We’re in the Endgame now
by Thom Yee
In spite of what others might insist, comicbooks have a great potential for meaning and depth and sometimes even occasional transcendence if met by a receptive audience. They’re just like any other storytelling medium in that way. Despite their often garish outer trappings, comicbooks aren’t inherently stupid or immature; not nearly as stupid and immature as the dismissive attitudes that would suggest they must be are anyway. Like most other stories, comicbook stories tend to speak to the broader thoughts and universal themes we all recognize simply as part of being human. Superman relates to concepts of power, divinity, and the notion of the foreigner finding their way in a strange new land. Batman represents a different kind of power, acknowledging our darkest motivations meeting our greatest hopes, no matter how unattainable those hopes might be and how bad they may be for us. Spider-Man is an everyman, facing the same troubles we all do, but, having learned an important lesson in power and responsibility, is an everyman who uses his gifts as selflessly as possible despite everything it costs him. Some comicbook characters, though… some of them are just straight-up murderers. Gifted with exotic murder powers. Designed by murder artisans who work exclusively in the medium of murder. Characters like Bullseye, whose power, basically, is to pick anything up and throw it at you, unerringly, in a way that kills you. He’s our new bad guy in this season of Daredevil. This time he doesn’t suck.
Not like this guy. Continue reading
So there were still problems in Russia after Rocky beat up Ivan Drago? What about that speech he gave?!
by Thom Yee
Odds are pretty good that if you’ve seen Rocky IV that it’s not a movie you hold in particularly high regard intellectually. It’s probably not a movie you view as the dumbest movie you’ve ever seen, nor would you likely have had very high expectations of it in the first place, particularly as it was the fourth part, but still, there was something dumb enough about it that called for some sort of vocal remark. Rocky IV, in which our titular hero avenges the death of his friend, mentor, and former rival Apollo Creed, and, in so doing, also solves the communist problem once and for all (ONCE AND FOR ALL!), is definitely the tone-deaf, adopted second cousin, mutant freak installment of the series, the one that stands out from the rest like a sore, swollen, badly in-need-of-cutting boxer’s eye. It’s maudlin and overdramatic and yet made up of scenes with very little dramatic impact, and most of those scenes are punctuated with incredibly ham-fisted revelries at their end. What I think really pushes the movie fully over the edge and off the cliff of stupidity, though, is the speech Rocky gives at the end, after winning over the hostile Russian crowd by beating up the bad guy/Russian mascot Ivan Drago, where he suggests that if he [Rocky] can change and they [the Russians in attendance] can change, then EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!! It’s not so much that the moment comes off as both under-considered and monumentally naïve (and it does!) or that you disagree with the sentiment (and you might!) as much as it’s the incredulity of the suggestion that Rocky IV, after everything you’ve just witnessed, is a movie that might have had a point. That, to me, is what makes that final message so laughable. Continue reading