I’d give CAPTAIN MARVEL a strong “B” for “bueno”– not particularly great or deeply compelling emotionally, but filled with color and action-filled fun. Some of the villainous characters were interesting.  Samuel Jackson as Agent Fury portrays a pleasant mix of gritty and humorous, stealing almost every scene that he’s in.  His character is more developed here than in any of the previous Marvel productions.  I was glad to get to know his back story and what makes him tick as a person.

The editing is rather choppy in places, fitting in a lot in a little over two hours.  It took a second viewing (this time with my husband) to follow the whole story more clearly.  Also, the ending was anti-climactic, fizzling down into an almost comical, very brief fight for Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel against a powerful man who had deeply deceived her.

I’ve never seen a house cat used so creatively in a film before, so that was something extra entertaining.

I am heartened to see another comic book movie about a super heroine, and one who was originally created as a male no less.  It’s important to keep switching up things in favor of showcasing more powerful, heroic women– so long overdue. But, for my personal taste, I find other Marvel and DC super heroines thus far portrayed on screen to be much more charismatic than Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow come readily to mind.  However, I give Ms. Larson an “A” for effort, even if she often did not feel like a gripping, dynamic character to me.  She lacked some edge and emotional depth.  Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel was very much in the Americana trope of ordinary-seeming, “apple pie” wholesome, someone I could more readily envision surfing the waves in Southern California rather than fighting off heavily-armed aliens and spaceships.   

Frankly, other people came to mind as a more believable Captain Marvel.  I would have preferred Lashana Lynch, who plays the lead’s best friend, in the title role.  But, Ms. Lynch’s being African American relegated her to a supporting player, I guess– at least this time around.  I so wish the two characters for the actresses had been reversed, though even that change may have only partially worked better for me.  Interestingly, after we’d watched the movie, my husband said he imagined the singer and occasional actress Pink (Alecia Moore) being great in the part, although she is now ten years too old to play it.  I definitely could see a younger Pink as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, for she’s definitely a woman with some chutzpah and believable emotional intensity.  

These super heroine/hero movie roles have big boots to fill.  It’s disappointing when casting is off the mark for any of them, like Ben Affleck as Batman has been.  Same goes for Brie Larson in this latest Marvel blockbuster– though, to be fair, not quite that disappointing.  All said and done, I will be okay with watching her in the upcoming AVENGERS: ENDGAME.  Perhaps Ms. Larson will grow into her role more, particularly with such an ensemble of comparative heavy-weights for her to have to mesh with.  There is possibly that.

Quick Thoughts on Kraft and Human Traffickers

Personally, I have no moral judgment against consenting adults receiving money for sex from other consenting adults, as long as all parties concerned are doing so completely from a place of free will. I don’t think it’s my place to judge what consenting adults do with each other behind closed doors, including whether money is exchanged between them or not. But, it’s a different matter altogether with trafficked individuals, who have been captured and imprisoned into a life of prostitution. Shame on both the traffickers and purchasers of the “services” provided in such heinous, criminal circumstances. Robert Kraft and others should know better. To Kraft et al, I say, find unfettered consenting adults for sexual servicing and stop perpetuating a cycle of brutal exploitation. And I do think that paying for sex with a trafficked individual should be considered a serious felony offense, and an even more grave one if the person is a minor.

This incident involving Kraft is yet another example of largely rich white males continuing to exploit women and minorities in this skewed, power-imbalanced culture. Nothing new, sadly, but well-worth fighting to stop.

Brief Thoughts on Open-heartedness

Slowly but surely, I am settling into a deeper sense of believing and trusting in my own inner truth while simultaneously holding a deepening compassion for others who do not seem to understand where I’m coming from. This includes a few with whom I share some close, old history. I have found that the maturation of the psyche/soul takes quite a long while. Only just yesterday did I remind myself, yet again, that what I most value– next to and along with beauty– is to live with an open heart to the world and everyone in it. It’s a tall order but so worth striving for.

Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Over time, I have grown more and more grateful for MLK, Jr. and his deep, visionary thinking. We are still as a society working on catching up with him, towards manifesting, slowly but surely– in a three steps forward, two steps backward kind of way– his beautiful dream.

I embrace his overall philosophy and feel freshly sad today that Dr. King’s life was cut so short. America and the world lost a great soul and thinker.

Mini Movie Review (THE BAT)

Last night, I rewatched the wonderful 1959 murder mystery B movie THE BAT, which I first saw around 2005. Agnes Moorehead was grand and full of life as a 50-something mystery writer with her devoted maid and (very likely) life partner, played by Lenita Lane. Vincent Price added more scenery chewing fun to the cast as a shady country doctor. I enjoyed how the main characters were not young and pretty, but, rather, middle aged and colorful. The storyline was simple and unoriginal, about a killer on the loose in a small, rural town. But, Ms. Moorehead, Ms. Lane, Mr. Price, and the men who played the butler (John Sutton) and the detective (Gavin Gordon) all acted superbly to the point of making the story quite secondary in importance. If you like old-time theatrical, chutzpah-filled acting, THE BAT is a great movie to watch on a cold winter night.