But why is Destiel a thing? Or JohnLock? Or just everything about the character of Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman and star of both Doctor Who and his own spin-off show, Torchwood: why are gay (or bi or pansexual) men in fiction so appealing to straight (or bi or pan) women?
Sure, there’s something to be said for positive and diverse representation of sexual minorities in fictional worlds, especially Sc-Fi or fantastical ones, but that doesn’t seem to be where the vast appeal stems from. Straight men understand the idea of “lipstick lesbians” or of hot girl-on-girl action, but somehow we’ve evolved into a world where homosexual male subtext is the norm in genre fiction, especially if it wants to do well with both men and women. ( Iron Man T Shirt from our Avengers category, because Steve/Tony/Bruce Banner is my OT3).
But there’s a harsh side to that edgy ideal; fandom has dubbed this most dubious honor the dreaded “Queer-Baiting”; meaning to bait a gay/ bi/ pan/ questioning audience with stories full of sexual tension between supposedly straight (invariably male, with some exceptions such as Once Upon a Time and female detective shows) characters between them, only to never deliver sweet, sweaty cannon satisfaction. This is the story teller’s version of having one’s cake and eating it too: you get a straight audience that won’t be offended or scared off because of an unwillingness to see what’s there, and hook a periphery demographic of hip young queer folks with sexy, flirty, funny guys (and gals) in ambiguous situations.
This was a great episode in that it was the first one to feature DeForrest Kelly as Dr. McCoy. Also it was great in that it had one of my favorite aliens in it, the Balok (or Commander Balok). I was really disappointed when it turned out to be a little person and the cool alien face just a dummy.
I actually disapprove of turning the big bad alien into a cute little guy. One of the best Sci Fi movies of the last 20 years, District 9, featured aliens that looked like 8 foot tall bipedal potato bugs yet somehow managed to make them sympathetic. When they did Avatar they caved in and made the Na’vi look like super sexy cat people. I see that as the easy route. People like to say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but they do it all the time. I guess I’m just bothered by that sort of thing as I look like a bouncer, tow truck driver, or Bond villains henchman but am in truth a sensitive and caring creative artistic soul (I’m not kidding, although you would have to know me for years to really see it. Image of a misunderstood villain from our Hulk t shirt collection). I just think this episode would have been cooler if they met the Balok and it turns out that his race is super scary but all have amazing singing voices or something.
the Infamous Dave Inman
From the first trailer I knew I was going to love Fury. You see I am what wargammers call a treadhead. I love tanks and always have. On the rare occasion that I travel if there is a tank museum anywhere around I will always try to visit it. The addition of a tank of any kind will automatically make a movie better. The Bridges of Madison County would have been an amazing film if Clint Eastwood had driven around in an M60 Patton. Here is a list off the top of my head of movies that rocked because they had tanks in them: Tank, the Beast (amazing movie BTW), Time Bandits, Tank Girl, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, A Bridge Too Far, and Patton. Some of these films sucked, but the tank made them better. So naturally I was inclined to love a film about a tank crew.
I was extremely gratified to see that David Ayers either knows a thing or two about tanks or he did some research because he accurately showed how good American tanks were in WWII and that is they were crap on a stick. American tanks sucked back then and we made up for that failure by just making over 50,000 of them. Kind of hard on the crews but we really didn’t have a choice. This film accurately showed what would happen if a Tiger I (the Hulk of WWII tanks. Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf.E. Image courtesy of the Hulk t shirt category) encountered four M4 Shermans: the Tiger kicked seven kinds of ass on the Shermans and only by being very lucky was Fury able to beat it. I was also thrilled to see they actually got a hold of the last working Tiger tank in the world and used it for the film. That kind of tread accuracy does my heart good.
This film was also great in showing what it would be like to be a crewman in a tank in battle. The accurately captured the claustrophobia and terror. The action scenes were great. During the many battle scenes I experienced the rarest gift a film can give an audience member: excitement. I was actively gripping my armrests after watching the tanks in action knowing that any one of them could blow up at any time. The action was also horrific and gruesome. If watching men burn alive in battle isn’t your thing this might not work for you.
I was working on this new Hulk magnet for the Hulk t shirt category to one of my favorite movies, Dark City. What a great movie. I love movies that totally surprise me, and this one really did.
Of course, it has a great 50’s style goth feel to it, with some amazing visuals. The bad guys are great too; pale with bald heads and leather coats. Mr. Hand is awesome. When I become an evil super villain I think that’s what I want to end up looking like, although odds are I will look more like Mr. Book.
By weird coincidence, the female role in Dark City was Jennifer Connelly, who also starred in Labyrinth, another movie I just brought in shirts for and will be updating this week as well. She was critically acclaimed for her performance in Dark City.
Speaking of critically acclaim, Dark City received a 77 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. While that is much higher than most movies, I would rank it higher up. Definitely one of my favorites.
Unfortunately, Alexander Proyas, the man who wrote and directed it, also directed I, Robot from 2004. For a great actor, Will Smith sure picks some horrible scripts. Remember Independence Day? Or Wild Wild West? You would think that as a fan of steam punk I would like that movie, but somehow they managed to make it suck. I Am Legend blew too, if only because I read the book and have seen the good version with Charlton Heston. To be fair, I actually liked Hancock (drunken reprobate superhero/demigod) and he was pretty good in The Pursuit of Happiness. However, he would have to do about 10 movies that good to make up for Wild Wild West (which, by the way, he turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix for. Great choice. Learn to read a script, man).
For the record, on Rotten Tomatoes Wild Wild West got a 21% and the Matrix got an 86%. What a fool.