person with no decay that would be associated to the aging process.  So in theory, her hair should grow at the same accelerated rate while her ability is active.

It's never been shown to grow beyond the set length she keeps.  Though there are two possibilities with how her powers work.  Either her hair is perpetually growing at an accelerated rate, or it only grows at such speeds when her powers are directly active to do so.  As such, when her healing factor is not in use, her hair may not be effected by it.  She could in theory get a hair cut, but the first major trauma she suffers make it jump several inches in length that corresponds to the natural human hair growth rate of the time a person would need to recover from such an injury.

When exposed to excess amounts of radiation, her body may compensate from the potential effects, but until the radiation's half-life expires, hair growth may be minimal.  Once the effects do wear off her eye brows and eye lashes should grow to normal length first because of the protection roles they play in instinctual reflex reactions that keep dirt, sweat, and other debris out of the eyes.

Brain Damage:
Damage to her brain is dependent on a host of factors of whether or not tissue itself has been removed or altered.  In cases where tissue may be incapacitated, in theory it could regenerate back to where it belongs without any memory loss.  Such things as high levels of radiation exposure may temporarily incapacitate it, but so long as the tissue itself is intact albeit inert until her powers regenerate it, her memories will be unreachable until said biological function completes.  In such actions as brain matter being directly lost where new tissue must be grown, memories could be lost.  It's dependent upon the manner of damage taken, and how her power regenerates said tissue.  Dead tissue that's revived has a different effect than tissue that needs to be fully regrown per the biological functions associated.

Full Limb Regrowth:
X-23's healing factor activates upon cellular damage.  Anything that compromises her natural state, such as limb loss, is regenerated at an accelerated rate.  We've seen this previously in X-Force v3 with her having to grow her entire arm back and have her claws re-implanted in that arm to replace the newly grown bone claws.  Unlike Wolverine, her healing factor is not compromised or hindered by constant regeneration from excessive amounts of adamantium poisoning nor is it hindered by the fact said type of coating would block all anti-body production.  The lack of adamantium coating her bones means she would have a potentially exponential rate of healing acceleration compared to what Wolverine does because of the biological processes of bone marrow still being active in her body as opposed to how his is blocked by the metal.

Slowed Aging:
Her healing factor works at a rate of regeneration on a cellular level.  This means there is no cell decay that would correspond with the aging process.  Once those cells reach peak maturation, they are continually rejuvenated into staying in peak condition from all natural decay.  This keeps her outward appearance from aging beyond her prime maturation point.  What that point is though has yet to be fully seen.  Usually it can range in normal physiology anywhere from 25 to 35.  Her healing factor, barring hindrances, would essentially stop aging at her physiological peak, but may also slow the climb to it as well.

When dealing with such characters as X-23, to maintain what is the natural essence of her abilities, you have to look into how that ability corresponds to her physiology and history.  This is something that a writer must do with any character's attributes they are handling.

For further references on how her healing factor has been used in comics.  See NYX v1 issue 7, X-23 v1 issues 1-6, Avengers Arena issues 1 and 18, X-Force v3 issues 17-21, All-New X-Men issue 19-20, and New X-Men: Academy X issues 30-31.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

10 Things About 2013 in Retrospect: Part 2

Continuing on from part 1, here is the next 5 top events of 2013 in retrospect!

5. NSA and Citizen Privacy

Edward Snowden broke the news story of the century with bringing NSA monitoring actions on its own citizens to light.  This is one that's still ongoing and is shaping discourses for the year to come.  His actions revealed much in how much our own privacy is revoked everyday.

4. The Wendy Davis Filibuster

When speaking of examples set and historic moments, one can't ignore the stance Wendy Davis of Texas did.  She didn't just sign a piece of paper, she stood to block abhorrent legislation the old school and right way.  This was a momentous landmark moment in history outright.  A woman for all to look towards and show that not all politicians would be lap dogs that go against the people's will.  Though they tried to overturn her epic stance and will of the people moment, she stood tall.  I cannot do it justice by simple words.  This is one you must google, and see for yourself.  She is a name that's going to rise far across politics, and not because she's paid to do the will of lobbyists, but because she actually stands for the will of the people and protecting their rights.

3. Roosterteeth with Monty Oum's RWBY

One of the true independent breakout hits of the previous year, this show had it all.  Great action, an interesting story, and fun situational comedy.  They've worked hard to develop a deep fantasy world rich in its own mythology and history.  The depth of care shows with both having life lessons deeply rooted into what the characters go through, and making each character come alive with their own personalities and heritages.  The show touches on many topics and does in an organic way that stays true to the world they've developed but is also applicable to real life scenarios.  Monty Oum and Roosterteeth are going to be something to keep an eye on as they continue to grow and reach new heights every year if RWBY is anything to go on.  Much love and praise goes out to the full talents and crew behind it as they've truly created a show unlike any other on the market.



On top of it all, it seems 2014 is already catching fire too for Marvel.  No only are they continuing on to bolster their amazing Marvel Now lineup and talents with new titles, but recently a manhole fire occurred near their building that caused them to evacuate.  Thankfully everyone is okay and accounted for from what's been reported.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Marvel Games Removed From XBox 360 and PS3

This one is news to me too, as I'm not as much of a gamer as I used to be.  So instead of covering this story myself, here's Youtube user Miles923's take on it as it was happening via his Youtube channel.

Might be time to stock up on those titles if you haven't already purchased them.  As stated in the video this includes the various DLC.  One of which being the X-Men Evolution X-23 costume itself.

This is a sad day for fans of both X-23 and those games.  As Marvel vs Capcom 3 is one of the only home console titles currently where she is featured as a playable character.

Be sure to check out Miles923's other videos as he is an amazing contributor to the fighting game scene with the tips and analysis he provides for many titles!  Often they include hilarious tongue in cheek comedic flair with cosplay antics!

10 Things About 2013 in Retrospect: Part 1

We're now in 2014.  Happy belated New Year!  2013 though has left much in its wake that still stands out and should be remembered or has yet to be fully resolved.  The events of it permeated cultures worldwide that no matter what your stance is on many topics, there was much that couldn't be ignored.  There were many lost, new battles brought to the surface, old battles shown how much they still need to be fought for, and much much more.  So let's run down the list of some of the 2013 highlights starting with the first five in the countdown!

10.  Miley Cyrus and her VMA Performance.

This one reaches the list for a wide array of reasons.  The best way to cover it though is forward.  Pop culture and the idol industry is a mirror of our times.  We live in a world where rape culture has become prevalent in everyday discourse due to constant news of sickening events that should never have happened.  This performance itself mirrors that.  Cyrus took what was every adolescent's wet dream and owned it by turning it into their nightmare.  She gave them exactly what they asked for but multiplied to the extreme.  She used shock and awe, not to debase herself, but really to take her own dignity back in many ways.  The performance disturbed in such a manner that it managed to shock audiences into thinking about what they keep saying they want.  She also showed outright where the immediate blame falls with perceptions and what's really noticed by world audiences at large.  While many fell prey to reacting to it from base disgust, myself included, in retrospect it really was an art piece that made commentary across a wide spectrum of concerns of disturbing nature while still finding a way to truly get the point across that it is disturbing without hindering or hampering the discourse by becoming further material adolescents would use for actions opposite of the intent.  If anything, it became the focus of comedic derision due to basic primal aversion that didn't want to see it as a societal commentary of our age on perversion and gender inequality.  The only drawback being that it may have even overshadowed her own strength of voice, but may in the long term also permit her to stand on her own two feet because of the basis of her work and strength of her voice over any other superficial or past work perceptional hindrances.  It was a performance though that showed only a person can make the choice of what they will or won't do with their own body.  Only they are allowed to make that choice.

9.  Stars Dance

Of course, with mentioning Cyrus, one would also have to mention the counter balance to that equation.  That of Selena Gomez's Stars Dance.  It was an album that sang about much across a wide spectrum of relationship concerns.  A proverbial love letter to her fans that carried with it its own set of messages about confidence, cuddling all night, kindness, and that even a woman can be forward in their actions.  Okay yes, and one song may have been heavy innuendo to foreplay, but the entire album itself spoke of the emotions involved in a love life across a vague enough bandwidth that it could reach a wide audience of concerns they could find support in or help uplift them.  Whether it be a song about wishing you could make a former significant other wish they never met you, or the ballads associated to thinking back kindly on the good times for what they were, it's an album that can softly rest on your mind with lyrics that are catchy, memorable, and stand out.  It sings of poetic compliments that go beyond the simplest words of laziness that people often cling to and instead speaks of be creative with who you love.  Show them what they mean to you by making them feel loved with your words as much as you feel in your heart.  It sings of metaphors and similes, and often could even be compared to the sonnets of Shakespeare with how it compares an uplifting love to the stars above, and yet also reflects songs of how a love life is a private affair and sometimes needs to stay undercover for both parties.  It sings of passions and kindness from a woman that genuinely tries to regularly show the world that everyone is beautiful and should treat each other for who they are, and not by other superficial means.

8.  Doctor Who 50th

Any countdown about the previous year in retrospect would be remiss without mentioning that the Doctor turned 50 last year.  It was a rather powerful symbolic piece that was simulcast and even put in theaters.  It had a strong box office showing for a theater run that was less than a week while also having been aired on TV and shows how much the fans support this property and all that it entails.  It carried life metaphors and set up a new status quo for the Doctor.  One we can all relate to of trying to find our way back home and the choices we make that lead us to where we are even when we forget.  It spoke of what being a good man means, but not only that, it showed it in the actions of the characters.  It gave hope for a better tomorrow, and in the main message as always sent by the Doctor, there is another way.  Every moment has a choice we need to make.  We don't have to stand alone in those choices, but we do have to face them and be ready to take them where they may lead.  We always must take responsibility for own actions, but we do not have to do it alone.

7. Wonder Woman

When the news of Wonder Woman being cast and set to appear in the Man of Steel sequel broke, it caused quite the uproar across the internet of body shaming as well as other forms of off base commentary about how much strength a woman can have based on appearance.  As with similar such film pieces that had strong women like Haywire or Hanna and more, it became a subject of derision amongst the most masculinity blinded of the internet that often happen to be the loudest and most ignorant.  The casting of Gal Gadot was an amazing choice that fit perfectly with the acting range and skill sets she has from her own filmography and history.  She is a woman that could very well probably even kick the ass of the two other lead stars, and now as Wonder Woman, may even be able to do as such with her character to their characters.  Batman and Superman don't stand a chance against her, and this very could lead to her own solo film.  The only drawback being that Warner Brothers seems to think she needs this kind of slow introduction when she could dominate the box office on her own merits alone already.

6. The X-Men 50th Anniversary

Not only did the Doctor turn 50, but so did the dream of a one Charles Xavier who believed in a united world where everyone was equal no matter their differences.  A world not ruled by hate, but by love and kindness.  It's a dream that's often echoed into our own world of letting people be and live as they choose to live so long as they are not harming or using another.  It's a dream of equality and acceptance no  matter our differences and the comic it has been featured in spun a tale through the ages of how this dream has been battered, beaten, even dismantled, yet still lives on in its purest form.  It's a dream of not letting hate and bullies win, to stand up to abuse and stop it.  It's a dream of a brighter future for all through the children he tried to show there is always another way.  That good will always triumph in the face of evil and that abuse should never be tolerated.  Marvel celebrated this milestone with their own X-Men event that may have gotten lost in it's narrative story-wise with all that it introduced for usage later, but still persisted and triumphed in showing the audience that even in the future, the dream lives on and is one worth fighting for.

To be continued in part 2 coming soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Live Adaption of The Anime "Kite"

Thanks to a heads up via Bleeding Cool, a longer look at the upcoming feature film Kite is available.

It stars India Eisley and Samuel L. Jackson, and will possibly be reaching theaters sometime in 2014.

India Eisley is also one of the many fan wanted front runners for the role of X-23 if a live movie were to be made or have her appear.  She previously appeared in Underworld Awakening as Eve.  Between this film and that one, it's easy to see why she would be a fan front runner for the role alongside Saiorse Ronin for her portrayal in Hanna.

Kite is a rather complicated anime with heavy undertones and subtext that speaks to many ills of the world.  It's a story, albeit different, that shares many parallels with X-23's tale itself.  Be forewarned though, it is indeed a hyper violent anime, and includes many disturbing scenes.  The live movie looks to have kept much of the same material intact and action scenes, but may (indeed one would hope) cut out some of the more perverse material as unneeded and superfluous to the overall story other than ramping up the abuse the main protagonist has been through to  hyper-violent extremes.

Kite itself was originally an anime that was released directly to video.  Soon after it received a sequel series called Kite: Liberator that takes place ten years later and uses a different cast of characters.  Liberator was adapted to serialized manga.  The original Kite was not and did not start off as a graphic novel in any way, shape, or form.

Small Personal Update!

Normally I try to stay away from anything pertaining to my own current life happenings on here.  Sometimes I use years old life stories to help better fashion a point though I typically prefer running them by the person they deal with in question when I can first.

This one I'm only bringing up not because I want to use it as an excuse, in fact that's why I haven't mentioned it sooner, but to explain my long absences between entries.

My "step"- sister (though not really since her dad and my mother only dated, never married and there's more to that story itself than I'm comfortable talking about publicly, but is also the source of mild anxiety issues for me) has been staying where I live with her husband and 3 year old son until they get back up on their feet.  So most of my free time between trying to keep their son entertained (that's where the paper planes mention came from and heavy observations on child raising), dealing with my own rather odd life happenstances that I have no clue when are going to end, and updating here have been rather conflicting.

I do still plan on getting the X-23 videos done someday, but also currently I lack the funds for the parts needed to do that as hard drive space has gone below the point I can even do a simple anti-viral update.  There are still entries coming that still need research alongside overhauling the new tumblr site for KinneyPride.  I have managed to get the covers section up to date finally outside of the TPBs as yet(and still adding dates and credits to it all as well).

Things have been hectic and never seem to slow down right now.  Between various things in my own life that have sapped me to the point where I feel like I'm sleeping away too much of the day, or to the point the second I am around their son wants to play(You try turning down a 3-year old!  It breaks my heart every time I have to!) here has been falling to the wayside a bit.

My apologies for this, and I do not mean to use it as an excuse either.  I will try to find a way to use my time more wisely, and spread it out better across all my endeavors, but for now things may still move at a snails pace considering all that I'm trying to juggle and figure out still.

My deepest apologies go out to someone else too that has done nothing but try to support here and my other endeavors in any way she could, often even at her own expense.  During my own issues, I made the mistake of bothering her too often with selfishness not realizing she was dealing with her own heavy issues.  For that, I am truly sorry and I will eternally make it up to you if given the chance to make amends.  There is no excuse for it from me.  I owe you more than anyone else on this earth.