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The Female Perspective: It’s About Dang Time!

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


I’ve made no secret of my annoyance and frustration that it seems to take forever for companies like Marvel and DC Comics to come out with female-centered superhero movies, or more accurately, the fact that they don’t have any right now.

In fact, I’ve written about Wonder Woman many times now, along with Black Widow and others that are not in the comic world. The lack of merchandise is also a problem, but ladies and gents, all that is changing because of one biggish announcement by Kevin Feige recently.

The fact is, our society is changing, women are taking up the comic book action hero mantle and other woman, i.e. ME, want to see those women kick butt in their own movies, not as a sidekick to a bunch of dudes.

Black Widow is ready for her own movie...
Black Widow is ready for her own movie…

It is a happy day when you see the seeds of your wishing coming to fruition. With the Wonder Woman movie on its way to theaters soon (woohoo!), it was awesome to hear Kevin Feige say recently that they are fully committed to a standalone Black Widow movie!

“We’ve announced the next nine movies, ten counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.” –Den of Geek

Sure, that means we’ll still have to wait a few years to see Black Widow kick ass all on her own on screen, but the very fact that Marvel has realized she should have her own movie is a huge win for fans everywhere and it’s clear that it’s what fans actually want.

In fact, a recent poll amongst Captain America: Civil War advance ticketholders asking which Avenger should get a solo film saw Black Widow with a dominant 48 percent victory out of the six choices. –Den of Geek

48 percent is a pretty good number! I for one am tickled red and black that Black Widow is finally going to get her own film. For a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she’s a really cool female character. There’s a lot of cool female characters in both the DC and Marvel universes so there is literally no real end to the amount of movies they could make telling their stories, but the fact is, since her debut in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson has been doing an absolutely amazing job portraying a complex female character surrounded by and constantly fighting alongside her male counterparts. She is no less powerful in Captain America: Civil War where she attempts to be diplomatic when torn between two of her respected and loved friends, Iron Man and Captain America. In fact, Black Widow is at her best in Civil War because she is troubled by having to “pick a side” in the argument, when essentially all she wants is her friends to get along and do what’s right for the world they protect. In Civil War things are not that easy though, and Natasha finds herself battling her own sense of what is wrong and right and ultimately doing what she think’s is best, even if it’s going against her own “team”.

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Also, after seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was most certainly interested in hearing more of the story of Black Widow. We were given a small taste, ala Scarlett Witches powers, of what Natasha’s life had been like as she trained (and became brainwashed) to become the super bad ass spy/assassin/superhero she is today. Not only that, but we were teased with some more of what the training was like for Black Widow’s on the TV show Agent Carter when we got to see what “life” was like for Dottie Greenwood (spoiler alert: it’s bad to be trained as  a Black Widow spy). The fact is, there is a rich, complicated and brutal backstory to tell when it comes to Natasha and her other women spy comrades, one that deserves to be told on screen.

Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow's film will be kick-ass.
Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow’s film will be kick-ass.

Not to mention, it’s about dang time that a woman superhero gets her own movie. Yes, I’m greedy for it, we have seen men ruling over the superhero franchises forever now, I mean, for pete’s sake, Batman gets a new movie every couple of years, but only after decades do we finally get to see Wonder Woman up on the big screen, fighting toe-to-toe with the guys in some of the best scenes of Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice. Seeing WW up there got me all sorts of jazzed up for her movie and I am very excited and hopeful that she will be the start of some really awesome female-led superhero films.

It’s time folks. It’s way past time.

How do you feel about Black Widow? Do you think she’s ready for a standalone film? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Ladies Are Taking Care of Business…

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.


I thought about writing about Daredevil season 2 and how amazing the women are in that show but then I started thinking in a slightly broader sense. As I was binge watching season 2 with my man I realized that in the Marvel film and TV universe, they are writing exceptional women. Women who fight, who love and who do not apologize for being tough and brave, but who are also feminine and have their weak moments as well.

It’s bloody brilliant.

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.

I am obviously a huge fan of the Marvel Universe that’s being created but I didn’t stop to really think of why, beyond the flash and fun of course, and now I realize it’s because in pretty much ever movie or TV show I’ve watched the women are bad ass, in the most wonderful way. This is feminism at work, this is equality at work and it’s wonderful to see. Today young girls have the option of so many female role models from Black Widow to Supergirl to Agent May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and so many more that’s actually quite staggering. Even on a show like Daredevil the character of Elektra had the potential to be overshadowed by the “big boys” like Punisher and Daredevil himself, but she didn’t, she had her own storyline, her own struggles, her own power. Karen Page, a normal human by all accounts, finds her way in the world, finds her purpose and doesn’t ever become meek or fragile, even when kidnapped and fearful of her life, she manages to use her head and even though she doesn’t technically save the day, she manages to keep herself alive and guess what? She doesn’t fall apart in a sobbing pile in a man’s arms after. She picks herself up and keeps going. Elektra and Karen were essential to this season of Daredevil and that makes my feminist heart flutter with joy.

To me that’s how women should be written for TV or film. As women who can fight for their life when they need to, who can keep their heads in terrifying situations and who can rebound after those situations and keep going, keep fighting. They don’t run to the nearest man for love and/or sex and/or comforting, they comfort themselves and get going. They take care of business.

Frankly, that’s how the women I know in real life act. Of course, none of them have been kidnapped by madmen (thank God), but we have all had stressful situations in our life. We crumble, we fight, we cry, we get back up. That’s how you do it and it’s about damn time that TV and film catch onto that.

It’s been a gradual shift and Marvel is not the only one doing it by any means. If we look at Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Katniss from The Hunger Games (not a fave of mine but I know a strong lady when I see one) or one of my favorites, Black Widow from The Avengers and Captain America. What I love about Black Widow is that she is evolving, we first see her in Iron Man 2 and she is a sexy lady who turns out can fight circles around the men. Then we start to see her in other Marvel films and she starts to become a person, not just a fighter and a solider, but a person. In Age of Ultron she speaks about feeling like a monster for what she has done, for what has been done to her and when faced with the choice of fighting or running away with Bruce, she chooses to fight, because that’s what has to be done. She sacrifices her happiness for the greater good and hopefully you all know some women like that in your lives, I know I certainly do.

Black Widow doesn't apologize for who she is, it weighs heavily upon her, but she keeps on going, carrying that load.
Black Widow doesn’t apologize for who she is, it weighs heavily upon her, but she keeps on going, carrying that load.

The fact is, women are smart, sexy, tough and wonderful (as are men), and what makes me truly happy is to see that finally reflected in popular fiction on TV and in movies. I have high hopes for this weekends big release Batman v. Superman, not because of Batman or Superman, but because of Wonder Woman. FINALLY we get to see her in action and I for one, am extremely hopeful that WW takes after all the women before her and comes off as tough but feminine in the best ways possible.

What I am really digging is that while the costumes are tight fitting and all that, they aren’t slutty or offensive, they make sense for the character and (unlike what so often happens in comics) they are both sensible and sexy, a wonderful combination because when we see young girls cosplaying their favorites, we don’t have to sensor it because hey, it’s long pants and sleeves with a high neckline, fabulous! It makes me proud to be able to witness a time when characters like Agent Peggy Carter and Daisy from S.H.I.E.L.D move flawlessly from being powerful and brave, to being confused and/or uncertain and back again. These are flawed women, beautifully flawed women that aren’t taken advantage of. They stand toe-to-toe with the male characters and sometimes, they end up saving them.

"Don't worry fellas, I'll protect you." - Wonder Woman
“Don’t worry fellas, I’ll protect you.” – Wonder Woman

It’s a wonderful thing to witness, and with so much going on today that is stressful, sad or troubling, it’s truly heartening to be able to see women gaining so much ground, even if it is in a fictional sense. Here’s hoping that one day soon, it will start to really, truly happen in the “real” world.

How about YOU? What female character do you love that’s on TV or in film nowadays? Sound off in the comments and tell me why you love her!

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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.


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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: A Movie Review…Vroom Vroom Vrooooooom!

Welcome! This is a Tri-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!


Yesterday I saw “Furious Seven”, the 7th (but hopefully not the last) installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. In the spirit of full disclosure I will say that I LOVE these movies (with the exception of 2 & 3 which were barely mediocre). Ever since the first one I fell in love with the insanity, the stupidity and the machismo. As the movies have grown up, we see the characters turn into real people, not just caricatures. They are more than just street racing thugs, they’re a family, they’re people.

All of that being said, this is still an action movie, it basically goes from zero to insane in about ten seconds. But it does it in the most delightful way possible. Watching the movie, you know they all had a blast making it, knowing that the stunts were getting more and more insane (all I have to say is flying cars…FLYING cars…you gotta see it to understand). As the stunts reach insanity levels you cannot help but wonder how they could possibly top themselves…and then they do.

"Furious Seven" in theaters NOW!
“Furious Seven” in theaters NOW!

The death of Paul Walker does dampen the fun slightly (especially at the end) but only because you know you won’t be seeing him in the 8th installment (that Vin Diesel teased on Jimmy Kimmel recently), the dynamic between Walker and Diesel is fantastic. They are truly brothers on and off-screen. The family bond between the actors is part of what makes the Furious Franchise so much fun, you can tell that they all genuinely love each other on and off screen.

The addition of The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) to the mix adds another level of fun to the whole ridiculous romp. He actually FLEXES his way out of a cast. It was amazing.

The story is a simple one, if you saw the 6th movie you know that the Furious Crew took on a London terrorist and his brother (the ever wonderful Jason Statham) is out seeking revenge for his brother. Statham’s character is a bad-ass “Shadow” from British Secret Ops and he will stop at nothing to kill the Furious Crew, one at a time. Once the crew realizes what’s happening they immediately go on the defensive (with the help of Kurt-Freaking-Russel!) to take care of the problem. Because, as they say over and over, they are family and you don’t mess with a family.

The Furious Crew Gets Fancy.
The Furious Crew Gets Fancy.

I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll leave it at this, what we experience with “Furious Seven” is a fun romp through multiple countries with the required awesome cars, beautiful women and machismo that we have come to expect from this group. They do not disappoint in any way.

Oh, and there is a KICK ASS lady fight between Michele Rodriguez and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. What I really enjoy about the Furious movies is that they don’t shy away from letting the women kick some butt. Women aren’t just eye candy in these movies, Gal Gadot and Michelle Rodriquez especially prove that, time and time again.

The movie is a non-stop action powerhouse…and then we get to the end. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Paul Walker died tragically during the filming of the movie and they had to use both CGI and his brother to fill in some of his scenes (If you can tell what scenes those are, you’re better than me, I couldn’t see it) so you know that the end is going to be sad in some way. And it does not disappoint. I’ll admit to weeping openly (I was not the only one) at the touching tribute to Walker that Diesel and the Crew created.

Walker and Diesel in Furious Seven.
Walker and Diesel in Furious Seven.

If you are looking for a movie with fun, sexy ladies, spectacular and pretty insane action and cars than I’d say that “Furious Seven” is for you. It’s in theaters now so get out there and enjoy the crap outta some monster cars and action!

Did you see “Furious Seven”? If so, what did YOU think? Tell me in the comments!