Archive for superheroes

Top Movies for the Year! — Well so far

This year seems to be, for me anyway, the Comic Book adaptation year. I have seen quite a few of them. I have two standouts that I would love to talk about.

The first by far is Logan. I was watching Fatman on Batman a YouTube show by Kevin Smith, and both Kevin and Mark talk about how well written Logan is. For me, Patrick Stewart gave his best performance (maybe edging out A Christmas Carol by just a smidge).  Logan is an amazing movie even without the superhero/mutant stuff. Hugh Jackman showed an aging Logan who needed to care for a “father” with dementia and find out that he was a “father” to a girl who grew up as a lab experiment. Yes, there was violence in the movie, but it was important to the narrative.

The second was WonderWoman. Although it was not as put together as Logan, or written as well as Logan, it was well crafted. There were some moments that put this in second place to Logan (with a deep sigh), I felt that we were left with an ending that was lackluster over the top and very dark. The pacing wasn’t as good as the first 15 minutes of the movie (which IMHO should have been given at least 30 minutes  I would have liked to know how Amazons age and would have liked to see a gap between when Diana finding out that she was powerful to seeing Steve Trevor crash). Aries seemed to be a little blah to me, not as robust as he should be. Although we have in Batman V Superman a Diana that pined for 100 years, the ending didn’t seem to match the level of pining or longing.

These two movies really were great! I don’t think I can say that enough. I think they both surpassed anything that I could have hoped for.

(Okay, I know that Star Wars the Last Jedi is out in December. I think that movie is in a different category, they can’t screw it up, can they? I mean fans have forgiven Lucas for the 3 90s movies, or have I? Plus Princess Leia! Oh My Goddess I will cry if they mess it up…. Just saying…. )

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Thor Ragnorok

Beauty and the Beast

Justice League

Atomic Blonde

PowerRangers (yes, I liked it better than Spiderman Homecoming)

Spiderman Homecoming

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Underworld: The Blood Wars

The Fate of the Furious

Transformers: The Last Knight

Kingsmen and the Golden Circle (I really wanted this movie to be great!)

The Dark Tower – Disappointing horribly made, didn’t watch it to the end.

Movies that I want to watch

I still have a few movies that I want to watch to round out the year. I wanted to wait for them to be on On Demand or a paid service so I can watch for free.  Movies are expensive. I try to reserve theatrical movies to movies that work well on the big screen, ones that are filmed in 3D, have the 4D experience or something I really think that I will like. For instance, I am happy that I didn’t see the Dark Tower in the movies because I stopped watching within the first hour.

Battle of the Sexes

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Goodbye Christopher Robbins

Despicable Me 3

Blade Runner 2049

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Update: It was on On Demand. It was a decent movie. The original series Valérian and Laureline was a French comic 60’s to present. Valerian is a Major and his partner Laureline is a Sargent. Although the description says that are time travelers, they don’t actually time travel in the movie. It is action packed and has some memorable parts. Over all I would give it a grade of B. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a decent way to spend the afternoon!)

War for the Planet of the Apes

The Smurfs: The lost village

Wonder Woman 2017

 

I will be spoiling some of the movie if you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read. You have been warned.

 

I went to go see Wonder Woman June 1st @ the 7:00 pm show.  It was shown in Real 3D. I was nervous about it. All my hopes, dreams, and expectations of this movie (40+ years) were going to be forever changed.I also went to see it again on June 3rd with my niece and nephew.

I never thought that I would never see a Feminist Wonder Woman in a 150 million dollar film directed by a woman. At best, my fear was that they would cast a woman who was all tits and ass to fill a masturbatory role to stroke male egos. When Gal Gadot was cast in the role, the first comments, were about her tit size, they weren’t big enough. Many women objected that her tits weren’t small enough. With the state of women in print comics and how they are drawn, I was worried. Worried that it would all about tits and ass.

I was wrong, happily so. The movie is a Feminist movie. It’s a must see movie. Some so feminists are saying that the first 15 minutes didn’t pass the  Bechdel Test. I strongly disagree. It was about Diana making her own choices in her life, breaking with her mother. Other feminists decrying Wonder Woman because it’s not inclusive enough, or that she isn’t a woman of color. Some are even pointing to the actor herself, because she is an Israeli citizen.

 

Wonder Woman is a complex character who has a warm and loving heart. She born in privilege to be the princess of the Amazons. We learn that Queen Hippolyta formed Diana out of clay and asked Zeus to give Diana life, and he did. Later we find out that Diana was the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus. She was the only child on the Island of Themyscira and the Queen wanted her to remain a child for as long as she could and wouldn’t let Diana train with the other Amazon.

Hippolyta was afraid that Diana would die or be hurt at the hands of Ares and kept her away from Amazon training. This caused angst between her and her mother even from a young age. Diana was determined to be as every bit of a warrior as her mother and aunt were.

I remember watching one reviewer who said that the first 15 minutes was like a good meal that was over before you were fully satisfied.  The battle scene on the beach was amazing, it was far too short but to see a female 300 scene was just amazing.

I felt that way too. I wanted to see more of her training more of her self-reflection. The one problem I did have with this movie, is for some strange reasons Zack Snyder didn’t allow a lapse of time between events, they seemed (except for the very beginning) all happening within days of each other and showing some kind of plot device to show the reason it would take an overnight sleep on a sailboat (that Diana wasn’t aware of) to get to London from (I assume) the Aegean Sea near Turkey, even if towed by a tug.

I loved the visuals in Wonder Woman, the beautiful colors. Themyscira is a Utopia world where nothing bad has happened since the Amazon’s made it their home. It is protected from the outside world by Zeus.  The Amazons study languages, learn weaponry and have a female positive society. They know nothing of mankind or it’s war, protected from the War God himself. Ares did admit he whispers in the ears of those who want to harm, destroy, and corrupt, but doesn’t tell people to do the things they do, he (magnanimous) just watches taking pleasure in the destruction of his father’s favorite creatures. He in many ways sounds like many of the MRA and 4Chan activists who do not take responsibility for their own actions.

Although, Ares is a man, not all men are bad. Steve Trevor, is a good man. He stands behind her and allows her to make decisions on her own, although at times he is frustrated by those choices.

Although Ares, Dr. Poison, and General Ludendorff are the villains, they were overshadowed by the biggest villain, and that is war itself, not as in the god of war, but rather the plague of war and how it affects everyone.  War destroys the mind as we see Charlie struggling with PTSD and how he could no longer function as the trained sniper. We see Sameer, reduced playing into racial stereotypes in order to get closer to the bad guys, and we see the complex Chief who doesn’t fight for anyone because he has no home left to go to.

War changes the life of everyone, even the Princess of the Amazons, who didn’t believe her mother about war. To this point for Diana, no one lost their life (in her world – sure she heard the tales of her mother), the battle was always in a protection of those who she trained with and who were training her. It became real when she looses her aunt. She believed that if she just killed Ares then the war would end, people would be good and decent and choose love over anger, hate, and resentment.

At the end, she realizes that killing Ares will not stop the war, but being true to herself, allowing others to do what needed to be done will make the difference.

Patty Jenkins says that she went for the simple superhero movie. I don’t think that this movie was “simple” but rather complex. It showed that superheroes can love and can bring hope.

Superheroes!

WonderWoman

Lynda Cater as Wonderwoman she is in a position of strength

I love superheroes, yes, me I can’t help it. There is something about them that appeals to me. My favorite is Wonderwoman, Lynda Carters Wonderwoman. As a little girl watching her week to week be this strong woman, made me a little braver, a little more outgoing. I also grew up on superhero cartoons like;  Spiderman, Justice League, Batman, and superman. Along with the cartoons, I watched the TV shows like Superman and Batman. I didn’t read the comics as much, my older brothers weren’t into comics, so I couldn’t steal them.

I loved the cartoon superheroes of the 80s, like G.I. Joe and XMen. I would run home to watch the cartoons. I loved that G.I. Joe had strong female characters like Scarlet and Lady Jane. They were tough and could take care of themselves. The XMen brought more strong female characters, which Rouge was a favorite.

It’s these characters of my childhood that carry  me through. It made me think about who I wanted to be as a human, not just what I wanted to be when I grow up. It also made me see the gray area in life, that sometimes things are neutral and can’t be defined.

Comics have finally reached the masses. I am talking specifically the round of kick butt superheroes that have reached all media. Marvel and DC really have taken the to today’s TV. We have more superhero TV shows now than ever.

Marvel took it up a notch by partnering with Netflix with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Daredevil and Jessica Jones takes a darker look at superheroes. They aren’t easy breeze like Captian America or Iron Man (who lives in the same universe). They don’t fight Aliens or big monsters, at times they fight their inner demons as well as the criminals and masterminds of the streets.

Jessica Jones deals with women’s issues and heavy content as partner abuse, control, rape, violence, PTSD, and other gruesome topics. Jessica Jones deals with these concepts in a surprisingly human way and it’s refreshing.

Daredevil season one was good, however season two is that much better. Without spoiling it, it deals what it means to be a superhero on two levels. The first level is how the superheroes deal with morality and the use of their own powers, the examination is tough and brutal at times and each character explores their line. The humans deal with being their own superheroes and how they can be as powerful as those with special powers, and how they can confront violence, personal demons, and themselves.

Supergirl Not all superheroes are dark. Supergirl flew on to CBS like a refreshing breeze. She is strong confident and is super dorky in her Kara persona. She is dealing with the issues of the aftermath of Krypton being destroyed. She hunts aliens who were caught in the phantom zone with her.

I truly hope that  Supergirl is renewed for a second season, it’s worthy to have one. Supergirl is strong, independent, and is trying to find her way in the world. I identify with Supergirl, because she reminds me of me, the dorky awkward girl who fumbles over social activities.

What have I learned from superheroes? I learned that it’s okay to be me, to stand up for myself and others. I don’t have to have superpowers to save the day, I just have to trust myself and the “powers” I do have, and most importantly care for others.

Ceit

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