For when “dislike” just doesn’t cut it…











There is something about superhero movies that turn me into a gushing fan girl. Usually, it’s the way a certain character (usually not the fan favourite) is portrayed that makes or breaks an adaptation for me… Gary Oldman’s James Gordon in the Batman movies, Patrick Wilson’s Nite Owl and Matthew Goode’s Ozymandias… they did justice to their roles and made up for all the ending changes and the throwaway one-liners.

I was so hella stoked to see the Wolverine movie, mostly because I knew it couldn’t get worse than X-3 (I’m sorry, is my bias showing?). I knew there would be cool action scenes and that I’d like it at least a little more than the average person. I did. I thought it was fun. I thought it was mostly well-acted and that the action scenes were awesome (albeit a little too Mortal Kombat in some places). I thought they mostly did justice to the characters.

I say mostly because there’s one exception: my lover, Gambit. They really dropped the ball on bringing Remy LeBeau to life. I think part of it was the fault of the actor, Taylor Kitsch, and the rest fell on the director, Gavin Hood.

My problems were:

  • His accent, or lack thereof. Gambit has a sexy Creole accent. It’s very thick, and as trademark to him as a kinetically charged playing card. Taylor could not for the life of him do one convincingly. At first he tried and it came out as some kind of southern robot. “That-de-pends-do-ah-owe-you-mon-ey?” After his first exchange with Hugh Jackman, he drops it completely and just sounds like a teenage boy again. Couldn’t Gavin Hood have said, “Um… can you maybe TRY to stay in character?!”
     
  • His card manipulation ability is deplorable. He tries a few (not entirely enough, but that’s the next point) and they are so obviously done by computers. Kevin, while waiting for the film to start, showed more impressive card tricks than the movie did with its blatant CG effects. Gambit is AWESOME, and his abilities with a deck of cards are definitely part of the characterization they wanted to emphasize. Fail.
     
  • As a follow up to my previous point, he throws very few cards at all. There was an over-reliance on his quarterstaff (actually, it’s a buck and a quarter quarterstaff, but I’m not telling him that!) but amid all the coat-flapping and metal-meets-metal noises, it really doesn’t *look* impressive. (I guess because they think it looks cooler than EXPLOSIONS!?)
     
  • Not much of a spoiler, but Wolverine beats him far too easily far too early in the film. In the comics (or even cartoon!), the Ragin’ Cajun would NOT be beaten in a minute – he is a street thief trained in Savate and specialized in hand-to-hand combat. I don’t care how overpowered you make Wolverine… I guess the one nerdy thing I can think of to explain it is that Stryker is not just filling that role, but also the role of Mister Sinister (who, in the comics, decreased Gambit’s power at his request so that he could remain more anonymous).
     
  • Where are his glowing red and black eyes? They flashed during the fight very briefly, and then went back to being *~*pritty*~*. His eyes are the whole reason he lives the way he does in the first place! (I know this isn’t “X-Men Origins: Gambit,” but still!)
     
  • Admittedly, what REALLY bothered me the most was that it was blatant fan service to even include him. He doesn’t actually play a role in Wolverine’s origin – he’s too young! He was cut from X-2. He was cut from X-3. His role is so minor, and they managed to screw up not just the character, but the continuity if they ever want to use him again. If they want him in a continuation of the trilogy (which they would have to if they want to do the Rogue coupling or anything involving his work with the X-Men), he’ll have to be played by someone who’s 40. Anna Paquin’s whiny bitch Rogue would not go for him, despite the sexual tension that taught nine-year-old me to make seven-card stud jokes.

I guess my boyfriend, who dressed up as Gambit for the film’s release, set the bar a little too high. I guess $130 million can’t compete with a $45 leather trench coat.

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I should preface this by saying that I don’t drink. Ever. I tried it years ago and disliked it. I didn’t like the experience for the same reason that everyone else does: I wasn’t in complete control over my actions. 

However, for the stupid shit that did happen (luckily nothing that effected me at all the next day, never mind the next few years of my life), I took complete responsibility. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it ranked a 0.02 on the regret-o-metre. Oddly enough, that was probably my blood alcohol level at its highest. 

I do enough stupid and regrettable stuff without the assistance of drugs and alcohol, thank you very much. I sleep late without a hangover, I reveal way too much about myself to strangers, I laugh too loudly… I’m not ashamed of any of that. I just hate when I tell a story and I hear, “What was your excuse, girl? You weren’t even drunk!”

1) Who says I need an excuse? If I felt I needed to justify my actions, I would have said something like, “I made a mistake and I learned from it.”

2) Would being drunk have actually made whatever I did okay? Let’s say for argument’s sake that I… I dunno… broke a lamp during a house party. Whether I was drunk or not, it was an accident. Whether I was drunk or not, I’d be responsible for property damage. Is there any question that I should have to pay for the lamp? I did something regrettable, and should be held accountable. There is no grey area here. If it was my broken lamp, I’d insist that the person reimburse me, and likewise I would reimburse the owner with my apologies. 

Now let’s take something a little less black and white, and a little more true to life.

Many years ago, I kissed a friend (let’s call her Merlot)’s ex-boyfriend. They had ended the relationship amiably, and I had always liked him. When she found out (I came clean two days later), she ended the friendship and, as far as I have heard, still has me on her hit list. I am not proud of what I did or of how I handled the situation, but it was a learning experience. 

A few years later, a mutual friend of myself and the girl was at a New Year’s Eve party with a group of people, including my most-loathed ex boyfriend. Things had not ended well between us and my friend had been there for me all through the breakup. She put an end to rumours he’d spread, she laughed at all the jokes I made at his expense… she was supportive and I was grateful for it. Until she sent me an email that New Year’s Day saying, “Heyyyyy Allegra. Guess who I made out with last night?” Her justification was that they had both been drinking. I forgave her, not because her judgement had been impaired but because she apologized and immediately resumed her role as supportive BFF. 

Later, that same friend would drunkenly make out with Merlot’s lifelong crush. Merlot forgave her immediately… as far as I can tell, it was okay because my friend, Merlot and the boy were all drunk.

I don’t see the logic – this was obviously not the first time these people had been drinking. My friend knew that she had a propensity towards making out with anything with an Adam’s Apple when she drinks, and still made the conscious choice to get drunk anyway. 

I’m by no means implying that what she did was worse than what I did. I just can’t understand why it is socially acceptable to drink yourself stupid and engage in the same destructive behaviour over and over again. Being drunk is not an excuse. 

There are harsher penalties for drunk drivers than there are for young drivers and drivers who make poor judgement calls, BUT THERE ARE STILL PENALTIES for everyone. This is how it should be for social situations as well. I am going to hold people accountable for what they say and do while they’re drunk, in hopes that they realize that not all caution should be thrown to the wind.



The title says it all, doesn’t it? There are a group of boys on my dorm floor who have woken me up between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning every day laughing like drunken sociopaths (oh, wait). I could accept this as one of the downsides to not living at home during university had it happened once on a Saturday night, but I was kept awake for four nights in a row. It’s a lot more annoying than it sounds.

Night 1: Fire alarm. Simple enough. They pulled it knowing that one of their buddies was getting some, and that both he and the girl would have to scramble to get dressed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t dressed to deal with a Canadian October night either. I didn’t fall back to sleep once we were allowed back in.

Night 2: Another drunken night for these charming lads, they ask the naive boy from Hong Kong to “pet the squirrel.” Having never seen a skunk before, he didn’t know the difference. The poor boy was sprayed, and the others brought him back up to our floor and paraded him around, yelling and laughing raucously. I woke up thinking, “What the Mitch smells like burning eraser?” The skunk funk was so bad that I was awake, nauseous and angry, for the rest of the night.

Night 3: Possibly my “favourite” of the pranks, the four boys take turns peeing in an empty recycling bin. At 3:00 am, they knock on a different guy’s door and empty the bin onto him. The whole bin of urine soaked him and his carpet… and the hallway’s carpet… everyone knows that urine is the WORST smell to try to get out of upholstery or clothing. Well, except skunk. Together they’re a lethal combination. Anyway, I wake up to “I AM GOING TO F***ING KILL ALL OF YOU. WHAT THE F***?!” as well as cries of pure disgust. It was at this point I called the Don, who – of course – did nothing. No more sleep for me.

 

I approached the boys the next day, looking like ass (and, admittedly, playing up my I’m-gonna-cry-out-of-exhaustion face) and said, “Guys, seriously. I have 8:30 am classes. Can you please pull your pranks earlier so that I can get some sleep? I’m so tired. I’m not saying that you can’t be asses to each other, just realize that I’m right next door and I have to be up early. Please.” They must think I’m pretty okay, or else they pitied me, because they didn’t make fun of me. They agreed, and I was tired enough to think they’d stop.

I’m an IDIOT when I’m tired.

Night 4: When I heard rambunctious conversation begin to get louder, I stepped out of my room wearing pyjamas and holding my toothbrush. My hair was in braids and on my feet were slippers. I yawned as I walked past. It could not have been more obvious that I was preparing to sleep – at 10:00. One guy asked me if they were being too loud, and I said that they were fine as long as they didn’t get louder. I thought they’d redeemed themselves, but really they just hadn’t started drinking yet. After a few Molsons, they started discussing – very loudly – how they deal with girls who aren’t good at handjobs. Offensive? Maybe. Inappropriate? Sure. Nauseating? Most certainly. My head clutched between my two pillows, I could still hear every awful comment and every subsequent high-five. 

I emerged from my bed, and they laughed and called me over, eager to share the rest of the conversation with me. AM I THAT MUCH OF A DUDE?! It was at this point that I practically begged them to hang out in another hallway. I don’t know if they did, because I actually did fall asleep out of exhaustion as soon as I got back to my room. I had an 8:30 class so I only got a few hours of rest, but it was more than what I’d been getting.

 

I stayed at The Boy’s house the next night. He was my hero for being quiet and for letting me sleep past noon for the first time since I moved out.



et cetera