Monday, August 28, 2017


I don't follow comic news that much, but I saw the recent backlash over Hellboy casting a white actor as a mixed Japanese character. The actor Ed Skrein just stepped down from the role today, which shows he has more integrity and awareness than Scarlet Johanssen in Ghost in the Shell or even Alison Brie playing Vietnamese in Bojack Horseman. Good for him, and I hope Hollywood will finally learn its lesson and not cast this way in the first place. They seem to think the push for "diversity" is only about blacks, Hispanics, women, but not Asians for some reason. Time and time again, they pass us over, or if they do cast Asians in an Asian role, it's interchangeably Koreans for Taiwanese, etc. I hope the upcoming live-action Mulan will be Chinese cast, and that the Crazy Rich Asians movie will be a success. Still waiting on a movie about Anna May Wong.

In other news, more courts struck down the Texas Voter ID law and the redistricting map. I was going to be all happy about it, but then Wonkette wrote an article suggesting that Texas could say, "hey we can't redraw any maps when we're in the middle of Hurricane Harvey displacing people." God, we can't have one ray of hope at all? In any case, Texas is probably gonna appeal the cases to the Supreme Court, so we still have suspense about what rulings will affect the 2018 elections.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wind River

After working all weekend, I finally saw Wind River, hoping it would be like the Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart. There is a murder mystery to solve on the reservation, but mostly the detective work is done by reading tracks in the snow and confronting suspects in brutally violent shootouts. It's a good, emotional movie, though a shame that once again a story about Native people has to star white actors as the protagonists instead of any of the Native characters. Still, I liked those actors in the Avengers movie, and they do a good job here. Also, the writer and director Taylor Sheridan shows a proper respect for the Native characters, like John Fusco did in his movies about Native Americans. Sheridan is less mystical and more gloomy reality, though. At least he shot the movie in full color, not that stupid blue tint that "serious" gritty movies keep using lately.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jealousies and Suspicions

I finished the Kate Warne historical novel. Overall it was good, though the author did take some liberties with the Rose Greenhow case and totally fictionalized Timothy Webster as Tim Bellamy, a love interest. I would have liked to see more about Warne running the Ladies Bureau and the DC office during the Civil War, instead of having a tragic romance and temporary falling out with Allan Pinkerton. So much drama over men assuming that if Kate Warne remarried, she would retire and have children. She had no such intention (and was infertile due to her previous miscarriage, so she wouldn't have had the opportunity anyway, unless she wanted to adopt). But still, I kept thinking that if people would just confess their honest motives and fears instead of staying silent, some of these problems could be resolved. At the very least, when Kate started to panic herself and feel guilty about deception, you'd think she could find the courage to speak to her fiance about such important questions of their future together.

Oh well, it's not like the Pinkertons TV show was always accurate to real life, but I did appreciate that the novel didn't portray an affair between Allan Pinkerton and Kate Warne. It would make them such hypocrites given how Pinkerton made fun of criminals for always having affairs and secrets that would make it easier for a detective to discover their crimes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Girl in Disguise

I watched some youtube videos of Jason Bateman getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame recently. Will Arnett gave a speech flirtatiously joking about how Michael Bluth is Ivanka Trump, but hotter. It's great that they're such good friends, and still so cute. Apparently Mitch Hurwitz and other AD castmembers also attended and posed for pictures afterward.

Meanwhile, I've been reading that Girl in Disguise book about Kate Warne. Since we know so little about this Pinkerton detective, the author has constructed an interesting backstory for her. She is indeed a widow, but she was forced into the marriage to cover up getting pregnant; also, as a kid she lived an unhappy, itinerant lifestyle because her father was an actor and con artist. This leads to Kate feeling conflicted about having to deceive people, manipulate them and betray them, such as with Mrs. Maroney from the Expressman Case. (Greer Macallister greatly simplifies the case so that they obtain the evidence they need quickly instead of doing the convoluted shit that actually happened and wasted everyone's time.)

At the Pinkerton agency, Kate has to deal with the suspicion and condescension of her male colleagues, constantly needing to prove herself and pass their various tests. Even worse, people keep gossiping that she's probably having an affair with Allan Pinkerton, even though nothing's going on. I even hoped that this novel would portray Allan's wife Joan as a sympathetic, likable character, unlike other fictionalizations. However, after Joan is introduced as a wonderful singer and mother, in private, she hisses to Kate to stay away from her husband! :( I was also sad that the novel waited many, many chapters to introduce the Women's Bureau of the agency. So far we have only seen Kate hire two women, and she doesn't get much time to actually supervise them before Kate's whisked off again to a special assignment. I'm right now in the middle of the Baltimore plot to assassinate Lincoln.

So far it's a pretty good story. The author's other book about a female magician is being made into a movie, so I hope that this one might get a movie treatment some day, with some tweaks maybe.