May 28, 2012

Jedward, the new happy pill

Hi, my name is Eeva and I am currently writing my first and second-to-last essay of the semester. Oh and I am also studying so hard for my one last exam. I'm the best student.

Ok, first, I don't know how I managed to avoid writing a single academic essay this year until now. Well, I do know that the first deadline for those essays was about a month ago. Second, I really was writing the first essay, but then I though I'd just quickly stop by in YouTube and listen to that one track that was stuck in my head, and then continue. Oh well. (Third, I've been spelling 'essay' 'essey', until I just noticed something fishy and fixed it. But only after checking the dictionary. It's really been a while since I've written proper English. This post must be full of all kinds of lovely typos. Enjoy!)

So yeah, here I am, writing a post about Jedward instead. Haha. Be proud of me. Who or what the hell is Jedward, you say? I don't disapprove. If you were enthusiastically watching the Eurovision Song Contest either this year or last year, you probably have an idea what I'm talking about, but if no, you're bound to be just as clueless as I was until last Tuesday when I was watching the first semifinal with my friend. I've traditionally had very little interest towards the said competition, and I think this was actually the first time I ever watched both of the semi-finals AND the main show. I don't own a TV but my friend does and since she lives across the street we've taken on a habit of hanging out in her place, watching all kinds of crap television has to offer. Good times!

Anyways, we were watching the semi-final, and first I of course got my mind blown away by the Russian grannies. Seriously, they are the most endearing thing ever! I just kept laughing and smiling like an idiot. Let me also say that my other favourites were Turkey (that boat, hahahaha, brilliant) and Estonia (not only because the language always sounds so funny), and that will be the end of the Eurovision discussion.

(This does not technically count as Eurovision discussion, because it's leading to something else.) So, then Ireland came on, and I remembered the jumping twins from last year (I must have been watching at least with one eye, then) and I thought they were really fun. Incredibly cheesy British pop! Whoo! Love it! Still, I wouldn't be writing this post now, had we not found our way to YouTube and stumbled across this following clip. (The description says: "This may change your life." So I was warned, right? Hahaha...)

It's a different thing watching these boys (ok, I guess they're technically men, but with that behavior, I don't think we can talk about anything else but little boys, bless them) perform and watching them talk. Jedward (it's John and Edward, by the way, in case you didn't know, and I don't see why you would know) performing is fun and catchy, but Jedward talking is just... well. First I was like what the hell, and then I laughed my ass off. The way they talk is incredibly annoying, and I don't know where all that energy and ridiculousness and all those childish jokes come from and why it never stops, but oh my god, they are also so freaking adorable. So, after this video there were a lot more videos, and they have made my week a lot better and crazier and all kinds of silly.

Jedward begun their journey to fame in Britain's X-Factor. They were called John and Edward back then, but the pair took in the new name when their fans came up with it. And now here they are, if not a world-wide then at least Europe-wide phenomenon, also referred to as Jedmania. Maybe they are not quite like The Beatles yet, but can't blame them for not trying.

In recent years I have most often gotten obsessed with things that are fun and happy (with the exception of The Hunger Games, which definitely isn't either), most notably Glee. Glee has been my number one happy pill for years now, and Jedward has had a very similar effect on me. I know it's not great art, I know it's stupid and silly and they can't even sing that well (quoting Simon Cowell, "it's not right, but it's okay"), I know this is not something a cool, self-respecting 23-year-old university student would freely admit to like, but luckily I've never considered myself particularly cool or anything. Also, I won't be 23 for another week, so I'm completely off the hook.

Seriously though, it's both understandable and sad that they've got a lot negative attention, and hateful comments online, รก la Twilight and Justin Bieber, etc. It's unsurprising that they do, them being two young, extremely cute blonds, who dress in funny clothes and wear make-up and tons of hair product, and make gloriously cheesy pop music and do equally cheesy dance routines, love Britney Spears, and talk in funny, feminine voices, and act nothing like cool studs in their twenties should. Girls love them, and for some reason people have a need to dis everything that gets too much love from young females. Haters gonna hate. There will always be idiots, and unfortunately the YouTube era gives them an unreasonably loud voice.

Idiots aside, I have nothing but love and some eye rolling to give to these young men. They are a pair of kids who obviously have a tremendous blast doing what they are doing, and who happen to get along so freaking well. And it's a twin thing. There's just something about twins. They are a bit like real-life Fred and George. They wouldn't be nearly as much fun if there were only one of them. They seem to absorb most of their energy and their comedy from each other, and it's actually pretty damn sweet.

Obviously this cannot last forever, because 1) at some point the joke will get old, and 2) sooner or later everyone grows up. It's just interesting to see whether the first one will be me, John or Edward. Until then, here's a selection of photos and videos and quotes. If I was fourteen I totally would've decorated my room with pictures of Edward by now. Shame I'm not!

May 8, 2012

The Avengers (2012) / super cool, super fun, super handsome

directed by Joss Whedon / starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson

If you're looking for two hours and twenty-two minutes of fun, who you gonna to call? The Avengers.

Poor Earth. I bet there is no other planet in the universe that hostile extraterrestrial forces have more special interest in. Those evil things are always attacking us! What have we ever done? Luckily, the Earth also seems to inhabit an unusual amount of super people. And they're all funny and witty and cool and extremely good-looking. So Earth should not worry.

I don't know what it is about superheroes, but they are so incredibly cool, aren't they? Even if they weren't technically super. Maybe it's the dark, troubled stories they usually have in their past. Maybe it's because they can do things ordinary people can't, and that makes good action. Or maybe it's just because of their beautifully superior physique? Haha. Seriously though, once again I found myself wondering why more women are not into superhero movies. Even if you are not that much into action or the super scientific fantasy aspect of it, who wouldn't be into those flexed, perfectly built biceps, the sweat pouring down those handsome, strong facial features and the intense looks in the deep, fearless eyes when they charge into action, performing all kinds of incredible stunts, wearing tight, cool uniforms that really do justice to the beautiful, beautiful male body. Ahem. Not that I'm personally into superhero movies just because of that. Hahaha, okay, moving on!

The cast is full of huge names, big stars, many of whom have played their characters before and established a fan base. It must have been such a challenge to fit all those stars and personalities in one movie, trying not to favor anyone too much and give everyone their moments in the spotlight. And I think they succeeded. I'm sure there was a temptation to raise RDJ's Iron Man above others, him being the best-known, extremely popular actor, and the character's two films having been such hits. And of course he got many of the funniest lines and dramatic scenes, but who also got his share was Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, a hero previously unknown to non-comic book freaks, including me. So yay, good job.

Robert Downey Jr. is a king, of course. That charisma is just hard to match, and so is his ease of stealing the spotlight. Iron Man is not really my type of superhero, but Tony Stark, in the capable hands and with the fast-talking mouth of RDJ is irresistibly charming, and oh so hilarious. He is the natural leader of the gang, but like I said, luckily he saves some space in that spotlight for the rest, too. I've said so much about RDJ over the years of my fangirl life, that I'm just going to stop right here.

I thought Thor was a very boring movie, and the story is not that interesting to me. I mean, demigods? Blah. Haha. Anyways, I did kind of like Chris Hemsworth's Thor in this movie. I liked how he fitted together with the others. And I like that hammer. It's so cool, just flying around. (And I have a Thor themed shirt. It says, "IT'S  HAMMERTIME!". And I made a quiz online, determining which Avenger I am, and I got Thor.) But if we talk looks (and we do, since we are talking about a movie with an insane amount of very handsome men), he's not really my cup of tea. Lovely arms, though.

It must be tough to be Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. You are the only woman in a movie bursting with super masculine men with huge personalities. You have to wear a super tight, super low-cut costume, because the audiences will also be bursting with more or less masculine males. You have to work really hard to get to play with the boys, and you still don't have quite as big a role in saving the world as the rest. You even get a minimal amount of jokes. And they all asume you are good in communication and relationships ans persuation, just because you're a she. That all being said, I did like the character. She was quite the badass, and she didn't have nearly as many stareotypically girly moments as she could have had. She wasn't even thrown into a forced love story, although for a while it seemed like she would. That's another great thing about this movie: no unnecessary romantic subplots! And not a single sex scene! Yay! (Oh, wait, why am I happy about that again...?)

Like I mentioned above, I wasn't familiar with Hawkeye before, so I had no expectations about him. But he won me over pretty much the second he slid down on that rope. Ah, there's some silent, subtle charm about him. And the eyes! Jeremy Renner has really intriguing eyes. Makes sense that he was cast in this particular role, heh... Anyways, Hawkeye was a very pleasant surprise. It's so cool how nothing shakes him, and he is so completely fearless that it comes across almost as indifference. He's just so cool. And that bow. Damn. Why are bows so cool? First Katniss and now this fellow. I bet by the time Brave hits cinemas I will be roaming in the woods trying to make myself one...

I really hated Eric Bana's Hulk back in the day, and that's why didn't see the Edward Norton version. So I'm not really one to make comparisons, but still, Mark Ruffalo's performance stood out. Bruce Banner must be the most complex character of the bunch, and Ruffalo made him oddly lovable, yet implicitly dangerous, unpredictable and strained. Banner/Hulk caused the only proper goosebumps I got (that line towards the end before he turns green). And some of the best laughs, too. Hahaha. The epic Loki versus Hulk showdown. And the little moment of bro-bonding with Hulk and Thor. Hahaha. And well, there's something really enjoyable about watching Hulk just go and, well, smash.

Among all these super cool and badass heroes, Captain America is still my favourite. I'm not sure what it is about those stars and stripes, but my little fangirl heart sure beats for the star-spangled man. Of course he's incredibly corny at times, with his unwavering love for his motherland and his ridiculous compulsion to do the exact right thing and be 100 % righteous and good and honorable 25/8. I mean, a superhero without a dark side? How lame is that? Only it isn't. I was a fan of Captain America in the 40s, and I'm a fan of him now. Some of my favourite parts of the movie were about him reacting to the strange place he'd been pulled into. I could've watched the whole two hours of just that. That flying monkey moment was the funniest gag in the whole movie. (Biased? Me? Yeah I am!) He is a fascinating blast from the past with his gentlemanly manners, his trust for comradeship and loyalty, and the dauntless hope and persistence of a true war hero. I looked at him and still saw that skinny little man who always used to get his ass kicked for the good of mankind. He's my captain, period. And of course I don't mind that Chris Evans happens to own the most flawless body in history. But that's not the point. Haha.

So, in summary... Favourite actor: RDJ. Favourite character: Captain America. Best performance: Mark Ruffalo. Best female: Poor Scarlett. Best-looking man: Jeremy Renner (!! What? I think I'm serious, though...). Best weapon: the hammer.

That enough? You done? No? Sorry, this became a super long post. And super rambling. And I'm not even done yet. I'll try to wrap up now. Here are the rest of my random thoughts, presented ever so randomly. It won't be pretty but at least it'll be over soon.

Loki is an amazing villain. He's super evil, but not pure evil, which is good, because pure evil doesn't usually make the best villains. We know there's a reason why he is evil, so in a way we can feel for him. But at the same time, of course, we can loathe him for being such a little diva. And laugh at him, because luckily the movie isn't afraid of making a fool out of him. That's another awesome thing about The Avengers: it doesn't take itself too seriously. Just seriously enough. I loved the scene in Germany. I love it whenever someone plays the Hitler card.

I also liked Agent Fanboy, or whatever his name was. And New York. Poor New York. While Earth is always hassled by various aliens and monsters, no city gets more punches aimed at it than poor New York. And, I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of liked the 3D. Kind of. It wasn't revolting. And I liked the action. I get a little bored when there's too much action, but I don't think I got bored more than once or twice. Because the action was pretty crazy and awesome and creative. Well. The interaction between the characters was even more awesome, so maybe I would've cut some minutes of the action to let the relationships develop still a bit further. But well, I'm a girl in that way.

I want more Avengers movies! And more Captain America! And more Marvel! More superheroes! Also, I want to read comic books. Now, quickly woman, click the damn button and publish this mess before some more interesting thoughts pop into your head and you naturally have to share them.

P.S. I'm not sure if I have clearly stated what my opinion of this movie is, so here you go: I think The Avengers was a hugely entertaining movie, with a kick-ass scale of fascinating characters and good-looking actors, with brilliant action scenes and awesome humor, and with that mystical something that made the movie work so well, even though there were definitely too many spoons in the pot, and too many cooks to potentially spoil the borth or the soup or whatever. So, bravo. As far as superhero movies go, this was the best I've seen since... ever? Or Kick-Ass.

"If we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we'll avenge it."