Whitney and Ellen get back at it after their summer hiatus by talking about the summer’s most bingeable show, Stranger Things. 80’s nostalgia, conspiracy theory, Winona Ryder, and a hot dad sheriff, it’s all here. Plus, we delve into how the Netflix model is changing how we watch TV, for better or for worse. As always, Whitney tries to embarrass Ellen in a new game, this time quizzing her on Netflix taglines.
Last week, Whitney challenged me to a round of our favorite game and yours, Marry, Boff, Kill, with this round focusing on the supporting cast of Captain America: Civil War. Whitney is notorious for always getting this wrong, so let’s delve into the CORRECT answers.
Of course you marry Sam Wilson. The guy is quick with the one-liners, he’s an American hero who served this country with honor, and I reckon he is always willing to bust out the wings for a quick trip to the grocery store when I forgot milk. What more could a girl ask for?
Boff Black Panther
Black Panther is the obvious choice here because he is the only one who is a guaranteed animal in the sack. ‘Nuff said.
Kill Bucky Barnes
…Even though just the thought of it kills me. He’s just far too brooding and complicated for this carefree, easygoing gal. Also, after the revelations in Civil War I think that it is safe to say that Buck is dealing with emotional baggage that he would rather forget. I’m considering this a merciful killing. Say hi to Peggy for me.
Most superhero movies (actually, most movies in general) are more than willing to do the ethical legwork for you. The bad guys (easily distinguished by facial scars, a dark color pallet, or customary bad attitude) are always wrong, and the good guys (identifiable by their steely-eyed commitment to the greater good and general dishy-ness) are always right. Even those films that dip their toes into moral relativism always eventually find their way to the safer, more solid narrative ground of Righteous Hero v. Dastardly Villain. But what happens when everybody looks like a good guy? What is expected of us as an audience when everyone’s actions, including the guy in spandex we came to see, can be understood as right or wrong? For once, maybe the question of morality is open to our interpretation.
Such is the case with the third Captain America stand alone, Civil War. The film opens like you’d expect: good guys going after bad guys. But when the good guys (here represented by Cap, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon) make a mistake with fatal consequences, there is a global outcry for a little accountability, in the form of UN sanctioned panel that would oversee the Avengers from here on out. Some, like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision, see this as a necessary compromise. Others, namely Cap, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon, see it as an undermining of what the Avengers are supposed to be- a group a super friends with the autonomy needed to keep the world safe from handsome alien conquistadors and shapely, artificially intelligent robots. The result can only be described as a, ahem, civil war.
If you’re worried that this movie sounds too much like a talky political drama, rest easy. Civil War has even more than the usual amount of ass-kicking. But what’s really cool about this movie is how the Russo Brothers managed to take out almost all the cartoonishness of superhero violence. There’s a scene, pretty early in the film, where Captain America falls from a ledge and gets beaten around like a rag doll before making an uncharacteristically graceless landing. And, even more surprising, he doesn’t immediately bounce back. Right away we get the feeling that, in this film at least, violence has consequences. And unlike many other action movies of it’s kind, it feels as though the fight scenes are built around the set pieces, and not the other way around. The characters have to adapt to and use their surroundings in a way that makes the idea of a super-soldier and a guy in a cat-suit going at it feel a little more grounded.
Also, I’d like to take this moment to mention Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and everything I want to say can be summed up in one onamonapia: meow. Seriously, don’t change a thing.
In fact, there isn’t one weak link in this cast. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is predictably wonderful, Robert Downey Jr. is invariably the coolest guy on screen, and Chris Evans
continues to give Captain America a depth and charm that has managed to turned one of Marvel’s most stoic (and frankly, boring) heroes into a surprisingly relatable dude.
In this humble Fangirl’s opinion, Civil War is the best superhero movie we’ve gotten thus far. It’s beautifully made, and asks more of its audience than to simply go along for the ride. You feel obligated to choose a side, and for once, it might not be the same side as the guy with his name on all the posters. Right and wrong is a matter of perspective and actions have far reaching consequences. Does that sound a little familiar?
Can Hollywood make anything original? Whitney and Ellen take a stab at answering that question and try to explore the current landscape of Hollywood. Plus, we lay down our Summer 2016 box office predictions. Who will come off conqueror in our latest competition? Will Ellen continue her total domination over Whitney?
Whitney and Ellen get into it over the heated subject of Marvel vs. DC. Who’s winning? Is it even a feud to begin with? We know you will have opinions. Plus, another humiliating game of Truth or Dare in which Whitney does some stellar musical impressions and Ellen spits some rhymes from Hamilton with a mouthful of popcorn.
In case you’ve been living under a literal or metaphorical rock.
Whitney and Ellen are joined by their cousin Sam (for the male perspective) to go over some of the big releases that we have to look forward to in 2016. Is this the year we finally get sick of superhero movies? (Mmm, probably not). Does Whitney’s roommate have really bad taste in music that she blasts through their apartment? (Spoiler: Yes). Also, the gang throws out some crazy hypothetical situations to try and stump each other. Is there any situation in which Ellen would not go on a date with a Marvel Chris? Listen to find out.
*Circumstances led to Ellen having to use a very bad mic. Apologies in advance.