Super Heroes

I think Sam was probably about 2 and a half when he begged to watch Hellboy. Whether he liked the cover, or recognized the big red guy as being one of the things on my shelf- I don’t know.

Bettie and I discussed letting him- the movie does have some “scary” moments, and some mostly bloodless violence- but decided to go ahead and let him watch it with me. He showed no fear, only extreme glee whenever Hellboy or Abe Sapien were doing much of anything. He also thought Kroenen was cool, and got really excited whenever Liz Sherman went all “You really should be running now” and torched shit.

He discovered Batman a little after turning 3, I think, via the Traveller’s Tales Lego Batman game. He loves him some Batman- based entirely on that game as his point of entry. His 4th birthday party was Batman themed- as his third had been Star Wars themed.

He still adores the SW movies- all of them- and loves Jedis and Stormtroopers- but recently the Super Heroes have taken precedence.

One of his favorite toys for a long time has been the 12 inch Hellboy figure my mother gave me as a birthday present shortly after the first movie came out. Sam would make me “be” Hellboy (operate the figure and do the voice) and he and HB would fight, and then make up, and then fight again.

Two or three weekends ago the battle became epic. While his mother napped, and his sister sat and stared, utterly rapt, Sam and Hellboy beat the shit out of each other. Hellboy’s right hand of doom would sock Sam in the jaw, and Sam would let out a “Urrr!” and go flying back across the room. He can take a punch, almost at Harrison Ford levels.

Then Sam would charge across the room and- in slow motion- punch Hellboy in the chest.

It got difficult, manipulating the 1/6 scale figure in his long trench coat, so I had HB shrug off the jacket.

“Now you are going down, you horrible monster,” Hellboy grunted.

“Oh YEAH?” Sam snarled at me/Hellboy from across the room, and he RIPPED HIS SHIRT OFF and ran across the room with a shriek to clobber HB with a vicious hook.

It was as crowning an achievement of awesome as a 4 year old can dish out, I think. He also totally digs the two (terrific, I think) animated Hellboy movies.

A week or so ago, Sam asked to watch Iron Man. I watched it with him- he doesn’t get scared by “grown up” movies, and he doesn’t act out by attacking his sister or mom or other kids- and he was enthralled anytime any Iron Man action, or Tony Stark Doing Science scenes- the rest of it, eh, he played with his Legos during it.

Recently, Sam discovered Spider-Man. It was through an X-Box game at a friend’s house- the game is one of those Sandbox games, so all Sam wanted to do was swing Spidey over the Manhattan skyline- a lot of fun to watch, really, though vertigo certainly hit me when he was sliding down the side of the Chrysler Building.

He loves playing that game so much that he really didn’t want to leave, especially since we don’t have a Spider Man game (technically, I mean, Spidey is playable in Ultimate Alliance, but it isn’t quite the same), but we DO have the first two Raimi flicks.

He tunes out and plays with his toys during the MJ/Harry/Aunt May stuff (you know, the boring stuff) but absolutely delights in Spidey, Green Goblin, and Doc Ock.

Last weekend he followed a kid around the playground who had a Spider-Man doll, and kept tenderly picking it up and dusting it off to give back to the other boy whenever he discarded it to play on some equipment.

“BATMAN!” is one of Sam’s exclamations that let us know he means business and wants a comic book read (shown) to him.

This morning, I discovered that Batman: The Movie was on Instant watch from Netflix.

I’m pretty glad, really. I’d been thinking- well Gee, he’s watched Spider Man 1, 2, Iron Man, Hellboy (plus the animated)… but even I have to draw the line with Nolan’s flicks- I mean the intensity, for a little guy, is a lot heavier than in the other movies mentioned.

So really, Adam West dangling from a rope ladder while an explosive shark chews on his leg and Sam cackles madly? That worked out a lot better I think.

He has a Batman cape. It is reversible and has a Superman cape on the other side, Sam doesn’t know who Superman is, yet.

Sometimes we stand out on the porch at night- he loves to watch the sunset and the changing colors of the sky- and he will point at airplanes and helicopters.

“Maybe Batman?” he asked last night.

“Maybe,” I said. “But do you think Batman flies around in a plane?”

“I dunno.”

“What about Spider-Man?”

“Oh, no-no-no-no.”

“Could be Iron Man. I bet he-”

“Ok” said Sam, and he took my hand and we watched Iron Man fly somewhere.

It wasn’t hot till the sun rose.

Some days, I wake up well before the sun. This morning was one of them- funny, because I’d communicated with Miss Twist my thoughts on pre-dawn risings on Friday. That communication, more or less, below.

When Sam was a baby- after Red Hour and before Fox- while we were working on those scripts for various producer’s (that never went anywhere, the scripts OR the producers, ha-ha) I usually woke up between 4 and 5.

Sometimes because Sam woke up and JUST NEEDED to be awake- for about half an hour before he fell asleep again in my lap. Sometimes because it was when I could get writing done without Sam or Annika being inconvenienced by my shutting down/closing off and working.

I kind of miss that.

Now, with 2 kids- both demanding a lot of cuddles and wrasslin’ and playing with magnets and reading comic books to them and singing and so forth- I sleep until about 7, and then have to rush to get out of the house and to work on time.

I only write three days a week now, Mon/Wed/Fri on the loading dock, because that is when I can- I’m not complaining, I’ve made it work for me. (oh, some Tues/Thurs I sneak in some writing between 8:00-9:00am anyways).

Part of the reason I don’t wake up pre-dawn is because of the kids taking more out of me- me getting older, probably- and also that if I get up pre-dawn, I am intruding on my sister-in-law’s sleep by banging around in the kitchen and powering up my nine-year-old Mac (the fan sounds like it could power a small swamp-boat).

I kind of miss it, it was a hugely productive time for me. I got a lot of dishes done in the wee hours too.

Also, when we would go for late breakfast meetings with the producers on one of our projects- late meaning usually about 10am- I would order beer. Brian, one of the producers, would always seem shocked that I would order beer.

On the one hand, this was funny because he usually stumbled in for out meetings late, hands shaking from heavy vodka consumption the night before, eyes like two maraschino cherries floating in a glass of heavy cream.

It was also funny because, as I pointed out: I’d already been up for damn near 5/6 hours- this was my LUNCH, while his breakfast and my day was half over.

I miss that too, especially since the producer’s always picked up the check.

Today the internet tells me it is reaching 109 degrees here in Culver City (but it only feels like 104!). My revised manuscript is in the hands of my on-point reader, and this upcoming episode of Deadlands is already statted out… so today is a day for moving as little as possible, and drinking a LOT of water.

Sadly, my lunch will be without beer.

Oslowe vs. Twilight 3 & 4: lets just wrap this shit up, please

I mean, I read all 4 books in less than a month, over two months ago? I haven’t updated my blog because I have physically dreaded writing these article/rants.

So, anyways, there are these two kids. Emotionally stunted, physically beautiful kids. They are in love, even though he is some sort of mutant vampire and she is a clumsy dimwit. Her dad thinks she should spend more time with her “friend”, a formerly interesting character who turned into a shaggy dog of a joke and then became a horrible, boring, aggressive character.

There are a bunch of snobby Euro-trash vampires who want the Girl’s power, and some red-headed vampire that wants to kill her, and the Wolf-Boys of the Rez don’t like Vampires and the Good Vegan Vampires have golden fucking eyes because they are depleting protected animals like grizzly bears (not black bears or brown bears mind you, but Grizzly) and mountain lions.

So the third book is basically all posturing between the Wolf-Boys and the Veganpires and threats, but it turns out- oh noes- there is a growing army of young vampires (which I am going to call Younglings, because then I picture those cute, cute little jedi kids that Anakin kills, and I giggle) and the Veganpires are all: “Oh noes, the Venturi” or whatever the fuck the Italian court of preening rejects from someone’s junior high school pastiche of an Anne Rice story are called, “Oh noes, the Venturi are going to use this as an excuse to wipe us out! Because they are all Machiavellian and stuff” except they aren’t, because the fucking author doesn’t understand how Machiavelli’s philosophy’s actually work, so like all crappy writer she just assumes “scheming people”= Machiavellian.

And as the book gears up to the Big Battle between the Veganpires and the Younglings (hee!) the Wolf-Boys decide to throw in with the Veganpires, because common enemy blah-blah Bella cakes.

And then we DON’T GET TO SEE THE BATTLE, because Meyers has Bella and Jacob and Edvard go hide so that Bella can almost freeze to death so that Jacob has to cuddle with her because Edvrd is COLD COLD COLD, man, like a fucking BEAUTIFUL STONE CORPSE CHISELLED OUT OF MUSCLED DIAMOND or something.

This is possibly the most awesome scene I’ve ever read, because it reads like some creepy teen fantasy about being with the perfect guy who is a dangerous, really clean, brooding dude, but an even more rash and equally dangerous and considerably more sweaty leather wearing less-perfect guy has to fuck you or something. It is hilarious. ESPECIALLY when Bella falls asleep, so then she thinks she is “dreaming” the conversations that Jacob and ‘Dvrd have all night about her. OMG, she is like TOTES at her own funeral and she isn’t even dead yet! (Foreshadowing!)

Then there IS some fighting, but who fucking cares? Victoria was a non-entity in the 1st book, inflated to some sort of off-screen bogeyman in the 2nd book, and is now Magneto, assembling her army of Evil Mutants to attack the X-Me- I mean the Veganpires.

Because, really, that is ALL that TWILIGHT fucking reminds me of, an angst-driven comic book about outsiders quarreling amongst themselves and sometimes banding together to fight the meaner, less nice outsiders and then having some teenage crap happen. Like X-Men, amiright?

So we get to see about half a page of Victoria fighting Jacob and Eddie, and the good guys win, of course.

Oh, and Edz all like: “Pfft, if he makes you happy, why don’t you go with him, I’ll just leave-” like fucking de-balled Han Solo and shit, and Jacob is like: “yeah! Go with MEEEEEEE!”

And somewhere was the kiss-rape sequence, which- meh- or maybe that was in Book 2?

The end.

Book 4: Bella and Edward get married and fuck so hard that she passes the fuck out, all set on some enchanted island. Then she is pregnant with a Soap Opera Baby (rapid growth acceleration) and IT IS ALIVE and Larry Cohen prolly couldn’t sue Meyers for Intellectual Property rights, but he can totally bitch about it in a bar with David Cronenburg who- IF he even gave a shit about Meyers- would say: “That woman is really terrified of her body, of the fact that women have complex biological systems and urges, I would like to remake The Brood starring Stephenie Meyers and her death-womb”.

Oh and then suddenly HALF THE FUCKING BOOK is Jacob’s narration.

This is possibly because Bella is half-dead or half-unconscious or whatever, but after the magical dicking she gets from her dead husband and the following “Surprise!” Jacob narrates the entire pregnancy and the childbirth. Probably because Meyers was so goddamn scared of talking about a human body doing something natural that she kept fainting and freaking out her real-life husband, who has probably taken up smirking in order to score a little touch now and again.

And then the baby finally comes.

I’m skipping over the endless I DON’T GIVE A SHIT of what Jacob and his Wolf-Buddies telepathically communicate with each other, because see above about SHIT that I DON’T GIVE A of.

And yes, the baby is born and Jacob imprints on the baby and YES it is as fucking weird as you’d expect.

Meyers tries really, really hard to make it not be creepy, and honestly I didn’t find it creepy (because Meyers makes it very clear it is nonsexual and WTF, it is her universe she is writing in so why not?) so much as I found it a really cheap way out of the love triangle she’d been flogging for 3 fucking volumes.

So Edward has to turn Bella into a vampire, cuz otherwise she’ll be all crippled and dead and shit because the telepathic half-vampire baby is kinda fucking strong and shit. And all the Veganpires are like: “Oh noes, Bella can’t see the bebee because she will try to eat her because all vampire younglings are ferocious and shit and twice as strong as older vampires” which they’d set up in Book 3, but still had the Veganpires and the Wolf-Buddies defeat a massive army of Younglings so- hey, money and mouth, Meyers?

Anyhow, Bella though can control her ferocious youngling bloodlust.

OF COURSE SHE CAN. Mary Sue can do ANYTHING. She is special.

And like a “special” person, names her daughter Renesmee. After her mom, Rene, and after Edward’s “mom”, Esme. Because apparently, Bella was meant to be played by Jaime Pressley as Joy from My Name Is Earl.

Aaaaand now the Wolf-Pack is all allies with the Veganpires and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

OH, but WAIT! That ISN’T the END!

(it isn’t the End? CAN’T it BE the END?)

There was this minor vampire character who got kilt by the Wolf-Buddies in Book 2, and it turns out he was shacked up with these other Veganpires that live in Alaska, and that Veganpiress dead dead-guy was shacked up with comes to, I dunno, tell the Cullens that she really likes how quirky fucking Alice is or something, and she sees the half-babypire running around and is all: “AH, it’s ALIA from DUNE!”

Because all fantasy worlds have fears of abominations, so she runs off to tell the Ventura Avenues in Italy that it is time to reenact the Kirsten Dunst courtyard scene from INTERVIEW on the Veganpire clan.

Except, you know, that would just make a disco ball of sparkle. In the Meyerverse, vampires need to tear each other apart with their bare hands and I’m pretty sure it is described as sounding like rock being carved or something. Because they are STONE COLD GORGEOUS.

And the Cullens are like: Ah, shit. We need to make a stand (like the X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood did when Brett Ratner made Fox a lot of money)” and so they ask all of the other Veganpires, and quite a few non-vegan meat-eating Vampires to come and “bear witness” to the Italian inquisition of the Venture Bros.

So A WHOLE SHITLOAD OF NEW CHARACTERS SHOW UP IN THE LAST HALF OF THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES.

Many of them have their own superpowers, including one who might be The Avatar, because he totally can earthbend and other shit. And we are supposed to care about all of these new mutants, but Meyers has barely been able to drum up my sympathy for anybody in three and a half books, so why start now?

And Alice, quirky spunky sparkly Alice, who has pre-cog abilities that the Vultures really want in their camp, takes a powder and splits, leaving the heroes going: “Oh noes, she saw something horrible coming… she let because we will LOSE” and I’m all “FUCK YEAH” because I am READY for an Alamo sequence.

Which doesn’t come.

But the characters basically write their death letters and give them to each other, and Jacob-wolf is SAD, and we know this because:
“A tear the size of a basketball rolled into the russet fur beneath his eye.”

I laughed so hard after that part that I had to put the book down for a few days.

Right, the not-Alamo happens and the Voltrons show up with all of their evil powers and face off against the Veganpires and their allies and the main Vulture is all “blabbity blahcakes, oooh, you have werewolves? Neat!” and Oh. My. God.

It is like if all the Orcs showed up outside Helm’s Deep and the heroes and refugees were all: “Oh shit, they gonna kill us dead,” and then they talked about reaching a consensus and avoiding bloodshed and then the Orcs tore Legolas apart for being a gay Elf, and then everyone went home.

Because that is what happens, and the Veganpire chick that dropped the dime on the Cullens gets killed and everyone is SO UPSET- except the reader, because who the fuck is this character and why should I care?

Oh, and then the GREATEST piece of writing in Meyers CAREER happens, because Alice comes back.

Are you prepared? Do you think you can handle it?

I am printing it below here, unaltered.

“Why don’t you join us, Alice?” Edward called loudly.
“Alice” Esme whispered in shock.
Alice!
Alice, Alice, Alice!
“Alice!” “Alice!” other voices murmured around me.
“Alice,” Aro breathed.

OH FUCK ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS ALICE HERE?
(That last part was me, though it should have been one of the Transylvanian vampires that don’t like Aro and the Vogons)

And somehow Alice coming back is like the sun shining (because she is so QUIRKY!) and, whatever, the Visigoths leave and some of the free range vampires are interested in becoming Veganpires, and the wonderful beautiful Cullens and their Wolf-Buddies will live happily ever…

And THEN, it is over. And nothing has happened except the Happy Family is bigger now.

“In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Meyer responded to the negative response of many fans to the book and called it the “Rob Effect”; she said that the fans need time to accept the ending of Breaking Dawn, just as they needed time to accept Robert Pattinson playing the role of Edward in the Twilight movie.”

Yes. That is it, Steph. That is the problem; it is “The Rob Effect”. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Imprinting thing is all KINDS of fucked up, that NOTHING really HAPPENS in just under eight hundred pages…

You know what happened? I died a little, inside.