Generations Geek 2.0

Our upcoming episode “Bats and Supes”—looking at Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and comparing the beginnings of the DC Extended Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe—will kick off our fourth series. It will be a series of change. When we started the podcast, Ella was fifteen or so . . . now she’s eighteen, soon to graduate high school, and moving off to college in the fall.

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About to enjoy toast with Nutella, marshmallow creme, and bananas at CONvergence 2015.

Although we fully intend to keep doing the podcast, we also know that it will be even more challenging than the third series, which continually ran late due to an increasing freelance workload for myself and the much busier life of a high school senior with a part-time job. But even with my workload, my schedule is much more flexible than a student’s. In order to try to get our monthly schedule back on track, we’ve had to admit that Ella will most likely not be able to do the show full time. So we’ve got an idea.

Some episodes will be the same as always, with both myself and the kid. On other episodes Ella will just have a segment—”All the Squee”—that she can record at her leisure, while I conduct interviews of our guests by myself. And, of course, Ella can give me any questions she might have for the guest beforehand.

And another thing. We started the podcast as a family-friendly show that geeky parents could listen to with their geeky kids. Although we’re both still committed to that concept, obviously a father/daughter-in-college show is a different animal than a father/daughter-in-junior-high show. So we will still be more-or-less family friendly, but if we were a movie the rating might lean more toward PG-13 than G.

So that’s the plan for now. We look forward to continuing our geeky musings and casting them into the winds of the intertubes. And figuring out how to record the next show between now and graduation . . .

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Captain America: Civil War

We like to go to opening night shows when we can. Since we had plans for the Thursday evening when Civil War opened, we ended up seeing it at 1:15 in the A crikey M on Friday. Which meant we got home after the show at 4:30 in the morning. A few days later, we’re still catching up on our sleep. [Note: a couple paragraphs down I drop a minor spoiler for people who don’t read the comics, so be forewarned.]

CW_Poster_01Sleepiness aside, we both quite enjoyed the movie. There was good action and story, without too much extraneous MCU stuff crammed in; that was something we both thought had been overdone in Age of Ultron. We both enjoyed the new young Spiderman, the first Spiderman that really does seem like he’s in high school. While Marisa Tomei was likable as Aunt May and they had some fun with a younger May, I was still disappointed by the change. Not because I expect a film adaptation to be chained to the source material, but because there are so few roles created for older actresses in Hollywood movies, so to take an older character and drop a couple decades or more off her age is a missed opportunity.

We both felt that the romance of Cap and Sharon Carter was awkwardly timed. I mean, come on, Peggy’s just died and Steve suddenly finds out the agent he has a crush on is her niece—and at the funeral, no less! That’s a bit of a head-spinner that would rain on anyone’s romantic parade. That said, the reactions of Bucky and Sam to the first kiss are perfect.

So many characters got great little scenes . . . Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and more. There was character development that will affect them going forward into other movies without slowing the pace of this movie. Difficult to pull that off with such a large cast, but the filmmakers did it. Similarly, the battle sequences, particularly the airport scene, packed in so much, and showed all the characters interactions, in ways that were exciting and chaotic and yet without becoming a muddle of CGI like, again, Age of Ultron.

Overall, the movie was just so balanced.The juggling of all those characters, as I just mentioned. Both sides of the disagreement leading to the war had pros and cons, so that was balanced. The amount of comedic moments and action set pieces sprinkled throughout the dramatic framework of the story was also a well-paced balance. It definitely echoes Winter Soldier in that regard, especially compared and contrasted with Age of Ultron, the disparate elements of which did not gel into a cohesive whole like the Captain America films. (Since I’ve taken Ultron to task a few times, I should grant that an MCU film that stumbles a bit is still more entertaining than a lot of genre films!)

Bottom line: the Russo brothers deliver another fine film in the MCU which makes us that much more eager for Infinity War.