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The Female Perspective: I’m Back!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Hello friends! I have returned from my hiatus and am looking forward to a 2017 filled with exciting and entertaining blog posts.

Today I want to say that I finally saw Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and it was a pleasant surprise! On top of being a really hard name to spell, Peregrine is a delightful character, if a bit creepy.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I have not yet read the books based on the Tim Burton film and I’ll be honest when I say that I wasn’t all that thrilled about seeing the movie either. The trailer did nothing for me and I find Eva Green really creepy- even though I loved her on Penny Dreadful. Green seemed an odd choice for a children’s-type movie. Now I know better!

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This movie, while about a group of kids and centered around a young man named Jake, is not a traditional children’s movie, which I should have known when Tim Burton signed on as the director. It’s a movie about bad guys wanting to eat children’s eyeballs. Yes, eyeballs and they are freaking scary when they do it.

It’s not a perfect movie, and to a certain extent it lacks the typical Tim Burton charm that makes his movies both magical, disturbing, and endearing. Even movies like Big Fish, a story about a son discovering the past his dying father kept hidden, are full of magic and beauty. This one was beautiful in certain ways (the ship rising from the sea was very cool, and the kids had some really great powers), but it was also more in the realm of creepy and demonic than magical and endearing.

Even the books look creepy!
Even the books look creepy!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good creepy, demonic film, I just have these expectations of Burton that fell a little short for me in this one. All that being said, the cast was great and Eva Green won me over as the titular Miss. Peregrine. She was still dang creepy, but she had fun with it and it suited her character to a T. I’ll say that even with the flaws of the movie, it made me curious about the books and I plan on reading those (expect a review when I do!) to see how they compare to the movie.

Now, what are you reading or watching friends? Anything I should check out? I am making my way through the graphic novels Y The Last Man that I am very much enjoying and plan on doing a blog about soon and next up I am going to be reading the iZombie graphic novels as well. I love the show and can’t wait to dig into the books.

Until next week, enjoy life and smile at the little things!

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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment Part II

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Welcome to Part II of my Halloween Movies extravaganza!!! Okay, maybe a two-part blog is not quite an extravaganza, but how often does one get to use that word? Not very often! So yeah, it’s an EXTRAVAGANZA! I say.

If you missed Part I, check it out here!

Onwards and upwards my wayward readers!

I realized I left a few classic Halloween treats off my original list, and some of that is on purpose as I was trying to pick slightly lesser known flicks to highlight, rather than the usual Friday the 13th or Halloween or even Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I love all of those films dearly, but they are tried and true Halloween fare. Let’s see what else we can find. This weeks list is a bit of old, a bit of new, and a lot of fun! To start things off we will go with an old favorite of many.

The Exorcist

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I’ll admit that The Exorcist is not a favorite of mine, it tends to make me a bit sleepy (though not as sleepy as when I try to watch The Shining, I have never gotten through that one), but it has some iconic moments in it that cannot be overlooked. Pea soup will never be the same for many folks, and little girls in nightgowns who can do a full 180 with their heads are in serious need of some chiropractic help!

This was a film steeped in superstition and many deemed it “cursed” before it was even released.

The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents, such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized, attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’. The complex special effects used as well as the nature of the film locations also presented severe challenges. The film’s notable psychological themes include the nature of faith in the midst of doubt as well as the boundaries of maternal love as a mother has to do whatever she can to save her child. –Wikipedia

Obviously, those rumors really only helped the movie as it’s a cult classic now and was a huge success in 1973 when it was released. If you’ve never seen it, I say check it out. But do so with the lights on and never alone. (Muhahahaha).

Also, there’s a new TV series based on the film/book and I am VERY curious to see that. Has anyone watched it? Good/bad/ugly? Let me know!

House of 1000 Corpses

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When this gem of a horror flick came out in 2003 I totally missed it. I didn’t see it for a few years after, but I know that the first time I saw it I was scared silly. One of Rob Zombie’s finest films (and his first), it’s about a serial killer cannibal family and their house of horrors. It gets REALLY weird about halfway through and when I say REALLY weird I mean it. But that REALLY weird is also totally delightful (if you’re sick like me that is, hehe).

The plot is fairly straightforward, it’s 1977 and a carload of kids are off searching of material for a book about offbeat roadside attractions. At one stop they meet Captain Spaulding and learn of the legend of Dr. Satan … Then bad stuff happens and there’s lots of screaming and blood and scares.

The second time I watched 1000 Corpses I was much less scared of it and more fascinated at the sick, twisted mind that created it. That and the fact that is stars some of the best in the horror biz today and you can’t go wrong. It’s a perfect Halloween treat…Or perhaps, trick?

The funny thing is the film was universally panned by critics, though eventually went on to make $16 million at the box office and spawn it’s AMAZING sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, which is, to me, Zombie’s finest work to date.

Night of the Creeps

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Now, this one is technically a horror/comedy film, but it still fits the bill of being a great Halloween treat. It’s got all that wonderful 80’s cheese going for it and it attempts in its strange fashion to pay homage to the B movie genre.

 While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and alien invasion films. –Wikipedia

So basically it’s a mix of a everything and it’s wonderfully fun. Now I know some of you might be sick of zombies, but trust me, this is well worth checking out because it’s not just zombies (as stated above), it’s got some slasher film elements and some alien invasion elements as well. It’s definitely not your typical zombie film, it was a zombie film before the zombie invasion of this century. Not to mention it has gems like this:

Detective Cameron: I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.
Sorority Sister: What’s the bad news?
Detective Cameron: They’re dead.

~IMDB

The Conjuring

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Now, I know this is a relatively new film, but I have to say that this one genuinely freaked me out. Not many films have (Poltergeist is the one that sticks with me more than any other horror film), and even after seeing it more than once, I STILL jump at certain scenes and often feel the heebie-jeebies after watching it, and while watching it actually.

If you don’t already know, The Conjuring is a “true story” about a family that is possessed by evil spirits.

Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Their reports inspired The Amityville Horror.[4] The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971. –Wikipedia

It’s not even the fact that I live in Rhode Island, or that it’s supposedly based on true events, it’s just such a well done movie that you can’t help but be frightened at times. The filming, tone, etc are all really well done. This movie freaked me the heck out and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t get a chill or two down their spines while watching it. I have not checked out the sequel as of yet, but I did see Annabelle and it wasn’t quite as freaky-deaky as The Conjuring. I think this may be one-time magic in terms of the story, filming and actors. We shall see. If you’ve seen The Conjuring 2, let me know what you think!

Well that’s it for Part II of my Horrific Halloween Entertainment! Let me know what I may have missed and what scares you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Female Perspective: The Women of the Marvel Netflix Universe

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for superhero films and TV shows. I, like so many others, have been enjoying everything Marvel, including their foray into the world of binge watching on Netflix. Recently my boyfriend and I sat down and watched Luke Cage and I have to say, it was phenomenal. It also got me thinking, how come Marvel, and by extension, Netflix, can get this stuff so right and so many others get it so, so wrong?

The awesome women on "Luke Cage" on Netflix now!
The awesome women on “Luke Cage” on Netflix now!

What am I talking about? Not the content necessarily, though they nail that, but more specifically I’m talking about the women. The female characters are well thought out, they’re developed in fascinating and engaging ways and they walk around fully clothed and act like the grown ups they are.  It particularly struck me during Luke Cage as something that is a pleasure to see. Women who are powerful and smart, not just sex objects.

Take Rosario Dawson’s character for example, Claire, she its he connecting character between Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and in all the shows she’s tough, she’s no-nonsense and she’s brave as all get out, especially when surrounded by larger than life enhanced people. She doesn’t wuss out when things get tough, she grabs the closest weapon she can find and she fights, or she used her words, which she’s more than capable of stringing into full sentences and fights that way. The women of the Netflix Marvel Universe are so much more than just women, they’re partners to the crime fighters they stand by. They’re equals. 

"Jessica Jones" on Netflix.
“Jessica Jones” on Netflix.

Of course, it’s not just in the Netflix programming either, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is equally as impressive in its female roles. No quiet wallflowers here, they’re all out to protect those that they love, keep themselves safe and fight toe-to-toe with some of Earth’s greatest hero’s. It’s something that strikes me as at odds in today’s world of angry anti-feminist rhetoric. It’s amazing when you look at the toy lines and the fight that it’s been to get the female characters represented alongside the male characters. How can Marvel and the studios get it so right on the screen, but so wrong in other places?

Now I can’t pretend to be knowledgeable about comic books since I haven’t read most of the ones that are the basis of these shows, but the comics I have read have struggled with representing women as equals to their male counterparts. I will never, ever understand why someone thinks it makes sense to draw a woman who is in a life or death fight as wearing a strapless top and a skirt. I know comics aren’t meant to be realistic and I love being sunk into  fantasy world of super hero’s and super villains, but still, I want my super ladies to wear pants, is that so much of a stretch? And shirts with sleeves and stuff would be good too, but one thing at at time. Pants would be great.

Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in "Daredevil" season 2.
Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in “Daredevil” season 2.

Anyway … What do you think? Have you watched any of these shows? What do you think about the portrayal of women in the Marvel universe? Sound off in the comments! Tell me what you think!

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The Female Perspective: Halloween Costumes Gone MAD!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s that time of year again, when I get to look over the Halloween costumes selection and find joy in how ridiculous the designers get with what they deem a “sexy” costume. I found some good ones this year folks!

Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn't that sound fun?
Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn’t that sound fun?

To begin, I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear a sexy costume. This list is all in good fun because honestly, has anyone ever thought, “Gee whiz, I want to be a sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this year”? There are plenty of the traditional sexy costumes like Harley Quinn, Egyptian Goddess, Witch or Milk Maid, but there are also some very, very silly options that I like to highlight here.

Read on, and if you pick one of these, please, for the love all things holy and fun, post a pic!

Women’s Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away Costume

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Are you looking to be a sexy version of Princess Leia without all those pesky layers of white robe? Well, have I got the solution for YOU! Behold the Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away costume. Not only does it not bother to cover your legs with something as silly as a skirt or pants (Eee gads, not PANTS!) it even comes with a HOOD. So if you get cold you can just curl up into the smallest ball humanly possible and get into that hood of yours.

Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

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Sure, you like turtles, you even like ninja turtles, but are they sexy? I suppose to other turtles they might be … Hmm … Anyway, I came across this picture at random and had a good chuckle at the idea of trying to make the TMNT gang sexy. Or really, trying to make any ninjas sexy seems slightly ridiculous since ninja’s at their core, are meant to fly under the radar, not jump up on a table for all the attention. Perhaps I’m getting too literal? Regardless, whatever way you go with your turtle love, make sure you can at least eat pizza while in your costume, otherwise, what’s the point of even being a TMNT?

Sexy Optimus Prime (yes, you read that right)

Autobots! Roll Out!
Autobots! Roll Out!

Now, I can’t be alone in saying that the big OP has a sexy voice (for a talking Mack Truck) and he does some heroic stuff (“You got the power!”), but sexy? I did not think it could possibly get any sillier than a sexy TMNT ensemble, but I was wrong. This one gave me quite the chuckle, I mean it’s adorable, but if you’re a true Transformers fan, there is no way that this is going to be your costume. At least, I have never seen a woman in such an outfit at any of the Comic Con’s I’ve been to. Typically if you dress as a Transformer, you wear something blocky and bulky, the total opposite of sexy.

I will, however, admit that this one might be my favorite, the skirt is actually adorable.

Sexy Chucky Costume 

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There are literally no words.

What About The Dudes?

You might be wondering, why are all these costumes for women? Well, I wondered that myself and decided to do a quick search of sexy men’s Halloween costumes. You know what I found? Stuff I can’t put in this blog for one (too risqué) and then it’s boring stuff like a guy in a suit, dressed as a Scottish Highlander (with pants under his kilt, so wrong) and other stuff like that, carpenters, firemen, etc. Nothing at all to the level of the women (see Sexy Chucky above). Though I did find this one and if anyone can tell me what the heck it is, I’ll send you a lollipop.

*sigh*
*sigh*

It seems sad that men can’t get in on the super sexy costume game like women do, but then i realized oh wait, it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that they don’t feel as if they have to. Not to take this blog to a serious place but the fact is, we live in a patriarchal society where women are groomed to think they always have to be sexy or attractive and god forbid if they do something else. The other side of that is that the tide is changing, many women are choosing costumes that reflect who they are and not what society expects them to be. Not to mention, on Halloween it’s all about being someone else and sometimes that means getting a wee bit sexy. As I said before, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s on your terms and not something you feel you have to do in order to please someone.

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

 

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The Female Perspective: “The Darkangel Trilogy” – A Review

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


If you read this blog that you have some idea that I am a huge book nerd along with being an all-around other stuff kind of nerd. I feel then, as a blogger, to make special note of books that I particularly enjoyed. Recently I’ve read two such books (and a review on the other will be forthcoming), one is The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. I stumbled upon this trio of books while perusing the internet and someone had done an extremely extensive review of the story. It had vampires, a girl on a quest and gargoyles. I was sold.

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Now, to me, I love a good opening line. It doesn’t have to be particularly poetic or inspiring, it doesn’t even have to be a cliff-hanger or dramatic. It simply has to set the tone of the book.

Aeriel rested the broad basket against her hip and adjusted her kirtle. – The Darkangel

See what I mean? I’m instantly curious. Why does Aeriel have a basket? What is a kirtle? What a great name for a character. Is she the main character or is she secondary? All of these questions just from a few simple words.

Book One in "The Darkangel Trilogy"
Book One in “The Darkangel Trilogy”

The plot of the three books is simple. Aeriel (a slave) and her mistress (and sort-of friend) Eoduin are on a mission to collect a certain kind of flower for her sister’s wedding. They are climbing high up on the mountain and Aeriel, we find out, is a clutz and a nervous-nelly. She worries they are going to high for she had heard tales of the Darkangels that swooped from the skies and kidnapped pretty ladies.

It is quickly made apparent that Aeriel is a plain-Jane, she is nowhere near as beautiful and graceful as her dear Eoduin and everyone tells her this. Even the Darkangel (because, yeah, he shows up).

“I am to be your bride,” she said, not questioning. The certainty of it overwhelmed her.

The dark angel looked at her then and laughed, a long, mocking laugh that sent the gargoyles into a screaming, chattering frenzy. “You?” he cried, and Aeriel’s heart shrank, tightened like a knot beneath the bone of her breast. “You be my bride? By the Fair Witch, no. You’re much too ugly.” – The Darkangel

Yeah, Aeriel does not get much love at first.

Book Two in "The Darkangel Trilogy"
Book Two in “The Darkangel Trilogy”

I don’t want to spoil the series for you so I’ll try to sum up without spoilers for you. Basically, Aeriel gets taken by the dark angel to be his servant girl to his twelve wraiths, women he has taken as his bride and stolen their souls, they are thin creatures, barely sane and horrid to look upon. Aeriel also finds herself in the precense of gargoyles, ferocious beasts that really only suffer from a lack of love and attention.

Some stuff happens and we start to see that Aeriel is more than just a slave, she is more than just an “ugly” girl. She is a smart, resourceful woman who manages to make the best out of a really REALLY bad situation. In the darkangels house she lives under the constant threat of death and yet, she manages to find some good in her life.

Sufficed to say, in all three books of The Darkangel Trilogy we get to see Aeriel grow up and become a woman, a force, to be reckoned with. She is tasked with many things throughout the three novels and each task is arduous and damn difficult for her but she does it all.

My biggest complaint about the books is that a few times things are happening and the reader (aka, me) knows exactly what is about to happen and yet our heroine seems clueless and in the dark, that frustrates me because it makes Aeriel seem stupid or slow and she is neither. What I loved about these books is that she isn’t weak, she is extremely resourceful and she is amazingly kind. Even as she grows into a beauty, she never relies on her looks to get her way. She never expects a man to save her. She is her own hero and that, I simply adore.

Book Three of "The Darkangel Trilogy" also known as, "The Pearl At The Soul Of The World" - ack! Doesn't that make you want to read it?
Book Three of “The Darkangel Trilogy” also known as, “The Pearl At The Soul Of The World” – ack! Doesn’t that make you want to read it?

In a world where vampire novels are a dime a dozen The Darkangel Trilogy deserves your time. It is a new take on a classic villain and besides that, it’s not even really about vampires! It’s about an entire WORLD that Pierce creates that rivals some of the stuff that Tolkien or Martin have created (granted, it is not nearly as in-depth as their works). It’s a series written by a woman about  a woman who is able to be the best parts about feminism and humanity.

I can say with 100% certainty that if you are into fantasy literature, then this series is for you.

To purchase, click here!

Have YOU read The Darkangel Trilogy? If so, did you love it? Hate it? Feel indifferent about? Want to make tiny babies with Talb? Tell me about it in the comments section!

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The Female Perspective: The New Wonder Woman, Inspiring Or Not?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


wonder-woman-logo

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know that I have a fondness in my heart for Wonder Woman. You can imagine then that I am VERY excited/interested/nervous about the upcoming Superman v. Batman movie that is coming out next year. The preview that dropped after San Diego Comic Con made it look as if things are picking up from the end of Man of Steel and taking a turn for the dark and treacherous for our man Super.

While I loved the trailer, it got me really jazzed up to see the movie, I was a bit sad by the utter lack of Wonder Woman footage. Are they keeping her a secret? Why? Or are they just wetting our appetites because they want us to be surprised when we finally get to see her truly in action?

These are questions I cannot possibly answer.

What I can say is that what little we did of Wonder Woman has me thinking some thoughts.

  1. We see her a couple of times in beautiful, expensive outfits peeking at us.
  2. Then we see her in full costume kicking some serious ass.

I have to say that I like this. I like that we see the two sides of Diana Prince and Wonder Woman. They’re clearly going to show her as a woman and a warrior. Something I can totally get behind.

I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!
I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!

Others are not so excited. In a recent article on Geek Tyrant’s website, Grant Morrison, who wrote the upcoming Wonder Woman: Earth One, had some very doom and gloom type things to say about the little we’ve seen of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

“[The warrior woman thing is] not what Marston wanted, that’s not what he wanted at all. His original concept for Wonder Woman was an answer to comics that he thought were filled with images of blood-curdling masculinity, and you see the latest shots of Gal Gadot in the costume, and it’s all sword and shield and her snarling at the camera. Marston’s Diana [Prince, the character’s real name] was a doctor, a healer, a scientist.” – Geek Tyrant

Morrison’s concerns are rooted in the fact that he is worried that this newest portrayal of Wonder Woman is not in line with what William Marston, the creator of the Wonder Woman character, had in mind for her.

Here’s my issue with this. First off, we’ve only seen what, maybe five seconds of Gadot as Wonder Woman? How in the WORLD can someone decide how she’s being portrayed with that little amount of time? Secondly, he’s wrong, she isn’t only “snarling” at the camera, she smiles slyly as she ducks into a car. Thank you and goodnight.

Gadot herself has expressed only excitement at being able to portray Wonder Woman.

“I told them that I wanted to be able to show the stronger side of women. I didn’t want to do the obvious role that you see in Hollywood most of the time, which is the heartbroken girl who’s waiting to be rescued by the guy, blah, blah, blah.

I’m so excited about this role. I feel like I’ve been given a huge opportunity to inspire people, not only women. And not because of me but because of who Wonder Woman is and what she stands for. There’s a lot of responsibility. But I have the best team and the best people to work with. It’s going to be an amazing ride, knock on wood.”  –Geek Tyrant

So basically, from that soundbite and the few seconds we’ve seen Gadot in action, Morrison has decided that this newest incarnation of Wonder Woman is going to be a disaster of some sort? Personally, I feel good about Gadot has had to say about the role, she wants her Wonder Woman to be strong and powerful, not mooning over a man or in need of saving. THANK YOU! We’ve seen such a thing with the portrayal of Black Widow but we need more of it people, lots and lots of it. Women aren’t only around to be damsels in distress, we can do loads more cool stuff.

Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?
Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?

Morrison’s comments are of the type that really sticks in my craw (I’m not entirely sure what a craw is but I suspect it’s nothing good and to have something stuck there it is quite uncomfortable but this is all just a guess), he’s making ASSUMPTIONS about something that, while he is clearly educated about Wonder Woman, since he has written some of the comics, he doesn’t have a clue about when it comes to the film Zach Snyder is making.

Look, I want this Wonder Woman to be a bad-ass just like so many of my fellow Wonder Woman fans. I want her to be powerful, beautiful, intelligent and just as tough, if not tougher, than her male counterparts Superman and Batman. I want her to be everything that is wonderful about how women can be portrayed on film while leaving out all the sexism that happens so often with female superhero’s. I know that Wonder Woman’s portrayal can’t fix the many, MANY flaws in the film industry (where the heck is my Black Widow movie??? Hmmm? HMMM?) but she can help move it forward just the littlest bit if she’s played well.

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I personally have faith in Gadot. She did a great job in the Fast & Furious movies. She was just as tough as the guys along with having all those feminine wiles to use against the men. I think she can go toe-to-toe with Supe and Bats and come out on top.

I think Gadot can do it.
I think Gadot can do it.

I only hope that when she does come out on top that DC realizes that they need to give Wonder Woman her OWN damn movie.

Tell me YOUR thoughts, how are you feeling about the new Wonder Woman? Good, bad, indifferent, distraught, penniless, putrid or joyful beyond words? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Ant-Man!

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Last week I promised to give you all a review on the movie Ant-Man and I did not tell a lie. What follows are my thoughts on the movie and its female character. Before I get into that though, I must warn, there are SPOILERS! If you haven’t seen the movie and WANT to see the movie then stop reading. Like, now.

Still with me? Cool.

Ant-Man, in Theaters Now!
Ant-Man, in Theaters Now!

First off I’ll admit that I had never heard of Ant-man before this movie. I read comics, sure, but Ant-Man, lost on me. The name is lackluster and ants have a tendency to creep me out a tad. But then I saw the trailer for the movie and I started to get excited, this movie looked fun. The kind of fun that Guardians of the Galaxy had. The kind of fun that I have come to expect from Marvel movies.

It did not disappoint.

Let’s start off with the fact that the lead character, Scott Lang, is played by one of my personal favorites, Paul Rudd. I remember Rudd back from his days in the movie Clueless  and I thought he was both hysterical and cute back then. I have since come to enjoy his dry humor in movies and on TV. I was interested to see someone like Rudd take on a Marvel superhero (it worked for Chris Pratt right?). I am also a huge of Micheal Douglas (as Hank Pym) and Evangeline Lilly (as Pym’s daughter Hope). I’ve liked Lilly since her days on Lost so this flick was shaping up nicely.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope.
Evangeline Lilly as Hope.

The story is a simple one, Lang is an ex-con trying to set his life in order (and befriended by a ridiculously funny cast of misfits) to be a better dad to his daughter. He hooks up with Pym who convinces him to help with a heist. The heist is to get the Pym Particle technology away from Darren Cross. Hank sees it as too dangerous for wide use (he himself has kept it a secret and used the Ant-Man suit to save lives these many years), he is right.

Ant-Man manages to take the best of the Marvel-verse and add in some surprises, we see an Avenger and we also get to see Agent Carter and a few other familiar faces. I have to say, the way that Marvel is weaving all these stories together makes it an even better experience for moviegoers.

Rudd does a really good job of being the down on his luck Lang while also infusing the character with his trademark wit and dry delivery. It’s a perfect fit for a guy who stumbled upon the superhero life. Douglas is solid as Pym and it’s really nice to see him having some fun a few times in the movie as he tries to teach Lang how to handle the suit.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man.

The only hitch (for me) was Hank’s daughter Hope. When first you meet her she is the typical, call your dad by his first name because he ignored you while you were growing up female cast member. Then we dig in a little deeper and we see that she actually does get along with her father, sort of, and wants to be in charge of the heist herself because she already knows how to harness the powers of Ant-Man. Which begs the question, why bring Lang in if Hope already knows how to do it?

The answer comes simply and beautifully, because Hank can’t stomach the idea of putting his daughter into the line of fire whereas Lang is expendable. It’s a really well-done and well thought out scene when Lang himself explains this to an angry Hope. Is it believable? Sure. In the context of the Marvel Universe I bought it. Especially when we realize that Hank’s wife was killed because he let her suit up and join him on missions. It makes sense.

I read an article that had a very confused argument about the whole situation between Hank and Hope. At one point it asks why she isn’t the star of the movie and cries sexism and then goes on to say that Hank’s reasoning is actually pretty sensible.

Huh?

Make up your mind Daily Dot article. Is it sexism or is not?

I have to go with not.

The fact is, this movie isn’t just about Ant-Man and his adventures. It’s about superheroes and saving the world from factions of Hydra but it’s also about Fatherss and Daughters. Lang is motivated to do all that he does in order to make his daughter proud of him and Hank wants nothing more than to keep Hope safe from harm. What Hank begins to realize is that after a certain point, you can’t do that anymore. He realizes by the end of the movie that the best way to keep his daughter safe AND have a relationship with her is to give her what she wants (no, she doesn’t don the Ant-Man suit but if you stay for the credits scene, you’ll see what happens!)

Ant-Man versus Yellowjacket
Ant-Man versus Yellowjacket

I love that this movie was about more than just a fancy suit and ant charming, I love that it was about relationships and family as well as being about saving the world from Hydra getting Pym Particles to wreak havoc. It’s why I enjoy these Marvel movies so much, they constantly surprise me.

Not to mention, the special effects were phenomenal! The scene with Lang and the villainous Cross duking it out in Lang’s daughter’s bedroom is hysterical and amazingly well done.

Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket versus Thomas the Tank Engine
Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket versus Thomas the Tank Engine

All-in-all, two thumbs up from this lady. Ant-Man is a great addition to the Marvel Universe and I can’t wait to see more of Rudd as Scott Lang!

What about you? Did you see Ant-Man? Did you love it, hate it, have nightmares about ants? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Humanist Versus Feminist: Is One Better Than The Other?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Teach Humanism.
Teach Humanism.

Recently, Sarah Jessica Parker went on record with Cosmo magazine as saying that she is no longer a feminist but a humanist.

“As [playwright] Wendy Wasserstein would say, I’m a humanist. I’m enormously appreciative of the work that my mother’s generation did. We are the beneficiaries of a lot of disappointment, heartache, discouragement, and misunderstanding. But I see a lot of people trying to sort out their roles. People of color, gays, lesbians, and transgenders who are carving out this space. I’m not spitting in the face or being lazy about what still needs to be done — but I don’t think it’s just women anymore. We would be so enormously powerful if it were a humanist movement.” ~Jezebel

I read and re-read that paragraph a couple of times, the entire time nodding my head in total agreement. Why? Because darn-it, she is totally right. We would be enormously powerful if we all banded together to forward the cause of humanity. Not just one small section of it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not turning my back on my ladies and their needs, I am instead opening my arms up to everyone who needs support and equality, minorities, homosexuals and the transgendered community. If we all simply chose to work together instead of separating ourselves from one another, imagine how much louder, how much more powerful our voices could be?

SJP hit it right on the nose.
SJP hit it right on the nose.

They could shake the world.

And then they’d shape the world.

YES!
YES!

What Is Humanism?

I’m SO glad you asked!

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). ~Humanism as defined by Wikipedia

Isn’t that a beautiful idea?

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a feminist and I am proud to fight for my ladies wherever I can but at the same time, I see the division, the cracks, in the feminist community and it seriously bums me out. How are we ever going to accomplish our goals if we divide off into various factions? How are we going to come together and fight for our beliefs if we think a woman who wants to be a mother and a wife is somehow less than a feminist who is single, childless and working a high-paying job? Am I less of a feminist because I ask my boyfriend for advice? For comfort? For support?

NO.

If you stand up for women. For their rights and their equality in the male-dominated work force and beyond, than you are a feminist. You are a feminist whether you have kids, don’t have kids, work a corporate job or go to school full-time. There shouldn’t be levels of feminism. There shouldn’t be division.

What’s that old saying? “Together we stand, divided we fall,” and let me tell you, that’s completely true. I would be nowhere without the love and support of my family, friends and boyfriend. I would not be doing what I love every single day and I would not be able to do that without the blood, sweat and tears of the women who marched before me.

The thing is, if we joined forces with all the other equality movements out there we could be louder and stronger than any of us have ever been before. It seems so simple when I write it but at the same time, as we all know, it is much harder than that. We as a species need to learn that accepting help is okay, respecting others ideas is great and working together is Earth shattering.

I am proud to be a feminist but I am even prouder to be a humanist.

Capt. Picard knows where it's AT!
Capt. Picard knows where it’s AT!

What do you think? Is one better than the other? Do you believe in division or togetherness?

Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: #AskELJames Is Internet Bullying and Here’s Why

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Author E.L. James
Author E.L. James

Awhile back I talked a bit about the Fifty Shades of Grey controversy that says that the book and the movie promote domestic violence, rape and abuse. If you haven’t read that blog, feel free to check it out here. If you have read it then you know that I disagree with this point of view. The fact is BDSM is not about abuse (for most), it is about exploring pain, pleasure and your own power. It is a lifestyle CHOICE and I do not believe that Fifty Shades of Grey glorifies it in any way.

That being said, I will say that both the book and the movie are boring, mindless and poorly written. All of this is my personal opinion and I don’t dislike author E.L. James for giving us this mindless drivel, she got extremely lucky and made a great career for herself, one that I am totally jealous of. She has the success every writer dreams of having and it’s made an even more amazing story by the fact that she really isn’t a very good writer.

#AskELJames = Failure
#AskELJames = Failure

Recently, to help promote her new book, Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian Grey’s perspective (that’s not the title I know but it really should be) her publicity team decided to host a live Twitter chat with the hashtag, #AskELJames.

This backfired horribly.

Below is a sample of some of the tweets sent over to #AskELJames, they start out funny enough:

What’s your favourite shade out of the 50? Is there a chance that more shades will be added?

How on earth did Ana manage to graduate from university in the 21st century without an email address or a laptop?

Then things started to go a bit wrong…

Do you ever feel guilty that you made so much money from romanticizing sexual abuse and selling it as “erotica romance”?

Is it only ok for Christian to stalk, coerce, threaten & manipulate Ana because he’s hot, or is it also ok because he’s rich?

after the success of “Grey,” have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write?

And things just kept going wrong after that…

Will you be rewriting the book from Stephenie Meyer’s point of view next time?

Are you going to answer any of these questions, or do you need Stephenie Meyer to do a Twitter chat first?

Do all these negative tweets sent to you seem abusive to you? I think it’s romantic enough to be turned into a novel!

Are you getting tendinitis from having to hit “block” so often? 🙁

What gets me is the way in which people are choosing to take something as innocuous as a Twitter forum, meant to engage James’ readers with their fave author, and turn it into a giant bullying fest.

This is wrong. This is so much wrong. No matter how much I dislike the books and bemoan the fact that someone like E.L. James is famous when she can barely even write, I would never say that to her face in such an unkind manner, maybe that makes my a hypocrite but the things that people were saying to her were cruel and unnecessary.

Personally, I wouldn’t take to a Twitter group and decide it was the perfect time to bash and abuse her. Yeah, she’s not one of my favorite. Yes, I have said that time and time again during any discussions of her books. Yes, I feel guilty about it because she is a fellow writer and I should support her 100% because of that fact alone. But I am not a perfect person and I admit that. There’s something about this “attack” that really made me feel icky inside. It’s one more example of the internet world being a cruel place and I am really tired of it.

el-james-fifty-shades-of-grey-twitter-questions-gone-wrong-lead

What these folks did, and what they continue to do on various open mic forums on Twitter (why celebrities keep doing these, I just don’t know. Robin Thicke experienced a similar situation when he did the same as James) is take time meant to connect a fan with a favorite artist and turn it into something ugly. They take that time meant for others and choose to insult celebrities that they think are less than worth their time. This is a perfect example of why the internet can be a horrible place. Bullies thrive in the online space of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. They can say what they want, whenever they want with virtually no repercussions. I’ve been the victim of bullying on this blog and it takes some serious getting used to! The fact is, if you, as an artist, manage to stir up the masses to such passion (whether it’s good or bad) than you are clearly doing something right.

2A18EF8200000578-3143894-image-m-31_1435621699835

The fact is, being a celebrity of any kind requires a thick skin. E.L. James and her team learned this lesson with great clarity last night and no matter what kind of person James is (I have heard some various stories that she’s not the nicest woman but I don’t know if that’s truth or not so we’ll just assume she’s a nice person) she doesn’t deserve to be bullied online. Yes, her writing is a mess. Yes, it is a well known fact that Fifty Shades began it’s book life as Twilight fan fiction and yes, it often toes the line between abuse and erotica (sort of, it’s not all that erotic if you ask me), but no matter what you think of James’ writing, there is no need to go online just to bash her when she was honestly trying to connect with her fans, not her detractors. I have better things to do with my time than to be an online troll.

What do you think? Do you think #AskELJames is bullying? Trolling? Did she deserve it or not? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Female Dinosaur Toys? Dear God NO!!!!!

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


How many of you have seen the Jurassic Park movies? Okay, that’s like a bazillion-trillion of you, good. Now, how many of you recall that all the dinosaurs on the island are female? No? Watch this for a quick refresher.

Okay, now that we are all on the same page let’s take a moment and check out these wonderful new Jurassic World toys! Oh boy, dinosaurs and raptors to play with, what fun! Wait…huh? These dino’s are described as being boys. Well that’s quite odd…

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Oh wait, it’s not all that odd because girls can’t have toys unless they are gender approved. God forbid your son gets a GIRL dinosaur to play with. I am sure that will instantly make him like…what exactly? Girl dinosaurs? Will it make him gay? Can we please just call this for what it actually is? Sexism. The fact is, we see it over and over again, does anyone have any Black Widow toys? Not really right? Because they are so against selling women figures or female toys that they will actually go to the lengths of actually erasing a woman off her own toy or changing the entire mythos of the story by making the dino’s boys instead of girls.

Does this make me angry? A little bit, yes because the whole thing about Jurassic Park is that they manufacture the dinosaur’s to be all female all the time so that they don’t breed (but, as we all know, that fails in spectacular fashion). So why make the change? Why decide to write-up the dino’s as male instead of female? What’s the thought process on this? I am actually curious to know because I cannot think of one, single reason why you would take characters that are very much female and decide that they’re male because maybe the powers that be that make those kinds of decisions think that boy dino’s will sell better than girl dino’s? Newsflash, whoever you are decision making guy, you should get fired for being so dumb it actually hurts me. Why give the dino’s a sex at all? If you are so offended by the idea that they are female in ALL OF THE MOVIES why bother with a he or she pronoun? Oh that’s right, sexism.

All girls, all the time.
All girls, all the time.

It’s a tough world out there folks and while I realize that dinosaur toys as a movie tie-in is the smallest nugget of annoyance there can possibly be, it’s still frustrating that female’s get so little respect that there can’t even be a proper toy that represents them. Don’t even get me started on the Furiosa comic book that completely negates the beauty of Mad Max: Fury Road. 

Come on, sing it with me! "Girls, girls, girls!"
Come on, sing it with me! “Girls, girls, girls!”

It’s these “little” things that make up the bigger whole. It’s these things that remind me (and so many others) that feminism is important, that it is necessary. Equality will never be a thing of the real world until we are all actually equal and no one decides that a female dinosaur has to be male because it won’t sell otherwise. I can PROMISE you, even if you put a pink frilly hat on ole’ Blue up there, it would still sell because Jurassic World is a HUGE hit.

Come on decision makers, stop screwing us ladies over in the toy department, we like toys too and not just Barbie dolls.

What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments!