selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
The Americans:

While pondering whether or not to volunteer for The Americans this Yuletide, I checked whether there were new stories since last year, and indeed there were. I especially liked:


It's never over: a look at Oleg in season 5.

My last night: Philip and Elizabeth post Martha.

The Defenders:

Saints in Effigy a Claire pov on her relationships.

MCU:

Spider-Sitting: what Happy Hogan thinks about basically being made Peter's handler.
selenak: (Branagh by Dear_Prudence)
...and I don't mean the latest attempt to repeal the ACA, because that particular sparing came through hard work by people who made phonecalls, Senators Murkowski and Collins putting people before party and McCain proving he has a sense for cliffhangers and drama.

No, I just discovered that back in ye early 90s when the first three Bernie Gunther novels were published, successful and thus considered for movie versions, the two actors in consideration for the leading role were Klaus Maria Brandauer (wrong accent and wrong size, but could see him having pulled it off, acting-wise)... and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thank the universe for small favours the world was spared that one. Nowadays, HBO has aquired the rights to the novels and Tom Hanks wants to executive produce (though again, thank you, universe, for favours, he's too old to play Bernie Gunther now except for the late 50s settings. Also, he's wrong for the part. Nothing against Tom Hanks in principle, but not in this role, at any age.

Since I believe in constructive criticism: I can see Max Riemelt (Wolfgang on Sense8) as Bernie Gunther, and since after the wrap-up movie (yay!), there will be no more Sense8, he's available. Advantages: actually German, actually from Berlin, actually the right age for Bernie Gunther in the 1930s when the series starts (and it's easier to age someone up than to age him down, especially if that actor has to play action scenes), and fluent in English which I assume (since HBO is producing) the series will be shot in. Also, he can do sardonic and increasingly self loathing.

(if it has to be an international movie star, Michael Fassbender would also do.)

(Going to actors who don't speak German and aren't at least half-German: Kenneth Branagh would be good for older Bernie, but just would not be believable anymore for a man in his 30s.)

Meanwhile, have two fanfic links in two different fandoms:

Spider-man: Homecoming:

Just a kid: Both a prequel and a fleshing out to and of canon - covers Peter from Ben's death to the movie. Great voices for all the other suspects, too.


Babylon 5:

The Book of the Dead: in which the Centauri afterlife turns out to be far different than what Londo had expected. Also features a great G'Kar, Timov and Vir!
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
Okay, that's it. As Civil War made me suspect, Tom Holland is my platonic ideal of Peter Parker, at least in his teenage phase. Also, while I had liked the first Raimi/Maguire movie and parts of the rest while increasingly disliking other parts of those films, and liked the first Garfield without thinking it needed to exist while extremly disliking the second one, this latest cinematic go at Spidey was a complete delight to me and I love it.

Ramblings beneath the cut )
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
So, the trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming debuted, and I find myself looking forward to a new Spiderman movie for the first time in eons. (I did end up liking the first Garfield movie, but I also felt it deeply unnecessary, and then the second Garfield took away what I had liked about the first one, so.) Which means Tom Holland's debut in Civil War has done its intended job for me, I suppose. And I freely admit one aspect I'm looking forward to is Tony Stark getting the morally ambiguous mentor role this time around. (Plus it won't be an origin story, THANK GOD. We really don't need to see Uncle Ben dying for the third time in a row.)

Incidentally, Tony saying "don't do anything I would do" suddenly made me wonder whether someone has done the glaringly obvious and made a vid about him and Howard to the tune of Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle, preferably using the Johnny Cash version. So I checked YouTube, and sure enough, someone did, but the vid is four years old, which means they can't have used any of the Howard footage from Agent Carter (and probably none of the Tony footage from Age of Ultron), and of course not the virtual memory from Civil War, or the Tony and Peter interaction there. And the vid of my dreams would really be focused on the Tony-Howard parallels rather than just being about Howard's lack of time (though that of course would also be there, it's in the lyrics, after all). Using Ultron (Tony's creation) and his devastation possibly intercut with Doctor Faustus and the movie massacre (Howard's creation), the Howard-Peggy argument scene from "The Blitzkrieg Button" intercut with Tony and Steve early on in "Civil War", Howard and Tony both making presentations and speeches in their flamoboyant ways, Howard in the plane over Manhattan with Tony as Iron Man near the end of "Avengers", and so forth.
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
Because US politics provide less angst for me than European politics: on twitter, JMS (i.e. J. Michael Straczkynski, for you non B5lers) has not only urged anyone who ever liked one of the shows he's worked on to vote for Bernie Sanders, but has enlisted fictional characters as well by pointing out that Peter Parker and Superman (he said Superman, not Clark Kent) , both of whom he wrote in comics, would most definitely vote for Bernie.

Great Maker, as Londo Mollari would say. Whose endorsement wasn't offered, undoubtedly because Londo's political choices are, err, not of the type that you'd want in rl. Anyway, I can't decide whether I'm more amused or more inclined to face palm. Not that I'm not prepared to believe Peter Parker would vote for Bernie Sanders, but I could be mean and point out Peter Parker (comics book edition) is canonically vulnerable to Daddy figures persuading him into endorsing major political decisions he later disagrees with. During JMS' run, no less. (And that's the first and last time anyone will compare Bernie Sanders to (comic book) Civil War era Tony Stark.) No, but seriously: I'm all for urging people to vote and for expressing one's beliefs about a candidate. Drafting comic book heroes into it, though, has to be a new one.

Though now I want the fanfic where Peter votes for Bernie while Aunt May votes for Hillary. Meanwhile, MJ (still married to Peter at the time of JMS writing him) is of the "anyone who can stop Trump or Cruz" persuasion and is amendable to either candidate, but that's not what Peter and May want to hear, who try to convince her she HAS TO MAKE A DECISION.

Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson is writing an article of how Spider-Man is stealthily supporting Trump. Why? Because he hates them both. Since when has he ever needed another reason?
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
In a word: disappointing. Alas.

Read more... )
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
Was it necessary? No. Was it fun? Definitely yes. Minus one or two complaints, this turned out to be a delightful popcorn movie, which learned from its predecessor(s) by (re)using the good, by and large avoiding the annoying and coming up with elements of its own.

Read more... )
selenak: (Nicholas Fury - Kathyh)
Poor Peter Parker. It seems to be his fate to be retconned in any universe. I actually have no passionate feelings about the Spider-man movies, though I'm mildly fond of them, and yes, the reboot approach did the Batman movies a world of good, but all this talk about "dark" and "gritty" is off-putting in this particular context. Because if there's anyone less like Bruce Wayne than Peter Parker, I can't imagine. Ditto Batman and Spider-man.

In other news, I'm continuing to enjoy The Good Wife and love Alicia, Kalinda (can't wait to see what her endgame with most recent developments is), Cary et al more than ever... except for Will. My not getting the appeal until it was explained to me the actor was popular in another role has now turned into solid dislike every time he shows up on screen. Which he thankfully isn't often enough to impact on my viewing pleasure.

Links:

Arthur and Oscar: very amusing poem about Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.

Lord of the Rings:

Five things Sam believes about Frodo that (Rosie knows) aren't true: lovely portrayal of all three hobbits in this short story, set post Ring Quest and pre Last Haven.

Twin Peaks:

Damaged Goods: which is a great Albert Rosenfield pov, on strengths, weaknesses and Dale Cooper.
selenak: (Tourists by Kathyh)
Off to Bayreuth today, which means another short entry with links:

Doctor Who/Chronicles of Narnia:

Before, and After: in which a pre season 3 Martha Jones takes leave of her old mentor, Susan Pevensie. Wistful and lovely.

Pirates of the Carribean:

Captain Jack Sparrow - A Legend In His Own Mind: good essay at [profile] idol_reflection which marvellously avoids shipping wars and woobiefication of its subject.

Spider-men/ X-Men (both movieverses):

The Mutant Problem: very clever and intricate fanfiction and fanart: an article written by Peter Parker for the New York Times post-X2, complete with short portraits of individual mutants (click on the photos).
selenak: (Tourists by Kathyh)
These last few days have been great if you're into the movies based on various Marvel comics, and open for crossovers between them. Check these out:


Black Tie: my favourite of the bunch, an ensemble story which pulls of a - deep breath -
Spider-Man/Daredevil/Iron Man/X-Men/Fantastic Four/Incredible Hulk movieverse crossover, without short-changing any of the characters, or confusing readers who might not be familiar with two or three but not all of these films. It's the charity dinner from hell, with Peter Parker jobbing as a waiter, Tony Stark as a guest, Mystique and Pyro being present undercover (and promptly running into Charles Xavier), Bruce Banner trying really hard not to get excited... you get the idea. Trust me, you'll love it.

Growin' Up: a Fantastic Four/Iron Man crossover, in which Reed Richards is very much not impressed with Tony Stark but can't get away from the man nonetheless.

Tony Stark, not surprisingly, gets around in these crossovers. He's the little black dress of Marvel movieversedom; the only character who shows up in ALL crossovers I've read so far. Two of them have the same premise - Tony meeting Scott Summers - but execute it very differently, both in plausible ways. So, in terms of X-Men/Iron Man crossovers, we get:

Playing Hard To Get: Tony Stark is trying to break into superhero society. Scott Summers can't get away fast enough.

System Restore: the post-traumatic stress disorder version.
selenak: (Tony Stark by Runenklinge)
Idle thought while reading through Brian Bendis New Avengers 1-6: this is why I can't boycott Marvel. You sure don't find the DC folk canonically strung up naked and completely aware of the absurdity (complaining to each other that they're still waiting for the evil monologue), with dialogue like, and here I have to retranslate, because I read it in German:

Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman): Why did they take our underwear?
Peter Parker (Spider-man): They didn't take mine. I don't wear any.
Jessica: Why aren't you wearing any underwear?
Peter: Because it chafes?

Also, those panels of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, aka Iron Man and Captain America, sharing donuts and flying must make [livejournal.com profile] likeadeuce and [livejournal.com profile] harmonyangel very happy and prove Bendis was a Steve/Tony 'shipper long before The Confession...


Fanfic!

Heroes/Dr. Who crossover:

Survival, in which Claude Rains ends up in London. Great Claude and Rose voices, spoilers through season 1 of Heroes and season 2/28 of Dr. Who.

Heroes:

Five Times Nathan Petrelli Crashed Down To Earth, by [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63. If you don't know Yahtzee through her superb Alias fanfic, you might know her through her older AtS and BTVS stories. If you haven't read those, you know her via her Star Wars stories. Now she has started to write Heroes. *sits back and enjoys*


Pirates of the Caribbean:

The Swan in Flight is a wonderful look at Elizabeth after AWE. As it's written by artaxastra, one expects it to be good, but what came as a delightful surprise to me was the way she uses Elizabeth's relationship with her dead father, Governor Swann, fleshes out Captain Teague (aka The One Played By Keith Richards) and focuses on Elizabeth learning to be Pirate King in more than one way.
selenak: (Pirate by Poisoninjest)
This is definitely the year of blockbuster movies where you think: they did intend that threesome to be canon, right?

Anterograde is a movieverse Spider-man story, Harry/Peter/MJ, and well, yes. Exactly. I couldn't imagine a scenario in the earlier two movies where that would work, but here? Perfect.


Moving over to ye pirates, [livejournal.com profile] butterfly has great Elizabeth/Will/Jack meta, on all three characters, their journeys and their entwined lives. Incidentally, I think the reason why these particular three would now work for me as a threesome when they wouldn't before is that before, I had trouble seeing Will as the equal of the other two. Which At World's End changed, along with changing the nature of his relationships with both Elizabeth and Jack, and thus it works. I'm looking forward to reading the fictional results. (Though not as much as I look forward to reading [livejournal.com profile] bwinter writing Elizabeth and Calypso. And meta on Calypso. I really, really love the new mythology!)

All the Way Home is a great series of glimpses at Elizabeth (and Barbossa, and Jack) during the next ten years.


Meanwhile, in Heroes country: one of the benefits of fanfic is that it allows us to explore characters and relationships that were only sketched in the primary text.

Cockroaches is a fascinating look at Eden. Her interactions with the Sureshs, father and son, and with Mr. Bennet, but most of all at Eden herself, and what a power such as hers did and didn't do to and for her.

There is a "first kiss" meme making the rounds, which I won't participate in, thus robbing all of you of the chance to dare me to write that John Locke/Danielle Rousseau smooch I still hope will happen one day on the show (what?); I'm just happy with reading other people's hard work. [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63 wrote Peter/Niki from the Five Years Gone 'verse, and it's quiet and heartbreaking and so true; she also wrote Nathan/Heidi in the Heroes verse proper, and, because I couldn't resist asking, an Alias crossover: Jack Bristow/Angela Petrelli . This being Yahtzee, they are all superb. Go read!
selenak: (Spiderman - Sabine)
As opposed to the majority of my flist, I enjoyed the third Spiderman film, quite a lot. It gave me what I wanted to see, improved in comparison to the first two in one major regard - to wit, the characterisation of Mary Jane Watson - and what nitpicks I had weren't the sort that made me roll my eyes in disgust (which I did about the gratitious flag shot ending of Spidey I - now the gratitious flag shot in Spidey III was somewhere in the middle and a blink and you miss it thing, and that's okay - or the godawful aborted wedding stuff in Spidey II - but that falls in the MJ characterisation category, about which more - positively - below the cut). So, really? Nice movie. I was happy. Also sad, but in a gratified sort of way.

OT3 for the win! )

***

And now for a change of medium: Spider-man: Civil War arrived at my doorstep.

Et tu, JMS? )
selenak: (Spiderman - Sabine)
Friends get friends to write them stuff like this: [livejournal.com profile] honorh wrote me a Dr. Who/Torchwood crossover which I adore, Smith and Harper.

In unrelated news, the trade collection The Road to Civil War arrived. I have read bits and pieces of the Marvelverse-spawning Civil War saga, individual issues and scans, but I thought I'd give the collected prelude a shot. It collects the following invidual stories New Avengers: Illuminati (Brian Bendis), Fantastic Four: The Hammer Falls (J. Michael Straczynski, Amazing Spider-Man: Mr. Parker Goes To Washington (J. Michael Straczynski), and ends at the point where the Civil War saga starts.

Observations by yours truly:

Whose side are you on? )
selenak: (Spiderman - Sabine)
Things to do while waiting for the Life on Mars finale while one is actually supposed to WORK but in a distracted frenzy: fanfiction, of course. To wit, Marvelverse fanfic, hence the icon, and a Babylon 5/Crusade crossover which I'm proud to have inspired:

Narncore by [livejournal.com profile] londonkds. Featuring G'Kar, Max Eilerson, and mutual interests.


Now, on to superheroes and their troubles:

Movieverse:

Paideia is a wonderful story about Scott Summers as a teacher; the interaction with John (not Pyro yet) is especially awesome.

Bearings, on the other hands, presents teenage Scott with Erik Lehnsherr. There is more than one way of blindness, and the Magneto foreshadowing - as well as showing why Scott won't end up in the Brotherhood - is intensely written.

Comicverse:

There is a new archive for fanfiction set in the Marvelverse (X-men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Spider-man, as long as it's Marvel, you can archive it here, so go and upload!), and already I found some delightful stories I missed on lj.

First a bit of fluff, because these folk don't angst all the time. Sometimes they're just mortally embarassed. Check out Sex Pollen Fic, Minus The Sex, which gives us Peter Parker (first person narration, perfect Spidey voice) in this situation. Along with several other members of the New Avengers. I'm still giggling.

Of course, these days, what with a Civil War behind them, all the characters in the previous stories are pretty much angsting non-stop. The two sides of the conflict being mainly presented by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man on the one side and Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, on the other. For a great take on their relationship, read this:

Five Times Steve and Tony Fought
selenak: (Emma Frost - New Red Shoes)
[livejournal.com profile] andrastewhite has finished her great movieverse Charles Xavier story, Coalescence. Spoilers for all three films: Charles in his well-meaning, manipulative ambiguous glory. No one writes Xavier as multifaceted as Andraste - go and read now!

Meanwhile, over in the comicverse, there is a very entertaining talk with various gents whose shows we loved on tv and who are writing Marvel comics these days, here. My personal highlight is the following exchange between JMS (aka creator of Babylon 5, writes Spider-man) and Joss Whedon (these days busy torturing the X-men):

STRACZYNSKI: I should point out too that Joss has a definite vested interest in Spider-Man’s personal life in that, during the retreat, I mentioned a plan that we had with respect to a certain old Spidey character, and he actually got up from his chair, crossed the room and embraced me, and called me a “brother.” So there was that.

WHEDON: It’s true. I also tried to spoon him…a little bit. But he’s tall.

Anyone willing to make suggestions what specific JMS writerly deed caused this? Spoilers for JMS run Amazing Spider-man  )

Then there is also the following suggestion, revealing that comicbook creators really are just like fans:

QUESADA: I sense a Sue Richards mini-series by Joss Whedon in the future.

WHEDON: You sense one, eh?

LOEB: Emma Frost/Sue Richards: Extravaganza. We’d sell a billion copies.

Only having caught brief glimpses of Sue in her cameo in Astonishing X-Men and in Neil Gaiman's 1602 - since I haven't read Fantastic Four yet -, I hereby support the notion of Joss writing Emma/Sue slash anyway.

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