Comics are weird. There’s no denying this simple fact, and there’s no use trying. This fact is universal and can be a barrier to entry for new fans. Sometimes 50 years of lore is a lot to wrap your head around. One of the great strengths of Marvel’s ongoing cinematic universe is that initially, at least, it distilled all that lore into something easier to swallow. Twenty-plus films later, its greatest strength is that when a new character walks onto the screen and says, “I’m a man with split personalities, one of whom in the warrior avatar of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and I’m here to punish the wicked” most people’s reaction will be “sure, that makes sense.”
Of course, this can also be a flaw –as it is with Marvel’s latest series– in which there is so little explanation that there is almost no reason to care. There is no trial by which Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spectre obtained his powers or much in explaining his back story; he walks on-screen fully formed. Well, half-formed, because if you glossed over it in the previous paragraph, this is a man with multiple identities. This show is, in a word, a lot.
Being a lot isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but while there are many things to love in this series, there are just as many that make it a complicated watch.
Love is in the air everywhere you look around. You’ve got the best of my love. I just can’t get enough of your love, babe. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me. I don’t care what they say I’m in love with you. All you need is love. Might as well face it you’re addicted to love. Come and get your love. Can you feel the love tonight?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with that even if all the giant displays of red hearts and fluffy things and greeting cards and hand holding couples all over the mall are trying to tell you otherwise. There’s a lot of love in the world that doesn’t fit into cardboard boxes or perfectly co-ordinate with an arbitrary date in February.
Contrary to the current array of movies playing on television (AMC is playing Titanic back-to-back for 18 hours straight. The boat sank in 3.) there are also a lot of love stories in film. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight but don’t feel like crying alone while watching the Notebook (the tired stereotype of single women on this day), let me recommend some alternatives.
Shakespeare is the best writer who ever lived. His words carry such beauty, brutality, humour and psychosis that we’ve seen a number attempts to update the context of his stories, with varying degrees of success. Here’s a trailer for new version of the lesser-known *Cymbeline* from director Michael Almereyda, who you may remember from his version of *Hamlet* starring Ethan Hawke in 2000. Take a look.
It was 18 years ago we first spent the night with Jesse and Celine watching them fall in love, and 9 years later that we spent the day with them reconnecting and rekindling the relationship they never ended up having. Now, another 9 years on we get to spend another day with them to see what it’s like now that they are together.
I rather liked the first two movies in this series. I don’t know many people who grew up in the 1990s who don’t, actually. It’s also just been interesting having snapshots of this relationship at different points so I’m actually pretty excited to see what’s going on in this third instalment.