The Speakeasy #065: Debbie Does Dallas—Dallos, Avengers, Attack on Titan, Con Season

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Drink #065: Debbie Does Dallas
Dallos, Avengers, Attack on Titan, Con Season

Ongoing Investigations: A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall, Agents of SHIELD S2 finale, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Dallos.

Topics: Free Comic Book Day, Dragonball Super TV Anime, 23rd Animator Expo Short Is Moyocco Anno’s ‘Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen,’ Live Action Akagi TV Series, Con Season

(Listen)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Debbie Does Dallas

  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • cola
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort

Directions: Serve on the rocks. 

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #176

I was lucky that I only recently finished up the original Avatar: The Last Airbender, it had me very excited for the new series Legend of Korra. The entire season was impressive because it was strong on story and character from the first episode onwards. I was completely invested and it just kept getting better and better. Overall I was really happy with the season.

The best part of the show was the amazing, strong and central female characters. Korra is very unlike Aang in her headstrong and aggressive behavior so watching her struggle for an understanding of airbending as well as the spiritual journey was rewarding. She doesn’t fully graps what it is be the Avatar and what it means to people yet. Korra runs into smart and powerful Lin soon after arriving in Republic City. Lin’s transition into ally is excellently earned. Then there’s Asami who, in a complete surprise to me, became my favorite character. From her driving skills to her martial arts to using the equalists weapons against them, Asami is so cool! Asami’s relationship with her father as well as her friendship with Korra and romance with Mako give her great complexity in trying to balance it all. To top it all off, none of leading women are white.

The season finale blew my mind, then blew it again, and then when I thought I knew what the next season would be about it blew it again!

Though there is something I found most weird about the ending to this first season, it didn’t leave me with any questions. Everything was wrapped up so tightly that I’m not really left wondering or wanting. It is an odd place to leave an audience knowing there is going to be another season. Still I’m looking forward to it, I just thought they could have left us with a few mysteries. Or at least the start of another plot thread as a teaser.

The Legend of Korra has some pretty big shoes to fill. Avatar: The Last Airbender was a series that generally received universal praise. Avatar had its crazy shippers, overly enthusiastic fan base, and some controversial plot points but was generally well-regarded as a solid piece of kid’s entertainment. In many ways The Legend of Korra continues the legacy for better or for worse. Also like Avatar the ending distinctly got people talking.

My major criticism of the ending is that you could almost feel the hand brake being thrown. I don’t want to go into spoilers but certain things seem to get resolved at the end both in the romantic department and with the narrative near the end that seem like they would have best been served being solved in the second season. I know that Korra was originally only planned to be one season but it seemed like they wrote a plot line that was supposed to continue into the second season and they decided that was a bad idea at the last second. It does make the first season a very complete package but you are left wondering if that was for the best.

I also liked my theories on what was up with Amon but I almost always like my theories more. Overall Amon’s identity was fairly good and was thematically interesting. Of all the things people have been complaining about Amon’s identity is probably the weakest point of attack. A reveal like that is never going to make everyone happy. It comes down to the fact that too many people equate “not what I though it was going to be” with “not a good choice.”

When all is said in done I have a good time with this season of Korra. While I wish they had kept more threads dangling for the next season I’m not going to let that damage my enjoyment of this season. I think it is some of the smartest kid television today and I look forward to the next season. I look forward to seeing how they build on what they created.

Want to hear us talk more about Korra? It’ll be in the next Speakeasy Podcast!

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #174

I finally saw The Avengers and you know I loved it. Though it may shock you to know this was only my second experience of Joss Whedon’s direction (the only other thing I’ve seen is Dr. Horrible).

My favorite thing about the film, really its strongest quality, is the interaction between all the heroes. Their arguments, quips, conversations, and actions all felt very cohesive and solidified them as a team.

I was really pleased with the portrayal of Black Widow and left the theater saying she was my favorite. Black Widow shows herself to be a resourceful, badass, master spy throughout. Her scenes talking with Loki were fantastic as were the one’s with Bruce Banner. There is no doubt Scarlett Johansson is amazing looking but it never becomes the primary focus of her scenes.

The action throughout was well choreographed and thankfully didn’t suffer from shakey cam madness. The alien invasion scenes are complicated but had a roundness to them as it switched between the heroes, too.

If I have anything to complain about, it would probably be Hawkeye’s too serious personality. I’m a fan of the character and I always enjoy Clint’s sarcastic/quipy self in the comics.

I have more to say but it would be veering into spoiler territory!

I had a blast with this movie it was full of action and a right balance of humor. I cannot wait for the sequel! But first we’ve got a ton of others like Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and Captain America 2 and I’m rather excited about all of it.

The Avengers did exactly what it needed to do. It was a fun action movie, with some snappy dialog, great fight scenes, and a generally peppy pace that moved along nicely without feeling hollow. If you wanted something that was ponderous like The Dark Knight I think you were setting yourself up for disappointment. In fact you actively complained that you thought the movie should have been smarter I merely point you to 2003 Hulk film. Meditate on that. The Avengers is never stupid but it is also knows how far it should reach.

As Narutaki mentioned the best part of the movie was the team’s dynamic. I think it is important to note that everyone felt vital. All too often as much as people may say all the team members are necessary it always seems like someone is merely along for the ride. As much as I love the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes I always feel like that other than a few rare occasions the Wasp feels more like the team mascot than a full member. But it did not matter that Hawkeye and Black Widow did not have super powers. You felt that had either of them not been there then the final battle would have been lost. And everyone contributed in multiple ways. That is amazingly important for a team movie like this because time is short. So anyone who is not contributing as much just feels even more wasted than normal.

I think my favorite character was Bruce Banner. I know that with two previous modern Hulk movies some people were worried about Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk but I think he pulled off the roll quite well. He does a good job as playing up the intellectual and well as deeply troubled scientists.  Plus his science bros rapport with Tony Stark was great. He was unexpectedly a stronger character then I ever assumed he would be.

It is always nice to see a movie that you can enjoy effortlessly but also without reservations. I am sure that Narutaki and my roommate will pick this up on Blu-Ray ASAP so I look forward to watching it again with them.

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