Back for another comic book movie, I lure Mom in with promises of Colin Firth without spoiling/warning that he violently kills dozens of people! In our episode on Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service we talk for a bit about my mom’s legs, she confuses the first scene for the second scene and vice versa, and I rely completely on what she tells me about Pygmalion; the Shaw play, not the myth, as there are decidedly fewer statues to fall in love with. Somehow, we briefly mention Donald Trump, because I’m sure he’ll love the media attention. I try to get to the bottom of what framing of violence is worse to my mother’s sensibilities, in order to gauge whether or not movies that question why, as a society, we enjoy violence as entertainment are less offensive to her – and therefore possible future episodes. For this episode’s Trailer Time, Mom gets to choose from the Aquaman and Shazam! Comic-Con trailers and picks the latter, which is a choice I approve of.
We make our triumphant return to form with a superhero film that requires me to explain the history of the genre in order to make Mom understand this wasn’t actually that mediocre for the time it was released: Bryan Singer’s X-Men! Having been on vacation to Israel, where we visited Yad Vashem, we get into our happiest episode yet, as we extensively discuss the Holocaust and when it is appropriate to use that as character motivation, especially in the case of a Jewish villain. We also discuss the problems surrounding the Mutant Registration Act and the possibility of facilitating prosecution by registration in general, a segment in which I confuse the Belgian and Dutch systems of distributing social security numbers; you’ll survive, I’m sure. There was also some confusion about whether or not Patrick Stewart was actually Ben Kingsley. As Mom tries to remember the name of Lara Croft, I show her a trailer for something she actually wants to watch, David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.