Tag Archives: Stan Lee

The Birdcage (1996)

Art ages. The second a book hits the shelf, a movie hits the cinema, a painting hits the exhibit or a song hits the radio, that art is in some ways locked into that time period forever. Maybe as time passes that art ages poorly and is sentenced to oblivion — like, say, a racist Donald Duck cartoon or two — regardless of whether it was deemed appropriate or entertaining at the time of publication. Maybe as time passes that art does the opposite, somehow seems more fitting for the current time rather than the time in which it was published, which can often be a hallmark of good sci-fi art (like the original Westworld movie) or good political art (like the V for Vendetta comic) or both (like 1984). But sometimes it’s not so simple. Some art — like The Birdcage — remains both a product of its time and perfectly fit for the future.

This is not an automatic compliment, even in the case of a film as funny and as culturally significant as this one. It’s impossible to rewatch Birdcage — pitched as a somewhat innocent laugh-a-minute comedy and little else — and not think about how the same movie would be made today, what might be changed, what might be emphasized or removed entirely. Today, discussion of the movie must start and end with the way gay or bisexual characters are represented in the film.

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Agent Carter 1.4 – “The Blitzkrieg Button”

In this episode Peggy Carter is given the all-enviable task of taking the lunch order at the S.S.R. precinct, and the fourth hour of Agent Carter only sporadically raises the excitement level above that low threshold. The sentiment was more or less the same during the previous episode “Time and Tide”: with only eight episodes in total, is there really enough time to spend on lunch order gags and Stan Lee cameos?

The good thing is that the executive producers of Agent Carter did confirm that the show is not a miniseries after all, despite that being the impression nearly everyone was under up until this point, and that a second season is a possibility. If so, a slower approach can certainly work. Still, though, even as each episode is full of stuff to like, it seems as if Agent Carter is less interested in telling a cohesive story and more interested in tying everything back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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