I’m done with Hollywood Destroying Male Characters

Ok, rant time. As you may recall I wrote a review of Star Wars the Last Jedi when it came out and the biggest complaint I had with that movie was the way it took a big steaming dump on the character of Luke Skywalker. At first, I thought it was just down to shitty writing, but then I saw to my absolute horror that it was down to ‘wokeness’.

Destroying Male Characters is not equality

They destroyed a character beloved by millions and most importantly me all in the name of feminism. There are many that deny this or just tell those of us angered by it to shut up. No. I will no longer be silent in the face of this blatant male-bashing, this blatant sexism.

They whine that there have always been male heroes, well, I argue back that there have been female leads and heroes for decades, they’re nothing new! The major difference from then to now, however, is that the male characters were treated with some respect as well. Oh, and the characters themselves had to earn their title of badass, not just have everything be handed to them on a plate just because they were women.

In Star Wars case, the cancerous Kathleen Kennedy took George Lucas’s creation and destroyed it with apparent glee. She replaced Luke with a non-entity female in the form of Rey and made her better than a man in every way. The funny thing is, only utter morons bought it. The rest of us who have been forced to watch the destruction of not just entertainment, but I’d argue western culture and masculinity in general in silence can see this bullshit for what it really is. The media seem to be on the side of wokeness too, which only alienates people further. Just look at the disparity of the media critics scores compared to the general public on Rotten Tomatoes for The Last Jedi.

Just look at female characters such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was put through harsh training, saw people she loved die or injured and struggled to become the hero that she became. Now let’s look at Rey from Star Wars. From the first moment we meet her, she is great at everything she touches, from flying, to engineering, to sword fighting. The lazy writing of the movies brushes this aside as ‘she’s strong in the Force’. Bullshit. Luke was strong in the Force, but he got his ass kicked, he suffered, he earns his power.

What sort of lesson are they teaching to girls? That men are stupid and aren’t needed, that girls get everything handed to them on a plate without having to earn it? It’s terrible values and doesn’t promote equality at all.

John Conner

So now I come to why I’ve finally lost it with Hollywood.

Terminator: Dark Fate at first looked promising and then I watched the first ten minutes. I don’t care if this spoils that trash movie for you, but here it is. JOHN CONNER DIES. The whole point of the first two movies, the saviour of humanity, the man who unites humanity in its darkest hour is murdered right at the start making the first two movies completely and utterly pointless. The decision to do this is not just hugely disrespectful of the franchise, but to the millions of fans who love these movies.

Since when did movie makers decide to piss off the people that pay to see movies? Are they deliberately trying to destroy cultural icons? It’s certainly starting to feel that way.

What’s worse is the way the movie treats men in general (an ever-common theme recently). Men are shown to be disposable, that they can’t be special in any way, that men are pointless. The movie does this by side-lining Arnold Schwarzenegger to basically a comedy sidekick role and making some tiny girl (who we’re supposed to believe will become some bad-ass military leader) the new John Conner and hero. It’s an insult to our intelligence that they expect us to just accept this shit and still spend our hard-earned cash on such tripe.

In my writing, I make men and women equal. Both sexes have strengths and weaknesses, which is why the heroes of both genders in my stories always work together. Unity of male and female makes a powerful combination. When one is dismissed or placed in a box; such as women are ditsy or weak, or men are stupid and savage, a story just becomes a chore.

I’ve seen it happening more and more in the fantasy genre as ‘wokeness’ seeps into it. It stifles creativity, it causes division and it makes for often shit storytelling.

Terminator: Dark Fate has tanked at the box office and I for one am glad. Perhaps studios and publishers will now wake up and realise that people don’t want this crap forced upon us. Make decent storylines, not ones with blatant agendas and biased messages.

I long for the day when men can be men in our culture again and not be attacked for it. Sure, we can be jerks and some of us are vile, but I’d argue that describes women just as aptly. Both sides have negatives as well as positives.  I just want to go back to when writing for movies was just that and not some agenda. I want men and women alike to be treated with respect, not one side constantly denigrating the other.

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Captain Marvel Movie Review

First off, don’t listen to all the ridiculous chatter surrounding this movie. Both extreme sides of the political spectrum have tried to hijack this movie to spout their own ridiculous messages.

Let’s get the political BS out of the way

Instead go into it like you would any other movie. I went into the cinema expecting some feminist ranting nonsense, instead I got a worthwhile addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And to those moaning about the feminist messages that do make an appearance, what the hell are you so insecure about?

The messages in this movie are no different to those found in similar ones and if I had a daughter, I’d be more than happy for her to get the message this movie puts across.

What I took away from it, was that Captain Marvel was no Mary Sue type character (unlike Rey in Star Wars, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish), she suffers and only through sheer will and persistence does she attain the powers she ends the movie with.

Persistence, getting back up when other people put you down or after a failure, standing up to bullies, all are worthwhile messages that both girls and boys should heed.

Is it any good?

So now that stuff is out of the way let’s get into whether it’s a good movie. In the most part I’d say yeah it is. The story is nothing too original and if you’ve seen the Green Lantern you may think that Captain Marvel’s story is strikingly similar. Both fighter pilots that come into contact with an alien and get incredible powers etc, etc… but unlike Green Lantern this movie has Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury coming along for the ride.

The CGI work done on Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson to make them look like they did back in the 90s is incredible. A part of me wishes they used such technology on the original Star Wars cast to truly carry on Luke’s story but alas it wasn’t to be.

The relationship between Samuel L Jackson and Brie Larrson is probably the highlight of the film and you can tell that the two actors had fun making it. A lot’s been said about Larrson being a stiff dour figure in this movie but what did they expect? Captain Marvel is a military figure, trained by an alien race of super stoic warriors, it’s understandable that she wouldn’t be cracking wise constantly (although she gets plenty of sarcastic lines through and you can tell she’s doing her hardest not to be mischievous). It’ll be interesting to see how her character will change when she makes her appearance in Avengers: End Game.

The action scenes were pretty good and a lot more exciting and better handled than those in Black Panther. The cat that many other reviewers are raving about was ok, it wasn’t all that original but it added some comedic value.  It was an odd decision by Marvel to introduce another new character to the superhero pantheon and to some it may be a bit jarring to go back to an origin type movie after ten years of the MCU.

Overall, Captain Marvel was a good movie. It wasn’t amazing and it wasn’t rubbish. It was good and I feel it was a worthwhile watch and a nice bit of filler for Avengers: End Game.

Score: 7/10

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Movie Review: Avengers Infinity War

Well, here we are. Ten years after the first Iron Man film teased an expanded universe and 19 movies later we have Infinity War and wow. Marvel knocked it out of the park.

This is a spoiler-free review, so I won’t cover the many, many surprises and at times shocking moments but let me say, be prepared for the unexpected.

Thanos, the mad Titan, is the tits

A lot has been said about Thanos and how he’s been teased as the big bad ever since the first Avengers movie. He does not disappoint and is a prime example of well-written and massively threatening villain. The Marvel movies weakest parts have often been the bad guys, Thanos addresses this and then some.

He is a villain that has a motivation that I think many can relate to and he sincerely believes that what he’s doing is the right thing. He is a masterclass in excellent writing (unlike that garbage in The Last Jedi, yes, I’m still bitter.) Marvel luckily didn’t ruin my love for these movies as Lucasfilm did.

The huge cast of characters are handled excellently, and every single one gets a chance to shine, and no one gets left out except for a valid reason. The action is an incredible spectacle, but my favourite would have to be the second fight. When the heroes arrive, and the music played I had goosebumps and wanted to fist punch the air.

I can’t really get into the individual character story arcs without giving anything away, but I’ll say of the overall plot is that it took me by surprise. There are some seriously harrowing moments, plenty of laughs and some complete shocks. That ending! I can’t believe Disney allowed Marvel to go down that path but massive kudos to them for doing so. It was a brave decision, and it pays off both satisfyingly and leaves you wanting more!

Now, this is not a perfect movie. I had some issues with some of the CGI. In some places, it looked a tad ropey and was used a bit too often in certain scenes. Another gripe I had was the huge battle in Wakanda. It was a great spectacle don’t get me wrong, but it just felt a little bit of a sideshow to other events. A minor gripe on my part and one I doubt many will share.

There are also one or two points that may annoy a few people. To avoid spoilers, I can’t say what they are, but one of them involves Star-Lord and a certain actor from Game of Thrones, who whilst being amusing didn’t quite fit in.

Overall, Infinity War was well worth the wait and the build-up. It also further shows DC how to build a shared universe properly and makes Justice League look amateur hour in comparison.

 

Score: 9/10

Pros:

Fantastic story that will shock and surprise you

Amazing action scenes

That ending!

Thanos

Cons:

Some ropey CGI in places

A few niggles with one or two scenes

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How Star Wars The Last Jedi should have gone

It’s been a few days since I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi and after thinking about it some more I’ve concluded that Disney just does not respect the franchise.

Anyway, I’ll stop bashing as it’ll just set me off on another rant. For those of you that loved it, good for you but this post isn’t for you.

In this post, I’m going to do something a bit different. I’m going to write an overview of how I, personally would have written the Last Jedi. Some aspects will be similar from the film we got but others are totally different. I wrote this bearing in mind the issues I and many of the Star Wars community has with it, namely not answering any of the questions raised in the Force Awakens and will aim to address this. So here goes… here’s how I would have written Star Wars: The Last Jedi…

Change the beginning

So, first things first. I’d completely change the beginning of the movie. So, in the movie, the opening crawl suggests that the First Order has somehow managed to conquer the entire galaxy (bear in mind this movie is set literally a few hours after Force Awakens so the First Order has blitzkrieged the galaxy in record time!).

In my version, the movie opens several months after Force Awakens and opens with a shot of Coruscant (remember this world, you know the capital of the Old Republic and Empire but for some reason not the New Republic?) a huge space battle is underway as the surviving New Republic fleets battle to prevent The First Order from invading the planet and new capital of the Republic. The Resistance led by Leia arrives on the scene and cue exciting space battle with Po and Resistance fighters engaging the enemy.

This scene would give fans their long-awaited space battle scene where massive ships slog it out. It’s also in this scene where I would kill off Leia’s character. The scene where Kylo hesitates to attack her ship would stay the same save for the death of Leia. Cue emotional impact and adding more depth to his character and the conflict he’s struggling with.

After Leia gets spaced we then go to Ak-To. As in my version, its four months later after the end scene of the Force Awakens so Rey is deep into her Jedi training. Luke isn’t the sad old recluse in the movie, instead, he’s the Jedi we all know and love. Of course, some bad stuff has happened to him but remember he’s the guy who faced two Sith Lords all by himself and redeemed his father Anakin from the Dark side. He’s on Ak-To for a reason and he made the map from episode 7 so that he could be found if the Resistance needed him. (In the movie the whole map thing is completely ignored and disregarded even though it’s the central plot point of Force Awakens.) The reason he’s on that specific planet? Jedi artefacts and knowledge that he hopes will shine some light on why Ben fell to the Darkside and for some answers about Snoke. Just like all of us, Snoke is something of a mystery to Luke and the others.

We see Luke training Rey and during it the two talk about Han and his passing. A poignant moment adding to the feels. Also, as Rey uses a staff in the Force Awakens she builds herself a double-bladed lightsaber like the one Darth Maul wielded albeit blue of course. Anakin’s old saber is returned to Luke.

The scene where Rey senses the dark cave would still be in it, but instead of it being some stupid and downright waste of time ala the movie, in my version this is where we really see what happened at Luke’s Jedi Temple (which in my version would be on Yavin 4 like in the EU books). We learn that Snoke was, in fact, one of Luke’s pupils. As Luke was seeking Force-sensitives to train, age wasn’t an issue, and anyone could be trained just like in Kevin J Anderson’s excellent Jedi Academy series of books.

Hell, I’d even use some aspects from those books too such as Snoke was turned to the Darkside by the spirit of the ancient Sith Lord Exar Kun, or one of the others mentioned in the Expanded Universe. Like Palpatine in the prequels, he learns how to disguise his Darkness in the Force. Ben and Snoke were at the academy together and without Luke’s knowledge, Snoke began to poison Ben and a few other Jedi students against their master. By the time Luke discovers what is happening Snoke has grown incredibly powerful in the Darkside. The two battle and just as Luke is about to gain the advantage, Ben and the other fallen students (Knights of Ren) join the fray. Their combined strength proves too much for Luke and the Academy is destroyed and the other trainees are slaughtered.

Wow, I just killed two of the most hotly debated questions from the Force Awakens in one go! I’m not done yet. We also learn that Rey was there too as a student of Luke’s. The vision fades, and she confronts Luke who tells her the truth. She is, in fact, Ben’s sister and Han and Leia’s daughter. (Although now she’s an orphan, sad times). If any of you have played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the lead character has their memories wiped by the Jedi, only in this story, Luke does the same trick on all who knew her too.

Luke used the Force to wipe all knowledge of her and took her to Jakku to hide Rey to protect her from Snoke and Ben. Boom! there’s the question of who her parents are answered, and it maintains that these films are a saga about the Skywalkers.

After the shocking reveal we flashback to Coruscant where Po is leading a desperate fighting retreat from the First Order. Finn finally wakes up from the Bacta tank only to find that the situation is dire. The ship he’s on is boarded by Kylo and he along with the crew is captured. Kylo still desperate to find Luke uses his powers on Fin and rips the map from his mind. Now Snoke and Kylo know where Luke is! Kylo and Snoke then take Snoke’s flagship and jump away to Ak-To.

The First Order fleet under the command of General Hux defeats the New Republic fleet forcing the survivors to abandon Coruscant to its fate. As they flee, Po learns that Finn was captured by Kylo and petitions to Admiral Ackbar (yes, he lives in my version) to go after him. As it was Kylo who took Finn, Po knows exactly what he was after and so the Resistance and surviving New Republic forces jump to Ak-To.

Back with Luke and Rey. As they are continuing Rey’s training Luke discovers the Jedi texts he’s been looking for. As he suggests they leave and join the fight, Snoke’s ship appears in orbit. They hurry to Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon and as they try to take off, the ship is gripped by the Force and unable to fly. Kylo lands with his knights of Ren (Luke’s former pupils) and challenges Luke. Cue epic lightsaber fight where Luke and Rey battle side by side against the Knights of Ren. Rey is wounded in the fight, but Luke has Ren under his saber but cannot bring himself to kill him. Jedi don’t kill prisoners after all. He pleads with his nephew to turn back to the light, but Ben refuses. Luke and Rey escape on the Falcon.

In orbit, the Resistance arrives and engages Snoke’s ship. As the battle rages in space, Po leads a team to board the ship in an attempt to rescue Finn. The fleet knocks out the shields of Snoke’s ship allowing them to gain entry and they fight their way through stormtroopers and bust Finn out of the brig. As they’re escaping General Hux and a large First Order Fleet arrives and promptly obliterate most of the Resistance fleet forcing them to retreat. The Falcon rendezvous with the fleet and together they escape.

Now, this is where I’d use some of the Crait scenes from the movie. The battered Resistance forces are forced to seek shelter on Crait and as in the movie, the First Order launches a ground assault against their base. Po calls for help (in the movie Leia does this) and receives no reply. Outside the base, the Falcon, Finn and the others are desperately fighting the AT-ATs but getting beat up.

A voice crackles over the radio, it’s Admiral Lando Calrissian of the New Republic saying that help is on the way only if they can hold out. With the battle going poorly Luke decides to intervene and leaps from the Falcon. A similar scene to the one in the movie where he confronts the First Order ensues, but instead of just being a projection he’s there. The AT-ATs blast him and as in the movie, he emerges unscathed. In the EU of books and games, there is a Force ability that allows a Jedi to absorb huge amounts of energy and unleash it. (The Jedi in this trailer for the Old Republic game uses it)

This is what Luke does. Distraught over the death of Leia he edges closer to the Dark Side and unleashes a blast that destroys several of the AT-ATs forcing the First Order to send in the troops. An epic scene of Luke literally taking on an army follows lightsaber flashing and Force powers on display. The scene ends as its obscured by smoke.

Lando’s fleet arrives just in time and Rey guides the survivors from the base. They escape but no one knows what’s happened to Luke. As they escape into space we see Luke’s lightsaber lying in the dirt. Of Luke’s fate, we don’t yet know. (Even he exhausted himself using so much of his power and was eventually overwhelmed by the First Order forces.)

So, in conclusion, Luke gets captured by the First Order during his heroic stand. Leia is dead. The galaxy is on the verge of conquest, but some New Republic and Resistance forces remain to continue the fight. Rey is on her own, but has come into her powers and now knows the truth. She will come to terms with the deaths of her parents and is more determined than ever to save her uncle Luke and redeem her brother Ben. Po learns what it takes to be a military leader and Finn is just glad to have Rey back.

The End.

What did you think of the Last Jedi? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter and please sign up to the newsletter