Uncategorized

Fan-People

I happened to be taking a break at work and spotted one of my co-workers who works in a different department. She even goes to conventions and does cosplay, which is totally not my thing. I haven’t dressed in character since my Threepio and Wonder Woman underoos days. Well, correction, I did dress up as She-Ra when I was about seven. I know that she’s into sci-fi and superhero movies which is to what I watch. I grew up reading Marvel Comics so I know the characters.

Anyway, I saw her in the lunch area and mentioned that I saw the new Captain America movie. I asked her if she’d seen it and she ranted into this two minute dissertation about her reasons for not seeing it. This was wrong, that’s wrong and this thing isn’t true to the comics so she has no intention of seeing it. She also refuses to have anything to do with the upcoming second Avengers movie for some other strange reason, whatever. But she did point out that she would be seeing the next Xmen movie because she loves her mutants.

I should have known better, because a few months ago she asked if I watched the Marvel tv show Agents of Shield. I was in the middle of explaining why I couldn’t get into it after five episodes and she gave me the brush off. I basically got the feeling that I was an idiot for not watching and I should leave her presence.

One of the things I don’t understand is fanboy or fangirl culture. The internet was on fire when word got out that there was a possibility that The Rock would be playing the black Green Lantern. They didn’t feel that he was ‘black’ enough for the role. Or what about the fanboy outrage when it was announced that Michael B. Jordan, a black actor, will be playing a white character, the Human Torch? Or the multiple complaints of the Transformers from the movies not looking like they did in the cartoon.  If they sniff out anything they don’t like, they go ballistic.

It ain’t that serious. We’re not talking about Shakespeare’s works being trampled on, we’re talking about cartoons and comics being brought to life. It’s a freaking movie. If the color of a superhero’s uniform in a comic book movie is something you get hysterical about, then you really need to reevaluate your priorities. It’s just a movie. Sit your butt in the chair, grab your popcorn and enjoy. Besides in about five years they’ll be ready to reboot the franchise anyway.

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Uncategorized

I’m Not Watching That Movie!

A few weeks ago, a well meaning co-worker, also a movie nut was talking about some movies he wanted to lend to me. The movies he had were American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. At the mention of 12 Years, I turned up my nose and told him, I don’t know who you have that movie for, but you definitely don’t have it for me. I explained that I never have any intention of ever watching that movie.

I’m a black woman and I’m well versed on African American history. I know about the ugliness of the slave trade and everything leading right up to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. I know how entire families were separated during slavery and how the water hoses and dogs were turned on us during the protests. I don’t need a history lesson about what happened during those times, because I already know. Going back over that history and seeing it acted out is just too much and to me is like throwing salt in the wound. Some people may enjoy the movie, but it would just upset me. The same goes for any upsetting point in time, whether it be a war movie or even dealing with the Holocaust. Seeing innocent people mistreated onscreen is not the thing for me.

Now I can appreciate the movie, just like I can appreciate classical music. That doesn’t mean I want to see it. I’m glad that Lupita got her Oscar and other awards for her role. I’m looking forward to seeing her do big things. And I’m glad that it won Best Picture. I was rooting for Chiwetel Ejiofor to win an award, since I’ve been following his career for a number of years, but he’ll get his chance eventually.

For me movies are an escape from the ugliness of reality. Emotionally I don’t want to get that involved. I just want to eat my popcorn and relax.

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Chicklit, Drama, Fiction, Romance, women, writing

I Hate Rom-Com’s

I hate romantic comedies. Other than a select few most of them are predictable.

The couple meets in some cute way, most times with the desperate and single woman doing something to look like a complete idiot. Maybe she knocks over an entire table of food at a restaurant and he helps her clean up the mess. Or she gets her dress caught in the door of a cab and has to run along the side of it until the hero swoops in and saves the day.
After the cute meet the couple starts to date and all the woman’s flaws and insecurities come to the surface while most times the hero remains as clever and attractive as ever. Everything is fine until some conflict either internal or external threatens to break them up for good. One of the two has an epiphany and realizes they can’t live without their soul mate and by the end of the story everything is neatly tied in a pretty little pink bow and the happy couple lives happily ever after.

No wonder audiences have been staying away from romantic comedies in droves. Who wants to watch a story that’s that predictable? As a reader, it’s a tired formula I’ve seen repeated over and over again in a number of romance novels and it’s the reason I don’t read those types of books anymore.

As a writer, especially with a series, making things unpredictable is something you have to consider, especially when your story has romantic elements. Though the reader may say they want the heroine and her love interest to be happily married with kids, don’t believe them.

I can testify that I’ve thought the same thing with the TV series Castle. As soon as Detective Beckett and Richard Castle got together I was done. That was last season and I haven’t watched it since. After watching two characters who have been pining for each other for years finally get together, it’s boring now that we have what we wanted.
What keeps your reader interested is the tension between the couple. Move their relationship forward slowly. If you put them together as a couple, tear them apart soon after and have them find their way back to each other all over again. Introduce that best friend who’s been yearning after the hero since they were kids. Maybe one of them has an unforgiveable secret? What if her jealous best friend is a liar and spreads a nasty lie that breaks them apart. Unbeknownst to the hero, maybe his lady love has been replaced with her crazed, long thought dead twin sister. The longer you can keep your couple from that happily ever after the more the reader is pulled in. Make them wait!

Just because you’re following the romance formula doesn’t mean you have to play it by the book.

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audience, fans, molvies, superheroes, Uncategorized, women

Superheroes Aren’t Just for Geeks

thor

Last weekend, I went to the theater to see Thor. I grew up with my father reading his Silver Surfer and Spiderman comics, which got me somewhat interested in the genre. Its been decades since I’ve picked up a comic, probably around the last time I picked up a She-ra doll, but I’m very familiar with the characters. I may not read the comics anymore, but I like to watch them on the big screen.

It being the first week of release of this particular movie, I decided to get my seat early. Sitting there I had a ringside seat as the other film goers found their seat. I was quite surprised to find that probably half or over half of the patrons were women. True, some of them may have randomly picked Thor, but for the most part I think Chris Hemsworth and Idris Elba were the big draw. That would explain the gratuitous shirtless scene in the movie with Thor. That scene definitely wasn’t for the fan boys, it was a shout out for the ladies.

Going back over the super hero movies that have been released recently, the common factor is that most of them are attractive men. You’ve got Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman, and Henry Cavill as leading men. All of them good looking actors playing superheroes, all of them with a female fan base.

I for one have watched just about anything Chris Evans was in, years before he ever played Captain America. I happen to think he’s good eye candy. Anyone remember Cellular?

And the buzz with the Man of Steel from the ladies over the summer wasn’t about the action scenes, but how well Mr. Cavill looked in that Superman suit. I for one enjoyed the shirtless scenes with the manly facial scruff. ; )

My own mother practically swoons every time The Dark Knight Rises is on TV and she hears Bane’s distinctive voice. She was so crushed when I told her he wouldn’t be in the next Batman reboot.

The trend even spreads outside of the superhero movie genre. I wasn’t interested in The Fast and the Furious until they announced that The Rock would be appearing in Fast Five. As long as he’s in the franchise I’ll park my butt in the seat for every installment. Though Fast Six should be called The Fast and the Furious: Sexy, Sweaty Bald Men in Tank Tops.

I’m glad to see that film makers are paying attention to what women want when it comes to movies. We don’t all want the same predictable rom-com’s and period pieces. Sometimes we just want mindless action and a good looking man saving the day. And speaking of the Rock, he was also the only reason I went to see that awful GI Joe sequel and if he’s in the next one they can go ahead and take my money right now.

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