I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy and liked it. This summer is definitely shaping up to be a better one for movies than the last one, the high points of which were Pacific Rim and, uh, wait, I’ll get back to you. (Somebody is bound to say Iron Man 3, but you know what? That wasn’t that great. It was overstuffed and the Mandarin twist, while clever, really took the wind out of the movie’s sails. I was really looking forward to watching those two square off. Instead, I got to see Ben Kingsley in an admittedly funny performance and Guy Pearce take over as a far less interesting lead villain. I’m sorry, but that’s just not how you do the Mandarin.) As far as the big blockbusters go, we are definitely on a roll so far, and I think Guardians is a slam-dunk for anybody just looking for something that’s fun, colorful, fast-paced, and not too challenging. It has the Robot King Seal of Approval.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about Marvel movies. My favorite is still Winter Soldier, largely because it does such a good job of feeling like its own thing rather than a pastiche or homage. Guardians borrows from Star Wars in ways that are not even remotely subtle, and that’s not a problem, although it’s becoming fairly obvious that the Marvel Universe has become so lucrative that they’ll give any old character their own movie these days. (Is Hawkeye ever going to get his own movie? Probably not, which is a pity, because those Matt Fraction comics—which have him hanging out in Queens and fighting off people like the Russian mob—are really funny and could be done on a relatively low budget. Ah, but nobody gives a shit about Hawkeye, that’s the problem. I think shooting a bow is inherently cool, so I kinda like him.) The Marvel movies all operate within their different respective genres—Thor 2 is a fantasy epic, Iron Man is a war movie/political drama, Winter Soldier is a 70s paranoia thriller—that I think we have to evaluate them based on how well they work within that pre-established formula. If I were ranking them, I’d make The Avengers a close second.
I’ve always been biased in favor of anything with a political edge. So if you can add a subtext to your story without making it too blatant, that’s always a plus. Winter Soldier is a comic book movie, but it’s also a commentary on privacy and government surveillance, concerns which are very much of the moment. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t really bother with this. My biggest beef with the film (other than its occasional lapses into sentimentalism) is that its villain is one-dimensional, just like Malekith from Thor 2 (a film I actually enjoyed, more or less). He’s evil and wants to destroy the universe. That’s it, really. And who better to stop him than a ragtag team of loveable outcasts? If I sound like I’m coming down hard on the film, I’m not. I’m just saying that there’s a formula, right down to the scene where the hero gives a big speech and everybody says “I’m in” followed by the “lock and load” montage where everybody gets suited up for battle and marches out side by side in slow motion.
I’m in kind of a bad mood right now. See, I’ve run out of things to say about Marvel, so now I’m turning my attention to job and apartment-hunting, two areas where I have had basically zero luck lately. A couple weeks ago, I was rejected by one landlord despite really wanting the place and getting along great with my prospective roommate (probably because he wanted somebody with a higher-paying job, when shouldn’t the fact that I can pay rent be enough?) and this week, I was rejected by a prospective employer a month after giving a dynamite interview at a store where I shop anyway (at another branch). This has made me rather upset, because it causes me to wonder just what the fuck I am doing wrong. We had performance evaluations at the coffee shop recently, and my boss told me that the feedback he gets about me from customers is…inconsistent. This is actually an improvement upon several months ago, when they hated everything I did, but still. Why do more people not recognize my amazingness?
I just got rejected by a gay couple looking for a tenant because they wanted somebody in their 30s. That seems like an odd reason to reject someone. It would be one thing to say that you prefer somebody who is a little bit older because you find that they are quieter and more responsible, but it’s quite another to refuse to even consider somebody just because they’re a little younger. Seriously, WTF? I’m quiet, responsible, and pay my rent on time. Why the fuck does it matter that I’m not yet 30? It’s not like I’m running for the Senate. Also, some stupid bitch made me remake her cappuccino because I put a little bit too much milk in it. Um, cappuccinos are supposed to have a little bit of milk in them, you fucking cunt. If you want it dry, order it dry (or “bone dry”, if you want it all foam). But don’t make me remake the fucking drink just because you fucking forgot to ask for it the way you fucking want it, then go on and on about how you never have to ask them to do this at other stores. Do I sound angry? Yeah, I kinda am.
I’ve always said that the only bad customers are the ones who don’t know what they want, but blame you for not getting it. As I remade that awful harpy’s drink, another employee (who just left for college, which is good, because he sucks at his job) apologized to her and said he hopes this never happens again. It was all I could do not to pour hot coffee over her head.
I guess that nice gay couple just wanted somebody who makes them feel comfortable as opposed to someone who is actually easy to live with. Reminds me of another gay guy I lived with a couple years ago. I have no idea if their sexuality has anything to do with it, I’m just mentioning it because both parties asked me if I was gay-friendly. In conclusion: fucking people, man.