Now that the Christmas/holiday shopping season has begun, it feels like the perfect time to bring back a tradition that I started last year. Returning to 18 Cinema Lane is my Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List, where I share the movie related things I’d like to receive as gifts! Just like the first one, there will be four categories that each item will be listed under. If you need more of an explanation, you can check out my first Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List at the featured link. Also, like last year, each item is something that I think could be realistic. Before I start this list, I just want to say that the only image in this post that is not one of my screenshots is the Three Wise Men themed wish list image.
In last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I shared that I would like to see Stuart Townsend and Marguerite Moreau star in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie together. While I still want this, I’d also like to see other actors and actresses from the Queen of the Damned film appear in a Hallmark Hall of Fame project. If you read my review of Swept from the Sea, you would remember that I enjoyed Vincent Perez’s performance in that film! Even though I’ve only seen two of his movies, I believe that Vincent would be able to use his acting talents to bring a Hallmark Hall of Fame story to life. I also wouldn’t be opposed to seeing these actors or actresses working behind the camera, such as directing or producing the film. According to his IMDB filmography, Matthew Newton, who portrayed Armand in Queen of the Damned, has written, directed, and produced a few films. Maybe, one day, he could help create a Hallmark project. Like I said in last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I’m not sure if there’s anything preventing these actors or actresses from appearing in a Hallmark film or if they’ve ever gotten along well enough where they would want to work together again. But if Hallmark wants to coordinate a mini Queen of the Damned reunion, I would be on board for that decision!
On Wikipedia, when I was deciding which film to choose for a blog follower dedication review, I came across a movie titled The Wife of Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo and Haydee are one of my favorite couples from pop culture. However, in different adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo, Haydee is either not featured in the film or she appears in the film for a brief period of time. Haydee and Monte’s relationship is also barely talked about. What makes me want to see this film is how it not only focuses on Monte and Haydee’s relationship, but also allows Haydee to become a more prominent character. Currently, the film is not airing on Turner Classic Movies. But I would love to review it for Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month!
In the movie, Easter Under Wraps, the protagonist, Erin, brings the most adorable suitcase on her trip to Washington. While I’m not shopping for luggage anytime soon, I would love to own a suitcase that looks like Erin’s! Based on the photo, it appears to be perfect for a weekend trip. I also really like its color. I don’t know what the suitcase’s inner material looks like, but I would want it to have my blog’s logo printed on it.
Something You Need to See
I’ve said on 18 Cinema Lane before that I would really like to see the movie, Words on Bathroom Walls. But, as of late November to early December 2019, it seems that this film still does not have a distributor. If you are not aware, a distributor is a studio that releases a film. Because Words on Bathroom Walls doesn’t have a distributor yet, it means the film hasn’t been given a premiere date. I hope that this movie finds a distributor sooner rather than later so people can finally see it!
Even though When Calls the Heart is a television show, there are still movies that bridge the seasons together. So, this Wish-List request counts for this section. Ever since the show’s season five finale, I have noticed that Tom Thornton has received very little acknowledgement. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like Elizabeth is ignoring Jack’s side of the family. I realize that the issue lies in the screenwriting. Because the screenwriters don’t make an effort to include Tom in the story, they don’t bother to recognize his existence in that world. As a fan of both Tom Thornton and When Calls the Heart, all I ask is for the screenwriters to make more references to Jack’s brother. If Max Lloyd-Jones cannot make an appearance on the show, that’s understandable. But the most important thing is for Tom’s importance to get recognized more often.
This Wish-List request is similar to the previous one. In my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Endgame, I talked about how Bucky was, to a certain extent, treated like an afterthought in that film. Ever since then, not only do I feel like Bucky is still being seen as an afterthought, but it seems like the fans of the character are being treated like an afterthought as well. In this case, the problem lies with Disney and Marvel, as they have made very few efforts to acknowledge these fans and get them excited for The Falcon & the Winter Soldier. It also doesn’t help that they are doing this to a co-lead character of an upcoming TV show. For this request, the only thing I ask is for Disney and Marvel to stop treating Bucky and his fans like afterthoughts. No matter what you’re a fan of, no person should ever feel this way. Besides, fans are the ones who can make or break the popularity of a piece of entertainment.
A movie related piece of clothing or accessory I’d want to wear
For this category, I have two choices. The first is Rachel’s pill-box hat from The Trouble with Angels! In my review of the movie, I featured three pictures of this hat. It is the coolest pill-box hat that I’ve ever come across and I’d love to own one that looks like it. The second is Paula’s choker necklace from Gaslight! I also featured a picture of it in my review of the film and this piece of jewelry is just adorable. Because Gaslight was filmed in black-and-white, it’s difficult to determine what color the necklace was meant to be. But, if I owned a necklace like this, I would like to be able to interchange the ribbon to coordinate with any outfit.
A book I’ve read that I’d like to see adapted into a film
When it comes to books I’ve read in 2019, most of them were either already turned into adaptations or I felt they didn’t need to become adaptations. However, there was one book where the more I read it, the more I could see it as a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series. This book is Murder on Ice by Alina Adams! When it comes to mystery series on Hallmark’s second network, there have not been any collection of films revolving around athletics. In Hallmark’s library of films, there are only three movies I’m aware of that prominently feature figure skating. If the Figure Skating Mystery books were adapted into a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, it would fill those two voids that I just mentioned. I even pictured which actors and actresses could portray some of the characters. Despite the fact that Hallmark’s second network is saturated with mystery series at the moment, I think that an adaptation of Murder on Ice could bring something new to the table.
What are your thoughts on this year’s Christmas Wish-List? Are there any movie-related things you’d like to receive as a gift? Let me know in the comment section!
Last month, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Annlyel from Annlyel Online. However, because I’ve recently taken two out of town trips and had several blogging related things on my plate, I wasn’t able to accept the award as soon as I had wanted to. Now, I have set aside some time to finally publish my blog post for my third Sunshine Blogger Award! Before I list the rules, as well as the questions with my answers, I want to thank Annlyel for choosing to nominate me for this award! I still can’t believe that I’ve won five awards within the one year that I have been blogging! What really makes the awards I’ve won so special is that each of the nominators had believed in me, as a blogger, enough to want to give my blog the time of day. This amount of belief gives me the confidence to be as great of a blogger as I can be!
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate eleven bloggers.
Create eleven new questions for your nominees to answer.
Annlyel’s Questions and My Answers
If you can, which movie is your favorite of all time? There are several movies that I absolutely love. But since I have to pick one for this question, I’ll go with Atlantis: The Lost Empire! Among Disney’s collection of animated films, Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a very different kind of story. However, it still has that familiar sense of “Disney magic”!
Have you been to Disney World? If so, what’s your favorite park? Yes, on more than one occasion, in fact! There are so many great locations in this Orlando, Florida amusement park. But, when it comes to favorites, it’s a tie between Disney M.G.M. Studios (or as it’s now known as Disney Hollywood Studios) and Magic Kingdom. As a fan of movies, I think it’s so cool that Disney created a whole “land” dedicated to this topic. With the Magic Kingdom, you can’t go wrong with an original classic.
Who’s your favorite Star Wars character? I’m not as invested in the Stars Wars franchise as I am with other film series. I have seen the films from the original trilogy, though, so I’ll choose Yoda and the Ewoks. The Ewoks are so fierce and adorable, while Yoda is kind and wise. Frankly, I’ve always wished that I could give Yoda a hug!
Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero? Definitely Bucky Barnes! I’ve talked about him plenty of times on this blog, so I don’t really need an explanation.
Who’s your favorite DC Comics superhero? When it comes to superheroes in film, I have found myself more invested in the MCU heroes than those from DC. For this question, though, I’ll say Batman is my favorite DC hero. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching the Batman film from 1989. I also think that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has, for the most part, been solid. It’ll be interesting to see what Robert Pattinson has to offer, talent wise, to the iconic role.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure, pertaining to food? In my life, I don’t really have any “guilty pleasures” because I don’t feel guilty about liking the things that I do like. However, I will say that this edible “guilty pleasure” is mustard potato salad. Trust me, this dish is more delicious than it sounds!
What city is on your bucket list to visit? Definitely Kansas City, Missouri! I’d love to see the Hallmark Headquarters in person!
What’s your favorite pastime activity? Ever since I could remember, I have always loved reading! I’m currently reading The Secret Garden in preparation for an upcoming blog post. This is my second time reading it, and so far, it’s a good book!
Wakanda, Coruscant, or Hogwarts; which of these fictional worlds would you love to visit? Out of these three locations, I’d pick Wakanda. Since Bucky has spent some time there, he could give me a tour of some of his favorite spots. He could also introduce me to some of his newer friends, like T’Challa and Shuri. Then, we could all join forces and figure out how to have Wakanda become the host country for the Summer Olympics (this should totally be a plot point for either Black Panther 2 or Bucky and Sam’s show on Disney+).
What’s your favorite novel of all time? I actually have several favorite books. But the one that I will share is A Little Princess! Sara is such a great protagonist and the “all girls are princesses” message still holds true!
What’s your favorite sporting event? No doubt, it’s the Cheerleading and Dance Worlds! Competitive cheer and dance are my favorite sports, so this particular event is the biggest event for them. I’m hoping that in the 2020 Summer Olympics, cheer and dance teams can be included into the overall athletic program.
My Eleven Nominees
Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews
Ailish from Ailish Sinclair
Lee from Lee’s Movie Reviews
Eric from Diary of A Movie Maniac
Hisfamestilllives from His Fame Still Lives
70srichard from 30 Years On: 1984 a Great Year for Movies
Delaram from Delaram Art & Design
Allie from Often Off Topic
Rebecca from Taking Up Room
Debbie from MOON IN GEMINI
Rob from MovieRob
My Eleven Questions
Which fictional, mythical, or extinct creature/animal would you want to have as a pet?
Have you ever watched a Hallmark movie? If so, which one was it?
What is the one TV show that you wish hadn’t been cancelled?
There’s a pop culture themed exhibit at you nearest museum! If you could suggest a piece of movie, television, literary, or theatrical memorabilia to include in the exhibit, what would you choose?
Which two movies or television shows would you love to see have a crossover event? This can be any two films or any two television shows (cancelled or current).
Is there a remake, sequel, or franchise continuation that you wish never existed? If so, what is it?
If you could be an audience member at any sports event, what would it be?
What was your last blog post about?
Which party theme is your favorite (example: Movie theme, Halloween theme)?
Do you have a blogging tip that has helped you as a blogger? If so, share it with your readers!
What was the best purchase you made at a garage sale, rummage sale, flea market, thrift store, etc.?
THIS EDITORIAL DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM AVENGERS: ENDGAME
If you’ve read either my spoiler or spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame, you would know that one of the things I didn’t like about this film was how some of the plot points featured in the overall narrative seemed to bring up confusion for the MCU’s future projects. One of these plot points was when Steve Rogers gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. While this was happening toward the end of the movie, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything happening in front of him. In my spoiler review, I talked about how this scene disappointed me. This is because a) Bucky didn’t receive the title of Captain America, b) his cure wasn’t confirmed in Avengers: Endgame and c) it didn’t seem like anything new or interesting was added to Bucky’s story in preparation for Disney’s new show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. I’ve been a fan of Bucky Barnes for three years, so I was determined to find answers to the questions that were raised because of this scene. This past weekend, I stumbled across a video from the Youtube channel, Looper, called “Endgame Director Addresses Vision’s Fate”. After watching this video, I felt that what was said only made things more confusing for the Disney show, WandaVision. But I knew that if Looper was going to talk about Vision’s absence in Avengers: Endgame and how it could connect to the show, I had a feeling that they were probably going to address Bucky’s lack of a superhero title upgrade. Sure enough, when I visited Looper’s official Youtube channel, I found a video titled “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”. After watching this video, I knew that I had to talk about it on 18 Cinema Lane. In this editorial, I will be analyzing each of the arguments provided in the video. I will also state whether or not I agree with these arguments. Toward the end of the editorial, I will provide a final assessment of the video itself.
Argument #1: “Bucky Wouldn’t Accept It”
Towards the beginning of this video, the announcer says that, if given the choice, Bucky wouldn’t accept the shield. Their reasoning is that not only is Bucky fully aware of his past, but that he also hasn’t forgiven himself. They also state that Bucky would probably feel that accepting the Captain America title would be too much to handle. While all of these points are good ones that I can agree with, I think that we, the audience, should have seen Steve asking Bucky if he wants the shield. This way, Bucky would have been given a chance to choose. If Bucky would have turned down the opportunity, at least it could have been a decision that fans would have respected. Unfortunately, it appears that Bucky was never even acknowledged in that particular moment of Avengers: Endgame. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything unfold in front of him. It’s almost as if Steve never really considered giving his title to Bucky, even though Steve doesn’t seem like an inconsiderate person. Overall, Bucky seemed to be excluded from that moment.
Argument #2: “His Hydra Conditioning: Still Active?”
In this segment, the announcer states that we, the audience, don’t know for sure if the Hydra programming is completely removed from Bucky. I’m glad that the announcer brought this up, since Bucky’s cure not being confirmed as a part of official MCU canon was something that bothered me about both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The idea of Bucky being cured was indicated in an end-credit scene from Black Panther, featuring Bucky and Shuri. Because this scene was never referenced in either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, it not only undermines the scene itself, but also the significance of it. Since Bucky will be one of the main characters on Falcon & Winter Soldier, this idea of a cure could be explored within the narrative. However, confirming Bucky’s cure in Avengers: Endgame would have added something new to Bucky’s story in preparation for the show. This also could have gotten the Bucky fans interested in Bucky’s next chapter.
Argument #3: “Trust Must Be Earned”
This next segment has the announcer explaining that, due to his horrific past, Bucky would have to earn the trust of the other heroes. Another statement that the announcer made was that Bucky hasn’t spent a lot of time interacting with most of the heroes in the MCU. While both of these points are understandable, I have come up with two counter-arguments. The first is the audience’s opportunity to see how the other heroes react to Iron Man learning more about Bucky. Because Bucky killed Tony’s parents while under Hydra’s control, Iron Man is the most affected by Bucky’s past actions. However, we will never see get to see this happen because Iron Man died toward the end of Avengers: Endgame. The second is Bucky’s next chapter taking place on the show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. Based on the title alone, it seems like Bucky will be primarily interacting with only one other hero, Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America. This would make it difficult for Bucky to interact with the MCU’s other heroes.
Argument #4: “He’d Be Too Powerful”
In the video’s final argument, the announcer says that Bucky has enough abilities and skills to be able to fight on his own. They say that giving him the shield would give him more power than he needs. Out of all the arguments in this video, I feel that this one is the weakest. Just because Bucky has a prosthetic arm and skills that he probably learned while in the Army and Hydra, that doesn’t mean that Bucky should be denied the title. It would be like saying that Hawkeye shouldn’t be an Avenger because he uses archery to fight crime. To be the next Captain America, Bucky should be assessed based on morals, character, and leadership skills. If the final argument in the video would have been that Bucky hasn’t displayed any leadership skills up until this point, then that statement is one that I would have understood. Because Bucky will be a co-lead on Falcon & Winter Soldier, I hope that he can gain a sense of independence, leadership, and confidence.
As a Bucky fan, I’m glad that Looper created this video. After hearing the presented arguments, it took away some of my disappointment about that scene in Avengers: Endgame. However, there was no mention of Falcon & Winter Soldier in the entire video. I understand that the purpose of this video was meant to discuss Bucky’s involvement in the MCU up until this point. But because the show was excluded from this conversation, it reminded me of my frustration toward the disconnection between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and how it will affect the show. When I re-watched this video for the sake of writing this editorial, I remembered what the Russo brothers said in their interview. When Annlyel, from Annlyel Online, told me about this interview, I almost immediately sought it out. In a portion of the interview, the Russo brothers explained why they gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. Their reasoning was the nature of Sam and Steve’s friendship and the state of Bucky’s mind. Both of these reasons are those that I can agree with. But, just like the Looper video, Falcon & Winter Soldier was not brought up. The purpose of the interview was to discuss Avengers: Endgame, not the show. But, once again, I was reminded of the disconnect between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and Falcon & Winter Soldier. When I was finishing this editorial, I came across a video from the Youtube channel, Screen Rant, called “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”. What I like about this video is that it not only talks about some of the same topics that the Looper video did, but it also asks questions and makes speculations about how the creative decisions in Avengers: Endgame could influence the upcoming Disney+ show. I’m glad I found this video, as the topics discussed actually took away some of my frustrations about the aforementioned disconnection. Hopefully, more information about this show can be announced at either San Diego Comic Con or D23 Expo. As Dale Travers said in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You, we just have to “trust the timing”.
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to watch any of the videos I referenced in this editorial, you can search for the following:
Youtube Channel Name: Looper
Video Name: “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”
Youtube Channel Name: SiriusXM
Video Name: “The Russo Brothers’ Spoiler-Filled ‘Endgame’ Interview”
The segment about the Russo Brothers’ decision to give the Captain America title to Sam Wilson starts at 7:05 and ends at 9:24.
Youtube Channel Name: Screen Rant
Video Name: “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”
This video is not related to anything I talked about in my editorial, but I thought it would be a fun video to share with my readers and followers. The video is called “Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame | Escape Room” and it’s from the Youtube Channel, Marvel Entertainment. If you are a fan of Bucky, Sam, Shuri, or Dr. Strange, I think you’ll like this video!
Last week, Marvel released the official character posters for their upcoming film, Avengers: Endgame. After oohing and aahing over these posters like everyone else had, I came up with the idea to rank the posters that I liked the most. I had wanted to publish this post last week. However, because I chose to devote time to the Mystery Mania blogathon and the Gold Sally Awards, I decided to postpone the post to this week. With the recent release of a Special Look commercial for Avengers: Endgame and since tickets for the movie are now on sale, it appears that the timing of my post is a blessing in disguise. As the title says, I have created a list of the Top 10 Best Character Posters for Avengers: Endgame! I’ll be honest with you; this list was not easy to make, especially since there are so many great posters to choose from. A good amount of minutes were spent creating this list. Before I start, I just want to say that this list is based on my opinion. So, with that said, let the countdown begin!
Thor is one of my top three favorite superheroes in the MCU, so I knew that his poster had to be on this list! The one thing that stands out the most in this image are his eyes. While the blue eye caught my attention at first, his gold eye is the one that is captured really well by the lighting. This color combination suits Thor really well.
Steve Rogers/Captain America
Speaking of eyes, Captain America’s eyes are the first thing that I noticed about this poster. If you look at the right eye, it almost looks as if he is holding back tears. Because the light is not reflecting that particular side of Captain America’s face, this image alludes to the idea that he is hiding his true feelings of sadness and fear. This means that the side of his face that is visible by the light shows that he is willing to put on a brave face for the sake of completing the mission.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
While looking at these posters, I found myself being drawn to the black-and-white images over the color photos. To me, the black-and-white posters did a better job at conveying emotions. Scarlet Witch’s poster is a good example of this. The way the lighting perfectly captures her face helps to showcase the emotions of fear and longing. Because the lighting seems to only focus on Scarlet Witch’s face, it gives viewers an emotional focal point to look at.
Who knew that a raccoon could be captured so well in a portrait? The most impressive detail in this image is Rocket’s fur. While this particular character was created with CGI imagery, the fur itself appears very realistic. The color palette in this image is really complimentary, with the burgundy of the sweater adding to the overall blend of dark brown, light brown, and white. The final detail that stood out to me was Rocket’s eyes. Similar to Captain America’s poster, Rocket’s eyes appear as if he is about to cry.
The most eye-catching aspect of this poster is the color combination of Nebula’s face! The shades of purple, blue, and silver compliment each other really well. These colors were also beautifully captured by the lighting. This poster showcases Nebula’s beauty, strength, and grace in the best way possible!
Like I said with Scarlet Witch’s poster, Gamora’s poster does a really good job at capturing a very emotional portrayal of the character. When looking at Gamora’s face, I could sense a look of questioning was being displayed. This would make sense with everything that happened to her in Avengers: Infinity War, as she wonders why Thanos chose to do what he did. This emotional expression was not only captured well by the lighting, but also by the light and dark compositions.
Because of this poster, it is Marvel’s way of confirming Shuri’s fate after Avengers: Infinity War. While it is unknown, at this time, if Shuri will be rescued in Avengers: Endgame, the studio did give this character a beautiful poster. The lighting did a fantastic job at highlighting her face, showcasing the looks of grace and determination. One of the most eye-catching elements of this image is Shuri’s make-up. It gives viewers an interesting focal point to look at as well as compliment the light and dark compositions in the poster.
Peter Parker/Spider Man
Another black-and-white image that captures the emotions of the character and appropriately fits with the events of the previous film. Spider-Man made a saddening departure in Avengers: Infinity War, which ended up becoming a memorable moment for many fans. His facial expression in his poster beautifully portrays the sadness of leaving Iron Man behind and the devastation of that particular event. The different compositions that are found on Spider-Man’s face somehow make the image look peaceful, almost as if he knows that, eventually, all will end well. These emotions make the poster all the more beautiful.
Mantis’ poster is one of the most captivating images I have seen from this collection of character posters. The lighting captures her face perfectly, helping to make the poster appear beautiful and haunting. The look on Mantis’ face is a good representation of how she is trying to contemplate what had happened to her toward the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Because Thanos’ actions arrived so suddenly, no one had enough time to process what was going on. Because the lighting is primarily focused on Mantis’ face, it intensifies the emotions that are on display. It also provides viewers with an emotional focal point.
Bucky Barnes/ White Wolf
Anyone who was visited my blog on more than one occasion would not be surprised that Bucky’s poster is my absolute favorite! The overall image is gorgeous! What’s interesting about his poster is that he appears to be sad. What I remember from Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky never really seemed sad throughout the course of the film. It’s almost like he can see what’s about to happen before any one else can. Maybe this is Marvel’s way of hinting at a potential loss in Bucky’s life? The various compositions in this poster compliment the overall beauty of the image. As a Bucky fan, I would definitely have this poster framed and displayed on my wall as art.
Have you seen the character posters for Avengers: Endgame? Which poster is your favorite? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!
As I was trying to come up with ideas for what to write about for the 2nd Disability In Film Blogathon, I came across the book and movie, Wonderstruck. While reading the story’s synopsis, I discovered that it was about two children who go on an adventure in two very different time periods. Even though these characters lead very different lives from one another and are unique individuals from each other, they both have something in common: both of these children are deaf. The idea of these characters having similar life experiences and stories of disability, despite existing in separate time periods, is what inspired me to create this editorial. My favorite superhero from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Bucky Barnes and Matthew Rogers is my favorite character from Little House on the Prairie. After watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the first time, I started to notice that Bucky and Matthew shared more in common than one would think. Like the protagonists in Wonderstruck, Bucky’s and Matthew’s story takes place in two very different time periods: the late 1800s and the present day. Also like the protagonists in Wonderstruck, Bucky and Matthew have a disability: Bucky is an amputee and Matthew is non-verbal. In my post, “My Top 5 Dream Double Features at the Cinema”, I talked about how I would want to discuss the similarities in Bucky’s and Matthew’s story if I paired both episodes of “The Wild Boy” with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now, I finally get the chance to explore these similarities in honor of the 2nd Disability In Film Blogathon!
The Introduction of Bucky and Matthew
Bucky Barnes and Matthew Rogers are introduced into a series that already had an established story prior to their appearance (the Captain America trilogy/MCU and Little House on the Prairie). When they make their official appearances in these series, Bucky’s movie and Matthew’s episodes were centered around them, even though they are not one of the main characters. Though this movie is a part of the Captain America trilogy, the title of this film is Captain America: The Winter Soldier because the movie explores Bucky’s story. On Little House on the Prairie, the episode where Matthew makes his debut is titled “The Wild Boy” because, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Matthew’s story is the primary focus. Because this episode is told in two parts, it allows for Matthew and his story to have a meaningful impact on the residents of Walnut Grove.
When Bucky and Matthew first appear on screen, the audience sees them carrying dangerous and violent identities. At the beginning of “The Wild Boy” Part 1, Matthew is introduced as The Wild Boy, a young, unkempt boy who reacts violently when Dr. McQueen, a traveling medicine man, tries to get his attention. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky is known as The Winter Soldier, a dangerous antagonist from Hydra, a criminal organization, who causes chaos and destruction. At first, the protagonists in each story see the personas of The Wild Boy and The Winter Soldier for face value, believing that these individuals are truly as violent and dangerous as they appear. This also allows the audience to share similar thoughts and beliefs with the protagonists, with the delivery of the truth about The Wild Boy and The Winter Soldier being executed as a surprise for the audience.
The Truth about Bucky and Matthew
As their stories go on, the truth about The Winter Soldier and The Wild Boy are revealed. When Steve Rogers removes The Winter Soldier’s mask during a confrontation in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he discovers that The Winter Soldier is really his friend, Bucky Barnes. After that scene, the audience is given the opportunity to learn about how Bucky ended up with Hydra. While Bucky has his prosthetic arm repaired by Hydra members, a flash-back montage is shown. This montage shows the audience that after he fell off the train in Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky lost his left arm while he was falling. He was then kidnapped by Hydra and kept against his will. During this montage, the audience discovers how Bucky receives his prosthetic arm, but also sees Bucky getting mistreated by members of Hydra. The audience also learns that Bucky had The Winter Soldier persona forced upon him and was brainwashed by Hydra to hurt other people. When the story returns to present day, Bucky is still getting mistreated and abused by Hydra. Alexander Pierce, the head of Hydra, feels that the mistreatment toward Bucky, such as unexpectedly slapping him in the face and having Bucky involuntarily go through electroshock treatments, is justifiable. Brock Rumlow, a fellow Hydra member, witnesses the abuse toward Bucky, but chooses not to do anything about it. Steve Rogers finds out about Bucky’s traumatic situation after Captain America: The Winter Soldier but before Captain America: Civil War.
Like Bucky, the audience gets to learn more about The Wild Boy in “The Wild Boy” Part 1. Toward the beginning of this episode, The Wild Boy is shown getting physically abused by Dr. McQueen (he hits his hand with his cane) and being neglected (Dr. McQueen refuses to feed him). Dr. McQueen is also verbally abusive toward The Wild Boy, referring to him as “creature” and “animal” as well as saying he “acquired” him. Luther Abbott, the assistant of Dr. McQueen, recognizes that The Wild Boy is being mistreated, but doesn’t really do anything about the situation. He even assumes that The Wild Boy has a small amount of intelligence and doesn’t understand what’s going on around him. When Dr. McQueen visits Walnut Gove, Jenny Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s niece, suspects there’s more to The Wild Boy than meets the eye after she and her friends sneak into the tent where The Wild Boy is kept. The next day, when Jenny finds The Wild Boy hiding in her family’s barn, she discovers the truth about The Wild Boy. She not only learns that The Wild Boy is really Matthew Rogers, but also that he is non-verbal. The audience learns in the Little House on the Prairie episode “Hello and Goodbye” that Matthew became non-verbal due to having Lye forced down his throat by a farming couple who only wanted to adopt Matthew as a work-hand, not as their son. The audience also learns, later on in “The Wild Boy” Part 1, that Matthew developed Morphinism due to Dr. McQueen using the morphine laced elixir he was selling to control Matthew’s behavior, causing him to act “wild”.
Bucky and Matthew Break Free
Fortunately, Bucky and Matthew find a way to escape their abusive situations. Despite Luther assuming that Matthew has a lack of intelligence, Matthew figures out how to dismantle his cage, giving him a chance to run away from Dr. McQueen’s capture. While Steve and Bucky fight each other during the Triskelion Battle in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve rescues Bucky from Hydra’s capture by reminding Bucky of who he is and of the friendship they have. These reminders help Bucky break through Hydra’s brainwashing and escape their clutches. It’s also important to point out that after their initial escape, Bucky and Matthew never return to their captors’ control. Dr. McQueen comes back to Walnut Grove in an attempt to reclaim Matthew in “The Wild Boy” Part 2. This causes a judge to be called in and a hearing to take place in order to determine who should be the guardian of Matthew. Because of Luther confessing the truth about Dr. McQueen’s abuse toward Matthew and that he was bribed by Dr. McQueen to lie about Matthew’s situation, the judge decides to revoke Dr. McQueen’s guardianship but also decides to have Matthew sent to an asylum. After some convincing from Matthew and Mr. Edwards, the judge decides to grant guardianship to Mr. Edwards. Because a large portion of Hydra’s members were killed during the Triskelion Battle or went into hiding after that battle, Bucky has been able to live a life free of anything Hydra related.
Bucky’s and Matthew’s Support System
Because their families are mostly absent from their stories, Bucky and Matthew have to build their support system from scratch. In each support system, there’s at least three key individuals that are present throughout Bucky’s and Matthew’s journey. For Matthew, these people are Mr. Edwards, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jenny Wilder. In Bucky’s story, these individuals are Steve Rogers, T’Challa, and Shuri. The people in these support systems approach their roles in their own ways, but their goal is the same: helping their friend or loved one and keeping their best interests in mind.
The biggest role in both of these support systems is the advocate, the person who spends the most time with their friend or loved one and makes sure their best interests are met. These roles are given to Mr. Edwards and Steve Rogers. After Matthew escapes from Dr. McQueen’s capture, he ends up having no place to go. Mr. Edwards volunteers to be his temporary guardian and takes care of Matthew. When Matthew faces the threat of being sent to an asylum, Mr. Edwards makes a speech before Sunday Service, with all the residents of Walnut Grove present, about how Matthew is no different from the other members of Walnut Gove. During this speech, Mr. Edwards was advocating for Matthew to stay in Walnut Grove so he could live in a stable, loving, and supportive environment. This speech convinced the judge to allow Matthew to live in Walnut Grove with Mr. Edwards. In Bucky’s case, Steve has been his friend prior to the events that caused Bucky to become disabled. During Bucky’s time in the MCU, Steve Rogers not only rescued Bucky from Hydra’s capture, but he also defends Bucky throughout Captain America: Civil War. When Bucky is wrongly accused of committing murder, Steve tries to explain to the members of “Team Iron Man” that not only is Bucky innocent, but that he also experienced a very traumatic and violent past. During the final battle between Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man, Steve puts Bucky’s needs before his own by giving up his shield and choosing to help his friend.
The other two roles in this support system are the resource gatherer (the one who finds the resources for their loved one or friend) and the understanding soul (the one who, through understanding, comes to accept and appreciate the person they are going to help). The role of resource gatherer is given to Shuri and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky comes to Wakanda to receive the medical care that he needs, wants, and deserves. Not only does Shuri help Bucky overcome his trauma, she also creates a new prosthetic arm, using Wakanda’s vibranium, for Bucky at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. In Matthew’s situation, Laura teaches him sign language so he can communicate with the people around him. For Jenny and T’Challa, they have taken on the role of the understanding soul. In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa assumes that Bucky killed his father because Helmut Zemo, the film’s villain, was dressed up as Bucky when he murdered several people in Vienna. After T’Challa learns the truth about how his father died, he accepts Bucky into his social circle and helps him receive the resources he needs and wants. T’Challa also discovers Bucky’s past and realizes that he has been a victim of abuse and trauma. After she stops Nancy Oleson from tormenting Matthew and, later, finds Matthew hiding in her family’s barn, Jenny discovers that Matthew’s “wild boy” persona was forced upon him by his captors. She also learns about Matthew’s disability and agrees to become his friend.
An Assistive Tool for Bucky and Matthew
After breaking free from their traumatic and abusive life, Bucky and Matthew are able to surround themselves with people who truly care about them and strive to meet their best interests. One way that their best interests are met is when they each receive an assistive tool that will help them live as independent and productive of a life as possible. As mentioned earlier, Laura teaches Matthew sign language in order to help him communicate with the people in his life. She also teaches Mr. Edwards and Jenny sign language so they can understand what Matthew is trying to say. This assistive tool of language helps Matthew to form friendships and make his wishes and thoughts known to others. Without it, Matthew would probably feel excluded from the community, feeling like he had limited opportunities to contribute to any conversations.
Even though Bucky received his prosthetic arm during his time under Hydra’s capture, that arm was created and controlled by Hydra, meaning that Bucky couldn’t use his assistive tool in his favor. After he was rescued from Hydra’s capture, Bucky was able to have more control over his prosthetic arm, being able to use his assistive tool the way he wants to, such as picking up plums from the market and fighting alongside “Team Cap” in Captain America: Civil War. During the battle between Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man, Bucky’s prosthetic arm was destroyed after a failed attempt to remove Iron Man’s arc reactor. He not only receives a new prosthetic arm at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, but this prosthetic arm has no connection to Hydra, meaning that Bucky can have total control over his assistive tool. It’s also important to point out that throughout Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky seems comfortable with his new prosthetic arm, that he was given enough time to get used to his assistive tool and operate it the way he wants to.
The language used toward/about Bucky and Matthew
When Bucky and Matthew start their new lives, the audience gets to see how others interact with them. During Bucky’s time in the MCU and in both parts of “The Wild Boy”, Bucky and Matthew are welcomed into their communities. There are never bullied, made fun of, treated differently, or judged because of their disability. While looking at Bucky’s and Matthew’s stories, however, there was language used either toward or about them that could be seen as problematic. In both parts of “The Wild Boy”, some of the characters refer to Matthew as a “mute”. This is the only example of problematic language I could find within Matthew’s story. Because Little House on the Prairie takes place sometime between the 1870s to 1890s, I found this language to be more reflective of that time-period. Throughout Bucky’s time in the MCU, I found three instances where language was used either toward or about Bucky as a person with a disability that one could find as problematic. Below are the list of these instances and how they could be perceived as problematic.
“You have a metal arm?! That is awesome, dude!” – This is what Spider-Man tells Bucky during their fight in Captain America: Civil War. What Spider-Man said could be seen as problematic for two reasons. The first is by Spider-Man pointing out Bucky’s prosthetic arm, it seems like Bucky’s disability is being acknowledged before Bucky as a person. The second is if Spider-Man knew how Bucky acquired his prosthetic arm, he probably wouldn’t sound as enthusiastic as he did. Personally, I don’t have a problem with what Spider-Man said because his compliment truly sounded genuine and he appeared excited to meet and interact with people that were different from those he interacted with on a daily basis.
“Great! Another broken white boy for us to fix.” – Though Shuri doesn’t explicitly say who she’s referring to in Black Panther, it is assumed that the first “broken white boy” is Bucky. Implying that Bucky, a person with a disability, is broken and needs to be fixed is very problematic because this would suggest that, by having a disability, something is wrong with him and he should feel ashamed or embarrassed about being disabled. Because Shuri volunteers to help Bucky overcome his trauma and joins Bucky’s Support System, I don’t believe Shuri meant to be hurtful toward him. However, I do think that any screenwriter of any Marvel movie should be a bit more mindful when referring to any character with any type of disability and how their audience might perceive what is being said about a character with a disability.
“Okay, how much for the arm? (Bucky walks away) Oh, I’ll get that arm” – During Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky and Rocket teamed up in an attempt to stop the threat against Wakanda. The aforementioned quote is what Rocket said toward the end of his interaction with Bucky. Even though I think this moment was meant to be hilarious and what Rocket said is more in line with his sense of humor, I can see why someone would think that what Rocket said was problematic. By Rocket implying that he wants to take Bucky’s arm away from him, it would make Rocket appear is if he wants Bucky’s independence to be taken away from him. As I mentioned earlier, Bucky’s prosthetic arm is an assistive tool, which helps him live as independent and productive of a life as possible. Suggesting that Bucky, an individual with a disability, shouldn’t be able to use his assistive tool is very demeaning.
The Future of Bucky and Matthew
Though Bucky and Matthew experience positivity throughout their stories, their journeys are far from over. They may never be able to fully escape their traumatic pasts, but the audience can see that Bucky and Matthew have the strength and resilience to continue to move forward to a better and brighter day. Even though they had horrible identities forced upon them by horrible people, Bucky and Matthew never became the person that their captors tried desperately to turn them into. When Mr. Edwards suggests that he and Matthew run away in order to prevent Matthew from getting sent to an asylum, Matthew refuses and tells him that following the law and respecting the judge are more important than keeping their temporary family together. Because Matthew truly cared about Mr. Edwards, he sought out the best interests of Mr. Edwards and stopped him from making one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Shortly after Bucky was rescued from Hydra’s capture, one of the first things Bucky does is save Steve from potentially drowning. Because of what Steve did for Bucky, he realizes that Steve still cares about his friend and wants the best for him. Bucky’s act of kindness shows the audience that he is expressing his gratitude toward his friend by helping him out in a dire situation. Both of these situations are an example of, when given the choice, Bucky and Matthew consciously choose to be good people despite the terrible hands they had been dealt in the past.
Because of where Bucky’s and Matthew’s story leaves off in their respective series, it makes it unclear of what exactly will happen to them. In the Little House on the Prairie episode “Hello and Goodbye”, Matthew reunites with his biological father, Philip Rogers. Since this episode was not only Matthew’s last appearance on the show, but also the final episode in the series, it is assumed that Matthew received a happy ending when he chose to live with his father. At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky disappeared as a result of Thanos’ plan being successful. Because ‘Avengers 4’ is listed on Sebastian Stan’s filmography on IMDB, it is assumed that Bucky will return in the next film. Some people even speculate that he could become the next Captain America if Steve Rogers were to step away from the title. No matter what happens to Bucky and Matthew, the most important thing to remember is that their disability is a part of their story. They do not let the past define them, but instead use it as a source of strength and perseverance. Bucky and Matthew are, more often than not, given opportunities to show others what they are capable of, especially when they set their minds to it. They never let their struggles or their hardships get in the way of achieving their goals and following their dreams. Within their respective series and even in the world of pop culture, Bucky Barnes and Matthew Rogers are just as significant and meaningful as the other characters surrounding them.
Last month, all of my Word on the Street posts were about the upcoming Christmas movies from Hallmark. Now, with most of those movies officially announced and with both of Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups premiering just around the corner, it’s time to talk about a movie related subject that has yet to receive an outcome. Yesterday, on Screen Junkies News and Collider Movie Talk, as well as today on The John Campea Show, a tweet from Chris Evans has been the talk of the town. On all three of these movie news shows, it was reported that Chris may have indicated, in a recent tweet, that after Avengers 4, he would no longer portray Captain America. While no one in any of these videos confirmed or denied Captain America’s departure in the MCU, all of the panelists provided their opinions and thoughts as to what the meaning behind Chris’s tweet was. Some of them speculated that Chris’s tweet was the writing on the wall for what was to come in Avengers 4. Spencer Gilbert, from Screen Junkies News, pointed out that, because Captain America has avoided getting killed off for so long, he might end up facing his demise in Avengers 4. Mark Ellis and Jeff Sneider, from Collider Movie Talk, questioned what else was there left for Captain America to do once Avengers 4’s story had finished. There were other people who believed that Chris’s tweet was a calculated misdirection in order to avoid any of Avengers 4’s spoilers to be leaked. John Campea, from The John Campea Show, said that since there’s nothing within Chris’s tweet that explicitly says he’s leaving the MCU, there’s a chance that Chris could continue to portray Captain America in future Marvel films. Mark Reilly, from Collider Movie Talk, suggested that all Chris was probably doing was expressing his gratitude for the opportunity he’s had working with Marvel.
When I came across the Screen Junkies News video, ‘Chris Evans Says Goodbye to Captain America – SJU’, I wondered why Chris would say anything about Captain America’s fate before the first trailer for Avengers 4 had been released. As I mentioned earlier, nothing was confirmed or denied in any of these videos. After listening to all of the points of view that were found within these videos, I still believe Steve Rogers/Captain America could pass away in Avengers 4. I do agree with what Spencer said about Captain America’s potential fate. At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos tells Thor, “No more resurrections this time”, I actually thought the writers of this movie were foreshadowing what was to come later in the film. Because Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 are a story that’s told in two parts, maybe Captain America could get defeated by Thanos after all. In a video from the Youtube channel, Looper, titled ‘Why Avengers 4 Will Blow You Away’, the Russo Brothers shared that a specific journey/story arc that started in Captain America: The Winter Soldier would be concluded in Avengers 4. Since the Russo Brothers have directed both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War as well as Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely writing all three Captain America movies, I think that Bucky might become the next Captain America, especially since there are subtle hints of that possibility within these films. Before this movie news story broke, I believed that Captain America could pass away toward the end of Avengers 4. Now, I think Steve Rogers could die in the middle of the film, with audiences getting a first glimpse of Bucky is his new superhero title like they did with Spider-Man and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War.
While we don’t know, right now, what the meaning behind Chris’s tweet is, I think Marvel had something to do with the timing of when this tweet got released. Out of all the days a tweet like this could show up on the internet, it just so happened to appear on the first day of New York Comic Con. Danielle Radford, from Screen Junkies News, mentioned that Marvel was planning on having a presence at this particular convention. I have a feeling that Marvel could reveal something significant relating to Avengers 4. Last year, Marvel premiered the very first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War at D23 and San Diego Comic Con. Maybe the first trailer for Avengers 4 will premiere at New York Comic Con? From a fan’s perspective, it would make sense for Marvel to show the trailer to convention guests a month before the public sees the trailer. The Avengers: Infinity War trailer was released to the public last November, so having a smaller window of time between New York Comic Con and a public trailer release could decrease the amount of leaked footage available for people unable to attend the convention to find. If this is what Marvel is planning on doing, this could make up for their absence at San Diego Comic Con and help the popularity of New York Comic Con grow.
What do you think Captain America’s fate is in the MCU? Are you planning to go to New York Comic Con? Share your thoughts below in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to check out the videos I referenced in this post, you can go to the official Youtube channels of ScreenJunkies News, Collider Videos, and John Campea. You can also find the videos by typing the titles of each video into Youtube’s search bar. The titles to each video are the following:
ScreenJunkies News: ‘Chris Evans Says Goodbye to Captain America – SJU’ (just to let you know, there is some language within this video) Segment starts at 0:46 and ends at 8:31
Collider Videos: ‘Is Chris Evans Officially Done with Captain America? – Movie Talk’ Segment starts at 1:09 and ends at 14:48
John Campea’s The Movie Vlog: ‘Chris Evans Didn’t Actually Say He Was Done As Captain America’ – The John Campea Show (just to let you know, there is some language within this video) Segment starts at 18:28 and ends at 26:11
Why AVENGERS 4 Will Blow You Away – REACTION & ANALYSIS!!! (the original video has become unavailable, but you can watch the video within a Reel Rejects video. This video can be found on the official Youtube channel for The Reel Rejects)
Often Off Topic’s Dog Day Blogathon is the first blogathon I have ever participated in! Because this particular blogathon’s theme is dogs and film, I wanted to make a contribution that was unique and creative. So, I decided to write a double feature movie review that correlated with the Year of the Dog. When I was thinking about which two movies to write about, my favorite MCU superhero, Bucky Barnes, came to mind. The actor who portrays Bucky, Sebastian Stan, was born in 1982, which was the Year of the Dog. Also, Sebastian’s birthday falls in August, the same month that National Dog Day happens to fall in. With those facts in mind, I chose to review Logan Lucky for the first part of this double feature movie review. I had not seen this film prior to reviewing it, but I do remember when it was being advertised. After seeing Logan Lucky achieve a 92 to 93 percent on Rotten Tomatos, I watched the film with an open mind and low expectations. Did I like this movie? Cruise through my review to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I thought the cast in Logan Lucky was good. Daniel Craig’s performance was the most impressive, as he disappeared into his role to bring a character to life that stood out from the rest. Accents in a movie can be hit or miss, but all the actors, in this film, portraying a character with an accent really pulled it off in a way that added believable to their characters!
Connectivity of the characters: At the beginning of this film, there were several characters that were introduced. This brought up questions of who these characters were and what their significance to each other was. As the film goes on, the connections between these characters and the impact of their interactions was interesting to watch. It reminded me, a little bit, of The Christmas Hope.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A very slow pace: Despite the fact that Logan Lucky is a heist film, the pace of this movie was rather slow. This not only made the film feel boring, it made the plot feel more drawn out that it might have been intended.
Disconnection of the plots: There are about four plots featured in Logan Lucky. But, the connection between the subplots and the main plot (the heist itself and preparation surrounding it) was absent. Because of this disconnection, the three subplots felt so separate from the main story, that their placement in the film didn’t really feel significant. One of these subplots made me question why it was featured in the film at all.
The under-utilization of Sebastian Stan: As I mentioned in this review’s introduction, Sebastian’s involvement in this movie was one of the reasons why I chose to review Logan Lucky for my Year of the Dog double feature. However, out of all the actors that were cast in this film, Sebastian was the most under-utilized. His character, Dayton White, felt like he was featured in the film just for the sake of it. Dayton’s subplot was not only weak, it also had no connection to the main plot whatsoever. When I first learned that Sebastian had been cast in Logan Lucky and what role he would be portraying, I had speculated that Dayton could be a long-lost relative of the Logan family and the Logan family kidnapped him in an attempt to receive more money. Sadly, my aforementioned speculation sounds a lot more interesting than the subplot Dayton was given in this film.
Loads of exposition: On 18 Cinema Lane, I’ve mentioned before that exposition is an important component to any story. But, there is such a thing as having too much exposition. In Logan Lucky, there was about 40 minutes of it. This made the first quarter of the film feel like it dragged.
No excitement: In almost every heist or action film, there is a certain amount of excitement that keeps the audience invested in the movie. Whether it is adrenaline or an intriguing concept, these things help viewers stay on the edge of their seat as they watch everything unfold onscreen. Logan Lucky, unfortunately, had none of those aforementioned things. Even when the actual heist was taking place, the movie felt very dull. The lack of excitement in this film contributed to the movie feeling boring.
My overall impression:
Logan Lucky was so bad, I couldn’t finish watching the movie (even though I had 30 minutes left of run-time). This is, honestly, the worst and most boring heist film I’ve ever seen. But, as I was watching this movie, I could see that Sebastian was trying the best he could with the limited amount of acting material he was given. Even though Logan Lucky was a dud, I’m still looking forward to seeing which movies, outside of the MCU, Sebastian chooses to appear in. If I come across a film starring Sebastian Stan that, to me, sounds interesting, I will definitely check it out! If you are a Bucky fan like myself and appreciate Sebastian’s acting abilities as well what he brings, talent wise, to the MCU, please do yourself a favor and don’t watch Logan Lucky. Even if I haven’t seen some of them and don’t know, exactly, which ones they are, I have a good feeling there are movies out there starring Sebastian Stan that are better than Logan Lucky, whether or not the film is MCU affiliated.
Overall score: 4.7 out of 10
Have you seen Logan Lucky? What is your favorite movie that Sebastian Stan has starred in? Share your thoughts in the comment section!