Anna Ellis

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My crush of the week – Agent Carter

(Note: I posted this over on my Holly Kerr – Author  site earlier today, so apologies if you’re seeing it twice.)

agent carterI have a thing for superheroes. I’m not sure if it’s a men in tights thing or what; I don’t particularly have a need to be rescued but I like super heroes.  I’m not into comic books.  I’ve never read them and I doubt I ever will.  My love of the men in tights comes from movies, and now television, and began with Michael Keaton as Batman, back in 1989.  I also have a thing for strong, kick-ass females on television, like Buffy, Sydney Bristow on Alias, and even Xena, the warrior princess.

Do you want to know who has recently vaulted to the top of both lists?

carter 2Agent Peggy Carter

For those of you who don’t know what or who I’m talking about, Agent Carter was Captain America’s girlfriend, as seen in the first Captain America movie and in the world of Marvel comics.  She’s a SSR agent, who along with Captain America, helped end World War 2. Back in New York City in 1946, Peggy Carter has been passed aside because of her sex.  From storming into battles, she’s relegated to filing and fetching lunches for the men in the SSR office and it’s becoming difficult for her to deal with the apparent sexism at the workplace. No one knows what she’s capable of, nor does anyone care to find out.carter 1

Enter Howard Stark (Iron Man’s dad) to save her, and by saving her, I mean giving her a secret assignment to find his stolen inventions.  Peggy hides this assignment from her fellow agents, even beating them to the punch on several occasions.

Of course she saves the world again. Or at least NYC.

With the Agent Carter  TV show, Marvel has created a “feminist hero who’s not too vulnerable, not to cocky and not too sexy (while still keeping just enough of those traits in play so that viewers will want to spend time with her for an hour a week…” (www.avclub.com) She’s got lots of layers – witty, strong-willed and sensitive – and can kick some serious ass! Peggy Carter is a fierce, realistic female hero without any superpowers.  The show’s star, Hayley Atwell, does her own stunts and Carter is pretty kick ass. The show deals with sexism with grace and humour when it would be so easy for Peggy to knock the heads of her fellow SSR agents together.

There was a particularly disgusting scene at the end of the final episode, where a male co-worker has just taken credit for what Peggy accomplished, and went so far as accepting a presidential commendation, which angers a friend and fellow male agent.

“How can you sit and take it?”

“I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.”

I loved her reaction to the situation.  She’s a superhero in both in her profession and to female fans and that’s why she’s my crush of the week!

Ever watch the show? What do you think of Agent Carter? And who’s your crush of the week?


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Fifty Shades of So-So Sex

I posted this on my alter-ego website earlier today (Holly Kerr Author) but I added some insights for this blog!!!!  😉

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

posterI know, I know, all the die-hards have been and gone and posted about the movie and now, two weeks later, I’m just getting around to putting in my two cents.  I’ve always planned on going to see the movie, but I wasn’t about to sit in the audience with a pack of swooning women. So I finally got my hubby to go with me yesterday and here’s what I thought:

It was better than I expected. I had pretty low expectations going in though!

I read the books back in the beginning of the hype and unfortunately I didn’t think much of the writing. But I do admire EL James for inspiring countless women to pull their ‘dirty books’ out of the closet and read them with pride. She’s done as much for the erotica genre as JK Rowling did for kid-lit: got people reading and talking about what they’re reading. That’s not to say the trilogy can be classified as great books however, but we’re not discussing that.

The movie was pretty good. If you take out the BDSM and Christian’s attempt at controlling all aspects of Anastasia’s life, it’s actually a sweet love story. Shy, virginal girl meets tortured workaholic and wins his heart. (You have to have read all three books to see that happening because at the end of the first, she’s out of there!) There are a lot of nice, sweet moments at the beginning of their romance. The hardware scene was well-hardwaredone.

The best things about the movie are Dakota Johnson (to my surprise) and Jamie Dornan’s abs.  Unfortunately I was distracted by the weird way he takes off his shirt, but what underneath is very impressive!

Dakota Johnson has some spunk and sass and drunk Anastasia is the best part of the movie!  Her slurred conversation outside the ladies room shows Christian she is a woman who knows her own mind. Of course this was ruined by him swooping in, thinking he had to rescue her, but that’s Christian Grey for you.

please gifThe sex scenes were surprisingly tame. It’s a movie and you obviously can’t show everything, but the heat of the books didn’t carry over to the screen. The leads had great chemistry together, but I found the sex scenes almost…tasteful, if that word applies to this movie.  I wasn’t expecting the heat and sizzle of the books – there’s a different type of actor who appear in those films – but I was expecting a little more. Most of the sex was bundled up in a handy little 5 min montage. I has been a while since I read the books, but I thought they had a lot more sex.  I think they had more vanilla sex in the movie.  Well, the one time there was a spanking and use of a tie but it was pretty vanilla for Christian Grey. Maybe that was butterscotch sex.

But the scene in the boardroom where they are talking about the contract and Christian tells Ana he wants to f%^k her into next week? If I was Ana, I’d be jumping right up on that table!! How could you walk out after that!!!??? That was pretty hot.

Nowhere in the film was non-consensual sex hinted at. Ana is curious and wants to explore and Christian respects her boundaries in every scene. That’s not to say he isn’t a control freak, which was as off-putting to me in the film as it was in the books.  The possessive, jealous and domineering male is not a turn-on to me but I knew what to expect from the books.  Plus, having read the Twilight series and knowing Fifty Shades was based on the Bella/Edward relationship, I knew that part of the relationship would bother me.

Needless to say I didn’t enjoy watching Christian exercising control over Anastasia outside the bedroom, especially that it appeared Anastasia was simply picking a fight when she expressed her confusion and concern. You want Anastasia to run away from him when he’s pulling that crap, but she doesn’t because she’s in love with him, and for most women, love is a tough bind to break.

You can find a lot at fault with these books; I’ve heard talk about rape and women’s rights, etc, and that’s serious stuff. But I didn’t go to the movie to dig deep about how women are portrayed; I wasn’t looking for non-existence themes.  Maybe that makes me less of a feminist but I went to watch a movie based on a book, like I’ve done so many times before. And I walked away thinking it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

I’ll give it two and a half stars.