Deadpool 2, and how to do a sequel right

Just my opinion but…

Deadpool 2 manages to do what few franchises can, and that’s to make a sequel that is just as good, if not better than, their first movie. I know that Marvel often knocks it out of the park, but even if you compare their movies against one another, the 2nd films are often weaker than the first. Thor Dark World, not as good (IMO) as the first one. Same with Iron Man. Same with Age of Ultron vs the first Avengers flick. I think the only exception is Captain America, but that might just be my personal opinion. I thought Winter Soldier was way better than the first movie but I’m getting off track here.

At any rate, Deadpool 2 does it right, and it does so because it doesn’t do what Hollywood so often does in it’s sequels. What do I mean by that? Well let’s take Guardians of the Galaxy for example. The first one was amazing. One thing everyone loved about the movie: baby Groot at the end.  OMG how cute was he right? I loved him. You loved him. He was just the the most precious thing ever. So what does Hollywood interpret that as? Let’s add 150% MORE baby Groot! If they liked a little, Hollywood says, then obviously they’ll like a whole butt-load more! Pile on the Groot!

But Hollywood, you’d be wrong. Just because I liked a little bit of baby Groot doesn’t mean I’ll like a lot of it. In fact a little goes a long way sometimes. And Deadpool 2, well it manages to not give us too much baby Groot. I mean, it doesn’t give us any, obviously (though technically they COULD but again, that’s getting off track), but when I say that I mean it doesn’t overdo what it did well in the first film. It changed things. It shook things up. It added new characters. I removed some old characters. It gave me a new movie, not just a rehash of the same old jokes or stories from the first one.

Another win for Deadpool 2 is that the trailer doesn’t give everything away. Or at least not any of the ones that I saw. Maybe I just live under a rock, but I went and saw the movie on Saturday and had such a pleasant surprise that I literally squealed in the movie theater. Out loud. Like a school girl. Marketing department, please take note! When I see a trailer I want to be gently teased; caressed by that titillating lack of detail. I don’t want to be knocked over the head and dragged into a back room where all the best scenes of the movie–and maybe even the ending–are violently shoved down my throat. Wait. That was vulgar. Sorry about that. I get passionate about these things. At any rate, you get my point. Please stop spoiling movies for me Hollywood. I hate it, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

So yeah, did I enjoy Deadpool 2? You’re damn right I did. I won’t give any spoilers, but it’s worth watching if you liked the first one.

But again, that’s just my opinion.

I’m not a professional critic.

Bordeaux Glass Thoughts

Of all the hands to touch me throughout my life, his I remember best.

Always gentle, always confident; he filled me with comfort, and I knew that he would never let me fall, never break me. There was never a moment when I questioned whether what we had was right or wrong, even when he would forget about me for hours, days, or even weeks. It didn’t matter. Whenever his eyes sought me out again I was only too happy to obey. I was too lonely without the warmth of his touch, and only when he would fill me to the brim did I feel complete; whole again. I think I was in love with him.

I must have been.

Even know, in the hands of another, he’s all I think about. His lips—oh they were the lips of Adonis. He knew how to taste of me in a way I’ve never seen or felt matched before or since. Like a connoisseur, he’d press his lips to mine and drink deeply, pouring my very spirit into his. He could leave behind impressions that would last until dawn, so powerful I thought I could feel them even after they were washed away.

And oh the nights we would spend together.

His fingers could—and would—cradle me until completion, but often we would spent hours together doing nothing more than holding one another. He would gaze into the distance and dream, whispering his hopes and fears and wishes into my ear. I was just happy to be wrapped in his warm embrace. We would stay that way until dawn, lazy lovers as we kissed our way into a haze of happiness.

It was bliss.

It’s only as this other man holds me that I reflect upon those hands that I truly long for. Hands that knew how to hold me. Hands that cared. This new man is careless; clumsy fingers and all teeth. Worse than even that, he often leaves me naked and alone without a whisper of affection to sooth my aching soul. I fear for my sanity; for my life, but I don’t believe that I can survive on my own. The mere thought of being thrown out is unbearable, even though it hurts me when he tosses me from his embrace like something dirty and disposable. I am no longer treasured.

And so I miss him

He’d never treated me this way, but he’s gone now. My emptiness is all I have left to remind me of him. I still remember the last time he held me. It was a cold night, one I won’t ever forget. We’d spent hours together already, his lips and hands and trembling fingers touching me in the ways that only he could, touching me until I was exhausted and satisfied. Laying beside him then, he whispered, drowsy and heavy lidded, about decisions he would have to make soon, about things I couldn’t understand. Things I didn’t want to understand. I watched in silence as he spoke, stilled by my fears as he said his goodbyes. Only; I hadn’t known they were goodbyes then.

To this day I still don’t understand why he left me.

Hours, days, weeks, months later I still lived in that pained memory of his gentle farewell, my lips cold and my soul empty. His friends came. They spoke in hushed voices, afraid, I suppose, of telling me the truth. Of telling me how it had ended. It was in the hands of one of those friends that I found some small comfort again, however cheap and bitter the taste.

But still I miss him.

As the days pass and I grow more brittle with age, I keep my hope that he will walk back into my life again; kiss me again. Fill me again. Maybe he could rescue me before the loss of his care causes irreparable damage. I know that he won’t—that he can’t—but I also cannot give up the hope, not when I’m already chipped and so near to shattering.

Hope is all I have left.

So in these hands I find my temporary reprieve, but never will I forget him. He was bliss. He was love. He was the sweetest wine and the warmest touch. He was my everything. I could only hope to cradle his spirit each chance that I was able, but he—he managed to consume all of mine.

IT

I have loved horror my entire life, all the way from the womb and up until today, and likely until the day I die. I say the womb, because apparently when my mother was pregnant with me that was all she watched, and I’d like to think that led to my life-long love of the genre. I think the only horror I don’t like is the stuff people call ‘torture porn,’ and I’m honestly inclined to agree with the term. I love watching (as god-awful as this sentence sounds) the suffering and terror of horror movie characters, but I don’t want to just see them get hurt as the focus as the film. I’ll take Nightmare on Elm Street over Hostel any day of the week.

That said, I’ve always been a fan of the old IT mini-series. Sure it was cheesy with all it’s wonderful Stephen King campiness, but that didn’t make it less enjoyable. Was it scary? Well… I mean not really. I absolutely adored Tim Curry as Pennywise, and the child actors were great, and I loved so many of the scenes that took place in their childhood years. And I think that the people who worked on the new remake movie really understood that those things were what most people liked about the original. The clown, the children, and the interaction between them.

My spoiler free review:

The movie is good. I only had two negative thoughts through the entire thing, and neither of them is at all a ‘deal breaker’ that detracts from the movie. My first ‘con’ to the movie is the length. It seemed just a little too long, and I think this might have been a pacing issue in the middle. I understand that they wanted to give every kid a unique experience with Pennywise, but after a while it was just scare after scare after scare and I thought at one point, “how many more times can these kinds be scared before they aren’t scared any more??” So yeah, just a little too long, but I really can’t think of what I’d cut either, because individually I really enjoyed all the scenes.

My second issue was really only one scene in particular, and not because it was bad in any way, but because it seemed to be the only ‘cheesy’ moment. It sort of took me out of the movie for a second because it just didn’t seem to work as well as the other Pennywise interactions.

Seriously though, go see it. While I still adore Tim Curry’s Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård did some an incredible job that I really have to give him some serious kudos. I think of the two Pennywise interpretations sort of like how different actors gave us different Jokers. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was to Tim Curry’s Pennywise what Heath Ledger’s Joke was to Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise. Two very different versions of the same character, but both equally for all their differences. Skarsgård was creepy as fuck, and I loved him every second of it.

I also can’t leave out what an incredible job those kids did! There wasn’t a single moment any of those children were on that I rolled my eyes or thought they weren’t believable. Their interactions and dialogue actually had me laughing out loud, and I can’t even begin to say how glad I am that this movie didn’t hold back, not on the language or the blood. Where the original was made for TV, this one was most definitely not.

So yeah. Go see this! It’s good, it’s great, and it’s well worth the admission cost.

Spoiler Review Below!!!

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The Carousel

     The metronome ticked off forty beats per minute.

     David knew this because he’d counted them each; every soft tock and tick that filled the space between the silence. They were softened further by thick carpet and book-lined shelves that absorbed the tinny clicks. Doctor Stein cleared her throat.

     It was the first new sound in sixty beats.

“Do you really believe this David?”

     Her tone was one of chiding condescension. His last remark had brought on their extended quiet. He liked the quiet.

“I don’t need to believe anything Dr. Stein. I can show you my work if you think I’m delusional.”

     His work.

     Now there was a subject of pure passion, a project he’d poured his very soul into. It was David’s only drop of amusement in an otherwise endless, boring ocean of existence. It was also the reason for his visits here. What others called crazy he knew to be genius, but he wanted a doctor’s opinion. There had never been one to experience his genius before.

     He was interested in the reaction.

“That’s okay David. If you believe it’s real, that’s good enough for me.”

     She scribbled something in her notebook, likely a comment about whatever delusions she thought he might have. David smiled.

“But you don’t believe it doctor.”

     He licked his lips and let his eyes wander up the length of her leg as he spoke, starting from the ankle and sliding up a contour of smooth calf. It was easy to imagine the appendage raised up in mid-motion, the muscle taunt and flexed and frozen forever in place in just that perfect pose.

“Do you believe in any kind of magic,” he went on, “or only the ones with an organized religion to back up their claims?”

     The doctor smiled too now, but while his held secrets, hers only held disapproval and a lack of imagination. That was alright though. He had imagination enough for the both of them.

“We’re not here to talk about my beliefs David,” she paused, eyes flicking down to view her own notes from earlier in their discussions. “Tell me more about this carousel.”

“Ah, the carousel.”

     The words escaped with a musical lilt, the very topic teasing his blood into a rushing torrent. It pounded in his ears and flood into the loins. It was inspiration. It was exaltation. It was carnality captured and corrupted. He readjusted himself and crossed his legs.

“It’s the pinnacle of my work,” he continued, “my magnum opus.”

“Then why would you say that it makes people suffer?”

     At this question, David had to chuckle. Of course she couldn’t understand his work, not without seeing it first. She would though, soon enough. He would show her, and she would have no choice but to concede.

“Because that’s the very purpose of the thing.” He wet his lips again. “Everything has to have a purpose Dr. Stein. Don’t you agree?”

“Actually, David I…”

     He couldn’t focus anymore, not with the ticking tap of moments playing backdrop to her words, and not with the image of his beautiful carousel spinning in his mind. The metronome’s beating deepened into a heartbeat; into twenty-three heartbeats, each one pumping blood and keeping life alive. He could smell the sweet sweat in the air. Gaping eyes and mouths chomping at bits, frothing with fear or fury; hooves unable to stamp, hanging two feet too high and—

“—David are you listening to me?”

     His eyes refocused on the good doctor’s and he smiled.

“Apologies. My mind must have wandered.”

“I was just saying that—” but her words were cut short as their timer chimed. “Oh, I’m sorry David. We’ll need to pick this up on our next session.”

“Of course.” He stood and smoothed his shirt before offering the doctor a handshake. “I always enjoy our talks.”

     That night David spent time on the carousel.

     He couldn’t resist the allure after talking about it, after teasing himself with thoughts of bringing Doctor Angela Stein to experience the magic. As he ran his fingers across the flank of a horse he imagined the expression on her face. Shock first, then horror. He’d seen it before.

     She’d be speechless no doubt, so very unlike the professional facade he was forced to see her through now. After witnessing his work those emotions she tried so hard to keep in check would come bubbling to the surface. If he kept a metronome here he could count out how many beats it took before she screamed.

     It took one more month for him to chisel her resolve down, each lick of his lips bringing her closer to his wants, bending her further to his will. She may not have believed in magic, but that made no difference to the effect of it. Magic, much like Gods, cared little for the thoughts and feelings of those who worshipped at their altars. David did not worship at the altar of any God, not when they proved so much less responsive than that old unbridled magic more ancient than the Earth itself. He didn’t even mind the price that needed to be paid.

“I shouldn’t be doing this.” Dr. Stein breathed with a wine scented giggle as she climbed from the passenger seat of his car, out into the heavy night air.

     Clouds pregnant with a storm rumbled overhead, threatening rain. David joined her outside and flashed a smile over the car as he shut his door.

“Well then doctor, I’m sad to say that I’ll need to take my business elsewhere.” It was all but purred before he licked his lips and threw her a wink. “I think that means you’re fired Angela.”

     Her laughter followed them down the quiet sidewalk and into the warehouse where he kept his work, the dark interior drowning them in shadow once he shut the door behind them.

“Oh god it’s so dark.” She laughed, the sound of her heels on the concrete echoing through the large space.

“I’ll have that fixed in just a moment,” he promised, and true to his word the lights snapped on one beat later.

     She couldn’t hear the machine yet, not with the barrier of silence placed ahead, but he could.

“Oh my god.” Angela exhaled.

     In the center of the warehouse stood the carousel. From the door it looked like nothing more than a carnival merry-go-round, all bright paint and mirrors, with fanciful horses in the middle of some jubilant parade put to pause. The bulbs on the ride were dark, but in the florescent glow overhead they were unnecessary to illuminate the detailed woodwork or lacquered paint.

“Is this it?” The doctor asked, although the answer was obvious.

     Her excitement shined through her lips as she admired his masterpiece, taking steps to close the distance between her and it.

“It’s not at all like you described. This is beautiful.”

“Wait until you see it close up.”

     Angela couldn’t see his grin and its hungry anticipation as he followed behind her, the two of them diminishing the gap between what was real and what was an illusion of normalcy.

     It took ten beats to cross the threshold. Once she did, the smile on her face was static for only one beat more, the corner twitching with sudden confusion. A shock of emotional shivered across her features.

     The once silent warehouse was full of sound now, the metronome ticking off the time as Angela tried to convince herself that what she saw couldn’t possibly be real. Her feet even carried her a few steps further before something in her brain ordered them to stop. One hand lifted to her chest, the other to cover her mouth.

     Covering most of the gentle ticks and tocks were an array of sounds, displeasing to most but music to David. The loudest noise was the ever present, an undulating cry of agony, rising and falling as the ride itself, the lights lit, and the platform making its lazy spin. There were snorts and whinnies, many of them thrown high as heads tossed in a fruitless attempt at freedom.

     The carousel that had looked so fanciful from the doorway was shown for what it truly was, the exact opposite of childish frivolities. The mares and stallions that had been brightly painted and frozen in place were instead living and breathing and writhing in inescapable torture. Muscles quivered  from exhausting torment, each horse impaled through the middle upon a sturdy pole while lesser rods pierced each appendage to hold their legs in a carefully chosen position. Every glazed eye was wide and wild and jerking in all directions, looking for a path to relief and finding none.

     The metronome counted out twelve beats before Angela let loose her scream, her backward trek to the door cut short when she bumped against David’s chest. Feeling his solid warmth she twirled and buried her face against him, knotting her hands into his jacket as she shied away from the horror. It hadn’t yet dawned on her that it was all his doing, that he’d promised a carousel of screams and suffering.

“This—this can’t be—” her head shook and her body quaked with powerful shivers.

     David ran his fingers through her hair, his eyes staring at the work of art; his living, breathing carousel, carried on the backs of immortal steeds and eternal mares. Blood, a never ending supply of it, dribbled down the poles that held them fast, pooling across the floor of the platform in waves so old and plentiful that the wood had been permanently stained. It glistened in the blinking lights, the stench somewhere between an acrid scent of metallic sweat and pungent saliva.

     Notes of whimsical calliope music stirred to life, the machine sensing his presence.

“This isn’t real.” She looked up at him, tears rimming her eyes and staining her cheeks. “This is some kind of sick joke right?”

     Angela winced as one of the horses let out a long shriek.

“I told you what it was,” his voice carried above the other noise.

“This is sick,” she suddenly snarled, ripping herself away to put a foot of space between. “Those are living animals, and you’re a goddamn sick son of a bitch!”

“I’m an artist Angela, not sick.”

“Oh no, you are fucking sick and I’m fucking—” her trembling hands fumbled with her purse, “I’m calling the cops right now.”

     She pulled the phone out, backing further away from him, clearly worried he might hurt her now that she’d made her threat. David only chuckled as her unsteady fingers aimed for the digits.

     He snapped a finger.

     With a finger hovering over the final number, Angela stood completely paralyzed. Her eyes, the only thing left unfrozen, leapt to his and dampened with renewed terror. He closed the distance between them, and with each step her eyes grew in panic. Savoring the moment, David reached out and touched her hair again, running a handful of it between his fingers. It was soft and smooth, freshly washed in some earlier hope that this night might lead to something more intimate. Angela’s hope hadn’t been entirely misplaced. The coming experience they would share was quite intimate, only not as enjoyable for her as it would be for him.

     David let the hair fall from his fingers.

“You entered of your own volition Angela,” he began, walking past to stand between her and the carousel. “And I’m afraid that leaves you at my mercy. I could have warned you but well, you see I needed you to complete my collection.”

     The carousel spun and the metronome counted, the music merrily whistling as the only empty pole on the ride came and went. His beautiful machine was meant to hold twenty-four, and now he’d finally complete the set. David turned and walked back into Angela’s sight. He cupped her cheek and ran a thumb across her lips before licking his own. The spell of seduction was no longer necessary, but a habit had formed nonetheless.

“You’ll love it here,” David whispered the words, his excitement mounting as the time for her transmogrification grew ever more imminent.

     Those twisting muscles and bending bones always thrilled him to the core, the power to change a shape and mold it to his darkest desires so delicious he could almost find completion at the thought alone.

“And you’ll be among your peers,” he added, leaning closer to the doctor so that she’d hear his soft promises above the music and the screaming. “You’ll be mounted right between Bill, my lawyer, and Jessica, my favorite hair-dresser.”

     David gave Angela’s cheek one last kiss.

“And best of all Dr. Stein,” he looked into her tear-filled eyes before giving her the final words she’d hear from human ears. “You will never die.”