Marvel Cinematic Universe: A White Man’s World

In this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for all-white, all-male superheroes.

Advertisements

In the year 2015, one is unable to contemplate a trip to the cinema without encountering some sort of superhero movie. In 2008 we had glittering, emo vampires, but now, it’s all about action heroes and big-budget destruction sequences. As much as I am a fan of the genre, my interest is definitely starting to dwindle. Not only because of the sheer volume of productions and the in-your-face-everywhere-you-go marketing approach, but also in part due to the lack of diversity and outright exclusion of minorities. avengers dvdIn this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for their all-white, all-male cast. And over at Marvel, the only female superhero, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, is constantly being mistreated and underused. She is noticeably missing from the DVD cover for the latest Avenger’s movie ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. She is the only Avenger who doesn’t have her own solo movie (Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye doesn’t have his own movie either, but he does feature more prominently in Age of Ultron). Marvel’s idea of developing Black Widow? Making her the Hulk’s girlfriend. This is the only way we get even a glimpse of her backstory. At this point, she has been in four MCU films and all she has been reduced to is a hot, acrobatic redhead who shows a lot of cleavage.

SNL recently poked fun at Marvel’s attempts of writing storylines for Black Widow with a spoof trailer promising to be ‘A Girl Superhero Movie’. In the trailer, Scarlett Johansson reprises her role, but the film is in fact a rom-com. However funny it is to watch, the sad reality is that it’s exaggerated stereotypes are not too distant from where the character is headed in Age of Ultron, where she is practically a love interest who’s only concern is her ability to conceive a child. Even the film’s stars have a hard time defending Black Widow, with Jeremy Renner & Chris Evans causing a bit of controversy when they referred to the character as a ‘slut’ because of her flirtations with the male characters.

sqPersonally, I have always preferred DC comics to Marvel. Superman is my favourite superhero, and I’ve watched just about every adaptation up to this point, both on TV and on the big screen. I feel like DC has always had a much better representation of female characters. In 2012’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, I thought that Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman was fascinating and I would have gladly watched her in a spin off feature. Right now, DC are in the middle of a reboot of sorts, with ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ set for a 2016 release, and I’m pleased to see that they seem to be a bit more inclusive than Marvel.

The internet went crazy over Harley Quinn when the ‘Suicide Squad’ trailer premiered. Not to mention the fact that the anti-heroes are a fresh take on a tired genre, as well as being a more diverse group of actors (Will Smith as Deadshot is perfection). And ‘Batman V Superman’ is set to introduce Wonder Woman to cinemagoers for the first time, before her own solo effort in 2017. I am crossing my fingers that this will be the first successful female superhero film (I’m looking at you, Catwoman and Elektra). wonder woman supergirl DC are also doing a better job of showing off their female superheroes on TV too. Supergirl is set to premiere later this year, and although the initial teaser looked alarmingly similar to the SNL spoof trailer, I’ve seen the first episode and it looks quite promising. There is also a wide variety of strong female characters on shows such as Arrow and The Flash. They may have their flaws, but I think generally speaking they are doing a good job of making the characters appealing to both males and females, a balance which I imagine can be difficult to achieve.

There is an interest for these female superheroes (or even supervillains). It’s just a case of doing them justice (no pun intended). I honestly don’t know why the world of female superheroes is not being explored fully. Films like The Hunger Games, The Divergent series and even the latest Terminator have all featured strong, empowered women and all have gone on to be very successful. Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers, has always written and directed female leads very well. He created Buffy The Vampire Slayer! You’d think that if anybody could achieve a successful female superhero it would be him.

black widowAnd even if it weren’t a sure-fire hit, Marvel has been taking some massive risks recently. The Guardians of the Galaxy was a relatively unknown comic book that went on to become one of the most successful MCU movies (and up to now, my personal favourite). They’ve recently released Ant Man and  the rebooted Fantastic Four, once again two films that were very risky for them (both of which haven’t been very successful for the company, commercially or with the critics).

People are still complaining about the thinly written Black Widow, and fans are desperate for a solo movie. Even though it has been discussed and teased ever since her introduction in 2010, nothing has materialized yet. If that day should come, I think it will be a real turning point for the ladies. And then, we can maybe start thinking about introducing more new, diverse characters. Like a black superhero. or a gay superhero. Or a gay black woman superhero. After all, the only Avenger of colour is green.

RE-VIEWED: Ugly Betty

Ugly Betty is a television show about a young, ambitious, unfortunate-looking Latina who ends up working for a fashion magazine.

I have a little confession to make… I am obsessed with TV. Literally, obsessed. I love watching American TV shows. I think it’s so much better than watching a film, where you only get to spend two hours with the characters. With television, you get to really invest in their development, see them grow and evolve week to week. When the show and the writing are good, I can re-watch them about a million times. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about one of my favourite shows. OK, so I have a million favourites, but this is definitely in the top 20 I’d say. Continue reading “RE-VIEWED: Ugly Betty”

5 Things To Do With Your Partner For Under £10 (Yes £10!)

No money? No problem. These tips are sure to keep your relationship solid and your wallets full (well, half full).

Let’s face it, times are tough! If you’re like me, and have managed to move out of your parents house, then more than likely that’s all you’ve managed to do. Your idea of a fancy meal is being able to afford a Big Tasty at McDonald’s. (A large meal? What am I, a millionaire?)

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find new activities to do with your partner. Get creative! You’re spending all your money on this lovely home, you may as well use it to its full potential! Here are just a few things that me and my partner have tried, that have been both entertaining AND under £10.

Option 1: Trade in old DVDs and games for second-hand games you haven’t played.

2
Remember when you lived with your mum, and were able to save for a PS3? Or, if you were lucky, got one for Christmas? If the answer is yes, then you are halfway there!

I used to be really into buying DVD box sets a few years back, and now I have a large collection that I barely use any more thanks to streaming services. So what we decided to do was take a few of these to the local Computer Exchange (CEX).

With a backpack full of all my Vampire Diaries and Glee DVDs, I held back the tears and hummed ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ to myself while we picked out a few new titles.

End result: we walked away with 4 new games and a few weeks worth of entertainment! (Bonus tip: when you are done with these games, go back and exchange them for something else. The cycle never ends!)

TOTAL SPENT: £0 🙂 #winning

Option 2: Cook together

3Whenever we’re planning any kind of activity together, it usually involves food. We love to eat. So what we like to do is look for some new recipes (nothing too complicated, as I have been known to leave the oven on too long).

And after a trip to the local Tesco’s, we are ready to go! (Bonus tip: to save a few pennies, buying ingredients from the Tesco Value range helps!)

This activity is great because you are learning a new dish (that can be useful when you’re financial situation is better and you want to host dinner parties), and spending some quality time in the kitchen.

TOTAL SPENT: Up to £10 (depending on the recipe)

Option 3: Go For A Walk Together

4Yes, yes I know it sounds a little bit cheesy and awkward. But it’s actually enjoyable, getting to know your neighbourhood a bit better. And it’s a good way to test your communication skills.

Before we were able to scrape together and buy an exercise bike, we decided to try going for a walk at least 2/3 times a week. I’m glad we did manage to do this a few times because it was actually a nice way to spend time together and really listen to each other. Even when you’re at home doing nothing, there are always distractions that stop you from really focusing on your partner all the way. whether it be TV or phones or music etc.

On our walks, we ended up having some deep conversations, and even worked out a few issues. If you are able to be completely alone and focused like this for an hour, it’s a real testament to your relationship!

TOTAL SPENT: £0 (I told you it would be cheap!)

Option 4: Drink Together

5Who doesn’t like to have a cheeky drink and dance on a Friday night? And now, it doesn’t even have to cost you a lot either! Gone are the days when you wake up in the morning and are afraid to check your bank because of the damage your debit card caused the night before.

Whether it be Tesco’s or any other supermarket, there’s always an offer to be found. Go to the aisle right at the back of the store where they keep the alcohol. (Don’t pretend you don’t know where it is!). The budget is £10, but if you’ve been good and followed options 1 and 3, there might be a little bit leftover for some extra alcohol. (Naughty!). If not, £10 is fine and at least that way you just get a buzz and avoid the hangover.

When we do this at home, we love to listen to some music and have a bit of a dance. If I’ve gone over the budget slightly, there may be some twerking involved.(That’s a lie, there’s ALWAYS twerking involved).

This way it’s even better than in a club because your favourite song is guaranteed to play (on repeat) and you get to live out your fantasy of being a DJ!

TOTAL SPENT: £10 (If you go over by a little on this one it’s alright, I won’t judge 😛 ).

Option 5: Movie Night

6OK so this one can be a bit of a cliché, but if you do it right it can still be a lot of fun! I don’t just mean having a quick browse through Netflix and putting on any old film for the sake of it. Really put some thought into it! Do your research, find a film that you both really want to watch. If need be, ask to borrow a DVD from someone at work or even go to Computer Exchange again and trade in another title for the one you want.

And it’s not just about the film. THE SNACKS! Go hard or go home when it comes to the snacks! Popcorn. Sweets. Nachos. Crisps. Pepsi. Give Odeon and Vue a run for their money. £10 is more than enough to come home with enough treats to tide you over for 2 hours. If there’s £1 or £2 left you could even bring home an oven pizza to really drive it home. (And you don’t have to feel guilty because you went for that walk, remember?)

The point is, don’t just watch a film, MAKE AN EVENT.

TOTAL SPENT: Up to £10 (depending on how much popcorn you can consume!)

And there you have it! These are just a few ideas that I’ve had to come up with over the last few months (YEARS) to make the most of my time with my husband without having to sell him on a street corner to pay for it.

The trick to pulling it off successfully is in the amount of time and effort that you put in. It’s so easy to go to an Italian restaurant and have a nice meal, but how much better is it to attempt to make the meal together and fail miserably? With time, I’m optimistic that our finances will improve, but I’ll always appreciate where we came from. We’ve made some great memories along the way!

Caitlyn Jenner: Too Much, Too Soon?

Is Caitlin Jenner doing more harm than good for the transgender community?

On the surface, it would appear that Caitlyn Jenner’s transition has been relatively smooth-sailing up to now. The public have really taken to her, she’s received a massive amount of support from celebrities, and to top it off she looks better than Kris Jenner (which I’m sure is an added bonus for her!). But all is not as it seems for poor Caitlyn. Continue reading “Caitlyn Jenner: Too Much, Too Soon?”

What Is Pink Suburbia?

Interesting things and interesting people DO exist on the outskirts.

Pink Suburbia

I remember watching a TV show a few years back called ‘Suburgatory’. It was an American sitcom about a New York teenager who’s father decided to move her to the suburbs so that she wouldn’t succumb to the big city’s temptations. And in her opinion, living in the suburbs was her idea of hell. I always wondered why.  Continue reading “What Is Pink Suburbia?”